Uploaded on May 11, 2010
If UFO spotters are to be believed and we really aren't alone in this universe then the kind of activities our extraterrestrial visitors get up to don't really paint them in the best light.
Creating obscure crop circles and buzzing military aircraft strike us as pretty low-level pranks. Perhaps Douglas Adams was right when he hypothesised (via his excellent Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy book series) that these occurrences were down to bored, rich alien kids with nothing better to do than confuse us dim-witted earthlings.
Stealing cows is another rather daft activity that our xenomorphic guests seem to get up to, and this unusual pastime is the focus of the cute-looking Abduction! World Attack.
Produced by Sydney-based ex-pat bedroom coder Phil Symonds, Abduction! World Attack is based on his earlier Abduction! game, which is still available free of charge via the Android Marketplace and essentially serves as the 'Lite' version of this release.
The aim in both titles remains the same: you assume the role of a heroic cow (other animals are available as you unlock them) whose herd has been sucked up by an alien tractor-beam.
Thankfully the alien abductors have unwittingly ripped up several parts of the landscape as well and these hover peculiarly in mid-air, providing ideal platforms for your bovine avatar to jump on.
As you bounce up the screen from platform to platform you'll get the opportunity to rescue some of your beloved herd, who are parachuting down from the alien mother ship. You can also pick up various present-shaped bonus items, although it should be noted that not all of these are beneficial.
Granted, some of the packages will give you an additional life (so should your cow fall off the bottom of the screen an event that usually leads to instant death and a rather unsightly mess on the ground below you actually bounce back up unharmed) or even give you a higher bounce, but others temporarily make it hard for you by reducing the number of platforms or making them crumble beneath your hooves when you jump on them.
The game is controlled using the phone's accelerometer, so tilting from right to left affects the direction in which your heroic cow bounces. We were pleasantly surprised by the accuracy and effectiveness of this interface even the most subtle of movements is picked up by the game and translated perfectly on-screen.
While the general gameplay in both the original Abduction! and Abduction! World Attack is essentially the same, the sequel adds a little more longevity to the concept by including additional characters to unlock (so you can choose to be other courageous animals, such as a goat or deer), more backgrounds and even an objective-based challenge mode.
These tasks range from getting to the top of the screen in a certain time to successfully rescuing a set number of friendly animals. You're awarded a grade upon completing each assignment and securing a gold in each one results in a neat unlockable bonus.
However, the core part of the game is the Adventure mode, which sees you traversing a map level-by-level until you've liberated all of the unfortunate beasts that have been kidnapped by the unkindly spacemen.
All of this additional content clearly makes Abduction! World Attack a worthwhile investment if you liked the original, but the biggest issue is that while the game is fun in short bursts, it fares less well under intense scrutiny.
The score-attack element is naturally a big draw, but only if you have friends that are also hooked on the game. The ability to post your best scores online (you have to install the separate ScoreNinja Android application in order to do this) will obviously give the more competitive gamers out there the excuse to pour hours into this title, but even then it won't be long before boredom sets in.
It's just not well-suited for longer periods of play, see, and if you're craving for something meaty to get your teeth into on Android you're probably better off beaming up another experience. But in short bursts, you'll find Abduction! World Attack to be an ideal way to fill the odd spare moment.
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