Nate Adcock over at iPhone Life Magazine was kind enough to post a review of “American McGee’s Crooked House“. Though admittedly not a typical fan of puzzle game apps, Nate still manages to find some compelling elements inside our wicked little house. From the review:
“Bottom line, the crooked little mouse is caught in the weird crooked house, and your job is to help it escape the various crooked rooms without dying. The death is typically a shredding by cat claws, smashed into pulp, or similar gory ending. The puzzles amount to sliding objects around until your mouse can run unmolested through to the goal.”
Nate makes a few suggestions for improvements, like more randomized death events (cool!) and a visible cat paw when the mouse is killed after running out of time (yay!) – both of these I think are great, so we’ll add them into the next release, which will hit the streets alongside the iPad version. Keep your eyes open for that – I’ll alert you here.
Driven by recent reviews and customer word-of-mouth both “Crooked House” and our previously released IQ challenger “DexIQ” have both been selling like hotcakes. If this keeps up we might just have to release another game app – question is… what should it be? Another fairytale-inspired title, IQ challenge, or ??? Leave your suggestions in the comments!
Spicy Pony‘s latest iPhone game “Crooked House” has, since launch, received praise and attention beyond expectation – but the just-posted review over at 148apps.com cements for me the success of the concept with gamers and critics alike. From the review:
Iâ€™m always impressed when a game can really make good use of the unique functionality available to the iDevice lineup. American McGeeâ€™s Crooked House does just that. This puzzle based game uses an Aurora Feint approach to moving items around by shifting the orientation of the iDevice.
I’m really happy to read that Spicy Pony has impressed with their latest game. The team put a lot of creativity and love into “Crooked” and their previous title “DexIQ“. Both apps are now selling at a volume that convinces us of the validity of the iPhone development and distribution model. Rapid development, small teams, digital distribution and a closeness with critics and audiences all feel *right* – and capture so much of what’s been lost with “big” game development, titanic publishers and overblown marketing campaigns.
If you’ve not done so already, maybe now’s the time to join the fun?
The latest from American McGee’s Spicy Pony is dark, vile and wicked fun for a puzzle game. It’s simple, really. Help your little mouse friend escape the Crooked House. A handful of the puzzles (there are 72) are difficult to solve but I’d rather be challenged then waste $2 on a mindless game.
Speaking of Crooked House, our iPhone dev team Spicy Pony is putting the finishing touches on an iPad version of the game. It’ll feature higher-res graphics and a number of improvements suggested by users like yourself. The iPhone version will receive an update at release of the iPad version. More reasons to get crooked now!
In the game, the mouseâ€™s plan is simple: Escape the crooked house. But as you might expect, this is easier said than done. Standing between the mouse and his freedom are an increasingly mischievous series of crooked puzzles.
Puzzling involves sliding blocks in order to make a path for your mouse to the exit of each level. This is accomplished using either tilt or swipe controls. All blocks move in the same direction, and so the difficulty comes in manipulating the blocks in such a way that they all fall into proper place. Environmental obstacles both help and hinder your progress. Throwing blocks into grinders destroys them, and striking your mouse with a block ends him in bloodiness. Each stage also has a time limit for completion; if not met, your mouse will be eviscerated by the houseâ€™s crooked cat.
#94 on Top 100
This being the iPhone app after DexIQ we decided to try a couple of “new” things – like presenting the game in an art style more closely associated with my previous projects, injecting a bit more gore, and adding my “brand name” to the title. This last idea was difficult for me to approach – I’ve always felt conflicted about use of my name in association with projects that are built by multi-person teams. “Crooked” is no different – a team of 5 people devoted creative energy and smart thinking to its development. So why brand it?
The primary reason for using the “brand” was to determine if it would help the app rise above the noise. DexIQ, though it’s a solid game and has been well reviewed, has yet to gain real traction. So has the branding helped “Crooked House“? Looks that way – though the reviews have been positive, there have been fewer of them, and less “noise” in general – but the app has quickly made its way to the Top #100 on the App Store.
How much of this can be attributed to the branding – hard to say. But it’s good to see the efforts of the Spicy Pony team being rewarded with strong sales.
Spicy Pony is proud to announce the release of their second game app for iPhone: American McGee’s Crooked House. It’s a puzzle game so devious it’ll make you squeak with fright. Based on one of the best loved nursery rhymes of all time, “There Was a Crooked Man”:
There was a crooked man,
He went a crooked mile,
He found a crooked sixpence beside a crooked stile;
He bought a crooked cat,
Which caught a crooked mouse,
And they all lived together —
in a little crooked house.
It was the crooked mouse,
First lost his crooked smile,
Weary of the crooked nonsense beside the crooked stile;
He shred the crooked cat,
He fled the crooked man,
And he might live forever —
If you help him in his plan.
About the Game
Help the Crooked Mouse escape the Crooked House!
A dizzying array of macabre objects fill the crooked house.
Arrange the objects by to create a safe route for the mouse.
Fail and the mouse dies a gruesome death. Eek!
â— 2 control methods (tilt or tap)
â— 3 distinct areas of the house
â— 44 types of macabre objects
â— 72 individual puzzles
â— Plus+ Awards and leader boards
â— American McGee’s style of twisted fairytale
Check out more posters and screenshots on flickr
Or head straight to the app store and get Crooked
While the Spicy Pony team is hard at work on their new concept (Crooked House) they’ve found time to update their first release, DexIQ. The original DexIQ presented a unique challenge among iPhone games: Two games played simultaneously and geared towards challenging both your IQ and your dexterity.
The updated version improves the existing test/games and adds a whole new DexIQ challenge – new games in a new test package. These screenshots I’ve uploaded to my flickr account will show you some of the new games. But you’ve got to try it to ‘get it’ – trust me when I say you’ve never played a challenge game like this.