Well, we’re heading into U.S. Thanksgiving week, and you know that means that turkeys are on high alert. Many will be walking the Green Mile over the next seven days, and those that don’t make the cut (so to speak) will have to find hidey-holes before Christmas.
I usually try to find a Thanksgiving or turkey-related app for around this time of year. I always recommend the marvelous Peanuts apps, with Charlie Brown navigating his way through one holiday after the next, and there is “A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving” in the store. If you haven’t already got it, along with “A Charlie Brown Christmas,” I insist you go now and download them forthwith! They are wonderful to read with your children, and the music is magical.
Anyway, enough of the Peanuts gang, but I guess I was feeling a bit like Lucy when I went looking for a turkey app, as I ended up going with the Turkey Blast game.
As you can imagine, this was not a coddle-the-bird kinda app, nor was it one where turkeys and I were having a “blast” at a party. Turkey Blast is all about shootin’ turkeys, and as it was free, I was happy to give it a whirl.
How it works
It really isn’t a complicated concept, but it’s still worth noting a couple of things. It does immediately ask if you want to upgrade to the premium version to avoid ads, and only gives you brief information on your goals and how to shoot the turkeys.
You move your device around to aim and then tap the screen to fire. Depending on your accuracy (and if you manage to shoot the required number of turkeys in the allotted time) you’ll acquire gold coins. More about those later.
It all begins fairly innocently, with a goal of 20 turkeys to bring down in a decent number of seconds. Once you hit “Play,” the game begins and the timer counts down. You have to twist, turn and dip your device to find turkeys either flying in the sky (this is not exactly National Geographic accurate) or running along the ground. Thankfully, there is no shortage of the little gobble-gobblers around, and guess what? When you manage to catch one, it instantly turns into a cooked turkey! Ahhh … why can’t it be that easy in real life?
As you start to make your way through the levels, obstacles appear along with some opportunities to win bonus points.
Bushes begin to pop up in places, and then before you know it, turkeys are sporting helmets. The helmets mean you have to hit them twice to cook their goose (see what I did there?) and the bushes block them, but not for long.
Shooting boxes with wee parachutes will give you bonus points, which all go towards your coin inventory.
So, once you’ve amassed a nice number of coins, what can you do with them? Well, now’s the time to tap on “Prizes” to see what’s available for purchase. It is at this point that you realize the creators have a good sense of humor, as you can “unlock incredible trees and bushes;” prepare to be dazzled by how cool the “Goodies” are; “unlock amazing new turkeys;” and discover the “life-changing background scenes” in stock.
You can also choose which level to start from; buy background tracks to “die for;” and unlock awesome new weapons.
Once you’ve purchased awesome and amazing items to your heart’s content and depleted your coin collection, you can go back to the game to earn more coins and the fun begins all over again.
When I played it
I found this much easier to play on my iPhone 6s over my iPad, mainly because trying to move around the iPad to aim the gun’s sight was pretty awkward. It’s a lot easier with a smaller device, like a phone.
At first I thought the app had a bug in it, as no matter how many times I tapped the screen, I couldn’t get the gun to fire. Those turkeys, it seemed, had nothing to fear from me.
It was only after a few times of trying that I realized I wasn’t supposed to be tapping on the target – I had to go for the lower half of the screen. Once this all became clear, my score vastly improved.
I found it much easier to aim for those on the ground as opposed to the ones in the sky, only because the land-based turkeys were much closer. I was moving my hands around much like, well, the wings of a turkey, trying to get my quota in before the time ran out. I also managed to shoot a few boxes, which improved my coin count.
I saw after the first level that although I had met the goal, I had a percentage score marking the actual hits I made. This is to discourage us from just shooting randomly in the hope of hitting something. I vowed to do better.
One note: after garnering a number of coins and playing a few levels, I completely shut the game down, in that I double-tapped the home button on my iPhone and swiped the game up. It was because I needed to remember how it began so I could write this column.
I went back to find that I had lost my accumulated coins, and had to start from scratch again. Just FYI.
This app isn’t going to be winning lots of design awards, but it’s fun in the short term. Let’s put it this way: I’d rather play Turkey Blast than try and cook an actual turkey.
Easy to use. Free version. Cooks turkeys instantly.
Turkey Blast: Reloaded Cost: Free Seller: Ezone.com Devices: iOS and Android Rating: E for Everyone