Bonnie’s Brunch Review

Bonnie’s Brunch Review

Jun 22, 2012

I never really gave cooking games much attention – I used to think they’re just for kids. The last time I played this kind of game was during my early Facebook days with Restaurant City. I must say I quite enjoyed those days. I liked the challenge of running a food business with the best possible results. It’s the same feeling I got from playing Bonnie’s Brunch. It felt childish at first, but after a few levels (and one upset customer) it became a challenge.

Bonnie’s Brunch has been available for iOS for a while, but it was recently released for Android. The cooking game requires Bonnie to serve breakfast to different customers, with a goal of making them happy – and for them never to leave without getting served.

Food items start as bagels and croissants, with more complicated items like waffles and sandwiches added as the levels go higher. The key to serving all customers effectively is to know their personalities. Some customers are more impatient than others, so this is one thing you need to consider when deciding which one to serve first. Another factor to consider are the food items. Some items are readily available – like a bagel – while some can take a few seconds to prepare such as a waffle or a ham and cheese sandwich.

The best part of the game is the design. Great, crisp graphics and responsive game controls will make you want to keep playing the game. The game characters are also amusing – ranging from an impatient granny to a former singing icon. When new characters are present in the next level, there will be a brief introduction about that character before the level starts. The player can then learn about the characters’ personality from these short information clips and serve them accordingly.

The first fifteen levels are free to play, but succeeding ones can be played by purchasing the game’s full version. I don’t usually purchase anything from the Play Store, but this game really made me reconsider. I eventually went ahead and made the purchase, and I haven’t regretted it since.

Bonnie’s Brunch has one of the best graphics and smooth performance in Android games so far. It makes a cooking game more fun than it really should be. With the vibrant, animated characters and yummy-looking food, it’s a great eye-candy game to pass the time – not just for kids, but for adults as well. It even makes me hungry at times, I had to take a break and grab a quick snack.

No lags, delays or force closes were experienced during game play – which is a relief for me since I did invest money (albeit a small amount) in this app. The game and its graphics run smoothly and are responsive to touch controls such as fixing an order and dragging it towards the customer. However, I wish there were more levels to this game – though I have not finished all of them due to the level of difficulty in the last few stages. Yes, it does get harder.

If there is ever a cooking game face-off for Android in the future, I can very much vouch for this game. It’s fun, visually stunning and surprisingly addictive.

Clouds & Sheep Review

Clouds & Sheep Review

Oct 14, 2011

I’m a big fan of any game that presents a great, unique concept and takes the time to give it some real charm and character. Clouds & Sheep is just such a game. It’s an addictive casual game about looking after a flock of sheep that have some peculiar qualities.

Like other games of this type, you start with a set number of sheep and are given a list of tasks that must be performed. Tasks such as growing grass for the sheep to eat, making sure they stay out of trouble and breeding them. But then there are the more interesting tasks, like gathering clouds together to make it rain, or storm, so that the sheep will have water to drink. Then there’s play time, either by tossing the sheep around or pulling their tails and letting them snap back to send the sheep rolling. It looks cruel, but they love it, and they prove their love by giving you stars you can use to spend on supplies and other items to keep the sheep happy.

What the sheep don’t love is starving, getting sick, being struck by lightning or dehydrated. And, yes, they can die. When a sheep dies, it turns back into clouds and drifts away. One of the ways to replenish your flock is by getting them to breed.

Breeding sheep is easy; you simply maneuver them around “love flowers” that are growing in the field. When the sheep eat the flowers, they fall in love and, well, when a mommy and a daddy sheep love each other very much, they produce a heart that, if caught up in the clouds, becomes a baby sheep.

To keep the game interesting and give you a sense of progression, you’ll have to complete a series of challenges before you can move onto a bigger field. Challenges include tossing as many sheep into the air at the same time as possible, or intentionally getting them struck by lightning. In another challenge, you have to catch a baby sheep after it forms in the clouds. I feel like the developers missed an opportunity for a great pun, here, as they called the challenge “Catch Me If You Can” when, clearly, they should have named it “Catch Me If Ewe Can,” but I digress.

While the game is open-ended and quite fun, the activity level ramps up far too quickly, going from a nice, casual pace to a hectic run to get as much done as possible. Furthermore, the challenges tend to repeat after a while, becoming stale. All in all, Clouds & Sheep is a great casual game and quite enjoyable, but loses its casual status to become almost unmanageable. Another mark against the game is the poor performance as the frame-rate drops to single digits on my Droid X from time to time, becoming completely unresponsive.

Despite the technical problems and lack of purpose, Clouds & Sheep is still a cute, fun game that I enjoyed very much.

G5 Releases “Games Navigator” App and Announces Supermarket Management Release

G5 Releases “Games Navigator” App and Announces Supermarket Management Release

Aug 9, 2011

G5 Games have been steadily releasing their slate of time management and casual games on to Android. To help fans of G5 Games keep track of the latest releases on Android, Games Navigator is here. This allows users to see the latest news on G5 releases and upcoming games, such as release dates for new Android releases. The app also offers screens and videos for current games, with links to go download them from the Android Market. It also offers the ability to subscribe to their newsletter, and links to follow them on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube. Games Navigator is now available from the Android Market for free. Here’s a little bit of scoop not available in the app about an upcoming title: Supermarket Management releases this Thursday. This game, where players must try to manage a grocery store, will be available as a free download with content available to be unlocked via Android Market billing.

Ancient Frog Review

Ancient Frog Review

Apr 25, 2011

Ancient Frog is one of those games I’m always looking forward to discovering, as a reviewer. As much as I love shooters and action games, I can’t help my craving for the more artsy/outsider style of games. It’s such a unique experience that, at times, doesn’t even really feel like a game.

There are no “lives,” no time limit or leader board to compete with. You’re playing as a frog, trying to climb your way to a tasty fly in as few moves as possible with the goal of coming in “under par.” But rather than manipulate a directional pad or other such control scheme, you’re moving the frog’s limbs, one at a time.

Some levels of Ancient Frog are so easy that it feels like you’re hardly trying at all. Then, it gets hard. Like, we’re talking QWOP-level difficulty. Even with the built-in hints feature giving you some idea of where the frog needs to be to advance, just getting it into that position can be mind-bending.

What makes the game so difficult is that you have to take into account the physical limitations of the frogs and that the footholds are set in specific locations. You can’t just stretch a leg or bend a joint in a direction it won’t go, and if the only way to go up is to rotate 180 degrees and climb upside down, that’s just how you’ll have to do it. Half the battle is figuring out which limb to place first, as you can find yourself without a solution right from the very first, wrong step. Thankfully, swiping the screen to the left provides a convenient “undo” function.

The graphics are breathtaking, featuring fluid animation and photo-realistic environments. Granted, there’s not a lot going on — a 3D frog model, a buzzing fly, some dew drops or other object to climb on and a picture of a leaf, lilly pad or tree trunk to provide the background. Even so, the texture work and special effects are simply phenomenal.

The only problem I had with the graphics was on the tree trunk levels, where it can be extremely difficult to see each foothold. Thankfully, the game highlights any foothold you can reach when you select a limb, but it makes planning each move in advance very strenuous. I couldn’t wait to pass these levels.

In the end, we’re left with an extremely unique puzzle game with stunning graphics and a zen-like experience. The world just melts away as you become engrossed with solving each one. What’s even more interesting is that I actually found myself thinking like a rock climber, relying on what little experience I’ve had from the few times I’ve climbed artificial rock faces. You can’t actually fall in the game, but you have to plan out each movement or risk getting stuck. It can be very frustrating.

All in all, Ancient Frog is just a great little game that I’ve become extremely enamored with. I’m glad I got to play it.