Posts Tagged ‘iPod’

h1

Danmaku Unlimited 3 review (iOS / Universal)

August 10, 2017

10 word description: Bullet hell sequel. New modes. Unlockable firing methods. Beginner-friendly.

10 word review: Beautiful, intense, and tough as you want it to be.

You will like this if you enjoy: Bullet hell shooters. Seeing a screen full of gorgeous geometric shapes moving very, very fast.

The good news: A truly beautiful experience, both visually and the way it sounds. The controls are as intuitive and unobtrusive as possible, with no on-screen buttons, and minimal swipe controls that are virtually impossible to get wrong. Even the menus are crisp, clear and as gorgeous as the rest of the game.

The bad news: The game is hardly original, but then how could anyone genuinely expect a totally original gaming experience from the third game in a series within a genre that is as niche as bullet hell shooters? 

Arcadelife verdict: While it doesn’t really attempt anything groundbreaking, there’s a deeply compelling purity to the style, intensity and gameplay of DU3. The minor tweaks and improvements to what has gone before in this series are well-considered and definitely improve the overall experience. For bullet-hell fans, particularly fans of the genre on mobile devices, DU3 is an easy recommendation, with the very minor caveat that it isn’t going to blow your mind with its originality… only with its stunning beauty.

Arcadelife rating

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

PURE

Rating categories explained here.
Version reviewed by Arcadelife is 1.0.4
iTunes link
Arcadelife played and reviewed this game on:
iPhone 6 (iOS 10.3.2)
iPad Pro (iOS 10.3.2)
This review was typed on a Das Keyboard Model S mechanical keyboard – check them out, they’re really rather groovy.
h1

Aliens vs. Pinball review (iOS / Universal)

April 27, 2016

aliens vs pinball 1

The first two Alien movies are easily in my top 10 favourites of all time, probably top 5 if I ever bothered to give the list any serious thought. AVP and the other sequels, well, not so much. The three tables in Aliens vs. Pinball are very good. The Aliens table is my favourite, and it also seems to be the most forgiving after a few games on each.

aliens vs pinball img_0736

It’s worth playing these tables while wearing headphones because a lot of effort has been put into the audio. The ambient sound effects are extremely atmospheric, and there are plenty of samples from the movies (and the game on the Alien Isolation table). A few of the Aliens samples did make me smile, because they were not the same ones that have been worn out through years of overuse, although the predictability of Hudson’s ‘Game Over’ line almost made it feel like a lazy inclusion. Note – almost, because it is a true classic, right up there with ‘I’ll be back’ in my opinion, and I would have been shocked if it had been left out.

aliens vs pinball img_0739

The AVP table is arguably more fun than the film. I can’t rate the Isolation table against the original game because I haven’t played Alien Isolation. I know I should have, but I’ve had to really cut down on gaming (and posting on Arcadelife, which you probably noticed) as I am using the majority of my free time for writing novels.

aliens vs pinball img_3949

Overall, Aliens vs. Pinball is a great addition to the already substantial mountain of Alien games, movies and other media. I didn’t hesitate in paying for the full unlock (less than five quid) and I am having a good time with all three tables.

aliens vs pinball img_3955

 

Arcadelife rating

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

Rating categories explained here.
Version reviewed by Arcadelife is 1.0
iTunes link

Arcadelife played and reviewed this game on:
iPhone 6
4th gen iPad

This review was typed on a Das Keyboard Model S mechanical keyboard – check them out, they’re really rather groovy.

I also write novels. Find out more: jwtapper.co.uk

h1

PewDiePie: Legend of the Brofist review (iOS / Universal)

September 28, 2015

brofist_img_0495

10 word description: Retro style 2D action platformer. Bosses, unlockables, humour, No IAPs.

brofist img_3850

10 word review: The most essential ‘for gamers – by gamers‘ iOS release this year.

brofist img_0493

You will like this if you enjoy: Platform games. Hard platform games. Platform games with some side-scrolling shooter levels. Parodious style gaming humour. Retro 16-bit graphics. Flatulent dogs.

brofist img_0499

The good news: Controls, visuals, effects, level design, fun… it’s all here, all good, and it all works well together. Add in three difficulty levels, loads of unlockable stuff (characters, power-ups), no IAPS, and cloud-syncing, and you have one of the best platform/action games on iOS. 

brofist img_0505

The bad news: The only problem I have with this game is understanding why some gamers are refusing to play a really good game because they don’t like the extremely popular YouTube gamer PewDiePie. Whatever next, refusing to play Call of Duty because you don’t like war? Hang on…

brofist img_0506

Arcadelife verdict: This is a great game.

brofist_img_0501

Arcadelife rating

Presentation – 9/10
Visuals – 9/10
Controls – 9/5/10
Content – 8.5/10
Fun – 8.5/10
Final rating – 9/10

GREAT

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

Outerminds website link

Arcadelife played and reviewed this game on:
iPhone 6 (iOS 9.0.1)
4th gen iPad (iOS 8.4)
This review was typed on a Das Keyboard Model S mechanical keyboard – check them out, they’re really rather groovy.
h1

Xenowerk review (iOS / Universal)

June 23, 2015

xenowerk_img_3692

10 word description: Alien-blasting twin-stick shooter. 50 levels. Lots of guns.

xenowerk_img_3679

10 word review: Great looking and cathartic, but repetitive and way too easy. 

xenowerk_img_3673

You will like this if you enjoy: High-score chasing blast-fests. Killing aliens. A top-down Dead Space without the story, variety or challenge.

xenowerk_img_3680

The good news: Presentation is top-tier. Visuals, sounds and effects create a great atmosphere. Controls are reliable, responsive, and can be customised. Loads of impressive weapons. The IAPs are purely there for the terminally impatient weapon-shoppers – there is absolutely no need to spend more money on this game in order to play it and enjoy it.

xenowerk_img_3690

The bad news: Challenge is completely unbalanced in the player’s favour, which I’ll explain in the verdict section. Gameplay is repetitive, despite cosmetic attempts to make it seem like it isn’t. Missed opportunity for massive boss fights.

xenowerk_img_3682

Arcadelife verdict: I like Xenowerk, but I also loved Space Invaders, Asteroids, and Smash TV. Xenowerk feels very much like the most recent version of Alien Breed, or an isometric Dead Space with the same lived-in space station vibe and darkly amusing messages and warnings scrawled on the walls by former inhabitants.

The first few levels introduce a game that could be the perfect touch-screen sci-fi shooter. There are weird, shambling organic aliens, a decent pair of starter weapons, a very helpful map, and a great, if not altogether original atmosphere. “Cool,” you think, as you back away from a lumbering blobby monstrosity, seeing it quivering under your concentrated fire before bursting apart in a shower of green alien guts.

xenowerk_img_3691

A few more levels further in, and you begin to suspect that you have seen everything that Xenowork has to offer. Corridors, aliens, explosions, terminals to tap, and an elevator to reach to end the level. And that’s pretty much it. It’s fun, and tugs compulsively in a way that the old-school shoot-everything-that-moves arcade games did, but it is very simple and very repetitive. It’s also extremely easy, which isn’t blindingly apparent during the first few levels.

xenowerk_img_3702

The main problem, as far as I can figure out, is caused by the fact that the weapons and armour can be bought at any time, in any order, if you have enough cash. The cash comes in quickly enough that you can buy a game-changing super-weapon by the time you have played most of the way through the first set of ten levels. Up to that point, the starter weapons and armour are more than adequate. Once I had bought what I like to call “The Gun That Makes This Game Too Easy” (purely because I liked the look of it), it didn’t take long to earn enough cash to go straight from the starter armour to the best armour in the game. Completing levels became a sequence of risk-free speed-runs, which is arguably what the high-score chasing is all about. I know I could have stuck with weaker weapons and armour, but the player shouldn’t have to gimp his own gear in order to keep the game challenging – that’s the job of the game developers and testers. If the available weapons were restricted based on level progres, that would go a long way towards fixing the balance issue.

xenowerk_img_3703

Ultimately, Xenowerk is an addictive, flashy looking shooter with a couple of gameplay flaws that are not critical or impossible to resolve. Blasting corridors full of slimy alien blobs is a lot of fun. If you enjoy doing it with overpowered weapons in what feels like a cheat-mode then this may just be the game you’ve been waiting for.

Arcadelife rating

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

GAME OVER, MAN

Rating categories explained here.
Version reviewed by Arcadelife is 1.2.1
iTunes link

Pixelbite website link

Arcadelife played and reviewed this game on:
4th gen iPad (iOS 8.3)
This review was typed on a Das Keyboard Model S mechanical keyboard – check them out, they’re really rather groovy.
h1

Hitman: Sniper review (iOS / Universal)

June 11, 2015

hitman sniper img_025810 word description: Fixed position Hitman shooting game. 150 Missions, 13 rifles, upgrades.  

hitman sniper img_3651

10 word review: Only one zone, but a hugely entertaining and atmospheric game.

hitman sniper img_0260

You will like this if you enjoy: Hitman games. Sniper games. Target shooting. Blowing stuff up and watching ragdoll bodies fly through the air.

hitman sniper img_0248

The good news: Great theme and style that fit perfectly into the Hitman universe. Control method is flawless enough to feel far more natural than using a mouse/keyboard for the same type of game on PC. Very nice graphics, sounds and effects create a compelling and believable atmosphere. Target and guard behaviour and AI, while not completely realistic, are plausible within the constraints of a video game about creative assassinations, and consistent enough to be used as a reliable mechanism in a variety of set-pieces and hit set-ups. New weapons and upgrades are acquired using in-game currency which can only be obtained in-game, meaning no currency IAPs. The IAP guns are completely optional, not necessary for playing or enjoying the game. 

hitman sniper img_3670

The bad news: Only one map/zone. Action is arguably repetitive: shoot things from a single sniping location. IAP guns – does the game need them? No. Do they spoil the game? No, but I would argue that all weapons should be unlockable without spending more real money on a premium price game.

hitman sniper img_3669

Arcadelife verdict: 

I can overlook all the bad points (above) purely because the game is so much fun, so utterly addictive, a fantastic touch-screen game, and just a very cool example of how to take a basic video game concept, keep it simple, and build an immersive and stylish experience out of it.

hitman sniper img_3668

It’s initially a bit disappointing that there is only one map, with a single sniping location, but any doubts about the depth and entertainment value of the game quickly dissipate when you start to discover the amusing subtleties of gameplay and the attention to detail and opportunities for lethal pranking in the environment.

hitman sniper img_3658

Hitman Sniper’s “one more go” capacity is unquestionable. What does have to be questioned is whether shooting the same blissfully unaware victims in the head, over and over again, is appropriate content for a game. Who am I kidding? Of course it is.

Arcadelife rating

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

A HIT, MAN.

Rating categories explained here.
Version reviewed by Arcadelife is 1.2.0
iTunes link

hitman.com website link

Arcadelife played and reviewed this game on:
iPhone 6 (iOS 8.3)
4th gen iPad (iOS 8.3)
This review was typed on a Das Keyboard Model S mechanical keyboard – check them out, they’re really rather groovy.
h1

Sword of Xolan review (iOS / Universal)

May 21, 2015

sword of xolan 0162

10 word description: Retro styled action platformer. Adventure and speed-run levels.

sword of xolan 0186

10 word review: Probably the best iOS game I’ll play this year. Probably.

sword of xolan 0159

You will like this if you enjoy: Touch-screen action platformers done really, really well. Goblin Sword. 

sword of xolan 0181

The good news: Gameplay has that magical “familiar yet fabulous” quality that doesn’t come around that often, particularly on mobile touch-screen devices. Visuals are wonderful. Controls are as responsive and reliable as anyone could wish for. No in-app purchases. 

sword of xolan 0177

The bad news: No cloud sync.

sword of xolan 0175

Arcadelife verdict: This is pretty much a perfect touch-screen action platformer. I’m not saying it’s a perfect game, or that the iOS devices can finally rival PCs or consoles with this game, just read the sentence and understand it for what it is. There are 30 adventure levels, 3 bosses and 9 speed-run challenge levels. There are permanent upgrades that you buy (with in-game gold) by paying to turn over random cards in the card shop. It’s more fun than you deserve, particularly at the low price point.

sword of xolan 0165

I’ve scored it 10/10 and I rarely do that. All you have to do is buy it.

Arcadelife rating

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

PROBABLY AS GOOD AS IT GETS

Rating categories explained here.
Version reviewed by Arcadelife is 1.0.4
iTunes link

Sword of Xolan website link

Arcadelife played and reviewed this game on:
iPhone 6 (iOS 8.3)
4th gen iPad (iOS 8.3)
This review was typed on a Das Keyboard Model S mechanical keyboard – check them out, they’re really rather groovy.
h1

Devious Dungeon 2 review (iOS / Universal)

April 21, 2015

dd2 img_0114

10 word description: Action platform RPG-lite sequel. 3 playable classes. Upgrades. Boss fights.

dd2 img_3623

10 word review: Bigger, slicker, much harder than the original. Fast-paced fun. 

dd2 img_0126

You will like this if you enjoy: Action platform games. Simplified RPGs. Trolls. Fireballs. Spike pits.

dd2 img_0118

The good news: Several hours in, no crashes or memory-leak slowdown; I reckon they’ve fixed or rewritten their engine. Controls are reliable and responsive, although they can’t be customised. Varied and attractive environments, enemies and objects. Progress is well-paced, with permanent checkpoints every few levels. Three save-game slots. Generally a whole load of fairly mindless fun.

dd2 img_3614

The bad news: Cloud save-game blatantly doesn’t work. Gameplay is repetitive, but this is not necessarily a bad thing as the action is relentless and entertaining.

dd2 img_0134

Arcadelife verdict: I like it, even the pervasive sense of grinding while battling to reach each checkpoint. It might not exactly bring anything new to the genre, or even to the Devious Dungeon series, but it’s a worthy sequel that is fun to dip into for regular blasts of platforming action. A special mention goes to the long overdue overhaul of the buggy, crash-prone engine that is no longer buggy or prone to crashes. Well done.

dd2 img_3620

Arcadelife rating

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

KILL KILL JUMP KILL

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

Ravenous Games website link

Arcadelife played and reviewed this game on:
iPhone 6 (iOS 8.2)
4th gen iPad (iOS 8.2)
This review was typed on a Das Keyboard Model S mechanical keyboard – check them out, they’re really rather groovy.