Review: Dodge That Anvil!

Genuinely odd, but entertaining diversion. (June 18th, 2007)

MacNN Rating:

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Product Manufacturer: Rabidlab

Price: $19.99 US

The Good

  • Comprehensive game options. Simple graphics. Simple to play. Fun for most ages. No bugs found.

The Bad

  • Each screen is delimited by ugly black or gray edges.

Dodge That Anvil! is an easy to use and fun diversion for those of us who like to play games, but just don't have the time to enter into a massive military or fantasy campaign. It is a cartoon arcade-type platform game and most of the 40 levels can be completed in minutes. While it is entertaining with plenty of variations, I only played about four levels at any one sitting.

Cartoon Platform Game

This first release, by independent game developer Rabidlab, is a bit strange. You control the rabbit Harvester of Eastwarren, whose task is to pull carrots from the ground for points. Radishes also populate the fields, which are turned in for various equipment on some levels. While the simple action is easy, this young hare is bombarded with various bizarre objects, such as beach balls and anvils that must be avoided to survive the game. Multiple lives augment the game play.

Helpful objects, such as hard hats, umbrellas, vests, water flippers, and vegemagnets also fall randomly from the sky. The story mode provides background text that puts the game and harvest in context. Rabidlab even provides a goal beyond harvesting food, which is to find out why these anvils are falling.

Comprehensive Game Options

The impressive features include the most comprehensive game options I have ever seen in a simple point and click game. The Dodge That Anvil! options should satisfy most people's preferences. For example, I prefer mouse-controlled games, and in the Input Options I can choose to use the keyboard, mouse or joystick. The Game Options include four levels of play from very easy to expert. In addition, there is a training option, pop-up help, and prompts. Video Options let you choose full screen or window mode, the resolution of your screen, the system cursor, or the carrot, and whether to use OpenGL or the software to render the graphics. Advanced video options include whether a shadow or silhouette draws for the player and objects. That's a lot of user-selectable options!

I'm not a fan of violence and it took a few tries to accept anvils squashing my Harvester, but as blood and guts are thankfully omitted, I decided, this game isn't overly violent. The dangerous objects are just so odd, that it reduces the cruel factor. I don't recommend the game for under eight years old though, as by that age, kids can appreciate that the odd missiles are silly. Kids under 8 may be upset that the rabbit is bonked frequently.

Minor Irritant

The only part of the game that detracted from the play, are the edges. Each screen is delimited by these ugly black edges that mark the boundaries of the area under harvest. An area of grass, forest, or any other better-shaded area, would have been visually more appealing.

Dodge That Anvil! is only $19.99, but you can try it out with an online or downloadable demo on the site.

by ilene hoffman, Reviews Editor


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