South Park Imaginationland
Butters stars in this overpriced but enjoyable South Park puzzle game.
Forgive us for not reviewing RealNetworks' South Park Imaginationland sooner, but we couldn't drop $9.99 on an App (which released July 11) based on a TV show. Call us jerks or whatever you feel is appropriate, but after years of licensed crap, we couldn't open our wallets and exchange an Alexander Hamilton for a swift kick in the groin. Fortunately, RealNetworks hooked us up with a copy and surprise, Imaginationland is actually good. Fancy that.
Imaginationland is based on three South Park episodes in which Cartman and his crew visit a magical place of the same name. In this game, however, you only play as Butters, and it's his job (more like yours) to solve puzzles, collect rainbows and do so before time runs out. To do this, you bounce him around the game's 60 plus stages with your finger, swiping in the direction you want him to go. You cannot do this liberally, however, because in order to move, Butters needs imagination powder that he collects whenever he bounces into walls or touches the floor.
Puzzles start out easy enough, as you effortlessly maneuver around the playfields collecting rainbows. Later on, though, you're met with various obstacles that require some wit to get past. Again, if you run out of powder it's game over, so you'll need some quick thinking in order to succeed.
That being said, and if you're a moron, you'll be happy to know that South Park Imaginationland doesn't require much brain power. Despite having so many stages, it's not difficult, and you should be able to breeze through the game in just a couple of hours.
The touch screen controls work great, but we can't help but wish RealNetworks ditched that control scheme in favor of tilting the iPhone. It'd be so much more enjoyable maneuvering Butters by moving the device around as opposed to smudging the screen with our oily fingers. This is especially bizarre considering that the game, before the start of each puzzle, lets you examine a level by tilting the iPhone back and forth.
There's also the $9.99 price issue. That's a lot to spend on an easy puzzle game. Sure, Imaginationland is fun and cool looking, but for that kind of scratch, we'd like more characters and content. So while it's not a bad game, we suggest you wait for a price drop. Just hope that's not a permanent figment of your imagination.
What's Hot: Butters, rainbows, interesting puzzles, excellent touch screen swiping, cool South Park graphics.
What's Not: Too easy, costs a whopping $9.99.