What is that... thing? It may look like the NES version of side-scrolling shoot 'em up Contra—horribly smudged—but it's actually the game (or "game") Ninja Turtles from Vietnamese developer Namphuong Star. You may know them better as the worst iPhone game developer in the world.
Namphuong Star's Ninja Turtles, which appears on Apple's iTunes App Store with an icon that is clearly the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles cartoon logo, is just one of the many slapdash, barely playable iOS games unleashed by the developer over the past two months. At $4.99, it's expensive. And by using someone else's very recognizable characters and logo, it's terribly misleading.
The iPhone and iPad game's description consists of "let's fight the enemy ninja turtles," despite there being no clear ninjas, turtles or ninja turtles in Ninja Turtles. It was enough to sucker at least ten dollars out of iPhone owners, based on the pair of one-star reviews on iTunes.
"Not as expected. Deceptive icon." writes one reviewer.
"I bought this game for my grandson, he loves the TMNT!!" says another, sounding dangerously positive. "This game has no directions we can't figure out how to play, or even how to restart the game. There aren't any turtles in the game. A total waste of $5."
Let's take a look at the rest of the iPhone atrocities foisted upon the iTunes App Store by Namphuong Star with the clear understanding that you should not buy any of this garbage. Even the free titles aren't worth your time, bandwidth and screen space.
UPDATE: Commenter "mathwrath" has identified some of Namphuong Star's iOS games as based on student projects, pointing out that Athletics World is based on Globe Trotter, a game built on the GameSalad authoring tool. So Namphuong Star isn't a bad developer, it's just using the work of kids and teenagers in the hope of making a few bucks.
World War IV ($9.99)
Clearly we already have a problem. Namphuong Star can't decide whether this release is World War IV or World War III. In the end, it doesn't matter, because who would spend ten bucks on this? The game's official description? "Game is not for the weak."
(Hey! Isn't that a screen shot from Ace Combat 6?)
Airplane Madness ($4.99)
Another air combat... thing. "Play on game now" commands Namphuong Star. That's the game's only screen shot, by the way, which is not very "encoraging."
Glitter Balls ($4.99)
Namphuong Star says "Play with sparkle on the Dance Floor to add up your score." How about NO?
Plane War ($6.99)
More plane combat! "Play game in your way," pleads Namphuong Star.
Shinny Blocks ($5.99)
Added to the App Store when Namphuong Star feigned some level of giving a shit, Shinny Blocks "includes a variety of block types, from bouncy to bombs, you will be captured by the simplicity of this puzzling puzzler. with 8 levels to start and more soon to come in the free updates, this will be a great game!" Clearly the best aspect of this "puzzling puzzler" is the use of a common RSS icon as an art asset.
Beautiful Witches ($5.99)
Namphuong Star explains "let her adventures with the beautiful witch." Perhaps the most charming of the group for its hasty MS Paint aesthetics.
Athletics World ($4.99)
Race your way through Hong Kong, New York City and Paris, but try not to DIE. Instead "Try on the famous racetrack to know your limits!"
Cannon Relax (free)
"Bash, smash and crash your way to success in this fun platformer" claims Namphuong Star. This godawful Angry Birds/Crush the Castle mutation is called Cannon'ed according to its main screen. Your goal is to transport a wagon wheel into that B button on the right. Do not play this.
Crazy Breaker (free)
"Một Game Giải Trí Thuộc Dạng Pinball" explains Namphuong Star. This Breakout/Brick Breaker attempt has one level, gives you infinite lives and has no way to restart the game. DO NOT PLAY THIS.