iBailout!! Review

With a major recession occurring in the United States, the lifestyles of its citizens has become increasingly complicated. Money is tight, unemployment is high and striving toward the “American Dream” seems to be an impossible feat. Well, like developer Marroni Electronic Entertainment and NightIrion say, even if you’ve lost your job and your house there is a shimmer of hope as long as you own and iPhone or iPod Touch. iBailout!! has hit the iPhone gaming scene with a sarcastic yet comedic view at the government. A great game mocking today’s political and economic toil, it’s sure to brighten up the faces of angry citizens and gamers alike.

Players control “The Fed” (a.k.a. the Federal Reserve and yes, you play the actual building), as they run around the city stealing not only money from the citizens, but their HDTV’s, laptops, sports cars, etc. However, the people know this is wrong so they have decided to join forces. Grabbing their pitchforks and torches, the angry mob chases down The Fed with a vengeance. But The Fed isn’t defenseless by any means. Declaring martial law will empower The Fed and send the angry mob running for their lives! And that is pretty much it. Sure, it’s a simple plot but for this type of game, it delivers what the player needs. The overarching tones and style of gameplay definitely helps set the comedic mood of the game, especially when one views a cutscene that parodies the Ms. Pac-Man “They Meet” moment signifying The Fed and Congress meeting for the first time.

Anyone who has played Pac-Man (which is basically everyone) will instantly recognize this type of gameplay. Players move their character around the pathways trying to eat every bit of cash lying around. Once this has been completed, The Fed will continue on to the next level. There are special items which I stated earlier such as HDTV’s and laptops that give the player a higher score. The score is laughable as it rises to ridiculous amounts of money way over billions. As the game progresses, there are short cutscenes which are basically Ms. Pac-Man scenes with government characters. The enemies in the game are the citizens who have formed a mob to take out The Fed. They travel in groups of three or more and later in the game there are multiple groups roaming the streets which can increase the difficulty quite a bit. The playing can defend his or herself by declaring martial law which allows The Fed to eat the members of the mob. This can be done by collecting one of the M-16’s scattered around the level.

By now, many will definitely believe that this is a Pac-Man clone and in many ways it is. Sure, developers should be trying out new ideas but the simple fact is that Pac-Man is fun for a reason and so is iBailout!!.  The game takes the cute look of Pac-Man and exchanges it with a satirical look at the United States government. The best part is that this idea works and had me smirking and sometimes laughing at the material it used.

The game does have some flaws, however. The two types of controls are tilt, which makes use of the iPhone’s and iPod Touch’s accelerometer as The Fed moves in the direction the device is tilted toward, and swipe, which allows the player to swipe their finger across the screen controlling the direction of The Fed. Tilt doesn’t react very well at all which made gameplay extremely frustrating. After a couple complete failures, I immediately switched to swipe. Swipe responded much better but it still isn’t perfect. There were a couple times when I clearly dashed my index finger across the screen and The Fed just ignored my control moving in what way he saw fit. This especially hurt the ego when The Fed gave me the cold shoulder only to run head first into the mob (Hey Fed, that’s called karma!). Another fault the game has is the inability to pause the game mid-playthrough. This means players must complete a level once they start. This is a letdown since there was no way I could pause the game quit to the main menu. Instead, I had to go back to my iPod Touch menu and restart the application. Does this ruin the experience? No. Is it irritating when you just want to change the sound option or controls and you have to start the application over again? You bet.

The sound in the game is enjoyable to listen to. There isn’t a great deal of variety but the patriotic tunes and shouts of the mob give life to the game. My favorite is listening to The Fed yell, “Let’s bailout!” before every level.

iBailout!! is a game I recommend purchasing on the iPhone or iPod Touch. It will easily deliver an enjoyable and comedic experience to those who give it a try. With the Pac-Man style and the sarcastic look at the United States government, this title is definitely something that should be checked out by many. It definitely isn’t the next jaw-dropping affair to hit the touch screen but with only minor flaws and splendid gameplay, it is worth the $1.99 price tag. The game was even nominated for Best of 2009 Apps on the iPhone. In the end, if you can look past some small issues and, of couse, political and economical turmoil, it’s time to eat money, run from angry mobs, declare martial law, and “bailout!!”

[xrr rating=3.5/5]

Article from Gamersyndrome.com

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3 Comments - Write a Comment

  1. Hey, all.

    Thanks for the solid review and I’m glad that you liked iBailout!! so much–we’ll see what we can do about that pause button.

    Here’s a swipe controls tip for you:

    iBailout!! SWIPE CONTROLS TIP #W-4:

    Our swipe controls are sweet: You can swipe anywhere on the screen to move the Fed, not just on the road or the Fed’s current direction (iBailout!!’s about $1,000,000,000,000.00x easier when using your index finger too). Also, you can swipe ahead of time (one swipe’ll do it) and it’ll store that move until exactly the right time to execute it, so you’re able to input very quick maneuvers and navigate multiple abrupt corners with ease. Cool, huh?

    And, folks, MEE is really so awesome as to have its very own (and official, too) Facebook page and Twitter account. Come get down with us:


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