Microsoft Solitaire Comes to Android

Microsoft Solitaire Comes to Android

Nov 25, 2016

Many a Generation Xer cut their gaming teeth on the simple set of applications on early iterations of Windows; several should have fond memories of Solitaire.

Now, the game is on Android, as Microsoft Solitaire Collection — just in time for the 25th anniversary of the game.

The new release incorporates five different types of solitaire card games: Pyramid, Klondike, Freecell, Spider and Tripeaks, giving folks an opportunity to play how they want to play.

The game also has daily challenges; it also packs in XBOX Live support, which allows friends to earn achievements and play with family and friends. Additionally, one can play seamlessly across Windows 10 and Android devices with the cloud saving feature.

And there’s more…

To mark the launch, Microsoft is giving out free month-long premium memberships. That means no ads PLUS game boosts and Double Coins for all daily challenges.

Hurry though… this offer ends on December 31, 2016.

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

Space Marshals 2 Review — the Mustachioed Space Cowboy is Back!

Space Marshals 2 Review — the Mustachioed Space Cowboy is Back!

Nov 25, 2016

Calm me down as my heart stutters. Space Marshals 2 is here.

See, the first one was awesome. It’s hard to m=nail down why. Was it the space cowboy storyline? The chapter-based gameplay? Or was it the lead character that would have Tom Selleck begging for an autograph? Either way, it is a game that still resonates.

The sequel manages to bring back all that goodness, with a dash of more that makes it even cooler.

The core gameplay remains similar to the first iteration. We get some backstory — our famed Marshal Burton and some comrades are stolen off the marshal transport Artemis while in stasis; they awaken at a mining colony. Seems like there is bounty on the Burton, and some enterprising space bandits are only too happy to collect.

The opening scene helps folks get in on the controls and take in the visuals. With the help pg TAMI, and AI mechanism, the player learns how to control the lead character (through leftwards gestures) and the shooting mechanism (which is by touch/targeting). The player has to roam about, collecting items, working minor puzzles and interacting with people and objects.

The action works through missions which are further broken down into tasks. Each mission as an overarching goal, and there might be additional extras to get at as well. A lot of the action involves taking out space pirates, and there is a logic with regards to the best way to tackle this. They generally roam around, and have a visual field of vision that moves with them. If the player is “seen” by the enemy, they start shooting, and that might bring more baddies running.

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To combat this, the game not only allows Burton to crouch into stealth mode, but he can actually creep around and, if the enemy’s back is turned, can dispatch them quietly. Or, one can take the bull by the horns and come in with guns blazing.

There are goodies to collect, and health and safety bonuses that can be used during missions.

The visuals help make this game pop. Fine animations, a hint of ragdoll physics and the landscape presentation make it all so becoming. Good guys are green, bad red and the oranges can go either way… interesting all round.

It’s hard to come back from a great game with a worthy sequel. This is how it’s done.

The Trail Review

The Trail Review

Nov 18, 2016

You might not believe you have a New World pioneering spirit deep down inside, but The Trail, a new-ish game under the Kongregate banner, just might have you doubting that surety.

This one has some great pedigree too, being another Peter Molyneux production; this one definitely reaches for the inner pilgrim; it’s set in a what feels like a newly populated land, and the player takes on the persona of one of the brave souls looking to make their fortune in the mostly uncharted territory.

The game begins with a very detailed, extensive tutorial; it leads one through selecting a character, and then gives the hint of a backstory which involves trail3the player arriving in the new land by ship. Thereafter, the game leads the player through the activities that hopefully ensure success. With the use of an in-game guide, the game slowly comes to life.

There is a lot of exploration; there are target destination in place, and the core idea is to make it to the checkpoints, replenish the life-source, and continue on. Secondary to that, there are plenty of mini-tasks to accomplish. One is collecting materials as one travels the pathways. This is very important, because this supplies the entire game, and involves things like collecting edibles and other things which can be crafted for trades.

This collection element is interestingly layered. After a while, one gets to do stuff like hack tree stumps and/or hunt game. There is also a resource management aspect; there is limited space to collect materials, so one needs to know what to carry or discard. Does one item have better trade-in or crafting value than another? Energy depletion is a real danger, so does one have an emergency snack onboard? Decisions, decisions…

These opportunity costs really make the game interesting. Stuff can be expedited with real cash, but play can go on without it. Progress unlocks more and more stuff, and the game continually unfolds, which is surprising for something that, at first glance, looks like a gingerly walk along the path. Take the trading battles for instance; losing is not to be condoned!

It comes together nicely; the graphics feel stilted at times, but the visuals do the job of adequately conveying the gameplay. All in all, it is easy to enjoy, and tough to put down; the combination of action, strategy and management make it easy to get addicted to.

Warlord Strike Launches on Google Play

Warlord Strike Launches on Google Play

Nov 18, 2016

Finally!

We’ve been keeping an eye out for it, and finally, Blind Mice’s new game Warlord Strike has landed on Google Play.

Yessir…

This one is a MOBA title, and calls on players to become the ultimate warlord; players get to select a team of up to five heroes and collect orbs to fight with. There are practice modes which allow players to perfect their craft, and also the opportunity to play with friends or random opponents in PvP battle.

The game is available, now for free (with in-app purchases), on Google Play.

Check out the trailer below:

[via Warlord Strike press page]

Chess Runner Gets an Update

Chess Runner Gets an Update

Nov 18, 2016

There aren’t too many games like Chess Runner — an innovative coupling of the strategy game and endless runner — and it is getting an update that keeps it interesting.

The new update brings new spiral and cube levels and expanded pawn march play.

As a lone white knight, players dodge enemy pieces in real-time on an obstacle course of Chess pieces in order to capture a runaway King or other black pieces. It’s a game that requires quick reflexes and a sharp eye to keep from being captured or from falling off a rapidly crumbling board. Chess Runner is the only game that captures the addictive nature of arcade play along with classic elements of Chess.

Sounds interesting!

The game — with the new build — is free (with in-app purchases) on Google Play.

Check out the trailer:

NYT Crosswords Comes to Android

NYT Crosswords Comes to Android

Nov 17, 2016

Crossword puzzle fans have a new target: NYTimes – Crossword is out on Android via Google Play.

The app presents the same puzzles that are featured in the paper; subscribers have access to the daily puzzle and the mini Daily puzzles. Additionally, subscribers can revisit archived passwords for more — 20 years worth, to be exact.

Subscribers also can enjoy the “Play Anywhere” feature, which allows them to play the same puzzle across multiple devices and on NYTimes.com.

The app’s Google Play page notes other goodies, like themed puzzle packs.

There is a 7-day trial; after this, folks can subscribe for $6.95 a month or $39.95 for a whole year.

[via PressRun]

Galaga Wars Review

Galaga Wars Review

Nov 14, 2016

Galaga Wars is an old-school experience built for a mobile generation.

Based on the eponymous arcade hit from decades ago, this one recreates a space shooter invasion scenario, and allows folks to partake of it on our varied smartdevices.

Definitely worth a look. On paper, at least.

It plays in portrait, and utilizes brazenly expressive graphics that pop and sizzle… almost literally. The player uses a continuous finger gesture to guide the ever-shooting spaceship as it battles a futuristic cadre of lethal, bug-shaped enemy that is eager to destroy the last vestiges of humanity.galaga3

It boils down to a war of attrition. The main job is to take out the enemy craft, which dive and swoop in intricately adventurous motions, sometimes while shooting. So, one must position the craft to take out the enemy, while avoiding run ending/delaying enemy fire. As the game goes on, the enemy craft get craftier, as does the fire, and the bosses add an interesting wrinkle.

Better stuff can be purchased in the app.

It’s simply laid forth, so much so that one need not have played the original to like it; indeed, its roots as an arcade space shooter allow it to retain an intuitive feel that make it especially easy to get into and enjoy. The microtransactions, while understandable, do blunt the upgrade experience; one almost wishes that coin accumulation, however prolonged, were an option with regards to getting better craft and attributes.

The control mechanism can be an obstacle sometimes, but that is a reality of games if this sort that use gestures. What one might lose in the area of complete view of the playing area might be gained in accuracy of control.

All in all, at first play, it comes across as a competent port, and it doesn’t rely too much on nostalgia to make its presence felt.

Just as well, because the blast to the past can then be an added benefit.

My Food Truck: World Challenge Zooms Onto Google Play

My Food Truck: World Challenge Zooms Onto Google Play

Nov 5, 2016

My Food Truck: World Challenge is a new game from Gamecubator Labs, and it on Google Play for our gaming pleasure.

This one is a food-themed match-three puzzler that tosses in travel and social sharing aspects. Per the Play Store:

*TRAVEL THE WORLD and match delicious dishes to make scrumptious combos spread across 250 levels.
*CHEF YOURSELF! Click a Selfie to become a chef yourself or choose from various avatars
*GAIN POPULARITY by sharing your fan count on social media
*ADDICTIVE MATCH 3 that combines your dream of world travel and cooking tasty dishes
*OWN THEMED FOOD TRUCKS as you progress and travel to more countries
*BECOME FAMOUS by collecting smilies from happy customers to increase your fan base in each country
*KNOW FUN FACTS about landmarks across 10 countries as you travel

Sounds fun! It’s free (with in-app purchases). Check out the trailer:

80s Arcade Hit Galaga Comes to Mobile

80s Arcade Hit Galaga Comes to Mobile

Nov 3, 2016

Galaga Wars, a mobile refresh of the arcade hit Galaga from yesteryear, is back — on Android.

This one definitely looks like a pleasant blast from the bast; the story arc is mostly unchanged: one ship looking to avoid extinction, taking on waves and waves of endless enemy fighters.

There are several powerups to exploit, and bosses to conquer.

It plays in landscape, and at first glance, easily envokes an arcade feel with its color patterns. The features (per Google Play excerpt):

● The authentic retro, sci-fi experience returns for Galaga’s 35th Anniversary
● Weave through endless waves of original enemies, including the Bee, Butterfly, Scorpion and a many more.
● Evade the treacherous tractor beam of Mother Galaga in battle against the huge alien boss!
● Play as Galaga fighter, as well as other legendary Namco starshipsincluding Xevious, Galaxian, Star Blade and many more.
● Double your firepower by rescuing captured friends ships and merging into twin mode
● Enhance your space-faring abilities by upgrading and levelling up your craft.
● Blast through alien waves with 4 unique abilities per ship including laser, explosive shot, space mines, ghost shield and more.

Galaga Wars is presented by Bandai Namco; it is free with micro-transactions. Check out the launch trailer:

Narcos: Cartel Wars Review

Narcos: Cartel Wars Review

Oct 14, 2016

How many of you, when you were sat there watching the critically acclaimed Netflix series Narcos, thought to yourself ‘this show would totally work as a Clash of Clans clone?’ I would have guessed the precisely 0 people thought this. I would have guessed wrong.

This is because Narcos: Cartel Wars is exactly that. Someone thought this would be a good idea, someone got a development team together and someone made this game. In fairness, it’s a pretty solid Clash of Clans clone but also in fairness, do we actually need another Clash of Clans clone?unnamed-2

You start off with a base and it’s up to you to build up your compound say that it eventually contains more buildings that make you more money. It’s not all about the money though. This is a game called Narcos after all, so you need to make sure you’re making plenty of ‘product’ too. Once you’ve made enough ‘product’ you can then ship it off and a real-world timer ticks down whilst your plane sets off to distribute your ‘product’.

The Clash of Clans comparisons continue in every aspect of base building, with ‘builders huts’ being premium items and three currencies all being involved in the expansion of your base. Just like Clans you need to place mines, watchtowers and other defences so that you and your base stay safe whilst your not playing.

Straying away from the clans formula is the way that you fight. To start with, you have one transport boat. Each transport boat has a ‘Sicario’ who is assigned to it and each ‘Sicario’ has their own unique troops and you should be able to guess at how the troops operate. Quick but weak gunners, slow but strong grenadiers, etc.

This is now the part of the review where, ideally, I’d talk about more of the unique features of Narcos: Cartel Wars. This is where, Ideally, I’d reveal a special mechanic that allows you, the reader, to forgive the game for its blatant emulating of an already established mobile game. This, sadly, is not an ideal situation.

Narcos: Cartel Wars does absolutely the bare minimum to make it unique. This game essentially is Clash of Clans but with a new lick of paint. Why that lick of paint is a critically acclaimed drama, I have absolutely no idea. This is about as fitting a tribute to Narcos as Candy Crush is to Downton Abbey.

I’m not saying Narcos: Cartel Wars is bad but what I am saying is that its design is lazy. This game, this EXACT game has been made dozens of times before and this whole title seems like a cynical cash-in on a popular TV show by simply remaking a popular mobile game.

It’s fine but it’s been done before. It’s been done many, many times before.


Stellacept Online Gets Update

Stellacept Online Gets Update

Oct 13, 2016

Uniquely named RPG thriller [SF]Stellacept Online[MMORPG] is getting a good-sized content update.

The details, per the press release, revolve aroumd a whole new mission:

Plenty of new weapons and a new mission have been added with this update.
The mission is a time attack called [Tensa Mayor Evolution] and which takes place on the special planet Capitata.
The monsters of this mission have some unique attack patterns.
The rewards are random items as well as exclusive creation materials.
Aim for the best time by cooperating with your friends and guild member.
Moreover, higher types of weapons have been implemented to defeat these new monsters.
This update will make your character stronger!

The game remains free (with in-app purchases) on Google Play.

Nitro Nation Online Revs Up New Content via Update

Nitro Nation Online Revs Up New Content via Update

Oct 13, 2016

Creative Mobile’s Nitro Nation Online is unveiling a new update that is available now.

This update brings a lot of new stuff… and we do mean a lot. We’re alking about new kits, new cars, a new driver, a new race track and more.

The game also has a new menu design, and Toyo Tires shows as a new event sponsor.

“The new lobby is fast,” says Lead Game Designer Ilia Mikailov. “The flat design gives quick and simple access to the main game options. We designed the new framework to be agile, so that we can continue adding new UI features in the future.”

For more update details, check out the Google Play changelog while downloading/updating.

Nitro Nation Online remains free (with in-app purchasing) on the Play Store.

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