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Game Review of 'James Cameron’s Avatar' for iPhone and iPod Touch

About.com Rating 3 Star Rating


Game Review of 'James Cameron’s Avatar' for iPhone and iPod Touch

The worlds in 'Avatar' are wide and exotic.

Photo Courtesy: Gameloft

The Bottom Line

Breathtaking graphics and movie-like qualities make James Cameron’s Avatar memorable, but some poor gameplay choices keep it from classic status.


  • Incredible graphics
  • Stays true to movie
  • Long adventure


  • Frustrating platform jumping
  • Limited, repetitive combat
  • Slow gameplay on first generation iPhones


  • Serves as a prelude to the popular movie
  • Conquer 15 levels
  • Run and jump on moving platforms and high ledges
  • Fly during banshee sequences
  • Learn new powers with experience

Guide Review - Game Review of 'James Cameron’s Avatar' for iPhone and iPod Touch

James Cameron’s Avatar is as colorful and dynamic as the movie, but some serious gameplay faux pas hamper the fun. As I mentioned in the James Cameron’s Avatar preview, the game serves as a prelude to the movie, showing the hero, new to an alien planet, getting to know, understand and eventually love race he’s been sent to cripple. The 15 stages create a long, meaty adventure, and the Tomb Raider perspective gives you full view of the breathtaking waterfall cliffs and living, wet fauna. There is a cool flying sequence with a banshee and a few quests along the way, but the focuses are on combat and, surprisingly, platform jumping. The large, ferocious enemies are fun to battle, but the fighting itself gets repetitive quickly – despite there being a handful of weapons and a few combos are possible, it still comes down to tapping one button. The problem here is that there isn’t a block button, making strategizing much more lopsided. The platforming is very old-school and gets addictive, hopping over vast jungle valleys and climbing dangerous cliffs. Unfortunately, the biggest asset is also James Cameron’s Avatar’s biggest flaw: The game requires not only going left and right, but doing tricky jumps “into” the screen. The iPhone/iPod Touch screen isn’t big or detailed enough, nor is the controls solid enough, to do complicated maneuvers. It’s annoying to get into the flow of the level and face a poorly placed platform. On the positive side, you have unlimited lives – the penalty is being sent back to the most recent checkpoint and, considering the placing, it doesn’t make the game easy. Nice 3D graphics aside, James Cameron’s Avatar sometimes seems as old-school as Pitfall. Give it a look if you need a combat/platform fix or want more story beyond the movie.

Publisher: Gameloft

Genre: Action

Release Date: December 2009

Reviewed On: iPhone/iPod Touch

Available For: iPhone/iPod Touch

Rating: 3.0 out of 5 stars

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