Luminux Review

Luminux Review

Jun 10, 2014

Luminix is a story of saving worlds pleasantly cloaked on match-3 robes.

The backstory is simple, but players should be happy to know that their efforts in this game go to keeping a solar system alive; matching the tiles releases energy that prevents disastrous cosmic meltdowns.

The gameplay deviates somewhat — positively — from “standard” match-3 gameplay. The playing area is a grid made to fit the square tile playing pieces in a 5 X 4 manner, and the luminescent tiles pop up randomly on the grid. The tiles themselves come in different colors: green, yellow, blue, purple and orange, and the key is to line up three or more sets of the same color to dissolve them, release energy and score points.

Moving the tiles to be matched can be done by tap, holding and dragging tiles to where one wants them to be. With lum2tiles popping up all over the place, quick movements are key, and it is also strategic to keep the board as empty as possible by matching early and often. Keeping holes open is another valuable concept, as it is tough to find space to manipulate movement when the board is filled up. Getting fixated on a color when the board is getting crowded can backfire too, as there are usually several possible combinations at any given time. As one progresses, the action gets wild, with quick, continual gestures needed to continue the matching which makes longevity possible.

If the board gets completely filled, the run is over, and points are tallied. When particular point thresholds are met, a player can level up, and it’s interesting how the game tells players how close they are to the next rank in percentage points.

I think the gesture controls are intuitive, but could use a sensitivity meter; landscape play functionality might also be welcome. All in all though, its simplicity is hard to dislike.

TheEndApp Review

TheEndApp Review

Dec 3, 2012

Games about the end of the world and post-apocalyptic worlds are shockingly common these days. While there are only so many scenarios available for zombie games, TheEndApp takes a slightly different approach to end of the world game. The common theme throughout TheEndApp is to run.

Personally, I am not a fan of running for no reason. If I’m playing sports or running for my life, these are two good reasons I’ll run. TheEndApp is all about running with the purpose. The first few levels of theEndApp are a tutorial. The basic controls are taught, which are quite easy to use. To maneuver the character left and right, tilt the device left or right. To jump swipe a finger up, to slide swipe finger down. To make a sharper turn to the left or to the right a simple swipe in that direction across the screen gets the job done.

The different levels of the game have challenges. One of the first challenges is to collect as much green duct tape as possible while running. Duct tape is, for all intents and purposes, the currency. Go through the different levels and collect as much is possible. The duct tape can be used to purchase different characters such as Freddy the zombie. other power ups can be purchased as well such as multipliers duct tape magnets and MedPacs. All of the upgrades to characters, power ups and other extras can be purchased in the camp.

Once the initial five challenges are completed, the freerun mode opens. It might not be a bad idea to go here and practice the skills learned in the tutorial to prepare for the rest of the game.

The free version of TheEndApp only allows play in The Ends Origins section. The Pro version is needed to play any of the other levels.

Stellar Escape Review

Stellar Escape Review

Jun 7, 2011

The endless runner genre is one that’s taken off in popularity since the advent of the smartphone era. The premise is simple – something or someone is coming to get you and you need to escape before it does. The screen constantly moves and all you have to do is get yourself over the obstacles in your path.

Stellar Escape follows the same basic template, but adds a few more buttons into the mix, along with a few nice graphical touches and a story that you can quite easily miss. It’s not a revolution, but it does what it does rather well, and for the price, that’s all you can ask for really.

Sprinting through a space station, you are presented with a variety of space walls, space holes and space rails that you have to navigate to proceed. There are five buttons; jump, grab, slide, fall down hole and dive through gap. Each of the spacey obstacles you encounter refers back to an action – press that button, pass that obstacle.

The problem with the many-buttoned approach is that things can get mighty convoluted when you’re facing large strings of walls, gaps and holes. Not only is the game testing your reaction times, but it’s forcing you to remember which of five buttons you need to press. That doesn’t sound particularly taxing, but when three of the buttons are different kinds of jumps, it can be.

Stellar Escape has taken the running genre and tried to make it more like a “real” or conventional videogame and the results are mixed. It’s still a lot of fun, and once you get the hang of things you’ll be leaping and ducking and falling in holes with the best of them. But the game lacks the instant addictive thrill of something like Cannabalt, or one of the huge swathe of clones you can find on the Android Market.

It’s not terrible, it’s not broken and it is a lot of fun, but you can’t quite help thinking that Stellar Escape has run a little bit too far from the template that makes games like this work.