US Army Frontline Special Forces Commando Mission Review

US Army Frontline Special Forces Commando Mission Review

Jan 19, 2018

US Army Frontline Special Forces Commando Mission
is a game, yes, but it happily bathes itself in good old national pride.

The game descriptor is very, well, precise with regards to targets and all, but this one boils down to a mission based first-person shooter. Thus, the action is taken in as such, with virtual buttons laid out to control movement, shooting, sights and so on. The visuals are very desert-y and sun-drenched, and the environments become a bit more intricate as you go further.

The action is very straightforward, and the initial few levels higlight this: select an available weapon, and shoot your way through a few baddies, then collect some collectibles at the endpoint.

Open up new levels. Rinse. Repeat.

Success yields game cash, and this can be used to acquire better gear, which begin to become available when subsequent levels are open. Of course, there are tougher challenges the further on you go, and the gameplay is fairly self contained, and mostly well done.



I’m all for developers making money, and will defend ads in freemium games, but I did find the ones in this one to be more than a tad annoying. Thankfully, they can be removed with real cash, but I wouldn’t be surprised if a player or two were put off permanently by the way these ads pop up.

Ah… those controls. Outside the ad system — which, as already noted, can be killed via in-app purchase — the control system is probably the most annoying aspect of the game. The pan and shoot mechanism could definitely be smoother, and a whole lot more responsive.

If you are able to overlook those foibles, this one is as easy to enjoy as it is to get into. Get in, do the deed, reach the endpoint… and do it in the allotted time.

Stickman Parkour Review

Stickman Parkour Review

Jan 18, 2018

Okay, admittedly, I have a major thing for parkour. There is something infinitely cool about the art of freerunning and its practitioners. Watch the action sequence following the opening credits in Casino Royale, with Daniel Craig’s Bond chasing S├ębastien Foucan and see if you don’t fall in love. Seriously.

But hey, when it comes to mobile games, stickmen still hold sway, and Stickman Parkour Platform melds the two concepts together.

So, it has a barebones look and presentation, allowing one to take cues from specific colors. A lot of the playing areas tend to be stationary and dark, and but when animations are called for, they are done well. The game is in 2D and is played in landscape orientation.

Basically, this is a platformer. Stickman Parkour is broken into levels; the core objective, as in most platformer games, is to get from the start point A to the level-ending end point B. To do so, you, the player must control the character stickman to climb, jump, shimmy, dodge and otherwise avoid obstacles that look to prevent the goal being met.


The controls consist of virtual buttons: a “pull” joystick to the left, and others for jumping and sliding to the right. Used together, it is possible to get our guy going, and with a little practice, the controls can become second nature.

As soon as the controls are understand, again, the whole idea is to move. It isn’t always from left to right, but following the general path is easy enough. After a while, it becomes clear to avoid specific dangers (hint: all about the colors!). There are optional dots to collect, and the obstacles do become craftier as you play on.

Alas! As of now, the game is quite short. Hopefully, more levels are on the way.

If you’re into stick figures — weird, maybe, but is there a reason not to be? –then you might as well check it out. Simple idea, and loads of fun. Stickman Parkour makes every one of us a free runner, and a potentially good one to

Kingsman: The Golden Circle Game Review

Kingsman: The Golden Circle Game Review

Jan 8, 2018

It’s practically expected now. Make a major motion picture in this day and age, and we, the consumers want — no, we demand — a companion mobile game. As we’ve said a bunch already, it makes sense; the franchise gets more buzz, which helps the game, which helps the franchise… a beautiful circle.

If the game is good, that is…k7

With the sequel Kingsman: The Golden Circle out for our viewing pleasure, we are quite okay with checking out NHN PixelCube Corp’s companion game, well, Kingsman: The Golden Circle Game.

It’s a pretty good looking game, featuring recognizable characters bathed in non-glossy colors and housed in stark environments, with matching sounds buttressed by voice boxes and hint flashes. The animations are nice too, incorporating slick action moves and underscored by slow motion effects.

The game takes you on a journey, and play is simple. To begin, you finish up training, and the gameplay gets explained: you fight by match-3 action. Yes, your actions are determined by your dexterity with your fingers, and your ability to combine the right color of ammunition at the right time.

Good action leads to success, which leads to game coin, which allows you to improve attributes and accumulate stuff (ah, the clothes); real cash can be used, and there is an energy requirement… bummer.

What the game does well, in the first, is to ably meld a few genres into one cohesive experience. Most prominently, taking a match-3 and allowing it to be the conduit for a card-based action game works here. It’s not the first time we’ve seen it done, but darn it, when done well it still makes for a great caper.

But let’s not forget the source material. Juvenile or not, the Kingsman movies provide great action material, and getting to work with familiar characters is almost always a good thing. Fans of the franchise should love that aspect.

Go Plane Review

Go Plane Review

Jan 8, 2018

Go Plane is one of those games that looks to be an easy pickup. Let’s see…

I was able to get going without any explanation. As noted, it plays in portrait orientation, and it opens up with a seemingly unending aerial environment with a solitary plane flying in it. Ah, yes: you get to control it with your finger, by slashing on the screen or, better yet, dragging it in the direction you prefer. Here, the plane feels responsive, and the action is easily imbibed.gp3

Don’t get too comfortable, though; almost immediately, this leisurely glide becomes a lethal, somewhat one-sided dogfight. Why? Well, that is a missile on your six, and it’s coming in very fast.

If your immediate instinct is to use your freshly discovered powers of plane control to scamper out of the way of the missile, it’s a good one. This is the only way to survive. But wait… this missile has some advantages.

First, it’s that cool type of movie missile that follows you, mirroring your evasive actions in a scary shadow dance, until (hopefully) it’s energy runs out. Secondly — and much worse — this intro projectile is just the first of an endless wave of missiles. That’s right, a bunch of missiles chasing you for you to dodge.

Go Plane gets to be a cool game because it doesn’t attempt to do too much, and still finds a way to do that relatively well. The concept is simple, the gameplay barely needs an explanation and the it mostly keeps you engaged. Sure, we could yearn for a few more elements, like clearer plane attributes and even more power-ups, but as-is, it does a good job of melding simplicity with action.

True, the barebones thingie cuts both ways, but we’re willing to go out on a limb and say in the case of Go Plane, it is net positive… especially from a time wasting point of view.

Fire Up! Review

Fire Up! Review

Jan 2, 2018

Another day, another grind. The busier we get, the more we need pastimes. Fire Up! is a new game on Google Play looking to make sure your day gets the proper punctuation marks.

Graphically, it is simple, with a good color mix and plays in portrait.

The gameplay concept isn’t hard to get. You, the player, use your finger to control a shooting tank, one that moves forward (upward) continuously; the main idea is to keep traveling forward. Now, it shoots fiery missiles of a particular power and speed.fu3

Ah, but there are obstacles blocking the way. Think of a wall of bricks in the way of your piece. Each piece has a point value attached,and this numerical value tells you how many times you have to shoot it to break up that piece and carve a path through the wall. So, one with 2 (two) requires two shots, and so on.

So, with the main idea being to gain space, you have to direct the shooting piece so as to create paths. However, making contact with the wall (or any piece) ends the run. Every restart, you’ll begin to notice the barrier pieces have higher and higher values, meaning more shots required to break them up.

Thankfully, the runs you make gain points; these points can be used to improve the power and speed of the shooting, which becomes very necessary if you plan on seriously taking on the bricks. This goes on and on: do well, gain points, improve firepower so as to cope with tougher pieces. And yes, different tanks can be unlocked.

This game feels especially dutiful with regards to bringing a fun arcade experience to the forefront, unabashedly so. Its straightforward presentation and easy-to-understand gameplay lend themselves to plenty of pick ‘n’ play episodes, and the upgrade path is as elementary as it gets. It is very, very self-contained — if a bit one-dimensional — because all you really need to play is right there.

Bring the deft fingers, though.

Run Sausage Run! Review

Run Sausage Run! Review

Dec 28, 2017

If you ever wondered what life would be like existing as a sausage — a running sausage, that is — then maybe, just maybe, Run Sausage Run! is probably the living, breathing, playable mockumentary you need.

Yep, the premise is simple: you are a sausage that is flexible and somewhat fleet-footed. You like to run, yes, but there are plenty of hazards here. Watch your step, because you can sliced, diced, smashed or worse. rsr3

Visually, Run Sausage Run! has a simplistic, whimsical look to it, which probably helps take the edge of the, well, bloodier aspects. The animations are equally playful, with non-serious depictions and the like; even the lethal blades look genteel.

The controls are easy to master in this… the lead hotdog trots at a slow pace by default. Soon, the aforementioned obstacles begin to appear, and the game teaches you to tap the screen to allow the sausage bed backwards and simultaneously sprint faster; holding the tap keeps him bent and running. Based on how the obstacles are moving (mostly like guillotines), you can alternate between regular movement and run/ducking to avoid the dangerous items and travel further.

Very simple, no?

Outside this, the game offers powerups, and coins can be used to garner new sausage skins. It doesn’t necessarily require a bunch of real cash, and is mostly self-contained. Now, if bloody meat decapitations make you queasy, this one might give you pause.

It is quite the mindless game — and that is far from negative. It is a quick study, in that you are off and running as fast as you can figure out the quick touch control. As with most running games, distance traveled is the name of the game, and all you need to do is move far.

… and, well, avoid the dangers every sausage should be aware of. Apparently.

Mini Golf King Review

Mini Golf King Review

Dec 27, 2017

Yep, yep… here we have an interesting mini-golf simulation to get into: Mini Golf King.

It is a colorful game, wrought with visual effects and the requisite smooth animations. Control is effected by dragging directionally, such that the player can make the ball fly on the scenes which play in portrait orientation.

A typical level consists of virtual miniature golf setup, but with a few extras. Of course, there is the the tee off point, and then the culminating (hopefully) hole. The intuitively core idea is to get the ball from point A to point B with the least amount of strokes. The game engine selects a reasonable match from online players available, and both of you go at it to see who wins the available prize.mgk3

But this ain’t your grandmas’s putt-putt now. There are jewels all along the playing area, some bigger than others, and these garner points if your ball makes contact with them. There are also other hazards, like bunkers and more, plus mystery collectibles. Now, one thing that becomes interesting is figuring out how to use the collectibles to your advantage, or even collecting higher paying big gems. See, going for one of these does have an opportunity cost, so it pays to not eschew going for the quick win for the sake a lot of garnered points.

So, the idea is to beat folks to gain prize money and goodies. Goodies include chests which take time to open, and contain all sorts of things, from clubs to coin. Playing levels requires entrance fees, so, really, you have to win to have the money to play unlocked subsequent levels. Real cash can be used to expedite operations, and there are also other ways to gain game cash (like watching videos).

It has just enough razzle dazzle to keep its arcade card without losing its simulation status; the effects are fun and not overly gaudy, while the power-ups give is a Mario feel along the way. It is an easy, understandable game, but manages to retain a hint of unpredictability because of said specials plus the interesting layouts plus the randomized opponents.

Perfect for those holiday nights that might be colder than most.

Knives Out: a first take

Here we have Knives Out, an arena survival game with MMO sensibilities.

The name of the game is, well, survival. Think of all the apocalyptic tropes you can think of (sans zombies), and splash them on in. To get warmed up, the game allows you to take part in practice simulation, which helps you master the controls. Walking, running, jumping, attacking, crouching and the like are all handled here.

Soon after, you get to pick a particular flavor of action such as a solo mission or a group effort, and parachute into a desolate area. Now, the idea is simple: gather all the goodies, like weapons, and also avoid the enemy fighters, who have the same exact design on the collectible items as you do. Being quick, thorough and cautious is seemingly the formula for success.

As you would expect, the game is chock-full of opportunity cost situations. You have limited carry space, so you do have to be choosy with regards to what you keep. Pistol? Shotgun? Pick the right tool for the job.

The game does a good job of keeping players on their feet. For instance, if you don’t wanna succumb to dangerous gas, move on quickly.


All together, it is an engaging experience — even if it still feels somewhat beta-ish. The game could probably use a better in-action information system, and refined controller/Chromecast support would make even more desirable. I am not the biggest fan of the defensive awareness aspects of the game, and some of the animations feel a bit stilted.

But if we are to assume the game will continue to see improvements and support from its developer, there really is no need to fear giving yourself a chance to get addicted to Knives Out right from the ground up; indeed, it’s a fun romp, even as-is, it’s a delightfully cool take on the arena survival sub-genre.

Sonic Forces: Speed Battle Review

Sonic Forces: Speed Battle Review

Dec 11, 2017

No matter how fast life goes, I doubt it would be so fast that we wouldn’t have time to try to catch up with everybody’s favorite hedgehog, Sonic. As our favorite masked speedster makes a bigger footprint on mobile devices, we can’t help but celebrate one of his latest iterations: Sonic Forces: Speed Battle.

Not a lot of confusing stuff in this one. If you’ve ever played a Sonic game, you’ll feel right at home, with the dashing looks and zoom-zoom animations. Hey, Sonic deserves cool looks, and in this game, he and his cohorts seemingly gets what he wants. It plays in landscape, and utilizes interesting worlds and glitzy backgrounds that house wild raceways bathed in bright colors.sonic3

The action is just what we’s expect: you against random opponents, and race for pints. The raceways are chock-full of helpers and hindrances, so its important to figure out which is which. It feels a lot like three-laned runners, because you have to swipe up/down and right/left to avoid things or collect stuff.

And, as always, this is war. There’s nothing cooler than collecting a fireball to launch at an opponent up ahead, and it’s almost more fun than winning. Still winning garners points, which can be used for upgrades necessary to perform better and unlock tougher challenges.

Pretty tidy.

There are opportunities to use real cash (such as ad removal), and the game is fairly self-contained.

The game is very sonic-y, in that it is just what Sonic and Sega fans should like: high octane arcade racing with plenty of obstacles and weaponized collectibles. This isn’t just about getting from point A to point B the fastest; it’s about deft touch and blasting other competitors to point C. It is familiar, but mostly manages to be fun, and is great for furtive episodes and maybe even longer stretches of play when required. The simple personalizations increase its potential likability, and by not straying too far from its source, Sonic Forces: Speed Battle probably increases its value the most… even across age groups.

June’s Journey Review

June’s Journey Review

Nov 29, 2017

Need a break? How about a full-fledged experience? You might wanna give Wooga’s latest, June’s Journey – Hidden Object a try.

Your sister Clare and her husband Harry have just been murdered, and you are headed to the Big Apple to retrieve your orphaned niece.

And to see if you can find out what really happened, of course; thus unfolds the surrounding story.

At its very core, it’s a hidden mystery adventure, and as such, is especially dependent on the visual content. June’s Journey does a great job of looking good, with plenty of handcrafted art, smooth transitions and eye-catching effects, providing backgrounds that do a great job of underscoring the gameplay.

The main gameplay isn’t too complex. You get presented with frames, and there is a selection of objects cleverly hidden in therein. Now, the interesting aspect is how well these things are hidden. The use of color is well-done, as it allows things to be concealed in plain sight.

The game developer does a good job of being creative, too. Looking for a lion? Well, being less literal might help.


As you find objects, the list gets refreshed, till you have found all the hidden objects for that level. There are bonuses for finding the objects quickly, and if you get stuck, there is a hint button.

There is an energy requirement, and doing well yields coins and clues. There are other aspects incorporated too, like home improvements to open up new scenes.

One of the coolest trends we are seeing in games nowadays is story-driven game… even the “simplest” of games, with a bigger saga connected. In June’s Journey, it is as such: the big picture is the murder mystery, but you navigate this by finding said hidden objects in each frame. Finding the objects solves the bigger puzzle that envelopes the hidden object experience.

It’s biggest attribute is the way it avoids being one-dimensional. Definitely worth a shot.

US Army Zombie Slayer 2 Review

US Army Zombie Slayer 2 Review

Nov 13, 2017

Say it with us: “Zombies never get old.”

It’s true. Another day, another zombie outbreak, another hero needed. ready to take the mantle? Check out US Army Zombie Slayer 2: The Zombie Hunter Returns. Yes, this mouthful is the sequel to US Army Zombie Slayer 3D 2017.

The graphics are gritty enough, perceived in landscape first person perspective. The visuals comprise of cityscapes to start, providing plenty of area to explore. There is plenty of movement, and effects to advance the gameplay.

Gameplay? Not rocket science, really: it has a few different modes, and take out the zombies before they have you for a snack. To avoid becoming nutrition, you should look to master the controls, which comprise of virtual buttons for movement, shooting and swinging your torso round. You get to pick out a weapon, and after a learner session to get used to it all, it’s off to the battling.

One of the best parts of the action is the virtual map, which shows where the undead are in relation to you; this way, you can go find them, and even make strategic decisions as to who to hunt first. The creepers make heir way slowly, and have lifebars that you want to deplete as quickly as possible — headshots are especially lethal.


Ah, but watch out for the quick ones. Giant rats, spiders and other animals are also infected. Doing well and clearing levels yields game cash, which can be used to unlock better weapons. Feeling impatient? Real cash can be used.

It’s definitely not a bad shooter; as noted it, it includes the basics, such as swarms of enemies, diversity of monsters, upgrade paths and more. With regards to the gameplay, it feels quite familiar, but doesn’t have some of the refinements some may expect in such first person shooters. For instance, the sight mechanism is very basic as is the method of swinging round. Now, one could argue that it just gives the game a bit more of a challenge, but when compared to other games, it might feel a tad rudimentary.

When it comes a quick-hitter, this just might do the trick. Why? Zombies never, ever get old.

Thimbleweed Park Review

Thimbleweed Park Review

Nov 11, 2017

So many games, so little time.

The Play Store is chock-full, and Android heads can almost be guaranteed that Android OS will be covered when it comes to new blockbusters. Now, all we need to is sit back, relax and enjoy the bounty.

And check out newbies like Thimbleweed Park. It’s about time this came to mobile.

The game, at first glance, is gloriously retro. Right from jump, you get drowned in fantastic old-school graphics, with stilted animations and deliberately muted coloring in tow. It is a playful iteration, one that helps bring the major action to the forefront.

With regards to gameplay, this one has two modes: Casual, which comes across as an easier version with tutorial included, and Hard, which is the full experience. Getting going (yep, of course we picked the Hard version) felt just right, as we were able to jump right into the story.

It utilizes text instructions along with touch to facilitate actions, and it isn’t too difficult to figure out how basic interactions can be effected. Its point-and-click roots are clear, and the way actions work (as in matching an action word to an object or person) help capture one’s attention. A typical series might have you acquire an object from another character, combine that item with another item in the active character’s inventory, and then finally getting to do the original activity. And, one can switch between characters when necessary.


And yes, the mystery. The opening sequence actually managed to be spooky and surprising at the same time, and then we get a dead body, along with a set of characters that all seen to have hidden agendas. Right from the opening interaction, the overlying sense of dread is palpable, and before you know it, you get immersed in the whole experience.

Thimbleweed Park is an easy one to fall in love with for a host of reasons. It has an old-school look with murder mystery sensibilities, and still incorporates a passable Choose Your Own Adventure element to the party.

Most interesting is that with all that, the core storyline manages to tweak your mind. You are gonna want to solve this unfortunate passing. Thimbleweed Park grabs you by the tweed lapels, looks you in the eye and dares you to put it down.

We admit it… we failed to do just that. Good luck, skipper.