Following an extremely positive preview earlier this week, Wheeler's Treasure [App Store] was released this evening. Wheeler's Treasure is a pirate themed high scoring game with randomly generated levels, so no two play-throughs will ever be the same. Packed with items to discover, treasure to collect, and bad guys to stomp on, the game brings a surprising amount of replay value to the table which is only enhanced by the inclusion of online scoring via OpenFeint.
The goal of the game is to see how many yarrds (get it?) you can accompany a wheel through a sidescrolling environment filled with all kinds of obstacles. You can use the wheel to shield yourself from enemies, avoid hazards, swing, jump, and more. Your character is moved using simple swiping gestures, and buttons in the bottom corner of the screen control the use of your items.
The game has a feel of part mini-game and part platformer when you first start playing, and is certainly one of the more original games we've seen in the App Store. It takes more than a few tries to learn the game's unique gameplay mechanic and how best to utilize your character's jumps and equipment to make it further along each time.
What makes the game really stand out from just another "make it further" casual game is the ability to unlock up to 16 different pieces of equipment that can be equipped prior to your gaming sessions. Each of these items give you a special ability that can aid in your run. For example, the standard pirate hook lets you hold on to the top of the wheel to avoid ground obstacles. Meanwhile, this video shows an unlockable Voodoo Pocketwatch which slows time down:
Choosing which equipment to use obviously dramatically changes each gameplay session. This keeps the gameplay evolving and makes you come back for more.
The developer plans on supporting Wheeler's Treasure with free content updates, and has already been polling our forums on what to include next. The game may suffer a bit from being a bit too different, as it doesn't really fall into an easily recognizable category. But I still adored the game in our preview and all the initial reactions from forum members in the game's thread are overwhelmingly positive.
App Store Link: Wheeler's Treasure, 99¢ - Introductory sale ends Monday.