Game Review: CrossRoads HD
Release: 21st July
Genre: Time Management
Available Platforms: iPad
MSRP: £2.99/ $4.99
ESRB Rating: 4+
Crossroads HD is the much anticipated iPad version of Crossroads that appeared on the iPhone earlier this year. Platform Nation’s review can be found here
If you break the game done to the simplest interpretation then this is just drawing a line from point A to point B. However that description really doesn’t really do justice to the sheer level of skill and strategy required.
Each level has multiple entrances that a vehicle can and will appear from in regular intervals. The object is to guide the vehicle to its desired location. The strategy side comes in as although vehicles can go over the paths of another vehicle without consequence should vehicles collide then it is game over.
When you first purchase the app there are 6 maps available, some of these maps are updates from the original iPhone game, and others are exclusive to the iPad. Thankfully unlike the iPhone all of them are included in the initial price of the game and you don’t need to shell out another $0.99 to play them. (Although I don’t know if there are any future plans for additional maps)
Each map increases the difficulty, and adds additional challenges. One map has an earthquake that destroys bridges, another puts ice over the screen which blocks your view and another one has an alien ship that must be shot down. As the traffic never stops moving if you haven’t planned well or if you are taken by surprise it’s pretty much a guaranteed game over every time(or I may have just been rubbish playing the game)
There is also a multiplayer version via local Wi-Fi or Bluetooth but I can’t say too much as unfortunately I wasn’t able to test this feature. Fabulapps have promised that you don’t need two iPads to play the game as you can play against someone with an iPhone as long as they have the iPhone app and the matching map.
Each map is endless until you fail, while some may see this as a good thing I don’t. There are Open Feint achievements in the game for lasting 20 minutes and scoring 250 or above etc. Personally once I get past the 100 mark I tend to lose interest. I would have preferred it if there was an option at around 100 points that allows you to either load the next map or continue playing the current one. As it is, the only way to change the map is to leave the current game, go back to the main menu and then select the next map.
I also found the map was a little counterintuitive. You would expect if a vehicle left the screen at the bottom if would come back out at the top ala Pac-man it is a gaming basic. Yet in some occasions a vehicle would leave the left hand side of the screen and reappear on the same side of the screen.
The iPad is practically designed for games like this, simple enough to pick up and play (I gave the game to my mother for a few hours and annoyingly enough she actually beat my high score.) Yet it is complex enough to keep you engrossed at least for a little while.