The Game: Granny Smith
The Device: My dying and soon to be replaced Droid X
The Price: $0.99 for iOS/Android
The Basics: Look at Grandma go! There’s an apple thief on the loose but the old lady isn’t taking it sitting still. She’s strapped on roller skates and picked up her cane and she’s racing the little punk for those delicious green apples. She takes her fruit very seriously, or maybe she’s just a fan of hard cider.
Whatever it is her reasons are her own, and she’ll crash horribly through buildings and ride down ziplines at insane speeds, getting all multiple concussions on the way to get those apples.
The Review: Yet another auto-runner, Granny Smith feels like a combination of Trials’ frantic racing and LittleBigPlanet’s ragdoll characters. The Granny will really take a beating as you try to stay ahead of the thief, sometimes smashing walls or even entire houses floor by floor. It looks awful but she’s a tough old bird and keeps going as if she doesn’t feel pain. Perhaps it’s early-onset dementia that keeps her going.
The game is controlled with a mere two on-screen buttons. The left one makes Granny wave her cane, allowing her to smack the thief and also latch onto (and zip down) the various lines you’ll find on the levels. The right button is a jump button, and if you hold it down she’ll keep rotating. A la Excitebike, making sure she lands flat on her feet is an important part of gameplay. You’ll get extra points for perfect landings, as well as a boost of speed.
It’s fast and fun and the levels keep adding new features gradually as you go on, but the game soon becomes rote. Floating coins placed along the levels generally point out the exact path you should take- where to jump, when to let go from the wires, and such. Later levels are designed in such a way that you will fall to your death if you don’t follow the coin path exactly, starting you off from the beginning of the level, frustrated. It becomes less entertaining and more about hitting the buttons when you’re told to, the lack of any kind of multiple paths through the game giving you no reason to go back to a level once it’s completed.
The coins you collect along the way can be used to purchase single-use items like banana peels, baseballs and helmets that protect you from spills. They’re all fairly useless and by the time you beat all the levels you’ll have amassed a stash of thousands of coins and nothing to spend it on. Two new characters, a bone-wielding dog and an umbrella-brandishing old man, are unlocked for free as you play through each new world. 36 levels come with the game so far with promises of more on the way.
Looks can be deceiving, and although the game has a great style and is light and enjoyable enough (special mention must be made of the fun, old-timey music), there’s no substance to speak of here. Perhaps further updates will add some.
The Final Grade: C+