Look Out Below Review

Look Out Below Review

Oct 25, 2013

More and more mobile games are utilizing physics in unique ways. Ever since the rise of Angry Birds, developers are looking for new ways to bring the force that dictates all things in the real world into the games that appear on phones and tablets. Physics are implemented in a variety of different games, offering unique game play options and interesting ways of using the laws of science within the game. Look Out Below is one of those games that offers an uncommon usage of physics while offering a simple, but testing game play.

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The goal of Look Out Below seems simple enough; drop cargo in order to keep your broken and falling plane in the sky and in one piece. But there is more to this title than just that. In this game, the goal is also to make sure the various cargo one dumps gets a safe landing. The cargo isn’t just random boxes either; players will have to deal with anything from supply crates to livestock to paratroopers in your cargo hold, while assuring you drop them where the given cargo will land the safest. Points are scored for safe landings of the cargo and points are deducted for non safe landings. This, of course, occurring while the player still needs to keep the aircraft in the sky and not crashing to the earth, or any subsequent terrain that is in the way. As one can see, it’s very easy to have a negative score at the end of a level, if a player only concerns themselves with the safety of the plane.

Physics, however, plays a major role in a player’s success or failure in dropping their cargo. Anything thrown from the plane doesn’t simply fall to the ground in a beautiful straight line. Rather, players will have to be concerned with a more realistic freefall of the cargo, more based on weight than anything. Luckily, there isn’t anything extreme such as weather or wind, but timing and accuracy are still the keys for success in Look Out Below.

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Other ancillary things, such as the music and graphics, are also pretty stellar in this title. The graphics in Look Out Below won’t rival the beauty of a game like Sine Mora, but they certainly aren’t to be casted off as nothing either. The graphics may resonate with people who were fans of older console graphics from the original Xbox or PS2 era, which weren’t shabby. For a team comprised of 2 people (plus occasional extras, according to their site), both the graphics and sound are done in such a way that this game looks and feels as great as it is to play.

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Look Out Below may not be the kind of game you know you want to play, but after giving it a chance, you’ll wonder why you never found it before. This simple but challenging indie game sets out to bring the retro arcade experience to mobile devices, and does an all around impressive job at doing so. There’s absolutely nothing that should irk the player of this title, other than the difficulty of the game itself. Look Out Below won’t let you pull a “Miracle on the Hudson”, but it does soar high as a entertaining game for anyone to enjoy.

Aces of the Luftwaffe Review

Aces of the Luftwaffe Review

Sep 3, 2013

The Battle of Britain remains one of the most renown tales of perseverance in world history. It pitted what was then considered the unconquerable German Air Force against the outmatched (but indomitable) British forces. The end result arguably changed world history and highlights that force of will is always the biggest factor in any sort of conflict.

In Aces of the Luftwaffe, we have a drummed down, arcade-y version of the battle. The numbers are stacked against us, the ammunition is seemingly unending and the power-ups and coins keep dropping.

In this flying adventure, it is a top-down view that lends itself to the action perspective; the controlled Royal Air aces1Force fighter flies from roughly the bottom of the bottom of the screen. The enemy plains start out from the opposite end, but eventually, formations fly in from all over, and there is even fire from behind to contend with. Thankfully, our defending ships shoots perpetually, which helps with the endless swarms. Blasting the enemy usually frees goodies like upgrades and medals. The medals are literally golden, as they hold the key to creating a truly competitive craft for future levels.

Controlling the craft is fairly intuitive; moving the plane is a simple matter of tapping and holding the plane, so keeping the finger is key to maneuvering around the flying area to dodge enemy fire, planes and to collect said goodies. This simplicity is also a bit of a hindrance, and it can sometimes block the view. Grabbing the dropping medals inadvertently increases the challenge of the game, as they don’t always appear in optimal areas. Getting hit by bullets or by diving opponents leaves damage that is reflected by damage to the “screen” during play. The gold medals help increase the attributes of the plane.

It won’t be a a true arcade game without the requisite bosses, and this game as plenty of them through the levels.

Graphically, the game has decent looks, but I couldn’t shake the feeling that I could have used a bit more polish with regards to the background. At some pints, it looks very busy… almost distracting. The pursuit of medals almost overtakes the gameplay, but the in-app purchasing is available for folks inclined.

For a fun time-waster with a cool bit of history behind it, AOTL is a cool option.

Air Patriots Review

Air Patriots Review

Jan 2, 2013

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again. If any developer wants a piece of the Android tower defense pie, said developer must come correct. It could be said that even more important than just glitzy graphics and slick animations, the elements of the game have to be tweaked to keep people’s attention.

Well, Amazon (via Lemon Team) throws its hat into the tower defense gaming ring with Air Patriots, a creative, somewhat daring take on the gaming favorite.

The base gameplay is familiar. I, the off-screen puppeteer, directed a squadron of planes tasked with preventing enemy tanks from getting from point A to B. My squadron comprised of planes of different capabilities and rates of creation. Now, what makes Air Patriots unique is how my units move. Basically, they were planes… they moved around, and I could also use my finger to give them a flight path of limited length. There were two, windy paths for the tanks to take; as to be expected, different tanks had different values: varying degrees of armor, speed and such. I was able to carve out a flight path with my finger, and my plane did the shooting when in range. When the life bar on the tank was completely drained, the tank was destroyed. Sometimes, the the destroyed/disappearing tanks left behind parts for a while that I had to claim quickly by tapping; such parts could be used for my own equipment.

Different types of planes and weapons were created for usage at different rates, and tapping the ready ones deployed them immediately into play. Now, packing as many planes as possible into the playing grid wasn’t always productive; the developer made it possible for planes to collide with one another, meaning that flight plans could be interfered with inadvertently by my own planes.

Leveling up increased the play factors. Graphically, the game was well done, incorporating nice animations and fitting sounds. The in-app purchasing system was convenient but non-essential.

All in all, it was a fun game that is well worth the reputation.

Panic Flight Review

Panic Flight Review

Dec 5, 2012

Flying games can be a lot of fun. These types of games can vary quite a bit in the skill level required, controls used, graphics and overall goal. Panic Flight has a fun take on piloting a plane. The goal of the game is to get to the destination as quickly as possible. When in flight, the most direct route is not what’s required.

Panic Flight is a very cartoony flying game. The controls are very simple. To control the plane, simply place a finger on the screen and drag it in the direction the plane needs to go. These type of controls make it much easier to complete acrobatic moves. However, it also makes lining up the plane to get the bonus objects in air slightly more difficult.

Throughout the game there are objects in the air to obtain. Some of them are upgrades while others are coins and yet others are dangers. The coins in the flights are used as currency to purchase upgrades in between levels.

Fuel is decreased while flying normally, but also decreased when the plane flies to darker clouds. If enough clouds are flown through, all the fuel runs out and the plane crashes.

Some of the upgrades but attainable while in flight are extra fuel and turbo. this can definitely help get to the destination in one piece. Other disasters look out for are the skulls and tornadoes. Both of these will greatly decrease the ability to fly. Between levels. It’s a good idea to take a look at what upgrades are available for purchase. Some of the upgrades are planes as well as items to help get the flights to the destination as quickly and safely as possible.

Panic Flight is more difficult than it first appears. It takes a little bit of practice to get used to maneuvering around the clouds and still being able to acquire all the upgrades and coins during flight.

Paper War For 2 Players Review

Paper War For 2 Players Review

Jun 3, 2011

Some games were destined to be brilliant. Everything about them, from art style to gameplay just screams success. Other games are destined to be abysmal. Then, there are those which defy classification, games that have some features that shine brighter than the rest. Paper War is one of those.

The game is a simple shooter, for one or two players, that sees you blasting away at anything that moves and some things that don’t. In single player, the game’s generic, a riff on Space Invaders with some nice sketchy graphics and little else to recommend it. In multiplayer, however, the game finds its feet.

There are three modes on offer, each of them a twist on the basic single player game, all played on a single phone. Anti-Aircraft has you shooting your opponent’s planes with a cannon, Plane Smasher is a frantic tap-’em-up where you have to tap opposing colored planes and avoid tapping your own and Cannon Battle is a battle between two cannons, with wind speed and direction coming into play.

In a strange way, the game reminds me of Point Blank, Namco’s lightgun classic. Each of the modes is a mini game in its own right, and the color coded blasting is especially reminiscent. That’s no bad thing either, because Paper Wars also manages to capture the same rich vein of playability as its arcade-based ancestor.

So, if you’re looking for a game to play on your own, there are many better alternatives out there, and the game has no online multiplayer component either. What it does have is some of the best same phone multiplayer available on the Android Market. It might not be to everyone’s taste, but it’s fun, easy to play and pretty addictive as well. Well worth shelling out for if you’ve got some time to kill and a friend to hand.