[Update: Frozen Codebase president Ben Geisler has told Pocket Gamer that the version submitted and approved by Apple was indeed a beta with missing art. The real version should go live on Monday or Tuesday. Our thanks to the commenters listed below and others for raising the alarm.] Kick-Ass the movie kicks ass in an oddball, independent movie sort of way, so we were moderately optimistic that the same principles would translate to the iPhone and iPad game. Sadly, early feedback suggests they didn't.
Though we can't actually download the game to see for ourselves (for reasons that will become apparent below) early user criticism has been bitter, going so far as to accuse the publisher of fraud for using screenshots of the PSP version on the App Store.
Here's a selection of comments on Pocket Gamer. Note, none of these comes from a registered user, and so there's the possibility that saboteurs are deliberately trashing the game for some reason.
As a side note, Slide to Play previewed Kick-Ass recently and was generally neutral, despite noting a few bugs. In any case, here's what's been said on Pocket Gamer.
Powered: “this game is horrible !!!!! rubbish version, do not buy not to lose your $ 3, do not buy not buy !!!!!!!! not a beat'in up, is a f*cking shooter with horrible graphics and pointless game! spread not buy it "do not buy but will regret" that bastards done a rubbish for the iphone!!”
Storeclerkman: “seriously this game sucks pretty hard, i wasted 3 bucks on this piece of crap and it has little to do with the story of kick-ass. The graphics sucks, the gameplay sucks, the music has got to be the most annoying awful crap i've ever heard and overall this game is just a horrible nightmare. DO NOT BUY IT! nothing about this game is good. I want my money back.”
Indie: “images of the game in the iTunes Store, not the version iphone / Ipod touch, are trying to fool consumers, liars liars!”
dumas1000: “I heard there is no blood, so what the heck are they talking about? There is no gore.
Basically, this is fraud. Apple needs to ban this from the AppStore entirely. The screenshots shown in iTunes are from a different version of the game. Those are from the PSN version, not the idevice version, and that alone constitutes fraud. “
Christian: “It was taken off the app store for exactly that. Fraud. PIty too it did look good but I caught it early and we have banned it. . The screens were for the Ps3/PsP download not of those for the iplatform.”
Christian: “Just informed that it was not their "real version" on the app store earlier. That version was passed through apple without Frozen Codebase knowing and it was not on par with FCs' standards. The real version will be released on Monday.”
If we're to take the above to reflect the situation more or less accurately (and that's at least a medium sized 'if') it seems the game may not follow the events of the film very closely, may not have good sound, may not be much fun to play, may not feature blood, and the screenshots on the App Store may not be for the game being sold – which may or may not be the reason that the game was subsequently pulled.
If reader Christian is to be believed, the version that went live did so without developer Frozen Codebase's knowledge, and it was not the “real version.” That'll be with us on Monday.
We've contacted Frozen Codebase for comment. In the mean time, have any other readers managed to play the game, and if so what were your impressions?