iPhone Life magazine

Review Update: Grinchmas! by Oceanhouse Media

Unless I make some sort of glaring error or omission, I don't make it a policy not to go back and update a review I've written.  However, if something in a game changes to warrant a note or quick revisit, I'm more than happy to do that.  Such is the case with Grinchmas! from Ocean Mediahouse.  You can read the original review here.  I'm still a bit disappointed that they haven't bolstered the less than wacky atmosphere, but there are a couple of game play changes worthy of noting. The first is that there are actually two modes now: Classic and Challenge.  Classic is the original game, which now even has easy, medium and hard modes.  Challenge mode is the bright spot of this update, however.  In the Mean Grinch scenario there are 20 challenges and in Merry Grinch mode there are 17.  A challenge might be basic like "quiet 3 near noisy houses" in Mean scenario or "deliver 3 presents" in Merry mode.  As you get further down the list, however, things get more difficult.  In Mean mode you might have something like "quiet 7 houses for 4 minutes and 30 seconds", and in Merry mode you get such things as "deliver a red, green and blue present in 10 seconds without missing".  Each challenge has 3 difficulty levels as well.

Stop That Who Music

I think this does wonders towards improving the game play.  I would challenge the developers to take it a step further, however.  They need to make the different difficulty levels less superficially different.  In classic mode, I'm not even sure what the difference is other than it might be a bit harder to throw a present.  Maybe they could do something like add a wind factor into the hard level, or have something flying around that can block your tosses.  For challenge mode I'd like to see two things.  First of all, have more challenges of the "certain types of houses" or "certain order" variety and less "do x number of houses in x minutes".  The more specific challenges are much more interesting.  Also, just like in challenge mode, they need to make more of a distinction between difficulty levels.  Maybe in the hard levels houses could turn on and off their music on their own from time to time for the Mean scenario or houses could periodically change color in Merry mode.  For now, though, the changes they have made are quite nice.

Overall Revised Rating: 8/10
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Eric Pankoke has been a gamer for more than 20 years. He began with arcade games, moving to consoles and eventually handhelds and Pocket PCs. Now he spends most of his time on one of his iOS devices. Eric has written more than 700 gaming reviews, which have appeared on a number of gaming websites as well as several issues of both Smartphone & Pocket PC and iPhone Life magazines. He regularly contributes to iphonelife.com and TouchMyApps. Ultimately he hopes to eventually develop games himself for whatever the hot mobile device is when he finally gets moving.