Zio Review (iPhone)

Game Review: Zio
Release: December 5, 2009
Genre: Entertainment
Developer: Glenn Marshall
Available Platforms: iPhone/iPod Touch
Players: 1
MSRP: $1.99
ESRB Rating: N/A



Zio is a visualizer for your iPhone or iPod Touch. It allows you some basic interaction with the visuals so you can move around in, zoom in and out of, and take pictures of a changing Pixel Junk Eden type of flower. It gives you three different color sets that are toggled through by shaking your device. This is interesting, but once you realize this first taste is only a tease for the full experience, you will probably regret your initial purchase.

Your initial $1.99 will give you the aforementioned color sets that you can toggle through with a shake. You can stop the visuals at any time to view them or take a picture that drops into your Camera Roll. There is also an option for devices with a microphone that will cause the visuals to pulse with the sounds it hears. It’s an interesting mechanic that adds a bit of depth to the base app’s features.

Speaking of features, if you want to unlock the Studio Upgrade, you will need to pay an additional $1.99 in the application. If you decide to do this, you will be given the ability to tweak over 60 options, changing the look and feel of the visuals. While this could have a lot of potential, I was not able to test these features. Also, the screenshots in iTunes are misleading because they show the unlocked Studio Upgrade and not the basic features that the $1.99 buys you.


Zio Studio Upgrade

Not giving you the full experience for your $1.99 feels like a bait and switch maneuver that I think a lot of people were worried would happen with the new in-app purchasing model that Apple has enabled. The basic features of Zio are fine, but severely limited. If you want to create some colorful wallpaper for your phone, this app will do it with ease. Unfortunately, once you’ve cycled through the different color pallets, there’s not much else to do.

Bottom line, if you want to create some beautiful visuals to share with friends and use as wallpaper, the basic features of this application will get the job done. For $1.99, these basic features are less than appealing. Having to pony up another $1.99 just to be able to tweak the visuals into something more than three pre-sets is downright underhanded and misleading. I can’t recommend this application simply because I do not want to encourage this type of business model.

You can view the pictures I created with Zio in the gallery below. Enjoy.

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