Beholder Review

Beholder Review

May 31, 2017

If there’s one thing that makes everybody cringe, it the concept of Big Brother. Let me get free services, and give me access to the internet, but please, don’t mess with my privacy.

Tongue in cheek statements aside, Beholder is a bit spooky, no?

The game comes with two difficulty levels: “Government Elite” promises to be the way the game is meant to be played, with difficult choices and the like; on the other hand, on might want to wuss out and get his/her toes wet in “Trainee” mode, which has more bountiful awards and cheaper acquisitions.

The game then starts with an ominous communication invoking no need to sleep and encouraging you, the player, to begin to do the nasty deed of spying on tenants in a building you manage.

Creepy, no? The game intro allows players to acquaint themselves with the general aesthetic, and the dark presentation and eerie sounds are quite foreboding.

The gameplay is not hard to get into at all; tapping on folks and object leads to interactions of different sorts, and these interactions will then lead t choices. It’s the selection of these choices that create the environment that Beholder tries to thrive in.

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For instance, near the beginning, the players character has to decide whether he needs some pointers with regards to figuring out how to run surveillance on the tenants. Yes? You get the tutorial. Picking no makes you figure it out yourself.

Completing tasks earns money and/or reputation points. The latter is an interesting game currency, in that they can be used to persuade others to do something favorable to your cause, and also reflect the players standing.

It all makes for a compelling adventure, allowing players to be all they can be… or not. In the end, it’s greatest attribute is that it might actually allow folks to forget it’s just a “game.”

Oh dear…

Injustice 2 Review

Injustice 2 Review

May 31, 2017

Injustice 2 is here.

It starts ominously enough, right from where the Injustice plot leaves off: Superman is a deposed tyrant, chained and powerless. Batman is our new champion, and looks to restore what’s left of humanity. There’s yet another crew — there’s always another crew — looking to create mayhem.

The story weaves on and on, generating a PC-storyline that involves alternate realities, strange alliances and heroes acting un-heroically. For fans of the mobile companion adventure, we get a whole new set of 3v3 battles.

One need not be addicted to the original to enjoy this one; the game leads the player gently through a hands on tutorial, allowing one to get acquainted with the control mechanics with regards to fighting: mostly gestures, and taps for effect. Controlling characters is all about attack and defense, and feels mostly intuitive; there are special attack meters that regenerate over the time.

The main idea is to fight with three superheroes, and overcome three enemy folks. There is a dual lifebar system (depleted twice = loss), and you can tap in a crew member to keep the fight going. The opposition starts easy enough, but quickly get harder, victories earn game currencies, which can be used to do stuff like unlock more hero fighters. This is importnat, as different heroes have different abilities and powers, and might be better suited for a mission.

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The game has achievements, different game modes (including Story) and allows for real money to expedite action.

Injustice 2 has plenty of fine qualities. It brings some of the most interesting DC Universe characters to mobile life, allowing folks to see different heroes in different lights. It is a great companion game, but manages to stand on its own; similarly, it is a viable sequel because it isn’t just another clone of the original.

The main story is not a prerequisite to enjoyment, and it can be played, albeit a bit slower, without spending wads of real cash. All in all, it is a better than decent follow-up to the original, and maybe even a potential gateway for new fans of the Injustice franchise.


Orphan Black: The Game Review

Orphan Black: The Game Review

May 31, 2017

TV show Orphan Black has acquired a bit of a following; the show details clones and what happens when someone inadvertently stumbles upon the opportunity to take the identity of someone who who looks just like her. Orphan Black (the game, that is) sprouts from this general premise. there is a conspiracy afoot, and solving the game puzzles helps the player unravel it.

Who cares, yah? This was one we really couldn’t wait to get into.

It’s a colorful game, and makes use of a number of backgrounds graphics to give the evolving storylines some depth. The animations are simple, but effective, especially in the advanced “chase” sequences, and the way light ups sre used do help the game pop.

The game mechanics feel a bit like the GO! series, in that the main idea is to lead the character from Point A to Point B. Easier said than done, because there are obstacles in the way; Thankfully, the game uses the first few levels to help players understand the gameplay.

Movement is achieved via gestures; all you have to do is swipe to tell the clone where to go. The paths are generally defined, so there are only so many places to go but along the path, you can make the character move back and forth in a defined set of units. So, a set of swipes gets the player;s character to the end point.

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But (as already pointed out) there are obstacles, burly medical sentries for instance. They have no compunction when it comes to catching a clone and administering knockout drugs to the jugular. They do have weaknesses though, like bad sight and a propensity to chase the clones along the same exact path the clones travel, and such habits allow a player with some creativity to outwit them. There are also explosive traps than can be deployed; careful with these, as they don’t respect good guys or bad.

As one goes on, there are other foils: sliding bridges, switches, multiple foes and collective problems, all interspersed with sequences from the series that true fans should enjoy.

It comes together nicely, even if the first level tricks you into needing more; it’ll cost you to unlock the bulk of the game.

Lode Runner 1 Review

Lode Runner 1 Review

May 31, 2017

Not too many titles have as much rep — or longevity — as Lode Runner. For a lot of folks, this title definitely defined the puzzle platformer genre.

The sheer number of clones on Google Play reflect the game’s standing, no doubt.

In any case, mobile development stalwart NEXON is throwing its hat into the ring with Lode Runner 1. It feels familiar enough, and has just enough elements to make it fresh for today.

Visually, its source is clear: 2D playing area set in landscape, with a dark blue aesthetic that allows the bright colors to pop against it. The platform playing area is set up in block-ish form, with telltale ladders, rails and gold pieces. The controls are equally basic, with one bank to control movement and the other allows for blasting rock. The controlled character isn’t a stick, but is simply manifested.

The game evolves gradually… almost too much so. The first level works to be a teaching level of sorts, and allows players to get acquainted with the aforementioned controls and to understand the general gameplay. The main premise is simple, in that the player’s character looks to collect all the gold pieces, which activates the exit door. Level complete, new level opened.

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But it’s what happens in-between that makes for a challenge. Collecting the pieces means getting to them, and that means using the ladders and rails to get over and across obstacles. As one progresses, the rock blasters come into play, because you might want to make your own path. Take heed though: not all ground can be blasted, and the blasted rock does regenerate.

Finally, it gets a lot tougher. There are sentries, but through the first several levels they are fairly impotent. They do show a propensity for security, and roam to catch. Now, speed of action and even blasting ground is useful.

It comes together nicely. As noted, a slow beginning, but it mostly makes up for it.

Battle of Warships Review

Battle of Warships Review

May 31, 2017

There are several warship battling games on Google Play, so it ain’t that easy to stand out. Good luck, Cube Software; Battle of Warship is on deck.

This one has one get right into it. Literally. One might be forgiven if they missed the tutorial button when they encounter the “Battle” button, but don’t fret; learning on the go is the name of the game.

But even before that, the graphics do make a great first impression. The cutscene shows the developer’s attention to detail and visual perspective, and even for the player that might not be a seacraft buff, the scenery should be a treat. The ships look like hulking sea beasts, and one can almost taste the metal. The physics are nicely done, with explosive explosions and screaming collisions.

The gameplay involves WWI and WWII era warships. The player goes to go into a battle consisting of two factions, arena style; the team that takes out all the opposing team ships wins. Simple. Rewards and goodies go to the winning players.

To start, one gets a “starter” ship, and can then upgrade it and/or attributes with game currency. A lot of the gameplay is intuitive, and strategy does matter when the actual battling begins, with time-restricted weaponry. In this war of attrition, you cannot take too much damage, lest you get knocked out and can only observe the battle conclude.

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Fun all the way through, really.

The biggest complaint one might have is the absence of a tutorial. Now, figuring it as one goes is a worthy effort, and even somewhat adds to the game’s allure, but it does help for there to be an option in most cases.

A little bit of clarity with regards to the comparative strength of ships could be useful, especially with regards to advanced choice.

All in all, this one is a really enjoyable game. It allows for creativity, and the RPG elements just add to the whole package.

Nothing beats being a captain. The captain.


Pokémon: Magikarp Jump Review

Pokémon: Magikarp Jump Review

May 31, 2017

“Pokémon.”

There. I said it.

Hey, say what you want; Pokémon GO! did own mobile devices not too long ago, and deserves some respect. Pokémon: Magikarp Jump has the same heritage, and is also seeing love on the Play Store. It’s only right that we give it some attention. pmj3

So at the heart of this game, we have Magikarp. Duh. Yes, we are referring to the otherwise, uh, unremarkable jumping marine pokémon. Those ones, front and center.

The player’s job is to take one of these thingies, and win fans an adulation by training it to become a jumping phenom. Hey, and bring fame to your town, as it has not had any Magikarp-related news to celebrate in quite some time.

Looks? Well, this game has that pokémon look. Playpul anime characterization, a lot of cutscenes chock-full of text-bubble dialogue and a good helping of interesting sounds. The animal is the main star, and everything the game does visually underscores this.

With regards to gameplay, the main idea is very simple, and hearkens to other games that use the same source material: train your companion, and win challenges. First, you have to catch one, and then you have to feed it to garner training tokens.

Feeding it entails guiding it to available resources via gestures; this increases it’s “jumping power”, which is a leveled measure of its prowess. Training it involves silly exercises and also increases its jumping power, but expends the limited training points (they are replenished over time).

Then, when the fishy is ready, it’s time to battle other trainers and pokémon.

Now, the battles are high jumping contests. WInners get rewards, and the player’s training rank gets a boost. Diamonds and game cash can also be earned by activity, and said valuables can be used to better one’s chances in a variety of ways through the game’s store. Ah… the energy requirement! Impatient folks will shell out cash to keep things going.

It’s a simple game, and easy to get into and enjoy. The dialogue gets a bit cumbersome, and the game has little by way of surprises, but its straightforward, and different from other games it might remind you of.

Battle Bay Review

Battle Bay Review

May 31, 2017

As the Rovio universe continues to expand, we get to see more and more concepts from the minds that brought us the first batch of angry, vengeful avians, and I believe we are richer for it.

Welcome to Battle Bay, where birds do their battling on water.

And these birds don’t seem pacified just yet, by the way…

Rovio generally does graphics well, and this one is no exception. It glitzy without being overdone, with a lot of attention paid to animations and physics, just like we’d expect. It uses color well, and manages to be playful and life-like at the same time. The controls are easy to manage, and work well with the landscape orientation; shooting and direction can be controlled with both thumbs.

The visual and audio aspects are a great gateway.

And what do we get by way of action? Team battling, of course. The player gets to select a personal, armed boat, join a random team and take on another team in a war of attrition. Yep, shoot and/or be shot… basically take the enemy out before your team is decimated.

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And this where the controls are important. The virtual joystick is important, so that you can move, avoid fire and find opponents to get at. Shooting is somewhat automated, but requires a steady hand, plus a willingness to adjust so as to finish off fleeing enemies.

When one faction is dead, the battle is over, and it’s time to collect the bounty. These goodies — game cash, parts and the like — allow for upgrades and crafting, which are necessary to be more effective at battling. It’s a symbiotic system that works fairly well.

There are guilds, tasks and different modes to try out. real cash can be used to expedite operations, but isn’t necessary.

It’s a fun ride, almost surprisingly so, and has us wondering what else Rovio has cooking.

We’re hungry.

Mint gets better bill management tools via update

Mint gets better bill management tools via update

May 25, 2017

Intuit’s money manager Mint: Budget, Bills, Finance is getting an update that brings better ways for users to take care of financial matters.

WHAT’S NEW

Our new Bills list breaks out your bill due dates, names and amounts so you can scan for what you need. It sorts by month and date instead of status, so you see at a glance what’s covered and what’s not. Like our changes? Want more? Scroll down the list and hit that feedback link!

Mint remains free on Google Play.

‘Logres: Japanese RPG’ gets a limited launch

‘Logres: Japanese RPG’ gets a limited launch

May 25, 2017

Logres: Japanese RPG is out now in a few countries: United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Australia and New Zealand.

Key Features:

– Over 15 character jobs with differing abilities for every encounter
– Vast amount of equipment to cater to players’ tastes, including wings, bear suits, tuxedo, grass skirts
– Powerful raid bosses to conquer
– Real time co-op with friends, or with strangers through the auto party system
– Communicate with millions of online players in-game party chat
– Intuitive touch controls for gaming on the go

The game is free (with in-app purchases) on Google Play.

Upcoming game ‘Valerian’ is available for pre-registration now

Upcoming game ‘Valerian’ is available for pre-registration now

May 25, 2017

Split Games is set to release Valerian: City of Alpha quite soon, and for those eager to get hands and eyeballs on it, it is also possible to pre-register for it. Now.

But what is Valerian about?

Build, manage, and develop Alpha, a thriving space metropolis in the universe of Valerian. Embark on a galactic journey like no other and immerse yourself in this stunningly looking sci-fi game!

COSMIC FEATURES
• BUILD: Turn Alpha into the ultimate space metropolis!
• MANAGE: Create a place where humans and aliens can live together in harmony!
• COLLABORATE: Connect with alien species to unlock technologies and resources!
• CRAFT: Build advanced space ships and assemble the best crew!
• EXPLORE: go on missions in the infinite Valerian universe!

BUILD THE ULTIMATE CITY IN SPACE
Alpha is a place where humans and aliens coexist harmoniously. By sharing knowledge and intelligence, you can take Alpha from space station to bustling metropolis, with sectors and habitats where everyone contributes to the enhancement and progression of their home. Bring Alpha to galactic heights!

EXPLORE THE UNIVERSE OF VALERIAN
Recruit and train agents, assemble an elite team and send them into the unknown. Launch explorative missions into a universe of infinite wonders. Bring back new lifeforms, new technologies and resources for the further improvement of Alpha!

Become the architect of The City of a Thousand Planets and shape the future of our galaxy!

Pre-registration is available HERE.

AccuWeather makes its way to Android TV

AccuWeather makes its way to Android TV

May 25, 2017

AccuWeather is increasing its reach with a new app for Android TV.

The AccuWeather app for Android TV provides users with exclusive patented AccuWeather MinuteCast® minute-by-minute forecasts with precipitation type and intensity for the next two hours, as well as start and end times, hyper-localized to a user’s exact viewing location.

The app gives users access to the most extensive library of breaking weather videos, ranging from on-site severe weather reports to in-studio forecasts. The new app also features customizable hyper-local weather forecasts including RealFeel® temperature, current conditions, and more, as well as severe weather alerts to keep people informed and safe. Users have the ability to tailor their app theme, allowing them to adapt the screen background based on lighting conditions and preferences for the most personalized weather experience. Available in over 30 languages, the innovative app allows Android TV users to access the most accurate, actionable weather information and updates worldwide.

AccuWeather’s Digital Media President Steven Smith talks up the increased collaboration with Google to increase safety. “The new AccuWeather app for Android TV provides viewers with the most accurate, personalized weather experience available in the world,” he says. “AccuWeather is proud to expand our partnership with Google through the Android TV platform, joining together to save more lives.

AccuWeather for Android TV is available now.

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Goat Simulator Payday brings caprine capers to Android

Goat Simulator Payday brings caprine capers to Android

May 25, 2017

There’s a new goat in town.

Goat Simulator Payday is now on Google Play; get ready for the rise in crime.

Goat Simulator: Payday is the most criminally realistic goat simulation yet! Starring 4 new main thugs – A flying flamingo, a wheelchairing dolphin, a spitting camel and a goat that’s just really handsome.

Use PRANKNET © to find your new crew some smash & grab heists, then blast away your stolen cash on different things. Mostly masks. Okay only masks.

Dodge the police by stealing and driving other people’s cars, because it’s too expensive to buy your own.

– FOUR AWESOME NEW MAIN GOATS, seriously these guys are like they’re from an Al Pancake movie.
– One can fly and control people’s brains, another can climb any surface with a wheelchair and a third can spit water that it stores in it’s back. Disgusting.
– PRANKNET – a database filled with stupid “jobs” for your crew to do. But who cares. They pay well.
– Buy masks to disguise your identity so that the police won’t catch you. Or just to look cool.
– There are like 14 new mutators to unlock. I’m not even kidding. So many.
– Did I say that you can steal and drive cars?

This one is priced at $4.99; check out the trailer below: