Regular Show: The Great Prank War Review (iOS)

Mobile games are a mixed bag. Sometimes you get something simple and brilliant, like Rovio’s Bad Piggies, and sometimes you get something ambitious, like some of EA’s ventures onto the platform. In this case, Regular Show: The Great Prank War is neither.Released late last month for iOS and Android, Regular Show: The Great Prank War is loosely based on the episode “Prankless.” A rival park manager initiates a prank war, but only when Muscle Man, the greatest prankster of all, is out of the fight. You begin during the fall chapter of the prank war, and have to rescue members of your own park from Gene, the anthropomorphic vending machine at the heart of the war. It sounds wild, and the game could have been, too.

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Instead of a game where we get to use ingenuity and craft our own pranks, The Great Prank War is a dull, uninspired tower defense game. You send one of four characters into battle, and take out the enemy’s towers. Much like in a real time strategy game, you can then set your own defenses in play. Once the level goal is met, you can then take out the main base. That is the entire game– no new tactics, no new wrinkles in the game. You tap on enemies, replace towers and win for 16 very short levels.

And they are indeed short– each level took between 3 and 6 minutes to complete, meaning it will take the average gamer an hour to finish the game. The content you’ll see is sparse, too. Of the four “pranks” you can assemble, none are distinct. There is ranged attack, slightly better ranged attack, slower but more powerful ranged attack, and ranged attack that slows enemies. They can all be repaired with a tap, making your offense nearly unstoppable once you have a single tower.

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All of the levels blend together, too. Some have Easter eggs tucked away (I spotted Beef Burrito, the wrestling doll from the first episode,) but are largely the same minus a palette swap determined by the time of year. Each level plays the same, too. Some branch a bit, but not enough to encourage new tactics. In fact, I used the exact same strategy for the final 8 levels– when all the pranks and characters were available to me– and breezed through each. Well, I did have to restart once when a level goal wasn’t recognized as being met, making the level impossible to complete.

Regular Show: The Great Prank War is a small diversion that quickly fades 60 minutes after you pick it up. The touch controls are unresponsive or inefficient for the cluttered screen, the difficulty is far too low and the challenge is non-existent. For three dollars, that is unacceptable. If you’re a parent and your child is asking for this, there are many more options to choose from– I’d suggest Bad Piggies.

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