Many TV manufacturers would have you believe that the future of television control is through your voice and gesture control, but one game developer is thinking an existing Android smartphone will do just fine.
You’re Fired is one such game from South Korean publisher Busidol, which sadly leaves iOS users out in the cold. However, you can hardly be surprised that Samsung isn’t encouraging developers to build companion apps for iPhone and iPad users.
The purpose of the game is to travel the world cleaning up the place, and once you’ve installed the Android companion app (available as a Lite version or a full version for £1.16) you then use your phone or tablet to erase the various screens of rather stereotypical objects (such as burgers and bling from the first country featured, USA) and gradually progress around the world while battling against the clock.
Control methods include sliding your finger around the display (in drag mode), or moving the phone around and using the integrated gyroscope (gyro mode) if supported by your device.
Before I could even get going, I had a number of problems just getting the game to start in the first place, with a good 20 minutes of messing around installing the app on an Android smartphone, attempting to connect with the TV (both connected to the same Wi-Fi network) and being told over and over that the phone couldn’t be found.
The TV was having none of it, until I resorted to a plan B and enabled the TVs own access point and connected my phone to that instead. At this point, the connection was done almost instantly, but will anyone want to go through so much work to play a single game? I’m pretty sure most won’t.
The game itself – while incredibly simplistic – is actually quite good fun. The music is especially annoying after it has looped for the hundredth time, but you can shut off the volume (and that includes your mobile, as the same music plays there too), but the graphics are quite bold and punchy.
In fact, everything about this game would be fine if you didn’t discover that once you’ve cleaned up USA on the Lite version, you’re told to go and buy the full version to progress. A single level that takes about 30 seconds to complete seems like a huge insult after all the effort required to get up and running, from downloading on the TV app store, to getting the Android app and pairing the two apps together.
But, that said, £1.16 (at current exchange rates) is hardly going to break the bank and you can add more interest with the two player mode. To invoke this, you’ll need another person with an Android device that follows the same pairing process (and buys the full version of the game).
This adds a bit more fun by giving a competitive element, but ultimately the game isn’t really demanding enough that you’ll be wanting to come back to it regularly.
After a lot of messing around to get going, you get a feeling that using your smartphone as a gamepad makes more sense than trying to use the standard remote. But the game is quite simplistic and the music soon grates. Lite users will find that everything is over almost immediately after it has begun, so it probably isn’t even worth the bother unless you’re willing to pay.