Size DOES Matter Review

Size DOES Matter Review

Oct 1, 2014

I’ll cut to the chase: Size DOES Matter is a rhythm game, and it’s hard. I consider myself to be pretty handy when it comes to rhythm games. I’ve played an absolute most of them. OSU, Guitar Hero, DDR, Bit.Trip, tons of other, smaller indies – you name it. But I still wasn’t prepared for the level of difficulty that this deceivingly simple game reaches. It’s hard to believe that I had to give up roughly half-way through it, simply because I’m unable to proceed. Anyway.

Story, Locations and other distracting stuff are all absent from Size Does Matter, leaving just a style of 8-bit graphics and neon, spiced by excellent chiptune soundtrack. It’s got everything that old-school arcade players like, including throat-cutting difficulty. As for the gameplay, it’s rather simple: the player needs to guide a vertical bar through a labyrinth by squeezing through the openings in the “walls”. The bar can extend and contract to be 1, 3, and 5 squares tall, and can scroll up and down, one square per finger swipe. Each time a level starts, the player gets three “lives”, a life being lost every time the player doesn’t fit exactly into the opening – whether the bar is too big or too small. Even if the player loses all lives, he continues playing until the end of the level, but if he has any lives left afterwards, the level repeats, this time Size DOES Matter 4becoming stupidly, eyes-poppingly, finger-breakingly difficult. Why, you ask? For the scores, of course! Also, because the next levels only unlock if you reach a certain score in a level. Which is logical, considering they don’t get any easier.

One small problem I have with Size DOES Matter is an absence of button controls. There are swipe and tap controls, but swipe requires a bit too much actions, and tap controls don’t have any visible buttons, making them a lot less intuitive. On the other hand, most of the mistakes that I’ve made, I would probably make with buttons as well, but I’d feel a lot better if I wasn’t able to blame the control scheme for my mistakes.

In general Size Does Matter is a great game. It’s mainly for the fans of rhythm games, but it’s fun stuff with great music and barebones gameplay that will make the player clench his teeth a lot of the time.

Mig 2D: Retro Shooter Review

Mig 2D: Retro Shooter Review

Feb 25, 2014

It’s very difficult to describe Mig 2D: Retro Shooter better than it describes itself. It’s a game that is “retro” all the way through. It could have been released on Sega, almost intact, and I wouldn’t bat an eye. It’s actually impressive how retro it looks – but it’s also the game’s biggest problem. This and the complete lack of any sound effects.

The story is told in short dialogues at the start of each level, and I don’t want to describe it, but it’s there, and it gives the game much-needed goals and sense of progress – something that many other shoot-em-ups lack severely. It also features several game modes and mini-games that help maintain interest to the game after a while, when the main campaign is complete. It also looks quite impressive, with pixel-art sprites and effectsMig 2D Retro Shooter 3 drawn with great detail. The problem is that the game is repetitive and doesn’t have anything new whatsoever. You know what it also doesn’t have? Any sound effects whatsoever.

I think its gameplay is obvious from the screenshots. A plane flies up and shoots continuously. The player controls it by dragging a finger around a screen. Enemies come from the top and the player needs to pew-pew them to death, evading their pew-pews. Upgrade gun, use bombs, get bonus lives and health, don’t die. Some levels have a bit different rules. For example, in one level, the player can’t shoot and has to evade debris that are flying at him. The slight changes in rules are a great way to keep Mig 2D: Retro Shooter interesting. But yet, for some reason, it just feels off for me. Maybe the shooting part is unbalanced in some way, maybe it’s the lack of interesting abilities or power-ups, or maybe it’s something else. Quite possibly it’s because there are no sound effects.

Since Mig 2D: Retro Shooter is free-to-play, there’s nothing stopping anyone to check it for themselves. There are ads, and they are a bit annoying, but they don’t break the game or anything. The music also grinds into the ears like sandpaper after ten minutes of gameplay, but when it’s turned off, the game becomes completely mute. And for some reason, it lags on my Asus Memo Pad tablet, but works completely fine on my phone. In general, it’s not excellent, not bad. But there’s no sound effects.

Gemini Rue Announced, A Retro-Styled Adventure

Gemini Rue Announced, A Retro-Styled Adventure

Dec 13, 2013

Gemini Rue 2

If you are familiar with classic Sam & Max, or Monkey Island, and would like to see more of the same – here’s an announcement just for you. Gemini Rue is a futuristic adventure game about two unusual and very different heroes in a fantastic world of interplanetary travel and identity changes. The game is already available for PC, with Android version coming soon. Additional details about the game are here: Gemini Rue Website.

Everyday Spelunker Released For Android

Everyday Spelunker Released For Android

Dec 12, 2013

Everyday Spelunker 5

Not to be confused with Steam game Spelunky, this is a recreation of an old, 8-bit platformer adventure. It’s a faithful recreation, and offers a lot of challenges as the player explores the caverns, uncovers ancient secrets, and dies in lots and lots of horrible ways. Don’t worry, though. There’s an infinite mode, so the torture never ends! The game can be downloaded from here: Everyday Spelunker on Google Play.

New Screenshots Of Star Warsâ„¢: Tiny Death Starâ„¢ Are Released

New Screenshots Of Star Warsâ„¢: Tiny Death Starâ„¢ Are Released

Oct 31, 2013

Star Warsâ„¢: Tiny Death Starâ„¢ 4

Disney’s first attempt at a mobile Star Wars game is closer and closer to its release, so developers released several more screenshots of an upcoming trip down the memory lane. Tiny Death Star is going to be in the same general vein as Tiny Tower, an economic strategy about the challenges of building your very own skyscraper. It looks promising, so there’s hoping that this game will be added to the roster of great Star Wars games. Release date is only set at “soon” right now, and future details can be found here: Disney Interactive on Tumblr.

Hell, The Dungeon Again! Review

Hell, The Dungeon Again! Review

Sep 11, 2013

It’s definitely a great thing that so many roguelikes are being released for the mobiles nowadays. I believe that this genre suits mobiles perfectly, and with some work, could save both the roguelikes, and mobile gaming from a slow decay. The only problem I have with mobile roguelikes is that they tend to be overly simple, with only the most basic rules and mechanics present. I understand that developing a complex roguelike is a daring task, doubly so considering mobile limitations, but I just really want to play a good one on the go. Well, while there’s no real choice, at least there are the games like Hell, The Dungeon Again! that can serve as great time-killers, even though they are a bit too simple for the fans of the traditional rogue-likes.

Hell, The Dungeon Again  1Hell, The Dungeon Again! Isn’t very different to the other portable rogues, but it isn’t worse than them, either. There are three heroes to choose from: warrior, archer and mage, all of them having their slightly different mechanics and stuff they can use. After picking a hero, the player is put inside a dungeon, from which there’s only one way – down. The player needs to go all the way down through the more and more challenging layers of the dungeon, killing monsters, defeating bosses and obtaining powerful loot. As the hero gets experience, he or she can learn three special skills that can be activated every once in a while. Interestingly, the skills are reloading not with any step taken, but only when the player hits an enemy. Anyway, the game doesn’t have much outside the standard dungeon-plowing. There are special items and unknown potions, but they don’t offer anything different from the standard bonuses. There is no gold or shop, so the items that the current hero don’t need, simply go to the trash.

Hell, The Dungeon Again! is a good game. Perhaps it’s quite simple, but there are many simpler games out there. The main problem I see with it is that I’m not sure who this game is for. It’s much too simple for the fans of rogue-likes, and much too unexciting for the standard RPG lot. Perhaps, if it would be a bit more varied, it would be a lot more engaging – but even as it is, it’s definitely a fine example of simple rogue-like RPG. There are no real issues, and the game has a fine 8-bit aesthetic, which fits nicely with the gameplay. So, I mostly liked it.

A Ride into the Mountains Review

A Ride into the Mountains Review

Aug 22, 2013

It’s a pleasure to see that A Ride into the Mountains is a fun game. Because, while many people try to go for the elusive “art game” title, most of these games turn out quite repetitive and unexciting, even if highly unusual. A Ride into the Mountains, however, has simultaneously familiar, and unusual gameplay, which comes with a simple, but engaging story.

Every level of the game is a next stage of one kid’s adventure to save his family’s relic, which is located deep into the mountains, across many dangerous paths, where lots of dangerous creatures roam. The kid, however, isn’t exactly made of paper tissues. A bow and a very enduring horse are more than enough to murder everything that tries to kill the hero, as well as serve a basis of the gameplay. The game is divided into several levels, each one consisting of a bunch of encounters. In each encounter, hero should fire a bow at the enemies, until he kills every one of them, evading or shooting down their projectiles before they reach him. At the end of every level, there’s a particularly difficult boss fight, which concludes it. The game can be finished relatively quick, as dying will simply restart the current encounter, but the challenge comes from a bunch of achievements. Perhaps, it’s the only flaw of the game – it’s too short. Even collecting the achievements isn’t that much time-consuming, and the whole game can be finished in several hours. Aside from that, though, A Ride into the Mountains is cool.

A Ride into the Mountains 1The bow controls are the main task and challenge in this game. To draw the bow, the player should touch the hero and pull the finger into a direction, opposite of where he needs to strike, and when the bow gets a sufficient charge, release it. There’s also a focus mechanic that lets the player to slow time and see a precise path the arrow will take, to time and angle the shot perfectly, but it’s not always available. The player also needs to move the horse forward and back to evade the projectiles, by tilting the device. Although quite simple, the great number of different enemies gives the game needed variety. Overall, I’d say that it’s not a game for everyone. It’s short, and it has strange graphics, and several other things, but it’s a definitely interesting project. I’d suggest it to people who like experimental, genre-bending games, and aren’t bothered by the game’s relative shortness.

Automania Review

Automania Review

Aug 20, 2013

There are games out there to that are so deceptively simple that make us wonder how we didn’t think of the concept. Automania is almost like a tower defense type game. The blue cars are the good guys and the red cars are the enemies. The idea of the game is to get the blue cars to the parking lots.

automania-10The graphics of the game are pretty basic. 8 bit-ish almost. Some of the actions require pinch to zoom for better accuracy. As the cars are moving along, there are different tasks to be completed to make the trip to the parking lot a success. Along the way there might be a tree blocking the road or the road may not be created yet. When this happens there is an action to fix the situation.

Some of the actions are building a road, using a bomb to destroy the boulder in the path of the digital cars, using a flame gun to burn down a tree. Some of these things can also be used to destroy the enemy cars. Be careful not to make more work though. There are only a limited number of these items. If a bomb is used to destroy a red car, it may take out a section or two of road. Make sure there is enough road available for this section to be replaced.

The tutorial was pretty good. PLaying it might be helpful for some people, but overall the game is pretty simplistic. Don’t spend too much time on the red cars unless they are going to directly affect the blue cars. The level is failed if there the minimal number of blue cars is not saved.

I think the game could have a bit more difficulty, but is still a fun way to kill some time. The settings are pretty self explanatory. I opted to keep the sound on because I liked the skidding sound effect.

Gurk III, the 8-bit RPG Review

Gurk III, the 8-bit RPG Review

Aug 16, 2013

I wanted to start this review by saying how Gurk was an old-school RPG from the olden days, but quick Googling turned up the fact that there was no such thing, and my memory is playing tricks on me. Well, how about that. It’s actually quite a modern-day RPG that was simply made to look like it’s a clone of an old-school game. Still, it doesn’t mean that the game is in any way bad. Conversely, it’s one of the most absorbing role-playing games on the mobiles, and it manages to be like that with only a handful of pixels and colors to spare.

Gurk III, the 8-bit RPG 2In Gurk III, three heroes, a mage, a warrior, and an archer, have to travel across lands and dungeons, eradicating all enemies that are all too eager to munch on their squishy human faces. They are represented by a single icon on the global map, but when encountering an enemy, the map will zoom up on them, and they will fight the enemies in a turn-based battle mode. As in all the other RPGs, there are tons of items to find, and tons of gold to collect.

Each hero has his own unique skills, and equippable items, as well as his own health and experience points. When a hero dies, he can be resurrected at the altar in any town for a small fee, but when the whole party gets wiped out, it gets transported back to town, and suffers a significant gold loss. One of the many interesting features in Gurk is mage’s ability to cast certain spells even outside of battle, healing his comrades at any time. Well, the whole game is interesting, really. But it’s very rudimentary-looking, and its controls could be a lot better. Not that they are really bad, but I got tired of surfing through inventory every time I want to cast a spell or change boots to the ones I found.

Gurk III is a surprisingly rich and mechanic-packed game. It’s more than just a dungeon-crawler, and requires tactical skills to defeat some heavier or numerous enemies. If Gurk’s ugly controls and graphical style don’t steer people off the game, there’s a lot of potential in this small tactical RPG. I’d certainly like to see it evolve into something a lot more amazing in the future, but it’s really alright as it already is.

QbQbQb Review

QbQbQb Review

Aug 16, 2013

There’s a problem with QbQbQb, and so many other puzzle games, from a reviewer’s perspective: they are impossible to describe. They look fine and simple, when I play them, but when I have to put them on paper – it was easier to describe my feelings to a girl I liked in fifth grade, and get a lifetime of shame, than to explain this stuff.

Although QbQbQb is difficult to understand from the screenshots, or my ramblings, it’s actually very simple to play. That said, it’s not easy – and it’s a great combination. Simple to learn, impossible to master. The challenge comes from the twisted way the game looks. It’s a Tetris-esque match-something arcade, but instead of giving a traditional flat surface to throw the incoming bricks on, QbQbQb opts for a circular one. To put it simply: there are various shapes, falling onto a planet from all angles, and the player needs to rotate the planet around its axis, to put them in the required places on top of it. The planet only rotates by 30-degree angles, so there are 12 possible positions the pieces are coming from, and can be placed on, which makes it a bit more manageable. But still difficult to wrap the head around, in the heat of the action.

QbQbQb 1There are many different game modes in QbQbQb, and it’s quite impossible to list them all. The most basic one is where multicolored pieces are thrown one by one, and the pieces with the same color that fall on top of each other, get removed if there are three of them in a column. In another mode, the pieces with the same color that are precisely opposite each other on the planet, get annihilated.

The game modes are very different, but have several common rules. The planet has a circle at a certain orbit around it, and when one of the multicolored towers that eventually rise up from the player’s mistakes, reaches beyond it, it gets destroyed, removing one of the planet’s two lives. There are also asteroids that come at random angles. They can destroy a part of a column they hit, helping to eliminate the threat before it becomes critical. Each mode in QbQbQb is infinitely long, so, like in Tetris, the players’ skill and endurance are the only limit. I’d like to note that my personal skills and endurance left much to be desired.

The only significant problem I got with QbQbQb, besides its name – how the hell do I spell that? – is its control scheme. After writing two pargraphs about it, I understood I can’t even describe my issues on paper, so just trust my word: controls are strangely flawed, and some of the buttons are in the way. Oh, and the theme song is impossible to get out of one’s head. Although I can’t say I’m against that.

Blind Man’s Dungeon Review

Blind Man’s Dungeon Review

Jul 31, 2013

Blind Man’s Dungeon belongs to a lightweight category of games that only feature main menu, and a single gameplay mechanic. Although it means that the clutter of useless power-ups and in-app purchases is absent from the game, it also means that it’s incredibly repetitive, and if that one mechanic isn’t enough to keep the player interested for a long time, the whole game is pretty much useless. Naturally, Blind Man’s Dungeon suffers from the same issues. It has an undeniably working and unfamiliar core mechanic, but since it has nothing else, Blind Man’s Dungeon becomes dull somewhat quickly.

Blind Man's Dungeon 1The player is tasked with guiding a supposedly blind hero around with a fairy, whose ability is to build walls everywhere in her steps, unless there’s something already in that place. The hero always goes clockwise, so the walls should be built appropriately. The dungeon is screen-sized and tiled, and randomly gets filled with enemies, loot and traps. When the hero clashes with common enemies, he kills them and gets some points. Likewise, when he approaches loot, he picks it up, and gets more points. When the hero runs over a trap, or clashes with a special enemy, he loses one life, and the enemy isn’t removed. There’s a single activated ability, which allows the player to remove all the traps from the dungeon, but it can only be activated after a recharge.

This is pretty much, everything there is about Blind Man’s Dungeon. While it does feature different styles for dungeons and different heroes, along with various achievements and collectibles to mark at least some sort of progress, it’s still quite simple, and as such, can quickly become repetitive. Although it’s a very interesting game, and quite flawlessly executed one as well, featuring simple but endearing pixel graphics, and also simple, but working mechanics, it lacks variety. Some unlockable abilities, or additional dungeons, or different difficulty levels or something else to strive for, could greatly help. But, even as it is, it’s a fun little game, quite worthy of its price.

Attack of the Spooklings Review

Attack of the Spooklings Review

Jul 19, 2013

Mobile games that offer their players to smash the opponents using nothing but their very fingers were at the very start of the touch-screen revolution, but lately it seems that somewhat counter-intuitive habit of putting buttons on touch-screen has largely rendered the “clean” touch-screen games mostly obsolete. Someone should analyze this trend to some revealing, but ultimately unnecessary results. Regardless, we’re here to talk about Attack of the Spooklings.

It’s a fine, but incredibly simple game. How simple? It takes longer to read this sentence than to see the whole game. It’s not surprising, considering that it consists of an astonishing single screen, and single enemy. While I’m all for the games with minimalistic design, they should also be complemented with really incredible gameplay. Attack of the Spooklings is quite exciting for some time, sure, but it simply lacks any sort of complexity to be interesting.

Attack_Of_The_Spooklings_3The gameplay in Attack of the Spooklings is as follows: squads of strange imp-like demons run in a strange pattern to the bottom of the screen, where the village that needs protection is located. As soon as at least one of them gets to the walls, the game ends, score gets recorded, and the game starts all over again. The job is to kill every single one of them before they do that.

Destroying the little creeps is really easy, as sliding a finger over is enough to smash any one of them to pieces. While there’s no limit to the speed and amounts of slashing, if a single formation of Spooklings is taken out in one swipe, then a bonus is granted. Some of them run faster than the others, and of course, the game gets progressively more difficult as the more and more waves of them are killed, but there’s absolutely nothing else to the game, apart from that. No upgrades, no new levels or bosses or interesting mechanics – absolutely nothing. It’s like Tetris, but with less strategy and more spastic swiping around.

Frankly, Attack of the Spooklings looks more like a demo than a game. Naturally, its simplistic gameplay may seem interesting to someone, but buying a paid version is a bit of a stretch. Still, it does have a polished look and feel, and lacks any particular flaws, so if simplicity isn’t a major problem, the game is otherwise alright.