Monsters University: Catch Archie
Both kids and adults poured into theaters to see Pixar's Monsters University. Disney, meanwhile, gave them something to play in the form of Catch Archie, a free iOS and Android title that serves as an advertising vehicle to a more feature-packed $0.99 video game. Is this digital slice big enough to justify dropping a buck? Yes, but we expected better.
As Mike, players chase after Archie the Scare pig through 10 progressively difficult levels. The developers created this game as an endless runner, but did something quite odd. Rather than put the camera directly behind Mike, they set the perspective at a somewhat awkward angle (not quite isometric) most of the way, probably so users can keep Archie in their sights.
Problem is, there's an obvious touchscreen issue where players swipe left to move Mike in that direction but the angle results in a jump. This usually means smacking into a chalkboard, truck and other obstacles within the environment. It didn't hamper us too much, but we could see younger gamers struggling.
Also strange was the decision to force Mike to the center of the road after a person moves him left or right. We've never seen this sort of thing in running games before, and it makes avoiding those aforementioned obstacles a smidge trickier.
Other elements work better, especially when players grab the elusive pig. From there, the game transitions into a bull riding style mini-game where players tap left/right to keep Mike balanced. We also like the college-style fight music, along with boosts (think power-ups) that help Mike in his travels, like the magnet to attract pennants scattered throughout, and a football helmet that imbues the character with temporary invincibility.
To be fair, Monsters University: Catch Archie is more of a demo than full game. Considering Disney's impressive track record with iOS and Android, though, it falls a bit short.
What's Hot:Frantic running gameplay, boosts that give Mike an edge, crowd-pleasing music.
What's Not:Only 10 stages, weird camera angle, Mike always returns to the center of the board.