Wreck-it Ralph: Fix-it Felix Jr. iPad Review
We can't wait to see Disney's upcoming animated film, Wreck-It Ralph, due out in theaters November 2. The film tells the story of Wreck-It Ralph, a video game evildoer who leaves the confines of his 80s arcade cabinet to prove to the world that he's actually a good guy. Not only is it based on a fun concept, but the flick also contains cameos from several well-known characters, including Clyde (Pac-Man), Zangief (Street Fighter) and Bowser (Super Mario Bros.).
That said, we wanted to play Wreck-It Ralph's signature game, Fix-It Felix Jr. the moment we spied the movie trailer, and thankfully, Disney Mobile made this wish a reality by releasing this 80s-inspired title for iPhone and iPad. Even better, it's free-to-play.
Basically, Ralph climbs a building, shattering some of the windows in the process. You take control of Fix-It Felix, and must repair these windows while dodging ducks flying by and objects thrown by Ralph, who paces back and forth along the top of the screen.
Have to admit, Disney did a good job channeling the spirit of arcade games past. Fix-It Felix Jr. feels like something we would've seen in pizza parlors three decades ago, complete with 8-bit graphics and music. At least on the positive side, the game doesn't syphon quarters from our pockets, a good thing, since the difficulty ramps up the further you go. Eventually, Felix needs to fix multiple panes of glass within the same window as those aforementioned ducks and chucked items increase in number. To that end, the game contains 10 stages, and it'll be a struggle reaching the end, especially with shutters blocking your path.
We dig the game for the most part, but a few things bug us, starting with the absence of voices for both characters. Watch the trailer (below), and you'll notice that Ralph says "I'm gonna wreck it" before causing havoc. Sadly, this didn't make it into the iOS version. Not a deal breaker by any means, but a nice touch that would've added charm to the experience.
The other gripe involves the controls. The arrow buttons fail to do the job, largely because they're awkwardly placed. Throughout the experience, we'd accidentally hit the wrong direction, and this made us yearn for a virtual arcade stick. Why Disney neglected to go this route when the movie edition clearly has an arcade knob is anyone's guess.
At the same time, Wreck-It Ralph still manages to offer a few hours of fun while whetting our appetites for the film release. Disney could've put more effort into the app, but as it stands, this retro-flavored effort knows its roots.
What's Hot: Free-to-play, cool homage to 80s-style arcade games, fixing windows is strangely addictive.
What's Not: Weird directional arrows, no character voices.