When it comes to working with new systems and ideas, so developers just get
it. SquareEnix and Atlus in particular nailed down how to best utilize the DS
and its features only months after the system hit stores. Gameloft has quickly
become the "be all end all" of developers on Apple's iPhone, mostly because they
figured out how to best work with the device's touch- and motion-based features.
Musigames' new game, Throat Detonator, represents the best utilization yet of
the iPhone's mic in a game, but that mastery unintentionally shows that someone
doesn't yet grasp what an iPhone game needs to be.
Throat Detonator is, to its credit, a pretty good idea. It plays a little
like the DS' Feel the Magic or Elite Beat Agents, where a cartoony story with
entertaining visuals is told through a series of seemingly unrelated tasks. For
example, EBA had players tapping circles in time with the rhythm to help kids
complete their homework or parents fix dinner. Throat Detonator has the player
either making noise or furiously rubbing the iPhone screen to raise or lower a
meter to a certain spot. It's actually pretty neat in practice.
The problem exists on the ground level. The "rubbing' option for playing the
game requires a LOT of movement to move the meter even a little bit, much more
than it should. If you're planning on playing in public, you're going to look
like Lady Macbeth trying to get the damn spot out of her iPhone, rather than
from off her hands. The other option for playing, using your voice and the mic,
is going to make you look like an even bigger lunatic. The mic setup might be
well done, and it may be great at detecting the differences in pitch and volume
in your voice, but you're still going to have to holler directly at your iPhone
Neither option for control of the game is necessarily bad, but it shows that
Musigames doesn't understand the fundamentals of iPhone gaming. These fun apps
are to be played in line for the ATM, on the bus, in the back of class, etc,
mostly without the sound. While Throat Detonator may be interesting and fun, it
just isn't a game that is conducive to the iPhone and its audience.
Final Rating: 52%