Version Reviewed: 1.01
Device Reviewed On: iPhone 4
Graphics / Sound Rating:
Game Controls Rating:
Replay Value Rating:
Stress balls have been around for countless years, taking the edge off any high pressure situation. Sometimes though, squeezing a stress ball just isn't enough. This is where Kick the Buddy Episodes hits the spot, especially if the stress has been caused by the holiday season.
Kick the Buddy Episodes dispenses with storytelling and complex game mechanics. Instead, it's all about beating up Santa Claus. Sounds a little cruel, doesn't it? While the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Santas might not be too impressed with such behavior, it is a quick and fun way to de-stress.
With a festive background and consistently smiley Santa, the player gets the chance to cause all kinds of destruction courtesy of an array of different seasonal items. The controls are simple. Just tap and drag the relevant item around so as to attack Santa. Items range from ornaments and snowballs that can be shot at the jolly man to heftier items such as stockings and Christmas trees to bludgeon him with. Despite the violent tone, there's no sign of blood or anything like that, with Santa simply exclaiming from time to time in disgust.
With each blow, the player earns money which can be put towards unlocking more means to attack Santa. These are as elaborate and as seasonal as a gingerbread man, fireworks and even a snow gun. Other weaponry such as fireworks or antlers can be unlocked with in-app purchases of $0.99 but it's not essential. More crucial to stress relief, the player can also import a photo of someone from their photo library to make the suffering that bit more personal if they want.
Kick the Buddy Episodes is a simple concept but a fun one. At a time of year when we're all encouraged to be so festive yet are consistently stressed out, it's a fun way to take a break. I do question its longevity over time though, something that could have been solved by adding a few simple aims and objectives.