Unicorn Apocalypse, the mobile game Samsung promoted in its TV ads that began airing at the beginning of the year, isn’t fictional after all – it’s a real, playable game live now in the Google Play app store. Generally speaking, the Samsung ads, designed by an agency called 72andSunny, were both relevant and memorable – they even featured cameos from Tim Burton, Seth Rogen and Paul Rudd at times.
For those unfamiliar, the commercials took aim at BlackBerry in particular, by touting the enterprise-friendliness of Samsung’s devices. An ongoing series, they feature the team at a generic startup shop, where a group of young people is working to put out a mobile game called “Unicorn Apocalypse.”
As it turns out, Samsung held a contest to create the game which was used in the TV commercials, and the winning entry game from the developers at Liquid Gameworks. The plot, apparently, has to do with a unicorn described as the “harbinger of the apocalypse.” Players will run the unicorn across an urban landscape, jumping over rooftops and avoiding the “deadly unicorn traps” that soldiers from the Anti Unicorn Force has deployed. There are also three “boss” levels to beat, and metal soundtrack to accompany said unicorn’s spree.
But as much fun as that sounds, as it turns out, the game is actually…well…it’s rather bad. The app currently has a 2.1 star rating in Google Play, where 228 users out of 375 have given it the lowliest 1-star review. The game appears to be buggy, according to users’ comments, who also point out that it feels like a rip-off of the more popular Robot Unicorn Attack.
“After a minute of playing the unicorn just runs off an edge into an endless pit of fire. Points are still collected, but the unicorn isnt [sic] even on the screen,” reads one review from user Darshan Mand.
“Thought It would be good when I saw the commercial but the game is like it was made by a 5 year old,” says another, Michael Robb.
“I wish it was possible to give this game negative stars,” says Maurice Coleman, “It’s THAT bad!”
The general sentiment here is that Samsung squandered its opportunity to impress, after touting the game so much in its TV commercials. But Samsung has also played a risky game with its brand here by making a low-quality game whose development was outsourced to others. Obviously people are going to download and try this thing. And the whole point of the commercial series was that Samsung devices helped the Unicorn Apocalypse team work better together to make the game a success.
So is the lasting takeaway from the actual game’s launch, and subsequent suckiness is…what?
That maybe they should have used iPhones?