Armadillo Gold Rush Rolls onto iOS platforms
With the glut of free-to-play games vying for your attention, it's good to see a simple, addictive game come out for a solid price point with no fluff. Armadillo Gold Rush is available on your i-device for $2.99, and gives a solid experience to the puzzle- and action-gamer crowd.
Armadillo Gold Rush has a history on older phones. It's getting ported and updated from the old flip phones, and has the modern coat of paint, as well as a more intuitive swipe method of gameplay.
AGR feels like it was pulled straight out of a Professor Layton minigame menu. For those who know, combine the push and go of Azran's Nutty Roller, patterned enemies to defeat from Miracle Masks' robots, and the Last Specter's plannning of routes, and you end up with something similar to what you find in this game. As an armadillo, you are tasked with collecting all the gold in a level without succumbing to the traps within the level, which range from scorpions to death lasers. Why these things are here, I'm not too sure, but we must suspend belief to wonder why an armadillo needs gold in the first place, so you deal with what you have. Your armadillo rolls in a straight line until it hits a wall, though this could be effected by various springs, gates, or curved walls, so you have to keep an eye ahead to know what you're getting into. Occasionally, fruits will appear in the maze as well, and a quick nab of them earn you extra points, although it adds time and moves to your overall score, which is where the traditional three-star rankings become effected. Speed is key as well, so with each of these having their own individual ranking, perfectionists will find themselves returning to old levels many times to maximize their completion percentage.
The game's learning curve is very well done, with the first few sections adding the new squares, blocks, and enemies at a pace that lets you know the best way to overcome them. Before too long, you're timing your departure from moving sticky squares to best push bombs into enemies and restructuring maze walls like a pro.
Levels are smartly designed, with cute names that help you see what you are supposed to do within each individual level. The music is catchy, and doesn't make you want to instantly mute your phone like so many others in the App Store. There are only a few tracks, but they are not terrible in the least. I'd have done a little less annoying death noises, though, that sound like they were ported directly from the old phone's system. And as I said before, it's invigorating to see a game that doesn't require energy, coins, or what have you to get the privilege to play again. At times, I was frustrated with a cheap death. If it took twenty seconds and twenty-five swipes to get to a tricky spot, it's annoying after the fifth miss to have to start back at the beginning. Adding a paywall would have made it unplayable.
Other than the aforementioned frustration at getting 99% through a level and missing for the second or third time for not getting the pace of the level correct, and having to start over, Armadillo Gold Rush is a nice distraction to have on your phone. The extensive levels teach you gradually and provide enough of a challenge to satisfy puzzle lovers. It's currently available on the App Store for $2.99
Final score: 4/5
Thanks to the developers at AppAbove Games for providing a review copy.