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

Bayou Beats for the iPhone by Walt DisneyTitle:Bayou Beats (link)
Walt Disney
November 7, 2009
Pros: Free, some replay value, music from the film
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.

Each game play (there are four different songs/characters to choose from) results in unlocking one fortune telling card which can be found in the extras section of the app. There are 12 cards in all to unlock and it really takes nothing more than playing a game to unlock the next one (you literally can just let the game run on its own, scoring 0 and it will still unlock a card). The fortune telling cards are basically a visual introduction to the film’s characters.  It might have been nice to make it so you could at least save them as wallpaper, although you can simulate as much by using the home+power button to take a screenshot, it will just have the few dots along the bottom.

The bulk of the app is the full-length video to Never Knew I Needed by Ne-Yo, from the original motion picture soundtrack.

Bayou Beats for the iPhone by Walt DisneyThe last real extra is titled Character Clips and that’s either a huge overstatement or it’s a huge understatement depending on how you look at it. The first time I ran the app, pressing on the individual characters did nothing (although it looked like it was trying), but the second time it did work, although I realized I wasn’t missing much. The only one even worth taking a look at is Tiana with Naveen as a frog.

The rest of the app are links to purchase film tickets, the soundtrack and for ‘more Disney.’

Overall, it’s a cute app and the movie really does have some great music as part of the soundtrack. In that respect, it will probably mean more if you’re already familiar with the music from the film and it does have some decent replay value, but I can’t see this one lasting on one’s iPhone much long past December 11.

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