A movie about video games obviously has to have its own video game tie-in. Disney has launched Wreck-It Ralph games on all platforms reflecting different aspects of the movie. The movie stars John C. Reilly as the voice of Ralph, a video game villain who tries to become a hero in other video games, but causes more trouble doing so. What happens when Ralph invades your iOS device? Let’s find out.
Wreck-It Ralph opens in Game Central Station, the movie’s holding area where characters escape their own games and visit other games. In Game Central Station, you can choose from the currently available mini-games, and see what new games are coming soon. I can basically review each of the first three mini-games on their own.
Fix-It Felix Jr. has already been released in anticipation of the movie. Fix-it Felix Jr. is the game Ralph comes from, a Donkey Kong spoof where Ralph stomps on a building and Felix climbs up it fixing the windows with his magic hammer. It’s no classic of Donkey Kong’s merit but it’s so nice to see a new simple 8 bit arcade style game in this genre.
The controls on this Fix-It Felix Jr. are better than the standalone Fix-It Felix Jr. game. Now there is a virtual joystick on the touchscreen that just makes it easier to maneuver Felix around. The previous version had arrow keys that would just get me stuck. Otherwise it’s the same game, and you can keep fixing buildings until you lose all your lives. They’ve made the game a little easier too. They ease you into the crazier levels rather than springing them on you right away.
Sugar Rush Sweet Climber is the game I wanted Sonic Jump to be. Though in the movie, Sugar Rush is a racing game, they did not build a go-kart racer into the iOS game. Instead, they’ve taken a scene in which Ralph climbs the candy cane trees and made a jumping game where you bounce off the branches and ascend vertically, collecting candy on your way up. You control Ralph’s direction just by tilting the phone, which is a pleasantly mellow exercise.
This jumping game is way more fun and less infuriating than Sonic Jump, where they just threw so much at you it was impossible to get anywhere. This is the right pace to give you a feeling of height and momentum, but allowing you to plan your strategy. You can wrap around the screen, exiting left and reappearing right or vice-versa. Blue striped branches break like in the movie, so they’re only good for one bounce, and the screen does follow you up so if you fall off the bottom of the screen, that ends your game.
Hero’s Duty is a first person shooter in the movie, but in the iOS game it is a top down arcade game. I actually like this way better because there are too many FPS games as it is. I’d rather have a simple arcade shooter.
The controls here are like SmashTV which I just referenced in my Zombiewood review but they work much better in Hero’s Duty. There are two virtual joysticks, the left makes Sergeant Calhoun (Jane Lynch in the movie), walk, and the right makes her shoot in any direction. You can walk backwards or sideways while shooting in 360 degrees at the Cy-bugs coming after you. It feels more omni-directional, at least in the simple chambers of this minigame, and it’s fun.
These are three great minigames so far, and I can’t wait to see what the fourth one is all about. It’s called Turbo Time, which was a Pole Position spoof in the movie. They can keep adding new updates indefinitely, though they will probably be timed to the DVD release of the movie and other marketable tie-ins. It’s all good though. This gives me my arcade fix and gives the Wreck-It Ralph characters some fun new adventures.