Name That App: TRON

**As published at DIGIDAY:DAILY** Publisher: Disney Interactive Studios Price: Free Platform: iOS Advertising: None Functionality: A Fun Factor: A Overall: A I try not to review many game apps because I wouldn’t call myself a gamer, and there are many other folks that do. But my interest generally piques whenever I see major entertainment studios leverage the mobile app opportunity with a game. I reviewed The Karate Kid back in late April because it was a major remake, and TRON recently caught me with the same level of interest. When any major studio develops an app for a major title like these there’s likely to be a significant amount of strategy and investment attached to the project. Ho-hum apps need not apply.

If you’ve seen the extended preview for TRON, you might recall the all-together edgy overtones and intriguing action sequences. With the seemingly right mix of familiarity and modern technology it’s hard not to be pulled into the story. After playing with the app for a couple days now, I think Disney Interactive Studios has hit a home run. This app is fun, engaging and tough to forget. The developers put a lot of thought into transitions between different functions within the app, and the music and other audio that plays throughout the app is pure gold for this project. I can’t wait to see what’s on the soundtrack for TRON: Legacy when it hits theaters Dec. 17. Upon launching the app, the user is asked to choose one of three factions identified only by color. Once inside the grid, users are able to watch the video preview for the film, the trailer for TRON: Evolution (the video game), or “Enter the Grid” for game play. Inside “Tanks Arcade,” there is a single- and multi-player mode for a pretty fun tank game. So far I’ve only made it through three of the 16 levels, but I think there’s plenty of game in this app to serve its purpose as a pure marketing and brand engagement effort. Disney included no ads in this app, but there is a small Disney icon that will take users to a carousel of a dozen other iOS apps released by the firm; a direct link will send users into the iTunes app where they can check out Disney’s full catalog of iPhone and iTouch apps. I enjoy seeing major studios put that extra thought and effort into their apps like Disney has done here with TRON. All of the small details in TRON effectively improve the overall impact of the app, and do a wonderful job of highlighting the unique story that Disney plans to tell on the big screen this holiday season.

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