Last week, I was flying quite high on Ouya excitement, but recent developments have cooled my jets a bit. While I’m still pumped to play all sort of new games on the little box, I’m not as convinced about the system itself. Let’s go over the handful of worries I have about the console.
While I haven’t yet been able to play around with the Ouya, myself, some developers and backers have had access to their own for a while. So far, one of the chief complaints has been the system’s interface. It runs Android a reskinned version of Android 4.1 that certainly appears sleek and crisp, but even with the minimalist design, it reportedly moves between pages and loads items slowly. Obviously stuffing the box full of top-notch hardware wasn’t the point of this affordable home console, but whatever UI goes along with the low-cost tech needs to compliment it. The Ouya doesn’t need to be really powerful, but it does need to feel modern. Slow is not modern.
I’m not scared of the dark. I mostly sleep with the lights turned off. Horror stories, on the other hand, give me creeps. Good thing, Emilly in Darkness is not a horror story. This Android game is an old-school, top-down action-adventure title in which you control a female character named Emilly. The story starts when she wakes up in a shady forest and was mysteriously shot by an unknown killer. Luckily, she’s still alive. She finds herself in a purgatory-type of environment where she faces demons, ghosts, skeletons, etc. Your goal is to help Emilly find the answer by navigating her dark world – literally – as you only have a cone of light as your guide. Find keys and get out of the labyrinth!
Back in the heyday of gaming (and by that I really mean my heyday) there were two seemingly universal rules to gaming. One was that if you couldn’t beat anyone else in a game, you could still beat your dad. The second was that licensed games always suck; but like Moore’s law, there has been increasing evidence that both of these rules no longer hold water. Gamers are getting older and for the past decade or so there have been an increasingly large number of quality games based off of beloved franchises. Batman games in particular have been a bright spot for gaming and it hasn’t hurt that this Renaissance has coincided with a string of Batman movies directed by Christopher Nolan. The Dark Knight Rises for Android, however, is a good first attempt but doesn’t quite live up to the level of its inspiration.
Built ostensibly as an open-world adventure, The Dark Knight Rises is frustratingly linear. There simply isn’t enough for the Caped Crusader to do besides progress the main story by dutifully obeying the commands of Commissioner Gordon and Lucius Fox in pursuit of Bane, the dastardly villain of both the game and movie. This issue is further magnified by a battle system that sacrifices depth for accessibility and a story line that does little to make the player want to keep playing. That isn’t to say that there aren’t positives to The Dark Knight, there is a solid base to an entertaining game here, it just needed to ramp everything up one more level.
At first glance, Drop 7 would appear to be just another tile-matching game. While this puzzler does involve placing tiles in such a way that it and others might disappear, it is completely set apart from the large crowd of lookalikes. Whether you like the somewhat mindless fun matching 3 or not, the things that make this game so unique might just win you over.
Originally developed by Area/Code Entertainment, the Drop 7 now carries the Zynga brand name along with the team that created it. Unlike other titles stamped with that little red dog, this one isn’t hampered by microtransactions or unnecessary social hooks. It’s three bucks, which seems steep for such a straight-forward puzzle game with so little flair, but the price of admission is worth it, if you like a good challenge
Demanding much more of your brain than most of it’s kin, the game asks players to drop number numbered circles onto a grid, one at a time, attempting to place the tile in a spot where either the row or the column it lands in will then have the number of tiles in it that matches the one in the bubble. For instance, if you’re given a four, you’ll want to try and drop it in a place where it can land fourth from the bottom of the screen or touch a group of only three sequential tiles of any sort in the same horizontal line. As difficult as Drop 7 is to explain, it’s far more difficult to master.
Gamewoof Weekly Roundup: $heilds up! Frostbitten from Google I/O news, but Captain! The Controllers!
You know what has eluded me in human history? Why we decided to take something as difficult to get into as the coconut and thought “We should eat this”. Now, I’m not saying I’m not grateful to our long lost ancestors for thinking this (I love me some coconut), but it’s still baffling to me. Anytime I’ve ever bought one whole, I feel like I end up using power tools to get into it. However, it appears Mr. T has a relative in Panama who has solved the riddle of the coconut; just open it with your teeth. Yes, a cab driver in Panama who dresses exactly like the aforementioned member of the A-Team has been opening coconuts with his teeth since the age of 11. Wow, that simply amazing. I can barely open a plastic bag with my teeth, let alone even attempting to open a coconut.
GameWoof caught up with Jesse Venbrux (@BitAteBit), head of Bit Ate Bit, the maker of an awesome platformer in the Play Store. We reviewed their Android game, They Need to Be Fed 2, and our 4.5/5 Woof review made us want to find out more about the developer. Get to know his thoughts on retro games, game development, self-publishing and their plan to release on OUYA.
I’m not a fan of soccer even though the Philippine Azkals are pretty popular around here. That’s why I had second thoughts when I saw Active Soccer in the Top 25 New Paid section of the Play Store. This Android game from The Fox Software boasts the first online cross platform football game and could be likened to Sensible Soccer.
Gameloft is no stranger to First-Person Shooter (FPS) games. I’m sure you are familiar with Near Orbit Vanguard Alliance (N.O.V.A.) 3 and Modern Combat series. This time, you have to choose sides, either Axis or Allied forces, in their new Android game, Blitz Brigade, an ultimate multiplayer FPS face-off that seems to pay homage to Team Fortress.
Before diving in the action immediately, it is best advised to work on your skills in Training Missions. It has 120 action-packed missions which allow you to master different skills. You could also navigate a helicopter and fire off enemies on the ground. Further, you could even control a tank and flatten your opponents.
It’s not enough for Angry Birds to keep people glued to their phones and tablets anymore; the folks at Rovio decided it’s time they went social. With Angry Birds Friends, the idea is that it’s no longer a solo experience, but one to be enjoyed competitively online. You can either hop on Facebook and play in browser or download the free app and hook into the social network there. Either way, it’s basically the same old game, but not quite.
What they’re to do with Angry Birds model here is interesting. The mobile space hasn’t yet had a competitive game with an insane number of players the way consoles have Call of Duty and PC has League of Legends. If anyone is in a position to try and go for that golden goose, it’s Rovio, but I don’t think Angry Birds Friends pulls it off. As a free-to-play title, this iteration has Facebookers flinging birds, competing in tournaments, and buying power-ups along the way, hopefully. While you’ve still got a variety of birds on the left side of the screen headed for a flimsy structure on the right, the aim assist that shows where you’re bird is going has disappeared.
I’m not really a sports fan, and football (sorry, soccer, pardon my Britishness) comes at the bottom of a very short list of my favourites. But there was something about this game that intrigued me. Perfect Kick focuses on the penalty shootout, a part of the game that causes endless controversy and upset in real life, but when distilled in to a simple little videogame works very well.