Developer: Gamechanger World
Price: $0.99
Version Reviewed: 1.01
Device Reviewed On: iPhone 4S

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

Overall Rating: ★★★½☆

Grindcore is a game, but that’s not the most important part of its identity. It really exists to promote Senses Fail, a New Jersey punk band with a new album out. The game is flawed, but considering what its actual purpose is its relative quality becomes almost impressive.

IMG_0604[1]Replace the bird in Tiny Wings with the skateboarding members of Senses Fail and there’s Grindcore. Speed down slopes and let up at the right time to move as far, high, and effortlessly as possible while performing stunts. Mastering this rhythm is as addictive as ever, and while the controls aren’t quite as smooth as Tiny Wings, both could still learn a thing from the true originator of this mechanic: the cape from Super Mario World. It’s the kind of game that’s always coaxing player to do just one more run, and the only thing that may get in their way are the occasionally unresponsive menu buttons.

IMG_0605[1]By collecting coins and fulfilling achievements players can purchase a few minor upgrades like modifications to the slopes, new tricks, boost power-ups, and stamina-replenishing oxygen. But the most frequent unlockables by far are simply facts about Senses Fail. Maybe this is supposed to endear players to the band though, seeing as the in-game skateboarding versions of the members just look like generic, chibi, bearded white dudes. In fact, most of the visuals could stand to be a little more interesting. The purposefully fake-looking city backdrops create a cool music video feeling, and the day/night transition that separates the different stages is slick, but overall the look is sparse. The music may be punk, and the sound design straight out of a skate park sounds great, but the visuals are lacking that same manic and rebellious creativity.

Still, Grindcore could’ve easily been a throwaway piece of promotion or glorified swag. Fortunately it’s pretty good. And more importantly, it’s good on its own merits.


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