Voxel Rush: Free Racing Game Review

Voxel Rush: Free Racing Game Review

Apr 25, 2014

Every now and then, I get, well, got. I do try to be a beacon of impartiality, mostly immune to the wiles of software titles, but every so often, a game throws it on me, and I get weak. That what Voxel Rush: Free Racing Games from HyperBees continually does to me.

With regards to gameplay, it is as straightforward as it gets: it’s a first-person endless runner set as a race through an artsy, creatively minimalist environment that is built to challenge and stimulate the senses. The game depends on this ever-changing backdrop to deliver the excitement that it intends to, and it mostly delivers.

Racing, in its simplest form is simple matter of going as far as possible without crashing. Controlling the direction of the fast-moving vehicle is fairly intuitive in the use of accelerometer-based controls: tilting to the vox1left or right for sharp turns in the corresponding directions, and tilting forward increases the speed of travel, while pulling back slows it down.

So, yes, it’s all simply about not crashing. Easier said than done though, because their are obstacles, likened to vertical pillars that are racing towards the player at frightening speeds. In true arcade fashion, danger is encouraged and rewarded; the game engine gives bonuses for near misses and faster speeds at the end of each run. The developer does a great job with in-run power-ups that are represented by color-coded cubes that need to be “struck” by the player to activate… stuff like invulnerability, points bonuses and a slowdown effect. Outside the points, the others are time-sensitive. In addition to this, there are “events” (stuff like inversions, light effects, evolving obstacles etc.) that occur that add unique aspects to the gameplay.

Multiplayer functionality exists, and allows for real time duels and challenges. The social component is well defined for those wishing to play with friends.

Distance traveled (plus garnered points bonuses) translates to game money; the attributes and boosts can be updated and tweaked via the in-app store, and real money can be used to expedite things. While it is freemium, there adds can be removed via cash unlock, and the developer advertises codes via social network.

It’s a game I spent way too much time on during the review.

And after.

Shaky Tower Review

Shaky Tower Review

Jun 28, 2011

Without the laws of physics, we’d be bouncing off the walls at remarkable angles, dropping glasses of water upwards and balancing enormous towers of balls further than the eye can see or comprehend. Even if you deny causality, you’ve got to admit that the world would be pretty rubbish without physics. Not that that actually means anything, but you get the point. Modern video games agree with this analysis, and so any game that doesn’t have realistic, or at the very least believable, physics is shunned like a pariah, thrown onto the scrap heap of immature and inaccurate nonsense. Luckily for ShakyTower, the game is chock full of all of them physics. It’s so full of physics, it may as well be physics.

ShakyTower tasks you with building a shaky tower out of smiley, anthropomorphic bricks. You have to hold your phone parallel to the ground and use the accelerometer to keep the tower balanced, or, in some cases, to knock the tower over in order to reach goals, kill your blocks or unlock secret bounties. There are also a vast swathes of other physics based puzzles and games that you get to play.

In an odd way, ShakyTower is a game designed to be played when you’re stood up, which might not be that appealing to some people. If you’re sat down, then hunching over, making sure the seat you’re sat on is flat and not moving very much all become essential parts of the game. After longer play sessions, it’s entirely possible to have warped your posture permanently whilst trying to make sure your tower doesn’t collapse into the red spaces of oblivion that signal instant death.

Spinal problems aside, ShakyTower is an impressive puzzle game. It’s not the most original idea, but it’s remarkably well implemented, and it has a cheeky sense of fun that’s most endearing. The physics could do with a little tweak here and there, but ShakyTower is an enjoyable, if sometimes uncomfortable, diversion, although its debatable whether the tower building skills you develop in game will be any use in the real world.