Hockey Stars Review

Hockey Stars Review

May 31, 2016

NHL Playoffs are reaching their zenith, and in the down time, Hockey Stars might be the perfect time-waster.

For folks who grew up playing bottle top soccer, the game should bring back memories right from the get-go. The game plays in landscape orientation, and uses a playing area etched out in the general form of a hockey ice rink. The players look like the aforementioned bottle tops, being round in nature, and each team gets six play pieces.

The puck is smaller still, and comes in the familiar black. The artwork is better than utilitarian, and does the job of hs3underscoring the gameplay, with the top-down view and bright team coloration. The template is easy to understand, and comes to life intuitively.

The gameplay is equally easy to get into. The control mechanism is gesture based, and involves dragging and directing a player piece to hit the puck — hopefully into opponents net, or with that in goal. The brief tutorial is all one really needs… pull to “build” momentum, release. Rinse and repeat.

And then it’s off to play. One can try out the mini-games, play with friends, practice offline or go 1 on 1 online (tourney play is noted as being on the way). We cut our teeth in the 1v1 mode.

This is an online battler for goodies, with different locations that have varying “entry” fees. The game is timed turn-based, so both players have a chance to do damage one after the other. With a bit of experience, strategic options do begin to show themselves. Protecting one’s goal is obviously very important, and one can use rebounding and deflections advantageously. The physics aspect is well-done, as the objects usually act like one would expect similar pieces to do in real life. At the base level, two goals wins, so being able to score quickly is key.

There is an entry fee, and winner takes all. Goodies can be used to improve attributes, and there is a leveling component. Doing well allows one to eventually unlock stuff like new formations and even whole teams and countries which can be useful against better opponents.

It is a surprisingly fleshed out experience despite the simplistic cover. It did have a hiccup here and there, but for the most part, the positives heavily outweigh any perceived negatives, and the free-to-play aspect makes it easy to try. The little add-ons (like mini-games) are a plus as well.

Ice Rage: Hockey is now on Android TV

Ice Rage: Hockey is now on Android TV

Mar 2, 2016

Ice Rage: Hockey just received the Android TV treatment.

#1 Sports Game on smartphone in the US and 70 other countries. Over 2 million players! Players face off across a ice rink, in a hockey duel – one player and one keeper one each side. Play is rapid and rough, with players spending as much time eating the ice as on their feet. There are three different single player modes (Tournament, Quick Match and Deathmatch) and a single-device multiplayer. There are also tons of unique characters to choose from such as lightning fast Antero or heavy-hitting Enviro-Bear. Team them up with crazy goalies like Santa and you’re sure to get the upper hand. Superb animation and charismatic characters make this a game you won’t forget in a hurry. We dare you to take on the championship or challenge your friend in the most intense single-device multiplayer you’ve ever experienced.
• Single-device multiplayer for 2 people
• Awesome 3D graphics
• Tournament mode: Can you defeat the legendary Skar?
• Over 2 million players can’t be wrong!
• The best single-player Hockey game around.

The game is available for $1.99.

1

Big Win NHL Hockey Review

Big Win NHL Hockey Review

Dec 31, 2013

Big Win NHL Hockey continues the somewhat popular Big Win series of managerial sports games. Is it worth playing?

Big Win NHL Hockey is somewhat like a sports management game, without the sharp edges. Players gain control of a team of very poor players and are given a little money and attempt to build a world class team. For the first time in a Big Win game, Big Win NHL is officially licensed by the NHL and features real players.

Screenshot_2013-12-29-05-51-00Big Win NHL Hockey is based around cards. New players and stat boosters for them come in packs of cards the player can buy. Many card packs are available for both in game and premium currency. There are also power up cards that can be played during a match, and boost certain attributes of your team, such as shot power.

During a match the player has no control at all. Games can be skipped with no penalty. Like other management games such as Football Manager Handheld 2014, Big Win NHL is about management, not playing hockey.

Screenshot_2013-12-29-06-54-50However, the management side of the game is nearly non-existent. The only managerial feature is ensuring the team has good chemistry. Chemistry makes the whole team play better and can only be raised by recruiting players from the same real life team into your team. Unfortunately the completely random method of player acquisition makes this complete luck.

Like other Big Win games, the fun of Big Win NHL Hockey comes from finding the next great player or card and watching the team wipe out the opposition with it. The slow burning nature of the game makes acquiring new players satisfying.

Big Win NHL Hockey suffers from the same major downside of other games in the Big Win series, namely that players often make poor tactical decisions and there’s nothing to be done about it. Whenever it’s forwards screwing up the simplest passes or defenders taking shots from half the rink away, there are a lot of times when players just give away possession or otherwise mess up any chance of winning. This is frustrating to watch.

There also seems to be a problem with matchmaking. Nearly every time I attempted to find a game I was matched up with players who were level 70 or above and unbeatable with my lv 5 team. The Rivals at War series by the same developer had great matchmaking, so it’s a mystery why this is the case here. This is a real problem in Big Win NHL because levels are only gained by winning games.

The game’s presentation is rather dull as well. Players are small and poorly animated in game and while the sound gets the job done, some effects such as body checks lack impact.

Big Win NHL Hockey is really not worth playing. While having real players is a big step for the series, the oppressive microtransactions and some poorly implemented mechanics make it a very poor game.

Ice Rage Review

Ice Rage Review

Apr 26, 2013

Mountain Sheep’s arcade hockey game Ice Rage has finally made its way to Android thanks to Herocraft – is this game a slap shot goal or power play where the team with the advantage does not score?

I’m not too well-versed in hockey.

There are no power plays or penalties or icing here, as it’s all about one-on-one hockey action. It’s really more akin to air hockey instead of ‘actual’ hockey in any way. Players can check the opponent to get the puck, and when they have it, it’s possible to hold down on the one virtual button on screen to charge up and aim a shot. Matches last one just minute in most modes, so it’s perfect for fast sessions.

IceRage-4

There’s plenty of crazy action that goes on here, with arrow angles and tough shots to make. Just because it’s arcade hockey doesn’t mean that some degree of precision is unnecessary! The arcade ladder made with temporary character upgrades is a fun diversion, and the later difficulties with things like manual goalie control help out as well. There’s a crazy set of characters to play as, including Enviro-Bear. Bear is playing hockey, how can this be?

The controls feature a very simple joystick-and-one-button control scheme, but the fast pace of the gameplay combined with the general entropy that arises from skating on ice makes it very difficult to accurately maneuver. Sure, this is to be somewhat expected, but still, it feels like it’s just too hard to maneuver. Having a floating joystick instead of a fixed one would be a big step forward for the controls. Of course, there’s the ability to just play with one button and not move around manually at all, but it’s not exactly a solution, it’s just a compromise.

While Ice Rage is far from perfect, there’s plenty of entertainment to be had here, and getting a tricky shot in goal is still just extremely satisfying, no matter what else happens.

Friday Free Game Rundown October 5th

Friday Free Game Rundown October 5th

Oct 5, 2012

I for one am waiting for this hockey lockout to be done with. I have my fantasy hockey team all ready to go and what happens? That’s right, not one hockey game in sight. To help all of us get over the hockey withdrawal, here are a few hockey games for Android. While it’s not the same as watching real-life people skate, at this point I’ll take any hockey I can get.


Hockey Nations: Shoot-out


Hockey Nations: Shoot-out is nothing but one of the most exciting parts of the game, the shoot out. After all of the regulation time is finished and the game is a draw, let the best shooters and goaltenders have at it.

Download Hockey Nations: Shoot-out


Hockey Fight Lite


Some sports have somewhat rare occurrences. NASCAR has crashes, Basketball has shattered backboards and hockey has fights. Hockey Fight Lite is a game with nothing but hockey fights. Almost every team has a brawler. A guy who’s sole job is to be overly aggressive and rack up the penalty minutes. This boxing on ice game is sure to be a crowd pleaser.

Download Hockey Fight Lite


Ice Hockey – One Timer (Free)


Shooting the puck is much harder than it looks. Using a curved stick hitting the small goal with a hard piece of rubber at the speeds and accuracy these guys do is amazing. The”One Timer” is all about timing and lots and lots of practice. Ice Hockey – One Timer is nothing but a game filled with attempts at shooting a moving puck. Different ratings for how good the timing accuracy of the shot is. I’d probably keep the volume down though the music isn’t that great.

Download Ice Hockey – One Timer (Free)


Hockey MVP


Hockey MVP gives the option to control the shooter or the goalie. It’s a full-fledged hockey game with the choice of 8 national teams (FIN, SWE, RUS, CAN, USA, GER, CZE, NOR) available for play. The controls are mostly tilting the phone in the direction of the shots or to move the player. Tapping the screen will shoot or save. Hockey MVP is going to be the most realistic full game on the list.

Download Hockey MVP


Big Win Hockey


Big Win Hockey adds a cartoon character look to the full hockey game. This is not just a shootout or fighting game, it’s just like the real thing with cartoon characters. Create teams and modify players to make the ultimate hockey team. Make the an unstoppable team by upgrading players. The announcer is pretty decent and overhead view makes it easy to see all of the action.

Download Big Win Hockey

Free Horror Games for Friday the 13th

Free Horror Games for Friday the 13th

Jul 13, 2012

Here we are, another Friday the 13th. I thought it was fitting to show off a few of the horror type games on Google Play, of which there are many. While I am not a huge fan of horror movies, the games are usually super fun. How often does one get to hack and slash up people and things without the fear of jail time?

The games below are a mix of different types ranging from trivia to GPS-based to 3D games. Add in a comment with the best horror game for the best way to spend Friday the 13th.

Mystique Ch1: Foetus

Mystique is the first of the 3 chapter game and also the only free one of the 3. The others will run $2.79 USD each. This game is awesome. Right at the start, the room is a puzzle. Find objects and see if the way out can be found. If not, feel free to hang out with the dead girl’s ghost and the bathtub filled with blood.
Download Mystique Ch1: Foetus

 

Horror Run!

Horror Run is a bit more cartoony than the other games here, making it a bit more kid-friendly. The basis of the game is to, well, run away to survive. Running through places like a graveyard are to be expected, but collecting treasures along the way takes some of the scary out if the game.
Download Horror Run!

 

Horror Movie Trivia

For the horror movie buff, a trivia game is a great way to justify all of the time spent in front of the TV and at the movies. Answer questions about classics as well as newer movies. Paying attention to the details can save a life in the movies, see how of that can be remembered now.
Download Horror Movie Trivia

Zombie Run!

Zombie Run! uses the Android’s GPS to pinpoint the location of the phone. Using Google Maps, it turns the area into a zombie infested area which is bad news. Get the heck out of there and avoid the zombies to stay alive. Yes, this means getting off the couch and actually getting out into the world to play.
Download Zombie Run!

 

Frozen Death

Think air hockey, horror movie style. When some late night hockey goes wrong at the stroke of midnight, it’s survival time instead of fun time. The puck is a saw blade and that’s the tool to kill the bloody hockey mask. I have to admit, this is a unique way to play air hockey.
Download Frozen Death