Off The Leash
Who let the dogs out? Sorry, we couldn't resist.
Land-a Panda creator Big Pixel Studios hopes you'll fall in love with Off The Leash, a casual friendly iPhone game starring the adorable Steve the Golden Retriever.
Played holding the device vertically, the goal is to guide Steve through a handful of environments, passing through checkpoints before time expires. You do this by gently tilting the iPhone right and left to weave around police cars, pools (water slows Steve down) and around hedges, munching a variety of snacks (gelato, steaks, dog bones) and grabbing gold coins.
At the same time, you also have an opportunity to create a mini canine army by picking up random dogs along the way. The catch comes from finding a way to fit all these animals through tight spaces by pressing the screen to form a straight line, but doing this slows them down, wasting precious time.
Three things make Off The Leash so enjoyable. The first involves running as far as possible to beat your overall distance traveled. The second, collecting coins, lets you spend this loot at the in-game shop. Finally, the game is full of secondary objectives to complete, from picking up 20 dogs to reaching 500 meters.
On top of that, the game comes with both OpenFeint and Game Center support, a nice touch, since players seem to like one over the other.
As for the shop, we love being able to purchase a variety of hats and items, but everything's too expensive. $6,000 for a beret? $10,000 for rabbit ears? Crazy talk. Of course, Big Pixel's right there with in-app purchases for more coins, which is OK, since the game is free to play.
Unfortunately, there's no HD version, so you'll have to blow the game up 2X on the iPad. Thankfully, the graphics don't look too pixelated.
Aside from those high prices, Off The Leash is another quality title from Big Pixel Studios and a wonderful pocket companion. The best part? No dog poop.
Requirements: Compatible with iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad.Requires iOS 4.1 or later.
What's Hot: Free to play, addictive, 90 missions, in-game achievements, OpenFeint and Game Center support, one-handed tilt controls, seven dogs to customize.
What's Not: No HD version, expensive accessories.