Catapult King Review

Catapult King Review

Mar 28, 2013

I think a lot of people admire what Angry Birds did for the mobile gaming space. Almost overnight, it became a cult classic and the de facto kingmaker of mobile platforms, and pretty much showed us that avian revenge could be effected with a catapult and a basic understanding of simulated flight physics.

I say all that to say this: to call Catapult King a clone of Angry Birds does both games a huge, undeserved disservice.

Yes, there’s a catapult. Yes, there are platforms with preening enemies. But instead of birds, I got to use more genteel boulders, and the Angry Birds franchise doesn’t yet have a medieval spin-off. And all those Angry Birds may have gone after Darth Vader, but have not yet tangled with a dragon, have they?

My, my… the catapult was a thing of beauty. It was big, it was menacing, and it had range. It looked real enough, with the developer doing well to replicate wood, levers and rocks. I also liked the green scenery that somehow allowed a rogue dragon look at home. The animations were smooth, and special effects were, well, special. All in all, it was a rich 3-D featurette that completely enveloped the story.

The gameplay fit together well. Extra fearsome boss holding a damsel in distress? Check. Inept, mocking henchmen? Present. Cool power-ups? Here. The catapult action needed some learning, but was not too difficult to figure out. I especially loved the complexities of the targets; the henchmen were generally spread out on wooden structures, and they got harder the further asking u progressed. I had a limited amount of projectiles to use to dispatch them. Doing so successfully earned me points, jewels and magic units (the magic units allowed me to select power-ups that could be used to ease my way through a particular level).

Call me easily amused, but I thought the power-ups are what really set this title apart from the pack. I hate to be Mr Spoiler here, but allow me to say that the aptly named “Lunar Strike” was awesome in its potency, and the Tornado effect was fantastic as well.

There is so much to like about Catapult King. The familiar type of gameplay will be welcome, but the perspective makes it feel so new. The combination of graphics and extras will most likely leave it as a fan favorite.

Ninja Bees Review

Ninja Bees Review

Mar 20, 2013

Cartels. Factions. Turf wars.

And frogs, toads and Ninja insects. This is the premise behind Ninja Bees from Larku.

The bees are losing their lands, and to survive, they have to take the fight to the frogs and toads.

The initial thing that came to mind is how similar the gameplay is to Angry Birds. On the surface, it is hard not to see the influence: I had to use bees as projectiles to destroy the amphibious land grabbers regardless of the fortifications. Stimulating a slingshot, I used my finger to generate potential energy. I also had to judge arc of travel so as to hit the exact spot I wanted to hit.

At many levels, physics was the name of the game, and the developer did a pretty good of making it look realistic. I also noted that strategy came into play the further I advanced. There was stuff like air geysers that I could use to my benefit, and sometimes, a planned attack went further that brute force.

There was a finite number of bees I could fling per level, so of course, I had to do a good job with limited resources. Damage to structures surrounding the frogs also led to points, and the higher point total, the more achievements.The unused bees at every level were converted to bonus points.

One cool feature was the usage of beers that possessed special powers. These powers ran the gamut, and feel within the creative boundaries of the game: roundhouse kicking bees, Ninja bombs, pounding bees and such.

The graphics were effective without being overpowering, and the music felt quite appropriate. The transitions worked with unnoticeable stutter.

I though Ninja Bees was a creative take on an obsessively popular genre. Since the gameplay is so familiar, I think it will resonate with a lot of people.