Better yet, they are available at said price on both Google Play and the Amazon Appstore.
Excerpts from the first iteration:
Lifeline is a playable, branching story of survival against all odds. You will help Taylor make life or death decisions, and face the consequences together.
Acclaimed writer Dave Justus (Fables: The Wolf Among Us) weaves a gripping interactive story through the aftermath of a crash landing on an alien moon. Taylor is stranded, the rest of the crew are dead or missing, and Taylorâ€™s communicator can only reach you.
A totally unique experience enabled by modern devices, this story plays out in real time. As Taylor works to stay alive, notifications deliver new messages throughout your day. Keep up as they come in, or catch up later when youâ€™re free.
Or, dive in and jump back to earlier points in the story, and see what happens when you make a different choice. Simple actions can have a profound effect. Complete any single path to restart the story and unlock this mode.
Lifeline is a deep, immersive story of survival and perseverance, with many possible outcomes. Taylor is relying on YOU.
At this point, color me spoiled; yes, I admit it… when new movies come out, I actually expect a companion game… or two. It’s becoming standard practice, especially with dystopian movies. We saw The Maze Runner, and with the sequel to the movie it was based on out now, it’s nice to see a companion game has just been released for it.
Welcome to Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials.
From the get go, one is forced to waste too much time with backstory; potential spoilers aside, it leads the player beyond where the original left off. Past the maze, one is greeted with artwork that underscores the underlying concept of the source material: humanity has hit a snag, and this is clearly reflected in the wrecked landscape that frames the game.
On the surface, this is a three-laned running game, presented in portrait orientation, just like the original game, but this one doesn’t try to hard to emulate the original exactly. This works well, because the game gets its own identity in the way it is laid out, with hills and dropping cars. The swiping mechanism of control moves the protagonist runner in darting left and right, as well as jumping and sliding underneath obstacles. There are collectibles and even a crafting element tossed in
This one is interesting in that it is clearly a sequel, but still somehow manages to be quite unique. The source material is clearly there, but the way the developer manages to create said dystopian, uneven world within a three-laned runner is, for lack of a better term, pretty cool. The sun-drenched roving hills and scattered remnants of civilization make for a compelling background and challenging gameplay, as one is forced to adjust to a seemingly 3D environment that changes in unexpected ways. If one is expecting a clone of the original tile, one should be pleasantly surprised.
It comes together nicely, with a simple concept framed within a familiar game genre, and still manages to have some tricks up its sleeve.
Matching pieces is always fun, and King looks to prove as much with Scrubby Dubby Saga, a new entry on Google Play.
Scrubby Dubby Saga works as a sliding match-three adventure, and is set up as such. One gets bright colors, rows against columns, and a grid set against bright naturescapes and beautifully blue sky. It incorporates rather smooth animations and explosive sequences, and the pieces in this one are whimsically shaped bars of soap. It looks and feels like an arcade game, and developer’s King’s hand is clearly at work in this one.
Gameplay is a easy to understand: yep, the underlying idea is to line up three pieces of the same shape and color to dissolve them; doing so is accomplished by sliding an entire row up or down a column (or left/right across a row) to move a matching piece in place. When a set of three is created, they dissolve and are replaced “naturally” by pieces that cascade randomly from the top, such that the pieces are replaced and the grid remains full. If another set of three is created by a replacement cascade, they also dissolve, and the sequence continues till there isn’t a match of three that is active.
The game is leveled, and each stanza gives one objectives, such as getting a set number of soap pieces dissolved so as to move on. This takes a bit of cunning, as one needs to be able to strategize a bit. As the game goes on, the puzzles get more intricate, involving stuff like cages and such that require more maneuvering than usual, and creates challenges. When one tosses in the limited amount of moves per level and the possibility to create and use boosts (like from matching more than three pieces), one does get a compelling digital experience.
There is an energy requirement — failing to solve a level costs one a life — and as such, one can be patient and allow for replenishment over time, or expedite it with real cash.
Still, it’s mostly a fun ride.
Seriously though… with games like Candy Crush Saga and Farm Hero Saga as developmental stablemates, what would one expect?
Simple does it, and Geometry Dash Meltdown looks to pack in such right from the beginning. It easily separates the quick-fingered from the slowpokes in an unapologetic manner, and does so with fun sounds and snazzy looks.
Looks-wise, it’s a sassy game, with stark backgrounds and smooth, colored geometric pieces that are gracefully animated. Visually, the game engages without distracting, and also manages to pack in some cool music that helps underscore the games arcade cred.
Gameplay is enjoyably simple: jump — and jump at just the right time — to survive. The protagonist object travels from left to right, and there are a host of obstacles (mostly framed as geometrical shapes) that line the area, and look to end a run by contact. The protagonist piece moves automatically, and the main idea is to control it jumping over aforementioned obstacles by tapping the screen.
The beauty is in the obstacles, and their relative placements. Almost immediately, one’s quickness is tested, as well as timing. The spacing sometime begs for a sequence of jumps, and then one also needs to account for visual challenges.
The longer one goes on and survives, the more intricate the trickery gets. Moving platforms, changing visuals, dropping ceilings and more — was that a shark? Hello. There are some airborne elements, and plenty of triangle spikes to keep things festive.
It all finally comes together as a game that blesses quick reflexes and timing by rewarding the player’s enviable quest to improve upon his or her own high score. The minimalist use of color and engaging soundtrack are effective in framing the gameplay, and the simple shapes and obstacle set are easy to work with.
While it comes in as free, limited and ad-supported, one can use real cash to unlock the full game. Just as well, because the game does look light it have folks teetering towards addiction.
So, yes, I whine about sniper games, but if I did have to try one, it would most likely be a game just like Sniper Fury. It’s a Gameloft joint, so we did expect the nice graphics and dutiful animations. It sports scenery invoking different locales, from tropical to temperate and everything in-between.
The game gets going without much ado, and there are plenty of visual and sound cues to help one along in an early quest to understand the game. The game is presented in landscape; from the player’s perspective, this translates to a “natural” first-person view. One is able to “swing” one’s gaze from left to right, up and down by gesturing on the screen in an instinctive manner.
Further to this, one of the biggest tools in the sniper’s trick chest is the scope, and the ability to zoom in and zoom out; in this game this is effected by a sight bar towards the right, which invokes the zoom and conventional sight mechanism folks should be used to. Shooting is then a matter of getting a target in one;s sights, tapping the fire button at the bottom right, and profiting.
Now, the shooting mechanism isn’t easy; the sighting mechanism, for instance, takes a bit of practice to work out the gate, and this becomes a factor later on. Improving one’s weapon is a normal part of getting better, and involves using game cash to acquire and improve weapon elements, including new weapons that might be a better fit for the job. Fortunately, success in previous levels allows for one to accumulate game cash; head shots are always of a premium. Real cash can be used to expedite processes, but isn’t mandatory.
What makes the game work is a bit of diversity, and how the developer is able to “mission-ify” otherwise benign things. One gets standard enemy fare, but then one also gets timed tasks, like taking out marshallers, or picking off moving targets before they take the player out. Tossing in different scenarios helps keep one on one’s toes.
it is a bloody game. The death throes feel realistic, and this is a double-edged sword.
Of course, it’s familiar. The game is quite intuitive, and that helps in terms of potential enjoyment. At the very least, it depends on individual folks how far one goes, and that is quite okay.
As to be expected from folks who’ve gazed upon the earlier titles in the series, this game is quite easy on the eyes. It incorporates a platform style that is presented in landscape, and the developer uses color liberally in a way that works. The visuals merge the fantastic and the ethereal, with quick, pinpoint animations that border on the delightfully whimsical. The sounds match everything quite reasonably, and graphically, the gameplay is framed well.
The gameplay starts out with the player being prompted to pick a character; the game uses a hands-on tutorial to help one learn the basics of control, which mostly boil down to gestures and taps to invoke running/dashing in either direction plus jumping. Additionally, one learns how to effect attacks and even how to dart downwards through obstacles.
One learns how to use the protagonist to do tasks while running; one cool feature is the aforementioned ability to run in either direction, as this is useful when it comes to picking up something missed and even when performing the wall jumps that are instrumental in getting to high points. There are collectibles (get those Incrediball eggs), and levered puzzles to solve along the way. Thorough exploration is a major part of successful gameplay, as some important pieces are not readily apparent.
So, beyond being one’s run-of-the-mill platformer, this one progresses to being a fast paced affair with puzzle-solving capabilities that encourage the player to think often and think fast, performing jumps, attacks and freeing actions on the fly. It is a frenzied going, but not overly hectic, and there are enough tweaks to the core gameplay to avoid boredom, if even for a bit. It comes together fairly well, and is familiar with regards to its source content, but thankfully not overly reliant on it.
All in all, easy to enjoy, and a great addition to the Rayman stable.
It’s set up much like one expects side-scrolling platformer games to look and feel: it is presented in landscape, with different running levels that are irregularly gapped. Action runs from left to right, such that our protagonist martial arts ovine creature is guided rightwards.
The graphics are interesting, with a whimsical theme that translates quite well. There is an expansive use of color in the play pieces and general backgrounds; the varied hues do a good job of allowing the game come to life. Additionally, the animations are fairly smooth, with nice effects throughout.
With regards to gameplay, it is easy to get into. BaaLee is the name of our sheepish hero, and kung-fu is his art of choice. Dealing with the platformed mayhem is how he proves himself, and it is a challenge indeed, with the aforementioned gaps and levels. The first order of business is to understand how to keep running, and tapping to jump is a great tool to have. One can also swipe to perform a full on twirling dive, and this is useful for traversing same-level gaps.
There are plenty of collectibles that line the way. Some are great for points accumulation, and others as raw multipliers. There are also obstacles, and these need to be handled with care, because they generally lead to the loss of a life… and of course the number of lives are limited. There are also other animal enemies that can be avoided or attacked — jumping on them is an effective means of dispatching them. The gameplay is leveled too, so when one gets to point thresholds, the game gets more interesting.
How? It gets faster. It starts out pretty slowly, but as one goes on successfully, the gameplay starts racing, and becomes even more of a challenge.
Real cash can be used, but doesn’t feel mandatory, and the game comes well together. Just as well, because when sheep start kicking, it’s a major thing to get used to.
The game is presented in portrait, using soft colors and a basic visual template, and our ever-smiling monk is positioned at the very top of what is an endlessly cascading bank of steps. The main idea is to guide our monk safely down the unending staircase, but doing so becomes a battle of timing and quick reflexes.
The game is controlled by taps. After starting a run thus, the idea is to follow steps; see, the steps do not go “straight” downwards, but angle alternately to the left and right, and the aforementioned taps change the direction of the monk — hopefully right in step with the direction of the stairs. Missing a step ends the run.
The first major gameplay element that one encounters is probably the timing. One has to really, really tap at just the right moment (right before landing on an angled tile) to avoid falling off. This takes some getting used to, but the developer employs more frequent changes and visual red herrings as one makes it further down. There is also a savvy use of the portrait orientation that really keeps one’s attention on the game.
One also has to be quick with the taps; when one gets to the expected back and forth areas, knowing when to tap — and doing so quickly — is the difference between a new high score and failure.
The game is scored easily: every step traversed earns a point, and the idea is to break one’s own record. because of the easy setup, one can engage others; indeed, one can share scores via Beam, but local play is easy to work in.
It earns big marks for simplicity; it almost begs to be consumed. It’s a fun time waster that is great for short or long forays, and can be enjoyed by folks of different ages.
Outcast Odyssey is a deep and tactical collectable card battler out right now on iOS and Android, in which building a strong deck is a challenge all of its own.
There’s a lot to think about, like combining cards to deal the most damage, immobilise the enemy, or provide more health, and how to best use the special abilities which can, again, be combined to greater effect.
To help you in this endeavour, we reached out to Erik Wahlberg, Live Producer at Bandai Namco Entertainment America Inc., to get his tips on building the ultimate deck and how to spend your mastery points wisely.
What’s your favourite enemy in Outcast Odyssey? Why?
“Oculus. It looks like a giant ancient beast out of the Cthulhu mythos and usually has some dangerous attacks like Stone or Burn.
“Itâ€™s really cool.”
Do you have an ultimate deck? Can you share it with us?
“We wouldn’t say there’s a single deck that’s strong in all areas of the game but we can share three decks with you which will dominate in PVP, the Campaign, and the Invasion Tower.
PVP (Attack) Deck
Siegfried (six star hero) Massive Boost to ALL attack and health.
Crossbow (five star weapon) pierce five, volley four.
Pac-Man Battle Suit (six star armor) blocks burn.
Mistofelees (five star pet) Adds Poison ++ to pierce attacks.
Haru (five star pet) adds burn to volley attacks.
“This deck almost always procs a damage-over-time attack and has an impressive attack and health rating.
“Also, since it’s a bit of a mix between realms, it’s rarely vulnerable to all Magic, Tech, or Nature decks.
“The Battle Suit also blocks the most common and deadly threat to players in PVP – Burn!”
“As above but swap Haru for Madam Hiss (a five star pet which adds four turns to poison duration).
“Since enemies don’t have defense, one hit with a pierce attack is usually enough to ensure they fall in a hit or two.
“Plus, the overall attack rating can top 2000 easily.”
Invasion Tower Deck
Maxi (four star hero) adds four to every bash attack.
Pumpkin Bomb (six star weapon) bash five, blast five.
Armor Varies (change depending on enemy attacks as you advance) although I prefer Babaâ€™s Mortar (six star Armor) as it blocks stone as a default.
Mika (four star pet) adds four turns to sleep.
Spiritu (four star pet) adds sleep+ to bash attacks.
“The towers, at the higher tiers, require players to freeze, sleep, or stone the enemy to have any chance of success.
“The damage you receive at the top is so high that immobilising the enemy then slowly beating them down while extending the immobilisation is the best tactic.
“This deck procs the Bash often which in turn procs the sleep effect often. It’s a good one.”
Are there plans to add more islands in the future?
“That is definitely on our backlog of potential features!”
Should players be careful how they spend their mastery points or go crazy?
“Donâ€™t go crazy but try not to get worried about using mastery points.
“If you start out in PvE and move onto PvP later, a good long-term strategy is to focus on boosting Attack Spawn, PvP Attack Damage, Extra Battle Tickets, Friend Slots, and Card Inventory Increase in that order.
“Remember, too, that you can buy advancement in Mastery Points with gems.”
Will Outcast Odyssey get a sequel?
“We hope so! Al the best games get a sequel.”
You can get Outcast Odyssey from the App Store [download] or Google Play [download] right now.
If one is looking to check out an atypical comic book-style puzzle, FRAMED is just about the perfect gander. Its current sale price should make it even more attractive, being that it currently can be had for only $0.99.
That’s down from its regular price of $2.99.
To understand the game is to play it; the genius lies in the creativity with which the developer sets comic book panels; one has to rearrange them to get the story to “flow” correctly, and several permutations are possible. Thus, one has to think and use logic to move the pieces around till a frame has been solved, and a new one opened. The graphics are distinctively noir-ish, and the animations are effective in conveying the gameplay.
We certainly adored the game when we checked it out formally, and figure it’s a steal at the sale price. Check out our review, and check out the trailer below to get a feel for the game.
As with all things cool, this one probably won’t last too long, so don’t tarry; get this one while you can.
If the graphics don’t get one — and if they don’t, one might want to seek medical help — the gameplay should. The first few installments take the alien invasion tower defense genre and creates an offensive adventure that the player manages. Additionally, the game story adjusts as the series progresses, allowing the player to see both sides of the digital conflagration.
There’s no firm word on how long the sale will last, so jump on it while it’s hot; hats off to 11 bit studios!
Hitman Go, the popular mobile puzzler is on sale… for $0.99 for a limited time.
Hitman GO is a turn-based puzzle game with beautifully rendered diorama-style set pieces. You will strategically navigate fixed spaces on a grid to avoid enemies and take out your target or infiltrate well-guarded locations. You really have to think about each move and all the Hitman tools of the trade you would expect are included; disguises, distractions, sniper rifles and even 47â€™s iconic Silverballers.
With Hitman GO, youâ€™ll experience:
â€¢ Challenging puzzles that put your assassination skills to the test
â€¢ Beautiful scale model-style visuals
â€¢ Environments with secret passageways and off-limit areas
â€¢ Agent 47â€™s tools of the trade: Distractions, disguises, hiding spots, sniper rifles and even the iconic Silverballers
â€¢ Different enemy types with unique and deadly behaviours
â€¢ Different ways of completing each level, silently or forcefully