Fallout Shelter Review

Fallout Shelter Review

Aug 20, 2015

At last, Bethesda has released Fallout Shelter on the Android, and personally, I couldn’t be happier. Fallout series is almost as famous as Mario nowadays, so I don’t think I should describe it in-depth. Basically, it’s an RPG, set in a post nuclear apocalypse America, with a distinct cheerful 50-s style mashed together with a very dark atmosphere. Fallout Shelter is a minigame that’s set in one of the numerous iconic shelters that are scattered across America, some of them working as the only safe havens across the radioactive wasteland. The player is tasked with sustaining and expanding one of them, fighting off the horrors of the wasteland, while making his citizens happy, well-fed, and working their sorry asses off.

Fallout Shelter is a shining example of why the “economic simulators”, or, simply, Farmville clones, deserve every bit of criticism. It’s not in the genre. It’s all in Fallout Shelter 2how you treat it. From the mechanic point of view, Fallout Shelter is just an economic sim with a slight dash of action and RPG thrown in. But the game has all the right elements, and hits just the right balance, to the point where you don’t want to put it away, even if you don’t actually have to do anything. Maybe it’s because I’m a fan of Fallout, but there’s no doubt that this game is crafted with much care, and actually attempts to be engaging – with great results.

The general mechanics of Fallout Shelter aren’t that unique. The player needs to construct various rooms that provide the shelter with everything, starting from the basic needs like power, water, and food, to medkits, weapons, and a lot more. The trick is that each room needs to have at least one human operator to function, so the player needs to manage his residents, assigning them to the room that best suits their abilities. The residents themselves can be acquired either by wandering randomly from the wasteland, or by being born from one of the female residents. The residents can also explore the wasteland and scavenge for various goods, including the main currency – bottlecaps, clothes, weapons, and more. But the shelter also has to be protected on its own, as it often gets assaulted by radioactive roaches, raiders, and even more deadly things, roaming around the wasteland.

All in all, this game is almost frustratingly catchy. It catches with its style, actually challenging and intelligent gameplay, and with its nods to the other games from the Fallout universe. So, I’m sure that both fans of the mobile economic strategies, and the fans of the Fallout games, are going to find Fallout Shelter equally pleasing.

The Hobbit: Kingdoms Of Middle Earth Review

The Hobbit: Kingdoms Of Middle Earth Review

Jul 29, 2015

The Hobbit: Kingdoms Of Middle Earth (or, simply, Kingdoms) is a free-to-play economic strategy, set in the Lord Of The Rings setting. That’s, pretty much, it. It’s a straightforward FTP game, with everything you love (or hate) about the genre. It’s alright, although I’ve seen people complain that it’s somewhat buggy. I didn’t notice any bugs while playing, so they don’t influence the score. Anyway.

I have to say that I don’t have any strong feelings towards The Hobbit: Kingdoms. For the people who don’t know much about Farmville simulators – congrats on your life so far. Still, if you’re interested in this game, it has almost nothing to do with the Hobbit – or Lord Of The Rings, for that matter. It’s just a casual fantasy strategy game, filled with micro-transactions and wait times and surprisingly great graphics. The gist of the game is in management of a fantasy town. The town can be either elven, or dwarvish – the player chooses so at the beginning of the game. The game contains several resources that have to be extracted, using special buildings such as farms and quarries. These The Hobbit Kingdoms 2resources can then be spent on constructing additional buildings, or upgrades for the town’s economy, or army resources. The army is required to wage wars with goblins, rival kingdoms, or to attempt an attack at the legendary Smaug himself. The game has a lot of elements, and they seem to be working rather well together, even if the story and ties to The Hobbit movies seem a little hamfisted. The gameplay is alright, if you’re a fan of the genre. Although for some reason, I think that fans of The Hobbit movies would be alright with a more complex (and not free-to-play) game.

The best part about The Hobbit: Kingdoms is, undeniably, its graphics. The game looks absolutely majestic, the little buildings standing and forces moving about at your command. It’s not revolutionary, but it’s miles better than most of the FTP strategies currently about on Play Store. If anything, the art department surely tried their best here.

Overall, The Hobbit: Kingdoms is probably going to be appreciated by the fans of both Farmville simulators and Lord Of The Rings universe – at the same time, I don’t think that it’s for you if you like only one of those things.

Empires and Allies Review

Empires and Allies Review

Jul 16, 2015

It almost pains me to say it, but this Zynga-developed, free-to-play, unoriginal economic strategy that steals graphics from one game and mechanics from another, called Empires and Allies, is kind of fun. Now, before the sky falls right down on me, let me explain why.

To sum up its gameplay, it’s suffice to say that Empires and Allies is exactly like Clash Of Clans. It’s got all the same elements, the same battle structure and the same economics, only applied to a modern-day military setting. The player builds his base, trains units, and then attacks AI or player-controlled bases, in order to capture their resources. But, while the core of the game isn’t anything interesting, it still manages to capture attention.

There are three things that make Empires and Allies different – better, even – than Clash of Clans, and all of the titles that rip it off. First and foremost – it’s graphics. The game looks absolutely great. I am totally aware that it steals the graphics look of C&C Generals, but I think that it’s a vastly preferred option, compared to creating another generic fantasy crap. The units are all in glorious 3D, and the game looks absolutely top-notch, while still requiring relatively modest resources.

Second is the lack of energy bar. I may just be mistaken, and if so – feel free to correct me – but I haven’t noticed anything resembling that. I’ve completed a bunch of AI Empires and Allies 2missions in about five missions, and the only thing restricting me from doing more was that my army god beaten up and required new recruits.

The final part is the actual action. Most of the time, real-time parts of games like this are absolutely useless. The player chooses where to spawn his units, and from there he is basically absent. The abilities in those games might as well not be there. In Empires and Allies, though, the player is able to use his abilities at least once, and this can change the tide of battle – at least to some extent.

In the end, it’s just another free-to-play game, albeit with a nice quality to it. It’s still free-to-play, it still requires as much skill as it requires time and money if you want to get anywhere. But it succeeds in eradicating most of the irritating stuff, and it looks good. So, it definitely looks better than its competitor

DomiNations Review

DomiNations Review

Apr 22, 2015

DomiNations is a great example of how good game design can help support even the worst game genre there is. And I stand by my words, I still think free-to-play manager-type games are the worst game experiences there are, short of losing at russian roulette. While I can’t say that DomiNations does anything differently from the rest of the rabble, it looks merely like an irritating game, and not like a moldy carrot on a stick.

The game borrows heavily from both Civilization and Age of Empires, to the point where it’s basically both of those games, in their worst possible interpretations. Still, the worst interpretation of Age of Empires stands above most of the best manager simulators, which means that DomiNations is pretty interesting. The player has to manage his settlement, which operates on two primary resources: food and gold. They both can be obtained from the animals or structures around the player’s town, or from the enemy encampments, owned both by AI, and by the other players.

The town managing part doesn’t really have any issues. There’s a lot to do, a lot to build, and if you’re not worried about DomiNations 3waiting for a while to complete the construction, the game is pretty fun. It even has a sense of completion as you pillage the barbarians on a simple mission sequence. I dare say, the battles are a little bit strategic in nature, as the player gets to choose whereto spawn his troops, after assessing the structure of the enemy encampment, and can even ever-so-slightly control them. Basically, DomiNations plays like a very bad real-time-strategy, but again, compared to its free-to-play contemporaries, it’s the bee’s knees.

My problem with the game lies in the option to pillage the towns, owned by other players. There’s a huge part of city construction, devoted to defenses of your city, which obviously means that the players that pay for the game’s resources, get to obliterate the free-to-play cities without any consequences, while not getting touched themselves. I haven’t personally been attacked, but I hope that the damage the enemy deals during his attacks, leaves a mark only on your resources, or the game is pretty damn unfair.

All in all, I gotta say that DomiNations is a rather compelling free-to-play manager, at least compared to the other sims that populate the genre. It’s not lazy, it actually requires some sort of player interaction, and the concept of raising a civilization from its cradle, however stolen, is still pretty intriguing. Oh, and it doesn’t have the obnoxious popping resources that clutter half the screen, which is a huge thing. So, if you’re a fan of this sort of thing, I say give DomiNations a try, it’s definitely one of the better ones.

Flutter: Butterfly Sanctuary Released On Android

Flutter: Butterfly Sanctuary Released On Android

Dec 10, 2013

Flutter 3

Flutter: Butterfly Sanctuary, a therapeutic game about breeding and growing butterflies (and more), has been released on Android. It features lots of different kinds of butterflies and other little folks, all of which have to be supported through their growth, in a nice leafy environment. The game is available for free from here: Flutter: Butterfly Sanctuary on Google Play.

The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug Expansion Pack Released

The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug Expansion Pack Released

Dec 9, 2013

The Hobbit: Kingdoms 3

The original game is called The Hobbit: Kingdoms of Middle-earth, and it’s a free-to-play economic strategy of sorts. It’s now gotten an expansion pack that brings in the characters and other content from the upcoming second part of the trilogy. Battling Smaug will be enabled on the same date that the movie hits the theatres: 17th of December. The game can be downloaded for free from here: The Hobbit: Kingdoms on Google Play.

Greedy Grub Gets A Halloween Update

Greedy Grub Gets A Halloween Update

Oct 17, 2013

Greedy Grub 1

A popular economic strategy, Greedy Grub, just released an update that features lots of spooky content for upcoming Halloween. The update includes new trees, quests, and resources, new stories, and much more. Greedy Grub can be downloaded for free from here: Greedy Grub on Google Play.