Disney’s Wreck-It Ralph will hit theaters one week from today, so I thought it would be the perfect time to review this free little title inspired by the movie. In case you are unfamiliar, Wreck-It Ralph is about a fictional ’80s arcade game called Fix-it Felix. The villain of which (Wreck-It Ralph himself) grows tired of being the bad guy and ventures off into other games to become a hero.
Fix-it Felix Jr. is strictly an iOS recreation of the arcade game mentioned above, and has no other link to the movie. That said, it’s surprisingly believable as an old school, quarter munching arcade game. The 8-bit graphics and NES-style music are so charmingly retro that I could almost swear I played this game as a kid.
You play as Felix, a repair man for Niceland Apartments. Your job is to jump between window ledges and repair all the broken windows before time runs out. Getting in the way of your job, however, is Wreck-It Ralph, who rains a steady stream of bricks upon you while causing fresh damage for you to fix. Each level also has an assortment of barriers that restrict your movement, making some windows a bit riskier to reach.
Like any good game of its (supposed) era, the simplicity of the gameplay is what makes it so addictive. I found myself replaying this title over and over trying to best my high scores. That is, until the game’s main flaw started to taint the experience. If this game really was in arcades, it would have a nice, smooth joystick to control Felix and I could cruise through the stages. On iOS, however, you have a small virtual d-pad making it easy to hit the wrong direction or miss the controller altogether. My frustration at this boiled over after an hour and I haven’t picked it up since.
For a free game, this is a great diversion and I commend Disney for making a promotional game that doesn’t hit you over the head with what it’s promoting. I’m only disappointed because I think this could have actually been a remarkable title had just a little more thought been put into the controls.