Max Steel Review

Max Steel Review

Dec 3, 2013

Max Steel is an Android gaming embodiment of a fairly popular action figure and TV show franchise.

It’s a staged endless runner that brings most of the familiar elements of three-laned runners while adding in some other elements that keep it relatively fresh. First, with regards to the running, it starts of in a seemingly unending and structurally unstable canyon. There are plenty of rock formations that provide natural obstacles, as well as scarily high cactus plants that are best to avoid. Our specially linked hero Max runs forward automatically, and there are four controls needed to allow him to avoid collisions that reduce his life expectancy. Thankfully, these controls will be familiar to most people who’ve tried out stuff like Temple Run: up, down, and one each for left or right. There are occasions to use tilting as well: during some flying sequences and battles.max1

The battles are a part of the game that introduces some enjoyable spice. Every so often, after covering a set amount of ground, Max is confronted by mechanized henchmen of the main villain, known as “dreddnoughts.” These robots can be taken on and beaten, but it takes some quick movement and smart targeting to take them out while avoiding their fire. Every now and then, a more powerful robot appears, and summoning some of Max’s special powers and weapons is in order (in addition to a special tilt mechanism which decided physical jostling). At other points, a major boss appears, and the same concept of attack and evasive action comes to bear. Collecting ultralinks and coins that line the runways is the main goal. Collected coins (and optional real cash) can be used to increase attributes and equipment.

The scenery is also cool, with variations moving from the aforementioned canyon look to cityscapes (where vehicles and barriers replace rock formations as obstacles) and more. The graphics look good, from the comic book-inspired backstory pages to the animations that accompany the battle sequences. I like the attention to detail and the incorporation of the story into the graphical output.

The controls are my sore spot; it’s not as forgiving as it is in other games of this type, but fairly reactive when manipulated precisely.

It’s a fun game, has the best pricing, and easy and challenging at the same time… well worth a look.

Announcing The Incredible Corpse, A Zombie vs Alien Action Game

Announcing The Incredible Corpse, A Zombie vs Alien Action Game

Nov 12, 2013


Generally, being a zombie kind of sucks. But, get some weaponry, fight against an alien invasion, and be a ninja, and suddenly, life is good and doesn’t bother your existence that much. The Incredible Corpse is a cartoony stealth-action in which the players have to kick some alien asses, and the devs are asking for some help right now: The Incredible Corpse on Kickstarter.

To-Fu 2 Review

To-Fu 2 Review

Sep 28, 2012

To-Fu 2 is one of those games that’s a little off the wall. I mean seriously, who dreams up with the main character is a hunk of tofu who knows kung fu… Kinda. It would be more of an Angry Birds style if it were to be classified as a style.

The game starts out fairly simple on the first couple of levels. It’s not a tutorial but getting the hang of basic movements is what’s needed to get to the levels. The thing to watch out for are the spikes. If the spikes are touched at all the little kung fu hero dies. By stretching the tofu superhero and letting go is flung across an opening until he reaches a wall or another surface to stick to. This is what’s called a ping. There is also a super pain which lets the tofu fly through objects.

The object is to get to the end of the level and crack the pink fortune kitty with as few pings as possible. There’s a set number of pings apparently possible to complete the level. Some levels this seems pretty difficult to complete in the number of pings they suggest. Some levels have metal areas allowing the kung fu knowing tofu to ricochet off of. When using the metal to ricochet, it’s a matter of getting it just right. If a metal slab isn’t hit precisely, it will take more pings to get to the end.

To practice, there’s a dojo. The dojo is a room with walls in the ceiling. Both have metal spots on them to practice ricocheting and get used to the physics of the game.

Another option is a game is the time trial mode. In the time trial the goal is to collect as many of the little blue balls as possible. The little blue balls are Chi.

Theme Thursday: Cartoon for GO Launcher

Theme Thursday: Cartoon for GO Launcher

May 24, 2012

Today in our weekly Theme Thursday blog post we will be looking at the aptly titled Cartoon theme for GO Launcher and its numerous, stylish icon selection. The first thing that will strike anyone after applying this theme is the almost creepy painted lady icon that represents the app drawer. This icon bears a nearly identical resemblance to No-Face from Spirited Away, and its strange aura is a questionable inclusion at best; considering the rest of the theme carries a much happier tone. Aside from that, each icon looks top notch, and it really seems like there was a decent amount of attention paid to keeping the whole theme consistent. These icons ‘pop’ slightly in the middle and, with an added shadow, this subtle 3-D effect is pulled off brilliantly. As stated before, the whole theme has a bright, pastel feel to it, and unfortunately this will probably limit its audience. I know that as a man, it would not be out of the realm of possibility to get some ribbing from my roommates for having this theme on my phone, but fortunately, my girlfriend found the app much to her liking and I suspect that opinion will hold true for a majority of women.

While it works just fine, I found that the wallpaper was just too plain and almost boring. All the icons fit in perfectly with the provided wallpaper, but, like most other themes, the wallpaper is usually the first thing to go, and in this case there is little reason to keep it. One good note about the wallpaper is the pretty app drawer background and folder display that features well appreciated details such as the double-layered edges on the folder panel. One final note is that the icon selection here is above par, and there are plenty of icons to mix-and-match to make that dock bar completely consistent. While I would not necessarily recommend this theme to any guys out there, Cartoon for GO Launcher is definitely something to recommend to those Android fan-girls out there.

Theme Thursday – MIUI Cartoon Mob

Theme Thursday – MIUI Cartoon Mob

Nov 17, 2011

The theme chosen for this week’s Theme Thursday, MIUI Cartoon Mob, is an interesting one, no doubt. For one thing, I find it to be fun and visually appealing. The cartoony, hand-drawn style of the icons, backgrounds and other elements all look great. For another thing, it comes to Android and ADW Launcher by way of the very popular MIUI ROM.

I admit that I’m not quite brave enough to install a custom ROM on my phone. For whatever reason, I just don’t want to do it. As I said, I understand that this is kind of a weird hang-up, but it’s my hang-up and I don’t really want to go into it. Even so, to get this theme on my phone, I’d almost consider taking a risk and going through the process of installing MIUI. Well, thankfully, I don’t have to go through that process, I can just purchase MIUI Cartoon Mob and set it as the current theme in ADW Launcher. It’s that easy!

Of course, it’s easy because ADW Launcher makes it easy. The custom home replacement utility allows you to customize your Android’s user interface in a number of amazing ways. From custom backgrounds to completely new icon sets, everything is customizable — even the way the app drawer displays and behaves. It’s very powerful.

So, if you’re like me and want to install a cheerful looking theme without getting your hands dirty dealing with custom ROMs, buying MIUI Cartoon Mob and installing it in ADW Launcher seems like the easiest way to go. You can even mix and match it with other themes for a truly unique user interface. Just another one of the great things about Android; the sky’s the limit when it comes to customization.

You can find MIUI Cartoon Mob on the Android Market for US$1.49.

Zombieville USA Review

Zombieville USA Review

Aug 1, 2011

In the highly likely event that zombies ever take over the world, smartphone users will be best equipped to deal with the undead apocalypse. Not just because smartphone users are the smartest and best looking bunch around, but because we’ve been indoctrinated by a steady drip of zombie slaughtering games.

The latest in this long, shambling, flesh-devouring line is Zombieville USA, a simple side scrolling shooter with gorgeous cartoon graphics and lashings and plenty of gore and viscera. You choose one of seven zom-pocalypse survivors, and have to make your way through the titular town, slaughtering all the festering green skins that get in your way.

Each survivor has their own strengths and weaknesses. For example, the SWAT guy does more damage, but his melee attacks are useless, whereas the clown has hardly any health, but will find you lots and lots of money. Money that can be spent on weapon upgrades and health in the store between levels.

You blast your way through the town, occasionally joined by other survivors, shooting anything that moves, ducking into houses to steal money and ammo from inside them and “borrowing” snow ploughs and other vehicles to mow down the slavering zombie hordes.

Zombieville is a fine example of simple gameplay done well. Each of the different survivors offers a different experience, ranging from the simple to the spectacularly difficult. There might not be much variation in the gameplay, but it still manages to be a lot of fun.

If you’re the sort of person who doesn’t like running around, clearing the world of the undead menace, then Zombieville isn’t going to be for you. If, on the other hand, you like your zombie games with cutesy graphics, brilliant soundtracks and a wicked sense of humour, then you should pick it up without delay.

Battleheart Review

Battleheart Review

Jun 3, 2011

Paring down a game so that it works on a touch screen phone is a difficult job. Essentially, you have to utilise the space you have on screen as a control system as well as a display. In other words, whatever a player’s fingers are doing, it can’t get in the way of the action that’s happening in-game. One way to counter this is to make a player’s finger taps and slides an integral part of the gameplay itself.

Such is the path of Battleheart, a new RTS/RPG hybrid from Mika Mobile. Eschewing story for a charming art style and simple character progression, Battleheart lets you control epic fantasy battles with a few swipes and taps on the characters involved. It’s not quite an intuitive system, but it does work very well. Most of the time.

Battleheart is a lovely game to look at, full of quirky, cartoony detail and charm. It wears its fantasy cloak with a wry grin and a cheeky wink and never takes itself too seriously, which is good for a game that deals with wizards, rogues and barbarians. The game itself is pretty simple – you hire mercenaries, wipe out any resistance in a level, rinse and repeat. Of course, there’s more to it than that, with levelling up, team balancing, roles, gear and skills all to be taken into consideration as well. Micromanagement of funds, characters and equipment is the key to victory, as well as some nimble fingers and a keen eye.

The game doesn’t quite get its control system right, unfortunately. There are times, especially when the screen is full of enemies, when getting the right person to do the right thing becomes too much of a chore. That’s a far from ideal situation for an RTS to find itself in, but it’s a minor price to pay for what is a lovely game.

Battleheart is a perfectly bite-sized mobile game that’s deep enough to get lost in if you want, but has enough pick-up-and-playability to appeal to the less tactically minded as well. Add to that a great art style, a wicked sense of humour and a smooth UI and it becomes a no-brainer. You should play this game.

Note: The Android Market version of the game doesn’t work on some devices, such as Galaxy S phones, because of download cache issues. However, the Amazon Appstore version should work for those devices affected.