Good Dinosaur: Dino Crossing Review

Good Dinosaur: Dino Crossing Review

Dec 15, 2015

At this point, movie companion games are not that unique anymore; they are all but expected. Even still, the reasoning beside releasing a game concurrently with a major motion picture it is derived from has plenty of merit. Fans of the movie get additional stimulation that is mostly mobile, and the tie-in value is invaluable.

Disney is perfecting the art of the mobile gaming tie-in, and continues the trend with Good Dinosaur: Dino Crossing, a game that helps frame the The Good Dinosaur, a major animated movie borne out of yet another Disney-Pixar collabo.dino3

The game doesn’t bog itself down by trying to be an epic mobile version of the movie itself; indeed, it is all but a standalone adventure. It is presented in landscape, with bright colors and familiar animations, and makes use of visual perspective and varying speeds to wreak delightful havoc and challenge one’s reflexes.

The gameplay is infinitely simple. The player gets to control a dinosaur, just as one would expect, across a field of run-ending obstacles; running forward is accomplished by tapping on the screen. Tapping faster increases the dinos speed, and releasing stops it. Gesture swipes to the left, right and back guide the dino in the respective direction.

Our dino has to cross fields, and at first, the obstacles are fairly easy to navigate; rolling bales of hay roll in lanes in either direction, like a freely-defined highway. Darting across might work to begin with, but then one encounters “smarter” bales that encourage the player to get craftier with regards to moving around and finding the easiest means of egress. Hitting an obstacle ordinarily ends the run, though one can consume ads to help with continues.

As the game goes on, the game mixes things up; new running characters, different obstacles — winged creatures, snakes even water — and even the use of floating logs as a means of travel. It incorporates checkpoints, too.

Now, the mix of taps and gestures did take a while to work with; I kept using swipes when tapping would do, but it’s a relatively small issue that most folks probably won’t have.

All in all, it’s a surprisingly engaging, self-contained game that doesn’t stray too far from its opening gambit but is spunky enough to expand upon it. It feels vibrant and can be enjoyed across generations.

Inside Out Thought Bubbles Review

Inside Out Thought Bubbles Review

Jul 20, 2015

Inside Out Thought Bubbles continues a great trend of media companies releasing companion mobile games in the wake (or just prior) to the release of major movies… in this case, Disney’s Inside Out.

Simply put, it is a bubble shooter; here we get cues from the aforementioned movie, and we get to enjoy some of the characters from it: Riley, as our main character, learns to work with her emotions. The backstory is streamlined into memory bubbles, and the idea is to free said bubbles by creating match-3+ groupings.

Seeing the game is to understand it a bit more. It is a colorful affair, with plenty of pastels highlighting the portrait orientation. The bubbles are denoted by different colors, and jut down from the roof of the playing area. The shooter resides at the forefront of the playing area; activating it is done by pulling on it, much like one does in iotb2Angry Birds. The bubbles launched from it are randomly colored, but generally match those in the air above it.

The walls of the playing area have a rebounding ability, and one can shoot off the walls; an arrow helps guiding somewhat. The main idea, as hinted at, is to finish/create groups of three or more to “pop” them.

The game is leveled, and starts off simply enough, with a more or less easy go of it. The number of projectiles is limited, and scoring is based in part by how few bubbles one uses up, so being conservative pays. As the game progresses, the batches get harder to navigate; one gets special pieces with special powers, and rebounding off the wall becomes a valuable skill.

When it’s all said and done, the gameplay boils down to a collection of physics, virtual catapulting and match-3, seasoned with a bit of strategy. It doesn’t tax the mind too much, which is a strength, but does pull on the brain cells a bit. The opportunity cost of decisions is well underscored: does one go for the home run to drop/burst bunches of bubbles, or does one play it safe and take out smaller sets? Go straight or go big and score a rebound? There is a lot of ways to go within the framework of simplicity, and as such, the game lives beyond its supposed scope.

Because of its potential to engage across generations, it is easy to give it a go.

Go ahead.

Disney Movies Anywhere Brings Some Cohesion to Digital Content Ownership

Disney Movies Anywhere Brings Some Cohesion to Digital Content Ownership

Nov 4, 2014

Disney Movies Anywhere has just arrived on Google Play, and is an app that might be worth keeping an eye on.

At first blush, it serves as a digital locker of Disney, Pixar and Marvel content, which is interesting in and of itself. But it does do a bit more.

It allows users with a Disney Movies Anywhere accounts to link said account to Google Play (and/or Apple iTunes, as it so happens) and have access the content from the companion Google Play Movies app, or the Disney Movies Anywhere App. Now, if one connects it to iTunes, it pulls in Disney content purchased there; in other words, it is possible to access content purchased from iTunes on Android devices, and content purchased on Google Play on iOS devices. It’s a centralized clearinghouse of sorts.

It is a small step, but it is arguably the most interesting move to date with regards to cleaning up the current digital movies morass. Now, it reasonably possible to acquire content from one of the world’s largest content creators in either of the top mobile content stores and access it on either of the two leading platforms. Movies can be downloaded to Android devices to be accessed without the need for signal.

It’s a big deal.


Additionally, a Disney Movies Anywhere account (which is interchangeable with an ESPN account, by the way) allows one to collect points from buying Disney content. I was able to redeem a code from a movie purchased several years ago.

Some caveats (I know, I know): it seems as though not all Android devices support streaming from within the Disney app; for these devices, one must download the Google Play Movies & TV app. Also, word is that the service might be USA-centric for now.

All in all though, it is an excellent concept that we hope to see grow. It’s definitely something we’d like to see other content providers look to make similar arrangements happen.

[Source: The Verge]

Temple Run: Brave Set for Release One Week Before the Pixar Movie Brave

Temple Run: Brave Set for Release One Week Before the Pixar Movie Brave

Jun 4, 2012

Fans of Temple Run from Imangi will recognize the mobile game tie-in for the upcoming Pixar movie, Brave. It’s an enhanced version of Temple Run set in the Scottish lands represented in the movie. Instead of playing an Indiana Jones type character, you now play as Merida, the red-haired and firey tempered teenage heorine of the movie.

In addition to the character changes in Temple Run: Brave, you will also find a new gaming mechanic added. Archery has been added to increase the gameplay complexity and provide another way to earn bonuses. In testing it last week, the addition of archery does add complexity to the gameplay yet doesn’t distract from the fun of the original.

Pixar’s Brave hits theaters on June 21st. But you only have to wait a few more days for Temple Run: Brave. It hits Google Play on June 14th.