Pond Panic, a new app from Fabling Game Studios, has you try to save a ladybug from deadly piranhas that are in a pond. There are several different types of piranha, and you are supposed to flick them out of the pond. Then, after you flick a certain number out of the pond, you can drag the ladybug to a lily pad.

Oh, you need to watch out and not accidentally flick the innocuous koi that are in the pond. If you accidentally flick three koi out of the pond, you will release the super piranha.

Okay. The whole premise doesn't make that much sense, and much of it seems far too arbitrary. Like, if my goal is to save the ladybug, why couldn't I drag it out of the pond when the piranha first appeared? Why can I only do that after removing a certain number of piranhas? Why do I even have to keep saving this bug? I mean, if this ladybug is going to keep getting stuck in this pond, Darwinism tells me that this insect should be naturally selected out of it.

That wasn't my big issue with Pond Panic, however. I could actually let that stuff—those video game conventions—slide. Here's what my problem was: I played the game on the iPhone (on a complimentary code provided by the developer), and the flicking motion didn't feel as accurate as it should feel. Sometimes I would flick a fish out of the pond, but it wouldn't be flicked out of it. Then, because the fish would get gummed up, I'd have to go back and try to flick it again. At the harder levels, that could mean another deadly predator gobbled the ladybug up.

Maybe it's my fault, you know? Maybe I was flicking the fish incorrectly. Maybe I need more practice. But I couldn't help but feel that once the developers sharpen up the controls a bit, this app could be a bit more fun.


Pond Panic [iTunes, $0.99]