We’ve all seen it at the Olympics. Not many of us have followed beyond that venue, but curling has taken on a more prominent stature in society, as more folks grow increasingly more curious about it, what’s at stake and how to play it. It’s no easy sport by any stretch of the imagination, even though it looks fairly uneventful. But now, you can get a taste of what it’s like to curl in an app. Curling Buddies takes you to the ice, where you start small and work your way up to a selection of players and an assortment of playing paths to reach the finish line. Only, in this case, your character is the one that move, not the curling stones.
In the traditional game of curling, one hurls the stone along a path to find its way within the bounds of any of the concentric circles that await at the other end. Obstacles along the way may be the opponent’s stone or stones. In Curling Buddies, your stone is your character. You get one default to start with, and you can make in app purchases or earn coins to “upgrade”.
As you slide your player, you aim to reach the circles. Swipe too fast, and your player may launch outside the playing field. Swipe too gently and the player will go nowhere. It takes a few swipes to get an idea of what to do and how to aim. Once you collect three diamonds in a set, you move on to the next set of games. If you don’t get the diamonds, you can start over. The game is pretty forgiving that way. Thank goodness, otherwise I would have shut down in an instant.
As you move up in levels, the path becomes more challenging. When I say challenging, I mean more obstacles now begin to show up. They may be other players skating back and forth or it could mean a loop de loop that you have to aim and slide on to reach the circles. It’s not enough that you have to aim to enter the slide. No. You also have to provide just enough speed so that you slide and don’t catapult your player off into the viewing stands. This was no easy feat, as I spent several tries just trying to get the player to enter the slide without crashing into the slide itself.
What makes the game more fun is the add on packages you can purchase or earn. I made my way up to the Zombie one, as it also came with some interesting characters and it sets up the game in a city. The track now becomes a street instead of a slab of ice. The environment and obstacles change up a bit, but basic game play stays the same. You just get a new look and feel; kind of like a new skin.
What would be nice to see in the app is some guidance early on. I started to see some hints and instructional tips show up every now and then, but they were not available at the start, when I needed them most.
Barring that small inconvenience, Curling Buddies is a very entertaining game to play, as it never grows dull, nor does it become easy to master with all of the different obstacles and characters you get to play with.