Granny Smith ($0.99) by Mediocre AB is a gorgeous and fun racing game. A thief has been plundering the green apples off of Granny’s tree, and she wants them back!
There seems to be a weird trend going on lately: games starring grandmas as the protagonist. These aren't your normal grannies either, because I don't think most do kung-fu, or in this case, how to race young hooligans on roller-skates.
There are three landscapes that you will be skating your way through (Farm, City, and Factory), and each have several courses for you to race against the thief. The courses will all vary, but they will have a lot of hills, obstacles, power lines, and even walls for you to crash through.
Your objective will be to collect the apples (three in each level) and finish before the thief does, and you have coins to collect along the way.
To control Granny, there are only two buttons: the one on the left will make her lift her cane above her head to zip-line across the screen when applicable, and the button on the right allows her to jump. Holding on to the jump button will cause her to perform a front flip, but you will want her to land on her feet as much as possible, so make sure to keep an eye on that.
The controls are simple enough, but I was really wanting a way to make Granny go faster. She kind of just rolls along the track, not alternating her feet to gain speed. Because of this, it's incredibly difficult to make certain jumps, and I found myself restarting the level multiple times, which can be frustrating. The game seems to be about memorization of the trail, so that you can time your jumps properly. It's just like most platformers, right?
The coins that you end up collecting can be used in the Tool Shed to purchase three different power-ups to aid you in your races: a helmet, banana peel, and baseballs. The helmets will protect you during crashes, banana peels will slow down the thief, and baseballs can be thrown to clear an opening in a wall in front of you. Additionally, there are two other characters (Scruffy and Stanley) that can be unlocked as you clear each area, or bought if you’re impatient. Need more coins? Feel free to buy more via in-app purchases, though I doubt you will ever feel the need to.
One of my favorite things about the game are the graphics, which look like a storybook that’s come alive. After each level, you can also watch a replay in the background, complete with a vintage filter over it so that it feels like you are back in Granny’s more youthful days.
There is Game Center integration for leaderboards, however, there are no achievements in the game. I was a bit surprised at that, but hope that Mediocre AB can add some in the future. I mean, I have to rack up more achievement points, don’t I? More power-ups would be nice to see in an update, too.
Despite that, I’m still finding the game to be a lot of fun. You will feel the urge to beat your rival quite often, so you end up replaying levels until you can obtain all of the apples and maybe beat your previous score. The routes are always a challenge, and I assure you that there will be multiple attempts involved. I love a good trial, and Granny Smith provides just that.
If you decide to check it out, I can guarantee that it will be a dollar well spent. I mean, these guys brought you Sprinkle: Water splashing fire fighting fun!, after all.