Party Of Three – Reviewing The Applebee’s Tablet Games

The video games press can’t cover everything – there just isn’t enough time to look at all of the games that release each year. Naturally, these pressures lead to blind spots. We, the interns, have taken it upon ourselves to fill one such void in games journalism. Read along, as we get down to the nitty gritty of the reviews you really want to see: Applebee’s Tablet Games. 

Upon sitting down at one of these fine establishments, you’ll find a mysterious tablet at the end of the table. For just $1.99, the tablet becomes a portal to fun. Below, you’ll find our expert opinions, an appropriate food pairing, and a monetary value of the amount of fun we had with each and every game on the device.

WARNING: SPOILERS

Smashy Brick
Smashy Brick takes advantage of the touchscreen in a unique way. It’s a typical Breakout clone, but instead of a bar, the ball (or square in this case) is bouncing off of a line you draw with your finger. It’s a cool concept, but I never liked Breakout. I give it points for originality, though. Also, it looks clean, and it never crashed/bugged out at any point, which is more than can be said for most of the games on this list. – Craig Taylor

Pairs with: The Puzzling Grilled Chicken ‘N Cornbread Salad
Fun: $0.25

Care Bears Love to Learn
As someone who doesn’t love to learn, I gained a whole new appreciation for what it means to be educated. Simple skills, such as counting and pattern recognition, have never been more fun. Unfortunately, just as I felt I was hitting my groove and getting to know the characters, it was over. I look forward to Care Bears Love to Learn 2. Side note: Upon sitting down at our Applebee’s booth, I noticed Doug looked especially dumb. If anyone needed learning, it’s him. – Jared Koncsol

Pairs with: Grilled Cheese and Mott’s Applesauce
Fun: $0.15

Trivia Attack
Whenever I’m sitting down for a fine meal at Applebee’s, it’s inevitable that someone questions my intelligence. Now, I can prove them wrong by smashing the high score on Harry Potter trivia. Sometimes you look stupid because the game throws curveballs at you, like a Shrek question in the Disney category. I totally would have gotten it right if it was in a Dreamworks category, I swear. With “thousands” of questions (we managed to find repeats on our second attempt) and a variety of categories, Trivia Attack is a perfectly functional trivia experience. – Doug DeLong

Pairs with: A) Cedar Salmon with Maple Mustard Glaze   B) Cedar Grilled Lemon Chicken   C) Caesar Salad   D) All of the above
Fun: $0.50

Tractor Crew
Tractor Crew introduces a lot of questions: Who is my crew? Why aren’t there any tractors in this game? Despite a promising set-up, Tractor Crew may have been the biggest letdown of the night. The game tasks you with getting inconveniently placed uranium into a safe waste deposit. With its unique physics engine and complex control scheme, the touchpad controller simply couldn’t handle the dynamicity of the game. Hopefully, the next generation of touch technology will be able to support Kurius Games’ ambition. – Jared Koncsol

Pairs with: Any alcoholic beverage
Fun: -$0.10

Gold Rush
It’s Bejeweled. Match colors to make all adjacent pieces disappear. The stack rises with increasing speed until it’s game over. Despite being a cookie-cutter puzzle game, it was actually fun. Once you get used to the flow, Gold Rush throws in a new element to the gameplay like screen-clearing power-ups or color changers, so the game will hold your attention until you lose. The game challenged us to go “Deluxe,” but when we hit the button nothing happened. – Craig Taylor

Pairs with: A bowl of tortilla chips that you can’t stop eating
Fun: $0.65

Delicious: Emily’s New Beginning
Babysitters are expensive, and sometimes your husband JUST WON’T WATCH THE DAMN BABY FOR A SECOND. Emily has starred in a number of restaurant-management games, but this time you also need to keep an eye on your baby while you do it. You tap around the screen to make Emily run around and perform tasks, such as putting together a hamburger, handing people menus, and keeping the baby from crawling out the door. The game is said to have a “Once in a lifetime story,” but unfortunately the Applebee’s tablet is not the place to experience it. The delicious graphics are much too demanding for the system, which causes the framerate to crawl more slowly than little Paige, and the unresponsive touch screen makes the game nearly unplayable. – Doug DeLong

Pairs with: There’s no time to eat! That man needs a donut, and the baby needs rocking!
Fun: $0.01

Paint Fun
More like ain’t fun. Paint Fun provided a limited number of colors and tools to bring my work of art to life, and the overall result was uninspired. As I attempted to capture a typical day in the G.I. intern room, I found myself disappointed with the lack of options the game afforded me while attempting to depict such a beautiful moment. Ben Reeves’ beautiful curly locks lacked their lustrous texture, while Jeff Cork’s beard simply couldn’t even begin to be captured by the repugnant lack of chromatic values. I originally had plans to print my masterpiece and get it framed for Jeff and Ben, so they might hang it upon their fridges as they would their own child’s creation. Jeff and Ben hold a special place in my heart, and Paint Fun in no way prepared me to express that sentiment. – Jared Koncsol

Pairs with: Non-toxic paints
Fun: $0.07

Action Blox
This game pissed me off, but I also loved it. It’s one of those math-puzzle games where you have to rotate and turn a prism so it falls down a hole. I was determined to solve level six, and was right about to complete it when “Grubby Hands” Jared Koncsol grabbed the tablet from me. Then I got angry. This is a good puzzle game if you have rugrats who won’t sit still in the Applebee’s. You can also buy the home version, but according to reviews it doesn’t work. – Craig Taylor

Pairs with: Candy Blox that Doug brought in his purse
Fun: $0.52

Text Twist 2
What’s that? Knowing random facts about Harry Potter doesn’t prove I’m smart? Well guess what, buddy – wait until you see my anagram skills. This simple game about creating words from an assortment of letters is a useful tool for very secure people, like myself, to prove to their server that they’re geniuses. My server even told me “Wow, good job,” with an expressionless look on his face because he was dumbfounded by my mastery of the English language. – Doug DeLong

Pairs with: The twisty noodles from the Four-Cheese Macaroni and Cheese
Fun: Making random people like you? Priceless.

Tippy Wings
Going into the night, Tippy Wings was a clear favorite with its promise of Flappy Birds-esque gameplay. We were severely disappointed to find the game got stuck on the “Powered by Unity” screen. I’m not sure if this was a problem with Unity or some other technical issue. I do know Applebee’s has dedicated servers, but unfortunately, they seemed more interested in keeping my water topped off than troubleshooting the game. Either way, Tippy Wings left me with a bad taste in my mouth. To be fair, that may have just been the chicken wonton tacos. – Jared Koncsol

Pairs with: Waiting for your wings that aren’t coming because your server forgot
Fun: Still waiting to find out

Prestogram
Although, it’s an unoriginal concept, Prestogram provided a fresh take on the image-filtering genre. The gameplay was spectacular, with tight sticker placement and a fluent user-interface. My only qualm with Prestogram is the distinct lack of sticker content, and the fact that the Viking helmet makes Doug look even more pretentious than he already is. I can only assume more stickers will be added as DLC, although Presto has yet to announce any. Prestogram has an integrated multiplayer which allows you to connect with others upon completion of your gram. Jeff and Ben were thrilled to receive ours, and we hope to be getting one in return very soon. – Jared Koncsol

Pairs with: A side of Pesto Mayo
Fun: $0.12

Next Up: The Interns get to know each other really well after playing some group games.

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Source: Game Informer