Galaxy Trucker Review

Galaxy Trucker Review

May 29, 2015

We just had to try Galaxy Trucker. For real…

The tutorial is important, and helps one understand the intricacies of gameplay. An instructor is assigned to show one the basic ins and outs, and via dialogue boxes, cutscenes and pulsing graphics, the game concept readily emerges.

Folks knowledgeable with the board game will be on familiar turf. Backstory? We are talking about interstellar travel, and huge corporations are still a serious thingie. The major entity here is Corporation Incorporated, and it is a sewer-building company that is looking for space drivers — ah… Galaxy Truckers — to haul stuff from place to place for potential profits. Potential drivers can build spacecraft from materials and using a generalized set of rules governing placement. After that, it is a race to see who can get to the endpoint fastest, and ultimately, with the most profit.

The player starts out by building the aforementioned space ship. Out of sewer prefab, by the way. This portion of the game pays unabashed ode to its board game origins, as it is a battle to pull random, virtual cards from a pile. The ideagt1 is to get the pieces that can help out with game endeavors: rockets, engine, cargo holds and more. When ships are finished, the competition ramps up, with activity cards becoming a part of the process. These give a player an opportunity to things — take on jobs, if you will — for cash payouts. Not so fast though, because the way one creates the ship determines what one can transport. And then, there are other parts like meteor showers that need to be defended against too.

Decisions have consequences, because it is in essence a race of sorts. Taking jobs and other events can slow fliers down. The idea is to pick opportunities carefully, and avoid dangers. Everything is tallied at the end: profits, ship damage deductions, speed bonuses and more. Whichever racer has more wins.

The mix of the whimsical and the logical is quite engaging. Take the shipbuilding exercise; the sewer pieces are funny, but constructions best practices (like the placement of specific pieces) give it a sensible feel. The combination of card play, pseudo-racing, strategy and defense make for a handsome gameplay. Toss in multiple play modes (online, local turn-based, single player versus game AI) and one sees why the game can be tough to put down.

Porting board games to mobile platforms can be tough, as a lot of the the aspects that make it compelling in “real” life sometimes get lost in translation. Not to with this one.

Well done, Czech Games Edition. Well done.

Amazon Appstore FAOTD: Continuity 2

Amazon Appstore FAOTD: Continuity 2

May 29, 2015

Noodlecake’s side-scrolling and puzzle combo sequel Continuity 2 is up for grabs as the current offering from Amazon’s Free App of the Day promotion.

It is the follow-up to the popular game Continuity.

Product Features
Innovative puzzler/side-scroller mashup
Hours of gameplay
Over 50 brand new levels

Product Description
Continuity 2: The Continuation is the sequel to the puzzle game Continuity. Continuity has been played over 6 million times and won the Best Student Game award at the 2010 Independent Games Festival and Gameplay Innovation award at IndieCade 2010.

In Continuity 2, the game world is drawn onto sliding tiles. You must figure out how to rearrange each level in order to move your character through it, collect the key, and unlock the door.

The game usually costs $0.99.

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Game of Thrones Gets Ascent Gets Fire & Blood Expansion

Game of Thrones Gets Ascent Gets Fire & Blood Expansion

May 28, 2015

Game of Thrones Accent, an RPG based on the hit show, is getting an update which brings a pretty interesting expansion: Fire & Blood.

It is the second big expansion the game has received.

Excerpts from the official press release:


ire & Blood, the second major content expansion for Game of Thrones Ascent, allows players to engage in the next evolution of dragon growth, while traveling across an all-new interactive map to engage with iconic tales from the show, including Daenerys’ sack of the slaver cities, the travels of Arya and the Hound, Robb Stark’s march on King’s Landing, and the Night’s Watch ranging to the unknown north of the Wall. Game of Thrones fans can play ‘Fire & Blood’ on Android via Google Play.
Tales of Ice and Fire! – In this all-new system, players can engage with Westeros in a whole new way – reaping epic rewards in quick-to-play Tales, assigning Sworn Swords to challenges, and completing tasks at each location. Players that succeed can earn and collect rewards immediately or rely on their Sworn Sword’s experience, gear and some luck to push onto the next challenge – or fail in the attempt! Players can compare their results with their friends on a Tales-specific leaderboard system. Just a few of the upcoming new Tales that players can look forward to in the coming weeks include:
Arya and the Hound (Starts 5/27!)
Tyrion in Exile
The King in the North
The Fist of the First Men
Next Age of DRAGONS! – Players can not only find a dragon egg and hatch it into a baby dragon but now, with the launch of Fire & Blood, players can evolve their baby dragons into young, adolescent dragons – by far the most desired companion in all of Westeros! Use the brand new Dragon Pit building to evolve uncolored, Red, Tan and Green dragons and unlock their incredible potential!
New Buildings – In addition to a new Dragon Pit, Fire & Blood adds the Great Hall to your holdings where you can trade special items earned in the Tales of Ice & Fire system, using all new recipes.
New ‘Season 5′ Content – The launch of Fire & Blood follows the Season 5 kick-off of the TV show. As with previous seasons, players can play through new content, quests, and purchase items that sync with each new episode. Watch on Sunday, play on Monday!

We had an opportunity to formally check out GoTA last year; it remains free (with in-app purchasing) on the Play Store.

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New Game Toysburg Arrives on Google Play

New Game Toysburg Arrives on Google Play

May 28, 2015

Angry Mob Games has just brought a new game to Android called Toysburg.

here’s a new maker in Toysburg; someone who possesses the arcane artistry of mystical manufacture that allows Toys to be made. That’s you I’m talking about; surprised? Me too, I nearly sheared my moustache off.
I’m Mr. Mustard. I have been a maker in Toysburg since I was but a wee scruffamuffin like you. Don’t know what a scruffamuffin is? Use your imagination and be creative, because in Toysburg you’ll be
QUESTING! The children of the city need your toys to get through the most bizarre situations. Your toys transform them semi-literally and give them somewhat-super powers
Are they more trouble than they’re worth?
NO! You’ll collect coins and candies and crates of junk.
But it isn’t junk to you, it’s
CRAFTABLES! You’ll take a bit of this toy, and bit of that toy and make an epic toy with a crafting system that’s so fun you’ll only leave your workshop when duty calls: Toy maker duty.
But who will appreciate it?
JUDGES AT COMPETITIONS! They’ll laud your toys until their laud glands run dry. They’ll reward you candies, which are like bitcoins but better because they’re SWEET.
What will you do with all that sugar energy?
EXPLORE! Unlock the zones of the city, mingle with the monsters (kids), and make your own story.
Aspire to be the best Toymaker you can be, by
COLLECTING over one hundred toy characters! From Scurvy Pirates and Tooth Fairies, to Ancient Cyclops and Giant Robots. Plus your Magical Unicorns, of course!

Toysburg is free (with in-app purchases).

Amazon Appstore FAOTD: Shadow Blade

Amazon Appstore FAOTD: Shadow Blade

May 28, 2015

Shadow Blade, an action platformer with stealth elements, is your Amazon Appstore Free App of the Day.

Product Features
54 levels to explore
Capture all of the Shuriken on each level
Defeat powerful enemies
Solve puzzles to open up hidden level areas
Fantastic 3d animations and blood
Product Description
Kuro is a young man on his quest to become the Shadow Blade. He must seek the teachings of the last remaining ninja master.

You will guide him through challenging levels, around countless traps, sneaking past enemies or right over their dead bodies.

You have to be fast, be stealthy, be aware of your environment. You have to be a ninja.

Shadow Blade is a fast paced action platformer game for iOS with intuitive touch controls.

It features intuitive touch controls and an array of weapons and challenging levels. Becoming a ninja is at your fingertips!

We reviewed Shadow Blade last year; its regular price is $1.99.

[Source: Amazon Appstore][Our Review]

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Microsoft Continues Cross-Platform Push with Upcoming Android Port of Cortana

Microsoft Continues Cross-Platform Push with Upcoming Android Port of Cortana

May 28, 2015

If anyone is wondering is Microsoft is bashful about being the go to source for most things mobile, there’s one less reason to doubt: Microsoft just announced that its well regarded mobile personal Cortana will be available on Android (and iOS).

According to the official announcement, the roll-out will allow Android users to use the app as an extension of Cortana on upcoming Windows 10 (also announced).

Some specific excerpts from the bogpost:

Part of the power of a personal assistant comes from being available on the go, on the device you carry with you everywhere. And for people who don’t have the benefit of a Windows phone, we want to extend the advantage of Cortana in Windows 10. How will this work? Today, we’re announcing a Cortana application for Android phones and for iPhones which works as a companion to Cortana on your Windows 10 PC. The ‘Phone Companion’ app on the PC will help you install the Cortana app from the Google Play or Apple App Store onto your phone so you’ll be able to take the intelligence of Cortana with you, wherever you go.

The Cortana for Android should be available by the end of June.

[Source: Blogging Windows]

Amazon Appstore FAOTD: The Great Unknown: Houdini‘s Castle

Amazon Appstore FAOTD: The Great Unknown: Houdini‘s Castle

May 27, 2015

Hidden object caper The Great Unknown: Houdini’s Castle (Full) is the FAOTD on the Amazon Appstore.

Product Features
Fantastic hidden objective & adventure game play
60 vivid and mystifying locations
2 search modes and over 300 hidden items to find
Dozens of fascinating mini-games
Rare videos and historical documents
Product Description
SOLVE THE MYSTERIES OF HOUDINI’S CASTLE

Beautiful Hidden Object Game Play Combined with Mysterious Adventure!
All Ages Game Play!

Your honeymoon is cut short when your plane crashes on an uncharted island. You awake to discover a madman has kidnapped your husband. To get him back, you’ll have to use all your wits to pass his sinister tests and solve the mysteries of Houdini’s Castle. Along the way, you’ll uncover Houdini’s secret past and learn about the brilliant apprentice who changed his life. Can you expose Houdini’s greatest trick to save your husband and escape the island?

The game is regularly $2.99.

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Meetup App Jink Gets Huge Update

Meetup App Jink Gets Huge Update

May 27, 2015

Jink – Message & Meet on a Map is getting a pretty big update. which expands on its meetup functionality with even more social features

Jink 2.0 brings:

We’re delighted to introduce the biggest addition to Jink since launch: MESSAGING!
· Text less, say more: for each message you send, your friend will temporarily see your location
· Say “Hey!” instantly: double-tap a friend to show up on their map with your current location
· An indicator next to contacts who already use Jink
· A complete redesign, including new Recents and Contacts drawers
· GPS circles to show your current signal strength

Jink is available for free on Google Play.

[Source: Jink Press Release]

Sunburn! Review

Sunburn! Review

May 26, 2015

We’ve waited for a while for Sunburn!, and with good reason; early clips of the gameplay hearkened to something fun and engaging. Now that it’s out, we have the perfect occasion to check it out.

Graphically, it’s a fun, retro-feeling trip, with old-school characterizations and purposely stilted animations. It incorporates the use of color effectively, as in the visual representation of the target sun. The backdrop is dark, and the sound effectively carries along the gameplay.

The backstory for this one leans a tad towards the macabre; faced with the somber surety of inevitable demise, a space captain that is stranded in space without a ship decides to retrieve his scattered crew and use the suns gravity to assist the party in diving into it one last blaze of glory. Contact with a crew mate allows that person to attach to a hitch of sorts, and then launching the whole convoy at the sun successfully clears the level.

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Movement is fairly easy, and is mostly explained in the in-game tutorial. As the planets are depicted in 2D fashion, one can use either side to achieve walking in either direction along the circumference; this allows the player to pick up any stragglers, and also allows one to sharpen up the launch point. Double-tapping and holding primes up the jumper, and releasing launches the player’s person. There is an oxygen meter that shows the player how much float time is left (it replenishes if and when the player lands on a space rock of some kind).

As it progresses, it becomes a series of procedural puzzles which force the player to figure out how to collect the stranded space folks and make it into the sun. At times, the player might have to jump from one planetary object to another; navigating this can be a challenge. There are different types of obstacles to get around, and even a shooting star or two to dodge.

The puzzles and the graphics work well together, and the overall simplicity give it a boost that make this premium title worth checking out.

Plancon: Space Conflict Review

Plancon: Space Conflict Review

May 26, 2015


Take my love, take my land
Take me where I cannot stand
I don’t care, I’m still free
You can’t take the sky from me.

If you’re a fan of Serenity, those lyrics will make sense almost immediately. The criminally short-lived series would probably find a kindred spirit in HeroCraft’s new caper Plancon: Space Conflict. In this one, space exploration is the name of the game, ut with an added twist: invading aliens.

The action starts with an in-game tutorial; it is a bit of a slow going, almost ploddingly so, but, as gameplay further on underscored, it is important to understand the basics. The player takes on the persona of an adventurer in a future world where extended space travel is possible and commonplace. The game leads one through the basics of interplanetary travel, which is effected by tapping and double-tapping. There is also the collection of valuable materials, and simple combat. One is also introduced to the commerce system, which is probably the most intricate aspect of the game.

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With this, one can pick up missions to earn payment in cash or kinds. Taking such missions usually entails overcoming a hazard or so, and it is pertinent to note that valuable resources are logically expended during missions. The payouts and/or goods procured can be used to get better machinery and gear. One big thing that continually needs to be improved is the ship itself, as the one the player is initially gifted with is barebones in nature

So, in a nutshell is brings a lot of RPG elements and ties them into a space cowboy narrative. The missions help the player to gain the resources needed to maintain and improve gear. Then, by assembling a crew to go with what one hopes will be an able battle cruiser, it is possible to go toe-toe with the Earth-hating enemies.

The game works well because of its variety. There are several things to do, and several paths to take. From recruiting to space dogfights, there is plenty to wet one’s beak in. The graphics are a bit gentle, and the action sequences took some getting used to, but all in all, the game calls to the space cowboy in all of us.

I think Nate Fillion would be at home with this one.

Amazon Appstore FAOTD: Escape Game Garage Escape

Amazon Appstore FAOTD: Escape Game Garage Escape

May 26, 2015

For today, Android users Stateside that frequent the Amazon Appstore can get Escape Game Garage Escape for free, courtesy of developer Neodots Creations and the Amazon Appstore’s ongoing Free App of the Day promotion.

The game takes advantage of the latest craze — escape puzzles — and gives users an opportunity to carve a way out of a tricky situation.

Escape Games Garage Escape
The purpose of this game is to come out of the garage without giving any clue to the kidnappers. Collect and combine item to solve the puzzle. Test your escaping skills by solving puzzles and using all the objects around the garage rooms. There are different activities, mini games and brain games to solve. The best way to escape this garage is to make an escape plan to complete all the activities. Give your brain a real workout by solving all the puzzles in different rooms. Check out if you have what it takes to be one of the chosen ones to escape this mini games and unique puzzle game. This game will give you a thrilling garage escape experience and action.

Neodots Creations has several games in the genre, so this is an opportunity to see what this developer can do.

The game has a regular price of $1.00.

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[Source: Amazon Appstore]

Nightmares from the Deep 2 is 80% Off for a Limited Time

Nightmares from the Deep 2 is 80% Off for a Limited Time

May 25, 2015

Nightmares from the Deep 2 (styled Nightmares from the Deep: The Siren’s Call on the Amazon Appstore) is going on sale for a limited time.

This hidden object game is free to download; the full version can be obtained via in-app purchase. For the duration of this promotion, the full version unlock costs only $0.99.

Excerpts from the press release:

When Sarah Black, the curator at the Caribbean Naval Museum, receives a mysterious package, she is unwittingly drawn into an ancient conflict. As she begins to remove an artifact from the package, assailants instantly descend on the museum and snatch it. In disbelief, Sarah realizes that yet again she is falling headfirst into a nightmare from the deep! Soon she finds herself on the shores of Kingsmouth, a forgotten fishing village with an incredible secret. A would-be messenger reveals the sad truth: he and the town’s other denizens are gradually turning into ghoulish, mutated ocean creatures. And that this curse was cast by none other than Mayor Murray and the old sea-devil himself, Davy Jones! Answer the siren’s call to save this beleaguered village and defeat Davy Jones, Mayor Murray and his pet sea monster, the Kraken!

Nightmares from the Deep: The Siren’s Call is filled with suspense and intrigue. It brims with interactive mini-games, diverse puzzles and dynamic hidden object scenes. Silhouette type scenes hide a few items that are parts of puzzles and help you find other hidden items on the same scenes. In the end of each search you’ll get a tool that is crucial for further progress. This sequel also offers you mahjong mini-game as an alternative to regular hidden object scenes. Stunning artwork and pleasant voiceovers contribute to the compelling atmosphere. Spiced up with a breathtaking story line that combines mythology with modern characters, Nightmares from the Deep 2 will catch your attention immediately and guarantee an unforgettable gaming experience.

Key Features:

Thrilling storyline and awesome artwork
48 enigmatic locations
Over 400 objects to find
20 hidden object scenes
28 amazingly diverse mini-games
30 fantastic achievements

We had an opportunity to review the game a while back, and liked the form.

Hurry though; this deal is live now and ends on May 31st, 2015.

[Our Review]