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.
Casual games with a story don’t really come around too often, and casual games with a long, deep, and well thought out story are pretty much non-existent. This is where Parogames Limited breaks the mold with their recently released title, Parodise. In this action/defense swiping game, you’ll learn about Parodise, your main character, Dumy-667, his supposed partner, Dumy-666, as well as his… boss, Yody, GOD, and Doomy.
To get through each day in Parodise, you’ll need to defend yourself against Doomy, a Dumy who has changed due to an insane amount of bottled up negative emotions, who will constantly be throwing objects at you. To do this, you’ll need to swipe on either the left, right, or both sides of Dumy-667, slicing each of these objects in two with your swords, but waiting until they get as close to your body as you can. Each object you successfully slice will add to your Soul Absorber, which, when full, will let you perform a super slash move that slices all the objects on the screen. Each time you get hit, you’ll loose one of two flames burning on the Holy Fire Defense System. Loose both flames and get hit again, and you’ll have to replay the level, but if you loose a flame, then slice an object, adding to your Soul Absorber, it will re-light the flame. Starting to sound confusing? Just wait until you really get into the story. Along with the Story Mode, there’s also a DOJO Mode, Hardcore Mode, Master Mode, and Panties Mode, each of which is unlocked by completing certain objectives in the previous Mode, thought these can be pretty challenging, and time consuming to unlock, once you do, it adds endless replayabilty to the game.
The graphics in Parodise are done in a nice and polished cartoony theme, with pretty interesting environments. The animations for all of the objects are done very well, adding loads of personality to the game, and everything in it. The music and effects give the game that real casual type feeling, and placed on top of the action filled gameplay actually fits perfectly with the game. This casual game with a deep, humorous, and profound story.
GameCenter is supported, with 63 achievements, and 4 leader boards, one for each of the unlockable Modes. There’s not a whole lot of replay value in the Story Mode, but with 4 endless Modes, there’s plenty to replay. Parodise is $1.99, and Universal, and right now is on sale for $0.99. This has quickly become one of my personal favorite casual games, and is so easy to recommend to everyone, hardcore gamers to casual gamers, this game will satisfy you in ways you never thought a casual game could. It’s addictive, funny, serious, challenging, and after the first couple days and little bit of story, you’ll start feeling for Dumy-667, feeling bad for him, rooting for him, and wondering what the hell is going on, all at the same time. This is one game no one should miss out on. Parogames has shown us with their first iOS release, that they are in this for the long haul, and are willing to put more work into their game than almost every other casual game developer.
RunDaLine is a new casual runner game by Randerline GMBH in which you guide Pancho the skunk through 50 levels by controlling the terrain that he runs on. In order to progress through the game, you’ll need to collect a certain amount of coins, keeping them until you reach the finish line, while avoiding hazards that can cause you to loose your collected coins, or end your run all-together.
The controls in RunDaLine are done pretty well, and are responsive and tight. You’ll control the terrain that Pancho is running on by dragging your finger up and down on the screen, moving the terrain up and down, creating hills and dips while Pancho runs along. You can also make him jump by tapping in the upper corner of the screen. You are able to use your right or left thumbs, and whichever you prefer, the set-up makes it so that what obsticles are coming at you are displayed on the opposite side of the screen than where you’re touching, so that your fingers don’t get in the way. However, this setting is not saved after you exit the game, so if you would like to use your left hand, and be able to see everything coming at you better than if you’re using your right hand, you’ll need to go into the pause menu and change the control settings every time you play the game.
Throughout each level, you’ll come across brick walls and clouds with lightning bolts in them, both of which cause you to loose all your coins if you hit them, lightning bolts that cause you to speed up, and bombs that end your run. There’s also clouds that double the amount of coins you have, but only if you hit them while jumping, and do not count if you run through them, and temporary shields that let you plow through tougher areas without losing any coins. As you move on throughout the game, each world gets progressively harder, but you do not encounter anything new after the first couple of levels.
Graphics-wise, RunDaLine is pretty simple looking. Nothing too impressive, but it is smooth and the animations for Pancho running and jumping are done decently well, and so are the animations for the objects when you run into them. The environments are pretty bland, there’s clouds in the sky and hills in the background, neither of which have any detail, and the terrain that you run on is shaded nicely, but also lacks any real detail, no grass spots, no shrubs. Each of the 5 different worlds environments are only different in color. It would be nice to see some additions to the environments, and maybe some animation additions to the objects/hazards you’re trying to avoid, instead of only having an animation for when you hit them, maybe seeing the bomb’s wick be on fire, and moving while the fire gets closer to the bomb, or seeing the cloud with a lightning bolt in it have a little rain coming out of it that doesn’t reach the ground, just falls about half a centimeter from the cloud then disappears with a little bit of electricity going around the lightning bolt, little things like this would give the game some personality and add to the polished look of it, because right now, it looks like an un-finished demo version.
RunDaLine is supported by GameCenter, and has 6 different leader boards, one for the amount of coins you’ve collected in each world, and one for your total amount of coins collected, there’s also 12 achievements, and with the 3 coin (like star) ratings for each level, does, like usual, add quite a bit to the replay value, which is good, because completing the whole game took about an hour. The game is also not randomized, so you can go through a level multiple times, and memorize it, eventually being able to get a perfect run through maximizing your total score. The blandness of the environments, lack of animations, lack of new content as you progress through the game, and the game not saving your control settings are all things that could easily be fixed in an update or two. But right now, with the game being $0.99, it is a nice casual, level-based runner that’s accessible to gamers of all ages. My 4 year old nephew had no problems getting the controls and gameplay mechanics down, and it’s still challenging enough to keep me entertained, but I do hope to see more added to it in the future.
Ever since Angry Birds became one of the most popular casual arcade/puzzle games in the AppStore, many, many companies have been trying to duplicate that type of all ages, accessible to everyone while still being challenging type of gameplay. Big Blue Bubble, however, has pretty much got it down to a science. With their previous releases of Burn The Rope, BTR; World, and Paper Munchers, they have definitely figured out exactly what it takes to make an addictive casual arcade game with just enough puzzle elements to keep it challenging and fun for 5 minute gamer as well as the more serious gamer. Their latest release, Fling A Thing, is yet another display of those finely tuned gameplay mechanics that keep gamers of all sorts coming back for more.
You’ll be able to control one of 5 different “Things”, 4 of which need to be unlocked, by pulling back and flinging them upwards, collecting as many bubbles as you can. There are also 3 different environments for you to play in, and 2 of these need to be unlocked. So you’ll start out the game with 1 thing and 1 environment to play in. However, the unlockable characters do not have any special abilities, the different environments only really change the look of the game. As you play, you’ll earn stars which you can use to unlock the characters and levels, as well as upgrade some items in the shop.
You are given a certain amount of flings when you start off the game, and need to collect as many bubbles, which are shot out in waves, as you can. Each wave has more bubbles, and every 5 waves, you will be able to move up to the next section of glass. During these breaks every 5 waves, you are able to collect more flings which you can use in the next 5 waves. Also, in these breaks, the flings you use in order to get up to the next section of glass are not deducted from your fling count. There are also random fling pick-ups which if you’re skilled enough, you can grab during waves, increasing your total fling count. Once you reach 0 flings, it’s game over. So you’ll need to try and get as high as you can using the least amount of flings to collect the waves of bubbles.
At the beginning of each different section, you will face a special pattern of bubbles, which if not handled properly, can drain quite a few flings from your fling count. These different patterns change in each of the different environments, as do the bosses that will pop up in the later waves. If you hit these bosses, they will spit out more bubbles depending on how long you’re touching them.
Fling A Thing is a game that can be played quickly, snagging bubbles quickly, while using a couple flings for a couple bubbles, or you can wait, and be patient, as usually, the bubbles will eventually line up, making them easy to grab with one fling of your character. This is where the puzzle elements come in, because even though the game can be played by a pre-schooler, it can also become pretty difficult to get as high as you can even for the well rounded gamer. Moving up the GameCenter or OpenFeint leader boards will require lots of patience, and well timed flings. Also, the higher you make it in the game, the more often stars will appear on the screen, meaning you’ll be able to unlock everything in the game sooner. There is also a little mini-game where you can feed your Thing, but it only gets you 3 stars at a time, so there’s not really a lot of incentive to play it. If you don’t want to wait to unlock items, you can purchase more stars via IAP.
Some players have complained about the lack of directional flinging aloud when you end up landing in a corner. However, you can bounce yourself off of the sides of the screen, so if you treat the levels like a pool table, you’ll be able to bounce your character off of the walls, collecting more bubbles with a nicely positioned and timed fling. The graphics, animations, sounds, controls, gameplay, Big Blue Bubble has done an amazing job creating a game that’s accessible, fun, and as challenging as you want to make it, for every type of gamer. It would be nice to see more game modes added, or different abilities given to the different characters, but the price being only $0.99, it’s a great buy, especially considering how much content there is, as well as the endless replayabilty and online support. If you’re looking for a game that you can play in a little 5 minute session, or come back to and be rewarded for taking your time, Fling A Thing is highly recommended.
Tweet In a world of crime, genocide, and developers that integrate in app purchases there is little room to relax. Even our gaming experiences are stressful like Gears of War 3 or RAGE. Idyllic by Fatcow Games fills that hole with relaxing tilt-based gameplay that is easy on the eye and aesthetically pleasing to boot.
First things first, this is by no means a vertical jumper like DoodleJump and its millions of clones. You jump horizontal in Idyllic which can be a bit trickier as more precision is needed but is a welcome change. Similar to its predecessors the gameplay is in fact infinite so you are getting your moneys worth by investing 1.99 in it. But where it differs is in the character upgrades, upgradeable powers, mini bosses and coin collecting.
When you first start off the gameplay is a little slow and it takes awhile to get to where you feel comfortably challenged by the gameplay. In fact, most of my main deaths occurred early in the game because I tend to over tilt. The reason why I say early in the game is because there are checkpoints in the shape of houses placed randomly along the course of the game. The game saves your progress there and whenever you die or accidentally lose battery power you always restart at that particular part. That means no drudging through the same platforms over and over again to get back to the point you were before. I haven’t got far enough to really test the infinite gameplay aspect of the game but rather than spending all of my life playing Idyllic I’m going to take the developers word on this one. After you bounce on a platform it changes from evil to good. Apparently you are on a quest after you find your world in pain to restore your planet to the way it used to be. Later in the game it of course speeds up and gets harder to be sure you’ll land your jumps successfully.
At each checkpoint you can buy upgrades with the coins you find randomly strewn about the level. These upgrades vary between increasing the value of your coins and allowing you to double jump in the game. This adds a extra element of replayability to the game as you will have a extra objective rather than just jumping around aimlessly. Your two basic abilities are power smash and flap. With Power Smash you can come crashing down on a platform or enemy to procure coins reminiscent of Mario. Flap allows you to grow wings and float over to a platform in case you misjump. These abilities recharge over time and one of the upgrades is in fact to reduce the time it takes to recharge.
The music is fantastic and has a deep relaxing melodic feel to it that draws you into the game. The graphics are good particularly the backgrounds which feel like they had a lot of work put into them. Overall this is a great casual endless jumping game that really drew me in and had me playing for quite some time. If you have some spare change on your account there is no better place to spend it than on Idyllic. I give it 9/10
Dodo Fly is a new arcade game from Silver Delta. In the game, you play as Dodo, a toy dolphin who has big dreams of reaching the real ocean, and becoming a real dolphin. Along the way, he’ll encounter loads of different toy enemies, along with a deadly shark that is hell-bent on making sure Dodo doesn’t get to become a real dolphin.
There are 8 levels in Dodo Fly, but each of them will take numerous play-throughs in order to beat. Each of the levels has a different environment, different enemies, and is set up so that you can memorize the level, and make it through getting the best score you can. It’s set up as a one-touch game, very accessible to casual players, but has enough challenge to keep even hardcore gamers interested and glued to the game til the end.
You’ll go through each level, slightly bouncing on top of the water, tapping the screen to jump and avoid enemies. There’s stars that are spread out through each level, and collecting these add to your score, and skill gauge. There’s also rockets, shields, and skill gauge booster pick-ups. There are 3 different skills that you can unlock and choose from in the main menu. One is a booster that lets you boost forward a little bit, knocking out enemies that are in the way. This skill is given to you at the beginning of the game. The second skill that you’ll unlock, when you reach 50,000 total points, is a submarine type power-up. When activated, you’ll end up in a large mechanical fish, able to plow through enemies, and jump in the air. The last skill you’ll unlock is given to you at 100,000 total points, and is an airplane. This sends you to the top of the level for a short period of time, making sure you will not come in contact will any enemies while it’s active.
The rockets are the most important items in the levels. They are set up and spread out so that you can stay on them, going from one to the next, with very well timed jumps. If you can manage to make it from one to the next without going back to the water, it will give you a score multiplier. The longer you stay jumping from one rocket to the next, the larger your multiplier will get. This is essential for scoring big. Once you’ve stayed in the air for a certain amount of time, hitting one or two rockets, you’ll get a burning type shield in front of you, which makes it so that you’ll knock out any enemies you come in contact with when hitting the water again. This is a very nice addition, because most of your deaths will be from coming back down after jumps, and hitting un-seen enemies.
Right now, the game is not supported by GameCenter or OpenFeint, and there are no in-game achievements. However, this doesn’t take away much from the replay value. The sheer amount of challenge in memorizing the levels well enough to beat all 8 of them will keep you going for quite some time. With the game being $0.99, it’s a great buy, and has a lot of potential. I really think an endless mode would add quite a bit to the game, as would online support, but as it is now, it’s definitely worth buying. Silver Delta has proven that they know exactly what it takes to make a casual game that will drive hardcore gamers crazy.
Fearless Ninja is a casual arcade game from Box Shaped Games (Max Injury + Max Injury 2). You will play as a ninja who needs to kill as many enemies as possible by collecting blue orbs that let you attack them, trying to get the highest score you can.
The graphics and animations in Fearless Ninja are done pretty well. The animations for attacking, movement, and the enemies is all top notch, while the background of the game looks nice. There is no variation in the environments though, and you’ll only see a couple of different enemies in the game until you get reasonably good. The variation with enemies is nice, but it would have been better if different enemies came out of the woodwork earlier in the game. Even playing on Easy, it took me 2 days before I saw the 3rd enemy.
The controls are done well, giving you a tap option, which lets you use the corners of the screen kind of like arrows, tapping on the bottom right to move the ninja right, and left to move left, and a swipe control that’s still kind of hard to be precise with, swiping in the direction you want to move, making moving while attacking a difficult task.
Enemies are spawned about halfway up the screen, and bounce along the ground, making you weave and dodge through them while trying to get to the blue orbs that come down from the sky as well. The orbs send you into an attacking flip where you can either run into enemies, or bounce off of them, chaining together combos for bigger and better groups of points. The more enemies you kill before touching the ground, the bigger your score.
The main enemies only need one hit in order to be killed, but occasionally, a more powerful enemy will bounce across the screen, and need 4 hits. These enemies that need more hits are great for bouncing on, killing all the one hit enemies in the process, shooting your combo score through the roof. There are also scrolls that drop once you hit a certain amount of points, and collecting them lets you use a power-up. To start off, you’ll get a tornado attack, which lets you spin up into the air, and then float there for a second, hitting enemies as they spawn, and then floating back down to the ground. If you store these power-ups, and another scroll falls, you’ll get some added health, which can really help extend your game quite a bit. You’re given 4 hits on your health bar before you die, so saving up the power-ups until you really need them is rewarded well.
GameCenter has leader boards for each of the 3 difficulties, Easy, Medium, and Hard, as well as a leader boards for how many enemies you’ve killed in one play-through on each difficulty, and one Ninja Score leader board, which is calculated from your Easy, Medium, and Hard scores to rank every player. There is plenty of variety once you get conformable with the game to push the fact that there is no change in the environment to the back of your mind. Different enemies and power-ups coupled with getting the best combo you can to drive your score up will be your main focus. For $0.99, and Universal, Fearless Ninja is a great casual arcade game that will also fit well on any hardcore gamers iDevice. The challenge is high, but like most high-scoring arcade games, the replay value is higher, and once you feel like you’ve mastered the game, it’ll still be able to beat up on you. Hopefully more modes will be added in the future to help give the game a bit more variety, but as it is now, it’s definitely worth the price of admission. If you’re still curious, you can check out the game for free on the developer’s website, inside the Unity player.
Floria is a new endless floater, and first iOS game, from m42 Studios. In the game, you maneuver a flower through different enemies and objects trying to collect as many items as you can before the summer is over and winter arrives. Collecting the orbs throughout the game will give you points that you can use to unlock different types of flowers that have different abilities and power-ups.
The controls in Floria work well, but are a little jittery. Tilting moves the flower up and down, and rotating your device clockwise moves it forward, while counterclockwise moves it back. These controls do take a bit of getting use to, but once you do, they work well. The graphics look amazing, especially on devices with retina display. The animations in the game are done very well too. The backgrounds seem to come alive as you move through the world, with everything blooming right before your eyes. The movements of the flower, enemies, and growth of the thorns all looks amazing. The music and effects are also soothing, and add quite a bit to the atmosphere of the game.
There is a good variety of enemies throughout the world, lizards, spiders, birds, bees, and more will have you waving and dodging your way throughout the whole game. Orbs that you pick up for unlock points also add to your main score, and each different colored orb has a different score amount. There are also flower pick-ups, which fill a gauge at the bottom of the screen, and once you collect enough of the flowers, you can trigger the power-up and become invincible for a short time. During this time, running into enemies and objects adds to your score. There is an animation addition for invincible mode, having small flowers fly in a trail behind you, and when the power-up fades away, the flower starts to blink. There’s also special music for when the power-up is active, so you’ll never be stuck coming out of invincible mode, and running into enemies thinking the power-up is still active.
Through the world, there’s also time stopping pick-ups, shown as hour glasses, and speed increasers, shown as little arrows, that you’ll need to collect in order to get as far as you can before winter descends. Hitting enemies and objects will cause you to slow down, and if you hit a spider web, you’ll need to shake your device to get out of it.
Floria is a great ‘how far can you get’ game, with some great scoring, and nice game mechanics. It desperately needs some online leader boards though, as the only replay value you’ll have is for unlocking the additional 3 flowers, and beating your own score. Once you unlock all the flowers, the desire to play the game will drop pretty fast, and it will most likely just end up sitting there on your device waiting for an update that will add more content.
However, the game is very beautifully made, and the gameplay you have will provide you with quite the experience. The graphics are top notch, and the jittery controls really just effect the look, not the gameplay. At $0.99, it is a great buy if you’re into endless or get as far as you can games. M42 Studios has done a great job with their first release, and I’m really looking forward to additions to the game, as well as what they’ll come up with next.
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.
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.