Talk to anyone about mobile gaming and the first game that pops into mind will likely be Angry Birds. It’s no secret that Angry Birds has taken the mobile gaming market by storm, coming out with sequels and themes and all sorts of ways to milk the franchise–even going as far as making a Star Wars version. But me? I never liked Angry Birds.
So imagine my surprise when I downloaded Shoot the Apple, gave it a try, and saw that it was pretty similar in gameplay. You fire objects at a target, navigating or destroying obstacles that are in the way. However, Shoot the Apple has a 4.5 star rating on Google Play, and after playing it a bit, I can see why.
Shoot the Apple distinguishes itself from Angry Birds in a number of ways, and these are the reasons why I enjoy this game much more.
Quite frankly, when I first saw the opening screen for Shoot the Apple, I was turned off. It looks like a family-friendly game, which it is, but the artwork just isn’t according to my tastes. However, if you don’t like the artwork either, don’t give up. The game itself looks much better.
Other than the usual big Start button, you can rate the app on Google Play, share the game with your friends, or you can purchase more coins (more on that later).
Shoot the Apple divides its levels into separate packs, where each pack is complete with its own theme and unique levels. The game comes with 24 levels already included, but you’ll have to unlock them using coins (again, more on this later). Each pack contains 25 levels that you can play.
So here we are at the actual gameplay. On first glance, it really does look like Angry Birds. You fire an object (a little ragdoll instead of an angry bird) at a target (a cute little apple instead of pigs). The entire goal of each level is to hit the apple with the ragdoll. Sounds easy, right?
It is easy, that is until you reach the levels where the apple moves around the level. Sometimes you’ll be blocked by movable walls or mechanical platforms that get in your way. Sometimes you’ll have to knock the apple off a ledge and shoot her while she’s falling–if you miss, you lose. Fortunately, you can restart each level without much fuss.
This is why I like Shoot the Apple more than Angry Birds. It’s not just about knocking over things and popping pigs. There’s a good deal of puzzle-solving here, but it’s combined with the need for reflexes, timing, and coordination. I’m a competitive person at heart and I love challenges like this.
As you can see, you earn a rating for each level you complete: either 1-star, 2-stars, or 3-stars. The ratings are based on how many ragdolls you use to complete a level. Each level has its own “par rating,” of course, so some levels may grant 3-stars for using one ragdoll while others grant 3-stars for using six.
There’s a lot of replayability here because of the drive to get 3-stars on every level. Even if you do manage to get 3-stars on every level, your record is tracked on a per-level basis, so you can always go back and try to beat your previous records.
Now let’s talk about coins. Coins can be gained in two ways (as far as I know): you gain coins by earning star ratings, or you can just outright buy coins. If my assumptions are correct, you gain 15 coins for every star you reach, so you can earn 1125 coins in each level pack. All of the packs are priced between 900 and 1100 coins, so it’s feasible for you to play the whole game without spending a cent.
The coin store, then, is there for those of you who don’t want to unlock the levels one by one (since you’ll need to earn the coins from one pack to unlock the next pack). Or, if you’re having trouble earning enough coins to unlock the next pack, you can always drop a few dollars to get the coins you need.
Download Shoot the Apple and test your reflexes.