This Is Not A Test Review

This Is Not A Test Review

Mar 18, 2015

This Is Not A Test tells the story of a man’s attempts to survive a chemical weapon attack on his country. With just a truck, a few skills and a gun they must work their way through a variety of harrowing situations to survive the disaster. Or not survive as the case will likely be.

This Is Not a Test is all about choice. There are multiple ways to handle a situation. What items and skills your character has always affects what options there are. For example if you’re in your truck and gas is entering you can tape up your cars air vents to protect yourself, if you have duct tape or simply skilfully weave though the gas cloud to avoid it, if you have driving skill. Violence is much easier and indeed often only survivable if you have brawling or marksmanship skills as well.

Screenshot_2015-03-05-12-27-17TINT however isn’t that well written. Characters you meet are boring and one dimensional, there is minimal dialogue and what’s there is dull. The story just lacks tone and the desolate feeling that better visual novels like Overlive have. Interesting details are few and far between and there is just little payoff for reading it. Go ahead, shoot everyone you meet. You sure won’t feel bad about it. Some of the endings are ridiculous as well. Like the one where the military simply allows you to starve to death. Or be crushed. Are they the world’s most inept soldiers?

Speaking of feeling bad, death happens often in TINT. The story is quite short, a lot of the endings are bad and you die often unless you had the foresight to grab certain items. There are checkpoints and the game is short enough that restarting isn’t a huge bother. The game keeps track of what endings you’ve seen including ones where you die so it’s fun to try to find new and creative ways to kill yourself which isn’t something that often happens in a game.

Screenshot_2015-03-05-12-48-40This is Not a Test unfortunately features ads. While you’re working your way through the story and trying to immerse yourself in the world an ad banner is flashing away at the top of the screen. The ad isn’t even static; it is constantly moving and changing, trying to get your attention which is a superb way to distract someone when they’re trying to read. Removing the ad is part of the game’s solitary IAP, which is a $2.50 fee to remove ads as well as display color artwork rather than black and white. This is totally worth the cost.

Some of the endings in TINT make no sense at all. For example in one ending you’re trapped in a house that fills with gas, suffocating you. The problem with this is that I had already picked up a gas mask early in the game and had it with me still. Apparently, my character just decided to not use the gas mask he bought hours beforehand. There was no option to use it either. What the?

This Is Not a Test is worth a read, but it is nowhere near as good as a far more advanced game like Overlive and the writing and logic leave much to be deserved. Still, it’s certainly not a bad romp.

13 Coins Motion Comic App with Art by Eisner Award Winner Simon Bisley Now on Android

13 Coins Motion Comic App with Art by Eisner Award Winner Simon Bisley Now on Android

Apr 29, 2014

13 Coins, an original motion comic designed for mobile devices, is now available for Android. The comic features art by Simon Bisley, an Eisner Award winner for his work on Judgment on Gotham, and writers Martin Brennan and Michael B. Jackson. The app makes use of its interactive nature for things like 3D effects, as seen in this Vine video. The app is available now on Google Play and the Amazon Appstore.

Injustice: Gods Among Us Review

Injustice: Gods Among Us Review

Dec 4, 2013

While mobile users are always calling for console and PC games to make their way onto their phones or tablets, one must be careful what they wish for. Not every type of game can make the seamless transition from a console or computer onto the touch screen of your Android device. Fighting games especially don’t have the best transition to mobile, with Injustice: Gods Among Us being no exception to this.

It’s not to say that Injustice is a bad game on mobile. But if you are looking for the mobile version to be anything like what the console experience gives players, you will be sorely disappointed. The game devolves into nothing more than a button mashing experience, with very little variety in the attacks and moves your meta-humans can perform. The only variance is the super attacks, which can only be performed when the power meter is filled.

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Likewise, the mobile version of Injustice also lacks the story line that’s contained within the console version of this game. This leaves Injustice just feeling like another fighting game. Additionally, all battles are 3-on-3, not the 1 versus 1 fights that you’d see from the regular version. This leaves some very interesting pairings of characters, mixing villains and heroes alike in an interesting usage of the CCG model within a fighting game. But with a lack of plot, it doesn’t matter all that much.

Fans of both DC Comics and the console iteration of Injustice will also notice some key characters missing from the mobile versions. Among them, Aquaman, Hawkgirl, Killer Frost, and a couple of others. You will notice however, that the mobile version has included powerups for purchase for the various characters, including for some, companions who boost that particular character’s stats. For example, Poison Ivy is a stat boost for Harley Quinn, though the botanical super villainess herself does not appear as a playable character.

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Yet another complaint many users may have is that this rendition of the popular DC Comics fighting game is a free to play title. While no one will be hindered in the game by not spending any real world money, it will take some time and dedication to earn enough in game currency to unlock more popular characters, such as Superman or Batman. Playing the game and defeating enough tiers will also unlock characters, using them to reward the player, rather than forcing them to purchase every hero they’d want to use.

Despite its shortcomings, the Android version of Injustice: Gods Among Us serves as a great companion game to the console version, and should not be considered a direct port. While the iteration playable on phones and tablets falls short in many of the features that console game gives players, it nonetheless both enhances the console game, by linking your WB account with your mobile device and gaming console, as well as giving players bonuses within the mobile version for having played Injustice on the Xbox 360 or PS3. As far as playing the game on its own though, players will eventually grow tired of the repetition, probably not sticking with the mobile version unless they’re dedicated to rising up the ranks on their console.

Middle Manager of Justice Review

Middle Manager of Justice Review

Dec 3, 2013

I have to say, Middle Manager of Justice is a pretty different take on the superhero game. Instead of being the superhero all of the time and fighting the evil, this game takes the role of the organizer. The person behind the scenes who manages all of the paperwork and all the stuff the superstars don’t have time to deal with.

What I liked about Middle Manager of Justice was the different angle it took. Usually games involving the games out there involving super heroes, the game is usually played from the point of view of the super hero or the villain, not a third party like an office manager.

middle-manager-of-justice-5Starting out, a hero needs to be recruited. There are a few to choose from in the beginning but the choices increase and change as the game moves forward and the manager can afford more. Right away, there are a couple of bad guys to fight. Give it a whirl and see how it goes.

When the heroes are not fighting bad guys or saving people from other mishaps, they hang out at the office. The office has a place for them to rest and regain health. Also, there are places to learn more and gain skills.

Playing as the manager, there are also specific skills and abilities to increase productivity and earn more when the heroes sent out to do the good deeds.

I like how the fights are on autopilot for the most part. A few actions like using special items or abilities are controlled by the player.

I have to say Middle Manager of Justice is a pretty fun take on the superhero game genre. I like how there is a lot to do but it’s not focused on the action like most super hero games. When playing, it’s easy to get lost in the game and I found it pretty replayable.

Injustice: Gods Among Us Bursts Its Way onto Android

Injustice: Gods Among Us Bursts Its Way onto Android

Nov 25, 2013

One of the biggest console titles to come out this year, Injustice: Gods Among Us, has finally hit the Google Play store after enjoying a ton of success as a free to play title on the iOS App Store.

Much like its Apple equivalent, the Android version of Injustice features a collectable card mechanic as well as tap screen game controls to get your favorite DC heroes and villains to fight one another.

Injustice: Gods Among Us, brought to you by the creators of Mortal Kombat, is now available as a free to play title on most Android devices. Android users, if you ever wanted to see who’d win between Harley Quinn and Wonder Woman, here is your chance.

ComiXology Now Supporting eGift Cards

ComiXology Now Supporting eGift Cards

Nov 20, 2013

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The holidays are going to become a lot easier for the friends and family of comic-lovers, as ComiXology, the biggest, and arguably, the best platform for digital comics, now supports eGift Cards. Just buy a card from the official web-site, choose the recipient, and date of delivery, and that’s it. More about eGift cards can be read here: eGift Cards at ComiXology Website. Also: Comics by ComiXology on Google Play.

ComiXology Is Updated in Time for New York Comic Con 2013

ComiXology Is Updated in Time for New York Comic Con 2013

Oct 11, 2013

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ComiXology, which is a number-one app to read comics in digital format, is getting even better with a new update. The update features plenty of improvements – especially for the owners of Android systems. The main feature is Guilded View Native, which allows comic creators to immense readers in revolutionary new ways. You can see, which titles already support Guilded View on ComiXology Official Website. The android app can be downloaded from here: Comics On Google Play.

Garfield Kart Screenshots Revealed

Garfield Kart Screenshots Revealed

Oct 9, 2013

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An upcoming racing game, featuring everyone’s favorite orange lasagna-loving feline and his friends, just got some fresh screenshots. Not much other is known about the game, although the screenshots themselves are pretty informative. The game will be released on Android, among other platforms, somewhere in November 2013. Stay tuned for the updates!

Comixology Submit Puts Independent Comic Creators on Comixology

Comixology Submit Puts Independent Comic Creators on Comixology

Mar 11, 2013

One of the best apps for buying comics digitally, Comixology, has decided to open its door to independent comics creators with their new Comixology Submit program, as reported by IGN (via Cult of Android). What this lets those with comics that they want to distribute to the world is to submit to Comixology, which they will then curate to offer only the best selections. According to their FAQ, “The approval process is a work in progress. First and foremost, we want to maintain a level of professional content that comiXology users have come to expect from our platform. What the definition of professional content is will certainly be something that we refine as we progress into this brave new world.” So this is definitely something where

Once accepted by Comixology Submit, the comic is available in the same store as Marvel, DC, and other major comic publishers; issues of these comics are available wherever Comixology is available. This is big: consider what the open nature of app stores has done for independent developers, though Comixology is keeping a tighter grip on what they’re allowing in, presumably in the name of quality. As well, they’re keeping a bigger cut of the profits than what most app stores do with a 50-50 split, which is costly for distribution alone. Still, it’s easier than going through other methods, including the tried-and-usually-untrue Xerox method. Submission is also free, and creators retain the rights to their work. Those interested in submitting their work can do so here, and those who want to check out Comixology Submit works can do so from this link or check out the new featured section in the app.

NARR8 Brings Independent Motion Comics to Android Users

NARR8 Brings Independent Motion Comics to Android Users

Feb 20, 2013

Motion comics service NARR8 has finally launched on Android. What this app does is provide independent comics, mostly with fantasy and sci-fi bents (also, apparently a lot of anthropomorpic animals) to users for free. These aren’t just static comics, these are motion comics that incorporate animation and sound as part of an interactive production in order to help bring the stories to life. Motion comics have popped up in various sources, often in digital video stores as tie-ins to comic book movies. However, these are original stories being given the motion comic treatment. As well, all the stories are currently free, with new episodes of each story being released regularly. The app was previously iPad-only, but it now has a home on Android devices, including phones as well as tablets, it appears. The graphics are all optimized for HD devices, too. The app is free to download from Google Play, though it requires at minimum an Ice Cream Sandwich device, so some older tablet owners in particular may miss out.

ComicBook! Wants to Make Photos More Exciting. And Full of Panels.

ComicBook! Wants to Make Photos More Exciting. And Full of Panels.

Oct 22, 2012

3DTOPO has announced the availability of its app for turning real-life photos into a virtual comic book. Appropriately titled ComicBook!, this app lets users add their photos in to make their photos exciting, because a picture may say a thousand words, but the word “AWESOME!” in block letters says awesome like little else can.

There are specific artistic filters designed to make photos look like more like they were hand-drawn. Want a manga-style look? That’s a filter choice. There’s also one that resembles the Frank Miller classic Sin City. And of course, “Vibrant” will make things look more colorful. Text captions can be added in stereotypical comic book font to add some liveliness and playfulness to the photos. There’s a variety of panel layouts that photos can be laid out in as well. Once finished, the photos can be shared via Twitter or Facebook. After all, comics are best shared with other people. ComicBook! is available from Google Play.

Comixology Review

Comixology Review

Sep 21, 2012

There’s thoughts out there when it comes to internet media piracy that it’s a matter of access: if it’s easier to obtain content legitimately than it is to pay for it, then people will be more likely to not pirate it. Comixology may be one of the best examples of that. This service and Android app is designed to make it easy to buy and read the latest issues of comics from publishers both big and small.

Now, I’m hardly a dedicated comic reader – I had a Comixology account for reading some free issues of comics that publishers would put out to promote movies on said series, and the only real comics I buy are the Adventure Time comics (don’t laugh, the show is really good and the comics have a warped sense of humor that’s a great fit with the series). However, this app makes me wish that I actually was, because it makes it so easy to discover new comics and buy issues. The experience is seamless and so convenient. There’s plenty of free content

The app is available on iOS as well, and purchases sync over from device to device. What I did at one point after getting the free $25.00 Google Play credit for buying the Nexus 7 was to buy issues that I wanted. At one point, there was a price drop on the iOS store that wasn’t reflected on the Android store. I notified customer service, and the issue was solved in about an hour. Fantastic.

The Nexus 7 is great for reading comics on it. The vertical resolution appears to be about the size of a single vertical sheet of paper for many comics, and the pixel depth is enough to where a lot of text is clear and legible. In the few cases where it isn’t, double-tapping on a panel will bring it into “Guided View” which will focus on just that one panel.

Pretty much my only complaint with Comixology is that the app could make it easier to find out when new issues of series in my library are availble. Right now, I have to search manually for new issues instead of being able to just tap a button and find out if they’re now available. Some issues are available as “digital firsts” which seems to indicate that Comixology’s library is not complete, but this sounds more like an issue with the publishers, rather than with the service.

Still, as a burgeoning comic aficionado, there’s a lot to love with Comixology. I don’t know how much this app is contributing toward combating piracy, but for me, it sure beats every other alternative.