Into the Dead 2 Review — the sequel

Into the Dead 2 Review — the sequel

Oct 31, 2017

Into the Dead 2, from Pik Pok, looks to give us another reason to revel in zombie-mania.

Graphically? It’s a slick affair, with shadowy looks and amenable first-person stylings. The animations are just as smooth as we’d expect them to be, and the sound effects are quite apocalyptic.

The game incorporates short clips to advance the storyline and frame the gameplay; essentially, basic zombie trope is used, and you have to guide the player character to make it through infested space to rescue other survivors… as well as living to see another level.

As already noted, the main action is taken first person, you are armed with weapons, and you run forward by default, continuously, as soon as the level is started.. As you run through, zombies rise and/or walk towards you, and you can shoot or avoid them somewhat — as you should, as they will kill you if they get a hold of you. If you’re able to make it to a specific distance, you complete the level, and open up a new one.

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The game goes on as such… make the distance (hopefully), get the rewards, build up and improve your arsenal, rinse and repeat. To be fair, it doesn’t plod along; there is something to be said for the need to approach each run with a willingness to strategize. As noted, the ammunition is limited, and it probably isn’t prudent to depend on running through munition crates that may or may not have a troop of undead around it; as thus, you might wanna look to pick and choose engagements versus looking to dart and pick the better part of valor.

With regards to the upgrades, they do essentially become very necessary as you progress, because the flesh eaters get craftier, and the run thresholds get higher. Real cash can be used to expedite your ability to get ahead faster, but with some patience, real money need be used, especially since completed levels can be replayed for extra goodies.

The extras are done well too, with special levels, goodies crates and more spread throughout.

Simple, tried and true, yes, but enjoyable nonetheless.

Merge Town! Review

Merge Town! Review

Oct 23, 2017

In the timeless vein of looking for potentially fantastic time wasters, we stumbled upon Merge Town!, a relatively new game from Gram Games.

Yes, here we go…

Out the gate, it is very appealing from a visual point of view. The gameplay relies on slick animations and jovial depictions, and it does deliver. It isn’t overly complex in the looks department, but if the idea is to complement the action, it works quite well.mt3

And how does it play? Well, let’s take the first world as our template. You start out with a few plots of land, and the game auto-generates a crate which contains a basic housing unit; these drop on one of the land squares. After a set interval, another drops, and so on until the land is full. These simple units generate money, which can be used down the line. Bungalows become

Now, the main gimmick is to drag the unit unit into the another of the same value. When merged, they create a new, bigger, more valuable house that pops out more money per interval. Basically, you keep on merging and merging similar units, multiplying and managing to create more wealth, and to access more land.

So… the one attribute we laud whenever we find it — simplicity — just might be a double edged sword here. The delightfully mindless nature is great when it comes to picking this on up on the fly might make it just as easy to quit. It doesn’t have lot of depth, and the continuous tapping and merging can verge on the monotonous. There are different worlds to navigate, yes, but this really is a game that has very little complexity.

Ah, but it really isn’t meant to, which is why is might resonate with folks who accept it for what it is: an uber-capable time wasting clicker game.

Tower Defense Battle Zone Review

Tower Defense Battle Zone Review

Oct 19, 2017

Just because it’s been done — and done well — doesn’t mean we shouldn’t do it again, no?

Tower Defense Battle Zone called, and we answered.

If anything, it does look good. The graphics are vibrant but far from cartoon-y, and the use of color is pretty good, too. The game incorporates a top-down view for the “true” action, which reflects well in the default landscape orientation. The sound is better than just perfunctory, and at first glance, it is an appealing production.

Gameplay-wise, this one goes on and gets right to it. Yes… which is how it should be. You start out with a few basic wrappings that auto-fire, and the enemy come from the left, looking to make it all the way to breach your home base which is rightward.

The enemy, at the start, consists of motorized vehicles; the defensive units have different costs. Basically, you have to place the cannons strategically, and accumulate cash by destroying the enemy vehicles.

The usual tower defense opportunity costs apply: do you wait to accumulate enough cash to get the best cannons and risk getting overrun due to inadequate firepower, or do you spend the incoming cash on several smaller, cheaper units? Do you create banks of units, or lines and rows?

Decisions, decisions.

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The waves keep on coming, and, as expected, the enemy gets better. The game is leveled, and success yields game cash, which can (and should) be used to upgrade weapons. Real cash can be used to expedite operations, but doesn’t not feel mandatory.

Truth be told, this is a tough genre to stand out in, as there are many — so, so many — different titles to choose from. Tower Defense Battle Zone manages to have a few superlatives attributes that just might make it worth the while though.

As noted, the visuals are great, and the play form is about as straightforward as a gamer on the go could hope for. It is a fairly self-serving experience, in that it doesn’t need an advanced molecular theory degree to decipher, but is still avoids the ever-present trap of being overly simplistic.

Boonk Gang Review

Boonk Gang Review

Oct 13, 2017

Whatever you feel about the social media prankster known as Boonk, it’s probably a whole easier and safer to indulge on the game that bares his moniker: Boonk Gang.

The game plays in both portrait and landscape modes, and you take control of the main character. Our hero — antihero? — has an eye for others cash, and looks to pick up any he can get. What out though, because there are folks who don’t approve of these activities, and the number of people who look to catch our boy increases vastly very quickly.boonq3

This game is all about movement. As hinted at, you guide the main character to pick up money, which usually pops up around the playing area. But as soon as the first one is procured, other characters appear. Now, watch out for the borders of the playing area, because walking “out” of the area ports you to the opposite side; walk out towards the right, and you pop back in on the left. Go out at the “bottom” and reappear at the top.

… and those controls. the game uses two virtual controls: tapping on the left makes the perpetually moving Boonk dart at angles.

What makes the game compelling is the way it incorporates the controls. It takes a bit to figure it out, because it isn’t natural, but that is part of the game’s charm. Getting the goodies is hard enough, but when you toss in the exits and entrances and the “Man” and other moving bodies, the game becomes a bit more interesting.

For folks who enjoy quick reaction games that double as veritable time wasters, this one just might hit the spot. It’s silly enough to take the edge of any supposed moral rejoinders, but still provides enough of a challenge to make it feel almost mature.

Big Cruise Ship Games Passenger Cargo Simulator Review

Big Cruise Ship Games Passenger Cargo Simulator Review

Oct 9, 2017

Driving is cool.

Not cars… not necessarily. Let’s talk about tanks. Big rigs. Trains, even.

Boats? No, cruise ships. Now we’re talking. Like in Big Cruise Ship Games Passenger Cargo Simulator.

It’s decently done from a visual point of view, with good graphics and relatively smooth animations. There isn’t too much

Playing this one is quite straightforward. You get to control a long cruise ship, as advertised, and the idea is to dock it some distance away. To accomplish this formidable task, you get a virtual ship wheel and throttle, the one for bearing left or right and the other for moving at speed.

Now, you need to get the ship moving from point A to resting point B, which is usually a red-marked “parking” area. Between that, you get other ships, interesting topography and a beastly structure to guide, which provides the challenge. As an added tweak, you also have an optimal path to follow, notated by stars. Collecting all stars is the secondary goal. Now, said stars can be a stubborn foil, especially in the later levels, when they appear perilously close to, say, boulders and icebergs. At first, it is a slow going, by the way.

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The initial boat is fairly lowly rated with regards to speed handling, etc. Success yields coins, and these coins can be used to purchase ships that have better attributes.

If you are looking for something radically different from the host of vehicle manipulation games that are already on the Play store, you might be a bit disappointed; this one should be — has to be, really — accepted for what it is: a time waster first. The change of scenery makes for an interesting change of pace when compared to similar games, as does the type of vehicle.

As noted earlier, the speed and preciseness required probably prevent it from being a true furtive time-filler, but they pause button helps a bit. A wider array of ships (or some type of upgradability of a core ship) could really help with keeping folks coming back, but even as-is, it does possess a certain charm.

The Catapult Review

The Catapult Review

Oct 5, 2017

If we’ve said it once, we’ve said it a million times: give us life, give us liberty, and give us a good, down-to-earth time-waster. You know… a game suitable for furtive rounds during the boring meeting, or the doctor’s office, or maybe even between innings at the kid’s softball game.

So much spare time, and so little fun things to fill it.

And here is where a cool mobile game can make all the difference. Something like The Catapult, perhaps?

It comes across a very simple from a visual standpoint. You get the ubiquitous stickmen as main characters, and the background does not distract from the main action at all. The animations are clean, and the sound effects are equally decent.

This one plays in landscape. The action is straightforward, too. You, the player, are a stickman defending a castle, old-school style, with a boulder-launching catapult. Of course, there are opposing stickmen equipped similarly. Starting out, you play against the game engine, looking to hit the opponent on the right with a boulder.

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To fire the boulder, you pull and drag the primed catapult. If you’ve played any of the early Angry Birds games, this will come naturally. You can adjust the distance and path of the boulder by the “force” and angle of the pull.

And then, the basic idea is to get the enemy before he gets you. Boom, don’t celebrate too long, because there will be a new opponent appearing, usually at a different height than the last.

Then, just when you get good (hopefully), the game starts to throw in some wrinkles. Two opposing shooters simultaneously? Bring it. The game has two mode: the single player option, and a two player option that might feel a little cramped on smaller devices. Success yields coins, which can be for better shells.

Interestingly enough, even while bandying around the “time-waster” descriptor, I admit — almost reluctantly — that it somehow, some way feels like a bit more. The simple scoring method is easy tto keep up with, and the simple escalation process just makes sense.