Flockers Review

Flockers Review

Jan 22, 2015

Flockers is a puzzle game from the creators of the Worms series – although it doesn’t have much to do with Worms. What it does have a lot in common with, is Lemmings – an old game from the nineties, still as immersive today, as it was 25 years ago.

Flockers features a flock of sheep that wander through maddeningly dangerous levels, without a care in the world. They served as weapons of destruction in the Worms series, but now seem to try and find a fate different from exploding. The player’s task is to navigate them through the hellish landscapes and lead them to the exit pipe. The sheep don’t have a concept of self-preservation, and will happily get dismembered by the saws and splash to the bottom of any pit that they come across. The player can’t directly control them in any way, so he’s left with a number of “professions” that he can assign. These professions grant the sheep abilities that help them survive, or give some other abilities that help the rest of the flock – like an ability to jump really far, or to explode, destroying a nearby obstacle. The player needs to assign these professions correctly, and at the right time, guiding the flock around the levels. The levels get pretty tight, but thankfully, the time stops when the player is assigning the professions, so the player doesn’t have to tap frantically all over the screen.

Flockers 3There’s quite a lot of levels in Flockers, divided into worlds, each world ending with a “boss” of some kind. There are three stars that can be collected upon level completion. One for passing it, one for saving a certain number of sheep, and one for completing the level in a certain time limit. The better the player performs, the more wool he gets as a reward. Wool can be spent to purchase different skins for the flock, but doesn’t really have any different use.

Generally, Flockers is a great adaptation of a great game. Cool graphics, violent dismemberment (it’s disabled by default, so hop into the options to enable gore), and lots of varied levels mean the game has everything you would expect to see. I should note that it’s only for the fans of this kind of action puzzle genre. It can be too tedious for some, or too fast for others, but it’s damn good if you’re into this sort of thing.

FootLoL: Epic Fail League Coming Soon

FootLoL: Epic Fail League Coming Soon

Aug 30, 2013

FootLOL 5

Heavily inspired by the wacky weaponry of Worms, FootLoL: Epic Fail League is an indirectly-controlled football simulator – and I use this word as loosely as possible here – for the stationaries, and the mobiles as well. The player’s task is to unleash a number of insane weaponry and natural cataclysms to spoil the game for the hapless football (soccer, for some of you) players on the field. It all looks very crazy, so here’s hoping it’s fun as well. Release date is currently unknown, and the game is coming to multiple platforms, including possibly Steam if they succeed on Greenlight.

KickStarter Spotlight: Stronghold 2D

KickStarter Spotlight: Stronghold 2D

Aug 28, 2013

With the ever increasing power of modern smartphones mobile graphics are getting more and more console-like, but eventually one must ask if that truly is a good thing. For one, all that rendering further tightens the already short battery leash, and on a 4.5″ screen, how good do the graphics really have to be? Planting themselves firmly into the two dimensional realm, and bucking the trend is the developing troupe behind this week’s KickStarter Spotlight, Stronghold 2D. Placing solid, addictive gameplay over technical prowess Stronghold 2D is some sort of Angry Birds/Worms hybrid. The gameplay is very simple; with two players commanding separate cities that reign weapons of varying degrees of intensity down upon each other. Stackable beams are used to protect the city, and laser defense turrets are just one of the many items at the player’s disposal. As is par for the course for similar games there is a plethora of upgrade options for each building, and these are controlled by an in game currency that is collected by defeating enemies or via mining buildings that require constant attention.

The game boasts a fairly robust 2D physics engine which helps render each impact as realistically as possible. There has also been a lot of attention paid to the control layout here. One of the state pet-peeves of the design team are games that, although graphically superior, have a broken and unintuitive controlling method. This led the team to work on creating the most simple, and user friendly UI and control scheme possible. Initial renderings look fairly good, and the city skyline silhouetted onto the sky makes for a very attractive background. The interesting thing is how these graphics will change when the designers are able to afford an artist to professionally bring these cobbled cities to life.


A few reservations still remain, however, and these center mostly on the, as of now, untested multiplayer component which is the game’s biggest selling point. Also, the UI could use some touching up around the edges without losing any of its practicality. Also, did I mention it is being developed for basically any device with cross-platform matchmaking included? I didn’t? Well, it’s true. Finally Android fans and iOS buffs can lock horns in a virtual arena and even take on that strange Linux friend from across the hall.

As always here, the game will not be funded without support from the fickle internet masses. So check out its KickStarter page and judge weather this creative and potentially addicting multiplayer experience is worthy.

Worms 2: Armageddon Review

Worms 2: Armageddon Review

May 13, 2013

The Worms series was a definite favorite of mine growing up. I dabbled with the first game in the series but it was Worms 2 that I really took to and from there I never looked back.

Aside from an ill-advised foray into 3D the mechanics of the series haven’t really changed over the years and it’s still just as enjoyable now as it ever was. At its core Worms 2: Armageddon is a turn based strategy game, but it stands out from other games in the genre in two key ways. Firstly, it’s 2D and secondly it’s got a playful sense of humor that will regularly leave you grinning.

There are various game modes such as ‘Forts’ which gives each team a base and ‘Sudden Death’ which causes water to rise every turn, drowning any worms that get caught in it, but essentially each mode boils down to eliminating all of the opposing players with the wealth of weapons and utilities at your disposal. These cover everything from self explanatory things like shotguns and bazookas to more unusual gear like ninja ropes for clambering around the destructible scenery and the Holy Hand Grenade, which is a tremendously powerful grenade- the detonation of which is accompanied by a chorus of hallelujahs.

Worms 2 Armageddon4The mechanics are certainly solid but Team 17 has packed in a lot of content to flesh it out. There’s a single player campaign mode with dozens of increasingly challenging levels, both online and offline multi-player and one-off matches against the computer. You can even create your own teams (complete with a choice of hats, voices, names and more) and change the rules and weapon availability to create custom game modes.

Basically this is just as fun and feature packed as Worms has ever been. Unfortunately it’s not all good news though, as the transition to touch screens has hampered the controls a little. Generally it controls okay but when using a ninja rope, jet pack or anything else that required dexterity and precision I found myself wishing for a keyboard and mouse. Especially as a single mistake caused by the imprecise controls can sometimes cost you an entire match, which is more than a little frustrating.

Worms 2: Armageddon is still a lot of fun and it’s great having Worms on the move, but the inferior controls mean that the PC and console versions are a better bet.

Death Worm Review

Death Worm Review

Jun 28, 2011

Destruction is the nature of the world. For change to happen, the old must crumble and decay. If that crumbling can be sped up a little, then all the better, especially if it can be sped up by introducing a player controlled giant man-eating worm into proceedings. Video games have long understood the primal desire inherent in most humans to smash things. Smashing things in a safe and controlled environment is fun. That’s the principle that Death Worm is built on, and it makes for a really rather satisfying experience.

In Death Worm, you play as the eponymous worm, bringing wormy death to anyone who dares to walk on the ground above your head. You control your worm with an on-screen d-pad, throwing him around in order to kill and blow up anything that moves. There are a variety of modes for you to smash your way through, as well as a couple of mini-games if you get bored of the constant slaughter.

There’s a remarkable sincerity to Death Worm that few other games can boast. It sets out its stall from the get go, and whilst it adds new layers and challenges, it never shies away from its core goal – making sure the player is having as much destructive fun as possible.

Some might be put off by the simple graphics, or might find the endless blowing up of things too repetitive, but these are small criticisms. Death Worm engages you with such aplomb that it’s difficult not to get swept along by the leaping, genetic horror that you play in game.

If you ever watched the film Tremors, and really wanted Kevin Bacon to lose, then Death Worm is the game for you. It’s fast paced, addictive and above all else, a stupid amount of fun. Killing innocent people, trucks, helicopters, birds, camels and tanks might be wrong if you’re a human, but if you’re an amoral worm, then it’s a riot.

Armored Strike Online Review

Armored Strike Online Review

May 12, 2011

Turn-based, aim-and-shoot style tank games have been around for a long time. We’ve seen a number of variations on the theme and even stepped into some weird territories with games like Worms. That said, the trick with any new game coming into the genre is to add something that makes the game fresh and exciting. Like new weapons, new tanks and online multiplayer. Throw in the mobility of a smartphone with a 3G connection and you’ve got yourself a game called Armored Strike.

In Armored Strike, you’re pitted against 3 other tanks on a battlefield of varying terrain. From hilly to flat, and sometimes featuring trees and other obstacles that block your shots and prohibit movement. If you’ve never played this type of game before, the idea is that each player takes a turn aiming and firing a projectile at his or her opponent. You have 31 different weapons to choose from that each do a varying amount of damage. Weapons vary from the standard unlimited shell rounds to bouncing bombs, hand grenades, acid barrels and incendiary bombs. Each time you hit an opponent, you get an amount of money based on the damage done. The money made is used to buy bigger, better weapons for later rounds.

What makes the gameplay in Armored Strike a little different is that paratroopers will occasionally fall from the sky. Simply move your tank over one to pick him up and you’ll get a random item. However, it’s a gamble when picking them up. Some items help you while others can hurt you a lot. Another nice addition to Armored Strike is that you aren’t limited to the same old, boring tanks. You actually have 7 different vehicles to choose from with different strengths and weaknesses. You can choose from “Mechwarrior-esque” walking tanks, larger siege tanks and a droid infantry unit. However, to use these other vehicles, you’ll have to prove yourself worthy by ascending the ranks to unlock them. That means you’ll be playing for a while if you want to unlock them all.

Finally, there’s the online multiplayer mode with in-game chat. It’s as simple as selecting multiplayer and finding an open game, However, be prepared for a massacre. You might find yourself in a game against much higher ranked veterans who aren’t in the mood to show mercy.

My only complaint with the game is that there is no asynchronous multiplayer option. All rounds are played in real-time. I would have liked to have seen a mode allowing for a more casual game where you take a turn and then put the app away while waiting for your opponent to take their turn. As such, rounds are usually quick and you can jump in and out of a game at any time.

Armored Strike is a very well-done game that offers a lot for fans of this genre. If you love the core gameplay mechanic of classic tank games and are looking for a good Android-based one, this would be the one to buy.

Worms Review

Worms Review

Feb 7, 2011

The classic Worms franchise has finally hit the Android. Worms takes its inspiration from the old artillery games like Tank Wars and Scorched Earth, where you have to worry about setting your shots to the proper angle and power to attack your enemies, but that’s where the similarities end. You have a whole team of worms that you command, one at a time, and you can move around and navigate the randomly generated stages. The game is hardly serious – everything from the status messages to the weapons carries a hint of levity to it. There’s just something comical about a worm crawling along and sending an enemy worm flying into the ocean with a baseball bat, or using a jetpack to fly over a worm, drop a stick of dynamite, and get out of there. There are no massive stakes here, just comical over-the-top violence.

Angry Birds Rio and Worms! “Oh, My!”

Angry Birds Rio and Worms! “Oh, My!”

Jan 31, 2011

Angry Birds Rio

Looks like Rovio and their supercalifragilisticexpialidocious game Angry Birds has teamed up with 20th Century Fox to give us “Angry Birds Rio.” This partnership meshes the popular Angry Birds game with an upcoming animated feature film Rio.

In Angry Birds Rio, the original Angry Birds are kidnapped and taken to the magical city of Rio, where they eventually escape their captors and set out to to save their friends, Blu and Jewel – two rare macaws and the stars of the upcoming Fox motion picture, Rio. Angry Birds Rio will pair the physics-based gameplay of the original game with unique twists based on the highly-anticipated film.