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.

Jump Ball Quest Review

Jump Ball Quest Review

Sep 20, 2017

If there is something we are always on the hunt for, it’s that perfect time filler. As such, we were happy to give Jump Ball Quest a go.

Visually, it isn’t overly aggressive, with a easy motif playful sound; it plays in landscape and uses the sparing animations adequately. The playing area looks much like a dungeon crawling environment, or an easy platformer, packing in dangerous spikes and the like.

The action is straightforward: guide the perpetually bouncing ball from point A to point B, the latter being the exit. Easier said than done, because to start with, the bouncing creates an interesting visual and virtual physics challenge in and of itself.

Guiding said playing piece boils down to mastering the controls; tapping on either side of the screen makes the ball bounce in that direction. By trial and error, it’s easy to find out that long-pressing (instead of just tapping) makes the ball jump a hair further and higher. The controls are fairly efficient for this type of game.


A very simple twist is clear early on… can you pick up three stars by contact, even while getting to the exit? That makes it a bit more difficult. Risk reward, but then the levels get harder and harder. As you play on, you you have to somewhat creative. Thankfully, there are exhaustible boosts and helpers, such as one touch bridges that can be used to cross a chasm or get to a higher platform. As the caverns become more intricate, so does the challenge of finishing levels. Avoid the spikes, obviously, but don’t fret too much, as the run ends, but you can go again.

It’s simple, and for this one, that descriptor is far from a negative. It’s a game you can pick up and get into at a moment’s notice, while at doctor’s office waiting room, or while the oil is getting changed and the like. In that, it works very, very well as time waster, but somehow feels like it can be even more.

Bowmasters Review – Mayhem Unlimited

Bowmasters Review – Mayhem Unlimited

Dec 11, 2016

Bowmasters definitely catches the attention, but not in the way want might think.

Old Palm heads may liken it to Sid Meier’s Civilization IV: A War of Two Cities, what with the arcing barrage-based gameplay. This one is decidedly more lighthearted though; dispensing pain shouldn’t be fun, should it?

The artwork is quite zany. At first glance, it’s clear that this game refuses to take itself too seriously, and that decision works quite well. The characters are all loose-limbed and ragdolly, and exhibit cheerful dispositions. The backgrounds are all bright and engaging, and altogether, the visuals border on the comical.

Simply put, Bowmasters is a war of attrition. In the core mode, the main idea is to take out the enemy before you are taken out. The combatants are placed across from each other, and basically fling deadly projectiles in turn till one of their life bars is completely drained.

The true skill is in landing a hit. See, the enemy is shown at first, but then pans out of sight; you (the player) has to deduce how much power and distance — while accounting for simulated gravity — to put on the shot to strike the opponent. Too much or too little, and it flies high or drops short. You don’t want to miss too many opportunities, because the opponent probably won’t. Yes, fight to the death. And by the way, a direct hit might move the target, so you might have to adjust aim on the fly.


The physical result of hits are gruesomely funny; the invitation to “finish” defeated opponents with a final shot has to be seen, as do the breadth of characters and weapons (hello, flaming football!).

The game also incorporates friend play and other mini-games, like going for apples and birds. Doing well yield game coins, and extra characters can be unlocked with this (or real cash).

This one is a fantastic timewaster, and the free-to-play nature makes it well worth a try.

Dulp Gets a Major Update

Dulp Gets a Major Update

Dec 4, 2016

Nexx Studio’s Dulp just received a major update.

This one qualifies as a major one, we think. It brings:

• Added Endless game mode
• Added NEW UI design
• Added NEW gameplay color scheme
• Added Color blind mode (Beta)
• Added 120 new levels (350 levels available)
• General optimization
• Minor bug fixes

350 levels? Nice!

The game remains free (with in-app purchases) on Google Play.

PinOut Review

PinOut Review

Nov 15, 2016

‘Tis the season of retro, and PinOut helps one to reminisce.

It’s a really glitzy affair, with pulsating colors and contact-ignited visual sequences. The animations are silky smooth, and as game the depends so much pn believable simulated physics, it is feels quite authentic. If one is looking for something that looks like an old-school arcade thriller, this one works well.

But this ain’t your grammy’s pinball, no sir. The mechanics are the familiar, and the controls are equally as intuitive: keep the ball from dropping by pinout3using the paddles to propel it upwards. Tap controls can be used to manipulate the original set of flippers; tapping on either side controls the flipper on the corresponding side.

But unlike a regular pinpall-style game, there isn’t just one set section to bounce around in. The main goal is to travel “higher” and forward, so as to make the ball travel as far as possible. Think of it as a pinball machine that has an endless height area, and you, the player, is looking to keep on geting higher and higher, using subsequent flippers to keep the movement going.

The playing area is very pinball-like, with arches, targets, bumpers and more serving as either obstacles or helpers depending on the goal at any given point. With a bit of practice, it it possible to be fairly accurate with regards to propelling the ball through a particular pathway. This one utilizes time trials, so it’s a matter of looking to go far fast, and to pick up as many performance-enhancing boosts on the way.

In the end, high score glory is the name of the game. There are mini-games, and one can open up checkpoint continues via in-app purchase.

If anything, it definitely is interesting; one could described as, well, an endless “pinballer” (maybe?) with time trials, The optional premium checkpoint continues increase potential value, and the opportunity to reach newer sections helps players keep motivated.

It’s simple and enjoyable, and sometimes, that can’t be beat.

Zombie Derby 2 Brings Waves of the Undead to Android

Zombie Derby 2 Brings Waves of the Undead to Android

Sep 22, 2016

Get ’em!

Time comes and goes, kingdoms rise and wane, and one thing remains the same: we can never get enough of zombies. As such, it feels like good news that Android developer HeroCraft has just launched Zombie Derby 2 on Google Play.

If the game looks familiar, it’s probably because it is based off of a popular arcade game. The game sports upgradable vehicles, guns, multiple modes and gritty 3D graphics that underscore the post-apocalyptic time frame. The vehicles have a Mad Max-ish feel to them, and there is plenty of gory splashing to go around, as well as hilly jumps to traverse.

Oh yeah, and all the zombies a gamer could ever want.

The game is free to download now, and there are in-app purchase opportunities for those truly looking to get immersed.

Happy hunting! Enjoy the launch trailer below:

Flip Diving Review

Flip Diving Review

Aug 31, 2016

There are a lot of things that I think are pretty cool, but have NO intention of ever doing. Say what you want, but I have a healthy respect for my own limitations. I don’t mind watching professionals do these things… heck, I’d even pay to observe.

I’m talking about stuff like surfing killer waves. Skiing slopes that have a hint of dangerously cascading snow. Base jumping. All things I have no problem passing on.fd3

Oh yeah… and cliff diving.

Keeping this in mind, it’s easy to see why a game like Flip Diving — from prolific Android publisher — is made for wusses like me.

If complexity is a problem, this one is all but home free. The basic premise is ultra easy-to-understand, and the graphics mostly do the job of giving context to the gameplay. The player controls a diver, with everything in a vivid 2D presentation. Using a simple tap/release system, one can make the person jump and start to do flips in the air.

One aspect to getting a good score is releasing at just the right time, such that the diving character goes hands and headfirst/feet-first into the water. This small piece really works; release at the wrong time, and the diver may default to a detestable belly or black flop.

Another element are the collectible gold coins that line the flight path, and the landing area that decreases in size as one goes further and further. New tricks are unlocked with progress, and there are other arcade elements to keep things interesting.

When it’s all said and done, having a good sense of timing is probably the easiest way to make gains. As stated earlier, the game controls are quite intuitive, and as such, getting one’s tuck-on feels natural and is easily invoked.

Moon Kid’s ‘Satellina Zero’ Launches on Google Play

Moon Kid’s ‘Satellina Zero’ Launches on Google Play

Aug 17, 2016

Satellina Zero is a new arcade game that just arrived on Google Play, and for now, the Android version has an exclusive: achievements.

Game details:

In this fast-paced, addictive follow-up to the indie hit Satellina, swipe and tap to collect a stream of colorful descending particles, generating original soundscapes as you go. Get into a flow to beat your score, unlock new colors and music, and reach ever more dangerous speeds.
* Addictive gameplay
* Simple control
* Multiple color palettes
* Procedurally generated music
* Compete against the world with global leaderboards
* Endless mode on all levels, plus unlockable, super-challenging secret mode
* Android version contains exclusive achievements

The game is free (with in-app purchases); check out the trailer below.

Mirror Man Review

Mirror Man Review

Jul 1, 2016

When it comes to Mirror Man, it’s okay if one does a double take.

It’s an interesting game concept; there is a runner traveling from left to right, in what most folks would consider the right side up. Now, one gets several obstacles and such that one needs to avoid. One can jump over or slide under several objects, all in a bid to not trip and go on further. There are also coins to collect, and these provide opportunity costs opportunities.

The control mechanism is fairly easy to get with, as it calls for liberal use of either side of the screen to make the character perform the aforementioned jump or slide.

What makes this one a bit different is a cool wrinkle: the addition of a mirror character on the opposite plane. Whatever occurs to the topmost person is mirrored by the actions on the bottom. They both jump in tandem, slide in tandem and, well, trip/fail in tandem. the one is the imaginary alter ego of the other, by way of explanation.


This element is further expanded upon by adding in two different paths. See, while the actions that one performs are performed together, the paths that they travel are not, so one has to keep an eye on both travelways. This is an interesting challenge, because, for one, watching the bottom character somewhat goes against one’s natural instinct. There are clear arcade twists, such as health pick-ups/pills, revive ability and more. One should look out for the switch that occurs at specific thresholds.

The artwork is a valid element on its own. It’s definitely retro in conception. The developer highlights a fun imagination, what with two side-by-side playing areas from different time periods. The animations are purposely stilted, and add to the games charm, as does the genial use of color.

Simple, engaging and perfectly capable of being played over hours or minutes. Toss in high scores, combos and more, and one gets a game worth checking out.

Frantic Shooter Review

Frantic Shooter Review

Jun 29, 2016

BulkyPix probably has the most diverse set of games in its stable, and brings in newer ones frequently, so it’s usually a fun endeavor to see what the veteran developer has coming out. Frantic Shooter is relatively new, and, off the bat, looks just like the type of game its developer would have us love.

It’s a flashy one, but not in a gruesome way; the artwork is definitely zany, with a dash of the creatively eccentric. fs3The color is vividly applied, and the animations sufficiently smooth such that the whole scene remains active and eye-pleasing. Sounds work well with the gameplay too.

The whole experience is taken in from a top-down perspective, portrait style. The playing area looks just like an arena, and the changing backgrounds help expand the experience.

As for the game itself, it’s easy enough to understand and take in. The player takes control of a character that invariably starts off towards the middle, and looks to fight off enemy shooters that have varying levels of craftiness and lethality. The key is to use the gesture/tap control system to slide around, avoiding enemy fire and objects, while guiding the perpetually shooting protagonist around the action area. This one is proud to be an arcade thriller, and has the elements to prove it, including goodies that can are discarded by destroyed enemies, which can be collected.

Of course, getting too much damage is not optimal, and can cause level-failing death. The game does have a continue system in place.

The game has a leveling element, and other attributes can be upgraded as well. Game cash can also be used to unlock other characters.

It’s a well-contained game, with plenty of play available. The art, sound and system come together in an enviable way, and it’s easy to get into, and can be hard to put down.

Squadron 1945 Review

Squadron 1945 Review

May 29, 2016

A WWII-era air battler? Squadron 1945 could do much, much worse.

Looks-wise, the game has a quiet, almost understated type of elegance to it. The graphics are slick, with really smooth animations that almost make one miss the somewhat detailed underlying background pieces. The “lighting” works, as do the sounds, and the gameplay is advanced nicely in the standard portrait orientation.squ3

Think of it as a squadron of four ships, each with unique abilities. The first ship takes on incoming enemy waves, guided by one’s finger, and perpetually shooting. The ships fly in a creative formation, mostly from either side, and, as to be expected, they have dangerous projectiles of their own. The main idea is to guide the current protagonist ship to take out the enemy ships, while avoiding the return fire.

Staying alive. For points. If a ship gets destroyed, one gets another ship, until all are depleted; in this sense, one has four lives. one can switch existing ships mid-flight if one so chooses.

The game is leveled, and includes a few more elements to boost its arcade cred. One interesting one is the passive control; one when takes the controlling finger off the screen, the game slows to a crawl. For anyone that has played this type of game, this is genius, as it, in essence, allows one to re-position one’s finger without losing serious ground.

The game also incorporates boosts too; these appear on the screen, and give extra attributes/powers for a time. There are also achievements which can be unlocked and tie into GP Games. And what type of arcade game would this be without boss battles? Check.

It comes together well, with a familiar feel, and is super-easy to get into. it probably could use a mini-game or two to shed some monotony, but it’s tough to dislike.

Hungry Shark World Review

Hungry Shark World Review

May 24, 2016

The ravenous sharks are back… in Hungry Shark World.

The game retains the visual charm of its predecessor, with fun 3d color use that clearly underscores the underwater/seaside environment. The developer does a pretty good job of simulating a natural aquatic environment, with dark hues and plenty of marine life wandering around in the three provided worlds.

The corresponding life and air scenes are believable as well, and the both scenes complement each other well. The animations are pretty slick, and, as an element to help convey aspects of the gameplay, are quite proficient.

Sounds? Appropriately gruesome when needed, and help frame the experience in a positive manner. The game is able to be played silently for those who need or want to, which is another testament to the graphics.

The core gameplay is fairly easy to understand, especially for those who played the original; one gets to start out with shark… basic, maybe a bit entry-level. Said sea beast is controlled via two main virtual buttons: one serves as a joystick, and the other is a boost button, which gives the shark temporary vitality. The shark has a life-bar that is continually consumed by just swimming around. If the bar is completely depleted, the shark dies.

There’s one way to keep the life-bar up. Consume food.


As such, one roams around, looking to eat smaller fish and a few other morsels. The schools of fish are smart enough to avoid the shark though, so one has to be crafty, quick of hand and willing to use that boost ability periodically.

Easy? Not so fast.

See, it’s not all marine goodness for the shark; some creatures bite (and sting back). Some things are toxic, and some things are just bigger. Some edibles can only be overcome by bigger sharks, and one has to do all this stayin’ alive while completing tasks like looking for gold. The game incorporates leveling, and one can procure better sharks (up to the famed Great White), but it takes a bit of time and patience.

All in, it’s a fun going, with easy-to-understand progressions and the ability to be challenging and creative.