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Mad Acorn Review

Posted by Lisa Caplan on June 22nd, 2012
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad

Developer: APD Inc
Price: $2.99
Version Reviewed: 1.1
Device Reviewed On: iPad 2

Graphics / Sound Rating: starstarstarstarhalfstar
Game Controls Rating: starstarstarhalfstarblankstar
Gameplay Rating: starstarstarstarblankstar
Replay Value Rating: starstarstarstarblankstar


I keep hearing rhythm games are dead, yet hardly a week goes by when I don't see a new one in the App Store. They generally come in two varieties: hit the notes as they cross a playline like the Tapulous series, or platforming games that use music and beats to help control the action like Beat Sneak Bandit. Mad Acorn, the latest music game that falls loosely into the second category, is a great example of how to distill a concept to its core, then create so much visual appeal it compensates for the simplicity.

Normally I ignore backstories or wrap them up quickly, but Mad Acorn is set in a comic book world. I won’t spoil the plot, because the comic panels are arguably the best part of the package. As for gameplay, players have the easiest objective. The game is an auto runner, so the irate squirrel hero moves relentlessly forward across levels based in four worlds. By keeping the beat with a touch anywhere on the screen players ensure he jump over hurdles and punches foes with one tap. The game adjusts the specific action to fit the circumstances so all there really is to do is listen to the drums and baseline and tap along.

Most beats coincide with something to kill or avoid, but there are “missing” beats too. Players can find them by listening carefully to the pattern and tapping even when no obstacle is present. It’s a neat feature, but oddly not one players earn any reward for beyond hearing a thump and seeing the number found at the end of the level in the stats.

The music is unusual and likely underground. I don’t quite know what to call it. It’s got heavy bass and an electronic dance vibe. It’s auspicious if one happens to like the grooves, since the game isn’t easy - tracks replay quite a lot. Once gamers find the tempo, however, getting long combos is easy.

I had a little trouble with the controls on iPad. I have a decent sense of rhythm and sometimes found my taps went unregistered even in early levels. But, the game is forgiving, Mad Acorn allots players three lives that can be replenished occasionally by taking out baddies with hearts over their heads.

Mad Acorn hasn’t much depth, but it does have some really nice visuals, the great art, and inherent replay value based on desire to get better, rather than through extraneous incentives. It’s a great pick-up-and-play title and solid summer casual gaming choice.

Cyber Monday Sale

Posted by Chris Hall on November 30th, 2009

I don't know if you are aware, but up in the site navigation bar is a "Gear Store" button. This "Gear Store" button links up to our very own "Gear Store", where we sell all sorts of goodies... from iPhone cases to Bluetooth stereo headsets. Since today is Cyber Monday, we are running a 10% off accessories sale in the store. Just type in the coupon code "MONDAY148" at check out and the sale price will be yours!

Just for the sake of entertainment, I'll tell you what I'll probably get. First off, I might get myself a good FM transmitter. I'd use AUX if I had it, but unfortunately all my money is spent on buying apps, so FM will just have to do. I've been holding off on buying one for awhile, but with 10% off, a good Belkin Tunecast Auto might be on the way today. While I'm at it, I may get myself a stereo bluetooth headset. I like the fact that I'd be able to listen to my music wirelessly, but even more amazing to me is that I can hear people in stereo. I'd get a midrange model, but the Motorola S7-HD Bluetooth Stereo Headset looks too cool to pass up. I think I'll also pick up a Solio Hybrid 1000, a solar powered iPhone charger. It's already discounted $30, and with an extra 10% off, it come to around $45. Solar powered iPhone chargers just seem amazing... maybe I'll buy one for myself and one as a gift.

Regardless of what accessories suit your fancy, they are all in our gear store. Just remember to type in "MONDAY148" in the promo code area and you'll get your 10% discount. This sale is only going on today... so hurry up!