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.

Bouncy Mouse Review

Bouncy Mouse Review

Mar 15, 2012

I don’t tend to play video games that are inherently frustrating. As mentioned, I’m usually playing during my commute and I like to keep my blood pressure down during a commute. It’s not that I want an easy, mindless game, more that I don’t want to feel so challenged that I throw my phone out the window. I love a game with balance between a challenge and ease of play, and I’m happy to have found that in Bouncy Mouse.

Bouncy Mouse is the story of mouse vs. cat. The hero mouse is on a quest to reclaim his stolen cheese from a mean cat. The cheese has been scattered along the way and is waiting to be reclaimed as the mouse passes. The cat has claimed the biggest cheese wheel for itself and the mouse must reach him to get it back.

The mouse navigate the board by swinging from point to point by his tail. The swing points are specific spots throughout the playing field and are placed with a specific route in mind. Users get the mouse from spot to spot by twanging him around like a slingshot. If he’s fired off close enough to the next point then his tail will catch it and suspend him there. Cheese is often hovering in the space between two points so the mouse can grab it as he makes his arcs through the air. Once he reaches the end and collided with the cat he has won the level. He does have to avoid bees and falling into water below, so it’s not a completely easy game. As well points are awarded based on what percentage of cheese was collected in each stage, so there is strategy needed too.

This game is adorable. The mouse is cute and cheerful, which I find very cheerful myself. I’ve gotten myself stuck in a few places, but patience helps me work it out, and I love it all the time. I also love that I’m able to move the game board around, to see my next goal and plan a course of action.

I don’t really have any complaints at all. I would recommend it wholeheartedly.

Bug Village Review

Bug Village Review

Jun 21, 2011

There’s a trend at the moment for cutesy god games, simulators where you take control of a cartoon farm, city or shop and try and make it successful. To do this you manage resources, keep away dangers and make sure that everyone in your little conurbation is as happy as can be.

Bug Village is a new entry into the genre from Glu Mobile, originally released on iOS, which tasks you with the building and upkeep of a village for ants and bees. Because as everyone knows, bees and ants are the best of friends and like to live as close to each other as possible. You also have to right fallen ladybugs, but they’re not allowed to live in the village, because that would be weird.

After a brief tutorial, you’re left to manage the village on your own, building new houses for your ever increasing population, leaving them resources and food to find and making sure that none of those evil stink bugs stay too long around your precious huts and fences.

Whilst the game is free to download, you’re only given a certain number of coins to start off with. You don’t need the coins to play the game, but they speed things up a good deal, turning tasks that will, quite literally, take hours, into tasks that take a matter of seconds. If you want more coins, you have to pay, via an in-app purchase system.

The control system is simple, you use your finger as the cursor, tapping on things you want to do. The game looks and sounds almost exactly like you’d expect it to look and sound, all cute insects and twee songs with the odd tinkle and tone thrown in for good measure.

Bug Village is a perfectly passable little sim. It’s not particularly groundbreaking, and the in-app payment scheme will likely put some people off, but if you’re looking for an easy, time consuming game that’s not going to tax your brain or your reflexes, then it could be just what you’re looking for.

Theme Thursday – Bumblebee Yellow

Theme Thursday – Bumblebee Yellow

Jun 9, 2011

What’s busier than a bee? Your phone! Chances are, even when you aren’t using it, it’s refreshing your Twitter feed, checking Facebook statuses, downloading email and doing a bunch of other things at the same time. If your phone is a workaholic, even when you’re just chilling out, why not show it off to the world? Take a look a this week’s theme, Bumblebee Yellow.

Bumblebee Yellow is another custom theme by ADDesigns for ADW Launcher, a highly customizable home screen replacement. ADW Launcher allows you to quickly and easily customize the way your phone looks and works by adding custom wallpapers, icons, dock bars and more. You can change your icons’ layout and the way the app drawer looks with just a few quick settings adjustments. Using a custom theme like Bumblebee Yellow makes that process even easier.

This theme features more than 300 custom icons and over 170 extra app icons for use with ADW Launcher’s custom shortcuts. Each one comes decked out in a striking mix of yellow, black and gray in a Honeycomb-inspired look.

Along with that, you also get 5 theme-matching wallpapers featuring a buzzing, bumblebee’d Android, complete with wings and stinger.

For ADW Launcher EX users, you can switch between 6 different dock designs for quick launching your most used apps in style. Each one trimmed in yellow and helping to pull the theme together.

ADDesigns usually go above and beyond when it comes to delivering a custom theme, and this one is no different. It can quickly take your Android device from dull and drab to bright and exciting. Bumblebee Yellow is a delightful, fun color scheme that adds a bit of whimsy to your Android device while proving what a hard little worker it is.

Bumblebee Yellow can be found here in the Android Market for US$1.49.

Honeyrun HD Review

Honeyrun HD Review

May 24, 2011

More often than not, if a developer describes a game as “for kids” it means they’ve made something that no discerning member of the human race would ever want to play. “For kids” is essentially a byword for “terrible”. This makes Honeyrun HD an even more pleasant surprise.

A simple, 3D bee-simulator, Honeyrun tasks you with collecting flowers in a meadow. There’s a time limit to make things more interesting, and a variety of power ups, including apples and glowing, golden, which extend your time and grant extra points.

You control your bee by tilting your phone, and unlike most games with accelerometer features, you can move up and down as well as left and right. The controls aren’t the tightest I’ve used, and could do with a little refinement, but they do their job well enough.

As well, the visuals aren’t the sharpest in the world, but they create a pleasant, cutesy atmosphere that’s hard to fault. Indeed, the whole package here is one that’s designed to look good to a child’s eyes, and Honeyrun does just that. It’ll never make you go wow, nor will it be the one app that you whip out to show your friends, but it’s solidly made and robust enough to keep even the most cynical eye entertained.

Of course, the game isn’t without its faults. For a title aimed at children, sometimes the time limits can be a little strict, and it’s quite easy to crash through the barriers at the edge of the world and into the unknown. Equally, there doesn’t seem to be an option to turn out the sound effects, which can get a little annoying.

Still, Honeyrun HD is a perfectly pleasant little game. It won’t appeal to a sophisticated gaming palette, but for younger gamers, it’s actually quite good. There are a few kinks that need ironing out, and I’m still not convinced that the Android platform is the perfect place for a child-oriented game, but if you have some young ‘uns you need to keep quiet, Honeyrun might be a decent place to start.