Sometimes the simplest things can be the best things in life, like a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, or a bow and arrow made from tree twigs and some twine.
Don’t you find that you’ll give a gift to a child and they enjoy playing with the box more than they do the actual present inside? Just think of the money you’d save if you bought a lot of cardboard and tape.
Anyhoo, the same can be said of apps. There are really beautiful, fantastically designed games out there, but if you don’t have the time to learn all the rules, controls and layout, you might want to find something simple yet entertaining to keep you occupied.
Super Sharp is the very definition of simplistic design, requiring nothing more from the player than the ability to swipe a screen and make objects move in certain directions using the laws of physics.
I always loved the sciences when I was in school, so Super Sharp definitely appealed to me. I liked the idea of solving problems with just a swipe of my finger; that’s because I hated Phys. Ed. when I was in school – the less muscles needed, the better.
As the app was inexpensive and required very little physical effort (thus ticking two boxes for me), I figured it was definitely worth giving it a go.
How it works
To put it, well, simply, you have to cut one object so it (or a piece of it) falls in such a way that it hits a target. Sounds easy, right? And of course it is, at the beginning.
Rather than offering a tutorial, the app makes its first two or three levels a training ground of sorts. It shows you how to swipe to accomplish the goal and leads you through some examples before leaving you to go forward on your own.
It is indeed very easy to learn how it works, but as it gets more difficult, you’ll probably have to swipe a number of times to achieve the right result.
Luckily, the app allows you to start over by tapping the top of the screen and choosing the refresh icon in the right hand corner. You can use this to either start the level again if you didn’t hit the target, or if you want to improve your score by hitting the target with less swipes.
There are 15 levels in the first set of games, and then you’re on to the next 15.
You’ll encounter new twists as you advance, particularly when you move into the next set. By now, though, you’ll be so comfortable with how the app works, that you’ll embrace them rather than be confused by them. That being said, don’t expect them to be a walk in the park. There are new fulcrums, shapes and anti-gravity features around which you must maneuver. It’s simple but it’s complicated, get it?
Depending on how many moves it takes for you to hit the target, you may earn a star. As there appear to be no leaderboards, it seems that these are only for your own gratification. Nothing wrong with that.
When I played it
I gotta say that I was pretty fantastic at this game for quite some time. I grasped the concept immediately and was hitting targets left, right and center. The last two levels of the first 15 tripped me up for a bit, but I finally figured them out and went on to the second set of games.
It went from being white blocks heading for white targets to white, red and green blocks heading for similarly colored targets.
I realized that like had to hit like. I couldn’t win the level by hitting a green target with a white block – they had to be the same color.
At the writing of this column, I’m on level 7 of the second set of games. I’ve tried a number of different swipes and I just can’t seem to hit all the targets. As the Super Sharp app doesn’t offer hints, I may have to check on the Internet when I get close to giving up. Yes, I’m a Giver Upper at times.
Considering how simple the concept is, Super Sharp is very entertaining. Even if you find yourself frustrated with a level, you’ll probably just leave it for a while and then come back to tackle it again. Often taking a break allows you think of different ways to approach the problem.
This is one of those apps that will appeal to all ages, where children may be faster to find a solution than adults. It’s also a good educational tool, using some of the science behind Angry Birds, sans piggies. I never liked those pigs anyway.
- Simple concept.
You’re on your own with no hints if you get stuck.
- Cost: $1.99
- Seller: 1Button SARL
- Devices: iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch
- Rating: E for Everyone