Money, money, money…
Developed by Marroni Electronic Entertainment and NightIrion, and published by Hands-On Mobile, iBailout!! is suggested to be the answer to the current doom and gloom regarding the worlds economic environment. Could this “new-school” arcade game on the iPhone really make us feel better about our finances?
In iBailout!!, the player takes on the role of the Federal Reserve, the central bank of the US. As the Fed, it is up to you to suck every penny possible from the citizens and rack up a score in the trillions of dollars.
Each level is represented with a map that is strewn with piles of cash. Your goal is to gather up all of these piles in order to complete the level and move onto the next. Trying to stop this will be mobs of angry American citizens, whose only purpose in life is to prevent you from achieving your goal. But fear not, player, as martial law is only an assault rifle away. Gather up a weapon and turn the tables on the angry mobs. Chase them down and reduce their numbers, but be careful not to split the mob, because two mobs are more difficult to avoid than one.
As you gather the stacks of cash from each map, you can watch in delight as the buildings on the map become dilapidated and derelict, due to the lack of cash. Also the angry mob will grow as you leech more cash from their community. Should you fall foul of the mobs and lose all of your lives, do not fear. As usually seems to happen, a bailout option will be available to save you. Roam a special “golden parachute” map and collect as many as possible, in order to earn numerous extra lives.
The option of two different control schemes is available. Are you a swiper or a tilter? Either swipe Fed in the direction you want him to move, or turn on the tilt option and have Fed move in conjunction with your iPhone movements. The game features 10+ unique maps, high-end consumer bonus items to collect and an online global leaderboard to show off your accomplishments.
Ok, first things first, before we get onto the gameplay and such. This game offers a satirical poke at the Federal Reserve and the US economic situation. I am not a US citizen, and I live in the UK, so some of the humour is kinda lost on me. Either way, you can see where MEE and NightIrion are coming from.
The gameplay will be easily recognised by most gamers. This game is a Pac-Man clone. This is not a bad thing, mind you. Pac-Man is a much loved game by many and iBailout!! certainly does a good job of paying homage to the classic game. Move around the map, gathering cash and avoiding the mob. grab guns to allow you to eat mob members, and luxury items for bonus points. The gameplay is pretty simple and quite fun. There are plenty of extra lives available, but that does not mean that the game is a breeze. It is all about the score at the end of the day, and getting a high placing on the global leaderboard.
Controls on the iPhone are a place where a game can slip up, and I actually have a couple of niggles with this game. There are two methods in iBailout!! and they both have their problems. The swipe method is perhaps not as sensitive as it could be, as I quite often found myself swiping repeatedly in order to get Fed to respond. The tilt method works better, but obviously means that the screen must be tilted away from the players view. This is perhaps not ideal. I also found that the screen would turn off due to lack of tactile input, so the occasional tap on the screen was required. But these niggles may be addressed in an update. *Edit – The developer has indeed confirmed that the screen turning off problem will be addressed in an update, and they may include a tutorial for the swipe controls.*
The game is graphically fairly simple. Although not as colourful as classic Pac-Man, the looks fit well with the theme. The way that the environments deteriorate as you gobble the cash is a nice touch. The Fed sprite is not easily recognisable though. In fact it took me a while to work out what it actually was. There are some nice little cut scenes inbetween the levels.
The sounds in the game are annoyingly funny. Everytime that Fed eats a wad of cash, the word money can be heard, and before long the rythmic sound of “money,money, money” will be ringing in your ears. From the yelling of the mob, to the simple background tunes, the sounds on this game are guaranteed to annoy those around you, but somehow feel justified when playing the game. Let those around you suffer!
So, what you have here is a well made game with a couple of problems, based on a tried and tested formula. However, there is something strangely addictive about it. The temptation to continually better your score is high, and you come away from a session feeling pleased with yourself. Maybe its the simple gameplay, maybe its the built in humour, or maybe its the hypnotic sounds. Whatever it is, this game is difficult to put down.
Find iBailout!! on the iTunes app store here for Â£1.19
Marroni Twitter – @marronigames