SnowJinks Review

SnowJinks Review

Sep 5, 2013

SNOW FIGHT! In the summer? Yes, thanks to SnowJinks from Uppercut Games.

My first instinct is that the developer does a good job with perspective in increasing the visual depth of the game. The snow-laden play area makes use of angles and animations to stimulate things like distance and lateral movement. Obviously, white makes up a lot of the coloring, but a lot of other hues make an appearance, with especially bright explosions and flying objects.

If one find similarities between this game and Epoch, they’d be valid. It it’s basically a snow ball fight, snow1with our protagonist set up in the foreground, like the front fence of a two-story and a continual stream well armed combatants popping up in the background. The bullies lined up in different areas, on top of houses to, the side and other vantage points. At the base level, the game involves pelting the enemy with projectiles, while avoiding snow balls, ice cubes, skew streams and all the other atypical skew weapons the opposition can come up with.

Our thrower starts in a defensive position in every level, which is nice; it lets one survey the area. The enemy lob snow balls continuously; tapping the bullies makes my snowball go at them. Hitting each enemy with enough shot knocks them out, at which point, they are generally replaced with new opponents, or, if the entire swarm has been beaten, the round is successfully passed. All the while, specials and coinage pop up. Some can be tapped to be redeemed, but others have to be targeted b the weaponry in my possession.

What is interesting is the progression of the opposing weaponry. Snow balls morph into more unique weapons, and it becomes more important to avoid the incoming shots. Thankfully, our snowballer is very athletic; swiping to the side invokes an evasive leap and tumble. In later levels, a lot of the gameplay involves continuous dodging and attacking. The collected coins allow for upgrading attributes, like recovery, and weapons. The specials collected in-game also facilitate the gameplay. In-app purchasing is available, but I did not find it necessary.

Yes, the game might feel a bit repetitive. I thought the graphic environments could have been more varied, too. Still, it’s a fun game that is simple to understand, natural-feeling and full of surprises.

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.

Undead Soccer

Undead Soccer

May 15, 2013

Soccer and the undead. Now that is a weird pairings. As much as soccer players fake injuries, it probably should not be too unexpected (zing! Hey… I should know)

Undead Soccer from Bulkypix merges The Beautiful Game and zombies in interesting fashion in this wave defense thriller.

The premise was simple. My protagonist’s fortuitous trip to the locker room saved him from becoming a zombie. Playing as him, I had to use soccer balls and related power ups to keep the hordes of zombies at bay.

The gameplay was fairly straightforward; zombies appeared in simulated groups and made their way to me. To survive, I had to use an unending supply of clicked soccer balls to knock them out. There was a delay between flicking a ball and getting a replacement, so accuracy was an important consideration. Occasionally, a power up icon would pop up. To claim it, I needed to “strike” it with the ball just as I would an incoming monster.

The power-ups were varied. Guns, rocket launchers, freezing utilities… even boomerang. They were all exhaustible, undead1and each provided a unique and valuable advantage. I liked that there was a a degree of difficulty attached to getting the goodies even after uncovering them.

As the game progressed, the hordes got faster and craftier. The scenery progressed from the soccer pitch to docks, fairgrounds and other murky parts of the city. There was in-app purchasing, and I thought the game progress was slow without it. It’s a relatively cheap game, so I’ll try not to be too hard on the developer for it.

Graphically, the game had the zany look I’d expect from a zombie saga, with dark edges and coloring meant to elicit a sense of relentless foreboding. There was a simple elegance to the looks that was easy to appreciate. I was not the biggest fan of the animations, and I thought the opening sequences could have been a bit more refined, but all in all, it was far from shoddy.

For a simple game that can be very hard to put down, this is definitely a cool option.