Oil Slick iPhone game not great, but serves a noble cause

Jul 26, 2010
Games

The Oil Slick iPhone game (99 cents) has put me in a weird place. On one hand, I want the sales of this sorta-clever game to be quite brisk, considering that the developer GoGo-Robot is promising all profits made from the app will be donated to the relief efforts in the Gulf. On the other […]

The Oil Slick iPhone game (99 cents) has put me in a weird place. On one hand, I want the sales of this sorta-clever game to be quite brisk, considering that the developer GoGo-Robot is promising all profits made from the app will be donated to the relief efforts in the Gulf. On the other hand, this just isn’t a very fun game.

Oil Slick has you controlling either a dolphin or a sea turtle as you travel through your ruined Gulf home, trying to outrun an oil-cloud that more closely resembles “Lost’s” Smoke Monster. Your turtle/dolphin automatically moves vertically up the screen, and your job is to tilt your iPhone to find the best path to avoid touching the oil cloud. Touching the oil cloud slows you down tremendously, and once you’re covered in the cloud, it’s game over.

Aside from a few obstacles in your path that also slow you down, and a very mild speed burst that you can charge up over time, there’s not much to the gameplay. Theoretically, this is a simple, fun game you can get into and out of quickly; normally, I’m very much in favor of that, but there’s no sense of excitement here.

Your character just doesn’t move that fast, and the oil cloud follows you so persistently that it never feels like you have a chance. There are segments of the course you’re running on that it feels impossible to avoid slowing yourself down, no matter how well you could play the game in the first place.

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Visually, there’s not much to look at either. The character models and level design aren’t really terrible but they’re nothing you’ll remember. I had to check the app a few times before writing the review because I couldn’t actually remember who you were able to control besides the dolphin, which seems like a bad sign.

Look, I certainly applaud the charitable effort, but there are probably better ways to donate toward relief efforts for the Deepwater Horizon disaster. Playing this game isn’t quite a disaster of even video game proportions, but it’s not much fun, all the same.

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Dan Kricke

Dan Kricke has been playing with electronics and writing about them for years. He loved his Sega Dreamcast and now the PlayStation 3. On the iPhone, he's a fan of sports apps and anything that offers new music.

 

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