While you can find a plethora of Apps on Apple's Store that highlight the colorful and family friendly themes in games like Cut The Rope, you won't find a ton of apps that lean in the opposite direction. Enter Slice HD, a game with the single goal of convincing you that your finger has just been chopped off. Likely created after a marathon of watching the Saw movies, the goal on each level is to move a collection of extremely sharp knifes out of the way to push a button in the middle of the screen. Knifes are stacked on top of each other and you can only touch the middle of the knife otherwise it's a bloody catastrophe.
In addition, knifes are all spring loaded, meaning they pop back into place the second you take your finger off them. You can hold them in place with your fingers, but that's when the game transforms into a game of Twister with deathly consequences. On each level, the developer switches up how you can move the knife. Sometimes it's side to side and sometimes it's backwards. There's also knifes that periodically slice across the screen like a giant meat cleaver chopping half the level. Adding to that concept, some knifes are triggered when moving another; a nasty trap for those that don't plan out the level.
One element of the game that I didn't enjoy was being forced to replay the last level after my finer got chopped off on the current level. It's extremely difficult for me to finish a level on the opening two of three tries, thus being forced to replay an older level over and over was mind numbing. I did, however, like the amount of strategic thinking that went into finger placement and timing though. You really need to plot out your movements and think about how your fingers are going to contort when playing.
The cold, corrugated metal background isn't complex in regards to color scheme, but the textures of the knifes are excellent. There's a large variety of blades, each with their own speed. In addition, the gray on gray color scheme only highlights the intensity of the red blood spatter that covers the screen when you make a mistake. Level design is simple and the animations are almost too effective.
The irritating scraping of metal on metal in every level as well as the sound of flesh being sliced off when you make a mistake. It was rather unnerving, but that's the intent of the developer. It's pretty intense just hearing it through the iPad speaker, amplified even more by a quality set of headphones. There were moments while playing when I felt physically sick playing due to the sound, but you really need to have it going to listen to the audio cues on incoming blades.
Slice HD is a devilishly sadistic combination of Operation and Twister that likes to mess with your brain. Each time you lose a level, there's a half second where you think your finger has actually been cut. It's a brilliant element of trickery that brings life into an otherwise repetitive game. Punishing the player by making them replay the previous level is also a cheap way to extend the value of the title. If you are a fan of the horror genre (particularly anything created by Jigsaw), you will find some gruesome delights with Slice HD. I wouldn't recommend that kids play this because it's far too bloody and basically teaches them to play with knifes. That being said, it's a brilliant use of the iPad screen, just not the greatest game on the app store.