PD -prope discoverer- is an abject failure in every way imaginable
“Powered by Unreal Technology.” It’s a big selling point for any app these days. But some developers seem to forget that just because you use one of the most advanced graphics engines on the iPhone doesn’t mean you can forget to, you know, make an actual game. PD -prope discoverer- (yes, that’s the name, and every time I mention it in this review, you’ll have to read this) is a decent-looking demo for constructing an environment, but there’s nothing else there.
The description for PD -prope discoverer- in the app store literally summarizes the entire game: “Explore the idyllic, sunlit gardens, the eerie and bewildering castle cellars, the surrounding town and its many secrets, and then…”
THE GAME ENDS. Seriously, that’s the entire game. You have to play a game of randomized hidden object hunts in three areas (all of which are hinted at by incredibly obvious signs pointing out where they are) to open doors. The final puzzle has you looking at a map and finding corresponding yellow circles on the ground in the final town. Otherwise, you’ll fly off in an airship at the end to lands unknown, for no real reason. You’ll finish the game in under ten minutes.
So where did the effort in PD -prope discoverer- go? The graphics, but only when you’re not moving. Sure the Unreal engine can make pretty looking areas, but unless you really know how to program, walking around is akin to a fast-moving slideshow. PD -prope discoverer-‘s framerate is incredibly sluggish and poor. As such, the virtual analog sticks controlling your movement are either lagging behind or simply unresponsive.
The effort sure didn’t go towards the music. Outside of the opening song and a promising short track as the airship takes off, there’s a single music track that will annoy very quickly.
Another forgotten element is… the entire game! Nowhere is there a reason for you to have been locked in the cage at the beginning, whose castle it is, who you are, where you’re going, what purpose the cards serve… nothing! The app description states, “Escape from a castle full of mysteries! The setting is a majestic and enigmatic castle… but why are you here?” I was asking myself this the entire time I was playing. And PD -prope discoverer- doesn’t do you any favors trying to answer this.
On the plus side, PD -prope discoverer- changes the locations of the cards each time you boot up PD -prope discoverer-. Which you’ll likely do a lot if you try to bother with it. See, PD -prope discoverer- doesn’t suspend very well. So if you get a call or have to check an e-mail, PD -prope discoverer- resets itself. And you’ll be waiting a long while each time. PD -prope discoverer- features some of the worst loading times of any app. Each action takes time to load, even the title screen and the developer logo (which oddly appears twice).
PD -prope discoverer- is a bloody mess. It’s a developer trying to play with the big boys graphically, and failing at that, as well as everything else about the game. I have more fun playing the game of “find my keys in the morning.” In fact, this has a lot in common with PD -prope discoverer-. It’s randomized each time, and I hate playing it. For the price of PD -prope discoverer- you can do much better. Much, much better. Maybe a chocolate bar or two. Or something off a fast-food value menu. Anything but PD -prope discoverer-.