Pocket Weights is based on a great game idea, but there is one thing turning the scales.
Finally, a physics game! Do you also remember the time, when physics games were as popular as if Taylor Swift, Rihanna, and Justin Bieber would unite into a six-breasted celebrity monster? It was December 2009 when the most noted physics game, Angry Birds, was initially released and laid the foundation of a video game series that has been downloaded over three billion times, making it the most downloaded freemium game series ever.
8 years later, the hype is over, but the genre is still alive. Reasons enough for me to take a look at the latest representative of the venerable genre, “Pocket Weights” by Wise Hedgehog Studio.
In “Pocket Weights”, you have to drop weights on a scale and try to keep it balanced for a few seconds, once you’ve reached the desired weight. That’s the deal! Simply tap on the upper screen and let the weights fall down straight to the scale pans.
The whole game is well done and thought out. Actually, “Pocket Weights” looks more like a triple A title than an indie game. It’s drawn with love and polished with efforts. There is even a hilarious story behind it. The developers made no mistakes and the game doesn’t fail when it comes to graphics, sounds, controls, scope or atmosphere. Still, the game can’t live up to its promise to be a physics game. Because neither the physics nor the game mechanics work properly.
I don’t know if the scale is a rare antiquity or just a flawed one, but if the position of the weights affects the measurement result, it’s at least 350 years old. Maybe it’s an ancient Egyptian model? Or it’s just a matter of good or bad timing and I am again too unskilled to master a game? But losing balance, although the scale pans are equally filled (or weighted vice versa like in the screenshot below), isn’t fun and corrupts the whole idea behind this game.
Let me get that straight: A game is nothing else than a set of rules marking a territory of fun. If the rules don’t work or don’t make sense, there is no game and no fun. And if I am rather successful with letting the weights come down like rain than trying to fill the scale as logical and cautious as possible, the gameplay is arbitrary and demotivating.
Usually, I review indie games with an extraordinary core, that is unfortunately wrapped in an ugly or flawed package. This time, it’s exactly the other way round, so it has never been easier to give some helpful advice: Wise Hedgehog Studio, please invest the same love and time in the weighing scale as you did in the rest of your game. After that, we have a perfectly balanced physics game, that I can highly recommend for Android or iOS (coming soon).
All pictures are ingame screenshots.