Developer: Icarus Interactive LLC
Price: $0.99 Download on the App Store
Are you fed up with the economic recession? Do you wish you can lay into a corporate goon that’s stealing our tax money from government handouts? I know I am, and Icarus Interactive is hoping you are too.
iBrawl — Hail to the Chief, a comedic fighting game, has arrived at the perfect time to capitalize on the discontent everywhere and give you a great source to let out your anger while having a good time.
If there is a frame of reference I’d use to describe the structure of iBrawl — Hail to the Chief, I’d use Mortal Kombat. Sure it’s not the same gratuitous and senseless bloodfest, but it shares many of the same attributes.
In iBrawl — Hail to the Chief you can select from several corporate fighters that have a variety of different strengths and weaknesses. Upon selecting your fighter, you embark on a journey to take out all comers until you beat the last remaining fighter. Besides those similarities, you can also take on an endurance mode to see how many fighters you can beat until your health meter is fully depleted. On the multiplayer tip, you can play against another human opponent on the same phone. Playing on the same iPhone isn't ideal, and I’m hopeful they’ll implement real multiplayer allowing folks to use different iPhones.
The primary mechanics in iBrawl — Hail to the Chief are easy enough to grasp. In each fight, you have options to press on-screen buttons that correspond to three different actions (e.g. dodge, jab and punch). I found the response from initiating actions to have slight, but frustrating delays. In a fighting game, control needs to feel instantaneous, but iBrawl — Hail to the Chief isn’t quite there yet. In addition, it’s totally possible to button-mash your way to victory as there isn’t any real strategy required to be successful.
iBrawl — Hail to the Chief does some interesting things with its presentation. With corporate goons being featured as fighters, Icarus Interactive took some liberties to make typical executives look menacing (e.g. bandanas, sunglasses, paper bags, etc.) While the fighters look fairly different, they all largely share the same canned animations. The use of heavy rock music samples for setting the tone feels forced and it’d be great if future updates allow folks to play their own music.
iBrawl — Hail to the Chief doesn’t do it for me. Once the novelty of the concept wears off (and it does fast...), you’re left with a limited fighting game that isn’t deep in strategy or gameplay. If for some reason you’ve been waiting for a game like this, the barrier to entry for iBrawl — Hail to the Chief is relatively light. The app is about three bucks and there's a lite version for free.