RollerCoaster Tycoon 4 Android Version Announced for This Summer

RollerCoaster Tycoon 4 Android Version Announced for This Summer

May 7, 2014

RollerCoaster Tycoon 4 launched a few weeks ago on iOS, but Android owners will soon get to play the latest edition of the popular theme park management series this summer. The game launched as a paid game on iOS but with a variety of microtransactions, for which Atari and On5 received much criticism. However, the iOS version is being rebalanced with lower costs and shorter wait timers, so Android users can hope for a better launch experience than iOS.

Qix Galaxy: Space Adventure Review

Qix Galaxy: Space Adventure Review

Apr 29, 2014

Qix is a very old game for Atari, which started a small subgenre of arcade games. Players need to navigate with arrows and cut pieces off of the game field, while evading Microsoft Windows screensavers. Qix Galaxy: Space Adventure does this part pretty well – but every other mechanic isn’t helping the experience.

Although I can’t say that Qix Galaxy: Space Adventure is a bad game, it’s quite disappointing. The story tells about a space explorer, who boldly goes where no man has ever died before, accompanied by a female-looking AI. He needs to “explore” parts of space and destroy the strange Qix invaders that fly around it. The basic gameplay hasn’t changed, but to complete a level now, the player needs to fill the region that has a planet, after which the level is completed and the players gets some gold as a reward – the amount of said gold is laughably low, by the way, and it hardly changes even for advanced levels.

The main way of getting gold, or the rarer currency, is by completing small challenges, like surviving for some time. There are also power-ups that can slow the invaders that can be picked up. The gold is mostly spent on ship upgrades that are very basic, don’t add any new elements to the gameplay, and cost quite a lot. There are also lives that can Qix Galaxy 2only restore after more than 10 minutes. They’re a lot better than energy, to be fair, since you don’t need to spend one to successfully complete a level, but still end up limiting the game time – especially on advanced levels.

The only mechanic that actively helps the player in Qix Galaxy: Space Adventure, is booster – a magical red button to the right of the screen that boosts the ship’s speed, wasting more fuel in the process – the boost is ever so slight, but it’s enough to make many otherwise challenging levels a cakewalk.

In conclusion, I didn’t like Qix Galaxy: Space Adventure very much – but it might just be because it’s not as interesting, or different from other level-slicing games, as I expected. It looks pretty good, and it’s still free, so if you don’t mind the free-to-play limitations very much, it’s a pretty fine arcade.

Breakeroids Review

Breakeroids Review

Aug 15, 2013

Asteroids was an arcade game in the time when arcade games were a thing, rather than an obsolete, and incredibly vague genre definition. It was released by Atari in the ancient time of 1979, and was such a huge hit that Atari almost scrapped all of its other projects, concentrating on meeting the ridiculous demands on Asteroids. Although the game didn’t feature any iconic characters, or locations, its success was an important part in the video game industry becoming what it is now – an industry. Additionally, this game created a shoot-em-up genre that’s presented in huge numbers on the mobiles of today. Thus, it’s still warm in the collective memory of video game fans, and there are some people who actually draw inspiration from its simple, neon-like design. There are also some people who take it and smash against another classic Atari video game for kicks, like the ones that made Breakeroids.

breakeroids 1Breakeroids is absurdly simple, yet still interesting. It’s a mash-up between Breakout and Asteroids, and that’s it. The player controls a platform at the bottom of the screen, and has to launch a ball to smash the asteroids that are flying randomly at the top. Asteroids can’t reach the platform, though it still can be destroyed by a flying saucer that comes every once in a while and shoots lasers at it. At times, some power-ups and downs fall from the top of the screen, and can be caught, or evaded by the platform.

When all of the asteroids and their chunks are destroyed, a new level is generated with some new asteroids. Breakeroids doesn’t try to surprise anyone, and only features the core gameplay of both arcade classics. The only real advancement that it has is an ability to restart the game from the latest wave, rather than from the beginning. It features same vector shapes and pre-8-bit sound design, so I’d say it has a very distinct, if unusual, style.

Minimalism of Breakeroids is both its main feature, and its primary flaw. It’s really quite repetitive, although it does trigger a trance-like peace of mind, prompting the player to play it on and on, until the end of time comes – or phone’s battery dies. It’s a ghost of the times past, and I’d only suggest picking it in the case of extreme nostalgia, or desire to see how the games were played in the age of Jimmy Carter and Margaret Thatcher. That said, Breakeroids is quite good.

Pitfall! Review

Pitfall! Review

Dec 26, 2012

Remember the PITFALL! on Atari? Well the new version of the wildly popular classic is available on Android. It is pretty similar to Temple Run, but with better graphics and more to do.

About 300-800 meters into the game, the view changes from a side scroller to a more 3D look. Throughout the game, the camera changes views to enhance the gameplay a bit. As Pifall Harry is running through the jungle, he is presented with a lot of obstacles ranging from cracks in the earth to fallen trees and rocks. There are also snakes to kill with his whip and vines to grab and swing on.

The controls are pretty easy to use. Swipe up to jump, down to slide and left or right to turn. Tapping on the screen will unleash Pifall Harry’s whip on the snakes in his path. When the camera is right behind Harry, the Android device can be tilted to make him drift left or right along the path. This is how he can get in line with the row of white bricks and also avoid some obstacles. These controls carry over to the other methods of travel. While exploring different levels, Harry might happen upon a vehicle like a motorcycle or a mine cart. The controls will be adapted to these modes of travel as well.

Every 2000 meters or so there is a checkpoint. At the checkpoint, a reward of 5 Macaw coins to let Pifall Harry start at the most recent checkpoint vs. starting all the way back at base camp. Along the way, little silver bricks should be acquired. These are used as currency in the store. Leveling up during the game by gaining experience points will earn Harry diamonds. These diamonds can also be used to buy things. Some of the items in the store are potions to revive Pifall Harry for the dead, anti-venom potion for snake bites, new outfits and lots of other goodies.

Relic Rush has 3 levels with several stages in each level. These levels give Pifall Harry all kinds of different challenges. These challenges are a race for the best time, not greatest distance traveled. The goals are to find all of the rings and reach the end of the level in as little time as possible.

I loved how they tied in the old game to the intro. Glad I didn’t skip it. Also the way the game is not quite the same every time a level starts is really great. This way people can’t just learn what to expect.

Neon Blaster Review

Neon Blaster Review

Apr 25, 2012

Despite the hype on fast, high-definition graphics in games, there are a select few who prefer simple, minimalist interfaces when killing time with their smart phones. With too many games in Google Play, it’s hard to find that one game that suits a minimalist gamer. Enter Neon Blaster – a futuristic arcade game inspired by the 80’s Atari creation, Arkanoid. With its Tron-esque graphics and retro appeal, this game is a gem among a huge pile of stones.

The objective of the game is to prevent the ball from falling by catching it with the paddle and hitting the bricks. When a brick or group of bricks get hit, they disappear. When all bricks are cleared, the player moves on to the next round.

The game has two modes: Campaign and Arcade. Campaign is a series of levels with different brick patterns – when bricks are cleared in one level, the player moves on to the next. Arcade mode allows for endless game play, with new bricks added as other bricks disappear. In any mode, special balls appear from the bricks that, when catched, changes the abilities of the paddle. A fire ball transforms the ball into fire and hits more bricks than usual; a shooter ball installs a rifle-like structure in both sides of the paddle, enabling it to shoot the bricks above. There are also a few balls that should not be catched, such as the skull ball that “kills” the paddle and ends the game, or the shrink ball that makes the paddle smaller.

The game force-closed a few times when I first tried it, but killing some apps and disconnecting from the Internet seemed to fix that problem. This may not be an issue with the game, but with my device. When I got the game working again, it worked absolutely fine. The game controls only compose of sliding the paddle left and right using a blank space below. It works responsively enough, but a player might sometimes hit the Menu key accidentally if he slides too far down the screen. This causes the game to pause, which can be really annoying.

The graphics, on the other hand, are a delight to play in. Clutter-free and sleek with its glowing edges, the elements seem to hypnotize and stimulate at the same time – if that makes sense at all. Given the simplicity of the interface, the player can focus more on keeping the paddle in the right position at the right time and avoiding any unwanted killer balls while keeping the main ball afloat.

The sound effects are also very subtle and does not really distract from the game, in fact it does a great job of highlighting the action on screen and translating it to sound effects. However, if one finds the sounds abrasive, it can be turned off on the game’s Settings page.

Another thing I liked about this game is that it’s ad-free. No annoying ads popping up anywhere on the screen. There’s also no option to share one’s scores on social networks so that’s one unnecessary and often unused feature off the list.

To sum it up, Neon Blaster is a minimalist, retro arcade game with nice graphics and a fairly smooth interface. It may not be for everyone, but for people who were fans of the original Arkanoid game, this game is a great way to relive that experience.

Pac-Man Championship Edition Review

Pac-Man Championship Edition Review

Aug 9, 2010

Reviewing Pac-Man is kind of like reviewing Pong: If you haven’t played it yet or aren’t familiar with it, you probably aren’t even reading this right now, let alone have an Android phone. But Pac-Man Championship Edition does have enough interesting qualities to it that it merits a review and your consideration, regardless of whether or not you’re a hardcore Pac-Man fan.

The basics of Pac-Man still exists in this game. Your goal is to eat the PAC-Dots and the Bonus Items while avoiding the Ghosts until you eat a Power-Pellet, then they’re free game. Every 20,000 points earns you a bonus life and the more points you earn without dying, the faster Pac-Man travels. What’s different about this version is that there aren’t exactly levels like in the traditional game. There are three different game options: Championship Mode, Challenge Mode (1,2), and Extra Mode (1,2,3). To win each mode, you’ll have to survive for either 5 or 10 minutes and rack of as many points as you possibly can.