I am 100% a child of the Jersey Shore…I have fond memories of begging my parents for a handful of quarters, which I then immediately blew on Skee Ball and Whac a Mole. Skee Ball was fun, but I have a terrible throwing arm, plus Whac a Mole would arm me with a hammer! So when Kiloo Apps offered Gear Diary the chance to review Whac a Mole for the iPhone, my inner 5 year old volunteered immediately! How did the iPhone game measure up to the real thing? Read on to find out!
Whac a Mole is very graphically impressive. The animated little moles are well done, and all the transitions are very smooth. It’s also extremely responsive, even on my first-gen iPhone. There were no missed hammer hits or frustrating moments, even in the heat of whacking many moles.
In addition to traditional Whac a Mole (meaning you just whack moles until you’ve properly whacked a predetermined amount in a set time frame), there are three other modes: Cork, Follow the Leader, and Mastermind. Cork requires you to knock out Moles until a cork starts floating over one of the mole-holes. You then hit the cork, play a mini-game, and if you succeed, you move on to knocking out moles and corking holes until all the holes are filled. Then you move on to a faster level. Each subsequent level is that much faster and more difficult, with the mini games getting tougher as well. Follow the Leader has a similar pattern of whacking and mini games, but instead of hitting corks you are following a specific pattern of order in mole-whacking. Finally, Mastermind uses hidden colors in the holes, and the scoreboard helps you find out if you’ve hit the right colors or not.
There are three mini games that advance you to new levels, allow you to use special super hammers and baseball bats, and seal corked holes. One is a racing game where you avoid crashing into cars by switching lanes, one asks you to stop an arrow at the middle of a row, and one requires you to move a mole across the screen without getting hit by falling crates. Like the Whac a Mole levels, these get more difficult as you progress. There doesn’t seem to be any rhyme or reason to which game shows up, though I was always rooting for the crate game. That one got very challenging as the speed increased.
Of all of the Whac a Mole games, I thought Cork was the most fun, and Mastermind the most confusing. I could easily see handing this game to a kid and not seeing them for hours as they get lost playing. But this game is for more than just kids…my friends enjoyed playing this so much I had to steal my phone back to complete the review! Overall, if you’re looking for an entertaining game for your iPhone or iPod Touch, you can’t really go wrong with Whac a Mole!
What I liked:
• Excellent graphics
• Very responsive
• Variety of games and levels
What I didn’t like:
• Startup was slow.
• Mastermind level was a bit confusing.
Whac a Mole can be found in the iTunes App Store for $1.99. Gear Diary was given a promo code to review this game.