Everyone loves the simplicity of old school arcade games. Instead of requiring you to read manuals and tips on the right form of game play, all you needed was patience and skill to master the task at hand and start racking up a score to beat all others. With Grumps by Carl R Andrews, Inc, users will find the same arcade simplicity right on their iPhone or iPod Touch. Grumps simply calls for gamers to avoid the falling objects – a concept that has been attracting (and aggravating) players for generations.
When you begin, Grumps will ask you if you wish to enable OpenFeint, which is an online leaderboard that tracks your achievements and scores, ranking you according to the scores of other players around the globe. With OpenFeint, you can also connect your Facebook and Twitter accounts, posting your latest scores for all your friends to see, possibly encouraging them to get in on the competition with you.
You will then be welcomed with a screen that tells you exactly what you need to do in order to play and excel at Grumps. Simply tilt your device from side to side to help your avatar avoid the Grumps. While hitting Grump faces is taboo, users will want to collect happy faces in order to increase their scores immensely. Yellow smiley faces earn you 1000 points, blue smiley faces are worth 500 points, green smiley faces earn you 250 points and bombs are worth 100 points. Bombs also come in handy when you become surrounded by Grumps and must fend them off quickly to save yourself. Of course, like most games, the difficulty will continue to increase as you play, keeping you on your toes and quite possibly inducing an addiction reminiscent of the arcade style Grumps offers.
This same initial page also provides a Settings button, which allows you to adjust the sounds and effects you hear while playing. Users can conveniently turn the background music and sound effects off, replacing them with the soothing sounds of their own iPod music instead.
Once you are ready, tap the screen anywhere to begin playing. While the graphics are nothing spectacular, the concept is both enticing and aggravating. The game starts with a rather heavy barrage of Grumps, making it immediately difficult to avoid getting hit. However, no matter how difficult, there remains that desire to try again once you’ve died, encouraging you to develop your skill and become a pro. Also, while Grumps are plentiful, those worthwhile smiley faces are few and far between, dropped right in the middle of a collection of Grumps, making it almost impossible to earn an abundance of points.
When you have lost all five of your lives, the game will end and Grumps will inform you of your score, showing you what you just earned as compared to your highest score overall. Grumps will also post your score to OpenFeint, allowing you to see how you rank overall amongst all Grumps players. To return to the main instructional screen, just tap the score screen. To play again, tap the screen again just as you did to start the previous game. Perhaps, with increasing skill and much practice, you may even make it to the top of the Grumps leaderboard yourself!
Grumps requires iPhone OS 3.1 or later and is compatible with iPhone and iPod Touch. A small expedite fee was paid by the developer to speed up the publication of this review.