Paper Bees Review

Paper Bees Review

Aug 16, 2012

Remember games like Galaga and Space Invaders? If not the games themselves, then that style of game where things attack from above and they need to be taken out before they hit their target? Paper Bees is that.

Paper Bees starts off a little slow, but really speeds up after a couple of levels. The gameplay is pretty straightforward. Using a little swipe of a finger, the bees are flung toward the attacking insects. Most of the attacking bugs are destroyed in one hit. The big beetle looking bugs with the pinchers will take a couple of hits before they will be defeated.

Each of the player controlled bees has a flower to protect. In the middle of the game screen is a hive to protect as well. The bigger attacking bugs go right toward the hive while the others go for the flowers. Some levels have quite a few fast moving attackers on the screen at one time so aiming well is important. When the target is completely missed, the bees go totally off the screen and reenter across the bottom. This can take a few seconds so make sure to hit the mean bugs or they may get the flowers and hive.

A few levels into the game an upgrade is available. A big bee slowly flies across the screen. By tapping on this big bee, the player controlled bees are super sized like Mario when he eats the mushroom to make him grow. Each time the player controlled bee hits an attacking bee, the player’s bee shrinks a little. After a few attacks, the bee is normal sized again.

Even when the attacking insects get to the hive or flower, all is not lost. Both can take a couple of hits before the level is over. Part of the score is based on the number of petals and how much of the hive are left.

X-Men Arcade Review

X-Men Arcade Review

Jun 8, 2011

It’s been 19 years since X-Men debuted in arcades, hungry for quarters and inviting us to fight against Magneto and his band of evil mutants as the superhuman X-Men. After making HD appearances on the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3, it’s finally found its way to Android.

This is an extremely faithful port of the arcade game, save for a few nice updates such as a level select, “awards” to unlock, leader boards, OpenFeint integration and 4-player multiplayer over WiFi. The only part of the game that doesn’t attempt to recreate the arcade experience is the lack of dependence on a steady stream of quarters. At the start of each game, you have 7 lives (wither fewer lives on harder difficulties) to rack up as high a score as possible. If you lose all of your lives, your score resets, but you have unlimited continues. So, even if you’re not very good at this game, you can still beat if it you just keep playing.

At the heart of X-Men is the simple, repetitive fighting action. As enemies approach from every side of the screen, you just tap the “punch” button to attack with a variety of movies that happen automatically. Punches, kicks, grabs and throws all work the same. You can also tap the “jump” button to launch yourself for an aerial attack, although it’s not always easy to land these where you want them.

This is a game about the X-Men, though, and as anyone familiar with the X-Men knows, they are mutants with superhuman abilities. Cyclops shoots optic blasts from his eyes; Wolverine has adamantium claws that cut and tear; Storm can summon violent, destructive storms; Colossus emits an energy blast from his body; Dazzler can drop energy bombs and Nightcrawler can kill enemies by teleporting through them. Simply by tapping the “mutant power” button, you can unleash these powerful attacks to clear the screen of enemies. However, using your mutant power drains your health, and once it drops below a certain level, you can only activate your power a limited number of times. It pays to exercise caution and use your powers strategically by saving them for the big boss battles at the end of each stage.

Having one of my favorite arcade games available on my phone any time I want to play it is a real treat. However, if this were a new game coming out today, I don’t know if I’d score it as high. It’s short, but extremely repetitive. On top of that, I could probably criticize the animation, the graphics or the poorly translated dialog, but because this a port of a classic we’ve grown up with, we expect these things to be in here. Truth be told, if I played the game and found that someone had “fixed” its “flaws,” I’d be extremely upset. I expect to hear Magneto say, “Welcome to die!” and “I am Magneto, master of magnet!” As such, this is a faithful port with a few small glitches, but plenty of updates to make it great.