Metal Shooter Review

Metal Shooter Review

Oct 13, 2016

Every now and then, it’s okay — no, its necessary — to dabble in something that takes you back. You know, a retro-ish game. Say, like Metal Shooter.

This one is fairly intuitive. Our Rambo-ish champion looks to be guided from left to right, but to do so, he has to overcome a bunch of enemy commandos in various manifestations. Our guy is primarily armed with a gun, and is capable of a melee attacks.

The playing area defines the gameplay. It works in landscape orientation, in 2D, and as such, really evokes an old school feel. The graphics are rich, the terrain distinctly military, and the sounds help complete the arcade presentation.

The playing area is also platformed, such that the player might need to move a level or two to navigate or move on.

The control system involves a multi-faceted joystick nestled on the one side, and a set of attack/weapon buttons on the other. The joystick allows one to control the height of the weapon bursts, as well as the direction of the movement of the controlled character.


The gameplay isn’t hard to comprehend. As mentioned earlier, one has to navigate enemies and platforms, and these enemies can shoot back. There are “regular” obstacles too, and one has to avoid being killed while taking them out and moving on. There are bosses, and the terrain and enemies get crafter the further one gets into the game.

All in all, it comes together well. I like the continuous action, and it has a comfortable feel. The joystick was a bit of a letdown i think, as i feel a few more actions could have been derived from it.

Still, Metal Shooter does a good job of bringing together several gameplay elements; as a platformer, it does well, and the added pieces — like the battling — make it that more interesting.

Geometry Dash Meltdown Review

Geometry Dash Meltdown Review

Dec 29, 2015

Simple does it, and Geometry Dash Meltdown looks to pack in such right from the beginning. It easily separates the quick-fingered from the slowpokes in an unapologetic manner, and does so with fun sounds and snazzy looks.

Looks-wise, it’s a sassy game, with stark backgrounds and smooth, colored geometric pieces that are gracefully animated. Visually, the game engages without distracting, and also manages to pack in some cool music that helps underscore the games arcade cred.

Gameplay is enjoyably simple: jump — and jump at just the right time — to survive. The protagonist object travels from left to right, and there are a host of obstacles (mostly framed as geometrical shapes) that line the area, and look to end a run by contact. The protagonist piece moves automatically, and the main idea is to control it jumping over aforementioned obstacles by tapping the screen.

The beauty is in the obstacles, and their relative placements. Almost immediately, one’s quickness is tested, as well as timing. The spacing sometime begs for a sequence of jumps, and then one also needs to account for visual challenges.


The longer one goes on and survives, the more intricate the trickery gets. Moving platforms, changing visuals, dropping ceilings and more — was that a shark? Hello. There are some airborne elements, and plenty of triangle spikes to keep things festive.

It all finally comes together as a game that blesses quick reflexes and timing by rewarding the player’s enviable quest to improve upon his or her own high score. The minimalist use of color and engaging soundtrack are effective in framing the gameplay, and the simple shapes and obstacle set are easy to work with.

While it comes in as free, limited and ad-supported, one can use real cash to unlock the full game. Just as well, because the game does look light it have folks teetering towards addiction.

New Game ‘The Executive’ Launches on Google Play

New Game ‘The Executive’ Launches on Google Play

Dec 3, 2015

Noodlecake has brought a new game called The Executive to Android via Google Play; it is a fun-looking 2D platformer with great graphics.

Per the press kit:

The Executive combines a high-speed combat system, timing-based running and platforming, 120 hand-crafted levels, a full inventory of moves and upgrades, and a simple mining company simulation for earning money, all into one cohesive experience. The fighting engine evokes a cross between Street Fighter II and Zelda II: The Adventure of Link, with controls designed from scratch to be ideal for touch screens. The platforming (or “stunt”) segments require precise timing, similar to Elite Beat Agents but with an emphasis on visual timing instead of musical rhythm. Both of these mechanics are brought together by the SP bar, which allows you to execute gesture-based special moves like flame kicks, health restoration, and even morphing your character’s arm into a silver spike to impale foes.

The Executive is on sale to mark its launch, coming in at 40% off ($2.99).

[via game press kit]

Pauli’s Adventure Island Review

Pauli’s Adventure Island Review

Nov 2, 2015

Pauli’s Adventure Island is an ode to familiarity and simplicity.

It’s a mission of freedom, as our heroes are looking to free there home from invaders.

It’s a colorful game; it is straightforward visually, with deliberate splashes of color: blues, greens, grays and more, working together, but not interfering with each other too much. The shapes are close to utilitarian, and the landscapes do the job of helping along the gameplay effectively. The animations are smooth, and the backgrounds change with progress, so it does not get too monotonous over extended periods of play. Overall, it reminds one of established console games of the same type, and that isn’t a bad thing.

It’s platformer merged with side-scrolling. Action moves from left to right, and the main idea is to get from Point A to Point B. But of course… there are several obstacles which are in the way, and as such, one needs to be able to navigate around these to move on. The configurable control set incorporates left and right virtual buttons to the bottom left, and a jump virtual button along with a virtual barrel roll button to the bottom right in its stock alignment. A lot of the baddies move, which adds an additional wrinkle. Jumping over is effective, but rolling into them generally gets rid of them. There are also gaps in the walkway, and areas that entail getting to a higher platform; for these, jumping is an adept way to get around.


And of course, there are collectibles that line the travel area. In-run life, starts and more can be collected, but one does have to weigh the risk against the reward: go the extra mile and get them, or speed up and get to the end of the stage?

Decisions, decisions…

The going gets tougher as one goes on, with heavier demands on reflexes and non-linear thinking. The travel way becomes more complex, making one have to double back and move relatively quickly, and then slow down, and back and forth. It even has a time trial element

The game is really easy to get into, and is fairly intuitive. For a free game, it’s pretty fun to play.

Metal Soldiers Review

Metal Soldiers Review

Aug 31, 2015

When it comes down it, Metal Soldiers feels like a game one should be able to enjoy.

It comes in in 2D, with simple yet effective graphics, and smooth animations, with arcade-y sounds that ensconce the gameplay quite adequately.

The gameplay itself is a varied mix of elements which are all pulled under the canopy of a staged platformer. The first and overriding task it to travel as far as possible, and the control mechanism helps it along. There are buttons that control movement, firing and jumping.

So our hero moves from left to right; off the bat, one will run into the gaps, and the jump button is of great use here. It also helps one traverse some of the boxes, walls and such that make up the play area. Early on, the player also encounters enemy soldiers armed with guns. If one tarries in front of these moving soldiers, they will shoot our enemy off the platform.

Another obstacle that presents itself are drones which look to knock off the hero by contact. These are pretty smart in the way they come from the top and into range. One option to avoid the enemy troops and the drones is to jump over and out/run them, but this can get difficult considering some of the other elements.


Another option is to use the gun our runner is equipped with; one shot takes out the flyers and soldiers when they are close enough, and can even be used to blow up the random drum and such.

There are also collectible goodies. Gold coins appear, and can be acquired by touch, as can be time clocks, which dd time. Time, you ask? Ah… yes… one concept is to move as quickly as possible, because there is a countdown clock. Now, one can extend time by collecting aforementioned clocks, but when one adds in the other variables — other obstacles, collectibles, etc. — one has to pick and choose what to pursue. Assuming one is able to keep going past the obstacles (and yes, they do get worse), time running out ends the run.

Collected gold can be used to get boosts, extend runs and such. Altogether, it is a simple game that feels particularly well-rounded.

Buzz Killem Review

Buzz Killem Review

Feb 26, 2015

Action platformers almost always resonate; they are simple to learn, easy to enjoy and can be tweaked with several gameplay elements. With Buzz Killem (from industry strongman Noodlecake), we get some glorious graphics, easy-to-learn controls, arcade goodness and a lot of action.

Buzz Killem is a story of, well, going buck wild. It’s Rambo meets Independence Day. Buzz (action star’s Bill Killem’s dad) is a war vet who is brought back to confront an alien threat. Now, the kicker is tha Buzz has no compunction with regards to blasting away, and in the 2D environment that the game is set, all advantages are to be treasured.

And it is a simple but delightfully intense environment, with retro, chunky-ish graphics making up the core of the visuals. The animations further extend the old-school feel, with a bunch of staggered movements and jumpy animations. The controls are easy to understand, and are virtual in nature, allowing our here to travel in both directions, as well as the ability to jump (and double jump) over obstacles and up and across to aerial platforms. There is also a shooting button, which allow Buzz to use his firearm to dispatch enemies from relatively afar.


The gameplay is fairly simple, and boils down to avoiding dangers and staying alive. Dropping boulders, boxes, reactive floating enemies, shooting creatures and more make their presences felt; there is even a rotating blade or two. The action comes together such that quick reactions are necessary to be successful. The game is split into missions, and the developer tosses in an achievement system too.

The interesting aspect is the diversity and unpredictability of the dangers; mistiming a jump can be lethal. this element comes together quite well. I also like the arcade elements: collectibles, boosts, coin collection and upgrades. Real money can be used, but doesn’t feel mandatory.

Buzz Killem a cool game, simple at heart with plenty of fun aspects. It’s almost impossible to not enjoy.

Ninja Chicken Multiplayer Race Review

Ninja Chicken Multiplayer Race Review

Jul 21, 2014

Ninja. Chicken. Multiplayer. Racing. Say it altogether, an you get an interesting concept: Ninja Chicken Multiplayer Racing.

The racing environment is set up in 2D fashion, with the avian creatures racing from left to right. The runway is somewhat platformed, with plenty of colorful graphical elements tossed in. There are collectible goodies that line this area, on the ground and in the air, and the platforms are positioned to encourage fast decisions that border on twitch reactions. There are even rope structures and overall, the coloring is sharp and relatively eye-pleasing throughout. The animations are quite stilted, but the developer is able to effect the presence of multiple running and jumping chickens in an interesting way.

It’s a communal race, so each race has multiple chickens on the same track; the chickens start off, and are almost nin1immediately presented with obstacles that, as noted, test the reflexes. To control one’s chicken, there are simple (but fairly intuitive) controls: tapping and double tapping to jump and double jump respectively, and then there is the tap and hold which causes the chicken to barrel roll underneath low lying obstacles. The aforementioned goodies are great tempters, and getting them can be rewarding and taxing at the same time, especially since a missed move or over-exuberant jump can cause a delay that allows rivals to speed by. The obstacles are varied in nature, with spikey stuff and solid barriers being examples.

There are power-ups, and they serve to give the game a cool arcade feel in the same vein as, say, Mario Kart. The one allows a player to fire arrows on competitors in front and attempt to slow them down. Such boosts are rechargeable and upgradeable; it’s pertinent to note that other racers can use them as well.

The collectibles allow one to purchase more boosts, upgrades, clothing and eqiupment; each generally have attributes that can contribute to success. XP points are also generated, and players can level up as well as advance on the leveled course.

It isn’t a boring game by any means; there is in-app purchasing available, but it does no feel necessary to enjoy. The game’s core is challenging without being too infuriating, and the escalating challenge of the courses is a welcome element.

All in all, it packs a lot of fun into a tight, tidy intuitive package.

Cow Dash Review

Cow Dash Review

Jun 20, 2014

Cow Dash is a charming entry from Retroid Interactive that is able to swaddle retro-looking graphics in the familiar, tried-and-true frame of an arcade adventure.

The controls are deceptively simple, and almost conceal the challenge of the game. Almost. The travel-happy cow starts off in a outdoor naturescape environment set in deliberate platforms of differing heights. The cow moves on its own when a tap is administered to start the level; it continues moving in a set direction until it is impeded by an object, at which point it turns on its heel and goes in the opposite direction.

Tapping on the screen allows the bovine adventurer to jump, and tap and holding causes a higher jump. Using hese simple controls, the basic concept is to guide the cow up the platform to the exit portal. cow1

But this cow faces some challenges. First, there is a time limit of sorts o get top marks for the level; an errant jump or two reduces the chances of making it before the time split is done. There are also collectible fruit which line the travelway and make the cow able to run. A bar to the top left shows how much vitality is left, and if it runs out, he cow implodes. As such, as the gameplay becomes more challenging, it is may become prudent to plan how tow much to consume, as leaving one out may keep the cow alive if a mistake is made. Further down the line, there are trap objects that must be avoided, as they are potentially lethal. These bombs begin o get more cleverly placed, and begin to put an even greater emphasis on timing and cunning. The developer does a good job of combining different elements to create a lovable game.

It is a great time waster, but the true value is in its potential to be even more if need be.

Whack the Mervins Review

Whack the Mervins Review

May 19, 2014

Saluting old school type of games never gets old. Never. Whack the Mervins proves that.

Right from the start, it gets up on a pedestal and screams “retro” to the top of its lungs. The graphics have a distinct pixelated feel to them, and the game mechanics are rendered in the jerky manner old school arcade junkies will appreciate. The splotches of color are used judiciously to underscore the main thematic concepts; altogether, it looks like an interesting blast from the past.

With regards to gameplay, Whack the Mervins is a 2D-platform adventure. It’s almost impossible to not think of the Mario brothers early offerings, and that isn’t necessarily a bad thing. The action moves from right to w1left as our protagonist works his way through hazards and obstacles; to effect this, there are virtual controls at the corners of the screen: a movement joystick on one side and a shoot button with a jump button on the other. The main obstacle is the created playing area, with changing environments that force exploration to get through. there are also lethal creatures that hurt by contact; this is where the weapon can be useful. Getting rid of these “ghosts” can also lead to jewel payouts, as can head-butting particular structures. The baddies can also be handled by jumping on them when possible.

One gets three lives, and these can be used up by making contact with baddies or inadvertently jumping off a cliff into, say, a deep body of water. The further one gets, the more points are accumulated.

The developer does a good job of incorporating elements such as ladders, spikes, boss play and more into this game. Additionally, the game is low-frills from beginning to end: no ads or exhortations to spend real cash. What yousee is what you play, with no apologies.

Retro gaming is a privilege that Whack the Mervins delightfully partakes in.

Bloo Kid 2 Review

Bloo Kid 2 Review

Apr 24, 2014

Bloo Kid is back in Bloo Kid 2.

Like it’s predecessor (which we had an opportunity to check out a few years ago), this one is retro-looking — and feeling — platform game. While the first is a tale of love and kidnapping, this one is the continuation: Bloo Kid and Pink Girl now have a kid called Pink Girl… and we get a new adventure.

Again, as the first iteration, this one retains the gameplay elements some folks might associate with cross platform hits Mario Brothers and even Donkey Kong. Our hero goes from left to right in a leveled romp that starts out fairly easy and gradually increases in difficulty. For instance, the first level introduces the basics of bloo1gameplay, with virtual buttons guiding sideways movement, jumping (and double jumping) and downward movement. There are round creatures with lethal powers the roam the grounds; thankfully, they can be dispatched by jumping on them. There are also special blue stars to collect, as well as regular gold stars; additionally, there are treasure chests that can be opened by jumping on hem, and these contain goodies like more collectible stars and even lives. Through it all, the basic idea is to get all the collectibles while staying alive by avoiding or vanquishing the enemy.

But the game UI starts tossing some tougher things as new levels are activated; water hazards that have to be oxygen limits, dangerous fish, bees and more. With the increased number of moving and lethal obstacles, a bit more care needs to be taken to beat the levels; in fact, at some points temporary retreat even becomes prudent. It’s the little tweaks like that that, in my mind, make the game so much fun.

The game employs delightfully pixelated graphics, and for this game it works. I liked the little things, like customizable controls

Not all sequels work. This one mostly does.

Wind-up Knight 2 Review

Wind-up Knight 2 Review

Apr 22, 2014

Some things never stop being cool. Afros. William Shatner doing karaoke. Swashbuckling knights.

Wind-up Knight shows that even wound-up armor can come correct. It also shows sequels can live up to the hype.

The graphical presentation is done quite well, with cute characterizations and excellent use of color. The animations are fluid, and work well with the scene-to-scene stills that make up a lot of the background. The artwork is vivid, and becoming.

As far as gameplay goes, we get side scrolling platform action; our wound-up hero is armed with a sword and a wind1shield, and can jump and duck too. Correspondingly, their are virtual buttons that control jumping, attack, defense and such towards the bottom of the screen.

The first level launches the gameplay in all its glory. The knight progresses from left to right, jumping across obstacles and working to acquire jewels. Soon, there are correct live creatures blocking the way, and jumping won’t work. Here, the sword becomes useful to slash through these beings that can do end the the run otherwise.

In this initial level, the appreciable quirks show up. At one point, the knight starts going in the opposite direction after a downwards jump, and then switches back to left-to-right again. I liked these little switch-ups a great deal, as they ensure players stay on their toes. Down the line, other dangers appear, like dropping seeds that require the shield. The environments become more varied as well.

A finish line denotes the end of the level, and success depends on the number of jewels collected, with gold coins being the payout. The entire game can be unlocked for a fixed price, but isn’t necessary to enjoy. Customization and power-ups are also available; for the truly competitive, there is a tournament mode (with leaderboards) and side quests to tackle, and I especially like the latter because it gives a reason to play levels again. The in-app store allows for upgrades to equipment and customization efforts for gold coins or real cash.

The game is pretty tight, easy to get hooked on priced right. Ready and waiting, Sir Gamer.

Instantion Review

Instantion Review

Apr 17, 2014

Where is Dolly the Sheep when one needs her? Instation brings cloning to Android, and the replicated pieces make even the best line dancers look quaint by comparison.

The gameplay is leveled; in this one, we get a blue, somewhat luminescent running being, intent on doing what most platform side-scrolling runners want to do: run from left to right. The scenery had a touch of the futuristic tinged with a the ominous feel one gets from the occasional red lasers and bright obstacles that add context to game functions.

In its simplest form, the running creature meets obstacles. There is a jump button, direction buttons and an interaction button, with last being useful to toggle gates open or to assemble bridges. There are also green step instant1pads that also toggle gates open and shut. As the gameplay unfolds, the obstacles get trickier; what is one to do do when the switch for a bridge is on other side?

Here’s where cloning becomes valuable. Our humanoid has the ability to create exact copies of itself when fully charged, and the clones can be placed (via intricate and sometimes infuriating sighting process) where they need to be as long as the point is not too far away.

The interesting part is how the humanoid and the clones act; they do everything in unison… jumping, running left or right… everything the “true” unit does is mimicked in time simultaneously by the clones, unless restricted by an object or obstacle. This adds a completely different feel to the gameplay, especially in further levels. For example, the aforementioned energy fields reduce clones even when only the main unit goes through them. At one point, solving the puzzle of advancement means inching back and forth, while allowing obstacles to adjust the natural movement of the clones, until the target can be reached without going through the laser.

Finishing a level quickly is the goal, and each run is graded.

It comes together quite nicely, even if I think the game could do with a tutorial, as I spent some time spinning my wheels.

Puzzles. Running. Teleporters. Multiples. Welcome to gaming in the 21st century.