You could be forgiven for thinking that there's no experimentation or innovation on the App Store. Apple's entertainment marketplace is so full of clones and reiterations that it sometimes feels like we're trapped in a three year bout of déjà vu.
But then there are games like Slamjet Stadium that bristle with originality, games that use the same old hardware in new and interesting ways. Games that essentially mix Speedball 2, air hockey, and Angry Birds into a frenetic and hopelessly enjoyable blast.
Slamjet Stadium sees you taking control of a team of two vehicles in an arena. You control your combatants catapult-style, sliding a finger behind them and then letting go. On the other side of the playing field are your two opponents.
The aim of the game is to score a set number of goals. A ball is dropped into the arena and the chaos begins. At first it's like a childish game of bumper cars, with the ball skewing off in mad directions as you try to pummel your opponent.
Accidental own goals are common, and to begin with you'll probably forget you have two vehicles to play with, concentrating on one and ignoring the fact that a quick pass would lead to an open goal.
The arenas themselves are treacherous. Some have spinning blades that'll dice unsuspecting players, while others have volcanic lava dribbling through them, or pinball style bumpers that spring you off at the same speed you careen into them.
Playing on your own the game is tense and fast, but playing with a friend on the same device becomes a hilarious, nudging battle of speed and trash talk that harks back to the glory days of arcade gaming, when proximity to your opponent was the norm.
Boosts and buffs add to the madness, and quite often you'll find the ball magnetically attracted to you, or your wheels frozen to the ground. It adds a random, chaotic flavour to proceedings that's cemented by the brilliantly scruffy cartoon art style.
If you're bored of clones and games you've played a thousand times before, Slamjet Stadium is an essential purchase.
In fact, it's an essential purchase if you're not. This is anarchic, free-wheeling indie gaming at its finest, and shows just how far a bit of innovation can go.
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