Retro Rogue Review

Retro Rogue Review

May 6, 2014

If there was an award for the best, simplest roguelike there is, Retro Rogue would have won it. Let me rephrase that. If Retro Rogue was any simpler, you’d only require a couple of dice to play it. I’m not against coffee-break roguelikes, but this is a bit too much, even though the game is really well done.

The player, as usual, needs to descend down an incredibly deep dungeon and fight some ancient evil – the usual business. There are lots of monsters to beat and lots of loot to uncover, but it’s all very railroaded. The dungeon is randomly generated, but in the end, the question is whether you will have enough health potions to heal yourself before someone kills you. The player has only three stats: health, defense, and attack. There is also differing speed, but I didn’t see any item that changes that. The player has an inventory and an array of equippable items like shields or boots, but they all go towards improving those three basic stats. Although there are lots of weapons, they also don’t Retro Rogue 4change anything.

There’s no ranged weaponry, no magic, no buffs or debuffs – there’s simply no tactical part in Retro Rogue, apart from the old “stand in the doorway and kick the enemy in front” strategy. The only potions are health potions that immediately refill some health, and the enemies are all the same, as well. They have different speed, health and attack, but they don’t freeze or poison or anything – they just tick you until you or they die. Speaking of which, the only time I died was when I forgot to drink a health potion – that’s right, the monster-bashing got so repetitive that I actually forgot to stay alive.

Retro Rogue isn’t bad – it’s a great small time-killer that has a variety of different monsters and items, and it definitely feels like a roguelike. But exactly because the game is so well done, it’s apparent that it lacks any depth and very few mechanics. I still suggest it if you’d like some simple roguelike RPG action, and it’s perfect for people who are new to roguelikes, but I really wish there was a more varied sequel in the works.

P.S. Totally forgot to mention. The “retro” part comes in the form of a slider that makes the game look like it’s played on a very old TV. The effect is neat, but holds no changes to the gameplay.

Honeyrun HD Review

Honeyrun HD Review

May 24, 2011

More often than not, if a developer describes a game as “for kids” it means they’ve made something that no discerning member of the human race would ever want to play. “For kids” is essentially a byword for “terrible”. This makes Honeyrun HD an even more pleasant surprise.

A simple, 3D bee-simulator, Honeyrun tasks you with collecting flowers in a meadow. There’s a time limit to make things more interesting, and a variety of power ups, including apples and glowing, golden, which extend your time and grant extra points.

You control your bee by tilting your phone, and unlike most games with accelerometer features, you can move up and down as well as left and right. The controls aren’t the tightest I’ve used, and could do with a little refinement, but they do their job well enough.

As well, the visuals aren’t the sharpest in the world, but they create a pleasant, cutesy atmosphere that’s hard to fault. Indeed, the whole package here is one that’s designed to look good to a child’s eyes, and Honeyrun does just that. It’ll never make you go wow, nor will it be the one app that you whip out to show your friends, but it’s solidly made and robust enough to keep even the most cynical eye entertained.

Of course, the game isn’t without its faults. For a title aimed at children, sometimes the time limits can be a little strict, and it’s quite easy to crash through the barriers at the edge of the world and into the unknown. Equally, there doesn’t seem to be an option to turn out the sound effects, which can get a little annoying.

Still, Honeyrun HD is a perfectly pleasant little game. It won’t appeal to a sophisticated gaming palette, but for younger gamers, it’s actually quite good. There are a few kinks that need ironing out, and I’m still not convinced that the Android platform is the perfect place for a child-oriented game, but if you have some young ‘uns you need to keep quiet, Honeyrun might be a decent place to start.