When i was a little kid, i used to love drawing stick figure battle scenes. You know the type, they usually involved most of the battle happening below ground in tunnels, with men dead and dying all over the page. The battle scenes were epic, with mountains, plains, tunnels, tanks, infantry and air attacks if you planned the page out properly and had space for them that is. I was fortunate in that my dad was a draftsman (or more correctly, draughtsman) and if i begged and pleaded, he would occasionally bring me home a 24″x36″ ‘D’ sized piece of paper to use to wage my war and create my masterpiece on.
This is the early 70’s and video games were not something that most people had access to, heck, a lot of us only had one TV with 3 channels available that we were not allowed to watch anyway. If you weren’t at school then “get out and play” was the common mom-mantra heard from all the houses on the street with kids living in them. That is, unless it was raining. Those rainy days were the ones that drove mom’s nuts. Kids stuck indoors, typically fighting with siblings or getting underfoot. That is what started the whole stick figure battles for me. Not sure where the idea came from, but its funny to talk with other old-timers who used to do the same thing and recollect the hours or days spent working on battle scenes of such detail and depth that in the end they were hard to part with.
What prompted that long-winded romp down memory lane was an app i stubbled across in the iTunes store called Scribattle. It’s a cutely drawn albeit primitive rendering of the old stick man battle scene on a much simpler smaller scale.
Even the graph paper is reminiscent of when i was a kid, minus the tape holding the pages together of course ( i couldn’t always get a big clean piece of paper to start with) Gameplay is simple, just tap on the “man” you want to shoot and flick your finger or thumb upwards the direction you want him to fire. You get three men at the bottom and you can enable shields and/or the “noodly appendage” if you want depending upon how tough a fight you want. Its one of those addictive little games that will keep you coming back to wage war on the various invaders attacking you from above. (My childhood version of course was not animated except in my head as i sat at the kitchen table drawing)
I try a lot of apps – and i do mean a LOT. Some days i will download and try out 10 apps, and most of which never last on my iPhone for more than a couple of days, some only minutes. This one i grabbed when it was free on the iTunes Store for a few days. The full game. Sometimes you stumble across little gems like that which is why i try to check out the iTunes AppStore every couple of days.
If you are not willing to shell out the $2.99 to try it out, the fine people at Rebisoft have provided a Free lite version too. It’s a simplified gameplay version but enough to let you get the gist of it. Frankly, I’m still shocked that there are so many free apps being created for the iPhone/iPod and now the iPad. Sure, some of them are “lite” versions that have either limited levels or options missing, etc. but still, you get the chance to try out games prior to forking over your hard-earned cash. Wading through them all and trying them out can be a daily occurrence, and not always fruitful, but take it from me, this is one app you should grab and at least give it a try.
This is the kind of game that is made for those moments when you have some time to kill and really don’t want to get into anything too intense or complex. In fact its become my “i need five minutes of distraction during the day” game. If you enjoy the lite version, you’ll love the full game, even if you don’t get all misty-eyed reminiscing about your own youthful poorly drawn low-tech paper version as i do.