App Reviewed on: iPhone 5
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"The Muppet Show" has been a staple of many a childhood over the years. It was never as geared toward kids as "Sesame Street," but there was plenty of fun to be had watching all the chaos unfold on that pretend vaudevillian stage. Various films have come and gone, and Kermit and the rest of the gang have been given a second chance by Disney, but in many ways the original variety show is something that will never be topped. My Muppets Show tries to recapture the Glory Days by revisiting the Muppet Theater, and shockingly enough manages it to a point, but the familiar framework is something of a distraction.
The Muppets have been digitized thanks to Bunson Honeydew's latest hit-or-miss invention, but while some would consider it a crisis they see it as an opportunity. Players can fix up and clean out their own personal Muppet Theater, start filling it with most of the series' notable characters, then put on the most sensational, inspirational, celebrational, muppetational show they can imagine. Dozens of Muppets can be pulled into this virtual world via recruiting (i.e. combining characters), completing special missions, or just plain-old buying them. As with most freemium games they can be fed to increase their levels and income/payout, but each one also supplies their own sounds and tunes that will start to mingle with the rest, which can eventually build into a complex Muppet-fueled concert.
There's an apparent love for all things Muppets in My Muppets Show that really makes it feel special despite the free-to-play mechanics. Each character has their own bio, likes and dislikes (make them happy to boost their earnings), and unique sounds to offer; such as Animal's grunts and drum thumps. They all look great, too. The animations can be a tad awkward but there's a lot of detail in each Muppet and decoration. It's also possible to zoom in fairly close just in case players want to enjoy watching their favorites perform up close.
I haven't had any problems with My Muppets Show's freemium mechanics so far, either. Sure I can use premium currency to speed up tasks and have to wait for a while if I'd rather save up, but they seem to have struck a pretty fair balance. What bothers me is that it's basically My Singing Monsters with Muppets. It uses the same layered music concept, the same emphasis on likes and dislikes, pretty much everything. Even the same artist.
My Muppets Show was a total surprise, and I've been thrilled to have it on my phone, but I've played this game before. Of course back then it didn't feature Kermit, Gonzo, or Dr. Teeth. I personally feel like this is the better choice, but anyone who's spent a lot of time playing My Singing Monsters might feel otherwise.