Circle Review

Circle Review

Nov 12, 2014

If you still can’t get enough of Flappy Bird clones, then here’s another one for ya.

When it comes to games that look and feel like Flappy Bird… Well, you got a lot of choice. When you look back at the game, it is actually quite unbelievable what that game did. It did not only make one guy very rich (by mistake?), but it also gave life to a new genre, we’ve called the ‘one button gameplay’ here on Android Rundown. If you can’t can enough of those games, here is another one.

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This Flappy Bird clone is called Circle and is made by the same guys who made Escape Bird. In this game, you control a circle (hence the name of the game). By tapping on the screen, the circle goes up – just like any other flappy clone. But there is something completely different about this game: you must avoid touching the line on screen in order to progress through the stage. If you hit the line, it is game over.

Maybe you recognize the formula of an old TV show where contestants had to hold a magnify glass (without the actual glass) and guide it through an obstacle course without touching the rails. It was nerve wrecking just looking at it. Well, this game borrows some of that formula, but instead of being nerve wrecking, I felt quite zen playing this.

And God knows how many times a started a new game. Too many times, at least more than I would and should admit. This game has some a nice use of colors going for it and the fact that the circle always stays within reach, is kind of soothing. It helped me relax after a busy day of work and I think that is the best compliment a video game can get.

So in a way, and just the other one-button-gameplay games I’ve played, this title manages to give his own twist to a dying gameplay formula, by digging up the past and using warm color schemes. So if you can’t get enough of Flappy clones or are in the market for a new one, know that this game will help you relax – even after a dozen of continues.

Golfy Bird Review

Golfy Bird Review

Apr 11, 2014

Okay, I admit it. I really didn’t want to have a go at Golfy Bird. I mean, it is from Noodlecake, yes, which is almost always a positive. Still, it sounds suspiciously like The App That Was Pulled that we deign not mention by name. Frankly, the clones that popped up were somewhat depressing, and I even winced at real birds for a spell.

I was wrong.

Golfy Bird is its own person, and it’s somebody that might be very easy to like, and even fall in love with.

The graphics are appealing, in that they are fairly familiar, with a tint of retro that works. It is first and foremost a golf game, so the 2D graphics that highlight interestingly designed golf greens are expected. The animations are useful, and the whole visual representation is far from flashy, which I think is a good thing. If the courses look familiar, you’re not mistaken; they are based off of the courses in Noodlecake’s Super Stickman Golf 2 game.golfy1

As already noted, it’s a golf game — the idea is to pocket the bird in the holes with the least number of taps. To do this, the controls needed are a left movement button and a right movement button; tapping on them moves the button in the corresponding direction, while continuous, close-interval taps cause the bird-ball to go airborne in the corresponding direction, and it remains airborne and moving. The holes start out easy, and then get harder, with obstacles, bounces and combinations becoming integral. I thought the game could dearly use a zoom mechanism to cut out some guesswork, but the holes can be replayed, which is of some consolation.

The game employs a similar “scoring” system as to that made ubiquitous by Angry Birds, in that there are thresholds of success. If one makes it in the par number, one passes with bronze. A few shots less? Silver… and so on. The game play is leveled, and stars (which are accumulated by finishing holes) are the currency to get into the 30+ successive courses. To remove ads in this freemium game, a 99c in-app purchase is required.

I don’t always fall in love with games, but when I do, I fall in love with games like Golfy Bird. Give it a shot to find out why.

Dessert Storm Review

Dessert Storm Review

Jul 22, 2013

Dessert Storm is a cleverly named matching game that will make you think of a particular B game that most likely inspired it.

As far as Pick 3 games go, it is fairly familiar. The graphics are very colorful, which somewhat goes with the sett eats motif. The backgrounds are almost literally explosions of color, with animations like rising balloons occurring continually. The tokens themselves are colorful desserts that make the use of pastels to come to life.

Again, the gameplay is very familiar. It’s bejeweled in with a sweet tooth’s dream exterior. The playing area is made up of a grid with 81 pieces at any given time; to score points, sets of three have to be created by switching positions of eligible pieces. Horizontal and vertical sets count, but diagonals don’t. When a set of at least three matching, consecutive desserts is made (by tapping adjacent pieces to switch their positions), they explode, generate points and disappear, and gravity takes over, with the resulting space being filled by pieces above and from beyond dessert2the playing area; this way, there are always 81 pieces in play. If any other matches are made as a result of the cascade, they too follow the action sequence.

To be successful, a keen eye for shapes and colors is always good, as shapes are not the only category for successful matches. A lot of times, building from the bottom yields the best result.

The game comes in three modes: Relaxed, Classic and Rush. They are all fairly self-explanatory, but I thought the classic version was kind of long. That particular mode comes in levels with score requirements to proceed.

On my review devices, the play pieces were almost intolerably small, and I could not figure out how to change this. This made the pieces hard to swap, and, for me, fat fingering was common.

For a Bejeweled clone, it does the job of keeping the game close to heart without duplicating it, which for a lot of gamers, makes the perfect time waster.

Survivalcraft Review

Survivalcraft Review

May 13, 2013

Survivalcraft is an interesting sandbox adventure that is very reminiscent of the sandbox cross-platform game Minecraft.

To be honest, it was pretty hard to see Survivalcraft outside of the shadow if the game it’s cloned from. A lot of the elements were similar. A careful look, however, did reveal things that made the former somewhat unique in its own right.

The game came in three modes: harmless, challenging, cruel, and creative. I was also able to tweak the conditions of the world in some of the game modes by toggling living conditions, weather and even time changes. There were a lot of options that changed the feel of the game, and thus increased the playability of the game. Folks familiar with Minecraft won’t be disappointed.

The basic premise played out like a Mark Burnett-inspired reality show: I was marooned by a sea vessel on an unfamiliar island, and had to use my ability to adapt to survive. The playing perspective was first person, and the graphics were a combination of block shapes and stark colors. The animations were purposely stilted, and the surv1appearance gave it all an understated charm. I could toggle views (like from first to third), and was able to move and crouch with the controls, and swipe to turn or glance around.

Now, a lot of the gameplay depended on the mode selected; basically, I had to do what was necessary to survive. The developer did a good job of making the gameplay feel realistic; crouching in water was lethal, as was being unprotected at night or not procuring and consuming enough sustenance. Mining and creating things out of my immediate surroundings helped me survive, as did avoiding natural dangers that lurked.

The thing I liked best about this game was the infinite perspective. I liked the ability to use stuff like electricity, horses and electricity.

For a clone, it was fun to play, and as noted, wasn’t a mirror image, which made it worthwhile to try.