Pirate Blitz Review

Pirate Blitz Review

Nov 20, 2013

Pirate Blitz is made in a very old-school way, proving that this way still works alright. It’s a top-down shooter, where the player controls a small ship that has to sustain an endless pirate invasion. The ship is controlled with two virtual sticks. Pressing on the left side of the screen will spawn a stick to move the ship around, and pressing on the right side will spawn another one, to aim and shoot. There’s also a bomb at the top of the screen that can be pressed to create a super-attack, after it recharges for some time. And these are all the controls for this game. The whole time, you simply move around the level, pick up power-ups and gold, and shoot at everything that moves.

Well, not quite everything. There are also some survivors that swim around in lifeboats. They need to be picked up, adding to a kill-streak multiplier, and giving some bonus gold at the end. The enemies are pleasantly varied, by the way. Some can launch mines, some are flying, some can slow the ship down, and there are many more. Killing them will obviously add to a kill-streak, and also may spawn a power-up that will change the ship’s weapon for several seconds, or some bonus gold.
Pirate Blitz 3
Gold in Pirate Blitz can be spent on various upgrades. There are different boats that can be purchased, each having its own characteristics, upgrades for these boats that improve this or that stat, one-time power-ups, and super-attacks. The prices are high, as expected from a free-to-play game, but not unattainable. The gold is given rather fairly at the end of each run.

All in all, Pirate Blitz doesn’t try anything new, but tries – and succeeds, in my opinion, to be fun as much as possible. It’s definitely an enjoyable little shooter with some heart in it, and its free-to-play mechanics are almost unnoticeable. Its comic-styled graphic design and simple, yet enjoyable gameplay, not only make it fun for a free-to-play game, but simply make it a fun mobile game. It could help to have some more levels with some sort of distinct feeling in them, but other than that, and the lack of fixed control buttons, I frankly couldn’t think of any real issues with it. Pirate Blitz is just a really well-made game.

Fleet Combat Review

Fleet Combat Review

Aug 23, 2013

Tower defense in a new, sea-bound world is the name of the game in Fleet Combat.

This adventure is set on the high seas, and I admit that I did not mind the intro backstory: no zombies in this apocalypse; just good old Mother Nature in the form of engulfing sea levels. The resulting disaster leads to a restructuring of power, and our game story revolves around resistance against invading enemy forces.

The game developer was prudent enough to put in an interactive tutorial, which helps explain the game “pieces” and general strategy. The defending pieces will be familiar to US Navy aficionados, taking the form of different types of warships (the whole setup when looking at the ships is somewhat reminiscent of Battleship, but I digress).

The game is split into battles, with success in one opening the next.

In the simplest state, strategy involves using limited resources to build ships to defend a base unit. As with most tower defense units, these units all have different values and different attributes; the availability of the units depends on cash on hand and replenishment speed. No units are replenished without enough money being available. After depleting the starting budget, destruction of enemy ships is the only way to get cash during a battle. To that point, waves of enemy ships pour in (usually from the left en route to the home unit on the route, and the key is placing the defensive ships in a manner that protects the home base from being directly attacked.

The controls are mostly based on taps, which can be used to select ships, place them, and guide specific weapons to fleet1incoming targets. This is especially useful to hold the enemy craft at bay, especially in the later levels when the ships intruders become a bit more crafty. I liked that the home base had it’s own set of advanced replenishing weapons. The game has boss levels, too.

Performance yields in-game spending tokens, and real cash can be used. I think the upgrade methodology was a tad bit clunky in that there seemed to be too many steps; I also thought the sequence needed to initiate firing was a bit inflated steps-wise; I think a simpler set of taps would have been great. The game graphics are effective, if a bit understated.

It’s an interesting take on an ever-popular game genre, and well worth an extra look.

League of Mermaids Review

League of Mermaids Review

Aug 15, 2013

League Of Mermaids is a spiritual sequel to Tales of The Deep, from the same developer, a game that attempted to change a match-three genre, by introducing it to the laws of physics. Quite controversially, I think, as the gameplay wasn’t all that exciting. Although League Of Mermaids is better in some respect, its central idea is still not quite right.

Gameplay of League Of Mermaids is simple: there are a bunch of balls, lying in heaps in different levels. There’s also a mechanism at the top that drops the balls from whatever point is required. When three or more balls of the same color touch each other for a bit longer than a split second, they get annihilated. The main feature – and the main problem for me – is that all of the balls are behaving like actual balls in 2D plane. E.g, they roll around when bumped, and they fall down the curves to the bottom. Although it’s very refreshing, and creates a somewhat unique gameplay, it also creates a great element of chaos to the game. The balls can suddenly bounce to the unpredicted place, or conversely, sudden, unpredicted chain reactions can clear half the board, without any knowing. Of course, one could argue that match-three games aren’t exactly chess, and are greatly dependent on luck, this chaotic rolling around means that even the most simple strategies can trigger totally unexpected events.

League of Mermaids 5As for the other mechanics of League Of Mermaids – they’re fine enough. The story is cliched, but it’s there. The graphics are simple, but not too primitive. There are several power-ups that don’t change the game, but give it slight variability. Each level has two additional objectives that can be performed to gain the maximum of three stars, which grant coins that can be spent on power-ups. It’s just another medium-quality match-three title, with all the advantages and disadvantages that can be in these kinds of games.

In the end, League Of Mermaids is a very niche game. I’m sure that some people will like it, and spend hours, eliminating underwater spheres, while others will find it very frustrating and annoying. Judging by the user reviews, some other people will also find it randomly crashing, although I personally didn’t notice any performance issues.

Open Sea! (Go Down Mo!) Review

Open Sea! (Go Down Mo!) Review

Feb 18, 2013

Whether or not the Bible is a part of a person’s beliefs or not, it’s out there for all to see. Not too many games are out there made to be fun vs. preachy, but Open Sea! (Go Down Mo!) tries to balance this. The plot of the game is Mo is saving people from Egypt. To escape, he needs to part the waters and let them go across. Seems pretty simple, right?

The people are staggered in a way that’s challenging to get them all across at once. The water needs to be moved to let the different waves of people through. Some of the people are a lot slower than others. This is where the divine power of the lightening strikes come in to motivate the blessed slow people.

The lightening bolts also can slow down the mummies. Did I mention the mummies yet? Nope. Mummies are chasing the people. If they catch one of them, they are a goner. The mummies need to be drowned to stop them. Luckily the people can hold their breath a little longer than the mummies can so is a mummy is tussling with a person, run the water over them and the person has a better chance at making it out alive.

I like the animation. It looks like little paper cutouts of the people waddling along. The scenery is the same. It reminds me of a grade school play setting. The controls are pretty simple. A swipe here, a double tap there, the occasional shake of the device. Later in the game other heroes show up to help. When Mo saves Jess, he makes it so the people walk on water for a little while. Other characters come in at different times with other powers to help the people get across safely.