Runes of Camelot Review

Runes of Camelot Review

Feb 27, 2015

Camelot (of course) is our location and, of course, there ain’t no Camelot without Arthur. Amelia and Merlin are out to help the noble monarch save Camelot by thwarting the evil Morgana’s plans, and they do this with runes or special potions. To begin the game, one gets to choose a character, and each is said to have a unique storyline.

At its core, Runes of Camelot is a match-3 puzzle game. As such, the idea is to get a line of three or runes of the same color, horizontally or vertically. Getting three straight (via gesture swipe) dissolves the matched set, and they are replaced by pieces that fall from the top. The pieces are randomized, but any triples created from swaps also dissolve and are replaced. When a set of four pieces are formed, a diamond-looking rune with special powers is formed. These runes can be manipulated to create column shattering reactions that help finish levels. Regular matches yield special powers that are diverse and helpful in time crunches.

There are also a bunch of tricky pieces — blockers — that create havoc, and cannot be swapped. Working around them to drop them is an effective strategy, but easier said than done.


And yes, the game is leveled. Success in one generally unlocks the subsequent one.

One thing that makes the game interesting is that it is more than a set of mini-games; it has few other quick hitters up its sleeve. This definitely helps with regards to monotony, as there are reaction games (tapping ravens) and symbol-matching exercises (mixing potions). I also like the different type of boards, with atypical gimmicks: irregular boards, hidden pieces, aforementioned blocker pieces, boss battles and more. I do believe that this is the one game where paying attention to the tutorial is a good idea.

The graphics are simple but decent, as is the sound.

All in all, I admittedly liked it a bit more than I thought I would. The boss battles are the perfect culminations, and everything ties together quite well.

King of Party Review

King of Party Review

Nov 5, 2013

King of Party isn’t a game itself, but rather a collection of four-player mini-games, unified by a single multiplayer component, and some general mechanics. Every mini-game spawns golden coins that have to be picked up, and that can be spent on various character outfits. By the way, it seems that its design team time-travelled from the nineties, because just look at it. I am now also afraid of looking in the mirror, in fear of seeing one of the characters’ faces, stuck in its grim, wooden smile. I’ve played the mini-games in succession, and here’s a quick rundown on the first three.

First game was skateboarding, where my unblinking, eternally happy shell of a human being was riding along with four other troglodytes on skateboards, in an elimination game, where the winner wasn’t defined by his score, but by outliving his opponents. All the mini-games are like that in King of Party, by the way. The task was to evade all of upcoming obstacles, either jumping over them by swiping up, or ducking beneath them by swiping down.

King of Party 3Next was fitness, where I lifted weights, repeating after Mr. T’s evil twin. I had to press a button with my left, or right thumbs, so my character would lift the corresponding hand. It seemed like a bit of a repetitive workout, but whenever I made a mistake, Mr. T’s evil twin dropped a weight on my head, so I’d remember to not oppose him. Again, the winner was the one who didn’t get his skull smashed in, like a fool.

Third game was balance, where the puppets stood on upright logs, and had to maintain their balance, while the wind blew on them. Of course, in it, accelerometer is used to tilt the angle of the players, so their bodies, probably filled with helium, don’t get blown away by the gusts of wind.

There are also three other mini-games that can be unlocked for fifty gems, which are, obviously, quite hard to obtain, unless you spend some real-world golden equivalent. All of the games are very simple, and not one of them would be worthy a review, but when put together, make for a nice little collection. Overall, although none of the mini-games are that interesting, or varied, King of Party is good enough to waste a couple of minutes here and there, competing with friends or strangers, over the Internet.

101 Games in 1 Review

101 Games in 1 Review

Jun 1, 2011

101 games for the price of 1. Sounds like a great deal, right? Especially when you consider that the price of those games is free, how you can you possibly beat that? Well, just because something is free doesn’t mean it doesn’t cost something. Like, your precious time, for example.

This collection of mini-games was produced by Nordcurrent, a European game developer and publisher. Ported from the iPhone, 101 Games in 1 features puzzle games, arcade action games, gallery shooters, racing, sports, cooking and even Sudoku. There’s a little something here for everyone, and as you play through them, you’re sure to find a few diamonds in the rough. Unfortunately, there aren’t that many diamonds to be found, but there is PLENTY of rough.

In the beginning, you start with 10 games that you can play to your heart’s content. Each time you play the game, you’re aiming to beat a certain score so that you can rack up enough points to unlock more games. As you go, the games become more expensive, requiring you to go back, play the unlocked games more and get even higher scores. It’s not an unreasonable proposition, and certainly adds to the replay value, assuming you like what you’re playing.

The games in this collection are all simple, easy to play games. Some simply require you to touch the screen to get some action to happen while others will have you frantically tapping and dragging objects all over the place. As for the difficulty, the games range from very easy to nearly impossible.

An example of an extremely easy game is the air-hockey game, Tornado Hockey. Laughably, I discovered several “sweet spots” where I was able to park my mallet and watch the AI continually miss the puck. Again and again, the puck just kept bouncing right into the goal. After a while, I set my phone down and waited for the timer to expire. The AI never variates its attack, the pacing never changes and the game never gets any harder. It just repeats the same exact movements until the timer runs out. It’s a bit pathetic, but it only gets worse.

These are among some of the worst, “Punch the Monkey” style games imaginable. Really, I’ve seen better Flash-banner advertisements than some of what you’ll find, here. Some feature controls that are so unresponsive that they are barely playable while others have such poor hit detection and physics that, even when you’re playing the game correctly, you still can’t win. They’re just broken, terrible games wrapped around advertisements and offers to gain points by downloading apps, signing up for services and more. And that’s 101 Games in a nutshell, really.

If you’re looking for a collection of quick games that don’t require a lot of time or commitment, this app is for you. On the other hand, if you’re looking for a well-produced game with real merit that is actually worth your time, I recommend you look elsewhere.