Blocky BEAST MODE Football Review: run Marshawn… RUN!

Blocky BEAST MODE Football Review: run Marshawn… RUN!

Sep 11, 2017

It’s football season!

It’s when the naming purists like myself willingly step back and allow the pointy ball folks have the limelight. Stateside, football — not the weather, or tree leaves — mark the beginning of Fall. It’s college rivalries renewed, and professional player suspensions are suspended, and we pay $20 for a hot-dog while watching these tiptop athletes battle in grass-grounded arenas, even while taking part via fantasy leagues.

Like I said, it’s football season.blocky2

And with it, hopefully, comes a lot of content, including mobile adventures. Introducing Blocky BEAST MODE Football.

Now, if you know Marshawn Lynch, the mercurial running back that made a name for himself bulldozing defensive backs for the Seattle Seahawks before retiring at the of of his game, checking out this game, which features his blocky digital likeness, should be fun in and of itself.

If you don’t know Marshawn “Beast Mode” yet (now of the Raiders), running as him might just make you a fan.

As you might have guessed, this one is is presented old-school style, with fun chunky characters and matching blocky scenery. It plays in portrait orientation, such that the action proceeds from the bottom of the screen to the top. The action encourages holding the device with two hands to effect a two thumb control system.

Gameplay-wise, it works just like a three-laned runner. Marshawn is running the football, and he looks to dodge the oncoming defenders and get as far as he can… yep, he looks to gain yards. Running into a defender ends the run, and avoiding them is performed by tapping on either side of the screen; tapping on the left makes Marshawn dart to the left, and same goes for the other side.

As you run, you can collect stars and gems, and these can be used to extend runs and unlock stuff in game. The game incorporates achievements, and one can get more game cash by watching ads. Thus, even though real cash can be used, this system does allow for the game to be fairly cash-free if need be.

It’s a simple game, comes well together, and has Marshawn Lynch. They had us at “Beast Mode.”

SEGA Forever looks to take us way back with retro games on Android

SEGA Forever looks to take us way back with retro games on Android

Jun 22, 2017

Ah yes… the good old days.

Those of us that were lucky cut our teeth on SEGA games. Now, SEGA is letting us to relive those heady times with several retro-ish games.

For free.

The “SEGA Forever” collection starts out with five fan favorites featuring some of gaming’s most iconic characters… and there are more to come.

SEGA Mobile West CMO Mike Evans talks about the nostalgia and rediscovery. “Above all else SEGA Forever is a celebration of nostalgia. It’s about allowing fans to reconnect with past experiences and share them with family and friends in an accessible and convenient way,” he says. “Join us on a journey of rediscovery as we roll out two decades of classic games free on mobile. Create your own ‘SEGA Forever folder’ and collect your favorite classics. Enjoy moments of nostalgia on the go, or sync a Bluetooth controller to enjoy a console-like experience in your living room. SEGA Forever democratizes retro gaming, and seeks to change how the world plays, rediscovers, and shares in classic game experiences.”

Here is a linked list of games that are available now.

Sonic The Hedgehog
Comix Zone
Phantasy Star II
Kid Chameleon
Altered Beast

The games are free (with ads); alternatively, one can look to kill the ads via in-app payment.

PinOut Review

PinOut Review

Nov 15, 2016

‘Tis the season of retro, and PinOut helps one to reminisce.

It’s a really glitzy affair, with pulsating colors and contact-ignited visual sequences. The animations are silky smooth, and as game the depends so much pn believable simulated physics, it is feels quite authentic. If one is looking for something that looks like an old-school arcade thriller, this one works well.

But this ain’t your grammy’s pinball, no sir. The mechanics are the familiar, and the controls are equally as intuitive: keep the ball from dropping by pinout3using the paddles to propel it upwards. Tap controls can be used to manipulate the original set of flippers; tapping on either side controls the flipper on the corresponding side.

But unlike a regular pinpall-style game, there isn’t just one set section to bounce around in. The main goal is to travel “higher” and forward, so as to make the ball travel as far as possible. Think of it as a pinball machine that has an endless height area, and you, the player, is looking to keep on geting higher and higher, using subsequent flippers to keep the movement going.

The playing area is very pinball-like, with arches, targets, bumpers and more serving as either obstacles or helpers depending on the goal at any given point. With a bit of practice, it it possible to be fairly accurate with regards to propelling the ball through a particular pathway. This one utilizes time trials, so it’s a matter of looking to go far fast, and to pick up as many performance-enhancing boosts on the way.

In the end, high score glory is the name of the game. There are mini-games, and one can open up checkpoint continues via in-app purchase.

If anything, it definitely is interesting; one could described as, well, an endless “pinballer” (maybe?) with time trials, The optional premium checkpoint continues increase potential value, and the opportunity to reach newer sections helps players keep motivated.

It’s simple and enjoyable, and sometimes, that can’t be beat.

80s Arcade Hit Galaga Comes to Mobile

80s Arcade Hit Galaga Comes to Mobile

Nov 3, 2016

Galaga Wars, a mobile refresh of the arcade hit Galaga from yesteryear, is back — on Android.

This one definitely looks like a pleasant blast from the bast; the story arc is mostly unchanged: one ship looking to avoid extinction, taking on waves and waves of endless enemy fighters.

There are several powerups to exploit, and bosses to conquer.

It plays in landscape, and at first glance, easily envokes an arcade feel with its color patterns. The features (per Google Play excerpt):

● The authentic retro, sci-fi experience returns for Galaga’s 35th Anniversary
● Weave through endless waves of original enemies, including the Bee, Butterfly, Scorpion and a many more.
● Evade the treacherous tractor beam of Mother Galaga in battle against the huge alien boss!
● Play as Galaga fighter, as well as other legendary Namco starshipsincluding Xevious, Galaxian, Star Blade and many more.
● Double your firepower by rescuing captured friends ships and merging into twin mode
● Enhance your space-faring abilities by upgrading and levelling up your craft.
● Blast through alien waves with 4 unique abilities per ship including laser, explosive shot, space mines, ghost shield and more.

Galaga Wars is presented by Bandai Namco; it is free with micro-transactions. Check out the launch trailer:

Crossy Pamplona Review

Crossy Pamplona Review

Feb 26, 2016

Ah… Crossy Pamplona.

First the looks. delightful old school vibe, with chunky descriptions and purposefully washed out colors. At first glance, it does look interesting enough to compel one to get a more in-depth understanding of play style.

Gameplay? Think about the famously fear inducing rite of passage that the game somewhat gets its name from, the Running of the Bulls in Pamplona, Spain. Now, we are not necessarily worried about running with the fearsome animals; no, our protagonist characters are more concerned with lumbering across the bulls’ travel way. Thing is, we are not just talking about a single group of animals; the bulls travel almost in singe file, and the area they cover is endless.

In essence, the main goal is to travel as far as possible, avoiding the bulls and the obstacles they dislodge, which, sadly, include folks actually running with the bulls.

Oh my.


The control mechanism took a bit to figure out, but boils down to using taps and gestures. The former advances our character forward, and the swipes can be used to make he/she to slide a step to the left or right the general travel direction is north to south, across the direction of the bulls, which travel east to west (or right to left). Said controls can be used to avoid and get around the marauding animals. One has to continue to travel northwards, as one cannot allow the screen bottom to catch up with the character. If a bull or any other knocked obstacle hit our crosser (or gets caught by the screen) the end runs; a run is measured in forward movement. There are collectibles, and such can be used to upgrade characters.

After the first few lines, the game gets trickier, as one would expect. The Bulls and runners travel at different speeds, and even change direction at times. There are narrow bridges to traverse, and even skidding runners to avoid. One needs to measure risk versus reward, but can’t tarry too long. The retro feel works, and the game is fairly enjoyable.

It’s an easy way to enjoy the bulls while avoiding real life horns, I say.

Headup Games Launches Retro-Feeling Pixel Heroes: Byte & Magic on Android

Headup Games Launches Retro-Feeling Pixel Heroes: Byte & Magic on Android

Mar 7, 2015

Android development vet Headup Games is going big with is latest cross-platform offering, a retro-feeling roguelike RPG named Pixel Heroes: Byte & Magic.

Per the press release:

Listen! The end is nigh!! Hear my words and prepare! An ancient cult has set foot in our lands! They call themselves -The Sons of Dawn- and pray to some dark elder god. They have started recruiting people for their cause all over the country. I fear that they want to try to awaken something which should be left sleeping. Something dangerous and sinister! Something that might destroy us all. Spend your last of days wisely…“

Enter the world of Pixel Heroes and prepare yourself for a thrilling RPG/Roguelike experience like you have never seen before! Explore a randomized world full of hilarious events, deadly dungeons and the weirdest NPCs you will ever meet in a game! Choose three heroes for your party and take them on a journey that will be completely different each time you start a new game. Bath in a pool of procedurally generated loot and defeat the evil forces that threaten the township of Pixton!

Thirty unique hero classes to unlock, each with individual skills and attributes.
More procedurally generated axes, spears, maces, swords, shields, bows, crossbows, spells and prayers than a llama has hair on its body.
Thirteen mystic and beautifully cruel dungeons to explore. Epic bossfights waiting!
Three campaigns to unlock, each with its own final dungeon and boss.
Permadeath! You know you want it.
A detailed graveyard where you can mourn your dead heroes, compare their statistics and see which of their choices led to their tragic death.
Completely crazy NPCs, each one of them with a significant storyline that you can follow to unlock cool stuff!
Tons of random events that you will encounter on your way, expecting you to make important choices. Will you yell at the cat like a crazy idiot?
Many achievements and unlockables, try to get them all and become the most badass Pixel Hero in the world!

Pixel Heroes: Byte & Magic is available for $6.99 on Google Play.

[Source: Headup Press Release]

Square Haste Review

Square Haste Review

Mar 6, 2015

Looking at Square Haste’s screenshots in the Play Store might make you wonder if it is indeed a game at all what with its blocky screenshots and complete lack of anything resembling graphics. More venerable gamers might think it an Atari 2600 emulator. The nostalgia is hard with this one.

Screenshot_2015-03-02-07-45-45As game concepts go Square Haste has about the simplest possible. Players control a square that moves along a simple retro styled course. The course is punctured with gate like ledges and running into these ends the game. Tapping the screen causes the square to mysteriously jump in the air and another tap sends it shooting forward, hopefully right through the gate. The trick is to time your jump and dash so that the square is at the right height to make it through each gate. As the player gets further without making a mistake the game gets faster and gates become narrower.

Square Haste is very basic indeed but it is strangely addictive, and the idea is unique. It also has that just-one-more-go extreme difficulty that games like Flappy Bird often have. A disappointment however is the lack of achievements. There are online leaderboards at least.

Square Haste has a few ads. These pop up now and then after games and there is also a banner ad on the game over screen. There are thankfully no ads during gameplay. A small fee removes these ads.

Screenshot_2015-03-02-07-44-16Visually, Square Haste is about as basic as a game can be. Flat, clean retro graphics abound with strong colors and basic shapes. The game even has an “attract” mode where it cycles colors just like an old Atari 2600 game! Indeed anyone who has played 2600 games like Surround will likely feel nostalgic. Pumping 8 bit tunes accompany the stylish graphics and suit the game well.

Square Haste is a simple, fun game with a great retro style and some addictive gameplay. It’s worth a play and fans of older game consoles will likely get an extra kick out of it.

Classic Educational Puzzle Zoombinis Looks to See Revival on Android this Summer

Classic Educational Puzzle Zoombinis Looks to See Revival on Android this Summer

Feb 18, 2015

Zoombinis, the popular educational game from a while back, is looking to make comeback on — amongst other platforms — Android OS; it is set to be revealed this summer via Kickstarter funding.

The award-winning game tells the intriguing tale of the Zoombinis, small blue creatures with differing characteristics. Children and adults test their logical reasoning, data analysis, pattern finding, and problem solving skills as they help Zoombinis complete unique challenges, escape imprisonment from the evil Bloats, and reach the promised land of Zoombiniville. On their epic journey, they must face a series of increasingly difficult challenges, including Pizza Pass, Titanic Tattooed Toads and Mudball Wall. The Zoombinis travel in groups across multiple levels until all 625 blue creatures are saved.

Fans of the adorable Zoombini creatures can pledge their support for the game on the newly unveiled Kickstarter to expand future platform support. If successful, it will assure that the modern remake reaches an audience beyond the iPad and Android tablets to include PC, Mac and tablets of all sizes. The full Kickstarter campaign details and how the game is evolving are available at:

To pledge support, one can check out the funding page. We look forward to getting more details as they become available; in the meantime, we have a teaser trailer below:

[Source: Kickstarter Page and Press Release]

Retro Platformer Happy Dash Arrives on Android

Retro Platformer Happy Dash Arrives on Android

Feb 3, 2015

Happy Dash is a new game out on Google Play courtesy of developer Shinypixelgames.

The game is a 2D platformer with a retro feel, with levels that are generated randomly.

Happy Dash is a funny endless platformer that has a lot to offer! If you cherish a lovely pixel art style, mashed up with modern mobile features like achievements, leader boards and simple, intuitive touch controls, this might just be the game for you!

As you dash your way through random generated levels, you beat up tons of enemies, doing combos while gaining EXP to level up and make it to new worlds! Each run is different from the last one, but you make a progress since you can visit the Upgrade Shop after each time! So better catch a lot of coins, there’s really cool stuff to spend it on!

There are a lot of achievements to obtain and global highscores to compete with your friends and other players around the world, but that’s certainly not all! As you buy drafts for new types of blocks, unlock new power-ups and boost your character, eventually you’ll unlock your super power!

So start collecting coins, destroying blocks, killing tons of enemies, go upgrade your stuff and find new and awesome power-ups!

Are you ready to dash your way through hours of fun gameplay?

The game is free (with in-app purchases) on the Play Store.

[Source: Shinypixelgames Press Release and Google Play App Page]

Gameboy-Styled Platformer 2-Bit Cowboy Comes to Android

Gameboy-Styled Platformer 2-Bit Cowboy Comes to Android

Jan 12, 2015

Crescent Moon Games has just announced the release of its new game, 2-bit Cowboy, on Google Play.

2-bit Cowboy is a Western action platformer game, styled after classics of the Gameboy era.
‘I’ve got confidence that 2-bit Cowboy will deliver that faux-retro platforming experience I love so much’ -Touch Arcade
‘2-bit Cowboy is every bit the lost Gameboy title you want it to be’ -Gamezebo
There’s a new sheriff in this 2-bit town: you! And you’ve got a lot of work to do. Tackle challenges, earn rewards, track down bad guys, and find hidden loot. Play as a cowboy or cowgirl, then customize your look with hats, bandanas, masks, and more. Explore huge levels. Gamble at casinos and drink at saloons. Ride a horse, tame a wild bull, and traverse underground mines in a minecart. Become a legend of the old West.
* Customizable cowboy characters
* Huge levels to explore
* Gamble at casinos and drink at saloons
* Earn bits, buy powerups and costumes
* Ride horses, bulls, and minecarts
* Gameboy style retro graphics

The game is available for $0.99 on Google Play and the Amazon Appstore.


Mineshaft Review

Mineshaft Review

Dec 8, 2014

Mineshaft is one of those games that takes a simple idea and turns it into a game that is hard to put down and can be played by just about anyone.

Players control a miner on a frightfully unreliable elevator. If this deathtrap slams into anything at more than a very slow speed it explodes, ending the game. The elevator automatically moves downwards and the only player control is a brake to slow it down or stop it. When the elevator comes to a stop, a stick of dynamite is laid and the idea is to get the dynamite as close to the bottom of the mineshaft as possible to dig deeper. The force of the explosion sends the elevator hurtling upwards afterwards threatening to smash it against the top of the mineshaft. As the shaft gets deeper the fuse of the dynamite also comes into play as there is only about 5 seconds to plant the dynamite before it goes off, blowing the flimsy elevator up again!

Screenshot_2014-12-06-16-49-35The game thus becomes a balancing act of getting to the bottom of the shaft quickly with the dynamite before it blows the halpless miner into chunks, but not so fast that the elevator breaks apart like a piece of wet tissue paper. This is great fun and incredibly addictive. Mineshaft is very difficult which just adds to the appeal since every screwup in the game is the player’s own fault as there are no nasty freemium features or paywalls. The one finger controls also make it easy for even the most casual gamers to play. The game also keeps track of how far you dig, how many bombs you plant and how many miners have been “retired”.

Mineshaft does feature ads, but they are only on the screen after the game ends, so they do not detract from gameplay. Both a banner ad and the occasional popup are present, but never any super annoying video ads. The pop up ads only appear every five games or so which is not too often and the game has no in app purchases at all. There is no “shafting” here.

Mineshaft looks nice. A clean, simple pixel style makes the game easy to play on any device and doesn’t distract from the important business of not getting blown apart. The animation for the miner being smashed apart is a hilarious as well as bits and pieces of elevator and miner go every which way and ragdoll all over the place which is always funny to watch.

The sound is simple yet effective. There is the frenetic sound of the elevator hurtling towards its doom that gets louder and higher pitched as it moves faster and faster, the nice BOOM of dynamite and when the game is over a really catchy piece of music plays. There is no music during the actual game. The screaming of the elevator cable really drives the game’s atmosphere home.

Mineshaft is fun stuff and can be played for any length of time. The super simple controls, clever gameplay and fierce addictiveness make it a winner. Pick it.

One More Line Review

One More Line Review

Dec 6, 2014

One More Line is yet another in a seemingly endless stream of brutally hard minimalist games that was kicked off with the venerable Flappy Bird. Is it the bottom line?

One More Line is as simple to describe as it is to play. A small rocket like ship flies along a course filled with strange planet like things. Tapping and holding the screen causes the ship to latch onto these planets and begin orbiting them. The aim is to use the planets to fling the ship around obstacles in an effort to get as far as possible. Hitting a planet or the sides of the course ends the game.

Screenshot_2014-12-06-21-30-39One More Line is extremely difficult. The game requires perfect timing to not slam helplessly into a wall as the player must let go of a planet when the ship is facing the right way, lest they end up facing a wall. This isn’t the fun kind of hard though as found in other games like RETRY or Mineshaft, but rather the frustrating luck of the draw type difficulty where it’s a total crapshoot as to whenever the player can navigate the course or not

None of this is fun. The game simply fails to be interesting. The flinging mechanic is very random and strange as it is nearly impossible to accurately gauge where the ship will go when orbiting a planet. The game lacks any kind of gameplay variation as well making it get dull quickly.

One More Line features rather poor graphics. The planets the player orbits are little more than circles, the player is some kind of tiny white ship and the only interesting looking thing in the game si the neat rainbow trail the player’s ship leaves behind as it moves. Retro can be cool, but this game just does nothing with the concept. It isn’t up the standards of other retro space games, such as Battlestation: First Conflict and doesn’t emulate a particular style.

The sound is fairly bad as well. One More Line boasts that it has music composed by Batterie an apparently famous Sydney based composer. It is difficult to appreciate this however as the music restarts whenever the player dies and so usually players are just going to hear the first few seconds of the song without being able to actually listen to it. It kind of seems that the game itself is an ad for the music. There is also a distracting ad banner on the screen at all times

One More Line is a punishing and dull attempt at yet another overly difficult game and there are simply far too many premium gaming experiences on Android to take the time to play it, let alone play it well.