Apps Plus Toys: Apptivity Batman and Cut the RopeS

I love gaming apps, and I love toys. This week I'm taking a look at gaming apps that employ physical toys to enhance the play experience, starting with a look at Mattel's Apptivity Batman and Cut the Rope games. Let's play with toys!

The Apptivity line sees Mattel bringing the full force of its children's entertainment to bear on the iPad, from Hot Wheels to Monster High. Along with sets based on toy properties, the line also features a pair of enhancement sets for the popular mobile titles Cut the Rope and Fruit Ninja, giving fans of those games a new way to play.

For instance, here's what the Apptivity set does for Cut the Rope. Placing the adorable plastic OmNom on your iPad screen after launching the game proper unlocks an entirely new game mode. There's no rope cutting per se, but there is accidental spider eating, which is a worldwide epidemic that needs to be addressed at an early age.

Batman, as one might expect, is a little bit cooler than a colorful monster munching on candy. Loosely based on the Dark Knight Rises movie, the game pits Bruce Wayne's alter-ego against iconic enemies and their endless supply of thugs. The player moves Batman back and forth to attack, while a button on the back of the figure launches his special attack.

What's neat (and slightly diabolical) about the Batman set is there are several different figures, each with their own special attacks. Mine has a grapple gun. I probably would have preferred Riot Cannon Batman. You can even grab a toy version of The Bat vehicle from the movie and take to the skies, which seems entirely unfair to the thugs, but still.

Basic sets like the ones I am playing here run around $10. For that price you get a figure and instructions to download the corresponding app. Just a big empty box with a guy in it. How odd.

The Apptivity games are of course aimed at children, and I could see how youngins might get a kick out of them. My children tried to eat Batman, then tried to eat the iPad, but I'm sure once they make it to the point where they are talking they'll have a less toothy time with the toy / app combos.

Want more? Check out the official Apptivity website for pics, videos and news on the latest releases.