Rats & Spears – Palm OS Game


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Most sports simulations use the same interface- push and hold a button to aim, then push and hold for power, then tap to shoot or release. While it is annoying that no one seems to have figured out a better interface for playing, say, mini-golf, it is nice that the interface is becoming almost intuitive.

Rats & Spears Main Screen

Rats & Spears. Ain’t he cute?

Rats & Spears Options Screen

Good on-screen help and options settings

Rats and Spears from Absolutist.com is a basic sports simulator with a quirky story-line. To quote the website “…They live not far from your house. Just over the fence from the last cottage on your street there’s a dump… Not a romantic place, dear Sirs and Madams, but that’s where they live. Recently these creatures have decided to organize their own Olympics to let the world hear of them. We don’t know why but javelin-throwing seems to become rats favorite sport. Are you ready to reincarnate in one of them and master your throwing skills?

So, you have a cartoony (but well-drawn) rat running down a garbage-strewn alley. Tapping the screen starts the rat running. Tapping again ‘cocks’ the javelin it is going to throw. A final tap launches the spear- hopefully high enough to stab at floating targets- balloons, birds, etc. and far enough to gain distance points. The job is complicated by several things- planned and possibly unplanned. Planned challenges include details like the rat can only run a short distance before running out of breath. I cannot tell if this part of the challenge was intentional or not, but you cannot see either the target zone or the balloons and birds you can pop for more points. It is also a bit confusing sometimes if you have actually popped anything- sometimes it does not seem that anything other than the score actually changes to indicate a hit. On the other hand, the game is free!

Rats & Spears Running

Let’s get started! Running…

Rats & Spears Throwing

Thrown in a nice, high arc. Like the ads? You can buy space on a future release.

Rats & Spears Scoring

Stuck it- worth a cool 40 points! Yippee! More ads, too, in case you missed them the first time around!

The game is easy to play, but a bit tricky to get a good score on. Like so many games of this category, once you get your groove on, it gets easier- tap at exactly ‘these’ points to get the best combination of speed and angle for the top scores. The artwork is a nice balance of simplicity and detail that does not chew up resources needlessly or make it awkward to see.

This is planned to be the first game in what appears to be a planned series of rat-themed olympics, which calls to mind the fun but warped series of Yetisport.org games. Other games by Absolutist suggest that any future games in the soon-to-be famous Mouse Sports Network would be worth a look. This is a fun, simple game that I like mostly because it is such a whimsical story. It ain’t new, but it is something different.

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Product Information

  • Palm OS 5.0 devices
  • Familiar interface
  • Smooth game play
  • Decently challenging to get high points
  • Good price!
  • Cannot see targets
  • Once you get the right tap points figured out, the game gets too easy
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