Archive for February, 2014

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Rocket Robo review (iOS / Universal)

February 3, 2014

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10 word description: Tilt controlled 2.5D scrolling puzzle game. Gravity, teleportation, water, traps.

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10 word review: Charming and visually attractive, occasionally frustrating with several missed opportunities.

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You will like this if you enjoy: Puzzle platformers (although it isn’t one). Physics puzzlers (it occasionally feels like one). 

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The good news: Very pretty. Lots of levels. A fair amount of visual and environmental variety between levels. Occasional glimpses of genius in the level designs. The tilt control method works well on iPhone/iPod Touch. The intro story is very endearing.

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The bad news: Although the tilt controls work well, the option of a relative touch control method would pull in a few more players, particularly on the iPad, where tilt controls are just not popular and for good reason. Some levels are frustrating enough to be annoying. There are no checkpoints. If this was my game, I’d give the robot some optional checkpoint flags to carry around, using them where the player felt it was necessary, with a level score adjusted depending on how many checkpoint flags were used. See, I come up with ideas like this in 5 minutes; this game was developed and play-tested for a lot longer than that. Anyway, moving on… No Game Center, no timed speed runs, no progress sync between devices, no real motivation to collecting the stars apart from to collect the stars. Map view is not as useful as it could be. The background and foreground blocks on some levels are sometimes way too similar in appearance. Game occasionally crashes.   

Level 40 - very frustrating

Level 40 – very frustrating

Arcadelife verdict: I liked this game enough to try really hard to ignore the omissions, missed opportunities and frustration of some levels. It’s a good game, not brilliant but good. Some of the levels are close to being extremely good, but there are enough average ones to balance it out, which isn’t really that great for the game. Compared to something similar like I Am Level, where I couldn’t stop thinking about the game when I wasn’t playing it, and kept going back again and again until I had 100% completed it, I never felt compelled to revisit a Rocket Robo level to collect all the stars. Much of the time, I was just relieved to reach the end of a level and move on to the next one.

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Overall, it’s a good looking variation on the platform/physics puzzling theme, but it has not quite nailed every aspect of the gameplay. I would recommend it with a few reservations on iPhone/iPod Touch, not so much on iPad where I gave up early on due to the tilt control method. 

Arcadelife rating

Presentation – 8/10
Visuals – 9/10
Controls – 8/10
Content – 8/10
Fun – 6/10
Final rating – 7/10

PRETTY GOOD

Rating categories explained here.
Version reviewed by Arcadelife is 1.01
iTunes link
Arcadelife played and reviewed this game on:
5th gen iPod Touch (iOS 7.0.4)
4th gen iPad (iOS 7.0.4) – not much, didn’t like the tilt control on this device.
This review was typed on a Das Keyboard Model S mechanical keyboard – check them out, they’re really rather groovy.
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Dungeon Keeper review (iOS / Universal)

February 1, 2014

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10 word description: Dig, devise, dominate. It’s good to be bad in Dungeon Keeper. [App store description

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10 word review: The worst incarnation of IAP I have ever seen. Ever.

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You will like this if you enjoy: WAITING. Or just forking over hundreds of pounds so you don’t have to wait……………………… to play a game that really isn’t that good. 

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The good news: It’s called Dungeon Keeper. Scratch that, that’s the worst thing about this complete ****ing travesty.

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The bad news: It is castrated, crippled, bogged down and utterly destroyed by the pay-to-play IAPs and the way the entire soul-destroying process of enduring this godawful farce is geared to emptying your wallet all over your iPad screen on a regular basis. It’s truly disappointing to see a great name from video game history associated with yet another heartless attempt to milk impatient players for all they’re worth.

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Arcadelife verdict: First of all, anyone who pays real money in order to speed up clearing one block at a bastard time from the screen is a total idiot. I thought I’d give this game a chance, but the real reason I downloaded it was to find out if it was anywhere near as bad as all the honest independent reviews I have read say it is. It is. It’s terrible. It takes the original game and twists it into a pathetic, player-hating con.

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I played through the tutorial, which seems to exist purely to show you that you need to use gems in order to bypass timers, and within only minutes I was up against a single block of generic terrain that had a one day timer on it. That means a whole day before the single tile is cleared by your digging minion. Or you could hand over 249 gems to clear it instantly. 500 gems cost 3 quid, by the way. One tile, £1.50 to clear it. Or wait a day. One tile. One ****ing tile.

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Or you could spend those 500 gems (£3 in real money) on a minion with a few special powers who lasts for 7 days.

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This is just shit. Download it so that you can leave a scathing 1 star review on the app store and then uninstall it. I’ll tell you what, if you do that and then email me a screenshot of your abusive, anti-EA review, I’ll gift my top 3 favourite abusive reviews with any game you want off the app store, up to and including XCOM. Seriously, and UK app store only I’m afraid. Because that would be fun. Much more fun than playing this titanic piss-take.  

Arcadelife rating

Presentation – 6/10
Visuals – 7/10
Controls – 8/10
Content – 1/10
Fun – 0/10
Final rating – 0/10

CRAP

Rating categories explained here.
Version reviewed by Arcadelife is 1.0.51
iTunes link
Arcadelife hated this pile of crap on:
4th gen iPad (iOS 7.0.4)
This review was typed on a Das Keyboard Model S mechanical keyboard – check them out, they’re really rather groovy.
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Happy 3rd Anniversary Arcadelife

February 1, 2014

Arcadelife was 3 years old yesterday (31st January).