iPhone App Video Review: Hunger Games: Girl on Fire

by Andrew Koziara

Hunger Games: Girl on Fire is an official adver-game for the new big screen adaptation of Suzanne Collins’ first entry in a new trilogy, simply titled Hunger Games. It’s being published by none other than Lion's Gate Film studios itself. Don’t let all of that turn you off of the game, though. Not only is it a fun game with great old-school visuals, but it’s completely free as well. I’m sure it helps that Adam Saltsman of Semi-Secret Software, who designed the extremely addicting and interesting Canabalt, was on the design team for this one.

You play as a girl named Katniss Everdeen, and you are currently taking part in a ridiculous, “fight to the death” reality TV show, a la The Running Man and other similar stories. Teams of young adults in different districts are forced to take each other on. Unfortunately, this means they’re all young, angry, and know how to use weapons and stuff. What could possible go wrong?

This is a simple combat based auto-runner. Swipe up and down to switch between the two existing planes, and tap anywhere on the screen to shoot an arrow there. While hunting illegally in the woods outside her district, she is caught by these giant mechanical wasps or hornets known as Tracker Jackers, and most of the game is about dealing with them. The game is split into two simple areas: the woods and the district itself. In the woods, after any sting or hit from a TJ, the screen will begin pulsating. If you get hit again before it stops, it’s game over, but otherwise you can take as much punishment as possible. The district area is notably harder. You’ll also have to deal with Capitol hovercraft in a kind of drawn-out boss fight, and you can’t get hit once here.

This game looks and sounds great. The gameplay itself is quite fun. Switching between two planes as swarms of robot wasps cloud the screen can make for an intense experience. The gesture reading seems to be a bit sensitive, as it’s easy to accidentally switch planes while shooting. Unfortunately, this game is extremely short. It would be absolutely perfect for some kind of endless score mode, but it’s just these two rather short levels accompanied by a leaderboard. In that sense, this is a straight up arcade game, matching the older style of graphics, but a little bit more would have been appreciated. Of course, the real important stuff is in the extras section, where you can view trailers and buy merchandise or even movie tickets for the new film! In all seriousness though, the game is totally free, so you should just download it, have as much fun with it as is personally possibly for you, and then delete it, guilt free.