Sunday, July 6, 2014

Thoughts on Flintstones Bring Back Bedrock App

Hey guys.  On Friday night I came across a Flintstones app store game in the vein of Simpsons Tapped Out and Family Guy Quest For Stuff.  I guess it was only a matter of time before someone made a time sinker using the modern stone-age family.  This one has come out in May with no fanfare whatsoever. Even the developers site only has a support page for it.  I haven't seen any online reviews, or anything for it either.  Since I am a big fan of the show I decided to share my thoughts on it after playing for a couple of days.

The game starts off with this really nice title screen.  The background image is actual in game art, so you can see the quality is really high right from the start.  I wouldn't know that until 4 hours after downloading the game though, as it wouldn't connect to the server and I couldn't play for that long.  Let me state right here and now, that I FUCKING hate any game maker that feels their title needs to be connected to the net constantly. This goes for Family Guy and Simpsons too.  There is no need for this thing to be connected to the net. Everything is self contained in game.  A company named Ludia created this title. One of the first games I got for the ipod was Popeye Slots. It came out in 2012. I can no longer play Popeye, because Ludia has already taken it off their servers.  Not much of a shelf life!  That doesn't bode well for the Flintstones, especially considering no one knows this thing exists at the moment.

 Like all these games, something has to happen to the town to destroy it, so you can start rebuilding.  With the Smurfs it was a devastating attack by Gargamel.  With Family Guy Peter and the Giant Chicken fought way too much once again.  Both of those fit into the theme of the series.  The Flinstones uses the falling of meteors to clear out the town.  (Though one can only imagine the death toll this would actually cause!!)  It fits and gives you something interesting to clean up as well.

Everyone but Fred decides to abandon Bedrock at this point. It's kind of depressing how quickly they all give up hope on their beloved town.  Gotta really admire Freddy here.  Wilma decides to take Pebbles and go live with an old 'friend.'  What a bitch!!! She shows no sympathy towards Fred at all.  I guess I should note that she is the first one to come back, but still!!! BITCH!

 So you start with just Fred, who's ready to take on rebuilding the whole town.  First he gets a message via telepathy from Mr. Slate, who must, be on vacation, cause he has no idea why Fred hasn't shown up for work for 2 weeks. It's also odd that Fred hasn't really done anything for two weeks.  Hmm...anyway, despite the plight of the town, Mr. Slate is still a dick. He hasn't shown up since and I don't see him as an unlockable either. Maybe he went nuts and after two weeks, he used his last lingering bit of sanity to yell at Flintstone.  Yeah I am thinking way too deeply into this, I know. :P

 So you fix up your cave and you unlock more stuff to place and all that jazz.

 You get money and your maximum wage goes up.  (Whatever that that means.)  All par for the course with these kinds of games.  Can you tell GOLD is the premium currency?  Hoo boy, more on that later.

 Wilma comes running back and demands you build the grocery store.  Good to see we are keeping with the times here Ludia.  Oh well, it fits the shows characters, so I won't complain.  Would be nice if Wilma could get her catering job, or her job as a reporter at the Daily Granite along with the domestic housewife duties.  I doubt the people that made the game even know anything about her past jobs.  

 So you build it and I must say, they have some really well done construction animations.  

For some reason George Jetson, or his early ancestor is running the place. That's just bizarre character designing right there.  Also notice the drop in quality from stock image of Fred to original art of NPC.

 I'll give the game credit in that unlike other titles, most of the stuff you place is interactive with the characters.  Build the table and Fred and Wilma can have a romantic dinner together.  Build the shower and Fred will jump in and scrub-a-dub-dub away!  He even sings a bit. 

The problem?  The voice acting.  While the guys doing Fred and Barney do an admirable job, Wilma is a total loss.  They couldn't get Tress McNiel in on this?  Doesn't that woman do like any job handed to her?  She did a great job in Flinstones on the Rocks.  The woman here isn't even trying to sound like Wilma.  Makes me cringe every time I hear here.  The other thing is, the characters don't really talk to each other during their tasks.  They sputter out mumbo jumbo and baby talk for some reason.  I have no idea why this was done.  Maybe so we wouldn't have to hear the same shit over and over.  It's pretty stupid though. 

They added a ton of animals that perform tasks around the house as well.  Most of those are affordable through in game currency as well.  A nice plus. Like the decorations, many are interactive with the cast.  Those that are not, at least perform a task and have animation and sometimes even dialogue.

The mammoth sprinkler system will water the lawn and get rid of dry patches.  Dry patches often contain premium currency.  

Look out for this mother fucker.  The shysters over at Ludia included this to steal your gold nuggets.  Unlocking this bag will result in you getting crap.  Bastards.  There is a version that  you don't need gold to unlock.  He smiles.  Avoid this frowny fuck completely.  He will appear constantly on your map and in your home.  They really wanted to screw people over with this shit. 

Let's talk about the gold a bit.  I have no problem spending a little cash on a game I like. I have to say, online connection and questionable voice acting aside, the game feels like a lot of effort was put into it. The art is fantastic and the tasks fit the show very well.  But the cost of premium stuff has all but turned me off of this game. Let's face it, the main audience that is gonna be attracted to this game is kids. I am sure a lot of older fans will be playing it too, but I doubt we will make up the majority here.  Well, I mean, I would have thought that till I saw the prices.  Even if you want to buy a couple items, you are looking to spend about $25.  Going through the many menus I found there are already dozens of premium items you can purchase.   No kid is going to have the kind of disposable income capable of purchasing all the stuff on display here. Hell, I don't have that kind of money!  And it get's worse...

 Baby Puss, the only in shop character you can buy costs a whopping 9,001 and one gold.  They just had to add that one at the end?  9000 wasn't enough already?  
To get Baby Puss you would either have to play the game for years, or buy about $100 worth of gold from the store.  Are they out of their rock picking minds?????  Please keep in mind that since the game is tied to an online server, you do not at any time own anything you purchase.  The second the game goes down, all will be lost.  

My conclusion is that, this game has some neat concepts and great animation for these timeless characters, but it's ruined by greedy devs that want to milk you for all you got.   Since it isn't popular I fear they will take the game down while we are still enjoying it.  Just play it without purchasing anything and you should be fine though. 

Next up porn! :P

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