The Abandoned Review

The Abandoned Review

Apr 30, 2016

Nothing beats the outdoor, especially when you don’t need to be outdoor… something like that. Safe capers come and go, and The Abandoned looks to be one Android users won’t forget soon.

It’s a survival adventure; to begin, the player is presented with a post-apocalyptic backstory. For an unknown reason, a part of the land becomes isolated, with weird happening and creatures in its dangerous, unexplored confines. The player takes on the persona of a helicopter passenger that is marooned in this area due to an accident.

The adventure begins.

The game is absorbed in first person (via landscape orientation), allowing one to consume the hi-def 3D graphics that define the gameplay; denizens of Minecraft might feel somewhat comfortable in the environment. It is an expressive representation, able to incorporate a natural feel with its deliberate use of colors. Animations are mostly smooth (despite the occasional stutter), and the use of highlights to help the gameplay along is relatively subtle. The sounds match the looks. Movement is facilitated by a liberal touch joystick.


There are three gameplay flavors (Story, Adventure and Survival); we couldn’t help but get into Story mode, which gives a great taste of the game. One starts wandering almost immediately… there are helpful dialogue boxes that provides hints and instructions, and it becomes apparent that, at the core, quickly completing tasks is a major element. With that, one learns how to collect materials, and then how to craft more complex tools, and even how to use them. Collected materials can be stored for future use.

Now, a lot of thought is put into the survival aspect; remember, this is the Exclusion Zone after all. One needs to find food, do rudimentary stuff like build fires and such, and create the tools to do so. In this sense, the elements are fairly interconnected, providing a logical sequence of actions. At the risk of being a spoiler one needs to watch one’s back, because there are a lot of unexplained creatures.

One can earn XP points, which can be used to improve one’s attributes.

It’s definitely an interesting going, with plenty of suspense and a heaping of implied creativity. It was temperamental in parts, but is overall a premium game, even with the optional extra in-app purchases.

Dead Effect 2 Review

Dead Effect 2 Review

Nov 4, 2015

Dead Effect 2 is here.

The ESS Meridian is our location, a large ark sent out on a colonization mission. Things go awry, and as in the original, the player takes on the persona of our hero.

To start out, one is allowed to pick a character from a stable of three; each has a special set of attributes, including weapons, abilities and even attitude

The action is delivered first-person style, so the player is able to take it in widescreen; the disembodied voice helps the player along and get used to the general aspects of gameplay, which loosely involves completing objectives and continuing on. The tasks are typical horror-RPG stuff: get here, do this, take out them, procure that.

The elements come together well, and that’s where the game makes its money. The first stanza serves as a tutorial of sorts, showing one hints of stuff to come and understanding how to collect things, heal oneself and more. As one progresses, one finds newer and tougher obstacles: zombies, enemy units and more.


If visuals are one’s thing, this game mostly delivers. The first person perspective is especially well done, providing an immersive entrance to the gameplay as a whole. The mechanics are equally fine-tuned; swinging around by gesture swipes is intuitive, and the virtual joystick that controls movement is fairly flexible; with a little bit of practice, it becomes easy to move around and get stuff accomplished.

The backgrounds are suitably grim, almost disturbingly so. The murky backgrounds are a mix of futuristic and grimy, with cavernous rooms filled with gadgetry interspersed with half consumed corpses, non-functioning lights and pooled water mixed with… yuck. The animations are well done, from the recoil of held firearms to the ominous approach of undead enemy. The sounds and graphics are great complements to the gameplay.

In the end, it feels like a worthy sequel, with nice enhancements that allow the game to feel familiar and fresh at the same time.

Dead Effect 2 Launches on Android

Dead Effect 2 Launches on Android

Nov 3, 2015

Looking for some intense FPS action? BadFly Interactive’s got you covered with the recent launch of Dead Effect 2.

Looking to push the boundaries of mobile gaming to another level, Dead Effect 2 is a console-quality action sci-fi shooter with RPG elements. Follow the enticing storyline, train and develop your character, collect and upgrade weapons, gear and high-tech body implants.


• breathtaking graphics using the latest Android & NVIDIA technology
• realistic ragdoll effects and stunning environments
• narrated by professional voice actors
• atmospheric soundtrack and movie-quality sound effects

• 3 personas = 3 different personalities
• character training and development
• unique system of 100+ upgradable body implants and gear sets
• 40+ upgradable weapons

• 20+ hours of campaign gameplay and 10+ hours of special missions
• elaborate system of achievements
• full controller support
• fully customizable on-screen controls

• Portable, TV and tablet
• X1 exclusive features: HDR, Depth of Field, high quality textures, bloom effects

The game is free (with in-app purchases); we are looking forward to getting our formal review in.

Range Shooter Review

Range Shooter Review

Oct 23, 2015

Range Shooter feels like an everyday FPS, but keys in on not getting overly complex.

The imagery isn’t too complex; it uses fixed colors and deliberate animations to move the gameplay along. It’s an interesting experience, and is able to incorporate visual perspective quite well, and it works well with the first person view and in the landscape orientation the game is presented in.

The game does provide several game modes: Survival, Challenge, Hostage Rescue, Time Attack and Missions. Each has it’s own unique twist on a basic premise, which is to shoot and take out targets.

Time Attack is the perfect avenue to get used to the game. As noted, it’s a first person shooter, in landscape. The playing area can be likened to a standard shooting range, with snap-op targets popping up downwind. In this challenge, a logically disembodied hand with a weapon dispenses justice, and the idea is to hit as many targets in the allotted time. The control system consists on a series of virtual buttons to the bottom right which control firing, reloading and such. The virtual sights can be manipulated by dragging on the screen such that a two-handed system works quite well: one hand for getting lined up, and the other for everything else. Easy to understand, with high scoring based on raw numbers and bonuses like intricacy of shots and such.


The other modes are similar; in the Hostage version, there are two sliding targets, one the hostage and the other an aggressor, and the idea is to take out the bad guys without hurting an innocent. In Survival, one has to deal with vicious animals coming ever so closer.

And so on…

When it comes to overall experience, the game wins points for retaining a sense of simplicity. It’s quite easy to consume, what with the first person perspective and intuitive aiming mechanism. The different modes and scenes help give the gameplay some depth.

Stick Squad 2 Review

Stick Squad 2 Review

Mar 13, 2015

Stick Squad 2 is another entry in the well-worn sniper genre on Android Is it worth a shot?

As for the actual gameplay Stick Squad 2 provides some pretty good sniping action. A simple control system lets you pan around the scope with a finger and there are buttons for fire and reload, although the reload button for whatever reason is very small. The rifle you use in Stick Squad 2 has a very small magazine so it’s important to a make your shots count. Head shots of course are instantly fatal while sloppy body shots usually requires multiple hits to kill enemies.

Screenshot_2015-02-27-18-48-34Only a few missions are unlocked at once and these must be completed to unlock more. Completing a mission awards a rating and three star rating are worth much more cash. Missing even one shot usually ends any chance of a three star rating, so like real sniping this game is all about precision. The missions vary wildly in fun and challenge. For every fun snipe fest with enemies there is another mission that is dull as dishwater, such as a target shooting mission. Blowing off heads is fun, but shooting static targets isn’t so much. These target shoots take place in the same levels as those used for enemies as well, so they really feel like filler.

Stick Squad 2 features an upgrade system for its guns. Coins earned in gameplay can be spent on weapons upgrades. These get expensive in a hurry but good play awards plenty of coins.

Graphically, Stick Squad 2 is slick. Unsurprisingly the game features plenty of stick figures yelling at each other and amusing/terrible voice acting. There is plenty of blood and good death animations and targets are easy enough to make out.

Stick Squad 2 is a fun game and since its free it’s worth a download for some head explody action.

Proxy42 Launches Pre-sale for its New AR First-Person Shooting Game

Proxy42 Launches Pre-sale for its New AR First-Person Shooting Game

Nov 10, 2014

With augmented reality games like Ingress grabbing a foothold in the mobile landscape, it’s obvious that the genre is a popular one. I think it is clear we’d love to see more.

As such, word that Proxy42 is launching the pre-order for its upcoming crowdfunded Father.IO game and associated “363R” Trigger accessory is something that is making us salivate.

The game is heavily dependent on the accessory piece, which seems to fit over Android devices; the device can then be used as a virtual weapon, creating a self-described laser-tag game. If the trailer and test videos are anything to go by, this should be an exceptionally interesting concept.

Folks interested in pre-ordering the $59 accessory can do so at the order site; there is also an associated referral system which can help defray that cost even further. The presale itself will be active for 30 days.

We look forward to hearing more about this game, and possibly trying it out.

Screenshot 1 _Father.IO

[Source: Father.IO Press Release]

Top Tank: Last Tank Standing Now Available on Android

Top Tank: Last Tank Standing Now Available on Android

Sep 26, 2014

NHN Entertainment has just released a new game for Android devices Top Tank: Last Tank Standing.

The game is a real-time FPS that allows for head-to-head combat, and also features a built-in upgrade mechanism. per the official PR release:

NHN Entertainment, a leading mobile game publisher and developer, announced that its newest game, Top Tank: Last Tank Standing, is now available on Google Play. Top Tank is a military-based FPS game that features a matchmaking system that pits players against each other in real-time, head-to-head shootouts worldwide. Players who master the easy-to-play, intuitive, tilt-control system with their mobile device can declare victory in battle and be crowned the Tank Commander.

Top Tank: Last Tank Standing was selected as ‘Google Play New & Updated Games of the Week’ shortly after its Global Launch. Top Tank is designed to engage mobile gamers of all types with its fun and immersive gameplay experience as they pimp their tanks and use them to battle against the strongest tankers around the globe.

The game is available for free (with in-app purchases) on the Play Store.

Battle Bears Ultimate Review

Battle Bears Ultimate Review

Jul 28, 2014

Battle Bears Ultimate is a first person team based deathmatch shooter with all the jumping and shooting veterans of Quake or Counter Strike would expect. Is it worth bear-ing with?

Screenshot_2014-07-25-00-56-03Battle Bears Ultimate is pretty light on play modes. Besides basic ranked team DM and unranked DM, the only other mode is Capture the Flag. The mian mode in Battle Bears Ultimate is Deathmatch, which features players running around trying to kill their opponents. Weapons are acquired between games from chests and are randomly awarded. Some players may have much worse or better weapons than other players.

Weapons are fairly limited as well. There are a few kinds of assault rifles, a few heavier weapons such as chainguns and a few explosive weapons like rocket launchers. While fun to use, there are no really interesting weapons.

Battle Bears Ultimate doesn’t play a particularly good game of Deathmatch, compared to the plethora of amazing online mobile FPS games like Modern Combat and Dead Trigger. It suffers from bouts of severe lag, poor weapon balancing and some poor maps that encourage camping more than a little. One map in particular has players begin in a small room and run down a ramp to enter the fray. It is very susceptible to one team simply being spawn camped the whole game.

Screenshot_2014-07-25-02-48-51Battle Bears Ultimate really embraces pay to win in a big way. The game uses a poorly though out system where the player is awarded chests during gameplay which contain a random prize, such as a new gun or a boost. Chests need keys to get the item. Keys are doled out one at a time when the player levels up. The only other way of acquiring keys is using real money, denying non-paying players the items.

The random nature of what’s in a chest is a pain as well. A chest might contain anything from an awesome weapon to a useless piece of clothing or other cosmetic object. This is especially bad for new players, who might unlock chests with useless items instead of desperately needed weapons. The default equipment new players get is no match at all for even the weakest weapons found in chests.

Battle Bears Ultimate looks pretty nice. It is amusing to see teddy bears running around blowing each other away and some of the maps have some interesting features in them. The map with a destroyed mountainous village with a flying sailing ship circling it and a futuristic city map stand out. The sound however is quite poor. Weapons sound weak and taunts and speech are very repetitive. The music salvages the sound a little bit as it’s very catchy.

Battle Bears Ultimate is a nearly unplayable FPS, mainly due to the haphazard way weapons are handed out and lag. It is certainly not worth playing when there are awesome multiplayer games like Modern Combat 4 around which provide hours of exciting gameplay with good weapons, exciting class based gameplay and no lopsided matchmaking. Battle Bears Ultimate might be fun for a few minutes, but its freemium features are its death knell.

Modern Combat 5: Blackout Review

Modern Combat 5: Blackout Review

Jul 28, 2014

The mighty Modern Combat series has long been one of the premiere shooters on mobile. While obviously aping Call of Duty, there is little argument that a series of well-made modern shooters is welcome on Android. Modern Combat 5: Blackout hopes to carry on the series of excellence and make Deathmatch loving gamers hot and bothered all over again.

Screenshot_2014-07-25-17-25-43Modern Combat 5 features a single player campaign but, unlike Modern Combat 4, it simply feels and literally is training for MP. In MC5 the player character is shared over MP and SP, so experience gained for killing enemies and beating missions in SP also boosts the player’s MP prospects.

The single player campaign is very similar to other modern shooters. There are terrorists, a sinister plot and plenty of turncoats and intrigue. The acting isn’t terrible, but it just pales compared to Modern Combat 4’s story.

Modern Combat 5’s gameplay is pretty much the same as MC4. There is cover to hide behind lots of enemies to fill full of lead and hostages to save. The biggest difference is that Modern Combat 5 features very short levels that are generally 2-3 minutes long. They are nowhere near as good as the 20-30 minute epics some missions in Modern Combat 4 turned into. Modern Combat 5’s missions feel too much like a collection of small rooms and isolated shootouts, rather than one homogeneous battle.

Screenshot_2014-07-28-04-30-03Between single player missions, the player is forced to grind though pointless side missions that must also be beaten to continue. These range from just killing all enemies, to killing all enemies and defusing a bomb. These missions are boring and simply serve as filler and experience fodder to gain levels.

Multiplayer is largely the same as Modern Combat 4, but since weapons unlock based on kills it’s much easier to focus on gaining a few weapons the player likes, rather than having to level up and arbitrarily be awarded new equipment. The wonky controls really make multiplayer feel like a crapshoot however. The matchmaking is fatally flawed. Level 5 players will be paired with any enemy at all, even lv 32 players who will effortlessly cap them.

Modern Combat 5 fails majority in the controls department. With no external controller support on release and loose, awkward touch controls, actually playing Modern Combat 5 with any kind of grace is exceedingly difficult. Things like sweeping your aim over to an enemy that just appeared takes a very long time and MP seems more luck based since the player can’t react very quickly without precise controls. MOGA support will likely improve the game a great deal.

Weapons in Modern Combat 5 just aren’t punchy or fun to use. Assault rifles have no recoil to speak off and sound very tinny and unimpressive. Shotguns lack a satisfying boom.

Modern Combat 5 is a competent, but unpolished entrant in the venerable Modern Combat series and for the price is tenuously worth a buy. Its issues will likely be tightened up with post release patches.

Overkill Mafia Review

Overkill Mafia Review

May 21, 2014

Overkill Mafia brings Chicago gangland to Android devices in a slick way. It is all about building a booze-based kingdom in the Prohibition-era Midwest.

First, the noire-comic style is easy on the eyes, with purposeful stills and sombre colors making up most of the visual feast. The game does a decent job of walking one through the gameplay: purchasing a weapon, upgrading its attributes and getting a little acquainted with the store. Then, its on to the action, and it gets poppin’ pretty fast.

It is an arcade shooter that is reflected in first person perspective; it sorta feels like those old-school circus pea shooters with targets sliding in from the side. The leveled gameplay is explained a bit better by the first stage, which is broken into 20 parts. It’s set into a bar that needs to be taken over — violently — and defending ok1hoodlums start sliding in at different levels. And yes, they are shooting.

To combat this, there is a sliding sighting mechanism at the bottom left, and a shooting button at the buttom right. Using both in conjunction allows one to dispatch the enemies, which move at different speeds and duck. Of course, getting rid of them accurately is of importance, as there are only so many hits a player can sustain before dying and failing the level. There are special bonuses that can be acquired by shooting, but, as to be expected, going for them when being fired upon is a tough decision. There is a reload button, which can be tweaked with cash, and it plays a part in the gameplay, as longer load times mean one can be shot at without returning fire.

As waves are beaten and levels are cleared, more environments and weapons are unlocked. The environments are familiar yet creative… distilleries, city streets, airports and the like.

The game incorporates quests and XP, so there are many angles to explore. The in-app store is full of upgrades, equipment and even clothes that tie into the gameplay.

All in all, I think the contexts could use a bit more streamlining; also, the upgrades are expansive, and mostly logical, but sometimes feel over-involved in some aspects.

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Dead Trigger 2 Gets An Update

Dead Trigger 2 Gets An Update

Dec 6, 2013

Everyone’s favorite free to play zombie shooter, Dead Trigger 2, has released yet another update. This one is a bit smaller than the previous one, but has a lot of new content for players, including 50 new game play zones, new African environments, and rebalanced zombies. There’s also, of course, the bug fix here and there.

Madfinger Games has also announced some new content coming soon, where players will get a chance to fight the undead hordes in the People’s Republic of China.

The update is available for free for anyone playing the game, or anyone who wishes to download this FPS thriller.

Escape from Doom Review

Escape from Doom Review

Oct 29, 2013

Escape from Doom is an endless runner that is set in the hot sands of Egypt past the era of the pharaohs. Basically, it’s a story of being transported to the pyramids during the grave-robbing 1920s, and having to escape the vengeful, dead mummified guards that still take their guard duties very, very seriously.

The perspective is first-person shooter, so most of the action is pretty much in the face from the get-go. The tutorial is pretty quick and straightforward, and gives insight into the controls and general gameplay. The default guiding mechanism involves generous tapping areas on the left and right of the screen that allow darting to the left or right, depending on the side draft. Beyond that, taps in the center elicit gunfire.

To play, the general premise is to collect goodies (by running into stuff like vases and chests) while avoiding or doom1capping marauding mummies. The mummies of a damage radius of sorts, and entering causes injury or death. Forward movement is automatic until a game ending bloody collision occurs. The goodies include upgrades, equipment and consumables like ammunition.

The gameplay incorporates a challenge system that usually rewards longevity of runs. Stuff like distance, mummies killed and the like are cumulative stats that can unlock other features or boosts when reached. The game awards gems for distance, and gems can be used to purchase perks as well. Such perks can be used in slots to gain advantages on runs. A lot of the weaponry is based on levels, but can be unlocked with treasure. And of course, the accumulation of treasure can be expedited by IAP, though I did not find real cash to be mandatory.

And the runs do increase in difficulty; the further the runs go, the darker it gets. Some mummies uncoil from the ground, making them hard to discern from the valuable vases. Different backdrops emerge and keep the game relatively fresh over time.

I like the graphics in this one. I could almost feel the sun-drenched sand in my eyes, and it is easy to appreciate the animations as exemplified by the bumbling opening sequence of every run. The visuals convey a sense of foreboding that mostly worked.

It’s the perfect runner for Halloween… and likely much beyond.