These movie-related iPhone games get four stars

Jan 3, 2011
Entertainment

The iTunes App Store is littered with the wreckage of thousands of apps meant to promote something else — in the case of movies, big releases almost always spawn related iPhone game, which are usually meant to be simple and fun — in addition to being another marketing tool for the studios. Unfortunately, the vast […]

The iTunes App Store is littered with the wreckage of thousands of apps meant to promote something else — in the case of movies, big releases almost always spawn related iPhone game, which are usually meant to be simple and fun — in addition to being another marketing tool for the studios. Unfortunately, the vast majority of these games are half-baked and not terribly fun. Occasionally, however, we movie fans get lucky and developers put some real creativity and innovation into a licensed title. Here are the top five movie-related games that do more than try to lighten your wallet at the cinema.

Inception – The App (Free)

In a fitting development, Inception’s promo game isn’t really a “game” in the traditional sense. Instead of playing as a character from the film, you instead have to fulfill conditions in real life using your phone’s accelerometer and GPS capabilities. Inception – The App turns your iPhone into the film’s signature “dream inducer,” which is a fancy way of saying it plays some very cool ambient music in your headphones, creating “soundscapes” by incorporating sounds the phone picks up from the world around you. It’s a very cool, if somewhat trippy, experience, but the best part is the method of unlocking all the various dream types: the app actually requires you to go to different places during different times of day in order to access all it has to offer. Play Inception in a noisy restaurant at night, for example, and you’ll unlock a new soundscape; another requires the phone to be still and the environment to be quiet. It’s simple and creative, like all the best iPhone apps, and recreates Inception’s atmosphere without the need for pixelated characters punching one another.

READ  Zenither - TV Streaming Made Easy

Iron Man 2 ($0.99)

Gameloft has a lot of experience with adventure games: several of the games on this list are developed by the company, and it’s getting pretty good at making licensed games that do an excellent job of capturing the film. Iron Man 2 gives you quick, easy control of Iron Man and lets you do all the cool things the superhero can do — most notably, fly around. There’s also some bad guys to fight. High production values in the graphics department, coupled with some solid voice acting (though not by the original cast), helps put you in the action. Iron Man 2 usually goes for several dollars more than its current 99-cent price tag, and with the amount of content the game offers, it’s easy to see why.

James Cameron’s Avatar ($0.99)

By now, Avatar is kind of old news, but this adventure game still nails the feel of the movie — even if the graphics are a touch dated compared to what’s being developed for iPhone games today. Gameloft brought in Zoe Saldana to reprise her role as blue alien Neytiri, who narrates the game, but James Cameron’s Avatar is actually a standalone prequel story, set about a decade before the movie. The game nails a lot of platforming action, but keeps things relatively simple, controlling the camera for you and basically keeping you going forward at all times. The setup makes for an easy-to-control and easy-to-pick up experience, but with a good mix of platforming, combat, and cool set pieces from the film.

READ  Tayasui Doodle Book - Inadequacy in Drawing

Shrek Forever After: The Game ($4.99)

Players familiar with the Sony platforming franchise Crash Bandicoot will recognize a lot of the mechanics at work in Shrek Forever After. It plays a whole lot like that PlayStation game — but that’s not a bad thing, and that solid base creates a pretty strong platforming experience that slightly mirrors the movie’s storyline, while bringing in a lot of the Shrek franchise’s characters with which you can interact. You play as Shrek, tasked with jumping over gaps and punching guys in the face while collecting coins. All of it is the standard stuff, but Shrek Forever After does it well with good controls, pretty decent graphics, and fun — but simple — gameplay. The game also uses its license well with some strong voice talent: that’s either Mike Meyers doing the voice work as Shrek, some smartly clipped lines from the movie, or a commendable soundalike.

Terminator Salvation: The Official Game ($4.99)

Third-person cover-based Terminator-blasting action? Yes, please — that’s what’s available in Terminator Salvation: The Official Game, in which you play as both John Connor and Marcus Wright from the film. Mostly, you’ll be moving through destroyed, post-apocalyptic environments, taking cover and shooting Terminators as they march toward you, unloading machine gun fire in your direction — which is exactly what we want from a game like this one. Solid 3D graphics (despite being a couple of years old) and great music help build Salvation’s atmosphere. The best part of this game is the fact that you can unlock and play as a T-600 Terminator.

Search for more

Phil Hornshaw

Phil Hornshaw is a freelance writer, editor and author living in Los Angeles, dividing his time between playing video games, playing video games on his cell phone, and writing about playing video games. He’s also the co-author of So You Created a Wormhole: The Time Traveler’s Guide to Time Travel, which attempts to mix time travel pop culture with some semblance of science, as well as tips on the appropriate means of riding dinosaurs. Check out his profile.

    Home Apps Games