Version Reviewed: 1.0.1
Device Reviewed On: iPhone 4S
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Many companies have used iOS apps in different ways to market their products and services. Some offer tools while others offer access to content. Some even release games related to their products. Often, these marketing games end up being throw away titles that are only a thinly veiled attempts at getting a brand in front of consumers. While Lol-a-Coaster is a game that is ultimately meant to market the Chupa Chups brand of lollipops, it offers players much more than just a chance to sit and stare at branding while playing a sub-par game.
Lol-a-Coaster is a simple game to play. In each level, a roller coaster automatically rolls forward over some of the most insanely twisted tracks ever conceived. By touching the screen the player can make the cars of the coaster jump to avoid crates on the tracks or to gather lollipops along the ride. Some of the sweets will speed the coaster up and others can be collected and used to unlock new coaster cars and tracks. Each car of the coaster can be changed, giving the player the ability to create any unique hodgepodge of coaster cars they like. They can even discover specific combos of cars called "Sweet Rides."
The point of Lol-a-Coaster -- other than selling lollipops at the supermarket -- is to get the coaster to the end of the track before time runs out. This is accomplished by jumping to avoid obstacles and collecting speed boosting lollipops. What makes this fun is using the jumping mechanic at the right times to take full advantage of the track's peaks and valleys. Making well timed jumps can often mean the difference between reaching the next checkpoint or not.
Lots of marketing games suffer from overly simplified gameplay meant to get the brand in front of the player for as long as possible without frustrating them, and those game suffer because of it. Fortunately, Lol-a-Coaster hasn't fallen into this trap. While this is a simple game to play, it's not so simple to master. It's outrageous tracks and fast-paced gameplay also make it truly entertaining, even if it is a marketing tactic. For free it's definitely worth a try and players will certainly have some fun with it before eventually succumbing to the ads, buying some candy, and slipping into a sugar coma.