Max Steel Review

Max Steel Review

Dec 3, 2013

Max Steel is an Android gaming embodiment of a fairly popular action figure and TV show franchise.

It’s a staged endless runner that brings most of the familiar elements of three-laned runners while adding in some other elements that keep it relatively fresh. First, with regards to the running, it starts of in a seemingly unending and structurally unstable canyon. There are plenty of rock formations that provide natural obstacles, as well as scarily high cactus plants that are best to avoid. Our specially linked hero Max runs forward automatically, and there are four controls needed to allow him to avoid collisions that reduce his life expectancy. Thankfully, these controls will be familiar to most people who’ve tried out stuff like Temple Run: up, down, and one each for left or right. There are occasions to use tilting as well: during some flying sequences and battles.max1

The battles are a part of the game that introduces some enjoyable spice. Every so often, after covering a set amount of ground, Max is confronted by mechanized henchmen of the main villain, known as “dreddnoughts.” These robots can be taken on and beaten, but it takes some quick movement and smart targeting to take them out while avoiding their fire. Every now and then, a more powerful robot appears, and summoning some of Max’s special powers and weapons is in order (in addition to a special tilt mechanism which decided physical jostling). At other points, a major boss appears, and the same concept of attack and evasive action comes to bear. Collecting ultralinks and coins that line the runways is the main goal. Collected coins (and optional real cash) can be used to increase attributes and equipment.

The scenery is also cool, with variations moving from the aforementioned canyon look to cityscapes (where vehicles and barriers replace rock formations as obstacles) and more. The graphics look good, from the comic book-inspired backstory pages to the animations that accompany the battle sequences. I like the attention to detail and the incorporation of the story into the graphical output.

The controls are my sore spot; it’s not as forgiving as it is in other games of this type, but fairly reactive when manipulated precisely.

It’s a fun game, has the best pricing, and easy and challenging at the same time… well worth a look.

He-Man: The Most Powerful Game in the Universe Review

He-Man: The Most Powerful Game in the Universe Review

Sep 11, 2013

He-Man: The Most Powerful Game In The Universe is a cheeky side-scrolling ode to the popular 80s cartoon from Android gaming masters Chillingo.

Most of the action involves continual left to right movement in the running area. Using the preferred two-thumb control system, the left mostly controls lateral movement, and the right thumb controls the basic attacks and jumping.

The first level is an informal training tutorial. The general premise is to get through the tunnels and henchmen to get to Skeletor. He-Man has his trusty weapon, and it can be wielded and used by tapping the right side of the screen. There are boxes and structures that can be violently reduced to collectible coins, and the henchmen have damage infliction attributes of their own. One cool aspect is that you start with three lives; they can be refreshed by collecting the occasionally discarded heart from vanquished bad guys. Knowledge of how the henchmen attack also he1governs strategy, as it makes sense to hold back a little when dealing with groups of multiple guards.

As the game progresses, the level of difficulty rises; moving, spiked ceilings, bigger enemies and even physical obstacles that encourage speed of action start appearing. Thankfully, allies like renown weapons master Man-At-Arms and Orko the magician begin to show up. Additionally, it is possible to upgrade weapons and other attributes using collected gems or real cash. The weapons, for instance, are actually helpful, and almost necessary to advance and unlock future levels. Some specials can be invoked from the top right of the screen; The “GreySkull” power-up was quite worth using.

The graphics are cute without being silly; He-Man and most humanoid characters look like the same muscle-bound creatures BALCO customers would be jealous of. The color is great, animations are fluid, and the cutscenes were well done. As far as I went in the game, Prince Adam didn’t make an appearance, which borders on the criminal, but I’m still looking. The jump button was a bit wonky too.

This game does remind me why I had He-Man action figures as a kid, and really, that’s all that matters. Laugh all you want; I’m off to save Eternia!