There was a time when going to the cinema was all about that special person, all about that special feeling and all about the glimmer of stars. There was no need for 3D, special effects or big ass bass speakers. A time of innocence that has faded, and now it is up to you to reclaim the true cinema feeling. In Megaplex Madness you have to save the classic Bowmont Theater.
Megaplex Madness: Now Playing is a time management game in the vein of Sally’s Spa, Star Wars Cantina and Diner Dash. It does however have a lot of own ideas that makes it feel fresh. As customers enter they show their current need in a speech bubble above their head. Lift, drag and drop to the correct spot to satisfy the customer. Instead of a proven time management mechanic of queuing actions Megaplex Madness introduces customer colour coding to a great extent. The different stations changes colour depending on the last customer served. When you serve five blue customers in the ticket booth you get a coin. This colour planning is a great new feature making strategy more direct.
The movie starts when the timer is down to zero, and then no more customers enter the cinema. Once time is out you can tap the customers to get quicker service. I like this small tweak, as too many time management games slows down considerably for the last couple of customers.
There are no free spots to drag the customers to, and thus it is easy to make bottlenecks by mistake. Two customers that need to get to where the other is can be swapped at a swap bonus. The strategy involved is more of a puzzle game than a high speed time management game.
The controls are ok, but the entire game suffers from being too zoomed out. The customers needs are sometime hard to distinguish. As you progress the more stations are unlocked, and the game becomes hard to play due to this lack of clarity. There are also unlockable arcade games that you can play using the coins collected. These however control poorly overall, and aren’t more than a bonus feature. I wouldn’t mention them as a selling point for the game.
As I mentioned the graphics are zoomed out. They are fairly detailed, and colourful. They don’t blow me away, but they get the job done. The music is quite grating, and sadly there is no in game playlist support. You can override the game music using the launch bar.
A great aspect of Megaplex Madness is the amount of levels. With 50 levels spread across five cinemas it is easy to spend at lest five hours with the game. As it is rather easy attaining expert rankings is quite easy making it less interesting to replay. Between levels there is quite a lot of stations to upgrade, and new employees to hire. To me this is also an important part of any time management game.
Game Center caters for achievements, social interaction and online leaderboards. It is also somehow connected to the save game, and it wipes my progress regularly. This is a real problem, and I don’t know if it is common or just my iPhone 4. I still have all my achievements but level progress vanishes. This is not a problem for my wife playing on an iPhone 3GS.
As a time management game Megaplex Madness has a lot of fresh ideas. If you are tired of just speeding through levels in other time management games you can start colour matching customers instead. Some issues with Game Center, and a need for 20/20 vision drags the final rating down. I can still fully recommend it to anyone into the genre.
Megaplex Madness: Now Playing $2.99
Seller: Big Fish Games