Rocking, touring and attempting high scores on their own iPhone game. That’s the way Dan Haigh and Charlie Simpson of UK rock band Fightstar are spending their time, ushering in a new era of bands so up-to-date with the latest tech it’s frightening. Groupies and grass are swiftly becoming old hat in rock circles with blogs and bytes the vice of choice for these digitally-aware newcomers. Perhaps we’re getting a little carried away, but with its new iPhone app Spilt Milk, Fightstar is heading a rich list of artist and developer hook ups including the likes of Akon and Lady Ga Ga. The difference is that, rather than offer fans pin-up photos and tour dates, Fightstar’s app is actually a bloody great game!
Spilt Milk applies the age-old gaming tradition of catching falling objects in a receptacle (kind of like an inverted space invaders) and brings the frantic action into the modern world via the iPhone’s Multi Touch interface. Use your fingers to drag a glass (or multiple glasses as you progress) across a bar in order to catch milk dripping from what we can only assume are udders. Power ups and score multipliers are available as you collect more milk and avoid your glass from overflowing by feeding milk to a thirsty and bizarrely dressed bovine propping up the bar. The same cow also adorns Fightstar’s new album cover.
It is truly impossible to sum up in words the addictive nature of this game. Every failed attempt to beat your best score results in a complete rethink of your tactics. Do you use three fingers to control three glasses or rely on cunning positioning of one while sweeping up the rest of the milk with the other two? Should you opt for a perfect level or go gung ho and grab as much milk as you can in a swinging motion? We don’t have the answers.
Occasionally you’ll find that, as things get more frantic, it’s tough to hold your phone in both hands and play Spilt Milk. Placing the iPhone flat on a table is a good technique for better control although it does tend to slide about as you work harder for more points. Because of this mild irritation, we took to physically taping our phone to the table for optimum control. We’ve posted a video of our gaming experience on YouTube and you can view it below if you wish. Not the most exciting of clips but it does go some way to explain the intensity and frustration you will no doubt experience with this 59p app.
An online leaderboard lets you chart how you’re doing against other players and, we’re proud to say, after some practice we managed to smash our way into the top 20 with a score of 41557 and some seriously raw fingers. We thought we were doing well, but the band assures us they’re nearing the million points mark! Clearly more work to be done on our part.
What truly sets Spilt Milk apart from other games as well as promotional vehicles is the way in which it melds the two disciplines. Created by Fighstar bassist Dan Haigh’s company Horsie in the Hedge Media and KBMJ Inc, the application plays three tracks from the bands new album while you game. Within a few attempts at mastering the game you’ll find yourself humming along to the tunes available which become familiar without being annoying and serve as a great backing while you frantically try to catch milk.
With no end-user access to the songs in Spilt Milk and a fun game to enjoy while listening to them, the app is a masterpiece in promotion terms but also stands alone as a solid iPhone game that would be worthy on its own without any association with a brand or band.
Ultimately, there are hours of fun to be had with Spilt Milk and, even if you weren’t a fan before, you’re likely to be heading back to iTunes to grab Fightstar’s new album once you experience this gem of a game.
Look out for iPhone Kung Fu’s Five Questions for… interview with Dan and Charlie from Fightstar coming soon.