So a promo code arrived for Guacamole [App Store Link] from its developer last week and I took a quick look at it and kind of facepalmed. WTF is this? I kind of felt bad for redeeming the promo code. I kind of felt bad for the developer for making this game. Seriously, wtf? But then I played it and it was surprisingly….weird and yet…kind of enjoyable.
Guacamole is simply a whack-a-mole game but instead of whacking moles you have to whack ingredients for Guacamole (avocados, garlic, and sour creme–where the rest of the ingredients went, and why sour creme is even in the game, who knows!?) while avoiding whacking the…um….”Poo Poo Santiago” and “El Muerto”, a skull face straight from a Dia de Los Muertos parade. You have a life meter and a guacamole meter, and obviously the goal is to progress by filling up the guacamole meter and getting as many points as possible before you screw up by whacking the poop or the skull too many times. And naturally, there is a sombrero that gives you back some life if you hit it.
Clearly this game is a bit insane, especially with the guacamole, garlic, and poop having beady eyes staring at you every time they pop up–think Geico TV commercials with the cash with eyes. But if that isn’t enough nuttiness for you, in between levels you get to drag a chip to dip it into the guacamole you just made and feed it to the hungry hombre for bonus points while his head moves up and down the screen. Insanity.
So, what do I think of Guacamole? I think for one that it’s surprisingly well put together. The graphics are nicely polished. The sounds are appropriate (and disgusting. See “Poo Poo Santiago”). The animations are pretty um, let’s just say interesting at times (but otherwise smooth). The actual gameplay is also quite solid–touches always register accurately from what I could tell and the way the touches and sounds and animation work together lead to a nice feel to the game. There are no online leaderboards or social features to speak of though, and who knows, maybe having those would make the game a bit more popular and add to its longevity.
So, is Guacamole worth actually buying? I don’t really know. It’s priced at $0.99. Less than a dollar and about the price of a cup of coffee at a fast food place. And I guess if you have a craving for whack-a-mole and guacamole, it might be worthwhile for you. It’s kind of charming in its own weird way. Don’t get me wrong–it’s in no way a BAD game. It’s whack-a-mole and it does that pretty darned well. Very well actually. But again…it’s whack-a-mole and that buys you extremely limited replayability. You either want to play it for a few minutes at a time or you have no desire to ever play it.
The question of value is a hard one for me to wrestle with–there are just so many games out there that are also $0.99 and offer a lot of depth and fun and addictiveness and hours of varying gameplay (See Doodle Jump, geoDefense Swarm, etc). This is whack-a-mole–nothing wrong with that, but do I personally feel that is worth $0.99? To me, that answer is a maybe, leaning towards a not really, mainly because I don’t find whack-a-mole games that fun and engaging. But if you do want a whack-a-mole game, Guacamole is definitely worth a look.
Panappticon Verdict: 73/100 — Insane, weird, and pretty fun whack-a-mole gameplay featuring guacamole and poop. Nothing more really needs to be said after that (at least I hope not…).
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