Gotta Catch A Mall! – Create A Mall iPhone Game

(written by guest author Tim Giron. follow Tim on Twitter @timgiron)

Economic goal type apps are all the rage at my house, so I knew that Create A Mall [iTunes $3.99] by 99 Games would get a good workout.  In this game, you play Kelly, who is a mall management superstar, tasked with turning poor performing shopping slums into mega merchandising meccas (in six different cities, no less).  At your disposal are cash, resources and building plans which you must use in pursuit of a particular goal.  The first three levels act as a tutorial, setting the foundation for success.  Sometimes the goal is to attain a certain popularity rating, sometimes it’s to generate a certain amount of cash per day, sometimes it’s to put together a specific combination of stores.  Each level presents a new set of challenges.


By achieving the goal within the specified time limit, you’ll be awarded the expert ribbon and you can also revisit any level that you’ve previously cleared to try for a better score.  One sure sign that the goals are decently challenging: my wife didn’t clear the whole board the first day she tried the game.  The logic puzzle side of things appealed to me as well.  Some of the goals require careful use of the tools at hand to finish within the expert deadline.


In one of the first levels, you are tasked with attracting more shoppers to a rundown mall.  Why is it currently unpopular?  Well, the previous management thought it would be a good idea to build two of the same store right next to each other (for some reason, a pair of Abercrombies in close proximity turns people away).  The first task then is to "ditch a Fitch" and demolish one of them to make way for something else like, you know, an Aeropostale or a Hot Topic.  Yeah, that’ll bring in the hordes, ready to part with their cash.  Add in an upscale shoe store and you’ve got it made.


As you progress through the 30 levels, you’ll gain access to new kinds of stores and accumulate points to spend on decorations for Kelly’s office or new clothes, shoes and jewelry.  She works hard, she deserves a little bling now and then!


For your $3.99 [iTunes] initial investment, you’ll get hours of goal-seeking, mall-building entertainment with local and global leaderboards to let you match your skills against others.

LED Football For iPhone – Flashing Blips Excite Us (free this weekend)

(written by guest author Tim Giron. follow Tim on Twitter @timgiron)


Good evening sports fans and welcome to this, the LED Football 2 [iTunes $0.99] championship game. The blips are taking the field and we are anxiously anticipating the return of one of the brightest blips to ever grace this game: your quarterback. And what an up and down season he has had, folks. Who can forget his daring run to victory in LED Football? Once he had committed to running forward, there was no way he was able to fall back. You’ve gotta admire the gutsy determination that it took to score against those odds. And then, of course, there were those that said his career was finished amidst the rumors of retirement during the off-season.


But now, in LED Football 2, he’s back for more. And he’s teaming up with that flashy blip, the razzle dazzle receiver, for a decidedly more potent offense. Just when those dim blips on defense think they have shut him down, he’s able to fire a pass downfield for the first down or even an amazing touchdown run. And this new fancy footwork is a thing of beauty also, folks. The way he fades back a little to bait the defense, just waiting for an opening. It’s like he’s playing a brand new game! One with all of the features that you remember (except the nine volt battery) and it’s fully licensed from Mattel, Inc., by the developer, touchGrove.


In addition to LED Football [iTunes] and LED Football 2 [iTunes], touchGrove also has LED Basketball [iTunes] already available in the App Store and LED Baseball in the works. At just 99 cents each, these nuggets of nostalgia are easy on the lunch money as well.


[Editor’s Note: So here’s the scoop … there’s this sort of big football game going on tomorrow where it costs $3 million for a 30 second advertising spot – BARGAIN. In honor of the companies that spend this insane amount of money, the folks at touchGrove decided it would be cool to price their version 1 LED Football at zero/free. Go ahead, don’t be shy … CLICK HERE to download LED Football for FREE. Heck, why not … all you young punks could learn a thing or two about videogaming history and how good you freaking have it these days. Modern Warfare 2, Madden 10, Halo 3 … hell, back in the late 70’s they got excited over flashing blips on a black screen as Tim described above. So yeah, show some freaking appreciation … download LED Football … and thank KRAPPS, you’ll never take your current videogames for granted again!]

Mr. Dumb Go Down – Beavis & Butthead Meet A Reverse Doodle Jump

(written by guest author Connor Coghlan. follow Connor on Twitter @Condawg)

Another Mr. Dumb game? You bet your Beavis-loving ass! I’ve already reviewed the two other Mr. Dumb games — Mr. Dumb Toilet and iChowdown — here on KRAPPS and I’m touching down once again to give you some impressions on the third game in the series from ZenuxLabMr. Dumb Go Down [iTunes $0.99]

I know that at this point, you’re asking yourself, "What do you do in Mr. Dumb Go Down?" Well … it should be much of a mystery … you go down … Mister Dumb-Ass.

Mr-Dumb-Go-Down-1  Mr-Dumb-Go-Down-2

What? Oh, right. I have to try and be "professional…" Ahem <sorry>.

The basic premise of the game is — do I really have to?  — you go DOWN (get your mind out of the gutter, perv). It’s one of those games where it’s a side view of your character and you  have to avoid objects and make your way down without going out of view.

Mr-Dumb-Go-Down-5 Luckily, the default controls are not accelerometer-based (thank you devs … much better control and feel this way). You simply tap the screen on the side you want your character to go to and… well, that’s it. You can use accelerometer-based controls, if you REALLY want to (I wouldn’t), but the default ones work just fine and give you a good amount of control.

Now, you’re making your way down a tree in this game. There are bees chasing you along the way, so you have to make sure you don’t stay on one branch for too long. Then there are obstacles such as thorns and bushes. They are wicked nastiness as they hurt you and slow you down … basically making your life miserable.

Mr-Dumb-Go-Down-3  Mr-Dumb-Go-Down-4

The sheer simplicity of the game is nice … think of it as a reversed Doodle Jump. Mr. Dumb Go Down is very well made, with fantastic graphics and realistic gameplay. While it may tend to get repetitive for the hardcore gaming crowd, I feel it is best suited for the casual gamer and certainly deserving of a place in the App Store.  

That said, this game still has the same nice charm as the other games in the series. Playing the other two Mr. Dumb games before this one definitely helped me enjoy it a bit more, because I already had a connection with the characters (well, I did from the very beginning, anyway, since they’re essentially Beavis and Butthead).

When it comes down to it, this game targets the casual gaming folks … and most likely won’t make you lose any sleep playing it or induce dreams about it if you happen to drift off. At less than a dollar [iTunes $0.99], there is little risk for casual gamers to check out Mr. Dumb Go Down … or of course you could go the totally risk-free way and download the FREE version [iTunes FREE].

Ok ZenuxLab, I’m waiting for a fourth episode to get by Beavis and Butthead fix … Bring It!


Monkeys In Space Delivers Galactic Goodness To Your iPhone

(written by guest author Tim Giron. follow Tim on Twitter @timgiron)

I’ve been playing the latest game from Streaming Colour Studios, Monkeys in Space: Escape to Banana Base Alpha [iTunes] since the day it came out in late November. At the time, I bought it solely based on the reputation of the developer to deliver a solid game. Their other app, Dapple [our review], is one of my favorite games on the iPhone, so I hoped to be similarly entertained with the new offering. And, I am happy to report, I was not disappointed in the least.


The rules are simple: color coded monkeys (red and yellow) need to be guided to their correspondingly colored space station without touching each other (or any of the asteroids which fly about in one of the levels). As the level progresses, the action gets fast and furious, requiring nimble fingers to achieve high score success. The game also utilizes multi-touch, allowing complex maneuvers to be carried out if you possess the appropriate dexterity (or a trusted friend)!


Scoring values are increased when you are able to "chain" together several monkeys of the same color to enter the space station as a connected line. Any monkeys on the same chain are also allowed to touch each other. Three levels are immediately accessible: in Deep Space, it’s just monkeys and space stations; in Planetary Chaos, a gravity inducing planet occupies the center of the screen, warping trajectories and flinging monkeys into each other at high speeds; in Asteroids! you have to avoid collisions with a few space rocks as well. In a mid-December version 1.1 release, a fourth level was added, Threes a Crowd which is unlocked when you have saved 750 monkeys. This advanced level features a third monkey, the large blue baboon which, as you may have guessed is paired with a blue space station.


The game looks fantastic and plays super-smooth. The sound effects and music are also are top-notch. The monkeys panic and begin screeching when they are in imminent danger of colliding, giving you just enough time to attempt evasive action before their "personal space" is invaded. The game also lets you play your own music from the iPod, a feature which is always appreciated. For you high-scoring, competitive types, the game interfaces with the OpenFeint system to record your accomplishments.


Monkeys in Space: Escape to Banana Base Alpha is a great addition to the pantheon of iPhone games, providing an abundance of entertainment value for the price, which at the time of this writing, is just 99 cents [iTunes].


Bounce On For iPhone – 2D Sidescroller That Won Us Over

(written by guest author Connor Coghlan. follow Connor on Twitter @Condawg)

Bounce On, by Team Phobic, is a simple 2D sidescroller. While it doesn’t bring much of anything new to the genre … the game is a quality build, very charming, supported by solid updates from the developers and the 75 levels will keep you coming back for more.


When I first started playing the game, I was a bit skeptical (that’s how I roll). I’m not a big fan of games that require heavy accelerometer usage … they tend to feel clunky and inaccurate. I don’t think I’ve ever loved being WRONG this much! The controls feel refined and natural … this really is a platformer FOR the device. Its natural vibe makes for a very native feel. I’m a big fan of games with good physics and Bounce On definitely shines here.


The premise of the game is straightforward … you are a red ball. You roll around (tilting left and right, with accelerometer-based controls) and jump (by tapping the screen) on enemies. You collect gems and powerups along the way… stars are checkpoints and cannons are the exits of each level.

There are several different kinds of opponents and each acts differently. I’m not going to be a spoiler, but I the enemies are freaking awesome in this game.


One thing I feel is lacking are the graphics … average in my opinion. While this is not a major flaw, it definitely doesn’t do much to contribute to the charm of the game and actually put me off at first.

But it’s like a sweet girl in high school who has a pizza face… get past that rough exterior to the golden center (in this case, the gameplay) and you’ll be rewarded big time. In fact, you probably won’t even notice the off-putting aesthetic aspects and just focus on the good.


And let’s not forget the in-game music … excellent tunes are provided by electronica group, T3KL3R. Very cool stuff which adds an additional element of quality to the game.

At first I thought the Bounce On would get old pretty quickly, but it sucked me in. The game is Plus+ enabled, so achievements and leaderboards are supported. After playing for quite a while, I can tell you with confidence … Bounce On is a game that’s worth your time, money and space on your iDevice. And it seems others agree with me as Bounce On is a finalist in the Best Adventure Game category in the Best App Ever Awards contest. Considering the tens of thousands iPhone games … that is HUGE … congratulations Team Phobic!

Speaking of worth your money … Bounce On is available for $1.99 [iTunes]. No money? No worries! A Lite version available at no charge [iTunes], so no excuse – give it a bounce.


When (8-bit) Dinosaurs Ruled the Land! – C64 For iPhone

(written by guest author Tim Giron. follow Tim on Twitter @timgiron)

Commodore_64 Let us travel back in time, to an age when 64 KB of memory was all that was needed to be a real computer. The year was 1982 when Commodore International introduced the best-selling single personal computer model of all time, the Commodore 64. I got one a couple of years later, when I started college and found it beneficial to have a computer at home for CompSci homework (the labs were always packed during the decent hours). Coupled with a 300 baud modem and a dot matrix printer, this was a system that was ready for action! And it wasn’t all school work, oh no… The C=64 had some of the best games of the era: interactive fiction adventures like Zork, flying games like Choplifter and one of my personal faves, the fighting game Karateka.


And so it was with a sense of nostalgia that I dug into the C64 app by Manomio. Included with the app are 8 games: Dragons Den, Le Mans, International Basketball, International Soccer, International Tennis, Jupiter Lander, Arctic Shipwreck and Jack Attack. I only recalled two of these from "back in the day", so I fired up Dragons Den first. There are 2 different view modes for the games. In portrait mode, the playing screen is pretty small, but you get a clear view of the game controls (namely a joystick and fire button… that’s all we needed back then to have a good time). In landscape mode, the playing screen fills the space and the controls are invisibly overlaid.

C64-Dragons-Den-1  C64-Dragons-Den-2

After several minutes of riding around on a pegasus, I was ready to take the wheel of a formula one racer in Le Mans. In both of these, the gameplay is smooth and the music is appropriately retro. It shouldn’t surprise you that the games play well, the iPhone is much more powerful than the old hardware. For several of the other games, I had to look them up online to figure out the goal. While playing Jupiter Lander, my wife walked by and told me she remembered the game and although neither of us remembered Arctic Shipwreck, it was great fun to trample the people stranded on the ice floe with the woolly mammoth (not the "official" goal of the game, by the way).

c64-11  c64-22

Manomio has done a great job in preserving a grand old platform for a new generation. I fear that licensing will prevent some of the best games from showing up, but I did see that there will be new games (some free, some for in-app purchase) available in the next update (which should be approved next week): Bruce Lee, Laser Squad, Uridium, Paradroid, Druid, Kikstart, Cybernoid, Storm Lord and AlletKat.

At $4.99 [iTunes], C64 is priced appropriately for the entertainment value it provides to fans of the old-school.


Despite Name, Mr. Dumb iChowdown Is Smart iPhone Gaming

(written by guest author Connor Coghlan. follow Connor on Twitter @Condawg)

When Mr. KRAPPS approached me to review another Mr. Dumb game, my immediate reaction was “sweet – another kickass Beavis and Butthead homage! ” In the last Mr. Dumb game I reviewed (Mr. Dumb: Toilet), your main goal was to keep urinals from overflowing and spilling all sorts of nastiness on the bathroom floor. This episode of  Mr. Dumb … iChowdown [iTunes $0.99] …  is a bit more involved as your objective is to feed Mr. Dumb … manually!


You first start by creating and preparing Mr. Dumb’s meal. After a few seconds of this prep work, you begin the eating process … open Mr. Dumb’s mouth WIDE open and shove the tasty grind right into is pie hole.

So what’s next, you ask? Well, the answer is simple… dude can’t swallow the shit whole … you gotto chew, chew, chew. To make Mr. Dumb chew, you drag his chin up and down. Over and over again. Seriously, you are MANUALLY feeding this guy. I meant it when I said it.

Now be careful … some spicy foods will produce little fireballs halfway through the chewing process. When that happens, don’t panic … just chill by tapping the flare-ups a few times to extinguish them.


Naturally, swallowing the food is next. You have to quickly drag your finger through different parts of the digestive system (think guts) to successfully swallow the masticated foodstuffs.

Mr. Dumb then takes a swig of cola. The cola generates carbonation bubbles in his throat which must be popped in a specific order since they are numbered. Actually this bit doesn’t make much sense to me … and I’m no Mr. Dumb … LOL.

After the cola swigging bubble popping segment … repeat and eat more tasty grind.

This game is a ton of fun. It might sound a bit repetitive, I know, but it’s kept me entertained for a gynormous amount of time.

Oh wait … he pukes. I mentioned the barfing, right? No? Hmmm … there is PUKING! Thing is, if you try and shove too much food down his throat, Mr. Dumb will throw it right back up in a green, gooey paste. Now maybe it’s just me, but at this point I could’ve sworn I smelled vomit spewing from my iDevice. Anyways … if you do get all out of control and make Mr. Dumb yak, you will forgo the points for that spewed food. Bummer.


But wait … there is hope if you make Mr. Dumb blow chunks. You can prevent this by pushing the food back in his mouth. The ralphing starts happening in slow motion (doesn’t it always?), with the food sprouting up out of his mouth. If you push it all back to the center, you should be fine, but this is more challenging than it sounds. Just like in real life, once you start puking, it’s tough to make yourself stop. At this point, he may pass out … to save him, you must start slapping the crap out of him. This is probably my favorite part of the game … it’s very satisfying and zen-like. WHACK! – WHACK! – WHACK!


I know KRAPPS normally focuses on the weird, offbeat apps — which this is, without a doubt, but iChowdown is perfect iPhone madness. It’s very well made, extremely polished, includes top-notch graphics and is one heckuv an entertaining game that will keep you coming back for more. I like to think of Mr. Dumb iChowdown as a Kuality KRAPP and a steal at only 99 cents.

There is one more episode of the Mr. Dumb triology … Mr. Dumb Go Down … which I hope Mr. KRAPPS plays it smart and hits me up for a review … if not, WHACK! (stay tuned)


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