Not as good as a stripper pole, but we'll take it.
When money is tight, we can always rely on Sunflat's Mr. Papi games. Its free iPhone apps are well made, easy to learn and addictive, and we always enjoy going for a high score in PapiJump and PapiRiver. Now we have PapiPole, a fine addition to the series that, despite a learning curve, will keep you entertained for hours.
Mr. Papi is a red smiley face that loves jumping, falling and with his latest game, sliding around. This time, he hops onto a lollipop stick and wants to collect as many falling hamburgers as possible while avoiding spiked balls plummeting from the sky. To do this, you'll slide one of your fingers along the bottom of the touch screen to keep his balance. Falling off the edge, hitting the ground or touching three balls ends the game. Meanwhile, nabbing burgers nets you 50 bonus points to your ever increasing score, so it's important to keep Mr. Papi vertical and away from harm.
Unlike Sunflat's previous games, PapiPole is a bit harder to learn, so don't quit if you're unable to maneuver Mr. Papi and die a lot. The trick is allowing him to make a 45 degree angle with the ground and then quickly sliding in the same direction as his head. This will let you easily move back and forth across the playfield.
As expected, the game controls wonderfully, and we had little trouble with the touch screen recognition. In addition, PapiPole features cute cartoon graphics. It's not Asphalt 4: Elite Racing, but it doesn't have to be, as the hamburgers, spiked balls and Mr. Papi are easily recognizable.
After dying, you have the option of playing again or submitting your score to the online leaderboard. While a neat feature, you must exit the game and access Sunflat's website via Safari in order to do this. It's not a huge flaw, but we'd like to see an in-game system that allows us to easily post scores and then retry the game instead of switching programs.
That issue aside, PapiPole is addictive and worth downloading. Its charming visuals, well-designed controls and addictive nature make it a guilty pleasure that, while not as user friendly as its prequels, belongs on your iPhone.
What's Hot: Free, cute graphics, great touch screen controls once you get over the learning curve, can post scores online, makes us crave hamburgers.
What's Not: You must access Safari to post your scores.