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Insert Credit: “Bumpy Road”

Insert Credit: “Bumpy Road” (photo)

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Insert Credit endeavors to suss out where you should be allotting your video game allowance, sifting out a single title from many and crowning it as The One Game You Need to Get This Week. Don’t consider these reviews, gentle reader. Rather, think of Insert Credit as a mix of hands-on time, informed opinion and intuition.

For the week of May 23, 2011, you should insert credit into: “Bumpy Road”.

Why do cute games work so well on Apple’s handhelds? Sure, games with twee aesthetics pop up everywhere, but something about the iPad, iPhone and iPod Touch make games like “World of Goo,” “Eliss,” and “Cut the Rope” sing. Maybe the cuteness serves as a cognitive shortcut for games that might otherwise seem daunting. Hearing that chubby bird’s whoop in “Tiny Wings” lets you know you’re doing something right in an immediate fashion.

Or maybe it’s the touching that amplifies the penetration of cute. It can’t be overstated how good the feedback of an awesome in-game feat feels when performed with your fingers. “Bumpy Road”–freshly out on the App Store, by indie dev studio Simogo–exemplifies but the cute-as-shortcut and finger-power vectors of iOS games in particularly addictive fashion. The game gives you an elderly couple to shepherd through a leisurely drive in a baby blue two-seater. You drag your finger along the bottom of the screen and you cause the road to slope, making little hills that accelerate Mr. & Mrs. Bumpy along their way. You’ll need to tap the screen underneath to make them jump and collect gizmos to keep their speed up, too.

It’s easy to get overzealous with “Bumpy Road,” precisely because the concept and the controls are so simple. Zipping along the piano-like road surface makes little xylophonic sounds that are just fun to rip off but you actually need to exercise some patience and restraint. Push the AARP couple that’s out for a ride too far out to the right and you might dump them into a water hazard before you have a chance to react. That said, the controls on “Bumpy Road” are a tad fiddly and you’ll have to practice a bit before you feel anything approaching mastery.

It doesn’t need it, but “Bumpy Road” also embeds a story in its playthrough. Collect the portraits amongst the platforms and you’ll get snippets of the cute olds’ family history. It borrows a bit from the first ten minutes Pixar’s “UP” but with the tear-jerker element. I can’t leave out discussing the music in “Bumpy Road.” The accordion, tuba and harmonica instrumentation may all come out of the old-timey handbook, but they meld so well with the quaint Euro village done up in pastels. All the elements come together in such a way that makes “Bumpy Road” feel like something you’d find in a turn-of-the-20th-Century penny arcade. It’s really not much more than cute for cute’s sake but, somehow, that feels just fine on the iPad.


Rev Up

Your Portlandia Personality Test

The New Portlandia Webseries Is Going Your Way

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Carrie and Fred understand that although we have so much in common, we’re each so beautifully unique and different. To help us navigate those differences, Portlandia has found an easy and honest way to embrace our special selves in the form of a progressive new traffic system: a specific lane for every kind of driver. It’s all in honor of the show’s 8th and final season, and it’s all presented by Subaru.

Ready to find out who you really are? Match your personality to a lane and hop on the expressway to self-understanding.

Lane 10: Trucks Piled With Junk

Your junk is falling out of your trunk. Shake a tail light, people — this lane is for you.

Lane 33: Twins

You’re like a Gemini, but waaaay more pedestrian. Maybe you and a friend just wear the same outfits a lot. Who cares, it’s just twinning enough to make you feel special.

Lane 27: Broken Windows

Bad luck follows you around and everyone knows it. Your proverbial seat is always damp from proverbial rain. Is this the universe telling you to swallow your pride? Yes.

Lane 69: Filthy Cars

You’re all about convenience. Getting your car washed while you drive is a no-brainer.

Lane 43: Newly Divorced Singles

It’s been a while since you’ve driven alone, and you don’t know the rules of the road anymore. What’s too fast? What’s too slow? Are you sending the right signals? Don’t worry, the breakdown lane is nearby if you need it.

Still can’t find a lane to match your personality? Check out all the videos here. And see the final season of Portlandia this spring on IFC.


Give Back

Last-Minute Holiday Gift Guide

Hits from the '80s are on repeat all Christmas Eve and Day on IFC.

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GIFs via Giphy, Photos via The Everett Collection

It’s the final countdown to Christmas and thanks to IFC’s movie marathon all Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, you can revel in classic ’80s films AND find inspiration for your last-minute gifts. Here are our recommendations, if you need a head start:

Musical Instrument

Great analog entertainment substitute when you refuse to give your kid the Nintendo Switch they’ve been drooling over.

Breakfast In Bed

Any significant other or child would appreciate these Uncle Buck-approved flapjacks. Just make sure you’re not stuck on clean up duty.

Cocktail Supplies

You’ll need them to get through the holidays.

Dance Lessons

So you can learn to shake-shake-shake (unless you know ghosts willing to lend a hand).

Comfy Clothes

With all the holiday meals, there may be some…embigenning.

Get even more great inspiration all Christmas Eve and Day on IFC, and remember…


A-O Rewind

Celebrating Portlandia One Sketch at a Time

The final season of Portlandia approaches.

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GIFs via Giphy

Most people measure time in minutes, hours, days, years…At IFC, we measure it in sketches. And nothing takes us way (waaaaaay) back like Portlandia sketches. Yes, there’s a Portlandia milepost from every season that changed the way we think, behave, and pickle things. In honor of Portlandia’s 8th and final season, Subaru presents a few of our favorites.


Put A Bird On It

Portlandia enters the pop-culture lexicon and inspires us to put birds on literally everything.

Colin the Chicken

Who’s your chicken, really? Behold the emerging locavore trend captured perfectly to the nth degree.

Dream Of The ’90s

This treatise on Portland made it clear that “the dream” was alive and well.

No You Go

We Americans spend most of our lives in cars. Fortunately, there’s a Portlandia sketch for every automotive situation.

A-O River!

We learned all our outdoor survival skills from Kath and Dave.

One More Episode

The true birth of binge watching, pre-Netflix. And what you’ll do once Season 8 premieres.

Catch up on Portlandia’s best moments before the 8th season premieres January 18th on IFC.