iOS Game Review: Axe in Face

This is a response to a request from Catholic man-about-town Victor Lams, who liked the recent Serious Posts well enough, but urged me to get back to the ding-dang game reviews already. So I give you this oldie-but-goodie: still one of my all-time favorite iOS games. (And Victor, you still owe me two bucks or a beer for recommending Spy vs. Spy.)

Axe in Face
Blue Carrot, iPhone/Touch: $1
Content Issues: The entire game is about cutting off enemy heads–but, you know … in a totally cute way. Well, except for the neck stumps and blood. Come to think of it, maybe this isn’t one for very young…

If you want to get me to buy your game, just go ahead and name it Axe in Face. Works every time.

If you want to be doubly sure I’ll buy it, make sure your main character looks like a tiny Viking Yosemite Sam, and have him in a perpetual state of axe-slinging rage as he tries to protect his well-tended bed of flowers.

Yes, that’s what Axe in Face is all about: a red-bearded, highly irritated little cartoon Viking determined to kill as many marauders as it takes to protect his daffodils. All he has is his axe, some fire, a couple of powers bestowed by the gods, and a heart filled with rage as he faces wave upon wave of foes. If any enemy gets past him and begins to trample the flower bed, the level is lost.

The control is based upon an effective line-drawing system to determine the throwing path of the axe. Just trace a line (however convoluted) and then remove your finger to unleash the axe. It follows its path and then returns. The blade cuts through enemies like butter, hewing head from torso. If the path passes through a fire, then you have a flaming axe, which is just the ticket for taking out enemies hiding behind trees.

Enemies move at different speeds, and some have different defenses, which makes timing each strike a tricky business. It also makes setting up and executing elaborate strikes quite satisfying when they mow down multiple enemies at once. The two god powers are lightning, which fries 3 foes at once, and ice, which slows the enemies.

Blue Carrot games has put out a first rate little app, with a good sense of humor and colorful art. There are 32 levels total, and they get challenging rather quickly. This is a fun game, but it’s also a hard one. Sadly, it was not a hit and hasn’t been updated in a year, nor is there a native iPad version. In a just world Axe in Face would have been keeping company with Angry Birds and Cut the Rope on the best-seller lists, and getting its own children’s show about an enraged, decapitating Viking flower flower lover. Pick it up and swing one for Gimli.

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About Thomas L. McDonald

Thomas L. McDonald writes about technology, theology, history, games, and shiny things. Details of his rather uneventful life as a professional writer and magazine editor can be found in the About tab.