iFruit hooks directly into your experience of Grand Theft Auto V with some fun activities to further postpone the need for real social interaction. Keep up-to-date on the latest Grand Theft Auto V news, log into the Rockstar Games Social Club, stay connected on LifeInvader and launch other Rockstar Games apps.
Release Date: 16/09/2013
Available on: iOS, Android, Windows
A companion app with its positive features and accompanying flaws
It would be foolish to deny Grand Theft Auto’s dominant position in the console gaming market because, well, it is simply one of the most widely-recognised and successful video games ever made. Grand Theft Auto has been the subject of everything from highly positive acclaim from critics to negative controversy over its influence on real-life violent behaviour (any intelligent person can see that there is nowhere near as strong of a correlation between it and real-life acts of violence as people are desperate to convince us there is). It makes sense therefore, that such an omniscient video game series should become even more so with the first ever companion app for the series, Grand Theft Auto V: iFruit. Ok, so the title doesn’t sound like your typical GTA name, but it is your typical GTA blend of parodic entertainment and serious features, designed to run in conjunction with the console experience in order to compliment and augment it. But it hasn’t been the most positively received companion app to hit the gaming world, so let’s a look and find out why, if at all, it is or isn’t the greatest.
A Bad Start
Firstly, to fully use the app, you need a Rockstar Social Club Account, which is just one of the limitations that makes the app a little restrictive to those who don’t actually have one of these accounts. Secondly – and I feel it best to get the negatives out in the open at the outset – the app is only compatible with selected devices, and there have been reports of a multitude of android users complaining about the app simply not working with their devices.
The negatives aside, this app really does allow a reasonably entertaining augmentation of your GTAV experience, firstly through the Los Santos Customs section. This part of the app links in through Rockstar Social Club in order to allow you to view the cars of your in-game characters, allowing you to perform various acts of customisation on your vehicle including license plate personalisation. Pretty much everything about your car can be changed up in this part of the app, and the costs deducted as usual from the console version.
Some Saving Graces
Lifeinvader is a clear parody of Facebook’s hold on today’s generation, and visiting this part of the app brings up a variety of jabs at the social networking application including replacing the ubiquitous “like” feature with “stalks”, making fun of the way Facebook has penetrated all of our lives in a serious way. Unfortunately, this Lifeinvader app isn’t as useful as the one you can visit during the console game, though this may just be another life-imitating-art-imitating-life feature that emulates the relationship between the Facebook app and the browser version. Or Perhaps Not.
Chop the Dog is another one of the main features in GTAV: iFruit, providing an immersive pet-minding experience similar to Neopets or Tamagotchi, though one which may or may not be a parody of this particular genre. You can actually teach Chop a variety of tricks, as well as edit his appearance which will change accordingly in the game. Yet another drawback here is that Chop is the dog of the character Franklin in the game, and because of the triple-protagonist structure of it all, you will only benefit from Chop’s new tricks and appearance for a fraction of the time. Chop doesn’t really have any bearing on your missions or the storyline of the game itself either, making this part of the app a truly aesthetic and time-killing experience, which is really the story of this whole app in general.
And so we come to the concluding sentences of this small look at the app, so what can we conclude from our brief experience with Grand Theft Auto V: iFruit? Well, it is firstly a great parody of the iDevice/Apple brand, that’s for sure, and the Lifeinvader section has Facebook’s number down to a tee, but is this really that useful? Well, the app is free, so that’s a positive, but this is because no one is going to be happy about paying for an app that essentially adds nothing to the practical experience of GTAV, only offering aesthetic customisation of your vehicle, its license plate, and Franklin’s dog. It’s a great novelty item, but truly nothing more than this, so you’re really better off focusing all of your energy on the main game and only bothering with this if you’ve conquered the storyline of the console version. This is particularly true when considering the incompatibility of the app with a variety of Android devices and the teething problems upon its release. It’s a valiant effort from Rockstar Games, but it hasn’t entirely paid off.
Grand Theft Auto iFruit is developed by Rockstar Games.