Listen up, app developers. I will pay good money for a decent Asterix game on a smartphone. In the meantime, here’s Asterix: MegaSlap.
Asterix: MegaSlap: On the plus side
I’m a big, long-term Asterix fan. Blame my father, because verily, it is very much his fault — but also something that I can thank him for, mostly. So when a new Asterix game pops up, I’m there, through the good times (which are few) and the bad times… which are nearly endless.
Not that Asterix: Megaslap doesn’t at least try hard on the visuals front. Everything looks right, from the Gaulish villagers to the Norman invaders to the Pirates, and, of course, the Romans, one of whom you’ll be seeing quite a lot of.
The trailer sums up the visual style quite well — and it all looks quite good.
Asterix: Megaslap is essentially an artillery game; you play as the eponymous tiny Gaul, set on thumping a Roman soldier as far as you possibly can. This is achieved by spinning Asterix’s fist around as fast as possible before swiping across the Roman in front of you in order to launch them across the ancient skies.
Asterix: MegaSlap: On the minus side
The problem is that this is the entire game. Swirl your finger around, swipe across Roman, wait for him to land. That’s it. You’ll spend most of your time in the air, so even the nicely animated characters, most of whom act as bounce pads for your Roman are only glimpsed briefly. You can buy powerups to extend your flight, and some of these have mild interactive elements, but they’re woefully simplistic, and in any case, the key things that’ll decide your distance are all too random. Land on someone and you’ll bounce much further than if you hit the ground, but you can’t control it in any meaningful way at all.
The sea is particularly dicey, because your Roman doesn’t skip across the waves; he simply sinks. If you’re lucky, you’ll bounce off a pirate ship, but if not, it’s game over, unless you pay Toutatis to continue. Each time you do that, the price rises, and this seems to be the main IAP tie-in. It’s possible to get early access to a few powerups if you’re willing to splash some early cash, but otherwise the key reason you’d want to spend extra is to continue on when the game’s unfairly ended your flight.
But I’m not sure that I’d want to. Asterix: MegaSlap is just too simple to be worth bothering with, especially once you realise that one of the bits of gameplay you’re actually involved with, namely drawing screen circles to activate Asterix’s fist, isn’t necessary either. Simply swiping left-right will do the same thing. At that point, you’re talking about a game where you do very little and spend most of the time staring at a flying Roman. It just doesn’t feel very “Asterix” to me.
Finally, and I know it’s picky, but there’s something wrong about a game called Asterix: MegaSlap. Asterix does not slap Romans. He PUNCHES them. Yes, Obelix did experiment with making Romans last longer by shaking them, but slaps are few and far between in the Asterix world. It is at least an accurate translation, as when the game asked me to rate it, it called itself Asterix: Mégabaffe.
Asterix: MegaSlap: Pricing
Asterix: MegaSlap is 99c, plus in-app-purchases of coins, but as noted, that’s not really a core part of the gameplay.
Asterix: MegaSlap: Alex’s verdict
On the one hand, it’s an Asterix game, and it’s not very expensive. Hurrah!
On the other hand, it’s quite dull once you strip away the nice visuals, and you just don’t do enough. I probably did get 99c worth of value out of it — just — but all the time I was playing it, I couldn’t help thinking what a massive waste of the licence it actually was. Is it too much to ask for a GOOD Asterix game?