Microsoft Solitaire Comes to Android

Microsoft Solitaire Comes to Android

Nov 25, 2016

Many a Generation Xer cut their gaming teeth on the simple set of applications on early iterations of Windows; several should have fond memories of Solitaire.

Now, the game is on Android, as Microsoft Solitaire Collection — just in time for the 25th anniversary of the game.

The new release incorporates five different types of solitaire card games: Pyramid, Klondike, Freecell, Spider and Tripeaks, giving folks an opportunity to play how they want to play.

The game also has daily challenges; it also packs in XBOX Live support, which allows friends to earn achievements and play with family and friends. Additionally, one can play seamlessly across Windows 10 and Android devices with the cloud saving feature.

And there’s more…

To mark the launch, Microsoft is giving out free month-long premium memberships. That means no ads PLUS game boosts and Double Coins for all daily challenges.

Hurry though… this offer ends on December 31, 2016.

The game is otherwise free (with in-app purchasing) on the Play Store.

Sage Solitaire Review

Sage Solitaire Review

Feb 9, 2016

Combining two very different card games? I am curious as to how Sage Solitaire intends to do that.

If the game sorta kinda feels like a mix between solitaire and say, poker, you ain’t crazy; Sage Solitaire actually merges elements from both card games. Off the bat, it may be hard to imagine, but as as one goes on, it is fairly cohesive.

In terms of layout, it is played in portrait, with a simple top-down view that reveals cards stacked in three rows and three columns. The artwork is simplistic, and the cards are easily identifiable to anyone who has played around with a deck of playing cards; helping out with the visuals is the color scheme, as the developer adds color-coding to each suite. The game is controlled by taps, and the resulting animations and such are quite smooth.ss3

With regards to gameplay, again, one need not think too long about “conventional” solitaire. Yes, one constant element is flipping cards, but getting point-garnering “hands” (just like in poker) is a main goal. So, taking chance into account, one can look to get, say, a pair (two matching numbers for a modest 10 points), or one can shoot for big payouts by going for the admirable straight flush (hello: 150 points)… or any of the combos (like three of a kind, regular flush, four of a kind, etc). One can trash cards — up to two, and regenerated by successive combos. It takes a bit of skill to go along with luck, and several scenarios inevitably play out… should one gamble on “trashing” a card, or go for what’s safe? There are hints and special cards as well.

In the end, clearing the board completely is what one hopes to do.

It all comes together quite well, almost surprisingly slow. It is quite addictive, and the high score system encourages one to get in battle with self and others locally. Extra modes (past the stock two) are available via in-app purchase, as well as other goodies.

When it’s all said and done, this is game that has to be played to be properly beheld. Get on with it.

Sage Solitaire Due Out on Android this Week

Sage Solitaire Due Out on Android this Week

Feb 2, 2016

Noodlecake is set to publish a new game on Google Play this week; this one is a solitaire title named Sage Solitaire.

Sage Solitaire is free and comes with Single Deck and Vegas Modes. One iap will remove ads, unlock the other modes (Double Deck, Grit and Fifteens) as well as more wallpapers, themes and decks that pair with any situation.

The core behind the game is as follows. Players are tasked with clearing all the cards from each stack. To do so, you must select poker hands from the available cards and you must use cards from at least 2 different rows in the process. You are awarded points for how rare the hands are you can make, clearing stacks as well using the special Suit card to add bonus points to you hand. Players can also trash a card if they want to remove one from the pile. Completing a hand will add a trash slot back for players to use.

Single and Double deck are just that. Players are required to clear one or two decks worth of cards. In Fifteens mode, players can make poker hands but also can cash in hands that total 15 no matter what the numbers or suit are. As long as the cards total 15.

In Vegas and Grit mode things get a little more intense. Players place a bet on their game before it starts. Then as they clear stacks, they earn a score multiplier instead of points. This multiplier needs to get above 1, else you might lose your money! Players also earn money for completing the various poker hands. Grit mode is the mecca of this mode. In Grit, you are given a stack of money and if you lose it, that’s it. No more. You never get to play Grit mode again. Do you have the guts to gamble in Grit?

Can’t wait to see this one; the actual due date is February 4th. Check out the trailer below:

[via Sage Solitaire Press Page]

Hearthstone Heroes of Warcraft Arrives for Android Tablets

Hearthstone Heroes of Warcraft Arrives for Android Tablets

Dec 15, 2014

Strategy card game Hearthstone Heroes of Warcraft is now available on Android, specifically for devices with a screen size of at least six (6) inches.

The game looks to have players invest in mystical play of spells and battle in a race to beat the game UI or friends in duels.

According to the press release from developer Blizzard Entertainment, the game should be available for players in Australia, Canada and New Zealand via Google Play, and further worldwide release should be coming very soon (on the Amazon Appstore in addition to Google Play).

Blizzard Entertainment Chief Mike Morhaime is excited to have Android users in on the fun. “Hearthstone’s intuitive interface and approachable design make it a perfect fit for tablets, and we’ve put a lot of effort into ensuring players have a great experience on a wide range of Android devices,” he says. “We’re excited to welcome Android players to the Hearthstone community, and we’re looking forward to bringing the game to even more mobile platforms—including phones—in the future.”

Hearthstone Heroes of Warcraft is free to play, with optional in-app content available to purchase.

[Source: Blizzard Press Release]

WWE Supercard Review

WWE Supercard Review

Sep 3, 2014

WWE Supercard is a curious mix of collectable card game and wrestling. Players familiar with other card battlers maybe be forgiven for dismissing WWE Supercard for another microtransactions filled game with little depth, but they’d be danm wrong.

WWE Supercard has players assembling a deck of wrestlers. There are four superstars, one diva and two extra cards to a deck. These extra cards can be objects like a chair or 2×4 that boosts stats, or even a manager to boost the whole team.

Screenshot_2014-08-27-00-39-04Superstars and Divas come in various tiers from common to legendary, but strangely the same superstars have different versions of themselves. So the player might find a common Batista with rather low stats then a rare Batista with far better stats.

Actual matches boil down to best 2 of 3 confrontations where each match compares different wrestler stats and the higher one wins. For example a Singles or Diva match might be decided by toughness, so the player would pick their toughest wrestler or indeed their weakest if they had little chance of winning and may want to keep hold of their better cards. Another match might be won by the more charismatic wrestler.

Tag matches are similar, but both wrestlers’ stats are compared and an additional compatibility factor gauges how well the wrestlers gel.
Wrestlers that like each other work well as a team. This is shown by a wedge shaped diagram on the cards. Wrestlers whose wedges fit together are compatible and gain a boost. Being the same tier grants another boost. Wedges that are the same shape incur no penalty, while wedges that differ signify incompatible wrestlers and the team suffers a 10% penalty.

Screenshot_2014-08-26-19-23-58Matches are fun to watch and building a balanced team and ensuring they work well together is fun and engaging. The sheer number of wrestlers on offer is a plus as well. Heroes from past and present are up for grabs, such as the late great Ultimate Warrior and legendary Stone Cold Steve Austin, to current stars like Batista and John Cena.

Winning a match allows two picks from a face down grid of cards. Rare cards can be found as well and even a loss allows one pick. The game is very fair indeed with new cards and the player gets a constant supply of new stuff to see. Like most card battlers, cards can be used on other cards to boost their stats and constantly reshuffling your deck for maximum strength as newer, stronger cards are found is fun.

WWE Supercard has a goofy, but very enjoyable presentation. Matches are pretty funny as cards waddle down the ramp and in the ring they perform actual wrestling moves, like suplexes and piledrivers on each other as one card explodes. The music is nice and intense and the sound is well done.

Some of the game’s stats are bit off though. Because there are different tiers of cards you might end up with an RVD that is slower than a Diva or even someone like Kane or a Wyatt brother with great charisma, even though they are mostly silent heels.

WWE Superstar is a surprise and an enjoyable game. Its odd mix of spandex and cardboard works very well the game is addictive and there are no nasty microtransactions. That’s the bottom line!


Gemhero Review

Gemhero Review

Aug 12, 2014

GemHero makes a terrible first impression since it forces the player to create a “Winnerconnect” account. Facebook login is also available but forcing the player into creating an account before they even get to see the game is a bit much. Then a very silly story appears featuring a knight being turned into a duck and the king assuming that killing the warlock that did it might free him. This is where the player comes in. After this an ad dialogue appears. This is before gameplay even starts.

Screenshot_2014-08-11-11-10-35After a short tutorial, the player is given a deck that is mostly comprised of angry sheep and sheep riders, which is kind of a letdown.

GenmHero’s gameplay is almost exactly like most other puzzle fighter type games. Like other, better games such as Puzzle Trooper the player matches groups of coloured tiles to get their monsters to attack. Unlike most games like this, though only matching swords causes direct attacks. Most shapes either do nothing or cause skill icons to appear. Tapping skill icons unleashes different elemental attacks, which are all the same. Items can be used during combat. The player starts off with a large stock of items that can heal and revive the party, and additional ones are quite expensive. These items are very important as the player takes damage quickly, especially if they get a bad run of tiles and reviving mid stage if the stage is lost costs a lot of coins.

The only difference between Gemhero and others of its type is the map like part of the game between battles. Each stage is split into several pathways with monsters treasure and heal pads along the way. Taking different routes causes the player to encounter different things and this is a bit more interesting than the boring menu of battles common to other puzzle fighters.

Screenshot_2014-08-11-03-27-12Besides the very basic choices provided by the map system there is nothing different about GemHero at all. Between battles players can upgrade their cards and spend in game currency or premium currency on additional cards to bolster their deck, just like every other puzzle fighting game ever. Monsters can be captured during battle as well, but there is only a very small chance of this happening. Still this is a nice touch.

GemHero looks unimpressive. The monster design is mundane and just not nearly as interesting as other games like Brave Frontier or the aforementioned, much cooler looking Puzzle Trooper. Sprites are very small and barely animate. The only battle animations are clouds of swords flying between the two sides and a few sparkly elemental attack effects as combos are matched and enemies attack. It is hardly completing stuff.

Gemhero isn’t really all that interesting and it plays very similarly to other puzzle fighters. Only the most diehard puzzle fans need apply.

Dragonwood Academy Review

Dragonwood Academy Review

May 22, 2014

Dragonwood Academy from XMG takes the basic formula from Hearthstone (sadly not on Android yet!) and makes it something that can be easily and casually played: but in this simplification, the game becomes less a clever-but-simple strategy game, but more of a limited-interaction grinding experience, for better or for worse.

The combat works in that players have a set of three “stones” that have health and attack ratings, each stone attacking in order against an enemy with three stones that go in a set order. A stone attacks another one, occasionally triggering a special ability if it has one. This goes on until the enemy is defeated, and players go on to the next round. There’s unfortunately no multiplayer, just singleplayer, with the goal being to get the longest win streak possible by building powerful enough teams, as players get chests after each win that contain trinkets, and when ten trinkets are collected, they give the player a new stone of that trinket’s rarity. Gems can be bought and earned, spent on more chests, and on boosts, healing, and continues.

DragonwoodAcademy-1

The problem within the combat is explicitly that there’s no control of it whatsoever: players sit back and watch everything just kind of happen. This wouldn’t be so bad if the combat was intelligent, but it appears to be that stones attack enemies in terms of random selection, not based on any sort of sense, like if two enemy stones are left, a powerful card won’t kill a card that would kill it sometime.s The good news is that the computer is regulated by randomness too because they make the exact same mistakes, which is at least fair.

Still, it is my greatest peeve with games that have randomized combat: they should at least give players intelligent options, instead of playing in the favor of the game by just being random. After all, it makes it more likely for players to lose or take damage when a suboptimal strategy is forced upon them: and gems can be spent on healing, revives, boosts, and continues, of course. Again, at least it’s quite apparent that the computer is bound by the same rules, but I’d like the agency. And considering that the game is really just a simplified version of Hearthstone, which is already an easy enough game to pick up on, it feels unnecessary.

Really, this makes Dragonwood Academy just a mindless grind where players turn the lever, and get the satisfaction of building out powerful lineups, without needing to develop strategies, necessarily. And frankly, I can accept that this sort of game can exist: it’s for a casual audience that wants to just enjoy the thrill of a game like Hearthstone but with much less effort. And the game does lack energy systems, wait timers, any malarkey like that: it’s just about diving in and playing, which isn’t an intense activity. So while perhaps I think it could be a lot better — make manual attacking an option along with automatic attacking — it’s far from awful. I just feel it could do a better job a simple game to play.

However, it is regardless worth the download if only because of the greatest geek-culture pun in recent history: Joffrey Winger.

Deadman’s Cross Review

Deadman’s Cross Review

Mar 11, 2014

The best thing about Deadman’s Cross is that it takes a complete left turn from the standard card game RPG by adding in varied gaming styles that have never before been seen together.

The basic idea in Deadman’s Cross is that the world has ended and the few survivors left after the zombie apocalypse use teams of zombies, known as Deadmen, to defend themselves. These deadmen need to be hunted down to be added to the army and taken care of to grow in strength.

Screenshot_2014-03-05-20-25-34This boils down to a very familiar deck like interface in which each zombie the player owns is a card. The standard options for boosting a card’s strength by absorbing other cards are there and at certain levels cards can be fused together to create stronger versions.

What differs from other card games is how these zombies are acquired. The player literally has to take a rifle and go out to hunt down new Deadmen for their army. Using a first person shooter interface, the player snipes the Deadmen. Every one killed is added to their deck and timing shots results in one hit kills. A 60 second time limit necessitates quick shooting. Hunting requires Hunter’s Permits, which are handed out regularly as rewards for job competition.

Jobs are like mini missions that form the game’s story. A job typically involves going to an area where a first person interface is again used. The player walks along fighting zombies, grabbing items and searching rooms until the items are found that are needed for the mission.

Mission rewards are pretty good too, with large wads of hardware and items up for grabs. Some good dialogue sequences during missions add some much needed personality to the proceedings. This story heavy approach gives the payer more incentive to work their way through the game compared to other card RPGs.

Screenshot_2014-03-10-16-28-13Unfortunately some annoying freemiuem features mar the game more than little. The energy system in particular is irritating. During a mission a stamina count decreases as the player walks. When it depletes, which is almost always before the mission ends, the player can do nothing but either use an Energy Drink, which costs 100 Deadman Coins for one or just wait the better part of a day for their energy to restore to maximum. This is extremely annoying in such a story based game. Hunting is affected as well. A large amount of Deadman Coins buys 60 seconds of elite hunting, where much more powerful and rare deadmen appear.

Deadman’s Cross looks good. Some really imaginative card designs make battles fun. Building an army of strippers, bicycle couriers and mutated animals adds some flair. The interface is good too. As expected of a Square-Enix game the music is good stuff. Some atmospheric exploration themes accompany jobs and some pumping battle tunes play in battle.

Deadman’s Cross is hobbled slightly by freemium features, but its distinct meshing of gameplay styles and its sharp presentation make it an interesting game to be sure.

Introducing Inigo, an App for Creating Business Cards

Introducing Inigo, an App for Creating Business Cards

Jan 22, 2014

Inigo 4

Business cards are a serious business – it says so right there in the name. So, having a tool to design and edit them can be really helpful for any aspiring professional. Inigo is just that. It allows users to create any kind of networking cards that can be shared online through a variety of means. It can be downloaded for free from here: Inigo on Google Play.

Solitaire 3D Now On Android

Solitaire 3D Now On Android

Dec 13, 2013

Already making waves on the iOS App Store, Solitaire 3D is now updated and ready to go on the Google Play store in both an ad-supported free version as well as a paid Pro version that costs $2.99.

Players can play a very traditional version of Klondike solitaire in a lovely 3D environment, that now contains online leader boards, in both standard and Vegas scoring.

UNO & Friends Introduces Tournaments In The New Update

UNO & Friends Introduces Tournaments In The New Update

Dec 10, 2013

UNO & Friends 3

A multiplayer card game UNO & Friends has just gotten a new update that allows the players to play a series of games against each other. UNO & Friends’s casual gameplay is available to everyone for free from here: UNO & Friends on Google Play.

Spirit Stones Review

Spirit Stones Review

Nov 4, 2013

Gamevil is one of the biggest names in mobile gaming over in Asia, churning out such games as the Zenonia series as well as the Baseball Superstars games. Most of their lineup are great games that while tailored more for an Eastern audience, still can be enjoyed by everyone one. Most of their titles also use the freemium, or free to play model, which happens to irk many people in the west.

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Spirit Stones, the latest game from the Korean mobile giant, doesn’t feel particularly special, except for the fact that it is everything you’d expect from a game from Asia. Spirit Stones incorporates both the collectible card genres and a match 3 element, both popular mobile game mechanisms in Asia. But the real let down in this game is that it doesn’t offer players anything that they can’t get out of other popular eastern titles, such as Puzzle & Dragons or similar games of that style. It’s also very much in the vein of games like Digimon with the collection element and evolution of cards. It’s another free to play game, which allows players to spend real money to get better in the game, but doesn’t give anyone anything unique or new.

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What it does give you is a beautifully laid out game, both graphically and in terms of game play. Everything, while feeling familiar, is still aesthetically pleasing and entertaining to delve into. All of the cards, while usually containing female characters wearing armor made more for revealing as much skin as possible, rather than for protecting their body, are done in a lovely artistic style. Battle sequences, however, are scaled down a little more, appearing a little more cartoonish and silly.

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The downfall, though, is that there isn’t too much about Spirit Stones that will keep you captivated enough to continue playing for any length of time. Considering so many other match 3 and collectible card game crossovers are on the market, Spirit Stones does not stand out or lure you in with anything special. It’s a nice looking game and anytime a player will spend on it will be enjoyable, but this title is easily forgettable and may just end up taking up space on your device, space that could be used for something a lot less mediocre.