Defenderia Review

Defenderia Review

Jul 25, 2014

DEFENDERIA 2Defenderia presents an unusual mix between a classical squad-based role-playing game and a match-three arcade game. It also presents a strong case for hiring professional interpreters instead of using your own, heavily lacking English knowledge. I mean, wow. The game is good, but I had to learn its mechanics basically on my own, as it’s completely impossible to understand the tips and tutorials.

Apart from that, Defenderia is a fun game, although I think that it’s a bit short. The player controls three heroes, divided into three roles. Each role has two to three different characters that can fill it, although I didn’t notice much synergizing between any of them. The characters have a basic attack and a special attack that they have to use in order to defeat the stacks of enemies, coming at them in three columns. The battles are strictly turn-based, with each character getting a turn according to the value of his initiative. The player chooses an attack and then the target. The trick is not just to pummel the mob to nothingness, but to do the combos. Basically, each enemy has a plate underneath it. When three enemies with plates of the same color, or of different colors, but excluding the brown ones, face the heroes, these enemies get a significant amount of damage. If the player removes just the right enemy, and is a bit lucky, it’s possible to kill most of the mob in just one turn.

Defenderia is divided into a dozen maps that consist of several randomly-generated squares, contents of which are often only revealed when the player has already stepped on it. To finish the map, the player needs to uncover a boss square and defeat the boss, before getting all of his heroes killed. It has lots of little mechanics, like consumables that heal or improve damage, smiths that forge random items for the heroes, and enemies that have different abilities. It’s weird that a game with this rich amount of mechanics would look so primitive, but if you can get past the simple graphics and horrendous translation, it’s really enjoyable.

Digital Defender Review

Digital Defender Review

Jul 23, 2014

Digital Defender is a quirky defense strategy game, where the player’s base is constantly getting assaulted by hordes of old video game consoles. I didn’t see an explanation for a sudden sinister 8-bit uprising, so feel free to presume the silliest reasons. Player operates a turret that shoots arrows at the prehistoric consoles, and can cast spells, if they are purchased, equipped, are not on a cooldown, and the player has enough mana. The onslaught comes in waves, and after each wave, if the player kept their base more or less in one piece, they get awarded with some money and a chance to upgrade his abilities and equipment. There are tons of upgrades to purchase, including new spells, turrets, specials and more, and of course most of them require an ungodly amount of grinding to get. Not to say that it’s impossible to play without paying. I played for a couple of hours and didn’t feel restricted – but still, you have to wait for a while to get anything.

The concept sounds perfectly reasonable, even if one can get pretty irritated by the free-to-play limitations – but Digital Defender has one significant issue. It’s god Digital Defender 4damn boring. The whole time I played it, I waited for it to pick up and get exciting – but to no avail. It could probably be a great game, but we’ll never know, because wave in wave, level in level, you shoot the repetitive lines of plastic bricks as they come for your blood. Probably. I frankly don’t know where the problem lies, but it’s somewhere in pacing and repetitiveness. You can play the first level and get a perfect idea about the rest of the game. I actually looked forward to a paywall just to call it a day and complain about the free-to-play model ruining videogames, for the whole article, but I didn’t get one. The difficulty was raising at a snail’s pace and after about thirty nigh-identical waves, I just gave up. Maybe it gets incredibly good some time later, but I’d rather get to see my wife again, than spend eternity killing small, jumping SEGA Genesis consoles.

The game looks alright, though. The graphics and the animations are fine, and generally, Digital Defender never looks cheap. So, this is nice.

Dungeon Gems Review

Dungeon Gems Review

Jul 17, 2014

Dungeon Gems is an arcade game where the player needs to clear out a bunch of dungeons with the help of some gems. Pretty self-explanatory, I think. Dungeon Gems has a very simple gameplay, but at the same time – a bit too many mechanics. The player has a roster of hero cards that he can improve, equip in his active squad, and manage in other ways. These heroes have different abilities and are all divided into five elements, dealing additional or reduced damage to other elements. They interact in the rock-paper-scissors fashion: water “beats” fire, fire beats wood and wood beats water. Light and Darkness are apart and counter each other. The dungeons’ denizens also belong to these elements, so half of the battle is won by choosing correct heroes for the dungeon.

The battles themselves depend on the player’s luck as much as on his cunning. There is an area, filled with the titular gems. The player needs to connect the gems of similar color Dungeon Gems 2– or, if he has some bonus points, of different colors – and bash the enemies with his heroes. The battles are strictly turn-based, so there’s no hurry to choose the gems or heroes’ special abilities. There are three battles in each dungeon, the last one being the boss. After beating the dungeon, the player gets gold to upgrade his heroes, and several hero cards added to his roster.

Generally, Dungeon Gems is fine, although I don’t understand the need for the free-to-play arcades such as this to be so complex. I mean, most of the mechanics in Dungeon Gems aren’t directly related to the process of completing the game, and just add a layer of managing on top, mostly just confusing the starting players. Which wouldn’t be bad, if the core game would consist of more than just swiping the finger across some gems and activate abilities every once in a while. I mean, it’s still enough to fill a game, but I’d rather have the developers make a more nuanced core game, rather than adding a bunch of hero properties and trade mechanics you probably won’t even remember. Anyway, Dungeon Gems turned out alright, free-to-play irritations notwithstanding, even if it gets kinda lost in other card-based arcades, filling the Play Store these days.

Doug Dug Review

Doug Dug Review

Jul 11, 2014

I have to say that I’ve almost skipped on Doug Dug, just because it looks like a rip-off of Terraria, or Spelunky, or some other attempt at Minecraft design school – and I’m glad that I didn’t, because Doug Dug is neither of those things. It’s an original, captivating platformer that lacks just a few pieces to become absolutely awesome.

The player controls Doug, a dwarf who does two things all dwarves do all the time: digging for gold and sporting a kick-ass beard. Doug Dug is focused on the first task. The level Doug dug 3is a single screen wide, but infinitely deep, containing lots of treasures and challenges beneath. The player needs to navigate around it by digging. Dragging the finger across the screen will make Doug dig right, left, or down. He is unable to jump, unfortunately, so any loot that you miss on the way down, stays there most of the time. That said, it can come crashing down if it lacks any support, or is only held in place by a collapsable dirt block. So, the player needs to be aware of his surroundings and not get caught in the avalanche. Basically, the avalanche system holds about 50% of the game’s worth, as it grants a tricky random element to each run. The avalanches also crush whatever enemies get trapped under them, and it’s great, because the enemies are a pain. They can only be killed by falling on them from above, and Doug can’t jump. So, if he is on their level, or lower, it’s quite difficult to stay alive. The game has no shortage of things that can kill a digging dwarf, and if left unchecked, will definitely do so, leaving but a ghost of the spelunker on the next playthrough.

Basically, my only problem with Doug Dug is that there’s not enough of it. Besides the growing difficulty of the level, when the player goes deeper, there’s very little diversity in the content. The collected gold can’t be spent on anything, and its only worth is for the high-score. Regardless, Doug Dug is still a fun and unusual game with cool mechanics and a vast replayability. Definitely worth getting if you like mining, but not crafting.

Presenting Minube, a Travel Planning App

Presenting Minube, a Travel Planning App

Jul 1, 2014

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If you’re not sure where you want to go on your next vacation, Minube is here to help. It’s a free app that offers a selection of great places to visit, based on your interests. Set your categories, set your route, and get recommendations in a heartbeat. It’s available for free from here: Minube on Google Play.

MyDigipack is a Free App That Synchronizes Photos Across Any Devices

MyDigipack is a Free App That Synchronizes Photos Across Any Devices

Jul 1, 2014

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If you have a Blackberry phone with some important photos you don’t want to throw away (unlike the Blackberry), then MyDigipack is a cloud-sharing service for you. It can synchronize photos across Android, iOS, Windows, and yes, even Blackberry devices. It supports lots of sizes and file formats, so your photos will be saved, whatever their source is. The app can be downloaded from here: MyDigipack on Google Play.

Asphalt 8: Airborne Gets New Rides

Asphalt 8: Airborne Gets New Rides

Jun 30, 2014

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Asphalt 8: Airborne, a free-to-play, great-looking driving simulator, has received yet another update which brings more cars in its arsenal. The new rides include Ferrari FF, Ford 2006 GT, Mercedes Benz CLK GTR AMG, and 2015 Ford Mustang. The game can be downloaded for free from here: Asphalt 8: Airborne on Google Play.

Upcoming Modern Combat 5: Blackout Will Feature SSAO Graphic Effects

Upcoming Modern Combat 5: Blackout Will Feature SSAO Graphic Effects

Jun 30, 2014

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SSAO, or Screen Space Ambient Occlusion, is a neat effect that gives the in-game shadows a realistic, blurry look. It seems that the developers are going all-in with the graphical effects in Modern Combat 5: Blackout, so make sure you have a modern device if you want to get a taste of what the game will have to offer. Other features include soft particles, underwater distort and caustics, real-time character shadows and many more. It’s not out yet, but you can get the previous title from here: Modern Combat 4: Zero Hour on Google Play.

FFFFF2P Is an Upcoming Free-To-Play Game, Set in a Free-To-Play World.

FFFFF2P Is an Upcoming Free-To-Play Game, Set in a Free-To-Play World.

Jun 30, 2014

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FFFFF2P is a light-hearted parody of the current state of affairs in the oh-so-free ad-supported mobile game world. It’s a simple game, where the main hero has to jump on stuff for a while, get upgrades and power-ups, and then jump some more. It will be available on Google Play on July 10th, as a free-to-play game, of course.

Amazon Announces their Long-Awaited Fire Phone

Amazon Announces their Long-Awaited Fire Phone

Jun 19, 2014

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Amazon has unveiled the details about the smartphone that it will be producing, starting July 25. The device will feature interesting characteristics and an unusual 3-D technology that captures the user’s face and makes the screen image seem “extended” inside the phone. The phone will cost $199.99 for a 32GB version and $299.99 for a 64GB version, which includes a 2-year contract with AT&T. More details and pre-order here: Amazon Website.

Random Heroes 2 Review

Random Heroes 2 Review

Jun 17, 2014

Random Heroes 2 is an action game, in which the player can not only purchase additional weapons, but also get new heroes as well. There’s no storyline in it, as the player gets dumped into a bunch of zombie-filled levels and has to get through them, slaughtering zombies and collecting various items. The gameplay is generally somewhere near Contra, although it’s not as extreme.

The difficulty of Random Heroes 2 is a problem, by the way, because the game seems to think that raising difficulty means simply giving the enemies an ungodly amount of health, so that each enemy would take up to thirty seconds to kill. Combined with a rather uncomfortable aiming and a handful of health points per level, and the game becomes a Random Heroes 2 2nigh-impossible chore. The only real way to advance anywhere is to hoard coins that are spent on purchasing and upgrading of numerous weapons and characters. Speaking of which, they are a problem, as well. There’s a lavish choice of the weapons and characters. It’s great by itself, but each one of them also requires upgrading to make the stats better. There’s about 20 guns and about as much characters, adding up to a god damn time sink just to upgrade some of them. Constant chasing for upgrades is precisely the reason I don’t want to play modern FPS games – and it’s precisely why I don’t like Random Heroes 2 as well. Although I do somewhat appreciate the fact that there are so many choices, the game balance is definitely twisted to the wrong side.

Returning to the controls, “aiming” part is quite off, as well. The character can shoot in front of himself, and raise the gun to shoot at a higher angle. He suffers from some sort of arthritis, I think, because he can’t lower the gun, and even raising it feels odd. In short, it’s another feature that shouldn’t have been implemented in the first place.

In conclusion, I didn’t have my hopes up when I launched Random Heroes 2, and I didn’t really get anything out of it, so I don’t know. It’s a game that has some interesting ideas, but they are slapped into a big, unending “meh”. It’s not even horrible – it’s just meh.

Batman & The Flash: The Hero Run Review

Batman & The Flash: The Hero Run Review

May 30, 2014

Everything I’ll write here is pretty obvious from this game’s title. It’s Batman & The Flash: The Hero Run. There are two famous heroes from DC Comics, one of whom is more famous than the other, who participate in an infinite runner, chasing down different villains, one of whom is more pants-on-head retarded than the other. Batman is running down Gotham City, chasing down Joker, the dangerous psychotic murderer, while Flash is running in a gorilla city, after some giant gorilla, who is… trying to rule the world? I don’t know, I stopped caring after the part about the gorilla city.

The running part in Batman & The Flash: The Hero Run is actually pretty well done. It’s a 3D runner, not unlike Temple Run, but it’s combat-oriented. There are three lanes, and the hero can switch between them, jump and slide to avoid obstacles, but they can also shoot their weapons at the oncoming enemies, which are divided into three groups. Batman & The Flash Hero Run 2The weak ones don’t deal any damage to them whatsoever, and you don’t have to waste your ammo to defeat them, but you won’t get as much experience. The strong ones can incapacitate the hero, and require two shots to be kicked down. At last, there are bosses that can only be met once in a while, and require a special strategy to handle them. The ammo is expendable and requires purchasing from the shop with the coins that are scattered around the levels. The coins can also be spent on upgrading the power-ups, and unlocking special power cards, as well as hero cards. Power cards are just the power-ups that are expended after use. Also, I still don’t understand the reason to level the hero cards, but it sure gives the gameplay some additional depth.

There are actually more heroes than just Batman and The Flash, but it takes lots of time to unlock them. There are different levels as well. The Gotham City is the easiest one, Banana City or whatever, is more difficult, and afterward, more challenging locations are unlocked. The levels are quite varied, and almost don’t have repeated segments.

In general, I’d say that Batman & The Flash: The Hero Run is a great game. It’s not that unique, but for a free-to-play runner, based on popular comics characters, it’s well done and is quite pleasing. Graphics are good, variety is good, the mechanics are good and Batman is awesome. Definitely not a bad way to spend several hours.