Almost as good as a stack of Truffula berry pancakes.
Most days, seeing a movie-licensed video game sends us running in the opposite direction, since the majority of these poorly-developed titles are the equivalent of virtual torture. That being said, and in a strange twist, The Lorax is good.
How did this happen? We're not entirely sure, though the fact that the game's free for both iPhone and iPad was clearly a smart move. Not only did it set us up to have low expectations (no insult to iOS devs that release free apps on a weekly basis), but it also serves as a promotional vehicle for the film.
With this in mind, we decided to give The Lorax a go and were pleasantly surprised. The game is a physics-based puzzler where the goal is to somehow get a marshmallow onto a grassy hill without the sucker rolling or in some cases flying off screen.
You do this by examining levels, each of which features a stack of objects with the marshmallow on top. You can break wood by tapping it, and from there, it's all about causing a chain reaction, whereupon which rocks smash through glass and boulders slowly tip over columns.
Thing is, the game's a bit more complex. You must also figure out ways to deal with sticky rocks that prevent the marshmallow from reaching its intended destination, along with slippery stones and bouncy pink things that'll send the delicious-looking treat into orbit. Thankfully, the physics are spot-on, and it's easy envisioning what'll happen if you take out the column on the left, or the triangular piece of wood all the way on the bottom.
Meanwhile, The Lorax and buddy Pip the Bar-ba-loot watch your every move, with the characters going through limited animations. Succeed, and you stand to earn up to three marshmallows (think gold stars) for the effort. Fail, and The Lorax grunts.
Is it the deepest, most complex game on the App Store? Of course not. You can plow through the entire thing in a few hours, maybe less. On the flip side, The Lorax was more entertaining than we expected, and the fact that we didn't have to spend a dime was key. A treat indeed.
What's Hot: Excellent physics, challenging puzzles, cut scenes featuring The Lorax and friends, free to play.
What's Not: A bit short, not exactly the most original idea, no universal edition.