Racing Randy Review

Racing Randy Review

Nov 17, 2014

Racing Randy is a new endless runner featuring a long eared pilot and his doomed attempts to peacefully fly his airplane. Will the fur fly?

Racing Randy lacks any surprises for avid fans of endless runners. Players fly their plane along a course, avoiding hazards along the way. Hazards include electrified barriers, stationary clouds and flying missiles, among others. The sky is inexplicably filled with gold coins just waiting for an enterprising lope eared pilot to snatch them up. These coins can be spent on a small collection of disposable items. Unlike most runners, there are no permanent upgrades or buffs here to work on. Items instead are all one shot deal that destroy incoming hazards or speed up the player’s movement.

Screenshot_2014-11-13-11-16-53The problem with this system is that it is quite boring. The game isn’t all that interesting to begin with. It moves quite slowly and there is nothing in the game mobile gamers haven’t seen done many, many times before. The lack of interesting upgrades or gameplay quirks really hurt Racing Randy’s long term potential as well. This is compared to a game like Jetpack Joyride where there is endless fun in combining items and the fun vehicles. The only vehicle RR has is a very expensive alternate plane. Randy just has little to it.

Racing Randy’s presentation doesn’t do it any favors. Sporting rather plain sprites and little animation to speak of, the game looks very poor even compared to games several years old, such as Jetpack Joyride or even Temple Run. Compared to the visual feast many runners dish up Racing Randy doesn’t provide much to look at.

Screenshot_2014-11-13-11-18-31The sound is poor as well. There are only about two sound effects in the game: one for collecting coins and one for hitting obstacles. The music is very repetitive.

A final nail in Randy’s coffin is that it features a lot of video ads. Whenever a new game begins a 20 second video ad buffers away.

Racing Randy is an uninteresting and poorly presented runner with nasty ads and there are simply far too many better examples of the genre to warrant spending any time playing it.

KickStarter Spotlight: Super Retro Squad

KickStarter Spotlight: Super Retro Squad

Jun 27, 2012

KickStarter is a great avenue for developers to take their free small time online game into the next level and turn it into a fully fledged, premium product. Prime example of this is the developer studio Exploding Rabbit from Sacramento whose popular online game Super Mario Bros. Crossover was at a standstill and was essentially stuck as a side project because of the use of classic Nintendo characters. But with funding from the lovely interwebs this brilliant collection of programmers can take their idea to the next level and create a game like Super Retro Squad.

For those unfamiliar with Super Mario Bros. Crossover it takes the classic Super Mario Bros. levels that everyone is familiar with and introduces other classic Nintendo characters such as Link, Samus, Mega Man, Bill Rizer from Contra, and of course, Mario and Luigi. Each character comes complete with most of their abilities from their respective games and come in multiple “skins” spanning their long run in 2-D gaming. Super Retro Squad is a homage to the retro games of yore, and contains over 40 levels across 8 worlds. The gameplay is classic platforming and will be playable, like SMB Crossover, as 8 different characters, who each have their own world.

It isn’t as if Exploding Rabbit has completely forgotten about the Nintendo universe as the characters in the game all bear a suspicious similarity to those trademarked Nintendo stalwarts. Think of Super Retro Squad as more of a trip into a Nintendo Bizarro World that contains German mining brothers, Mecha Boy, a female Samurai, and a Samus and Tony Stark love child.

Response has been incredibly positive for this project and it is already fully funded with 23 days to go. This means all the extra funding goes toward ‘stretch goals’ that include Time Attack, Leader Boards, and Achievements for double funding, multiple languages for triple, and if the funding is quadrupled, which seems fully reasonable, a 9th character, EVE VII, will be added to the game, bringing with it extra levels in another world. So take the time to head over to KickStarter and help this game achieve its full potential.

Puzzled Rabbit – Review

What do rabbits have to do with puzzles? Well, normally not much, until Puzzled Rabbit. Puzzled Rabbit is a brain-teaser puzzle-solving game that uses a simple package to bring you some very complex conundrums. The rabbit is a little patchwork (or possible origami) fellow who just wants to move some red blocks into their homes on the game board. It’s not really clear why except that getting the blocks into their proper places will “make the rabbit happy”. I’ll be honest, it makes me happy to do, but it’s less to do with the rabbit and more about the fact that the puzzles are honest to goodness head-scratchers the satisfaction of solving them gives me some real Pavlovian delight.

To solve a puzzle you need to move the red block(s) on the screen into green brackets. You are graded on time it takes to solve, and number of moves taken to complete it. There are some simple physical rules – the rabbit pushes the blocks around one hop at a time with each hop counting as a move, and only he can only push the blocks in one direction at a time. Which means that if you get a block stuck in a corner then there is no way for the rabbit to get it out. But luckily the gamemakers saw fit to give us an Undo Move button, allowing you to retrace your steps back to where you went wrong or to start over completely if necessary. And it’s not all blind guessing, either. Clicking once on a block will show you (in the form of target blue circles radiating outward) what the moves are that you can perform on it. So with some trial and error any puzzle can be solved. But they do offer a challenge and that is what will keep you coming back.

A final treat that the makers added, likely as a nod to its mind-expanding properties, is quotes from well-known big thinkers as the prize for the completion of each stage. For example: “Change your thoughts and you change your world.” – Norman Vincent Peale. They didn’t need to add that little detail, but the fact that they do…well, I love it.

The controls are not difficult to use for me, but could be for others so I can’t say that it has no flaws. And the graphics and music are very simplistic, so it’s not very visually captivating. If you need that sort of thing to keep you invented in a game then you may be disappointed.