1. cjvitek's Avatar
    Prep and Landing, by Walt Disney
    $0.99, ***1/2


    • Ties in to the GREAT new holiday TV special
    • Multiple games

    • Tools feature is a disappointing
    • Games are a little simplistic

    Prep and Landing is the GREAT new holiday TV special created by Disney. For those who havent seen it, I can only hope it will replay for you. If you havent seen it watch it.

    And of course, with any new movie or TV show, there is now an iPhone tie in. Bring in the Prep and Landing iPhone game. Quick summary of the TV show Prep and Landing is the elite squadron of elves that prepares Santas landing sites (houses) for the big guys arrival. In the app, you get to play three different games a skiing game, put the kids back to sleep, and a deployment game.

    The skiing game is pretty straight forward. You are one of the elves, skiing along the rooftops trying to pick up treasures along the way. Using the iPhone, you can jump, speed up, or slow down. As you move across the roof tops, you need to watch out for things like chimneys and gaps between the houses.

    The second game involves you, as the elf, making sure not a creature is stirring. When you see a creature (ie, Timmy the boy or a dog) you use your magic dust to put them back to sleep (simply by tapping the screen where they are). Dont tap your partner elf (Wayne) who might appear that causes you to lose lives. As the levels progress, it becomes faster and faster.

    The third game is the deployment leaving your transport (presumably pulled by the mythical reindeer Thrasher), you have to parachute down to your assigned house. As you drop, you need steer either using your finger or tilting the iPhone back and forth. Obstacles like planes and kites get in your way (who flies a kite on Christmas eve?) and pick up presents along the way.

    The games are fun, and mean more for people who have seen the holiday special. But like many of these kinds of games (quick apps meant to capitalize on a TV or movie) they are a little one dimensional and can get old. They do show an increasing level of difficulty as your progress, however, which makes them a little more interesting.

    The game also includes some prep and landing tools. In the special, the elves has a special Gingerbread man PDA for various activities (scanning to see if there are creatures stirring, testing the temperature of the milk left for Santa, etc). The app does include some tools that the elves use. This is one area where I feel the game is a bit of a letdown. It would have awesome to have a fake gingerbread man PDA screen with the various options, but instead we have a Santa compass, a scanner to determine naughty or nice (which we can upload) and a world map showing all the naughty and nice percentages. They could have included more fake features and it would have been more fun. I mean, cmon, a Santa compass?

    All in all this app is fun, more so if you have seen the TV special, but it still lacks that something to make it a long term proposition. The references to the movie are great, but the games dont really have a lot to do with the movie (just sort of based on things that happened in passing) and they really dropped the ball on the PDA tools. At $.99 it is not much money, and kids who have seen the special may really enjoy it, but after Christmas the app is not really going to get that much play. Three and a half out of five stars.

    Rating scale:

    * = No redeeming qualities or features, probably not worth it even if it is free
    ** = Few redeeming qualities, or is simply isn't worth the price
    *** = Some good features but also some clear flaws.
    **** = A solid app, worth the money if interested, a few flaws or problems or slightly overpriced
    ***** = Top of the line app, no problems or drawbacks.

    Price is factored into the ratings. Ratings are lowered if I feel the price of the app outweighs the benefits/enjoyment/features it provides. Likewise, an app that is a good value for the money will have a higher rating.[ATTACH]Attachment 4279[/ATTACH]
    12-18-2009 01:30 PM