Qwak HD for iPad review
Qwak is a quirky puzzler that has, in one form or another, been around for over 20 years. First released for the BBC Micro and Acorn Electron in 1989 then later on for the Amiga and CD32; the author Jamie Woodhouse went into self-publishing and has since released versions for the Game Boy Advance, PC, Mac, iPhone and now the iPad.
The concept is simple enough: you guide a duck through level after level collecting keys, fruit, diamonds and all manner of goodies then escape before black spikes start raining from above. Plenty of power ups are available including shield boosts, high jumps, jet packs and more. Along the way you need to avoid ghosts (big ones and small ones), or attack them by throwing eggs at them. Eggs, it seems, damage ghosts and allow you to continue your collection of fruit and gems unhindered.
The audio suits the game at that point in time. If you're about to have black spikes of death raining on you, the music takes somewhat of a darker tone. This is ideal: it provides a genuine adrenaline boost to get out of the level quickly.
Whereas the iPhone version uses a scrolling screen to fit the entire level in, the iPad - with its extra space - has no need to do that. This does make the game a little easier as you can plan where you need to go without first scrolling through the level. Additionally, you can - with the Joypad app - turn two iPhones into joypads and play against each other on one iPad. The screen size is ideal for this, and not having to use on-screen iPad controls in a two-player game improves the playabilty of head-to-head gaming.
The action is fast-paced and frenetic; and the game is deeply addictive. It's very easy to loose yourself in the adventures of a duck collecting fruit, gems and keys; and it's a game you'll likely return to again and again.