Milking a franchise?
Forget female referees or Mexicans, the biggest travesty against decency of recent weeks is what developer Zed has done with the Monty Python name.
Taking its inspiration from the Holy Grail film, in particular the part where Arthur and his men come across a French castle and are driven away by the French tossing cows and other objects over the ramparts, the Cow Tossing app is an attempt at an Angry Birds style physics game.
The graphics are, as you’d expect, reminiscent of Terry Gilliam’s animations in the film and TV series. At least some of them are. Everything that actually moves on the game is far more crudely drawn and often seems at odds with the otherwise detailed background and general presentation, including a nice set of videos from the movie itself.
That’s the least of the game’s issues though. The game has some similarities with Angry Birds or Bowman; you aim the cow up and down using the catapult and it shoots in to the air, knocking down the English knights. Unfortunately the control isn’t very accurate, the adjusting of the catapult is fiddly and the physics themselves feel very odd. Add the fact that the knights themselves are very small and hard to see and you have a frustrating game.
Various items fall from the sky as you launch your cows, turning them in to bombs, African Swallows and other objects. These help in your quest to remove the English Knights, which is just as well because some of the levels have a tendency to place the Knights in very awkward places.
Scoring is oddly maintained too. You get points for knocking the knights over, but they also decrease over time, but when you complete a level the score seems erratic at best. There’s no sign of an incentive to bring you back to a level as there is with the star system in Angry Birds. This is compounded by the plain level screen, which is so small it’s hard to choose a level.
The one thing Cow Tossing does have in its favour is the idea of using time rather than number of goes. As you fire your cows a battering ram gets closer to your castle. Once this reaches you it’s game over unless you can knock down all the knights. It’s a nice idea that I’ve no doubt will be picked up in other games.
Overall, though, it’s a wasted opportunity and doesn’t do anything for the Monty Python name. I’m still hopeful that we’ll see a proper game which does the series justice, but Monty Python’s Cow Tossing isn’t it.
- Sound: 5
- Graphics: 4
- Gameplay: 3
- Longevity: 3
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