NBA Live Mobile Review

NBA Live Mobile Review

Jul 28, 2016

NBA Live Mobile. From Electronic Arts.

Yes, we’re on board.

This one is brightly done, with sharp colors and fine animations. Menus are visually descriptive, and the players generally conform to real life sizes and facial appearances. EA has a reputation in design, and mostly lives up to it here.

Off the bat, it’s important to note that this isn’t one’s usual basketball simulation; it doesn’t have current-ish NBA rosters in place for players to select a familiar and/or favorite team from. It isn’t really a management strategy game either, as there isn’t a traditional salary cap to contend with.

Instead, it’s more like a multi-mode sports RPG with NBA players in the mix, remixing teams from the start. After selecting a franchise, one gets a bunch of players divvied up into a few “lineups” with unique abilities.
Adding in Zach Lavine for the dunking lesson is savvy, as is tossing in Steph Curry for the special abilities tutorial.

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One can get into game challenges, or look to go against other folks, or engage in a seriously abbreviated season; mostly, he goal is to win resources and unlock players. Then, with some savvy trading and acquisitions, one can build a super team of sorts.

The action segment is fairly well done; it goes 5v5 with current players in one’s lineup, and onscreen virtual buttons control the movements and actions of the players. There are a set of defensive actions, and when possessions change, one gets

Ah, but just when one gets into it, one has to deal with the energy requirement. Be if far from us to complain about monetization, but this one sorta creeps on one, what with the use energy buckets to get things rolling, redoing a challenge can be costly. There are ways to get refills, and one can use real money to supplement.

The game does a feel a bit busy in sections, and the aforementioned energy requirement might deter one from simply playing. The play rules are fairly loose, so basketball purists might balk at some elements as well.

As noted, for a folks looking for a realistic sim akin to the console titles, this one probably won’t cut the mustard. If one is able to see it for what it is meant to be — a management/building game with familiar names as the pieces — it isn’t too bad of an experience.

The Hunt for Red Panda Review

The Hunt for Red Panda Review

Jul 28, 2016

The Hunt for Red Panda starts out searing.

The game starts with an eye-catching flourish: comic-like stills with a minimum of color, and then transitions to fuller color to denote timelines. It’s a simple concept that works well, and somewhat highlights the core artistic aspect of the game. This is a game that should appeal greatly to anyone with even a modicum of artistic appreciation, especially when one considers the main element.

The backstory is interesting. An unkind evaluation, a burned down museum and a mysterious vandal that defiles precious artwork. The player takes on the job of a restorer that is tasked with identifying the alterations and fixing them appropriately.

This main idea pleasantly cloaks the gameplay concept: find the hidden object in a painting, sort of in a “one of things doesn’t belong” manner. A keen eye is helpful, because that laptop that is nestled in the 18th century art blends in very, very well. Some items are very subtly placed, and almost “natural” in appearance. The developer doesn’t rely only on era tricks, as one needs to look for other weirdness going on.

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Basically, one has a limited amount of time to find all the variances, and then figure out how to fix them. “Reagent” is the tool that is used to identify something to be fixed, but one has to be careful, as applying reagent to the wrong spot catastrophically speeds up the clock. There are a limited amount of hints, and then one earns stars and cash based on performance… then, assuming one has all the clues needed, on to the next painting puzzle.

Puzzles are spaced out with the help of mini-games. these usually have an artsy feel to them, but are still interestingly varied.

The Hunt for Red Panda is a heady affair, what with the art lessons and breadth of content. It has a serious creative angle, if a bit short, but for premium title, it is easy to love.

Fantasy RPG Eldrian Legacy is available on Google Play

Fantasy RPG Eldrian Legacy is available on Google Play

Jul 18, 2016

If you like your RPGs with a healthy dose of fantasy, and a few giant dragons for good measure, then you’ll want to check out JoyCity’s new release, Eldrian Legacy, on iOS and Android. It’s got more heroes than you can shake a sword at – 37, to be exact – and plenty of strategy and stats for you to rethink for hours as you put together your ultimate team.

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Each of the champions comes from one of 6 elemental backgrounds, and each one has their own strengths and weakness. And you’ll need to level them up with the Soul Stones you collect to keep them buffed up and ready for the next battle.

You’ll be sending your team out to battle in a bunch of different modes, like Tower of Souls, Adventure and Battlefield of Glory, so there’s plenty to sink your teeth into if you’re looking for something to really eat up your life.

Of course, you may have been so excited already about Eldrian Legacy that you pre-registered for the game. If so, what are you waiting for? You’ve only got 7 days to claim your free 600 diamonds, 20,000 gold and 50 energy, so don’t delay!

And even if you didn’t pre-register, you should still grab the game for free on the App Store or Google Play right away.

App Store: https://itunes.apple.com/app/id1105803339

Google Play: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.joycity.eldrianlegacy

This article is sponsored as part of Steel  Media Preferred Partners

Super Stickman Golf 3 Review

Super Stickman Golf 3 Review

Jul 12, 2016

When it comes to making mobile game sequels, I imagine its tough, especially if the preceding game was a hit of sorts. Building something that is familiar, but also compelling enough over its predecessor can be a difficult proposition. On the one hand, creating a whole new title does give a developer an opportunity to put something out that is current with regards to trends, but on the other hand, we gamers can be very tempermental. Do NOT mess with what works.

Sequels to sequels? Oh my.

Super Stickman Golf 3 is finally here, and it has a lot of legacy to live up to and, hopefully, build upon.

Once again, the player takes on the persona of the ubuiquitous stick figure; again, it’s armed with clubs and is tasked with navigating some very interesting designed golf courses.

The graphics make the game, really; the game utilizes a lot of telltale green to begin, plus other colors that provide nice contrast further on. The animations are clean and effective, and altogether, the game looks familiar with a dash of the whimsical.

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The control mechanism remains virtual; one button serves as a shot power meter, and is crucial with regards to getting the right amount of force on a shot. There are direction buttons that one can use to be the perfect flight path, and other visual tools as well (such as spin).

The gameplay is easy to get into, especially versus the game engine: get the ball into the hole in as few strokes as possible. The fun is in the getting there, because, as noted, the courses almost defy physics in places. There are nooks and crannies to to avoid, and some that one might actually have use. The game incorporates “bux” in places, and these are great to get, but are not always conducive to the main goal of minimizing strokes. Cards can be collected, and the “hat” system is pretty cool. There are a few multiplayer options one can get into, and extra courses one can access.

It’s a sequel’s sequel, in that it stands on its own, but is a pretty compelling franchise extender too. It needs little by way of tutorial, and is playable on the go.

For all those closet golf savants, this is it.

En Masse Entertainment branches out with an Android version of RTS title Battleplans

Having been released exclusively for iOS systems last month, Battleplans is now available for players who prefer Android systems, from the Google Play store. iOS players haven’t been forgotten either, with a brand new update released at the same time.

Battleplans uses a simplistic take on the often-overlooked genre, by combining addictively simple controls and an aesthetically pleasing layout, opening up the title to players of all generations and abilities.

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The iOS update sees the introduction of a brand new character in the form of Taigar the Huntress, who holds the Mystical Stag special ability and has quite the intriguing sleeping situation: she opts for trees…

With the game offering real-time integration, the opportunities become endless and the title truly becomes about skill advancement and progress, which can be monitored with the handy playback feature that the game includes.

Speaking of the game themselves, CEO of En Masse Entertainment, Sam Kim, told us: “Battleplans provides a fresh, new spin on real-time strategy games and fills a need in the marketplace.

“Players will find themselves immediately getting to the
fun elements of an RTS with easy controls to build heroes and squads, as well as scalable resource management – all of which lends for a great experience while trying to outsmart your enemies.”

Catch the game yourself from Google Play.

This article is sponsored as part of Steel Media Preferred Partners.

Nonstop Knight Review

Nonstop Knight Review

Jul 7, 2016

Nonstop Knight is interesting. So much so that diving into it is almost the only option.

The action sequences are the biggest initial draw of this game, and are where the game’s choice of title becomes apparent. It pops off early, continuously and practically in an endless manner.

It features an honorable knight in a leveled environment, tasked with fighting a host of baddies.

Yep. Believe it. It goes like that. Simply. The knight roams from section to section, busting on enemies of numerous types, looking to take out as many as possible while collecting coin. Valuable XP is also earned, and potentially other goodies as well. It is just a continuous wave of battles and leveling all on its own.nk3

It goes on and on. Enjoyably so.

The player can (and probably should) use the goodies collected to improve a host of things. The weapons have to be continually upgraded to deal with the hordes that become more sophisticated with every round. One cool aspect is the way the has the bosses set out; the player can choose when to take them on; if one is successful, the game goes on. If one is beaten by a boss, one can keep doing “regular” fighting to shore up coins to make one’s character a bit more effective.

There are also “runestones” that can be collected, and these are related to the “skills” which cover offensive and defensive moves. Runestones are generally a function of leveling up, and there are crates to open up. It runs like a self-operating RPG, and all one has to do is manage it. There is an “ascend”

There are strategies one can employ, especially in the battles. For instance, one can deploy a skill or two in order to make a particular battle go easier.

Looks-wise, it a fun, with bubbly characterizations, engaging sounds and matching animations. Altogether, just the media a game like this needs.

Now, it’s easy to fall in love with the game, but as one goes on, one might feel a bit of monotony set in; it is a lot of the same. Still, for a game that is fairly self-contained and has no real forced need for the available in-app purchases, it rocks.

Modern XO Review

Modern XO Review

Jul 6, 2016

When it comes to time fillers, almost nothing is as easily accessible as tic-tac-toe. Paper/pen, heck dirt and stick… and the battle is on. If truth be told, it doesn’t take too long to figure out how to master the game, but it still has a place on coffee napkins everywhere.

Modern XO isn’t the first time the game has been brought to mobile devices, but it does have a few twists on the original to make it a bit more enjoyable.xo3

It’s a simple affair from a visual standpoint, with clean templates and an easy feel that doesn’t distract too much from the included gameplay. The game sound can be toggled, and altogether, it comes together well from a media standpoint. More themes can be unlocked via in-app purchase.

It comes in several gameplay levels, and can be played against the game engine or real people on the same device.

At the base, “easy” level, one gets to play tic-tac-toe in its best known form… in a 3×3 grid. As with the traditional form, this one defaults to Xs and Os as the playing pieces, and the first player gets to tap the first X in, and then the opponent (PC or local player) gets the O.

After the opening move, the game proceeds in well-known tic-tac-toe fashion; each side plays in succession, hoping to get three of a kind in a line — vertical/horizontal or diagonal — to win the game. Simultaneously, one also has to play defensively, by looking to block the other player. Yes, ties can be very, very common.

To add to the twist, the developer tosses in a time limit; so at this first level, one cannot tarry too long, or one misses a turn. Wins earn points, and one can improve one’s rank by winning.

Now, where the game gets a bit interesting is at the successive difficulty levels. For instance, in “medium,” one gets a 4×4 grid, and less time — 10 seconds — to make things happen Same rules apply, except that one needs to make a line of 4 matching digital scribbles to win. Then, in “hard” one gets even less time, and has a 5×5 grid to contend with. And, yes, one has to make a matching line of 5 pieces.

For the truly creative, there is a custom mode to, allowing one to tweak the grid size and time allotment in five-second increments.

All in all, one gets what they get: a simple game. It is able to go beyond that a bit, but it isn’t the most sophisticated game out there. That’s okay. A multiplayer version would be cool, but doing it locally is a fine option.

This one is made for doodling, and doodling transcends time.

BREXIT Review

BREXIT Review

Jul 5, 2016

Let it not ever be said that Android Rundown doesn’t get involved in world discourse. Yes, our main focus is everything Android, but we’ve been known to get serious a time or two.

At least, we think so…

Take the world-changing knows that UK voters have decided to leave the European Union. Serious stuff on so many levels.brex3 Well, we’ve decided to give our input.

Here is our very own BREXIT review.

Like the real life issue, BREXIT is all about doing one’s own thing, no matter what everyone else is doing, and looking to do it well. It encompasses everything good and bad about going against the crowd.

The gameplay and source concept is simple: the player mans a vehicle that resolutely insists on left hand drive; this creates potential catastrophe, as this means the vehicle is going upstream against two lanes of traffic going in the opposite direction.

Uh oh…

The control mechanism is as intuitive as it gets. All one has to do is tap either side of the screen, and the vehicle jumps to the side of the screen touched. Thus, if one wants to avoid a car coming in the leftmost lane, one taps the right side, and then the opposite side to do the reverse. The trick is in the deftness of fingers, because the further one goes, the trickier the gameplay gets. It speeds up, and then the game cars start doing funky things like switching lanes mid-pass.

The graphics are simply laid out, with gentle colors and easy sounds. The animations feel a bit laggy, but that doesn’t necessarily distract from the game. Looks-wise, the game mostly gets the job of framing the gameplay done.

Alas, it is a lot of the same. The game doesn’t stray too much from its core action, and much like its source material, this cuts both ways. If anything, the game is perfect for small, furtive moments of free time… and thats okay.

Finally, consider this: the game distance is measured in metric units by default. That says it all.

BREXIT encourages one to do one’s own thing.

Road Racing: Traffic Driving Review

Road Racing: Traffic Driving Review

Jul 5, 2016

There is no such thing at too many road racing games, and as such, checking out Road Racing: Traffic Driving almost seems like a civic responsibility.

The gameplay is mostly intuitive, and worlds like most landed racing games; the player mans a more-or-less basic car, and looks to control it through a maze of vehicle, obstacles and collectible goodies. By way of controls, one can choose between virtual touch buttons or tilt. We settled on the latter option, which worked surprisingly well. Additionally, there’s a virtual brake pedal as well as a virtual gas pedal.

There are leveled races, and one needs to complete tasks. As noted, the vehicles that travel along are obstacles, and there are other structures that provide action. The cars move at divergent speeds, and even change lanes on occasion. There are goodies that can be collected by contact, but one needs to watch out, because these objects are not always in the friendliest of locations.

Doing well yields cash, and game cash can be used to improve one’s vehicle. Improving one’s vehicle almost becomes mandatory as one progresses. More expensive cars have better attributes, but one can look to, say, get better gas mileage on a current vehicle.

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Real cash can be used to speed up processes, but doesn’t feel mandatory.

From a connection standpoint, the game feels fairly well-contained. There are ample opportunities to use real cash if one is so inclined, but one can go through without true money with a little bit of patience. The core elements blend well together and are pretty easy to understand, and the player has an over-arching idea: race, improve vehicles, and race some more. The control mechanism feels natural, and providing options in this regard is great.

The familiarity that makes this one easy to get into might also work against it; it isn’t especially groundbreaking, but a lot of that is easy to overlook because of how the developer smartly allows the game to flow into the more advanced precepts makes it worth one’s while to get into.

Independence Day: Extinction Review

Independence Day: Extinction Review

Jul 4, 2016

They’re back…

Just in time for Independence Day (holiday and movie), we get Independence Day: Extinction.

The graphics are earthy, with controlled use of color that works well the abbreviated top-down view. The game uses a series of visual highlights to move the gameplay along.

To get started, one gets to pick a side; you can fight for earth, or live it up and take a go as a dastardly alien. The game then proceeds with a text box warning fro President Whitmore, informing the player about the return of the aliens via wormhole.

Now, the first thing one gets to do is to prepare Area 51 for war.

The game then helps the player figure out the game by means of a hands-on tutorial. A sniper station is set up, and one sees it in action against an alien scout team. From there, a bit more of the game unfolds; one needs to build other buildings, and a lot of the purposes are logically interconnected. Titanium creation and storage here, plasma for upgrading and repairing ships there, and so on.

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On the other hand, one also needs to get on the offensive; this is accomplished by assembling squads of one’s own. These can go out to collect useful loot and special awards. An attack is performed by taping and dragging the squad onto the enemy target. Profit.

The game proceeds to be a mix ‘n’ match RPG, where one has to continually look to improve one’s attributes to be competitive. The game is self-paced to a degree, which allows one to take part on their own terms; allowing one to play as hero or villain is a nice touch that expands the gameplay a bit.

We did get a couple of crashes; this was an unfortunate damper, but for the most part, the game remains interesting over time. It is rich experience, based on an enduring franchise and flanked by a new movie, so it should appeal to the imagination.

Happy Independence Day!

Photon Strike: Galaxy Shooter Review

Photon Strike: Galaxy Shooter Review

Jul 2, 2016

Feenin’ for a space shooter? Check out Photon Strike, and one might get that particular itch scratched.

This one packs in a vibrant color presentation, with simulated depth, smooth animations and vivid objects. It looks good, and mostly manages to sneak in a bit of the whimsical while retaining an overall serious feel. The developer is able to recreate the look of an old school arcade space shower, and that is something that should appeal to folks who love that genre.psgs3

It plays in portrait, taking the players protagonist spacecraft from the bottom to the top of the moving screen.

Moving on into the gameplay, the action is as intuitive as it gets; it starts with the aforementioned players spacecraft, and it is controlled by longpressing and gesture swiping, such that as long as the player hold down the plane and screen, the player has control of the craft.

Now, coming in from the opposite direction — the top of the screen — are enemy spacecraft. The gameplay is leveled and the ships approach in waves, and have interesting flight patterns. Of course, these ships have one goal in mind: to stop the player’s ship from making it forward. Thankfully, the protagonist ship shoots continually, do there is that initial form of, well, offensive defense. One can also look to avoid crashing into the enemy spacecraft. 

As noted, the action comes in levels; one needs to beat the one to move on. Of course, the enemy gets craftier as one goes further, and have better weapons. One also has to be on the lookout for space debris.

Doing well yields payouts, and game cash can be used to get better ships and to upgrade attributes.

It comes together quite well, with a host of familiar elements and fan-friendly aspects… easy to like and get into.

Blocky Soccer Review

Blocky Soccer Review

Jul 2, 2016

It’s easy to look at Blocky Soccer and immediately assuming it’s nothing more than a Crossy Road clone. Thankfully there’s enough differences to make this thing stand on its own two feet.

The game has you participate in mini ‘tournaments’ that are simply three games played back to back. If you’re thinking that you’re going to play full games of soccer, you’re mistaken.

Each soccer match consists of watching a ball move from one goal to the other. I assume there’s some random number generation going on, as it seems to move back and forth randomly. If the ball hits your goal, you simply get the spin of a roulette wheel which will either see the opposition score or miss. As soon as the ball hits their goal the scene changes as this means you’re about to attack their goal.

This is where Block Soccer is, at its most, Crossy Road. You are a footballer at the bottom of the screen and you need to swipe left and right to avoid defenders coming at you from the top of the screen. You also need to keep an eye out for defenders tackling you from behind, as they can also appear at the bottom of the screen. It’s pretty straightforward, even if it does get tricky when you’re bombarded with defenders. Once you’ve dodged enough tackles, which is a random number, you’ll then need to take your shot.BlockySoccer4

Once you’re in front of the goal everything stops and you’ll have an arrow waving from left to right placed in front of you. Shooting at the goal consists of two taps. Your first tap will stop the arrow swinging. Once you’ve done that the arrow fills up to show how hard you’re about to punt the ball. Tap the screen to stop it filling up and take the shot.

Easy. Right?

Sometimes, if you’re lucky, there’ll be a key in the goal. If the ball hits the key, it’s yours. You also gain keys if you win tournaments too. What do keys do? Well, they unlock new kits and eventually new stadiums to play in. The problem is that these kits aren’t that interesting. Some are quite cool – as they let you play as an animal or something weird, but most are just slightly different colored variations of the same model you’ve been looking at for hours already. Also, nothing else really changes. Unlike Crossy Road – which it’s hard not to compare this game to – it’s not as if you play with different types of ball or come up against different types of defender.

Which isn’t the worst thing in the world but it does mean that there’s very little to see once you’ve unlocked a kit or two.