Some of the most active movie studios in the application space are Paramount Studios, Sony Pictures and Warner Bros. Here is a look at what they are doing, along with an apples-to-apples review of one of their most popular superhero applications.
Paramount has created a solid number of applications for its movies. At the top of the list is “Top Gun” ($1.99), with more action from “The Shooter” (99 cents/free), followed by “Iron Man” (99 cents/free). Even with popular and current action titles such as “Star Trek” ($1.99) and “GI Joe” (free), Paramount’s application repertoire is not all about guns and speed. For example, there is the “Clueless” (99 cents) role playing game; ghost hunting with “Paranormal Activity” (free); learning music with “School of Rock” (99 cents); and dancing the night away with “Saturday Night Fever” (99 cents).
- Number of Paramount movie releases in 2008 and 2009: 33
- Total Paramount movie applications: 14
- Overall grade: B+ (Good range of titles and formats at reasonable prices.)
Review – “Iron Man: Aerial Assault” (99 cents/free): I expected Iron Man’s free version to easily be as fun to play as Warner’s mediocre “Batman” premium application. Unfortunately, this is not the case. Just picking up the game and playing is not so easy, especially, when there aren’t any instructions, and it takes too many taps just to start a game. The art is good, but the controls are limited and the exhilaration of flying is not really captured.
Switch to the premium version and the game is a little better due to the multiple levels available – if you are good/patient enough. There still aren’t any instructions, but there are a couple of tutorials you are forced to go through, which do help. Overall, this was a tough one to intuitively and quickly have fun with and it never made me feel like I can fly.
Grade: B (premium version); C (free version)
Sony has a limited number of movie applications which includes a puzzle game for “Angels & Demons” (99 cents), along with a number of fighting/shooting games for “Pelham 123” (free), “Underworld” (free), the very popular “Zombieland” (99 cents), as well as two applications for 2012, a 99-cent adventure game and a free trivia survival quiz. Other titles include a “Ghost Busters” (99 cents) game that looks like it materialized straight out of the 1980s; a simple “blender” activity for “Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs” (free); another kid-oriented hide ‘n’ seek game for “Planet 51” (free); and a multiplayer application for “James Bond” (99 cents). And that is it – that is every movie title Sony has to offer.
- Number of Sony and Sony Classics movie releases in 2008 and 2009: 81
- Total Sony movie applications: 10
- Overall grade: C+ (Not enough choices and several of them could use more substance.)
Review – “Zombieland” (99 cents): “Tallahassee” might not yet have attained classic superhero status, but his talent for killing zombies is superhuman enough and translates into a solid fighting game. There are a few disconnects though, such as going through several doorways where nothing new happens and you find yourself where you started. The game is a bloody one, with multiple weapons like guns and chainsaws. The controls are well done and varying levels of difficulty make Zombieland the best application of those reviewed here. There is no free version, but if you are going to pay for something, this game is a good choice. It also includes a nice feature that allows the player to select a song from their personal collection and play it in the background. My choice was “Achilles Last Stand” by Led Zeppelin.
Warner likes the Batman, offering up two versions: a “Dark Night” driving game (99 cents); as well as the “Lego-Batman” application that is packed with a number of “minigames” (99 cents/free). And there are even more superhero adventures to be had – though not all of them cheap – including two completely separate “Watchmen” experiences (one for $4.99 and the other free) and two separate “Harry Potter” applications ($2.99 and free), along with Sherlock Holmes (99 cents/free) and Ninja Assassin ($2.99). For “Terminator” fans, while there aren’t any games, there are five graphic novels to read. The first is free, with each new edition at 99 cents.
- Number of Warner movie releases in 2008 and 2009: 53
- Total Warner movie applications: 12
- Overall grade: B– (More titles should be represented and the prices are higher than average.)
Review – “The Dark Knight: Batmobile Game” (99 cents): This game does not come in a free version and I must admit I expected a little more. It is kind of fun, but not very addicting and can even be a tad monotonous, since you need to keep playing the same track over and over until you make it to the bonus round. A couple of jumps are cool and there should have been more special effects such as this. There is not enough gunplay and there is no mission defined. Like “Iron Man,” this game cannot be bothered to provide instructions. Also, some of the design elements get in the way, namely the perennial “auto-pilot disabled” message that blocks the lower part of the screen – right where the Batmobile is positioned. And if you search for the game under “Batman” in the App Store it will not appear, so you must search either “Dark Knight” or “Warner."
Grade: B– (If this game was free it would have rated no better.)
This article can also be found at Mobile Marketer.