capsule review

Robin Hood: Archer of the Woods for iPhone

At a Glance
  • Generic Company Place Holder Robin Hood - Archer of the Woods

In Robin Hood: Archer of the Woods by Clickgamer, you will enjoy the privilege of playing the titular folk hero of Sherwood Forest, and, well, that’s about all the connection there is with any of the Robin Hood stories I’ve ever heard—canonical or not.

I don't recall this part of the legend...

Robin Hood for the iPhone, iPod Touch, and iPad plays like a one-of-a-kind castle defense game in which your job is to shoot arrows at wave after wave of enemies before they destroy the huts that make up your village. The shooting process is simple enough—all you need to do is drag your finger across the screen to determine the direction and strength of your shots, and then let go at the most opportune moment. To help you with targeting, the trajectory of your previous shot is shown on the screen and getting used to the way Robin’s bow works takes relatively little effort—despite the fact that the app’s playing field takes up multiple screens.

Enemies come in a number of different shapes and sizes, from armor-clad infantrymen (including the occasional soldier riding an anchronistic Segway) to more resilient bosses that can only be felled by multiple shots. After each new wave, you gain access to a treat of some sort, including more huts, which increase your ability to withstand damage before losing the game, and several power-ups that you must hit with an arrow.

As a nice touch, the app awards bonuses for precision; as a result, a particularly well-placed headshot results in a satisfying squishy noise and the appropriate amount of blood being splattered briefly on the screen.

Despite its nice graphics and engaging music, Robin Hood lacks heart. The game becomes quickly repetitive and presents little variation in the challenge that it poses to the user. Its simplicity, while appealing to the casual gamer, is also its worst weakness: without any need for the strategy and planning that make other defense games so addictive, you end up shooting arrow after arrow until there are no more enemies to kill—lather, rinse, repeat.

[Marco Tabini is a frequent contributor to Macworld.]

At a Glance
  • Generic Company Place Holder Robin Hood - Archer of the Woods

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