Posted by: iRob in Reviews, iPad apps, iPhone apps, iPhone apps - 2$, iPhone apps - Free
London 2012, from developer and publisher Neowiz, is more than just another sports game app. It’s the one and the only officially authorized mobile game dedicated to celebrating and experiencing the 2012 London Olympics.
With the honor of being officially affiliated with the greatest athletics event worldwide, this little app has a great deal to live up to. Each and every user who downloads it is going to have high expectations for the game that bears the responsibility of representing the Olympics on mobile devices everywhere. London 2012 lives up to those standards and then some. Players create their own athlete avatar (they can save up to three characters at a time) and develop them through training, set records, and face off against their Facebook friends.
One example of the game’s exceptional design is the control system. When your athlete competes, accelerating, completing event requirements, and other athletic activities are achieved through a very simple, very easy to learn rhythm based control system. For example, when running or swimming, two indicators appear on each side of the screen. To move forward, they need to be tapped alternately; for me, using my thumbs was most comfortable. Right, left, right, left. Your athlete goes faster as you manage to tap faster—but you have to keep that perfect right-left-right-left going. Two taps in a row or two taps at the same time equal your athlete falling, stumbling, or otherwise faltering and losing the lead.
Learning how to play is effortless, racking up wins is another matter. There are three modes of play: Training, Olympic, and Challenge, and each are played similarly but have different goals. Training helps develop your athlete’s stats, and helps you level. Olympic and Challenge modes earn coins (and medals and bragging rights). For each event, you’ll have to use “stamina,” an in-game energy currency that regenerates over time, with the exception of training. You have the option to train without using stamina, but you won’t receive the same stat improvements and level progressions. Olympic events represent the actual Olympic competitions and give you the opportunity to go for the gold; Challenge events pose a specific goal oriented challenge (complete the 100 meter dash in less than XX seconds, for example); you can also compete against your Facebook contacts.
Visually, the game isn’t aiming for uber-realism. Instead, it’s a colorful, 3D animated cartoon-style affair with great character design and representations of the real London venues. Speaking of character design, one of the game’s finest features is the ability to express yourself by customizing your avatar. You can choose from a wide variety of countries to represent, ethnicities, face types, hair types, and more. Of course, you can also choose to be male or female. Add that to the fact that you can use your coins in the shop to customize your personal gear, and the combinations are endless. The game’s audio includes all of the announcer narrative, crowd cheering, and applause you’d want in an upbeat Olympic-themed game.
The premium version is available for download now in the iTunes App Store for $2.99; plus, there’s a free version available. The main benefit of the paid version is the healthy budget of coins you have in your bank right off the bat. London 2012 is a great way to participate in Olympic fever. It’s challenging enough to appeal to those who play sports games year-round, and it’s just as fun for the casual player.