Kill Shot Virus Review

Kill Shot Virus Review

May 31, 2017

If you liked Kill Shot Bravo — and we certainly did — you’ll probably like Hothead’s latest, Kill Shot Virus. It’s similarly borne, uses a lot of familiar style, but now, players have to contend with dastardly, swarming, hungry zombies.

The basic storyline will be equally familiar to anyone remotely acquainted with the genre, and subsequently needs little introduction; there are a lot — a whole, whole lot — of zombies, and the core idea is to take out the zombies, complete missions and stay alive.

The action is perceived in first person, such that the entire device screen becomes the field of vision. One can intuitively swipe across the screen to pan around, and there is a shooting button that works in conjunction with the sighting mechanism and allows the player to take out the undead.

Altogether, the game presents an interesting visual framing for the game, with interesting colors and physics-based animations. It is bloody, but somehow not disgustingly gory, and the way the developer uses perspective to narrow down the playing area is well done. The game also adds in a slow-motion sequence which is quite engaging.

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As far as the the gameplay goes, the action is mission-based, and as shown by the intro/tutorial, there isn’t a lot of time to be had before the game just goes and gets into it: the zombies are coming, and we have to shoot our way out. Hey, there might be a friend or two lost in hat initial firefight, but at least we learn how to use the aforementioned system to destroy the enemy. As one goes on, the enemies get more challenging and more varied. Exploding zombies? Eew.

Getting through levels earns more missions and game currency. The game currency is crucial with regards to performing necessary upgrades, because at some point, the initial weaponry just doesn’t cut it anymore.

Simple concept, with a zombie backstory. Brilliant.


Guns of Boom Review

Guns of Boom Review

May 31, 2017

Some things are standard.

Seasons. Taxes. OS upgrades (no?).

No matter one’s creed or clime, there’s always space and time for a good, fun first person shooter. Game Insight looks to hold us down with its fun/serious release Guns of Boom – Online Shooter.

Yep, it’s time to run things…

The artwork is expectantly colorful; the animations are smooth at the onset, and the characterizations have a hint of the whimsical while remaining effective. The visual cues are familiar, and the fidelity to control is well done. The controls are virtual; by default, when can move around by gestures, and can look around intuitively by swiping across the screen. As hinted at earlier, this one is taken in in first person style and the controlled character auto shoots when a target is in his/her sights.

The game is kind enough to give the briefest of tutorials, and this one is straight-to-the-point; appropriately so, perhaps, because it is pretty easy to get into and find out how to play using dummy targets.

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Actual play is equally as easy to get into. The game engine looks for a battle arena, and tosses in the players into a factioned battle. The main idea is to get as many points from dispatching the enemy group, just as they (the enemy fighters) are looking to do to you and your crew. Basically, roam around, and look to shoot. And yeah, avoid enemy gunfire.

Battle, battle, battle… and then some.

Now, if you do get killed by an enemy, you’re out… for a while. It takes time for the controlled character to respawn, but then you’re back in. The team with the most points at the end of the allotted time wins.

The game includes clans, awards that can be used to fine-tune stuff like protection, plenty of weapon choices and even leaderboards. Altogether, an exiting romp.


Beholder Review

Beholder Review

May 31, 2017

If there’s one thing that makes everybody cringe, it the concept of Big Brother. Let me get free services, and give me access to the internet, but please, don’t mess with my privacy.

Tongue in cheek statements aside, Beholder is a bit spooky, no?

The game comes with two difficulty levels: “Government Elite” promises to be the way the game is meant to be played, with difficult choices and the like; on the other hand, on might want to wuss out and get his/her toes wet in “Trainee” mode, which has more bountiful awards and cheaper acquisitions.

The game then starts with an ominous communication invoking no need to sleep and encouraging you, the player, to begin to do the nasty deed of spying on tenants in a building you manage.

Creepy, no? The game intro allows players to acquaint themselves with the general aesthetic, and the dark presentation and eerie sounds are quite foreboding.

The gameplay is not hard to get into at all; tapping on folks and object leads to interactions of different sorts, and these interactions will then lead t choices. It’s the selection of these choices that create the environment that Beholder tries to thrive in.

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For instance, near the beginning, the players character has to decide whether he needs some pointers with regards to figuring out how to run surveillance on the tenants. Yes? You get the tutorial. Picking no makes you figure it out yourself.

Completing tasks earns money and/or reputation points. The latter is an interesting game currency, in that they can be used to persuade others to do something favorable to your cause, and also reflect the players standing.

It all makes for a compelling adventure, allowing players to be all they can be… or not. In the end, it’s greatest attribute is that it might actually allow folks to forget it’s just a “game.”

Oh dear…

Injustice 2 Review

Injustice 2 Review

May 31, 2017

Injustice 2 is here.

It starts ominously enough, right from where the Injustice plot leaves off: Superman is a deposed tyrant, chained and powerless. Batman is our new champion, and looks to restore what’s left of humanity. There’s yet another crew — there’s always another crew — looking to create mayhem.

The story weaves on and on, generating a PC-storyline that involves alternate realities, strange alliances and heroes acting un-heroically. For fans of the mobile companion adventure, we get a whole new set of 3v3 battles.

One need not be addicted to the original to enjoy this one; the game leads the player gently through a hands on tutorial, allowing one to get acquainted with the control mechanics with regards to fighting: mostly gestures, and taps for effect. Controlling characters is all about attack and defense, and feels mostly intuitive; there are special attack meters that regenerate over the time.

The main idea is to fight with three superheroes, and overcome three enemy folks. There is a dual lifebar system (depleted twice = loss), and you can tap in a crew member to keep the fight going. The opposition starts easy enough, but quickly get harder, victories earn game currencies, which can be used to do stuff like unlock more hero fighters. This is importnat, as different heroes have different abilities and powers, and might be better suited for a mission.

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The game has achievements, different game modes (including Story) and allows for real money to expedite action.

Injustice 2 has plenty of fine qualities. It brings some of the most interesting DC Universe characters to mobile life, allowing folks to see different heroes in different lights. It is a great companion game, but manages to stand on its own; similarly, it is a viable sequel because it isn’t just another clone of the original.

The main story is not a prerequisite to enjoyment, and it can be played, albeit a bit slower, without spending wads of real cash. All in all, it is a better than decent follow-up to the original, and maybe even a potential gateway for new fans of the Injustice franchise.


Orphan Black: The Game Review

Orphan Black: The Game Review

May 31, 2017

TV show Orphan Black has acquired a bit of a following; the show details clones and what happens when someone inadvertently stumbles upon the opportunity to take the identity of someone who who looks just like her. Orphan Black (the game, that is) sprouts from this general premise. there is a conspiracy afoot, and solving the game puzzles helps the player unravel it.

Who cares, yah? This was one we really couldn’t wait to get into.

It’s a colorful game, and makes use of a number of backgrounds graphics to give the evolving storylines some depth. The animations are simple, but effective, especially in the advanced “chase” sequences, and the way light ups sre used do help the game pop.

The game mechanics feel a bit like the GO! series, in that the main idea is to lead the character from Point A to Point B. Easier said than done, because there are obstacles in the way; Thankfully, the game uses the first few levels to help players understand the gameplay.

Movement is achieved via gestures; all you have to do is swipe to tell the clone where to go. The paths are generally defined, so there are only so many places to go but along the path, you can make the character move back and forth in a defined set of units. So, a set of swipes gets the player;s character to the end point.

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But (as already pointed out) there are obstacles, burly medical sentries for instance. They have no compunction when it comes to catching a clone and administering knockout drugs to the jugular. They do have weaknesses though, like bad sight and a propensity to chase the clones along the same exact path the clones travel, and such habits allow a player with some creativity to outwit them. There are also explosive traps than can be deployed; careful with these, as they don’t respect good guys or bad.

As one goes on, there are other foils: sliding bridges, switches, multiple foes and collective problems, all interspersed with sequences from the series that true fans should enjoy.

It comes together nicely, even if the first level tricks you into needing more; it’ll cost you to unlock the bulk of the game.

Lode Runner 1 Review

Lode Runner 1 Review

May 31, 2017

Not too many titles have as much rep — or longevity — as Lode Runner. For a lot of folks, this title definitely defined the puzzle platformer genre.

The sheer number of clones on Google Play reflect the game’s standing, no doubt.

In any case, mobile development stalwart NEXON is throwing its hat into the ring with Lode Runner 1. It feels familiar enough, and has just enough elements to make it fresh for today.

Visually, its source is clear: 2D playing area set in landscape, with a dark blue aesthetic that allows the bright colors to pop against it. The platform playing area is set up in block-ish form, with telltale ladders, rails and gold pieces. The controls are equally basic, with one bank to control movement and the other allows for blasting rock. The controlled character isn’t a stick, but is simply manifested.

The game evolves gradually… almost too much so. The first level works to be a teaching level of sorts, and allows players to get acquainted with the aforementioned controls and to understand the general gameplay. The main premise is simple, in that the player’s character looks to collect all the gold pieces, which activates the exit door. Level complete, new level opened.

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But it’s what happens in-between that makes for a challenge. Collecting the pieces means getting to them, and that means using the ladders and rails to get over and across obstacles. As one progresses, the rock blasters come into play, because you might want to make your own path. Take heed though: not all ground can be blasted, and the blasted rock does regenerate.

Finally, it gets a lot tougher. There are sentries, but through the first several levels they are fairly impotent. They do show a propensity for security, and roam to catch. Now, speed of action and even blasting ground is useful.

It comes together nicely. As noted, a slow beginning, but it mostly makes up for it.

Battle of Warships Review

Battle of Warships Review

May 31, 2017

There are several warship battling games on Google Play, so it ain’t that easy to stand out. Good luck, Cube Software; Battle of Warship is on deck.

This one has one get right into it. Literally. One might be forgiven if they missed the tutorial button when they encounter the “Battle” button, but don’t fret; learning on the go is the name of the game.

But even before that, the graphics do make a great first impression. The cutscene shows the developer’s attention to detail and visual perspective, and even for the player that might not be a seacraft buff, the scenery should be a treat. The ships look like hulking sea beasts, and one can almost taste the metal. The physics are nicely done, with explosive explosions and screaming collisions.

The gameplay involves WWI and WWII era warships. The player goes to go into a battle consisting of two factions, arena style; the team that takes out all the opposing team ships wins. SImple. Rewards and goodies go to the winning players.

To start, one gets a “starter” ship, and can then upgrade it and/or attributes with game currency. A lot of the gameplay is intuitive, and strategy does matter when the actual battling begins, with time-restricted weaponry. In this war of attrition, you cannot take too much damage, lest you get knocked out and can only observe the battle conclude.

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Fun all the way through, really.

The biggest complaint one might have is the absence of a tutorial. Now, figuring it as one goes is a worthy effort, and even somewhat adds to the game’s allure, but it does help for their to be an option in most cases.

A little bit of clarity with regards to the comparative strength of ships could be useful, especially with regards to advanced choice.

All in all, this one is a really enjoyable game. It allows for creativity, and the RPG elements just add to the whole package.

Nothing beats being a captain


Pokémon: Magikarp Jump Review

Pokémon: Magikarp Jump Review

May 31, 2017

“Pokémon.”

There. I said it.

Hey, say what you want; Pokémon GO! did own mobile devices not too long ago, and deserves some respect. Pokémon: Magikarp Jump has the same heritage, and is also seeing love on the Play Store. It’s only right that we give it some attention. pmj3

So at the heart of this game, we have Magikarp. Duh. Yes, we are referring to the otherwise, uh, unremarkable jumping marine pokémon. Those ones, front and center.

The player’s job is to take one of these thingies, and win fans an adulation by training it to become a jumping phenom. Hey, and bring fame to your town, as it has not had any Magikarp-related news to celebrate in quite some time.

Looks? Well, this game has that pokémon look. Playpul anime characterization, a lot of cutscenes chock-full of text-bubble dialogue and a good helping of interesting sounds. The animal is the main star, and everything the game does visually underscores this.

With regards to gameplay, the main idea is very simple, and hearkens to other games that use the same source material: train your companion, and win challenges. First, you have to catch one, and then you have to feed it to garner training tokens.

Feeding it entails guiding it to available resources via gestures; this increases it’s “jumping power”, which is a leveled measure of its prowess. Training it involves silly exercises and also increases its jumping power, but expends the limited training points (they are replenished over time).

Then, when the fishy is ready, it’s time to battle other trainers and pokémon.

Now, the battles are high jumping contests. WInners get rewards, and the player’s training rank gets a boost. Diamonds and game cash can also be earned by activity, and said valuables can be used to better one’s chances in a variety of ways through the game’s store. Ah… the energy requirement! Impatient folks will shell out cash to keep things going.

It’s a simple game, and easy to get into and enjoy. The dialogue gets a bit cumbersome, and the game has little by way of surprises, but its straightforward, and different from other games it might remind you of.

Battle Bay Review

Battle Bay Review

May 31, 2017

As the Rovio universe continues to expand, we get to see more and more concepts from the minds that brought us the first batch of angry, vengeful avians, and I believe we are richer for it.

Welcome to Battle Bay, where birds do their battling on water.

And these birds don’t seem pacified just yet, by the way…

Rovio generally does graphics well, and this one is no exception. It glitzy without being overdone, with a lot of attention paid to animations and physics, just like we’d expect. It uses color well, and manages to be playful and life-like at the same time. The controls are easy to manage, and work well with the landscape orientation; shooting and direction can be controlled with both thumbs.

The visual and audio aspects are a great gateway.

And what do we get by way of action? Team battling, of course. The player gets to select a personal, armed boat, join a random team and take on another team in a war of attrition. Yep, shoot and/or be shot… basically take the enemy out before your team is decimated.

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And this where the controls are important. The virtual joystick is important, so that you can move, avoid fire and find opponents to get at. Shooting is somewhat automated, but requires a steady hand, plus a willingness to adjust so as to finish off fleeing enemies.

When one faction is dead, the battle is over, and it’s time to collect the bounty. These goodies — game cash, parts and the like — allow for upgrades and crafting, which are necessary to be more effective at battling. It’s a symbiotic system that works fairly well.

There are guilds, tasks and different modes to try out. real cash can be used to expedite operations, but isn’t necessary.

It’s a fun ride, almost surprisingly so, and has us wondering what else Rovio has cooking.

We’re hungry.

Pictionary Review

Pictionary Review

Apr 30, 2017

We’ve seen a lot of variants, and now we get to see the “the” board game come to life — digitized — to Android.

We are talking about Pictionary, people.

There are two modes to get involved in: Quick Draw and Turn-Based. The game politely suggests starting with the latter as a learner, and then we’re off to playing.pict3

Now, if you’ve played “real” Pictionary, the gameplay will be familiar. Basically, you and another player pair up to guess words and phrases listed on cards. One player selects a clue card, and the idea is for that player to draw a clue that allows the partner to guess the clue word… in essence, artwork to unlock the word.

You draw, they guess, then they draw you guess. There are prizes to be won, and the game comes alive intuitively.

In the other game mode (Quick Draw), you get to team with a player to play against two others in real time. This is a race… best be fast. Whichever pair figures out the target word or phrase first wins.

The game is fantastic in theory. Who wouldn’t want the classic dinner party game in digital form? There are some aspects that make it hard, and no surprise really… we have seen the same on similar games. For example, there is an easy way to cheat the game; simply hand write the word to be guessed.

Then, there is always the possibility to pair up with some unknown propensity to draw unmentionable body parts; as such, a degree of care has to be taken.

In any case, it is an enjoyable game, if a bit predictable in places. The ability to create local group play would be a fantastic touch; any form of localized group play could be a game changer of sorts, as well as player feedback system.

Word Connect Review

Word Connect Review

Apr 30, 2017

Word-based games rock. Word Connect is a word-based game.

Proceed? Yes, indeed.

The premise for Word Connect is fairly easy to understand. At the bottom of the playing area is a jumble of letters, and right above these letters are text boxes. The idea is to glean words from the letter jumble till all the missing words are found.wc3

It starts out easily enough, with a smaller selection of letters and shorter words to be discovered. The number of boxes in each word intuitively hints at the number of letters in each word, and one can then guess accordingly.

When a word is gleaned, all one has to do is gesture trace through the letters to form the guessed word. If the word is correctly spelled (and one of the choices), it lights up green and fills out one of the letter sets. If it is misspelled, or is an unrecognized word, it shows as red. Correct words release points for the player, and if/when all the words are guessed correctly, the level is finished, and the next one is unlocked.

The progression of the puzzles is what really makes the game worth the gander. As noted, it does start of easily, but the developer does a good job of ratcheting up the difficulty quotient, with longer words and a bit more obscure words. Now, not every “real” word is solution word though; so, as it stands, one may have to cycle through several sets to get to the right word. Some non-solve words yield points too, and also help to fund the extra words meter, which, when it hits a particular threshold, adds points too. There is a hint button for especially tough situations, but it has a cost… you guessed it: the points we have been talking about. The game also has an “ask friends” tool and a shuffle button; the latter helps untwist the mind.

All in all, the simplicity makes it a tough game to put down, as it’s easy to keep on going. It could probably use time trials perhaps, but as is, it is a veritable bag of fun.

OffRoad US Army Transport Sim Review

OffRoad US Army Transport Sim Review

Apr 30, 2017

Like a challenge? You might wanna check out OffRoad US Army Transport Sim.

The core idea is to help our folks in the army to be all they can be by serving as a transport driver: here, using all manner of vehicles to lug all manner of gear from point A to point B.

The vehicles run the gamut, from relatively itsy bitsy 4 wheelers to massive trucks. The idea is to use the virtual controls to steer the vehicles along windy roads better suited for roller-coasters, and get the endpoint in one piece.

Easier said than done, no?

Our first task was a commodity laden flatbed big rig. This allowed us to check out the controls: gas and break/reverse plus left and right buttons. Controlling the vehicle with the selection is fairly intuitive, and the game mechanism accounts for momentum adequately. Then, it’s off to get out of the base and onto the roads.

The game visuals are somewhat bleak and desert-y, with high unpaveed roads that are quite narrow with matching cliffs. Navigating these is hard, but hey, watch out for the oncoming vehicles that seem to have a propensity for driving on the wrong side of the road. The turns are sharp, and remember that bad accidents cause the stage to be failed.

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Did we mention the time limits? Yes, you can’t just gallivant on the roads all day. Got to there quickly, people.

Successfully getting the job done opens up new stage — with a new challenge.

Now, what makes the game fun is the diversity of vehicles plus the efficacy of the controls. Against the backdrop of the scarily windy untarred roads, it makes for an interesting adventure that seemingly escalates with every completed stage. The graphical representation does act wonky in places, and the contact physics leaves something to be desired, but the controls work quite well… challenging, but consistent.

Altogether, it’s an engaging experience, simple enough to mostly make one ignore its quirks.