NFL Kicker 13 Review

NFL Kicker 13 Review

Sep 13, 2012

In pro sports, the least-respected positions are the kickers. No one really has any emotions about them until they succeed, or fail miserably. Ask a Buffalo Bills fan about Scott Norwood. NFL Kicker 13 from Full Fat Games celebrates these players with a game of their very own. Using the flick controls established in Flick Golf, this game is about kicking field goals and even being an effective punter. Yes, the punters get into the action too!

There are two modes for field goal kicking, “In The Zone” and “Time Attack.” Each has the goal of kicking the ball through the uprights, with steadily-increasing wind. However, “In The Zone” is endless, and rewards players with higher multipliers for kicking into the gold section of the end zone. “Time Attack” lasts 60 seconds, and players increase their multiplier by kicking into the glowing zone, and can also increase time this way. “Coffin Corner” mode is a different challenge: players must punt the ball out of the end zone. There’s a bonus multiplier for doing this on a bounce, and an overall multiplier that increases for kicking it out of the gold section of the sideline that’s basically within the 1-yard line. Doing this nets extreme points, though.

The controls are still simple to use like they are in the other “Flick” games. It’s all about flicking upward with the right angle, and watching the ball sail. Applying english to the shots to make them just perfect is extremely satisfying when they help get a very high combo multiplier. The ability to play as a player from any NFL team is great. As a new Chicago resident with no previous affiliation, I must play as DA BEARS.

Now, the most amusing part is that the kicker in NFL Kicker 13 is probably the most showboating athlete in football history. He makes the Gramaticas look subdued. If he were a real player, Roger Goodell would shoot him on sight. It’s funny because this kind of thing usually isn’t seen in NFL-licensed games.

There’s a clear focus with the coins where unlocking a lot of the content is based on spending money. If it were just limited to cosmetic items, that would be fine. But the powerups are so expensive that they can pretty much only be used by those who pay for them. If a zero was slashed from the prices, they would be much more fair and practical for players to use regularly.

Still, the IAP can be largely ignored in the name of just kicking all the footballs, which is a good thing for NFL Kicker 13. For fans of the flick controls who hate golf and soccer, this is a great pickup. DA BEARS.

Agent Dash Review

Agent Dash Review

Aug 22, 2012

Honestly, I’m surprised that it took so long for games that take obvious inspiration from Temple Run to pop up. But 3D endless runners are starting to creep out, and Full Fat Games have one of their own with Agent Dash. This James Bond pastiche has a tuxedo-clad agent running through the jungle, a secret base, and a city in pursuit of gems. The gems can be spent on the now-standard character upgrades, consumable items, and new characters, including Bond Girl parody “Joanna Goodtug” which is a little on the nose, isn’t it?

Similar to Temple Run, players swipe vertically to jump or slide, but swipe horizontally to move between three different lanes. This means that the tilt sensor doesn’tdfdsfdafsadsfsadfasdfdsfdasfdsaf get involved at all, which is both a blessing and a curse. The game has great graphics, with a stylish almost-cel-shaded effect that gives the game a cartoonish veneer, and there’s plenty of color as well.

I have two big qualms with Agent Dash, though. First off, why is he running? There’s nothing explicitly chasing Agent Dash or his compatriots. I mean, at least Temple Run had evil monkeys and Brave had a giant freaking bear running after their protagonists. What’s stopping Agent Dash from just taking a leisurely stroll to his destination? At least in Jetpack Joyride, Barry Steakfries is somewhere he shouldn’t be, and in Canabalt, the world is collapsing. Give us a reason to run, developers!

Second, there’s a reason why Temple Run went with tilting to switch lanes, instead of swiping: it’s much quicker and forgiving to the player to let them tilt instead of swiping. When hazards require the player to go from one side to the other, they need to be able to react more quickly than the swiping controls allow.

So, that just makes playing Agent Dash extremely frustrating. Compare this to Temple Run, and really any successful endless runner: the frustration needs to come from the challenge level of the game, not from the player’s use of the controls. The reason why Temple Run has 8-digit download numbers is because they figured out the controls. Trying to remove the tilting mechanic is breaking what wasn’t broken. It’s free, yes, but so is the original Temple Run, so this only for those who really need a new 3D endless runner fix.

Flick Golf Review

Flick Golf Review

Oct 27, 2011

Full Fat Games are back on Android with their take on golfing, Flick Golf! This game is not to be confuse with a realistic golfing simulation, though. The game is more of a target practice game using golf mechanics. The player simply flicks their finger upward to hit the ball, then flicks in midair change the spin of the ball. Landing the ball as close to the hole, if not in it entirely, is the goal. Getting close scores more points, and in timed modes, adds more time to keep going. The game has 3 modes: Quick Shot, where scoring as many points in 60 seconds is the goal; World Tour, where the player has 9 shots to score as highly as possible; Finally, there’s Quick Shot Pro, where holes are windier, bonuses are worth less, and players only start with 30 seconds on the clock.

The flick controls work very well and are part of the game’s fun, especially when flicking wildly to try to get a shot near the hole when the clock is about to hit zero in Quick Shot mode. It’s a fun pick up and play game. Also, the game runs letterboxed instead of stretching to fit the taller than 2:3 aspect ratio that the game was designed for. It’s barely noticeable, and it just looks better than when games are stretched.

The only real problem with the gameplay is that the “flick to add spin” mechanic becomes so integral to the game that the initial shot almost doesn’t even matter, as rapid flicking to spin the ball near the cup is required to make shots. Also, the courses are mostly the same, just with different themes. Some levels are windier, but that’s the biggest difference between courses, so things can get monotonous after a while.

Flick Golf can be a bit repetitive, but it has a fun control mechanic and will last long enough to make that dollar spent worthwhile.

Coin Drop Review

Coin Drop Review

Sep 19, 2011

By the end of this review, I will recommend downloading Coin Drop. I suggest not doing so unless you have unlimited amounts of free time to spend on playing this game. Coin Drop is in some ways reminiscent of Peggle; after all, objects fall from the sky and there are pegs and other objects on a board to try and hit. Players drop a coin from the top of the screen on to the board. The goal is to try and knock out the 4 bad blue coins from the board, while scoring as many points as possible by hitting all the pegs, taking out destructible objects, and lighting up all the slots on the bottom to activate a coin frenzy that drops 5 free coins simultaneously. Players can also tap the bottom of the screen to bump up coins on the board. It’s very simple to play.

Oh man, is this game addictive. The gameplay has that feeling of satisfaction when things go well that makes a game like Peggle so much fun. Coin Drop hits many of the same notes, and the game’s very adorable style helps make it endearing. That the game is just so fun to play that I found myself burning through an entire world in one sitting several times helps too. The Android version is actually freemium unlike its iOS counterpart. The first two worlds, consisting of 15 levels each, are both free to play, and the game has no other ads otherwise. There are three other worlds available for $0.99 each as in-app purchases. They introduce new elements into the game like lasers and magnets in one world, to expand the game beyond what it originally was.

The game tends to be a bit on the easy side unfortunately, because there are 4 items to collect in order to advance. Levels won’t require more than a few tries at the most to complete. The controls make it easy to accidentally drop a new coin on the playing field when just trying to bump the board. The game is not at all optimized for tablets, unlike the iOS version. Honeycomb tablet owners are recommended to run the game in “zoom to fill screen” mode instead of running it at full resolution because the framerate chugs when not in zoom mode. The game could use more high-resolution artwork to improve its look on devices like tablets.

Coin Drop is almost too much fun. I play many games for review, and there are few games that I lost myself in quite like I did in Coin Drop. This is an absolute must-download for Android users.