Movie tie-ins are highly profitable, but notoriously terrible. Gamers want a chance to play with their favorite characters, but developers often rush a product to meet a film or TV show's release date. Despite being burned time and time again, consumers keep buying these games. Given the history of movie tie-in games, with the exception of Aladdin for the Sega Genesis, I approached Anchorman 2: Scotchy Scotch Toss with a notable sense of dread. But there was one other factor I worried might bias me as a reviewer.
The promotional onslaught surrounding the release of Anchorman 2 had created such a storm of annoying white noise that giving the game a fair shake seemed unlikely at the time. So I set out to play Anchorman 2: Scotchy Scotch Toss for a month. In that time, I'd take note of any improvements that were made via updates and see if this silly movie tie-in could grow on me.
Scotchy Scotch Toss is a simple reworking of the popular game Paper Toss, only with a extra sassy dose of Will Ferrell. Players attempt to toss ice cubes into Ron Burgundy's ever-present scotch glass. As you play, Burgundy will mock and cheer for you depending on how cold you keep his liquid joy. As you score points, you earn coins that allow you to buy new things to throw, like fire ice that sets the room aflame or hand grenades. Thankfully, you are not required to pay any extra money to buy power ups. It's easy enough to just raise money through gameplay.
These power ups don't really effect the game play, but they provide a nice visual accompaniment to the drunken berating of Burgundy. The physics engine is as exaggerated as the movies, meaning even when tossing ice in a Winnebago, the winds create a learning curve. Of course, you won't have to worry about your friends comparing their scores to yours as there is no social component to the game.
Even after updates that brought power ups to the game, Scotchy Scotch Toss doesn't have high scores or online leaderboards that track your progress. When you go to the ice bucket menu to select what kind of object you'll throw, the game will show you your all-time best streak and how much ice you've sunk in total, but there is no high score. You build a score during the game, and it's frustrating to not be able to keep track of it.
The steady stream of humor mixed with quick game play in Scotchy Scotch Toss makes for a fun diversion. Some levels have secondary targets for you hit and there are hundreds of lines of dialog for your listening pleasure. You even get a soundboard of all the quips for your listening pleasure.
In the month since its launch, Anchorman 2: Scotchy Scotch Toss has been updated into a perfectly serviceable diversion. Unlike many quick cash-in apps, the game has been continuously improved since launch, even though the movie supporting has been out for more than a month. They keep making subtle improvements to gameplay and they're not soaking players for in-app purchases.
How much you'll actually enjoy Anchorman 2 in the long run will depend on your fandom for Ferrell's series. But after a month of playing the title, it has grown on me. The one liners are sharp, setting a jazz club on fire with ice cubes is a blast and when you're stuck waiting in line for someone to figure out their sub, Anchorman provides a nice distraction. If you're looking for a new, inexpensive time killer, Scotchy Scotch Toss is there to serve up two fingers' worth of diversion. My mind isn't changed on movie tie-ins, but I'm a fan of this serving of Scotch.