Fire Emblem Heroes Review

Fire Emblem Heroes Review

Feb 20, 2017

Nintendo are under some serious scrutiny with their foray into the mobile game scene. Most other publishers can fart out a Flappy Bird clone and no one would think twice but this is Nintendo. Ninty. The House of Mario. Big N. They have standards and a reputation to keep (and a new console to launch) so it’s important that they do things right.

Miitomo aside and ignoring Pokemon GO (which they didn’t make), Fire Emblem Heroes is Nintendo’s first ‘proper’ game to launch on Android (Super Mario Run, where are you?). I’m pleased to say that it’s a success in many, many regards yet it also shows a naivety towards the mobile gaming scene in how it handles IAPs.

Before I get too ahead of myself, let’s explain what Fire Emblem Heroes is. Well, it’s a turn-based strategy game based on the hugely popular Fire Emblem series. Never heard of Fire Emblem? Well, that’s on you – because it is hugely popular. Honest.

The scenario is pure fantasy, dragons and magic fare. Fire Emblem games often boil down to wizards and kings becoming evil or fighting evil or wanting to be rulers of evil. So the story’s not important in the Fire Emblem world, what is important is the mechanic of how you build up an array of characters to go into battle with.

You see, the Fire Emblem games are filled with hundreds of unique characters and the thing that makes Fire Emblem stand out is that these characters can die. Die, die. As in the ‘this character got killed and we know you spent 20 hours leveling her up but she’s dead’ kind of die.

Pretty savage.

Now, Fire Emblem Heroes does away with the ‘proper dead’ mechanic but it is full of the titular heroes and more heroes are being added through updates. Not only has the Fire Emblem’s death mechanic been softened but so has everything else. Console Fire Emblem games can have sprawling battle maps and have you take a large number of units into battle.unnamed-2

Fire Emblem Heroes strips all of this back and has you take only 4 characters into the fight, with the battlefield being a single screen map. This works really well though, as it means that battles are over within a couple of minutes. The combat also has a fairly simple ‘rock-paper-scissors’ strength and weakness system involving spears, swords and axes. It’s straightforward but it’s fast-paced and really enjoyable.

What’s a bit of a let down is the IAPs and the rest of the systems that exist outside of battles. The issue is that there’s shard, crystals, feathers, orbs, dueling swords and a stamina bar to keep track of. It’s more convoluted than it needs to be and it makes levelling up your character more of a pain than it needs to be.

The IAPs need to be called out in particular as they are such a miss it’s unbelievable. Essentially, the only thing you can buy in this game is ‘orbs’. These orbs are used to summon new heroes and they’re the key to getting your favourite characters from previous Fire Emblem games into your party. It takes 5 orbs to summon a character and it costs £1.99 for 3 orbs. 3 orbs are practically worthless. They can’t be used for anything good, so it means that, at a minimum, you’re going to spend £4 just to get a new character, at random.

When you take into consideration the chances of getting a good character (4 stars or better) are 43%. This is an absolutely shocking value proposition, so it’s handy that the game dishes out tons of orbs for completing missions. Which then leaves you wondering just how Nintendo plan on making money off this thing? Who’s buying these orbs?

Obviously someone is – with reports that the game’s already made over $5 million since launch. Still, that’s a topic for another time. This is a review and I’ve got to say I’m impressed with the game. It’s bitesize fighting with just enough tactical challenge.


Tap Titans 2 Review

Tap Titans 2 Review

Jan 30, 2017

Another clicker game? Why do I do this to myself? Good clicker games will simply hook into the part of the brain that creates habits and will keep you playing even if you don’t want to. Bad clicker games are beyond dull and offer no gameplay whatsoever. There’s no way to win when clicker games are involved.

Except – this time it’s different. Honest. This time I’m playing Tap Titans 2 and this time the game is really… good? Who am I kidding? Tap Titans 2 is good in the same way that a Big Mac* is good. You know it’s bad for you but damn it’s tasty.

What makes Tap Titans 2 so tasty? Well, for a start, it’s absolutely loaded with carrots. They’re dangling everywhere you look and there’s just so much to unlock. There’s a daily login bonus, there’s tons of ‘allies’ to unlock, upgrade and each of them has skills to unlock, there’s items to find and equip, there’s artifacts to unlock, there’s skills to learn there’s…unnamed-31

There’s a lot going on and it would be easy for Tap Titans 2 to fail in expressing what everything does. It doesn’t fail and in fact one of the strengths of Tap Titans 2 is the fact that it’s so easy to see what’s happening with each tap and with each unlock. Some unlocks make your taps stronger, some will make monsters drop more gold, some will boost your allies’ strength and it’s simple to figure out. Bottom line is that whilst you have the app open and you’re tapping away, you’re never more than a couple of seconds away from being able to unlock, upgrade or equip something new.

The gameplay itself is nothing special. It is, after all, a clicker game. All of these unlocks and abilities do nothing more than make small numbers turn into bigger numbers. You start off earning 100 gold for each kill but soon earn 100 million. You begin doing 1 damage per tap and quickly start doing 1 trillion.

But it’s all done so well. The graphics are sharp and characters are well animated. There’s tons of content, with lots of different enemy types and locations to work through and at the heart of it all there’s just an unforgiving number of ‘hooks’. Hooks that keep you playing, hooks that convince you to open up the app every day and hooks that make you want to get to the next level. I’ve not even mentioned the fact you can join clans.

Tap Titans 2 isn’t a great game but it is an outstanding clicker. It will reward you for doing nothing more than tapping mindlessly at your phone. But boy do those rewards feel good.

*This only makes sense if you enjoy a Big Mac from time to time. Insert your own junk food / guilty pleasure here


Overtake Review

Overtake Review

Jan 30, 2017

I’m all for simplicity. I’m always impressed when a game can be fun and engaging when all it asks you to do it tap on the screen, learn one or two rules and doesn’t require you to play an hour long tutorial.

In this regard, I suppose, Overtake : Car Traffic Racing is something of a success. It’s blindingly simple. You are a car, you go forward and you try not to crash into other cars. Simple.

This is about as far as I can when trying to praise this game. The simplicity on offer is then let down by pretty much everything else. Firstly, the controls. At the start of each run you get to choose if you want to tile your phone to steer or if you want on-screen buttons. Whilst playing the game I found neither particularly responsive enough to avoid the oncoming traffic, which led to collisions.

Collisions are awful. Instead of looking like tons of metal colliding into one another it instead resembles two dry sponges bouncing off each other. Often a collision won’t be enough to end your run, as the run only finished when your car’s health gauge reaches zero. This means that the collision has now pointed you in the wrong direction, leaving you to right yourself using the previously mentioned awful turning mechanics.

Maybe I’m just not good at the game? Maybe I need to unlock a better car? Maybe you’re right. What isn’t right is the way the game locks everything behind paywalls or asks you to grind for hours to unlock anything. New cars and new tracks will take an absolute age to work towards and their IAP prices are pretty tough to swallow.

Add to the mix the fact you have randomly appearing adverts. After some runs, an advert will fill the screen. After some returns to the main menu and advert will fill the screen. You get no rewards for these adverts and they’re intrusive.

And that’s pretty much all there is to the game. There’s 3 ‘modes’, but they just alter the direction of the traffic you’re driving past. The game is nothing more than a series of dodging challenges but with some bad steering controls. There’s different tracks to race on but they don’t change the game in any meaningful way.

Overtake is boring, controls badly and offers no variation to its poor gameplay. It looks quite nice, I suppose, with some well modeled 3D cars. That’s about the nicest thing I can say about Overtake. It has some nice car models. Avoid it.


Burrito Bison – Luancha Libre Review

Burrito Bison – Luancha Libre Review

Jan 17, 2017

Some games are about skill, some will challenge your mental capabilities and others have a story to tell. There are also some games that are just exercises in repetition that require little thought and minimal technique. These games can be awesome and Burrito Bison – Launcha Libre is evidence of that.

The set-up is as follows – you’re a lucha libre trapped in a candy kingdom. The only way to escape is to launch yourself from the ropes and fly through the air to freedom. How this plays out is really simple. Drag your wrestler back and launch them, much like Angry Birds, and once you’re airborne you have nothing to do but tap the screen to perform a special ability.

With a choice of three wrestlers, you special ability will differ depending on who you’re playing as. One will slam into the ground at great force, one will launch a grappling hook to pull themselves onto an enemy and another can glide upward before falling back down.

So where’s the game? Well, this being an evil candy kingdom there’s gummy bears everywhere and you need to try and land on them to earn cash. There are different types of gummy bears, some that will slow you down and others that will launch you into the air, speed you up or give you a ball of honey that devours all the bears in your wake.

It’s really basic but it’s compelling because there’s a good variety of sugary enemies to bump into, each with their own unique affect on your character, and there’s loads of upgrades to unlock. You’ll need these upgrades if you want to get your wrestler to the end of each area. Getting to the end of each area is a feat but it’s blasting through the walls will let you move onto the next area of the candy kingdom. So all you need to do is make sure you keep your speed up, keep on upgrading and before you know it each run you make will consist of you breaching multiple cookie walls and destroying tons of gummy bears. Simple.

As you may be aware of, Burrito Bison – Launcha Libre is incredibly simple but it’s incredibly slick and well presented that it’s a real joy to play. Each of the enemies are well designed and fun to crash into, the 3 different wrestlers play only slightly differently but these slight differences make big differences to how you play and the audio gives every collision a real sense of power.

In the end, Burrito Bison – Launcha Libre is a very simple game but it’s made so well, has a lot of variety based around its simple premise and is incredibly generous with its advertising and IAPs. I can’t recommend Burrito Bison – Launcha Libre enough. It’s simple but it’s polished and it’s free but it doesn’t demand you watch a ton of adverts. Great stuff.


Cartoon Network Superstar Soccer: Goal!!! Review

Cartoon Network Superstar Soccer: Goal!!! Review

Dec 31, 2016

For as advanced as sports games have become, with realistic physics and visuals that make you think you’re watching a live game, it’s nice now and then to kick back with some arcade action. In fact, the most complicated thing about Cartoon Network Superstar Soccer: Goal!!! is trying to remember its name.

If you’ve played arcade style soccer games before, you’ll have a good idea of what to expect. Dribbling with the ball is as simple as running without it, tackling for the ball doesn’t require timing like in the real world and long range efforts hit the back of the net with frightening frequency. The World of Gumball’s Darwin is a better striker of the ball than Cristiano Ronaldo, it seems.unnamed-6

The action on the pitch is fast-paced and easy to grasp. You have three outfield players on each team with one of your players being a ‘superstar’. A superstar is capable of a special move once their meter is filled up and these special moves are simple to activate, requiring nothing more than the press of a button. Controls in general are simple, with a button for shooting, passing and dribbling being all you need. Holding down these buttons result in ‘bigger’ versions of each action, such as a shot with more power or a pass that travels further. The only difference between each player is the fact that the superstars have their own unique moves, with everything else largely being equal.

These superstars are taken from all manner of Cartoon Network shows, from Uncle Grandpa, Adventure Time to Regular Show. Odds are that you’ll find someone from one of your favorite shows but odds are that you’ll need to spend time unlocking them first. You can unlock characters by simply playing your way through matches and earning coins as you do. Coins are used to unlock characters as well as unlock equipable items, like hats and glasses, that let you customize your characters.

This is a bit of a problem, because whilst playing the game itself is fun, if a little basic, there’s really not much built around playing each match. There’s no real season mode or story mode to speak of. You can play a series of 4 matches, which the game will call a cup and that’s about it. You can also play online, which seems to work pretty well over 4G and using my home’s terrible wifi connection.

Other than that, there’s not really all that much else to say. The presentation is pretty great, with characters managing to look great in the game’s pared down 3D style, along with plenty of audio taken straight from the shows. The controls of the game are pretty tight and work well, considering they’re on-screen buttons, and the arcade action is bound to please most. There’s just nothing that’s particularly outstanding or memorable about this well made yet fairly simplistic arcade soccer game.

Narcos: Cartel Wars Review

Narcos: Cartel Wars Review

Oct 14, 2016

How many of you, when you were sat there watching the critically acclaimed Netflix series Narcos, thought to yourself ‘this show would totally work as a Clash of Clans clone?’ I would have guessed the precisely 0 people thought this. I would have guessed wrong.

This is because Narcos: Cartel Wars is exactly that. Someone thought this would be a good idea, someone got a development team together and someone made this game. In fairness, it’s a pretty solid Clash of Clans clone but also in fairness, do we actually need another Clash of Clans clone?unnamed-2

You start off with a base and it’s up to you to build up your compound say that it eventually contains more buildings that make you more money. It’s not all about the money though. This is a game called Narcos after all, so you need to make sure you’re making plenty of ‘product’ too. Once you’ve made enough ‘product’ you can then ship it off and a real-world timer ticks down whilst your plane sets off to distribute your ‘product’.

The Clash of Clans comparisons continue in every aspect of base building, with ‘builders huts’ being premium items and three currencies all being involved in the expansion of your base. Just like Clans you need to place mines, watchtowers and other defences so that you and your base stay safe whilst your not playing.

Straying away from the clans formula is the way that you fight. To start with, you have one transport boat. Each transport boat has a ‘Sicario’ who is assigned to it and each ‘Sicario’ has their own unique troops and you should be able to guess at how the troops operate. Quick but weak gunners, slow but strong grenadiers, etc.

This is now the part of the review where, ideally, I’d talk about more of the unique features of Narcos: Cartel Wars. This is where, Ideally, I’d reveal a special mechanic that allows you, the reader, to forgive the game for its blatant emulating of an already established mobile game. This, sadly, is not an ideal situation.

Narcos: Cartel Wars does absolutely the bare minimum to make it unique. This game essentially is Clash of Clans but with a new lick of paint. Why that lick of paint is a critically acclaimed drama, I have absolutely no idea. This is about as fitting a tribute to Narcos as Candy Crush is to Downton Abbey.

I’m not saying Narcos: Cartel Wars is bad but what I am saying is that its design is lazy. This game, this EXACT game has been made dozens of times before and this whole title seems like a cynical cash-in on a popular TV show by simply remaking a popular mobile game.

It’s fine but it’s been done before. It’s been done many, many times before.


Reigns Review

Reigns Review

Sep 27, 2016

So many apps are built to make our daily lives simpler. One app that has achieved true notoriety made the whole dating process as simple as swiping left or swiping right. You know the one I’m talking about, you know it’s called Tinder, don’t play dumb with me.

What’s not a simple process is reigning over a kingdom. Being a king is tough work and full of gray areas but Reigns doesn’t care. It’s a mixture of Game of Thrones and a dating app where your main aim is to stay alive for as long as possible.

This is harder than it sounds because your ‘helpers’ aren’t that helpful. They’ll tell you that the castle’s on fire and you have two choices, swipe left to save the garrison or swipe right to save the treasury. Either way, you’re screwed because if you upset the army enough, they’ll overthrow you and kill you. If your coffers run dry, the rich merchants of your kingdom will overthrow you and you’ll die, penniless, in the gutter.unnamed-19

Reigns is a totally brutal game of decisions and balancing everyone’s needs. The church, the army, the people and your finances all need to be balanced out. It’s a fairly literal in letting you know how ‘well’ you’re doing in each area, as on the screen an icon representing each element fills up. You’d think that filling up your ‘money’ meter wouldn’t end up in death, but it does. So you’re not allowed to let any bar fill all the way up or go all the way down.

It’s really as simple as that. You’re given clues as to how your decision will be perceived, as before you let go of each swipe you will see a small circle or a large circle appear over the icons that will be affected by your decision. The trick being, you’re told if the decision will be positive or negative and you instead have to read the text and infer whether it will fill up or drain the icon.

Luckily, all of this reading and very simple gameplay is hugely enjoyable and incredibly stylish. Each character you interact with clearly has their own agenda and its fun to see how their stories play out (assuming you live long enough). What keeps things interesting is the way the game dishes out and adds new characters and potential cards the more you play. You’ll be given vague clues as to targets to accomplish, such as ‘discover the traitor’, but upon finding out who’s the traitor in your court, you’ll unlock new cards that will reveal themselves in later playthroughs.

There is also an actual end to the game, though the real fun is in simply trying to see how long you can keep your king alive and how long you can get away with making bad decisions.

Reigns is incredibly simple but incredibly well polished and full of humour and style. I hereby decree that Reigns should be downloaded forthwith! Swipe right.


Slash Mobs Review

Slash Mobs Review

Sep 26, 2016

It’s getting harder and harder to find new things to talk about when it comes to reviewing ‘clicker’ games. Here we are with a new game that plays itself, Slash Mobs. In Slash Mobs you’re taking on enemies with each click resulting in your hero swinging their sword. After a number of swings, the enemy dies and you get some money.

Simple enough, right? You can spend your money on upgrading your hero, so your clicks are more powerful or your can spend money hiring new heroes to help you out. These heros, once they’re hired, can also be powered up and at ‘level’ milestones (10, 25, 50, 100… etc) you can unlock new abilities.

This may sound complicated but it all comes down to spending money on yourself, so your clicks are more powerful, or spending money on heros so you don’t have to click and so you earn money whilst your phone’s in your pocket.unnamed-25

I may sound a little dismissive but as far as clickers go, Slash Mobs is a well made and feature rich example of the genre. There’s plenty of carrots to keep you coming back and there’s always something for you to be levelling-up. There’s daily quests to complete, there’s daily rewards to collect, treasure chests that unlock after a number of hours and so on. Pretty much every Free-to-Play hook you can think of is present in Slash Mobs.

Again, this may sound like a negative but Slash Mobs handles its micro-transactions really well, with plenty of opportunities to earn credits through watching adverts or simply playing the game daily.

On top of the well balanced enemies it’s safe to say that Slash Mobs has had plenty of care given to its graphics and visual design as a whole. Enemies are good looking and vary greatly from area to area. Some look like Pokemon, others look like they should be from Monster Hunter but all of them are nice looking and well animated.

In fact, the game as a whole has a level of polish to it which makes it extremely fun to play. Particle effects sprout up when you level-up a hero, your character’s special abilities work well and will help you get past any particularly difficult enemies and there’s an absolute ton of levels, heroes and items to unlock.

So whilst Slash Mobs isn’t trying to do anything new, it is extremely well made and has really narrowed down what it is that makes a clicker game fun. Namely, you’re always within touching distance of a new item, ability or power-up and when you’re not playing the game your heroes are hard at working earning you money.

It’s not new, it’s not revolutionary but it is good. Slash Mobs is a worthwhile clicker that is full of content and will keep you coming back for more.

Soccer Shootout Review

Soccer Shootout Review

Aug 31, 2016

A an English person, the idea of taking penalties strikes fear into my heart. It’s just something we’re genetically unable to do. However, after some hours with Swipe Soccer, I fancy my chances from the penalty spot a little bit more.

Soccer Shootout’s a straightforward idea. It’s a penalty shootout game where you swipe at the screen to take a penalty or to get your goalkeeper to dive. You can apply swerve, direction and power to your shots by swiping in a particular way. Swipe quickly for more power, swipe at an angle to aim for the corners and draw a line that’s not straight for curve.

It’s the same thing for goalkeeper control too. Swipe left, right, high or low – it’s dead simple and actually quite fun.

The game has some added depth thanks to the fact you can unlock and buy new players. These are important as different players will have different stats. How good a player is will actually affect how hard you have to swipe and how precise you can be with your kicks. On top of this, players and ‘keepers can have special abilities. These abilities allow you to swerve the ball more wildly, reduce your opponent’s field of vision and even perform a really odd lob kick that belongs on an American Football field.SS1

The game has both singleplayer and multiplayer options. In the single player mode you take on teams from around the world, touring the globe one country at a time. As this isn’t an officially licensed product you’ll be facing off against some weird looking crests that will remind you of a real team’s logo, but most certainly are not a real team’s logo. This also goes for the names of the players, though some of the names have been so heavily altered it’s hard to recognise who they’re trying to be.

Online is fun, though you can sometimes come up against people who have much better players than you. Being in a shootout with players that are way better than your own means your keeper won’t have even moved by the time the ball’s flown into the net. I understand you want to reward players that have spent more time and money on the game than others, but it’s a little bit too much.

As you play through either mode you’ll earn money. This can be used to ‘train’ your players, which is just another way of boosting their stats. You can also save your money up and got ahead and buy an entirely new player. Those of you that are willing to part with your real money for access to the game’s fake money will have access to the more expensive and therefore better players.

In the end, Soccer Shootout is a pretty fun game that has a really simple premise but it’s so well made, it’s hard not to have fun. There’s new players being introduced regularly, so if you’re happy constantly taking penalties, there’s plenty to keep you going.

Deus Ex GO Review

Deus Ex GO Review

Aug 29, 2016

Phones and tablets, more often than not, can’t do what PCs and consoles do. It’s just a fact. Different control schemes and a lack of powerful hardware means it’s just not possible to plonk a beloved series onto a phone.

This is why Deus Ex GO is so impressive and continues the success that the GO series has had to date. Previous GO titles include Hitman and Lara Croft, where the games captured the spirit of their franchises whilst converting them into simple, turn-based puzzle games. Which is just what’s happened in Deus Ex GO too.

You play as Adam Jensen, protagonist of the recent Deus Ex console and PC games. The story is pretty throwaway, with you infiltrating a corporation’s building, espionage and so on. There’s links to the new Deus Ex: Mankind Divided, but the links aren’t that meaningful unless you’re a hardcore Deus Ex fan.

The game itself, as mentioned, plays almost like a board game, with you moving your one piece (Adam Jensen) whilst the computer controls everything else. The goal is quite simple, with you starting at one side of the ‘board’ and all you need to do is make it to the exit, which is a designated space on the board, often opposite to the side you start on.unnamed-2

This isn’t a simple game of snake and ladders however, as you need to watch out for all manner of enemies, traps and defences. All of these obstacles behave in fairly simple ways and are introduced at a good pace, keeping things interesting. The first set of enemies you’ll run into (hopefully not literally) are soldiers that, when they spot you, grow an exo-skeleton making them indestructible and they charge at you. The solution is to simply approach them from behind or from the side and, like a game of chess, you’ll remove them from the board. Of course, they can also remove you from the board and force you to start over. Other enemies include turrets that kill on site, robots that kill if you approach from the front and so on.

What’s so great about this game is the way all of the enemies interact with each other. One example is the turret and the indestructible exo-skeleton man. On one level, the solution involved me triggering the guard, moving to the side and then having the guard block the turret’s line of sight. This game keeps things fresh and interesting as there’s a near constant stream of new enemies and traps appearing and the fun is in finding out how they’ll affect each other.

On top of this there’s powerups to find, that can turn you invisible, for example and terminals to hack, meaning turrets are your friend and will shoot down any antagonistic guards or robots. The game is constantly asking you to rethink about what you already know and it’s so rewarding when you finally figure out a particularly difficult level.

On top of this, the game looks really great. It’s not a graphical powerhouse but it has absolute style. Adopting a polygonal look, characters burst apart into a stream of triangles when they’re defeated and each level has a unique layout, with different furniture littered about each board.

Deus Ex GO manages to keep its Deus Ex roots whilst distilling them down into a simple to play puzzle game. With tons of enemies resulting in tons of variety for each level, I can’t recommend this enough.


Soundtrack Attack: Steven Universe Review

Soundtrack Attack: Steven Universe Review

Aug 29, 2016

I’ll admit to something right off the bat – I’ve never watched an episode of Steven Universe. I’ve seen plenty of gifs and whatnot, my Twitter feed is full of people who love it, but I’ve just never given it a shot. Bear this in mind when reading this review and when I tell you that Soundtrack Attack is a rhythm game that has a soundtrack which means nothing to me.

You’ve all played a rhythm game before, right? The notes appear on the screen in time with the music and you’ve got to press the right button at the right time. It provides the illusion that you’re actually ‘playing’ the music when in reality you’re just strumming a plastic guitar or, in this case, simply tapping, dragging and holding your fingers down on the screen of your phone. All in all, it’s a pretty average rhythm game, though there were instances where I felt that the game was a little too forgiving. When faced with a screen full of notes I’d eventually lose track of what was going on yet somehow get through even the trickiest of sections with my combo intact, thanks to the fact I’d tapped randomly on my screen. I guess this makes it more suitable to what I imagine is its younger intended audience.su1

Another more personal issue I have with the game is that I just didn’t enjoy or recognize any of the music. Imagine playing Rock Band or Guitar Hero and having never heard any of the songs before. Imagine that you’d not only never heard them but that you thought they were bad. So this might be a harsh criticism and one based on the fact I’m not a fan of the series, but it’s a criticism all the same. There also seems to be a fair amount of reuse, as the same song will appear on several levels with only slight alterations to it.

On more positive notes, fans of the series should find enough to enjoy with Soundtrack Attack: Steven Universe. You get to create your own character (called a Gem?) and you can customize her as you progress. More customization options become available as you complete songs, with better performances earning you more coins to spend on these character altering elements.

There aren’t any power-ups to buy or use during levels. Once you’ve played through a level and heard its song, that’s all there is to it. There’s plenty of levels, mind, though not much to keep you coming back unless you’re after high scores or a perfect run.

In the end Soundtrack Attack: Steven Universe is a well made game even if it is a little basic and a touch too forgiving. This probably suits the younger audience out there, though I know a lot of Steven Universe fans who are well into their 20s. They might want to skip this.


Dots and Co Review

Dots and Co Review

Aug 26, 2016

I often think long and hard about the words I write. It might not seem like it sometimes, but it’s true. I fret over each adjective, hoping that I find the one that really evokes the meaning I’m going for. With Dots and Co I’ve struggled to find the perfect word. I wanted to say ‘nice’, but nice seemed a little bland, a little basic and a touch too simple.

However, Dots and Co is a simple, somewhat bland and basic puzzle game. It’s really nice.

It’s a really stylish looking game full of clean designs and pastel colours. Cute characters and animals place themselves at the top of the screen, acting as your avatar. There’s a good amount of polish to proceedings, with your avatar following your touch across the screen and with blips, blops and pops following every action. There’s also some really… nice ambient music that accompanies everything, filled with chilled out acoustic guitar.dots2

The game is made up of coloured dots placed on a grid. You need to draw a line between as many dots of the same colour as you can. Drawing a line causes the dots to disappear and more dots fall from the top of the screen to take their place. The challenge is that you need to clear a certain number of certain coloured dots to complete each level.

Adding some difficulty and variety to proceedings is special abilities you’ll pick up as the game progresses, ice blocks that stop you starting a line on certain squares of the grid and the fact that the grid itself will change shape and size from level to level.

The problem is that each level doesn’t really ask too much of you. There’s very little strategy to any of the proceedings means it’s hard to really call it a puzzle game. You just do the thing it’s asking you to do and all without much thought. I guess this makes it ideal for a casual audience but it’s probably safe to say that Dots and Co is a little too casual, especially for the first 50 or so levels.

This being said, it’s hard to be too negative. It’s just too nice, too relaxed and too gentle for you to get sick of it. I found myself not so much bored, more in a state of zen.

Which might be exactly what you’re after. A game to kill some time whilst you’re sat on the bus, something to keep you busy whilst waiting for a microwave to ding, something that requires very little thought and it really quite pleasant to look at.

Dots and Co is a nice game.