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  #1  
Old 01-07-2011, 07:01 AM
CzarCastic CzarCastic is offline
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Default Curlington HD by Operatio




Surprised this one made it this far without a thread. It was supposedly released a few days ago, and I actually saw it in the AppStore earlier this week, but then when I went back later it was gone, and nothing was ever posted at AppShopper. Last night, it popped back up with a price drop. Not sure why it disappeared for a couple of days, but stuff like that seems to be happening a lot lately.

I bought it on a whim last night when I saw that the price was reduced. Impressions coming soon. It's going to take me a few minutes to type something up.
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  #2  
Old 01-07-2011, 07:51 AM
Howlingwolf Howlingwolf is offline
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Yeah I picked it up on it's first release not played a lot of it yet but first impressions were pretty good
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  #3  
Old 01-07-2011, 08:04 AM
CzarCastic CzarCastic is offline
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As I mentioned in the first post, I bought this game last night when I randomly stumbled across it on a price drop chart. I enjoy a good curling game, and I thought that the little bit of information provided in the app description was intriguing.

Based on the couple hours of gameplay I've invested so far, I would describe this as an arcade action curling game. Initial impressions are fairly positive with a few major (possibly deal-breaking) caveats. I shall explain!

At $1.99, you can't really go wrong, especially if you like the game of curling. I live in Michigan, very near the Canadian border. I've always enjoyed watching the little bit of curling that I am able to find. Mostly, though, it's been restricted to Canadian broadcast TV and Olympics coverage. However, I've got a pretty good understanding and appreciation for the game. This is why I was initially drawn to the game.

First, let's talk about the positives. And, really, there is a lot to like about this game.

--The graphics and art design are really great. The menu screen is dynamic and nice to look at. You can see it in screenshot 1 of the app description. The cargo jet in the background comes in for a landing. Everything about the look is quite nice.

--The overall use of screen real estate is perfect while in-game. The left hand side of the screen shows a top-down view of the house. This is where you'll use your finger to sweep, if necessary. The little broom follows your finger in front of your stone.

--The physics are spot on! You can feel the weight of the stone. I was comfortable with the feel after a few minutes of practice. You can use one or two fingers to throw your stone. One finger provides a little bit more finesse and allows your stone to curl quite nicely. A two finger throw is necessary to give your throw enough power for a take out.

--I really love the addition of the arcade gameplay, though. If you ever thought curling was interesting, but a bit boring, then this game may appeal to you. They've added four different types of special stones and a dynamic ramp that appears on the ice in front of the hog line. The ramp randomly goes up and down and can dramatically alter the physics of your shot, especially if you hit the side of it while it's raising up. There are four special powers also available. When you start your game, you can select one of the gumshoe characters, which then dictates which special stone you have available. You're given 1 special stone for every 4 stones in an end. In a multiplayer game, you have the option of selecting a 4 stone or an 8 stone end. In a single-player match against the AI, you don't have any options so you can only play a 4 stone end. The TNT stone has a fuse, which when activated gives you a few seconds before the stone explodes. This creates a lot of havoc on the ice. I found it a little too powerful. Unless you're into a lot of chaos, I didn't find this ability very useful for anything other than clearing all of the stones out of the house, including your own. The Hover stone gives you a stone that starts in the air. You control your hovering stone by tilting your iPad. There is less friction, of course, which dramatically alters the power needed to throw the stone. When you deactivate the power, the stone falls to the ice and then behaves noramlly. This power is great for playing right over any guards. It's also a lot of fun to use. The Castle stone creates an unmoveable tower on the ice. This is really almost a gamebreaking ability. When your power is activated, your stone comes to an abrupt stop and forms an unmoveable guard. If this stone happens to land on the button, you're almost guaranteed the point, since there's no way to move it. Your only hope at that point is to somehow get closer to the center. But, despite it's overpowering nature, it's really the most fun ability to use. The Lovely stone, unfortunately, I did not ever use. I have no idea what it does. I assume it's some sort of magnetic or attractive power.

--In addition to the special powers, you also earn bonus points while playing the game. You get points for doing good things like putting a stone on the button, take outs, or hanging a stone on the edge of the scoring circle. There's also a random bullseye that moves around the ice. If you hit it, you earn additional points. The bullseye is typically off the ice, so you need to decide if the additional points are really that important to you. You can also lose points by doing bad things like blasting a stone right through the house or missing a take out. You use the bonus points to buy equipment that alter your gameplay. You can see the 4 equipment choices on screenshot 5. They are pretty self explanatory. My favorite choice of equipment is the most expensive option, the Extra Weight, Size & Effect stone. It gives you a giant stone which has extra weight to it. If you combine this stone with the Castle guard special ability, you end up with a giant immoveable castle tower that pretty much dominates the house. It's pretty funny. Overall, I appreciate the addition of the arcade-like gameplay elements. It really adds a lot to the gameplay.

I know this post is getting lengthy, so that's really all I'll say about the positives for now. There are, unfortunately, quite a few negatives, though.

--The game options are extremely limited. If you select a single-player game, you're only given one option and that is the ability to select which special power you want. You're then thrown right into a game with a 4 stone end and a total of 8 ends.

--The AI does not have any difficulties that I could find and is really not that great. It will usually throw stones well short of the house, and then suddenly will put a few stones in the house in an end to try to score a few points. The AI is also not given a special power. It just throws normal stones all of the time. It will not spend any of its bonus points on equipment either. I'd love to see the addition of more single-player options; an AI that had a special ability, that spent its bonus points on equipment, the ability to choose 4 or 8 stone ends, the ability to choose the number of ends, a few different AI difficulties, a choice of venues. There are just a ton of missed opportunities here.

--The game description mentions a bonus game in the cargo aircraft. I assume they're talking about the plane that comes in and lands on the menu screen. However, I'm not able to find a bonus game anywhere. I have no idea where it is. This leads me to my next negative...

--The menu, while it looks great, is not intuitive. There is very little text. I don't believe that this was developed by a US developer. There are Asian characters on one of the buttons that activates your special stones, but then I don't see the characters anywhere else. I don't think the developers are Asian, either. It's very strange. The lack of any sort of guidance along with a menu that is not intuitive means you're often left just poking around trying to figure out what to do next. And, it also means that you have no idea where things like the bonus cargo plane game are. It's kind of frustrating.

--Big negative here...You can't play a normal curling game. I could not find any way to turn off all of the arcade stuff. At some point, I imagine that I'll just want to play a normal game. As far as I can tell, this isn't possible.

--The in-game sweeping mechanic is quite limited. While the sweeping works well, you're only able to sweep the stone that you threw. If your goal is a take out, there's no way to sweep the opponent stone if you need it to move a little faster. The broom always defaults to your stone.

--Gameplay is a little slow. It's curling. It's bound to be slow. Everything moves along at a very deliberate pace. I'd love an option to speed up gameplay a little bit. I mentioned in the beginning that I played a couple hours. I'd guess probably 2 total. And that was only 2 full games, along with a few minutes of practice. I didn't check to see if there was any sort of save game option. I don't know what happens if you leave a game in the middle. My guess, based on the limited nature of everything else in the game, is that you lose any progress.

I know that this sounds like quite a few negatives. It is! However, there is a lot to like about the game. Where I see this game shining is in the Pass & Play Multiplayer realm. The game allows up to 4 players pick one of each of the 4 special abilities and duke it out on the ice. In a multiplayer game, you can choose if you want a 4 stone end or an 8 stone end. You can also choose between two venues. I don't know why you don't have the same options in a single-player game. Anyway, I can see this game being really awesome against 3 other friends. If you play a lot of Pass & Play games with friends or family, then despite all of the negatives, you still will want to consider grabbing this.

Overall, I'm not disappointed in my purchase. I've already played it longer than I play most games I buy. I can only recommend it for those that really enjoy Pass & Play Games, or for those that really like curling and have an interest in an arcade-style version of the game. I hope to see some updates that address a few of the things I've mentioned. Most seem like easy fixes. But, for $2, I'll get my enjoyment out of it.
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  #4  
Old 01-07-2011, 04:32 PM
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vonObstfelder vonObstfelder is offline
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Hi! I am the developer of Curlington HD. Thank you for writing a so detailed review, it really pinpoints out what I need to improve for the next free update.

A few tips:
• To play the bonus game directly in the aircraft, you just tap the button "HANGAR 07" and it will change to showing "AIRCRAFT".
• Game saves automatically when you leave app, multitasking (fast-app switching) is supported
• To speed up gameplay use 4 stones ends and play it "arcade" style, shooting fast, getting bonus targets and so on. Just having goofy fun

But I will include more options like; normal curling choice, stonger AI, a special stone for Edward (AI), swiping on takeouts, gameplay speedup in the next update! I love making this game, so Im already on the case!

Last edited by vonObstfelder; 01-07-2011 at 05:52 PM..
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  #5  
Old 01-07-2011, 05:38 PM
CzarCastic CzarCastic is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vonObstfelder View Post
Hi! I am the developer of Curlington HD. Thank you for writing a so detailed review, it really pinpoints out what I need to improve for the next free update.

A few tips:
to play the bonus game directly in the aircraft, you just tap the button "HANGAR 07" and it will change to showing "AIRCRAFT".
Game saves automaticly when you leave app, multitasking (fast-app switching is supported)!
To speed up gameplay use 4 stones ends and play it "arcade" style, shooting fast, getting bonus targets and so on. Just having goofy fun
But I will include more options like; normal curling choice, stonger AI, a special stone for Edward (AI), swiping on takeouts, gameplay speedup in the next update! I love making this game, so Im already on the case!
Awesome! Thanks for posting. I'm glad you found Touch Arcade.

With a few updates, this could be the perfect curling game. It's already really fun. To me, the most important updates would focus on the single player game; stronger AI, an AI that uses abilities and equipment, and more control over the game setup options. My second most requested feature would be a normal curling game and ice, with no special abilities or arcade features.

Anyway, keep us informed about your updates. I'll be looking forward to them!
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Old 01-07-2011, 06:17 PM
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vonObstfelder vonObstfelder is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CzarCastic View Post
Awesome! Thanks for posting. I'm glad you found Touch Arcade.

With a few updates, this could be the perfect curling game. It's already really fun. To me, the most important updates would focus on the single player game; stronger AI, an AI that uses abilities and equipment, and more control over the game setup options. My second most requested feature would be a normal curling game and ice, with no special abilities or arcade features.

Anyway, keep us informed about your updates. I'll be looking forward to them!
Thanks! This is really inspiring! Glad to be here.

AI player does use the "lock jump" and "Extra Weight & Effect..." equipment, but it need enough bonus point first. A stronger AI will fit in here
The Castle Stone can be made movable again if hit by the explosion of the TNT Stone. So the next player can TAKEOUT the Castle Stone.

And please support us by writing a review on the appStore.
I will keep you updated!
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  #7  
Old 01-07-2011, 06:44 PM
djflippy djflippy is offline
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Great impressions, CzarCastic...can't wait for the screenplay.

Curling is ridiculous and I love it. I own most of the curling apps and this looks like it may actually be the best one. Physics makes or breaks these games.

I actually like the idea of adding the arcade elements, but I really feel like a normal mode of play is important, because it is likely to better capture the somewhat calm and understated feel of the sport.

I will buy it for the aforementioned reasons, because Czar recommended it, and because the Dev is here with good things to say regarding future updates.

Cheers.

Last edited by djflippy; 01-07-2011 at 06:47 PM..
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  #8  
Old 01-07-2011, 07:22 PM
CzarCastic CzarCastic is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by djflippy View Post
Great impressions, CzarCastic...can't wait for the screenplay.

Curling is ridiculous and I love it. I own most of the curling apps and this looks like it may actually be the best one. Physics makes or breaks these games.

I actually like the idea of adding the arcade elements, but I really feel like a normal mode of play is important, because it is likely to better capture the somewhat calm and understated feel of the sport.

I will buy it for the aforementioned reasons, because Czar recommended it, and because the Dev is here with good things to say regarding future updates.

Cheers.
Sorry. I was bored earlier this morning and had just spent the previous evening playing the game, so the ideas were flowing. I'll provide a Cliff's Notes version next time.

In regard to the physics and visuals, you won't be disappointed. They are spot on. When a few of the negatives are addressed, this will be an excellent game. As is, it's a borderline great game. Based on the 5 star AppStore rating system, I'd currently give it 3 stars, maybe 4 based on the promise of updates from the dev. It's certainly worth the asking price if you've been looking for more in a curling game.

p.s. I bought Cannibal Bunnies earlier this evening. My recommended game was cheaper.
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  #9  
Old 01-12-2011, 05:27 AM
Sunflower Sunflower is offline
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Hi!

I got my iPad for Christmas, and I am rather new in playing games on a tuoch-screen.
I found this forum an have tried some of the games I found interesting in here.
The last one i bought (two days ago), was Curlington.

After a lot of trying I have now understood how it works and how to play, and I like it very much. My neighbor and I played it for several hours last night!

And... i have discovered the secret of the heart-stone, which has become my favorit.

The hearts changes the nearest stones to pink, and they become mine! I love that
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  #10  
Old 01-12-2011, 12:31 PM
balicus balicus is offline
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Was just about to purchase & saw it requires 4.2. Any plans of making the game 3.1.2 compatible? I'm sure I'm not the only 1 that doesn't want to lose their un-tethered jailbreak.
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