Monday, October 15, 2012

TGD Game Review: Fix-It Felix Jr.

It is no secret that we here at Transformer Generation Dad are huge fans of retro video games.  This is why our anticipation of Pixar's newest film Wreck It Ralph is already at a fever pitch.  Preceding the November 2nd release of the film, there is now game on iTunes that allows you to play the fictional video game from the movie, Fix-It Felix.  TGD reviews the blocky goodness below.

The Plus Side: Do you like 8-bit games?  Love the simplicity of the movements, the plodding forward game design and the 90-degree angles of the edges?  This has it.  The graphics are perfectly scaled down to make it look like this was a stand-up arcade game form the 80s.  You will find yourself playing and replaying trying to get a higher score each time and cursing Wreck It Ralph when one of his thrown bricks breaks a window that you had just fixed with great agility, leaping from sill to sill.

Perhaps the most charming aspect of the game to me was the sound.  There is authentic retro game music featured.  The title screen bursts forth as the game completes its load in a swirling fury of computerized notes.  Once the game starts, the laid-back tune that will stick in your head for weeks to come heralds back to the NES's Urban Champion.

Did I mention it's free?  I don't know if it is staying this way of if it's a limited offer, but you can have this title for no charge on Apple's iTunes store.

The Down Side:  As an adult who plays children's games on the regular, I often have the same problem I have with this game.  My finger tips are too large.  Large, fat, call it what you will, the directional pad on the touch screen of my iPhone is too small.  I regularly find myself in the thick of level seven scrambling to keep up with the destruction all around me just to find Felix is not responding to my commands because the meat of my giant thumb is simultaneously mashing against three directional arrows.  There goes my hopes of defeating my high score.  If you play the game on the iPad the impact on your experience of this design flaw is significantly reduced.

Along those lines, free games have their price.  In Fix-It Felix's case, the price is ads popping up at the bottom of the screen instantly as your game ends.  Thus, on more than one occasion I have already navigated away from the game screen to an ad for some sort of service I have absolutely no interest in because I was trying to jump down a level to fix one last window as I died and my giant thumb once again found errant placement.  The worst part is that once you jump to the ad's link, your opportunity to add your initials to the high score rankings disappears.

The Wrap Up:  Overall, this is a good game.  Is it perfect, no, but it will certainly keep the player entertained and coming back for more.  It's simple and amusing, it's fun for the whole family and the price is right.  TGD definitely recommends you download it today.

Well done Disney and Pixar, now let's see how you do with the tie-in film.

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