Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials Review

Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials Review

Dec 31, 2015

At this point, color me spoiled; yes, I admit it… when new movies come out, I actually expect a companion game… or two. It’s becoming standard practice, especially with dystopian movies. We saw The Maze Runner, and with the sequel to the movie it was based on out now, it’s nice to see a companion game has just been released for it.

Welcome to Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials.

From the get go, one is forced to waste too much time with backstory; potential spoilers aside, it leads the player beyond where the original left off. Past the maze, one is greeted with artwork that underscores the underlying concept mr3of the source material: humanity has hit a snag, and this is clearly reflected in the wrecked landscape that frames the game.

On the surface, this is a three-laned running game, presented in portrait orientation, just like the original game, but this one doesn’t try to hard to emulate the original exactly. This works well, because the game gets its own identity in the way it is laid out, with hills and dropping cars. The swiping mechanism of control moves the protagonist runner in darting left and right, as well as jumping and sliding underneath obstacles. There are collectibles and even a crafting element tossed in

This one is interesting in that it is clearly a sequel, but still somehow manages to be quite unique. The source material is clearly there, but the way the developer manages to create said dystopian, uneven world within a three-laned runner is, for lack of a better term, pretty cool. The sun-drenched roving hills and scattered remnants of civilization make for a compelling background and challenging gameplay, as one is forced to adjust to a seemingly 3D environment that changes in unexpected ways. If one is expecting a clone of the original tile, one should be pleasantly surprised.

It comes together nicely, with a simple concept framed within a familiar game genre, and still manages to have some tricks up its sleeve.

Amazon Appstore FAOTD: Monsters Ate My Condo

Amazon Appstore FAOTD: Monsters Ate My Condo

Aug 3, 2015

For today’s free app on the Amazon Appstore, we get another one that made the list before: Monsters Ate My Condo.

Some excerpts from the app description:

Product Description
Feed the creatures and prevent the destruction of all humankind!

Adult Swim Games and PikPok present all-new monster puzzle action!! Terrible catastrophe! Four ferocious monsters of destruction are on a rampage and only residential high-rises will satisfy their boundless hunger. In this larger-than-life puzzle game, you will use intuitive swipe controls to match the colored floors. Feed the creatures and prevent the destruction of all humankind!

* Feed four ravenous beasts: Boat Head, Reginald Starfire, Mr. Shigoto and Lord Ferocious
* Features both Endless and Time Attack modes
* Play on your phone or tablet!
* Fully-animated monsters to delight players, destroy civilization

From Adult Swim Games, purveyors of the equally-terrifying “Robot Unicorn Attack” and “Amateur Surgeon” games, and PikPok, developers of highly addictive games like the “Flick Kick” series.

The game is usually priced at $0.99.

We had an opportunity to review the game a while back, and mostly enjoyed it.

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[via Amazon Appstore][Our Review]

The Maze Runner Review

The Maze Runner Review

Oct 21, 2014

Admittedly, the runner game category is a bit stacked. Since Temple Run, we have seen a steady number of development houses use the tried and true genre to encase game offerings. And why not? It’s an intuitive game type, with a bit of twitch elements usually tossed in, and varied environments to help frame the gameplay. familiarity can be an advantage in mobile gaming.

With The Maze Runner, we get the trifecta of running games: decent graphics, leveled gameplay and a current-ish book/movie tie-in.

Backstory? It’s based on the movie that is based on the book (that all have the same name). Young people and dystopia are all the rage nowadays, but kids killing kids isn’t at the core of this adventure; an actual maze with teenage runners is. The basic premise is that there is a maze, and the teens run to find a way out, careful to avoid the deadly “Grievers” that inhabit the maze.

The gameplay will look familiar to anyone who has dabbled into runners; the basics are present: three lanes, withmaze1 obstacles that come into play. Gestures control the runner, as is usual in these type of games; swiping left or right causes the runner to dart right or left on a straightway, and to cut in the the direction of the swipe when the straightway ends. Swiping up causes the ever-forward moving runner to jump up, and a downwards swipe causes the runner to slide for a brief spell.

After the basics, the gameplay boils down to making it through the maze segment successfully in the allotted time. Some nice elements are tossed in, as noted, it’s leveled, and there are a few tricks up the games sleeve; first, the collectibles; a set of puzzle pieces need to be collected to successfully pass a stage and unlock the next part of the maze. There are gold coins and boosts hat can be collected; the former allows one to purchase stuff in the in-app store, while the latter help with directly with completion of the runs.

The game is ostensibly free, and makes no bones about requesting cash for the more of the suaver characters. The gold coins can be used to improve attributes too.

Familiarity is good, but The Maze Runner might suffer from being a tad bit too comfortable. It feels as if it doesn’t want to change the genre too much, and is comfortable as such. It does work with or without the surrounding story, and is a decent time-waster.

Halos Fun Review

Halos Fun Review

Dec 9, 2013

PikPok brings mandarin oranges to life in a kid-safe wrapper known as Halos Fun that dares to dream of being even more.

In this one, the mechanics feel a bit like Angry Birds. While there are not any birds or pigs, we do have a catapult to the left, and it is manipulated by dragging on the cutie-laden sling and releasing. Direction and power of launch can be controlled by angling the orange and/or adjusting the virtual tautness of the pull. On the other side, as noted, there are no taunting enemies; instead, raccoons are the enemies, having stolen true halos, and these halos line the right side of the play area. And of course, the less halos needed to clear the halos, the better.

As the game progresses, the halo setups get a bit more complex, with arcade-type bumpers and slides serving as helpers and obstacles at the same time. Some levels are simple affairs; a good strike can set off a sequence of ricochets andhalos1 bounces that clear the section. Other levels need a more measured approach, with timing becoming a major factor the further one goes. There are hidden items to get and also puzzles to solve; such elements help prevent the game from being too one-dimensional.

For every level, reclaiming all the halos with the minimum number of oranges leads to a coveted three-star score. Doing it with more reduces the number of stars proportionately.

Simplicity and familiarity are the games biggest assets. The color scheme is fun and whimsical, and the artwork is bright and engaging, with smiling fruit taking front stage. The animations are smooth, with easy transitions and reasonable graphics.

For a kids game, it helps that there are no in-app purchases to guard against. It is a fun game to try… without or without your child.

Or so I’ve heard…