Space Forest Dilemma is a very simple game to understand, but don’t let it fool you. The game is hard as balls, but never unfair. That is, among other things, the result of focused gameplay, rather than polished graphics.
Fairbits Gaming, a new gaming startup released its first app today, cunningly named Fairbits. Fairbits in the words of its creators is “a virtual currency of luck based on simple game of chance. It is first-of-its-kind non-sleazy non-glittery casino app trying to appeal to a broader spectrum of social gamers”.
Fairbtis looks like another interesting asynchronous multiplayer experience and its bright colors and friendly graphics are easy on the eyes. Look for a review of this one sometime in the future!
The game itself is a fun MMO based on Celtic mythology. According to the press release, the new trailer demonstrates the advantages of the switch to Destiny Engine; more details from the press release follow:
Celtic Heroes allows players to experience a fully-fledged handheld MMORPG unlike any other. Garnering its immersive story and environment from Celtic mythology, Celtic Heroes creates a rich, fascinating and vibrant open world for players to explore, quest, and battle together in. Set in the mythical ancient lands of Dal Riata, players must protect their world from the dark forces that threaten it.
With hundreds of thousands of players world-wide, Celtic Heroes boasts astonishing graphics with a user interface designed for total ease of use for the ultimate player experience. The official trailer showcases the benefits of the move to the new Destiny Engine, improving the already beautiful graphics and quality of game play, entirely immersing you in Dal Riata as you rise up to defend your honour against the ferocious and mythical enemies that now threaten your ancient homeland.
Celtic Heroes is completely FREE to download on Android and iOS devices, so check out the new trailer – Customise your armour, choose your class, embark on legendary quests, and make allies along the way, trading and chatting as you master your skills to become a True Celtic Hero.
As noted, it is available on the Play Store for free (with in-app purchasing); the trailer is below.
It’s a platform game with a dark fee; the informational communication gives us more tidbits:
Classic platforming meets modern design in a game built and optimized for touch controls.
The Driftlands are a gothic and frightening place at the best of times….And this is not the best of times. The Aurora stone has been stolen from the great Lighthouse by an unknown and shadowy creature. Without its light, the Driftlands will be destroyed.
Enter Oscura, our highly unlikely hero. He is the keeper of the lighthouse, and possesses a mysterious, eternally glowing hand. Oscura must travel the lands and gather the shards to restore the Aurora stone – before it is too late and darkness befalls on the whole universe.
AVAILABLE FOR iPAD, iPHONE, iPOD TOUCH, MAC & ANDROID
Oscura Second Shadow is now available worldwide for iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, Mac and Android devices.
CLASSIC PLATFORMING MEETS MODERN DESIGN
Inspired by early platformers from the 1990’s, Oscura delivers a stripped down platforming experience through the filter of modern game and art design.
BUILT FOR TOUCH
Built for touch devices from the ground up, Oscura: Second Shadow is optimised and designed around the capabilities and limitations of touch to ensure that the controls are never at fault.
DARK FAIRYTALE WORLD
Dive into the world of the Driftlands, where engineering meets nature and strange creatures stalk. With the Aurora stone shattered, Oscura’s glowing hand and the shards of the stone are the only light sources, creating a stark and beautiful silhouette art style.
HAUNTINGLY STYLIZED LEVELS
Journey through 20 challenging levels, each crafted by hand rather than using tile-sets.
AN UNLIKELY HERO
Slight of frame and without any weaponry or brute force, Oscura must rely on his wits and reflexes to avoid foes and hazards alike. He’s no hero, just doing his job.
CHALLENGES TO KEEP YOU COMING BACK
Completing levels is one thing, collecting all four stars for each level is quite another. Replay levels to perfect your run and beat the goals for time, collecting cogs, shards and getting through without dying.
Oscura: Second Shadow is celebrating its presence on Android with a limited time sale of $0.99.
Smartphones are predicated on convenience. The best apps are simple to use and make people’s lives easier. But for some reason, app developers have not harnessed the convenient potential of widgets. At least, that is the concept behind Notepad Reminder, a note-taking widget that is easy to use and easier to access.
Rather than digging through menus and taking time to open an app, widgets offer a way to interact with an app right on an Android device’s home screen. This feature is typically used to relay emails or check sports scores at a moment’s notice, but Notepad Reminder takes it to another level, adding usability and productivity right to the home screen.
Users can install the widget on one of the many slides that make up their home screen and access all of the app’s features directly from the widget. In fact, there is no app, making it the most simplistic way to take notes on an Android device.
Instead of a one-sized-fits-all widget, the Notepad Reminder widget can be customized to a users liking on the home screen. This approach allows each individual user to get what they desire from the app. While one person may need the widget to be as large as possible to read notes, another may prefer a smaller widget to take short, simple notes on the go.
After positioning the widget on your Android device, you can immediately get started leaving notes. A small bar along the top of the widget prompts users to add a note and select a priority. The widget is helpful for completing tasks such as creating a grocery list or a to-do file for the day. However, users in need of taking larger, more intensive notes will find the widget experience cumbersome. Longer notes will display on the widget, but there isn’t room for a lot of information and typing within the bar is unintuitive.
Despite its simplicity, the Notepad Reminder widget also has some features that are typically found in full-fledged apps. Users can set a reminder for each note directly within the widget. Once a task is completed, the note can also be deleted efficiently. There are no complicated menu screens or additional buttons to press; all of this can be achieved directly from the widget using understated yet obvious buttons near each note.
The straightforwardness of the widget is its greatest strength, but also is its biggest weakness. Users will find themselves creating lists on the app, but only one list at a time. There are no organizing features to create long-form notes or organize a list with a title. It would be nice if users had the additional option of using the widget to directly open specific notes within the app. Instead, there is no physical app, meaning some users will find little function for the widget.
Overall, the Notepad Reminder widget is a solid way to jot down quick notes or run down a grocery list without having to dig through menus. However, the app is almost too simple. The oversimplified user interface and lack of a full featured app will make users quickly forget about Notepad Reminder.
Years ago, I was flipping through the TV, and stumbled across a show that forever changed my TV watching habits: Most Extreme Elimination Challenge (MXC). The show itself was a irreverent Americanized version of the Japanese obstacle course show Takeshi’s Castle. The original show was a funny in and of itself, kind of like American Ninja Warrior on funny steroids; the added layer of deliciously re-edited and re-dubbed footage from the original took the show to hysterical heights.
A “true” American-centric version of the show popped up on the scene a few years ago called Wipeout. It is very similar to the original Japanese shows, down to the pain inducing obstacles and the zany commentary by the hosts. It was only a matter of time for the game to hit consoles, and it has since come to Android.
Wipeout will be comfortably familiar to fans of the console game and/or show; the basic premise is to make it through the obstacle course to the end in a reasonable time. The controls are pretty much all virtual in nature; the left side controls moving and running, while he right side can be used to invoke jumping and, with extra dexterity, diving. The obstacles run the gamut, and ae right in line with those from the real life game.
The action generally moves from left to right, and the player will want to jump and time movements so as to avoid being knocked or bounced into the water that is usually the only substance available to break one’s fall. If one falls or gets knocked off, one has to start right from the last section started. If one makes it the end in the time allotted, one qualifies for the ability to unlock the succeeding level with game cash.
Virtual pain gains game money (as does success); the two types of currency gained can be used in the in-app store to unlock characters, equipment and, as already mentioned, to formally unlock available levels. Equipment upgrades makes gameplay easier. These become important the further one gets in the game, as obstacles get harder. Of course, real money can be used.
It’s a fun game; I actually prefer it to the console version. The additional IAP after $1.99 purchase might give some pause, but I was able to play without going for real money. As such, the game represents the franchise well, and gives folks a relatively safe way to live life on the edge.
The new game is a graphically pleasing space shooter. The 3D imagery make it look quite inviting. from he Google Play description:
Take over the stars, blast through enemy fighter waves and destroy capital ships while piloting the most advanced fighters in the galaxy.
Strike Wing is a single player space combat simulator that combines sharp controls, beautiful graphics and adaptable missions to create an unique space combat experience for mobile devices.
= BEAUTIFUL GRAPHICS =
Fly beautifully designed ships in asteroid fields, around planetary orbits or in deep space. Experience a colorful and vibrant representation of space on your mobile device.
= FLUID CONTROLS =
Play with the accelerometer or with the on-screen virtual stick. Learn each ship’s flight characteristics and master them individually.
= WIDE ARRAY OF SHIPS =
Choose from super-fast and nimble fighters to heavy torpedo bombers, each with their own strengths, weaknesses and style of play. Progress through the levels to gain access to more ships and features!
= ADAPTABLE MISSIONS =
Missions adapt to your style of play, to your skill and ship choice to give you a consistent challenge every time you play. Need an extra challenge? You can make each mission more difficult at a flip of a switch and reap better rewards.
The demo version of the game is available for free (with in-app purchasing to unlock the full game) on the Play Store.
The game is a mix of adventure, fortress defense and strategy. The Google Play app page tells us some of the features:
- A unique strategy game that borrows time-management mechanics
- Hire a rag-tag troupe of adventurers to defend your kingdom
- Earn crystals from battles to unlock treasures and powerful heroes!
- Acquire useful items, artifacts, and trinkets to help you win!
- Upgrade your fortress, and unlock different types, such as treants, golems, and dragons!
- Survive 12 brutal stages, each having 8 levels.
- Connect through Facebook and team up with friends by sharing energy and mercenaries.
More information from the press release:
Animoca Brands, the developer and publisher of mobile games based on globally loved brands such as Garfield, Ben10, Doraemon, Ultraman, Astro Boy and more, today announced the launch of Armies of Dragons on the Apple App Store and Google Play. A medieval-themed tower defense game, Armies of Dragons sets a new standard for the genre by combining time-management mechanics and strategic battle gameplay with visually stunning 3D graphics. Armies of Dragons is now available to play for free on all iOS and Android devices.
“Armies of Dragons is unlike anything else available,” said Robby Yung, CEO of Animoca Brands. “We’ve combined the best elements of tower defense games with heart-pumping time management mechanics to create a new and enthralling gaming experience.”
Armies of Dragons is a medieval thriller that takes place in a world rife with magic and danger, where evil dragons once ruled as invincible tyrants for centuries before they were overthrown by a mighty alliance of humans. Dark magic has reawakened the dragons from their slumber, and it’s up to players to defend their kingdom from the rampaging hordes of vile creatures.
Players can enlist archers, thieves, ninjas, knights and other warrior units to battle against the rampaging hordes. Players must train, upgrade and manage their own armies before sending them into battle, or risk a crushing defeat. Increasingly powerful weapons and units become available as players progress through the game.
Armies of Dragons is available for free (with optional in-app purchasing) on the Play Store.
Prolific Android development house G5 is in a generous mood yet again, and this time, it is offering Letters from Nowhere 2 for free… for a limited time.
The title is the sequel to Letters from Nowhere (which we had a chance to review earlier this year); this one is also a hidden object/puzzle adventure game.
From the G5 press release:
It’s time get excited for the school season to resume with an incredible giveaway from G5! Stating August 25th through August 31st, Letters from Nowhere 2 (Full) goes FREE on iOS, Google Play and Kindle Fire. Continue Audrey’s adventure in this thrilling and spooky sequel to the beloved hidden object puzzle game without spending a dime!
In this bewitching investigation, you are tasked with solving a disappearance of Audrey’s husband, a mystery that has perplexed the police. Featuring eye-catching locations, absorbing puzzles and an evolving storyline, Letters from Nowhere 2 wins the hearts of players and critics alike.
Audrey collected all the letters with the help of the dead postman, hoping they would lead her to Patrick, her missing husband. Instead, she is taken to a mysterious sleepy town. In Letters from Nowhere 2, our brave heroine discovers that her husband is a descendant of a cursed family, and is doomed to death. Now it’s up to her to confront the evil that haunts her beloved and prevent a series of grisly murders. Travel to the town of Nowhere and search for clues to remove the terrifying curse in this thrilling and spooky sequel! Search through over 30 cryptic locations including the sinister mansion and a bloody sacrifice room for important artifacts. Play mini-games, collect all the pages of a missing diary, and save Patrick before it’s too late!
50 Stunning locations
11 Adventurous settings
4 Useful search powers
2 Bonus play modes – Unlimited and Puzzles
Tiny Tower is a fun game that has players monitor the lives of virtual people (bitizens) as they go about life and commerce in a 2D building; the overriding goal is to guide and facilitate the accumulation of game cash that can be used to build more floors and gain more bitizens. We had an opportunity to review the Android version of the original way back in 2011, and were mostly impressed by the gameplay and deliciously retro graphics. The new game is clearly based in Sin City, so the action should have a fun furtive feel to it.
No word yet on whether or not any more Tiny Tower-themed titles are on the way to Android.
The new title will be available on the Play Store on August 28th, 2014. The game trailer is below.
In today’s world, there is one clear paradigm that is almost universally true: mobility is the name of the game. We all wanna “do” (and “do” well) even when we are on the go. Why should we sacrifice the ability to get things done just because we can’t be physically tethered to a massive work station.
On the other hand, as the concept of mobility evolves, portability becomes just as important of a factor. Now, we also want accessories that match our devices with regards to the ability to be carried around discreetly. Yes, I can carry around a sync cable in my pocket, but the KERO Micro-USB Nomad Charge/Sync Cable is a cut above. In theory, at least.
The review unit KERO sent to us shows the unit in all its glory. It’s relatively small, at just 3″ in length, and stark white in color (it also comes in vivid blue). It is quite light in hand, and the rubber coating is not rough in the slightest.
It is packaged quite simply, and feels like it should be able to withstand regular use without flinching; it helps that the main cabling is quite flexible.
One of the defining features is the set of protective caps that are on each end. The micro side has a simple one, and the standard end doubles as a looped piece that allows it to be attached to something else, like a key-ring or smaller carabiner even. Since the caps aren’t attached to the main body of the cable, the key-ring side serves as a home base of sorts for the unit.
In practice, the unit provides a short leash to power devices that accept micro-USB cables. The short range actually seems to help with charging times; the little gizmo worked faster than my standard cables in my informal testing. It’s also capable of transferring data, which is definitely something that makes it valuable.
It’s biggest strength is probably it’s biggest drawback: it’s really short; as such, when it comes to smartphone and tablets, it just feels a bit better used with an portable power bank or a laptop versus an inflexible wall adapter; still, if being mobile is the end-game, a wall charger might not come into play anyway. I do wish the caps were attached; I have a propensity to lose such small things.
Here’s to affordable portability. The Nomad cable is so smart it’s almost crazy no to get one.
Battle Of Tanks is another entry in the rather crowded online tank battler. Does it HEAT things up?
Battle of Tanks‘ gameplay is too simple for its own good. There are no mission briefings or story; it is just the player in a tank of their choice. The player just drives around a featureless, treeless field (even if the description mentioned an outpost) using one of three weapons to blast enemy tanks into twisted metal. Weapons include the tank cannon, missiles which are very similar to cannons and machine guns, which are nearly useless.
The game lacks any interesting enemies either. There are no aircraft nor tank destroyers nor infantry, just other tanks firing in random directions.
One of the worst parts of the game though is the environments. Comprised of grassy fields with no interesting cover or things to look at, Battle of Tanks loses nearly all of its tactical potential. Without an environment to move around and take cover behind, the game is little more than a contest of who shoots first, which doesn’t make for exciting gameplay.
Battle of Tanks has very poor graphics. While it is indeed 3D as touted in the game’s description, the game just looks really bad. Most tanks are simply dull colored boxes, with nary a detail to be seen and the game’s environments are extremely poor without even a tree to look at. Explosions are simply expanding orange spheres and enemies all look the same. The resolution is low, the animation is nearly non-existent and Battle of Tanks just looks primitive.
The sound isn’t much better. There are no engine sounds at all, weapons all sound the same and the music is very generic.
Battle of Tanks‘ biggest failing however is its extremely imprecise controls. While it uses a familiar twin stick setup with one to control the tank and one to control the turret, these sticks are incredibly imprecise. Just driving in a straight line or rotating your turret in the general direction of an enemy is a huge pain because the game just won’t react correctly to touch.
Battle of Tanks is a difficult game mainly because it is so hard to move the tank with any kind of grace. Avoiding enemy shots is nearly impossible because often the controls won’t respond and the game spawns tanks behind you often and there is no radar to keep track of where enemies are and no cover to be used.
Battle of Tanks is a very poor game and it is clear from its title it is trying to emulate World of Tanks, but it is little more than a knock off. There are many, many better choices for tank based combat on Android. Check out Iron Force for super fun online tank combat with far better controls and actual environments.
Proving once and for all that televising Madden Football tournaments wasn’t that weird, online behemoth Amazon has added another feather to its acquisitions cap in picking up streaming gaming portal Twitch. Twitch is a service that allows gamers to stream live gaming sessions to watchers online.
Amazon thinks highly of the service, so much so that it is willing to drop a reported $970 million for the rights to call it and it’s 55 million monthly visitors (according to CNN Money) its own.
Twitch Chief Emmett Shear hints at speed when talking about the deal. “Being part of Amazon will let us do even more for our community,” he says. “We will be able to create tools and services faster than we could have independently.”
It should be interesting to see Amazon’s strategy with Twitch. With its deliberate foray into mobility, it is definitely a development to keep an eye on.
Adventure Time is spawning so many game adaptations, it’s getting ridiculous. Not only that, but they all have different genres and seem to have different developers as well – it’s like Cartoon Network is giving out the license to everyone asking. Not that I’m against that, but you really never know what to expect when you get an Adventure Time game.
Time Tangle is an endless runner – and that’s the problem. It’s a runner that costs three bucks to play. It’s a decent title, but only when you compare it to other, free-to-play runners. And even then, there are some runners that exceed Time Tangle in some respect. I’m the last to defend free-to-play model, but come on – there’s not a single reason for Time Tangle to not be free, or almost free. It’s not entirely endless, and there’s a story advancement, but from the gameplay point of view, it’s just another runner with some action bits and cutscenes.
You play as Finn who runs forward and fights monsters and bosses, trying to restore the time totem that he shattered, because he’s prone to do that. The player can shift Finn sideways and jump, hit stuff to kill it, and activate a superpower if he “picked up” one of his friends on the way. Fighting is rather simple, but varying enemies and bosses make good use of it. The running part isn’t that exciting either, but since the player needs to fight and run at the same time, the gameplay manages to be rather entertaining. While running, Finn needs to complete missions that are assigned randomly and mostly require killing something, or getting somewhere in one piece. Again, they are just enough varied to be enjoyable. The awards for completing missions are time shards that need to be collected to advance the story. The more missions the player completes in a single run, the more shards he gets.
Two great things about Time Tangle are its writing and graphics. Although voice actors are very obviously not the ones from the series, the writing is pretty funny and the actors do a nice job. There’s not much talking in the whole game, though. The graphics and animation are also great, although Adventure Time’s design sets hard limits on 3D graphics. I think the game would look a lot better if it stopped trying to fit into Adventure Time’s heavily-styled 2D pants.
A word about items. There aren’t any. I still can’t grasp the need to collect gold from fallen monsters, as there’s absolutely nothing to purchase in the game. There’s a great and fun album that has information on every creature and item you encounter, but it has no real value and doesn’t require spending a virtual dime on.
Overall, I’d say Time Tangle is a disappointment. It’s a nice game, and it handles the Adventure Time trademark without issues, but it’s just not worth spending 3 bucks on. Unless you’re a big Adventure Time fan, you probably won’t find much of value in it. Most fun part about it is the Adventure Time world itself.
Earn to Die was a cool game with fun gameplay, lots of guns and appealing graphics. Now Not Doppler has announced a sequel to the original zombie splatterer unsurprisingly named Earn To Die 2. Earn To Die 2 looks similar to it’s predecessor, but takes place in a very different city environment instead, instead of the deserts of the original game. This should add some new gameplay wrinkles. The trailer seems to suggest that cars may be destructible this time around too, which should make gameplay more challenging.
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles features everyone’s favorite mutant abominations beating the heck out of a bunch of thugs and cracking one-liners. What’s not to like? TMNT is loosely based on the rather lukewarmly received movie. Does it fare better than its big screen brethren?
TMNT plays less like a beat ‘em up and more like a kind of strange rhythm game. Swiping at an enemy automatically moves the turtle next to that enemy and from there swipes in different direction results in different attacks. Some attacks are fast, some ignore blocking and others allow the player to dodge easily. New enemies constantly drop in and each stage involves defeating a bunch of them as stylishly as possible. The swipe based system works very well and it is a nice change to not have to deal with a virtual pad.
Enemies about to hit the player glow with lighting and a tap anywhere on the screen will stop their attack and counter attack them instead.
After a bit of combat a sequence can be unleashed where two or more turtles attack together. Some neat mini puzzles have to be completed to trigger the attack correctly and this is good fun and looks really cool.
TMNT’s gameplay is fun stuff. Combat is satisfying, counter attacking is fun and the excellent sound and graphics really help the gameplay along. Between levels there are comic book cutscenes to expose more of the rather silly plot involving thugs taking over pizza restaurants and a proliferation of non-good mutants and these are lots of fun to watch.
Between bouts, players can spend coins earned on upgrades to turtles, such as making them stronger or faster. Gems can be spent on learning new moves as well. Gems are premium currency but are handed out rather often during gameplay. After finishing some levels the player will receive a few gems. Of course the player is never given enough gems to buy everything, but this doesn’t really matter as the game is fun enough without all the moves.
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles looks great. A coo cel-shaded style is easy on the eyes. Battles look very smooth and animate well and there is a good variety of enemies and punishing looking movies.
The sound is excellent as well. The game has tons of speech that is well acted and some pumping music and there is always something cool to look at or listen to. TMNT is very highly polished.
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles has a lot to do. There are plenty of stages and things to unlock and the game is fun so it is worth replaying older stages for more coins.
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles is a fun game and a great surprise considering the track record of most movie games. While the gem system may be slightly irritating, the game itself is good stuff and very well made. Play it today!
The game is based on two characters, one which looks to dispose of trees, and another that nurtures them. Gameplay loosely involved avoiding the tapping of the nurturer while “stopping” his opposite with the same action.
It’s the goal of the developer to encourage awareness of tree conservation with this game.
Zabuza Labs Founder Manas Gajare talks about social responsibility. “Global warming, climate change these are some very serious concerns that we, all the living beings are facing,” he says. “At Zabuza Labs we asked ourselves what we can do about it. We are good at making games. So here it is – a small effort from our end to raise awareness of saving trees among people. This is the first step towards much larger vision of using games for social cause.”
Excerpts from the press release:
‘Save Trees Game’ is a super engaging casual game on Android, which not only entertains the player but also spreads a social message to save nature. Zabuza Labs has made this game available on Google Play store, starting from today.
Zabuza Labs,a well-known indie game company, has developed popular titles like Balloon Bow & Arrow, Dahi Handi Knock Down. With ‘Save Trees Game’, they are delivering a significant message to all smartphone gamers.
The game has two lead characters Orima & Arimo. Orima is a bad guy who cuts trees & Arimo is a good guy who waters trees regularly.
The game is very intuitive and has small learning curve, so any age group can enjoy it. Your objective is to save the trees from being cut by stopping Orima and letting Arimo water them.
When Orima appears on the screen, you have to hit him by tapping on the screen. However you are not supposed to hit Arimo when you see him. You have to let him water the tree so that tree would grow. The key of the game lies in the rhythm of Arimo and Orima. The order in which characters appear is managed in such a way that it gets you hooked to the game instantly.
The game ends if you tap Arimo three times!
There is more. The game offers three unique themes – town, orchard & highway – to make your overall experience more enticing.The beautiful art and pleasant music makes this game definitely a must have.
Save Trees Game is available on Google Play for free.