Archive for July, 2011

h1

Ranger Rocket review (iPod/iPhone)

July 31, 2011

“Rocket man, burning out his fuse up here alone”

10 word description: “Playfield claiming” (Qix) game; power-ups, many different enemies, Game Center.

It's not a sports game, honest

10 word review: Decent version of Qix; enemy variety, power-ups, backgrounds and bosses.

You have to shrink this boss down by using the laser power-ups (in the corners) before you're going to be able to box him in

You will like this if you enjoy: Qix (playfield claiming) type games. Look it up if you have never heard of it.

Eat laser death, alien scum, etc.

The good news: The basic concept is well proven and this version is polished, fun and has plenty of variety to offer. Difficulty level is pitched about right, with plenty of lives to use up on harder levels. The inclusion of large bosses and cool power-ups such as the laser cannon are very nice touches.

No idea, mate

The bad news: Aside from the fact that it’s a 30 year old game concept, which is hardly a negative point anyway, there’s nothing particularly wrong with this game, at least nothing that I’ve noticed. What it lacks in innovation it tends to make up for with a kind of retro/classic charm and some genuinely amusing cartoon cut-screens and one-liners from the hero.

Arcadelife verdict: This is a pretty good game, probably lacking the hype and fanfare for huge commercial success but also highly unlikely to disappoint anyone who buys it on a whim, or after reading this review. It’s also very refreshing to play an iOS game from a genre that hasn’t been flogged to death.

Every enemy type you can think of has (probably) been included

Arcadelife rating: 80/100

Version reviewed by Arcadelife is 1.0
iTunes link

Chillingo – Ranger Rocket website link

Arcadelife played and reviewed this game on:
4th gen iPod Touch (OS 4.3.4)
h1

8-bit vs 16-bit review (iPod/iPhone)

July 30, 2011

“Invaders must die
Invaders must die”

10 word description: Tap game; retro style; switch mode to kill different invaders.

The green invaders can only be shot (tapped) in 8-bit mode. You can guess the rest.

10 word review: Frantic one-more-go action – mode swapping gets very intense.

You will like this if you enjoy: Tap-to-kill type games. Witnessing the reinvention of space invaders for the attention-deficit generation.

It's a shame that getting a screenshot of an explosion didn't earn me an in-game achievement. It wasn't easy.

The good news: It’s a very, very simple concept that is somehow the most frantic, perspiration generating game I’ve seen for … a day at least.

It's also a huge missed opportunity that the game itself doesn't change to mono graphics when you switch to 8-bit mode.

The bad news: Its simplicity is possibly its downfall. The graphical differences between 8-bit and 16-bit only really reach as far as the menu screen. The game itself, although a genuinely frantic experience, doesn’t have enough to keep you hooked beyond a handful of quick tries.

After about 5 goes I scored enough to place half way down the GC leaderboard of 20 players

Arcadelife verdict: I’d like to see this game updated and expanded. The basic concept is good, it just needs some different game modes (not just graphical variations either!) and a bit more actual game to keep players coming back for more.

Their logo / loading screen is quite pretty

Arcadelife rating: 8/16

Version reviewed by Arcadelife is 1.0.0
iTunes link

Vetasoft website link

Arcadelife played and reviewed this game on:
4th gen iPod Touch (OS 4.3.4)
h1

BlibBlob update 1.1 (iPod/iPhone)

July 30, 2011

A recent favourite platformer here at Arcadelife, BlibBlob has been updated to version 1.1.

The official update notes are as follows:

What’s New In Version 1.1

  • Planetshooter’s “SLIDE” control method
  • Added “ask for review”
  • Made loading advert come only 20% of time
  • Fixed OpenFeint integration bug

Thanks to the developer for implementing the slide control method – “Planetshooter” is the alias I use for app store reviews and occasional posts on an iOS gaming forum.

Read the Arcadelife review of BlibBlob here.

h1

Reckless Getaway review (iOS / Universal)

July 29, 2011

“I hate cop cars! I hate cop cars!
Mee-maw, Mee-maw! I hate cop cars!”

10 word description: Car chase – avoid or destroy cops, collect coins, 16 tracks.

Out for a drive on a sunny Sunday afternoon ... in your stolen car full of other people's money

10 word review: Initial excitement is replaced by a dislike of floaty physics.

The contract for installing "traffic calming" measures was obviously outsourced based on the lowest offer...

You will like this if you enjoy: Reckless Racing, Spy Hunter, action movie style car chases, crashes, lots of crashes.

Car crashes rule

The good news: It’s an exciting concept and there’s definitely a lot of fun to be had in the first few levels. Graphically it is varied and colourful and it feels like you’re in a movie style car chase.

Outta my way, copper!

The bad news: Earning stars to unlock the later levels becomes a chore when you have to return to earlier levels and repeatedly attempt to play them exactly right. This emphasis on precision and memorising when to turn and jump and where to collect coins does not fit in with the great feeling of random mobile carnage and the very loose and floaty way that your car behaves. Many of the later levels are difficult enough with hordes of cop cars trying to ram you off narrow tracks into canyons, without being forced to pick up every coin possible and never crash. If you are one of those people (like me, usually) who will try to get a 4 star rating on each track, be prepared for frustration.

Some graphical resources are left over from that MMO they never released

Arcadelife verdict: A fun game that is slightly spoiled by a rating system that is rather too harsh for the cheerfully chaotic vehicular destruction on offer here.

Arcadelife rating: 75/100

Version reviewed by Arcadelife is 1.0.1
iTunes link

Polarbit website link

Arcadelife played and reviewed this game on:
4th gen iPod Touch (OS 4.3.4)
iPad (OS 4.3.4)
This review was requested by Shill – guild leader of Shadow-Hunters on the Hall of Blade server (Order & Chaos Online)
h1

Deflex review (iOS / Universal)

July 28, 2011

“And every little thing the reflex does
Leaves me answered with a question mark”

10 word description: Deflect lightball around obstacles and into targets. Puzzle/action game.

10 word review: Proof, in any was needed, that my brain doesn’t work.

You will like this if you enjoy: Trippy psychedelic games.

Now that's a lot of sheep. They are sheep, aren't they?

The good news: It’s a few steps beyond Minotron 2112 and Minotaur Rescue in terms of trippiness and relaxing psychedelia. Graphically, it’s hard to think of anything else on iOS (not by Jeff Minter) that is anything like this game.

The bad news: Fans of the author’s iOS shooters (the two games linked above) may find this too much of a departure from the straightforward destructive action of those games. Personally, I discovered that my brain doesn’t work as far as this game is concerned. It had to happen, I suppose, but it’s a real shame it happened on this one because it looks so fascinating.

Arcadelife verdict: I am in a tiny minority that just can’t get on with this game. Listen to the universal acclaim and read the glowing reviews on the app store. If you’re unlucky, like me, and your brain just refuses to comply with this game, just accept the fact and spend a few hours crying in a dark room. To avoid karmic repercussions, I shall award this game infinity out of infinity, because that’s probably how long it would take me to get anywhere near mastering it.

Arcadelife rating: ∞/∞

Version reviewed by Arcadelife is 1.01
iTunes link

Llamasoft website link

Arcadelife played and reviewed this game on:
4th gen iPod Touch (OS 4.3.4)
iPad (OS 4.3.4)
h1

Dream Track Nation review (iOS / Universal)

July 27, 2011

“You got a fast car
But is it fast enough so we can fly away”

10 word description: Colourful and deliberately wacky racer; Game Center, multiplayer, track editor.

I opted for buttons. There's also a tilt option, but I'm generally not a fan of tilt controls

10 word review: Lots of content, unique looks and solid stunt racing gameplay.

One of the unlockable vehicles is this bike

You will like this if you enjoy: Stick Stunt Biker; action/physics/speedrun combination games (don’t ask me to name any, ok?)

Each track is an artistic impression of a real world circuit. This is Silverstone as described by Joey Deacon

The good news: Lots of content, unlockable vehicles, crazy track layouts, entertaining gameplay, track editor (I couldn’t manage to do anything in it, but I hardly tried), endearing artistic style and it’s a lot of fun.

Arrows helpfully indicate the direction you should be travelling, usually when you are hurtling past them backwards

The bad news: The wacky track layouts, pretty much the central theme of the game, occasionally lead to a stop/start/fall/repeat test of patience rather than a breakneck race to the finish. If you’re after more of a pure racing game and less of a loop-the-loop and crash through piles of boxes fest, you may not thoroughly enjoy the experience on offer here.

Nice parking

Arcadelife verdict: This is a great stunt racer package. It’s hard to tell whether the weirder tracks are the pinnacle of track editing art or the visual interpretation of some kind of emotional breakdown, but overall it’s a fun and entertaining game.

The "try again" screen will become all too familiar

Arcadelife rating: 89/100

Version reviewed by Arcadelife is 1.0.1
iTunes link

Chillingo / Dream Track Nation website link

Arcadelife played and reviewed this game on:
4th gen iPod Touch (OS 4.3.4)
iPad (OS 4.3.4)
h1

Bean’s Quest review (iOS/Universal)

July 26, 2011

“I like bouncing, boing boing boing…”

This review has been updated to include content and features from version 2.0.0

10 word description: Retro platformer; guide constantly bouncing bean to 3 separate level goals.

Update 2.0.0 adds World 2 and several new control options. I have chosen to have no visible buttons, seeing as how I requested that in the first place!

10 word review: Fantastic retro platform game, beautiful yet often incredibly hard! Recommended.

This is World 1. World 2 has another 9 levels and World 3 is due out soon (as at August 11th 2011)

You will like this if you enjoy: Retro platform games, or pretty much any kind of platform game. Games with some incredibly tough level goals to achieve.

This is an example of a "vertical" level

The good news: Every time I get a new platform game to review it looks like the best game ever. This has it all – graphics, performance, level design, cute characters, great set of separate level goals (collect gems, find pet, minimum number of jumps) and there’s no time limit – hurray! (If you get this and Emberwind, you probably won’t need another platform game for quite a while).

One of the goals on each level is to find and collect your little pink friend.

The bad news: Since update 2.0.0 the only bad news is I that am getting completely defeated by many of World 2’s level goals. This is not a game fault, I love it.

The ball can be rolled about and bounced on. It's a brilliant dynamic puzzle element. It appears in several levels, with multiple balls appearing on at least one level in World 2

Arcadelife verdict: A brilliant game that has finally matured with update 2.0.0 into a great package. I can wholeheartedly recommend this to platform game fans now, and it gives me considerable satisfaction to finally award it a far more appropriate rating… see below

The toppling piles of blocks are great. World 2 is even crazier, with swinging spike balls and other mad stuff

Arcadelife rating: 91/100

Here’s a preview of world 2, available at last in version 2.0.0!

Version reviewed by Arcadelife is 2.0.0
iTunes link

Kumobius website link

Arcadelife played and reviewed this game on:
4th gen iPod Touch (OS 4.3.4)
iPad (OS 4.3.4)
h1

Blobster review (iPod/iPhone)

July 25, 2011

“Let’s get physical, physical
I wanna get physical”

The result of an unholy union between a blob and a monster. Possibly.

10 word description: Platformer; blob character, various enemies, physics, 40 levels, many power-ups.

Spot the platform game clichés. Sorry, "classic platforming elements". Ignore these cynical image captions, by the way - Blobster is a great game.

10 word review: Very entertaining montage of every platform game feature imaginable. Recommended.

Happening upon a randomly situated pipe, Blobster asks himself, "What would Mario do?"

You will like this if you enjoy: Platform games. Well designed and polished games.

Cool special effects abound. There are also a great many achievements.

The good news: A lot of thought (and plagiarism, obviously) has gone into making this a very fun and addictive game. The levels are nicely designed, central character is amusing and the various elements (physics, power-ups, enemies, very high jumps) all come together really well. Controls work well, however…

Angry Blobs

The bad news: At times, the moving and jumping mechanic (pull down to slingshot the blob guy, rather than tap to jump) interrupts the flow of the game, meaning that you are often stopping in place before launching, rather than moving and jumping fluidly as you might have expected.

World two - the desert. (Anyone hoping for an amusing caption will be disappointed)

Arcadelife verdict: Very good. Graphics, gameplay, controls (with slight reservation about the jumping), level design … everything is well conceived and polished. Anyone remotely interested in platforming on their iPod/iPhone should have a look at this one.

Obesity is prevalent among young Blobs in low gravity environments

Arcadelife rating: 90/100

Version reviewed by Arcadelife is 1.0
iTunes link

Chillingo / Blobster website link

Arcadelife played and reviewed this game on:
4th gen iPod Touch (OS 4.3.4)
h1

Slaughter House review (iOS / Universal)

July 23, 2011

“Bring you daughter, bring your daughter
To the slaughter”

10 word description: Four mini games with a common ‘slaughtering’ theme. Game Center.

You probably can't tell from the static image, but some animals are flying about and you have to slice them up, Fruit Ninja style.

10 word review: Bad taste game could have been fun but really isn’t.

Slice the animals but avoid the broccoli - ho hum

You will like this if you enjoy: A version of Fruit Ninja where you slice up animals. A mini-game where you shave a cat.

The cat shaving mini-game. Ban this sick filth, etc.

The good news: The graphical depictions of the animals are so bad that this game is only going to offend the sort of person who sets out to be offended by it.

The tofu mini-game doesn't fit the theme at all. It is also the worst part of the package.

The bad news: See the good news.

I suffered severe traumatic stress reviewing this game. I hope you're pleased with yourselves.

Arcadelife verdict: Bad taste. Bad game.

What the fuck do the Apple employees working on game approvals actually do?

Arcadelife rating: 22/100

Version reviewed by Arcadelife is 1
iTunes link

The game’s blank Tumblr page website link

Arcadelife played and reviewed this game on:
4th gen iPod Touch (OS 4.3.4)
iPad (OS 4.3.4)
h1

Feed The Duck review (iPod/iPhone)

July 22, 2011

“Dive, dive, dive, dive in me
Dive in me”

10 word description: Physics/gravity based duck launching game. Eat fish, avoid enemies.

Drag, aim, fire ... and ... is it just me or did we do this yesterday?

10 word review: Well conceived and rather addictive drag/aim/fire puzzle gameplay.

Just as in real life, the duck soars to a great height before hurtling towards the water to instantly vaporise any fish he touches

You will like this if you enjoy: Casual games featuring the launching of birds (possibly slightly irate) towards various targets and obstacles. Puzzle games involving unlikely combinations of small creatures, heavy machinery and packing crates.

Rivalling The Discovery Channel for educational value, we learn here that Angler Fish swim just below the surface and fry ducks with electricity. Cool!

The good news: It’s way, way better than I thought it was going to be. There’s no secret that it’s a Game Salad game (the splash screen is always a bit of a giveaway) but it’s one of the GS games that doesn’t deserve to be tainted by the curse. Nice concept; well designed, progressively difficult levels and fairly cool graphics. The control method works too.

It's like one of The Cure's 80s album covers.

The bad news: I think there could be more to it than the default campaign mode, maybe some kind of “endless waves” challenge, but that isn’t really a criticism. Wanting more of something is never a criticism, at least not in my opinion.

This game needs a bit more depth ... Somebody stop me.

Arcadelife verdict: Another surprisingly good game… what is the world coming to? Maybe I can find something genuinely awful to review tomorrow. No promises, though.

Arcadelife rating: 80/100

Version reviewed by Arcadelife is 1.0
iTunes link

Feed The Duck on Facebook link

Arcadelife played and reviewed this game on:
4th gen iPod Touch (OS 4.3.4)