Ah, the film-to-game conversion is upon us once again. It's hard not to feel for the development team behind these big licenses, as they're really not free to make the game they want.

Rather, the mobile game of the movie is too often used by the film companies as a quick and dirty box office promotion, and that's precisely what's dragging Avatar the mobile game to its knees.

Don't spend too long in your avatar

Though it's not a particularly big deal, there are noticeable discrepancies between the film plot and that of the game. It's a condensed version of the story, told through platformer gameplay, but it's immensely difficult to follow who wants what in Avatar.

Characters chop and change between establishing contact with the natives on the planet Pandora and mining the valuable material between their homeworld. One moment you're working for the blood-hungry military, the next you're told your opinion has changed and you're sympathetic to the Na'vi - only to have it switch back again in the next level.

So ignoring the fumbling plot is the best approach, and concentrating on the platforming gameplay is the best method of uncovering what little Avatar has to offer.

Branching out

The game follows your athletic adventure as the avatar (a remote controlled humanoid) as you infiltrate and learn the ways of the indigenous population. There's a strong sense that this game is a re-skinned version of Assassin's Creed 2, built around the same occasional, simplistic combat and lots of climbing.

The animation is disturbingly stilted, which spoils the vital organic nature that permeates the Avatar concept. And although the run, jump, swing gameplay is reasonably accessible (with the game engine taking the effort - and skill - away from you) it inspires very little in the way of exciting adventure.

Objectives are dropped on you in a crass and ham-fisted manner, and serve only to give you a new set of trees to scale with very little waiting for you at the top.

As detailed and attractive as Avatar appears on the surface, the superficiality and unimaginative gameplay makes this your typical big film license that would have a negative effect on anyone who hasn't yet seen the film.


Basic, uninspired gameplay and dreadful story telling are hidden behind some nice looking visuals and a big film licence. Not very well hidden, mind you
Spanner Spencer
Spanner Spencer
Yes. Spanner's his real name, and he's already heard that joke you just thought of. Although Spanner's not very good, he's quite fast, and that seems to be enough to keep him in a regular supply of free games and away from the depressing world of real work.