Batman v Superman Who Will Win Review

Batman v Superman Who Will Win Review

Mar 23, 2016

We noted it before: with regards to major motion picture movies, the somewhat simultaneous release of a companion mobile game — or two — isn’t much of a novelty anymore; in fact, it’s all but expected. It is simple, and it’s smart… leveraging handheld gaming to build and maintain mindshare that can help propel a movie from “popular” to “must-see” makes a lot of sense on many levels.

DC is definitely trying to sew together its superhero offerings like its main competitor has been, and the merging of two of its latest franchises, Batman and Superman, has been a foregone conclusion for quite some time. In Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (which opens this week), we get to see the Dark Knight take on the Man of Steel in movie form.

And we also get Batman v Superman Who Will Win.bvs3

No, not a lot of battling here; we should get that out now. It’s a simple three-laned runner set in a city environment that allows one to run as either iconic character.

Still, the game features rich graphics, even within the, uh, tried and true game paradigm, and is especially easy on the eyes. it features two gameplay sides that correspond to each hero, and each reflects an indentifiable color scheme. The visual pieces pop when they need to, complement the action at other times and even help serve as a conduit for the somewhat chaotic music.

The game plays in portrait, and one runs through the aforementioned cityscapes, looking to avoid stationary obstacles (like barriers) and the numerous moving ones (like vehicles). The vehicles move towards the running hero, so a bit of timing is needed to avoid those.

Avoiding the obstacles is performed by gestures: swiping to either side makes the hero dart to the corresponding side, while swiping up causes him to jump. There are gold pieces (fashioned to look like either hero’s crest) that line the runway and can be collected; there are also boosts. The goodies almost always create opportunity costs situations, and the efficacy of the boosts can be improved by collected gold.

One notable element is the ability to create a continue opportunity by quick tapping to beat a clock; ultimately, success is a measure of distance traveled and gold collected. Real cash can be used, but doesn’t feel necessary.

If one is able to get beyond the perceived disappointment of what the game could have been, they’d most likely find this one to be a decent running game that is easy to get into.

And it is Batman and Superman, after all.

Yurei Ninja Arrives on Google Play

Yurei Ninja Arrives on Google Play

Jul 13, 2015

Yurei Ninja is a new game from Fire Crackers and Bulkpix, and it’s now available on Google Play.

Description

Are you a worthy shinobi?
As a shadow in the night, smoke in the dust, slash your way to reach the heart of the cursed temple.
The enemy knows your ways and are as much trained in the art of hiding and surprise attacks.
Traps and deadly bosses will try to stop your quest, beat them all.
Yurei Ninja provide you the perfect amount of adrenaline with:

– Stunning environments
– Various enemies
– Intense run
– Deadly Weapons
– Epic bosses battles

The game is free to play, and we have a trailer below:

Lara Croft: Relic Run Review

Lara Croft: Relic Run Review

Jun 2, 2015

We admit it… we’ve been interested in checking out Lara Croft: Relic Run.

It’s a running game. Hold on, relax. We get the angst. We have to give it our due diligence.

The imagery is superb, with “natural” explosions of color. If Cambodian jungle is supposed to be the represented — and yes, it is — then the developer can take a bow for the simulated lush jungle, temple ruins and gapped run ways. The animations are pretty fluid, and do a great job of framing the gameplay.

The gameplay starts simply, in portrait, and anyone versed in the genre should feel right at home with Relic Run. The basics of control are similar to other three-lanes runners like Temple Run: gesture swipes to the left or right make Lara dart in that direction one lane over in the corresponding direction; swiping down usually causes a low slide (greatrelic1 for avoiding some raised obstacles), and wiping up creates a jump or an interesting parkour-based move to clear an unusual barrier. One can make Lara wall-run, and there are even shooting sequences that occur. The ubiquitous gold coins do line the runway, and runs are scored by distance traveled by our heroine. Taking a bad leap or otherwise running into an object ends the run… which can be continued by using exhaustible jewels. As one would expect, there are upgrades that can be purchased, both by game cash and the real kind.

As noted, the elements are quite familiar.

Relic Run’s potential saving grace is the implementation of said elements. First, you have the challenge; with the way the obstacles and dangers appear in a flash, the gameplay almost demands twitch reflexes. Since the runs are generated somewhat randomly, one can’t depend on memory to get far. There’s vehicles to hop on, pseudo-diving and even other- worldly creatures. Put together, the varying pieces do help the game stand out a bit from others.

But still, the familiarity that makes the game so easy to play might make folks a bit less willing to give it a long term shot. Does the game provide enough of a difference? Is Lara Croft big enough to carry yet another running game?

It’s free to try, so it’s relatively easy to find out.

Hungry Hal Review

Hungry Hal Review

Jan 23, 2015

Hungry Hal is a reversal of the typical zombie runner. Rather than fleeing in terror from the undead menace, Hungry Hal casts the player as that undead menace. Taking control of Hal, the player must hurtle down a course, avoiding obstacles and snacking on brains to reach his final destiny, whatever that may be.

Screenshot_2015-01-20-18-40-05Hungry Hal plays like a typical runner. There are multiple lanes on the screen and swiping up or down moves Hal upwards or downwards. However these controls are rather poor. There is a second of delay before Hal moves, often enough to plow into an obstacle or miss a human. It can just be impossible to move Hal quickly enough, especially if the humans are two lanes away.

As Hal runs along he consumes brain juice. Running out of brain juice ends the game, so the player must hunt down humans who appear on the course. Running into them eats their delicious brain, restoring brain juice. Some amusingly silly voice acting makes this fun and some humans may try to run away or change lanes, catching them while avoiding obstacles is a good challenge.

Screenshot_2015-01-20-18-42-03Hal can also collect bones as he runs along and these can be traded between games for permanent powers. These include magnets which attract bones, bait to summon some humans to eat from nowhere and even a scooter that allows Hal to just run over obstacles and humans alike. These are fun and add a good bit of depth, something sorely lacking in many runners these days.

This fun gameplay is helped along by the fact that Hal is completely free. There are no nasty freemium purchases and few ads to speak of. Far too many runners these days offer premium items and energy bars to continue games and otherwise cheapen the experience, but Hal is just based on skill.

Hal looks pretty good. A campy cartoony style suits the subject matter of the game and as mentioned above the silly voice acting and quotes from Hal are amusing.

Hungry Hal might not be the longest lived game but it is an enjoyable runner for free and despite some shonky controls it can provide entertainment.


New Game Spoiler Alert Drops on Google Play

New Game Spoiler Alert Drops on Google Play

Jan 15, 2015

Veteran development house tinyBuild has brought a new game to Android: Spoiler Alert.

It’s an interesting “reverse” runner, per the Google Play page:

When you pick up this game, it has already been beaten. The big bad boss is defeated, the coins are collected and the princess has been rescued. Why, oh why?
Unraveling this mystery takes you through the entire game, from the last level to the first. You must uncollect the coins, revive the enemies and avoid nasty time paradoxes. In other words, you must uncomplete the game by playing it backwards.
Everything in this game is so familiar, yet so different and new. You have played it a thousand times before, and at the same time, you have never tried anything like it.
Features:
– Classic platformer gameplay in a unique new way never before seen
– Very simple one-button gameplay ensures that this game is easy to learn, while difficult to master
– Beautiful handdrawn graphics
– 4 unique and diverse worlds
– Original soundtrack by Roland La Goy
– Epic boss fights, upgrades and many different and unique enemies

The game is available on Google Play for $0.99

Bruce Lee: Enter the Game Review

Bruce Lee: Enter the Game Review

Dec 10, 2014

I’m sure of one thing: there is a Bruce Lee in all of us.

There’s something about the martial arts legend that causes us to want to take on multitudes of unjust enemies, and kick them into oblivion. Watching his movies growing up almost always caused impromptu, slippered hand-to-hand combat fights.

Yes.

Well, it seems we can relive those days, here and now, on our Android-powered devices, in the manifestation of Bruce Lee: Enter The Game.

The game is a 2D-ish, colorful arcade game with elements of beat-em-up and side-scrolling tossed in. Front and center, an appropriately shirtless Bruce Lee is our controlled protagonist, and right from the get go, with the interestingly set graphics, we can see our man is ready for business.

The gameplay gets straight to it. The first stanza is a tutorial of sorts, and gives an idea of how the controls work: generally, gestures rule the coop, and they guide walking and attacks, as well as counters. Intuitively, the direction of the swipe determines the direction of the hit or counter. Basically, a lot of lifebar-ed hoodlums come from either side of Bruce, looking to crash his awesome party; Bruce’s (the player’s) job is to use aforementioned moves to thwart them and reduce their lifebars to nothingness.

brucelee2

So, at the base level, the idea is to stay alive while accumulating spendable coins by beating up the bad guys. With a little bit of practice, one gets better at taking on the waves of thugs effectively. The gameplay is leveled, with each styled as some sort of missions, and the challenge predictably gets harder as one makes progress.

To deal with the heightening capabilities of the game engine, it becomes necessary to upgrade Bruce. Now, I know what you’re thinking. How does one improve on unparalleled greatness? This game allows us to pretend to, and Bruce’s attributes can be increased with earned coins. The increased attributes (like the ability to withstand initial hits) are invaluable further on in the game. Also, there’s the ability to acquire helpers (boosts) before every round. Each round gets scored on a star system.

The game does allow for in-app purchasing, but, with diligent gameplay, the use of real money can be avoided. Sometimes, it does feel a bit repetitive, but the complexity of the characters, the side challenges and the extra moves help alleviate this.

All in all, it is a fun game that manages to bring the past to life without lulling folks to sleep. As such, I suspect this is the type of game Mr Lee would be proud of.

Boogey Boy Review

Boogey Boy Review

Nov 13, 2014

Boogey Boy is an interesting middle ground between the classic platformers and infinite runners. Okay, it’s more of a runner, but it does match all of the staples of a platformer game, along with a price tag of two dollars. I’m not sure if there’s a lot of people willing to purchase an infinite runner when there’s quite a lot of them for free, but regardless, Boogey Boy is pretty fun.

The intro shows a boy and his sister, sleeping in a room that’s probably situated on an Indian cemetery for serial killers, judging by the amount of its creepiness infestation. The sister gets kidnapped by a boogie-man, and a boy has to rescue her by collecting batteries for a flash-light that can destroy nightmares. But while he does it, he has to escape said nightmares, as they aren’t shy of preemptive devouring. The boy can perform jumps, long jumps, and double-jumps, which will come in handy in the multi-layered Boogey Boy 4nightmare world. The hero needs to avoid meeting any enemy face-to-face as they will slow him down, letting the advancing nightmare catch up to him. However, he can jump on certain enemies to destroy them, and collect power-ups that give him a temporary boost that can be activated with a special button at any time (along with a cool activation sequence). The goal is to collect three batteries in story mode, or simply last as long as possible in arcade mode.

Overall, Boogey Boy is just a great endless runner. It has cool style and its levels are a lot more dense with stuff than other runners. It doesn’t have any pay-to-win elements, although it doesn’t have any kind of in-game store either, which makes it a bit aimless. It’s a fine game overall, but it’s still a runner. The gameplay is always the same and isn’t that unique, the story is insignificant, and the mechanics are few. I think that it’ll be a lot of fun for the people who like the mechanics of endless runners, but are tired of the free-to-play clutter. I know I am.

Agent, Run! Looks to launch on Google Play Next Week

Agent, Run! Looks to launch on Google Play Next Week

Nov 4, 2014

We love Indie developers, we love runners, and above all, we like it shaken — not stirred.

On paper, we should really, really love Agent, Run!, which is a new 2D endless runner that looks to put some secret agent intrigue in our lives. Excerpts from the press release:

In Agent, Run!, players take on the role of square-jawed, stylish Agent Robert Robertson in order to defeat the villainous Professor E. Vil and his horrific (and pixel-perfect) “Doomsday Machine”—which has the potential to end the world as we know it.

The game includes all the staples of the Connery-era Bond flicks as obstacles–including shark tanks, irradiated rooms, mustache-equipped bad guys, menacing guard dogs, falling logs . . . you name it :)

Agent, Run! is a fast-paced 2D endless runner with sharp gesture-based controls and a unique look. Swiping the screen allows players to destroy drones, open doors and even freeze sharks (!) The game also includes cool unlockable gadgets such as a Hazmat suit, bazooka, and much more (see Key Features below). Finally, the soundtrack punches above its weight with a sly mix of jazzy beats and ‘60s electric guitar sounds.

KEY FEATURES

* Charming graphics reminiscent of classic James Bond films
* More than 60 missions and 9 different achievements
* 4 levels with randomly-generated challenges:
– Jungle
– Villa
– Basement
– Bunker
* Endless/non-endless modes
* 24 interactive objects
* 8 gadgets:
– Hedge trimmer
– Rope
– Helmet
– Freeze ray
– Zipline
– Jetpack
– Hazmat Suit
– Bazooka
* No ads!
* Online leaderboards (Google Play Game Services, Game Center)
* Agent ranks and cloud saves (Android-only)
* Supports English, German, and Spanish

PRICING

Agent, Run! is free and comes with Level 1 unlocked. The three remaining levels can be unlocked for $2.99.

We are looking forward to checking it out; as noted, the game will be free with higher levels requiring in-app purchasing to be unlocked. The game will be launched on November 11th.

Buff Knight – RPG Runner Review

Buff Knight – RPG Runner Review

Nov 4, 2014

Buff Knight claims to be a role-playing game runner, but you’ll struggle to find a trace of role-playing in there. The game also claims it’s a top paid RPG in Japan, Taiwan, Australia, Sweden, and a top App in Korea. To which begs the question: what the hell, aforementioned countries? There’s been a fair share of lazy runners, and Buff Knight is by no means the worst, but the fact that it’s considered a top paid anything makes whatever is left in my dried up heart, slightly warm up.

At first, it seems that Buff Knight is absolutely boring. Then you uncover a depth you haven’t noticed before. But ten minutes later it looks absolutely boring again. The hero runs forward. Whenever he bumps into a monster, they both take damage. The player can tap on the screen to summon a magical lightning at the cost of mana that will hurt the closest monster, and maybe a couple of others near him. There are two potions, for mana and health, and the player has to juggle between them to try and run as far as possible, in Buff Knight - RPG Runner 3order to get more gold and crystals that fall from monsters, cutlery, and chests that require a key to open. When the hero inevitably dies, player can spend gold and crystals to buff him and buy better armor and sword, or upgrade them. After a certain mark, the hero starts meeting more powerful enemies and get more gold. At the end (that’s about an hour of gameplay away), he encounters a boss, and after defeating it, gets an artifact that can be equipped to gain some slight advantage. Then the player has to run through the whole damn thing once again, from the very start, twenty times in total. Top paid my ass.

The obvious problem with the game formula is that difficulty or skill change is non-existent. You can run for an hour, but the gameplay won’t change one bit. The enemies don’t have any differences except for health and damage; you can’t learn new spells or play as a different class – hell, if the enemy sprites didn’t change, you could loop five seconds of gameplay, play them on repeat, and have about the same experience. Maybe I’m too harsh on Buff Knight, but after all, it’s a game that in some countries, beat all Final Fantasies, Dragon Quests, and even 10000000 that basically contains this game within itself. I mean, it’s an okay, simple little game, but don’t expect anything more.

Cube Samurai RUN Review

Cube Samurai RUN Review

Jun 23, 2014

Cube Samurai RUN tells the tale of a heroic young cube trained in the ways of the Bushido. Is it honorable?

Cube Samurai RUN is summed up pretty well by its name. It’s a game about a strangely cube shaped samurai charging along a futuristic dystopian landscape with their katana while avoiding legions of laser toting evil robots who want to turn them into cube shaped ashes.

Screenshot_2014-06-06-14-43-25Cube Samurai RUN mixes up the runner format a bit: there are lots of ledges and different routes to take while running, and they need to be used well as enemies always aim directly at the player and they tend to lead their shots, so jumping to different levels is a great way to stay out of their fire.

Like most samurai, Cube Samurai has a katana and this can be used to wipe out the enemies attacking you, provided their shots can be dodged long enough. This dynamic dodge-kill gameplay isn’t often seen in a runner and it works very well here. Further on in a run enemies get more numerous, aggressive and accurate and there are few other hazards in the game besides the odd pit. Cube Samurai Run is all about evading enemies and taking them out without dying.

Screenshot_2014-06-06-14-28-31One hit ends the game, unless the player was lucky enough to pick up armour. There are also coin magnets and other powerups to be had.

Between games coins that are collected can be used to upgrade skills, allowing the samurai to deflect enemy bullets, enhance the value of coins or make powerups last longer. Most powerups are very expensive and it will take a great deal of time to afford them. Of course a few dollars can make this process much faster.

Cube Samurai RUN looks really good. A cool stark art style with lots of strange looking buildings and strong colors gives the game a smooth, robotish type vibe and really suits the subject matter.

The sound is less polished however. Jumping and enemy sounds get the job done, but some dull kato music that never changes really doesn’t do anything for the game. Japan is full of amazing styles of music and a single dull tune just doesn’t cut it for games these days.

Cube Samurai RUN also suffers from the typical lack of replay value of runners. Its upgrades and achievements ad a bit of life to it but it isn’t likely to stay interesting for too long.

Cube Samurai RUN is a pretty and well playing but ultimately fairly disposable game. It’s worth a few plays but don’t expect anything too revolutionary.


Colossus Escape Review

Colossus Escape Review

Jun 6, 2014

Colossus Escape is at its heart a very standard runner. The player strides along, jumping over pits, killing enemies and avoiding other hazards.

Screenshot_2014-06-01-06-32-49The basic run and jump gameplay is mixed up with Quick time events where the player must swipe a pattern on the screen quickly or die. Unlike most runners there is a hit points system in colossus escape and it’s possible to take a few hits without dying instantly. This is very uncommon in the endless runner genre.

Colossus Escape is a free game and thus there is a kind of energy system at work. After each game over, a credit must be used to start a new game. Collecting gems during gameplay adds extra credits but this is a very slow process, as a lot of gems are required. Extra credits can be bought and they regenerate over time. Unlike most runners there is no in game shop or item equipping, which make the game seem a bit too simple when compared to more interesting runners, such as Jetpack Joyride and such.

Screenshot_2014-06-01-05-38-34Colossus Escape has quite a few levels and there are the vestiges of a story. This gives the game a feeling of progression, even if your character cannot be upgraded. Besides the story mode, there is an infinite mode, where the player simply plays to get as far as possible before they die.

Colossus Escape’s visuals really drive home its rough, hellish feel. Characters are comprised of various rough shapes and seemingly random textures giving them a thrown together look that really suits the game well. The highly stylized graphics manage to pull this unique look off without sacrificing usability.

The sound likewise works very well, with appropriately heroic music pulsing in the background as enemies get slashed and the sound effects get the job done.

The main problem with Colossus Escape is that a few poor design choices get in the way of playing the game.

For example, the titular colossus in the game’s background routinely makes it very difficult to see where you character is and is highly distracting. It is tough to focus on oncoming platforms and small enemies when there’s a large, orange monster constantly moving in the background. It’s a shame as the game looks quite nice and if the colossus moved around less this would likely not be much of a problem.

The collision detection is a problem as well. The player’s sword seems to “exist” on a vertical plane, so if an enemy is jumped over, a mid-air sword slash will still somehow hit them.

Lastly, there is an ad constantly displayed in game. While it is a small ad, it is animated which can be very distracting to some players. This is often a necessary evil in free games however.

Colossus Escape isn’t a bad game, but it doesn’t stand out from the glut of endless runners on Android either. Worth a look for fans of the genre.

Batman & The Flash: The Hero Run Review

Batman & The Flash: The Hero Run Review

May 30, 2014

Everything I’ll write here is pretty obvious from this game’s title. It’s Batman & The Flash: The Hero Run. There are two famous heroes from DC Comics, one of whom is more famous than the other, who participate in an infinite runner, chasing down different villains, one of whom is more pants-on-head retarded than the other. Batman is running down Gotham City, chasing down Joker, the dangerous psychotic murderer, while Flash is running in a gorilla city, after some giant gorilla, who is… trying to rule the world? I don’t know, I stopped caring after the part about the gorilla city.

The running part in Batman & The Flash: The Hero Run is actually pretty well done. It’s a 3D runner, not unlike Temple Run, but it’s combat-oriented. There are three lanes, and the hero can switch between them, jump and slide to avoid obstacles, but they can also shoot their weapons at the oncoming enemies, which are divided into three groups. Batman & The Flash Hero Run 2The weak ones don’t deal any damage to them whatsoever, and you don’t have to waste your ammo to defeat them, but you won’t get as much experience. The strong ones can incapacitate the hero, and require two shots to be kicked down. At last, there are bosses that can only be met once in a while, and require a special strategy to handle them. The ammo is expendable and requires purchasing from the shop with the coins that are scattered around the levels. The coins can also be spent on upgrading the power-ups, and unlocking special power cards, as well as hero cards. Power cards are just the power-ups that are expended after use. Also, I still don’t understand the reason to level the hero cards, but it sure gives the gameplay some additional depth.

There are actually more heroes than just Batman and The Flash, but it takes lots of time to unlock them. There are different levels as well. The Gotham City is the easiest one, Banana City or whatever, is more difficult, and afterward, more challenging locations are unlocked. The levels are quite varied, and almost don’t have repeated segments.

In general, I’d say that Batman & The Flash: The Hero Run is a great game. It’s not that unique, but for a free-to-play runner, based on popular comics characters, it’s well done and is quite pleasing. Graphics are good, variety is good, the mechanics are good and Batman is awesome. Definitely not a bad way to spend several hours.