I really liked Medicore’s first game Sprinkle, and my son still plays Sprinkle Junior even though he’s already beaten it two or three times. Still, I’m not a huge fan of games that employ ragdoll physics, and I was a little bit skeptical that I would enjoy this title. I had no reason to be concerned. The game is a blast, and every step of the way I’ve felt compelled to go back and collect three apples on levels where I missed that goal the first time around (which is most of them). My only concern at this point is that I will finish this some day, and will the new levels be ready yet when that happens?
You take on the role of Granny Smith – or Scruffy or Stanley once you’ve unlocked them – and your goal is simply to collect the three green apples on each level. The thing is, there’s this pesky thief that wants the apples as well, so it’s your job to stay one step ahead of him and keep the delicious fruits to yourself. You just have to make it to the end of the level to be able to play the next one, so I’m not 100% sure why you need the apples, but it sure is a lot of fun trying to collect them all. There are also coins scattered throughout the level that you can collect to buy power ups or to unlock the additional characters, but be warned that if you crash and burn on a landing you’ll lose a lot of the coins you’ve collected for that run.
There is some highly imaginative level design in this game, though I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t want to live in a city constructed like this one! You’ll have to break through windows and even smash small structures, slide across long cables, swing around big poles, and traverse many other obstacles in order to get to the finish of each level. Initially you’ll have the ability to jump and to lunge out your can to grab things for the purposes of swinging and sliding. On the second set of levels you get the chance to chuck baseballs at obstacles as well, and I imagine in subsequent levels you’ll be introduced to new activities as well. The key is to stay in front of the thief as much as you can. In fact, if you seem to be constantly failing at this task it wouldn’t hurt to actually watch what he does.
To control your character you have a button for jumping and one for extending your cane or umbrella, depending on who you’re using. There’s also a button for throwing baseballs or dropping banana peels whenever you have either of those special items. Everything seems really responsive to touch, though there always appears to be a bit of a lag between when the thief starts and you do, which I’m assuming at this point is on purpose. You get an overall score for each level, and there are leaderboards for a combined score on each set of levels and for your overall game total. Unfortunately there are no achievements at this point, but it’s so much fun working through each level that you really won’t miss them.
The graphics are great, with a nice combination of detailed levels and cartoon like character designs. I believe one of the comments in the App Store mentioned Wallace and Grommitt, and I think that’s a fair comparison. The backgrounds are basically static, but all the crashing and destruction in the foreground more than makes up for it. Don’t be surprised when that patch of pumpkins you roll into rolls along with you for a while. The sound effects are top notch as well, and really make the zany action come alive. There are nice ambient sounds that reflect each area you’re in. I just want to hear some Golden Girls style quips from granny or an Archie Bunker-ism spewing from Stanley. The music is pretty good, but the best track is actually played while the game is loading.
There’s really not much more to add. Medicore definitely has another winner on their hands with Granny Smith. The insane level design, racing to beat the thief and mastery of the jump and hook techniques to effectively navigate your terrain all make for some fun times. A couple of levels have given me trouble grabbing that elusive third apple, but I’m sure I’ll conquer them over time.
Overall Score: 9/10
App Store Link
Note: This game was reviewed on an iPod Touch 4 running iOS 5.1.1.