iPhone App Review: The Muppets Animal Drummer

The Muppets Animal Drummer for iPhone by Walt DisneyTitle: The Muppets Animal Drummer (link)
Publisher:
Walt Disney
Released:
December 15, 2009
Cost:
$1.99
iTouch?:
Yes
Pros: The Muppets; good graphics; great music and sounds; fun, addictive and simple gamplay
Cons: None
Review: From Disney Interactive Studios, Enorbus and the Muppets Studio comes The Muppets Animal Drummer, a rhythm based game that has its roots in the electronic board game Simon in which you must repeat Animal’s drumming sequence in (near) perfect rhythm, so it differs from the Dance Dance Revolution genre in that you must remember the sequence rather than reacting to it in real time.

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Enter the Grid: Disney Interactive Announces TRON: Evolution the Video Game (Trailer)

TRON: Evolution from Disney Interactive StudiosBURBANK, Calif. — The digital world of TRON is awaiting a new participant. Disney Interactive Studios today announced the development of TRON: Evolution, the video game. TRON: Evolution is an action/adventure game being created for the Xbox 360® video game and entertainment system from Microsoft, PLAYSTATION®3 computer entertainment system and Windows PC. Developed by Propaganda Games, Disney Interactive Studios’ action and role-playing game studio in Vancouver, British Columbia, TRON: Evolution is scheduled for release in Holiday 2010 before the “TRON: Legacy” film arrives in theaters.

Set during the era between the two TRON films, TRON: Evolution conveys the story of significant events within the TRON mythology. The game features an epic adventure across a massive digital world filled with high-mobility disc-based combat and advanced light cycles.

TRON: Evolution is one of the keys to unlocking the TRON mythology. The game’s story takes place before the “TRON: Legacy” events and provides insight into the film’s past. As an integrated entertainment experience, the film will reference elements of the game’s story. Fans will want to play the game to learn more about the TRON mythology seen in the film, but each entertainment experience will stand on its own.

“We expect TRON: Evolution to be a premier action-focused game that both stands on its own and supplements a major event film,” said Dan Tudge, vice president and general manager, Propaganda Games. “Because Propaganda Games is based in Vancouver, which was the site of the film’s principal photography, we were able to leverage the proximity to continuously collaborate with the filmmakers and ensure authenticity between the two projects.”

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iPhone App Review: Phineas and Ferb Arcade

Phineas and Ferb Arcade by Walt Disney for iPhoneTitle: Phineas and Ferb Arcade (link)
Publisher:
Walt Disney
Released:
December 3, 2009
Cost:
$1.99
iTouch?:
Yes (WiFi/Internet required for scoreboard)
Pros: Quick, addictive play, free preview available
Cons: Controls sometimes difficult, navigation buttons inconsistent
Review: In a series of 3 mini-games, Phineas and Ferb brings the number one show for kids ages 6-11 (not to mention popular with every other demographic) to the iPhone.

Here’s the plot: While Phineas and Ferb are trying to  build a snow mountain so they can snowboard in the backyard (S’no Problem),  older sister Candace goes surfing in the backyard tide pool trying to impress Jeremy (Cowabunga Candace!), all the while Perry the Platypus is acting as Agent P, trying to protect the secret hideout from infiltrators (Agent P’s Hideout).

Here’s the thing: If you’re a Phineas and Ferb fanatic, you might find yourself thinking those game names sound familiar — and they should. All three are actual almost-direct ports of existing games you can play online for free. Granted the controls are different given the nature of a personal computer versus an iPhone (and to be honest, in the latter two games, the iPhone wins in this respect), but gameplay is virtually the same which means if you aren’t familiar with them, you can try them out online first before buying the game (see links below).

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New Gameplay Video for Split/Second Introduces Power Plays

Earlier this year, we introduced you to Split/Second, the revolutionary video racing game from Disney Interactive and Black Rock Studio in which players manipulate the environment to eliminate the competition and alter gameplay.

Today, courtesy of game director Nick Baynes, we get our first glimpse of how power plays work in the game and see actual game footage of how the player can use the environment as a weapon as well as change the actual course.

Slated for a May 1 release, Split/Second is available now for pre-order for the PS3, Xbox 360 and Windows.

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iPhone App Review: Prep & Landing

Disney's Prep & Landing for the iPhone by Walt DisneyTitle: Prep & Landing (link)
Publisher:
Walt Disney
Released:
November 19, 2009
Cost:
$.99
iTouch?:
Yes (WiFi/Internet required for some)
Pros: A couple of entertaining games/features
Cons: Long, frustrating gameplay with little payoff, promoted items missing
Review: On December 1, ABC will air its first ever original holiday special produced by Walt Disney Animation Studios. That’s the good news. The bad news is they want to charge you for downloading the promotional app and it falls way short on expectations and even promises.

After watching a surprisingly brief promo for the special, you are presented with two menu options. Kringle Academy is where you’ll find 3 mini-games and P&L Specialized Equipment is where you’ll find the ‘extras,’ which are often more entertaining than the games themselves, unfortunately.

As a  general rule with the game, sound effects are nil (Christmas carols are your only source of audio candy) and gameplay is exceptionally long with repetitive movements. There’s also no scoring system so you’re really only competing for ‘distance’ and colored rewards such as gold, silver and red (and other, ‘lesser’ colors) which seem to offer no benefit other than a virtual pat on the iBack.

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Bring Home the Beauty and Adventure of ‘The Princess and the Frog’ with New Video Games Made for the Entire Family

The Princess and the Frog for the Nintendo WiiBURBANK, Calif. — Video game players of all ages can now embark on an exciting, immersive journey through New Orleans, inspired by the highly anticipated Disney animated musical film “The Princess and the Frog.” The Princess and the Frog for Wii™, Nintendo DS™, and Windows-based PC are available today in retail stores nationwide. This holiday season, families everywhere will be able to live out their own fairytales when they join Disney’s newest princess, Tiana, as she, along with familiar characters from the movie and new friends, takes on challenges and pursues adventures in the vibrant settings of New Orleans and the bayou.

“The Princess and the Frog will bring families together as they celebrate memorable moments from the movie and interact with its beloved characters,” said Craig Relyea, senior vice president of global marketing, Disney Interactive Studios. “Young girls everywhere will feel empowered and inspired to dream just like Princess Tiana.”

The Princess and the Frog for Wii allows girls to be a Princess and experience Tiana’s magical world together with family and friends. In the game, players can explore more than 25 engaging mini-games designed for up to four players to join the fun and interact. From playing as a princess and mixing and matching outfits, to playing as frogs and racing each other, to numerous mini-games, there’s something for everyone.

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Stitch Kingdom Introduces the Definitive Guide to Disney Apps for the iPhone

We are pleased to present our newest addition to our library of already established collection of Definitive Guides: Disney Apps for the iPhone and iPod Touch.

iPhone and iPod Touch users now have a single source to turn to in order to find the entire list of Disney related apps available on Apple’s iTunes Store in addition to applications authored by The Walt Disney Company itself.

The guide allows you to sort, categorize and even perform a keyword search against the Disney App library, so you can immediately find just the App you’re looking for. Sort by price or just click on the option to show just the Free apps — it’s just that simple!

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iPhone App Review: LUMA

LUMA by Walt DisneyTitle: LUMA (link)
Publisher:
Walt Disney
Released:
November 10, 2009
Cost:
$.99
iTouch?:
Yes
Pros: Quick, addictive play, good graphics and sound effects
Cons:
None
Review: I confess when I first read LUMA’s description and saw the game shots, I thought I knew exactly how the game was going to go. At first glance, the concept seemed like this network type game I had played on a PDA long ago where ‘cables’ had to be rotated in 90 degree increments in order to connect various ‘nodes’ together to complete a ‘network.’ Although LUMA’s premise is similar, Disney Interactive (and its Enorbus subsidiary) have managed to turn the simple concept on its ears and produce a quick and highly addictive logic puzzle game.

LUMA by Walt Disney (more…)

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‘JONAS’ and ‘Sonny with a Chance’ Video Games Invite Fans Onstage, Backstage and Beyond

JONAS for the Nintendo DSBURBANK, Calif. — In two of the Disney Channel’s biggest hits, “JONAS” and “Sonny With A Chance,” the storylines take viewers on and off-stage with the Lucas brothers to see how they live their everyday lives, and backstage with the hilarious cast of the “So Random” sketch comedy show. Two new Nintendo DS™ titles from Disney Interactive Studios will make those experiences come to life. Available today in retail stores nationwide is JONAS for DS, while Sonny with a Chance is currently being developed for release in spring 2010.

“Both JONAS and Sonny with a Chance will deliver fresh new interactive experiences for fans,” said Craig Relyea, senior vice president of global marketing, Disney Interactive Studios. “Filled with memorable moments with favorite characters, these DS games allow players to deepen their engagement with both shows with hours of lighthearted fun.”

JONAS for DS is inspired by the Disney Channel Original Series starring the Jonas Brothers, whose characters juggle everyday school and family life as it collides with the pop star world. The game lets fans play as three of the hottest rock stars on the planet, Nick, Joe and Kevin Lucas. Players help the band, JONAS, tear up the stage in six concerts, hang out with friends Macy and Stella, and visit locations such as the brothers’ firehouse and school as seen on the TV show.

JONAS also features popular tunes sung by the Jonas Brothers on the show, including “Live to Party,” “Keep It Real” and “Why,” which players can jam to in performance mode. In addition, players can customize the brothers’ outfits for cool looks in school and in performance mode. In story mode, players collect musical notes to power up their guitars and then strike the right guitar chords to overcome obstacles.

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iPhone App Review: Bayou Beats (The Princess and the Frog)

Bayou Beats for the iPhone by Walt DisneyTitle:Bayou Beats (link)
Publisher:
Walt Disney
Released:
November 7, 2009
Cost:
Free
iTouch?:
Yes
Pros: Free, some replay value, music from the film
Cons:
Large installation due to music video
Review: In promotion of Disney’s The Princess and the Frog which opens nationwide December 11 comes this free app which includes a small, quasi-addictive game along with a music video and a lot of purchase links.

Bayou Beats for the iPhone by Walt DisneyThe game itself is small and pretty straightforward. Using instrumental versions of one of several songs from the feature film (but sadly not Gonna Take You There) as a backdrop, the game consists of pressing one of several buttons along the bottom as they are lit up by falling crowns passing through them. The game keeps track of how many correct touches in a row you have and then rewards long streaks by increasing a score multiplier. Where it may get confusing is that it looks like you have to ‘catch’ the individual crowns, but while you do have to prevent the crown from passing through without being touched, the key is you’re touching the button while it’s lit which means a single crown can yield you 2 or 3 successful touches if done quickly enough while a few crowns in immediate succession can yield a quick finger upwards of 15 touches or so. Get too greedy by having one of your touches land when the button is no longer lit, however, and the frog croaks and the chain count is reset to zero.

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