Tiny Rails gets an update

Tiny Rails gets an update

Jul 5, 2017

Tiny Titan Studios has already blessed us with rail management sim Tiny Rails, and with the latest update, we get to go many more places.

Version 1.4.0 looks to have you continue your exploration of Japan, Mongolia, Korea and Taiwan. An added wrinkle: players get to find a mysterious hacker, and also reunite a couple going through Romeo-Juliette style family drama.

There is new content — stations, engines, moments and cars. The changelog specifically notes the Sushe Car and Bushido Wagon.

In Manual Depart mode, you can set waypoints from stations.

There are also the standard bug fixes.

Here is the full changelog:

Here are the changes to the game:
– Players are now able to set their own waypoints at a station in Manual Depart
– Cargo demand is now removed from the list in the Cargo screen after the reward has been collected
– Arriving at station sound no longer plays while muted
– Welcome Back screen now shows in miles if Imperial is selected
– Fixed an issue where having a subscreen open wouldn’t prevent the train from leaving the station
– Los Angeles station is now visible
– “Locked” flag on areas now shows appropriately
– Fixed an issue where you could accept a job for “Starting Area”
– Fixed an issue where low resolution devices would see some images cut off on the sides
– Increased max gold to 2,500,500
– Asia Center flags are now the correct countries, not Russia
– Fixed some European flags
– Fixed issue where “To Train” and “To Depot” text was flipped at Depots
– Fixed issue where an Area completion reward would not properly format the Area name

The game is available for free (with in-app purchases) on Google Play.

tinyrails1

[via Tiny Titan Studios News]

Airline Manager 2 is here!

Airline Manager 2 is here!

Jun 25, 2017

After a bit of a wait, we finally get to lay hands on Airline Manager 2 – Tycoon, courtesy of Playrion.

This one allows players to create airline empires with $300 million is seed money. There are reports, opportunities for growth, and everything a wanna-be mogul needs.

Airlines Manager: Tycoon puts players in the CEO seat at a fledgling airline where they must take care of marketing, research and development, finances, and growth. Upon launching the game, players have the option of choosing between the deeper, analytic Pro mode and the new Tycoon mode that runs seven times faster than the original and is specially designed for mobile pick-up-and-play.

Playrion chief Benjamin Cohen talks about the drive to create an authentic feel.”The combination of engaging gameplay and attractive presentation with a realistic business modeling is what makes Airlines Manager unique,” he says. “We take the authenticity very seriously, from incorporating the actual prices that manufacturers charge, to reflecting deviations in route traffic that occur during real-world events – the game, for example, accurately displayed the impact on flights to Brazil during the Rio 2016 Olympics.”

Airline Managers 2 – Tycoon is available for free — with in app purchases — on Google Play.
airlinemanager

New multiplayer animal simulation The Cheetah arrives on Google Play

New multiplayer animal simulation The Cheetah arrives on Google Play

Jun 6, 2017

Swift Apps had a great coming out party with canine simulator The Wolf, and now,it taking on the big cats with the just-released multiplayer RPG The Cheetah.

Here are the game details (per Google Play):

Become one of the fastest animals on Earth today! Explore wide and hot savannas as a cheetah and develop your skills to become the best of best. Encounter different kinds of wild enemies and prey, ally with other cats or try to compete with them – the choice is yours in this RPG! You can try yourself in one of two modes: CO-OP or PVP – everything in Online Real-Time Multiplayer. Play with people from all over the World!

Online Real-Time Multiplayer RPG
Stunning 3D graphics
Beautiful environment
Realistic animals
Character development and upgrades
Cooperative multiplayer hunting and PVP Battle Arena modes
Smooth performance

The game is free (with in app purchases) on Google Play.

thecheetah1

Calling all anglers: Bass Fishing 3D II is here!

Calling all anglers: Bass Fishing 3D II is here!

Mar 23, 2017

If there were a developer that could claim the ownership of the title King of fishing games, Pascal Inc. would, at the very least, come pretty close. With several fishing-related games under its belt, it’s great that we gey yet another: Bass Fishing 3D II.

This one looks to a worthy successor to Bass Fishing 3D, boasting graphics evolved from the original.

Per the press release:

Main Features:
1) Thanks to the evolved 3D graphics, the field looks clearer so that one can enjoy feelings of real fishings.
2) Introduction of the underwater camera enables one to watch underwater by him or herself, never going wrong with the selection of lures to capture the targeted fish.
3) Totally renewed fighting-system:
One can handle the rod according to the movement of the bass. Reel in fish at the best time!
4) More varieties in game modes:
Tournaments: Compete against worldwide players and compare fishing results.
Missions: Challenge the missions in the 120 levels.
Free Fishing: Enjoy fishing in one’s favorite waters at his or her own pace.

This one is free (with optional in-app purchases).

bfd3

[via Pascal Inc Press Release]

Golf Clash Review

Golf Clash Review

Jan 29, 2017

You just might fall in love with Golf Clash.

For a host of reasons.

Visually, it employs a cheery type of outlay; quite green, really, with fun use of familiar icons and related imagery to help outline the gameplay. It gets played in portrait orientation, and this is a great design decision. The gameplay feels realistic, and this is at least partly because of the graphics.

The controls are easy to understand and utilize; here, we get to use gestures and a direction mechanism gc3to make things happen, plus accompanying taps.

The gameplay comes in two flavors: play with friends, and a PvP option that allows folks to take on other random players via the game’s servers. Of course, we dived right into the latter. With the help of the tutorial, it is easy to get going: there is a ball, and using the aforementioned controls, the idea is obvious, get the ball into the whole in less strokes than the opponent.

Now, the game has a few engaging elements up its sleeve. One is how the PvP works. See, as the turns alternate, each player gets to see the challenger’s prep actions in real time, and this is a nice twist. It adds a bit of exhilaration to actively hope for an errant tap on that, say, final putt shot to force a tie. Of course, it can help to copy a successful shot too.

Another nice thingie is the tie breaker. It’s a sudden death affair, with a single shot for each competitor: whoever comes closest to the cup after that round wins.

Winning yields goodies like gold coin and treasure chests.

The game also has a host of upgrade paths, as well as leaderboards. The former gives players to enhance equipment to make the game easier. One doesn’t need real cash per se, but it really does expedite processes.

It’s surprisingly addictive, and easily spans age groups. Here’s one where anyone can be threat.

It just takes practice.

NBA 2K17 Review

NBA 2K17 Review

Oct 26, 2016

I cut my gaming teeth playing basketball games on consoles; I really loved my original Playstation. As mobile games take root, it only makes sense that we’d start to see better versions come to smartdevices. Scaling concerns aside, more powerful devices mean more games.

NBA 2K burst on the scene a while ago, and has a pretty good rep with basketball gamers. NBA 2K17, its latest mobile offering, looks to bring the best of NBA simulation to a mobile device near you.

The very first step is to create a character — MYPLAYER — using the built-in template. It is interestingly complex, allowing one to pick from various minutiae, from “lip protrusion” to nose shape.

Then, one learns the basics of attack and defense via the help of an interactive tutorial. Shooting, stealing, blocking, setting picks and the like are all shown.

After all the cosmetics are done, there are a few modes one can get into: Blacktop (for streetball feens), Season (which allows one to go through a singular NBA campaign of adjustable length), Career (take on the game over several seasons), or one can just pick a team to play as and another to play against in Quick Game.

nba1

In action, the graphics are not bad. Specifically, the animations look great, and the NBA players we know and love are reflected really well, down to their unique mannerisms. KD’s lanky fall away jumper, for instance, looks like, well, the real KD’s jumper.

It is a rich presentation, bringing the best of a vaunted franchise to mobile — again. It is easy to get into, and the various modes allow it to really be as close to console modes as size would allow. The intro customization element is quite becoming, and the control mechanism is simple enough to become second nature.

Now, the in-game transitions can be somewhat monotonous, and I personally would prefer a more “natural” switch-off system defensively, but when it’s all said and done, it is hard to find a better basketball/NBA simulation game on mobile.

Hockey Stars Review

Hockey Stars Review

May 31, 2016

NHL Playoffs are reaching their zenith, and in the down time, Hockey Stars might be the perfect time-waster.

For folks who grew up playing bottle top soccer, the game should bring back memories right from the get-go. The game plays in landscape orientation, and uses a playing area etched out in the general form of a hockey ice rink. The players look like the aforementioned bottle tops, being round in nature, and each team gets six play pieces.

The puck is smaller still, and comes in the familiar black. The artwork is better than utilitarian, and does the job of hs3underscoring the gameplay, with the top-down view and bright team coloration. The template is easy to understand, and comes to life intuitively.

The gameplay is equally easy to get into. The control mechanism is gesture based, and involves dragging and directing a player piece to hit the puck — hopefully into opponents net, or with that in goal. The brief tutorial is all one really needs… pull to “build” momentum, release. Rinse and repeat.

And then it’s off to play. One can try out the mini-games, play with friends, practice offline or go 1 on 1 online (tourney play is noted as being on the way). We cut our teeth in the 1v1 mode.

This is an online battler for goodies, with different locations that have varying “entry” fees. The game is timed turn-based, so both players have a chance to do damage one after the other. With a bit of experience, strategic options do begin to show themselves. Protecting one’s goal is obviously very important, and one can use rebounding and deflections advantageously. The physics aspect is well-done, as the objects usually act like one would expect similar pieces to do in real life. At the base level, two goals wins, so being able to score quickly is key.

There is an entry fee, and winner takes all. Goodies can be used to improve attributes, and there is a leveling component. Doing well allows one to eventually unlock stuff like new formations and even whole teams and countries which can be useful against better opponents.

It is a surprisingly fleshed out experience despite the simplistic cover. It did have a hiccup here and there, but for the most part, the positives heavily outweigh any perceived negatives, and the free-to-play aspect makes it easy to try. The little add-ons (like mini-games) are a plus as well.

Bike Unchained gets new content via Red Bull Rampage update

Bike Unchained gets new content via Red Bull Rampage update

Apr 20, 2016

Bike Unchained, Red Bull’s adrenaline-filled mountain biking adventure, is getting some cool new stuff courtesy of an update that is available now.

The game is adding in new riders, tracks and events.

Per Google Play:

WHAT’S NEW

RED BULL RAMPAGE is here! Our biggest update yet! Get ready to ride your Specialized bike in the most epic mountain bike race in the world. Set against the backdrop of southern Utah, new tracks are ready for you to make a run filled with flips and gnarly lines.
– 9 brand new tracks filled with death defying drops
– 2 new pro riders to unlock and shred with – Jill Kintner & Darren Barrecloth
– Introducing Limited time events & Team Praedor Challenges
– Huge performance updates

As noted, the new goodies are available now.

Bike Unchained is available for free (with in-app purchases) on Google Play; check out the red Bull Rampage update trailer below:

Skeet Shooting 3D Review

Skeet Shooting 3D Review

Apr 8, 2016

Non-lethal shooting games do have a certain charm to them, and that’s one reason Skeet Shooting 3D feels like a game one can get to like a lot.

The graphics are quite earthy, with great outdoor scenes that look great in the landscape orientation the game plays in. The sounds and animations tie together well, and the game is enjoyable from a visual point of view. Nighttime scenery? Check. Snowy environment? Yes sir.

The firing mechanism all but defines the entire game. It’s fairly easy to understand: one finger to hold and shift the gun barrel, another finger taps to shoot; it works reasonably well in practice.

The action is derived in several locales; in this one, Rio De Janeiro is are jump off point, and one starts with a basic, stationary bullseye target. Using the aforementioned shooting/sighing mechanism, the intuitive idea is hit dead center, and he game is scored accordingly. Additionally, there is a three-star system based on hitting related thresholds, like points scored, shots missed and and getting rings.

sks3

Finishing a level successfully opens up the next.

The game progresses in a reasonable fashion, allowing the player to get better acquainted with the controls. As one goes on, one gets more challenging scenarios, like a moving target, and then pop-up targets on the like. Down the line, one gets a skeet shooting simulation proper, with clay pigeons flying through the air; one needs to track these down and blast the requisite amount of pigeons to advance.

Success breeds game cash.

The developer tosses in bonus rounds, which are good for the continuous honing of skills, plus they help with goodies and, frankly are fun. As one goes on, the challenges get a bit harder, and stuff like stability become major aspects of success. Here, the game cash becomes quite important, as it can be used to get better weapons, ammunition and goggles. Levels can be repeated, and getting game cash can be a slow toil, but real cash can be used to expedite the process.

It contains a lot of play, and is fairly enjoyable, in that it does what it intends to do well.

Basketball Stars Review

Basketball Stars Review

Apr 7, 2016

It’s hard not to like a game like Basketball Stars.

It’s a fun ride with regards to looks; it packs in tight hues and serious graphics that help underscore the gameplay. It sorta feels gritty, just like we’d expect from a street ball game, and the artwork subtly hints at the swagger that gives the game an engaging identity. The animations add some flair, and the developer does a good job of using color to enhance the action.

The sound matches up well, and with the eye-candy, it makes for a relatively well done sensory experience.

With regards to the gameplay, one can get wet via a few modes; first up is Practice, which is offline bs3and allows one to understand the mechanics with regards to shooting. This portion is a must-do when it comes to being successful. Additionally, there are two main gameplay modes, Attacker-Defender and Shooting Race.

The former allows the player to go into multiplayer mode against an online opponent Iv1 to a basket; it’s mainly a jump-shooting exercise, with a few moves the player can perform. Offensively, one can sidestep and shoot, while defensively, one can jump to block or swipe to steal. The game goes to the traditional 11, and winner gets cash and XP.

In Shooting Race, the player again goes against an online opponent, but both are shooting for points in the same basket. It is indeed a race, so speed of action is key; continued accuracy earns multipliers, and there are bonus balls and trick shot extras that come into play. Again, winning earns cash and XP.

For both modes, playing costs cash. The game allows for oher ways to earn cash and gold

When it’s all said and played, Basketball Stars manages to entertain in a continuous manner in a few different ways. The multiplayer component is evergreen, in that it pits the player against any number of like-skilled players in 1V1 battles for game cash. The game themselves are exciting to play in in real time, and a bit of skill is actually needed to do well.

Fishdom: Deep Dive Review

Fishdom: Deep Dive Review

Mar 10, 2016

Fishdom: Deep Dive (from Playrix Games) is a bit deceptive.

Right from the get-go.

It comes out the gate masquerading as a cute little aquarium sim. The graphics underscore this, with gorgeous animations and friendly-faced, self-aware sea animals. It looks great, sounds well and almost works in and of itself for folks who are solely into virtual environments.fish3

But Fishdom has a trick up it’s sleeve, and it’s a gimmick that should appeal to folks who may not be satisfied with barebones aquariums: one can garner game coin to acquire more fish and better equipment, but it takes the conquering of the games match-3 gameplay to make one’s personal sea world rock.

It’s about bragging rights, and matching prowess is the in-game currency.

Now we’re talking…

The looks on the main play side are just as glossy as the pet maintenance side, with several pieces laid out on a grid, just as one would expect. The pieces themselves reflect an aquatic environment, showing up as pearls, shells, starfish and the like. Thee core idea is to dissolve pieces by creating sets of three or more, and this is accomplished by swapping adjacent pieces. Matches can be bade up and down, but not diagonally, and once made and dissolved, they are replaced by random pieces that drop from the top of the grid, in a fairly “logical” manner.

The game is leveled, and one is expected to finish the tasks required within a set number of moves; the key is that the tasks start to get more complex, including things like dissolving materials, or picking up embedded gold, working around columns, or dealing with chained pieces and more. There are achievements to be garnered too.

In the end, success yields gold coins. Which brings us back to the aquarium. As noted earlier, one can use these gains to make the sea house spiffier. Real money can be used, but is not mandatorily needed.

It all come together nicely, actually; a game with two interconnected facets.

Yes, Fishdom is sneaky. Delightfully so.

Snowboarding The Fourth Phase Review

Snowboarding The Fourth Phase Review

Feb 23, 2016

So… to give this review some context, I should mention how hard it was to procure the app itself.

Now usually, when we test games, it is a fairly seamless affair, but for some reason, Snowboarding The Fourth Phase did its best to elude our grasp. It took a bit of working with the developer, and we finally got it.

We’re happy we did.

It’s a snowboarding sim, blessed with glossy graphics and groovy sounds. It plays out in landscape, which is the perfect setting to highlight aforementioned graphics, which include life-like movements, visual treats and multiple play views. The different snow-laden sites render well, and the developer does a good job of spending time on the little things.

The gameplay is varied, but decently portioned; there are three modes one can get into: one can do a “Contest” for a limited time, do a “Quick Run” for, well, quick rewards or go all in in “Career.” The game has a built-in tutorial that walks one through the game, including controls and how to be successful.

snow7

The controls are fairly easy to manipulate, allowing one to perform point-garnering tricks. Regardless of mode, a run typically involves a set of tasks one must complete while going downhill… stuff like doing a specific trick, or collecting flags and the like. In career mode, one has to complete a given set of tasks in sequence to open subsequent missions/levels, and doing well yields coins, which can be used to procure better equipment. Better equipment is important, because it’s the easiest way to increase one’s score multiplier quickly, and some levels have multiplier requirements.

The contest mode is especially interesting, as it allows one to compete against other racers for prizes. The game has a trading element too; real cash can be used to expedite stuff, but isn’t mandatory.

All the elements tie in to each other in a mostly seamless manner, and in such a way that pieces rely on each other and te game is self contained. It brings in a lot of complexity and encourages creativity, but avoids complicated menus and overly intricate controls. Due to this, the game should appeal to snowboarding vets and newbies alike.

Proof that great things do come to those that have patience.