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A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this app.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Bowmaster will give kids the general feel of hunting wild animals with a bow and arrow, but that there are no real animals depicted in the game. Every target that crosses your path is a wooden cutout in the shape of a moose, deer, duck, or some other animal. And they all move along very obvious tracks. It's a shooting gallery, but a far less violent one than any of the true "hunting" games out there. Note that it can be quite challenging, though.
Is it any good?
First of all, Bowmaster looks amazing. It's one of the more graphically beautiful app games we've seen. And the control mechanic -- which allows you to aim your bow, determine the strenght of your shot, and release your arrow all by pulling two fingers apart -- is incredibly well-designed. In the game, you compete against five increasingly skilled Merry Men-type archers. They're shooting at the same targets you are, so it's not just a matter of hitting the wooden animals that go by, but hitting them before your opponent does. It would have been nice for a game so well made to have a slightly less steep difficulty curve, but there's a good "practice makes perfect" lesson in Bowmaster. The more you play a level and memorize the movement patterns of the targets, the better chance you have of getting the jump on those Robin Hood wannabes you're playing against.