Mobile gaming is a difficult environment in which to develop. What makes a great experience on phones and tablets is completely different from a top-seller on consoles; it needs to grab your attention instantly and be addictive within moments of starting. Granny Smith hits these criteria beautifully, and looks great doing it.
Granny Smith doesn’t waste much time dropping you right into the action. About 10 seconds into booting up the app, I was already chasing down pudgy apple thieves on roller skates. The premise of the game is simple: chase down apple thieves and grab the three apples in each level before they can. Each level has its own mix of obstacles, varying among large drops, houses, garden patches and more. Load times are almost non-existent, which keeps you right in the action without having to wait.
Unlocking the next level simply requires you to reach the finish line, not attain a certain score or collect a number of apples. This keeps the game progressing at a rapid pace, while encouraging replay to go back and best your previous score. As you progress, you can also unlock new characters to play as, if you get tired of Granny. While they don’t influence the gameplay at all, it’s a nice way to mix things up and add some extra content.
The controls in Granny Smith are straightforward as well-Granny’s set to auto-skate, so all you have to do is control jumping and hanging from telephone wires with her cane. Sound simple? It is, but don’t be fooled; the game will test your timing down to the millisecond in later levels. Not only do you have to time your jumps, but also time Granny’s backflips so that she’ll land on her feet.
Graphically, the game is an attractive experience. A cartoonish style mixed with vibrant colors makes the game a pleasure to look at, and it’s got a handmade quality that works well. One of the coolest aspects of the visuals are the physics, where you’ll find yourself crashing through obstacles that burst apart in beautiful particle effects. At the end of each level, the game will play back your run-through in an olde tyme TV style. While completely unnecessary, it’s a cool addition that shows the quality the team put into the game. From a sound perspective, it’s about what you’d expect: goofy, cartoon effects of over-the-top crashes and roller skates. It’s nothing special, but it doesn’t need to be.
Granny Smith isn’t without its problems. While the game does introduce new concepts as you progress, overall it can get a bit repetitive. Trial and error are often the only way to figure out how to get past certain parts of a level, and you might find yourself frustrated by a jump on which you just can’t seem to get the timing right. Still, these are minor gripes in a largely enjoyable experience.
Granny Smith is a goofy little game that’s fun while it lasts. It nails the mobile formula: it’s quick and easy to pick up and play, but will have you wanting to come back for one more run. It looks great on the iPhone screen, and shows an overall level of polish. Completely worth the $0.99.
Here’s the Rundown:
+ Simple yet addictive gameplay
+ Hand-crafted graphics look great
- Frustrating at times
8 and 8.5 represent a game that is a good experience overall. While there may be some issues that prevent it from being fantastic, these scores are for games that you feel would easily be worth a purchase
Granny Smith was developed and published by Mediocre AB. It was released on August 30, 2012, at the MSRP of $0.99 on the App Store. A copy was provided by the publisher to RipTen for the purposes of review.