Flick Soccer 15 Review

Flick Soccer 15 Review

Jan 26, 2015

Struth, for a free game Flick Soccer 15 sure packs in a lot of modes.

Screenshot_2015-01-25-17-19-31Specialist focuses on accuracy. A target drifts around a goalmouth, protected by a goalie and later by more and more defenders. The player must get the ball in the goal, while also hitting the target. Swiping in a curve on the screen sends the ball in that direction and is pretty much required to get it around defenders. Aftertouch can also be invoked by swiping after the ball has been kicked. Hitting the bullseye awards an extra ball and the idea is to go as long as possible without missing three times in a row and running out of balls, making blues rather costly. This is ok at first, but gets kind of dull.

Quickshot is the same as Specialist but much faster. A tight time limit counts down faster than a dingo eats babies and hitting the target awards a small amount of extra time. The player has unlimited balls and the game continues until time runs out. Much faster paced and tense than specialist Quickshot is fun.

Challenge gives the player limited balls and a score to beat. Reaching that score with the allotted balls ranks up the player and unlocks harder challenges. This game mode has the most longevity due to its ranking system.

Screenshot_2015-01-25-17-20-43Crossbar is a dull mode where you must hit the goal’s crossbar with your ball as many times as possible. Crikey, it is repetitive. Finally, Smash It has the player smash panes of glass over the goals as fast as possible. It’s ok.

As for the tantalizingly named Beach Babes mode (which costs 99 cents to unlock), it is simply the same game as Specialist, except on a beach with bikini sheilas acting as defenders and a beach ball to use instead. Hardly compelling, but an amusing little extra. Stone the crows.

Flick Soccer 15 has fun gameplay, but it is certainly not a ridgey-didge game. It is well suited to play while in a line or waiting for something and in short bursts. Just about anyone from oldies to ankle biters, sheilas and blokes will be able to play Flick Soccer 15 too, which works in its favor.

Flick Soccer 15 looks bonza. Bright and colorful, the graphics are apples and have all the genital protecting you’d expect. The sound works well too with the roaring crowd egging you on and some surprisingly good music putting you in the zone.

Flick Soccer 15 is an enjoyable but somewhat short-lived game. Since it is completely free (except for Beach Babes) there’s no reason not to give it a burl, even for bludgers.


Hungry Hal Review

Hungry Hal Review

Jan 23, 2015

Hungry Hal is a reversal of the typical zombie runner. Rather than fleeing in terror from the undead menace, Hungry Hal casts the player as that undead menace. Taking control of Hal, the player must hurtle down a course, avoiding obstacles and snacking on brains to reach his final destiny, whatever that may be.

Screenshot_2015-01-20-18-40-05Hungry Hal plays like a typical runner. There are multiple lanes on the screen and swiping up or down moves Hal upwards or downwards. However these controls are rather poor. There is a second of delay before Hal moves, often enough to plow into an obstacle or miss a human. It can just be impossible to move Hal quickly enough, especially if the humans are two lanes away.

As Hal runs along he consumes brain juice. Running out of brain juice ends the game, so the player must hunt down humans who appear on the course. Running into them eats their delicious brain, restoring brain juice. Some amusingly silly voice acting makes this fun and some humans may try to run away or change lanes, catching them while avoiding obstacles is a good challenge.

Screenshot_2015-01-20-18-42-03Hal can also collect bones as he runs along and these can be traded between games for permanent powers. These include magnets which attract bones, bait to summon some humans to eat from nowhere and even a scooter that allows Hal to just run over obstacles and humans alike. These are fun and add a good bit of depth, something sorely lacking in many runners these days.

This fun gameplay is helped along by the fact that Hal is completely free. There are no nasty freemium purchases and few ads to speak of. Far too many runners these days offer premium items and energy bars to continue games and otherwise cheapen the experience, but Hal is just based on skill.

Hal looks pretty good. A campy cartoony style suits the subject matter of the game and as mentioned above the silly voice acting and quotes from Hal are amusing.

Hungry Hal might not be the longest lived game but it is an enjoyable runner for free and despite some shonky controls it can provide entertainment.


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.

Crusader Quest Review

Crusader Quest Review

Jan 21, 2015

Crusaders Quest is an interesting RPG about inept goddesses and corrupted forests. With a neat visual style and bite sized gameplay is it worth your time?

Screenshot_2015-01-20-03-10-17Crusaders Quest features an interesting battle system that is quite unique. As the player’s party runs through the stage, they engage enemies automatically. At the bottom of the screen icons representing skills appear in a row at random. These skills range from extra hard hits, storms of arrows, defensive skills and healing abilities. Tapping a skill icon uses it, but waiting until three icons are together and taping uses them all for a much stronger effect. Skills have different ranges and hit patterns, so timing skill use, such as getting as many enemies in range of your archer’s AoE fire storm before using it is important.
Finishing levels awards experience which levels up characters, making them stronger. Once they level up far enough they can be promoted, which transforms them into the next evolution of that class and they become much tougher. New weapons can also be forged for party members and members can also be switched out to find the best combination of badassery.

Screenshot_2015-01-20-12-10-48Crusaders Quest is a lot of fun to play. Watching the party smack their way past hordes of goblins and triggering skills is fun and the great presentation helps the game along. There is plenty of amusing dialogue as well, although the story itself is a bit weak. There are a truckload of stages to do and each stage is only a minute or two long. This bite sized gameplay is perfect for mobile and makes the game difficult to put down. There is always something about to happen, like acquiring a new weapon or promotion.

Of course, the game does have some freemium elements. Both gems and packs of coins can be bought. Coins are used for a lot of things in game, like forging weapons and buying new ones. Jewels are mostly used to skip what few timers the game has. The main limiting resource is Honour. Honour is only gained by playing PvP or completing quests. It is needed to promote warriors and is slow to accrue. There is also an energy system. Despite this, there is plenty of gameplay in Crusader Quest and the game doesn’t hassle you to buy stuff like many other freemium games do.

Crusaders Quest looks nice. A pseudo 8bit style with SD characters gives the game a unique anime-like look. Combat looks quite nice to, with swords swinging and spells flying around. Enemies aren’t too interesting however. The game does feel like a retro RPG however, what with its generic goblins and slime monsters. The sound is well done as well. The soundtrack really suits the game well and the constant din of battle is addictive.

Crusaders Quest is a fun RPG-lite and its enjoyable battles and slick gameplay make it worth playing.

Star Wars: Knights Of The Old Republic Review

Star Wars: Knights Of The Old Republic Review

Jan 20, 2015

Star Wars: Knights Of The Old Republic on Android is the same fantastic game KOTOR has always been. Taking control of a sightly mysterious rebellion soldier, the player works their way through a thrilling plot with a party of interesting, varied allies and plenty of tactical, turn based combat. Players can build their character in many different ways, whenever as a melee fighter, a blaster toting desperado or a charismatic manipulator that talks their way out of trouble. Later in the game when the player becomes a Jedi, a whole lot more skill options become available, some of which are dependent on how dark the player is Allies are also interesting and each is different and has an interesting backstory. KOTOR allows you to find out as much or as little about you allies as you like and indeed love can blossom as well, much like Bioware’s later games like Mass Effect.

Screenshot_2015-01-19-20-24-04KOTOR offers players a lot of choice as to how to handle quests and encounters. There is almost always non-violet ay to settle matters and at the same time you can be a jerk to anyone you choose, ignoring attempts to talk peacefully and manipulating and strong arming others for your own benefit. Of course being evil affects how far between the light and dark side your player leans and this has major ramifications later in the game. KOTOR is excellent stuff and a must play for any player who values a good story and deep gameplay
KOTOR is a very long game. Despite the original game being rushed and having content cut, KOTOR is a very full experience and it will take at least a few dozen hours to finish.

KOTOR has rather annoying controls. The player must swipe up to move forward and there ar e a lot of tiny icons. The game doesn’t scale well to smaller screens and moving forward can feel quite awkward. Frustratingly this is the only control method available. There is no virtual pad or tilt controls or anything. It is a mystery why the controls are so set in stone. The small font is a serious problem. On a Note 4 (with its nearly 6-inch screen) dialogue proved to be all but unreadable and skill icons are way too small to use easily. This is helped by the pausable combat. If the game was real time the poor interface would be much more notable.

Screenshot_2015-01-19-19-53-25KOTOR has the same graphics as the original game. KOTOR obviously looks dated by today’s standards but it doesn’t get in the way of gameplay at all. The sound is well done and very Star Wars. The voice acting isn’t as good as more recent Bioware games but it gets the job done. A problem with KOTOR’s sound is that it isn’t that well mixed. Unless the music is turned way down in the options it is tough to hear what characters are saying.

Star Wars: Knights of The Old Republic is a great experience tempered by some slightly shonky controls and an interface that could be a lot better. It is still a must play for any modern gamer.

NBA 2K15 (FireTV) Review

NBA 2K15 (FireTV) Review

Jan 19, 2015

In many ways, Amazon Appstore-exclusive NBA 2K15 is the perfect measure of the Amazon Fire TV.

At first glance, the graphics look great; cycling through the opening menu and such reveals glossy slides and bright, reddish tabs. The menu is quite responsive to the Fire Controller, with little hint of lag.

The menu is surprisingly sparse; one can create a player, and after that, the choices are Options, Controller, Quick Game and MyCareer. I was admittedly a bit dismayed that there isn’t yet a practice or training section, but there are two sections listed as upcoming: Season and Blacktop.

I swallowed my disappointment and hit up Quick Game; this gives the player the opportunity to go right into a game consisting of any two NBA teams. All teams are ranked, with San Antonio Spurs occupying the top spot (and understandably so). After selecting teams, the game goes into a simple, real-feeling presentation loop, and then gives a glitzy rendering of the starting lineups for each squad. After a perfunctory pregame ritual (where is the LBJ chalk toss?), the default 24-minute game begins.

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It took a little while for me to get used the control set. I wasted time looking for what I felt would be standard: the ability to remap the controls, but that feature isn’t there. The default set isn’t too bad, but to refer to how they are mapped, one has to exit the game, which isn’t optimal. With a little practice, it is possible to make natural looking movements and actions.

In any case, I enjoyed playing the game on the controller. The developer did a good job with the game engine, and the design is great. The crowd is active, if sparse, and it mostly feels like a real NBA game. The different stadiums look authentic, and the game feel is realistic. Individually, I like the player characterizations. Kobe takes control at the end of games, Timmy D is Mr Fundamental, the Clippers have an affinity for the alley-oop, and Kevin Durant is, well, Kevin Durant. This piece is superb. Watching no look passes or players dive out to get a ball underscore the best part of the game.

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The little pieces are nice too: half time highlights, game summaries, replays and the overall achievement system are great.

Back to graphics… they are okay, as noted, but I can’t shake the feeling that they could be better. The animations feel stilted at times, and this isn’t always concealed behind the fantastic “camera” work and auto plays. The players are recognizable, and scale of relative size is maintained, but there glitches that occurred, like periodical loss of crowd noise and the game freezing during free throws.

The game does have room to grow, but feels like a decent catch now, and feels even fuller with the control. It can be enjoyed without, yes… but why would one want to? This is one game that is definitely enhanced by the Fire TV system, and is fine if one is able to avoid comparing it too closely with the console version.

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.

SimCity BuildIt Review

SimCity BuildIt Review

Jan 16, 2015

Electronic Arts didn’t do very well with its latest PC entry of SimCity. It messed up with a bunch of different stuff, so I had high hopes for this mobile version of the game. And, well… Guess what.

When you think of SimCity, you think of a time being a mayor. You provide houses for the people of your city and also appropriate buildings for services like the police and firemen, energy, water, and so on. And although things like that are still possible, it is not that same as you would imagine it to be. But is that a bad thing?

If you do like the traditional SimCity gameplay, than yes, it is a bad thing. But since this is a free-to-play game, you have to consider the waiting time you need to endure while playing this game. And SimCity was, at least for me, always fun, because you could do anything you want, when you wanted. Well, if you had enough money, but it didn’t took the game long to give you some. But even though I still needed to wait a bit longer on my money, I always felt connected. Engaged, if you will.

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In SimCity BuildIt, that is not the case at all. Being the free-to-play title that it is, it constantly presented me with those waiting times. Of course, it is inevitable and understandable, but I wonder if the development team stopped and questioned itself if this was the right way to go for the series. Because next to thinking logically about placing fire departments close to a residential area or putting a factory as far as possible from it, there isn’t most of the management or stragetic gameplay the series always offered.

The game has been heavy simplified if you ask me. You start with a factory, farm its resources and build a residential area from them. When they’re all done, you get some coins and with those you can buy more utilities to keep the city from going dark or without water. Th bigger the city gets, the more utilities it needs – so you’ll have to keep on repeating the above process to expand.

And quit frankly, this isn’t much fun. It feels like work. Ironically maybe the work of a real mayor. But when I play a game, I want to be entertained. I don’t mind learning a couple things along the way or do mandatory stuff to proceed, but SimCity BuildIt, how promising it looks (no really, graphically, this game looks fantastic), it all work and no play.

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.