Aye sailor we got some landlubbers to ship, and the canal is full of traffic. Those landlubbers sure need our help, and especially since there is a bridge further up the waters. Lazy or stupid don’t matter, as long as we get paid. Pull the ferry up to the dock, and ship ´em hard.
Ferry Up is a game taking inspiration from the old school LCD games with only one screen, and a relatively simple task. This can also be seen in the use of the minimal palette only consisting of black, red and a few dots of white. It is really easy to get into the gameplay, but it is also far too easy to forget about the game completely. I have had it on my iPad 2 for ages, and only got around to playing it about once a week. It lacks the pull of other casual games, and once playing it isn’t rewarding enough. For some reason I still feel it is worth my time when I discover it among the myriad of icons on the iPad.
There is a single joystick to control the ferry, and that is it. The rest of the game is about timing, quick decisions and boldness. You drive your ferry up, and down the screen shipping passengers. The waters fill up with more, and more craft that behave more and more erratic. There are also juggernauts spewing mines that you can tap to destroy. Navigating between boats zigzagging about the place is really fun since there is a delay to the movement due to being in water. It takes a lot of nerve to pass between two boats using the double speed powerup. There are only a few different powerups, and a powerdown slowing your ferry down.
The aim of the game is to ferry passengers, and record high scores. If you hit a craft the passengers fall out, and start sending out distress signals. You get a limited amount of time to save them. If you fail the game is over, and you have innocent lives on your conscience. And hopefully a good score, and perhaps some completed achievements.
There is only a single level to play over, and over again. Sure there is variation since the craft behaves differently each time. I would have liked some more maps to play with stationary obstacles, different coastlines and perhaps even a drawbridge to time in.
The presentation is minimal, but it works really well. The water is animated much in the way like space is in Geometry Wars, and ripples and curls as you pass over it. The audio is ok, but nothing really special. This is a casual game that you play to pass time, and in some instances because you want to beat your last score.
Ferry Up is a cool little casual game for the iPad that challenges your ability to navigate a ferry with the agility of a fridge. It is fun for a game or two, but then it gets too repetitive. The game needs more variation than a single level, and a single type of ferry. With updates this can become a great casual title, but as of today it is barely ok.
Ferry Up $2.99
Seller: Coding Dutchmen