Cameltry in Review – Rolling Retro


Cameltry is an old Taito game from the 16-bit era, that debuted on the Super Nintendo and then branched out into various other consoles including handelds. The goal is to navigate a ball through mazes of varying difficulties and to a goal. When you start up Cameltry, you will see floating balls and a moving maze background and a prompt to “Touch screen” which will take you to the main menu.


The graphics are nice enough, but nothing too fancy as Cameltry focuses on tight gameplay, not flash. When you start the game, a little voice counts down from three, and the soundtrack is upbeat and changes depending on the level.  Sound effects consist of blocks breaking and bombs going off.  There’s a little sound when you get powerups (i.e.  more time). Sadly, there’s no way to play your own music in the game.

From here you can view High Scores, check out other Taito apps, read the Manual, and access the Options menu which include: language settings, enabling or disabling the tilt sensor and finally, background music and special effects volume.  Cameltry does remember your preferences when you quit the app, which is really nice.

Using accelerometer controls, gameplay is simple and consists of tilting the device to direct and accelerate the ball. Touch controls, too, are simple: tap left to gravitate left and right to gravitate right.  The degree of gravitation will change depending on how far to the outside of the device you tap. Likewise, a tap to the top will slow the ball and a tap on the bottom will speed the ball up while a middle tap normalizes speed. Both control methods work well, and it’s just a matter of finding which one is best for you. Choosing the right speed is crucial to the game (and to enjoyment) but you don’t want to go too slow otherwise you will use up time.  There are two game modes:  Practice to get you started, and the main game, Enigma.

When playing with tilt controls, hold the device horizontally or, if you play using touch, in any position.  Depending on which control method you are using, you can make your orb jump by lightly tapping it or by tilting the phone up and down.  The stages are filled with obstacles such as bricks that you have break through, a sticky substance, blocks and bombs. There are also bonuses like coins that increase your score and little blocks that increase your time-limit and arrows that speed you up. Throughout each level there are directional arrows that help you to avoid getting lost.

When you finish a level you get a summary screen that includes time taken, total time for all stages so far, timer bonus, items obtained during the game (except coins), and total score so far.

A huge con (for me, at least) is that if you lose, you start over.  It would be great to be able to play all levels from the get-go or at least be able to play any level you’ve beaten, along with being able to continue from the first unfinished level. For some of you masochists, that may be a plus.  For me, it means that I probably won’t play much after getting too frustrated.

You can press pause to bring up the in-game menu and from there continue, restart or exit to the main menu which will discard your progress. In order to not lose your progress, you can use the try again option before your time runs out.  Be aware, once you close the app, you are back to level one. Those with an iPhone better hope that no calls come in while playing! It would be nice if Cameltry saved your progress when the app is closed.

This title is very replayable because after you finish levels, you can always go back to get a higher score.  If you liked Cameltry in other platforms, $5 is comparatively a very reasonable price for this port.  If saving progress is implemented, the value of this game will increase exponentially.  But the gameplay is solid enough to warrant the $5 and the price is very reasonable considering this is a major developer.

It all comes down to how much frustration you can put up with guiding a ball through an obstacle course. If that is your cup of tea, this game will deliver addiction. Cameltry has great controls and physics is very challenging. Lack of saving options lowers it a couple of notches unless you are a hardcore gamer that can sit down for hours at a time and don’t get phone calls.  Cameltry would be Kiss if it were not for the lack of a save option – as it stands, it’s a Grab It game.

This game review was brought to you by TMA guest contributor GatorDeb


App Summary
Title: Cameltry (V. 1.01) Developer: Taito
Price: $4.99 App Size: 9.5 MB
  • Good controls and physics
  • Good replayability factor
  • Challenging arcade action
  • Progress cannot be saved


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