Gemini Rue Announced, A Retro-Styled Adventure

Gemini Rue Announced, A Retro-Styled Adventure

Dec 13, 2013

Gemini Rue 2

If you are familiar with classic Sam & Max, or Monkey Island, and would like to see more of the same – here’s an announcement just for you. Gemini Rue is a futuristic adventure game about two unusual and very different heroes in a fantastic world of interplanetary travel and identity changes. The game is already available for PC, with Android version coming soon. Additional details about the game are here: Gemini Rue Website.

Retro Runners Review

Retro Runners Review

Oct 30, 2013

Retro-type games are great. Retro running games are better.

Retro running games that actually work? Welcome to Retro Runners.

Simplicity is boss here, and it runs things very well. It’s a three-laned infinite runner based off of a seemingly endless stretch of straight athletic track. The goal, obviously, is to keep running forward as long as possible.

The problem being that this ain’t your momma’s running track, unless your momma builds tracks with bone shattering obstacles on them. These obstacles start off being somewhat natural: other runners, hurdles placed to cause trouble and water pockets that would make the computer generated amalgamation of Bob Beamon and Mike Powell pause with concern. Even cooler, one hazard that is interestingly cool is the cameraman that hangs just outside the outer lanes. ret1You might like fame, but it will cost you a split second of blindness, which is never good with the aforementioned hurdles all over the place.

To avoid these hurdles, it is necessary to jump or dart out of the way. Quickly, too. The controls are fairly generous, with gestures to the left or right on the leftmost part of the screen controlling lateral movement across lanes, and the right part of the screen accepts vertical gestures that cause the runner to jump. The controls are responsive, which is a must for a game like this.

An interesting idea is the energy requirement; there is an energy bar that is displayed on the left. This bar is depleted at a constant rate while running, and they can be replenished by snagging one of the bottles from race-side volunteers. There are also gold coins that can be collected and redeemed for stuff via in-app purchasing.

When put all together, the gameplay is a witty, fast and faster-paced action adventure. Jumps, power-ups, water hazards, and obstacles all are a part of the play; as the game progresses, the obstacles get tougher. Are those railroad crossing bars? I think so. Brick walls? Check. Did the track just change color? Yep. A CAR?!

Graphically, the game has an interesting, becoming style; the classic look and bright colors lent themselves well to the whole package. Creativity is established, with different characters with different attributes available.

It’s a fun game, simple at heart but capable of spawning plenty of enjoyment.

Contra Evolution Review

Contra Evolution Review

Sep 23, 2013

Ever play the original Contra on the NES and get to a really hard part and say “If I could, I would pay real money – and a good amount, too – to get a more powerful weapon to beat this boss” or “I would sell my firstborn for more continues?” Well congratulations – the advance of technology has finally caught up to one of the most challenging run ’n gun games of all time, and Konami has made NES Contra into an IAP-laden experience, though the soul of the game definitely remains.

This is still the NES classic version of Contra, just with some new additions to the meta-game that change how players interface with it. Mostly, what Konami has added is a two-tier currency system and the ability to buy special weapons while mid-game. Think a laser would help beat that boss? Drop a couple hundred coins or a gem on it and play with power! There’s still the flying football things that drop weapons when destroyed, and the weapons system works like Contra 3, at least: if it’s not the selected weapon when killed, it doesn’t disappear.

Oh, but that’s not the only thing to cost money: continues no longer come for free, now they’re all bought with coins or gems. And they get more expensive the later on in the game gets. Devious.


The graphical update is regrettable. There’s too much detail to tell what’s going on at times. The controls fiddle around with virtual joysticks when really, there’s only the need for the virtual d-pad, which is infinitely more accurate. There’s no multiplayer. There’s at least an interesting mission mode which throws modified segments of levels at players to try and get high scores on them to earn eagle medallions, which can be used to unlock two new female characters who play differently. So at least there’s that. Overall, just adding all this IAP to one of the most pure games of all time feels dirty.

The thing is this, though: no matter how much they chop up Contra, it’s still Contra. The same soul of the game remains. The weapons have clearly been rebalanced to favor special weapons (and the people who pay to buy them) as the standard pea shooter feels even weaker than it ever did. And despite a hideous new coat of paint, the classic moments are all there. This is Contra, the NES Contra, that same game I enjoyed as a kid playing with my dad, it’s here. And it’s hard not to feel nostalgic or to have fun with it. Konami may want players to pay – and keep paying – for the pleasure of playing it, but at the very worst, they couldn’t destroy the soul of Contra.

But it’s only for those who have played and enjoyed Contra before and really want to play it legally on their phones to whom I can recommend this game. For those new to this classic? Play the classic NES version, some way, somehow. This should not be anyone’s first experience with Contra. No, Contra Evolution is only for those who know what this game is.

Tetris Blitz Gets Weekly Power-Ups And Challenges In New Update

Tetris Blitz Gets Weekly Power-Ups And Challenges In New Update

Sep 9, 2013

The game that never grows old gets a new update that introduces a bunch of new mechanics. They should’ve probably been there before the update, though. They include weekly power-ups to help beat the high-score, challenges for those who, like me, can play standard Tetris virtually endlessly, and time-limiting game modes. The game can be downloaded from here: Tetris® Blitz on Google Play. Alternatively, you can play Tetris for free on

Sonic the Hedgehog Review

Sonic the Hedgehog Review

May 17, 2013

Sonic the Hedgehog is a classic, at least in the sense that it was the launching pad for a famous character. In reality, it’s a lot more like some bands’ first album: their later stuff is more refined, exploring their strengths better, to make for a better product. Such is the original Sonic game. Sonic 2 and 3 do a lot to make the series much better, so I must admit that when I heard that Sonic 1 was being remastered by Christian Whitehead and company a la Sonic CD, I was initially disappointed. But really, there was no reason to be: the tweaks and new features make this better.

Sonic should be well-known at this point. Run, jump, fight Eggman’s robots and contraptions (though he’ll always be Dr. Robotnik to me), and avoid those darn spikes. This is the game that started the classic formula, including the most underappreciated part of the series’ gameplay: the complex levels and challenging platforming that comes from their multiple layers.

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The spin dash I have mixed opinions about: it makes the game feel better, but it makes certain sections much easier. This is especially true of the final boss, where dodging the sparks that come out becomes much, much easier thanks to the ability to quickly speed away from them on a dime. But hey, it makes the game a bit less frustrating, so it’s worth it, right? Plus, it’s just an option, so the purists can turn it off.

The other new features add a lot of value to the game. It’s possible to play as Tails and Knuckles, or even Sonic with Tails. Powerups from later Sonic games can be used. There’s a Time Attack mode. The cartridges for the three different versions of the game as well to be displayed when launching the game. It’s a minor feature, but for a project powered by hardcore fans who have gotten to work with Sega, it means a lot.

The controller support helps to make this a far-improved experience as well. A wide variety is supported just like in Sonic CD – the MOGA models are supported as are HID controllers, for example. The virtual controls are far from perfect, but at least they’re configurable.

Sonic the Hedgehog may not be the best game in the series, but the bonus content that comes along with it (in surprising amounts) is well worth checking out for fans both new and old.

Meganoid review

Meganoid review

Mar 8, 2011

Meganoid is a punishing, classic-inspired, tougher than shoe-leather platformer that does everything it can to pound you into a bloody pulp, and you’ll come crawling back for more.
In Meganoid, aliens are invading, and the world needs a hero. Unfortunately, all they had available was you. Adonis DNA: do you have it?

Meganoid features retro graphics, music and gameplay meant to resemble classic, 8 and 16-bit era games. However, despite the old school feel, there are plenty of modern tricks to give the game extra depth.

Pac-Man Championship Edition Review

Pac-Man Championship Edition Review

Aug 9, 2010

Reviewing Pac-Man is kind of like reviewing Pong: If you haven’t played it yet or aren’t familiar with it, you probably aren’t even reading this right now, let alone have an Android phone. But Pac-Man Championship Edition does have enough interesting qualities to it that it merits a review and your consideration, regardless of whether or not you’re a hardcore Pac-Man fan.

The basics of Pac-Man still exists in this game. Your goal is to eat the PAC-Dots and the Bonus Items while avoiding the Ghosts until you eat a Power-Pellet, then they’re free game. Every 20,000 points earns you a bonus life and the more points you earn without dying, the faster Pac-Man travels. What’s different about this version is that there aren’t exactly levels like in the traditional game. There are three different game options: Championship Mode, Challenge Mode (1,2), and Extra Mode (1,2,3). To win each mode, you’ll have to survive for either 5 or 10 minutes and rack of as many points as you possibly can.