Archive for the ‘Opinion’ Category


Titan Quest iOS – Dev Diary 2

May 13, 2016

This has just been added on YouTube.

I played the hell out of Titan Quest on PC. The touch interface looks absolutely brilliant – great job, DotEmu. Now I just can’t wait to play this all over again on iPad, ten years after it was first released.


I Sell My Kids For Rock’N’Roll

September 24, 2014

Crucified Barbara have a new album out – In The Red, available on iTunes and everywhere else where you can buy music. iTunes has them listed as Hard Rock and they’re not kidding. There’s not really a single weak track on any of their 4 albums and that wonderful example above is track one from the new album.

I’m already hooked – Mia can do no wrong as far as I’m concerned – so it’s kind of pointless reviewing the band’s new album because I’d just be saying, “It’s great, buy it, etc.” and I know that most of the (3) people who visit this site don’t like stuff like Motorhead so they’re probably not going to take my word on this. Ok, fine, don’t. Just play that video and make up your own mind.



Revenge of Toxic Frog – hints ‘n’ tips

January 29, 2014

Here’s my guide to Revenge of Toxic Frog (iOS/Universal) or, more accurately, my guide to achieving the highest score possible in that game.

Getting a very high score, reaching and passing the 500,000 milestone (and earning the Arcadelife Cup achievement), relies on one thing: combos. Specifically, it relies on being able to string together a constant sequence of firefly captures without missing any at all and without dying. I’ll tell you how the combo system works, the base scores for each type of firefly and the best levels to exploit for the highest score possible, as well as some tips for staying alive and maximising the combo multiplier in the time available.

The base score is the score you will get for landing on a firefly with the combo multiplier at 1.

RoTF - normal firefly

The normal firefly has a base score of 100. Each successive normal firefly that you land on – without any hops between fireflies – will increase your combo multiplier by 10. This means that the second firefly that you collect will have a multiplier of x10, giving you 1000 points for that firefly. The next one will have a multiplier of x20 (2000 points) and so on.

An unbroken sequence of normal fireflies will give you a score that increases as follows: 100, 1100, 3100, 6100, 10100, 15100, 21100, 28100, 36100, 45100, etc. The key to really huge scores is building the score multiplier up to over x200.

RoTF green firefly

Green fireflies have a base score of 1000. They also temporarily give your frog the ability to hop to any visible lily-pad on the screen. Green fireflies are a great help with high scores for two reasons: their base score is already 1000 and they will give you the chance to reach a firefly that you would otherwise have been unable to reach, speeding up your combo building. Additionally, they do not break your combo streak when the hopping power-up wears off. They first appear on level 7, which is worth knowing if you plan on incorporating them into your scoring strategy. Note that collecting a green firefly with a score multiplier at x200, for example, will instantly increase your score by 200,000 points.

RoTF purple firefly

Purple fireflies have a base score of 1000. They grant your frog temporary immunity from yellow fireflies, enabling you to collect those for a short time, much like the power-pills in Pac-Man. This sounds like a great way to score high, but there is a big catch: When the purple firefly’s immunity wears off, the combo multiplier resets. I always avoid collecting purple fireflies, preferring to wait for them to return to the normal state before grabbing them, unless I encounter one when I have less than 15 seconds remaining and my multiplier is at least x200. Otherwise, you’re throwing your combo multiplier away in exchange for whatever you manage to score while the immunity power-up is active.

RoTF yellow firefly

Yellow fireflies can only be collected while you have the purple firefly immunity active. The base score (yellow firefly collected while immunity is active and combo multiplier is reset by 1 or more non-scoring hops) is 2000. If you manage to get your multiplier to at least x200, then pick up a purple, then pick up one or more yellow fireflies in sequence before the multiplier resets, you will achieve an impressive score. It isn’t something that you can plan for, but you need to be prepared to go for it on the rare occasion when the situation arises.

The last element that you need in order to score high is time. As the levels get harder, you are given more time to complete the goals. This additional time is also a great help for scoring high. The downside, of course, is that the later levels have more hazards. After significant experimentation, I arrived at the following conclusions:

RoTF pic 1839

Levels with owls – forget it. The owls fly around the screen, killing your frog instantly if they pass over it. This is a hopeless situation if you are camping on a lily-pad waiting for a firefly to float past.
Levels with the Toxic Frog(s) – almost guaranteed rage as they will hop onto your lily-pad and kill your frog when they float within range.
Levels with Tiki bombs. Don’t even bother.

The levels with giant catfish are fine because you’re only ever going to be hopping to lily-pads with fireflies on them. Catfish will never appear on the same lily-pad as a firefly.

Best level for early high-score chasing: level 2. This level is perfect, apart from the relatively short amount of time available. Scoring over 500,000 is possible, it just requires a lot of patience and a purple firefly very near the end of the timer.

Best overall level for high-scores: level 8. Time available: 02:35. There are catfish, but no other hazards apart from the yellow fireflies. There are also green fireflies which can contribute to massive scores. I finally managed to break the million point barrier on level 8.

Level 7 – If you prefer the night levels, 7 is reasonable for high-scoring but you have 10 seconds less than level 8 and the stars seem to take up a lot of the lily-pads.

It’s worth noting that the score multiplier only affects firefly scores. Collecting stars or flowers will always give you the same base score, it will not be multiplied by your combo multiplier.

Now all you have to do is get the game and you can be just as tragically obsessed as I am.


Revenge of Toxic Frog – scoring a million points

January 27, 2014

Once again I appear to be really good at a game that hardly anyone else plays. Ninjaboy, Rocket Warrior, Coverfire, the original Toxic Frog and now Revenge of Toxic Frog. After being involved with the game before it was launched and then playing it every day since its release on the app store, I finally broke the million point barrier today.

revenge of toxic frog pic 0772

Of course, nobody cares because for some reason this absolute classic game has gone unnoticed by the majority of iOS gamers. Also, I’d assume that not even the people who own this game care because the scores I am achieving are so high they probably think it’s a glitch with Game Center. Yes, I really am that good. If you don’t think so, you know what you need to do… Click this link:

iTunes link


R-Type update (iOS)

December 19, 2013


It’s great that the buttons can now be moved around and re-sized, but the local high-score is still not retained between games and the sound controls are still backwards, with the FX slider controlling music volume and the music slider controlling sound effects. Come on, get that high-score to actually show the high score and fix those volume control icons.

R-Type is a classic shooter, one of my all time favourites, and it plays wonderfully on touch screens. Get it from the app store HERE.


Volgarr the Viking (PC)

December 12, 2013

Volgarr 2013-12-10 19-38-00-81

This has been out for a few months, but I only recently spotted it on Steam while I was browsing for platform games. It’s retro hard with a distinct lack (or scarcity, I haven’t figured that out yet) of checkpoints and a combination of level design and enemy placement that is frequently nasty.

Volgarr 2013-12-12 20-53-18-85

It reminds me of Rygar but it has a bit more variety, particularly with the spears that can be used as a ranged weapon, charged up to deal more damage or cut down multiple enemies, or be thrown at vertical walls to form a makeshift ladder.

Volgarr 2013-12-12 20-56-44-17

The lack of checkpoints and abundance of death opportunities mean it will have quite limited appeal but, if you’re after a modern take on the brutally hard action platformer genre, you’re probbaly going to enjoy this as much as I do.


To find out more and see some videos of it in action, here’s the Steam store link:

Official description: “Remember when games were tough? Return to the Golden Age of arcades with an all-NEW hardcore action experience that pulls no punches. Volgarr the Viking possesses all the hallmarks of the true classics – simple controls, high challenge, and meticulous design – combined with hand-made pixel animation, an epic soundtrack, and buckets of…”



Tesco – you’re having a laugh

November 17, 2013

I’m not criticising “money off” vouchers, I love a bit of money off, but when I got this one I thought they were taking the piss just a bit:

tesco_pennyI haven’t redeemed it, so feel free to grab the code and use it online if you are desperate to save yourself 1p.