Shoot the Apple is a game based on apple-shot, a marksmanship feat where a person attempts to shoot an apple off a child’s head using a bow. Apple-shots are perhaps best known thanks to the story of William Tell, but in this game, you’re a young boy shooting an apple off your best friend’s head.
The core mechanic of Shoot the Apple is similar to Angry Birds. You’re given a target, which in this case is an apple on your friend’s head. You then set the trajectory. This may seem a bit easier at first because the target is not nearly as far away as you’re used to in games like this. Click the left mouse button to begin drawing the bowstring back and then release to launch an arrow. The trick here is the draw meter. The distance along the draw meter determines how fast the arrow travels. Since you’re so close to your target, the arrow seems to travel very fast, and it’s tricky to find the balance between angle and power. It’s not simply a matter of choosing the right trajectory but finding the appropriate balance.
The game employs a cartoony style that’s prevalent among Flash games. Characters are hand-drawn, animations are basic and backgrounds are minimalistic. This all works for this apple-shot because it puts the focus on what’s a light physics puzzle in a fun little package. There’s actually some graphic violence in this game, which came as a surprise. I was expecting a cartoony arrow-in-the-head moment when I missed, but what I got was my friend’s head being torn right off his shoulders.
Music and Sound Effects
The background music is like elevator music. It’s fine and not offensive in anyway, but it doesn’t fit the action on the screen. Perhaps something more high energy would have raised the stakes. It’s also on a short loop. If you play for an extended period, you may just want to turn it off entirely. The sound effects are actually quite good and enhance the overall ambience of the game.
Shoot the Apple is a solid physics game, but it’s not as kid-friendly as Angry Birds. It’s also a bit repetitive because the background and other elements of the game never changes. On the other hand, it’s harder than most games like it, and I sunk more time trying to get a respectable score than I expected.