Boom Boom Football

Boom Boom Football

Feb 6, 2016

As we fast approach SuperBowl season, I thought it’d be as good a time as any to take a look at Boom Boom Football. A fairly simple title that asks you to build a team by collecting cards, Boom Boom Football doesn’t do too much that’s new but for what it’s worth it’s a polished title that should scratch that footballing itch.

The set-up is straightforward. Your team is made up of 7 players and each one has a ‘skill’ value attached to them. The idea is that you want to have 7 players with high numbers as the higher the number the more likely you are to win the game.

Each game is made up of 7 moments where one of your players will go up against an opponent and they’ll either win or lose the moment. These moments will be familiar to anyone that’s watched a game of American Football as you’ll see a linebacker tackle a running back, a QB throw over a CB.

During these animated moments, which look very nice by the way, you’re tasked with pressing circles that randomly appear on the screen. The bigger circle stays on screen for the longest time and the smallest is on for the shortest time with the benefit of hitting smaller circles being that you have a higher chance of ‘winning’ the moment. ‘Winning’ the moment consists of a spin of a virtual wheel with the ‘winning’ are being larger if you pressed a smaller circle. If you don’t tap any circle then you lose straight away.screen640x640 (1)

It’s really simple and even if you are particularly sharp and hit all the tiny circles that appear during the game you might still lose. This is because the factor that affects the outcome of the wheel spin is the player’s skill values. If you have a player that’s 20 or 30 skill points worse than their opponent, then it’s next to useless even trying to win.

So with the game boiling down to numbers Vs numbers, the veneer of this being a game of skill soon fades away. Luckily, the game keeps the carrot within view at all times as each game played rewards you with new player cards and some cash. You can then put the new player cards into your starting line-up or feed the card to other cards to level them up. Feeding cards to each other costs in-game cash, which is where IAPs come into play.

On top of in-game cash there’s also in-game gold. Gold is used to buy ‘booster’ packs that contain players cards much better than anything you’d ever get by playing the game. This is a slightly convoluted system, with 2 in-game currencies muddying the waters but it’s made even worse when you take into consideration there’s also a 2 tier energy system too.

Energy, in the form of lightning bolts, is used to play season games. Season games are against the AI and culminate in cup games for bigger rewards. Then there’s the energy system made up of raffle tickets. These raffle tickets are used to buy entry into special event leagues that take place every now and then and also offer rewards for having the most points. Naturally, players willing to buy more raffle tickets and therefore play more games, will likely win the best cards.

So the game is extremely simple, very nicely presented but then has a too convoluted system of currencies, energy tokens and card boosting, evolving and leveling up – all with the aim of squeezing some cash out of the player. It doesn’t make the game unplayable, but it certainly gets in the way of enjoying what is a good diversion for football fans.

Kill Shot Bravo Review

Kill Shot Bravo Review

Nov 25, 2015

Yep, time to whine. Sniper games make me queasy. Such skill, such innate sneakiness… cool and cold at the same time.

Whining aside, Kill Shot Bravo just feels like one of those exceptions, and the heroic storyline does help.

It is presented as a first-person shooter, so the player gets to “live” the action as it goes. The graphics in this one are unapologetically gritty, with smooth animations, great use of visual perspective and an earthly use of color and virtual shadows. If the developer is looking to cloak the offering with a veneer of realism, it feels like a successful endeavor, especially at first glance.

Upon starting, one gets to pick the appearance of one’s player; the choices mostly involve skin tone and hair style. After, the game walks the player through a hands-on walkthrough of sorts, allowing the player to become familiar with the controls: gesture swipes allow the player to swing his/her gaze across the viewing area provided by the screen real estate, and there is a sights system on the right which allows the player to zoom in up and close. To round out the main controls, there is a prominent firing button at the bottom right.


The basic premise is that there are bad guys to take out — from a distance, preferably — and the player is tasked with the dirty job. Using the integrated controls and other visual cues, one finishes missions by eliminating the enemy.

The game is leveled, and payouts are gained from taking folks out. Such cash is essential, because as one progresses, one is going to need to both procure better weapons and improve gear already owned.

At first, a single target makes things easy; then, the targets increase, and get smarter. The game also incorporates other elements and mission styles, such that it monotony can be staved off.

It is a great game, though it does feel like using real cash is a real temptation. All in all, it is a step above your everyday sniping caper, which makes it worth a free look.

Hothead Games Launches ‘Kill Shot Bravo’ on Google Play

Hothead Games Launches ‘Kill Shot Bravo’  on Google Play

Nov 18, 2015

Bam! There’s a new game on Google Play called Kill Shot Bravo courtesy of Hothead Games.

In this game, the player takes on the persona of a special forces operative tasked with deadly missions across the globe.

Per the Google Play page:

Welcome to the premier first person shooter experience for mobile phones and tablets. It is time to load out your weapons and get your 5-star FPS fix!
Arm yourself with deadly assassin sniper weapons, assault rifles, machine guns and the latest military gear to complete covert combat missions deep inside enemy territory!

The game is rated for 17+, which is understandable considering the gritty graphics. It’s free (with in-app purchasing).

Check out the trailer below:

[via Hothead Games]

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.

Rivals at War Review

Rivals at War Review

Mar 12, 2013

Rivals at War is a military-based simulation that measures management and leadership skills.

Opening up the game, I was presented with the option of restoring a saved game or selecting a new team. Upon heading towards selection, I was helped out by the gruff Sgt Sinclair, my assigned advisor. Then, I got to pick from 16 countries of origin (there was Canada, China, Brazil, Germany, USA and others). Picking a country got me a staring pack of soldiers, tactics a team uniform and a patch. The soldiers had different roles, and the tactics were enhancements like “air strikes” and “triage.”

I found out during the selection process that the different attributes. Medics could shoot, but had healing properties. the players were customizable. Each player had a stats, as well as my the whole team.

The tactics were battle tools. Using them gave me an advantage, such as delaying the enemy or increasing defense. After selecting the tactics, it was time to battle. The game engine selected the opponent. It pitted me against a more experienced team — I was able to tell from the head-to-head stat sheet. After a cursory check, we got to battling. The game gave me the option of watching, which I gladly chose.

The battle took place in what looked to be an urban area; my team was labeled in reddish hues, and the opponent in blue. It was cool to see the elements play out. The object was to fill up my mission bar before the opposing team fill theirs. The ebbs and flows looked life-like, the graphics looked great in the faux nighttime lighting.

After the battle, which I did end up winning, I received a new stat sheet which reflected my recent success.

Rivals was a nice sim diversion that made it easy to play in short mode or otherwise. It most probably will be liked by folks who love resource management-type games

Big Win Basketball Review

Big Win Basketball Review

Dec 26, 2012

Hothead Games is no stranger to simulated sports management games, and Big Win Basketball mostly delivers a similar type of experience to its Hothead’s stable mates. It allowed me, as a coach/manager, to develop a team worthy of winning basketball glory in multiplayer leagues.

The game had a retro feel to it; graphics-wise; it had me hearkening back to arcade 2v2 basketball. The graphics were relatively smooth though, and I could clearly make out the plays as the players milled around the court. The colors were fairly well defined without being distracting, and the basketball court looked like a basketball court, with good artistic perspective.

To start off, I got a starter pack of five players and some impact cards. The impact cards were used during the game. One impact cards, for instance, was a “swatter” which b-ball heads will guess correctly as a sort of upgrade to block shots. I also got some game coins, and could supplement that by opening the app daily and also by playing games. These coins could be used to procure extra stuff like better players, uniforms, power-ups and more.

The gameplay was fairly rudimentary; prior to the game, I did what was necessary to put the best team on the floor. I could improve my players by playing short games, which served to identify stuff I could improve with coins.

I had the option of watching a game; this was similar to playing a console version of basketball and allowing the computer to play itself on my behalf. I admittedly found this to be fairly entertaining, as the simulated players did some nice things. There were drives, high pick and rolls, slashing to the basket, dunks blocks, steals and more. Late in the game and down a few points, the game engine continually fouled me to put me at the line, and stop the clock. Interestingly, this tried and true coaching strategy almost worked.

I found this game to be surprisingly engaging. As a sports gamer back in the day, I would have loved more organic gameplay, but I sorta dig the developers vision. In the end, it is definitely worth trying.