Monsters Ate My Birthday Cake Review

Monsters Ate My Birthday Cake Review

Jun 27, 2014

Monsters Ate My Birthday Cake is a Kickstarted puzzle collaboration between SleepNinja Games and Cartoon Network The game is self-described as being like Legend of Zelda, and that specific description is apt. The 2D stylings are whimsically implemented, with cutscenes and dialog boxes used to move the gameplay along. The intro action kind of plods along, but as soon as one gets through that, the backstory catapults us into the digital quest. Our protagonist is a young boy named Niko, who, upon wanting to experience the renown glory of cake for breakfast on his birthday, finds that his cake has been stolen by the Boogin King and his cohorts in a fit of “cakelust.”

Accompanied by his trusty canine companion, Niko looks to save all treats by looking to best the Boogin King. In practice, this is done by solving puzzles presented in the leveled series. It starts off simple enough to highlightmon1 the controls: tapping and dragging to guide the movement of our hero.

The first few levels introduce the top-down view and the escalating mind-benders, most of which involve getting from point A to B. B is usually a piece of cake and/or some coinage. In between both points is an obstacle or two… a river, spikes, etc. The spikes are generally controllable by pressure plates, but the trick is to keep constant pressure to keep them down. To do this, the random block structures come in handy, as they can be pushed or pulled over the pressure plate. Then, the cake piece (and other goodies can be retrieved, and the level is completed.

As the game goes on, more elements are added, like helper monsters and timed levels. There’s plenty of stuff to unlock (including costumes) and fantasy lands to explore. It comes together nicely without being cheesy, and is familiar without being overdone; the game flows well in most parts, and escalates naturally. The puzzles do feel somewhat formulaic at times, and the intro dialogue somewhat bogs down the gameplay at the beginning, though. I did enjoy the simple graphics, as they lend a bit of charm to the overall atmosphere. I also think that while the control mechanism can be stubborn in places, it is far from unusable.

It’s a fun experience, with several elements to enjoy in chunks or small morsels.

Crowdfunding Spotlight: Dungeon Bash on Kickstarter

Crowdfunding Spotlight: Dungeon Bash on Kickstarter

Mar 19, 2014

After a few weeks over at IndieGoGo, AndroidRundown’s Crowdfunding Spotlight returns to its roots to spotlight an interesting new Kickstarter project called Dungeon Bash. As its name implies Dungeon Bash is an RPG dungeon crawler that aims to tweak the familiar formula by switching it up upon every play through. Steven Mathers is the developer who has created this game, and Dungeon Bash is his way of attempting to breathe new life into a beloved genera that is generally forgotten on mobile devices. Every time a new game loads up the player is assigned two random companions that can range from a wolf and troll to a slime monster and a mage. Only by working together as a team; as opposed to one strong leader with useful companions, will this trio make it out successfully.

As stated above, a big emphasis of the game is placed on working in unity with the two other assigned companions, and since this is all random each game can take on a different shape and force the player to progress slightly differently with each play through. Looking at the video on Steven’s Kickstarter page the game does not look like very much, but that is to be expected as there is nobody in charge of art direction at the moment. This is what the campaign aims to fund, and the entire coding half of the game has already been completed and tested. This is basically a finished game just in need of a fresh coat of paint.

While I am personally not a big dungeon crawler fan, I can certainly respect the genre and being a fan of games in general the simplicity of this game is sure to appeal to a very wide audience and not just those who grew up with Diablo etched into their hard drives. As it stands at the time of writing, Dungeon Bash is currently about 13% of the way to their goal with about 23 days remaining. This has to be a fairly promising start as there is still plenty of time to go. So consider giving what’s possible and help add the finishing touches to a fundamentally great game.

Tiny Legends: Heroes Review

Tiny Legends: Heroes Review

Aug 8, 2013

Tiny Legends is a pretty lengthy series of games of absolutely different genres, united with the common simplistic Minecraft-esque blocky graphics style. Tiny Legends: Heroes is a tactical arena action title, not unlike many other games of this genre. The story isn’t really important, as the brave heroes fight against dark forces in a fantasy world for another damn time. Tiny Legends: Heroes bets everything on the gameplay, and is quite successful at it, even if it’s not that unusual.

Tiny Legends: Heroes consists of three main parts: roaming the dungeon, fighting monsters, and resupplying at a camp. The camp part is quite simple: player can buy, sell, and equip various weapons and armor for the party members, buy and equip skills for the party members, and buy and exchange the party members themselves, spending gold that is earned from the dungeon. Although Tiny Legends: Heroes is free-to-play, meaning that the best clothes, skills, and party members are only available to the paying crowd, there’s no strong paywall. Even when the game starts being difficult, there’s nothing to stop the player from grinding levels and gold on earlier monsters.

Tiny Legends Heroes 2Dungeon roaming and monster-fighting are two parts of the same process. The player goes into a dungeon with a party of three that are displayed as one in the dungeon. The dungeon is filled with monsters and treasure. Picking the latter up simply grants some gold and loot, while coming into contact with the former will trigger a battle phase, not unlike Final Fantasy VII.

In the battle phase, all three heroes are standing on the single screen, while waves of monsters come at them from behind the borders, with the clear goal to knock their heads clean off. The heroes should be controlled by tapping on one of them, and dragging the finger onto the ground to move, onto a monster to attack him, or onto another hero, if cleric is selected, to heal him. Besides primary attacks, which differ by the hero type, each of them can learn several passive and active abilities, should they reach a required level. The active abilities need to be recharged before activating them again, while magic-wielding heroes also have a mana pool which needs to refill, before re-casting a spell. Although the whole battling process becomes quite monotonous after a while, wide range of heroes, equipment and skills allow Tiny Legends: Heroes to still be interesting.

Block Rogue Review

Block Rogue Review

Jun 27, 2011

Smartphones are getting more and more powerful. Even now, as I type this, there’ll be scientists and engineers working out how to fit more powerful chips into smaller spaces, and working out the possibility of our phones becoming sentient and taking over the world in a terrifying robotic coup.

But all of that power is useless if it’s used incorrectly. Polygons and frame rates and anti-aliasing are just jargon-y words if the game they’re wrapped around is a bit rubbish. Just because a device can emulate N64 games, it doesn’t mean that it should all of the time. Take Block Rogue, for example.

It’s a beautifully simple puzzle game, presented with hardly any visual pizzazz, and yet it still manages to be more endearing than a bucket full of manly 3D shooters. You play as the eponymous rogue, and your job is to slide a number of blocks into the right squares in order to unlock the dungeon room you’re in and move onto the next.

There are hundreds of rooms to work your way through, though in story mode you’ll only go through 25 of them in one game. The controls are slick and original, with slow finger swipes in the desired direction moving your little rogue around the level.

The game finds just the right balance between cuteness, great gameplay and humor. There’s a magic mirror on hand to relay the story to you via short, jokey snippets and short levels means the game fits perfectly into those quick-snatch gaming sessions that smartphones do so well.

Block Rogue is the sort of game that you start playing of an evening, then don’t stop. It’s brilliantly addictive, weaving a charming spell that entangles itself with your brain and your heart. The twee stylings may not be for everyone, and the controls do take a little bit of getting used to, but those are minor hurdles in the way of Block Rogue’s triumphant sprint to classic-app status.