Maths Of The Dead Review

Maths Of The Dead Review

May 30, 2011

Zombies are everywhere nowadays, chomping their way through your friends, neighbors, pets and loved ones. You’ve killed them with shotguns, bombs, typing, and physics, but now it’s time to really stick it to the undead – now it’s time to kill them with math.

Maths Of The Dead is a quirky little title that casts you in the role of a super intelligent monkey. You’re placed behind a keyboard and zombies of various different shapes and sizes are shambling towards you, intent on feasting on your succulent monkey flesh. Each of the zombies has a simple equation above their head; type in the right answer and the zombie falls down re-dead.

It’s a simple premise, borrowed slightly from Sega’s re-imagining of their House of The Dead series of games as a typing tool. The zombies here are cutesy and non-threatening and the monkey is delightfully deranged. The music is frivolous, the sound effects hilarious and the whole package just screams “fun”.

The typing interface is a little unwieldy, and sometimes you can find yourself accidentally typing in huge strings of numbers when you keep getting things wrong, but other than that, there are no huge problems with the game itself. The difficulty could do with a bit of tweaking, and a few more sums could do to be thrown into the mix, but these are minor complaints; this is a loveable bundle of simian versus zombie fun, and who can’t enjoy that?

Maths Of The Dead is one of those rare games that actually makes learning fun. Zombies may be omnipresent nowadays, but it’s nice to see someone trying something a little different with them, even if that something different is just a riff on another game. It’s hard not to play Maths of The Dead with a smile on your face, even when things get tough – it’s a well built, hugely enjoyable little title that proves you don’t need flashy graphics and sky high production values to make a good game.

Tiki Towers 2: Monkey Republic review

Tiki Towers 2: Monkey Republic review

Apr 14, 2011

Developer: GameHouse
Price: US$2.99
Version: 1.2.0
App Reviewed on: Motorola Droid X

Tiki Towers 2: Monkey Republic could have been a really fun game. It’s a bridge/tower/structure building game where you’re trying to help monkeys reach a certain point on each level. Along the way, you collect all the bananas, use the fewest number of pieces possible, and voila, you’ve won the game. Unfortunately, it suffers from a number of critical flaws that really suck the fun right out of it.

First among the most egregious of problems is the unresponsive control scheme. Here’s a typical scenario: I’m trying to scroll the screen so I can see where I need to put the next building piece, except the game thinks I’m trying to insert a bridge piece and acts accordingly. I delete the piece added by mistake and try scrolling the screen again, except, this time, it’s not responding at all. I tap all over the screen, trying to find a spot where I can get it to scroll. This happens again and again until it finally works. Mission accomplished, or so I assume.

I complete the structure and turn the monkeys loose. They screech and hoot and jump all over the place, tearing the structure apart until it crumbles into nothing and I fail to pass the level. So, I rebuild, unleash hell and watch the monkeys either become confused or fall to their deaths, again. At this point, I gently place my phone down on the desk and invoke the healing powers of “Scream Therapy.”

When Tiki Towers 2 is on, it’s really on. The well-designed characters and wild antics of the monkeys are cute and funny. You really get into the game and have a great time. Then you just hit a little snag here and there, like, where did the sound go? Why can’t I erase these pieces? Why did the monkey go off in THAT direction? The banana is RIGHT THERE, just grab it! Why are you monkeys so stupid? WHY?

Strangely enough, I can see how the monkeys jumping around and ripping your hard work to shreds could be considered an extra challenge, and not just a cruel joke. That is, until after redesigning a tower 3 or 4 times, running out of pieces and gently weeping as I realize, I’m going to have to rethink the entire plan. Sometimes, though, the game just works. The structure survives, the monkeys get their bananas and I can move on.

Tiki Towers 2 offers 30 levels of physics and monkeys. You’ll find challenges galore, items to help you on your way and levels with multiple solutions leading to branching paths on your way to the end of the game. It’s a “World of Goo” clone that, in the end, just makes me wish I were playing “World of Goo” instead. If you have enough patience to see past the flaws and embrace the extra challenges, you might have a lot of fun. As for me, I found little to enjoy as I worked my way through the game.