Posts by tag: action
When you hear the name “Gold Diggers” you may think that this is a game chronicling the adventures of women going after an old man’s money. However, in reality Gold Diggers by Gamistry is a game where you literally are digging for gold since we all know mining games are in this season. Gameplay revolves around the simple endless running, or in this case mining, concept as you dig deeper and deeper. Along the way you’ll have to dodge all sorts of fiery obstacles of doom. Don’t be quick to judge Gold Diggers for being just another endless something or other as it already has a nice award winning track record for the iOS version.
Gold Diggers is admittedly an interesting take on the genre. You’re digging constantly downwards instead of running in a linear path while collecting gold and dodging obstacles in various “rooms”. It is these randomized rooms that make Gold Diggers worth playing and talking about as they add an interesting and surprise factor. These rooms range from typical dirt rooms with the occasional giant boulder and fire pillar that can damage you to rooms filled with lava and a short path to travel in. The different obstacles are also fairly interesting and keep you on your toes. A big one that I was a fan of was the inclusion of worms like in the movie Tremors. You get three lives which are your mining carts and you lose one each time you get an obstacle. There are a few powerups in game to help you such as a gun that blasts the worms and fire pillars which keep things interesting as well.
Control wise, Gold Diggers opted for non-tilt controls like a lot of new endless runners and instead you simply tap the screen and sort of guide your minecart along. This is very accurate and you can do some tight maneuvers very efficiently. However, this does bring a few issues. Since your thumb or finger is on the screen and you’re moving downwards, your hand kind of blocks upcoming obstacles. I also found myself accidentally hitting to continue once I die which results in me spending a lot of my coins when I didn’t want to. This is an issue because while there are a decent amount of upgrades for Gold Diggers they do cost a pretty penny in in-game cash. Although, once I did save up to get some different upgrades (the permanent upgrades) I didn’t notice much difference. Yet, I am happy to see that the upgrades are reasonable to earn by playing and not just paying. In general, Gold Diggers is nothing new to the endless runner genre but it is still a fun one to play with some interesting ideas that I’ve never seen before.
Fist of Awesome is an indie game developed by Nicoll Hunt of I Fight Bears. This Android game, which was funded through Kickstarter, is a beat-em-up beaming with personality and packs a heavy punch. My colleague previewed it before and was impressed with the initial build.
Make sure that you’ve got a heavyweight device to play your games on, because the 3D hack and slash ghoul gutting, chainsaw wielding, Grave Stompers attempts to give you a full console experience right in the palm of your hand. It’s just a pity that the console in question is a N64.
Grave Stompers tries so hard to be a well rounded experience. It certainly has ambition, but in its attempt to create a fast paced action game, harking back to the heyday of over-the-shoulder platformers, it falls somewhat short of greatness. The concept is simple enough: you play one of the Tim Burton-esque Gothic creatures, including a selection of movie bad guys like the killer from Scream. For no discernible reason (as if one was needed) you must slaughter hordes of undead in a variety of grisly and spooky arenas.
To assist you with the re-genocide of the living dead you have at your disposal a vast arsenal of weapons ranging from the melee classic chainsaw, to missile launchers. Enemies come thick and fast, and you have to be heavy on the trigger finger if you’re going to survive. On paper this sounds like a perfect game to while the way the time, but unfortunately in practice it soon becomes a slog. There’s no real variety in the objectives, and although the enemies are well designed, they do little more than come straight for you. Where games like Dead Trigger 2 have experimented with intuitive touch screen control schemes, GraveStompers settles for the classic twin joysticks, which when coupled with separate fire and lock-on buttons, it becomes necessary to employ unwieldy manual contortions. You’ll get a lot more out of this game if you have a joypad, or even an OUYA, but if you’re looking to play this on the go, consider the free to play version first to test the waters.
Graphically the game is pretty good, with the design making the best of the dated graphics. There’s not a lot of visual variety which is understandable with the horror theme, but it would have been nice to come out of an arena once in while.
While I certainly did have a lot of fun with the game, I was left wanting more from the game
If you are disappointed that Nintendo games, particularly the famous series The Legend of Zelda, have yet to come aboard the Play Store, then you might want to try Swordigo from Touch Foo. This Android game, which debuts via Humble Bundle, is a side-scrolling platformer with action-RPG elements. It lets you explore a fantasy world of dungeons filled with monsters and treasures.
Ridiculous Fishing is based on Vlambeer’s 2010 Flash game, Radical Fishing, which was developed for two years by the team of producer Rami Ismail, designer Jan Willem Nijman, programmer Zach Gage (Spelltower), artist Greg Wohlwend (Hundreds) and composer Eirik Suhrke (Hotline Miami). It was released on iOS last March 2013 and is now ported over to Android 7 months later as part of the latest Humble Bundle. You can get it separately in the Play Store for $2.99.
A couple of years ago, 11 Bit Studios released Anomaly: Warzone Earth into the Play Store and made an immediate impression. We even named it as one of the best Android strategy games and one of the top Android tower defense games. Now, the sequel, Anomaly 2, brings back the futuristic warfare and adds a few tweaks to entice gamers to give this franchise another look.
As a kid I loved doing the hidden object game page in the Highlights magazine where there is a picture of a house and you have to find a bunch of objects. For instance, the chimney may have a baseball in it, the tree has a mirror in it, etc. These hidden object games have since evolved into a highly successful video game genre with the most popular being the adventure hidden object games that Big Fish Games makes. So it is no wonder that Doodle Mobile’s latest game, Find Objects, has already been downloaded over a million times. Although, after playing it for myself as well as being a hidden object game fan I wonder why it has been received so well.
Find Objects is a different sort of hidden object game than you typically see. Instead of a still picture with objects hidden throughout you have a scrollable screen filled to the brim with random objects. You are then tasked with finding certain objects or themes of objects in this screen before the time runs out. The objects are totally random for the most part and drawn in a wacky and cartoony way. Some examples are cute little monsters, bow and arrows, baseball bats, various fruits, a sailor, etc. As you can see there is a huge variety of utterly random objects and people. While I’m not used to the style of hidden object game that Find Objects utilizes I still found it interesting and inherently fun to play.
However, Find Objects is flawed big time. A big flaw in the design is that there are level checkpoints only every five levels. This means you can go through the time and effort to pass through four levels and then lose on the fifth and you have to go back those five levels. This is incredibly frustrating especially seeing as how all the levels are pretty much the same just some have more objects to find within the time limit. The other, more frustrating, issue is the way the objects are classed. Find Objects has you find groups of items for the most part. For instance, they ask you to find 5 pairs of eyes. You can then click various animals and people who have eyes to complete the goal. Objects also have more than one characteristic so a girl with eyes showing and hair would complete the item goals for pairs of eyes, human and hair. This starts getting frustrating and problematic when you are asked to find objects that have that characteristic but aren’t classified as such. I have run into many instances of being tasked with finding smiles and clicking on animals or people that clearly are smiling but it doesn’t register. This happens all too frequently and is incredibly annoying. Other instances of this happening are butterflies not being classified as an insect, pants not counting as clothing and cups not counting as things you’d find in a kitchen. In general Find Objects aims to bring a cute and wacky theme to the popular hidden object genre but ultimately is plagued with basic issues that keep it from reaching its full potential.
Canabalt may have spawned the endless running genre back in 2009. Since then, we have seen popular infinite running games like Temple Run, Time Surfer, Despicable Me: Minion Rush, and Subway Surfers among others. Also, a myriad of clones have rushed to the Play Store trying to mirror their formula for success. Enter, Sketchman. This Android game from Miniclip is an endless runner that features a stick figure armed with a pistol.
If you’re going to steal, then steal from the best.
Stop me if you’ve heard this one before: you are a lone warrior who enters a grand gothic castle to defeat the evil within by negotiating a maze of interconnected rooms, filled with secrets, monsters, and a lot of platforming. Castle of Shadows is unashamedly inspired by Konami’s platforming RPG classic Castlevania, which in my book is no bad thing seeing as we have yet to see an appearance by the vampire slaying Belmont family on Android.
You are the exquisitely monickered Montanto Cyprus, a man not unfamiliar with the wilder side of fashion. With of all the scowling grimdark emo boys that usually get top billing in this type of game, it refreshing to see a main character that eschews the traditional lank haired gothica for a touch of Liberace. With his sailor’s cap and long flowing red cape, he defies the forces of evil through the very power of costume jewelry alone.
It’s a typically eccentric Nipponism that adds a touch of character to the otherwise rote design of the rest of the game. That is not to say that no thought has gone in to making Castle of Shadows–it certainly measures up to some of the earlier Castlevania games–but it does dwell on familiar aspects we have all seen before.
The oddball hero is only matched by the game’s confusingly bad translation which renders the plot almost uninteligable, which is a pity because there’s a lot of dialogue. Considering that this is a 2.0 re-release, it might have been wise to address that.
The old school platforming–where platforms really are just that, suspended in mid air–is spread over small discrete areas which can be tracked on a map, although there is no fear of getting lost, as the game is decidedly linear until later in the game.
The biggest distinguishing factor is the combat ratchets up the adrenaline compared to Konami’s game, by liberally cribbing from that other perennial grim-athon Devil May Cry. It’s the game’s one moment of inspiration that elevates it beyond just another wannabe cash in. Combining a side scrolling platforming RPG with relentless hack and slash action game boasting a wealth of combo moves gives CoS a real edge. The screen is at times brimming over with enemies so that it virtually impossible not to hit something and initiate an epic combo as soon as you swing your sword. The virtual stick responds well most of the time, with jump and attack mapped to two other buttons. The standard sword swipe can cut through dozens of grotesque enemies, hit point numbers bleeding off them like a number fountain. Holding up and attacking initiates a vertical move that can be capitalized on to start a juggling combo. Aerial combat is equally well served with every blow keeping Montanto aloft, before pressing down unleashes a devastating floor slam.
The enemies are equally up for the task, relying on more than just sheer numbers. Although there is a lot of blade fodder, the occasional rock golem, or armored knight gets in the way and puts up a more substantial fight. Later levels introduce teleporting enemies and even floating eyeballs that resurrect fallen monsters, making them a priority target as soon as you enter a new area. Thankfully there’s plenty of opportunity to level up. Each new level adds hit points and stat boosts, which the game deems to be so vitally important to the player that it interrupts the action to give you a rundown of just how well you’re progressing each time. It happens with such frequency that it becomes an nuisance. And it’s not just Montanto’s leveling that gets a screen filling news bulletin, the equipped weapon also gets an intrusive splash. Occasionally during a particularly intense section, it possible to have play halted twice within seconds for a useless update.
Boss encounters are a highlight, and push your platforming skills to the limit, and require a combination of dexterity and tenacity, but never use cheap moves, which good to hear as it’s the problem we see so often in other free to play games.
The RPG aspect of the game is mainly based around the many new weapons that Montanto finds in his travels. Each new weapon has it’s own attributes, including some devastating and inventive special moves which are limited by a brief cool down period. It’s in getting the most out of these swords that the pay model comes in. You collect generous amount of gold in game to upgrade your blades, but there’s always room for improvement.
From a visual side CoS is no slouch. Bearing in mind the obvious homages to franchises past, the levels make the most of their 16-bit era styled looks. The animation is detailed and fluid, and full of invention. The levels never quite match the best of modern 2D sidescrollers and rely a bit too heavily on cut and paste elements, but the general tone, despite being overwhelmingly gothic, has a decent amount of variation but the game is so focused on the combat that any short cuts are quickly forgotten under the spectacle of sword-swinging acrobatics.
Castle of Shadows manages to become its own peculiar beast, built from the remnants of other games and stitches them together convincingly enough that you often overlook its flaws. By building from a solid framework, it allows itself to go to places that almost seem out of place within the framework that had been set out for it many years ago, but this weird hybrid of measured RPG platformer, and balls to the wall action really impresses, and is above all a lot of fun.
When it comes to cartoons or characters in colorful video games you normally think of cute and happy people. Moon Active’s latest game, Bitter Sam, takes the opposite route and presents a character who is depressed, lonely and honestly seems a bit suicidal. However, don’t let the gloomy demeanor of Sam bring you down as Bitter Sam is actually one of the better three star puzzle games I’ve played in recent times and it has a unique dynamic that will hook you in.