Hang time with the friends. Bragging rights with family. Down time at school. Reviewing apps for a living (hello!).
One thing is for sure, we all come upon those days when taking on a game like Deadlock: Online is needed by of stress relief, and maybe even profound enjoyment beyond that.
It opens up easily enough, and feels like virtual battle of attrition; the player mans a combatant in an urban landscape, and the basic premise is to knock out your enemies and stay alive. To achieve this feel, the developer uses a top-down perspective. The control system is dual in nature, and, as noted, involved moving around and shooting enemy fighters.
The best part of the game has to be the options. There are different modes, including ones that help prepare one for the main event. One can go online or stay off, and there are quite a few weapons to upgrade to. Real money can be used, but isn’t mandatory.
It’s a straightforward affair, with intuitive pieces that bring it all together. One gets an experienced akin to a virtual paintball match and arcade trimmings. The online aspect is great, and the capture the flag option is especially poignant.
For a game of its potential, my biggest gripe is the control system. Usually, dual stick controls appeal to me, but the movement-aiming mechanism left something to be desired for my taste. I found it relatively easy to move, but the ability to direct fire did not feel as intuitive, and I think the virtual controls could be a bit more forgiving with regards to active area.
Also, the game would probably flow a lot better with more defensive elements like perches, or even the ability to use high risk/reward shots from distance. It is possible to sorta, kinda create a defensive stance, but if one is caught in the open, running seems like the only viable option.
It does create a fast-paced environment, and such does cover up a host of perceived ills. Add in the different modes and the basic concepts, and this one is easier to get into.
Small World 2, the digital version of the hit board game by Days of Wonder, has a new Tournament Style update out now on Android. These features add in expanded multiplayer features, including an improved Online Arena lobby, both synchronous and asynchronous modes, with a new Tournament Style mode for the asynchronous play that determines how much time a player has to move. This means that games can be finished even if one player drops out, and allows for a variety of play styles. This and other improved multiplayer features are in the update, available now on Google Play.
All infinitely cool, but I dare anyone to show me a guy who hasn’t wanted to rock a tank at least once. Go ahead. I’ll wait.
For folks who can’t or won’t do a 4-year bid just to do some infantry driving, Tanktastic is a relatively safe alternative that brings team combat, tactics and good old speed of accurate firing to bear.
Jumping into a random group battle mostly describes the gameplay in all its muscled glory. The task is dropped into a terrain with different types of structured obstacles, and several other manned tanks. It’s a shameless free for all that measures speed, accuracy and cunning. The controls are straightforward, and encourage quick movement and shooting; I felt most comfortable with dual thumb controls.
It felt like a virtual form of paintball, only this game plays out with heavy machinery. There is a mapping feature that aired a view of my tank in relation to nearby tanks; the home tank is one color, bogeys are a different color. It’s possible to zoom in and swing the turret around, and shooting is effected my tapping the weapon button. After that, the biggest things are moving around and watching one’s six. Special packages (like health bonuses) appear and have to be “run into” with the tank so as to be collected.
Experience and action yields game coinage that can be used to unlock tanks. Beyond the “basic” one at the beginning, there are plenty that have impressive attributes that can be purchased. Without real cash, it seems like it does take a while to garner enough game cash “naturally.”
My biggest gripe has to do with the playability. The direction control acted a bit iffy, which is not optimal when an enemy combatant is bearing down on the tank. I found it to easier to keep my left thumb pressed down on the direction toggle permanently.
All in all, the multiplayer functionality makes this one a winner. I like that you can play with friends, or play randomly with built-in text chat.
Super Stickman Golf 2Â is formulaic in the best of ways. Consider the enhancements that came from the originalÂ Stick(man) GolfÂ toÂ Super Stickman GolfÂ – same great gameplay, inventive new courses, a great soundtrack, new super balls, and even eventually multiplayer. It was a very good game that became great thanks to the work that was done on it. That is the formula forÂ SSG2: it adds more great things to an already great package.
The gameplay is the standard hybrid of golf with physics-based “artillery” games where the goal is to launch the ball around a two-dimensional course, trying to get it in the cup in as few strokes as possible. To add it to the craziness, there’s limited-use ball powerups that can freeze water upon impact, stick to walls, and even more. One new powerup is a hole magnet that draws the ball to the hole. Courses integrate new elements like portals, sticky walls, and more.
The big new addition to the game is a long-awaited one: turn-based multiplayer. The firstÂ SSGÂ got a live multiplayer mode in an update on iOS, but no asynchronous mode, which seemed like an omission because of golf’s turn-based nature. Turn-based multiplayer has one player challenging another, choosing the nine-hole course, and then playing through the hole first. The next player watches the replay, plays that hole and then the next one, switching off with their opponent until all 9 holes are completed, and the person with the fewest total strokes wins. The winner gets 1000 XP and 2 Golf Bux; the loser gets 500 XP and 0 Bux, with draws giving 750 XP and 1 buck to each player. Fans of the live race mode multiplayer will be glad to know that it’s still here, but the turn-based multiplayer is such a natural fit for the game and is so much fun that it’s the star of the show: it’s very, very easy to get hooked on this.
Sadly, the lack of a Game-Center-esque service on Android makes it difficult to challenge friends, as there’s just a username entry and seemingly no way to enter a friend’s name manually, which takes some of the fun out of it. Live multiplayer is not in at launch, but NoodleCake says that it is in the works. There’s no way to recover a username, so use an app to back up your save file.
Yes, the game now has in-game currency, which is used on speeding up level-ups to unlock some of the super balls & new costumes, and on the hat lottery to get new hats. Hats are not just stylish, they also contain gameplay modifiers, like additional power, a slower power meter, or sticky super balls. Golf Bux can be earned by completing achievements, or collecting them throughout the courses. Golf Bux can also be bought with real-world money, along with a few other upgrades like the last shot power indicator, additional multiplayer match slots, and an XP doubler. All are optional upgrades, and the powerups can be earned in-game, but spending money can definitely help in a concrete way. Such is the modern app economy.
Super Stickman Golf 2Â is exactly what I could have hoped for from this sequel: new courses, new rockin’ music from Whitaker Trebella & additional contributors, and of course, the turn-based multiplayer. Much like the originals, this is definitely worth checking out.
Madfinger’s long-awaited Shadowgun: Deadzone is…still not officially released but it is one step closer to release, as a public beta has been released. We mean this has been long-awaited: initially revealed earlier this year, it was apparently shown off briefly at Game Developers Conference in March (though at least one demo I tried to attend was delayed due to network issues), and now, seven months later, the public finally gets their hands on it. Of course, a little game called Dead Trigger may have been cause of some of the delays.
Anyway, not everyone can take part in this open beta, only those with Tegra 3 devices can, including Nexus 7 owners. Note that while the game has an account login at the beginning, this is not the same as the account for Dead Trigger, this is brand new.
There’s a standard free-for-all deathmatch mode with an objective-based mode thrown in as well. The game is planned to be free-to-play but at the moment features no currency buying and everything is unlocked, including a powerful rocket launcher with a name we won’t publish. Fun times! Otherwise, for fans of Shadowgun, this is the familiar gameplay with a new deathmatch twist, and the beta is available for free from Google Play.
Fans of Gameloft’s online multiplayer games may soon be getting a chance to talk some smack to their distant opponents thanks to 4G LTE. Gameloft and Verizon will be offering voice chat in Asphalt 6: Adrenaline. According to Baudoin Corman, Gameloft’s Vice President of Publishing, “We are thrilled to be partnering with Verizon to illustrate the potential of in-game voice chat and multiplayer over the 4G LTE network. Gameloft seeks to provide gamers with a complete mobile gaming experience and feels that these features are at the forefront of the platformâ€™s future.”
4G LTE’s benefits for gaming are well-known: OnLive in particular has touted 4G LTE’s low latency connections as what allows them to offer the service to mobile users not on wifi; the improved bandwidth and latency conditions should be ahelp with making these games work more smoothly. Voice chat is something that has existed on iOS through Game Center but not frequently used (one iOS developer I’ve spoken to says that it’s actually something implementable with a few lines of code, which makes it odd that it isn’t implemented as an option) so having it on Android should be a boon to mobile competitive gamers. Just remember that “kill him! kill him!” and shouting expletives in a crowded space is a way for people to get really scared, really quickly.