KungFu Quest : The Jade Tower Review

KungFu Quest : The Jade Tower Review

Aug 23, 2013

I am an old timer. I used to go to the 7-eleven and pump all of my paper route money into the arcade games. Usually there was to of them so there was some choice. KungFu Quest : The Jade Tower reminds me of an old game I used to play there, so I was excited to do this review.

kunf-fu-quest-11The tutorial dojo is a good place to get and idea of how KungFu Quest : The Jade Tower is played. The side scrolling method of game play helps eliminate the need for an on-screen D-pad. I was glad about that because I am not a fan of those. Instead, on the bottom left side of the screen, there are left and a right arrows that work well. On the bottom right side of the screen are the attack buttons. The action button will punch and kick, the other is to jump.

As the game plays out, the need for knowing different moves is more essential. I didn’t really read anything about KungFu Quest : The Jade Tower before I played it because I wanted to not know what to expect. One of the things adding cool points for me was the old school end of the level Boss battle. The one that take all of the skills learned in the recently completed level to beat. So many games are getting away from this, I was happy to see it.

New strikes, or attacks, can be purchased at the store. As enemies are taken care of, coins are earned. The coins are not what purchase the moves though. The orbs purchase the new moves. These are earned through finishing levels and such. When a new strike is purchased, they can be added to an existing combo to make it faster or more powerful.

Overall I really like the action and ease of the controls. It made for a fun review. I am sure I will keep playing it as I get more moves and farther into the game.

Colosseum Heroes Review

Colosseum Heroes Review

Dec 19, 2011

Ordinarily, I don’t play a lot of side-scrolling fighting games because I’m simply not very good at them. But every now and then I do enjoy a challenge, and Colosseum Heroes seemed different enough to be worth a look. I’m glad I checked it out, it’s proven to be very fun. I think it’s because, skill levels aside, some days we all love hitting monsters with an axe. It’s a great way to unwind.

Colosseum Heroes stars a young, unnamed gladiator who is just fighting to stay alive in the arena. He has a grim look of determination on a boyishly young face, as he marches around the pit, fighting off the…orcs? Okay, so they decided not to go for historical accuracy with this one. The gladiator is fighting orcs and can win gold off of their corpses as he goes, and then use that gold to buy himself better weapons and armour. That’s not exactly how I remember gladiatorial combat from my history lessons, but I’ve decided that I like it. Sometimes a little humorous anachronism goes very nicely with monster-axing.

The controls are interesting, but bear in mind that right now I don’t really have much to compare it to: it is a side-scroller, and at the bottom left of the screen there are a pair of buttons for left and right, to be triggered by your thumb. At the far right are your weapons, to be triggered by the thumb of your other hand. Your little gladiator will march around as you direct him, but with only two buttons there is no option for jumping. The weapons you have are all always displayed in that field on the bottom right, and are used by tapping it in the menu. Some weapons have faster reload capability and you can button-mash them to your heart’s content, but others have a reload time that is measured by the time it takes for the weapon’s icon to reappear after triggering it. You use the gold won in battle to upgrade or purchase weapons to give you a greater chance of success in battle. You can also use your gold to buy HP potions, which is vital as you begin each new round with the HP level that you finished the last with. If you are unfortunate enough to die, then you have the option of relinquishing your hard-earned goal, or actually purchasing real credits (with real dollars) to revive without losing your gold. This means that there is a fair amount of strategy to choosing what to spend your gold on, to keep going in each level for as long as you can.

The game has a cool style going for it, but in my opinion even better than that is the alternate version that comes bundled with it – you can play as a vampire! Not as a vampire in the gladiator arena (that would be silly!), but it’s truly a different game using the same design and engine. You still kill enemies for gold, but now you are fighting werewolves and instead of axes and javelins you can now purchase crossbows and magic bats to attack enemies for you. I quickly realized that I actually prefer the vampire version a bit, and feel like this is so much more than a bonus level that I can’t believe that I didn’t have to unlock it to play. I love the thought behind it and this alone raises the game up even more in my estimation.

It’s just very unfortunate that the movement for the character is actually incredibly difficult to control. Given that your thumbs have to remain on screen at all times, it can obscure the game field quite a bit. As well they don’t always seem to react as fast as they should, and so instead of turning back to meet a foe you’ll simply stand there and get an axe in the back. As well, all of your weapons being on screen at the same time means that in the heat of battle it’s very easy to suddenly realize that you’ve switched to the dagger instead of the battle axe, and then you’ll get stabbed by an orc before you can switch back and put up a fight.

Wind-Up Knight Review

Wind-Up Knight Review

Nov 14, 2011

Following your little wind up toy knight is a great and frustrating adventure in this adorable app from first-time Android developer Robot Invader. In Wind-Up Knight you take control of a mechanically simple toy knight and try to rid the lands of the evil black knight and save the princess. Your controls are limited to just jumping, rolling, and attack and defense, you have no control over any other movement. The knight works like a classic wind up doll, once it gets going it only stops when its run out of wind. If this seems limiting, it’s not. This actually adds an exciting pace to the game that makes it challenging and paired with the great, fluid animations never makes you feel overwhelmed.

The most impressive aspect of this game are the aforementioned animations. Your tiny knight runs with enthusiasm and jumps transition nicely into attacks or rolls. Adding to this are great graphics, although they only run smoothly on higher end phones. My EVO 4G had some problems keeping up the frame rate and on a game like this, where so much depends on timing, that is a killer. There were a few times where button presses wouldn’t register but these weren’t frequent enough to put a damper on the game.

Four Simple Buttons

Wind-Up Knight is not easy, multiple levels require repeated precision with no room for error. As such, some of these levels do sprints up and down that thin line between challenging and unfair. That aside, the level design is usually varied and creative. The scenery is top rate and the backgrounds add a very impressive sense of location.

Each level contains coins that are used for armor upgrades. These upgrades come in the form of helmets, shields, body armor, and swords. Some of the upgrades are functional, giving you advantages in the game, and some are purely eye candy. These are better then most upgrades in similar games, and are creative enough to stand out as a plus.

Wind-Up Knight is a very entertaining and beautiful game, and for the price of free-50, is worth checking out for anyone with a phone powerful enough to handle it.