Montowers 2 Review

Montowers 2 Review

Dec 17, 2014

Before moving on, it has to be said that Montowers 2 is really little more than a semi-automatic game about looking at cute girls with few clothes and in sexy positions. Whenever its goblin girls on their knees licking daggers or spell slinging wizards showing off their panties, Montowers 2 is not a game for kids. Lacking much real gameplay, most of the fun of the game is seeing what sexy or strange monsters will turn up next. If this kind of thing bothers you, avoid Montowers 2.

Screenshot_2014-12-14-09-30-58Montowers 2 is a sort of mix between a card battler and a collection RPG. The player begins by harvesting a few gems from a “field” which is simply a menu option with things to tap on. These gems are ingredients used to summon monsters. Despite their name, these after often not so monstrous and range from dwarven warriors to a large selection of various girls bereft of clothes.

The player then uses these warriors to fight their way up a tower, which is simply a series of battles. Each battle is more difficult than the last and a boss waits at the top of each tower. Finishing a tower unlocks the next one. There are also daily towers that change each day to finish and “raids” which are battles that involve multiple players to take part in.

Combat in Montowers 2 is very simple and mostly automatic. The only input the player has is to tap at the right time to stop a slider. Stopping it at the right time allows the player’s team to attack first and adds bonus damage depending on how close to the centre it is stopped. Battles don’t have anything in the way of strategy and are simply slugfests of the player’s team vs the enemy one.

The crux of Montowers 2 is buffing up your team of monsters to defeat harder opponents. New monsters can be created from gems and monster coins gained during battle or from events can be used on monsters to train them. Monsters can also be evolved into stronger forms using rarer items. This isn’t really different from any other game of this type. What makes it fun is seeing what kooky monster design will appear next.

Screenshot_2014-12-14-09-35-55Montowers 2‘s art looks really excellent. The art for monsters and enemies is top notch and as said above is overtly sexual, which may or may not be a good thing depending on the player. The game doesn’t have much in the way of animation however and battle is a boring affair with coloured flashes and not much else.

The sound however is pretty basic; some rather nondescript music hums away in the background and combat sounds are limited to generic thudding sounds.

Montowers 2 isn’t much of a game, but it does have very nice graphics and plenty of cute girls if you like that sort of thing. Players looking for actual gameplay should look elsewhere however.

Call of Duty: Heroes Review

Call of Duty: Heroes Review

Dec 16, 2014

Call of Duty: Heroes, despite its action game roots has more in common with Clash of Clans than with Modern Combat. Does the mammoth license of CoD make it a good game?

After an initial battle, like other city builder games, the player is put in charge of constructing a base from the ground up including resource buildings, troop training facilities and base defence. This proceeds slowly. After a few resource buildings are ticking over the player can begin to crank out an army. These range from average rifle wielding grunts to..other slightly different soldiers such as RPG ones.

Screenshot_2014-12-11-04-15-53Besides training troops and rushing them en mass, players can take control of well-known characters from the Call of Duty games. Good old Captain Price returns for yet another tour and Soap, Walcroft and other famous CoD guys make an appearance. There is no story or narrative to Heroes though and heroes are simply stronger than average units that can be manually controlled which makes them very useful compared to your more lemming like grunts. It’s possible to do things like deploy the hero first and have him surgically pick off buildings or call in support abilities to remove defences before any of your other troops are even deployed. This is a totally different style of gameplay to other games of this type.

Each hero also has a special ability which helps differentiate Call of Duty: Heroes from the legions of games just like it on Android. Capt Price for example can summon a chopper with a door gunner for a brief HMG barrage. The player gets to control the HMG’S aim and this unexpected meshing of gameplays types is welcome to say the least and is very useful for taking out defences or just picking off key buildings.

Screenshot_2014-12-11-06-49-39Call of Duty: Heroes features longer than average timers. Resource buildings in particular are very bad for this as they require upgrading several times before they even begin to become useful and this takes half an hour each time. Stationary guns likewise take half an hour for every one of them. Most of the game consists of tapping on things and waiting incredibly long periods of time. It is a testament to Activison’s skill though that this somehow ends up being fun when it is not forcing you to wait and wait.

Call of Duty: Heroes looks pretty slick as benefits its pedigree. Modern era troops are well detailed and buildings animate and look nice. Especially cool are the huge mecha that plod out to upgrade your buildings. The sound is well done as well with all the rattle gunpowder and atmospheric base sounds you’d expect. The music feels very much like a CoD game as well.

Call of Duty: Heroes is surprisingly good, if not anything too amazing and far superior to most games of its type. Despite the ever annoying stink of freemium it’s a game worth checking out for those who want something a bit more tactical than other CoC type games.

GOLFINITY by Nimblebit Available on Android Today!

GOLFINITY by Nimblebit Available on Android Today!

Dec 15, 2014

Nimbleit, makers of the ridiculously popular Tiny Tower games have released a curiously looking golf game on Android entitled GOLFINITY. It looks to be endless game of minigolf with an exceedingly simple, stark style.

Nimblebit, known for their reasonable amounts of free to play tomfoolery have seen fit to make GOLFINITY completely free. The only snag is that every time the player retires a hole they must watch an ad first; it remains to be seen how annoying this will be.

Expect a review of GOLFINITY soon.

The Shadow Sun Review

The Shadow Sun Review

Dec 15, 2014

The Shadow Sun is an epic RPG that follows in the footsteps of other epic RPGs, like the venerable Aralon: Sword & Shadow and the more recent Runesword games. Does its huge world equal huge fun?

Screenshot_2014-12-12-05-44-39The Shadow Sun has some in depth character customization. Like any good RPG, there are lot of skills to pick from. Rather than traditional RPG classes, TSS allows the player to simply pick what their character is good at. Thus, it is possible to have a tough warrior or squishy mage, a spellsword, a more sneaky sort, or some other mix. There are proficiencies for each weapon type in the game including swords, axes and bows, so it’s easy to build just the type of character you want. There are also stats like strength and charisma to distribute as you see fit. These stats have more of an effect than combat as well. For example higher perception allows you to see secret doors and charisma is needed for some dialogue choices to appear.

After character creation the player embarks on an epic journey through a massive city and its surrounding area. What starts off as a routine diplomatic mission ends up changing the fate of the world. A mysterious plague, the local king’s sudden decent into madness and the general aggressiveness of everyone in the world point to some dark plan being unfurled.

The Shadow Sun features plenty of combat. Combat in TSS feels a bit like a MMORPG. There is an attack button for basic melee attacks and a row of icons for special attacks, magic and items. Special attacks are vital to surviving in TSS. They can stun enemies, preventing them from hitting you or simply damage multiple enemies or hit very hard. Combat is fast and fun and there is plenty of loot to be grabbed.

Screenshot_2014-12-12-05-45-47The Shadow Sun also does a great job of providing a fun world to explore. There are lots of houses and caves and the like just waiting to be found and looted. The game is full of people to talk to as well. The majority of the game’s quests are found by chatting to people and like Skyrim and other major RPGs, TSS plays much better if the player takes their time and savours it.

Like any good open world RPG, solving quests is down to the player’s choice. Most quests give you a choice of who to side with or a moral choice to be a jerk or not.

For example an early quest is acquiring a scared statue for a religious order. It has been stolen and is being bid on in a nearby auction house. The player can either legitimately pay the exorbitant price for the statue or simply take it and kill the 5 or so guards on the way out, despite the leader of the Order asking you not to use violence to retrieve the statue. The player can then lie about using violence or not. Choosing to tell the truth earns a reward.

Another situation is finding some slaves escaping their slain captors. The player can choose to let them go, or mercilessly kill the former slaves to take the money they were using to make a new life for themselves.
There are also more traditional RPG quests that involve lots of combat. Whenever it’s exterminating giant rats in a sewer, or wiping out a horde of crazed plague victims and smugglers, The Shadow Sun provides plenty of fun combat.

A problem with The Shadow Sun is the weakness of the player’s allies. Every ally in the game is useful for little more than being a meatshield and can’t really kill enemies on their own. Their attacks are pathetically weak, they attack very slowly and they can’t level up or be given better equipment. It’s kind of lame when a legendarily powerful mage ends up slowly throwing weak fireballs at enemies, struggling to kill even the weakest monsters.

Screenshot_2014-11-26-11-38-04The Shadow Sun is also quite hard. A few strong enemies ganging up on the player can kill them very quickly indeed and those used to Skyrim will be in for a rude awakening. Armour and equipment provides minimal benefit and I found myself dying more than I expected. The weakness of player allies compounds this, but the challenge is welcome. Side quests are often all by required to toughen up enough to handle central quests.
The game’s map needs work. With hard to read text and an interface that doesn’t seem to respond unless you tap directly on a certain part of an icon it is needlessly hard to use.

Graphically, The Shadow Sun is a mixed bag. Environments look very nice and the game is packed with atmosphere and varied enemies to fight. The character models themselves though look rather primitive and a few years out of date. Aralon: Sword & Shadow which came out in 2011 has similar quality character models.

The Shadow Sun’s sound is very well done. Little touches, like the way that different amour sounds different as you move in it and how each item type make its own sound when you loot it really make the sound feel polished. There is a fair bit of voice acting and combat sounds nice and visceral.

The Shadow Sun is an excellent game that refines games like Aralon and adds in a lot of player choice and a much more coherent plot. With loads of fun questing on offer and a complete dearth of in app purchases The Shadow Sun is a fantastic game with a few foibles that need tightening.

Football Manager Handheld 2015 Review

Football Manager Handheld 2015 Review

Dec 12, 2014

Football Manager Handheld 2015 is the latest in the slimed down series of FM games on mobile. While they share the name with their big brother the complexity is toned down greatly for Android. Does Football Manager 2015 buck this trend?

So what’s new in this retread of FM? Not much. The match engine has been ever so slightly tweaked to be a bit smoother and has some new fading effects. Highlights look a little better.

Screenshot_2014-12-08-21-50-23There is a new Scouting Agency option that shows the top 50 players of a certain type in the world. This is fairly unless if you’re managing a lower level team as they will likely be too expensive.
And that’s it

While Football Manager Handheld 2015 is competent and a decent amount of fun, the real problem with it is that it has not evolved at all from FM2013 and 2014. This is almost exactly the same game and nearly zero features have been added over the last three years.

The player still cannot give team talks or talk to players. This makes it impossible to communicate with players, ask what’s wrong with them, warm them about poor performance or form relationships with them. This is utterly unacceptable and removes a huge chunk of the managerial side of the game, namely handling players. They feel far too much like automations.

Tactical options are as limited as anything. Players and teams cannot be given instructions such as to push further up, go Route One or to focus on retaining possession. Players cannot be given instructions outside of an exceedingly simple “role”. This kills a lot of the tactical side of FM.

This dearth of options makes matches little more than an annoyingly autonomous sequence where the player has little to no tactical involvement aside from setting a formation and putting together the team itself.

The press side of the game is still completely half baked. There are no interesting interviews or chances to comment on happenings and what news there is tends to be dreadfully repetitive and droll.

Screenshot_2014-12-08-21-48-37The poorly made interface is still exactly as annoying to use as it was two years before. Names and other items of interest are still never hotlinked to take you to a page about that person or item. You still need to jump through hoops to reach the relevant menu to check, for example, the stats of a player that you received an offer for or where a team sits in the league. It is clunky, slow and primitive compared to the PC version.

Football Manager Handheld 2015 looks just as mediocre as always. A dull spread sheet look is coupled with the now overly familiar sight of circles moving around on match days. At least the game has nice big text and contrasts well, which is good as plenty of reading is involved as with any management sim. Just like the last two years there is no sound whatsoever. There is no excuse for this.

Football Manger Handheld 2015 is a game that is difficult to recommend. While it’s just as interesting as always the shine has well and truly worn off of a game that stubbornly refuses to evolve as its desktop forefather does. With no big changes from last year and the same limited tactical options FM2015 is not worth a purchase.

New Turn-based Strategy Game Scrolls Unfurls Exclusively on Android!

New Turn-based Strategy Game Scrolls Unfurls Exclusively on Android!

Dec 12, 2014

Mojang, developers of the ridiculously popular mobile version of Minecraft have released their second game on Android. Entitled Scrolls the game promises “The best bits of card and board games, combined on your tablet!

Scrolls seems to be a hex based strategy game involving cards, known in game as scrolls. With over 350 scrolls spread over four differing factions, there is a recipe for some steaming strategic goodness here.

Scrolls contains IAP and is launching solely on Android at this point in time. A iOS release date has yet to be announced.

Expect a review of Scrolls here on Android Rundown in the near future.

Highrise Heroes Shaking up Android Soon!

Highrise Heroes Shaking up Android Soon!

Dec 11, 2014

Noodlecake Games, purveyors of fun have announced that their new word based game Highrise Heroes will make the jump to everyone’s favorite OS in a few weeks.

Highrise Heroes is an unique concept. Trapped at the top of a skyscraper after an earthquake, players assume the role of Seb as he attempts to escape the stricken structure. Players do this by matching words in a find-a-word type interface. Making words creates a path leading closer to the exit of the building and safety.

Along the way Seb must also save other characters caught in the building. These characters have special abilities that will aid Seb in his quest for survival.

Featuring over 90 levels and 60 additional challenge levels, Highrise Heroes looks like a lot of fun. Expect a review of this one soon after it drops.

Bitcoin Billionare Review

Bitcoin Billionare Review

Dec 11, 2014

At first glance Bitcoin Billionaire hardly seems like a game and in some ways it isn’t. It is in fact a devilishly addictive habit that uses a finely tuned system to show you ads while ensuring you won’t care and will in fact welcome the sight of ads!

Screenshot_2014-12-09-00-30-31Bitcoin Billionaire as you might expect is a game about mining the virtual currency known as Bitcoins. After customizing your avatar with clothes and a spiffy pirate bandana it’s simply a matter of tapping the screen as quickly as possible to generate riches; the faster you tap the more Bitcoins you earn. Once a few Bitcoins have been earned, these can be spent on investments like lottery tickets or collectable comic books. These generate a constant stream of income whenever the player is actively mining or not and also while the app is closed.

What really sets Bitcoin Billionaire apart though is the fantastic freemium model it has, a first for mobile gaming and an excellent idea. Rather than freemium elements like banner ads or videos getting in the player’s way, instead the game asks you, the player if it can enable these irritations. In return the player gets some kind of major bonus. They might get massively increased income per tap for half a minute, leading to a frenetic bout of tapping as quickly as possible, or vastly increased income from investments for a while. Thus the player will WANT to watch videos or allow banner ads to appear so they can cash in on these bonuses. At the same time they can be completely ignored in favour of continuing to tap the screen or whatever. This is a fiendishly brilliant model that entices the player to willingly inflict freemium annoyances on themselves, a truly alien concept to say the least but one that works extremely well.

Screenshot_2014-12-09-00-27-00As well as investing, Bitcoins can be used for cosmetic room upgrades. It starts off with a nicer poster or a paper shredder to replace the busted up ugly stuff your avatar starts with, but after earning a few million Bitcoins the player can switch houses, get some high tech computers, add a dog to keep your miner company and generally progress from some guy in a rundown apartment to a rich haxor with cutting edge tech in a fancy house.
Even your avatar is likeable. He talks a lot and the quotes are often clever or funny depending on what is happening.

Bitcoin Billionaire looks great. It’s warm pixel art style is unmistakeably Noodlecake and the explosions of money from bonus incoming and the constantly trickle of golden Bitcoin flying into your coffers will have pleasure zones popping all over your brain in a way few other games do.
The sound likewise is excellent. The constant tap tap tap of your alter ego’s keyboard as you generate cash is a constant companion and the loud DING sounds from bonus coins are music to the player’s ears. The great retro inspired music really gives the game a peaceful feel.

Bitcoin Billionaire isn’t a deep game. Indeed it is hardly even a game. It’s the epitome of a fun timer waster. It’s fun, not mentally taxing and heinously addictive. The great presentation and satisfying progression make it tough to put it down. Just about anyone should be able to get some fun out of Bitcoin Billionaire.

Uncover Dark Secrets with Corto Maltese: Secrets of Venice Tomorrow

A few days ago Bulkypix announced that a new game known as Corto Maltese: Secrets of Venice will hit Android on December 11th.

This marks the first time that a character by the well known comic writer Hugo Pratt has featured in a any video game and it looks to be an old school point and clicker, a rather uncommon genre on the platform.

The plot seems to be a pretty Film Noir like tale. The central character has been poisoned by unknowns forces and he now must embark on a journey to find a cure for himself as well as the pieces of a mysterious artifact known as the Clavicule of Solomon that fits into the story as well.

Corto looks very striking and is said to pay homage to Hugo’s style. It certainly nails its comic bonk roots.

While details are light on Corto Maltese the game as said lands tomorrow and you can rely on Android Rundown to feature a review of this promising new tale.

Two New Astroboy Games Flying onto Android!

Two New Astroboy Games Flying onto Android!

Dec 10, 2014

Good news incoming for fans of the kid robot with cannons in his butt! Developer Animoca Brands has announced two new Astroboy games!

Astroboy Flight is a vertically aligned endless runner (flyer?) that looks rather a lot like an old school vertical shooter. It should be available “shortly” on Android and is already available on iOS.

Astroboy Siege: Alien Attack is a more strategic take on Astroboy that ;looks a bit like Legendary Wars. It is available on both platforms right now.

Both games look excellent and hopefully they will play as good as they look. Count on Android Rundown to have a review of both of these game in the near future.

NBA All Net Review

NBA All Net Review

Dec 10, 2014

To say that the card battler is a well worn genre on Android would be the understatement of the year. A basketball card battler is much rarer however. Is NBA All Net swish?

NBA All Net’s gameplay is mind numbing and no different to other card battlers on the platform except it’s in the form of basketball. Players simply tap on the “challenge” they would like to play (Which features a description that has nothing to do with the game) and then sit back and watch the game as it unfolds. Players play no role in the game once it has started and it is based on card stats only. Games are dreadfully boring to watch and feature more repetitive animation than an entire season of Scooby Doo so they are best skipped.

Screenshot_2014-12-08-08-16-48After the match the player receives experience and sometimes an item or extra player for their team. These items can be given to cards to increase their stats. Repeat ad infinitum and that’s NBA All Net in a nutshell.

There are many ways to make players stronger. The most basic way is training,which rasies card stats after a timer and at the cost of money.

Ranking up is another way to increase stats. Using items randomly found in game (or more commonly bought with real money) and large amounts of in game currency this provides much larger gains than training would but is otherwise exactly the same.

None of this is interesting or involving. It lacks any of the fun and personality of a game like WWE Supercard. The only reward for making cards stronger is more dull tap-and-watch “gameplay” that gets dull fast. Players cannot even build a team of their favourite basketball players because of how the game randomly dishes out players.

As benefits its b-ball theme, NBA All Net features drafting and training. However these are simply the way the player acquires new cards and strengthens their existing cards, just like every other card game on mobile.

Screenshot_2014-12-08-08-44-03NBA All Net is packed with in app purchases to a ridiculous degree. There are not only straight up diamond purchases, but also a $5 a month scheme that provides 100 diamonds a day, ensuring that pay to win is in full effect in the game. On top of that there are “loyalty packs” that provide extra awards for purchasing large amounts of diamonds. The money grabs in NBA All Net have the subtlety of a neon sledgehammer.

NBA All Net’s graphics leave much to be desired. The actual basketball action is a herky jerky affair with a poor framrate and animation that jerks all over the place. This is simply not acceptable on a quad core smartphone with 3gb of RAM.

The sound is also very repetitive. Every basket has the same crowd roars, and fanfares repeat too often. Some tepid rap music does nothing for the game and gets irritating very quickly. Here’s a dope jam indeed.

NBA All Net is a entirely forgettable entry in the already packed card battler genre on Android. It has absolutely no strengths, cynical in app purchases, and is boring to play. Players will be much better served playing WWE Supercard or an actual basketball game.

Ludo Master Review

Ludo Master Review

Dec 9, 2014

Ludo Master is a colourful attempt to rejuvenate the classic board game played by grandmothers everywhere. Is it worth playing?

Screenshot_2014-12-06-22-47-36Ludo Master plays a good game of ludo with a few bells and whistles. A neat dice strength gauge allows for harder of softer dice throws so you can try to “turn” the dice over to get another six just like real life. When a piece lands on an opponent a mini punch up ensures as they are sent back to their base. Multiple boards are available and the game lacks any nasty bugs or other impediments to success.

At the same time though this is Ludo and nothing more. There are no alternate game modes or special rule sets to use. Ludo is such a well-worn game it would be nice to see a few spanners thrown into the works with some oddball game variations, but what’s here is well executed and perfectly playable.

Games can be played against other players or against the AI. The AI is good enough, although it sometimes make questionable tactical choices, like opting not to land on an opponents pieces and moving something else instead.

A baffling omission in Ludo Master is the complete lack of online play, or even Bluetooth multiplayer. This means that players must share the same device to play games against each other, which is unwieldy to say the least. This is a missed opportunity and lessens the game’s replay value by a lot.

Screenshot_2014-12-06-22-31-36It does seem that dice in Ludo Master can act a bit weird. In a game I played the blue player seemed to constantly cheat as he managed to get two sixes one after another three times in 5 turns and mostly threw fives when he wasn’t throwing sixes. Meanwhile it took me 15 throws to throw a single 1 to win a game in which I had previously thrown 5 ones in a row.

Ludo Master features extremely minimal IAP. The game itself is free and one 99 cent charge removes the banner ad that is on screen during games and the delays between menu screens for “loading”. There are no such delays when games are in progress. This is very reasonable.

Ludo Master looks as good as a board game can. The game is bright and colourful and there are multiple board designs and each looks good in its own way. The sound works well too. A peaceful tune accompanies the pleasant gameplay and the odd popping of moving pieces and amusing punching sounds for taking opponent pieces gets the job done.

Ludo Master is a friendly and good looking game of ludo for free and is worth playing, but the questionable dice rolls and lack of online play hampers its long term gameplay value.