King of Opera
Hahaha, oh goodness, King of Opera surely wins the award for the weirdest, most creative, and most unique iPad game I’ve ever played. This is a very silly and very humorous game that would be great to play at a party in a small group or with a bunch of young kids. It’s probably worth experiencing even if you’re just playing by yourself against computer opponents. It’s wacky. It’s wild. It’s one of the best iPad games in the… opera category?
Actually, opera is just the theme of the game. It could easily have been football players or hippos or figure skaters. But a lot of the charm of this game certainly comes from the fact that they’ve utilized the opera theme so well. It also greatly adds to the game’s humor since it’s quite funny to watch tenors literally battle for the spotlight.
And that is indeed the goal of the game, at least when you’re playing in the original mode. You and your opponents are each in command of a tenor on a circular stage with a spotlight. Whoever enters the spotlight begins singing and gains control of the spotlight. This player receives points (or “notes”) for each second that they remain in control. It is now the goal of the other players to run into this singer and knock him off the stage to grab the spotlight for themselves. This continues for three rounds until the winner with the most points wins.
If this sounds chaotic, it is! You might be wondering how on earth this works safely with four people playing on the same iPad. The developers did a great job coming up with a control scheme given this limitation. Each person has a button in his or her corner. When this button is pushed, the person’s tenor moves forward. At all other times, the tenor spins in a circle. This is a bit awkward since you have to wait until the tenor faces the desired direction. But it ultimately makes the game more interesting and even crazier since it’s sometimes difficult to time your aim.
My only complaint would be that these buttons aren’t very big. It’s not that the buttons are hard to press. It’s that it’s quite easy to let your finger slip away from the button and not even realize it because you’re so focused on what’s going on in the center of the screen. However, this may not even be an issue if you pay closer attention to your finger than I did. Regardless, I’m still quite impressed with the design that they came up with.
This game has a ton of different modes to choose from, and they all add interesting twists to the gameplay. In Phantom mode, the goal is simply to run into the spotlight, and that’s no easy task given that it disappears and reappears at different spots on the stage. Once you grab it, you get a point and send all the other tenors flying off the screen. In Fat Lady mode, the game plays as normal until a large woman falls from the sky. You and your opponents now share the common goal of pushing her off the screen before she cracks the glass of your display. There are four other modes, and they mostly involve wrinkles on how you obtain points or combat other players. For example, in Powerup mode, you might run get hit by a stick of dynamite or run into a blue mushroom and shrink in size.
There are also five different play styles to choose from. These are different themes that not only affect the outfits that your tenors wear but also the gameplay itself. In Penguin Slide, the stage is made of ice, so it’s very easy to travel too far too fast and fly off the stage. In Bounce Bowl, football players are placed at different sides of the stage and act as bumpers that keep you in play.
But the customization doesn’t end there! Before the first round starts, you have the option of playing at a faster speed. You can also select the option to toss in horned helmets. I haven’t quite figured out what causes the game to adorn your character with one of these, but when it happens, you grow in stature and become much more powerful. You’re able to push your opponents off the stage with ease, and it’s much harder for them to bump you.
You can play with up to 4 people on the same iPad. You can also play by yourself against three computer opponents. Or you can play with different combinations of humans and computers. It’s enjoyable to play by yourself, but I suspect this game shines best when you’re playing with other people.
Whether you’re a fan of opera or hate it with a passion, there’s a lot of fun to be had in King of Opera. You get a lot of interesting twists on the core gameplay for less than three bucks. It’s certainly one of the most unique iPad games you’ll ever play and a very interesting experience.