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Games for the weekend: Duck Life

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Games for the Weekend is a weekly feature aimed at helping you avoid doing something constructive with your downtime. Each Friday we’ll be recommending a game for Mac, iPhone or iPad that we think is awesome. Here is one cool enough to keep you busy during this weekend.

Duck LifeDusk Life ($0.99 Universal) is a little like a character based role-playing game. You play as the trainer that raises your characters’ abilities by completing a series of mini games rather than rolling the dice. You even have the opportunity to grow the size of your party as you take on challenging tournaments at the end of each world.  Except, it’s not an RPG.

The game begins with a single duck that is challenged to race against other ducks. When you accept your first challenge, you quickly realize that you have no way of running, swimming, flying or in any way moving any faster during the actual race. You sit by completely helpless on the sidelines watching your little athlete fail to win their first race. Knowing that the duck can do better, you are shown how to train your little athlete, and that is when the real quest begins.

Duck Life

Making you appreciate the tactics and strategy that trainers employ behind some of the world’s greatest athletes, each world you encounter in the game has a specialized coach that will help condition your duck to be a stronger, faster and more agile contender in the events that dominate that world. Some worlds focus on running, others on swimming or flying. The mini games are also theme based to the world that the duck is training within. Like running out-of-the-way of falling objects from the sky, swimming through underwater caverns, and flying over top high mountains trying to hit a target on the other side. Each of the challenges will increase your ducks core ability in that world.

Duck Life

There are 6 different worlds that you can unlock: Grassland, Swamp, Mountains, Glacier, City, and Volcano. To unlock the next world, you must become the champion at the current world’s tournament. Getting an invitation to each worlds tournament is not easy. You must fist beat every challenger in that world before being accepted to participate in the tournament. In each world there will be several contenders that will race you on various courses within that world, thus preventing you from moving on to the next world. Each contender has a different mix of skills that you must train your duck to overcome.

Duck Life

As you progress through the worlds, you may need to go back and visit a trainer on a previous world in order to beat a challenger on the current world. For instance, in the Swamp world, the primary racing element is of course swimming. But being a swamp, there are still patches of mud and land to contend with during a race. Your duck will have to be able to outrun as well as outswim each challenger in the swamp world before moving on. If you failed to increase your duck’s running skills earlier in the game, you will be forced to go back to the Grassland to work on your running ability.

Duck Life

With each race’s victory comes prize money. That money can be used to purchase energy in the form of food for your duck, a fancy hairstyle, hats, or additional ducks that can race on your team. Having a well-trained flock can make winning each of the three separate races in a tournament easier. At the beginning of the tournament, you choose which duck will run in each of the three different races. If you continue to run the same duck over and over again one race after another in the same tournament, they will get exhausted and likely lose in the second or third race. Having three strong ducks in your flock will increasing your chances of winning the tournament and moving on to the next level.

The mini games that serve to train your ducks are where the real interactive gameplay can be found. Unlocking new worlds exposes more mini games until all 15 mini games are playable.

There are over 30 different races that you must prepare your flock for, so don’t waste too much time, see if you can train a world-class flock of champion ducks this weekend.