‘Piranha 3DD’ Mobile Game Review
If there's one thing we as video game lovers like to see, it's beautiful girls and arrogant jocks being eaten alive by a swarm of giant, ugly, man-eating piranha. Thankfully the video game division of The Weinstein Company has whetted our appetite with the mobile game version of 'Piranha 3DD.' But does this bite-sized game sink or swim?
The premise of 'Piranha 3DD' is simple -- eat everything. Instead of playing as a human hero character trying to rid the waters of this deadly fish, you play as the piranha themselves, viciously attacking everything in your path and eating whatever gets in your way.
Controls are simple and you have two options -- tilt or touch -- to navigate your school of terror. Both control schemes work well though I found the fish swam faster using the tilt controls. Touch is OK, but sometimes it isn't very responsive so I recommend not using it. To make your fish jump out of the water to attack people on boats and raft, swipe up to make them jump. It's a fine idea, but the execution is poor and it's hit or miss on getting the piranha to jump. Most of the time if you just swim right toward the obstacle they'll jump on their own. It's a part of the game that needs to be fixed in an update.
For .99 cents you get two levels: Caves and Spring Break. Caves is perhaps the most difficult one since it has jellyfish, falling rocks and other dangers that can kill your fish. The goal is to score as many points as possible by eating humans and other fish. You have to keep your health bar full and you do that by consuming whatever happens to be in front of you. Once the bar empties, you'll turn on each other and eat one of your piranha, refilling the bar. Search for fish eggs scattered throughout the levels to increase the size of your party. The more you eat, the bigger and more ferocious you become.
Spring Break is an amusing level and is your first chance at eating beach babes and dumb jocks. Listen to the sound of their screams as you swim toward them and let nature do the rest, as the fish tear them apart. Vacationers swimming around, lying on inner tubes, or hanging out on a boat are future fish food. You also earn points by eating bonus items. The only time you really have to worry is if you run into a boat filled with police who have no problems shooting your school and diminishing your numbers. Once all of your piranha die, the game is over.
Graphics aren't bad and rather amusing. Humans flail around in the water and desperately try to swim in the opposite direction of the fish. I would have liked to have seen more variety in the cave level, with different colors and types of divers, because after a while, you're just chomping on the same old thing. There's no music, but screams and the cries of "Oh, my God!" are abundant and fun to hear.
Here's where I have a huge problem with the game -- unlockable content. As in content you can unlock if you purchase it. If you want to play the main Water Park level, be prepared to shell out an extra $2.99 for that privilege. Thought the game was bloody? It's actually not. If you want "extra gore," it's going to cost you .99 cents to unlock it. Would you like to control 20 piranha instead of the 10 it allows at initial purchase? That's an extra $1.99. In total, if you want to play the entire game with all of its features, be prepared to spend $6.96 for a movie based game that doesn't have a lot of replay value to begin with. It's this kind of developer and publisher greed that turns an amusing idea into a real head shaker.
If you do decide to unlock Water Park, it's the best level in the game. Start in the sewers, eat all of the fish that get in your way before heading to different sections of the park and devouring everyone that's swimming around. Certain characters from the game will be standing on rafts trying to shoot your fish, so make sure you jump out of the water (good luck with that) to knock them off and eat them before advancing to the next part of the level. The level finishes when you've defeated Deputy Fallon (played by Ving Rhames in the movie).
Extra gore isn't worth the purchase. You see more of the skeleton after you've eaten the body and there's a bit more red on screen but it's something that should have already come with the game. Actually, all of the unlockable content is something that should have come with the game. I didn't bother spending $2 on buying more piranha. Figured I had wasted enough money as it was.
'Piranha 3DD' is a fun casual game for a buck, but with the extra money required just to unlock a level and two minor things that should already be included in the game that buck feels like kind of a rip-off. The two levels provided don't have that much replay value as it is, so asking consumers to pay more money for an app that was designed to get people in the movie theater to see the movie your game is promoting feels dirty. If there was content you unlocked by playing I could maybe give it a pass, but as it stands now I wouldn't bother with this download. It's not the taste of flesh that's 'Piranha 3DD's' downfall, it's the taste of greed.
App Store Link: Piranha 3DD | By TWC Games | Price: $.99/In-App Purchases | Version: 1.0.1 | 61.8 MB | Rating 12+