Pocket Warriors is a new 2D side-scrolling action-RPG from Rainbow Game. You’re able to switch between two characters while you play, making the gameplay a little more interesting. It’s your job to keep the village safe from incoming monsters and enemies, while becoming stronger warriors. The game kind of plays like a 2D version of Monster Hunter, which isn’t really a bad thing at all. Rainbow Game has pulled it off quite well.
The controls for the game are simple, but work perfectly. You’re given movement buttons, left and right, which you don’t need to constantly pick your thumb up from to change directions, and 3 buttons, an attack, guard, and switch character button. To enter the stores, upgrade shops, or quest sections, the attack button changes to an enter button. Graphics-wise, Pocket Warriors is done in a professional manor, and looks very polished. The environments are varied, and there’s 15 different enemies along with huge bosses that are designed extremely well, along with pretty nice animations.
You start off in the village, and can talk to four different characters. An item storage lady, upgrade blacksmith, weapon shop panda, and the elder who hands out your quests. The quests need to be done in order, and each gives you a certain amount of gold when completed. To do the quest, you exit the village, and are taken directly to where you need to be in order to complete it. The quests are generally one of two options, kill X amount of enemies, or kill a boss. However, the lack of variety when it comes to the quests isn’t really a big deal, as you’ll need different strategies and items to defeat each different enemy, as well as each of the bosses. Combat is simple, with the attack and block buttons, you can also equip magical items up under your character avatars in the top left corner. These magical items can be bought in the shop, and do not drop during battle. More slots can be bought with the money you earn doing quests. Bosses do give off elemental items each time they’re knocked down, and you can use these to upgrade your weapons. There’s no exploration, no mixing items, or searching for other items, everything can be bought in the shop or won through a boss battle. There’s also loads of different weapons to buy and upgrade, each with different attributes and qualities.
The second character AI is pretty upsetting though. Sometimes the second character will hardly move at all, but when they do, they attack at about half the speed as when you’re doing the attacking, and almost always let enemies harm them. Being able to set up what you want a character to do, like in Final Fantasy, to attack, block, or just use the magical items, would have made the second character combat a lot better.
With 36 quests, each taking a couple minutes, some taking 4 or 5, the game doesn’t have very much gameplay, but it’s set-up in a way that new levels and quests can be added with updates pretty easily, so I’m really hoping for these types of updates in the future, and some tweaking of the second character AI is needed to really be helpful too. A scoring system would also be a very nice feature to see in the future, as well as online services, including leaderboards and achievements. It would also be extremely nice to see some defensive qualities added to the shops, for instance, some upgradeable armor, and shields Aside from this, Pocket Warriors is a great monster killing quest game, and what it has is done extremely well. For $2.99, it’s well worth having if you’re into the genre. For Rainbow Game, Pocket Warriors has definitely helped them make their mark on the action RPG scene, and I’ll be eagerly awaiting future updates, and future games from the company.
Pocket Warriors is getting a score of 8 out of 10.
Earlier this month, I wrote my very first review for The App Shack, and the game I decided to make my first reviewed game ever was iDaTank. Today, it’s free. If you don’t have this game yet, GET IT NOW! It is seriously the game of the year for me. Deathsmiles, Bumby Road, Cut The Rope Experiments, none of them hold a place in my heart or mind like iDaTank. So grab it now while you can! And remember to leave the developer, Paul, a review in the AppStore. Indie devs like him who don’t get a lot of attention need all the help they can get!
Explodables is a new tap/arcade game from Bonpeach. Throughout the game you’ll go through levels, which are more like challenges, to complete the game. There’s also a Blitz Mode, which gives you about a minute to score as many points as you can. There’s red, blue, green, and white rockets, white rockets are wild, and can be any color you need them to be. The screen is broken up into 3 sections, blue on the bottom, green in the middle, and red on top, and you’ll always have a set color order that results in a combo. You can tap on the rockets anywhere on the screen, but you only get the massive point combos when you tap the rockets in their respective color sections, blue on the bottom, green in the middle, and red on top. If you miss a color, then the combo re-sets, and you’ll need to make the color combo again.
Through the levels, you’re usually given a set score to try and hit, but there’s also levels that challenge you to get 3 crowns, which are given off when you make a combo and get a multiplier circle, which you can then move around the screen. Placing this multiplier circle in the color sections that you need to pull off the combo gives you mega points, and moving it to follow the combo gives you crowns. For instance, if the color combo given to you at the beginning of the stage is red, green, blue, then you’ll need to tap a red rocket in the red section, a green rocket in the green section, and a blue rocket in the blue section, then a multiplier circle will appear, you’ll tap on it, and then move it up to the red section, tap a red rocket, move it to the green section, tap a green rocket, then move it to the blue section, and tap a blue rocket, then 3 crowns will appear. These crowns are the best way to get huge scores, and collecting 6 of them puts you into a bonus stage.
There’s also coins to collect, which you can spend in the upgrade and bonus shops, upgrading the amount of time before a combo chain is lost, the amount of time a bonus multiplier is available, or make it so that stars can be used to help complete combo chains. In the bonus shop, you can purchase a bonus multiplier that starts at the beginning of each level, make multipliers increase in value, or decrease the number of stars needed for bonus multipliers. Hearts are also available and appear when you tap on 5 or 6 of the same colored rockets in a row, and quickly. Collecting 4 of these puts you into a different bonus stage. Also, each time you get a heart, a crowd appears, doubling the score for each rocket you tap while they’re cheering.
All of this might sound confusing, and it kind of is, but the learning curve is great, and you’ll get to experience everything one step at a time going through the levels. Blitz Mode is unlocked once you hit level 20 or so, I can’t really remember when I unlocked it, but it’s before you finish the rookie levels.
The graphics in Explodables are awesome. Very colorful, and stand out on retina supported devices. The movement and animations are smooth and very well done, and the music and effects go along very well with the game. There is a graphics option in the menu which lets you turn the graphics down if you’re experiencing lag, but I haven’t had any problems with jitteriness or any crashing at all. The tap controls are very responsive and accurate as well.
Explodables really is a top notch high scoring game, with GameCenter leaderboards for Blitz Mode and Levels 31 through 45. There’s also 45 achievements, all adding to the extremely high replay value of the game. Bonpeach has shown that they know exactly what it takes to make a professional, extremely polished arcade game for the iOS, and at only $0.99, Explodables is a great buy. Anyone who’s into high-scoring games with great scoring systems, and hectic gameplay should definitely check this out. I know it’s going to be on my iPod until it breaks, and I’m glued to Bonpeach, eagerly awaiting updates for this, and seeing what awesome game they come up with next.
Explodables is getting a score of 10 out of 10, and is recommended to everyone!
Dragon Of The Three Kingdoms is a new side-scrolling beat-em-up/hack-n-slash/action RPG from WaGame Technology. In it, you play as Zhao Yun as you battle against the Nanman Barbarians. The game really reminds me of Dynasty Warriors, but in a side-scrolling, old-school format. The graphics are awesome, and very reminiscent of the SNES/SEGA era, and the animations are great. Walking looks kinda funny, but it’s not distracting, and the fighting animations are very smooth and presented very well.
The controls in DOTTK are tight, responsive, and very easy to use. You move Zhao Yun with a joystick in the bottom left corner, and have an attack button on the bottom right side of the screen, with a skill attack button next to it. When you fill up your attack bar under your health bar, another button appears next to the skill button, and stays there until you tap on it. In that same area is where you tap to ride horses, and elephants. Turning around quickly to fight off enemies that swarm around you is very easy to do, and you’re never stuck mashing on the screen trying to turn around in a hurry so you don’t loose a bunch of health.
Right now, there is one pretty major bug/issue. Whenever you die, and try to retry from the last checkpoint, everything on the screen becomes unresponsive. The developers have said that they’re working on a fix for this, but it seems like this is something that should have been dealt with during some beta testing. It is a shame that if you die, you need to exit the game, remove it from your multitasking bar, and re-start from the beginning of the level, instead of at the last checkpoint. Hopefully the developers get this issue fixed soon, because it’s a pretty major bug.
Aside from that, the gameplay is pretty good. You go through the levels, hacking and slashing away at enemies. If you press the skill button, the action pauses, so you can take your time choosing which skill you’d like to use given the current situation on the screen. There’s vases, crates, and treasure chests scattered throughout the levels, each dropping gold, health, and flags. You can use the gold to buy accessories in the shop between levels, and the flags to use your skills. The enemies also have an item drop rate that’s reasonably decent, and sometimes you’ll come across a full meal that restores your health fully. However, in order to use a skill or your special attack, you’ll need to press forward on the joypad while pressing the buttons, and this can get pretty frustrating during hectic battle sequences.
There are also some power-ups, but these drop rates are pretty low. Some will give you stronger attacks, some will increase your defense, and things like that. You level up while progressing through the game, but another thing I would have liked to see is the health refilled when you level up. Right now, leveling up doesn’t really do anything but give you another attack and defense point, which in the battle sections, doesn’t really help too much. There are bosses at the end of each level, and defeating them can sometimes prove to be quite the challenge. But it’s not overly difficult, and reminds me of old-school beat-em-up games.
Dragon Of The Three Kingdoms does have a lot of content, especially for being $0.99. It’s a solid action RPG, with the addition of side-scrolling levels, and is definitely worth checking out. There’s plenty of variation with the bosses and enemies, and really hit’s the spot if you’re looking for a game that matches the gameplay and difficulty of old-school beat-em-ups from the NES and SNES eras. There is, however, very little replay value here. Maybe if you could unlock more characters at the end of the game or play on a harder difficulty, the drive to replay the game would be there, but as it is now, you’ll play it once, and probably end up deleting it.
Dragon Of The Three Kingdoms is getting a score of 7 out of 10.
Super Drill Panic is the new retro arcade game from Orange Pixel, the developers of the awesome Meganoid and Time Chaos. In Super Drill Panic, you’ll make your way through 30 Levels along with two Endless Arcade Levels, while collecting coins, to upgrade items in the shop, hammers to smash through platforms, treasure chests that hold letters (spelling out DRILL once you collect all of them in a world), hourglasses that give you some breathing room, key cards that let you open doors, and glasses that make you invisible, all while trying to escape from a huge boulder trying to crush you or the jail bars from coming down on you.
Orange Pixel caught the attention of many gamers when they released the great platform game, Meganoid. This time, they have stuck with the retro graphics, but tried something new. Super Drill Panic is free. That’s right, free. It has ads, but you can’t complain when you’re not paying anything to play this great game. And it is one great game.
Aside from the awesome retro graphics, you’re given two control options, tilting, and virtual buttons, right on the bottom right side, and left on the bottom left side. I prefer the buttons, as most tilting games get on my nerves, but here, you can make quick turns more easily, and it just plays better while using the button setup. Throughout the 30 levels, you’ll encounter 6 different environments, along with 2 more in the arcade modes. Each environment has different colors, and different obstacles, but the goal is always the same. Make it to the bottom of the level without loosing all your lives while collecting as much as you can.
In the shop, you’ll be able to upgrade your hammer, to smash through more platforms, your time, which pauses the boulder longer when you pick up the hourglass, your running shoes, which makes you run faster, another time, which pauses jail, burglar vision, which lets you stay undetected longer, and your key tech, which lets you open more doors.
There’s two different characters available to play with, the female is unlocked after beating the first 15 levels. Each has a different set of worlds to go through, different shops, and different arcade levels. With the male character, you try to make it through caves while stealing the treasure and avoiding the boulder, kind of like a vertical version of hook champ, minus the hook, while with the female you try to escape the building after breaking into a vault, avoiding the bars coming down on you.
There’s plenty of challenge, as getting a high ranking at the end of each level is pretty decently hard to accomplish. The graphics are Orange Pixel Retro goodness, sounds, music, it all feels like an old-school Nintendo game, filled with action. I do, however, wish that I could get rid of the ad bar on the top of the screen, even if it was with an IAP, as I do feel this game is worth a buck or two. The arcade levels do add quite a bit to the replay value, but once you upgrade all your items, the replay value goes down quite a bit. For free though, it’s an amazing game, and highly recommended.
I’m giving Super Drill Panic a score of 9 out of 10.