Ninja Hero Cats Review

Ninja Hero Cats Review

Jan 10, 2014

Ninja Hero Cats mixes two of the most popular things on the internet, Ninja and Cats. How could it go wrong?

Ninja Hero Cats has a very simple Angry Birds type story. A group of cats who just happen to be ninjas are about to enjoy a meal when suddenly a tentacled mass appears out of the floor and steals it. The cats jump into the strange portal left behind to retrieve their food and an epic battle against hundreds of hostile creatures ensures!

Screenshot_2014-01-02-13-32-53Ninja Hero Cats has some very simple controls and indeed very simple gameplay. Players simply drag their finger around to screen to guide their fearless squad of cat killers around the screen and attacking is automatic when the cats get close enough to an enemy.

Being ninja, the cats have access to ranged attacks such as ninja stars and close range attacks with their katatanas. Depending on their proximity to the enemies one or the other is used. Both are upgradeable by collecting goldfish, the game’s currency.

Ninja Hero Cats has plenty of action and there are a lot of enemies to fight. But the overly simplistic gameplay isn’t all that fascinating.

Screenshot_2014-01-02-13-24-12If a cat is killed, it can be revived later on in the level with a certain powerup, but losing all your cats kicks the player all the way back to level 1. Seeming as each level is a few minutes long and the game saves level progress it seems strange to be kicked all the way back to level one, usually losing hours and hours of progress. It would make a lot more sense to simply have to restart the level reached rather than the entire game all over again.

At least getting killed doesn’t remove purchased powerups. By collecting goldfish which are often dropped in each level many upgrades for your cats can be bought, from basic attack damage boosts to whole new attacks, like a fire trail to burn enemies and lighting attacks.

Ninja Hero Cats looks very average. While it animates smoothly, characters are very small and animation is very limited. The sound is OK and there are cute little meows as the cats fight and plenty of sound cues, which is useful since the graphics are so indistinct.

A major problem with the game is a huge, constantly flashing banner ad that sits at the top of the screen during gameplay, wasting a chunk of the phone’s real estate on advertising in a game that also asks for in app purchase. This is beyond annoying and really makes the game irritating to play.

Nina Hero Cats has little gameplay variation. It’s really the same thing over and over again in each level. It is excessively easy and it gets dull rather quickly. The game is best in short bursts.

Ninja Hero Cats isn’t anything amazing and its simplistic gameplay and tame graphics pales in comparison to other twin stick shooters. The invasive advertising really isn’t acceptable either. Not really worth playing.

Aces of the Luftwaffe Review

Aces of the Luftwaffe Review

Sep 3, 2013

The Battle of Britain remains one of the most renown tales of perseverance in world history. It pitted what was then considered the unconquerable German Air Force against the outmatched (but indomitable) British forces. The end result arguably changed world history and highlights that force of will is always the biggest factor in any sort of conflict.

In Aces of the Luftwaffe, we have a drummed down, arcade-y version of the battle. The numbers are stacked against us, the ammunition is seemingly unending and the power-ups and coins keep dropping.

In this flying adventure, it is a top-down view that lends itself to the action perspective; the controlled Royal Air aces1Force fighter flies from roughly the bottom of the bottom of the screen. The enemy plains start out from the opposite end, but eventually, formations fly in from all over, and there is even fire from behind to contend with. Thankfully, our defending ships shoots perpetually, which helps with the endless swarms. Blasting the enemy usually frees goodies like upgrades and medals. The medals are literally golden, as they hold the key to creating a truly competitive craft for future levels.

Controlling the craft is fairly intuitive; moving the plane is a simple matter of tapping and holding the plane, so keeping the finger is key to maneuvering around the flying area to dodge enemy fire, planes and to collect said goodies. This simplicity is also a bit of a hindrance, and it can sometimes block the view. Grabbing the dropping medals inadvertently increases the challenge of the game, as they don’t always appear in optimal areas. Getting hit by bullets or by diving opponents leaves damage that is reflected by damage to the “screen” during play. The gold medals help increase the attributes of the plane.

It won’t be a a true arcade game without the requisite bosses, and this game as plenty of them through the levels.

Graphically, the game has decent looks, but I couldn’t shake the feeling that I could have used a bit more polish with regards to the background. At some pints, it looks very busy… almost distracting. The pursuit of medals almost overtakes the gameplay, but the in-app purchasing is available for folks inclined.

For a fun time-waster with a cool bit of history behind it, AOTL is a cool option.

Clouds & Sheep Review

Clouds & Sheep Review

Oct 14, 2011

I’m a big fan of any game that presents a great, unique concept and takes the time to give it some real charm and character. Clouds & Sheep is just such a game. It’s an addictive casual game about looking after a flock of sheep that have some peculiar qualities.

Like other games of this type, you start with a set number of sheep and are given a list of tasks that must be performed. Tasks such as growing grass for the sheep to eat, making sure they stay out of trouble and breeding them. But then there are the more interesting tasks, like gathering clouds together to make it rain, or storm, so that the sheep will have water to drink. Then there’s play time, either by tossing the sheep around or pulling their tails and letting them snap back to send the sheep rolling. It looks cruel, but they love it, and they prove their love by giving you stars you can use to spend on supplies and other items to keep the sheep happy.

What the sheep don’t love is starving, getting sick, being struck by lightning or dehydrated. And, yes, they can die. When a sheep dies, it turns back into clouds and drifts away. One of the ways to replenish your flock is by getting them to breed.

Breeding sheep is easy; you simply maneuver them around “love flowers” that are growing in the field. When the sheep eat the flowers, they fall in love and, well, when a mommy and a daddy sheep love each other very much, they produce a heart that, if caught up in the clouds, becomes a baby sheep.

To keep the game interesting and give you a sense of progression, you’ll have to complete a series of challenges before you can move onto a bigger field. Challenges include tossing as many sheep into the air at the same time as possible, or intentionally getting them struck by lightning. In another challenge, you have to catch a baby sheep after it forms in the clouds. I feel like the developers missed an opportunity for a great pun, here, as they called the challenge “Catch Me If You Can” when, clearly, they should have named it “Catch Me If Ewe Can,” but I digress.

While the game is open-ended and quite fun, the activity level ramps up far too quickly, going from a nice, casual pace to a hectic run to get as much done as possible. Furthermore, the challenges tend to repeat after a while, becoming stale. All in all, Clouds & Sheep is a great casual game and quite enjoyable, but loses its casual status to become almost unmanageable. Another mark against the game is the poor performance as the frame-rate drops to single digits on my Droid X from time to time, becoming completely unresponsive.

Despite the technical problems and lack of purpose, Clouds & Sheep is still a cute, fun game that I enjoyed very much.

Aporkalypse – Pigs of Doom now available for Android and JavaME

Aporkalypse – Pigs of Doom now available for Android and JavaME

Mar 10, 2011

HandyGames, one of the leading, independent developers and publishers of mobile games, has announced that an ad supported version of Aporkalypse – Pigs of Doom is now available for free in the Android Market and for JavaME powered phones.

Aporkalypse – Pigs of Doom focuses on an ancient prophecy that, at sometime in the distant future, four Pigs of Doom will herald the end of the world. It seems, however, that something has gone terribly wrong and that the Gates of Heaven and Hell have already opened!