The iPhone/iPod Touch platform certainly has no shortage of sniper and shooting gallery games. While these can be a fun distraction for a few minutes, they are often very simplistic. Veteran development house The Code Monkeys brings some realism to the platform with Triple Shot Sports; an Olympic style simulation of three archery, pistol and rifle shooting events.
Triple Shot Sports benefits from a clean graphical presentation and fills an underserved niche in the iPhone/iPod Touch library. Fans of real-life competitive target shooting will appreciate the game’s mechanics and attention to detail, however a high difficulty level and lack of detailed instructions for events may turn off a more casual crowd. Read More…
As the title suggests, Triple Shot Sports allows you to compete in three distinct target shooting events; Archery, Rapid Fire Pistol and Running Target. All three events are controlled in a similar way and the entire game can be played with one finger (or thumb), making it one of the most accessible iPhone/iPod Touch games I’ve encountered.
That’s not to say this game is easy though; it’s not. Even at the Amateur difficulty, Triple Shot Sports requires a steady hand and nerves of steel to succeed. You are presented with a button in the bottom right corner of the screen that looks like the target being used in the current event. Placing your finger on the target allows you to aim your weapon and releasing your finger will cause it to fire.
Archery gives you 1:30 to fire three arrows at your target per round and your score is totaled over five rounds. Getting your arrows to strike in near the middle of the target will require you to read the wind as well as manage stress and breathing levels.
Rapid Fire Pistol lasts for eight rounds and sees you attempting to score points on five targets in succession. For the first four rounds you are given 12 seconds and eight seconds are allowed for the remaining four. You must wait for the signal to raise your pistol and you must get it down before the timer runs out or that round will be scored as a foul, earning you zero points.
Running Target is a sort of sniper event. You are looking through a scope at a target that moves back and forth across a mechanical box. This event is broken down into two rounds in which the target passes you 10 times. The second round sees the target moving much faster than the first. What I assume is the stress meter comes into play in this event as well, affecting your aiming ability when raised.
I say that I assume because Triple Shot Sports does little to explain the rules of each event or the on screen information presented to you. I had to learn the subtleties of each event on my own. I found this a bit frustrating as a lifelong gamer, so I can imagine an average casual player giving up when coupling this with the game’s high difficulty.
Luckily, due to the nature of the iPhone/iPod Touch platform, this is something that could easily be patched in and the problem could be solved by simply showing a static tutorial screen at the beginning of each event.
Once I managed to learn the rules and mechanics of each event, Triple Shot Sports started to click with me and become much more enjoyable. At first I was coming in last place in every event I competed in on the Amateur level, but after a few hours I was winning events on Pro level which provided a great sense of satisfaction. You can choose to play the game in Tournament or Quick Event Modes. An Award Cabinet keeps track of the medals you have earned in each event.
The Code Monkeys have been developing video games for over 20 years on a large number of platforms and this wealth of experience shows in the presentation of Triple Shot Sports. The game runs in a fully realized 3D engine and features clean looking graphics on par with an average PSP title, though with none of the tearing, pop-in or slowdown commonly found in 3D iPhone/iPod Touch games.
There are five distinct stadiums in which events take place; Canada, China, France, Japan and Spain. Each stadium has its own look and features details like field judges, sponsor signs and video screens. My only real complaint about the graphical presentation is that there are no character customization options and when you see the podium at the end an event all the competitors are wearing blue shirts.
The sound design in Triple Shot Sports also fares well. It features an upbeat, Olympic Style theme song and great atmoshperic sound in the stadiums. My favourite part of the sound design is having crowd sounds that react to your performance; it’s a nice touch that helps you feel more into the game.
People looking for a little depth in their iPhone/iPod Touch target shooting games or fans of the real-life sports would get the most out of Triple Shot Sports. However, as someone who has little interest in the sports or this particular genre of video game, I still found myself having fun and going back to try and beat my personal best scores in the events.
I really appreciated the simulation aspects to Triple Shot Sports and having to learn the feel and subtleties of each event provided a fun challenge. At $3 I can recommend Triple Shot Sports to those interested in target shooting as the game is a competent simulation of the sport. The title is physically accessible to just about any gamer as well, which is not something many iPhone/iPod Touch titles can claim to be.
+ Clean 3D Graphics, Good Sound Design
+ Can Be Played with One Finger
+ Simulation Style Serves a Niche Market
- Steep Difficulty
- No Detailed Tutorial
Game Forward score: 3/5
Brian J. Papineau > Game Forward
Triple Shot Sports (iPhone/iPod Touch) Quick Facts:
Developer: The Code Monkeys Ltd.
Publisher: The Code Monkeys Ltd.
Release Date: February 21, 2009
iTunes Rating: 4+