Thursday, June 17, 2010

Review: Pix'n Love Rush

I think we're getting old. All of us, realy really old. I mean, here we are in a new age where Sony and MS are working their asses out to give us games that look like real life. But what do we do? Once we see a "retro" title, most of us have no choice other than to go and just see it play. I mean, why? Weren't we past that? Like a long time ago? Is it nostalgia? Is is curiosity? Well, I really have no idea what is it, but, hell, keep that retro coming.

Pix'n Love Rush is a game that messes with your nostalgia as much as it wrecks your free time. It is a mainly inspired highscore game, dont worry, OF integration makes it so there's online leaderboards, and there are also other achievements for doing all kinds of stuff.

But what's the game about? Well, in it, you're a creature that in my head resembles a cat, and once you press the "How to play" menu, it tells you, you can move left and right, jump, and shoot upwards, you should get the +, avoid the -, kill the bats and spare the angels. Sounds simple right? Is because it is, that is all there is to it.

But then, even though the essence is simple, the game hasn't even begun. There are 2 game modes, infinite time and 5 minutes rush, and there's where the fun begins.

The game consists of different scenarios in which you need to do different stuff to, well, do what the how to play tells you, some scenarios you're going up, some you're going down, some are really a platformer where you jump from platform to platform, doing, well, you know :p. That makes the game very diverse, and fast paced at the same time, as, well you have time in each level to do your thing, and doing it perfectly grants you a bonus at the end of the level, but more on that soon. If all that wasn't enough, the scenarios by themselves are randomly generated (either that or there are TONS of variations to the same essence) giving it a great replay value.

But, why would you replay it? Well, I said it is a highscore based game, and the better you get, the higher your score goes, as always, but here there's something more, the way the score multipliers work. Once you gather enough kills and +s, you start filling little squares on your top right corner, once they're filled, the multiplier works until you get hit, or do something you're not supposed to do, the multipliers are x2, x5 and eventually x10. But wait, not only are there multipliers, but each time you successfully change one, the world changes, from the colorful default one, to a blurry one, to a retro looks like you're playing on an original GB one, and even to something that feels pulled out of the Matrix. It really is a blast just to look at it, and saying that from a retro game is a lot :p.

Bottom line is you'll get hooked by this for a good time, it is pretty, it is addictive and it plays well. And if there were an Arcade machine with this back in the day, well, I'd have spent a LOT more of my father's money playing this.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Review: Pro Zombie Soccer

Soccer games... current status? Infesting the AppStore. And that should continue for like a month, until the World Cup is done. I mean seriously, they put all kinds of crap on the store and then add a soccer ball and think it is gonna sell just because of it, next thing we're gonna see is a copy of labyrinth with a soccer ball and say "omg get the ball to the stadium before the game starts". Even the more decent game devs have released subpar soccer games just to make a buck(I'm looking at you Gamevil).

Good thing is, not every game dev is like that, some actually develop a decent game, like in the case of this one.

The storyline is simple, you are a rejected soccer player that got bitten by a Zombie and now you want revenge and to stop them all. Yes, same storyline as always, stop the evil, save mankind, but believe me, it is told in such a way that it'll have you laugh more than once, really nice twist in an overly used excuse for a storyline.

How do you plan on stopping them? By smashing them with you soccer ball. The gameplay is rather simple, you're in a field with the ball at your feet, there's a circular thingy behind your player which you use to aim, and an arrow in front of the ball that helps you see the direction in which the ball will go. From that point, you just let go, shoot, and bam dead (again) zombie!

But a gameplay like that could get old fast, and we all know that, that's why to spice things up, there are different kinds of zombies that need to be killed in different ways, move in different speeds and require a different number of shots to kill. If that isn't enough there's a combo system that starts with headshots, the more headshots you do in a row, the higher the score multiplier (up to x10) missing the headshot will end your combo, but as not every zombie is killed with a headshot, the game is made forgiving in that, killing those without a headshot wont affect your combo and will keep them at the current multiplier, so yeah, if you lose your combo is your fault.

Not enough for you? Well, there's also a special shot system. Every time your kill a zombie, a yellow bar starts filling, and when it is full you have the choice of 3 awesome supershots (which I won't get into as they're part of the fun, but believe me they're all awesome). You'd think you'd stick to one and go with it for the rest of the game, and well, you can do that, but there's so much depth in the game that if you use them correctly you can totally skyrockets the score, adding a really interesting strategy to the whole package.

But no... you want more as you think the gameplay will get repetitive? Well, not really, because the devs have managed to even fix that. Every so many levels, a new mechanic or spin will be added to the initial formula to keep it fresh, so believe me, you will stay hooked to the game until you're done with it, and then some (since an extra difficulty and survival mode are added after you finish the game once).

Bottom-line is, amongst so many crappy soccer games out these days, someone really got it right, and the end result is a really fun and addictive game that will keep you hooked to it for quite some time. So if you went to the trouble of reading all this, go do yourself a favor and just get it. NOW!

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Review: Sigma

Match 3 games are like doodle games and TD games in the AppStore. God! There are so freaking many I already feel sick just by seeing another one of those. Really, is like someone had told a bunch of people "do this, exactly this, do not try to innovate, improve or anything in any way, ppl will love it" and people actually believed this. Thank BigStack Studios for not listening to this...

What can I say about Sigma? It is as simple and as complex as you want it to be, it is a match 3, made different. In this game you have 2 cylinders in each side of the screen, which you can roll with your fingers, a click will send a piece from one side of the other. The objective? Match 3 or more of the same color and start making points. But the game doesn't stop there. Matching 5 or more gives you power-ups, those, when "matched" with any color, have different effects, there's destroy row, destroy row and column, all of the same color, until the biggest and most powerful one, the nuke, which totally clears the screen.

So far so good? Ok I've told you that this game is a match 3 that you play different but that does the same, but believe me, that " playing different" is enough to make it worthwhile. Not convinced? Ok, let me elaborate on the complexity of the game. As you can imagine from the different gameplay, this game is harder than most M3s, since you can only use the top block on your columns. But to add to that, there are also... chains. But they're not your usual chains, to begin one, just make a match, from that point on you'll have a colored timer in the bottom of the screen, and that determines the time you have left to make another match of the same color to get a multiplier going. Make a match of any other color, and the multiplier, chain, combo or however you wanna call it, is gone. That means that potentially high scores will be only for those with enough dedication and fast fingers to pull it off.

But worry not. The game is also designed for the casual not color matching crazy player, you could go by matching colors as you see them, as big as you can, and survive with the aforementioned power-ups. The game also comes with 3 difficulties, casual, normal and hardcore, each with several sectors and each sector with 5 levels. To go through a level you simply need to fill a bar at the top (fills with the points you make) before the time runs out. Yep, it is timed, so I'd really suggest you to start with casual, because this game is different enough that will take a bit to get used to it (even the dev admitted to still lose several times on hard mode).

Bottom line, this game is great,it has a LOT going for it, visuals, music, gameplay and addcitivity (yes, I just made that up). This is what ever M3 game wishes to be and will never become, so if you're ever to give a chance to any M3 game, give it to this one, and you will not regret it.

Review: Soccer SuperStars

Gamevil... Known for RPGs like Zenonia and Hybrid, and the top seller Baseball SuperStars (2009 and 2010). This time, due to (most likely) the world cup, GV ventured itself in the world of soccer.

You'd probably be thinking "OMG BSS but with Soccer! Amazing!" Well, not really, but please read on.

In SSS (or SS) you have exactly the same options that you'd find in your BS game, Exhibition, Cup, Dramatic (Challenge), and the most important... " My League". In this one, as in BS, you create your own player, put it on a team and improve its stats and win games. But the short comings start even there. You're met, not with a customizable character a la BS, but with a miniature of a player, in which the customizations can't even be differentiated amongst them other than from color, so your unique player ends up being generic player #2112. But then you say "but the rest must be awesome fun!" Well, depends. Gone are the random events that would ef you up in BS, most of the events in SS only have 2 choices, and it is pretty damn obvious which one is the good choice. Gone is also your rival, that would ensue some really great and difficult gameplay scenes. And also, gone is the ability to choose which kind of player you want to be. Yes, you can be a power, speed, technique or stamina player, but you'll always be the striker, you have no other choice. So yes, My League has been dumbed down.

Now on to the gameplay of soccer itself. Well, it sucks. Is like GV got a random generic soccer game from ages ago, copied the code, pasted, and added the condition arrow that is somewhat new. The animations suck, the controls suck, and the responsiveness, well, also suck, it takes ages for your character to pass the ball (whereas the computer does it instantly) and, due to the fact that you can hold to charge, there's an added problem. If by any chance the moment you are charging, you decide to go on another direction, stop moving, go faster, or breathe... well, the charge is now gone and you have to start over. Not to mention the fact that it takes ages for you to rob a ball, but the computer can even do so from a distance, AND! If you detail it very closely, you can see that you are charged for a fault before doing it (but already having pressed the button to do it), same goes for the goal kick.

This game really feels like GV knows nothing about football, not only in what I've mentioned, but also in the fact that, due to the WC, the teams in game are not fake teams, but real ones from actual countries, BUT, none of the players have their real names, so yeah, it is only a pseudo cover of fake teams.

Bottom line? Do not buy this, really, GV needs to put some major updates out there in order to fix this game for it to be playable. Is it fun? Well, only if you can make it past ALL of those problems, so yeah, 90% of the people won't like it.

I hope GV does some serious research and puts a major update out for this, for free, as good as it should've been to begin with. Otherwise, it seems this game was as rushed as the 1st release of Z2, which makes it 2 in a row of failures for Gamevil.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Review: Monster Mayhem

Since Zombies rise from the dead, and are always back to get you once and another time in a row, I guess this is a good genre where I can make a 2nd review (specially since I haven't done a single one in weeks, due to college and stuff). This time, another undead/zombies/evil things game: Monster Mayhem.

So let's start with the obvious: These 2 games are seriously different, so no, I won't be comparing them as they take totally different approaches to... everything.

Some time ago, Tapplay started hyping up their new game, a game consisting of, well, every evil-doer in you agenda, leprechauns, zombies, mummies, werewolves, etc. But they added a spin, they made it not scary, but charismatic and fun. The whole game is very cartoony and everything (from the presentation to the information cards on the enemies) feels very nicely put together.

The game itself consists of 3 difficulties, easy, normal and madness (this one needing to be unlocked after beating normal, and for a good reason, if you don't have weapon upgrades, this will be hard, but more on that later). After you choose how hard will the roots of all evil, cartoon style, will be, it is time to get into the campaign.

Campaign mode consists of a total of 5 "worlds" with 5 levels and a boss each, so we're talking about 25 levels + 5 bosses, so, technically 30 stages. Yes, you might think it is small, but wait wait wait! After you beat them all, you unlock Boss Rush mode (IMO, a nice addition to ANY game with bosses) and if that is not enough for you, after that, you unlock... PAM PAM! Yes! Endless mode, so... yeah, enjoy, you freak of nature that enjoys killing freaks of nature :p.

Gameplay is simple, these, creatures, are trying to scape the graveyard, through, conviniently, the main gate, so it is your job to keep them in there so that the only thing they annoy (other than you) is each other. For that purpose, you have a total of 8 unlockable weapons in your arsenal, you begin with the typical knife and pistol, but you can even unlock flamethrowers and... wait for it... a nuclear bomb!
(which, apparently, only affects the graveyard, so don't you worry about the world outside of it). You don't have freedom to unlock them, you must do so in order, but you do have freedom to upgrade them however you want. You might think this was a reckless decision from the devs part, but it comes for a reason. Not only must you kill every creature before you reach the game, but they all come with they own status card (think PvZ but with more info) telling you about their strength, speed and defense, and also which weapons they're susceptible to. Yes, you are forced to be in constant weapon switching in order to dispose of the enemies in the best way possible, which is awesome, as it adds to the diversity in which the game demands you to be played, potentially making it less monotonous than all the games in this branch (TD, etc) tend to get.

The game has a lot going for it and few things against it, so I really recommend getting it. One thing I must advice you, though, in case you decide to do so, is, the knife mechanic can get tiresome, so, remember you have 8 weapons! Don't be cheap! Use them all! if you do that, the game is far more enjoyable :p.

Review: N.Y. Zombies

Zombies, seriously? Who invented them? I think as long as I remember the idea of Zombies always have existed, just that, in the beginning we at least feared them, nowadays they're like ragdolls put there for us to shoot bullets at them, which ended up being rather fun.

I wasn't expecting much of this game, like I don't of most games in the appstore that use similar selling points (read: killing zombies) in a straight-forward manner. But hey, I got a code so I had nothing to lose. And I found out I was actually losing for NOT having this game.

N.Y.Z. is the typical "omg virus, omg zombies" game which has you put against a normal to read storyline. But well, none of us care about that anymore, do we? All we care about is how it plays, and what the playing is all about. And it is good.

The gameplay is rater simple, you are still in the middle of a map, where, unluckily to you, all the zombies in the world tend to converge. Good thing is, you have weapons, good weapons, upgradable weapons, to allow you to kill more and more of these undead things. To kill them it is just a matter of touching them in screen to shoot/stab/w/e at them, and o that enough times and they'll go down, for the second time. The game's pace is really frantic, specially in the later levels where there are zombies everywhere and you need to prioritize which ones are deadlier/will take longer to get to you in order to survive.

As far as weapons go, there's a VAST selection of them, all of them with 6 upgrading levels, greatly improving their performance in battle. There start with your normal pistol and knife (long and short range) but go all the way to chainsaws and chainguns, not forgetting the ever so lovely grenades that help you kill monsters in groups. But not every upgrade are just your straightforward weapons, added to that there are abilities, like healing and lighting dark areas, and the flare, which lightens up areas so that zombies can be easily spotted.

I am yet to finish campaign, which is a good thing, as it says the game is at least decently sized. And if you ever en up stuck in a level due to its difficulty, you are free to *grind* past levels for money and upgrades, grinding is not ideal, but is a nice way to compensate increasing challenge with the ability to not pull your eyes out of frustration. Campaign wasn't good enough for you? Well, don't complain, there's also a really nice endless mode, not to say varying difficulty modes depending on how gutsy you're feeling.

This game surpassed my expectations, having me hooked in it the moment I started playing. For that reason I have to recommend it for everyone still not tired of zombie shooting, and even for those who are tired, I found this one compelling enough to play just 1 more level, even when it is 1 am and you need to wake up early the next morning.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Review: AFROian Jewels

I don't know what it is about hairstyles, everyone has their own, and I think some other people even take them upon themselves to make their hair look like a piece of art (and I mean it, I'm sure I saw someone with a haircut like the Eiffel Tower the other day...). But whatever style someone has, it either makes or breaks the look as a whole, and in this case it is no different.

I don't know what it is about Afros, and more specifically, what the dev of this game has with them, but he (or she) has definitely made sure to represent them is a really nice way, and in really nice games.

AFROian Jewels is a rather simple at glance, hard to master game. In it, vertical "blocks" consisting of 3 differently colored afros fall from the sky, and you get to choose the order in the colors in the block before they fall to the bottom and stay there. The objective is simple, match 3 or more of the same colored afros, and humans will pop out from them and leave the screen, this includes the basic colors, plus the powerups that come in form of white afros that dissapear every afro of the same color than the one they fell on top of. From that, as in any game from the genre, you make chains and combos by foreseeing a bit if your moves, or just being plain lucky, to move up your score and after a set amount of points, you move up a level, moment in which speed increases (like classic tetris).

To mix things up a bit, now and then an Afronian will "wake up" from one of the afros and take up two spaces, which may ruin the whole setup you had, so it is nice to keep a surprise factor there. It has also been informed that in higher difficulties other environmental factors, like UFOs and such, also come in play to keep things even more interesting. But there's where I found a problem, I don't know if I'm inherently slow, or if I'm always sleepy or something, but once I advance even 1 level, the speed picks up so much that I find it really hard to keep up, to the point that, even though I've played several times, I've only made it to level 4, so I don't know if I'll ever see those higher difficulties. This, clearly, can be awesome to some that complain that games take too long to pick up speed, but might turn off less finger-happy people.

There are also many other things that don't seem very clear at first (or at all) so I'd think the presence of a tutorial to explain the score system, the chaining system and the powerups is something very welcome.

Other than that, I find this game to be thoroughly enjoyable, it starts simple and keeps adding enough twists to make you wonder what will pop out next, that way, if you can get used to the speed, this game can be really fun and rewarding, but if you can't, seeing the fact that you can't advance and staying in the very basic levels could be really frustrating.

Other thing I could complain about is that there's no direct control on the column, all must be done from the controllers on the side of the screen, taking away intuitiveness to the game, factor that, in a reflex based game like this one, can be decisive.

Bottom line is, if you're a fan of the AFRO games, and a fan of fast-paced puzzles, I really recommend this one as it a nice spin on the basic formula. But if you can't keep up to speed, well, this is definitely not for you. For $0.99, you definitely can't go wrong giving this charismatic game a chance.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Review: Chaos Rings

Let's be honest, the AppStore has spoiled us all. Long gone are the time when you had to pay 50 bucks for one game, now you can even get them for .99. Yes, I know the quality is different, but the community has gotten used to this lower quality lower price games, that feel at home specially at the iDevice.

Then comes along games that call themselves "premium" which dare to break this dog eats dog situation by placing their games in a margin higher than anyone else. Most bash these kinds of games, calling them "too expensive" forgetting about older times. I myself cannot vouch for the other premium games, as I haven't played them. But all of those that ditch this game because of the price, they're missing a lot here.

How to explain Chaos Rings? Well, as you'd expect, it feels a LOT like a FF game, same mechanics and all, but, well, being like FF doesnt make a game bad (far from it) and this one sticks out enough to be worthy of its own name.

The story is simple: You don't know anything of where you are, just that you're stuck somewhere with people, everyone paired, and you need to fight til death for immortality because failing to do so (as well as losing) gets you killed. Simple, no? Still, from the time I've played it I feel this game has enough twists to keep you interested (something that, coming from an iTouch game, means a lot, since I haven't seen the 1st game before this one to have a decent storyline).

The game itself is separate by scenarios, levels in which you have an objective, and to get to it, you need to defeat several bosses and go through a lot of puzzles. Yes, puzzles, because not everything in this game is about fighting, you'll have to do a pretty good deal of thinking (nothing too hard, don't worry) to get through the game. I consider that to be truly awesome as it helps break the simple running/fighting sequence we're all used to.

But wait, do you think this is the same as all of the others FFs out there? It may, but it has enough tweaks to keep you really hooked into it. For instance, you may choose the level range of the enemies that are to be found in the scenario, so you yourself decide how much you want to be challenged (makes it playable by everyone + adds a lot to the replay value). And what about you? Tired of the same old random encounters that seem to pop out every 3 steps? They have something for you too. In the 1st dungeon you find a skill that allows you to simply turn random encounters off (be in mind that you still have to face mandatory bosses, so don't go thinking this is gonna be a walk through the park).

Also new is a new tweak in the battle system. As you can imagine, being paired is not for free, so, in battle, you can choose to fight as one, dealing bigger damage; or 2 dealing different types of attacks and skills. And talking about skills (because we can't about a SE game without talking about magic) the games gives you skills through something called "genes" each time you kill an enemy, you have a chance of getting their genes, granting you an ability of their species to be equipped and be used in battle.

So yeah, pretty much SE managed to give everyone a bit of what they wanted/needed and delivering a top notch title, and all of this on the platform everyone though it was doomed for cheap and low quality .99 games.

Is it worth the asking price? I must admit I'm a bit stingy myself regarding the AppStore, but I can tell you, as a RPG fan myself, these are the BEST $12.99 you can invest in a game on the AppStore. Where you thinking about getting 13 other games? Don't! Get this one, and you won't regret it.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Review: IMO

Long time since I posted here and I don't want to abandon it (consider this a hobby) so I'll do a quick review about the game that is keeping me from making more reviews: IMO.

Yes, the 1st *real* MMORPG is finally in the AppStore, yes, it is a port from a korean mobile game, but this is so much fun, that who cares!

I say 1st because text based games doesnt really give the same feeling, and lobby based games are not as fun as open world where you can actually see everyone around.

Ok, now into the game. In IMO you get to choose 1 of 3 classes, mage, warrior or archer. Each with its own strengths and weaknesses, and a HUGE ammount of skills, going up to level 50. You start by distributing points into the different stats, but be warned, they're permanent and will affect you characters growth for the rest of the game, so be sure to check com2us' guides on that matter. After that a rather small screen for a bit of char customization, and you're thrown into the world.

So far the world is not complete, some shops are still closed, but the highest lvl maps go as far as lv 50 (the current cap) so don't get fooled by the map of the initial areas, there's much more underneath them, making the game have a huge ammount of contect from the start.
Additionally, Each 2 hrs there's a war amongst the 2 factions, where you get fame points and loot exchangeable for equips. other than that you can follow a (rather simple) storyline, and yes, grind. But the world is so involving, and there's so much people that soon you'll find yourself chatting, buying and selling and get even more into it.

It is rather hard to explain what makes a MMORPG any good, it is a genre you either like or you don't, due to the fact that it needs dedication (in the form of grinding and rare loot) but hell, if you're gonna get any MMO a chance, might as well be IMO, after all it IS free and you only need to pay if you feel like checking the market (not neccesary at all to enjoy the game, but a good source of money).

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Review: Bombardier's Guild

Yes yes, I know that's an old game, but sometimes they don't get the highlight they deserve, and I really think this one deserves a lot of it.

BG is in a genre in its own, it is unlike anything, but if I had to describe it would be like, Worms, 1 v 1, with physics on steroids. In actual description, the game consists of 2 cannons, one yours and one of the enemy, localized in opposed positions in space. You shoot trajectiles, which are... well, missiles that are affected by gravity (like every missile), so far, pretty straightforward, right? Well, it gets complicated when you add planets with their own gravity in the middle of them, and that affects the path of the trajectiles, by a lot.

To avoid spamming, you can only have 1 trajectile fired at a time, and you objective is to destroy the other cannon. Although it starts easy (campaign wise), in the end each cannon has 2 shields, so potentially you need to shoot it 3 times, but not only that, but 3 times with different power. You see, due to the gravity of the planets, the more the trajectiles are wiggling around the pace, the stronger they get, and you need that, as the shields, to be powered destoryed need a single, very powerful shot, which means you're gonna have to play with the planets to get a very powerful shot to win.

Simple concept, hard execution. But how does that play out? In a few words, it comes from easy to very hard (at least for me) but it never stops being addictive. So addictive that I've come up with the term "frustratingly addictive" as, sometimes you just see yourself getting killed once and another time, but that never stops you from coming back to get a little bit more.

The game itself has a very unique GUI, and it all works out as to immerse you into the BG's universe, where they treat you like a trainee climbing up the skill ladder, rating your skills, the power of your shots and the achievements you... well.. achieve. And god it is a big ladder, with 3 difficulties that you scale slowly, in the beginning it is just mission based, but in the end, not only you have to win, but to win enough so that your rating goes up and you can go on the next challenge.

And if that wasn't all, it also allows for same-screen vs play, delivering truly a complete package.

Yes, I know, this isn't my best review, but this isn't the easiest game to describe. There are so many elements in this game, that even if this review didnt convince you, you still should check out the lite, and if it did convince you, well, you're in for a blast.

Bottom line: if you like being challenged and you like getting addicted to games, this is by far, really worth the 1.99, if not, check the lite.

Lite Version
Full Version

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Review: Solomon's Keep

Have you ever been in one of those days, where you really don't wanna do what you have to, and just like to wander around looking for what to do next? Well, today is one of those days to me.

As I was bored to no end, I looked over at TA's forums to see what I could find, what game I could get and play, something interesting to keep me entertained for a bit. I found this topic about this game, the title? Majorly unappealing, but hell, I was bored, so I went in. The Result? Fantastic.

Solomon's Keep is, in essence, a Dual Stick Shooter, and of those, there are many in the store. What keeps this game fresh is the implementation of a funny storyline (You are a Wizard student sent on a suicidal mission as your final test), which is told in a very cool way, along with RPG elements and a diverse cast of enemies and items.

As you start, you are presented with 3 wizards, a guide, a merchant (sells equips) and a magical one (sells exp or skills to your liking) and a key, should you want to ever go back there from your venture into the castle of the evil Solomon.

Once you enter the castle, you are greeted by skeletons, and archer skeletons, much in the like of Catacombs. But unlike that game, here the enemies actually get every time more diverse, stronger (at least in terms of defense, since I do my best to not get hit, after all, I am only a magician) and different kinds. It gets to a point that ever so many levels, you get to fight a really cool boss that drops tons of money and a really nice item.

Did I just say Item? Yes I sure did, this game also counts with equipment implementation, you can equip 2 rings and a staff to help you fight the forces of Salomon, and if that were not all, those equipments can also come in their different presentations, Normal, Magic, Rare and Epic, which you get from buying, defeating bosses and in the various money filled chests you find all over the levels (why do bad guys ALWAYS leave all that treasure laying around? Beats me, but that's good for you).

Is that all? Errr, not really, no. As I mentioned at the beginning, there are RPG elements in the game, that means, you level up. And each time you level up you can choose to upgrade one of three randomly shown to you options from the different skills you get throughout the game. There are 3 main "missiles", with many upgrades to them and also specials with screen filling damage, not to forget speed, mana and health upgrades.

All that... for .99, at least until April 11th. The game did freeze on me once though, but its autosave system makes it so that it doesn't really matter, so forget about anything you're doing now and just go buy this awesome and cheap game.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Review: Zombie Smash

I don't know about you, but as for me, I got my iPod Touch almost a year ago. At that time, I knew nothing about the AppStore, how it worked, nothing, but an App had won me over, that app, was Knights Onrush. I loved the concept of flicking baddies to kill them, back then, the only TD I had ever played was Plants vs. Zombies on my PC, so I knew pretty much nothing about the genre, which made it all the better.

Problems came, in the form of lazy developers, who abandoned the game when they had promised so much more, leaving us, the ignorants of the AppStore ways, to regret and hate them. But then, along came Zombie Smash, with essentially the same formula, to recover what other devs had stupidly let go.

Zombie Smash is a game in the same line of though as KoR. Here, you are protecting you house from a zombie attack, but this game does that so much better. With the implementation of multitouch, the game allows you to defend from zombies coming from both sides of the house, ending up in a much more frantic and fast paced experience.

As you'd expect, the game is full with different types of zombies, from the very simple ones, to the omg pain in the ass get rid of them first or you'll lose, to really make it a complete experience. Add to that a plethora of upgradable items to defend yourself (because, after all you are only human and so are your fingers) and you're into a very addictive and enjoyable game that consists of 31 levels of non stop zombie defending action. Too easy? Well, there's even a hard mode and achievements if you want to come for more.

All in all I truly recommend this game as it is very addictive and very enjoyable, even if you're tired of TD games, this game is different enough to feel new and give you that cool feeling that only games that are doing something right can give you. So what are you waiting? It is currently in a .99 easter sale, so go get it. Even if you miss it, the full price, 1.99, is well worth it.

Review: Tilt to Live

Since the beggining of the appstore, the developers have been trying to attract the thing everyone enjoys the most out of the capitalist system, money. With that, they've tried millions of different ways to attract customers to buy their products, and that made the appstore market we know today. With that, and the strong competition that there is, the devs started going from complex to more complex stuff, creating fantastic worlds, RPGs and such, but sometimes, a developer manages to cut out of this pattern and do something simple, yet great. That's where Tilt to Live comes in.

I must say, the first time I heard about Tilt to Live, I was skeptic, the name didnt sound like much, and I was (and am) tired of crappy little games that do nothing and prove worthless. Until one day, I ventured into the topic it had at TA. I fell in love immediately, simple concept: survive, simple method: tilt. Result: awesomely addictive gameplay.

What do you do in game? You control an arrow to dodge red dots, and eventually get a powerup to kill those dots in order to create a combo and score millions of points. Simple, right? But it is sooo well done, the humor in it, the way you unlock the powerups (which is by getting achievements, first time I've seen achievements actually be worth something more than the bragging rights), the colors, the music, it all blends so well it is really hard to stop playing this.

Do I recommend this? Yes, a lot too. For me this is better than most other "lets waste 5 minutes" games like Canabalt, and a lot cheaper too. For 1.99, you get a game I've been playing for a long time now.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Review: We Rule

To compensate the fact that I (for X reasons that don't really matter) hadn't updated this blog for a while, I shall write 2, quick but substantial (as always) reviews.

So, why "We Rule"?, to be honest, because while I was waiting for Zenonia 2 to be out (reviewed some minutes ago) I decided to give this game a spin, since FB type games tend to serve that purpose very well. So, how does this compares to the likes of Farmvile? Well, we all know by now that if I told you that here, no one would read the next paragraphs.

One thing that this game has going for it, is the graphics, as it is very pretty game, and, not relying in a mouse and with the touch screen, it is way easier to control than any FB game that relies in a computer and, well, on how good your computer is to play ok. It is also deeper than any FB game, because, sure, you start just planting something and waiting x amount of time for it to be able to harvest it and get money, but it also does much more, you can also collect taxes from the houses you have on your kingdom, and also, ngmoco really shows that the strong point is the community interaction. Not only is it easier to get friends here (as, well, you dont have to share your entire life with them by adding them to FB) but also serve a lot more, as you can fill request in several different shops that you can build in you kingdom, giving you all so valuable gold, and ofc, exp. Actually it is so beneficial to do this, that it ends up being way easier leveling through this way, than actually farming your fields. Add to that the fact that when you lose connection to the server you don't have to refresh the game each time, as it does it by itself, and you'll find a game that is fairly better in every way to any game in the same genre.

Do I recommend it? Sure, it is free, and as long as you're not aiming for the top, you should do alright by keeping it cost free. This game obviously has IAP in the name of Mojo, that helps the farms get ready immediately, so clearly richer people will have bigger kingdoms, but this fact is not necessary to fully experience this simple and enjoyable game.

Review: Zenonia 2

Yes, I know what you're all thinking, "Finally, it came out!". I think most of the gamers owners of iDevices were waiting for this one for as long as a sequel from Zenonia, the original, was announced. But was it really worth the wait? We'll see about that.

Let's be honest, 90% of the iDevice gamers already got used to crappy storylines, and the ones that are good, the ones that come from Korean ports, are always, with a crappy translation. This one is no different, but I don't know if you do, but I personally wouldnt care less, and I tend to take these more as joke when they're badly translated, than something fundamentally wrong with the game. Although if you do care about this, all I can say is that they're not *that* bad.

So let's talk about what matters, the gameplay, because, in the case of an action RPG, it is what makes or breaks a game, and interestingly, in the case of Zenonia 2, it manages to do both. Why? Because in one side, you have an amazing cast of 4 classes that play awesomely with different styles and excelent feel (including vastly different skills, items, and even movement speeds), the skills are good, the character customization and the items are plentiful, and even the GUI can be cuztomized to match your fingers reflexes and needs (although, as with any game of this type, there are some probles with the virtual d-pad, nothing is perfect). The enemies are diverse, the bosses are great, and everything is very well done to give a challenging but not frustrating experience, that you'll enjoy no matter how many times you spend on it.

Then why do I say it is broken as well? Because, even though everybody was waiting for this game so bad, that for their perception it should've come sooner, well, the reality is, this game could've used some more time in the workshop, as it is riddled with bugs and details missing, from little ones that you get used to over time, to some that, if you're as unlucky as me, means your character is broken and you have to start over to fix that. Yes, if you have bad luck you can, at any time, be forced by a major bug to just start over as if time didn't mean anything.

For those reasons, even though I consider Zenonia 2 a greatly well done game, I can't really recommend it, I prefer you wait for a couple of updates to get the real experience, and not get it now and start hating the game. This game is awesome and it shouldn't be hated for any reason, it is just not ready yet.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Review: Across Age EX

What can I say about this game... When I tried it, was I was thinking at first was "do not think this is a lite, judge it on the end based on impressions and not assumptions" . Can it be considered something more than a lite? Read on.

When you start the game you get greeted by a beautiful video showing a sinopsis of the story, then, in the game itself, it feels like a very polished version of Zelda, everything is pretty and colorful, is nice just to see it all. The battles are simple, the characters auto attack when pushed into an enemy, an the fact the you need to control 2 players gives potential to so many different spins of quests that make you think about Superstar Saga. Everything is very well done.

The problem, though, is in it's lenght, as the game is over before you even completely finish the 1st dungeon, so it doesn't give you the value of the buck, compared to the content of other .99 cents games out in the store. I mean no harm, as the game does feel great, but for .99, I really hope he devs extend the content in the game, to at lest let you finish that 1st dungeon, because, as it feels now, it is a lot like a paid lite instead of being a mini version as they want it to be.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Review: Jamzu

Ok well, this is a personal favorite of mine. A few months ago I didn't even know what "Jamzu" meant, and nowadays I am totally in love with the game.

The game, unlike most of the appstore, is a board game. It's a unique an original idea well executed. Taking inspiration on the likes of chess, checkers and backgammon, the developer of this game created a unique, challenging experience.

The gameplay is simple, there are two sides to it, the red team, and the blue team. Two types of pieces in the game, runners (move in a straight line, collored ones) and jammers (move diagonally, black colored), and a random factor, your moves depend on a dice roll, which determines how many squares a piece can move. That's pretty much it. Add to that a simple spin, jammers can rebounce, and everyone can control any jammer, and you have quite a challenge.

As any board game the game is very simple graphically, but mentally rewarding. The dev is trying its best to stablish a online server for online multiplayer (because, as of today you're only able to play locally), which I myself am waiting eagerly. But so far, believe me, you'll have enough challenge with the 4 different difficulty levels, and local multiplayer.

For 1.99 you get a truly unique game, no clones exist of this on the store, and it is truly something that should become a board game classic. I recommend you all just to go online and get it.

And if that's not enough incentive, the dev has taken the trouble to make something he calls "Jamzu Daily Double" to increase the ammount of people playing the game and enjoying it. As it is, the dev posts 2 board screens where the 1st person to choose the best move in that given situation, gets $15 just like that. So, now that I got your attention, that contests re-starts today @ toucharcade forums, so go check it out.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Review: Rafter

I don't know what it is about physics simulators, I had never played one before the iTouch came along (well, maybe, if you consider World of Goo one, then one), but I totally fell in love for the genre. It is simple, but it makes you use your brain in great ways, so in a way it is great exercise.

As I played Rafter, I can just say it has what you'd expect from a physics simulator. Simple, but challenging.

As I played it, the first thing I noticed was the marvelous graphics it has, very minimalistic, but very polished and well done, makes you feel like you're in an artist's sketch all the time, and I came to see that that idea is not so bad after all.

The gameplay is simple, there's a sketch space on the top of the screen, where you make either a square (rectangle) or a circle and plan (or well, if you consider yourself the lucky type, just hope and trial and error it all) the path the shape will do in the level to hit (or not) the red nucleus. That's about it, and takes me to the part I don't like. So far in the game, even though the environment does have some neat tricks in its pocket, like fans and wheels that put your objects off track, there's little setting up strategy, meaning the only thing you have to do is put the initial piece and let it roll to the objective. No setup, no nothing. A little more time with the setting up would be really interesting and hitting that red nucleus in the end would feel way more rewarding.

As it is, though, it is a really good game, it has charisma and is very polished, and for .99 cents, you really can't go wrong with this one. So if you're entering the physics simulator scene, and want something to pass up the time, I recommend Rafter to you.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Introduction to the blog

I know I know... There are a thousand of these already all over the internet. Blogs revieweing iTunes AppStore Apps, some succeful ones, most, not really.

I'm gonna do this anyways, not for the fame or fortune, just to really give another view of the apps I'm playing to the visitors, that and to give added value to the Devs that trust me with a promo codes for their games in order to review them. That said, I am not biased, and I can be pretty harsh, which devs should take it as a good thing, and the consumers should as well :p.

I'll update this blog with reviews for games that I get over time, both the ones that I buy or the ones that I get promo codes for. If you're interested in me making a review for an specific app, just let me know through a comment here. If you're interested in me reviewing your game, you can send me a PM at forums (I'm Khamous over there).

I hope you have fun reading my blog, as I enjoy reviewing games. See you in the battlefield

- Khamous