Posts by tag: free
Earlier this year when Rovio announced Angry Birds Go! it raised a lot of skepticism. Not only was it a totally new direction from their typical genre but it also is completely free. Either way, as much as people harp on Angry Birds nowadays and their recent push for IAP, their games are well made and can be a blast to play. Loading up Angry Birds Go! for the first time and playing the first couple races and it seemed any concern I had wasn’t warranted. Everything was working well, looked good and was fun to play. Then what do I mean by “flat tire” in my title? Well, as you keep playing Angry Birds Go! you start to notice that everything gravitates towards in-app purchasing and realize that while the core gameplay is quite fun to play, you only get to play in very short bursts before being stuck for hours and the whole game is a big racing grind fest.
It is an unfortunate fact that Android sometimes gets some game gems fairly late compared to iOS devices. This is the case with Frogmind’s award winning atmospheric adventure game Badland. We’ve talked about Badland before and how it is eventually coming to Android and now that time is here! Just a week or so ago, Badland popped up on Google Play and everyone rejoiced. Badland is a mixture of mild platforming combined with simple one button controls with a suicidal Lemmings twist. But note right away that Badland isn’t just about the gameplay and figuring out all the levels, but the journey you’ll be taking as you play.
Over a year ago, game developer Juicy Beast Studios who has put out some awesome games like Burrito Bison Revenge published a little flash game called Knightmare Tower. This game was of similar vein to their Burrito Bison series and did extremely well. So well, that they decided to publish it exclusively on the OUYA. Well, we know how the OUYA has turned out and since then they have decided to bring it to more mobile devices, specifically Android devices this past week. A simple rundown of Knightmare Tower is that you are a knight who tasks himself with rescuing the king’s ten princesses out of a tower.
This is where Knightmare Tower turns into an interesting take on the “endless upgrader” genre. You launch yourself upwards into the tower and then dash downwards to slash the monsters which are flying to get you. Hitting and slashing a monster gives you a slight speed boost and keeps you going. However, if you miss a monster when you dash you lose momentum and eventually will be consumed by lava. Or if you allow the monsters to get you or you dash on their spikes/fireballs you lose lives and eventually can die that way. You move left and right by tilting and you tap the screen to dash downwards. Simple controls but honestly the tilt controls are a bit too finicky to be all that fun as you miss your dashes more often and end up losing much quicker and more often than usual. Knightmare Tower on flash sites using a keyboard or even the OUYAs controller give a much better sense of control and precision than the tilt controls.
But gameplay in Knightmare Tower is still relatively fun. Juicy Beast Studios knows how to make a colorful and well polished game with a ridiculous premise and Knightmare Tower is no different. Slamming down on monsters and watching them split into two is oddly satisfying and when the powerups are introduced the game gets even better and more chaotic. I should note, however, that while Knightmare Tower is free it really isn’t. The “free” version lets you play but can only upgrade each ability three times and you can’t even use the potion powerups at all. To unlock all of this you have to pay the full price of $3. This is kind of disappointing as you can play the full game for free on sites like Armorgames and Kongregate but if you want it on mobile you have to pay. I also feel they should mention that up front which they don’t.
So I suppose the big question is if Knightmare Tower is worth the price for mobile devices. If you really like endless upgrade games then Knightmare Tower is one of the best I’ve played…but only when I played it with my keyboard on my PC. The mobile tilt controls will take a lot of getting used to and simply just aren’t as precise or good as a physical control scheme. I also am bitter about having to pay for a game you can play for free online but that is their business model and that is that. In general, I don’t know if Knightmare Tower is worth the $3 for the amount of content you get but it certainly is a fun game to play and it wouldn’t be totally a waste of money to unlock the full version.
Everyone knows Tic-Tac-Toe. You’ve played it as a kid bored in school, with your parents waiting at a restaurant, etc. However, for all intents and purposes Tic-Tac-Toe is a boring game. In fact, if you know what you’re doing you are guaranteed a win or at least a tie. Hidden Variable Studios realized how boring and repetitive the classic Tic-Tac-Toe is and decided to revamp it and make it a game worth playing again. The game in question is called Tic Tactics and basically is like playing a huge metagame of Tic-Tac-Toe.
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.
Game developer, King, made waves and headlines when its game, Candy Crush Saga, topped charts and gripped teenagers and moms alike in its addictiveness. Since then, King has made a lot of different “saga” games and now has added another to the growing list. The game in question is called Papa Pear Saga and it is King’s version of mixing Peggle-like gameplay with its tried and true addictive formula. I suppose on that front Papa Pear Saga isn’t the most innovative or unique game but what it lacks in that aspect it heavily makes up for pure unadulterated fun and addictiveness.
Gameplay in Papa Pear Saga plays much like Peggle or any Pachinko style game. There is a cannon of sorts at the top of the screen and you drop little balls which bounce around eventually landing in a bucket or pot at the bottom. Peggle turned this into a fun game where the goal was to get your ball to hit a certain amount of orange pegs on its journey downwards. Papa Pear Saga expanded on this and actually made a few different modes of play. Some levels have you getting your balls into all the different pots to bring color to them, others have you clearing a certain amount of vegetable pegs (everything is food themed), others give you a certain point goal to reach, etc. This way of turning a basic concept like Pachinko or Bejewled into multiple different gameplay facets is King’s ingenious way of making things interesting and varied as well as keeping you coming back for more.
When it comes down to it, Papa Pear Saga is obviously no Peggle. By this I mean straight physics wise, Papa Pear Saga seems to lack and have a lot of oddball nuances you will have to get used to. Also, Papa Pear Saga seems to rely a lot on luck instead of timing and “skill”. As you progress through the levels you’ll begin to see level designs that are heinously unfair both in layout and balls allotted. I am sure this is King’s effort to nudge you to buy IAPs which is fine, I just wish they wouldn’t nudge so hard. Speaking of IAPs, the business model employed in Papa Pear Saga is the same you’d find in Candy Crush Saga or any King saga game. You get 5 lives and you can pay to refill them as well as buying various powerups/upgrades to help you in tight spots. In Papa Pear Saga‘s case this means you can buy bombs to explode obstacles and a line of sight beam to show you exactly where you’re balls will go.
In general, while I see that gameplay keeps getting more and more unfairly biased the further I go in an effort to sell virtual goods Papa Pear Saga is still an extremely fun and addictive game. I love Pachinko styled games and haven’t played a good one since Peggle so now that Papa Pear Saga is a thing I got hopelessly addicted to it. Graphics and music/sound effects are cartoony and well polished and give off a real enjoyable cacophony of color and sound. The variety in levels is also a great idea that King excels at in all their games and will keep you on your toes. King is slowly becoming the king of addictive mobile games and if they keep pumping out games as fun as Papa Pear Saga I may just be ok with that.
Yesterday is an adventure game developed by Pendulo Studios and was published by BulkyPix. Originally a PC title, this Android game revolves around the story of a man named John Yesterday who is investigating the killing of people on the streets of New York.
When it comes to simple sports games where you can easily kick a ball with the swipe of your finger, developer PikPok is the king. They have developed a host of various “flick kick” games such as the original Flick Kick Football and Flick Kick Field Goal. Both of those, and their iterations thus far, involved punting or kicking a ball into the goals while dodging goalies and other players/hazards. As fun and simple as that idea is, PikPok decided to go big with their latest game, Flick Kick Football Legends. This time around you get to swipe to do it all, from shooting, passing, tackling and blocking. In fact, Flick Kick Football Legends takes it even further and introduces a unique football management RPG system all wrapped up in a crazy comic book style. All that you’ve come to know and love from the Flick Kick series has been turned upside down for both good and bad.
Recent mobile game developer, Supercell, has hit it big with their game Clash of Clans and now has published a new game where you get down and dirty called Hay Day. As the punny name implies, Hay Day is their take on the farming simulation game. Joining the ranks of games like the infamous Farmville and Goodgame Big Farm. Hearing those titles for comparison might make you groan just thinking about the utilized IAP business model and wait times and while Supercell’s Hay Day has all that it is actually a fairly new take on the tired farming simulation genre.
The Hunger Games has been a huge deal ever since the first movie adaptation came out and now with the release of The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, the hype is just getting even more intense. To go along with all the hype, Reliance Games, was commissioned to develop a game tie in for the movie titled Hunger Games: Panem Run. This is similar to last year’s mobile game tie in with the first movie simply called The Hunger Games: Girl on Fire which was a side scrolling platformer. Hunger Games: Panem Run took a different route and is actually another endless runner to add to the heap that already exist. However, before you totally write off Panem Run for being a generic idea I will say that it actually changes up the formula a bit and is a decent amount of fun.