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Touch Hockey Review
When you go to a bar or arcade, one of the first games you'll notice is probably air hockey. It could be because the tables are normally in the middle of the arcade, with a bright white board covering them. Immediately you issue the challenge to your buddy, and the game is on. Well now throw your love of air hockey into your handheld iPhone and throw out a new challenge, battle of the quickest finger, with Hockey Touch: FS5.
This fun little iPhone game comes from Flipside5 Inc., who are also behind another touch screen game called Tic-Tac-Touch. They are starting to develop a nice little reputation when it comes to iPhone applications by releasing some high quality projects.
It's pretty simple from the get go of how this game works. You can go either as a single player, versus a buddy or online against an opponent. Anybody who has played air hockey will get right down to things, even those unfamiliar with the game can figure it out in about a minute and a half I'm sure. The controls take only a single finger, which one you choose is up to your personal comfort. I find using my thumb to control my paddle works very well and gives you a nice sturdy grip. You then go back and forth against your opponent until someone reaches the set goal amount, which can be set to either five, seven, nine or eleven. You can also set a difficulty level by adjusting the goal sizes for each team.
The responsiveness of Touch Hockey is great. You never experience any type of lag or slowdown, which is a pretty impressive thing providing how fast the game can go. The puck bounces off the boards with a gracefulness that can almost match real air hockey pucks.
Now when you are playing opponents outside of the computer player it can get a little goofy. The only issue with online is that you pretty much need a wifi connection to find somebody to play. The versus mode, which you can play with a friend is still responsive but gets a little crowded. I mean this in a sense that you have to share the iPhone. Turning it so that each end is facing you and your opponent can feel a little tough. Not to mention trying to maneuver your thumb around a small screen along with another player's can get confusing.
That's really the only gripe I have with Touch Hockey. Single player is fantastic and though there isn't much else to it, it can be challenging and fun at the same time. For newcomers, you can adjust how many goals you have to score, and work your way up. If you think you're skilled then go for a large goal for yourself and a small one for your opponent. If you get bored easily then you may give up on this one after a game or two. For those who don't mind repetitiveness then this will suit your need. Throw in instant replays so you can see your sweet goals and some pretty good sound effects, and you got a solid game for your iPhone or iPod Touch.
Touch Hockey: FS5 is a fun time passer. It doesn't offer anything new or out of the ordinary, but with air hockey and such a small screen, it's hard to cram too much in to it without making it disorienting. Did I mention that this is a free application, they easily could have thrown at least a $2.99 price tag on this but it's another free application. Give it a shot, and if you like it I recommend Tick-Tac-Touch as well.