It’s often the case with iPhone games that the simple ones are best. While the iPhone has proven itself to be a format capable of handling perfectly good graphics, it’s basic concepts like Air Hockey that prove best-suited to the touch-screen. Little surprise then that Touch Hockey: FS5 remains one of the most popular iPhone games to date.
What makes Touch Hockey so appealing is its crisp, realistic gameplay. The puck slides around smoothly on the table surface and, like the real thing, is sensitive to even the slightest movements. Of course, most people won’t notice such fine details as they’ll mostly be just smashing the puck as hard as possible in the hope of scoring a goal (with a 50% chance that that they’ll score an own goal instead). Nevertheless, the playability of the game is very impressive.
Touch Hockey can be played against an opponent via bluetooth or on the same screen. While same-screen games are a fun concept, the iPhone usually ends up sliding around hopelessly on whatever surface you’re playing or falling out of the hands of whoever’s holding it. Bluetooth games work perfectly and are a much better option. As for the single-player, it just consists of an easy, medium and hard AI paddle to play; suffice to say it’s fairly uninspired.
Touch Hockey is a very well-designed, if slightly sparse, game. Seeing as the only difference between the full version and the free Lite version is the absence/presence of adverts, it’s unsurprising that the Lite version is so much more popular on the App Store. Touch Hockey remains one of the smoothest examples of how precise the iPhone’s touch-screen is, but you may as well get the free version.
By Flipside, Updated 8 October 2010, £1.19