Developer: Elevate Entertainment
Price: FREE
Version Reviewed: 1.0
App Reviewed on: iPhone 5

Graphics / Sound Rating: ★★½☆☆
Gameplay Rating: ★★☆☆☆
Playtime Rating: ★★☆☆☆
Replay Value Rating: ★★½☆☆

Overall Rating: ★★½☆☆

Though the free-to-play game model has been beneficial for many new game developers, experienced game players tend to creep up to “free” games as cautiously as a fox approaching a baited trap. The reason why is demonstrated quite literally in FFFFF2P by Elevate Entertainment: the second someone starts up a “free” game, there’s an excellent chance they’ll get slammed by ads.

FFFFF2P is a simple action/arcade game that doubles as humorous commentary on the state of the free-to-play market. Players are boxed into a narrow arena that’s lorded over by a princess-kidnapping ogre named Ug. Ug floats high above the arena (he appears to have stolen Lakitu’s cloud from Super Mario Bros) and throws advertisement blocks down on the player. Players must dodge the blocks or stomp on them, then collect the coins left behind. If an ad falls on the player, the game is over.

FFFFF2P makes an amusing point, but that’s not enough to make up for the fact it’s a pretty standard action game with some significant control issues. Jumps feel very floaty and weightless, which makes for difficult movements and unsatisfying ad-stomping. By contrast, when Mario jumps on an enemy, his movements have a heaviness that feel like they’d indeed be deadly for small walking mushrooms – evil turtles and the like.

fffff2p_03fffff2p_05Worse, the game is constantly stuck in portrait mode, which is kind of a nightmare for action games that feature two directional arrows and a jump button.

Players can pick up coins and purchase consumable items (like candy that makes players jump higher – exactly what they don’t need), but these items are pretty expensive and tend to vanish after one use. These piffling items, combined with the repetitive action, make FFFFF2P pretty lackluster.

On the plus side, players can simply buy the Princess’s freedom and call it a day. Ug has the Princess’s ransom pegged at $2.99 or one million coins, however, and it’s doubtful many players will be wild enough about FFFFF2P‘s message to spend actual money on it.

Looks like the Princess and Ug are going to be in each other’s company for a long, long time.

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