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Review: G.Blacksmith

March 28, 2010 , Posted by App-reciation Reviews at 9:25 PM

Category: Games

Price: $ 2.99
Requirements: iPhone or iPod touch, OS 2.2 or later
Version: 1.1

What's good: Since the success of casual gaming phenomenon Diner Dash on the PC, game developers have been churning out hundreds of titles that utilize the same concept across a variety of platforms. The iPhone, of course, is no exception, and after playing through dozens of apps in this genre, we can confidently say that Crazy Carpenter's G.Blacksmith tops the list in terms of innovation and art design.

The game looks nothing like traditional time management games, which are usually shop-based progressive stories with colorful illustrations more suited for female players. Instead, the entire app is rendered in shades of olive and army green, making for a unique and visually pleasing experience. Meanwhile, the characters and animations are detailed and excellently done in a fun cartoon style, and coupled with upbeat yet somewhat mysterious background soundtracks, G.Blacksmith manages to strike a perfect balance between elements that makes it appealing to gamers of all types and ages.

The gameplay itself is complex and fast-paced, as it should be. You are a goblin, and, shrewd as you are, you venture to make a living out of digging for treasure to be sold to various customers. Starting with a simple underground mining camp with only a single drill, a voracious troll useful for disposing unwanted goods, and a straightforward processing machine to turn items into more refined products, you slowly expand your business as you serve customer orders as fast as you can to earn the required amount in order to unlock the next level. Find rough-hewn obsidian, lapis lazuli, pyrite, and crystals, then turn them into an assortment of tools and weapons items that include shurikens, spears, lances, shields, helmets, and breastplates. As you progress, your machines likewise become more powerful and efficient, giving you the ability to mine more gems at once as well as create new and more expensive items for sale. You will also get a storeroom to stock goods, a siesta room for quick naps, engraving equipment to produce high-quality jewlery, and a makeshift barbecue grill to cook rats and keep customers happy in order to stay on top of the increasingly hectic and complicated demands.

After every level set, a mini game needs to be successfully completed in order to move on. Your mission here is simple: stop thieves from stealing your hard-earned gold by throwing your weapons at them before they get too close. Many of these dishonest characters sport head or body shields, so it's up to you to quickly spot and target their weak spots.

With so many things to manage, players need to be quick and coordinated. Dally or make too many incorrect moves and unhappy customers will give you fewer tips or eventually storm away in anger. On the other hand, planning carefully and serving orders in chains earns you combos and more points to boost your score, which is a necessity if you want to hit the expert mark after a hard day's work. Apart from all that, there are tons of features and surprises packed into the game, but we'll let you discover them on your own. This polished content-packed title is currently priced at $ 2.99 on the iTunes AppStore, and we're positive you won't regret it if you check it out.

Suggestions for improvement: One major thing we found missing that's basic to all time management games is a status bar of some sort to show players customer happiness and the rate at which it declines. The way items are stored and/or retrieved from the storeroom is also rather confusing, which results in a moderate amount of unintended action that sets players back.

Graphics - 5/5 Creativity - 4.75/5 Gameplay - 4.75/5 Controls - 4.75/5
App-reciation - 4.75/5

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