Are you fan of Angry Birds but looking for a fresh contextual metaphor? Then check out Knick Knack Media’s Pocket Whip Wild West 1.0 for iOS. KKM notes the original Pocket Whip app (still available for free), which allows users to snap their iPhone or iPad like a whip to produce a convincing whiplash sound, has been downloaded more than five million times. It became the number one entertainment category app in the U.S. App Store after appearing in season 5, episode 19 of The Big Bang Theory TV Show, in which the characters punctuate their dialog with whip cracks created using their iPhones and Pocket Whip.
According to Mason Davis of Knick Knack Media, “On March 9, the app went from 936 to number 1 in the Entertainment category of the U.S. App Store, and it stayed there for two weeks.”
The latest upgraded version of the app, Pocket Whip Wild West 1.0 for iOS, adds a skill-based game in which players swipe using a finger gesture or snap the virtual whip to destroy oncoming objects.
The whiplash sound is still there, of course, and it’s still cool (I say as a longtime fan of the western genre). The game in the new Pocket Whip Wild West is entertaining as well, even for a seldom gamer like me. It quickly ropes you in, so to speak.
The contextual premise in playing Pocket Whip Wild West is that outlaws have taken over the local saloon, and in the ensuing mayhem you can test your skill with the bullwhip as bullets, whiskey bottles, barstools, tables, and chairs come flying toward you. The goal of the game is to demolish oncoming objects before they reach the inside of the screen, creating a virtual crack that reduces play life.
You use your whip by swiping your finger from the bottom to the top of the screen. Swipe technique determines both the direction and the length of the whiplash. The more accurately the whip hits a moving target, the more points the player scores.
The instantly responsive animated whip allows skilled gamers to obliterate targets width speed and accuracy. There was certainly no latency noted on my not-exactly-state-of-the-art iPad 2 as I used it to defend myself from the trigger-happy outlaws.
Power Mode is activated after three consecutive direct hits for extra whipping power with which your whip destroys everything, no matter where they strike, and points are multiplied by the number of objects destroyed simultaneously. However, the pace of gameplay—which is plenty rapid for me in regular mode—can become frenetic in Power Mode, with the number of objects spawned and hurtling toward the player increasing to its fastest rate.
Hitting a power-up object gives you three shake/snap whips, where you strike by snapping your iDevice in a whip-cracking motion. The whip will destroy everything on the screen and multiply the score by the number of objects that are destroyed simultaneously. Other power-ups add a life when hit.
In my estimation, the animation is pretty good, and the game works as advertised. There isn’t a whole lot of variety, but that’s not the point with repetitive, skill-building games like this. If such challenges are your cup of tea, you’ll probably find Pocket Whip Wild West a captivating diversion.
I’ll give Pocket Whip Wild West 1.0 a strong 3 out of 5 ratiing.
Seller: Knick Knack Media
Requirements: iOS 4.3 or later
Compatibility: iPhone 3GS/4/4S/5, iPod touch (3rd/4th/5th generation), and iPad
File Size: 13MB
Version Reviewed: 1.0
Age Rating: 12+