I admit – before the movie came out, I’d only vaguely heard of The Hunger Games. I recognized the covers of the books in stores, though “I should probably read that, some time,” and then moved on to get whatever book I’d gone in for. Then the movie came out, and the books flew off the store and library shelves. I finally got around to buying the eBooks, but I didn’t read them until after I’d seen the movie. I admit, I was impressed. So when I saw that there was a game for the iPad that let you “live the adventure,” I knew I had to check it out.
You start in District 12 with none other than Katniss, the main character of the books. You have some character customization options that seem fairly similar to, say, the customization in Zynga games like Castleville or Farmville 2. The game runs on Energy, with each action you perform requiring a certain amount – usually one energy per individual actions. But there are some things, like clearing a rock pile, that can take up to eight actions.
Katniss becomes your guide through the story, giving you quests to help you progress. The touch controls are simple and easy to learn, while being intuative and simple. Completing actions can also give you some of your energy back, allowing you to play a bit longer. The environments in the game are actually very nice and fairly recognizable to anyone who’s seen the movie or read the books. A twist that I very much enjoyed is that the game progresses in “chapters” like a book, once you’re through the initial interactions to teach you how to play the game.
As you move on in the story, your character levels up. You can buy things to build, like makeshift traps and shelters, that you harvest for “goods”, the game’s currency. There is a second type of currency that can be purchased in app for real money, known as credits, and it’s symbolized by the iconic Mockingjay pin symbol that is highly recognizable to anyone who’s seen the movie or read the books. Something I enjoyed is that resting at your makeshift shelter will actually restore your energy faster than it restores itself. I wish Castleville had a feature like that!
With each quest you get a progress bar through the chapter, showing you how far you have to go. I only played through the first chapter for this review, but I can see myself going much further in the future. The game is engaging, and sticks to the storyline of the movie and book as best it can while introducing a new character – you! I very much enjoyed this game and will certainly be playing it again. If you liked The Hunger Games, it’s definitely something for you to try out.
And may the odds be ever in your favor.
Price: Free (in-app purchases for currency ranging from $1.99 to $99.99)
Version reviewed: 1.0.0
Requires iOS 4.0 or later
Download size: 380MB