By Eric Pankoke on Sat, 07/11/2009
If you read my first two posts in this series, you might be wondering why I'm continuing to review these games. Besides the fact that the developer was kind enough to provide me with the first five games for these reviews, it turns out they're actually getting better. The next game in the series is Pegburner, and it's a simple "click the numbers in order" game. I was actually a bit relieved, because given then name I thought it was going to be another one of those peg jumping games.
After the prerequisite loading, iTourque Builder splash and start screens, you're presented with a screen that looks like a wooden board with a knot in the middle. On level 1 there are three circles with the numbers 1-3 in them, and each subsequent level adds another number. All you have to do is click the numbers in the right order. Doesn't sound very difficult at all, does it? The game is timed, however. After the timer in the left corner counts down to zero, a fireball bursts out of the knot and starts destroying the circles from 1 on up. You can keep clicking on circles if you're not done yet, but if the fireball gets to a circle you haven't clicked it's game over. Oh, and if you accidentally click a number out of sequence it's game over as well. The game is actually quite addictive, save for the fact that it seems like the more circles that are on screen at once, the less responsive they become to your taps. There's nothing more frustrating with this game than moving from one circle to the next, only to realize too late that your tap on the last circle didn't register. This has happened on more occasions than I'd like to think about.
Graphically the game is nothing special, but the overall look is pretty sharp, and I do like the fireball effect. The sound effects are actually kind of crucial in this game, and unfortunately tend to step on each other. When you hear a certain click you know you've successfully selected the next number in line. Granted, just because you don't hear the click doesn't mean the number wasn't selected, but it's a nice audio clue to let you know whether you need to try clicking the number again or not. As the fireball collides with a number it makes a sound like a pinball hitting a bumper, and this can often mask the clicking of a number. There's also a "yoo-hoo" kind of scream uttered more frequently than would be preferable that sometimes negates the click sound of the circles. Aside from obvious conflicts I do like the pinball sounds, but the screaming not so much. The music is actually pretty decent as well, but again it can be overshadowed with the screaming (which sadly might actually be part of the musical track).
There's still some things that could be done to make this game better. The most obvious would be to tweak the sound and sensitivity issues. The game could also benefit from a few special items that you could click along the way - maybe things like an hourglass that adds a couple seconds to the countdown timer or something. Overall, though, Pegburner is by far the best of the App-A-Day bunch so far, so it earns a B-.