When the iPad was labeled as a media consumption device, it was meant as a derogatory description by the labelers. Over time users have developed and discovered a staggering number of non-consumption uses for Apple’s versatile tablet; I myself use it on a fairly regular basis for administration tasks from schedule creation to communication to document review and editing. I’ve patronized many vendors that have used iPads as transaction terminals, whether for convenience (as the case at a local farmer’s market) or cost savings and versatility in small independent stores.
Even with the proven business and work related uses of the iPad, I have to admit the original naysayers weren’t entirely wrong- the iPad excels in entertainment. Case in point: a new release from Romanian indie developers Catavani (represented by Bandello), Cut the Parachute: Enemy Invasion.
Like most good indie titles, Cut the Parachute: Enemy Invasion is an uncomplicated and straightforward affair. You man the last line of defense for your country against an unnamed invading force. Enemy planes patrol the skies, dropping soldiers and gear to overrun your position. Rather than waiting for them to land and finish the war, your task is to swipe the screen to cut the cords on their parachutes, causing them to plummet to the ground. Loot can be gained by allowing valuable gear and first aid kits to land safely, while game-ending death awaits if you cut the parachute of a slow-falling bomb causing it to detonate on impact instead of allowing it to land harmlessly. The loot you collect can be used to purchase various powerups such as cannons to make your task easier.
The game was immediately reminiscent of Fruit Ninja due to the game interface, although the slashing is a bit more purposeful and rewarding that butchering produce. The gameplay is fluid and ramps up quickly from extremely easy to surprisingly challenging (should you attempt to salvage gear instead of slashing everything but bombs from the sky as I did on my first couple of test plays). The graphics and animation are a bit cartoonish, but it meshes well with the gameplay. While not in the category of iOS gaming titans like Batman: Arkham City Lockdown or Real Racing, this casual game managed to devour a good 20 minutes before I realized how much time had passed.
Cut the Parachute: Enemy Invasion is a solid game on it’s own, but the creators at Catavani have hinted at possible multi-level system expansion as well as other in-app purchases. The game is Game Center compatible available for all iOS devices via the iTunes App Store for just 99 Cents.