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Kickin Momma

For: iPhone   Also on: iPad

(N.B. Pocket Gamer discourages parental abuse)

Product: Kickin Momma | Developer: Hothead Games | Publisher: Hothead Games | Format: iPhone | Genre: Casual | Players: 1 | Version: Europe | App version: 1.0
Kickin Momma iPhone, thumbnail 1
Imagine for a second you want to buy a necklace, but you don’t have enough money. Faced with such a situation, you essentially have two choices.

The most logical option would be to save up until you can afford it.

Alternatively, you could lob a brick through the window of your local H Samuel, claiming that you’re protesting against The Man and that you're not just an opportunistic little oik, honest, guv'.

Here, the eponymous matriarch has other ideas, using her kids to fulfil her rampant consumerist fantasies by booting them down peg-filled pits to grab enough gems to create an expensive piece of neckwear. Somebody call Social Services!

Sock it to 'em

Sadly, it’s impossible to ignore such callousness. If you want to progress in Kickin Momma, you will have to repeatedly and unceremoniously punt these poor critters to collect sufficient scarlet shinies.

Sliding your finger across the touchscreen controls power and trajectory, and then you simply wait and see where your mini-monster bounces.

There are several varieties of peg: some explode on contact, and others endow bonuses, like multipliers. And you’ll need to reach a certain points tally on a single turn to earn an extra kick.

Poached pegs

Sound familiar? Then you’ve probably played PopCap’s Peggle, of which this is a pretty shameless clone. Then again, we’ve played perfectly enjoyable imitations of popular games before, and Kickin Momma happens to be a particularly high-quality facsimile.

For starters, it has a few neat design tweaks. Making contact with gems isn’t enough to collect them - rather, you’ll need to ensure they drop to the bottom of the pit so Momma can hoover them up.

A zoomed-in view of your target in the top-left of the screen is an elegant solution to the problem of fine-tuning your shot, too.

It’s also extremely polished, looking particularly sharp on Retina displays, with some amusing idle animations from Momma and plenty of background detail. Net a decent shot score (or a 'super nice' one, as the game would have it) and fireworks will explode prettily.

And while it obviously inherits Peggle’s flaws – often you’re more reliant on lucky bounces than genuine skill when hunting high scores – Kickin Momma is a more forgiving game, allowing you to pass a stage without collecting every gem, while offering incentives to return and better your total.

Call of booty

Having said that, aside from Game Center achievements and high scores, there’s not an awful lot to show for obtaining gold medals or earning all the gems on each stage.

Admittedly, you can unlock some silly accessories for Momma, like a moustache, a monocle, or a pair of hobnail boots. But otherwise, you’re left with 36 levels of what essentially amounts to Peggle Lite.

No bad thing, you might think, but you’re constantly niggled by the fact that it’s not quite the same. And there’s nothing nearly as satisfying as that drum roll into Beethoven’s 'Ode To Joy'.

If you’ve exhausted PopCap’s game and are keen for some more peg-busting action, you’ll probably get your money’s worth. But like the monstrous Momma herself, you do have better options.
Kickin Momma
Reviewer photo
Chris Schilling | 9 August 2011
An unabashed Peggle rip-off, albeit a very good one
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