Saturday, August 11, 2012

Kung Pow Granny [Bluefir Media] - $0.99

The dodging arcade genre, basically started by Tilt To Live, has grown quite a bit since the release of the original TTL. Since then, games like Silverfish, Spirit, Tilt To Fly, Mega Bad, Astral, Goo Monsters, FlipShip, Bit Pilot, Hyperlight and more have made a pretty large splash in the iOS gaming world. There’s just something about avoidance that seems to hit multiple gaming nerves in the video game obsessed sections of our brains that keeps us playing over and over again. Well, Bluefir Media is taking a shot at the genre with their new, and first iOS release, Kung Pow Granny.

Kung Pow Granny is basically a Tilt To Live clone. You’ll control an old lady, who happens to know Kung Fu, as she tries to avoid massive waves of Reapers, killing them by running into power-ups that litter the gameplay area. As you take out the Reapers, they drop coins, which you can collect, and spend in the store to purchase and upgrade your various powers. 

Now, I do need to get something off my chest with this release. The Version 1.0.0 build of the game gives players 500,000 free coins. That’s over $20 worth of IAP coins for free. Using the coins, you’re able to unlock every single ability in the shop, as well as fully upgrade it, and still have 100,000 coins left over to purchase 2nd chances. While this seems like a good idea, and nice little bonus for early supporters of the game, it essentially isolates future players from the leaderboards, making them grind for endless hours before getting enough coins up to be able to seriously compete with the early adopters. And starting out without any special help, you’ll be able to earn about 200 coins per game. Getting up to the amount you’ll need to seriously compete; about 400,000 coins, will take you… well… a VERY long time. 

Aside from that fairly big issue, Kung Pow Granny is a pretty solid clone of Tilt To Live. The controls are very tight, and though you’re not offered tilt calibration, you are able to choose between 3 pre-set calibrations. There are also virtual controls included in the game, giving you a joystick on either the left or right side of the screen. Though this does, in effect, cover up portions of the gameplay area, and can result in numerous deaths, it is there as an option. 

You’re able to choose between Normal and Master difficulties. In Normal Mode the rise in difficulty while playing is fairly slow and building up a high-score can take quite a bit of time, while Master Mode throws you right into the action, you really won’t have a chance of playing for any significant amount of time until you unlock more powers, and upgrade them a bit. But the enemy movement and patterns in KPG are very reminiscent of Tilt To Live, adding to the challenge of avoidance and destruction, as well as entertainment of the game. 

Now, with all the other Tilt To Live-esque titles available in the AppStore, if you’re a real fan of the genre, Kung Pow Granny will probably be another game worth adding to your collection. However, if you’re not really obsessed with the genre, you might wind up asking yourself ‘why am I playing this, when I could be playing the original TTL?’. Though, being Universal, and priced at $0.99, it’s worth checking out if you’re interested, but if you don’t catch the game before the first update, you might just wanna pass on it, as a lot of the fun is going to be sucked out of the game, with the leaderboards basically untouchable, and the amount of grinding needed to unlock everything. 


Nice review with some great points. Maybe they could clear the Game Center board to make it fair for future players?

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