Search Results for: label/Synthesyze/index.html

Number of Results: 7

‘Cytus’ Review

I’m a huge fan of music games. While this review is long
overdue, I feel that this game deserves some recognition. Cytus by Rayarc Inc., which follows
the Osu! style of music-tapping gameplay, is a music rhythm game that does a
good job of imitating that style with it’s own twist.


If you’ve ever played Osu! or Elite Beat Agents on the
Nintendo DS, you know exactly what you’re getting into. Cytus just replaces the
circles with an up and down moving line. If you haven’t played them, here we
go: In Cytus, your goal is to tap circles at a specific time which lines up
with the rhythm of the music, and there’s a black bar that moves up and down
that helps you determine when you should tap that circle or note. In addition,
there are hold notes, where you hold down the note for certain duration of
time, and there is also a slide note, where you slide your finger at the speed
of the black bar along the determined path. There are four possible outcomes
after tapping: Perfect, Good, Bad, and Miss. There’s enough variety around to
make every some somewhat unique in its own way. However, after playing all of
the levels, I noticed a similar pattern emerging. Since Cytus focuses on
two-finger/thumb gameplay, as opposed to a single finger gameplay, much of
Cytus’ note distribution is mirrored, and as a result, much of the level’s look
nearly identical. There is some variation at the difficult 7 or 8 levels, but
apart from that, everything looks about the same.

Another major qualm I have with Cytus is the timing. Most of
the timing issues got fixed in an update, but there are still a couple. Also,
the leeway giving for a “Perfect” is enormous. I could purposely wait half a
second to tap a note and still get one on certain songs. I purposely turn on
the “click” noise when tapping notes because of this issue.
Finally, the slide notes are extremely frustrating. They’re
a little clunky, especially when there’s a section of long slide notes. This
becomes not a music issues, but more of the touch screen issue, where it doesn’t
really register my finger on all the notes. Also, since the slide can count as
several notes, missing just a tiny section of a slide just because it didn’t
register can mean the difference between a higher and a lower ranking. I’ve
gotten an A before for just missing a couple notes on a slide, while everything
else was a “Perfect”.

There issues do inhibit the gameplay, but Cytus is certainly
enjoyable despite these problems. For casual fans, they won’t have a single
problem when playing Cytus, as its gameplay is easy, yet fun and exciting. For
hardcore fans like me, we may find that the way Cytus is set up to be a little
on the blander side, with uninspiring holds and slides. However, when you
actually start playing, it’s really not as boring as you originally thought.
Cytus has good gameplay; I just see many spots where it can improve it.

I find Cytus, as a whole package, to be amazing. One of the
best parts is how the song select menu is set up; it just looks and feels nice.
There are options for the style of notes when you play, and there are two
different difficulties; something for everybody out there.

Following the first update, I’ve experience no crashing at
all. Nada. Zip. And when you add that to the beautiful retina graphics that
Cytus gives us, you can’t help but say that the artwork and the frames are done
just too well. Both in the menu, song select, and the background when you play,
you’ve got gorgeous hand-drawn artwork.


If there’s I’ll remember Cytus for, it’s the music. From pop
to hardcore, and jazz to trance, you’ll fall in love with its electro style. Of
course, if you only like say… country music, the music isn’t for you, but if
you’re open to these genres, I strongly suggest you give these tracks a whirl.


With over 15 songs at 2 different difficulties, Cytus will
give you a strong value for your money. I’ve certainly spent an unhealthy
amount of time playing it, attempting to grab perfect scores. Cytus is no short
stick in terms of replay value; it’s on your iPhone to stay.
Gameplay: 4/5

Presentation: 4.5/5

Graphics: 5/5

Sound: 5/5

Replay: 4/5

Overall: 4/5

Cytus appears to be currently 50% off for $1.99. Grab it while you can!

‘Fancy Pants’ Review

Ported from its famous flash game, enter Fancy Pants! Fancy
Pants tells a quirky story of Fancy Pants Man and his little sister who gets
kidnapped by pirates, and it’s your job to parkour across several levels to get
her back, where along the way, you’ll be collecting little squiggles, bottles,
stars, and more.


Fancy Pants is a platforming title that also encourages
exploration, as each level is riddled with secrets and content. The biggest
draw for Fancy Pants is the content in each level: as you go around exploring
the each huge level, you’ll find short time trials, “arcade” games, etc. In
each level, there are three stars, a bottle and a number of “squiggles” to
collect to try and get a 100% rating, as well as NPCs and reward rooms. Fancy
Pants gets most of its appeal from the sheer amount of things you can do in a
Conceptually, Fancy Pants is great. However, when I began
playing, I felt very little incentive to actually play. One issue I had was
that it was a platforming title that failed to execute the platforming part
well. Fancy Pants is too floaty, too slow, and too difficult to fine-tune
control; he needs to first accelerate to begin moving, and there is a
significant “slide-time” where he slides after you stop moving. Frankly, for
platforming titles, you need to feel in control of your character, and more
than once, I felt as if the game had more control than me. Second, the buttons
to control Fancy Pants are either too small or unresponsive at times. In
addition, when swimming, your left-right arrows turn into a four-directional
d-pad, which is crammed into the bottom left corner. For someone whose thumb is
slightly larger-than-average, I found this extremely annoying, as I’d go
directions were I intended not. Finally, I have a large problem as to how
killing enemies are handled. A standard “jump-on-the-head” does not kill unless
you are holding up. I have no idea why they decided to force this upon the
player. When you unlock the pencil weapon, standard combat also includes using
the pencil to strike enemies. However, one strike never kills – you need to
charge up your attack. It’s not a bad idea, but when executed, I can say that
waiting for your attack to charge up is just a little more interesting than
listening to my physics teacher drone on about who-knows-what.
Basically, Fancy Pants fails as a platformer, but manages to
deliver with its exploring. The game did have its shining moments, but those
are overlooked by the lack of excitement during the majority of its


Fancy Pants does a great job with it’s presentation, with it’s
fun and quirky themes to it’s way of handling the “menu”, which is actually a
home where you open doors to access where you want to go. In addition, you’ve
got over 120 different customizable outfits for Fancy Pants, so be sure to
enjoy that!


No slow downs, short loading screens for the amount of
content in a level, and crystal clear graphics. The graphics don’t push the
system at all, but sometimes, less is more.


The music is extremely pleasant, and I found myself enjoying
the tunes a whole lot. Also, the sound effects are done really well; it’s a
very simple, clean game.

Like I mentioned earlier, the game is jam-packed with
content for each level. With a myriad of levels to 100%, which will be no easy
task to find everything, there’s nothing that will keep you more occupied for a
longer period of time, should you play it.


Fancy Pants presents itself nice and clean, with its simple
yet charming style. However, the game hits quite a few snags when it attempts
to deliver gameplay, as the fact that it has poor platforming as a platformer
is extremely dishearten. But, if you can overlook those flaws and enjoy the sheer
content of the game, Fancy Pants is something that you can have fun with.
Gameplay: 3/5

Presentation: 4/5

Graphics: 4.5/5

Sound: 4/5

Replay: 5/5

Overall: 3.5/5

‘Beat Sneak Bandit’ Review

It’s rhythm! No, it’s puzzle! Actually, it’s both: Rhythm
AND puzzle! Simogo’s Beat Sneak Bandit is a rhythm puzzle game where you
attempt to sneak your away around police officers, spotlights, and vacuums and
you attempt to save the city from a terrible misfortune brought by Sir Duke.


The core of Beak Sneak Bandit’s gameplay lies in its simple
one-tap control. You tap to move, turn around if you’re facing a wall, and
climb stairs. With that, every level is presented as a puzzle, with obstacles
such as police officers who cause you to fail if they see you, moving
platforms, and buttons that open or close walls (which works both ways, because
the wall allows you to turn around). As you move around, you attempt to collect 4
clocks as well as reach a final 5th clock. Basically, it’s your
classic 3-star level, but with 4 now. At the very heart, Beat Sneak Bandit is a
basic puzzle game, however, when you add the rhythm element into the genre, it
becomes a totally new game; it’s now a music puzzler. What’s fascinating is
that the focus is not on a person’s ability to perform rhythms; the time
signature is in 4/4, and you simply tap on one of the four quarter note beats
to move. Instead, the game is about your ability to observe patterns in the
level. As every obstacle makes a noise when they perform an action, you put
your auditory skills and combine them with your visual skills to plan out your
action, and these two elements blend perfectly. I cannot say how much joy I’ve
gotten out of this game; it’s not just how fun it is, but how utterly creative
it’s core element is; I’ve never seen it done before and it just works
As a music aficionado, you can say that I may favor music
games, but I can always easily find any flaws within the game. I can say with
confidence that there are none to be found. However, those that do have trouble
with rhythm may find the difficulty to be high, but I personally found the
overall game to have a nice difficulty curve.


Beat Sneak Bandit presents itself in a charming, funky sort
of way, loaded with personality. I do have some minor complaints about the
level select system, as you need to scroll through levels instead of simply
picking one. Overall though, the game executes itself extremely well and is a
refined piece of art. I can honestly say, it’s games like these that make me
appreciate videogames as art.

Flows well, no lag or crashing, and the artwork is nice and
bright. It’s everything you could ask for. I don’t need to say anymore.


Oddly enough, as a music game, the music soundtrack isn’t as
amazing as I thought it would be. With that said, there is nothing wrong with
the funk and jazz tracks that it brings, as well as the noticeable music cues
to aid your timing in the game; it’s still a strong element.

Beak Sneak Bandit offers 40 core levels, 16 shadow levels,
12 remix levels, and 1 boss level, for a grand total of 69 levels. Considering
how each level might take a few tries to learn the pattern, you’ll be spending
a decent amount of time trying to figure out how to 4-clock every level. It’s a
game that will last you a decent amount of time, and if you’re still not done,
then go for the achievements from Game Center.

Unless you’re continuously had dreadful experiences with any
type of music or rhythm game, you’ll find Beat Sneak Bandit an immersive and
unique experience. You’re not simply playing the game, but when you play, you’ll
have immense appreciation for the game. And that’s why I can say with full confidence,
Beat Sneak Bandit will be a top contender for Game of the Year.

Gameplay: 5/5

Presentation: 5/5

Graphics: 5/5

Sound: 4/5

Replay: 4/5

‘Async Corp.’ Review

Sometimes, even the greatest of games don’t gather much
attention. They can win awards, but since they aren’t Angry Birds, it goes by
unnoticed. Well, here’s a game that’s a powerhouse. With a nomination from IGF
as the Best Mobile Game, you know that Async Corp. by Powerhead Games is a game
to be checked out.

Async Corp. is a puzzle game, and it is probably one of the easiest-to-learn puzzle games I’ve
picked up. You’ve got two separate sets of 4×6 or blocks, each set containing a
range of three different colors. Your goal is to create any square or
rectangle, called “packets”, by picking one block from each side, which causes
them to swap. However, if the swap doesn’t create a packet, then the swap
doesn’t happen. You’re also able to add onto previously made packets. In order
to score points, you simply tap a packet, causing it to disappear and new
blocks to fall in. You’ll earn bonus points if you create two packets at the
same time, called a “sync”, and a grand amount of points should you fill an entire
4×6 array with one packet, called an “async.”
The simplicity of the game, yet the utter genius idea to
create two separate sets of blocks is what makes Async Corp. so great. Any
ordinary game would have one large array, but not this game. You’re looking at
two sides of the screen and working a multitasking skill, since you’ve got to
keep track of both sets of blocks. It’s a game that works splendidly, and
depending on the mode you choose, you can relax and think your way through, or
you can opt for a high-speed matching adrenaline rush.
I’ve always been a sucker for creative themes, and Async
Corp is just that. You’re presented as an employee working on a computer: you
enter the game with a log-in, you’ve got an inbox for your messages, etc. Not
only that, but the packets each have a face, and therefore they’ve got a
personality. They might whistle, or they may sneeze; these little additions add
charm to what is already a great game.
Also, the interface is extremely easy to maneuver; you may
take a second to understand the system, but once you get it, you’ve got it.
Async Corp. has a easy-to-follow tutorial and a menu system that works.

Async Corp. opts for a basic 3-color design (pink, yellow,
and blue), with more color schemes unlockable as you play. The graphics are
crisp and they work well, but there’s nothing that pops out from its simple,
but clean design.

I’ve never fallen in love with a game’s puzzle theme as much
as I did with Async Corp.’s; it’s better than Tetris’s theme. It’s upbeat and
makes you smile, and you can’t help but move along with it. With that, the
sound design itself is great also.

Async Corp. boasts four different modes: Quota, Async,
Zoning, and Freeplay. Quota is the classic game, where you score points while
attempting to keep a quota number of packets in a certain time, which becomes a healthy challenge as you enter the later levels. Async is
exactly what it means: you create asyncs, or filled an entire array with one
large packet. Zoning is more unique: your job is to fill a bar by clearing packets;
however the bar continuously goes down. There is no game over, but trying to
fill up that bar is a difficult task in itself. Finally, freeplay is a
do-whatever-you-want mode.
With all these modes with probably one of the best puzzle
experiences I’ve had, this game should last. By last, I mean, it’s never coming
off your iOS device.

Do I need to say more? Fantastic puzzler, fantastic art and
design, and fantastic replay value. Async Corp. is a masterpiece.
Gameplay: 5/5

Presentation: 5/5

Graphics: 3.5/5

Sound: 4.5/5

Replay: 5/5

Overall: 5/5

‘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

‘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

‘Run Roo Run’ Review

            Run Roo Run
is a charming little game by 5th Cell (developers of Scribblenauts)
that sets the short story of a loving kangaroo mother attempting to get her
joey back (even though it looks like a loving couple). Roo’s poor joey has been
kidnapped and shipped off to Sydney, and it’s your job to trek across Australia
to save the poor joey. The game uses a basic one-touch control to make Roo jump
on, off, and over obstacles to reach his goal.


            Run Roo
Run’s core gameplay is all about timing. By using its simple, but magnificently
executed one-tap-does-all controls, you maneuver Roo to leap across obstacles, jump
onto springy tires, and latch onto swings and umbrellas to reach the goal. Make
a mistake, and you’re back at the start. It’s a simple tap to make Roo jump,
and he’ll automatically latch onto objects you’re supposed to hang onto. It’s
just another tap to make him jump off. If you mess up your timing, guide arrows
are in places where you jumped, so you’re able to time accordingly to where
poor Roo took a hit. What’s fascinating about the game is that each level
covers the length of only one screen, which makes each level take around 4
seconds to complete on a successful run. While it seems easy enough, the
extreme levels require specifically timed taps in order to complete the level.
This is the heart of the game. It’s the basic, yet challenging one-tap timing
that brings out the best. The normal levels are easy enough for the casuals,
and the extremely levels satisfy the hardcore. And no matter what level you
beat, it’s always a satisfying feeling.

Art, Sound &
graphics are crisp and clean, with each of the obstacles outlined for the
player’s clarity. Add this onto the cute kangaroo you’ve got jumping around,
and you’ve got yourself a future plush toy.
contrast, the sound design is decent. There are times when Roo’s squeals will
grate your ears a little bit, but it’s nothing that detracts from the game
itself. The music is done well, though I’d like to see a stronger musical score
for the levels.


            The overall
game is fairly short, with 20 worlds at 15 normal levels and 6 extreme levels,
for a total of 420 levels that last an average of 4 seconds a piece. The
extreme levels will take several tries to get down, but it shouldn’t take more
than few hours to gold star all 420 levels. 5th Cell has decided to
release 10 new levels for (what appears to be) 18 weeks, so this should add
some time to the life of the game. For a normal 99 cent game, it’s still a
little short, but it does well enough.


really no reason not to buy Run Roo Run. Even though it’s on the short side,
the addictive nature of the simple one-touch gameplay is enough to separate it
from the simple distractions to a game that will be a strong contender for the
end of the year awards. Run Roo Run is truly a gem.

Gameplay: 5/5
ASD: 4/5
Length: 3.5/5