Siegecraft Defender Review

Siegecraft Defender Review

Nov 29, 2013

Siegcraft Defender pays another visit to the well-worn tower defense genre. Does it stand out among the throngs of similar games on Android?

Siegecraft Defender plays pretty much like other tower defense games. There is a portal that constantly spits out enemies in waves of varying amounts. Somewhere else on the battlefield is an area that must be defended. To stop the enemies the player builds fortifications featuring towers and walls to create mazes of fortifications designed to slow down enemies as much as possible so they can be picked apart by the defenses. Each tower has a different effect on enemies.

Screenshot_2013-11-23-14-52-42There are Crossbow Towers which are basic damage dealing towers that shoot quickly but don’t do much damage, Lava Towers that cause a lot of damage, but attack slowly and, Druidic Towers that shoot webs to slow down enemies, leaving them vulnerable to slower firing towers. Each of these towers has to be used smartly to stop enemies effectively.

The lava tower for example does a lot of damage, but it fires so slowly it tends to miss enemies. A web tower nearby however will slow down enemies as they pass under the tower so it can hit them. Each tower can be upgraded three times, greatly boosting its damage or rate of fire and balancing tower upgrades and building more towers is important.

Siegecraft Defender’s gameplay is absorbing. Its great fun to build your fortifications and the way that different towers complement each other works very well. Each level almost always introduces something new or a new gameplay wrinkle, like multiple enemy entrances or a new tower to build.

Screenshot_2013-11-23-22-47-30Siegecraft Defender looks excellent. Each tower looks fantastic and animates very smoothly. Upgrading a tower changes its appearance as well, so it’s very easy to spot towers that still need upgrading. The game is very colorful and full of personality. Even the lowliest enemies are fun to watch and it never gets old seeing your perfect arrangement of towers wiping out enemies with assembly line efficiency.

The sound is mostly great. Each tower has some great sound effects from the “pfft” of the crossbow to the sizzle of the lava. There is a fair bit of voice acting too with amusingly British accents. The only place the sound falls flat is the repetitive death cries of enemies. Sure, constant death is the name of the game in tower defense but some of the grunts get annoying.

What sets Siegecraft Defender apart from other games is its level of polish. It looks and sounds great, is really fun to play, doesn’t have any nasty microtrasactions and feels like the kind of game found on a full gaming console. This level of care and the excellent gameplay make Siegecraft Defender worth checking out for anyone who likes their strategy slow and deadly.

Bitter Sam Review

Bitter Sam Review

Nov 29, 2013

Okay, I have no idea what to say about Bitter Sam, content-wise. It’s a game with very simple and understandable mechanics, but when you actually try to understand what the hell is going on in there, your thoughts start to hurt a bit. It’s about a strange furry creature that kinda looks like a man in a suit, and is not more than three inches tall. He is literally hanging by a thread, held by some crazy scientists, descending into some dangerous caverns with unclear intentions. I frankly can’t fathom what is going on in there, but Bitter Sam is living up to his name, being quite a miserable little bastard throughout. Seriously, the dude is so utterly soul-crushed that he actually smiles when he dies. He’s being on an emotionally-destructive level of the first several minutes of The Land Before Time, and the game is being quite schadenfreudian about this. Despite the main hero being sadder than a rock star’s 28th birthday, it’s really fun and casual.

As Bitter Sam descends into darkness that is his subconscious – and deep underground – the player needs to swerve him away Bitter Sam 3from obstacles by tilting the device. The kicker is that not only is Sam vulnerable to the hard surfaces and spikes, but the rope is, as well. It bends around the solid surfaces, and cuts on sharp things, so the player needs to be careful about where he moves the hero. The levels are not infinite, and only require surviving for some time, as well as collecting three stars that are hanging in various places. There are just a few pick-ups in the game, and they are all strategically placed. The most common one is a pig that can be picked up to smash through a single obstacle (smashing the pig in the process, but whatever). The levels are very strict, and the goal is not to make your own way through them, but guess the correct path, in order to pick up all stars and not get caught up in the obstacles. There are no lives and tries, so a single mistake means replaying the whole level from the beginning. Levels aren’t really long, but it does take some patience to replay a difficult section over and over, without starting to feel a bit like the main hero. Overall, Bitter Sam is a fine little arcade with unusual premise. A bit repetitive, and a bit irritating at times, but fun overall.

Design Your Own Roller Coaster With Puzzle Coaster

Design Your Own Roller Coaster With Puzzle Coaster

Nov 29, 2013

Hitting the Amazon Appstore today, Marvelous Games brings mobile users the game Puzzle Coaster.

In this title, users will venture through over 60 levels, building, testing and implementing thrilling and scream-worthy roller coasters. This cartoonish appearing game also puts players in 3 different amusement parks, each with 20+ levels of gameplay.

This title isn’t on the Google Play store yet, but is coming to it “in the near future”.

New Star Soccer Review

New Star Soccer Review

Nov 29, 2013

I’ll be honest: I’m somewhat cynical of soccer sims. It seems most long-term sports management games have been done. Still, it takes a game like New Star Soccer to change my mind, and change my mind it did.

The game provides an abbreviated player development ladder based around The Beautiful Game. It connects gameplay, skill development/career and more into a pretty nice simulation package.

It starts out with the character. Upon launch, the game prompts to create a profile in of the available slots (it’s possible to have more than one on the same device). I like that there is some customization, down to nationality and skin tone. There is a tutorial, and then some skills tests. After this, our newly created player gets to sign a contract with one of the lower teams, and it’s off on the career quest.nss1

On the “home” page, the tabs all but explain the elements that need to be managed: League, Skills, Life and actual Games. Skills are the attributes that can be improved upon by taking mini-challenges. The League measures standings of the team, while Life measures measured intangibles, like our players relationship with teammates, Manager and fans. It also ascribes a value for lifestyle… things like tattoos, vehicles and properties all come ogether and can be improved upon by game bux earned from playing.

The games are quick affairs, with summary excerpts that denote noteworthy plays (including any involving our player; when these do occur, the game uses some fun action sequences). The action starts with the occasional easy pass or shot, which can be accomplished by pulling back on the ball to effect the appropriate power, and releasing in the direction of a teammate or the goal and then “striking” the rolling ball to control spin. As a soccer player, Successful passes and goals yield points which are reflected in bonus payouts and achievements.

The most important element is Energy. to train, or interact with teammates, or anything important, energy is expended. Not having enough reduces playing time and/or relegates the picked player to a substitute status. replacement cans can be purchased with bux or real cash.

I really enjoyed the game. I think some of the menus can be streamlined, and multiplayer functionality would be insanely cool. The graphics are a little rough, but do their job.

But for a fun career sim, this is pretty fun and engaging.

Bulkypix’s Pretentious Game Comes to Android in December

Bulkypix’s Pretentious Game Comes to Android in December

Nov 29, 2013

Keybol Games, a one man Filipino game studio, and mobile developer BulkyPix (Redneck Revenge, Yesterday, Asterix series) have teamed up to bring mobile users the most metrical game ever, Pretentious Game.

Pretentious Game is a unique amalgamation of poetry and simple blocky platformer. As the developer puts it:

[Pretentious Game] Powerful story about love, the title explores the sense of loss and (re)discovery of the other. Between each platform and each riddles, many levels of understanding are possible.

This title, which will run $0.99 on the Google Play store upon its release, will be available to Android users on December 5th.

Dead Trigger 2 Review

Dead Trigger 2 Review

Nov 29, 2013

Dead Trigger 2 is a technical spectacle. Madfinger took what was an okay zombie shooter, made it look better, control better, and improved the gameplay too. You can’t teach a zombie new tricks, as the game’s still somewhat similar at its heart – but it’s just a better game.

Yep, this is still about shooting waves of zombies in a wide variety of levels, now all over the world. The game can be rather grindy – there’s lots of missions with very similar goals, and really, it’s all about taking out zombies one way or another. The game randomly notifies that the zombies are getting stronger, seemingly to spur players on to get more powerful weapons just because. Still, the missions all make more sense, especially in the story missions, as there’s just more context to player actions. Then, the random missions are just that: random missions to get coins to get upgrades and replenish the items.

DeadTrigger2-5

The touchscreen controls, a reviled part of any mobile first-person shooter, are actually quite solid here. Perhaps it was a deal with the devil, or just a year-plus of work to make touchscreen controls work properly, but this is the best-controlling mobile FPS, period. Playing with the touchscreen is an acceptable option! Of course, there’s gamepad support – both MOGA and HID gamepad support were available that I was able to test. The controls are fully customizable for any preferred button layout. Navigating the menus with the gamepad is a bit unwieldy, though. As well, disabling auto-fire and enabling aim-down sights controls isn’t automatic, it needs to be configured in the pause menu, though for those who want to play like that, hey – go for it.

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While I want to believe that Madfinger are just technical wizards – and their ability to make good-looking games does help – their ability to get actually-working cloud saves through their custom login system (which does carry over from previous games) is that they might have practiced black magic to get it working and that I am now cursed for having used it. It carries cross-platform: I’ve played on iOS and Android with the system.

Dead Trigger 2 can be a bit of a free-to-play grind, but really, it’s far from the worst kind of grind – I’d rather be shooting zombies while waiting for wait timers to end than just, well, sitting around and watching paint dry. Plus, the game is so well-made that it’s hard to complain.

Amazon Appstore Discounts Nine Games for Black Friday

Amazon Appstore Discounts Nine Games for Black Friday

Nov 29, 2013

On this day of mass consumerism, Amazon is about to throw a sweet deal Android users’ way: they have nine games available for free on November 29th only. These include Sonic the Hedgehog, Angry Birds Space, Fruit Ninja, and six more. The games are available though the Amazon Appstore only, so jump on the deals while they last. This page lists all the free games for US users. UK users can check their list here.

Majesty: Northern Expansion Goes On Sale for Thanksgiving

Majesty: Northern Expansion Goes On Sale for Thanksgiving

Nov 28, 2013

Android users are always grateful anytime they can get a stellar game on the cheap, and HeroCraft is happy to oblige; slashing the price on its hit tablet game, Majesty: Northern Expansion to a low $.99 cents in celebration of Thanksgiving (USA).

So while your weird uncle rambles on about the political climate of the country, you can get your hands on this “Fantasy Kingdom Sim” for a price that’s less than a can of overly processed Cranberry “Sauce”.

The Sandbox Introduces Killer Robots In Its Latest Update

The Sandbox Introduces Killer Robots In Its Latest Update

Nov 28, 2013

Everyone’s favorite pixilated open world mobile game, where SimWorld meets Minecraft, has yet again been updated, this time bringing robots from the future hell bent on destruction. Sound familiar?

With this update players are given some cool new features such as new robot oriented campaigns to choose from, along with some updates to the app icon, the menu, bug fixes, new elements and a whole lot more.

As always, The Sandbox remains free for anyone of any budget to enjoy.

DirecTV App Finally Adds Remote Feature

DirecTV App Finally Adds Remote Feature

Nov 28, 2013

Everything is getting apps for mobile devices, and one of the biggest satellite TV providers are no exception to this. DirecTV’s mobile app, while allowing one to interact with their TV in many ways, including recording shows when away from home, but was lacking one serious feature: Using your mobile device as a remote control for DirecTV.

Unless you owned a device like the Samsung Galaxy S4, you did not have the ability to directly change the channels on your satellite. In the latest update however, DirecTV has added this coveted ability.

One has to be connected to the same WiFi network as the DirecTV receiver is however. Obviously, trying to control your dish from work will only serve to annoy your unemployed cousin who lives on your couch rent free.

Source: Android Police

Farming Simulator 14 Review

Farming Simulator 14 Review

Nov 28, 2013

While games such as Harvest Moon and Pocket Harvest capture the essence of farming and mix it with other gameplay wrinkles, Farming Simulator 14 goes for a very realistic approach. Does it pull it off?

Farming Simulator 14 does a good job of modelling all aspects of farming. The cycle begins with the cultivator. This tills the fields. Next is the sower, the fertilizer spreader and finally the harvester. The only animals on the farm in game are cows. Feeding them requires a whole array of other tools to create hay for them.

Once the bounty is harvested a tractor is used to drive it to a location to sell it. A few different locations are available, such as an inn and a grain mill.

Screenshot_2013-11-26-20-11-27Farming Simulator 14 is a management game at heart, but unlike most management games the player does everything themselves. To harvest a field or see a new one, the player must drive up and down it with the right vehicle. Farm assistants can be hired for players who don’t want to do the work. A farm assistant will automatically work a field, although delivering the harvest is always done by the player.

Farming Simulator 14 lacks any overreaching goal. The point to farming in the game is to make money to buy better tools so farming is more efficient. The gameplay never changes and is very repetitive. Achievements salvage a little bit of replay value since they give something to work towards.

Farming Simulator 14’s graphics look like something from the 90’s. The game’s deserted environments look about as generic as possible. Animation is non-existent. When wheat is harvested it simply disappears as the harvester touches it, for example. Selling produce is equally dull; it just instantly disappears from the trailer without a trace when it is parked in the right spot.

Screenshot_2013-11-26-23-03-12The sound is sparse. About the only thing you hear is the engines of your farm machinery and some generic elevator music. While the engines sound good and each farming tool makes authentic sounds as well, the game lacks any atmospheric sounds. There is no birdsong, sounds of a bustling market or any farmy type sounds you’d expect to hear There are also no animal sounds.

Farming Simulator 14 is rather buggy. Farming assistants get stuck against objects all the time and try to harvest empty parts of fields. Often the pad you use to sell produce just won’t respond at all for no reason.

There are a bunch of farming tools that can ONLY be unlocked with real money. After you pay to unlock a virtual tractor, you also need to pay the price shown in in game money. The microtransaction only unlocks the item.

Farming Simulator 14 is difficult to recommend. While it simulates the method of farming well, which is unheard of on Android and is quite detailed, the gameplay is unexciting and bug ridden and the lack of a concrete goal or story make it hard to want to keep playing.

Temple Run 2 Coin Packs On Sale For The Week

Temple Run 2 Coin Packs On Sale For The Week

Nov 28, 2013

Temple Run 2 4

From Thursday to Sunday this week, you can purchase gold packs for Temple Run 2 for a reduced price. The prices are as follows:

$3.99 for a 50,000 Coin Pack (usually $4.99)

$7.99 for a 150,000 Coin Pack (usually $9.99)

$14.99 for a 400,000 Coin Pack (usually $19.99)

Hurry up before it’s cold! Temple Run 2 can be downloaded for free from here: Temple Run 2 on Google Play.