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Duckers

For:   Also on: iPhoneiPad
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Hello ducky

Product: Duckers | Developer: Retro Dreamer | Publisher: Retro Dreamer | Format: iPhone | Genre: Arcade, Casual, Retro | Players: 1 | File size: 19.1MB | Version: Europe | App version: 1.0
 
Duckers iPhone, thumbnail 1
There are plenty of smartphone games you can play with one hand. In fact, there are plenty of smartphone games you can play with one finger while not really paying any attention. But striking the right balance between simplicity and engaging play is a tough one.

Duckers is a case in point. You control the action with a single finger, swiping your duck around the screen. The problem is, it never quite manages to hold your attention, and its simple controls soon become repetitive.

Duck and cover

The game is a highscore-chaser that sees you taking control of a super-powered burrowing duck. It's your job to collect gems, gold coins, and other treasures that are buried under the ground, all the while avoiding spikes, lasers, and other obstacles.

You control your goggle-wearing duck by dragging a finger away from it in the direction you want to dig. Release your finger and the underground avian will shoot off, stopping when it hits a large vein of jewels or runs out of steam.

There are plenty of rocks, fire-spewing jets, pointy scuttling turtles, and other familiar problems standing in your way, and hitting any of them results in an instant Game Over unless you've found yourself a power-up that protects you.

Digging sections are punctuated with tumbles through gaps in the earth, where you have to tilt your iOS device to collect more jewels and avoid the spiky blocks that impede your progress.

Ducking the issues

While it introduces new obstacles as you progress, Duckers doesn't manage to keep things interesting enough to make you want to keep coming back. After the first few goes, the reverse flick mechanic is already starting to feel a bit old. There's no hook - nothing that pulls you back in to try again.

Duckers is presented nicely enough, and it has all the constituent parts required to make an addictive highscore-chaser, but its simple gameplay style isn't well enough complemented by its mechanical difficulty, and it fails to cultivate any sort of drive to beat your highscore, dig that bit further, or collect another set of uninteresting jewels.
 
Duckers
Reviewer photo
Harry Slater | 15 June 2012
Too simple for its own good, Duckers just isn't exciting enough to become as addictive as it wants to be
 
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