Cat Basket Review

Cat Basket Review

Feb 4, 2014

Cat Basket features a crazy cat lady with a basket riding on a giant cat. More cats plummet form the top of the screen. The object, unsurprisingly is to catch the cats in your basket. The more cats grabbed in a row, the higher the score multiplier climbs. Besides the rain of pink felines dogs also inexplicably fall from the sky. Catching a dog in the basket or allowing it to fall onto the cat below injuries your cat transport. Missing three dogs ends the game. To avoid this tapping and holding the screen flips the basket over and turns it into a spiked barrier. If the dogs fall on this they are spiked away . Of course while the basket is flipped cats can’t be caught.

Screenshot_2014-01-31-11-47-21Besides the rain of cats and dogs healing items that restore a life can be caught and another sparkly item that has a random effect. It might starts a super heavy rain of cats or it might unleash a torrent of dogs or just give an extra life, among other things.

That is Cat Basket, its gameplay is very basic and it’s a simple game for anyone to play.

I personally would not recommend Cat Basket to kids however as I feel the violence against animals portrayed in it could be a bit much for younger players.

Screenshot_2014-01-30-19-15-44It is worth mentioning that Cat Basket features no microtransactions of any kind. While this is very welcome it also means that the game lacks the drive to upgrade skills or items, a common theme in many casual games of this type. Without new items or upgrades to unlock and work towards Cat Basket loses a fair bit of long term appeal. The game just doesn’t take advantage of the possibilities of mobile gaming.

Cat Basket is certainly eye catching. The game is a cornucopia of bright colors and smooth animation. The game’s simple yet slick presentation makes it inviting.

The sound, while cute and all can get very annoying. In particular the constant high pitched mews as you catch cats can get irritating very fast. It would be great if there was an option to disable this. The hyperactive music gets the job done however.

Cat Basket is decent enough for a free game. While it won’t win any awards it is still a game with no microtransactions and competent gameplay.

Could Retro Dreamer’s Cat Basket be the World’s Leading Crazy Cat Lady Simulator?

Could Retro Dreamer’s Cat Basket be the World’s Leading Crazy Cat Lady Simulator?

Jan 10, 2014

The creators of Sneezies, Ice Cream Jump, and Velocispider are ringing in the new year by releasing a trailer for their upcoming Cat Basket, a casual arcade game about catching falling cats. And just cats. No dogs. The game’s coming “very soon,” so catch this trailer before you catch a cat.

SlamBots Review

SlamBots Review

May 27, 2013

Retro Dreamer has taken the basic trappings of a formula it introduced in Happy Poo’s Revenge and have expanded it out into a more full-fledged game in SlamBots. The increase in fledging has paid off quite well, as this is a fun endless title from the developer.

Expect to die frequently, as there’s a bouncing slambot to control by tilting horizontally, who can only take down enemies by bopping their heads, with the added ability to slam down by tapping on the screen. Hitting an enemy from the side or below? Game over, man. Thus, the challenge becomes to use the platforms available to get a leg up, and to stay alive! Of course, some of the platforms crumble and catch on fire, so there’s that, but then there’s the platforms that become extra-bouncy, allowing players to fly high up in the air and collect coins! Scores definitely have an accelerating effect to them, where later on in the game, so many enemies spawn that it becomes more difficult to not bounce off of them; this is when it becomes important to have the upgrades to slam down in to enemies more!

SlamBots-07

Coins serve as the currency for the game’s upgrade system, which allows fo rthe slam meter to be recharged faster, for a shield to be unlocked, and for new characters and machines to be used. Want to control a zombie named Colin in a giant spiked wrecking ball? Congratulations, today’s a perfect day. However, the upgrades don’t get in the way of the gameplay at all – they just serve as a supplement to it. The bouncing mechanic is just fun to play with, and the game is easy to bounce back into after failing. The tilt controls work extremely well, and the pixel art, taking after the underappreciated earlier Retro Dreamer title Velocispider, is great.

The game has just a few lacking features: one, there’s no leaderboards yet. Hey, Google Play Game Services just became available so I’ll excuse this one…for now. As well, there’s no ability to actually buy coins, just to earn them through Liking Retro Dreamer on Facebook or by watching video ads. This is quite possibly due to the issues with payments on Google Play, where Google doesn’t handle international taxes like Apple does, so this is understandable as well. The game is ad-supported as well, and the post-game ads that pop up to download other games wind up being way too easy to open up accidentally.

Minus these minor quibbles, SlamBots is a must-download. Its simple gameplay boasts surprising depth and is endlessly replayable to boot. Plus, Velocispider is an unlockable character. So yeah, go get this for free.

Slambots from Retro Dreamer Now on Android

Slambots from Retro Dreamer Now on Android

May 24, 2013

Here’s a happy late Friday surprise! Retro Dreamer has released their latest title, SlamBots, for free on Android. An evolution of their previous title Happy Poo’s Revenge, featuring a pixel art style akin to Velocispider. Players control a bouncing SlamBot that must bop its enemies on the head to take them down, with the ability to slam in to the ground. Oh, and there’s an evil laughter when you die, which will happen a lot. Download it for free now, before those iOS fools get to play it!

Happy Jump Review

Happy Jump Review

Nov 30, 2012

Retro Dreamer apparently figured out something kind of silly after all the turds they released on Android: if they cleaned up their act, they had some fun games with mass appeal. And so here we are with Happy Jump, published by NoodleCake Games (to help get the word to the masses). Players control a smiling jelly, who squishes and bounces his way higher and higher, avoiding dangerous flies, crumbling platforms, and coin layouts that threaten to leave the happy little jelly feeling distraught as he falls back to the ground.

The game falls somewhere between Doodle Jump and Mega Jump on the endless jumper scale, as there are both platforms to jump on and coins that propel the happy candy higher up in the air. There’s also Bejeweled Blitz-esque pre-game boosts, like getting head starts, shields, or special point bonuses.

The game is fairly simple, but it executes well, as the tilt controls work very well, and the gameplay doesn’t get overly-complicated. There’s a variety of character skins to unlock, such as ice cream, cupcakes, and hats. Every game improves with hats.

Of course, it is a fairly basic game, and one that has been seen before. My one quibble with the mechanics is that the flies tend to be just way too annoying. They’re extremely difficult to avoid, and any kind of meaningful run requires the shield powerup to be used just to survive hits from them, as the timing windows to avoid them is often very, very tight. As well, it can be difficult to discern between a fruit boost that can take out enemies and just a coin boost; I died often from thinking I had one when I really had the other.

While this isn’t Retro Dreamer’s most innovative or even their best game, its effective simplicity and cute characters do have plenty of appeal. Not sick of endless jumpers? Check it out.

Velocispider Review

Velocispider Review

Sep 24, 2012

It has finally happened. Retro Dreamer has teamed up with NoodleCake Games to release Velocispider for Android. The eponymous protagonist is half-velociraptor, half-spider, and also has a giant cannon on its head because it needs to protect its eggs. There’s an evil CEO with bionic marine life that wants those eggs because they’re apparently delicious. Well, no one eats a velocispider’s eggs without a fight.

Said fight is akin to Space Invaders or Galaga. Players tilt horizontally to move, and the cannon fires automatically upward at enemies. Tapping and holding on the screen charges up the cannon, and releasing fires a mighty blast that does a lot of damage and can take out multiple enemies in a row if lined up properly. The player has 3 lives and 3 eggs; losing all 3 eggs means game over, and keeping each one grants an end-of-level score bonus. Any hit takes away a life, though there are extra ones that enemies drop along with weapon powerups. There are 20 levels that are progressively unlocked, with new enemies to fight, including the nefarious CEO himself.

The game is absolutely ridiculous, what with flying robot octopi and giant enemy crabs. The game revels in it, and has ridiculous dialogue from the evil CEO to go with it. While there is plenty of challenge in later levels, half of the fun comes from trying to get high scores. This is best accomplished by starting from the beginning, and trying to survive. The powerups and extra lives help out a lot.

The game looks great, even on high-resolution screens, though because the game was originally intended to be played on a 2:3 aspect ratio, taller screens like the Galaxy S III have a lot of unused space, and because the game just shifts the picture down, it’s extremely noticeable. There’s another thing that the transition to Android really loses, and that’s high scores. Part of the fun of doing a high score run from the beginning was to try and best friends’ scores. Because there’s no Game Center equivalent for Android, the app just feels extremely empty, and the experience really loses something. Even just some basic leaderboards would be extremely welcome.

So, minus the lack of competition, Velocispider is as fun ridiculous as it ever was. Fans of retro-style shoot ’em ups will absolutely dig this game.

Retro Dreamer Finds Unexpected Success With Joke App Happy Poo

Retro Dreamer Finds Unexpected Success With Joke App Happy Poo

Apr 9, 2012

So, remember Happy Poo, that game from Retro Dreamer that was created as a response to the frustrations of Android? Well, life has a funny way of working. See, as it turns out, Android users didn’t really catch the joke. Android users really loved Happy Poo. It has over 10,000 downloads on Google Play. On the Amazon Appstore, it got all the way up to #3 on the free charts. As Gavin Bowman of Retro Dreamer notes, it sadly didn’t reach number two. But thanks to these downloads and the ads in the game, a crazy fact has emerged from the development of Happy Poo.

They’ve made a profit off of this joke app. A modest one, but one that they’ve taken and spent on more Happy Poo apps. Based on developer friends enjoying the game and competing to see who could polish their smiling little turds the fastest, there’s now Happy Poo for 2 where players race to polish the quickest on one device. Think this isn’t enough of a game? Then try the endless jumper Happy Poo Jump. Don’t find cartoon poo all that enticing? Then perhaps Wash The Dishes is more your speed. It’s all silliness, and so far download counts haven’t shown that they’ll hit a kind of critical mass the way that the original Happy Poo did, but considering that they didn’t have any promotion at all, it’s still silly to think – they’ve at least broken even on the games.

Of course, that’s more than they can say about Android as a whole. Especially when a passive-aggressive joke game is outselling the Android version of their biggest hit, Sneezies.

So, the plan for Retro Dreamer is to just focus on iOS development from here on out. They’ve had their ‘fun’ with the Android platform. They’ve been frustrated with their performance, they’ve gotten to make their jokes – literally – and the Android market fell for it hook, line, and stinker.

But here’s how crazy Android has gotten – a developer is retreating to the safer waters of the iOS App Store after Android proved to be too crazy.

Maybe the whole mobile market’s just gone to [censored].

EDIT: Gavin Bowman of Retro Dreamer has posted in our comments clearing up a few points from this article, check it out below.

Sneezies Review

Sneezies Review

Feb 20, 2012

What may be iOS developer Retro Dreamer’s most poopular game, Sneezies, is now available on Android. This is a game of chain reactions: the cute Sneezies float around the screen, and players tap anywhere on the screen to pop them. When popped, they sneeze, and the debris then pops other Sneezies in range, who then pop others with their sneeze, and so on until no more Sneezies can be popped. The goal is generally to pop a set number of Sneezies in each level. Simple as that.

This is a perfect game for kids. The simple controls, bright colors, and cute characters, are perfect for the young ones to play around with when they pick up the phone or tablet. The game has multiple modes outside the main one, including a ten-level Score EX mode, a Challenge mode with multiple pops, and a free popping mode that just lets players pop Sneezies with no time limit or restrictions.

At later difficulties, it feels more like luck is involved in succeeding, at least in the main mode. Finding a good starting point for the chain reactions is key, but at some point, it just becomes about sitting back and hoping that everything works out well. The Challenge mode’s multiple pops make it more skill-based, but there are still bonuses for events that are out of the player’s control. The game really just does not feel as much like a skill game, as much as it is just one for kids (or anyone else looking for a simple game) to sit back and enjoy, marveling at the cute colors.

Sneezies is not the deepest game out there, but it is a fun distraction, and popping the little fuzzballs is quite entertaining. The game is available for free from the Android Market, and in a paid version with art for high-resolution screens from the Amazon Appstore.

Retro Dreamer Throws Happy Poo at Android Wall, Hopes it Sticks

Retro Dreamer Throws Happy Poo at Android Wall, Hopes it Sticks

Jan 18, 2012

Android is just full of crap. Literally. This is the story of a game developer, who is not having a very good time on Android. Meet Gavin Bowman. He released his studio’s first Android title last week, DoubleTake. Readers will note that we covered the game last week, and it recently was released to the Amazon Appstore as well. The game has not really caught fire yet, as it’s only had about a hundred or so downloads. So, Retro Dreamer have decided to keep trying to draw blood from this stone, and have released a classy new game: Happy Poo – Turd Polisher.

This game has players polishing a smiling brown lump of unknown origin, and it must be vigorously polished until it is shiny and happy. It opens and closes its eyes while it is being polished, and it seems rather happy at the prospect of being polished. Polish that little guy! Try to set a record time! Then, do it again!

According to reviews, players love Happy Poo! It currently has twice as many reviews as DoubleTake, proving that people love this crap! Prophet says “Very good fast-paced gameplay. Could have earned 5* if there were bonuses and powerups” – will their prophecy come true some day? David “had a chuckle at the graphics and thought the presentation was good.” Finally, patcheung says that it makes time spent while playing the game on the toilet go faster! The game was reviewed on the HTC Evo 3D – will a 3D-optimized version being coming someday?

The game was made in less than a week, and thanks to Android Market’s instantaneous publishing times, Retro Dreamer programmer Gavin Bowman can put out more quick games like this, just throwing them at the wall until something sticks. Because in this market, that’s apparently what needs to be done in order to get some attention, to keep from losing all hope in this market.

Longtime iOS Developer Retro Dreamer Enters the World of Android with Matching Game DoubleTake

Longtime iOS developer Retro Dreamer has finally made their debut on Android. Speaking with Retro Dreamer’s Gavin Bowman, he has expressed skepticism toward Android as a viable platform, though they are now experimenting with releasing games for it. The first of their Android releases is a port of their memory matching game, DoubleTake. This game has players flipping over tiles, trying to match the same shapes with each other. There are four different modes: Sprint, where players try to make as many matches as possible in 60 seconds; Timed, where players race against the clock to make matches, with each match increasing the timer; Survival, where each mismatch drains health, and each match replenishes health; Finally, there’s Basic, where the goal is to make a full grid of matches. The game is available for free, and is ad-supported. Gavin Bowman has mentioned potentially working on their biggest iOS game, Sneezies, for Android as well. For more, listen to today’s episode of The Portable Podcast.