One of the things I really love about gaming on the iPad is that there’s such a wide variety of games to play. Whether it’s the visually striking and hard edged Infinity Blade series, or the incredibly simple, yet addicting Doodle Jump, there’s something for everyone to enjoy.
Personally, I love all types of games, but I really enjoy ones that are fun and don’t take themselves too seriously. And if there’s one game that falls perfectly into that category, it’s Granny Smith.Let’s find out more after the jump.
As Granny Smith, you love apples. So when an impish, pudgy thief on a pair of roller skates steals apples from your farm, you make a dash to your tool shed to grab your own pair of skates and your handy cane. In each level of this racing platformer, your objective is to get all three apples (spread throughout the level) before the thief does.
The games is divided into four worlds — farmland, the city, industrial park and space. Each world has 12 levels, which are locked until the previous level is cleared. Oddly enough, the only qualification for clearing a level is making it to the finish line, regardless of the number of apples you collected and if you finished first. So, when I ended up crashing during the race, I found it best to continue the level in order to get a feel for all the obstacles that were ahead.
Jumping, Gliding and Smashing
The control scheme of Granny Smith utilizes a two-button setup — one button to control jumps and another to control your cane. As your progress through levels, you’ll jump over hills and obstacles, while using your cane to glide across zip lines and swing on trapezes. While the control scheme is easy to use, the real difficulty of this game lies in the physics.
As you race through levels, Granny Smith accelerates automatically (leaving you one less thing to worry about), but your momentum increases or decreases based on the height of your jump, whether you stick your landing perfectly, and your release angle from zip lines and trapezes. Additionally, you’ll find yourself crashing through walls, glass and various other items, which will also decrease your speed (you can hit most of these items with baseballs to maintain speed).
When you reach the space levels, you’ll find that everything you’ve gotten used to in terms of physics will need to be thrown out the window. Medicore AB did a fantastic job getting the space physics down, as in some levels (e.g. the moon) the gravity is less than the earth, so your jumps are higher and it takes longer to return to ground, whereas other levels (e.g. Jupiter) the gravity is greater, so your jumps need to be timed perfectly or you’ll miss your target and crash hard.
As you race through levels, you collect coins, which can be lost if you crash (very similar to Sonic the Hedgehog and getting hit by enemies). Coin collecting allows you to unlock goodies from your Tool Shed, which is accessed from the map screen. Once in your Tool Shed, you can purchase power-ups, including helmets (recover faster from falls), bananas (slows down the thief if he runs over it), and baseballs (can be thrown at the thief to slow him down, as well as to break windows and walls).
In addition to Granny Smith, the game provides two unlockable characters — Scruffy (Granny Smith’s dog) and Stanley (Granny Smith’s husband). Each character can been purchased from the tool shed, but if you’re patient, they’ll be unlocked as you complete the first two worlds. In my opinion, they’re not worth spending your coins to unlock early on, as Granny Smith’s reactions (I always tend to chuckle when she lets out a bemoaned “uh oh” at the end of a big jump) and sound effects are quite funny and never get old.
One of the more interesting things about Granny Smith is the ease in which you can purchase items. Most games require to you play a rather long time to purchase items (I’m looking at your Jetpack Joyride), but I found that I had more than enough coins after a handful of levels to buy my favorite items (helmet and baseballs).
Graphics & Sounds
The overall look of Granny Smith is akin to a Wallace and Gromit cartoon. The characters have a bit of a three-dimensional feel, and the camera adjusts throughout levels to give your a more three-dimensional perspective. The soundtrack is also a great treat, featuring a variety of old timey jazz tunes that set the mood for the game quite perfectly. Another treat is the retro replay that plays at the end of a cleared level, which provide alternate camera angles and slow motion looks at the action that the action that previously ensued.
All in all, my experience with Granny Smith was a blast. The game is deceivingly easy early on, but as you progress through levels, you’ll be approached with new challenges that may require a few taps of the restart button (this is especially true of the space levels, as the level of difficulty gets cranked up a few notches). The app is universal, so you can play on both your iPad and iPhone (if you own one), but saves are not synced, so you’ll have to choose one device or replay the game on both (something I found myself doing).