iOS Free App Review: GodFinger

Every week, the OWC Blog staff pick a free iOS App to review. This week, we’re taking a look at ngmoco’s GodFinger.

App Store Description

Everyone gets the Finger. Customize, cultivate and wreak havoc on your world with a tap of your finger.

Own an iPad? Give it the finger with GodFinger for iPad — made exclusively for the big screen.

Perform an impressive array of Wonders to convert your planet’s inhabitants into devoted followers. Put your new followers to work – provide buildings, control the elements, and earn gold to continue leveling and customizing your planet.

OPEN-ENDED GAMEPLAY

Be a kind, caring god or a destructive demagogue. Level up and unlock new Wonders to perform on your followers and power their economy, including sun, rain, lightning, fire and flood.

WATCH YOUR WORLD

Every decision you make impacts the look of your planet. Use rain to grow a desert oasis, dense woods or lush rainforests. Use the sun to populate your world with exotic flowers. Activate powerful runes and your planet will expand – providing more land to shape.

GROW MORE POWER

Earn gold, perform Wonders and convert followers to gain experience. Level up to unlock powerful items, buildings and Wonders to perform on your followers.

BE A GOD AMONG FRIENDS

Invite your Plus+ friends into your world and get them to worship you. Give them a fright with your Wonders or turn them into powerful Mystics to earn cool bonuses. Send them gifts and postcards, and let everyone know what you’re up to through Facebook and Twitter updates.

TAKE GODFINGER EVERYWHERE

Your game is automatically saved in plus+. That means you can log into any device and continue playing right where you’ve left off. Play on your iPad while you’re at home, then continue your game on your iPhone or iPod touch while on the go.

OWC Michael’s Review

Congratulations, you are a god! With this app, you’re given an entire planet to maintain and manage through catering to your worshipers. That’s how it works, right? Followers want stuff and a good god should cater to their whims.

You control when it rains to make the flowers and crops grow, so your faithful can harvest the land and reap your goodness. You control when the sun shines brightly on the landscape to feed the trees and plants, so your faithful can marvel at your glory. You control the storms and the lightning to strike down the walking undead that threaten your faithful. You know, normal… everyday… run-of-the-mill god stuff?

The more your followers worship you, the more powerful you will become. Conversely, if your worshipers aren’t hailing your praises to the heavens, you will become weak and unable to make it rain, shine the sun down on your followers, or cause the earth to shake and quake until your faithful regains their faith in you. That’s where the game creators offer you an out – you can purchase (for real money) more Awe to persuade your followers back over to your side. A god just isn’t a god without money, right?

This is your basic Facebook game, similar to Farm Town, Farm Life, FarmVille, FishVille, Fish Town, Fish World, Happy Aquarium, Happy Island, Tiki Resort, Islander, Island Paradise, Restaurant City, Cafe World…you get the idea. Fun to play at first as every little thing you do earns you another level – then the action stops and you have to wait to collect more money to have your followers build structures, wait to collect mana to control the weather, or purchase more Awe that you can digitally get gold, manna or other needed items with. I’m not a fan of waiting, and I’ve been playing off and on for a few days now—without getting anywhere. I guess the game creators figure that most people don’t like to wait and will pay to play instead. All hail the almighty dollar.

My Impression: I thought games were supposed to be entertaining—instead this is a lot of waiting for something to happen. In my waiting, I ran into an issue where the status bar disappeared completely from the game. Restarting the entire iPod Touch rectified the situation, but I’m really not interesting in playing any longer to see if there are any other bugs that show up.

OWC Mike H’s Review

When will app makers learn? When I started this app, I was presented with a push notification acceptance pop-up, a pop-up for 25% off something, and then another pop-up for 25% off something else, and then a “log-in to play” form. Wow, all that from merely clicking the icon. So before I play the game to see if I even like it, I need to enable push notifications, and blindly setup an online log-in. Apparently others shared in my frustration. When I attempted to make a login name “whattheheck” it was unsurprisingly already taken. I couldn’t hit the home button faster… and… delete. (Wow… deleting the game was easier to do than starting it.)

OWC Chris S.’s Review.

Unlike my colleagues, I actually like GodFinger. While containing elements of “earn points by doing repetitive things until you level up,” I don’t find it in the same vein as what OWC Michael often pejoratively refers to as “Facebook games.”

Most of the games he refers to (oddly, most by the same developer) generally have you perform the same task with the same parameters, but the amount of points increases exponentially. Thus, as you level up, you have to do the same task more to achieve the next level.

GodFinger adds a nice variant on it by making faster methods of acquiring points/gold available as you level up, making advancement a little more linear. A little trial and error will result in a fairly efficient setup.

This is not a game you just jump into and blast away like a monkey mashing a button. There’s some strategy, some resource management and a little trial and error. You have to manage three basic resources: Gold (for buying buildings and such), Mana (for performing “wonders” like sun, rain and lightning, as well as bringing “dead” followers back to life) and Awe (which, I really haven’t found a good use for except for buying the occasional building and refilling my Mana). If you find yourself less-than-efficient with your resources, there’s an option to buy Awe (which can be converted to other resources). With intelligent planning, though, you really shouldn’t need to purchase any.

Moving things around on the planet is all done with a simple tap and drag. Though I have only played this on an iPod Touch, I would guess that it’s even easier to do things on the bigger iPad screen. The same goes for performing wonders, or tormenting your followers (there’s actually an in-game ranking board for how far you can fling one). Just tap and drag.

That said, there are a couple of rough spots with the game. First, as OWC Mike H. mentioned, GodFinger’s setup process leaves much to be desired. However, with a little patience and a “catch-all” email address used only for things like this, this was easy enough to get over.

More annoying to me is the game’s reliance on you having an Internet connection. Letting you play the game in a non-networked situation (say…on an iPod Touch while waiting at the doctor’s office) and simply syncing things when you do have a connection would seem to be a better way to go.

The worst part, though, is the instability of the app itself. Each time I connect, it’s an adventure to see whether or not it will work. Most times it works just fine, but more often than it should happen, I find the game slowing down then freezing, quitting, or just plain not opening. The game company is aware of this issue, and claims its got something to do with iOS 4 on older devices. Huh? iOS4 has been in released for a while, and has been available to developers for even longer – that sort of bug should have been squashed a while back…

Final Verdict: Connectivity issues aside, I find this game to be quite entertaining – something to check on from time to time, between other tasks. I guess you could say, it’s kind of like a garden… I’ll let you insert your own witty comment…

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