Jets – Papercraft Air-O-Batics Review

Jets – Papercraft Air-O-Batics Review

Oct 5, 2015

Paper planes. Iconic airline KLM. Jets – Papercraft Air-O-Batics.


In terms of its gameplay, it could be described as an endless flyer; on the surface, it feels like a three-laned adventure, but is goes a bit beyond that. The player is in charge of guiding a colorful paper plane, avoiding obstacles and collecting goodies along the way.jets3

It looks and feels simple enough, yes, but as noted, it has a few tricks under its sleeve; in most games of this type, one would expect to navigate sideways via gestures. The gestures do come into play, but come in 6 ways: three swipes deep and three swipes wide. This creates a multitude of travel lanes, and to be expected, these are necessary, as there are several reasons to use them in the manifestation of obstacles.

To visualize how it works out, the initial level is perfect to figure things out. The plane maneuvers through a cityscape, with vehicles, sky scrapers, doughnut trucks (yes, donuts) and more. The idea is to avoid as many obstacles as possible so as to travel as far as possible, and the visuals play a big part in framing the game, what with the use of perspective, muted color and animations that demand quick reactions. To start out, there are items to be collected, and the first our stamps. They line the playing area and serve as game currency. Collecting enough of these opens up the next level.

And the game progresses thus, with cumulative tasks the open subsequent levels. The tasks are interesting, and run concurrently with the collection of stamps. For instance, glancing off specially marked taxis entails doing so until the requested number is met. Hitting an obstacle ends the run, by the way, at which point one can use continues or just restart.

It is a simple affair, mostly self-contained, but relatively engaging. It has a bunch of simple enhancements, bonuses and power-ups, and even skins which can be bought and equipped from flying.

Lamphead Review

Lamphead Review

Oct 3, 2015

In Lamphead, all Bob wants to is escape the forest.

From the beginning, it’s clear that the gameplay is at least partly a function of the artwork. Graphically, it starts of as a dark affair, with an almost eerie use of virtual light that highlights the more pertinent elements of the game. With such an emphasis on darkness, the experience is affected by every shadow, and it seemingly even plays tricks on one’s mind.

Then, just as one feels almost comfortable with the eye candy, the visuals change, with adjusted animations to match. It’s a smooth going, and from the very first glance, it looks like an inviting game.

As for the actual gameplay, it’s a platform game, with our protagonist donning a mining light and maneuvering on foot from left to right. With the early play seeing as a tutorial, one learns the basics of play, which involves avoiding evil looking spinning blades and sharp stakes. This is done with one simple mechanism: tap to invert. This allows our guy to do his gravity-defying bit and walk on the underside of the surface. Of course, said obstacles are not averse to appearing on the underside as well, so to travel as far as possible, one has to continually tap to go up and down as needed.

There are collectibles as well, so lovers of arcade games are catered to. The lamp on our guys head is in constant need of batteries which show up every now and then, and there’s more.

Fun, yes, and challenging as well, but then the game speeds up and really tests one’s reflexes. The obstacles become more frequent and more diverse, and the collectibles create harsher opportunity costs situations.

It’s engaging, almost surprisingly so; it is simple, but is able add in enough elements to make it to put down.

SirVival Review

SirVival Review

Oct 2, 2015

Our heroes in this romp are the noble knight SirVival, and his equally gallant horse, interestingly named Tantrum. Both are consumed by the challenge of saving a princess from a dragon that can only be as terror-inducing as its name, Maelstrom “The Malevolent.”

Yes, it’s a damsel in distress caper with the requisite backstory. Ah…

Visually, it is a well done affair, sporting vivid characterizations and a liberal use of descriptive color. It pays ode to the assumed time period with the entire look of the game, from the adoring crowds in the background to the particular adornments festooned upon man and beast. It is fun, pretty nice without being too serious, and frames the game well in landscape orientation.

Per gameplay, it works like most running/platform combos: actions takes place from left to right, and is controlled by a bank of virtual buttons. It’s leveled, and our knight rides Tantrum, and is able to jump obstacles and use a lance to to “punch” through others. An encompassing tutorial starts the game, and ensures the player is comfortable using the controls, as well as introducing the players to different elements and the concept of combining controls. For instance, using the punch and jump buttons together creates a sort of jumping jab that is great for reaching specific targets.


And said targets do create a lot of the gameplay, along with gaps, obstacles, collectibles, power-ups and more. The developer incorporates switches, which in essence adjust the gameplay or open up different paths, allowing for a bit of strategy. One also finds a dynamic environment; our big, bad dragon launches firebombs, and these have to be dealt with on the fly with quick reflexes. One gets three tries per level before having to restart, quit or use gems to continue.

Collected coins can be used on in-game enhancements; real cash can be used, but isn’t entirely necessary.

Altogether, it is an engaging experience. Friendlies, mini-games and more make it an endeavor worth checking out.

Ludo Cast Review: a Chromecast Experience

Ludo Cast Review: a Chromecast Experience

Oct 1, 2015

Back when I was a kid, we didn’t have these type of toys we got today. I grew up with the “normal” batch of toys: Legos, soccer balls… the occasional catapult. I also had a soft spot for board games; a soft spot that remains to this day. I have fond memories of playing games with family and friends on the dining table.

Good times.

A special place in my heart is reserved for Ludo — the circle and cross game of international renown. It gets the ludo3Chromecast treatment in Ludo Cast .

The game layout will be familiar to folks who’ve played the traditional form: a general cross layout, with four player yards in different colors (red, blue, yellow and green) and matching hinge bases. Each yard has 4 playing tokens that match the yard color. In this version of the game, the paths from yard to home base are splashed with color and such… more on that later.

The game allows for action between player and AI in combination, from 1-4 players. Movement is determined by virtual dice roll. The main idea is to navigate all four of one’s pieces from home to endzone BEFORE any opponents.

It translates well, with a bunch of variations that make it quite interesting, like color-coded advancements. Staples like sending an opponent’s piece hinge and rolling a 6 to get out are present. The color-coding does make for a very, very busy board. A multiplayer functionality (across devices) would be great, but I wonder how feasible that would be within the Chromecast framework.

The audio is lighthearted (rolling said 6 elicits a cheery “Hallelujah” for instance), but feels a bit repetitive in places. The virtual dice roll feels realistic enough.

Overall, it is fun in that it allows itself to think outside the box, but not so much as to end up being strange.

Sky Review

Sky Review

Sep 30, 2015

If one is already familiar with Ketchapp games — and there really is no reason one shouldn’t be — one should expect a seemingly simple game with arcade aspirations. With Sky, Ketchapp doesn’t disappoint.

The game is a slick-looking number from the start; it is presented in landscape, and makes use of a stark background to frame the gamplay. It has a very clean look overall, and teeters pleasantly towards the futuristic with it’s polished use of perspective and interestingly shaped pieces.sky7

The gameplay feels a bit like Pac-Man, but leans more heavily on the survival side of things. The player controls a square piece, which moves continually from the top of the screen to the foreground. There are obstacles in the way, and the big idea is fairly obvious: avoid the obstacles and travel as far as possible. Primarily, there are yellow pellets that line the travel area that the square “consumes” while moving; these are also a measure of distance.

This is where the simplicity of the game makes itself known; the big tool with regards to avoiding obstacles (in this case, stationary squares) it to jump by tapping. Double tapping initiates a double jump that is makes the piece go higher and further than a regular jump. Because of how the “bad” squares are placed, one has to have a good sense of timing to be successful. For example, jumping multiple squares in succession is a visual battle, as one has to hit the gaps just right, as one misstep causes a collision, ending the run.

Like a true arcade game, there is an interesting twist when one travels so far: there are green houses that “split” the traveling square, such that one might find oneself simultaneously controlling multiple squares going down multiple paths. This is a particularly challenging aspect that adds to the game’s allure. There are also portals which, again, play delightful havoc on the eyes.

In the end, it’s all about that high score. The game is pretty well contained; an optional real cash unlock kills ads, but outside that, one can do other things (like unlocking other play pieces) by playing through.

Kethcapp has it figured out: simple does it.

This Means WAR! Review

This Means WAR! Review

Sep 30, 2015

Some games demand to be played. Add This Means WAR! to the list.

Graphically, the game is beautifully garnished, with vivid imagery that is expressive and whimsical at the same time. The animations are simple and almost enjoyable to observe, with a lot of bright colors and a landscape that is interestingly bereft (is that a dinosaur skeleton?). The view is abbreviated top-down, and one can drag to scroll.

And folks will love the scrolling action, if only to take all the action in. The gameplay incorporates several elements in a quest to create a homogeneous battling experience, and as such, folks with differing gaming lies are catered to.

The hands on tutorial reveals the entirety of the play concepts in easy-to-digest chunks. As a new commander in this army, one learns how to collect supplies, mine for valuable resources and construct buildings, all of which are important with regards to winning battles. In this game, supplies, mined red crystals and elusive power cells serve as game currency, and the underlying idea is to manage one’s resources in such a way as to maximize output.


The pieces fit together in a logical fashion, and are mostly entwined. To build and upgrade barracks, one must have an appropriately leveled command center, and to have the right command center, one has to have the right amount of red stuff, and so on. As one gets more involved, one gets to craft soldiers and weapons; as with other aspects, the diversity of options available generally depend on how strong other pieces are. Crafting fits have a time component, so planning based in this is required.

Actual fighting is a big portion of the game. The player looks to craft an army for skirmishes in a leveled track, taking on some interesting enemy leaders. In these battles, crafting and utilizing the right tools for the job is key, and they usually boil down to deploying troops and arsenal in a strategic manner. It’s fun seeing the virtual border move as advantages are won and lost; ultimate success is rewarded with limited resource payouts.

There are a number of other defined elements, like factions, tasks, multiplayer options and more. Real cash can be used to expedite stuff, but isn’t completely necessary.

It comes together well, is hard to put down, and the many angles help prevent it from feeling overly complex.

Not bad. Not bad at all.

Downton Abbey Review

Downton Abbey Review

Sep 29, 2015

Yep, it’s Downton Abbey. Enough said.

The game starts in such a way that series fans should find familiar: clan cornerstone Carson eagerly welcomes an agent to the Earl of Grantham’s residence. Early on, the idea is to solve stuff by finding stuff in “plain” site.

Completing sessions (by finding items) earns one valuable XP and items. There is also an upgrade/crafting element which comes into play and adds some complexity to an otherwise simple game.

When it’s all said and done, it is, at its core, a constructed hidden object game. The core competency sought is the ability to pick out selected items from a series of still images, and to do so as quickly as possible with as few helpers as possible. The artwork utilized reflects the time period adequately — at least, in my mind it did — and the scrolling feature that allows for more hidden objects allows the game to feel a bit more mysterious.

The artwork does have a blandness to it; I assume it’s purposely done, so as to create more of a challenge. The use of color and perspective are interesting indeed.


There is a bit of repetition with regards to objects that need to be found, yes, but the developer does mix up locations a bit to make it less predictable; as one taps the located items, new ones get populated to one is finished with the section.

My biggest challenge ended up being able to know what the heck I was looking for in the first place; either I need to watch the show more, or bone up on period history, because looking for a flagon created all sorts of problems for me. In some ways, figuring out what was what was still an enjoyable aspect of the game.

Simply put, the gameplay, familiar characters and additional elements make for an interesting ride.

DEER HUNTER 2016 Review

DEER HUNTER 2016 Review

Sep 29, 2015

When it comes to, um, “manly” endeavors, none resonates as well as hunting game. Heck, some folks put their livelihoods at risk to shoot that of the protected kind — no love here — but gaming kings have outlets decidedly less controversial.

DEER HUNTER 2016 can easily be one of these. It has good pedigree, is easy to get into and provided the staggered gameplay that has the potential to keep folks addicted.deer3

It boils down to a encompassing series of missions, mostly to with hunting deer (obviously). The first mission is a perfect frame of reference, as it requires the bagging of a juvenile deer.

As one progresses, this first level serves as a tutorial; one learns how to move using virtual buttons, and also how to aim, zoom in even further, and how to take shots. Based on this first mission, one is also able to gather that successfully completed missions yield game cash and experience points. After this, the rest of the game is “opened” a bit more in all it’s leveled glory.

It goes on with different type of missions, adding in more specific tasks (like getting a lung shot), and, as a consequence, upgrading weapons and gear so as to deal with said new tasks. For instance, when it comes to locking in on internal organs, it helps to have infrared sights. To upgrade, the aforementioned game cash is useful to have.

The action is fairly realistic. Taking an errant shot tends to spook the animals, so being accurate with the first shot is definitely recommended. It’s possible to injure a target, but just like real deer, these virtual ones will hobble away if allowed to. On and on it goes, with an energy requirement, daring the player to bring down different types of deer while managing resources simultaneously. There are predators too; man, gators move fast.

Fair warning: the touch controls doesn’t do the game justice; it’s far from bad, but if one is used to playing hunting sims with realistic peripherals on console, it might be a bit underwhelming. In some areas, the animations feel somewhat stilted, but it works well overall from a graphical point of view; simple stuff like the slow motion bullet isn’t new, but is welcome nonetheless.

Still, mobile is where it’s at, and this one works well on the go, though the experience is better the bigger the screen is. It’s a great leveled adventure, and is a fun, non-lethal means of, well, shooting game in unique locations around the virtualized world.

Hotel Transylvania 2 Review

Hotel Transylvania 2 Review

Sep 28, 2015

Every now and then, a compelling cartoon can be followed or accompanied by an equally interesting game adaptation. Hotel Transylvania 2, based off of the recently released movie sequel, definitely looks to be just that.

As to be expected, it’s loosely based on the high jinks created by the, uh mixed relationship that is the outcome of the first iteration. Now, the formerly monster-only inn has aspirations to include –gasp! — humans.

Oh dear..

The game starts sedately enough, with a some sardonic text box dialogue between Drac and Johnny that is initiated by tapping on former. The intro talk relates to the hotel, and the need to cater to less spooky clientele. This leads us on into the gameplay.

The main idea propagated is the need to build and complete tasks. As noted, each task is mostly related to building and maintaining the facilities. After that, another concept is is to level up and “open” characters, ultimately, one can get cash and XP points which allow one to have access to more actions.


The tasks are interesting and whimsical at the same time. One character might need an object only another could find, or to soothe the one, another must strum music on a ukulele. The game does a good job of using arrows at the onset to help players along, and then, it continues to use a notification system to help the player move on. It flows surprisingly well together, with an increasing number of characters (and consequently required resources), all being dependent on each other to achieve goals and expand. Everything has a cost, and this underscores the game. Quests do take time to accomplish, so not everything is instantaneous, and a lot of these can be expedited for a price. Unlocked items are also a benefit of task completion.

Visually, fans of the movies should be pleased; this one retains the silly charm that is reflected in the movie, with its severe characterizations and vivid use of color.

In some ways, it feels a tad simplistic. It’s easy to get into the crafting, but an opportunity costs built in would probably be welcome. I liked the concept of building and improving the grounds though.

Put together, it’s a fun diversion, chock-full of funny endeavors and familiar faces, and easily worth a look.

The Lost Treasure Review

The Lost Treasure Review

Sep 28, 2015

It all starts out with a cryptic letter from Uncle Henry, letting the player know that after studying the map that he (the player) found; Uncle Henry’s recommended course of action is to go on and find the pirates hidden treasure both suspect the map points to.

With this modest beginning, our adventure is launched, and one gets to be immersed in the digital caper known as The Lost Treasure.

Right from the onset, the game is fairly easy to navigate. It uses still images to advance the gameplay, and the imagery does reflect the jungle environment one expects from the opening letter. The perspective is first person, and to move around, one simply touches the screen intuitively in the rough direction one wants to go; in this way, one can move from scene to scene, or get a closer look at an area within the scene. Thus, this also how ones investigates objects, which makes up a pretty big part of the game.

So, exploration is the name of the game. The basic idea is to collect items and figure out puzzles, and then progress. The puzzles are interesting enough, but not too juvenile; one might have to collect a key, or solve a puzzle, or open up an object to collect another object that is utilized by doubling back along the path already traveled.


The creativity injected into the flow of the game is what makes the whole thing fun. One is able to use hints when needed, and the elements are not so fantastic as to be silly. Vivid graphics are engaging but not too distracting, and the self-contained nature are to be lauded.

For a simple diversion that works well on the go, it’s pretty easy to fall in love with The Lost Treasure. It feels like a short ride, but pleasantly so.

Door Kickers Review

Door Kickers Review

Sep 22, 2015

As a child of the 80s, I grew up loving some of the iconic shows of the time. The cop shows were the best; CHiPs was a staple, and for me T.J. Hooker — and not Star Trek — was my first introduction to William Shatner. One show I loved was from the preceding decade, and I got to enjoy it via reruns: S.W.A.T. From the opening score to the credits to the uniforms to, well everything, the show defined cool. Yep, the cops that “regular” cops called when stuff got tough.

Boyhood fantasies aside, there’s plenty of room for special tactics sims for mobile devices, and Door Kickers, one of the more notable PC ports, has made its way to Android.

The game is a full-fledged planning and action adventures. There isn’t much back story, no; this one gets right down to it.

The game has a gritty look, it comes in in landscape, and presents a top-down view that plays into the management aspect of the game; think of looking down on a roof-less house. The developer uses virtual lighting to highlight the gameplay and give action contest, and dragging and tapping is what generally is used to effect navigation and selection of tools and such. Visually, the game is intuitive, which makes it easy to get into.


The game gets going quickly; one gets to choose to go on a single mission, a full campaign or work through replays. To begin, one gets a rookie squad, and the idea is to do well enough to pick up experience. Using single mode as our test bed, the gameplay becomes apparent. Using a “planning mode” to pause and plan, one can use gestures to set travel areas, and also to use tools like flash bangs to effect justice. The team members shoot automatically when confronted by enemies, and it should be noted that said enemies shoot back.

Finishing levels entails neutralizing criminals without losing all the team members taking part; each level is graded, and success opens up more. 

It plays well, has heaps of strategy built-in and feels pretty logical. I think it could use a dedicated tutorial, as the pre-play info seems a bit short.

For a premium game, it is much easier to like than not.

V8ORS – Flying Rat Review

V8ORS – Flying Rat Review

Sep 22, 2015

Arcade shoot-em ups are almost always worth a gander, and in V8ORS – Flying Rat, we seemingly have an opportunity to avail ourselves of our game-related addiction.

It plays fairly easily, in portrait, with the player’s plane in the foreground. As to be expected in an arcade game of this type, the controls are intuitive, with one’s finger being the main tool of navigation; one places a finger close to v83the plane and controls it by dragging one’s finger across the screen; the phone follows the moving finger.

The main idea is to keep flying. Easier said than done, especially when one considers the waves of enemy fliers flying into one’s area. These ships continually shoot, much like the protagonist plane, but interestingly, the projectiles emitted adjust to where the player’s ship is, so one has to be extra adept with the finger to move around quickly enough to inflict damage and avoid getting hit. Also, one aspect of the gameplay is that even a shot plan can keep firing right up until it’s destroyed, meaning the player must keep an eye on incoming missiles from everywhere.

There is very little room for error early on; in terms of sustaining damage, it’s one and done. This makes the game a bit of a challenge, in that there really isn’t room for much deviation from the main script, but on the flip side, it makes for some very straightforward gameplay. As one goes on and is able to live longer, the gameplay becomes a living maze of planes and projectiles in irregular waves. Power-ups kick in at a particular point threshold, (one of which is the ability to sustain two hits before dying) and one can earn continues by watching videos.

In the end, it’s mainly about beating the high score. Wash rinse repeat. The game has a pronounced social aspect, Facebook connection is highly encouraged.

Fun game, and worth a look.