Monthly Archive: August 2011

Supergay – 2.99 (Klicrainbow)

Supergay is a game from Klicrainbow, which has a lot of mini-games that you play while going through the story of Super gay & The Attack of His Ex-Girlfriends. Now, when I first heard of this game, I was a little worried that people would take it too seriously, and it really seems like they have. It’s a ridiculously weird comic book type story game that revolves around a gay character, but there’s a lot of humor in it, and a game with humor revolving around gay culture is going to get a few nasty reviews and bad press no matter how well it’s done.

In Supergay, you play as Tom, a scientist who has discovered the secrets to cloning, and is about to be married to his boss’s daughter. But he’s also gay, and just came out of the closet. So, what does he decide to do? Clone himself, of course, so that his clone can go through with the wedding. But things don’t turn out as planned, and inevitably, Supergay is born.
The mini-games throughout the game are decent enough. Some of them will have you fighting off girlfriend clones, while others will have you making the clone machine work, or hiding from the press while making it into the office. There’s a good variety of games, and each of them has nice, tight, responsive controls. Between the mini-games, you’ll have cut-scenes for the story, tapping on the screen to move on in the dialogue. The graphics are, like you’d expect, very vibrant and colorful, and look very polished and professional.
The story in Supergay is actually very well written, and the plot is well executed. Character’s change, drama unfolds, and there’s quite a bit of humor. It doesn’t drag on, or get boring, and as hard as having a story based game is, Klicrainbow has pulled it off extremely well.
There’s not really much more to say about Supergay, except that if you enjoy mini-games, and don’t mind reading a story while you play a game, and are not offended by gay culture, or by a developer making fun of gay culture (which you might take it as), then Supergay is a game that you should have. There is pretty much no replayability though, and once you get done with it, you’ll probably never open it again. No online services makes it tough to keep on your device as well. Is it worth $2.99? Probably not, but then again, it’s very hard to put a price on smiles and laughs these days, and I think $3 for this story game is a reasonable price. Especially since it’s Universal and the last update added 6 new levels, speaking of which, is probably the only reason you’d keep it on your device, the addition of new levels with updates. But Klicrainbow has done a great job creating a world for Tom/Supergay, and I hope to see them expand on it in the future, and maybe create a full-fledged platformer or action/adventure game to go along with this game.
I’m giving Supergay a rating of 7.5 out of 10.

Dino Survival – 0.99 (SomeHand)

Dino Survival is a new tilting arcade game from SomeHand. There’s two different game modes Meteor Garden, and Last Place. In Meteor Garden, it’s your job to collect as many fruits as you can, while avoiding randomly falling meteors. You’ll need to grab fruits as fast as you can, back to back, in order to get big combo bonus scores, and one hit from a meteor, or go too long without any fruit, and it’s game over. In Last Place, you’ll face more pattern oriented meteors, all falling at once. While trying to get out of the way of the meteors, you’re given one fruit, for each pattern, to try and collect. Get hit once, or miss out on too many fruits in a row, and it’s game over.

The controls in Dino Survival are nice and responsive, but you’re only able to choose between three different calibration options, and no sensitivity options. Almost every tilting game in the AppStore should have calibration and sensitivity options, because, of course, we all like to hold, and play, our iDevices differently. Also adding a joystick for gamers with iPads would have been a great idea, as it can get pretty tiring tilting your big iPad around for any length of time.
Graphics-wise, Dino Survival is cute, and polished. The animations are good, and the shadows for the falling meteors get bigger and bigger as the meteors get closer to hitting the ground. The addition of fruits makes the game more vibrant, as do the 5 environments. There are 2 unlockable dinosaurs, but they don’t have different playing mechanics. There’s no movement difference between any of them, and no special attributes for the unlockable characters. Having this would have made a big difference in the game.
GameCenter leader boards exist for both game modes, but there are no achievements. In a game like Dino Survival, where you’re collecting items and dodging things continuously, achievements are always nice to have. But the lack of them doesn’t hurt the gameplay too much, and the leader boards help add replay value to the game.
In the end, Dino Survival is a solid casual arcade game, and SomeHand has shown that they can put a good game together. However, it does feel like there’s a lack of content here, and if SomeHand had spent just a little more time adding little different mechanics, and maybe some power-ups, or more modes, Dino Survival could have easily been a must buy game. Right now, Dino Survival is free, but the price will go back up to $0.99 soon, and if you miss out on the free promotion, you can rest assured that this game is worth the $0.99 you’ll spend on it, especially if the developers keep adding to the game, and making it the best they can.
I’m giving Dino Survival a score of 6 out of 10.

‘AlphaBalls Review’ Do You Have The Balls To Try This Game?

Think of all the cliche alien movies you have seen this year. About 100% of them have huge Michael Bay- esque explosions and  awesome futuristic weapons.  Alpha Balls also has to do with an alien invasion but fortunately does away with all the over used explosions so common in main stream media.
When you first start up the game you are brought to a menu screen where you have a few different options.  You can check out the gamecenter leaderboards and see how your friends are doing, go through the tutorial, and finally start a game.  There is only one game mode; Survival, and it is score based.  You can try to compete for a high score by playing survival for a long time or just play it for fun.
The main enemy in the game is an alien spacecraft that is trying to destroy the earth.  They’re not using heavy arms or swarms of enemies but are hedging the success of their mission on throwing large balls at our planet and hoping we are obliterated. But dammit were AMERICA we don’t stand for shenanigans like that!  Our awesome and high tech solution is to shoot balls back at their balls so that they are pushed away from our planet, hopefully hitting our annoying neighbors.  The ball shooting device is similar to a tennis serving machine and machine-gun fires the balls right back at them.  In order to shoot you drag your finger on the lower part of the screen in the direction you want to fire.  Keep in mind you have a limited amount  of ammo that replenishes slowly so you really have to be strategic in where and what you shoot of.  Unfortunately that means you cant have extreme firing rampages like in Rambo but that would just make the game too unbalanced. If you tap the screen with 2 fingers a charged shot is released that has more impact power than the regular shots. Using this ability decreases the shot meter by 5 shots which you could have used defending your base. You start off with a shield but that diminishes when it gets hits more than once which leaves no room for error. The game gets really intense later on in survival mode and will have you hooked trying to save your base.
Overall this is a great physics based shooting game but is a little lacking on content.  More enemy types besides the 2 currently in the game would make the game more strategic as well.  I give it a 4/5 stars.
Releasing Sept. 1st
Price: 0.99
Devs: Appsolute Entertainment
Note: Pictures will be added once the game is released along with the unreleased video.

Acid Rain – 0.99 (Bal Rokko)

Acid Rain is a new swipe/tap casual arcade game from Bal Rokko. There’s only one game mode to play at the moment, called Flower. In Flower Mode, you need to tap or swipe on the drops of acid rain coming down from the sky, in waves towards the flowers, while trying to not hit the good drops of rain, or the lightning drops, which kill a flower if you hit them, letting them go down into the ground. The game is over when the gauge on the left side of the screen fills up with acid drops as they hit the ground, or if you hit 3 lightning drops, killing all 3 flowers.

The scoring in Acid Rain is extremely good, you get one point for each drop of acid rain that you tap to pop, but if you swipe through the drops of acid rain without lifting your finger off of the screen, you get a combo score. After swiping through 10 drops, your score will double, and goes up with each 10 drops that you swipe through in succession. Hitting a regular drop of rain while in the middle of a combo resets it to zero, so you really need to be careful not to hit the blue drops of rain coming down. Having a perfect combo swipe gets you 3 stars at the end of the level, which is 10 points for the first star, 25 for the second, and 100 for the third, all added together. So, for instance, in the first wave, if you swipe through all 8 acid rain drops, you’ll get 8 points, then because of the combo, you’ll get 3 stars, which will add up to be 135 points. Add on the 8 points for the acid drops, and you’ll have 143 points. You also get points for each flower that survives each storm, and this score also goes up as you progress through the storms. So a lot of work has gone into making Acid Rain a game that’s really focused on combos and high scoring.
There’s also power-ups that really help you build your score. One power-up is a rainbow that goes all the way across the screen, and turns each raindrop that goes through it into a rainbow drop. Popping each of these adds to your combo bonus, as well as gives you 10 points per drop popped, and is a great way to make your score skyrocket. Another power-up is a 500 point ball that you just need to swipe through or tap on to get. These 500 point balls are also multiplied by your current drop multiplier. So if you’re swiping through drops, and you’re on your 35th drop, and then swipe through the 500 point ball, it’ll be multiplied by 4 making it 2000 points, all of this, again, adding a ton to the scoring mechanics of Acid Rain.
The addition of GameCenter also helps drive this high-scoring affair, and adds quite a bit to the replayability of the game. However, there are no achievements, which would have been very nice to see in this game, considering you’re getting huge combos, big scores, and an insane number of rain drops while moving through wave after wave and storm after storm.
The graphics in Acid Rain are great, very vibrant, even though you’re mainly playing in the rain and the sky is usually grey, the rainbow, rainbow drops, and green and blue rain drops really pop when they’re set against the grey background. The flowers also dance while you’re playing, and really are quite cute. The animation of the rain popping is really good as well, and there’s a line that follows your finger as you swipe across the screen. Some levels also include a wind mechanic that makes the rain drops swing back and forth. All of this really adds to the atmosphere and great polished look of the game. It is retina display supported, but not Universal.
All-n-all, Acid Rain is a solid casual arcade game that’s good for gamers of all skill levels, and all ages. Later in the game it gets pretty challenging, as they throw in 2 acid drops per row of rain, and I’m assuming there’s 3, eventually, but I haven’t gotten that good at it yet. It’s very polished, and there’s more content to come with future updates, which I’m really excited about. Especially the addition of the next game mode. At $0.99, it’s a great buy, and isn’t going to be deleted from my device any time soon.
Acid Rain is getting a score of 8.5 out of 10.

Star Galaxy – 0.99 (Douglas Kim)

Star Galaxy has been pulled from the AppStore so that it can be re-released. When asked why, the publisher responded with;

“The developer thought that the game was not getting attention, and
the exposure he wanted, so the developer asked us to re-release the title.”

Interpret that how you like, but the bottom line is that anyone who bought the version that was pulled will not be getting future updates, and their money was essentially used to fund the re-release of the exact same game. Developers and publishers that do this have no respect for their customers. In turn, reviews from developers that pull their apps, or put ads into their paid apps, will have their reviews removed. The App Shack will not support this.

Save Yammi HD- 0.99 (Bulkypix)- “Not Cut the Rope!”

There’s no doubt in the world that when you first see this game your first thought is “Wait, this looks just like Cut the Rope”! It does sort of resemble Cut the Rope, especially since the main character in this game Yammi bares a strong resemblance to Om Nom. Even though Save Yammi HD [$0.99 (iPad Only)] by Bulkypix looks like it might be a ripoff of Cut the Rope, it’s not. It’s actually the complete opposite. You could actually say that Save Yammi builds off of the things that made Cut the Rope such a success and they turn it into their own. In this game your goal is to deliver the cookie into Yammi’s mouth. In each of the over 100 levels you can collect the stars within each level to earn bonus points to boost your overall score. There is a

rope that you can use in this game, but there’s no cutting ropes. Instead you can draw the ropes. You can draw the ropes before you start the level by popping the bubble that holds the cookie. The bad part is that you can only draw the ropes you’ll need at the very second you begin the level, because the ropes actually start to vanish as time moves on. So that means by the time you’re near Yammi your rope that you drew might have completely disappeared there. One of the coolest things about the ropes is that once you draw it, it’s not completely straight. It actually acts like a real rope by sort of drooping down a bit once you set it. You’re also only given a limited amount of rope to use. I actually love the idea of being able to draw ropes. It might take you a couple of replays to get the ropes exactly where you want them, but that’s what keeps you playing and makes the game absolutely addictive! New elements in the game are gradually added over the 100 levels. There’s power-ups that allow you to float and a bunch more of other things. There’s also a great deal of obstacles such as electric volts to watch out for or lightning to avoid or risk getting your cookie obliterated into pieces! I also forgot to mention that the gyroscope in the game is extremely helpful and works perfectly. Overall, I found Save Yammi HD to be a fantastic puzzler. There’s definitely a lot more thinking in this game

then there is to me in Cut the Rope. The levels in this game were just very well done and though out. This right here is a true puzzle game. My final score is 4/5 stars. The game can be frustrating at times but in the end it’ll keep you coming back every time. So if you’re looking for a cute challenging game or your a Cut the Rope fan and you want more of a challenge then go check out Save Yammi HD by Bulkypix for $0.99 here. This game is only available for iPad… no I’m just kidding. You can also pick it up for your iPhone & iPod Touch for just $0.99 also here.

Save Yammi for iPhone & iPod Touch [$0.99]
Save Yammi Lite for iPhone & iPod Touch [FREE]
Save Yammi HD for iPad [$0.99]
Save Yammi HD Lite for iPad [FREE]

Goop – 0.99 (Fine & Dandy Games)

Goop is a new casual arcade game from Fine & Dandy Games. In it, you will try and save the Eeeps by getting them from one side of the screen to the other without letting them get hit by the dripping goop. There’s 4 different environments in which you can try and save the Eeeps in, each with different goop set-ups. Four different characters, each with different mechanics and ways of moving helps add a bit of strategy to the game as well.

The graphics in Goop are great, nice, polished, and presented in Retina Display. The four environments are each wonderfully colored, and are extremely varied. Each one of the Eeeps are different colors, pink, bright green, dull green, and purple, making it easy to tell which Eeeps you are dealing with, and needing to get across the screen. The controls are good and responsive, you touch the Eeeps to make them jump forward, and tap, hold, and drag them left to pull them backwards a bit.
Goop is definitely a nice pick-up-and-play game, easy to waste a few minutes on whenever you’ve got a couple minutes to spare. It’s easy enough to be accessible for kids, but challenging enough to keep even adults entertained.
There are 4 different leader boards on GameCenter, along with 22 achievements, adding quite a bit to the replay value. There is, however, no mode select, or difficulty change options, though the difficulty does go up as you play, changing the rate and timing of the goop drips. Having different modes made for a game like Goop would have been a great idea. The game seems to be set up perfectly for a Challenge Mode, or something of that sort. A Story Mode would have also been a great idea for the game, finding out why they’re away from their home, or why they need to get back would have made the game more entertaining.
With the 4 different environments, there’s not much content in the way of gameplay. Each world is the size of the screen, and does not scroll. Most games with one-screen levels give us way more than 4 levels, so seeing this was kind of disappointing.
What really does stand out are they graphics, easy playability, the climbing difficulty, and the scoring system. Once you get a certain number of Eeeps across the screen, you’ll enter bonus modes, increasing your score quite a bit, and driving you to get more and more Eeeps across the screen. The climbing difficulty helps keep the game entertaining to hardened gamers, and the leader boards and achievements add that extra challenge.
In the end, Goop is a cute casual game that’s great for kids as well as adults, and casual to hardcore gamers. It could just use a bit more content and gameplay. But for $0.99, it’s a great buy, as it’s a game that could potentially stay on your device for a long, long time. Fine & Dandy Games have shown that they know what makes a game accessible to everyone, and I’m excited to see what they’re next offering to the AppStore will be. I do hope to see more done with Goop, but it’s worth buying as is now, as it’ll give you more entertainment than 4 quarters spent at the arcade.
Goop is getting a score of 7 out of 10.

‘Dragon Fantasy’ Review- Retro RPG’s and Humour Go Suprisingly Well Together

Harkening back to the good old days of RPG’s is Muteki Corp’s newest game, Dragon Fantasy.  Right from the start with the hilarious intro you know this is going to be a great experience.  After the intro you start off in the kingdom of Wester where the new king is about to be crowned.  Then suddenly a Dark Knight comes and states that his master demands an audience with the prince who was going to be crowned.  Ogden(your in game character) chases after the Dark Knight to attempt to get the Prince back.

You control your character by dragging your finger in the direction you want your character to move in.  The controls are quite smooth and you can use any part of the screen for control.  You move across the expansive continent similar to how you do in Final Fantasy.  There are various towns, villages, and temples scattered across the land.  You will end up visiting most of these places in pursuit of the stolen Prince and there are no fetch quests like in KRPG’s.  Battles take place randomly as you go across the land and the combat is turn based.  You have four options while in battle: Fight, Magic, Items, and Run.  When you select Fight you automatically hit the opponent and there is a small chance that a critical hit(which makes the damage of your attack higher) will occur.  You gain Magic over the course of the game and can be useful when your in a pinch. The item option is self explanatory, you can select certain items that you have with you and use them in combat.  Run can be used when your too much of a wuss to fight a enemy and there is a small chance it wont work that round.  The battles are fairly fast paced and there isn’t loads of text you have to tap through to get to the next action.
The graphics are simply awesome with beautiful 8-bit effects that seem like they’re coming straight from a arcade game. The 8-bit music is amazing as well and definitely adds a finishing touch to the game that makes playing through it all the more fun.
Overall this is a simply must have game that provides a humorous throwback to the good ol Retro RPG age. This should be anyone’s first forray into the AppStore RPG market.  I give it 5/5 Stars.
Price: 2.99 + Universal support
Link: Dragon Fantasy Link

‘Pixaqaurium’ Review- Who Knew Pixels Were Such High Upkeep Pets!

At one point or another everyone has had some form of a pet in their life.  Be it a frog named Hoppy or a fluffy dog everyone cares about their pet regardless of shape and form.  But sometimes owning a pet can be too much and quite stressful on you and your relations with others.  Fortunately Pixaquarium; a new pet simulation game, takes the weight off your shoulders and lets you have the experience of having a pet without really having one.

Pixaquarium as the name suggest focuses on you raising and caring for your very own virtual fish.  When you first start the game up you are allowed to choose what type of tank you want your fish to live in.  Then after you made your selection you are taken to the fish tank which has a fish egg in it.  After 30 seconds pass the egg hatches into either a boy or a girl baby fish which you can then name.  The baby fish requires a lot of interaction as you would expect and it can be difficult to keep it alive during this phase of its life.  Fortunately after just 59 minutes it evolves into a teenager which doesn’t require as much interaction and care. Then after 12 hours it finally evolves into a adult. The appearence of your fish changes every time it evolves and their are 44 different types of fish to discover. With only 2 evolutions per your fish’s life you will be playing this over and over again trying to discover all of the other evolutions.  All of the fish you have discovered are added to the Fish Book which catalogs them all and includes descriptions.   You cant access the book in-game but once your fish inevitably dies due to old age you can check it in the main menu.  It becomes necessary to check in every once in a while and is great to kill the 5 minutes you have off in the work day.  
You can interact with your fish in 4 different ways, either by playing with it by dragging your finger along the screen, feeding it food, cleaning up its waste, or healing it from its sickness.  Those options may sound fairly limited but they are the same options that the very first Tamagotchi had.  I asked the developer if new interactions,new breeds of fish, and items your fish can play with would be included in a future update and he said they certainly would.  I also would like to see mini games but I suspect he is already working on some of those.  The art in this game sports the “retro” pixel effect which takes me back to the era when having a Tamagotchi was completely awesome. Their really isn’t any music in the game but that doesn’t really affect the feel of the game.
Overall this is a highly addicting game that will have you checking back on your cute little fish often.  With tons of different fish breeds to discover you definitely wont be bored for a very long time!  
Pick it up now for the low price of [0.99]
The game is also universal so you can get it on both of your apple devices!

Tero – 0.99 (Studio Yomi)

Tero is a platform game from Studio Yomi. Instead of the typical virtual controls, Tero is one of few platform games that has tilt controls. Normally I despise tilt controls in platformers, but Studio Yomi has done a decent job in making it work. In the game you’ll play as Tero, who is trying to help rescue the Spirit Flowers using a special orange orb that shoots projectiles at enemies by pressing on the screen. To move, you tilt your device left or right, attacking is done by swiping down, jumping by swiping up, and strong attacking by jumping up and then swiping down over your enemy while in the air. The physics are nice and don’t feel floaty or weighed down, though sometimes tilting feels a little funny because the levels tilt, staying horizontal, instead of moving with the screen.

There’s 24 levels in Tero, spread across 6 different environments, with boss battles every 4 stages. The graphics are very smooth and polished, and the environments are vibrant and nicely varied. There’s plenty of enemies to keep you on your toes, some needing only to be attacked by a spin move, others needing to be pounced on, or attacked twice. There’s also some enemies that you can’t touch without loosing health. Hearts are collected while going through the levels by finding Spirit Flowers and collecting the flowers scattered throughout the levels. Checkpoints are also found in stages, but when you die, instead of going back to the checkpoint, you go back to the level select screen, then to start the level again at the last checkpoint, you need to re-enter the level, making it an un-necessary mechanic that really takes away from the flow of the game. However, once you loose all your hearts, you’re able to re-start the level from the beginning with 3, so there are no game-over screens in Tero, which is always nice.
Power-ups include your orb, bombs, and shields, but nothing else. Power-ups that let you shoot fire at the enemies, let you kill un-killable enemies, gave you super jumping abilities, let you run faster, or made you invincible for a couple seconds would fit in very well with the game. No online services are added, so going for a high-score is sort of a mute point. This also takes away from the replay value. Once you finish Tero, you won’t have much desire to go back and re-play it, but if you do decide to, you’re given the option of choosing Easy, Normal or Hard difficulties. You’re also given 3 save slots just in case you’d like to start at the beginning with a different difficulty, or share the device with a friend or family member.
Sensitivity options for tilting would have been a good addition as well, and really, all platformers with tilt controls should have the option for virtual buttons. It’s what fans of the genre are use to, and love, and the fact that they’re not seen here is probably why this game isn’t selling very well. It is a highly polished and really good platformer, it just happens to be missing some pretty major features. It would also be nice to have seen some more story added to the game. With every boss battle you only get a little picture with the boss saying something like “I will crush you”. You don’t actually know why they kidnapped the Spirit Flowers, or why each monster has decided to help out the main evil behind the abductions. Including a story with the game would have made it well worth the download, regardless of the lack of virtual buttons.
The game is fairly new; it was only released a little over 3 weeks ago, so the developers do have plenty of time to fix these issues and add some features before calling it a bust, and I really hope they decide to keep working on Tero. The graphics and level design are really very good, and the environments and enemies are varied enough to keep any gamers attention. Just a little more work, and this could be a gem that gets a pretty decent fan following. Right now, for $0.99, it’s still very much worth the purchase, and is recommended to any fan of platformers that can forgive the tilt controls.
I’m giving Tero a score of 6.5/10