2012
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| 2012

To answer the question in the strapline: No, probably not. But today, this movie license is surprisingly intriguing.

Disaster films are notorious for featuring mile-high tidal waves or crumbling cities that are more believable and well developed than the characters, but in the case of the 2012 mobile game, the developer has made a very interesting feature of this film cliché.

A storm in a tea cup

Rather than trying to recreate some contrived plot from a special effects extravaganza that’s really only interested in showing you buildings getting smashed up in imaginative ways, 2012 puts you in control of a massively destructive weather system.

Earthquakes, windstorms, hurricanes and firestorms are yours to command, as the cities of America are torn apart in the prophesised apocalypse.

In Story mode you’re required to navigate these violent storms out of the city as quickly as you can while causing as little damage as possible. Turning a hurricane on a hair pin isn’t easy, however, and the inertia of the weather system takes some controlling to guide it around the labyrinthine streets.

Along the way you can collect up icons of varying sorts to bolster your score, and fill an energy meter that allows you to repair some of the damage you’ve caused. You could probably classify this as a kind of hybrid platformer/racing game, and it’s unique enough to work surprisingly well.

On the rampage

An alternative mode is also provided, which turns the game on its head. Still in control of the weather, your job now is to bring the apocalypse down and destroy as much of the city as possible in the time limit.

Your ‘city repair’ meter is also reversed, and causes a violent detonation when triggered - clearing out a few irksome landmarks in the immediate vicinity.

Each type of storm performs better on particular types of building, though the challenge is more in finding suitable buildings to smash rather than choosing your weather type carefully.

Ultimately, 2012 will be quite short lived, but it’s a very welcome divergence from the usual movie tie-in rubbish, and makes a sincere and unique effort to entertain in its own right, rather than sell the big screen product.

2012

By stepping back from the trite film plot this movie tie-in manages to craft a simple but effective game that allows you to refine your civilization-saving skills, or delight in the destruction of an entire city. Short lived, but a lot of fun while it lasts
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