Ransom Letters
iPhone App
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Ransom Letters

Our Review by Chris Hall on October 20th, 2009
Rating: starstarstarstarblankstar :: ENTERTAINING
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Ransom Letters is a fun little app that brings me back to the good ol' days of iBeer and the Zippo Lighter. Aside from a few minor issues, this one is definitely worthy of a spot on my phone.

Developer: More Blue Sky
Price: $0.99
Version Reviewed: 1.5

iPhone Integration Rating: starstarstarstarhalfstar
User Interface Rating: starstarstarstarhalfstar
Re-use / Replay Value Rating: starstarstarstarblankstar

Overall Rating: starstarstarstarblankstar

Sometimes I find myself getting lost in the vast sea of the app world. I get wrapped up into all sorts of games that provide fleeting fun, but lose site of some of the little things that make me the happiest. I'll never forget the dumb laughs that we would get playing iBeer or flicking the stupid Zippo Lighter over and over again. Don't get me wrong, I'm super grateful that I get to play games like geoDefense Swarm on my iPhone every day, but it's important not to lose sight of the little things that keep me entertained. Since the app stores inception, these little novelty apps have grown from being digital beers to somewhat impressive things, like augmented reality apps and highly entertaining photo manipulators. Fortunately for me, while digging for the next great novelty app, I found Ransom Letters sitting in the 'What's Hot' section of the app store and decided to give it a go.

Ransom Notes is a simple little app that let's you put ransom note letters (you know, the ones that are cut from magazines in all different sizes) on any picture you take. Within the app, just take the picture, type in the sentence you want to display over the picture, and KABLAM, you have a ransom note made up that you can send to any of your unsuspecting friends / co-workers.

As a typical customer, I'd just leave it at that, but as a reviewer I feel the need to dive in a bit in order to fully grasp what I've got here. The apps controls are fairly simple, giving you a small but effective number of options to work with. Typing your word in is as simple as clicking on the 'type it' button. It's extremely intuitive, but there is definitely a glaring flaw. I can type words out to my hearts content, but what is typically the point of a ransom letter... to get money right? Well, I hope you're prepared to type in the word dollars, because the dollar sign is not part of Ransom Letters repertoire, an omission that will hopefully be fixed on a later version. Once you type your word in, it is quite simple to move words around the page with your finger and the sizes are batch changed by pinching. There is no individual word sizing unfortunately, but I hear it may be included in a future update. Also, to make your words that much more cryptic, you can shake to shuffle, giving you scrambled sentences that will have your victims panicking in cold sweat.

Assuming that you are a fan of the concept, there really isn't much not to like about Ransom Letters. It's fun, it's fast, and it only costs 99 cents. I know that it's simple, but I'll probably be happily using this app long after I'm done playing larger, more expensive apps like Rock Band and Madden.

iPhone Screenshots

(click to enlarge)

Ransom Letters - Picture Messages screenshot 1 Ransom Letters - Picture Messages screenshot 2 Ransom Letters - Picture Messages screenshot 3 Ransom Letters - Picture Messages screenshot 4 Ransom Letters - Picture Messages screenshot 5
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