Teslapunk Review

Teslapunk Review

Aug 19, 2013

Teslapunk is space shoot-em-up with a futuristic look and easy-to-understand gameplay.

It comes in two gameplay flavors: arcade and survival. In survival, it’s literally a matter of staying alive as long as possible. Columns of obstacles block progress, and it takes a lot of darting in and out to stay as alive as long as possible. Arcade is aimed at maximizing multiplier potential.

The Survival mode gives a great demo of the gameplay, and like the arcade format, appears in top-bottom 2D form, withtesla1 the protagonist spaceship flying from top to bottom of the screen to the top. It perpetually fires ammunition, and can be maneuvered by tapping and holding (dragging) the virtual image. Flying in the opposite direction towards this craft are several obstacles of varying lethality. The very first danger is the continual wall of enemy craft flying in formation. These crafts usually filled the screen flying 5-deep, so the only means of egress is to shoot a path through them, as colliding with them ends the run. These spacecrafts also vary in defensive capabilities, so some are easier to destroy than others; this consideration is especially important in the earlier parts of the game, when powerful weapons may not be yet available to make a path through particularly strong enemy ships before colliding with them and being destroyed.

Additionally, there is a particular projectile that s particularly deadly; it announces its imminent presence with shooting white beam. At this point, the best recourse is to get out of the way, which, because of the columned waves, is much easier said than done. There are also some evil “boss” ships, and these generally can’t be destroyed on the first run. They also spit out volleys of weaponry that spread and take some major deftness of finger to avoid. Destroyed ships yield gold coins, and there are several in-game power-ups.

The in-app store is quite affordable using accumulated coins; attributes can be improved. real cash can be spent as wellI liked the networking tie-in as well.

The art is fun to look at, effective at conveying the action and pleasantly simple in design. The animations were smooth and worked well on most of the devices I tested it on. It’a an addictive time waster, and the two modes are cherries on the top.

Asteroid 2012 Review

Asteroid 2012 Review

Aug 8, 2011

Some games take a while to get used to, but more often than not they’re all the richer for that. It’s sort of like wine. They need that time to breathe, so that they taste that little bit sweeter once everything clicks. Asteroid 2012 almost fits into that category, but it falls short in a few key areas.

The game is a simple 3D space shooter that sees you utilising the accelerometer in your phone to control a pretty decent looking spaceship. Your task is to shoot asteroids, avoid the attentions of other spaceships and generally survive in the grim darkness of the remarkably close, yet technologically superlative future.

At first, you’ll think the tilt controls just don’t work. You’ll wave your phone around and your spaceship will explode and you’ll get angry and swear and go to bed without any supper. If you persevere though, you’ll realize that the controls are far subtler than in most other titles, requiring only the slightest of movements for the desired effect.

Once that’s settled in your mind, you’ll find yourself having some fun with Asteroid 2012. It moves at a different, calmer pace than most other games, and there’s no real way of telling if you’re doing things right or wrong. Then another spaceship will turn up, kill you and you’ll get frustrated and stop playing.

Sometimes, Asteroid 2012 feels more like a tech demo than a complete game. It’s fun in small doses, but after too brief a time, it becomes a bit of a chore. There’s obviously a lot of talent and time gone into making the game, but not enough of that time has gone into making it fun. With a few tweaks and a clearer objective, Asteroid 2012 could be a very impressive little app. As it is, it’s just a little too lacking in those key areas.

Space Bunnies Review

Space Bunnies Review

May 3, 2011

Space is huge, full of wonders and miracles and billions of things that we as a species haven’t even been able to imagine yet. If Space Bunnies, the new Android title from ShockPanda Games, is to be believed, it’s also full of bubbles and strange leeches that steal fuel from the engines of space ships. Oh, and bunnies. Lots and lots of bunnies.

Space Bunnies is a wonderfully presented game, a mixture of simple puzzle mechanics, tilt controls and a charming graphic style that’s both endearing and easy on the eye. You play a spaceship full of adventuring rabbits who have decided that it’s time to head back home, dodging obstacles and picking up their rabbity friends along the way.

You start each level on a planet, then blast yourself off with a slide of a finger. Tilting your phone moves the spaceship around the screen, enabling you to swerve around oncoming attackers, meteorites and, perhaps more importantly, turn corners. Scattered throughout each level are other worlds and you’ll have to visit all of them if you want to get full marks. Your spaceship also has defenses against threats, including a limited number of explosives on its hull.

There are currently three different adventures for you to undertake, each comprising of ten levels, with another one on the way soon, so there’s plenty of game for you to get your teeth into. Unfortunately though, there are some problems with the game. For starters, sometimes the touch screen menus aren’t sensitive enough, and you’re left ineffectually jabbing the screen to try and select what you want to do next.

The biggest problem though, is that Space Bunnies’ control mechanism isn’t suited to this sort of game. Tilt controls don’t really work from a top down perspective, especially if you’re trying to dodge and weave your way through a tightly packed asteroid field or avoid the attentions of a hungry space leech.

It’s a shame that a really great game is sullied by clumsy, muddy controls. Space Bunnies could be a must have app, and if something is done with the control system, then it’s likely to become just that. It wouldn’t take much, even a slight increase in sensitivity would make the game eminently more playable. As it stands, it’s a good game, with a bit of work, it could be a great one.