January 7, 2015

Review: Perfection for iOS

Barnstorm Games continues to be the undisputed king of mobile game shows with another accurate translation: BBC’s Perfection.

No, not the puzzle game where you put the pieces into the slot to make the right connection, although you still have to be quick here because you’re racing the clock.

Perfection is the low-key yet long-running BBC game show hosted by Nick Knowles. This week, Barnstorm Games, of the fantastic Chase and Tipping Point apps, released their home game version.

The game stars you as a solo player, going up against three computer avatars known as the Usual Suspects. Four true-or-false statements are presented, and you have 45 seconds to determine each statement’s validity. After you answer all four, the game tallies how many you get right. If you get all four, you have achieved perfection! If not, the Usual Suspects get to try to guess which ones you got wrong.

After each round, the team that achieves perfection get their chance to load up the Bonus Round with categories. If you achieve perfection, you get to pick categories that suit your knowledge base. If the Usual Suspects get it, they’ll pick harder, more obscure categories.

The final round consists of true-or-false statements in those six categories. Once you answer all 6, the Usual Suspects may offer help in exchange for part of the prize fund. The only way to bank the prize fund: achieve perfection.

It has one very cool feature: the prize fund you play for is based on games played around the world: if someone loses, £1,000 is added to the fund. But if someone wins, the fund resets to £1,000. It adds an interesting dynamic to the game.

The game itself is solid. The gameplay, graphics, and sound matches the show to a T, just like other Barnstorm Games creations. Nick Knowles sounds natural hosting in this environment, and the game flow feels just like the show. You can even see the excitement or frustration from the Usual Suspects’ faces if they think they know an answer.

The only thing that’s missing from the game is playing as a Usual Suspect, but I assume that’d be somewhat boring. Nick Knowles’ commentary repeats quite a fair bit; I would appreciate a small bit of variety in him saying True or False, but those are minor nitpicks. There is a Versus mode, but I haven’t gotten around to test it.

There are three extra sets of questions available as in-app purchases.

Some people may not like the game itself (it is a staple of the Game Show Gauntlet, but I digress) but this translation is solid; not surprising, considering its developers. Please, Barnstorm Games, make every game show ever for iOS. You all do excellent work.

Edit: Reader Zeus from Facebook has noted one small deviation from the show: if you choose to take help from the Usual Suspects in the Final, you have to accept their changes; on the show, you can choose to not accept their changes even though you still have to split the pot.