Corpse Granny, a zombie-themed physics puzzler developed by Fresh Gem and published by Bulkypix, is now available from the app store. With a great cartoonish presentation and nice level design, Corpse Granny’s gameplay is enjoyable enough to overcome its awful scoring system.
Corpse Granny HD Pros:
- Appealing cartoon graphics and interesting level design
- Upbeat funhouse-style soundtrack
- Responsive touch controls and multiple interactive elements
- Level editor
- OpenFeint integration
Corpse Granny HD Cons:
- Awful scoring system
- Physics seem a bit slow
- Some crashing issues and OpenFeint connection issues
Corpse Granny contains 45 levels spread evenly across 3 environments: Stonehenge, Pirate Ship, and Police Station. A level editor and user-created level section are unlocked once you complete the three locations. The goal of each level is to extinguish all of the stationary zombies by causing orbs, boxes, boulders, cannonballs, and other objects to come into contact with them. You accomplish this via Cut The Rope-style mechanics, swiping through ropes, chains, and energy strands that initially suspend orbs in place. The orbs come in a variety of flavors, such as fiery balls, super bouncy orbs, unstable orbs that disappear after touching hard surfaces three times, and tilt-controlled orbs that can stretch their energy strands for increased reach, a detail that eluded us early on and left us scratching our heads over a single puzzle for an inordinate amount of time.
There are also a number of environmental objects to interact with, like catapults, spinning wheels, air cannons, exploding boxes, cranks that shorten or lengthen ropes, etc. A tap of your finger will activate catapults and cannons, while spinning wheels must simply be dealt with and exploding boxes are detonated upon contact. Often, you’ll need to pull off several specific maneuvers in a set order with impeccable timing. Speed is of the essence if you want to earn the most points and pick up all 3 gems in a level. This is the game’s greatest shortcoming, as a timer begins counting down the moment the selected level become available for interaction. The gems are tied to the amount of time that it takes to complete the level, leaving several of the levels nearly impossible to earn a full slate of gems on. Replays are necessary to even stand a chance, requiring memorization and immediate action. Even then, the slow orb rolls and reliance on a good deal of luck still leave us feeling that 3 gems just aren’t in the cards on a number of levels. It’s a frustrating feeling for those of us who enjoy perfecting these types of puzzles, causing a very sour first impression. However, the level design and variety of gaming mechanics kept us engaged through to the end despite our annoyance with the scoring.
Graphically, the cartoony nature of the game is appealing, and the animations are good. The menu system shows a great deal of character and polish, which builds the expectations for the game. It certainly delivers. The physics are decent, though the orbs feel a bit slow on the whole. Zombies themselves react to being swiped. Brains pop out of one type’s head, while another’s jaw drops. It’s all in fun, and the various elements work well in concert with each other. The soundtrack has an upbeat, silly feel that has a funhouse feel to it. It fits the game style perfectly and adds a lot to the overall experience. Swipes and taps are responsive and intuitive, though there were occasional moments where the obvious interactive object blends into the backdrop.
Replay value is decent, though it feels futile to replay many of the levels with the goal of snagging missing gems or earning additional points. The level editor goes a long way toward adding replayability, though it requires creating an account through Fresh Gem. More levels are teased for future updates, too. OpenFeint integration brings leaderboards and achievements into play. While certainly serviceable on the smaller-screened devices, at times it feels that the game is just a bit cramped and slightly smaller than would be comfortable. The extra real estate afforded by the iPad makes it feel like the best fit for the game. At $2.99 for the HD version (or $0.99 for the SD version), Corpse Granny is a fun 3.5-Dimple offering.
Corpse Granny HD Review,