posted by @HeyItsKamo
When I was thinking about how to start this post, a bit of research had to be done. The first question that came up was, How long have I been watching Cartoon Network’s Adult Swim programming block? While the name Adult Swim has only been around since 2001, I discovered that, holy shit, I’ve been watching the late-night CN programming since I was TEN!
I actually grew up with shows like Space Ghost Coast to Coast, Home Movies, Sealab 2021, Aqua Teen Hunger Force, Toon Heads, The Oblongs, and a personal favorite, The Brak Show. I continue to catch AS whenever possible, and it’s been interesting watching it evolve into it’s own entity all together. AS made it big when they grabbed cancelled shows like Family Guy and Futurama and began showing them in syndication (this had a big hand in getting these shows back on the air with new episodes). A website was eventually created that offered free games (Viva Caligula is still a favorite of mine) as well as clips from episodes of shows that are broadcast late-night on Cartoon Network. It just seemed to get better and better for Adult Swim.
So this year for Christmas, AS, the sweethearts that they are, decided to give the fans an awesome gift… well, more like five awesome gifts. Every Tuesday for the month of December, one of their new mobile games was available for download, free of charge. The most fucked up part about this app giveaway is all of the games are super fun… like, “if I would have known how good they were I would have actually paid money for them” fun.
Needless to say, for the past month my iPod has been pretty much dead- the battery is almost never over 50% because I cannot stop playing all the new games I’ve grabbed from the app store.
These games all feature tons of unlockable achievements, which make for high re-playability. The sense of, “OK, just one more game so I can unlock a few more achievements…” always leads to way more than just one more game. The games all look great, have excellent sound effects and music (Super Monsters Ate My Condo has a real catchy theme song), explain the controls/object of the game really well, and most importantly, the games are a hell of a fun time- the production value is incredible. If Adult Swim didn’t have television programming, they would probably make a pretty good buck off of just these games.
Here are the titles that were up for grabs this December, in order of their release, and a brief description of how much ass they kick:
Super Mole Escape– What happens when a mole escapes from mole jail? Adult Swim Games and Grumpyface Studios bring us one of the most unique and addicting time-killers in recent memory, and the story surrounds an adorable prison break! You can play as one of seven characters (each character has specific traits that will help or hinder your escape) and your only objective is this: get the hell out of jail. Once you select your character, you begin digging down towards freedom, but freedom isn’t going to be easy: what fun would that be, right? By tilting your screen, you control the direction of your character, and guide them on their journey to freedom. Along the way, you have to avoid obstacles like lava pits, hard bedrock, mines, barbed wire, electricity fields, freeze rays, wild Eskimos, vicious slug monsters, and hallucinogenic mushrooms, all while being chased by the Mole Warden who wants nothing more than to throw you before the Mole Judge, who will determine your fate.
Just as an example, I’ve played most of my games of SME as Marty, the first character you’re able to select. Through tons of playing, I was able to upgrade my character using gems that I collected during each round of play- from speed to acceleration to strength, Marty is now at the top of his game. H*ck, I even earned enough gems to unlock a new costume for my boy! Instead of rocking prison duds, he’s now wearing a tuxedo, complete with top hat and monocle. Aside from gems, which if collected consecutively give you a major speed boost in the game (string these together for crazy boosts through the round, which become more crucial the deeper you get/the closer the warden digs), you can also collect crates with various power-ups stored inside. From protective shields, to hammers or rockets that destroy obstacles in your way, to powerful drills that speed you through the level, or magnets that attract gems, power-ups are your friend- collect and use as many as you can.
You can also collect diamonds each round, although these are much more rare than the generous amounts of crates- collect three diamonds and you activate “Crazy Punchy Giant Robot Drill Mode” which blasts you through the level and destroys anything in your way. When you’re caught (you’re always caught eventually), you get thrown before the Mole Judge and have an option to spin the Wheel of Judgement (these wheels are a staple with Adult Swim games lol). 10 spaces have possible items like single, double, and triple gems, pardons, or Quick Starts and Super Quick Starts for the next round. As with all AS games, there are challenges that you can complete each round that earn you gems and that nice fuzzy feeling of a job well done.
Tip: this game is super fun and addicting, so I would just suggest getting comfortable with the controls (it’s easy to pick up, so it shouldn’t be too hard, especially if you play on a larger touch screen device). Try and string together as many gem boosts as possible, go out of your way to grab diamonds, and use drill power-ups found in crates as much as possible.
Chuck Darwin’s Extinction Squad– ASG and Pik Pok present the funniest concept for a mobile application that we’ve seen since the debut of Apple Maps. Wildlife Expert Chuck Darwin discovers that extinct dodo birds aren’t actually extinct- he stumbles across a colony of them and reintroduces them back into the rest of the world… with horrifying consequences. It turns out their smell is so terrible that it causes all the other animals (and even themselves apparently) to leap to their death. Chuck has his hands full trying to save these suicidal beasts, but it’s just too much to handle- that’s where we come in. He hires us to lend him a hand in saving all the animals from extinction via mass suicide. The game play is pretty simple: you use your finger (or whatever) to control two characters that are holding a trampoline. It’s your job to guide the pair around a map, running back and forth as they catch and bounce the leaping creatures into a waiting truck- some animals take more than one bounce to get into the truck, so shit get’s crazy pretty quick.
There are two game modes: adventure and count down. Adventure mode is pretty simple- you go level to level (from Africa to Antarctica) saving a certain amount of animals per level. If you miss an animal, which range from dodo birds to lions to sharks to kangaroos, they splatter on the ground and you don’t get any points for them. Each level gets progressively harder (level one you have to save 30 animals, while each level after increases by five), as the animals and bombs -yes, there are bombs that fall from the sky along with the creatures- fall faster and faster. Count Down is even more simple still- save as many animals as you can in the allotted time frame. You can also collect power-ups and special bonuses to help you along the way, which include Mighty Magnets that attract the animals directly to your trampoline, Super Shields that protect you from bombs (these really come in handy during the later stages), and Cuckoo Clocks that add more time to the board during Count Down mode. You can also collect coins, point multipliers, and other special bonuses, like Stampede Special (a mode after the stage you just played where you save as many animals as you can in 15 seconds), Money Shot (lol, this mode you collect as many gold coins as you can- coins are spent in the store to get better power-ups), and Blubber Bonus, a mini-game where you see how many times you can bounce a blue whale on your trampoline before he splatters all over the bitch. You can also level up in the game by completing challenges (ex. save 20 lions) and you often get tokens to “spin the Wild Wheel” which is similar to the Wheel of Fortune in that you get prizes for landing on the correct spaces- prizes include coins, extra power-ups next game, etc.
Overall, this is one of the best time-wasters on my device. The game is fun, easy to pick up, and the reward system makes you keep coming back for more. Also, the sounds effects (screams) and facial expressions on the falling animals are amazing- the kangaroo is by far the funniest.
Tip: it’s good to get a streak of saved animals going, but if you know you’re going to drop one, go for the animal that’s worth more points- panda bears are better for you than dodo birds in terms of your score.
Amateur Surgeon 2 – Have you ever dreamt of becoming a doctor? No? Maybe you’re just weird and wonder what it’s like to perform serious major surgery on someone, using household items like a lighter and a pizza cutter… Either way, Adult Swim Games and Mediatonic bring us a sequel to one of their most popular games, Amateur Surgeon. In the second coming of this title, you play as an older version of the first rounds protagonist, Alan Probe. Asked to come out of retirement and prove your skills so you can operate on a mysterious celebrity, you go through several rounds of helping “patients” with various ailments. From removing shards of glass from someones stomach to deliberately piercing a persons lung, the shit the developers came up with for you to fix is hilarious and disgustingly creative. My personal favorite is killing snakes that made their way into a circus performs heart and then removing the poison they left in there.
You have several tools at your disposal, all of which can be leveled up by getting good scores on each patient. Among your arsenal is: a rusty pizza cutter for making any kind of incisions, tongs to remove foreign objects (glass, pins, broken bones, snake heads, etc.), a lighter to cauterize cuts, pain cream to heal cuts instantly, a needle and yarn to sew up any of the bigger incisions made, a vacuum to clear away blood/poison/whatever, a chainsaw to break apart broken bones, a car battery/defibrillator to help bring a flat-lining patient back to life, a strange concoction shot of green liquid that increases a patients heart rate, and a metal detector looking device to find any foreign objects not automatically visible.
There are a ton of patients to help in the main story mode, as well as a bonus mode where you take you skills to a Big Top and help out some sick and injured circus folk. This game is pretty dark, as is the humor (lots and lots of messed up humor), but it’s a really fun time- just as good as the first game if not better. The only problem that I came across is that I’m playing this game on an iPod touch and the screen is just a bit smaller than I would like (sometimes it’s difficult to get to certain parts of the screen when operating on a patient)- this title would probably be much more fun on something bigger, say an iPad or iPad mini.
Tip: play each level as many times as you need to in order to get an A grade. A grades lead to upgraded tools and upgraded tools mean you can operate a lot faster. Time is seemingly the only factor in this game, so the faster you get a surgery done, the more points you’ll be awarded.
Super Monsters Ate My Condo– I’ve been seeing commercials for MAMC for (what seems like) years and I’m really kicking myself for not getting this title sooner- I am completely obsessed with this game. Remember all the good stuff I said about the previous three games? Well you can forget that shit- THIS is the game you want to get. Adult Swim Games and Pik Pok team up yet again to bring this monstrously fun side-swiping rampage.
SMAMC is probably the most complicated of the titles on this list, but once you get the hang of it… it’s cruel how addicting it can become. The gameplay, as best as I can describe, is as follows: you have a multi-floor condominium that is being attacked by four strange monsters, each with a different power. Each monster is a specific color, while each floor of the condo is a specific color (until they are upgraded). You use your finger to swipe the floor left or right, depending on what color monster is on either side- once you match three of the same floor, the monster of that color will swap out for a different monster. For example, red monsters eat red floors, blue eat blue, and so on. The goal of the game is to match as many floors of the condo as possible to create upgraded condos- if you match three condos of any color, it will create a bronze condo, and so on (three bronze = one silver, three silver = one gold…). If you feed the wrong color condo to a monster, they will attack and shake the tower of floors and possible topple it. As you get rid of a floor or match floors up, more stack on top from above at random.
If it sounds confusing, it’s because it kind of is, but I promise it doesn’t take long to get the hang of. As you progress and level up through the game, other floors become available. Concrete Condos cannot be moved, but they can be destroyed by matching condos around them. TNT, Nuke, and Acid Condos all countdown and explode/fuck up your tower, but can also be destroyed/defused by matching condos around them. Piggy Bank condos give you coins, while Clock Condos add more time to the clock. Cat Condos and Dog Condos are used for multiplying points. There are boosts (power-ups) available for purchase before each round that add extra points to your score, extend a monsters special power, or completely deactivate bomb, nuke, and acid condos for the round (there are a bunch of these power-ups available).
The four different monsters (please check out the pics below) have different abilities in the game to help out your score along the way. Boat Head (red) has the ability to slow time, put monsters to sleep (they can’t shake the condo), and stop the countdown of bombs. Mr. Shigoto (green) has the Double Condo ability, meaning every match creates two upgraded condos instead of just one (match three blue condos and two bronze will be created instead of just one). Reginald Starfire (blue) gives you the solid tower ability, meaning the tower cannot fall during his power-up. Lord Ferocious (yellow) multiplies all points earned during his power-up by ten. You active the monsters abilities by swiping an upgraded condo (bronze, silver, etc.) in their direction; personally, I go for red and yellow power-ups, which give a lot of points and slow the clock down so I have more time to play each round.
I’m ranked 30,414th on this game (out of what number I have no clue), with a high score of 180.42 million- it might seem like a lot, but it really isn’t that much. When I first started playing, I was happy with 500k and now I’m pissed off because I can’t get to 181 million and move up on that damn rank list!
Tip: the more you level up your rank in this game, the more condos become unlocked and able for use in the game. I would suggest focusing on unlocking achievements (you can use coins you earn to do this) and use power-ups at the beginning of the game (Peace time especially, since it turns off all bombs).
Even though these games are back to full price ($0.99 to $1.99), I would suggest grabbing them all, they’re a really fun time- I got these for free, so I can only imagine the enjoyment that someone who paid full price for them might get from them. Shame on me for waiting as long as I did to get these- I don’t want you to make the same mistake too!
UPDATE: During one of the [adult swim] commercial bumps last night, it was announced that another one of their games, Major Mayhem, was free to download this week- go for it, it’s another really fun title from ASG and Rocket Jump. Also, you may want to keep your eye on Seth Green’s Twitter account (@SethGreen) in the coming weeks for a free game or two!
Like this article? Hate it? Let Mike know in the comments section!