Table Tennis Touch Goes on Sale for $0.20

Table Tennis Touch Goes on Sale for $0.20

Jan 29, 2016

Ace multiplayer ping pong game Table Tennis Touch is on sale for the awesome price of 20 cents.

Table Tennis Touch is the definitive table tennis game on mobile – now with epic local and online multiplayer!
“The best ping pong game on mobile” – Pocket Gamer, 9/10

Meet Wiff Waff, your very own training robot – then pick up your Player Card and battle your way through three career binders packed with events. Earn Reputation to unlock bats, tournaments, leagues, throwdowns and insane mini-games. Defeat opponents with drop shots, top spin drives, curving loops and smashes to become the ultimate table tennis champion – King Pong!

Then take on your friends in the high-octane multiplayer mode. Pair up locally or online, then battle in high speed head-to-head matches or test your nerve and accuracy in Glass Table – a first of a kind multiplayer mini game. Warm up, it gets fast!

• Stunning graphics
• Intuitive swipe controls
• High speed gameplay
• Career mode
• Local multiplayer (over Wi-Fi)
• Online multiplayer (with Play Games)
• 12 single player mini games
• Quick Game mode
• 8 bats to unlock
• 9 stunning arenas
• Over 30 bat skins
• 5 player cards to collect

The game also has in-app purchases.

[via Slickdeals]

This Means WAR! Review

This Means WAR! Review

Sep 30, 2015

Some games demand to be played. Add This Means WAR! to the list.

Graphically, the game is beautifully garnished, with vivid imagery that is expressive and whimsical at the same time. The animations are simple and almost enjoyable to observe, with a lot of bright colors and a landscape that is interestingly bereft (is that a dinosaur skeleton?). The view is abbreviated top-down, and one can drag to scroll.

And folks will love the scrolling action, if only to take all the action in. The gameplay incorporates several elements in a quest to create a homogeneous battling experience, and as such, folks with differing gaming lies are catered to.

The hands on tutorial reveals the entirety of the play concepts in easy-to-digest chunks. As a new commander in this army, one learns how to collect supplies, mine for valuable resources and construct buildings, all of which are important with regards to winning battles. In this game, supplies, mined red crystals and elusive power cells serve as game currency, and the underlying idea is to manage one’s resources in such a way as to maximize output.

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The pieces fit together in a logical fashion, and are mostly entwined. To build and upgrade barracks, one must have an appropriately leveled command center, and to have the right command center, one has to have the right amount of red stuff, and so on. As one gets more involved, one gets to craft soldiers and weapons; as with other aspects, the diversity of options available generally depend on how strong other pieces are. Crafting fits have a time component, so planning based in this is required.

Actual fighting is a big portion of the game. The player looks to craft an army for skirmishes in a leveled track, taking on some interesting enemy leaders. In these battles, crafting and utilizing the right tools for the job is key, and they usually boil down to deploying troops and arsenal in a strategic manner. It’s fun seeing the virtual border move as advantages are won and lost; ultimate success is rewarded with limited resource payouts.

There are a number of other defined elements, like factions, tasks, multiplayer options and more. Real cash can be used to expedite stuff, but isn’t completely necessary.

It comes together well, is hard to put down, and the many angles help prevent it from feeling overly complex.

Not bad. Not bad at all.

Stickman Tennis Review

Stickman Tennis Review

Aug 18, 2015

Stickmen? Tennis? Nah, I don’t mind giving Stickman Tennis a shot. We are talking about a tennis sim with stickman, right?

The gameplay utilizes a tennis court — of course — with a lengthwise view, much like one would watch a real tennis match on TV. The stickman populate the whole thing, from the players to the personnel to the spectators; the graphics are subdued, and the sound feels familiar.

The game incorporates a bunch of virtual buttons — three for specific shots: lobs, slices, and strokes with topspin. In the training module, one learns that timing is of essence, and the power of a shot can be affected by how long one “holds” the button down. To the left, there is a directional joystick that the player can use to control the direction of the shot.

For the movement of the player, one can toggle the game to control the movement, or one can selct “Pro” and control the player movement him/herself.

The rest of the training module is hands on training; one gets to return balls and otherwise get acquainted with the entire control mechanism. This is especially useful in understanding how to do what.

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With regards to gameplay, there are several options which help one customize the playing experience, such as the amount and length of sets and the difficulty of opponents, in addition to the aforementioned running style. Then, one can choose to do a quick match, or do a more career-defining “Tour” track.

The latter involves taking part in several tournaments in different cities, and (hopefully) doing well enough to move on and unlock ones further down the line. The tourneys have different status levels and expertise requirements, and they will be familiar to tennis fans, ranging from Winston-Salem to Wimbledon… and then some.

The action involves stickmen, obviously, and the animations work well. The game does progress well, and the difficulty levels allow one to experience a lot of gaming.

It is a simple game, a worthy of a look, and maybe much more, if one so chooses.

Motorsport Manager Review

Motorsport Manager Review

Feb 23, 2015

Managers. We always think we can do better. Any form of manager who’s managing any type of team – we can do better. Especially when it comes to sports, people inherently feel like they know more than the people in charge.

It’s this feeling that Motorsport Manager taps into. For a start, you can forget the fact it’s ‘about’ motorsports. Whilst it may be slightly easier for you to get into the game if you do watch Formula 1 or IndyCar, even if you’re not interested in anything with 4-wheels (like me) you’ll still have a great time with Motorsport Manager.

To start with you have a pretty terrible team of mechanics, drivers that don’t know where the brakes are and your car is pretty crummy too. From this launchpad you’ve got to work your way across multiple racing leagues and build up a team that can rival McLaren.

The game is all menu driven so it’s a good thing that the UI is a thing of beauty. Everything is incredibly intuitive and whilst a basic tutorial helps out to begin with it’s not entirely necessary. The game is incredibly simple to play but don’t start thinking that this means the game itself is simple.MM3

Within Motorsport Manager you’re often spinning multiple plates. You have sponsors to keep happy, as they pay the wages. You’ve got drivers to keep an eye on, for obvious reasons they need to be performing well. Upgrading your HQ is a big consideration as this will allow you to build a better car. There are also lead engineers to be mindful of and the potential to set-up a driving academy so you can train up your own drivers from a young age. All of these elements require attention and financing, so you’ll need to juggle several needs at one time whilst also keeping an eye on the team’s bank balance.

You may have noticed that I’ve not even mentioned the racing yet. Don’t take that as a yellow flag because the racing is fantastic. There’s two steps to each race as you have to go through qualification followed by the race itself. Whilst you don’t have direct control over racers (this is a management game after all) you can provide instructions to your drivers.

Like with everything in this game, instructions you can provide are simple. During qualification you have to find the right setup for your car. You can tune your engine to focus on top speed or acceleration or somewhere in-between. You can also alter the aerodynamics to help on straights, cornering or leave it to be neutral also. This is important as getting a good time will put you in a strong starting position and it’s also key to find the right set-up for your car as this is what you take into race day.

The race itself is tense. You need to keep track of how your tires are doing as their tread will wear away. This a car with bald tires will slow down and is more likely to crash out. It’s therefore important that you time and plan your pit-stops according to how many laps are left and how your opponents are doing. Races are won and lost based on how well you execute the timing of your pit-stops. On top of this, dynamic weather will also come into play as will safety cars and mechanical faults. You’ve always got to be on your toes.

So in the end, Motorsport Manager is a fantastic title that’s intuitive to start with, has some basic systems but all builds up to something that’s incredibly compelling to play. Even if you’re not interested in motorsports, this is totally worth it.


Snowboard Party Launches on Google Play

Snowboard Party Launches on Google Play

Dec 11, 2014

RatRod Studio is launching extreme sports sim Snowboard Party to Google Play and the Amazon Appstore.

Snowboard Party brings the thrill of snowboarding to your mobile device! Get ready to ride down the slopes at extreme speed and catch some big air to perform the craziest tricks in 15 completely unique adrenaline-filled locations. Jump on your board, learn new moves and improve your snowboarding skills to land sick combos and rack high scores!

Play with your friends using the new online multiplayer mode or challenge riders from all over the world using the online leaderboards. Complete over 75 level objectives, 15 achievements, gain experience and upgrade your favorite snowboarder attributes to perform better and achieve higher scores. Customize your outfit and upgrade your board to give you an extra edge over the competition.

HIGH DEFINITION
Snowboard Party includes next generation 3D graphics specially optimized for your mobile hardware to provide you with the best snowboarding experience.
FREESTYLE
Freestyle is all about the tricks! The rider uses natural and man-made features such as rails, jumps, boxes, logs, rocks and innumerable other objects to perform the sickest tricks!
BIG AIR
Go big or go home! Big air competitions are contests where riders perform tricks on massive jumps while going down the slope at high speed.
HALFPIPE
Perform a wide range of tricks while going down some of the world’s biggest halfpipes. Chain multiple tricks in a row to gain more points and achieve a better score.
MULTIPLAYER
Challenge your friends to a snowboard battle and let’s see who can land the baddest tricks! Share and brag your results with your friends on Twitter.
MASSIVE SELECTION
Select between 11 snowboarders and customize each of them to your preference choosing your favorite gear. A massive collection of boards ranging from different sizes and designs are available allowing you to complement your rider’s skills and abilities.
LEARN TO SNOWBOARD
Over 50 unique tricks to master and hundreds of combinations. Follow the tutorial to get started and progress as you go. Execute the craziest combos and trick sequences to rack up some impressive high scores, gain experience and make a name for yourself.
GAME CONTROLLER
Compatible with most game controllers available.
CUSTOMIZABLE CONTROLS
New fully customizable control system to configure your own button layout. Use the right or left handed control mode, select a control preset or create your own. Use the analog stick or accelerometer option as you wish.
LOADED WITH FEATURES
• Supports all the latest generation devices and optimized for high resolution displays.
• Online multiplayer mode to play against your friends or other riders online.
• New fully customizable control system. You can adjust everything!
• Learn over 50 unique tricks and create hundreds of combinations.
• Massive locations to ride including 15 courses located in the Rockies, Alps and Japan.
• Customize your outfit in style!
• Upgrade your board to improve your rider’s stats.
• Play often to gain experience and upgrade your favorite snowboarder’s attributes.
• Share your results with your friends on Twitter.
• Compatible with Android-based phones and tablets.
• Extended soundtrack featuring songs from Closer, Jack Counteract, Minds Without Purpose, Mr. TaBoo Timmons, No Blitz, Paul Spencer and the Maxines, Pear, The Pinz and We Outspoken. Courtesy of Pulse Records/White Knight Music Group, Inc.
• Ability to purchase experience points or special items using in-app purchases.
• Available in the following languages: English, French, German, Italian, Spanish, Russian, Japanese, Korean, Portuguese and Chinese.

Snowboard Party is a cross-platform affair, and is priced at $1.99, with additional in-app purchases available.

[Source: RatRod Announcement]

King of the Course Golf Review

King of the Course Golf Review

Jun 25, 2014

King of the Course Golf is a fun-looking golf challenge game from EA.

The gameplay is leveled, with success in the current level opening up a successive one. The intro stage introduces players to the game, with pop-up text helping the player with hands-on learning. Each level is, in essence, a challenge of some sort, and the key is to complete the challenges within the set number of shots one is allowed.

For instance, the first level shows the basics of driving the ball long. The basic controls for swinging entail tapping and holding on the screen and waiting for the swing meter to reach the optimal power level, and then swiping up to effect the strike. The idea is to get the ball as close to the cup as possible; there are circles king1around the hole, which make it look like a bullseye on the ground, and just like a dart board, there are different point awards for landing the ball in a particular ring. Of course, the closer the ball is to the hole, the higher the point tally. Then, the following portions show how to putt, adjust perspective, and even do intricate things like using gestures to affect the flight of the ball and spin on the ball itself

As the game progresses, the conditions become even more nuanced, with stuff like wind becoming an issue. To move on, one must accumulate enough points to attain one star n the star meter; 3 stars denote an excellent run. Holes in one are of especially high value, but these are also quite hard to do.

The game does have an energy requirement for free players; failing levels depletes the number of playable balls one has; when these are out, one can wait for natural replenishment over time, or just use real cash. Player attributes (like accuracy) can be improved, and there are even arcade-like items like sticky substance to help prevent the ball from rolling past the target.

All in all, it’s a fine game, albeit with the energy requirement.

Jurassic Park Builder Review

Jurassic Park Builder Review

Apr 11, 2013

The Jurassic Park franchise was the quintessential morality tale. It’s what we needed in the 90s: a reminder of the dangers of mankind subverting nature. Dinosaurs are interesting, and having a zoo full of them would be exceptionally cool, but only bad things could happen in the end.

Keeping prehistoric beasts as confined pests is rarely a good idea, especially the carnivorous ones.

Jurassic Park Builder, a game from Ludia Inc, is just the type of title that can fix melancholy. It put me in charge of developing theme park populated such as the one on the novel and movie it derives it name from.

It was a park simulation with a twist. I was tasked with building and expanding space, as well as making sure my livestock flourished. The originating story was close to the original; I found dinosaur DNA fortuitously trapped in jurassic1amber, and was able to create viable eggs with the DNA. From then on, it became a matter of suave management of resources. I got to pick whether I wanted terrestrial animals or aquatic ones. I also had to feed the creature based on defined diets.

I enjoyed the mostly logical reasoning incorporated into the game. To keep the park going on the island, I also got to manage a nifty import process via shipping into the island. I had to figure out ways to prevent the happenings in the movie (animals going amok), and there were things I had o do. I had to create access for tourist, and there were level-based features unlocked with advancement in the game.

The game animations were smooth, and did a good job of highlighting the overall simulation. The cutscenes were great; I thought the game looked good and was easy to navigate and work through. The social aspect was quite nice with Facebook sharing and gifting making appearances.

All in all, it was a sim that seemed fresh and familiar at the same time.

Big Win Basketball Review

Big Win Basketball Review

Dec 26, 2012

Hothead Games is no stranger to simulated sports management games, and Big Win Basketball mostly delivers a similar type of experience to its Hothead’s stable mates. It allowed me, as a coach/manager, to develop a team worthy of winning basketball glory in multiplayer leagues.

The game had a retro feel to it; graphics-wise; it had me hearkening back to arcade 2v2 basketball. The graphics were relatively smooth though, and I could clearly make out the plays as the players milled around the court. The colors were fairly well defined without being distracting, and the basketball court looked like a basketball court, with good artistic perspective.

To start off, I got a starter pack of five players and some impact cards. The impact cards were used during the game. One impact cards, for instance, was a “swatter” which b-ball heads will guess correctly as a sort of upgrade to block shots. I also got some game coins, and could supplement that by opening the app daily and also by playing games. These coins could be used to procure extra stuff like better players, uniforms, power-ups and more.

The gameplay was fairly rudimentary; prior to the game, I did what was necessary to put the best team on the floor. I could improve my players by playing short games, which served to identify stuff I could improve with coins.

I had the option of watching a game; this was similar to playing a console version of basketball and allowing the computer to play itself on my behalf. I admittedly found this to be fairly entertaining, as the simulated players did some nice things. There were drives, high pick and rolls, slashing to the basket, dunks blocks, steals and more. Late in the game and down a few points, the game engine continually fouled me to put me at the line, and stop the clock. Interestingly, this tried and true coaching strategy almost worked.

I found this game to be surprisingly engaging. As a sports gamer back in the day, I would have loved more organic gameplay, but I sorta dig the developers vision. In the end, it is definitely worth trying.

The Sims FreePlay Review

The Sims FreePlay Review

Mar 6, 2012

I remember the first time I played The Sims, back in the early 2000’s. I’d kind of missed the big wave of obsession over it, but decided to try it out anyway. I enjoyed it a fair bit, but managed not to get addicted (though I could completely understand how it would be easy for others to do so). I was less interested in building homes for my Sims than I was in playing puppet-master with them. I enjoyed creating their relationships and frustrating them sometimes. So when I saw that EA Games had developed a mobile version of The Sims I found nostalgia compelling me to try it out. And imagine this – it’s free!

The Sims FreePlay truly is free to download, and ad-free as well. That doesn’t mean users won’t necessarily end up spending some money on it, but I’ll get to that. The Sims FreePlay sets users up immediately with a Sim and its house. For those who aren’t familiar with the original game, Sims are people avatars that can be customized. This includes all of the details of their physical appearance, and there is a set of personalities. Once created, the Sim moves into its house, which is then customized as well. The Sims Freeplay is a bit different from the original in that Sims can also develop careers and have pets.

Sims are a little bit like Tamagotchis in that they have needs and wants which must be monitored and cared for. This includes their happiness, hunger, sleep, hygiene and, uh, need to use the bathroom. To motivate users to continue playing the game presents challenges to complete, such as building a garden for the Sim, or having it make a friend. Completing challenges earns XP which earns levels which unlock items to purchase. The Sims Freeplay has in-game money as well as “LP” that can be spent on items or activities. To keep Sims happy they have to do things like bathe, sleep, and listen to music. All of these activities take time, real-world time to complete. Luckily they will continue in the background when the program is closed, or else LP can be spent to speed them up. If users run out of earned LP then they can of course spend a few real-world dollars to gain more.

It’s a fun game, if you enjoy digital pets. Sims can be friends or even romantically involved with one another. It’s vicarious living at the extreme, and I think that’s why it’s so captivating. When Sims are sad they generate a lot of sympathy so the drive to keep them healthy and happy will keep people playing on and on.

It should be mentioned that it is a huge game which required me to clear out a significant portion of memory just for it to install. It was worth it for the graphics, but a bit of a hassle if users are not expecting it or don’t have a large enough memory card. It is completely worth it for the graphics which are insanely crisp. The only problem is that they are on a small screen which causes some details to be lost. There is a limit to how far users can zoom in on the game, and so mistakes can be made. For example I accidentally placed my Sim’s fridge door up against the wall, making it impossible to open. Hopefully I can solve the problem before my Sim dies of hunger.

Pocket League Story Review

Pocket League Story Review

Nov 7, 2011

Being a longtime FIFA Manager mode enthusiast, I’ve been looking for a similar experience on my phone for a while. While not being a perfect fit, it’s safe to say that Pocket League Story does provide enough content to tide the FIFA fan over until they get home to their consoles.

Pocket League Story puts you, a new manager, at the helm of a newly formed team as they slowly work their way up from unknown to a worldwide powerhouse. You achieve this in the predictable way of signing and developing players, building a fan base, and, of course, winning games. The game does a good job of speeding things up, the leagues generally only contain about 5 or 6 teams and you only play each team once. Finishing first will earn you a promotion to a better league, and after two or three seasons the process repeats. A good addition is the ability to play in single games during the offseason to earn some more experience and money.

While you cannot participate in games, each game is shown live for you to watch. This is the most impressive part of the app because these games are generally very entertaining and incredibly true to life in terms of positioning and decisions. It would be nice, however, to be able to skip this presentation. Every game earns or costs you fans, support, and money adding a good touch of realism.

The cartoony, manga-inspired art design might turn people off and the game is not as deep as other similar apps. There seems to be a kind of confusion about what exactly this game wants to be; it’s not deep enough to completely satisfy hardcore Manager Mode fans, but it’s too deep for casual fans. For example, training points are earned throughout the game for special practice sessions which must be carried out individually, but there is no control over how much to offer a player that you’re looking to pick up.

All that aside, this game is worth looking at for any soccer fan if you feel that the $4.99 price is worth it.

Bug Village Review

Bug Village Review

Jun 21, 2011

There’s a trend at the moment for cutesy god games, simulators where you take control of a cartoon farm, city or shop and try and make it successful. To do this you manage resources, keep away dangers and make sure that everyone in your little conurbation is as happy as can be.

Bug Village is a new entry into the genre from Glu Mobile, originally released on iOS, which tasks you with the building and upkeep of a village for ants and bees. Because as everyone knows, bees and ants are the best of friends and like to live as close to each other as possible. You also have to right fallen ladybugs, but they’re not allowed to live in the village, because that would be weird.

After a brief tutorial, you’re left to manage the village on your own, building new houses for your ever increasing population, leaving them resources and food to find and making sure that none of those evil stink bugs stay too long around your precious huts and fences.

Whilst the game is free to download, you’re only given a certain number of coins to start off with. You don’t need the coins to play the game, but they speed things up a good deal, turning tasks that will, quite literally, take hours, into tasks that take a matter of seconds. If you want more coins, you have to pay, via an in-app purchase system.

The control system is simple, you use your finger as the cursor, tapping on things you want to do. The game looks and sounds almost exactly like you’d expect it to look and sound, all cute insects and twee songs with the odd tinkle and tone thrown in for good measure.

Bug Village is a perfectly passable little sim. It’s not particularly groundbreaking, and the in-app payment scheme will likely put some people off, but if you’re looking for an easy, time consuming game that’s not going to tax your brain or your reflexes, then it could be just what you’re looking for.

Game Dev Story Review

Game Dev Story Review

Mar 7, 2011

Have you ever wanted to make your own video game? Well, without a lot of programming knowledge that’s probably not going to happen. With the help of Game Dev Story, you can still soak up some of the video game development process in a fun way. This game development sim challenges players with the task of choosing where to spend their money while developing their studio’s games. If you run out of money, your studio goes out of business, and the game ends. If you can keep your studio afloat for 20 years, you’ll win the game.