Adventures of Poco Eco Review

Adventures of Poco Eco Review

Apr 28, 2015

I must admit, it’s been a while since I’ve last encountered an artsy game that wasn’t all just the looks, so Adventures of Poco Eco was a pleasant surprise, albeit a rather short one. Music-themed games have a special place in my heart, as well as simply games with great soundtracks, so I may be somewhat biased with my opinion. I hope it’s obvious that I absolutely loved the game, however short it was.

Adventures of Poco Eco is a story of a little creature that was sent to retrieve the long-lost sounds, in order to cancel the noise that’s doing I don’t know what, exactly, but probably nothing nice. He needs to use the magic cassette player to call out to the gods of rhythm and use their guidance in his quest. So, yeah, it’s that kind of game. However, there’s a good part: it does behave like a game – a puzzle game, to be exact. It’s not just a colorful railroad, since the player is supposed to use the brain to navigate through the fantastical landscapes on the way to his goal. It’s not very challenging, and plays out like something out of Mario 64, but even more weird-looking.

The majority of the time, the player simply needs to place Poco on different buttons in correct order, or press them himself,Adventures of Poco Eco 3 but there are some bits where timing is required. Which leads me to the single issue I have with Adventures of Poco Eco, the controls. Mario 64 comparison would suit here too, since this game would be a lot better with traditional arrow controls, instead of adventure-style click-and-go system. The player’s finger obstructs a huge part of the screen, and it’s uncomfortable to try and press on the small square you want Poco to go to – especially when the square moves around.

Overall, I’d highly suggest Adventures of Poco Eco to the people who like artsy games with unusual style in graphics and music. Of course, you also have to like the future electronica genre, otherwise there’s no reason to play this game. Personally, I’d just like it to be longer. I’ve completed it in about an hour, and it certainly didn’t feel enough. Otherwise, it’s a very interesting little game.

Tap Tap Tap Review

Tap Tap Tap Review

Apr 20, 2015

Style over substance. Form or function. Here’s an idea, how about we have both. Tap Tap Tap is both a hugely stylish game and also a ton of fun.

Truth be told, it’s incredibly simple. A hot, phat or dope (depending on your preferred parlance) beat drops and it’s down to you to follow the rhythmic instructions. In time with the beat simple instructions will appear on the screen and it’s down to you to follow the instructions before they fade away.

As your score goes up the time it takes for the instructions to fade away decreases. This means keeping up with everything that’s going on, as you’d imagine, gets harder. Not only does the speed increase but the commands themselves get a little more complicated as ‘taps’ turn into ‘double-taps’ and ‘swipes’ make way for ‘drag and drops’.taptaptap1

There’s a slight issue here as there were a number of times I could have sworn I’d tapped a circle or swiped on a piece of text, but it didn’t register. This probably isn’t a real issue and is probably down to my own ineptitude. What is definitely a real issue is how the audio commands start to trip over themselves.

When there’s a whole load of instructions rapidly one after the other, the smooth flow of the music and the announcer’s voice doesn’t quite match up as well as it does when there’s fewer hurdles being thrown onto the screen. When the game’s at its most simple, it’s arguably at its best.

I’ve said the word ‘simple’ a number of times now, but I mean it as a sincere compliment. Tap Tap Tap takes no explaining, lays all of its cards on the table within about 2 minutes of play and yet it’s had me wanting to beat my high score all week long. Considering this is a free game, one that’s not trying to coerce you into in-app purchases, it’s hard to see why you wouldn’t give it a download and see for yourself what’s up, up, up with Tap Tap Tap.

A simple game that does one thing not just well but with tons of style too. Why haven’t you downloaded it yet? It won’t change your life but it’ll make your day a little more funky. Or cool. Or wicked. I don’t know what you kids are saying these days…

Dark Guardians Review

Dark Guardians Review

Nov 26, 2014

It’s been a bit of an emotional swing with Dark Guardians for me. At first, when I saw the screenshots, I thought: “Damn, that’s a cool action game with awesome art style”. When I’ve launched it, I was pretty displeased to find that it’s, in fact, a runner, and felt a little dirty that I’ve spent a whole dollar on it. But after I got the hang of things, it turned out to be a bit of both – and it really does have awesome art style.

For some unknown reason, there’s literally no backstory in Dark Guardians – and unlike with many generic fantasy games or cartoonish runners, Dark Guardians actually makes me want to know it. As it is, the game presents the player with a badass ancient nordic warrior, who runs through mystical, snow-bound forests, mountaintops, and other picturesque landscapes, and fights against a horde of demonic spirits that are seemingly led by a flying horned demon thing, who looks somewhat like Krampus. The warrior possesses a mighty sword that can smite the undead with a single strike. In order to kill an enemy that runs towards him, the hero simply needs to slash it with his sword. The trick is to strike at the right time, when the monster is exactly in front of the hero. If the player strikes too fast, the hero won’t be able to recover in time for a second strike, and get hit. The second trick is to hit with a corresponding element. There are four buttons on the bottom, each for a strike with a different element. At first, the enemies only come in one, basic form, but soon they start appearing in different forms, Dark Guardians 3and in much greater numbers. Every once in a while, the player can temporarily summon a horse that will take the hero through any monsters for some time, making him invincible. The more enemies the hero kills before succumbing to his wounds, the more runes he gets. The runes can be spent on making the hero strike further, start with more lives, or start further down the path that goes for 10 kilometers, and leads to the ultimate battle.

In general, Dark Guardians has a surprising feel of playing a rhythm game, like Guitar Hero. But instead of following the flow of music, the player has to follow the hordes of scandinavian ghosts – arguably, a more “metal” thing than actual metal. Let’s also not forget about the great, stylish graphics, changing scenery and cool music that turn the game into an awesome spectacle, even if a bit devoid of variety. It’s not long, and it’s not expensive, so check it out.

Radiohammer Review

Radiohammer Review

Feb 19, 2014

Radiohammer has a strange story to say the least. Players play as July Ann, a teenage girl with a big ham hammer. Apparently she’s been hired to clear the park of its huge population of perverts. This is done by smashing their heads in with the hammer in time to music. Whacking a pervert right on beat awards perfects, while poorly timed hits award lower ranks. Letting a pervert reach July causes her to get flashed, taking a chunk off of her enegry. Missing too many beats fails the stage. Later stages have different characters and enemies, but very similar gameplay.

Screenshot_2014-02-09-12-20-37One to three stars can be earned on each stage by fulfilling different challenges, but simply getting though each stage is enough to unlock the next one.

Raidohammer’s main problem is that it is way too repetitive. While there are different characters and enemies, the stages can only be played in order. This means that a whopping 15 stages of pervert bashing sit between the player and the first glimpse of something different and the game will get dull way before then. The game is just too simple.

The music on offer isn’t varied either or at least it isn’t in July’s stages. The same music is constantly trotted out and it all sounds similar to each other anyway.

Radiohammer at least has some quirkiness. July is managed by an inexplicably bunny eared lady in a suit, the game is full of weird translations and odd hints, such as informing the player that July is single appear between levels.

Screenshot_2014-02-09-12-38-24Radiohammer at least looks good. A sharp, cartoony visual style defines the game and the backgrounds are especially good, with plenty of animation and interesting things to look at. Unfortunately the enemies are really similar and get dull fast. A few nice little touches like how a perfect hit is rewarded with a shower of stars give the game some class, but it ultimately fails to take advantage of its art.

For a game based on music there is a startlingly small amount of songs available in the game. They all sound quite similar to each other and none of them are memorable in the least. Anyone who has played a game with stonkingly good music, such as the Final Fantasy series knows just how long good music gets stuck in your head. This never happens with Radiohammer, which really deals the game a deathblow.

Raidohammer isn’t a bad game, just an unremarkable, repetitive one. There are better music games than this and the game’s poor selection of music really doesn’t help. Worth a look, but not a lot more.

Dropchord Review

Dropchord Review

Aug 19, 2013

Dropchord is an arcade game, developed by Double Fine Productions – a very famous team, which is lead by Tim Schafer, of Grim Fandango, Psychonauts and Brütal Legend fame. This is their second mobile game, after Middle Manager of Justice, but it contains gameplay mechanics, quite different from the other projects of the studio. And while it’s really fresh and I’d even say innovative, it’s quite a limited experience.

Dropchord doesn’t have any story or setting, starting and ending with core gameplay. In the game, which has neon-like graphical style, and truly amazing soundtrack, the player needs to hit special buttons in several different ways. The most common one makes the player to hit the buttons inside a circle, while avoiding red crosses that spoil score, and deal damage. The hitting part is very different from simple touching of the screen. The player needs to put his fingers on two opposing sides outside of the circle that is the play area. Then, a line appears between them. This line is moving between the player’s fingers, and it has to cross the buttons in order to remove them.

Dropchord 2Dropchord consists of tons of very short “levels”, which last for a couple of seconds, packed in ten unique songs, in which the player needs to hit all of the buttons in time to get a score multiplier. Missing a single button breaks the multiplier, just as hitting a cross does. As the levels move on, more crosses start appearing, and they also start moving across the level, meaning that the line should move according to their movement, so as not to touch them. Sometimes, it’s useful to lift the fingers off the screen, so line would disappear and reappear someplace else. When a song ends, signifying the end of the level pack, player gets a score, a rating, and some sort of boost, from bonus health to some helpful power-ups. This goes on and on, until the player loses his health, breaking too many crosses, or missing on too many buttons.

I don’t know how to feel about Dropchord, because it’s very interesting and has unique gameplay – just what I’ve come to expect from Double Fine – but it really lacks features. Outside of amazing soundtrack, it barely has any actual content. More so, it was quite slow on my device, despite not featuring anything more complex than colored buttons and lines. I’d say that it would be most interesting for the people who like unusual games, music junkies, and of course, fans of Double Fine Productions. Anyway, it’s a very fresh rhythm game overall, and I personally had a blast with it, so there’s that.

Tap Tap Revenge 4 Makes Its Way to Android With In-App Purchases

Tap Tap Revenge 4 Makes Its Way to Android With In-App Purchases

Mar 30, 2011

Tap Tap Revenge is a series that should be synonymous with iOS. The rhythm game that has players tapping along to the beat as notes come down 3 tracks has its origins with the pre-App Store days of iOS as Tap Tap Revolution, being a jailbreak-only game, before the series went ‘legitimate’ with Tap Tap Revenge.

As the series went on, sequels got released, including collaborations with popular artists for branded versions of the game. Starting with Tap Tap Revenge 3, the series began to focus on in-app purchases of new songs and went free as soon as Apple allowed free apps to sell in-app purchases. Since then, developer Tapulous has been bought out by Disney, and a new chapter has been opened as Tap Tap Revenge 4 is now available. In a first for the franchise, it is making an appearance outside of iOS, as TTR4 is now available on Android.