Silent Hill: The Escape
A genuinely scary iPhone game, but is it fun? No.
Silent Hill: The Escape is the first iPhone game to make us scream. During the first mission, we turned a corner (oblivious to the loud static that signified an enemy was near) and ran smack dab into a nurse, who proceeded to make us dead. So for that, Konami deserves kudos for designing a portable game that serves up a few scares. It's just too bad the designers didn't spend as much time making the experience enjoyable.
More of a tech demo than true Silent Hill video game, The Escape is a first person adventure where you (as some unnamed and unfortunate person) attempt to escape the creepy town by wandering through a series of corridors in search of a key to each level's door. Standing in your way, of course, are a bunch of monsters that can kill you with a single hit. That means you should tread carefully, keep the gun loaded and most importantly, pay attention to all that static.
It's a cool idea that we certainly don't have a problem with. Konami mixed up the formula and the game lacks a deep story, but we've come to expect watered down versions of popular franchises on iPhone. What we don't like, however, are the terrible controls. To play, you hold the phone vertically and slide a finger up the screen to move forward, down to move backwards and left/right to turn, while aiming by physically moving the iPhone and shooting by tapping the screen.
First, the game sometimes misreads an attempt to fire as an attempted move, so you'll go to shoot something and then accidentally turn left. On top of that, you can't move fast enough to avoid a monster just around a corner. Finally, slowly moving wheelchairs can kill you, so don't stand around looking at one; yes, this makes no sense.
Bottom line, Konami should have went with an on screen d-pad and nixed the idea of sliding one's fingers to move. Had it done that (and added a prominent fire button), Silent Hill: The Escape would have been significantly more entertaining. For now, it's a $4.99 waste of time.
What's Hot: Creepy atmosphere, nurses are hot from the neck down.
What's Not: Ridiculous controls, monsters always score one-hit kills, turning under pressure is near impossible, doesn't have much of a story.