First Look: Rocknor's Donut Factory

Rocknor's Donut Factory is due to hit App Store on Monday. It is an iPhone update of a Windows game that was critically acclaimed back when it was released in 2003. It offers terrific puzzles and fun gameplay that's unfortunately hampered on the iPhone by a too-literal transition from the original game.

In this game, you move dough through a factory -- shaping it, cooking it, topping it, and shipping it out -- using a variety of assistive machines. You have to be clever. Some of the factory floor layouts are fiendish. Getting each donut produced to order to meet your quotas isn't as simple as you might think.

I really enjoyed the planning, testing, and execution of my production lines. What I did not enjoy as much was the Windows-like GUI transposed to iOS. Although the graphics are acceptable, the menu-driven interface proved a big irritant. Each setup move for each machine required far too many taps.

Clearly, the developers did not step back and re-think how iOS touch interactions could streamline their game play interface. Instead, the app feels mouse-driven and fussy.

Rocknor's Donut Factory will cost $0.99 when it goes live on Monday. (The regular price after the introductory sale will be $1.99.) It won't take much to tweak this game from "acceptable" to "fantastic," so here's hoping the developers do so.