The Abandoned Review

The Abandoned Review

Apr 30, 2016

Nothing beats the outdoor, especially when you don’t need to be outdoor… something like that. Safe capers come and go, and The Abandoned looks to be one Android users won’t forget soon.

It’s a survival adventure; to begin, the player is presented with a post-apocalyptic backstory. For an unknown reason, a part of the land becomes isolated, with weird happening and creatures in its dangerous, unexplored confines. The player takes on the persona of a helicopter passenger that is marooned in this area due to an accident.

The adventure begins.

The game is absorbed in first person (via landscape orientation), allowing one to consume the hi-def 3D graphics that define the gameplay; denizens of Minecraft might feel somewhat comfortable in the environment. It is an expressive representation, able to incorporate a natural feel with its deliberate use of colors. Animations are mostly smooth (despite the occasional stutter), and the use of highlights to help the gameplay along is relatively subtle. The sounds match the looks. Movement is facilitated by a liberal touch joystick.

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There are three gameplay flavors (Story, Adventure and Survival); we couldn’t help but get into Story mode, which gives a great taste of the game. One starts wandering almost immediately… there are helpful dialogue boxes that provides hints and instructions, and it becomes apparent that, at the core, quickly completing tasks is a major element. With that, one learns how to collect materials, and then how to craft more complex tools, and even how to use them. Collected materials can be stored for future use.

Now, a lot of thought is put into the survival aspect; remember, this is the Exclusion Zone after all. One needs to find food, do rudimentary stuff like build fires and such, and create the tools to do so. In this sense, the elements are fairly interconnected, providing a logical sequence of actions. At the risk of being a spoiler one needs to watch one’s back, because there are a lot of unexplained creatures.

One can earn XP points, which can be used to improve one’s attributes.

It’s definitely an interesting going, with plenty of suspense and a heaping of implied creativity. It was temperamental in parts, but is overall a premium game, even with the optional extra in-app purchases.

Gaijin Entertainment brings new survival game ‘The Abandoned’ to Google Play

Gaijin Entertainment brings new survival game ‘The Abandoned’ to Google Play

Mar 31, 2016

The Abandoned is a new survival game from Gaijin Entertainment that is available now on Google Play.

In The Abandoned, players’ survival skills are put to the test as they try to evade hordes of zombies and wild animals as well as keep hunger and sanity levels under control while trapped in the Zone. Featuring one of the biggest maps existing in the genre, alternating day and night cycles and numerous possibilities to upgrade the character,The Abandoned offers strategic freedom to decide how you survive.

With three game modes available (endless Survival mode, Adventure mode and Story mode), The Abandoned will appeal to fans of the genre and a wider audience.

The game costs $1.99 (with additional in-app purchases).

We have the trailer below:

New Game Escape From Zombies & Survive Lands on Android

New Game Escape From Zombies & Survive Lands on Android

Mar 7, 2015

Romale Game Studio just launched an interesting survival game on Google Play and Amazon Appstore — this one with the name Escape from zombies & survive (Escape from Zombies on Amazon Appstore).

The game title seems to let folks know what the game is about: avoid the creepy/roamy/touchy undead, and try to make it to a helicopter to escape becoming a meal.

Features:
– Nice and simple design
– 3D animated cartoon zombies
– 3D animated helicopter
– 4 well designed 3d terrains
– 36 levels to complete
– Hours of gameplay
– Reward videos(they bring you extra 30 seconds in next game)
– Japanese oriental background music

The game boasts 36 levels of 3D goodness, and we look forward to reviewing it.

It is free (with incorporated ads) on Google Play and Amazon Appstore.

République Review

République Review

Oct 24, 2014

We’ve been wanting this one for a while.

And now that Republique is on Android, we can breathe a sigh of relief. We can stop giving Camouflaj and Darkwind Media the side eye. And we can taste of the goodness that this title unabashedly brings.

The gameplay comes in two modes: Story, which allows players to experience the story and explore environments, and Normal, which is the standard experience. Going the normal route allows one to pick an episode, and we’re off.

The opening sequence is interestingly tricky, and ominously transports the player to the persona of a person receiving communicating with a mysterious person named Hope. The dialogue helps bring the player up to speed, and we also get a feel for the gesture controls while finding out the negative nature of Hope’s dwelling. Prizrak are to be avoided, and this is where the stealth maneuvering comes into play. The elements come together, with visual cues and collectible items. The hacking concept works, giving multiple views that can assist with advancement, and helpers are cloaked in pieces that work into the gameplay.

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As pointed out, stealth actions are key; as such, carelessness leads to failure, which manifests in being “caught” and returned to a secure room.

Simply put, the graphics are well done. From the opening sequence, one gets a sense that a lot of attentions was paid to the idea of the graphics helping to carry the storyline along. Fear and desperation almost literally are baked into the pixels, and the net effect of the animations as purveyed through the unique camera views is an experience best played to really be enjoyed. The darkness is palpable, but the little things are represented very well.

Where the game excels is the ability to drag one in. Before long, the quest to avoid “recalibration” almost becomes tangible; Hope’s saga becomes our own. What really resonates are the underlying themes of totalitarianism and surveillance, and these issues weigh heavily on the minds of people today.

It’s a well-crafted caper, with subtle salutes to Orwellian topics. The season pass opion is a plus, and I like idea of easter eggs and commentary from the directors show how much the developer looks to engage the audience.

Which is just dandy, by the way, because resistance is sweet, but sticking to the man is always so much fun.

The Collider Review

The Collider Review

Jun 24, 2014

The Collider is a game of extreme survival: flying down a tunnel, players must try to fly through obstacles, collecting coins, and getting as far as possible. The game is just perhaps too challenging to be much fun over the long-term.

The developer claims on the Google Play page for the game that it’s not “pay-to-win,” and I have a big problem with this because this game is actually a key example of what pay-to-win is: spending more money in order to progress further in a game. The coins are used to buy continues, and I was pretty much only able to unlock the 1300 speed by using multiple continues. The continues don’t cost too much, and it’s possible to play some early-level games in order to grind for more coins, but still, this is the exact model that Hodappy Bird used in a satirical way. It is pay-to-win. Not a terrible way of doing “pay-to-win” but it still is that.

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I think the scoring is a problem: it’s based purely on top speed reached, and not on including other factors like coins collected, or total game length (for those who start from 100). It’s too straightforward, especially as 1300 speed is basically nigh-impossible. How anyone can last long at that speed is kind of mind-blowing. It’s a shame, because of the way that it tracks high scores and rewards top daily players. There’s video replays, but Everyplay doesn’t make it easy to see top videos for this game. And I don’t think that it’s possible to share videos in the Android version of The Collider, either.

The game is available for free, and has a paid version for $1.00. The difference between the two is solely that the paid version gets rid of ads as well as the ships which serve as an energy timer. It’s well worth the dollar for people who enjoy the game.

I just think that The Collider could be a lot better. Level patterns are way too random, with some much easier, and the game gets way too fast way too quickly to be much fun at a certain speed. I think the high scores and speed progression could be a lot better. The controls are okay, but perhaps not as forgiving as dragging around on a touchscreen needs to be. This is a game that can be fun for a bit – but only those who can handle its extreme challenge will like it.

Rico – A Tale Of Two Brothers Review

Rico – A Tale Of Two Brothers Review

Apr 8, 2014

Retro platformers are almost never a bad idea, and here, we get to see if Rico – A Tale Of Two Brothers continues the streak.

It is a story ying and yang story about brothers, one of whom is looking to restore the earth’s mystical balance.

The game is cool in the way it pills in several elements and houses it under one bountiful game roof: at its heart, it is a simple run and jump game that incorporates sideways scrolling, platform and even a bit of survival. The artwork brings in some retro sensibilities as well, with the chunky characterizations and stilted movements. It is strictly 2D, and the controls are minimalist in nature, with virtual buttons for moving left or right at the bottom left, and a jump button towards the right.rico1

The gameplay comes in several difficulty modes, with different gameplay attributes: easy, normal, hard and insane. The gameplay is further broken down into leveled words.

Starting out, the gameplay is fairly intuitive. Move, jump over and/or across obstacles and collect the gold coins that are spread out in the play area. To begin, the obstacles are fairly easy to traverse… the occasional gap, water, hilled platforms and such. As it goes on, the dangers get craftier, with laser blasts, dangerous fluids, mines, moving platforms and more that demand timing and accuracy to avoid. Running and jumping give way partially to going about things in a more cautious manner to reach as many checkpoints with as much collectibles as possible. The water can be especially treacherous; staying underwater for too long can be dangerous, but is sometimes necessary to collect gold or get from point A to point B. If the blue oxygen bar gets completely depleted while under water, our character dies.

The controls were a bit wonky for me; still I like that the game has a straightforward purchase model. For those on the fence, the atypical free version is available to assuage concerns about dropping $3.27 on the full version.

For now, the streak seems to be intact.

Only One Review

Only One Review

Feb 21, 2014

Only One starts off in dramatic fashion: a giant sword floating in the air, giving off a radiant aura. It descends to the ground, and is picked up by the protagonist, standing on a giant circular platform where the only exit is a steep drop to one’s death. He screams to the heavens:

“I will become…the only one!

It’s a bold intro, yet a bit silly because the voice acting sounds hardly professional, but it perfectly encapsulates the Only One experience: it’s a bit silly, a bit crudely-made, but a lot of fun.

While it’s easy to call Only One an RPG, it’s more of an arena survival game with fantasy tropes. Players try to last as long as they can, leveling up each time they take out an enemy wave, be they warriors, archers, wizards, or anything else that wishes for the player to go from Only One to Absolute Zero. Players are equipped with a sword, can collect a shield to take additional damage, and collect power, the game’s currency to spend on health/shield upgrades, passive abilities, and active abilities that can be triggered to help deal with enemies, such as a freeze blast. Players have 70-plus levels to work through, with checkpoints every 10 levels, and a boss fight at the end of each ten-level gauntlet.

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The sword action that serves as the heart of Only One‘s combat always feels a bit awkward because it’s such a limited motion, but players just have to get acclimated to it and how they can attack enemies with it. The touchscreen controls work decently enough: there’s a virtual floating joystick on the left side and action buttons lined vertically on the right.

The game supports HID gamepads, which I highly recommend using. Google Play Games is supported, but not cloud saving, which is unfortunate – I’d love to jump from my tablet to my phone and back easily without using Helium (which doesn’t work on one of my tablets). As well, while the game doesn’t have the greatest production values – it’s simple pixel art and sound effects are lovably crude – some older devices may struggle to run the game at maximum frames per second.

Sadly, the most fun part about Only One is one that isn’t necessarily in the player’s best interest: knocking enemies off the edge of the map. Sending an enemy to their doom by hitting them backwards is fun! Doing so by using the Force-push ability: even more fun! There’s also the bonus points that come from doing so. But because enemies drop power coins that inevitably go flying with them, this really isn’t in the player’s best interest to keep doing. Perhaps if the rewards were automatically collected? After all, fighting near the edges comes with its own risk: that players could fall off if an enemy knocks them off themselves or if the level starts to shake.

But that the enemies do try to do that shows just how smart the AI is here: it’s not comprised of geniuses, but it is full of enemies that do intelligent things. Like, for example, running away from the guy with the sword when they’re the last enemy standing instead of just standing there and taking damage like a fool resigned to their fate. Or a wizard with a teleportation ability that uses it when knocked off the arena. Hooray for intelligent systems!

Really, Only One is so much better than it should be based on how it looks and sounds; but thanks to the depth of its combat and fun features, it’s a must-play.

KickStarter Spotlight: Death Road to Canada

KickStarter Spotlight: Death Road to Canada

Sep 4, 2013

While I personally am not a big fan of the whole zombie genera I certainly know plenty who get their fair share of excitement from the hordes of the undead. While not the most realistic end-of-the-world scenario they do seem to be the most popular based on the number of books, movies, TV shows, and games focused on the “forthcoming” zombie apocalypse. Adding to this pile of zombie flavored media is an ambitious KickStarter project that aims to combine the classic gameplay of the Oregon Trail with modern permadeath zombie survival games, and it wraps all this in a badass name: “Death Road to Canada.” The storyline here is simple from afar; drive from Florida to Canada as quickly as possible all-the-while collecting randomly generated companions and going through randomly generated cities.

What makes everything much more interesting is that each character, along with looking different every time, makes realistically rash and selfish decisions throughout the journey that the main player must deal with. This really ensures that each play-through behaves as a completely different animal compared to the previous one; which, I think, will ultimately give Death Road to Canada a surprising amount of replay value. Another feature that will keep players coming back for more is the fact that there is no second life. Death is permanent here, which should have frustrated gamers immediately starting a new game to avenge the loss of their fallen avatars.

In an effort to extend the life of Death Road to Canada, the developers are making a concerted effort to include as many ‘rare’ citizens and events as possible in order to ensure that each play through is not just different from the last, but also includes some scenario that has not been seen before. Personally, this is a huge selling point because if this game can offer a unique but similar gameplay experience every time it will most certainly become a classic game that is synonymous with the best mobile gaming has to offer. This, even though Death Road to Canada is not just a mobile game, the developers are working on versions for PC, Mac, Linux, and iOS.

In conclusion, anyone who is a fan of the undead or just survival games in general should really consider supporting Death Road to Canada at their KickStarter page. I am stoked to see this game in it’s final form and unfortunately my college budget does not allow me to fully fund this project. So get to it internet and help make this game into the reality it deserves.

The Walking Dead: Assault Review

The Walking Dead: Assault Review

Aug 8, 2013

Some things are simply meant to be. Count The Walking Dead: Assault (yes… from that TV and comic franchise) as one of them.

The allure starts with the artwork, with the ominous monochromes only interrupted by the hopeful color of objects or the fearsome look of enemies. The top-down view works well, and I liked the ability to pinch in and out.

The game action is easy enough to get into. Each normal human being with attacking capabilities has an arc has a perimeter arc that comes into play later. The gameplay is broken into chapters, with successful completion denoting the end of the chapter, and also unlocks the next chapter. The beginning of the game will probably resonate with fans of the franchise: Rick wakes up in the twd1hospital, figures out the zombie apocalypse, and fights for survival.

In the first chapter, the developer does a good job of presenting the game in a slow format that explains sundries like single player movement, gathering supplies, managing resources and disposing of “biters.” All in all, the tasks are logical: explore the surroundings, gather the marked materials, decrease the life-bars of the zombies before they decrease yours, and any other tasks assigned. Movement is controlled by tapping the space to make a single character move to that space, or holding to make all teammates move to that area.

The green arcs mentioned earlier makes sense here; if a zombie is in range of the circle, the character(s) controlled shoot (or use whichever weapon is currently selected) on them automatically.

At the beginning of each level, teams can be chosen. Players can be unlocked with the game currency that is accumulated during game play, but real cash can be used to expedite stuff. The game coins and/or real cash can also be used to increase attributes like ammo capacity and health.

For folks tied into Google+ and the optional sign-in to that service will be welcome. The game also has options to adjust music, sound effects and some of the controls, so while the option set is the biggest in gaming, it touches the major stuff.

All in all, it is a cool game that does its franchise proud.

Block Story Review

Block Story Review

Jun 13, 2013

Block Story is a quest-based adventure in the same vein as Minecraft that puts an adjusted spin on survival style gaming.

Gameplay starts straight away: a mini-tutorial greets you with basics of the action. Players learn movement, collection of items, hunting and the procurement of sustenance, and more. The options give a good idea of what to expect; players get to name a new “world” and “world seed” and select from three modes: Story, Creative and Hardcore. Then you can pick or create a character and push on.

I would have preferred an action tutorial to the built-in text one, but I still believe that for games of this type, block1any tutorial is better than none at all. The gameplay is leveled, with action points furthering progress. I like the ability to upgrade player attributes via points earned. The action does get pretty intense, with an interesting array of mythical and real dangers. Stuff like snakes and bosses like airborne bosses make the quests challenging but mostly enjoyable.

The environment is truly boxy, with an edgy feel. The developer uses colors to highlight the finer parts of the environment, and such use does a good job of differentiating elements. Bright greens, subtle skylines and living objects are represented well within the design principles of the game. While some might find the animations a built stilted, I think it all fits in together quite well.

The controls are fairly intuitive. The virtual buttons are tight but responsive, with virtual joysticks and buttons to control movement and creation. The first person perspective is interestingly vivid. As an added jolt of functionality, the game is compatible with MOGA controllers.

Block Story is a a fun adventure that does very well to create a virtual terrain that begs to be discovered. it is in parts charming, at others scary, and the dichotomy it part of its charm.

1001 Attempts Review

1001 Attempts Review

Apr 16, 2013

1001 Attempts is quite the vulgar game. I say this not because of any of the content in it – sure, there’s a little dude who meets their demise by missile, spike, and ghost, but the game itself is inoffensive. The vulgarity comes from when after I think I’m on a good run, when I think I’m about to get that high score, and then suddenly, it’s all yanked out in front of me because I flipped into a laser, or hit a missile, or did something that I thought would keep me alive but really didn’t. I then usually unleash a series of words so vile that I make an angel cry.

Such is the fun of 1001 Attempts: it’s a maddening high score game, but in madness comes bliss.

The goal is to flip gravity on a single-screen board, trying to stay alive and collect red gems that are worth 10 points and green gems that are worth 100. Various hazards come about, like spikes that come up from the walls, missiles and buzzsaws that launch across the screen, and the glowing green skull. He appears around the 800 point mark, and he will make life hell, or at least limit where it’s possible to move. But even he is no match for the lasers. The evil, evil lasers. Like everything else, they appear with enough warning to know they’re coming, but one ill-advised flip and dreams are shattered.

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The game is all about high scores (with Scoreloop integration) and part of the reason that going after them is so fun is that once the skull starts appearing, the game becomes simply an endurance test. Thus, knowing what to do when specific hazards arise is key, and sticking to that plan while chaos reigns is the key to reigning on the leaderboards. The game issues a reminder of the player’s current world rank, so that’s plenty of incentive to keep going.

The game is a solid port of the iOS version, with the features from the latest update including random new characters for collecting certain lifetime amounts of gems. The Android version is free with ads, with an IAP to remove them, which is worth it because the ads are full-screen and hard to close without accidentally opening them up. However, the launch version has an issue where the game crashes when tapping the “Disable Ads” text after a round. The only other downside is that the default controls do obscure the lower corners of the screen – keep an eye on them to make sure death doesn’t come from those parts of the screen!

Minus any small quibbles, this is a high score game that succeeds because of its simplicity letting the challenge of the game shine through. Everplay Interactive and Cookiebit have a winner on their hands here.

Rebuild Review

Rebuild Review

Feb 20, 2013

Rebuild is an interesting apocalyptic game from Sarah Northway that brings survival, end-times and zombies together in a fun, atypical way.

It had the major zombie staples: zombies are running amuck, and I had to make it to a sealed off bastion of humanity, and guard against the undead that would just love to welcome us, uh, personally to their fold.

Graphically, the developer did well to ensure that the zany artwork became a part of the gameplay, instead of distracting from it. There was a weird sort of bleakness to the abandoned All Mart that lent itself to the storyline. The hand-drawn art was from from unpleasant, and the game animations worked well. The musical score from Talking Book fit in well.

I loved how the game started; it had a a creative opening scene, that allowed me to mix and match elements of the game and my character. Using adjustable spots, I could pick gender, special tool and difficulty of the game. I could name the refuge, and what type of city I wanted it to be. This level of customization was very nice, and did well to pull me in from the beginning.

The tutorial also helped things come together, and was a nice addition. The game menu measured inputs like food against consumption, and gave an overview of our survival needs. I also had a list of equipment, survivors, dangers and a measure of our community happiness (funnily enough, this could be helped by preaching or tending bar).

At its basic level, Rebuild was a survival life simulation. There were tasks to be completed, and they were mostly logical and somewhat interdependent. I had to help expand the city, fortify newly acquired structures, produce enough food and keep the residents happy. Oh yeah, and repel zommbies and other entities interesting in destroying our community.

The game had enough variations and leveled play to make it hard to put down. Decisions made today affected the gameplay down the road. For example, admitting and encouraging sketchy people could have dire results down the line. Do you convert the school to a hospital? Or a bar? Should I tie up a body to produce more food, or have him/her work on a science project? Questions, questions…

One thing that I wished would have been included was infinite growth. There was an option to leave the city; it would have been nice for an interactive map that allowed continued interaction (and maybe movement back and forth) between home city and new satellites.

All in all, Rebuild is a really nice game that has challenging gameplay that allows for plenty of different forks in terms of outcome. I liked it WAY more than I expected to.