SideSwype Review

SideSwype Review

Apr 10, 2014

Nice to meet you, SideSwype.

The playing area is a 5×5 grid, with space for 25 squares of different colors. if filled all the way. The sparse white background is a great counterpoint that highlights the coloring of the squares, and the smooth animations are just what we’d expect from a game that uses gestures as the main form of movement and problem-solving.

The game is fairly easy to understand: match 3 or more squares and strive to keep the board as empty as possible. In other words, the run ends when the grid is full of squares. To prevent this from happening, it is possible to slide the boxes present in either of the four cardinal directions (or, relative to the grid, to the right or left and up or down). The unique thing is that the squares all move in unison but obey physical logic. Squares that are plush against immovable squares or the walls of the grid will not move, but others will move until one of those side1conditions are met.

Any sets of three or more that are formed as a result of a gesture action will cause a mostly welcome reaction of dissolving the squares (according to rules of the gameplay), thereby opening up space and keeping the run alive. Countering the smashing of blocks is the replenishment system; like Tetris, there is an indicator telling the player which blocks are coming next, and after every swipe, the new ones are added; thus, constant removal is necessary for success. Points are awarded for smashes, and high scores are recorded.

There are special blocks with special powers that require just a bit more strategy. The game also allows for some customization with regards to sound and looks.

All in, it’s a fun, consuming game, priced to move ($1.99) and no extra purchases needed.


Lost Yeti Review

Lost Yeti Review

Apr 1, 2014

Lost Yeti is an fun retro-ish game that is really, really easy to digest.

It’s an interesting title with regards to gameplay; getting started is easy enough once the playing area is understood. It appears in abbreviated, somewhat pixelated 3D form. There is a grid with cubes placed in a good portion of the space. Our protagonist yeti is stuck in this created maze, while really wanting to make it to the checkered square that marks the level-solving destination. The playing area is decidedly stark and utilitarian in feel, with a preponderance of soft colors used to create the background imagery.

When there is space, our yeti is continually moving; when restricted to a single square, it remains in a state of lost1sleep. The cubes have different attributes. Some are stationary, and some can be slid via gestures in tandem, line by line. The key it to take advantage of the yeti natural, default clockwise movement and the slideable line of cubes to guide the yeti to whenre it needs to be to solve the level. Oh yeah, and speed of solution is important, because the number of steps the yeti takes to get to the end point is recorded; less steps is always better.

So, with this template, the leveled gameplay comes together. As progress is made, the puzzles get notably harder, with valuable ice cones that can be collecetd at the risk of peril. There are also dangerous predators afoot, from relatively simple beings that move in a similar manner to the yeti that must be avoided to active creatures that leap over cubes to empty spots and kill our dear yeti by contact. Fortunately, there are collectibles that help with solutions, and all levels can be redone to break “step” records.

The game boasts 60 levels and three worlds, with retro music and appropriately stilted animations. because of its nature, it feels best on bigger screens in smaller chunks.

It’s hard to beat free, and that’s why this is one reason the game is easy to enjoy.

Neon Snap Review

Neon Snap Review

Jun 18, 2013

Neon Snap is one of those games that soothes the mine just by looking it. With the tetrominoes and gridded space, it is practically impossible to not think of Tetris, if just a little. It’s advisable to avoid getting too caught up in the similarities, as Neon Snap sorta turns the gameplay over on its head.

The developer uses simple graphics to frame the game. With a mostly dark backgrounds, the play pieces are brightly colored, and the color of the pieces depends on their respective shapes. The animations are decent; rotations are handled in a utilitarian manner, and everything comes together with a minimalist feel.

The gameplay, as noted, will bring Tetris to mind, with the colored blocks I have already mentioned. Instead of said blocks cascading to the bottom and toiling against the player’s desire to treat the resulting wall down, in Neon neon1Snap, raw puzzle solving is more basic. There is an empty playing grid in each level, and a set number of pieces of varying shapes at the bottom. The grid space has to be completely covered with the given pieces. To solve, the given pieces have to be dragged and places in a space above… and so on and so forth till the grid is completely fuel with no empty grid blocks.

Blocks can be rotated, replaced and shifted until it is completely solved. Rotations can be effected by touching the tetrinome, or simply using the dedicated rotating button at the bottom left.

Now, on paper, it’s not an overly difficult endeavor, but add the game progresses, it gets tougher, and tougher. The grids start becoming highly irregular, with a limited array of blocks.

There are different difficulty levels of gameplay to get lost in, and the unlocked version of the game boasts of of more than a hundred different mind benders.

It starts out as a fun game, and concludes as such, which makes it such a compelling entry.

Friday Android Free Game Recap August 3rd

Friday Android Free Game Recap August 3rd

Aug 3, 2012

Physics is everywhere. Taking a step toward the door, throwing a water balloon off the roof onto the head of friend or flying a plane all take physics into account. Below are a few Android games requiring physics to be mastered to win. Think of it like the Matrix. Know which rules to can be bent to make the game easier.

D Ballz Physics Toy

The theory of this game is simple…well to be honest, there doesn’t seem to be an end to the level or really an end of any kind. D Ballz Physics Toy is pretty much a bunch of digital superballs bouncing around the screen. Let’s face it, everyone has played with a super ball for a while, bouncing it against the wall or while walking down the street. This is the Android game equivilant.
Download D Ballz Physics Toy

Shaky Tower

Building a house of cards has nothing on Shaky Tower. Using the motion of the Android phone will keep the tower in check. Avoid different obstacles and use physics to stack a row of blocks. Tasks are not as simple as stacking a block on top of another. Adding in moving vehicles and attacking sharks make for a 100+ levels of a challenging good time.
Download Shaky Tower

Pixal Rain

The key to Pixal Rain is to guard the precious item. Sometimes it is a diamond other times its a money symbol. When the pixals rain from the sky, the only thing that counts is the treasure being safe.
Download Pixal Rain

Destroy Boxes

The diamond can’t touch the ground in thins game. A set number of boxes need to be destroyed while keeping the jewel from touching the earth. As the levels progress there are more boxed to destroy. The challenge comes from the structure getting wobbly and not landing in an ideal way when the boxes fall.
Download Destroy Boxes

Penguin Physics Free

Think of this game as Angry Birds meets math class. The theory is the same; fling a boomerang and hit a certain group of objects to win. The difference is, Penguin Physics Free is more of a puzzle game. The goal is to pop all of the balloons in one throw. While this may seem like a pretty easy task, it isn’t easy at all.
Download Penguin Physics Free

What games did we miss?

Edge Extended Review

Edge Extended Review

Feb 3, 2012

I love being surprised by games. It’s great when a game I was waiting for lives up to my expectations, but when I stumble on something great it feels like an early birthday present. Edge Extended is one of those gifts, something I might have missed if it wasn’t writing this review. Let me say, early and often, that it is great and everyone should play it.

It is a puzzle game, very similar to Puzzle 2, however it has a sort of space-age feel to it right off the bat. The user controls a cube and navigates it around on the gameboard with gestures. The cube can flip end over end to move from place to place, but can also topple off the edges if flipped too aggressively. The goal of every level is to flip the cube on to a home pad, while collecting particles of energy along the way. The cube starts off capable of moving at a fixed speed, but every energy particle collected increases its potential speed. Continuous motion can be achieved by holding your finger on the screen.

This game is gorgeous, just lovely. The cube is illuminated by a constantly-shifting flicker of colour, using the entire rainbow spectrum, contrasting with the grey gameboard. The tiny particles that the cube collects flicker with the same light, and so does the home pad that the cube needs to reach. There are stars out there in the beyond, and when the cube is finally rotated to land on the home pad, it explodes in a tower of light and everything recedes into the distance as though sucked into a black hole. Each level has a theme (hinted at by its name) and some special challenge. My favourite is Mini Cube, when the cube shrinks down and flips around the board making a hilarious duck sound.

This game has it all going for it: fantastic graphics and sound, and it’s challenging without being frustrating. The score after completion of a level is calculated based on how quickly it could have been completed. If a user wants to challenge themselves to do it faster they have the option of racing against their shadow from the previous attempt. I love the sense of competition it creates – with myself.

The only thing I could say against it is that the controls sometimes react too strongly to what I thought was a smaller gesture. But then again I’ve seen that lessen the longer I’ve played, so perhaps I’m calibrating myself to the game.

Puzzled Rabbit – Review

What do rabbits have to do with puzzles? Well, normally not much, until Puzzled Rabbit. Puzzled Rabbit is a brain-teaser puzzle-solving game that uses a simple package to bring you some very complex conundrums. The rabbit is a little patchwork (or possible origami) fellow who just wants to move some red blocks into their homes on the game board. It’s not really clear why except that getting the blocks into their proper places will “make the rabbit happy”. I’ll be honest, it makes me happy to do, but it’s less to do with the rabbit and more about the fact that the puzzles are honest to goodness head-scratchers the satisfaction of solving them gives me some real Pavlovian delight.

To solve a puzzle you need to move the red block(s) on the screen into green brackets. You are graded on time it takes to solve, and number of moves taken to complete it. There are some simple physical rules – the rabbit pushes the blocks around one hop at a time with each hop counting as a move, and only he can only push the blocks in one direction at a time. Which means that if you get a block stuck in a corner then there is no way for the rabbit to get it out. But luckily the gamemakers saw fit to give us an Undo Move button, allowing you to retrace your steps back to where you went wrong or to start over completely if necessary. And it’s not all blind guessing, either. Clicking once on a block will show you (in the form of target blue circles radiating outward) what the moves are that you can perform on it. So with some trial and error any puzzle can be solved. But they do offer a challenge and that is what will keep you coming back.

A final treat that the makers added, likely as a nod to its mind-expanding properties, is quotes from well-known big thinkers as the prize for the completion of each stage. For example: “Change your thoughts and you change your world.” – Norman Vincent Peale. They didn’t need to add that little detail, but the fact that they do…well, I love it.

The controls are not difficult to use for me, but could be for others so I can’t say that it has no flaws. And the graphics and music are very simplistic, so it’s not very visually captivating. If you need that sort of thing to keep you invented in a game then you may be disappointed.