Deadlock: Online Review

Deadlock: Online Review

Aug 11, 2015

Folks play mobile games for a variety of reasons.

Hang time with the friends. Bragging rights with family. Down time at school. Reviewing apps for a living (hello!).

One thing is for sure, we all come upon those days when taking on a game like Deadlock: Online is needed by of stress relief, and maybe even profound enjoyment beyond that.

It opens up easily enough, and feels like virtual battle of attrition; the player mans a combatant in an urban landscape, and the basic premise is to knock out your enemies and stay alive. To achieve this feel, the developer uses a top-down perspective. The control system is dual in nature, and, as noted, involved moving around and shooting enemy fighters.

The best part of the game has to be the options. There are different modes, including ones that help prepare one for the main event. One can go online or stay off, and there are quite a few weapons to upgrade to. Real money can be used, but isn’t mandatory.


It’s a straightforward affair, with intuitive pieces that bring it all together. One gets an experienced akin to a virtual paintball match and arcade trimmings. The online aspect is great, and the capture the flag option is especially poignant.

For a game of its potential, my biggest gripe is the control system. Usually, dual stick controls appeal to me, but the movement-aiming mechanism left something to be desired for my taste. I found it relatively easy to move, but the ability to direct fire did not feel as intuitive, and I think the virtual controls could be a bit more forgiving with regards to active area.


Also, the game would probably flow a lot better with more defensive elements like perches, or even the ability to use high risk/reward shots from distance. It is possible to sorta, kinda create a defensive stance, but if one is caught in the open, running seems like the only viable option.

It does create a fast-paced environment, and such does cover up a host of perceived ills. Add in the different modes and the basic concepts, and this one is easier to get into.

And to enjoy.

Meltdown, the Futuristic Loot-‘Em-Up with Online Cross-Platform Multiplayer Now Available: Video of the Day

Meltdown, the Futuristic Loot-‘Em-Up with Online Cross-Platform Multiplayer Now Available: Video of the Day

Nov 7, 2013

Bulkypix has a stylish new shoot ’em up that should please fans of games like Borderlands and Diablo with plenty of looting and hordes of enemies to defeat. This is Meltdown, and it’s featured as our video of the day.

The big hook is that the game supports online co-op. That’s right, a mobile game that actually supports playing with other people in real-time! It’s like seeing a unicorn! Well, don’t get over-gasped, because it also supports cross-platform multiplayer. As I decided to demo with Rob Rich of sister site 148Apps, he played with me on an iOS device, and me on an Android device, and after his internet issues got sorted out, we were able to rifle, shotgun, and chainsaw our robotic oppressors to bits. Games are all public and first come first serve, but it’s quick and easy to find other people on the same mission, and they can hop in mid-match. Also, the game is free-to-play, so players should be pretty easy to find. Android players can get the game from Google Play now, and watch our misadventures in online co-op below. See you online!

Age of Defenders Review

Age of Defenders Review

Nov 2, 2011

Age of Defenders is a tower defense game for Android tablets with far more than what most games in the genre have. This game features two types of gameplay: first is the tower defense part, where players erect towers in an open field to protect against oncoming enemy units. There are standard turrets, anti-air units, and units for increasing resource collection. The side that mixes things up is the offense side. See, the heart of the game is that actually the goal is not to survive a predetermined number of waves, but to try to take out the enemy base. To do this, resources can be allocated to attack units, which can then be sent out through one of four spots in the center of the map toward the enemy base. Choosing the righ lanes is important, in order to try and exploit weak spots in the opponent’s defense.

It’s wonderful to get a glimpse of the future with Age of Defenders. The cross-platform multiplayer works between iPad, Android, and web browser versions of the game. The game is the same across all platforms, and there’s no discernible difference in gameplay between platforms. As well, the fact that the game works in a web browser means that the player base is theoretically unlimited, and getting a player to play the game with is not difficult at all because of the lower barrier to entry. User accounts work no matter what device is logged in to, which is an added bonus.

The game’s kind of lacking for non-multiplayer content, as it only has 5 single-player “training” missions after the tutorial. As well, the missions are extremely challenging, so learning is definitely a trial by fire. More singleplayer levels, including some easier content early on, would be huge for getting players into the game before throwing them into the cross-platform multiplayer. While the game is designed for high-resolution screens, it’s a shame that most phones are left out of the fun because of the design, and only the latest Honeycomb tablets can support the game.

Age of Defenders is not only a novel twist on gameplay, doing tower offense well, but it is technically impressive as well. More cross-platform games for all of us!

The Hills Are Greener: Why Can’t We Be Friends?

The Hills Are Greener: Why Can’t We Be Friends?

Sep 19, 2011

It’s funny to think that while iOS and Android are these seeming rivals in the mobile market, there are developers out there asking why the two platforms can’t just make up and get along already? And by getting along, I mean in the most fun way possible – playing games with each other! There’s an uptick in the number of titles that are supporting play between their iOS and Android versions.

Recently-released Muffin Knight features cross-platform multiplayer that works perfectly between the disparate operating systems; one person just creates a server, and the other player can easily discover it and join. There are no compatibility issues, everything just works as it should. It’s a wonderful and fun experience. Star Legends, the MMO from Spacetime Studios, takes cross-platform play to a whole new extreme: by logging into the same account, the same character can be used, no matter what platform is used to log in. This makes Star Legends the first game I’ve played that can be played on all 4 of my primary mobile devices: my iPad, my iPod touch, my Android phone, and my Android tablet that I have access to. I can also play with people from around the world, and it doesn’t matter what platform they are on. It just works. This game is also why I harp on cloud-based saving for developers over on iOS, especially; if this game can let me carry my progress between different operating systems, why can’t I track my physics puzzler progress between platforms?

However, Apple may be one of the biggest stumbling blocks to the iOS and Android multiplayer compatibility lovefest. In particular, Game Center may be the biggest stumbling block, because it is exclusive to iOS. Muffin Knight, one of the aforementioned cross-platform games, will support online multiplayer through Game Center, excluding Android players from the fun. Game Center is sort of a double-edged sword for developers; for users, it’s the most intuitive experience, but it also locks games into that OS. OpenFeint does exist with cross-platform tools to make this a reality, but developers rarely ever integrate any Feint features beyond just standard leaderboards and achievements. At least one developer has intoned to me privately that this is because many OpenFeint features lack documentation for proper implementation.

The lack of quality cross-platform tools may be what ultimately dooms the hope of cross-platform multiplayer; either developers will be forced to develop their own tools for matchmaking, or be locked in to one platform, limiting the audience of their game. As more developers embark on the quest of cross-platform play, it will be interesting to see if new tools come out for developers to take advantage of the unique opportunities cross-platform play can provide them and their users.