Foosball Cup World Review

Foosball Cup World Review

Nov 25, 2014

Here’s a sentence I didn’t expect to make today: this free-to-play foosball simulator is a lot of fun. If someone is too young to remember what this is, and/or have never watched Friends, foosball is a table version of soccer, in which the players stand on the opposite sides of a specially crafted table, crossed by several parallel rods with dummy players on them. The players rotate the sticks with the dummies in order to hit the ball into the opponent’s gates. Although the game looks weird at first, it’s pretty fun, so Foosball Cup World simply needed to accurately transport the field into digital world, add a proper physical simulation for the ball, a couple of options for variety of gameplay, and not screw it up with useless free-to-play restrictions. And thankfully, it coped with the task almost perfectly. Besides the small ads and a long time it takes to get comfortable with the controls, the game is exactly what I’d expect to see from a mobile foosball game – if I ever did expect to see one.

There are several game modes in Foosball Cup World. There’s the quick match, where the player plays against an AI, in any battlefield and by any rules he wants. There’s the challenge mode, providing about a couple dozens of challenges, in which the player has to test his skills. The challenges reward the player with special points that can be spent on purchasing new tables, players, or balls that have different behavior. There’s not a whole lot, but it’s enough to keep the game fresh for quite a Foosball Cup World 2while. If the challenge is failed, it can be tried again after a couple of minutes. Another mode is the tournament, where the player has to win in a series of matches to gain special prizes. Finally, there’s the World League which is the most difficult mode, in which the player has to win against all other countries. The tournament and world league aren’t available from the start and have to be unlocked. Finally, there’s the two player mode, in which two players can play on the single device against each other, quite in the spirit of original foosball.

Overall, it’s the best recreation of foosball on the platform – at least because it’s, likely, the only one in existence. If you’re a fan of foosball, nothing should stop you from enjoying it, and if you’re not – it’s still a fun and challenging little arcade to kill some time.

Pocket Heroes Beta Review

Pocket Heroes Beta Review

Nov 24, 2014

Pocket Heroes is a tactical action that puts the player in a weird, loose adaptation of a Legend of King Arthur. The story follows Eric, a bearded lieutenant of the king’s guardsmen who pretty unexpectedly all die at the hands of a demon, after being sent away from the castle on the order of Mordred. After being saved by a priest girl who joins him, he needs to go back to Camelot and save the kingdom from the hordes of various fantasy rabble.

The gameplay of Pocket Heroes is pretty familiar. The player controls up to four characters on the arena as they are being attacked by waves of enemies. The player needs to tap one of the characters and drag a line to make him move. Dragging it onto an enemy will make a character attack, dragging it onto an empty area will make him go there, and dragging a priest onto your character will make him start healing. The system is years old, and still as uncomfortable as ever, since trying to select a character in the middle of battle is welcoming to produce all sorts of mistakes. It’s not like it’s impossible to keep control over the characters, but every so often you give the wrong order to a wrong character, sometimes costing you a clean win.

Another problem of Pocket Heroes is the free-to-play system that irritates the bowels like a mix of milk, pickles, and Pocket Heroes Beta 2barbed wire. The game is currently in Beta, so it’s possible that the control system will be fixed – however, I’m guessing that the ads and the expendable mission energy are going to stay in the finished game.

Still, besides the lack of originality, free-to-pay stuff and the uncomfortable controls, Pocket Heroes is pretty fun. The cartoon graphics are crisp and pleasant, the outcome still depends on the player’s skills, and the wide range of loot, as well as long skill trees for each hero that include special upgrades, make it interesting to play for a long time – or at least as long as the energy bar lets you. Overall, this game is more or less, mediocre.

Tank Invaders: Shmup Evolved Review

Tank Invaders: Shmup Evolved Review

Nov 21, 2014

Despite its name, Tank Invaders: Shmup Evolved is neither a shmup, nor is it particularly evolved. It’s still pretty good though. The story and characters put McBane to shame with their corniness. The player becomes a missile commander for allied forces that are fighting against the Terror – as in, an organization that literally calls itself Terror. They employ lunatics and fanatics to their side, lacking but a swastika and the actual Devil as their commander to complete the image of a perfect enemy for the forces of democracy and everything that is good. Anyway, the player has to endure endless waves of enemies as they try to destroy the thingy that the player is trying to protect (what is that that we’re trying to protect, by the way?) by shooting a barrage of missiles onto advancing enemies.

The gameplay of Tank Invaders: Shmup Evolved isn’t anything new, but it’s executed in a pleasant way, so the repetition isn’t too tiresome, and the difficulty can be played around for quite a while. The enemies come from the top and the player needs to tap onto them to order a missile hit. The missiles take half a second to drop, so the player has to aim a Tank Invaders 3bit in advance, although that’s not a big factor in the game’s difficulty. Mostly, it’s about reaction time, as the enemies grow in numbers, and their speed starts increasing. Besides the missiles, the player has expendable nukes, a bunch of power-ups that, when picked up, make the missiles stronger of faster for a while, and a special “On fire” mode that’s activated when the player hits a number of targets in succession, without missing once.

The enemies differ quite a lot, and I’d say, they’re the most interesting part of Tank Invaders: Shmup Evolved. There are tanks, aircrafts, missile silos and various bosses. The boss encounter is a challenging test of the player’s skills, although, strangely, it isn’t the most likely place to get defeated. When the player’s base health bar is completely erased by enemy shots, the enemies getting through the player’s defenses, or the player hitting the allied vehicles, the game is over, and the player gets money based on how long he lasted and whether he completed any of the three special missions. Then he can spend the money to resupply his nukes or upgrade some part of his armory, before going on the line again.

Tank Invaders: Shmup Evolved is fun, and it’s the most that matters. Sure, it’s free-to-play, and has its limits, but it’s not punishing the player for not paying, and the ads aren’t shoved in the face – you can actually get bonus gold by watching a 30-second video ad. Regardless, it’s a fun game with cool graphics and corny dialogues for anyone who likes explosions with a bit of tactics on the side.

Joinz Review

Joinz Review

Nov 21, 2014

Joinz is a puzzle game with deceptively simple gameplay, starting out easy, but very quickly becoming a test for your brain, particularly that part that is responsible for not throwing violent tantrums when you fail to beat a high-score.

The gameplay of Joinz is somewhat similar to Lines. There is a square field that has a single building block. The player can slide this block in four directions, making it travel until it hits an object or a border. Every time the player moves a block, another block appears on a random position on the field. Unlike lines, where the player has to create lines from the blocks of the same color to remove them from the field, Joinz requires the player to create one of the three shapes that pop up on the top of the screen. When the shape is complete, the player gets another one to make. As the player progresses, the shapes get gradually more complex, starting from simple tetris-like forms, to the complexities that fill up half of the game board. Also, appearing blocks start to get additional colors, making the field even more difficult to navigate. The player has to “jump” off of the existing blocks in order to create the required shapes. Don’t forget that once two or more blocks are connected to each other, it’s almost impossible to break them apart, so they’ll behave like a singular shape.

Although Joinz has a pretty demanding set of rules, it also has power-ups that can extend the game for a long while – if the player knows how to use them, of course. Every once in a while, a special “gift” block appears. Tapping on it gives the player a choice of different power-ups. The longer the game goes, the more power-ups can be summoned from the gift block. It’s a pretty cool system, since the player can choose the most fitting power-up that he requires, but then he still needs to move it in the position where he wants it to be.

Overall, Joinz is a decent and unusual puzzle that requires quite a lot of skill and forward thinking on behalf of the player. It lacks additional game modes or special challenges, and general variety, but it’s still a fine treat for the fans of brain-bending puzzles.

Planetary Guard: Defender Review

Planetary Guard: Defender Review

Nov 17, 2014

Today, humanity has successfully landed a probe on a comet, after years of rigorous testing on Donald Trump’s massive ego, so it’s fitting that I’d review a game about defending the futuristic space stations, situated on various asteroids and the like. Planetary Guard: Defender pits the player against the hordes of presumably alien ships that are attacking the bases around the universe, with a single hover-tank. The gameplay is similar to top-down arena shooters, only in this case, the “arena” isn’t some patch of grass or dirt, but an orbit around a planetoid that the player has to defend from several waves of enemies. The rest is all the same. Each wave has a certain amount of enemies that need to be killed, before they kill the player and/or the station that he defends. When they die, the enemies drop coins and power-ups. Power-ups give the player better shooting power, and the coins are spent between the missions on upgrades. Each mission also has three objectives, granting a star for completing each one. The more stars the player has, the more advanced levels he can unlock. It’s even possible to skip a couple of levels and go straight for the hardest one, if you’re confident.

The upgrade system in Planetary Guard: Defender features several hulls, weapons, shields, and special items. Each one can be upgraded to gain better characteristics. Naturally, Planetary Guard Defender 3the most powerfull of them require a special resource that can be bought with real-world money. They are also earned after the missions, but in very small amounts. Speaking of which, Planetary Guard: Defender is pleasantly devoid of most of the free-to-play irritations, not counting the fullscreen ads at the end of each level. There’s no energy, so you can play and replay every level for as much as you like. There’s no obvious paywall, at least not in the first couple of hours of gameplay that I’ve seen, and the grinding isn’t getting on the nerves.

Wrapping up, Planetary Guard: Defender is a fun shooter for the fans of rapid old-school sci-fi action, set in a pretty 3D, courtesy of Unity engine. It takes a while to get comfortable with, but it’s worth it, in my opinion.

Boogey Boy Review

Boogey Boy Review

Nov 13, 2014

Boogey Boy is an interesting middle ground between the classic platformers and infinite runners. Okay, it’s more of a runner, but it does match all of the staples of a platformer game, along with a price tag of two dollars. I’m not sure if there’s a lot of people willing to purchase an infinite runner when there’s quite a lot of them for free, but regardless, Boogey Boy is pretty fun.

The intro shows a boy and his sister, sleeping in a room that’s probably situated on an Indian cemetery for serial killers, judging by the amount of its creepiness infestation. The sister gets kidnapped by a boogie-man, and a boy has to rescue her by collecting batteries for a flash-light that can destroy nightmares. But while he does it, he has to escape said nightmares, as they aren’t shy of preemptive devouring. The boy can perform jumps, long jumps, and double-jumps, which will come in handy in the multi-layered Boogey Boy 4nightmare world. The hero needs to avoid meeting any enemy face-to-face as they will slow him down, letting the advancing nightmare catch up to him. However, he can jump on certain enemies to destroy them, and collect power-ups that give him a temporary boost that can be activated with a special button at any time (along with a cool activation sequence). The goal is to collect three batteries in story mode, or simply last as long as possible in arcade mode.

Overall, Boogey Boy is just a great endless runner. It has cool style and its levels are a lot more dense with stuff than other runners. It doesn’t have any pay-to-win elements, although it doesn’t have any kind of in-game store either, which makes it a bit aimless. It’s a fine game overall, but it’s still a runner. The gameplay is always the same and isn’t that unique, the story is insignificant, and the mechanics are few. I think that it’ll be a lot of fun for the people who like the mechanics of endless runners, but are tired of the free-to-play clutter. I know I am.

Buff Knight – RPG Runner Review

Buff Knight – RPG Runner Review

Nov 4, 2014

Buff Knight claims to be a role-playing game runner, but you’ll struggle to find a trace of role-playing in there. The game also claims it’s a top paid RPG in Japan, Taiwan, Australia, Sweden, and a top App in Korea. To which begs the question: what the hell, aforementioned countries? There’s been a fair share of lazy runners, and Buff Knight is by no means the worst, but the fact that it’s considered a top paid anything makes whatever is left in my dried up heart, slightly warm up.

At first, it seems that Buff Knight is absolutely boring. Then you uncover a depth you haven’t noticed before. But ten minutes later it looks absolutely boring again. The hero runs forward. Whenever he bumps into a monster, they both take damage. The player can tap on the screen to summon a magical lightning at the cost of mana that will hurt the closest monster, and maybe a couple of others near him. There are two potions, for mana and health, and the player has to juggle between them to try and run as far as possible, in Buff Knight - RPG Runner 3order to get more gold and crystals that fall from monsters, cutlery, and chests that require a key to open. When the hero inevitably dies, player can spend gold and crystals to buff him and buy better armor and sword, or upgrade them. After a certain mark, the hero starts meeting more powerful enemies and get more gold. At the end (that’s about an hour of gameplay away), he encounters a boss, and after defeating it, gets an artifact that can be equipped to gain some slight advantage. Then the player has to run through the whole damn thing once again, from the very start, twenty times in total. Top paid my ass.

The obvious problem with the game formula is that difficulty or skill change is non-existent. You can run for an hour, but the gameplay won’t change one bit. The enemies don’t have any differences except for health and damage; you can’t learn new spells or play as a different class – hell, if the enemy sprites didn’t change, you could loop five seconds of gameplay, play them on repeat, and have about the same experience. Maybe I’m too harsh on Buff Knight, but after all, it’s a game that in some countries, beat all Final Fantasies, Dragon Quests, and even 10000000 that basically contains this game within itself. I mean, it’s an okay, simple little game, but don’t expect anything more.

Notebook Wars Saga Review

Notebook Wars Saga Review

Nov 3, 2014

Notebook Wars Saga is a fairly fun flight arcade, where the player pilots an aircraft that flies around and destroys enemy air-crafts by the hundreds. There’s no telling whether the hero is defending his homeland, wiping out a noble alien race, or lying on the floor with a sketchbook, high as a kite on acid. Either way, there’s a bunch of missions that the player needs to complete, each one containing more and more hardy enemies. Thankfully, the main plane is also getting stronger.

After destroying an enemy, the player can pick up gold that they apparently store on-board, and use it to purchase better weapons and planes at the store. There’s a load of various tools of destruction, including napalm bombs, lasers, Gatling guns and whatnot. Each has slightly different effect and rate of fire. Additionally, better planes have Notebook Wars Saga 2better health and speed, and can even be equipped with more than one weapon, meaning the player has to think of different weapon combos that would work best. Of course, the best weapons and planes require secret Nazi reserves’ worth of gold. On the other hand, even if the player dies in the middle of the level, he gets to keep all the gold he earned, so it’s not that difficult to farm some gold even if you can’t actually progress. So, if the player is good, he’ll get through the game faster, but if he’s not, he’ll just have to farm for better weapons, and then go through the enemies like a high-powered plane through butter. If the player manages to kill every single enemy on the level, he also gets some bonus gold, so it’s worth replaying old levels with better weapons. Oh, and there are also bombs that the player can launch a couple of times during the level, eradicating a screen-full of enemies, and power-ups that make the plane fire at a higher speed for a while, or heal itself up.

Notebook Wars Saga is a solid, classic arcade with straightforward mechanics and a cool visual style. Its gameplay is not unique, and gets a bit repetitive after a while, but it’s fun and challenging enough to be interesting, without getting unfair. Overall, a fine game to spend an afternoon with.

Phantom Rift Review

Phantom Rift Review

Oct 29, 2014

Phantom Rift is an unusual little game with a world just as weird as its gameplay. We play as a mage who gets thrown into a limbo dimension for an unspecified reason. The only thing that the main character remembers is that (s)he was a powerful mage in the real world. A wisp that happened to be nearby explains that the rift has all sorts of entities, most of them malicious, so the mage will have to use his rich spellbook if he is to proceed through the endless levels of the rift.

Phantom Rift gameplay has two parts that seamlessly transition into each other. The character walks around a map that is literally building around him as he goes. The map contains various treasures that give precious loot, and portals that can transfer the hero to different parts of the rift, and every once in a while, a random encounter happens. Then, the game switches to the battle mode. The map shrinks into a small area, divided into two zones, three rows by three columns each. The enemies move around their half of the field, mostly at random, between the squares, and attack the hero in various ways. The hero needs to evade these attacks and try to kill the enemies, using his basic weapon and a range of spells. The spells are the most interesting part of the game, so I’ll focus on them.

There can be thirty “active” spells that the hero can use during the battle. Many more can be found and bought during the game, but from them, and their copies, the hero can only Phantom Rift 3equip thirty to use in battle. When the battle starts, the hero is presented with five random spells from the ones he equipped. Using each spell costs mana, so some of them have to be destroyed in order to generate more of it. The ones the player chose can then be cast at any time during the battle. The hero can repeat the spell cycle every several seconds. The system is very unusual, but it works great and there’s plenty of spells to choose from. At times, it almost feels like a trading card game, since the spells should compliment each other, and different spells should be used against different kinds of opponents.

Overall, Phantom Rift is pretty captivating, even though the gameplay is always the same, and the random encounters sometimes feel like grinding. It has great world and battles that are resolved by tactics as well as luck, and a loot-hoarding element, so it’s an incredible time-waster. I recommend it both to Diablo players who want something more tactical, and turn-based action players who want something more exciting.

Cheetah Simulator Review

Cheetah Simulator Review

Oct 28, 2014

Cheetah Simulator” sounds like a name I’d enter in a “create a new videogame genre” competition, when I was about 12. And honestly, the game is exactly the sort of thing that I’d imagine it would be. By which I mean, profoundly boring. Not that I had some expectations with a title like this, and for its empty price tag it’s certainly fine, just don’t expect to hold onto it for a long time.

Honestly, Cheetah Simulator is pretty self-descriptive. The player embodies a cheetah that suffers insomnia, constipation, extreme dehydration, and lots of other issues, which is more or less understandable, since it exists in an enclosed subspace that’s about a couple of city blocks in diameter. Here’s a list of tasks that it can perform: run, jump, claw, eat, drink, collect chests that contain cheetah facts, roar, produce offsprings, and die. I’d say that it’s a pretty compelling list of things cheetahs usually do, but that’s not enough for a varied gaming experience. There’s a bunch of animals that the cheetah can kill and eat, some of them being quite tough and able to kill the inexperienced cheetah pretty quickly. Basically, the gameplay consists of killing smaller animals, eating them and leveling up through it, so the cheetah becomes stronger, and then moving on toCheetah Simulator 3 stronger prey. There’s a couple of interesting mechanics, such as being able to mate and produce offspring that will hunt with the player and help kill off the most powerful animals. Another cool trick is that if the cheetah jumps and claws at an animal while running, she will perform a tackle that will kill off the smaller animals and, well, tackle the larger ones. It requires a bit of skill and makes hunting a bit more interesting. There are also several skins for your pride to wear that are unlocked after reaching a certain level, and a special attack.

Overall, Cheetah Simulator isn’t bad, especially for a free game, but it lacks features, multiplayer and proper scale. The same game, but blown up to at least five hundred yards and with several ecosystems, would be a nature lovers’ feast. Right now it’s basically just a demo for a non-existent game. I still recommend it for a younger audience and the fans of African savannah, so here’s hoping that it will grow into something bigger.

Dementia: The Book of the Dead Review

Dementia: The Book of the Dead Review

Oct 23, 2014

At the first sight, this game looks like another simple survival horror, which are quite popular on the mobiles. Surprisingly, Dementia: The Book of the Dead is neither simple, nor a survival horror, in a true sense. It has great and scary atmosphere, but once you understand that the unholy abomination before you can be dealt with by the means of stuffing it with holy bullets, or smashing its abominable face with not-quite-holy lantern, the atmosphere dwindles somewhat. Not to say that it’s in any way a bad game, but the main character’s death is more likely to summon a groan instead of shivers. It’s still a horror, so the enemies always overpower the main character and running away is often a better decision than fighting. In other words, great fun.

Dementia: The Book of the Dead has a twisting story with a bunch of characters and quite a lot of dialogue, although I couldn’t get past the protagonist’s corniness to get too immersed in it. Basically, the game is set in the dark ages England, where the ghosts and witches are all too real. The main hero is one of the best special agents of the church that deal with witches. He is assigned on a mission to exterminate some witches in some distant, small town. Witches are spooky enough in my book, but pretty soon the amount of Dementia 4

The gameplay of Dementia: The Book of the Dead is similar to other first-person shooters on the mobiles. Move and aim with virtual joysticks, kill the enemies using a couple of different weapons and a lantern, and solve whatever simple puzzles arise on the way. It’s powered by Unity engine, and it certainly shows. The game graphics feature a great level of detail, while the atmosphere of medieval England is seeping through the screen. Although the enemies aren’t that well designed, the general level of graphics left me really satisfied. Not so much with my tablet that struggled to render the game, even on the lowest graphics, and the loading times were pretty enormous, at least for me. Still, it’s a great and atmospheric spooky action, especially for its low price.

Animals vs Mutants Review

Animals vs Mutants Review

Oct 20, 2014

Asia keeps pumping good-looking, poorly-designed content on Google Play, choke-full of free-to-play restrictions and mechanics. I can’t see why anybody would play another rip-off of a ten-year old flash game, and yet thousands of downloads suggest that there’s a reason. Animals vs Mutants is exactly that kind of game, with more mechanics than a Formula-1 pit-stop, and with just as short service time.

In Animals vs Mutants, the player is filling the shoes of a hero, whose animal friends get kidnapped by Dr. Wicked (literally his name – no wonder the guy went bonkers) and his army of mutants. It’s now time to build an army of cute but bloodthirsty animals and attack his strongholds to rescue them. The gameplay is a familiar 1-D strategy. One base on the player’s side, one on the enemy’s. The player controls a hero and can summon various animals to help destroy the base, while the enemy does the same. Two armies meet somewhere in the center and whoever is stronger, pushes closer to the base, while waiting for the reinforcements to come closer. The new mechanics here is that different animals fight Animals vs. Mutants 2better on different terrains. Pandas can roll downhill and push back the enemies below; squirrels can shoot acorns uphill, and platypuses get better stats underwater.

It’s all fine, but as always, instead of demanding better skills down the line, Animals vs Mutants just throws bloated bullet sponges at the player, and waits until they get enough upgrades and equipment for their animals and hero to out-sponge the enemy. Speaking of which, there’s tons of equipment that can be purchased, upgraded and swapped, each unit type can be improved, and there are special superpowers that cost gold to regenerate. In other words, the game is a market in and of itself, filled with stuff that you need to purchase if you don’t want to use an energy point for nothing. Oh, right, there’s also energy. I didn’t hit the paywall while I played, but I’m sure that it’s somewhere in there, further along the line. And even if it wasn’t, the game isn’t all that interesting, although I did enjoy it. I say enjoy it, I mean I tolerated it. I say tolerated, but what I mean is I poured acid on my face and danced on a fire ant colony in needle shoes to distract me. The little animals are all pretty cute though.