Spellsword Review

Spellsword Review

Dec 31, 2012

For those who are all about swords, and magic spells cast from swords, then Spellsword, Everplay and Fire Fruit Forge’s arena-based action-RPG brought to Android by Miniclip, is worth seeing.

Spellsword takes a bit of a different spin on the traditional Super Crate Box formula – which really needs to arrive on Android proper at some point, not just via PlayStation Mobile – by making magic cards the item to be constantly picking up. These cards all have different effects, like summoning fireballs, poisoning enemies, or shooting out ice shards. They’re also far more powerful than the plain vanilla sword is, so collecting them is key. Success is defined by more than just card collection though, as there are plenty of enemies to take down. They drop rupees, which can be spent on upgrades to make the cards better, and items for increasing health or modifying stats. There’s a secondary dragon coin currency that also appears periodically which is used to buy certain other items.

The game’s two-pronged structure works well for it. Mission mode does well to introduce players to new elements, as well as providing short bursts of challenge to tackle. Meanwhile, endless mode serves as the culmination of those efforts: a chance to put one’s skills to the test in the three arenas, with three difficulties each. The two modes also inform each other: endless mode hands out a lot more rupees, but the best way to unlock new cards and content is by progressing through mission mode, so balancing out the two is necessary. The pixel art is very colorful, and character armor can be viewed on the characters themselves when equipped. The soundtrack is particularly memorable as well; the songs are basic but I found them sticking in my head long after playing.

Spellsword is not most the intricately-assembled game ever. There’s a lot of slowdown on newer devices. The game doesn’t really inform the player of when they have taken damage. The Nexus 7 controls are a bit too big perhaps to be comfortable for most; I felt like they were usable but I would prefer less thumb stretching.

For those looking for a great pick-up-and-play arena brawler with enough RPG elements to satisfy long-term desire, then Soellsword is a must-have free download.

Fragger Review

Fragger Review

May 18, 2012

Ever wonder what Angry Birds would look like if the heroes were humans instead of birds? Fragger has the answer. It’s a military slingshot game with the same principle – albeit with different human methods (the hero can’t really fly).

The objective of the game is to kill all enemies by throwing grenades. The hero of the game needs to overcome physical barriers such as concrete walls so his grenades land and explode in the right place at the right time. When all enemies are killed the player can proceed to the the next round. The game has 370 levels and 12 worlds to unlock. The first few levels are super easy, giving the player enough time to improve his grenade-flinging skills. One can buy unlimited grenades, or more viewable solutions and even a detonator – all for a certain price.

Game controls are pretty simple and self-explanatory. Tap on any area near the enemy and hold down to point the arrow to aim. Swipe up and down to adjust the intensity of the throw. Strategic positioning of the arrow is needed to blow up the enemy effectively. If the grenade somehow does not fall where the player intended, there is a button to abort the explosion – although if you don’t abort it and it explodes near the hero, it doesn’t really kill him.

If at a certain point, a player can not get past a level, there is a View Solution button shown after the failed attempt. Note that there is only a limited number of solutions that can be viewed. There is an option purchase more solutions ($1.99) or get it free by downloading other affiliate games and earning free coins. Additionally, there are three free Skip buttons available at the end of each level which enables the player to skip the current level and move on to the next one. Succeeding “skips” again requires some form of purchase. The game is also connected with the OpenFeint network for posting high scores on Leaderboards.

Graphics and sound are excellent in this game. I constantly find myself grinning just to see the cuteness and humorous things that happen all throughout the game. It certainly is one of its best features. Gameplay is also smooth and responsive – like most casual games, it doesn’t really demand that much power from the phone. Loading time is also pretty decent and there are no lags seen in between levels or screens.

Sadly, ads and in-game purchases are present in this game. The placement of these are acceptable and do not take away from the game’s great interface and design. I supposed in-game purchases are welcome to some players who want to get ahead of the game.

Because of its simplicity, Fragger might prove routinary (for easy stages) and frustrating (for challenging stages) after a while. But it also can be addictive to others, and this is great since there are so many levels to continue playing the game for a long time. Either way, any short or long time player should enjoy this game for its great interface and mind blowing fun.

Gravity Guy Review

Gravity Guy Review

Jan 12, 2012

What do you get when you cross Mega Man with Ender’s Game? Well, you might not be expecting it, but the answer is Gravity Guy. This is a constant-runner game with a twist. Or rather, I should say, with a flip.

In Gravity Guy you play as this guy who is trying to escape prison. Well, you’ve broken out, but now you’re a fugitive and being doggedly pursued by a little Stormtrooper-looking fellow, who is just waiting for the microsecond when you hesitate in your flight to blast you mercilessly out of existence. But here’s where it gets different: this is a platform game that has no Jump function. Instead you navigate stairs and divides by manipulating gravity. What this means is that you can run along the platforms, come to a hole in your path and, with a tap on the screen, flip up to begin running along the ceiling. You never lose momentum unless you rebound off of something, and the gravity change is permanent until you switch it off. This took a little getting used to, as I would flip up to avoid a hole and then when I didn’t flip back down soon enough I would fall straight up into the sky to my death. You also cannot change gravity orientation mid-leap – you must rebound off of something and flip to change direction. It is possible to flip in a second with one tap, which is vital as Gravity Guy is fast. There are even platforms that speed you up even more. There are also distractions in the form of massive jets that zoom past and shake your whole screen.

Gravity Guy also has many different modes of play, but you have to earn them. I’ve been playing it for a few days now and can still only play in Storymode > Run. There’s apparently a mode called Rescue, but I can’t play it until I beat Run, or unless I want to pay another dollar. I’m okay to wait because I am enjoying Run mode a lot. There are frequent save points that you pass through, and this is fortunate because I don’t think there’s a single stage int he game that I’ve passed with less than 5 attempts. Luckily you have unlimited lives. There are also a few power-ups in the form of shields and slow-mo mode (slow down game play to help you navigate a particularly tricky area). This game relies on some hair-trigger reflexes and a single hesitation can send you falling down or up to your death, or get you trapped long enough to get you zapped by the storm trooper.

I’ve been playing this game with every free second that I have, and it still hasn’t gotten old. The only thing that makes me ever stop is the anxiety levels that start to build up when I get trapped in a level that I just can’t seem to beat. I’ve had to do certain area over and over till I feel like I might throw my phone at the wall, but I never do because I’m always certain that this time I’ll get it. I rarely find a game that I get so obsessed with that I must finish it at all costs, but right now Gravity Guy is this for me.

It does need some significant improvement though in one important area: you change gravitational orientation by tapping anywhere on the screen. because he runs left-to-right I’ve had to get used to tapping with my left hand (I’m right-handed) because otherwise I’m obscuring my own path. But that’s not the problem. Rather, the screen requires a pretty firm strike to register a flip. There are too many times that I know I hit the screen but I still die abruptly. I don’t know how the sensitivity can be adjusted, but if it’s at all possible it would reduce some of my frustration and stress, which would make it infinitely more enjoyable.