Evomail Review

Evomail Review

Sep 30, 2013

Evomail is part of the new generation of email apps, ones that shoot for a greater degree of accessibility and inbox management. But for me, Evomail comes with one killer feature: the ability to remove emails from the inbox temporarily by ‘snoozing’ them. On my iOS devices, Mailbox’s ease of use and interface has made it my client of choice. This is a problem because I rely on its ability to easily delay emails to a later time to help keep my sanity.

Yet despite Mailbox’s expensive acquisition by Dropbox, it’s still an iOS-only affair. It’s frustrating, because it’s something Google has yet to add in as a built-in feature despite making the Android Gmail app more like Mailbox and Evomail with things like swiping actions. So now Evomail is on Android, and with it, the ability to procrastinate on answering emails. But it’s not quite the great email experience that I wanted.

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At its heart, Evomail is a functional email client, supporting the standard list of features that one would quite reasonably expect from an email client. The problem in using it is that everything just feels unwieldy. Nothing feels consistent in function. Even the inbox itself feels like it always has a different group of emails than what I really have. The snooze feature, which moves emails to a new folder but seems to create new unread emails when they return to the inbox, is handy for delaying to later, but just still feels chaotic, because everything appears new, and not in the original chronological order, either. It feels like it’s driving me crazy, and that’s not what this sort of email app should do.

It’s a shame, too, because Evomail has a lot going for it. The swiping to archive and auto-advancing to the next email when archiving from a read message is great. The little settings for send-and-archive and swipe-left-to-snooze are great usability tweaks that make the user feel more comfortable. There’s multiple account (and push notification) support, and this doesn’t just work with Gmail, it works with Yahoo and IMAP accounts. It’s a solid email app, but the way that random emails appear and disappear from the inbox for me? It throws me off.

And really, that’s Evomail’s problem. The chaos is unbearable, and I hope that issues like this are fixed later on. It’s hard to recommend for the Gmail user, but for non-Gmail users? This is one of the few quality options available. For me, someone who uses primarily Google’s email services? I’ll wait for Gmail to add email delaying or for Mailbox to hit Android.

Zombie Gunship Review

Zombie Gunship Review

Sep 30, 2013

The zombie craze that has largely manfiested in gaming feels quite a bit overblown, as zombies are generally a dull enemy to kill over and over again. Yes, they’re slowly trudging towards me. Yes, now this one is crawling on the ground towards me. Boring.

What Zombie Gunship does that makes it such a standout game is that it actually takes advantage of the idea of large, sauntering, brainless masses by putting players in a gunship and letting them go to town on the undead.

See, in this scenario, where players control the gunner on a hovering gunship, taking out zombies before they reach the bunker, brainless enemies are preferred: players feel no guilt in killing them as they’re zombies, and there’s not even the need for advanced AI or anything. The zombies have one goal: get to the bunker. The player needs to keep them out, and they have been given the firepower to take them out.

The game’s simple control scheme, of just swiping to aim and tapping on fire to shoot, makes the game easy to get into. There’s the tap area in the top right to switch between the zoomed-out view, for seeing where the largest hordes are, and toggling between the guns. The humans, dumb though they may be when it comes to running straight through zombie hordes, at least seerve as a challenging aspect: players can’t just fire randomly at zombie hordes with the most powerful weapon because there are punishments for doing so. The rewards for saving humans could be more prevalent, though.

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The graphics are unique in that because they’re simulating an infrared camera, the game can use minimalist graphics. It’s not the prettiest game, no, but it does its job well for the aesthetic that it’s creating. I wish the controls could be flipped so that I could aim with my left hand and fire with my right, instead of the default opposite. Lefty power!

The game does offer additional IAPs for buying upgraded weapons and boosts, but the game does a great job at making sure those who get in for $0.99 can advance and progress without spending any extra money. The IAP is just there for skipping ahead of the progression curve, essentially.

For those who want a zombie shoot ’em up that really takes advantage of the whole zombie aesthetic, Zombie Gunship is a great choice.

Supreme Heroes: Card RPG Review

Supreme Heroes: Card RPG Review

Sep 30, 2013

Have you ever wanted to be a superhero? Dashing in to rescue innocents and thwart evil in the nick of time? If so, you’re in luck as EA has released Supreme Heroes, a card based RPG that casts you as an up and coming hero ready to join the big leagues.

You begin Supreme Heroes by creating your hero. Once you’ve dressed him in Screenshot_2013-09-30-14-07-53something more heroic than the starting track pants, you’ll be able to start mutating abilities.

Everything in Supreme Heroes is signified by cards. When you want to teach your hero a new ability you buy a card pack and hope you’ll get an ability card. While there are many different abilities, they aren’t unique, and they don’t really serve much of a purpose.

Ability cards, despite their fancy flavour text and images simply boost your stats by a certain amount in combat. There are no elements to think about or debuffs or anything you might expect an RPG to have. This is a real let down considering how cool a lot of the abilities sound. It’s worth playing the game just to read some of the amusing descriptions of your abilities.

Screenshot_2013-09-29-15-39-41When in battle the amount of cards you can use to boost your stats is capped. To get around this cap you can mutate abilities. Mutating is essentially fusing two abilities together to make a different, hopefully stronger one or fusing several ability cards of the same type together to make the effects stronger. Fusing the cards means that you need fewer cards to achieve the same or better effect, so you can stay under your hero’s card cap.

You can also gain new pieces of equipment for your hero. These range from magic rings to different sets of arms and legs. Like abilities they only boost your stats and do not affect battle otherwise.

Lamentably all this neat stats boosting proves to be for nothing when you realize how exceedingly dull the rest of the game is.

Supreme Heroes sets up missions for your character to complete, such as defusing Screenshot_2013-09-29-09-28-39a bomb, fighting a rival hero or stopping a robbery. Too bad you never actually do any of these things, Missions consist of tapping on a button while you increment a bar that shows your progress in the mission. There is no skill or strategy involved. It hardly qualifies as gameplay. The only fun part of the missions is the story that goes with them as you get plenty of background on what happens before and after missions.

During a few missions you will also enter 1 on 1 combat with other heroes or villains. Unfortunately the combat is just as dull as the missions. You simply watch as two sprites take turns trying to hit each other, complete with corny 50’s style “pow” and “wham” sound effects. The one with the best stats will nearly always win and there is just no fun to be had in this mode.

Graphically SH is quite unimpressive. The game goes for a comic book look with 2d drawings and such, but the art is not very good and a lot of the heroes you fight are more than a little silly looking. The game’s interface is tolerable.

Soundwise the game is nearly non-existent. Generic heroic music plays throughout the game and the only other sounds in game are beeps and thuds during combat and fusing cards. Very underwhelming to say the least.

Supreme Heroes is certainly not worth playing, besides maybe to read the ability descriptions and the game’s story. The lack of actual gameplay in the game and the pervasive In app purchases really make it a game best avoided.

Nun Attack: Run & Gun Review

Nun Attack: Run & Gun Review

Sep 30, 2013

When the second rendition of the Nun Attack series came out, Nun Attack: Run & Gun, I was really excited. I really liked the original version so I was curious how they were going to top it. Once I started play it, it is evident that they chose a different style of gameplay. With the popularity of games such as couple run and other somewhat side scrolling games, the kind of went this route. Nun Attack: Run & Gun has a lot of the same action and look of the original, but in a side scrolling set up.

nun-attack-run-and-gun-3The Holy warriors came back to fight another round of evil. Some the the Demon beings to be eliminated are werewolves, skeletons and other beings trying to kill the nuns and make the martyrs for the cause. Nun Attack: Run & Gun has many different nuns and weapons to add along the way. Different upgrades and powers make it easier to collect a lot of the coins needed to purchase upgrades and receive achievements.

As the game progresses, different nuns can be used. The different nuns have different abilities and/or weapons available to them just like in the original game. As you imagine, some of the nuns are more agile, some of them are better than with weapons and so on. Making the correct choice helps get you farther distances.

The music in the game is actually pretty cool. Kinda has a 70s feel to it. The graphics in the game are quite good. There cartoony yet really detailed, almost like a moving comic book. The controls are onscreen controls. There’s an up arrow for jump, down arrow for jumping down a level, slide button and a button used for shooting. That’s all there really is to. Overall, the controls are pretty easy to use in comparison to some other games. The controls are responsive and accurate as long as you keep them correctly.

I see this as a game I could play quite a bit because it goes on and on only to get harder and faster.

Giant Boulder of Death Review

Giant Boulder of Death Review

Sep 30, 2013

There are two kinds of good games. Not really, but whatever. One is good games that are nicely done, feature unique gameplay elements and bear strong emotional impact. Another may feature none of those things, but it’s really satisfying. It’s like a cheap, bloody revenge flick, against Titanic, if Titanic was good. So, that’s the sort of game Giant Boulder of Death is. Well, the fact that the game itself is done pretty good, certainly helps.

Giant Boulder of Death 1Gameplay of Giant Boulder of Death is simple as a rock. It is actually about a rock. It’s about a giant, round rock that rolls downhill and breaks apart most of the things it hits. The player simply needs to steer its course to evade traps, walls and cliffs, and the rock does the rest. It’s an infinite runner, in a way, but with a lot more destruction. The boulder, as destructive as it is, shatters on impact with any dangerous material, which should be evaded at all costs. Thankfully, the rock can “jump”, however this works, so there’s almost always a way to evade the danger. The player should not only break as much stuff as possible, but also pick up coins that are scattered across the hill, as they are spent on upgrading the rock itself, as well as its power-ups. Once the rock destroys a certain amount of stuff, it gets a super-upgrade for a short time. While in this state, the rock gets a lot bigger and destroys absolutely everything in its way, so it’s a great score and coin-booster. This state can also be upgraded from the menu. There are many different mechanics like this in the game, so it’s pleasantly varied.

The visual design is simple, but stylish, looking very similar to Katamari Damacy. Giant Boulder of Death is generally very similar to that bright insanity, both in looks and in gameplay. Sound design is also surprisingly well done, and is among the few that I didn’t mute after five minutes of playing the game. So, wrapping up, Giant Boulder of Death is good. It’s mighty good. It’s so good, in fact, that I’m not really in the mood to right this review any longer, as there are still some hillbilly bastards that need squishing. Bye.

Rollabear, A Golf Bowling Game With Bears, Is Announced

Rollabear, A Golf Bowling Game With Bears, Is Announced

Sep 30, 2013

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Rollabear is somewhere in the middle between a bowling course and a mini-golf. The task is to launch bears across the courses, trying to get a high-score. The game is due early October, and looks like a lot of fun. Stay tuned for details from the developers here: Rollabear Official Web-Site.

Time Surfer for Android Hands-On Video: Android Rundown Video of the Day

Time Surfer for Android Hands-On Video: Android Rundown Video of the Day

Sep 30, 2013

Time Surfer, Kumobius’ Braid-meets-TinyWings endless runner, finally makes its debut on Android as part of the Humble Mobile Bundle 2, and it’s featured in our Video of the Day.

Riding the waves of space while trying to avoid the heat death of the universe is tricky, but thankfully the ability to turn back time to try and correct mistakes makes the challenge more manageable. Cakes can be collected which can be used to buy new costumes, including distinct non-surfers like a Delorean-esque car and the protagonist from Mikey Shorts (which really needs to get on Android at some point), new surfing trails behind the character, and temporary boosts to help delay the end of the world.

Unlike many games that debut on Android, this is actually feature-identical with the iOS version, featuring The Kepler Run mode where black holes dot the landscape and require new strategies to deal with the unpredictability. Remember, they can be used not just to pull downward, but upward as well…

In this hands-on footage, I take you through the basics of the game and show off all three modes, including Hell and The Kepler Run.

A New Real-Time Strategy Game, Autumn Dynasty, Is Released On Android

A New Real-Time Strategy Game, Autumn Dynasty, Is Released On Android

Sep 30, 2013

Strategic beauty and artistic beauty come together in a game that has rich, complex mechanics alongside fine graphics. It has already seen some success on iOS, and now, Autumn Dynasty finally has an Android Release. It is available for digital download from here: Autumn Dynasty on Google Play

Dragon Academy Review

Dragon Academy Review

Sep 30, 2013

Dragon Academy is a standard Bejeweled clone, but with a few additions to the standard formula. All of the basic rules are the same. There is a tiled area, filled with gems of various colors. These gems can be destroyed by lining three or more of them of the same color, in a line, and can only switch places with the four gems near them. The major difference between some of the other free-to-play Bejeweled clones is that in Dragon Academy, levels aren’t limited by time, but by number of moves. This gives the game a slightly different feel, closer to a puzzle, as the player has plenty of time to think his moves through. It’s still free-to-play, so there’s a lot of grinding, but the skills have some say in the end result.

Dragon Academy 1Other mechanics of Dragon Academy include the dragons themselves. There are a number of them, getting unlocked as the game progresses, and each one has a special ability. For example, the starting one, Melty, can destroy a random line of gems. The dragons are different by colors, and their abilities are charged when a certain number of gems of their color is destroyed. Another mechanic is eggs. Speaking of eggs, the game really damn loves this word. “Egg-celent” and “Egg-tastic” are not even the silliest incarnations of this trend in Dragon Academy. Anyway, eggs are created when more than three same-colored gems are destroyed at once. Eggs differ by color and by effect. For example, clearing four red gems in a line, creates a red egg that, when lined up with two other red gems, will destroy a line of gems. There are several types of eggs, all of them helping the player tremendously. Of course, there are also different power-ups, which can be purchased through an in-game store.

Dragon Academy is fun most of the time. Its generic fantasy design is so generic, everything could have been filled with differently colored rectangles with tags, and I still couldn’t care less about how it looked. It also is surprisingly resource-demanding, for such a simple game. But this, and its free-to-play limits, aside, it has a fine gameplay, and it’s attention-based, rather than speed-based, which is nice. All in all, a fine, albeit a bit dull, match-three puzzle game.

Dragon Academy Is Released

Dragon Academy Is Released

Sep 27, 2013

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Today, Team Chaos announced a release of its new puzzle-based adventure game, Dragon Academy. It’s released pretty much everywhere, including Android. Dragon Academy can be simply described as Bejeweled with level-ups, which is more than enough to get me interested. It is available for download from the usual place: Dragon Academy on Google Play.

Humble Mobile Bundle 2 for Android Includes Platform Debuts of Star Command and Time Surfer

The Humble Bundle returns to Android with the Humble Mobile Bundle 2. Unlike the Humble Bundles for Android, where the games generally come with PC versions along with the Android copies, this bundle focuses on mobile games exclusively. And the selection is rather interesting:

Star Command: This spaceship command game where players try to manage their ship and crew while trying to stay alive in the hostile reaches of space, with Martians as well, is somewhat notorious for being one of the first Kickstarter controversies. The game initially blew through its first Kickstarter budget quickly, trying to fulfill physical rewards and buying new equipment, running a second Kickstarter and eventually saying that the game felt like it was perhaps a fraction of what the original vision was. Well, with the game making its Android debut after its iOS launch earlier this year, now players can judge if it’s any good! This is the game’s Android debut prior to releasing on Google Play.

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Time Surfer: Another game making its debut on Android in this bundle, Kumobius (known for Bean’s Quest) is a time-travelling take on Tiny Wings. Players try to ride the curves of a path in space, avoiding hazards and keeping up their speed so as to avoid the heat death of the universe. Thankfully, mistakes can be corrected via the ability ro reverse time, but it’s a limited ability, so it can’t correct all mistakes!

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Punch Quest: Madgarden and Rocketcat Games’ endless puncher is part of this bundle as well, but in a slightly different form: the game has been tweaked to play without in-app purchases, so punchos are handed out more often and many items are cheaper.

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Bloons TD 5: The popular tower defense series’ latest full entry is part of this bundle. It starts off as a fairly traditional tower defense game, sure. Just wait until later on when the action gets so heavy that the framerate dips until where single frames occur every other second. I say that in the best of ways – that’s how packed and intense the action can get!

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Ravensword: Shadowlands: Crescent Moon Games’ open-world RPG built for mobile is available for those who pay above the average. Fans of the Elder Scrolls series would do well to check out this massive and visually-stunning adventure.

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Carmageddon: The classic vehicular rampage racing game has been revived for mobile, and those who pay above the average can take part in the mayhem.

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The bundle runs until Wednesday, October 9th. It’s quite possible that more games will be added in soon, so stay tuned: this bundle could be getting bigger!

Breathometer Will be the World’s Smallest Breathalyzer, and it Works With Smartphones

Breathometer Will be the World’s Smallest Breathalyzer, and it Works With Smartphones

Sep 27, 2013

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For alcohol enthusiasts wondering just how intoxicated they are, Breathometer is a $49.99 little doodad that attaches to a smartphone’s audio jack and is able to determine the amount of alcohol in a person’s blood, in all accordance to FDA regulations. Additional details and order details can be found here on the well-designed website: Breathometer Official Web-site.