“Boy, that escalated quickly”
It’s rather amazing—astounding, even—that it has taken this long after the success of Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy for Hollywood to do a sequel. As it turns out, this has two notable benefits. One is that, following a realistic passage of time for the actors involved in the 2004 film, they now get to set the new movie in the mid-eighties. The other is that, had they made the sequel back around 2005 or so, we might not have gotten a mobile video game based on it.
Of course, as it turns out, that may not have been such a bad thing. Don’t get us wrong; Anchorman 2: Scotchy Scotch Toss is a perfectly decent game, and it definitely has more to offer if you—like us– are a fan of Anchorman and its star, Ron Burgundy (whose voice is actually provided here by Will Ferrell himself, so you know it’s authentic). But the simple fact of the matter is that there just isn’t a lot to it, and you’re likely to run the gamut of nearly everything there is to see or do here in about 10 or 20 minutes. Okay, maybe not all 300 of Ron’s lines; given how some are repeated, that could indeed take a while.
The gameplay is very simple: Ron Burgundy has a glass of scotch, and he wants ice in it. That’s where you come in, by touching the screen and flicking the ice towards the glass. Get it in, score points; simple as that. There is a slight challenge factor in the strange indoor wind, for which you’ll need to compensate, but without any real goals beyond icing Ron up, all it really affects is how long it takes you to rack up more and more points.
There are four different environments (taken from the upcoming film), and those make things a little more interesting. In particular, there are different things you can hit with the ice cubes, such as a jazz player (messing up his rhythm temporarily), scorpion tanks, mounted sharks, or just landing one for Ron’s dog Baxter to catch. Some of these even net you more extra points!
Once you’ve gone through the four levels and hit everything, though, the game begins to lose its appeal. Ron’s lines are amusing, but even his voiced approval/disapproval can’t keep you going for too long. As noted, the wind adds a little extra challenge, though compensating feels a bit off. More specific goals might have been nice, or if the glass moved around a little more from the center of the screen.
The online multiplayer is supposed to be more goal-oriented, as you challenge a friend (who must also purchase the game) in a bid to get the most ice into Ron’s glass throughout three rounds. Unfortunately, as of this writing, we could not get the game to connect online, so we can only speculate as to how much this might improve the experience.
Anchorman 2: Scotchy Scotch Toss is a game that doesn’t quite reach for the stars, and fittingly enough, doesn’t really grab them. It’s maybe a little better than serviceable, thanks to the involvement of Will Ferrell to provide his character’s lines (it would have been cool if they used actual images of him, rather than a caricature), but not much better than that.
Still, it’s helped spark our interest in seeing the movie, and since that’s often the goal of these types of games… mission accomplished?