Monthly Archive: February 2012

‘Puzzlejuice’ Review

What do you take when you take Tetris and Boggle, and then
you mash them together into one game?
You get Puzzlejuice. Makes me wonder where the “juice” part
came from, doesn’t it?
Anyways, Puzzlejuice is a mixture of Tetris, match-3, and
Boggle into one entirely new type of game, and you’ll be surprised at exactly
how well that delivers.


When you first begin a game, you’ve got an empty screen. As
Tetris pieces fall, it’s your job to rotate and position the pieces to obtain a
full line of blocks horizontally. You’re able to tap to rotate, drag to
position left and right, and flick to hard drop. However, instead of being able
to clear line, that line turns into a line of letters, which then can be
cleared by creating words by connecting letters in all 8 directions. If the
word is long enough, you’ll also destroy any adjacent blocks. In addition to
this, each individual block has a color. By tapping a group of 3 blocks with
matching colors, you’re able to turn those blocks into letters also. Most of
these mechanics work extremely well. There are a few times where you’ll drag
and misspell a word, or accidentally rotate a piece you didn’t want to, but for
the most part, the game’s controls work without too much flaw. I do wish there
was an option to rotate your piece both ways; hopefully this gets implemented
in the future.
Also, there are unlockable powerups for you to us once you
complete certain achievements. These powerups are extremely helpful in getting
you out of a jam or aiding you to score more points. But the icing on the cake
is the combo system; there’s a clear timer that indicates when your combo will
revert back to x0, and whenever you spell a word, tap a match-3, or create a
new line, your combo’s timer resets. This combo system is what keeps the game
more than just any leisure game, because it makes Puzzlejuice a thrilling game
that keep you on your toes.

I’ve never been more impressed with how Puzzlejuice presents
itself. From odd names for modes to calling the “exit” button “rage quit”,
Puzzlejuice separates itself from other games by giving itself a punchy personality.
In addition, everything is in the menu extremely easy to navigate as well as
being two different difficulties, Hard Mode (which is actually easy) and Euro Extreme
Mode (which is the standard mode) making this game simple for anybody to access.

Clean. Fresh. Those are the words that come to my mind when
I think of Puzzlejuice’s art style. Everything is crystal clear and is animated
to near perfection. There have been a few instances of slow-down during the
game, this has only occurred at the beginning for me, and thus has not posed
any major issue.

Puzzlejuice’s soundtrack is creative and relaxing; it fits
perfectly with its personality and art style and the sound design lets your
satisfaction known when those words are clear or that bomb explodes. Straight
up: It’s good.

Puzzlejuice offers two main modes: Core Mode (standard gameplay) the Zen Mode, which really isn’t Zen at all. It’s the quickplay mode, as
you’ve got 90 seconds to score as many points as possible. If you consider the
addictive gameplay, then tack on the flexibility to play Puzzlejuice for any
extended period of time, or a quick 90 second session, I see no reason why this
game will not last.

Puzzlejuice is a delicious melting pot of classic puzzle
games. With its strong gameplay and personality, I see no reason why anybody
would pass upon this game. There are a few nitpicks that keep it from receiving
a perfect score, but I’ll let you know that it was extremely close to receiving one.
Nonetheless, there’s no reason not to purchase this fantastic puzzler.
Gameplay: 4.5/5
Presentation: 5/5
Graphics: 4/5
Sound: 4/5
Replay: 4.5/5
Overall: 4.5/5

Prevail Gameplay Emerges – Epic Adventures Await

A while back we heard that Johnny Two Shoes, the geniuses behind Plunderland, were hard at work on a huge new iOS game.  The game I’m talking about is Prevail, and from the details we have so far, this game will be mind blowing. Expect a true ‘open-universe’ where you can act on your every whim. Bring destruction or peace to neighboring planet colonies and explore the ends of the universe. Also, in no way is this a Pocket God style game.  Johnny Two Shoes is giving us the real deal here and the game can be better described as a 2D GTA set in outer space. Take a look at the newly released gameplay trailer. Your mind will asplode.

Kemco’s Alphadia drops down to $0.99 for a limited time – Sale starts February 8th!

It has been almost a century since the end of the Energi War…
Nevertheless, within this prolonged season of peace, the Schwarzschild Empire has once again begun plotting world domination as it starts to conquer and occupy one nation after another. It is during this time that Ash and Karim, two residents of Heiland, a small town on the frontier, rescue a young woman and her escort as they are being pursued in the nearby woods by a contingent of foreign soldiers. Yet, who is this mysterious girl and what fate is in store for Ash and those with him as they attempt to help her fulfill her mission…?
Find out as this dramatic story begins to unfold!
Alphadia should go on sale February 8th. If you haven’t yet, make sure you check out this top notch Turn-Based RPG. If you’d like to know more about the game, you can check out our review to learn more. It got a 5 out of 5 stars, and is highly recommended.

BioWare’s Next iOS game is Mass Effect: Infiltrator

This morning in the bustling city of New York, EA held a press conference where they announced the details of their plans for iOS. Apparently they are going to release a game called Mass Effect: Infiltrator which will tie into their upcoming game, Mass Effect 3.  

This will be a iOS original game and EA claims that it will be a “fully- featured iOS third-person shooter” and feature “stunning graphics and authentic weapons and powers from the Mass Effect series“.

The story revolves around you saving prisoners from a hostile Cerberus base and by finding evidence of Cerberus’ crimes you can gain rewards which seem to be integrated with Mass Effect multiplayer. Quote:

“Every completed rescue and intelligence discovery in Infiltrator will increase a player’s Galactic Readiness rating directly through the ‘Galaxy at War’ system in Mass Effect 3.”

The major controversial feature for me is going to be the UI and the controls. I don’t doubt that the game itself will be awesome, but the implementation of the controls can make or break a game.  

What do you think about the game? Are you disappointed that a full Mass Effect game hasnt been ported or feel that a iOS exclusive game is the way to go with the series. Let us know in the comments below.

[Via @Kotaku]

The League of Evil 2 Trailer Rocks!

There isn’t much to say about League of Evil other than that it is pretty much the most amazing platformer on iOS. Back at the start of 2012 we gave our Game of the Year award to the original League of Evil. After having so much fun with the first, you can’t imagine how excited we are (or at least I am) for the sequel! Enough chit chat, feast your eyes on the glorious trailer. Agent is back. Oh yeah.

Hunters 2 Is Shaping Up To Be More Than A Sequel

A year ago, Rodeo Games made their iOS debut with the release of Hunters: Episode One.  Their free-to-try turn-based strategy title set a new standard in terms of graphics and gameplay.  Since then, Hunters: Episode One has received over 600,000 downloads and has earned a Metacritic rating of 84%.  Coming off of this initial success, Rodeo Games is following up with the second installment in the Hunters series.  Hunters 2 looks to expand on the gameplay of the first episode, and will even feature a full campaign mode.  This campaign will follow the story of a brand new hero, Caius Black.

All in all, Hunters 2 is looking really good so far. I’m sure fans will love the new campaign mode, not to mention the new enemies races, environments, mission types, guns, and gear. On top of that, a new graphics engine will be used to handle real-time dynamic lighting and various customization options.
At the moment, Hunters 2 is about to enter the beta stage. If all goes well we should have our hands on the game in no time.  We’ll let you know as soon as we hear more info about the game. Until then, go ahead and check out the promo screens below and Rodeo Games’ website and sign up for their beta program if you want.

‘Reckless Racing 2’ Review: Curse You Cletus!!

Polarbit and Pixelbite are back with the sequel to one of the greatest racing games of all time. Back when the first Reckless Racing burst onto the App Store, we all fell in the love with the ease and beauty of drifting around corners. Although the sequel loses some of its power sliding glory, it more than makes up for it in every other aspect.

Content 5/5

This is where Reckless Racing 2 shines. For one thing, you will never get bored of playing this game. There are 4 game modes available, including Career, Arcade, Single Event, and Multiplayer. As compete in races, you earn money to spend at the shop. Apart from the variety of game modes, the shop is outstanding. There are more cars than you could ever fit in someone’s garage, and the upgrade system goes deeper than any other racing game on the App Store. On top of that, for small cost you can switch up your style by repainting your car, tinting the windshield, and even changing your rims.

Gameplay 3/5

Gameplay in RR2 varies somewhat with each game mode, but for the most part it feels the same throughout.  The basic gist is that you race laps around these crazy courses that are full of obstacles and try to finish in first place. In Career mode, you compete in various Cups (ie. Reckless Cup, Roadrunner Cup) that consist of 3-6 events each. In total, there are 12 cups which makes for around 50 races in one career.  Races come in three types; Race, Hot Lap, and Eliminator.  Although there is nothing groundbreaking here, the different race types help to bring some replay value to the game.  In Arcade mode, you compete is various single event challenges. Single Event mode is sort of a practice mode where you can choose one of the 3 race types and try to get your best times.  The real key stone in the game is the Multiplayer mode.  The way Multiplayer works is you hop into a lobby and you choose to either host your own room or join someone else’s.  You can easily compete with your friends or with anyone in the world who is playing Reckless Racing 2.  Multiplayer is available for all of the game modes, so go wild with the competition in whatever form you like.

Controls 3/5

If you’ve played the original Reckless Racing, you are familiar with the ease at which you could power slide around corners. My favorite control scheme in the original had to be the full wheel because it gave me the most control over the car.  However, in RR2 things feel a bit different.  On the bright side, there are 5 different control schemes to choose from, ranging from on-screen buttons, to steering wheels, to plain tilt.  The way that the controls can be customized to your comfort is great, and this aspect helps you enjoy the game in its full glory.  Unfortunately, despite the custimazability, for me some of the control schemes just didn’t work as expected.  My biggest disappointment has to be that the full wheel isn’t what it used to be.  For the most part, the wheel options were just too twitchy for me and it was difficult to travel in a straight line.  Despite that fact, the on-screen button option works perfectly and I haven’t seen the need to use any other set-up.

Overall 4/5

Reckless Racing 2 is everything you could ask for in a sequel, plus some.  Despite its setbacks, it’s nearly impossible to not enjoy your time on the track.  Gorgeous visuals, easy to use controls, and tons of content make this the best racing game on the App Store.  Race your way to the top (cliche right?) of the leaderboards and build up your dream car collection. At the premium price of $4.99 I heartily recommend Reckless Racing 2.

New Raid Leader Trailer – Crescent Moon Games

As you all know, Raid Leader, the new real-time strategy/action RPG from Red Zebra Games and Crescent Moon Games, will be launching next Thursday. To get you guys even more pumped up, they have just dropped a new trailer outlining the coolest features in the game. Check this bad boy out and get a napkin, because you’re bound to drool.  We’ll have a review coming soon. Enjoy:

‘Darkness Rush: Saving Princess’ Review

LuckySheep has brought us a 2-D endless runner powered by
Unreal that takes upon a fantasy setting. I honestly thought it was going to be
an RPG based upon my first impressions, until I began the tutorial. Nonetheless,
Darkness Rush is a decent game that delivers a unique approach by adding more
to the endless running genre.


In DR:SP, you play as one of three characters (one
unlockable by IAP) in running across a 2-D map. There are three buttons: jump,
attack, and transform. What makes the game interesting is a result of these
three buttons. With the jump button, not only can you jump once, but you also
have the ability to double jump as well as float in mid-air to cross gaps and spikes.
The attack button allows you to break purple runes that may block your path,
which will harm you should you touch them. Both floating and attacking deplete
your mana, which can be regenerated over time or by breaking the purple runes.
However, the mana regenerates at such an abysmal rate, if you deplete all of it
and leave none to attack with, it’s pretty much gone. Finally, by collecting 3
red crystals, you are given the ability to transform. What you transform into
and his or her abilities following the transformation will depend on your
character; the advantage of transforming allows your character to take a hit
without losing a heart or dieing. The runner is also filled with powerups,
including speedups, extra heart, extra mana, etc. These add to the flavor of
the game.
The diversity of the controls in the game creates a fairly
enjoyable experience. In addition, with the added speed when one transforms
makes the game quick and puts the player on focus to react to incoming
obstacles. However, the game does have a couple of nuisances, such as the
instance following de-transformation in the air and floating into the edge or
getting caught under a platform. They are small, but notable flaws.


The game presents itself nicely, opening with an easy to
follow tutorial. Unfortunately, the game suffers from an absurd amount of
loading screens for every section of the game, even to restart a run. In
addition, there are coins in the game that allow spending options, such as
powerups at the beginning of a run and equipment to increase stats. However, as
the game has IAPs, the equipment is expensive while runs do not yield many
coins, even with a double coin powerup. The slow progress is a slight turn off.
The game also contains achievements to obtain, which is a nice bonus.

As it’s powered by Unreal, DR:SP has clean graphics.
However, as a result, the game lags in several places. The introduction scene,
the start of the run, and de-transformation all suffer from lag as a result,
and it sadly takes away from the game.


With a dramatic song playing in the background on the menu
and fitting song during the gameplay run, the music played is well composed and
fitting. In contrast, the voice acting (such as grunts from jumping) is a little
on the weaker side; it’s decent, but unable to compare with other games.

As an endless runner, the game must be able to hook you to
keep you playing (and to buy the IAPs). DR:SP is strong enough to keep somebody
playing several times. With the addition of the extremely fun and engaging
multiplayer matches, DR:SP will be able to keep you coming for a while. If you’re
able to enjoy the gameplay mechanics, then this game will last.


DR:SP contains a strong gameplay mechanics that provide good
replay value with both the fun of the game and the addition of multiplayer
matches. Some gameplay and technical flaws hold the game back however, hampering
the full possible enjoyment of the game. But, if you can overlook those flaws,
DR:SP is worth your time.

Gamplay: 4/5
Presentation: 2.5/5
Graphics: 3.5/5
Sound: 4/5
Replay: 4/5
Overall: 3.5/5

TAS Promo Code Giveaway!

Other than Groundhog Day, there isn’t much of an occasion, but we are holding a huge promo code giveaway anyway! So far we have several awesome games for you guys. You asked for them, now you have them. Here’s our current list of prizes:

Blot – courtesy: Majestic Software (Universal)
Super Crate Box – courtesy: Vlambeer (Universal)
Puzzlejuice – courtesy: Colaboratory (Universal)

So now you’re probably wondering, “well how do I get in on this thing?”. It’s simple. Just tweet and retweet this post as many times as you can all this week and next. Let us know your Twitter name by commenting below. Also, head over to our Facebook page and like us! You never know, we might give you double entries. This contest will keep going until the codes run out, so spread the word! The more people we have participating, the more codes you get. First round of drawings will be this Friday so get your entries in.