The genius behind Parappa the Rapper finally returns to gaming. Too bad the resulting game doesn't measure up.
We have busy schedules that don't leave much time for potential. If your game doesn't wow us within the first 30 minutes, especially when it comes to iPhone titles, it's tough to remain interested. Case in point, WINtA, a free App from ngmoco and celebrated designer Masaya Matsuura, of Parappa the Rapper fame. On paper, this seems like a legendary pairing. In practice, it's one of the most boring music titles we've played.
The whole concept revolves around a series of squares that appear on screen. During play, you'll see some of these shapes turn white (it's a gradual process that occurs from the inside out). As soon as the game highlights a square, you press it and listen as the music changes; sometimes, you'll need to hit two at the same time.
While not revolutionary by any means (kind of dry, actually), it's a simple concept that works, given the platform and the casual audience it seemingly targets, but here's where things turn sour. First, because it's free, that means putting up with advertising that interferes with the game's personality. We don't need to see that while navigating the main menu.
Second, WINtA only comes with one free song, which was composed by Masaya Matsuura. To download additional music, you'll need to fork over $0.99 per track.
Now on the positive side, the money goes to charity, which is a nice touch. That said, you can't preview these songs in-game. You need to launch iTunes. In addition, the creators threw the concept of mainstream out the window, featuring artists we've never heard of. To make matters worse, there's only a handful (three, at best) songs available, not exactly on the same level as Rock Band or Guitar Hero.
The biggest omission, though, is the inability to incorporate our iTunes libraries into the game. That would have made WINtA more interesting.
For all we know, the developers may release additional songs and the game may became entertaining. For now, however, it's a shallow and uninspired addition to the music genre. Sorry, but we're not hip to WINtA's beat.
Requirements: Compatible with iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4, iPod Touch (3rd generation), iPod Touch (4th generation) and iPad. Requires iOS 3.0 or later.
What's Hot: Free, one cool song.
What's Not: Only one free song, additional songs cost $0.99 and feature unrecognizable artists, boring push button concept, annoying ads.