Monthly Archive: October 2011

‘Mage Gauntlet’ Review: Magic, Swords and an insane amount of hats.

We at the App Shack have always been huge fans of the developers over at Rocketcat Games company because of their previous hook-slingin’ games like Hook Champ, Super Quick Hook, and Hook Worlds.  Deciding to branch out from that genre of games they created Mage Gauntlet, an ARPG (Action Role Playing Game) that is built in the image of Secret of Mana.  Read our interview with them here to see what new direction this studio will turn next.
              The backstory of Mage Gauntlet is very deep and intriguing and had me rewatching the cut scenes to make sure I understood it. Basically a great evil known as Hurgoth descends over the land causing pain and suffering.  A wizard named Whitebeard conquers and sends the monster to the bleak Dark Realm.  He and some appointed wizard guardians have been keeping watch on the seal to make sure that it does not get broken open.  It appears that the seal is leaking out energy causing monsters to rise again in the land.  I’ll let you find out the rest of the story on your own as it is best experienced without already knowing what’s going to happen!
            Each section of the game world is split into levels which are seamlessly integrated together much like different areas in Zelda.  After you exit the level you immediately start walking through the next level without having to select it.  You can earn up to 3 stars in a level. If you defeat all the enemies and dont lose any lives you get the perfect three stars for that level.  You can earn a pet by doing so which is an awesome motivating factor.  Also able to be obtained by beating levels are hats. Hats have always been a recurring theme in Rocketcat Games and in Mage Gauntlet there are 110 hats to collect. These hats don’t actually boost your stats in any way but are certainly fun to wear and let you customize your character. Pets, Swords, and Robes though, do influence your stats and the possibility of spell drops.
     You control Lexi by using one of three control methods which are all very adaptable and easy to use for both iPod and iPad users.  To attack enemies you can quickly tap the attack button for a weak attack and by holding it you can initiate her power attack which stuns all enemies it touches.  Also available are spells which you can get by cracking open magic vases.  The battle system feels much like Secret of Mana’s and is quite fast paced as the enemies can get very cunning. Also there are no fetch quests at all so this really does hearken back to the 90’s era RPG’s.  For added replayability they included a separate mode called Master Mode that puts new secrets and overwhelming monster numbers in the same levels you played before.
        Overall this is refreshing take on the RPG genre and really adds something new to the App Store. With 84 levels, 110 hats, 19 pets, and 86 achievements you’ll be playing this gem for a long time.  A update has already been announced which includes a new mode and a new pet.  You really cant go wrong with this purchase and is in my opinion my absolute favorite RPG up to this point. Legit, get it now on launch day before it goes up in price permanently to 2.99. 10/10

Works on iPod, iPhone, and iPad. Requires iOS 3.1.2 or later

Infinite Dreams says “Thank You” with Ads…

Jelly Defense developer, Infinite Dreams, has just updated their Angry Birds/Tiny Wings mesh – Shoot The Birds, with “Small Improvements” and adding “A huge THANK YOU to all you Shoot the Birds fans for great support. You are the best! Your 5-star iTunes ratings and reviews keep us motivated to provide you new content with future updates! Thank you for playing Shoot The Birds.”

Come to find out, those “Small Improvements” were the addition of iAds, and price drop from $1.99 to free, making previous customers who have paid for the game kind of think, “if you’re going to say thank you with iAds, next time, keep it to yourself.” This is happening more and more with games that do not live up to “early sales quotas” or don’t do as well as developers thought they would. But with a development company like Infinite Dreams having more than a few games available in the AppStore, each of which having more than just a few iTunes reviews, as well as reviews from all over the net, it’s hard to believe that they really need to pull something like this to earn that 2 cents for every accidental click on an ad. I guess the question you should be asking yourselves is; “if a development company says ‘thank you’ to their supportive customers by throwing ads into a game those customers have paid for, is this really a development company you want to support in the future?”
**Note** Infinite Dreams responded. saying “It’s free, what do you expect?”

Galaxy Pirate Adventure Review – An Adventure of Pirates in Space

Are you looking for a free roam space exploration game? Get Galaxy on Fire 2. If not, read on and find out about Galaxy Pirate Adventure [by Sunfish Studio], available on the iTunes Store for $4.99.

GPA is, exactly as the name implies, an adventure about pirates. In space. You are the son of the great Pirate King Alexander and it is time for you to make your mark on the world! The story unfolds in cut-scenes through text boxes – no voice acting here. For the most part it’s well-told, but suffers from occasional issues that have become the hallmark of mis-translations.
The game boasts a 40+ hour campaign and I can believe that – having already sunk more than 20 over the last few days. Without spoiling anything, the plot so far has been easy to follow and the story is interesting enough, albeit not very deep. I suspect this is intentional though, as progress is constantly broken up by side missions.

Looking at the screenshots, you may be forgiven for thinking that the game takes place in an open-world setting, like the aforementioned Galaxy on Fire – and a lot of users on iTunes have made that mistake already. Here’s how it works: there are spaceports (40, in fact) that you travel between. At each one, your ships hang outside and you are free to look around at the absolutely gorgeous scenery. To avoid confusion, while panning around you can find icons indicating nearby planets as well as one to “dock”. Inside each station you will find find options to modify your fleet, a market, missions and a factory where you can order ships or buy equipment for them.

Purchasing new ships has been a mixed experience for me – you need to raise the cash required, as well as find enough materials. You only get these from missions and more than once I’ve wondered why I can’t just buy the scarce ones with the comparatively limitless cash. It’s a small nuisance though.

There are 6 different tiers of ship – each of which has a distinct size, range, power and slots for weapons and equipment. These slots allow for some great customization. Do you want your ship to be faster, or have more armor? Missiles or lasers?

Missions come in four different flavors: Smuggling (where you ferry goods between spaceports), Robbery (taking ships down to acquire special goods), Mercenary (doing others’ dirty work for them) and Story missions which are a blend of the others.

The combat missions are the only time you get to control your ship and this is where things get interesting. On the left there are buttons for switching targets (the game automatically lock onto the ship of your choice), approaching or moving away from your target. Range is crucial, as different weapons can have different ranges.
Once you’ve equipped your ship, weapon icons will appear in a neat row on the bottom. But the enemies aren’t there for target practice, and will shoot back. Fortunately, you have a shield. Unfortunately, it draws a large chunk of your energy. Each shot draws some energy from the same pool, so the combat becomes an interesting game of cat-and-mouse where you approach the enemy, take a few potshots, and retreat out of firing range to recover.

The enemy AI is effective, but occasionally predictable. They will shield when you fire and will consistently try to chase you down. I found the higher tiers of ships much more aggressive though, so the combat doesn’t feel bland as you might think from a curt description.

In short, I played the heck out of this attractive-looking game and still haven’t reached the end. The customization depth is staggering and potentially significantly changes the battles. If you’re interested in a lengthy adventure (in space, no less) that’s a little out of the ordinary, for iOS at least, don’t hesitate to give it a shot. Well worth the price of admission.

P.S. Do you find yourself forgetting where everything is? Check out this handy guide.

Flip Riders – 0.99 (POWapp)

Side-scrolling racers have become pretty popular among iOS gamers over the last couple years. They seem to have a perfect amount of casual gameplay mixed with enough challenging high-score chasing to keep almost all gamers satisfied. The genre seems to be growing, though very, very slowly. Generally, with each new addition to the genre, there will be a little upgrade with graphics, some tweak in the gameplay, maybe an added power-up, but never really a huge jump like what POWapp has done with their latest release, Flip Riders. In this side-scrolling, star collecting racer, awesome graphics, tight controls, and some amazing physics have totally set a new standard for the side-scrolling racer genre.

Right now, there are 30 levels spread out across 6 different environments, with 3 stars to earn in each level, and each new environment can be unlocked with every 10 stars you earn. Stars are given to you depending on how many you snagged throughout each of the levels. 100% of the stars in the level will give you 3 stars, between 50% and 99% of the stars will give you 2 stars, and less than 50% of the stars will earn you 1 star. Once you unlock a new world, you can play all 5 of the new tracks in any order you like, so if you get stuck on one in particular, you can skip it and come back to it later, or even skip it all together, going through the rest of the game before coming back to it so long as you get 10 stars collectively throughout the other levels in the world. There are also 5 different characters to start out with, along with 5 more characters that you can unlock, each one becoming available once you open up another world. Each of the original 5 riders you’ll be able to use when you first start up the game has an experience bar that fills up as you progress through the game. This adds quite a bit of replay value, as filling up all of the riders bars will require you to play through the whole game with each of the riders. Something that would be nice to see would be stats and experience bars for the unlockable riders in a future update.
The controls are nice and tight, and there’s a panic button included, which uses points that you’ve earned by doing jumps, flips, and collecting the stars that are scattered throughout the levels, to slow down time, giving you ample time to re-align your rider before hitting the ground. This is more of a nice little addition to the game in the beginning, but once you reach the middle and late levels, you will constantly need to use the panic button in order to land in quite a few situations, multiple times in each level. However, if you press it too late, chances are you’ll just slow down time so that it takes you longer to smash into the ground. It’s good to press the panic button when you’re about three quarters of the way through your jump. The panic button is placed on the right side of the screen, along with your gas, break/reverse, and jump buttons. This could be seen as a problem if you need to make a very precise jump, needing to hold down the panic button and the jump button at the same time, but when you let go of the panic button, it takes a couple seconds for time to speed back up again, so tapping on the panic button will give you just enough time to re-align your rider, and pull off a jump before time speeds back up. On the left side, there is a slider that re-positions itself whenever you place your finger on the left side of the screen. If you’re more used to using tilt controls to pull off flips in side-scrolling racers, they have included accelerometer controls as an option as well.
As for the graphics, Flip Riders is one of the best looking, if not the best looking, side-scrolling racer I’ve got for my iPod. The environments are all easy to tell apart, the objects in-game are nice and polished, and the animations for everything are done very well. There’s also a graphic of your rider in the center of the bottom part of the screen, giving you a sort of close up view of them while they’re pulling off tricks and jumping around. It’s little additions like this that makes Flip Riders graphics stand out as some of the best in the genre. POWapp has done an amazing job creating a very polished, professional looking game.
But, we all know that graphics are far from everything when it comes to gaming. Physics on the other hand, can make or break a game from the first seconds of gameplay, and Flip Riders has some of the best physics of any side-scrolling racer I’ve ever played. The rag doll physics along with a perfect feeling of weight for the racers helps create some extremely smooth gameplay. The objects in the world however, do not really have much weight, as you’re able to push trucks off to the side, and sometimes sharks hit bridges and flop around like little stiff fish, but the racers bikes and the way they interact with most objects in the levels, like the bridges, ramps, loops and hills is all pretty damn close to perfect.
With Flip Racers having all of this going for it, it’s pretty hard to find any reasons why people would not like the game. But there are a few things that people might not like. The game can be extremely challenging. Almost every level will take multiple play throughs, each time getting a little further, being able to see what the next obstacle in the level is, only to smash right into it, miss-time a flip, speed into a hazard, or not have enough speed to make the next jump, resulting in you needing to start all the way back at the beginning of the level, needing to go through all the obstacles you already spent quite a bit of time trying to get through already. Dying 20-30 times in one level can be a fairly common occurrence, and the fact that each of the levels almost requires you to memorize them in order to make it through them can take away quite a bit of fun from the gameplay. This does, however, add an insane amount of replayabilty to the game, as it’s not something you can just fly through, and once you do get through it, you’ll have plenty of stars to go back and try and snag. It’s comparable to Reckless Getaway in this challenging, needing to memorize, multiple plays kind of gameplay that POWapps has incorporated into Flip Riders. But, for a lot of gamers, this is the icing on the cake, and can be a huge reason why they’ll end up loving the game. It just depends on your preferences. However, making it so that players can see further ahead of them would help out immensely, maybe being able to zoom out a little bit would help a lot of casual players not get so frustrated with the difficulty of the game.
Right now, Flip Riders is $0.99, but that’s a launch price, and will go up on October 23rd. The game is Universal, and does have GameCenter integration with 13 different leader boards, one for the total score of each world as well as one for the total times for each world, and an overall score leader board. There’s also 21 achievements that will take quite a bit of skill to unlock. This, on top of the already insane amount of replay value makes Flip Riders a no-brainer MUST buy for fans of the racing genre. There’s also a bit of platforming elements added, with the jump button, and it can sometimes feel like a mix of a racer and Sonic the Hedgehog, which is not very surprising, as the developers first game was a platformer, by the name of Shadow Candy: Sugar Rush. POWapps has definitely raised the bar within the side-scrolling racer genre, and with games like this, jAggy Race and Dream Track Nation, the future of side-scrolling racers is looking exceedingly bright.
Flip Riders gets a score of 8 out of 10.

Worms Crazy Golf by Team 17 releasing tonight!

Worms Crazy Golf is going to be released tonight at some time depending where you live.  In the US it will be out at 11:00 p.m. and at 12:00 a.m. in the United Kingdom.  It is already out in New Zealand and costs $2.99. The weird thing is that in the press release we received they said the game would be released on Wednesday not Monday/Monday night. Ever since iOS 5 and the iPhone 4S it seems that all the app release dates have been fluctating randomly. Regardless we are all thrilled that the game is coming out tonight and hope to  have a review of it ready soon.
Requirements: It is compatible with iPhone, iPod touch and iPad. Requires iOS 3.1.3 or later.

Here are some screenshots and a gameplay trailer to hold you over till its release.

iTunes Description:Worms™ Crazy Golf for iPhone and iPod is a hilarious mixture of the explosive action of Worms™ and the puzzle-based challenges of crazy golf! All of the trademark Worms™ humour, comic violence, and cartoon visuals are present, combined with addictive yet accessible golf gameplay. With extensive and re-playable single-player options, and hot-seat multi-player for up to 4 players, this is not just a load of balls!



Single-player career mode – x3 18-hole courses – Britannia, Pirate Cavern and Graveyard – with Trophy achievements.

Single-player challenge mode – x15 challenges with leaderboards.


Hot-seat multi-player for up to 4 players.

Crazy golf! Navigate the hilarious, and increasingly challenging, holes in unique ways with interactive objects, utilities and ball spin.


Worms™ humour! Exploding sheep, teleports, ball-whacking Old Women, ball-stealing moles, mines, magnets and even new bats!


Customise the name, hat, club, speech and balls of your worm, and earn in game cash to unlock even more customisation options.


• Game Center integration.
• Retina Display support.
• Fast App switching.
• Low graphic option for optimizing frame-rate on older devices.

Yuguosoft’s new game, Robo5 hits the AppStore this Thursday!

Yuguosoft, a Shanghai based development company, with an astounding 67 years of combined experience spread between 8 people, is bringing their new action puzzler, Robo5 to the AppStore on October 20th. The game has already been released in the MacStore, and has an iPad release date of October 27th, but is already gaining quite a bit of attention from iOS gamers. Their trailer hit YouTube on the 10th, and sense then, quite a few sites have taken notice of the game, including us here at The App Shack.

We were lucky enough to get a preview copy of the game, and let me tell you, I have been finding it hard to play, or even think, of anything else since starting this little robot’s journey. In the game, you’ll guide a robot who’s trying to find his purpose in life through a series of increasingly tough puzzles. There’s 40 levels spread across 5 worlds, along with 8 unlockable challenge levels. The game also has 2 different endings, adding to the replay value that 6 GameCenter Leaderboards bring along with it.
Those of you who have seen the trailer have probably also seen the responses that it looks a lot like the Atlus published PS3/XBOX360 title, Catherine, and it does, but it’s got enough differences to not come off as a just a cheesy clone, and has originality in a type of game that the AppStore has yet to see. You can find out more in our official review that will be posted up along with the game’s release on October 20th, but until then, check out this awesome trailer put up by Yuguosoft.
Also, check out the site –

Ruffled: Feathers Rising gets a new control feature!

The bird game that has you pooping on people has just got a pretty nice update! You can now control your bird with, are you ready for this?, TILT CONTROLS! It’s something the gamers, and the game itself, have been begging for since the release of Ruffled, back in July. No more swiping un-precisely to try and get your poo to land on the different objects in each level, and no more getting frustrated at just missing those pick-ups because you had to pick your finger up to swipe some more… now the game flows, and it’s a huge improvement. Also added to the game – A new tutorial. This new tutorial gives you all the information you’ll need in order to successfully land poop on everything in the game. It’s also placed as a main button on the main menu, so you shouldn’t have any trouble at all finding it this time around. To top it all off, it also got a nifty new icon! Those of you who had the game will probably fall in love with it all over again, and those of you who haven’t heard of Ruffled, or just haven’t checked it out yet, now would be a great time. Though it’s still missing out on GameCenter (Hopefully we’ll see that added in a shorter amount of time than it took to implement the tilt controls – but the devs are working on the game! And it’s kind of hard to ask for more).

iOS 5 is finally out, and available for the masses!

So, it’s finally here, iOS 5 has hit the virtual shelves. Now what? To update, or not to update? Developers generally take a while to update their games so that they work on new i-Operating Systems, so, if you’re lucky, a little more than half of the games and apps that are on your device will keep working after you update, while the other half sit there waiting for updates from developers trying to fix all the reasons their apps won’t run smoothly on the new system. Thankfully, a lot of developers have been anticipating the release of iOS 5, and with that, grabbed the beta version that has been out for a while, and made sure that their games ran, so chances are, if you have mostly new games on your device, those new games should, in theory, all run. But if you’re like a lot of us, and have games on your device that have been around for more than 6 months, you might just be better off waiting about a month until most of the apps and games have had a chance to get updated.
Now, if you’re seriously thinking about updating, here’s some of the AWESOME new features you can expect to see with the new Operating System;
— New Push Notification System;
You will no longer have to put up with those big annoying blue text boxes that pop up with no regard as to what you’re doing at that moment in time. Instead, a nice little bar will scroll at the top of your screen, and dragging it down will let you access any and all of the notifications that are waiting for you. It’s a huge improvement over the way notifications have been handled, and you will no longer need to worry about games locking up or lagging when you’re getting a message.
— iCloud;

Along with all the features of iCloud in older iOS versions, you can now send your game data to iCloud, and transfer the saved data to another device. For gamers with both an iPod/Phone, and an iPad, this is a HUGE feature. You’ll also get 5GB of Cloud storage, a free e-mail address, syncing for all your contacts, calendars, and more. With this, inside of the AppStore on your iDevice, all apps that you have previously bought will show “Install” instead of the apps price. So now, you won’t need to wonder if you’ve previously bought an app, or browse through games, find one you might want, and then go into Cloud and search to see if you’ve already bought it, making the AppStore a little more neat and tidy for all.

— New GameCenter Features;

GameCenter is probably my favorite online leaderboard and achievement system. The moment I updated to an operating system that could use GC, I dumped OpenFeint, and immediately loved the new-to-me layout. So, what has Apple done to improve the already great GameCenter? You can now access friends of your friends, making your own friends list bigger, and maybe finding out that someone you’ve met only a couple times through another friend is into gaming, and start competing with them. After all, there’s not a whole lot out there that brings people together like high-score challenges. You can also add pictures to your GameCenter account, letting people know what you look like, or giving other’s an opportunity to say “oh, so THAT’S who that is…”, or just share a picture of some goofy text showing how you feel about life, games, people, entertainment, or whatever else. There’s also the ability to download games from directly within GameCenter, and the ever-so-cool feature; SUPPORT FOR TURN-BASED GAMES. This right here will be quite a great feature once developers really start taking advantage of it.

–Untethered iDevices;
You no longer need a PC to set up your iDevice. This will make it so that your friends with iDevices that don’t have a home PC will stop bugging you to get you to set up their devices. You can also update to a new iOS over Wi-Fi. There’s also Wi-Fi syncing to iTunes, so no more USB cords to get tangled up, or chewed up by pets. Backing up to iCloud is also featured, allowing you to backup and restore your apps and settings.
There are plenty more features and enhancements, like Safari 2.0, Twitter integration, and much, much more. For a full list, you can check out the Apple iOS5 Features page for a full list. But as with every iOS update, it might just be better to hold off on updating, at least for a week or two, until most developers update their games to play on iOS5. If not, you could have a bunch of new features and enhancements on your iDevice, but loose quite a bit of application functionality. But damn, iOS5 sure does look nice, and we here at The App Shack are very impressed by the update, as well as the even more promising future of Apple.

UPDATES! – Super Drill Panic, Hypership Out Of Control and Space Junk!

One of our favorite retro platformer developers, Orange Pixel, has just released an update for their (use-to-be) free game, Super Drill Panic. The first HUGE change that you will notice when updating is that SDP is now a PAID game. That means that Orange Pixel has removed the ad banner across the top of the screen, and the game is now $1.99. This is great news for people who downloaded the game when it was free, and dealt with the banner for all this time, because now we have a full featured ad-free paid game on our devices. Oh yeah, there’s also bug fixes, a “more games” button, and a different Orange Pixel splash screen. But you can now expect to play Super Drill Panic without the ad banner at the top of the screen, slighty covering up the huge boulder falling down at you. If you haven’t picked up SDP before now, it’s still worth getting, as it’s got a bunch of content, and plenty of retro arcade action to keep any arcade junky happy for quite some time. There’s also endless levels for both the male and female characters of the game, as well as GameCenter leaderboards, for that extra boost of replay value. Definitely worth checking out.

Our next updated game is Hypership Out Of Control!, the XBOX Live game turned iOS sensation. You can now listen to your own iPod music while playing HOOC, which is always a nice addition to a game. They have also fixed the bug in Super Speed Mode that made it so that the Max Power power-up wouldn’t activate. Now you can fling yourself through space at blinding speeds in Super Speed Mode, and move further up those leaderboards! The last thing they changed was their icon, making it a little more retro, and taking out the clutter of the old icon. You will now see their big red ship in nice pixelated graphics in a neat and cleaned up icon for your devices.
The last game on our list to get an update is Space Junk. This Asteroids-type space shooter is now supported by GameCenter and OpenFeint, which was one of our biggest gripes with it back when we reviewed it late last month. Now you can compare scores on 9, THAT’S NINE, different leaderboards, as well as go after 22 achievements. There’s also a new unlockable Survival Mode, which unlocks after you manage to get 10 of the 22 achievements. To make it an even bigger and better update, Upside Down Games has made the controls configurable, enhanced the graphics, and added accelerometer support! Now this retro arcade game truly feels like a full fledged multi-featured game, and it’s still just $0.99! Make sure you grab this one and join in on the space shooting action.

Powder Monkeys – 0.99 (XMG Studio)

I’m not generally a fan of games with pirates, for some reason, they’ve just never rubbed me the right way. But after getting my hands on XMG Studio’s (developers of Cow’s Vs. Aliens, Little Metal Ball, and more), latest title, Powder Monkeys, I might just end up re-thinking my whole “stay away from pirate games” attitude. This casual exploratory strategy action-adventure RPG mesh of genre’s sunk it’s teeth into me, and wouldn’t let go.

You’ll play as Captain LaQuisha Boniqua III (this name can be changed when you start a game, but with a name like LaQuisha Boniqua, it‘s hard to want to), a monkey who’s after the pirates that are reeking havoc all around his little world. After your short training missions, you’ll be given a huge book of quests that you can take on, both Story Quests, and Side Quests. You will need to complete quite a few side quests throughout the game in order to level up, because Story Quests are unlocked depending on what level your little monkey is.
As you take on various side and story quests, you’ll explore the vast seas, searching for bug pirates, yes, bug pirates, and arriving to the rescue of monkeys around the world. Some of these quests will send you to cloud covered levels that you’ll need to blindly explore while looking for someone or something. Within these areas, there are various pirates and treasure chests to find, all with the possibility of wealth, or items that you can use to upgrade your ship.
Progressing through the game, you will need to build up your ship as you collect pieces from around the globe, so that you can keep up with the growing difficulty of the pirates as you level up. Fighting pirates is a sort of turn-based fight, in that you’ll need to wait to shoot items until they have cooled down. Stronger projectiles require longer cooling down, but generally, it will be a back and forth battle, each of you firing watermelons, fireworks, and other objects at each other until one of you looses all HP. With the inclusion of items that help catch or destroy projectiles as they’re coming at you, a certain degree of strategy is added on top of the already semi-strategic battles. In other words, you will not just be shooting objects at the pirates randomly until one of you dies, you will need to come up with a strategy that works for certain levels of pirates, adjusting your strategy as needed. Once you defeat a pirate, their ship will send out bags and bags of gold, but these need to be tapped on in order to be collected, and the screen fades out to the results screen pretty quickly, so if you’re not fast, the gold can be lost forever. This seems kind of like a useless mechanic within the game, and it being set up like this will most likely frustrate quite a few gamers. The gold at the end of each battle should probably just be automatically collected, and hopefully this is changed in an update.
Now, onto the graphics. XMG Studio has had quite a few games that fall under the “cutsey” cartoony graphic styling. Powder Monkeys is no exception. When you see most of the monkeys, chances are, you’ll want to snuggle them til their eyes pop out. But on top of the cartoonish graphics, there is a nice atmosphere, though it doesn’t change much throughout the game. It’s a game that takes place in the water, and there’s only so much you can do with water. However, the animations are nice, and the water environment doesn’t get too boring. It would have been nice to see some different sorts of rocks, seaweed, different light structures (no nightfall yet), different types of birds (I can hear them, but where are they?!), something to help differentiate between different places. The music goes along with the game, but if you find it annoying, you are able to turn it off, and leave the sound on, in the options menu.
So, has Powder Monkeys changed my perspective of pirate games? In a way, yes. I will definitely not just overlook games with pirates in them just because there’s pirates in them any more. From now on, I will probably give more pirate games a chance, but I doubt many will live up to the standards that Powder Monkeys has set in my mind. Along with a great game, there are 7 different GameCenter leader boards for things like Battles Won, Damage Delt, Coins Collected, and more, as well as 18 achievements, all of which doesn’t really help with replay value, but will make you want to play the game as best you can to try and work your way up each and every one of those leader boards. But who knows? Maybe a low ranking will make you want to replay the game with the hopes of doing even better the second or third time around. With the game being Universal and priced at only $0.99, it’s a must buy for any fan of the action, RPG, exploration, adventure, or strategy genres. It’s clear that this isn’t just a game that was thrown together with a bunch of different aspects, and that a butt load of time has gone into merging everything in the game together just right to make it one entertaining gaming experience. The game also saves from where you close it at, so it’s perfect for 5 minute sessions as well as long gameplay spurts. It’s also easy enough for kids to play, as well as entertaining enough to keep adults interested, and once you get into the higher leveled quests, the strategy aspect plays a larger roll in the game, making it challenging to complete, and not because of it’s length or for any lack of amusement.
Powder Monkeys gets a score of 9 out of 10.