When picking iPhone apps to review, I’m surprised at the amount of content the free versions actually provide. They might not always pack quite as many options as a paid iPhone app, but it's often the case that the biggest different between saving a dollar or two is in the amount of ads the iPhone app displays. Unfortunately, the disparity in features between Glow Hockey Free and its paid counterpart is quite a bit larger, but that doesn’t mean Glow Hockey Free isn’t a fun time-killer anyway.
As I indicated, this is a very bare bones iPhone app. While the paid version has all the usual features you’d expect in a good iPhone game – leaderboards, Wi-Fi multi-player support, etc. Glow Hockey Free lets you play a game of air hockey vs. the computer using one of two difficulty levels: Easy or medium. After you win, you keep playing; if you lose, you can play again. That will be your entire experience with Glow Hockey Free.
It’s not a bad one, though. Hitting the puck back and forth doesn’t take much getting used to, but the computer AI is smart enough so that the experience is still a challenging one. The physics of the game seem solid as well -- or as solid as they can be when you’re quickly ricocheting a glowing puck all over the place.
But the real star of this iPhone app isn’t the game play, it’s the neon glow. Your only “rink” to play on is a black background with neon glowing sideboards. The two pawns also glow, and the puck looks like a radioactive tennis ball. Every time you hit one of the boards, they light up a bit more and sparks fly, and when you score or get scored on, sparks fly out of the goal while your phone vibrates. This is as visceral an experience as you can get playing air hockey on an iPhone. It’s actually pretty cool and the low-key, stylish element of the game took me by surprise.
While it’s probably worth it to pick up the full version of the iPhone app so that you can have someone else to play against besides the computer, this free option is saved by some fairly addicting, easy-to-get- into game play, not to mention all of that glowing neon. It may not be Vegas, but it’s something!