StoryPop Launches on Google Play

StoryPop Launches on Google Play

Sep 4, 2015

StoryPop is a new app on Google Play that allows users to “discover the next generation in mobile storytelling, a completely new way to read, create and share stories or books” on mobile devices.

Enjoy reading fun and immersive stories and books as if they were a chat conversation on a mobile messenger.

Create new stories to share with others. Gain followers and sponsors for your talent.

StoryPop’s exclusive story format transforms the writing and reading experience on mobile devices, making it fun and interesting. This app includes features such as:

– Discover new fun and immersive stories everyday, easily read from your phone on-the-go
– Easy-to-use, chat-like book and story reader and story creation tools
– Create a book or story with characters that can be customized with images
– Any narrative book or story can be adapted into our new and exclusive story format
– Read stories with rich digital interactive elements* to enhance the reading experience
– Build your portfolio of creations
– Export and share your creations or the stories you like through social media like a breeze
– Comment and like other stories and books
– Receive push notifications when new content you are following is released
– Create your channel to host your content, gain subscribers and monetize it (coming very soon)
– Available worldwide in English, Spanish and Korean

StoryPop is free; we have a descriptive video below.

Mecha Ace Review

Mecha Ace Review

Jul 1, 2014

Mecha Ace is a new gamebook from the boffins at Choice of Games, a company famous for their excellent gamebooks.

Mecha Ace casts the player as an ace combat armature pilot taking part in a galactic scale rebellion against earth. Earth has been mistreating its colonies as of late and this animosity has finally blossomed into an all-out war with the colonies attacking their old homeworld. As the leader of a squad of six 60 ton combat machines, what happens next is the player’s choice.

Screenshot_2014-06-29-22-19-35The choice in Mecha Ace starts off with background. The hero can be a unhinged killer, a noble hero or somewhere in between. They can focus on gunnery skills, melee or just leadership. Throughout the adventure there are tons of choices which may or may not get your squad killed. A lot of these play into the player’s stats which can be boosted or lost due to choices made in the story.

Say for example the player may have to ambush an enemy squad in the cave. Depending on how fast the player got there (in itself a moral choice) the enemy may be set up already. There is also another armature the player can control. The choices are to go in guns blazing, lure the enemy into an ambush or remotely control the other mech. Remotely controlling the mech can either have it shoot at enemies or take out the main support pillar in the complex, killing most of the enemies but also causing the civilian town above to plunge into the ground in a catastrophic sinkhole like event. Of course this will likely fail unless the player is an exceptionally good pilot and marksman. Which is the better choice? Only the player decides.

Screenshot_2014-06-29-20-05-04Mecha Ace is written extremely well. The brutality of war and the uniqueness of people are portrayed extremely well and small touches like descriptions of body language and details of massive starships exploding really help illustrate the story in the player’s eyes. The story changes completely due to player choice and the inner monologue describing why the player character feels the way they do is always spot on.

And indeed, the plot itself is excellent. Full of twists and genuine suspense, Mecha Ace is a gripping tale until the end. Its believable characters and surprises really make it captivating reading. The way it personally involves the reader every step of the way makes it impossible to put down until the book is finished.

A lot of replay value is gained by allowing the player to change the gender of everyone in the story. This allows them to romance different people or simply be treated differently. And of course changes to the player’s skills, or just different choices completely change the story and what can and cannot be done.

Mecha Ace is a fantastic story wrapped around a robust gamebook format that really affects the plot and is a must read for sci-fi fans or fans of gamebooks.

Blackbar Review

Blackbar Review

Oct 15, 2013

As it happens, I’m a big fan of unusual game experiences. It could stem from the fact that I suck at common video-games, and compensate it by playing stuff that no-one else bothers to even care about. Anyway, this is exactly why I picked up Blackbar. Everything about this game says “indie” and “art game”, and even “political statement”. Blackbar sure lacks some gameplay depth, though, so much that I’d hesitate to actually call it a “video game” in the fullest sense. It’s more of an interactive story, and truth be told, it wouldn’t lose a slightest bit of “gameplay” if it was simply printed out as a short story. In any case, game or not, it’s an interesting way of storytelling, and whatever issues I might have with its oversimplified gameplay, don’t transfer onto the fun I had with it.

Blackbar 1Story of Blackbar is full of surprises, and it would be poisonous for the game, if I told anything about it. It’s set in an anti-utopian world, where every bit of correspondence is constantly kept in check, and censored by “The Department”. It unfolds in a series of letters between two childhood friends, one of whom has left home to work in the big city. Naturally, as the setting and the game’s name suggests, the letters are carefully censored of all negative and revealing words, and the player’s work is to write them back, to restore the original message. The gameplay itself is as simple as pressing on a blackbar, and writing a word, using standard messaging keyboard. If the word is right, the blackbar will disappear. There’s no telling of what the word can be, outside of context, and a number of letters in it. I had just a few problems with it, but I did get stuck for quite a while on some really stubborn words. And that’s the whole game. Just read the letter, write the correct words down, and move on. There’s nothing else in the entire game, save for the letters themselves, so I can understand if some people leave disappointed.

That said, the story did hold my interest throughout the game, and the writing is pretty good. Atmosphere is quite realistic, and different from most anti-utopias, where everyone is 5 seconds away from hanging themselves. People have their own problems, and view their totalitarian government simply as a nuisance – until it comes for them, as the saying goes. In the end, I thought Blackbar to be interesting. The developer simply had to make a story engaging for it to work, and I think that he did it well.

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.