Wikileak Defender iPhone game leaves satire at home

Feb 1, 2011
Games

Satire and topicality can only get you so far. Eventually, people will play your app based on whether or not it’s compelling or interesting. Some time ago, I reviewed an app, iBailout!!, that was more or less a Pac-Man clone with a topical storyline inspired “from the headlines.” Needless to say, you’d have been better off […]

Satire and topicality can only get you so far. Eventually, people will play your app based on whether or not it’s compelling or interesting. Some time ago, I reviewed an app, iBailout!!, that was more or less a Pac-Man clone with a topical storyline inspired “from the headlines.” Needless to say, you’d have been better off playing Pac-Man.

But Wikileak Defender shows the other route you can go with this idea. Certainly, this app pokes fun at things in the news. In the game, you help a TSA agent defend against a never-ending stream of leaked cables and documents.

The TSA officer, armed with rubber gloves, a nightstick and a thin mustache, is an amusing caricature. But other than the background image in the app being of a computer screen that features images of political leaders and Wikileak founder Julian Assange, there is little else satirical about Wikileak Defender. It has no ongoing storyline whatsoever. Once you begin the game, that’s all there is to it.

Luckily, it’s a very fun game. The documents stream at the TSA officer from all angles, and while finger swipes take them down, that becomes a much trickier task once the game gets going in earnest. Soon, you’ll be swiping left, up, down, up, right, just to keep pace. It can end up feeling like Dance, Dance, Revolution for your fingers. While not flush with options, there are a few variations on the same general game mode to at least keep things interesting for players longer than they otherwise would be. But most importantly, the gameplay is addicting enough to keep players tapping away on this app far longer than the Wikileak story will be in the news.

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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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