iPhone Game Review: Lion Pride
Lion Pride is a routing management game crossed with a fight for survival. You play the roll of a pride of lions trying to hunt successfully on the African savannah and raise their cubs. In the game, you must think strategically if you're going to survive. Miss too many opportunities for prey and your entire pride could die of starvation.
There is a diverse amount of prey for the lions to hunt including warthogs, antelope, zebra, and the powerful cape buffalo. Along the way you must defend your hunting grounds from your dreaded predatory enemy - the hyena. Hyenas are persistent and will kill prey animals or drive them off leaving you with empty grasslands and an empty belly.
The game consists of 8 stages and a Survival mode. In each of the stages, a new game element is brought into play such as a new prey animal, the male lion, or hyenas. While the stages can be considered an extended tutorial because of this, each of them is a full-fledged game level. After each level you will receive a score card showing how many prey you killed, how many were stunned, and a letter grade for your overall performance.
Once the game loads, you'll be at the Main Menu. From here you can access a number of different areas: Play, Tutorial, Fun Facts, and Scores.
Fun Facts shows a series of neat facts about lions, their prey, and hyenas. These are purely for fun, but they do hint at some of the behaviors you'll be experiencing in the game.
Scores is a report card of sorts and shows your average performance for the all games you've played, highest score attained, and your favorite prey. I would love to see additional statistics like how many of each animal type you taken down and your best performance per level.
The Tutorial section does a really good job of describing just what you'll be seeing and how to hunt successfully. It also shows you how to stun prey animals, wake up your pride's male lion, and earn a "hippo bonus". The tutorial gives you enough information to get started, but leaves out a couple of things you'll discover during the course of playing the game.
The basics of playing Lion Pride are very easy. Draw a line from a lioness and she will follow it; however, things become much more intricate and fun from there. If you draw at a slower pace, the path will show as a series of white dots; in this mode the lioness is sneaking through the savannah grass and can get quite close to prey animals. Now if you draw more quickly, the path is drawn as red dots, and the lioness is now running and will attack prey.
You cannot just draw red paths and hope to catch anything. The animals will scatter and your lioness and her cubs will be going hungry. This game requires thinking and patience. Sneak your lioness in close and then pounce! One thing you'll learn in the tutorial is that you can stun prey animals by double-tapping on them. Use this to your advantage. If you see two animals together then have a lioness pounce on one while you stun the other prey, then when she's done have her kill the other animal.
You start out with one lioness, but eventually you'll have 3 lionesses under your control, and you will need all of them. While warthogs and antelope only take one lioness to kill, zebras require two attackers, and cape buffalo require three. You will have to coordinate attacks on these larger animals if you hope to succeed in taking them down. Your lionesses will also be busy in later levels keeping hyenas out of their hunting grounds. You can directly attack hyenas or simply run near them to drive them off.
You'll have access to the male lion in Stage 4. The mighty male lion spends most of his time sleeping and staying near the den. You can wake him up with a double-tap. If you attack prey nearby that requires multiple lions to kill he will automatically run over and help. He will also help drive off nearby hyenas. Unfortunately, you cannot control his actions directly. Keep that in mind when attacking large prey, you may want to attack in such a way as to get the animal to run towards the den so the male can help out.
You must constantly be on the lookout for hunting opportunities, and you need to do your best to ensure that you are successful. At the lower left of the game screen is a hunger meter. It goes down at a constant rate so you will have to work at keeping it filled. If it becomes empty the lions have gone hungry and the game is over.
The other animal you will fleetingly encounter is the hippopotamus. When you see it's head rise out of the water, double-tap on it for a score bonus.
Once you have played through all 8 of the initial stages, Survival mode will be unlocked. With Survival, you can choose to either play on the Savannah Plains or the African Grasslands map. Survival mode is just that. You start out with one lioness and as you hunt successfully you will earn more lionesses and the male lion. Your goal to have your pride survive as long as possible.
The graphics are bright, fun, and a little cartoon-like in their style. The view is a top-down look from overhead as you direct your lionesses, and helps give the entire game an entertaining appearance. The menus and stage screens are all well done and polished.
The game's background music is very appropriate and unobtrusive with a nice jungle beat. All of the individual animal sounds from the lion's roar to the hippo's grunting are of good quality and add to the savannah atmosphere of the game.
-easy to play, but challenging to master - try to get all A's on the stages
-fun, cartoonish graphics
-polished background music and graphics
-local and global Survival mode high scores
Cons: - these are wishes versus detriments to the game
-would like more comprehensive game statistics kept
-would like to see more prey animals and predators to interact with
-Stage scores only have a letter grade, I would like the number total displayed too
Overall, Lion Pride really brings something new to the line-drawing genre. You're not docking ships or landing planes; in this game, you're fighting for survival! Your success depends not only on drawing lines to the right destinations, but in making good tactical decisions to make sure your pride doesn't starve. I definitely recommend that you check this game out.
Ratings (scale of 1 to 5):
Graphics: -4.5- fun, polished graphics
Sound: -4.5- background music and animal sounds are all well done and appropriate
Controls: -4.5- path and speed dictate where and how quickly the lionesses move
Gameplay: -5- you must be tactical in your hunting to succeed
Playing Hints and Tips:
-Sneak up on animals and then pounce when you're close.
-It takes 3 lionesses to bring down a cape buffalo and you cannot double-tap to stun them.
-While a lioness is feeding, you can stun other prey until she's done so she can capture them.
Developer: Blue Fang Games
Release Date: August 10, 2009
Buy Game: iTunes App Store
Powered by UBB.threads™ 6.5.5