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iPhone  header logo

TotemHeadz


For: iPhone

Opens up a can of Worms

Product: TotemHeadz | Developer: Innobec Technologies | Format: iPhone | Genre: Action, Shooter | Players: 1 | Version: Europe | App version: 1.0
 
TotemHeadz iPhone, thumbnail 1
Hollywood has a nasty habit of remaking and ruining good foreign films.

In the translation process, many of the finer points are axed in an attempt to make the film streamlined and thus more palatable to an ADD-afflicted audience.

Totem Headz is like a Hollywood remake of Team17’s Worms. It takes the core premise of trajectory-based arena combat, but fails to understand how intrinsic that game’s rigid structure is to its success.

Which way is up

Developer Innobec Technologies has decided to hone the Worms template down to focus on a single unit and to offer the immediacy of real-time combat over turn-based warfare.

You control a totem-headed character using a virtual analogue stick, much like in a 2D platformer. Unlike such games, however, the decision has been made to assign jump to 'up.'

This results in a hyperactive main character, who tends to bunny hop across each deformable battle ground like a four-year-old on a sugar rush. Such involuntary spasms play absolute havoc with your aim.

And the aiming system really does need all the help it can get. 

Watch where you’re pointing that thing

Rotating your right thumb affords you 360-degree firing capabilities, in a manner reminiscent of a twin-stick shooter.

This would be fine, but touching the right stick also starts up a Worms-like power bar. Releasing the screen launches whatever weapon you have equipped (whether it be gun, artillery, grenade, or teleport receiver) at the appropriate angle and power – which more often than not turns out to be the inappropriate angle and power.

The two elements – 360 degree touch aiming and a chargable firing system – just don’t work well together. Combined with the frantic, last-totem-standing combat, it makes for a cruelly imprecise and frustrating experience as you shoot your own endlessly bounding feet for the billionth time.

Totem Headz is attractive and offers up a certain amount of frenetic fun, but the shonkiness of the controls – and of the very concept behind them – consigns the game to the status of a third-rate Worms remake that takes a few too many liberties with the format.
 
TotemHeadz
Reviewer photo
Jon Mundy | 12 July 2010
A Worms-inspired arena shooter that places the emphasis on frenetic action, but fails to provide the necessary tight controls to make it work
 
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