MANOS - The Hands of Fate
Based on the B-movie of the same name, the one famously riffed by the Mystery Science Theater 3000 crew so many glorious years ago, MANOS - The Hands of Fate is a retro-styled platform game from FreakZone that may very well be as punishing as the film itself. In a different sort of way. Armed with a few guns and an impending sense of "doom", work your way through the game's enemy-infested levels in an attempt to best your own speedruns. The Master would be pleased if you got a high score.
Using a set of virtual controls, move Mike left and right on the screen, jumping and firing his gun with the buttons on the right. Timing is everything, and MANOS is packed with things moving, from snakes to floating eyeballs, bouncing liquor bottles to whatever those shiny hovering tumbleweeds are! You only have a few hit points to spare, and once your lives run out, you have to start over from the first stage. Fortunately, a few power-ups can be found to aid you, such as hearts and 1-UPs strewn about the coins and gems. Just shoot the hand statues and collect away!
Depending on your history with MST3k or B-movies in general, you'll probably walk into the MANOS - The Hands of Fate experience with different expectations. You don't need to know a thing about the original film to enjoy the game, it just adds a new layer of happiness when you can imagine Mike, Tom, and Crow suffering through along with you. There are plenty of references to delight MST3k fans (though never enough to please us MSTies), so keep your eyes peeled!
The only real downside to the MANOS game is the fact that it's a precision-based platformer attempting to skate by with virtual controls. The jury is still out on whether or not this is a good idea, and if you ask us, we still don't think virtual buttons are an acceptable substitute for a good physical gamepad. However, MANOS makes the best of what it's got, and if you're up for a double dose of punishment, Torgo will be happy to talk to you about Master all evening long. He'll even throw in some creepy passes at your wife for free!
NOTE: This game was played and reviewed on the iPad 3. Game was available in the North American market at the time of publication, but may not be available in other territories. Please see individual app market pages for purchasing info.