The creativity that goes into creating a game for mobile platforms is always astounding. Sometimes these works of art take us to far away worlds where we have to battle against the hordes of evil, utilizing all of our skills and strategy to complete an epic quest. Other times a game may just dress up a lemon-like being in a makeshift space suit and fly him around the galaxy, collecting bottles of lemon juice to reassemble his home planet of Lemonia that was viciously destroyed by flying pig-type creatures. Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the hard life of Lemon Joe.
Now, don't get the wrong idea with all of that absurdity mentioned above, because the developers at MaxMedia Games make Lemon Joe work. Players are pitted against countless puzzles that are completed after collecting three bottles of lemon juice while avoiding contact with vicious blades, gnarly lemon squashers and flying pig baddies. Players must also collect enough stars in each level to unlock all of the game's six worlds.
To help the player along his or her way, Lemon Joe offers some cool powerups to help collect that precious juice. By utilizing smoke traps, the player can disorientate their adversaries or just outrun them with a speed boost. I especially enjoyed using the teleportation power for the tricky puzzles.
The only regret I had while playing Lemon Joe was that I was a bit too liberal with my powerup use. You are only granted a small amount of each power, and the only way to attain more is to trade the bottles of lemon juice that you've collected. The cheapest powerup is priced at a hundred bottles of the sweet nectar, so you can understand how long that might take to save up for. There is an option to trade real world cash for in-game currency to attain the powerups, but those who would rather keep their wallets in their pockets should use the powers wisely.
I was fairly pleased with the presentation style that MaxMedia employed with Lemon Joe. The game has a very familiar look that will attract audiences of all ages. The music is cute, the characters are adorable and customizable and the goals are straightforward. I'm not a huge fan of the point to move or swipe to move controls, but I think that MaxMedia created a game that’s easy to pick up and play, which is something that the mobile games market will always need.
The Good: Lemon Joe is easy to pick up and has an addictive quality, a polished look, and a familiar theme. While not groundbreaking, it has all of the ingredients necessary to be a featured app.
The Bad: I found it frustrating to have to spend so many bottles of juice for powerups, and the point/swipe to move options can become tedious when navigating puzzles.
The Verdict: I had a blast with Lemon Joe. After getting used to the occasionally sticky controls, I found that working my way around the dangers of each level was fun, and unlocking the different levels and worlds was rewarding. I think that Lemon Joe is a great foundation for some very fun future expansions, so it'll be interesting to see where MaxMedia's creation ends up.
Released today, head over to the Apple iTunes Store and download Lemon Joe.
NOTE: This app review is provided as part of PhoneDog's sponsored app review program. More information can be found athttp://www.phonedogmedia.com