Archive for April, 2012

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Proverbidioms review (iPad)

April 30, 2012

“You better put all your eggs in one basket
You better count your chickens before they hatch”

10 word description: Identify over 800 everyday phrases and sayings in four paintings.

10 word review: More of a general knowledge test than a video game.

The first 20 phrases/sayings from painting 1 are free, then it starts to cost money to unlock the rest, about £7.50 if you want the lot

You will like this if you enjoy: Similar “spot the words/phrases etc. in a jumbled picture” style games such as Say What You See.

The first painting apparently has 264 proverbs and clichés hidden within it

The good news: Pretty good for burning up any spare time you have when you aren’t playing any actual video games, because this isn’t a video game.

The bad news: I don’t think it uses the iPad functionality anywhere near as well as it could. Searching for the phrases in the scrolling list is a chore.

Arcadelife verdict: There’s nothing wrong with the concept, but it could have been implemented better on the iPad. The identified phrases in the list are marked with a star, but there’s no option that I could find to hide them or remove them from the list. Also, the identified elements of the painting don’t change; they’re not greyed out or otherwise marked as “done”. Compare that with Say What You See, where the picture elements are faded/greyed when correctly guessed. The pictures in SWYS also all have free demo modes, whereas only the first painting in this collection has a demo mode of 20 guesses. It’s not a bad app, but it could do with a bit of polish and some thought for the customer, with regards to improving the overall experience and a bit more generosity with the demos.

Arcadelife rating

Visuals – 8.5/10
Audio – 2/10
Controls – 8/10
Content – 7/10
Fun – 5/10
Final rating – 60/100

Rating categories explained here.
Version reviewed by Arcadelife is 1.1
iTunes link

Proverbidioms website link

Arcadelife played and reviewed this game on:
iPad (OS 5.1)
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Spellsword review (iOS / Universal)

April 28, 2012

“How do you spell sword? Well, it’s ‘S W O R D’ I guess”

10 word description: Retro inspired hack ‘n’ slash survival. Missions & endless. Game Center.

10 word review: I’m drunk; it’s great. It’s still great when I’m sober.

You will like this if you enjoy: Muffin Knight, Super Crate Box. Jetpac, because I remember that one too.

Loving the Fallout 3 nod

The good news: No stupid frickin’ IAPs. And it’s a great game too.

Loads of upgrades and not an IAP in sight

The bad news: Hardly anyone reads these reviews.

Arcadelife verdict: Life sucks and video games are trivial time-wasters at best. I could be doing so much more with my time than reviewing spare-change phone games but I’m not. Maybe one day I’ll look back at all this and ask myself why, but I seriously doubt it. Overall, this game is a lot of fun and you should get it.

Arcadelife rating

Visuals – 8/10
Audio – 8/10
Controls – 8.5/10
Content – 8/10
Fun – 8.5/10
Final rating – 85/100

Rating categories explained here.
Version reviewed by Arcadelife is 1.0.1
iTunes link

Everplay website link

Arcadelife played and reviewed this game on:
4th gen iPod Touch (OS 5.1)
iPad (OS 5.1)
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Prince of Persia Classic HD review (iPad)

April 26, 2012

“Tonight I’m going to party like it’s $99.99”

10 word description: The original cinematic platformer (seriously) with graphical makeover for iPad.

10 word review: All the frustration of the original, now with ridiculous IAPs.

You will like this if you enjoy: Playing Prince of Persia with annoying controls and graphics that are more colourful but arguably less charming than the original. Spending real money on extra lives.

Combat is of the tap-tap-tap variety

The good news: Nobody is forcing you to spend $99.99 on extra lives, although it does feel that way. The graphics are ok.

No, I wasn't making it up

The bad news: Stupid IAPs. Seriously, if you’re willing to spend $99.99 on extra lives for a fairly weak iPad game, I think you have some problems. The graphics, although nice, are not quite as mind-blowing as Ubisoft would like you to think they are. Animation looks less fluid than in the original 1989 game… just think about that for a few seconds. Controls are annoying and unreliable, deaths feel cheap and unfair on a regular basis.

Arcadelife verdict: The original Prince of Persia was good at the time, subsequently surpassed by many games that improved on the concept such as Another World, Flashback and Blackthorne. Today, on the iPad, there are some great platform action games, for example Swordigo, that make PoP look quite feeble by comparison. If you ignore the “Revive for 1 life” option when you die you will never need to consider the IAPs; the game will be partially crippled but at least you won’t be handing over more cash to Ubisoft.

This is ultimately where it always ends - in a pit full of spikes

Arcadelife rating

Visuals – 7/10
Audio – 8/10
Controls – 3/10
Content – 8/10
Fun – 2/10
Final rating – 50/100

Rating categories explained here.
Version reviewed by Arcadelife is 2.0.0
iTunes link

Ubisoft website link

Arcadelife played and reviewed this game on:
iPad (OS 5.1)
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Air Jump review (iPod/iPhone)

April 24, 2012

“I know you want to
Jump up in the air and stay there”

10 word description: Side-scrolling endless platform jumping style game with upgrade shops.

10 word review: Pretty, quite addictive, do we really need all these IAPs?

You will like this if you enjoy: Casual endless jumping games with tilt controls.

The good news: Quite nice to look at, music isn’t annoying. Tilt control works well.

The bad news: Upgrades seem to be quite expensive (using in-game gold). As I tend to completely avoid IAPs, particularly for upgrade items in games like this, I suspect a fair amount of grinding may be required in order to buy decent items from the shops.

The shops appear during your journey

Arcadelife verdict: Air Jump plays quite well, looks attractive enough and the tilt control won’t let you down. It’s really all about how badly you want a horizontally scrolling endless jumper/bouncer. The IAPs don’t interest me, but they also aren’t essential for enjoying the game.

Arcadelife rating

Visuals – 8/10
Audio – 7/10
Controls – 8/10
Content – 7/10
Fun – 7/10
Final rating – 74/100

Rating categories explained here.
Version reviewed by Arcadelife is 1.1.1
iTunes link

Air Jump website link

Arcadelife played and reviewed this game on:
4th gen iPod Touch (OS 5.1)
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Run Run Die! review (iOS / Universal)

April 23, 2012

“Jump and run, jump jump and run”

10 word description: Tap jumping, terrain tinkering auto-runner. 35 levels and Dinosaurs.

Jumping into the water is the easy bit

10 word review: Quite hard, but fun. One for million-death platformer fans.

Some stars are easy to reach; most are not

You will like this if you enjoy: Hard auto-runner platform games where you die a lot before finally managing a perfect run on any stage. Similar (perhaps not very similar) games would be Spike Dislike, The Impossible Game. Games that aren’t particularly similar at all, but appeal to the same general area of your brain (the masochistic, twitching bit that likes failing  and dying a million times in platform games) would be Bean’s Quest and League of Evil.

The good news: Smooth, fast, decent looking with simple yet pleasantly maddening level design. The music is appropriate and doesn’t feel like it’s going “ding ding ding” as you die and restart approximately once every 3 seconds.

Do you think the red TNT crates might be dangerous?

The bad news: I had to rewrite part of this review because I’m stupid. The level 17 bug, among others, has indeed been fixed; I thought I’d updated the game and I hadn’t.

Arcadelife verdict: Good game; plenty of infuriating yet ultimately immensely satisfying million-death style challenge. The cartoon dinosaurs are very funny, although I always find cartoon dinosaurs (that look like a child’s drawings) to be highly amusing. The game is obviously not going to appeal to everyone, but then what does? Fans of platform gaming masochism will love this.

That wasn't easy, I assure you

Arcadelife rating

Visuals – 7.5/10
Audio – 7/10
Controls – 8.5/10
Content – 8/10
Fun – 8.5/10
Final rating – 78/100

Rating categories explained here.
Version reviewed by Arcadelife is 1.1
iTunes link

Voltic Games website link

Arcadelife played and reviewed this game on:
4th gen iPod Touch (OS 5.0.1)
iPad (OS 5.0.1)
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Rolling Jump review (iPod/iPhone)

April 22, 2012

“You gotta roll with it, you gotta take your time”

10 word description: Vertical endless jumper. Jump from wheel to wheel. Game Center.

10 word review: Polished, simple, slightly derivative but certainly addictive. Entertaining power-up strategies.

You will like this if you enjoy: Vertical endless jumping games. Captain Ludwig involves similar planet-hopping mechanics, although Rolling Jump has a more focussed feel and, for me, is more fun.

The good news: Graphics and sound, while perfectly acceptable, are secondary to the instantly addictive gameplay. Control method is generally fine.

The bad news: Tiny issue with tapping the character to deploy the power-up – he’s rather small and the tap often registers as a jump instead of initiating the power-up booster. Not a massive problem; you get used to it.

Arcadelife verdict: This is a good addition to the endless jumping crowd; nice looks and great use of collectible mini-suns to charge up the booster plus the capped 10x multiplier – do you use the boost as soon as possible or gamble on maxing out your multiplier first?

Arcadelife rating

Visuals – 7.5/10
Audio – 7/10
Controls – 8.5/10
Content – 8/10
Fun – 8.5/10
Final rating – 79/100

Rating categories explained here.
Version reviewed by Arcadelife is 1.1
iTunes link

Rolling Jump on Facebook website link

Arcadelife played and reviewed this game on:
4th gen iPod Touch (OS 5.1)
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Shark Dash review (iOS / Universal)

April 20, 2012

“Please don’t mess around with me
I’m a shark fatality, in the sea”

10 word description: Bath toy (including some sharks) themed physics puzzler. 96 levels.

10 word review: I’m trying really hard, but I can’t dislike this one.

You will like this if you enjoy: Those casual physics puzzle games where you launch some cute cartoon creature and try to collect a bunch of gold coins, or stars, or whatever, and get a 3-star rating, etc.

The good news: Deep breath; I really wanted to despise this game, or to feel utterly indifferent towards it. However… the graphics are really good, the animations are rather nice, sound isn’t too bad and the game is a lot of fun, quite challenging and there are loads of levels. Even the IAPs aren’t particularly offensive; I unlocked the first elite shark (just to see what it was like) after completing the first zone by playing the game – no real money was involved.

The bad news: The only bad news for me is that I saw this as an opportunity to rip into Gameloft again, but there’s nothing I can really complain about. There’s no Game Center, but that’s not exactly an issue with this game, it’s just the way Gameloft do things and it’s hardly their worst game-related crime in recent memory.

Arcadelife verdict: Ok, it’s a good game, I admit it. Now can we move on, forget this ever happened and look forward to the next bloated, Freemium IAP abusing joke so that we all know that normal Gameloft service has been resumed? This game doesn’t even feel like a Gameloft game, and these days that is a definite plus point.

A screen full of 3-star ratings; these must be the easy levels

Arcadelife rating

Visuals – 9/10
Audio – 8/10
Controls – 9/10
Content – 8.5/10
Fun – 8/10
Final rating – 85/100

Rating categories explained here.
Version reviewed by Arcadelife is 1.0.1
iTunes link

Gameloft / Shark Dash website link

Arcadelife played and reviewed this game on:
4th gen iPod Touch (OS 5.1)
iPad (OS 5.1)