How the Grinch iPhone game stole my $1.99

Suitable only for the littlest Whos, Grinchmas offers awkward, repetitive gameplay. Skip it and get the entertaining Dr. Seuss Camera, Grinch Edition instead.

Rick Broida Senior Editor
Rick Broida is the author of numerous books and thousands of reviews, features and blog posts. He writes CNET's popular Cheapskate blog and co-hosts Protocol 1: A Travelers Podcast (about the TV show Travelers). He lives in Michigan, where he previously owned two escape rooms (chronicled in the ebook "I Was a Middle-Aged Zombie").
Rick Broida
2 min read

Where's the Grinch? In this uninspired game, only his hand appears. Grinchmas, indeed! Oceanhouse Media

Maybe I'm feeling extra Grinchy today because stupid iTunes keeps timing out when I sync my iPhone, but I don't like Grinchmas.

In this new game from Oceanhouse Media, you're a disembodied Grinch hand that flings snowballs--or presents, if you're in more of a "Merry Grinch" mood--at houses down in Whoville.

And that's it. The challenge, if you can call it that, lies in flinging accurately: you have to swipe at just the right speed and in just the right direction to score a hit.

If I'm any indication, grown-up players will tire of this in about 18 seconds. The littler Whos in your house might enjoy it for longer--the game skews cute, colorful, and Seussian--but ultimately, Grinchmas works so hard at being "casual" that it forgets to be fun. Skip it.

Give your snapshots a fun, Grinch-ian makeover with Dr. Seuss Camera. Oceanhouse Media

The real Dr. Seuss-inspired fun lies in Dr. Seuss Camera: The Grinch Edition, which uses the iPhone camera to create whimsical, Grinchy holiday cards you can share with friends.

Start by choosing from 20-plus different cards, then point your iPhone camera (sorry, Touch users) at the kids, the dog, cranky Uncle Fred, etc.

Each card has either a face cutout area or an empty space alongside a Grinch-related character (if not the ol' meanie himself).

After you snap the photo, you can decorate it further with stamps and borders, then save it to your Camera Roll and/or e-mail it to friends and family.

It's a cute little app, easy to use, and a perfect slice of holiday fun. Here's hoping that "The Grinch Edition" subtitle means there are other versions in the works. (I've always wanted a photo of myself next to Horton the Elephant.)