Jun 17, 2010

Droidkoban 3D

I've been meaning to review this title for awhile, but it's gotten interesting. At one time the developer was giving away copies to anyone willing to write a review. Now the game is free and the developer is asking for donations. I say the developer needs to just let things take their course... the game is good (and I'll talk more on that) and there was a free, lite version already. I think sometimes a rookie mistake is to get too desperate, too quickly. No need to do that here...

Droidkoban is a Sokoban clone using the Android mascot as the main character in the game. As stated the game is now free, but the developer does ask for a 2 euro donation if you like it (which can be done by buying 'Droidkoban Donate'). Differences? First, the game features a 3D environment. For Sokoban that's just a gimmick. Sokoban is all about great puzzles that require thought and, unlike many of the physics puzzlers, it's not just a festival of trial and error. As you zoom out, however, the game's play area does flatten if 2D is more your thing, although I think the flattest mode requires a bit too far of a zoom out. Next, the game features 2400 puzzles... that's less than a tenth of a euro (or penny) per level. If Sokoban is your thing then there's a lot of entertainment here for a small price (assuming you're honest and donate to cover the hard work that goes into a game).

The graphics are tile based and are average. The 2400 levels are broken into six themed areas such as a winter one where you're pushing black hats onto snowmen. Sometimes the zoom level of the 3D gets in the way of the puzzle solving... make that often. I find it far easier to zoom out... think about the puzzle... and then zoom back in to execute my solution. The game will play music that can easily be disabled while you play... average audio. The controls are quite flexible... use swipes to move, a DPad, a keyboard, or even a trackball (if I recall correctly). The only problem with swiping is that there's a menu along the bottom that needs to be tapped to active it. Swiping once might activate it if your swipe reaches a bit too low on the screen and swiping twice would then click a button on it. That did accidentally happen to me a couple of times... and the button I hit was the one on the far left which restarts the level. Aaargh!

The game isn't perfect, but the developer has regularly updated it and hopefully will continue to do so. I'm sure some support would encourage that. I did experience a force close while messing with some of the options, but not while solving a level. The game also features an undo option which steps you back by the movement of one object (i.e. not just a move, but rather you have to have actually moved one of the objects).

What would I like to see? A dedicated 2D toggle... a way to scroll around on the map without affecting anything... and dare I say leader boards based on who has conquered the most levels (not times... that's silly in a game like this, although the game does have a timer so you can track how long it first takes you to solve a level). Unless you abhor Sokoban give it a try now that it's a freebie... this is some good work. 4/5 stars.

1 comment:

  1. Wow, great, i just stumbled upon this review! Big thanks for this cool review. I was hard working on this game for quite some time now, sadly there are still some Android handsets that are just not that capable to run it smoothly.

    And there are some rare devices that actually cause a ton of problems, which i can't fix right now... i only have the HTC Desire to develop on.

    I am still working on some few features that will come into future versions of Droidkoban. Besides i want to work on a new 3D game for Android :)


    Marcus (Droidkoban developer)