Radical Rappelling Review

Radical Rappelling Review

Jun 26, 2015

Radical Rappelling is a little different, and it’s mostly okay.

The gameplay is based on rappelling… duh. There is a steep, vertical mountain wall that descends endlessly; the basic concept is to use a game character to shimmy down the rope as fast as possible. The action incorporates the same jump off mechanism seen in real rappelling, with tapping and holding effecting a drop swing, and releasing makes the character to jump off against the rock. The kicker is that the swinging motion will eventually cause the player to “land” on the rock naturally (much like a jumper always hits the ground eventually), so the key is preemptively control the jumps by tapping and releasing as described above.

And why is controlling the descent important? Well, there are plenty of goodies to collect, for one. Gold coins, boosts and other specials line the play area, and can generally be collected and/or activated by contact. Conversely, there are also dangers to look out for as well — most notably some spiky thingies that look like mines — as hitting them ends the run ordinarily. Letting go of the screen causes the game character to jump off in place; this can be costly, as one should know about the lava fall chasing the rappeller down.

Oh, my. So there you have it. Tarrying too long is not a strategy.

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As one progresses, the duality of the gameplay becomes quite engaging: measuring the opportunity cost of going after the good and avoiding the bad. The developer also adds in a continuous stream of challenges to be completed; things like reaching a particular cumulative distance or tagging a set number of rocks are included. Game coins can be used for in-game improvements, and can be supplemented by real cash.

Looks-wise, it is a colorful affair, and uses music to underscore the gameplay. There is a whimsical nature to the art that fits in with the game premise.

Altogether, it is a cheery game, with plenty of play and an ability to cause addiction. Again, being different ain’t that bad.

Enfeel Releases Birzzle Fever on Android via Halfbrick Studios

Enfeel Releases Birzzle Fever on Android via Halfbrick Studios

Sep 12, 2014

Birzzle Fever is now on Android courtesy of a collaboration between developer Enfeel and Halfbrick Studios.

Excerpts from the press release:

With over 800 million downloads worldwide, Halfbrick now commands one of the largest mobile game networks in the world. To help other developers achieve success in this extremely competitive landscape, Halfbrick launched its first published project in late June with Birzzle Fever from Korean developer Enfeel.

Birzzle Fever has now reached over 700,000 downloads in almost entirely western markets, exclusively on iOS. Halfbrick’s goal has always been to build a portfolio of the strongest mobile games, and Birzzle Fever boasts a very promising start for a long line of updates and support.

Birzzle Fever will reach a brand new audience as it launches on Google Play and Amazon Appstore on September 12th. This effectively doubles Halfbrick’s marketing reach overnight, and will bring the Birzzle brand to even greater prominence.

For gameplay additions, both iOS and Android versions of the game have been updated to feature an offline mode. More and more games require online connectivity to enjoy, but Halfbrick aims to ensure the players with unfortunate connectivity problems can still enjoy the bird-popping fun!

Halfbrick will be continuing its expansion into publishing, with Yes Chef from developer CitrusJoy the next game to be released this quarter.

The game is available for free (with optional in-app purchasing) on both the Play Store and Amazon AppStore.

Age of Zombies Review

Age of Zombies Review

Jun 10, 2011

It seems like forever ago that Age of Zombies came out on Android as an Xperia Play exclusive. Well, finally, the rest of us get a chance to play this dual-stick shooter from Halfbrick Studios and see what we’ve been missing out on.

In Age of Zombies, you control Barry Steakfries as he travels through time, blasting zombies that have been released into the past. You start off in the prehistoric era, surrounded by zombie cavemen. Your standard weapon is the pistol, but you get temporary upgrades to other weapons as they randomly pop up, like shotguns, SMGs and more, including my personal favorite, the buzzsaw! There’s nothing quite like mowing through a horde of zombies with a giant, spinning blade to paste a big grin across my face. You also have a small supply of grenades to turn a mob of brain-hungry zombies into a blazing bonfire of the undead. It’s a lot of fun.

You have to eliminate all the zombies in each of 3 areas across 5 different eras, giving you a total of 15 zombie-filled stages. Before you can leave an era, however, you have to go through an insane boss fight with some pretty tough characters, like a zombie t-rex! Then, when you’re done with Story Mode, you get to see how long you can last in Survival Mode, fighting off waves of zombies as you try to build up a high enough score to rise to the top of the leader boards.

Age of Zombies brings a good, tongue-in-cheek approach to the world of zombie survival. Barry is awfully fond of his one-liners, even if they come up flat every now and then, and the caricatures of period-appropriate zombies keeps things fresh as you progress through the game. Zombie cavemen, zombie gangsters, zombie mummies, zombie ninjas and… zombie alien cyborgs. I guess things get a little nuts in the future.

Players get plenty of options when it comes to controls. You can either have “floaty” controls that pop up when you touch the screen and move relative to how you move your thumb, or you can have static controls that are always visible. You can even adjust the size of the stick area, custom tailoring the experience to your style of play.

Halfbrick did their best to bring something new to the dual-stick shooter genre, and while Age of Zombies may not play all that different from industry standards, it sure does bring a lot of heart and character. Fun graphics, great gameplay, funny dialog and characters that all add up to a fantastic game. Although it may be a bit short, it’s a lot of fun to play again and again. We’ve been waiting a long time for this one, and it’s good to see that Age of Zombies delivers!