Big teeth, big claws, big appetites, big hair. Lions are the action heroes of nature, and wholly underrepresented in the gaming realm. Addressing the deficiency is Lion Pride, in which you take control of several lions for an orgy of hunting and gorging.
You start with a single lion. Various animals run onto your plain and the object of the game is to trace a route to them on the touchscreen so that you can maul and devour them. The various impalas, gazelles, wart hogs and zebras can run out of harm’s way, however, so the trick is to interrupt their bolt trajectory.
As the levels progress and you gain more lions to control, the gameplay takes on new forms. For example, you can use one lion to scare a herd of goats in one direction, another to flank and a third to go in for the jugular. You can also stun animals for a short time by double tapping them, which is useful when going after big game, like zebras.
You have a meat meter, which ticks away in accordance with how much exertion you put the pride through, and you gain extra points for hunting more efficiently. There are other bonus actions, too, such as double tapping hippos when they appear or scaring animals into the path of the prowling male lion.
The balance of unpredictable dynamic targets and finite resources is masterful and the colourful, regularly cycled backgrounds and animals are a persuasive reason to hang around for one more go.
The email-only score challenges are a bit of a letdown. Facebook or Twitter integration would be a perfect fit for a game that lends itself so well to high score chasing.
It's also worth noting that the scoring mechanism, which is points based, doesn't lend itself to competitive scoring one upmanship. This is a pretty big misstep and a simple number-of-animals-killed score would probably have worked a little better.Lion Pride is still an excellent slant on the line-drawing genre, though, offering fresh ideas that are destined to be copied and presentation that goes toe to toe with the competition.