Rapala Fishing – Daily Catch Review

Rapala Fishing – Daily Catch Review

Feb 11, 2016

Rapala Fishing – Daily Catch is an interesting-looking fishing sim from cross-platform powerhouse Concrete Software.

To start, the game is played in portrait; it packs in a lot of mature graphics that make use of well-blended colors. As with most fishing games, a lot of the visual output is defined by the virtual underwater experience, and in this one, the water scenes are well done, from the graceful movement of the inhabitants to the sustained murkiness all the way to the engulfing bubbles. It’s very creative, and melds looks with sound to effectively underscore the experience.rapala3

The fishing itself involves cool locations, and after selecting one, one can select a Solo Trip, Tournaments or peruse the Record books, like any serious angler would. Selecting “Solo” allows one to get to go through fishing challenges for a set period of time. Challenges include catching a number of species present, and this mode serves as an excellent beginners proving grounds.

After selecting a challenge, one is presented with a screen that has the equipment to be used, and it’s off to to the sport.

One casts by gesture swiping the lure into a hotspot, and as soon as the lure breaks the surface, the game view shifts to underwater, and one gets to shake the lure to get the fish to bite. As soon as one does, one needs to use the game mechanism to reel it in; said mechanism includes sliding the reel, knowing when to pull hard or relieve tension (using green/yellow/red imagery) and such. Success earns game currency.

The thing is, there are several different fish, and one needs to have the right equipment, and even use the right lure sequences to get the right one. As such, the game cash (and real cash, if one so desires) can be an important factor with regards to moving on.

Competition mode requires Facebook access.

The game works because the controls are fairly easy to understand and manipulate, with intuitive color-coding that denotes active occurrences that require attention. Also, the gameplay mechanism isn’t too complicated, and still manages to avoid being too illogical. It does require a tiny bit of skill with regards to being successful over time, but is simple enough to be enjoyed across generations.

Well worth the free look, in our opinion. Go ahead. Check it out.

Rapala Fishing – Daily Catch Arrives on Google Play

Rapala Fishing – Daily Catch Arrives on Google Play

Feb 4, 2016

There’s a new fishing game in town — Rapala Fishing – Daily Catch — courtesy of veteran mobile developer and distributor Concrete Software.

Get hooked with Rapala® Fishing – Daily Catch! Experience the thrill of catching a variety of freshwater fish while immersing yourself in beautiful 3D locations across North America. Fill your tackle box with authentic Rapala gear to lure in the big ones. Improve your skills by finding the right combination of tackle, retrieval motion, and lake locations to catch bigger fish each outing. Compete against your friends and other anglers from around the world in daily challenges and online tournaments. It’s not just real fishing it’s Rapala real.
• Realistic 3D freshwater fishing with dozens of real Rapala® Lures
• Simple and intuitive interface and controls
• Unlimited fishing! Fish all day without timers or energy to restrict your gameplay
• Compete in daily fishing tournaments against anglers from all over the world
• Return each day to sell your catch and collect your rewards
• Seamless above & below water gameplay
• Show off your best catches with the world with EveryPlay

We’ve always loved Concrete offerings, so we’ll be looking forward to check this out.

The app is free (with in-app purchasing) on the Play Store.

Wordsplosion Review

Wordsplosion Review

Mar 8, 2013

Wordsplosion from (Concrete Software) is a word guessing game that taxes the patience, gets fingernails bitten and raises blood pressure.

In a good way.

It was a pulse-racing game of pick five with a limited amount of tries set against a clock. To win, I had to take the opening hint (I got the first letter) and figure out the remaining four. A wrong guess or a time out counted as a try, so it kind of made sense to guess valid words with the hope of picking up a few more right letters. The correct letters were set aside even if I guessed a word that had them in the wrong position; to explain, if the correct word was “BURST” and I guessed “BRAWN” instead, the “R” was retained in a hold space above the guessing grid. In this way, it was possible to narrow down the alphabet and create a word scramble of sorts. I also got hints, and success yielded more hints.

I got to keep on going as far as I could go as long as I did not miss five words overall. Correct guesses and streaks earned me points. The game did seem to possess an expansive dictionary as well.

When Concrete Software does things, it usually comes correct. The graphics in this game mirrored standard Concrete fare; the game looked very, very good, with explosive animations denoting success and dismal flagged signs signifying defeat. The blue background was perfect for the game show feel, and the little things (like the bubble encasing correctly guessed words) looked vibrant. The sounds were equally explosive.

The game came in freemium flavor, and I appreciated that ads could be removed via in-app purchase. I also liked the built in Twitter and Facebook sharing functionality. The leaderboard was another nice touch.

Again, another nice title from Concrete, and again, what did I expect?

PBA Championship Review

PBA Championship Review

Jan 17, 2013

PBA Championship is an expanded 3-D bowling adventure from Concrete Software, the folks who brought us PBA Bowling 2. In this iteration, longevity and skill is the name of the game, and winning is the way to the top.

I loved the graphics in the original, and was still pleasantly surprised by the detail added to the look of the newer title. As in the original we reviewed, I liked the sharp use of colors, and how even reflections in the polished lane were rendered. The look of the bowling lanes next door, for instance, conveyed the same realism that the world championship lanes did, while, somehow, also highlighting the differences in the lanes. Concrete generally does quite well in the graphics department, and PBA Championship is no exception.

Sound-wise, this game also excelled. Don’t pipe the game sounds around someone who is sleeping; they might sleepwalk into bowling stance. The sound of the ball bouncing and hitting the pins is exceptionally realistic, and adds an aura of realness to the game.

Being good mattered. In basic gameplay, I had to play my way to the top. Starting with local contests in the neighborhood Mom and Pop’s lanes, I looked to win money and entry into more prestigious tournaments. To advance, I had to place in the top three and earn prize tickets (which also allowed me to buy stuff in the in-app store). To bowl, I positioned the ball at the top of the lane, and swiped to produce pace. Tilting the device provided spin, and the physics of the game made sense with regards to this amateur’s understanding of true bowling. Hitting the top pin dead on was great, but sometimes, angled contact brought about the best results.

There were some funky power-ups, including bombs and dual balls, adding to the fun.

Scoring followed the classic format, with spares making the occasional dastardly appearance. I would have loved for a training module and some sort of multi-player gameplay to expand on the fun factor.

In PBA Championship, Concrete brings great bowling gaming to the masses. Again. Thank you.

Jellyflop Review

Jellyflop Review

Oct 18, 2012

Physics-based games appear easy from afar but is actually harder than one expects. With Jellyflop‘s wholesome and humorous approach, it’s even more difficult to take it seriously. But this game is serious despite its sillyness. Jellyflop may be yet another incarnation of too many games which need gravity as a villain, but it somehow manages to stand out and thoroughly entertain anyone who’s up for a fun yet mindful challenge.

In this game, the player has to help Jelly collect feathers so it can fly. Yes, this jellyfish ultimately wants to fly, but it can only bounce around for now while it gathers enough feathers. Jelly needs to be maneuvered towards the feather by drawing lines. Unlike other physics game where the objects are fixed and the player is limited only to position them, Jellyflop allows the player to draw the lines before deciding where to put them. This is something new that the game offers and it proves to be a welcome change.

As in any puzzle game, the player has to complete stages to advance to the next world. The game has a few worlds, but with lots of levels for each. It’s necessary to collect at least one water droplet on each level to unlock the next stage. Water droplets also serve as money in this game, and they can be used for purchasing items for Jelly.

The real challenge of the game is knowing where to draw lines and how long or short they should be. One clever rule with this game is the limited length of lines you can draw, as indicated by a meter on the bottom left corner of the screen. This forces the player to really think twice before drawing just any line.

Gameplay is extremely simple, which involves drawing lines across the screen and then pressing the Play button on the bottom right corner. If the first deployment is unsuccessful, the player can hit the Stop button (where the Play used to be) and try again. Performance is smooth and went without hitches, and with high quality graphics, that’s all anyone can ever ask for.

Achievements come in the form of stylish hats, which are unlocked as the player completes certain levels in the game. Some hats are merely decorative, while others provide Jelly with added moving abilities. This may not be too obvious in the beginning, but as one plays the game it becomes clear that there is a difference with the way Jelly moves depending on which hat it’s wearing.

One of the reasons this game stands out is its attractive graphics with cute characters (even the shark looks friendly) and vibrant graphics. This overall kid-friendly design makes it a safe game for young children to play, particularly those who are just learning about gravity and physics.

Sharing options include Facebook, Twitter and a leaderboard hosted by the game developer, Concrete Software. This game is ad-supported, with an option to remove them.

Jellyflop is a cool new physics game that adds a bit more creativity for the genre and playing it feels refreshing and fun.

PBA Bowling 2 Review

PBA Bowling 2 Review

Oct 8, 2012

Anyone who thinks bowling is boring has never seen Pete Weber in action. That cat is crazy. He is my type of bowler. [Editor’s Note: Oh my god, this guy is the best. Watch those videos.]

PBA Bowling 2 brings the game, the lanes, Pete and his cronies to handheld devices. Concrete Software is no slouch when it comes to high quality graphics, and, at the very least, I think Concrete lives up to its reputation with this title.

First… the look and feel. Wow. I almost literally could smell the oil on the lanes. I thought a lot of detail was put into the graphics, and it was reflected in the rich imagery. The animations were also beautifully done. Anyone who has bowled knows the unique situation of not completely knocking down a pin that somehow wobbles out of place, but yet stays upright. I found this replicated on PBA Bowling 2. The developer was also able to toss in locations from the Lumber Liquidators and Tour to up the realism quotient.

Now, if there is one thing that I have to keep coming back to, it will be the detail. From the reflection of the pins, through to the artistic perspective of the gutters, to the movement of the pinsetter… everything looked and “felt” pretty good to me. Bowling itself was initiated by the flick of a finger, and controlling the handheld device did the rest.

The gameplay was split (see what I did there?) into three levels of play. There were also there missed of play: single game, spare challenge, and my favorite… championship. In championship mode, I got to go against the best in the game in single elimination games. It is quite easy to get caught up in the play, and by adding in unlockable achievements and rewards, the developer made me more willing to spend time trying to beat the simulated pros. I loved the special bowling balls that I could make for single game mode too.

The social element was a nice feature, with interactive leaderboards and a personal high score list for local play, which served as motivation.

I wish a game this fun had some sort of multiplayer functionality built-in. On a practical level, it may be hard to go ten-pin bowling with family remotely, but I still think multiplayer would have been a great addition.

I don’t know that I’d beat Pete Weber in real life, and so far, he has beaten me every time in virtual-land. But I’m sure I’ll get him eventually… in a hail of turkeys.

PBA Bowling 2 gives me hope.

Aces 3D Brick Breaker Review

Aces 3D Brick Breaker Review

Sep 19, 2012

For the uninitiated, it may take a while to understand: Brick Breaker is a way of life. The original game cut its teeth in boardrooms around the world as a stock staple on modern BlackBerry devices, and has spawned a loyal following of paddle-sliding, brick-smashing aficionados world-wide.

There have since been many iterations on different platforms, but Aces 3D Brick Breaker from Concrete Software is one that I found is worth a second look. Or two. Or twelve.

The concept is mostly the same. I use a paddle to direct a ball to break bricks, while also preventing the ball from getting past the paddle. However, the Concrete Software version does the unthinkable; it creates a realistic 3D environment. In one scene, I was in what looked like a construction foundation with a transparent bat smashing at bricks. And there are more themed scenes to enjoy as the game progresses.

In this version, the ball came right at me, which changed the perspective of the game way more than I could have envisaged. It did take some getting used to, but the developers did a good job of using simple artistic perspective (like gradually increasing size of a returning ball) to make the game more life-like.

I found the power-ups to be innovative; they made the original BB port fun. But these ain’t your Uncle Hank’s basic power-ups . No sir. The power-ups range from staccato-sounding Shotgun to reflex-resting Force Field. The power-ups added a challenging — yet achievable — level of difficulty for me, which was good. Besides bricks and power-ups, there were high-scoring gems that yielded points too.

As in the original, I completed a level by disposing of all the bricks, regardless of score. Still, points are the name of the game, because my rep is based off my high score, and there is an online chart where I could compare my prowess to other brick damaging geniuses.

I was fairly impressed with this re-imagined version of brick breaker. While the controls did take some getting used to (even though, as noted, the developers made a valiant effort to include options to make tracking the ball easier), overall, it is a pretty cool interpretation of the game that makes it ever new.