LEGO BIONICLE Review

LEGO BIONICLE Review

Jan 28, 2015

Lego Bionicle is a sub-franchise of Lego that I just never got into, despite being hugely into Lego. It was just too corny, and never really felt like Lego. There was barely any construction involved, and I couldn’t figure why I was supposed to get into that vague story about some monsters that have an obsession with masks. I was obviously in the minority, since Bionicles are hugely popular even today, evident by this very videogame, Lego Bionicle.

The story in Lego Bionicle is as vague as it is in the whole Bionicle universe. There’s some mask that everyone wants, I guess? The story is told in the wordless one-shots between the levels, that make it even more unintelligible, so I just didn’t bother with it. I understand that the player controls one of a number of warrior-type beings that search for the maskguffin through the different parts of a huge island, populated entirely by aggressive Lego spiders, and that’s perfectly enough.

The gameplay in Lego Bionicle has a really minimalistic approach to it. The levels are basically a bunch of interconnected arenas, where the player needs to kill advancing spiders and not get hurt by their random attacks, because…nothing. When hurt, the player taps the screen for a couple of seconds, and the Bionicle springs back into action. I know that it’s a game for children, but it felt a bit toothless even for that. The action demands the player to tap on the spiders around him, and the hero will jump between them, dealing damage. There are two super-attacks, one dealing a damage around the player, and another stunning the enemies. The gameplay is actually surprisingly exciting, as you have to jump between the spiders really fast, and not to get hit by their attacks – again, despite the fact that they don’t really pose any threat. After the level is over, the player gets a body part for one of the Bionicles that slightly changes its appearance, as a trophy.

There is a single big problem with Lego Bionicle, and it’s a complete lack of variety. The campaign is insultingly simple and short, there are only two kinds of enemies,Lego Bionicle 4 and the same boss at the end. The Bionicles have literally no gameplay differences between themselves. Basically, the only things that change when playing different Bionicles are their look and attack animations, and the backgrounds. It’s pretty dumb, considering how much work was obviously poured into them, and how long it takes to complete the campaign with all six of them – not even talking about collecting each of the numerous body parts. The game looks massive, but doesn’t feel massive at all.

Besides that, Lego Bionicle is an okay fast-paced action for the fans of the Bionicle universe. If you’re not into Bionicles, it’s only interesting for about an hour at most.

Oh, and there are no in-game purchases, making the game completely free, so that’s pretty sweet.

WWE Immortals Review

WWE Immortals Review

Jan 22, 2015

The fans of WWE can rejoice: they got a cool new fighting game, titled WWE Immortals. It gives all of the famous WWE characters even more crazy and unrealistic abilities and pits them against each other in teams by three. If this isn’t enough for you, then mind that they also get really violent finisher moves and exciting battlegrounds to fight in. If this also isn’t enough, then I know about WWE even less then I thought, sorry.

In all seriousness though, WWE Immortals is a surprisingly good game – at least when compared to the previous WWE titles that I got to play before. It looks and sounds great, almost comparable to the fighting games on the consoles. There’s also a ton of different characters to chose from – even though they’re not as different as they seem. More surprisingly, it does require some skill to win.

The player has a collection of cards that represent the fighters. Each fighter has a power level, and a health level that go up as the character gets experience from the fights. They also have three special moves, and a passive ability. The moves can be upgraded by spending some amount of gold, also earned through fights. The player needs to compose a team of three fighters from the ones available to him, challenge the AI opponent in the tournaments, or another players in online mode (although there were some server problems), WWE Immortals 3and beat them to get the experience and the gold. The fight mechanics are simple, but pretty interesting. The player taps the screen for short punches, swipes left or right for heavy ones, and taps with two fingers to block. The punches can also be stringed together into short combos. As the player hits, or gets hit, the energy bar charges up, and can be unleashed by tapping on one of the three abilities. Sometimes, the player needs to do some simple actions here and there to improve the damage output.

Overall, WWE Immortals has a unique and surprisingly potent fighting mechanic, that’s a bit too simple, but works for me. The main problem I see in it is that it’s free-to-play, so it has the same old crap, like the energy bar, and the grinding, and other stuff like that. If you’re okay with that, and you’re a fan of WWE, it’s a cool game, and a great way to kick the butt of a WWE fighter with your own two WWE fighters.

Flockers Review

Flockers Review

Jan 22, 2015

Flockers is a puzzle game from the creators of the Worms series – although it doesn’t have much to do with Worms. What it does have a lot in common with, is Lemmings – an old game from the nineties, still as immersive today, as it was 25 years ago.

Flockers features a flock of sheep that wander through maddeningly dangerous levels, without a care in the world. They served as weapons of destruction in the Worms series, but now seem to try and find a fate different from exploding. The player’s task is to navigate them through the hellish landscapes and lead them to the exit pipe. The sheep don’t have a concept of self-preservation, and will happily get dismembered by the saws and splash to the bottom of any pit that they come across. The player can’t directly control them in any way, so he’s left with a number of “professions” that he can assign. These professions grant the sheep abilities that help them survive, or give some other abilities that help the rest of the flock – like an ability to jump really far, or to explode, destroying a nearby obstacle. The player needs to assign these professions correctly, and at the right time, guiding the flock around the levels. The levels get pretty tight, but thankfully, the time stops when the player is assigning the professions, so the player doesn’t have to tap frantically all over the screen.

Flockers 3There’s quite a lot of levels in Flockers, divided into worlds, each world ending with a “boss” of some kind. There are three stars that can be collected upon level completion. One for passing it, one for saving a certain number of sheep, and one for completing the level in a certain time limit. The better the player performs, the more wool he gets as a reward. Wool can be spent to purchase different skins for the flock, but doesn’t really have any different use.

Generally, Flockers is a great adaptation of a great game. Cool graphics, violent dismemberment (it’s disabled by default, so hop into the options to enable gore), and lots of varied levels mean the game has everything you would expect to see. I should note that it’s only for the fans of this kind of action puzzle genre. It can be too tedious for some, or too fast for others, but it’s damn good if you’re into this sort of thing.

9 Elements: Action Fight Ball Review

9 Elements: Action Fight Ball Review

Jan 21, 2015

While it looks like a generic anime-styled garbage fills Google Play all the time, 9 Elements: Action Fight Ball is very distinct and fun. It combines two very different genres with a surprising simplicity, although I wouldn’t mind if it was a little more complex.

9 Elements: Action Fight Ball is an sports action game of sorts. A bunch of colorful characters play a very violent variation of volleyball, using magic and weapons to confuse and knock out the opponents. Each round, the player needs to score more points than the opponent while the timer counts to zero. If he wins, he gets some magic rocks that he can use to upgrade his character, or purchase a new one. The characters differ by their stats, as well as by the style of their attacks and super attacks, although the basic tricks remain the same for all of them.

The fighter can move around, dash, jump, hit the ball and use their ability if the ability gauge is full enough. The most interesting part is that the player can choose the direction of the ball when hitting it, trying to pass it around the opponent, as the ball moves around more or less according to physics. It also can move at high speeds, but the player has help in the form of a marker that shows where the ball is going to land, so it’s not just spastic running around and guessing where it will fly next. As I mentioned, 9 Elements 3the abilities, as overpowered and cool as they are, don’t really hurt the players, as they don’t have health or anything to lose. The worst that can happen – and it often does – is that the player misses a goal because he was knocked out or otherwise couldn’t deflect the ball.

The best part of 9 Elements: Action Fight Ball is that it is, for the most part, a game of skill. It does contain lots of upgrades and at first feels like it’s pay-to-win, but once you get a hold of the controls, it’s fairly simple to defeat 90% of the opponents. Not that it’s not challenging, but outside of the completely overpowered boss of the arcade mode, I defeated the AI enemies most of the time. There’s also a bunch of different modes, including multiplayer, to test your skills with.

Overall, it’s a cool little volleyball sim with a twist, and while it may not last you for a long time, I think it holds up just great.

2-bit Cowboy Review

2-bit Cowboy Review

Jan 21, 2015

2-Bit Cowboy is a simple and enjoyable platformer. Or, it would be enjoyable if it didn’t lag like crazy on my tablet. The tablet in question handles Unreal Engine perfectly fine, and probably shouldn’t have any problems with a two-dimensional game with Gameboy graphics, but I’m gonna give 2-Bit Cowboy a benefit of the doubt – maybe it’s not a common problem. Still, there’s no way a game like this should freeze on a tablet every time there’s more than three moving objects on the screen. Anyway.

2-bit Cowboy plays a bit like Mega-Man, but with some additional features. The game consists of pretty spacious levels that are filled with bandits, aggressive critters, and gold. The player has to find an exit, shoot everything that looks at him funny, and not get himself killed in the process. The interesting part is that the player can collect the job offer posters that are scattered across the levels. They require the player to perform all sorts of stuff, but in general, the player needs to either kill a bunch of things, or collect a bunch of things. If he does that, and has the poster by the end of the level, he will be rewarded with some cash. The cash can be spent on outfitting the hero, or in the shops that the player runs across in the level.

The hero has a pretty impressive amount of abilities for a cowboy. He can do double-jumps, ride horses and bulls, wall-jump, and even swim. 2-Bit Cowboy has enough 2-bit Cowboy 2features to be a great game, but there are also some problems with it, beside the lagging. For one, the controls are quite uncomfortable. I frequently missed the arrow buttons, and sometimes the character started shooting uncontrollably. The graphics only look neat for the first couple of minutes and start blurring together afterwards – the original Gameboy isn’t really an example of great graphic design. Lastly, the game is a bit too hard. I wouldn’t mind it, but it’s quite frustrating to play a level for fifteen minutes, only to die instantly because you fell into a pit or shot the wrong barell.

Overall, I’m not sure about 2-Bit Cowboy. The game certainly has the right spirit, but it needs some serious patching. The flaws spoil the impression for me.

Spoiler Alert Review

Spoiler Alert Review

Jan 19, 2015

Played in reverse, Sonic the Hedgehog is a game about a guy who goes around, encasing little animals in armor, fixing that one guy’s broken vehicles, and pooping gold rings everywhere. If Spoiler Alert was played in reverse, it would just be played like normal. This might get a little confusing.

Basically, the game starts when the protagonist defeats the main boss and “rescues” the princess. Then the game suddenly reverses itself, and the player has to go through all of the previous levels backwards. In every sense. He goes from the last level to the first, and from the end of each level to the beginning, reviving the enemies by jumping on them, and leaving the gold coins in his wake. The challenge in Spoiler Alert is not in finding your way through the levels, but in moving exactly the way that the game expects Spoiler Alert 2you to. This means the player has to avoid hitting the “alive” enemies and hitting all the “dead” ones, and has to avoid the coins that weren’t picked in the “future”. Alright, this is too difficult to explain.

Spoiler Alert is actually a lot simpler than I make it sound, but you have to see it to understand. It feels a lot closer to a rhythm game, than to a platformer. The levels are very short, but a single mistake or time paradox returns at their start – I mean, finish. The player replays each level until he finishes it perfectly, according to the way that it was “played”. By the way, it doesn’t take long to finish the game – I was done with the story and the bonus levels by about an hour’s mark. Add another hour to get all of the achievements, and maybe another one on top of that to perform the complete run through all levels in a single attempt, and it’s a wrap.

Overall, Spoiler Alert is a fun arcade. It could be longer, but its length is actually a good thing, since it doesn’t get too repetitive and forced. It looks very basic, but contains enough elements to feel like a complete game, so if you’re in a mood for a short, unusual platformer, Spoiler Alert is a perfect candidate.

Bit Dungeon II Review

Bit Dungeon II Review

Jan 16, 2015

Bit Dungeon II is a sequel to a fun, if a bit repetitive role-playing game that has a lot of common with the original Legend of Zelda. It has a lot bigger world than the first part, and a lot more mechanics – but the question is if these mechanics serve to make the game better. The player character is a spiritual being, whose wife’s grave has been desecrated. Our task is to find the perpetrators and stop them. On the way there, we’re going to defeat a horde of demons and other evil spirits, and find a whole lot of loot.

The main problem of bit Dungeon II is a complete lack of tutorials or just help of any sort. I know that a part of fun in playing rogue-likes is to figure out their mechanics, but this is a bit too much for my tastes. You have to figure out literally everything, from moving and attacking, to casting magic and advancing the story – the GUI is literally just mana/health bars and the equipped items. Oh, and I still don’t know how to access the game menu while playing. There’s no button or anything. If anyone figures it out, feel free to write what a moron I am. So, this spoiled a lot of the experience for me. Another problem is the fighting. To attack an enemy, the hero must stay near the enemy bit Dungeon II 2and face it. The amount of times when the hero died just because the attacking enemy was hitting him in the back and I couldn’t turn him around was one too many. It generally feels like the game should still be in the beta stage.

It’s a shame that bit Dungeon II suffers from these problems, since in its heart, it’s a pretty cool zelda-like. It has lots of different weapons like bows, magic staffs, axes, etc. There’s also a great deal of different locations and dungeons to plow through, and a great deal of loot to collect. I feel like with some major updates, bit Dungeon II can become what it aims to be, but insofar it’s just a good effort, lost in horrid controls and messy interface.

Infinity Dungeon Review

Infinity Dungeon Review

Jan 15, 2015

There’s such a staggering number of super simple games, it makes me wonder if they even like to play the games, or if they just meditate while tapping on the screen. Infinity Dungeon proves that rather obvious point again. It combines a very primitive endless runner with a very primitive RPG, resulting in a somewhat primitive game. Basically, it’s one step away from being able to play itself without any player interaction. If you’re wondering how I know that it’s Asian, here is hint that prove points haha.

The game is about a couple of adventurers that stumble across a dungeon full of treasures and precious metals. Handily, they have a bunch of dwarves that agree to dig the booty up, if they clear the dungeons first. Of course, the dungeons are full of all kinds of monsters, begging the question if it would be easier to just find a job instead. But we’re here to shove people’s faces in, not make reasonable assumptions, so we go through each of the levels of the dungeon, clearing it of everything that moves, so that a dwarf could Infinity Dungeon 2then dig it for gold. Action itself is very simple: the heroes walk through the straight dungeon level from the beginning to the end, and punch everything that runs up to them.

The player can’t control movement, but he can activate one of the four abilities that the heroes have: powerful short-range blow, less powerful long-range blow, fireball, and healing. The only thing required from the player is to activate the skills at the correct time, when there’s a lot of enemies nearby, or when the hero is at low health. The abilities spend mana that has a recharge time, so you have to watch it, too. But even if the heroes fails, they are simply sent back to the surface, keeping all the gold they earned. There is no experience – all the abilities and stats are increased by spending gold or diamonds on them. Really, whatever skill it requires, isn’t necessary since you can simply grind your way through any obstacle.

I can’t say that Infinite Dungeon isn’t fun in its zen-like, no-losers way. It’s incredibly repetitive, and lacks most of the basic features of a videogame, but it’s better than some other casual games I’ve seen. It’s not frustrating, not buggy, and has simple, but pretty cute visuals. So, it’s not bad, if you want a mindless activity to kill some time.

Tap Titans Review

Tap Titans Review

Jan 15, 2015

It’s hard to define what genre Tap Titans belongs to. It looks like an arcade RPG on the first glance, but in reality it belongs to what I call finger busters. It’s going to be a lot easier to explain what Tap Titans is, and why it’s actually fun, if you’ve ever played Cookie Clicker. It has the same idea and the same lasting damage on one’s hands. I’m not ashamed to admit that my fingers are a bit numb, and it’s a difficult to move my hand to type – a feeling that I’ve not experienced since the 8th grade.

It’s always a bother when an RPG is full of useless mechanics like story and challenge and basic gameplay elements that stand in the way of grinding and infinite power gain. If you, too, want an endless grindfest without the useless basic videogame mechanics, Tap Titans presents exactly this opportunity. Ditch the story and the item grind. The enemies not only can’t kill the hero, they can’t even scratch the little bastard. It’s just a matter of time until they all get wiped out by his barrage of sword attacks. The player’s task is simple. He needs to repeatedly tap the screen as fast as possible, the hero dealing a blow every time the finger touches the screen. That’s it, that’s the whole Tap Titans 2gameplay of Tap Titans, and it can consume hours at a time – until the player’s fingers start going off in protest. There is time limit on the more powerful enemies, so it’s not completely without a challenge. Besides, trying to get as much DPS as possible is a challenge into itself.

But that’s not all. The enemies do get stronger in time – that is to say, it takes a little more time to cleave your way through them as the time passes – so the game has another essential tool: money grind. When the hero kills an enemy, he gathers some money off him. The money can be spent to upgrade the hero’s basic damage, get additional characters that will steadily attack the enemy, even if the player is busy blowing on his steaming fingers, or, if the hero is powerful enough, to purchase special attacks. The special attacks deal massive damage, but take ten real-world minutes to regenerate.

Overall, Tap Titans is incredibly simple, and barely even counts for a game. It’s almost insulting how fun I found it to be. But the enemies are well-designed, and there is a lot of stuff to unlock. So, if you like mindless time-consumers like Cookie Clicker, and hate your fingers, this is a great way to torture them.

The Blocks Cometh Review

The Blocks Cometh Review

Jan 13, 2015

If you’ve ever wondered what it would feel like to be inside of the sloppiest game of Tetris ever, The Blocks Cometh provides such an experience. It’s a small platformer with a surprisingly difficult gameplay that requires quick reaction and a bit of forward thinking. The player chooses between a roster of varied unlockable characters, and three different game modes, and then is thrown under a barrage of falling debris. His task is to climb as high as possible, jumping in-between the pillars of boxes that are forming around him. This seems like a simple task, but there’s not a lot of place to maneuver, so the game consists of lots of close escapes and risky jumps. I’ve found myself failing quite a lot in the beginning, and getting better at it feels pretty satisfying – especially when you finally figure out how to jump in-between falling boxes, and stop forgetting that you can destroy them with your weapon, if you get trapped.

Besides beating a high-score, there’s a number of challenges in The Blocks Cometh that allow the player to unlock additional characters. The characters are quite The Blocks Cometh 2different and provide the game with some much needed variety. Some of them can perform double-jumps, others can destroy boxes with a single blow, and others are just fun to play. A lot of them are also alluding to other games or persons, like Destructoid‘s famous reviewer, Jim Sterling.

While all the characters differ from each other, the game modes aren’t really. They only differ in the speed of the falling boxes and the number of lives a player gets per run. Basically, the difference is negligible, while it would be highly beneficial for the game to have more of that variety. The Blocks Cometh can definitely become repetitive after a while.

Overall, The Blocks Cometh is a fun platformer that’s definitely worth checking out. Don’t get fooled by its simple, arcade-like appearance, as it packs a lot of challenge. It only takes a second of distraction to get crushed in-between the damn boxes.

Muertitos: A Matching Puzzle Review

Muertitos: A Matching Puzzle Review

Jan 8, 2015

It’s Christmas season, so what better way is there to celebrate it than to play some Halloween-themed puzzles? Alright, maybe there’s a lot of ways, but unless you can name two of them that don’t include severe intoxication, I’ll stay with the Halloween games. Besides, Muertitos: A Matching Puzzle, is pretty cool.

Muertitos has a simple playing field, and rather simple rules, but that doesn’t stop it from being quite a challenging game – part of the reason being that it’s not a copy of any existing game that I know of. The field is a simple 4×4 square, with the monsters appearing on the borders. When the player taps on a border tile, the monster on it slides onto a playing field, and another one appears on it. If the place on the field is taken by something, the monster pushes that onto the next tile. However, the player can’t Muertitos 2summon monsters to a line that is completely filled. When three or four monsters of the same kind get in a straight line, they disappear and the player gets points. Of course, the goal is to get the most points before the whole monster field is completely monster-filled (sorry).

The tricky part in Muertitos is that the player can only interact with the monsters already on the field by pushing them over with a newcomer. So clearing up the board is really difficult. You have to think your moves through, as a couple of monsters at random points on the field can actively ruin the game – especially later in, when there are more monsters spawning. The good part is that the player can use one of the four power-ups that he gets by scoring points. The power-ups can be dragged onto any place on the field, including the ones already occupied by monsters. Putting a power-up on a monster destroys the monster, while the power-ups can be activated and removed at any time by tapping on them. Oh, and you can also see the monster that will be summoned next.

I almost forgot to note how great the soundtrack in Muertitos is. It’s incredibly cool, gives the game a lot of character, and makes it really cozy, for the lack of a better word. There’s also an alternative skin pack for the monsters, so that’s nice. Overall, a fine game for the fans of puzzles.

Reckless Racing 3 Review

Reckless Racing 3 Review

Jan 7, 2015

Reckless Racing 3 is a racing simulator that features realistic physics (more or less), lots of different cars, and a whole bunch of levels and game modes. The world of mobile driving sims is over-saturated with half-assed clones and other cheap-looking free-to-play racing garbage, but this is the real thing.

Reckless Racing 3 is a great combination of arcade gameplay coupled with top-notch development, resulting in a very fun experience. It doesn’t really have a story, but boasts three different modes: career, arcade, and a single event. Career and single event are pretty self-explanatory, and arcade is just a number of challenges the player has to beat. Each of these modes further consists of three race types. There’s a usual race, where the player needs to overcome a bunch of other cars to get the first place; there’s drifting, in which the player needs to score the largest number of points in a limited time on a track by swerving his car into drifts; and finally, there’s gymkhana, in which the player needs to finish a particular route as fast as possible, evading the road cones and other obstacles that add to the lap time.Reckless Racing 3 4

Completing any race will give the player money that he can spend in the garage. There’s no actual customization in Reckless Racing 3, and the player can choose to spend his money either to buy a new car with better stats, or to improve the appearance of the one he already has.

I can’t stress enough how much Reckless Racing 3 looks like a fully-featured game, compared to most other mobile racing games. It’s got great graphics that can be changed if the game is too slow on your device. It’s got arcade but very much actual physics that send the cars flying off the edges and into each other – or even flip them over during a really hard turn. There’s also a bunch of different levels that are cropped into even more tracks. And finally, it’s got great hard rock soundtrack that adds to the excitement. I had the best time with it, and although it’s still just a simple top-down arcade at heart, it’s a damn good one.