Archive for June, 2014

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Secret Files Tunguska – coming to iOS on July 17th

June 30, 2014

Here’s a news item that’s rather cool, although I’m just a little bit too lazy to do much more than paste some info from the press release and link a recent gameplay trailer video.

“Germany-based publisher Deep Silver FISHLABS and developer Animation Arts will launch the successful point-and-click adventure Secret Files Tunguska on the App Store on July 17th, 2014. The mobile version of the multi-award-winning mystery title will run on iPhone, iPad and iPod touch and turn the player’s smartphone or tablet into the setting of a global conspiracy of epic proportions.”

“The initial purchase of Secret Files Tunguska for the set price of 4.99 US-$ / 4.49 EUR / 2.99 GBP / 169 RUR grants full access to the game’s entire narrative, including all content and features. Consequently, players do not have to unlock additional episodes or story angles via in-app purchase.”

Ok, fair enough, I’ll add a bit of opinion here… I remember playing this game on PC about 7 years ago and it was a fairly decent point-n-click style adventure. It was also released later on Wii and DS.

I’m planning on reviewing the iOS version; I’ll let you know how this game ends up playing on a tablet and iPod screen. Hopefully some of the “hunt the pixel” type puzzles won’t be as tricky as I’m thinking they might be.

For more info on the title and the people behind it, visit the official websites of Secret Files Tunguska (http://secretfiles.deepsilver.com/en/index.php and Deep Silver (http://www.deepsilver.com/).

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Godfire review (iOS / Universal)

June 19, 2014

godfire_logo10 word description: Mythologically themed third person action/fighting game. Upgrades, Bosses, IAPs.

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10 word review: Gorgeous looking; repetitive fights; large but slow bosses; rather short.

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You will like this if you enjoy: Button-mashing fighting games. Very nice graphics.

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The good news: Graphics and animations – particularly in the relentless button-mashing fights – are very high quality and great to watch. Sounds and overall presentation are also consistently good. Controls could be improved, with maybe an option to have a movable d-pad, but are responsive and reliable enough for everything that this game needs you to be able to do. Bosses are large and look the part. Cloud sync works!

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The bad news: Fighting the cannon-fodder enemies, which is a large part of the game, soon becomes repetitive and combat never feels like it really evolves. Puzzles (to open some chests and doors) are laughably easy to the point where I wondered why they bothered even having them in the game – they just slow you down unnecessarily. Boss fights all follow the same sequence: Dodge boss attack several times, wait for boss to become vulnerable (obvious visual cues), hit boss a few times, repeat. Levels are linear and very short, and there are only 7 of them. The best weapons and items can only be bought via IAP; they can’t be unlocked through playing the game.

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Arcadelife verdict: Despite gripes, of which I have several (see above), I can appreciate what Godfire is trying to do and, for the most part, I believe it achieves its aims. Most of the budget clearly went into the visuals, which are consistently high quality apart from some extreme depth-of-field in places, which just makes the game look unnecessarily blurry. Yes, the fighting is repetitive but it looks and feels very convincing, with some of the best fighting animations that I have seen in any iOS game. Saying that, I never really felt that I (or my character) was becoming more skilled as the input (essentially mash on two buttons) is never developed despite unlocking a variety of moves and combos.

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The bosses initially look very impressive, until they start to be recycled half way through the game, and they all follow the same attack/sleep cycle which doesn’t really give a sense of intensity or threat.

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Overall, Godfire kept me going to the end of normal mode because it looks so good. Unlocking yet another pair of swords doesn’t have the gameplay hook that it could have; the fact that the top 3 weapon choices need to be bought with real money is just indicative of “me too” IAP inclusion, without giving any thought to players who might actually want to play the game to unlock the best items.

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Godfire appears to be trying to imitate aspects of Dark Souls or God of War, but it lacks the depth and complexity of those titles and really only excels with its visuals. However, if you want one of the best looking iOS action games and you’re not put off by repetitive combat and by-the-numbers boss fights, Godfire will keep you playing and, for the most part, enjoying it. Just don’t go in expecting a hugely challenging or deep experience.

Arcadelife rating

Presentation – 9/10
Visuals – 9.5/10
Controls – 8/10
Content – 7/10
Fun – 7/10
Final rating – 8.5/10

GODLIKE … ALMOST

Rating categories explained here.
Version reviewed by Arcadelife is 1.0.0
iTunes link

Godfire website link

Arcadelife played and reviewed this game on:
5th gen iPod Touch (iOS 7.1.1)
4th gen iPad (iOS 7.1.1)
This review was typed on a Das Keyboard Model S mechanical keyboard – check them out, they’re really rather groovy.
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Battleheart Legacy review (iOS / Universal)

June 4, 2014

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10 word description: Customise unique hero, battle hordes of enemies, real time combat.

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10 word review: One of the best iOS games ever, regardless of genre.

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You will like this if you enjoy: Full-featured, highly polished, addictive, fun action-RPGs. With no IAPs.

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The good news: Everything! Ok, I can’t leave it at that, I know. Character graphics, environments and visual effects are excellent. Enemies are varied and detailed with great animations. The multi-class character system, effectively letting you freely customise your build (attributes, active & passive skills, items), is truly wonderful. The control method works very well, although a small amount of learning and experimentation always helps. World map is a decent size, with many locations unlocking higher-level areas or repeatable boss fights (at the same location). Cloud sync is cleverly implemented, functioning as a separate save slot. Dialogue humour is actually funny. The game is a whole load of fun.

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The bad news: There are still some crashes, even after the update, that appear to be related to summoned skeletons (in my experience anyway). Progress is based on clearing areas and repeating lucrative encounters (and the Arena) rather than following a story-based quest chain. This is NOT bad in any way, but is worth mentioning as it may disappoint players who are hoping for a quest-fest, which this game is not.

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Arcadelife verdict: Battleheart Legacy is brilliant, one of those rare games that instantly takes over your life and becomes your sole reason for existence. Tragic, but true! The character customisation is a work of genius; the diversity of builds defines the word CHOICE with all its joys and implications.

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Levelling up and picking skills is a constant progression filled with surprises and decisions, with additional build variations coming from weapons, armour and items that you acquire from drops, treasure chests or the local shop. The full map can be explored from the start, although the fixed levels of every zone will mean that reckless dungeon delving can lead to your swift demise.

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The fact that enemies don’t scale to your level means that character progress can easily be measured by revisiting a map area or boss encounter after levelling a few times, where you can revel in your newly acquired uberness, or just die again due to slotting a less than optimal set of skills.

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And then there’s the arena, which is just you versus endless waves of enemies until you die. Until you reach at least level 15, the dying part will occur very quickly. If you can kill at least 10 enemies in the arena (not as easy as it sounds) you earn a reward item. As far as the story is concerned, you will be told about the location of some items to retrieve in three high level areas, then pretty much left alone to choose how you level up enough to be able to tackle those zones.

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There are a few entirely optional side quests that are sometimes more fun to fail than to complete, for example a Mage Tower quest to kill a giant spider using only elemental magic.

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The absence of the usual generic plethora of mundane quests is refreshing and gives the game a very liberated feel. The associated absence of a quest log, with only the most rudimentary map markers can initially feel rather daunting. Once you realise that the quests are not essential for progress or, indeed, for enjoying the game, it all makes a lot more sense.

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Overall, Battleheart Legacy is a hugely entertaining game. I haven’t had as much compulsive fun running around blowing stuff up and buying cool items since Galaxy on Fire 2, and that is a great compliment to pay any game. And, finally, the fact that a mobile game quite casually takes on the “be anything you want to be” character development ethos of Skyrim and makes it even more fun is a massive, praiseworthy achievement. I have no reservations about giving this game the highest score; it’s a fantastic experience and it deserves to do extremely well.

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Arcadelife rating

Presentation – 9.5/10
Visuals – 9.5/10
Controls – 9/10
Content – 9.5/10
Fun – 10/10
Final rating – 10/10

AWESOME

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

Mika Mobile website link

Arcadelife played and reviewed this game on:
5th gen iPod Touch (iOS 7.1.1)
4th gen iPad (iOS 7.1.1)
This review was typed on a Das Keyboard Model S mechanical keyboard – check them out, they’re really rather groovy.