Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel masterpiece took him a painstaking four years, Director Stanley Kubrick was a notorious perfectionist, renown for his lengthy film shoots, I could go on… but I guess what I’m trying to say is, brilliance takes time. So while Paladin Studios whipping up this, their Appstore debut, in a mere two weeks is undoubtedly an impressive feat, perhaps that the end result feels unfinished is also unsurprising.
You’re instantly thrown right into the thick of the action, and out of a plane minus a parachute. Playing as the titular Jimmy Pataya, adrenaline junkie extraordinaire, the aim of the game is to survive as long as possible by dodging your way through legendary obstacle course The Grinder as you hurtle earthwards at a hundred miles an hour.
Sound like some white-knuckle fun? It is. Jimmy Pataya boasts bright, crisp graphics, flawless tilt controls and an exhilerating skydiving/dodging mechanic. But blink and you’ll miss them. As unfortunately the speedy production period has resulted in thrills at the expense of frills.
This means we only get one, albeit enjoyable, basic game mode, a solitary environment to play in, and a general lack of overall polish.
So while the game nails a stomach-churning sensation of speed and vertigo as you weave your way through the wooden deathtrap, after a couple of goes it soon loses its initial appeal and with no further challenges on offer, other than endlessly attempting to better your own score, you’ll most likely lose interest quickly.
Which is a shame because Openfeint integration with leaderboards, a couple of death scenes (see Super Turbo Action Pig for splatter animations being used to hilarious effect), extra levels and additional modes (how about an extreme mode where Jimmy could pull off aerial stunts and rack up combos? or collect power-ups?) would’ve added depth and could’ve saved Pataya from plummeting into obscurity.
That said, it’ll probably take these talented devs all of five minutes to knock together an awesome update or two, so the game is still a sound investment at a down to earth .99 cents.
iFanzine Verdict: Jimmy Pataya delivers an instant hit of high-octane, arcade style gaming, but unfortunately the thrills are short-lived due to a lack of depth and an incentive for replayability.