The Battle Cats Gets New Elements in Update

The Battle Cats Gets New Elements in Update

Mar 21, 2015

PONOS is giving its game The Battle Cats some upgrade love and the changes are major.

Per Google Play, the changes are listed below:

What’s New
– Added User Rank system (Appears after clearing Chapter 2)
The total unit upgrade value will be displayed as your User Rank
When reaching a set rank, you will receive a special reward!
– Added a True Form for Special-grade characters
You can evolve to this True Form after completing certain objectives.
– New characters added to the Rare Capsule Machine!
– New Event Stages
– New Legend Stages
– Revised Save Data Transfer process
– Minor bug fixes

The Battle Cats is available for free (with in-app purchases) on the Play Store.

Mr Ninja!! Fever Review

Mr Ninja!! Fever Review

Dec 31, 2014

Mr Ninja!! Fever is an endless runner with a difference. The player takes control of an agile ninja who must bounce frantically between rotating spheres, wiping out lines of enemies as they do so. Since the spheres are constantly rotating, a well-timed jump is necessary to avoid plunging to your doom.

Screenshot_2014-12-11-07-11-41Between the spheres hover lines of enemies that can be defeated with a well-timed jump. Timing a leap perfectly so that all enemies are skewered in a row adds bonus points and increments a multiplier for as long as no enemies are missed. Killing enough enemies activates a “fever” mode but this isn’t very exciting and simply boosts the player’s score for about five seconds, barely enough for one or two jumps. It is a mystery as to why this duration is so short as it makes Fever mode nearly useless and it really feels like an afterthought.

A tight time limit counts down during gameplay. While it is sometimes possible to grab time bonus powerups that add a few precious extra seconds the player is mostly limited to a minute of gameplay at a time. While this may seem to fit into the mobile game mentality of bite size gameplay it simply serves to annoy. You’ll be barreling along between spheres, slicing enemies and blasting out of cannons and suddenly the time limit expires and you’re pulled out of the game. This completely kills the flow and feel of the game. Obviously, the point of the game is to efficiently use your time to get higher scores and be smart about using items and characters to generate more points, but a time based endless runner is just not such a good idea.

Screenshot_2014-12-11-07-43-57Enemies also are quite boring. They are nothing but small, round creatures that are incapable of hurting the player and simply serve as point bonuses. A few more interesting obstacles like spikes that take time off the clock if they are touched add a bit of flair.

Supporting the fairly fun gameplay is a very large amount of characters that level up with use. Everything from ninjas, female warriors, robots and animals are playable with more unlocked by spending in game coins. These characters vary slightly in stats. Some might generate more points, while others may build Fever faster. Each also has a special move, like an extra big jump or the like. A multitude of items and other boosters are also available.

Mr Ninja!! Fever features some freemium elements but these aren’t very noticeable. The most annoying part of this is the dreaded energy system, but there are no annoying ads or nag screens.

Mr Ninja!! Fever looks very slick indeed. A great monochrome style gives the game a classy look and the vibrant orange and black palette really makes the game pop. The catchy music really gets stuck in your head too. The sound however is a bit flat. Every character has the same dull voice and enemies make no sounds.

Mr Ninja!! Fever is a competent runner that is held back by the somewhat restrictive way it can be played and a lack of variation. It is still worth a look for its slick graphics and decent gameplay.


Mr. AahH!! Review

Mr. AahH!! Review

May 31, 2013

Ponos, in bringing their infamous iOS title Mr. Aahh to Android, bring forth somewhat of a different aesthetic to the platform than others do, thanks to the studio’s Japanese origins.

The game itself has players controlling the daredevil Mr. Aahh, who enjoys swinging from platform to platform, trying to land as close to the center as possible. Well, I say he enjoys it, but there’s no actual proof of that. He could just be forced to jump thanks to a tyrannical regime. Consider that! Well, whoever or whatever is causing this to happen, players must time Mr. Aahh’s jump to land as close to the center of the platform as possible However, landing on the platform to begin with is very important, as missing a landing causes the loss of a life. Three falls and it’s game over for Mr. Aahh.

The game is very simple to play, just tapping on the screen to jump once Mr. Aahh starts swinging, tilting to fine-tune the jump.. The game picks up in challenge as variable wind and gravity comes in to play. Suddenly jumps get to be a lot more difficult when the wind is blowing in Mr. Aahh’s face and gravity has increased.

MrAahh-6

The game does a good job at ensuring that players have a rough feel for how the physics work even when the physics get twist-turned upside down. The game requires learning the ‘feel’ of it and how it works, and that takes practice, but it’s rewarding the more that players play. As well, with greater bonuses for landing near the middle and getting ‘JUST’ bonuses consecutively, mastery is especially rewarded.

Now, I think that the aesthetic of Japanese games is something that gets kind of missed in the recent era of gaming: Japanese gaming has a special feel to it that’s represented here. Whether it’s just the music that sounds like it was straight out of a 16-bit game, and just different enough from other chiptunes that are out there. It just has a different feel that’s quite welcome. Japanese gaming has a heavy continuing influence on game developers as a whole, and there’s no reason why it can’t continue.

Mr. Aahh has a simple premise and lots of fun that will come from it. There’s even online leaderboards, albeit with a system that visually apes the look of Game Center on iOS. Fans of arcade-style gaming need to check this one out.

Puzzle Prism review

Puzzle Prism review

Apr 11, 2011

Developer: PONOS
Price: PRICE US$4.11
Version: 1.0.1
App Reviewed on: Motorola Droid X

When I first saw the screenshots of Puzzle Prism, I didn’t think I was going to like it. Not because I thought it looked bad, but because I’ve played 3D variations on Tetris before, and I usually wound up walking away unimpressed. Yet, after playing Puzzle Prism for a few rounds, I didn’t hate it at all; I just kept right on playing because I was hooked.

Puzzle Prism is a typical block dropping game where the goal is to play for the highest score by filling in as many levels as possible. It’s a simple formula that’s been exploited by generations of video games, but still a lot of fun. You have 4 modes to choose from, which you unlock as you play the game. You start at the Standard mode and advance after you hit a certain score.

In Standard mode, you’re playing an endless game featuring a tower that is steadily rising. You have to drop irregularly shaped blocks into the gaps to fill a “level,” causing that level to clear and awarding you with points. As you clear each level, the remaining bits of blocks drop down and either fill in other gaps to create a chain reaction or just lie there, waiting for you to drop another block. The game only ends after the tower reaches the top line.

In Time Attack mode, the same rules apply, however, you have 2 minutes to get as high a score as possible without the tower reaching the top. Dead Line is like Time Attack mode, except that as you drop blocks, the tower rises much more quickly. You have to fill in the spaces about as fast as you can just to keep up. It’s easily the hardest mode, in my opinion, as it comes right at you and almost never lets up.

Finally, you have Extra mode, which is the most unusual of the group. In Extra mode, the tower is a blue block that is steadily dwindling down to nothing. The object is to be as efficient as possible, filling in the level directly on top of the tower. If you slip up and misplace a block, you’ll have to clear it before you can start adding layers again. The game ends when the tower completely disappears. In addition to these 4 modes, you have 88 trophies to unlock and a global leaderboard to compete with, giving you plenty of reasons to keep coming back and playing the game.

The only complaint I have about the game is that the swiping controls were very touchy, sometimes registering a side swipe as a down swipe and immediately dropping a block where I didn’t want it. However, this is easily solved by switching to pad controls in the Options menu. Meanwhile, the psychedelic colors and flashy visuals might not be for everyone, but once you get hooked, you don’t even notice them.

Regardless of these minor problems, I just keep on playing because I really enjoy the core mechanic.

Mr. Space Review

Mr. Space Review

Apr 4, 2011

Developer: PONOS
Price: US$1.40
Version: 1.0.0
App Reviewed on: Motorola Droid X

Ever feel like the walls are closing in on you, like you’re just running from space to space and trying to avoid being crushed? Well, now you can have that feeling everywhere you go, right on your Android device with Mr. Space.

Mr. Space is an extremely simple game. You play as the titular character, running back and forth between the floor and the ceiling of a stage, seeking out an uneven space between the two sections before they come crashing together. Each time you survive, you complete a stage, causing the two sections to reset and forcing you to look for another space to hide in. The more stages you survive, the higher your score.