Archive for May, 2011

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Will YOUR GAME be Arcadelife’s 100th review?

May 19, 2011

Arcadelife has reviewed just over 90 games for iPod/iPhone and iPad since the site started on 31st January 2011. There are currently a few games queued up for review, but the magical review number 100 is still a vacant slot … at the moment.

If you have a game that you would like reviewed, maybe even as our never to be repeated, once in a lifetime100th review – please get in touch by emailing Arcadelife@planetshooter.com – promo codes are always welcome!

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Blupt! – coming soon (iPod/iPhone)

May 18, 2011

Blupt! is a new game coming soon from Ivanovich Games, proud winners of a couple of Arcadelife awards for their Operation Wow game. The game can be described as “like a mix of Puzzle Bobble, Cut the Rope and Angry Birds, but not really similar to those other games”. So far, I’m finding it to be a fun game but I’ll save my verdict for the full Arcadelife review which is coming soon, hopefully coinciding with the game’s release on May 24th.


This is what they have to say…

Blupt! The new refreshing and unexpected soda is an iOS game 

Unboring & Trackglobe in association with Ivanovich Games has announced their first exciting iPhone/iPod game. The application named ‘Blupt!’ is a game whose character has no beak, isn’t a zombie or even a ninja! Can you believe it? Here you’ll have fun throwing refreshing flavored bubbles that go straight to your tongue and will change the color of Bubby. But beware! If you do it wrong, you… Blupt! 

Blupt! combines realistic physics with simple and accurate touch controls that require only one finger: Push, drag and shoot like a slingshot. Changing your color has never been easier. Blupt! is easy to learn and intuitive to play. 

The game is designed to make think before you shoot the bubble and offer more than 80 colored levels with multiple ways to pass but all of them designed to require LOGIC & SKILL. And the levels are packed in 3 different colors pack. All of them full of fusions, explosions, mines, elastic walls and lot color changes to say goodbye to boring.

 Features:

* 84 levels packed in 3 colors: green, red and pink. (More are coming).
* Amazing and cute visual effects with vibrant colors.
* Game Center to share your records and get achievements.
* HD graphics for retina display.

Language Support:

* US English and Spanish

Device Requirements:

* iPhone, iPod or iPad
* iPhone OS 3.0 or later (iOS 4.0 Tested)
* 25 MB Storage

Pricing and Availability:

Blupt! 1.0 is only $0.99 (USD) and will be available worldwide exclusively through the App Store at May 24th in the Games category. Review copies are available upon request.

Unboring is a small company located in Spain that creates entertainment & marketing games. They believe in the ideas and like innovate and experiment new ways of interact with users.
Ivanovich Games is spanish company founded in 2009 with several games in the AppStore like Time Geeks and Operation wow. 

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Kebab Manager review (iPod/iPhone)

May 17, 2011

“Enticing, Exciting Aroma’s so inviting
And when it hits me, I wanna take you home”

10 word description: It’s a match-3 game where you match items of food.

10 word review: Despite claims of being unique, it’s a simple match-3 game.

You will like this if you enjoy: Match-3 games.

Thanks, but it really didn't take much to work out this is a match-3 game.

The good news: It’s a Match-3 game. The loading screen is quite pretty.

The bad news: It brings nothing new to the Match-3 genre. The hint prompt appears after about 2 seconds of inactivity. You might as well let the game play itself.

Several spelling mistakes undermine the polish of the game

Arcadelife verdict: I’m not sure why the app description goes on and on about kebabs and includes a huge list of other food related games. The game sounds like some kind of Cooking Mama clone, but really it’s just a generic Match-3 game.

Arcadelife rating: 40/100

Version reviewed by Arcadelife is 1.0
iTunes link

Arcadelife played and reviewed this game on:
4th gen iPod Touch (OS 4.3.3)

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Flick Golf HD (iPad) – update 1.1 news/review

May 16, 2011

Arcadelife reviewed Flick Golf! (iPod/iPhone) on April 3rd 2011 – read that review here – and it earned an impressive 86/100, being described as “addictive fun”, “videogame golf with the fuss and tedium removed” and a “truly great pick-up-and play game”. The iPad version has recently received the update that adds the extra courses and content, and it is very good indeed.

Lots of new stuff... what shall we try first?

The official update description is as follows:

+ Game Center
+ 5 New Courses
+ New Quickshot Pro Mode
+ Platinum Trophies
+ Easier Level Unlocks
+ Even More Achievements.


Quickshot mode gives you limited time in which to score as high as possible. The target moves between shots and the wind increases if you manage to play for long enough. Getting the ball in the hole or the central red target circle will add +10 or +3 seconds respectively to your remaining time.

It all looks very pretty on the iPad

Everything from the original Flick Golf review applies here, with the added graphical splendour of the iPad screen.


Overall, this is a great update and a very polished game. It’s a bit of a shame there isn’t a universal version, but that’s about the only negative point I can think of.

iTunes link

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Bee Farm review (iOS/Universal)

May 15, 2011

“Come on now, give me some sugar
Give me some sugar, little honey bee”

10 word description: Line drawing, guide bees around garden gathering pollen, avoid hazards.

10 word review: Interesting Blend of time management and line drawing. Cheerily colourful.

You will like this if you enjoy: Bloomies and Flight Control, because this game is like a combination of some of the aspects of those two games.

The good news: It’s colourful, simple to grasp, Universal and there are no zombies trying to wreck your garden. At least, I didn’t see any.

The bad news: If it doesn’t grab you in the first couple of levels, it never will.

Arcadelife verdict: I’m not a huge fan of line drawing games, I think I’ve mentioned that before in one of my many reviews of … line drawing games. I can see the appeal Bee Farm would have though, for anyone who likes a bit of line drawing.

Like Bloomies, it’s very colourful and the bees (and flowers) show quite a bit of personality. The line drawing is more like a fast-paced game of join the dots rather than a panic inducing plane-landing simulation. If the bees collide, they are only temporarily stunned and they lose any pollen they’re carrying – it isn’t instant Game Over.

Survival mode is initially quite tough, because you’re limited to the types of bees that you have so far unlocked in campaign mode. It’s quite a smart move, linking the two modes like that, as it adds an incentive to progress in the campaign, even if you are more interested in a survival (endless) mode.

Overall, not bad at all. If I was more turned on by line drawing games in general, I’d probably be very excited. As it is, I can see the appeal, it just isn’t something I tend to go for.

Arcadelife rating: 71/100

Version reviewed by Arcadelife is 1.0
iTunes link

Vivid Games – Bee Farm website link

Arcadelife played and reviewed this game on:
4th gen iPod Touch (OS 4.3.3)
iPad (OS 4.3.3)
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Arcadelife Awards – April 2011

May 14, 2011

Welcome to the second Arcadelife awards show. Due to conflicting commitments, tonight’s special guests can’t make it to the Arcadelife awards show, claiming that they get more publicity sitting on the toilet at home. Ah well, it’s their loss. Let’s just get on with the show and hope that next month’s celebrities bother turning up.¹

Remember – all games included were reviewed by Arcadelife in April 2011. That’s the only criteria for inclusion. Being truly awful does not exclude a game from being nominated, just from winning. Mostly.

Here we go… Under each category is a list of nominees. The winner is the one at the top of each list. The rest are in some kind of approximate order of merit. The final category, Arcadelife’s favourite game is the game that got played most after the review was finished.

Best implementation of retro style

Minotron: 2112

Minotron: 2112
Pac’n Jump
Mos Speedrun
Platform Hell Pro

Best clone, port or re-imagining

Defender!
Scramble!
Doodlebug

Best Sport or vaguely sport related game

Super Stickman Golf
Deadball Specialist HD
Flick Golf!
Golfstacle!

Most remarkable graphics (for whatever reason)

Asphalt 6
Minotron: 2112
Collision Effect
Platform Hell Pro

Best puzzle, physics, reaction or match-3 type game



Collision Effect – Joint WINNER

Drop The Chicken – Joint WINNER
Choo Choo Steam Trains
Zepi HD
Ink Ball HD
Roly

Most bizarre or surprising game

Ninja, Please! (Note – the winner is the most bizarre game, not necessarily the best game)
Pac’n Jump

Best ‘Endless Running’ (or bouncing, jumping, whatever) type game

Pac’n Jump
Angry Rhino Rampage
Air Penguin

Best game that didn’t make it into one of the other categories

Monster trouble HD
Coin Drop
Neon Mania
The Relic

Arcadelife’s favourite game

Super Stickman Golf
Asphalt 6
Pac’n Jump

And there you have it. If I wasn’t so lazy (it’s Saturday night, ok) I’d put iTunes links in for all the games, or at least all the winners, but I haven’t Go and read the Arcadelife reviews, the iTunes links are in there. That way everyone wins. Well, I possibly win. And Charlie Sheen, of course.

¹ – Ok, I’m really having too much fun playing Army of Darkness Defense HD and Order & Chaos Online so I had to stick with a short review format this month. Maybe next month the fake celebrity nonsense will return. Who knows?
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A.I.R Defense HD review (iPad)

May 13, 2011

“We’ve got a thing that’s called radar love
We’ve got a line in the sky”

10 word description: Protect bases from attack in futuristic take on tower defence.

'All your base are belong to us' ... let's hope not, ok?

10 word review: Stylish radar/vector graphics help disguise a fairly basic game.

You will like this if you enjoy: Tower/Castle defence games, line drawing (flight control) style games, Boom Brigade (because that’s surprisingly similar in gameplay).

See tank. Draw line. Bomb them back to the stone age. Return to base unscathed ... hopefully

The good news: It looks good, has its own green-screen radar/vector style and is very intuitive to play. Effects are good too.

What? No napalm? Booooo!

The bad news: I found it quite hard. Ok, yeah, I know, I’m a wuss and crap at games, ok, you got me there.

Well you see, I was too busy taking screen shots to play the game properly and .... oh, whatever.

Arcadelife verdict: The graphical style tends to lift it above the fairly basic gameplay on offer. That isn’t to say the game isn’t fun, because it is, just that the style is unique enough to add an extra “ooh, this looks good” factor before you even start playing. To me it seemed like what the original Battlezone game might have looked like if viewed top down, with better effects and some glowing stuff, and a few more colours than just green, and planes, and helicopters, and … you get the idea.


Yes, I know that’s a video of the iPod/iPhone version, it’s the only one Chillingo seems to have on YouTube.

Arcadelife rating: 78/100

Version reviewed by Arcadelife is 1.1
iTunes link

Chillingo – A.I.R Defense website link

Arcadelife played and reviewed this game on:
iPad (OS 4.3.2 and OS 4.3.3)
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Army of Darkness Defense HD review (iPad)

May 12, 2011

“Hail to the king, baby”

10 word description: Castle defence based on film. Ash vs Deadite hordes. Game Center.

The chainsaw is a fairly expensive upgrade. "Groovy"

10 word review: Incredibly fun and additive film tie-in. Action packed, entertaining.

"Alright you primitive screwheads, listen up! You see this? This... is my boomstick!"

You will like this if you enjoy: Castle defence games, the Evil Dead movies, Bruce Campbell, hectic cartoon style action games.

"How will we stop an army of the dead at our castle walls? How will you fight that? With more words?"

The good news: I am really, really pleased that this game is not just immense fun in its own right but also does itself, and the source material, a great deal of justice.

"Say hello to the twenty-first century!"

The bad news: Not really bad news, but I am up to wave 23 (out of 50) and there seems to be just the one zone – the castle. Not a big deal, but some fans might have expected maybe the windmill and graveyard to have featured more than just on the title screen background.

"I got it, I got it! I know your damn words, alright?"

Arcadelife verdict: It’s a great game. I intended playing a few waves to see what it was like and now, quite a long time later, I have reached wave 23 and decided I’ve probably experienced enough of the game to have assured myself that it is actually pretty damn good. I lost interest in castle defence games a while back because they seemed like exercises in grinding repetition, or one trick ponies where you had seen everything after a couple of levels. AoD Defense, rather than just tacking some Bruce Campbell quotes onto a generic CD game, is quite a different experience from the usual CD efforts.

"Shop smart. Shop S-Mart"

To start with, you control the character of Ash separately from the troops that you can summon from the castle. Ash moves left and right under your control and has various special attacks and abilities that you can use to fend off the Deadite hordes. Summoned troops, apart from the healer, travel left to right and attack the Deadites with whatever weapon they are carrying.

Graphically, it’s superb. Loads of different enemies and allies and a very good characterisation of Ash/Campbell complete with an excellent chin. Even in a big brawl it’s easy to figure out what’s going on and where everyone is. I won’t spoil anything, but different enemies keep appearing and a few were ones I had hoped for but didn’t really expect to see…

"Keep your damn filthy bones outta my mouth."

There are loads of quotes from the film, not just Ash’s lines but several of the other main characters. Even if you haven’t seen the film, most of the quotes are amusing enough without knowing where they originally came from and they have been integrated into the game in a mostly contextually appropriate manner.

"Hail to the king, baby."

Fans of the Evil Dead series should love this game, but it’s not just for them. The constant action, amusing characters, well designed combat and high level of overall polish make this an almost essential game for any iPad gamer. There’s a great feeling when you summon the right combination of troops, turn a battle and fight your way to the castle gate. It’s really a very, very good game. Hard to know what else to say, so I’ll just stop there.

Arcadelife rating: 92/100

Version reviewed by Arcadelife is 1.0.0
iTunes link

Backflip Studios website link

Arcadelife played and reviewed this game on:
4th gen iPod Touch (OS 4.3.2)
iPad (OS 4.3.2)
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Mechanic Panic review (iPod/iPhone)

May 10, 2011

“Love in an elevator
Livin’ it up ’til I hit the ground

10 word description: One-touch action jumping/climbing, avoid hazards, earn upgrades. Openfeint.

The game starts with a big explosion. Going up is your only option.

10 word review: Addictive, fun endless game. XP points & upgrades add replayability.

Tap to jump from side to side. Dodge hazards such as falling elevators.

You will like this if you enjoy: Ninjatown: Trees of Doom, Ninjump Deluxe, Volcano Escape, other endless vertical distance type games.

With careful timing you can hitch a ride on elevators travelling upwards.

The good news: Control method is simple and fairly precise. Earning XP points to level up and gain upgrades is great for making you want to keep playing. The game itself is really quite entertaining.

Wall hazards, falling victims, incoming elevators (announced by a short countdown) and the ever present "Big Fire" below give you plenty of chances to make a mistake and die.

The bad news: Ultimately it could get to feel repetitive, particularly if you play it way too much and don’t take any breaks…!

The upgrade screen, unsurprisingly.

Arcadelife verdict: It’s different enough from similar looking games to be well worth playing. I found it to be fairly compulsive; earning XP points to unlock bonus multipliers constantly keeps you playing just to reach the next points goal.

The game over screen has plenty of information about how you died and what you achieved.

Overall it’s a fun game. The combination of distance travelling, dodging obstacles and saving falling victims is very well put together.


Arcadelife rating: 77/100

Version reviewed by Arcadelife is 2.1
iTunes link

WHY I AM – Mechanic Panic website link

Arcadelife played and reviewed this game on:
4th gen iPod Touch (OS 4.3.2)
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Order & Chaos Online review (iOS/Universal)

May 9, 2011

“Captain Kidd’s on the sand
With the treasure close at hand
In the land of make believe”

"For an occurrence to become an adventure, it is necessary and sufficient for one to recount it." (Image quotations in this review are by Jean-Paul Sartre. Mostly)

10 word description: Massively Multiplayer Online Role Playing Game. Quests, loot and levelling.

Order ...

... & Chaos

10 word review: Marvellous. An MMO on your phone (better on your iPad).

"Man is condemned to be free; because once thrown into the world, he is responsible for everything he does."

You will like this if you enjoy: MMOs, RPGs, multiplayer games, etc.

"Everything has been figured out, except how to live."

The good news: It’s a full “World of Warcraft” style MMO on your iOS device. It’s stable, smooth and I haven’t encountered a single crash in many hours of play. It really is quite surprising seeing something like this being played on a phone. I prefer the iPad experience, but then that’s hardly surprising.

"A lost battle is a battle one thinks one has lost."

The bad news: Jean Paul Sartre said it best. You probably know the quote. “Hell is other people”. I’m using many of his quotes throughout this article because they seem strangely apt.

"I am not virtuous. Our sons will be if we shed enough blood to give them the right to be."

Arcadelife verdict: This review is based on my experience playing a Warrior up to level 20. I’ve since passed that point but I will describe my further adventures in another post.

"Better to have beasts that let themselves be killed than men who run away."

Order & Chaos Online is surprisingly good fun. I say surprisingly because I expected it, at least in the week following its launch, to be unstable, laggy, full of broken quests and the usual problems of a new MMO. I haven’t really seen any evidence of any of that. The game hasn’t crashed on me; there is very little lag, even in crowded areas, and I haven’t come across any broken quests. There is a lot that can be enhanced and improved, but nothing that makes the game unplayable or too frustrating.

"All that I know about my life, it seems, I have learned in books."

Visually it is absolutely satisfactory, apart from the scenery pop-up. I wish there was an option to adjust the pop-up distance, at least on the iPad. There’s the usual RPG range of zones: summery forest, forbidding swamp, desert, etc. and the standard enemies: goblins, skeletons, giant spiders, etc. Somehow it manages to remain interesting and it doesn’t feel utterly derivative, possibly because of the devices it’s being played on.

"Once you hear the details of victory, it is hard to distinguish it from a defeat."

Who really cares that all Gameloft have done is taken most of World of Warcraft (or LotRO, or any other standard MMO) and simplified it for mobile gamers, when we can have this game – a proper 3D, full-world MMO – to play on our phones, MP3 players and tablets?

"The best work is not what is most difficult for you; it is what you do best."

Overall, it’s very hard not to fully recommend this game to experienced MMO players or complete noobs who just fancy having a go. Sure, because of what it is, the game is full of everything annoying and distasteful about the human race – arrogance, prejudice, greed, illiteracy, rudeness – but if you can ignore all that (just turn off Global chat) then there are many, many fun-filled hours to be wasted here.

Arcadelife rating: 90/100

Version reviewed by Arcadelife is 1.0.0
iTunes link

Order & Chaos forum site link

Arcadelife played and reviewed this game on:
iPad (OS 4.3.2)
4th gen iPod Touch (OS 4.3.2)