Star Blitz Review

Star Blitz Review

Sep 2, 2011

Star Blitz is a game for geeks. Basically an upgrade from classic arcade shooters, Star Blitz beefs up the graphics and controls to give mobile gamers a fun experience blowing things up in space. Original space shooters used to be relatively simple. Users had a little ship that moved left and right and sometimes up and down, but the missions never changed—destroy everything coming from the top of the screen. Star Blitz has the same premise, but the ultimate objective is more about collecting items and E-Money to beef up your ship, and head back into space to blow more things up.

Star Blitz utilizes touch-screen joysticks similar to that of the Xbox and Playstation platforms. The touch-screen joysticks that Star Blitz utilizes are intuitive and simple to use. The left stick moves your ship, while the right stick is the firing device. The controls on this game are very well executed, and users will enjoy them.

That Star Blitz is free is perhaps its greatest downfall and success at the same time. Like many apps, Star Blitz interacts with Facebook, allowing users to save data online and get wingmen that will help to blow up space-stuff. It also utilizes OpenFeint for social gaming features like friends and achievements. A feature that always seems to bother me on web-based games, however, is the integration of other services that enhance gameplay. For example, Star Blitz gamers have the opportunity to sign up for other services to gain “Space Cash,” which can be spent in the store to beef up their ship. Although it can be frustrating to run into advertisements for other services, Star Blitz prevents the ads from impacting gameplay, and easily allows users to return to the gaming screen when clicking on such ads—not too high a price for a free game.

Overall, Star Blitz is a blast that I could easily see myself playing to kill some time. It has a cool soundtrack, offers advanced space-shooter game-play for mobile devices, and incorporates awesome social features. I highly recommend this game to all the space junkies out there looking for a fun time blowing things up out in the stars.

Platinum Solitaire 3 Review

Platinum Solitaire 3 Review

Aug 31, 2011

Back when I was a kid, I used to play Solitaire with real, physical cards all the time. With the advent of digital gaming technology on mobile devices, Solitaire and its many variations is easily accessible without a deck of cards and, more importantly, the need to remember rules. Platinum Solitaire 3 is a game that makes solitaire more than just a card game—it is a world adventure with cool animations and graphics. Offering a “World Tour,” Platinum Solitaire 3 effectively enters the user into a story mode that serves as a challenge to increase wealth and unlock rewards and tricks. Throughout the tour, users choose which available version of Solitaire they wish to play during the world tour as the user unlocks new games. Platinum Solitaire 3 also offers a quick play option that allows users to play outside of “World Tour” mode. While Platinum Solitaire 3 offers excellent graphics and a great story mode, it falls short in providing a qualitative gaming experience that users can ultimately find a superior experience in free versions of Solitaire games.

Gameplay in Platinum Solitaire 3 is quite similar to other digital versions of the game with a few exceptions. Each game keeps track of your time, so you know how long it took to finish. Additionally, there is a tracker that advises lets users know how many cards are left until completing the game. Those things aside, there are some hefty quirks. One of my favorite features about digital Solitaire is the auto-move, a feature that automatically places a playing card onto the ascending play pile. In Platinum Solitaire 3, users must put up with a little “Shake” animation before the auto-move actually takes place. Users do have the option of turning auto-move off, but that takes away from one of the key features of a digital solitaire game. Additionally, in-game navigational icons, such as “hint” and “undo,” are confusing. If a user is looking for help, they have to pause, which opens a menu granting the option for help.

Gamers that play Platinum Solitaire 3 will also be reminded of expensive gaming systems that require long loading times prior to gameplay. Though the graphics are enticing, they simply are not necessary for a solitaire game. Users will find their initial experience of Platinum Solitaire 3 to be flashy and fun-looking, but their opinion will quickly change as they wait for games to load due to excessive graphical use. Users will also be disappointed in the game selection on Platinum Solitaire 3, as it offers fewer versions of Solitaire than other free versions that load more quickly and efficiently.

Perhaps the greatest redeeming quality of Platinum Solitaire 3 is the gameplay tutorial each solitaire game offers. Most Solitaire games provide text-based instructions, but Platinum Solitaire 3 uses excellent videos that, by themselves, make the ninety-nine cents spent worthwhile. Users will also find Platinum Solitaire 3 enjoyable when moving columns of cards, as it offers a system that is easy to use and intuitive.

When users shop for a Solitaire game with a comprehensive list of games on the Android Market, Platinum Solitaire 3 is not necessarily the best option. If, however, a user wants a more interactive experience that offers a somewhat fun story with some challenges outside of game-play, then Platinum Solitaire 3 is a good fit for purchase. As a Solitaire multi-pack, however, Platinum Solitaire 3 does not live up to its competition. Users playing this game will likely find themselves flocking to a simpler version that does not require so many graphical animations and illustrations and offers a wider variety of Solitaire games. Purchasing Platinum Solitaire 3, ultimately, is money spent on flashy artwork that looks good, but does not enhance the game-play enough to warrant a cost.