Pocket Trains Review

Pocket Trains Review

Oct 22, 2013

Pocket Trains offers players the chance to run their own pocket-based railway line. But how does it play?

Pocket Trains is all about transport. Once a starting city has been picked, players transport cargo, build new railways and expand. there is no overarching goal in Pocket Trains. you just build as big as you can.

Each city in Pocket Trains has a number of jobs on offer. Jobs consist of delivering different amounts of cargo to a city. Completing jobs earns coins. Coins are used to build new stations so trains can deliver to more cities and buying rights to use railway lines.

Screenshot_2013-10-16-10-13-17Each train in Pocket Trains is tied to a certain stretch of track. Each time a new station is unlocked, the track leading to it can be assigned to one of your trains. A relay system is needed to transport cargo long distances if the destination is on another stretch of track.

Players can also construct their own trains. It is important to keep building new trains as your railway expands so trains can transport things effectively.

Screenshot_2013-10-15-11-26-04Graphics wise Pocket Trains is cute, but not outstanding. It’s fun to see all the different types of cargo thundering along in train cars and the colourful, easy to use menus are easy on the eyes too.

Soundwise the game is pretty average, there really isn’t much to hear except the click-clack of your trains and a few snatches of county style music.

On the whole Pocket Trains is enjoyable if a bit like busywork. It requires a lot of micromanagement and frequent short bouts of gameplay. The gameplay doesn’t change much from the start of the game and this leads to it becoming repetitive rather quickly.

Unfortunately, Pocket Trains has a lot of ways to take your money. Not only does the game attempt to sell you crates for parts, it also charges you Bux, another premium currency to open those crates. Stockyards likewise are next to useless until upgraded with Bux. Lastly, trains need to refuel every few trips; another pointless timer and trains often break down, necessitating an expensive repair using your precious coins. Pocket Trains just has far too many ways to take money and really doesn’t provide that much fun in compensation.

This IAP fest is alleviated somewhat by the rather large amount of free Bux you can earn. Occasionally you’ll see jobs with a price in Bux rather than coins. Get them to their destination and you’ll earn a few. This isn’t remotely enough to buy everything you need to however.

Pocket Trains is a decent take on transport management with a fair bit of depth and it can be fun to reason out how to run your trains most effectively, but unfortunately the vast sea of unavoidable IAP and the game’s repetitiveness really put a damper on any fun faster than a speeding locomotive.

Epic Review

Epic Review

May 27, 2013

By now, seeing handheld games come out as companion vehicles to major motion pictures isn’t exactly a new thing. Epic, is named after the Blue Sky movie and is a Gameloft-crafted adventure that brings the game to Android devices. I have to admit I like the initiative; games like this can be great mindshare tools when done right.

As in the movie, Jinn is the fictional location of this kingdom builder. The premise isn’t too complex: Mandrake is the big baddie, and leads his dastardly Boggans in his quest to devastate the kingdom. I work to stop him. To do this, I have to manage my resources, equip fighting forces and basically grow an empire. Stuff like seeds serve as the building blocks for resource management.epic1

The fun part, for me at least, is the part that probably has the least amount of direct user interaction. Developing and equipping an army to take on the Boggans is a key part of the gameplay, and the simulated battles are a measure of the preparedness.

A lot of the pieces fit together logically. I like that the developers worked well to incorporate the movie plot without getting too involved in copying it. In other words, the game enhances the movies (and vice versa), but isn’t defined by it.

For a Gameloft-engineered game, the graphics were mid-line. Yes, when measured against most games, it is pretty impressive, but I’m used to some serious POP in Gameloft graphics. In any case, the transitions are still cool to look at, and the animations are fairly smooth. The use of color is decent as to be expected.

Of course, there is a dose of social networking built in.

Epic is a great time waster that rings in at the right price. It’s what one makes of it, in that it can be either a piece of the movie or a standalone adventure.

Kairobotica Review

Kairobotica Review

Aug 24, 2012

Games in the genre of The Sims and any of the Tycoon games are pretty popular. I’m not sure if people like to have a god complex or the complexity of games like these are what draw people to them. In any case, Kairobotica is a 16bit looking game fitting into the same genre.

The little robot army is tasked with protecting the galaxy. Big job for these little guys. Good thing there are a lot of them. Throughout the game different attacking monsters and other generally bad guys need to be stopped.

Factories can be built to build more little robots to take on patrols to other planets. The bigger the gang on patrol, the better chance of defeating evil doughnuts or other beings striking fear into the hearts of the planet’s inhabitants. Farms can also be constructed to accommodate visitors from other planets. The farms are there to grow food to sell to the visitors. This will make a little income to keep things running and allow for upgrades and travel money for the patrols.

Building more houses will allow for more robots to be made and housed. When there are more robots to take on patrol, there is a much better chance for success. The controls for battling at pretty simple. The turn based action eliminates the need for complicated controls. When on patrol and a fight starts, there is an option to retreat or attack. Once the attack button is pressed, the battle will proceed until someone wins.

As the games progresses new skills are learned to combat the monsters and such. The skills will attack all of the enemies on the screen at once. When the new skills are combined with an Aura, the attacks are a lot more powerful. Another part to take into consideration is reputation. The if people have more respect for the patrols, more missions will be offered.