We’re all used to seeing “value packs” pop up for old formats, whether it’s in the form of a mini-console that sits under your TV or all-in-one discs that transform your Xbox 360 into a Genesis for a few hours. Having one turn up on iPhone, however, could be a little disconcerting. Is it all over already? Has our favorite gaming haven already become a relic?
Of course, rather than confining it to the pages of history, Triniti’s All-In-1 Gamebox is actually an attempt to cash in on the thousands of apps currently in the App Store. Here, 25 and counting games are bundled into one hefty download, the idea being to serve up a range of accessible titles for a very reasonable price.
All this, and more, can be yours.
Value packs live and die by the quality of the games they offer up, however, and All-In-1 follows the traditional pattern of headlining with some games you’ll have heard of, while filling in the rest with some that are a little more obscure. This particular package sways far more towards the latter, and those who take a chance are likely to be confronted by a wealth of entirely new titles, and not all of them are good.
The fact that they’re new doesn’t mean they won’t feel familiar, however. Anyone who has sampled Flash-turned iPhone classic Canabalt, for instance, will instantly recognize some of the titles available here, with Jailbreaker following its formula almost to the letter.
In Jailbreaker, the idea is to leap over and roll under objects as you try to make your escape from prison. With the running taken care of, your only input is to tap buttons to jump and roll, lasting for as long as you can before you inevitably smack straight into a wooden crate. It doesn’t quite have the crisp appearance of Canabalt, however, and it can’t escape the fact that it feels like a blatant copy.
Prices so low you’ll think we’re craaaaazay!
Indeed, that’s a running theme with much of what’s on offer. Hell Flyer offers touch-based swinging action that borrows more than a little from the superb Hook Champ, but sadly lacks both its style and breadth. Likewise, All-In-1 Gamebox also comes with Bubble Master, which follows old school classic Pang’s rule-set to the letter– spear-guns splitting bouncing balls that threaten to squish you into the floor– but comes without the same spoonful of charm.
In essence, you get what you pay for. While most of these titles are completely playable, none exactly draw you in for a second round.
This is why All-in-1 Gamebox falls back on two Triniti “big hitters” to capture the crowds. The most notable is strategy sim Ancient War. Its cartoon cavemen offer a distinct amount of quality otherwise lacking in the vast majority of the package’s efforts. The other high flyer is iSniper 3D, which, despite its disjointed difficulty setting and frustrating controls, is at least a headline release that pushes some visual boundaries.
And that is essentially All-In-1 Gamebox’s problem. Though on the surface 25 titles for just $0.99 seems like the bargain of the century– and iSniper 3D costs that by itself– most of them don’t need to be played more than once. What is admirable is Triniti’s efforts to keep the flow of titles coming. Since launch, All-In-1 Gamebox has been updated nine times, tripling the number of games originally on offer.
If Triniti can branch out and secure more original games rather than just knockoffs, then it might be onto something. As it is, picking up All-In-1 Gamebox won’t do you any harm, but it isn’t quite the bargain it might initially appear to be.
Editor’s Note: Slide To Play will be reviewing more older games that have made it into the App Store Top Games list. If you have a game you’d like to see us review, drop us a note on twitter.com/slidetoplay