- Genre: Runner
- Price: Free, in-app purchases
- App version: 2.0.2
- Reviewed on: iPhone 3G, version 4.2.1
- Beautiful 2D art with 3D character models
- Smooth controls
- Interesting ability and power-up ideas
- Eerie music to match the game’s premise and theme with nice sound effects
- Too reliant on in-app purchases to upgrade character
- Depends on Game Center to save scores (which cannot run on older devices)
- Quick cash-grab
Chupacabra is, at most, disappointing. Usually the point of a runner is to make it as far as you can to rack up your distance (score) or to make it to a predetermined goal. Chupucabra takes this formula and provides new and original ideas that work for the most part, but the enjoyability of the game is weakened by the tedious way of upgrading your character.
This game has a lot going for it: for one, the graphics are great. It features beautiful 2D backgrounds with the main character in 3D. The model looks good with smooth texturing that sets it apart from the background, making it easily distinguishable (some runners have a problem with the character not standing out enough). It also features some great, fluid animation on the chupacabra itself. The idea is pretty clever: you play as the goat-eater and, well, eat goats! You also have a blood meter that slowly decreases as time passes or when you get hit. Once it runs out, you die. You increase the meter by eating goats.
You also use the meter to take advantage of abilities. You have fattening, glide and hunger, though none of these prove useful, so it’s pretty much a waste. There’s also no reward for playing. Sure, most runners you just run, but those games keep your score, and this one doesn’t, unless you have Game Center active. Gamer Center is Apple’s answer to Xbox Live or PlayStation Network. The only downfall of this is that it only runs on iPhone 3GS or 4. If you have an iPhone 3 or older device, you cannot access Game Center which in turn means that while playing the game, you cannot save your score. What’s the point of getting any score at all if you can’t compare to anyone else, not even yourself? This is an unfair disadvantage to those without a newer phone.
Chupacabra has good ideas but without proper execution, it hardly provides any incentive to play it. It’s fun for about two minutes, but the first time you die, will probably be the last time you play. Even if you have Game Center and can compare scores, obtaining vials (the game’s currency for upgrading) is a difficult, tedious task. Not only is it easy to miss them during gameplay, but vials come and go with an extreme distance between them. While this may encourage you to play more, it mainly makes the game too tedious to warrant long game sessions, which causes the lasting appeal to suffer greatly.