Number of Results: 28
Today, we’re revisiting two titles that have been extremely entertaining over the last year. Our first one? Explodables developed by Bonpeach. Explodables is a fantastic tap-based score-chasing arcade title that has you blowing up rockets in a 3-color order that changes each level. It might not sound too impressive on paper, but throw in bonuses, health, crown, coin and star pickups, as well as multipliers that you need to drag next to each exploding rocket in order to activate it and multiple environments in each stage, and you’ve got yourself one hectic and action filled, incredibly addictive, score chaser. Since it’s release, Explodables has received 14 updates, each tweaking, and making the game even better, whether it be completely re-designing the tutorial and enhancing the graphics, or improving the performance and altering required level scores, Bonpeach has definitely made Explodables a great iOS arcade title. Still one that I feel will NEVER be removed from my iDevice.
**Note: This review was written after playing Version 1.0
Explodables is a new tap/arcade game from Bonpeach. Throughout the game you’ll go through levels, which are more like challenges, to complete the game. There’s also a Blitz Mode, which gives you about a minute to score as many points as you can. There’s red, blue, green, and white rockets, white rockets are wild, and can be any color you need them to be. The screen is broken up into 3 sections, blue on the bottom, green in the middle, and red on top, and you’ll always have a set color order that results in a combo. You can tap on the rockets anywhere on the screen, but you only get the massive point combos when you tap the rockets in their respective color sections, blue on the bottom, green in the middle, and red on top. If you miss a color, then the combo re-sets, and you’ll need to make the color combo again.
Through the levels, you’re usually given a set score to try and hit, but there’s also levels that challenge you to get 3 crowns, which are given off when you make a combo and get a multiplier circle, which you can then move around the screen. Placing this multiplier circle in the color sections that you need to pull off the combo gives you mega points, and moving it to follow the combo gives you crowns. For instance, if the color combo given to you at the beginning of the stage is red, green, blue, then you’ll need to tap a red rocket in the red section, a green rocket in the green section, and a blue rocket in the blue section, then a multiplier circle will appear, you’ll tap on it, and then move it up to the red section, tap a red rocket, move it to the green section, tap a green rocket, then move it to the blue section, and tap a blue rocket, then 3 crowns will appear. These crowns are the best way to get huge scores, and collecting 6 of them puts you into a bonus stage.
There’s also coins to collect, which you can spend in the upgrade and bonus shops, upgrading the amount of time before a combo chain is lost, the amount of time a bonus multiplier is available, or make it so that stars can be used to help complete combo chains. In the bonus shop, you can purchase a bonus multiplier that starts at the beginning of each level, make multipliers increase in value, or decrease the number of stars needed for bonus multipliers. Hearts are also available and appear when you tap on 5 or 6 of the same colored rockets in a row, and quickly. Collecting 4 of these puts you into a different bonus stage. Also, each time you get a heart, a crowd appears, doubling the score for each rocket you tap while they’re cheering.
All of this might sound confusing, and it kind of is, but the learning curve is great, and you’ll get to experience everything one step at a time going through the levels. Blitz Mode is unlocked once you hit level 20 or so, I can’t really remember when I unlocked it, but it’s before you finish the rookie levels.
Explodables really is a top notch high scoring game, with GameCenter leaderboards for Blitz Mode and Levels 31 through 45. There’s also 45 achievements, all adding to the extremely high replay value of the game. Bonpeach has shown that they know exactly what it takes to make a professional, extremely polished arcade game for the iOS, and at only $0.99, Explodables is a great buy. Anyone who’s into high-scoring games with great scoring systems, and hectic gameplay should definitely check this out. I know it’s going to be on my iPod until it breaks, and I’m glued to Bonpeach, eagerly awaiting updates for this, and seeing what awesome game they come up with next.
ChocoRun holds a special place in my heart. It was one of the first games that I got into so much that I started talking to the developer, Alejandro, on a semi-regular basis. I also felt the need to tell everyone in the world about how great this Super Meat Boy-esque, tough-as-nails platformer was. Since its release it’s gone through a major graphical overhaul, and received an easy difficulty mode, as well as other tweaks and additions. It’s also been ripped off a couple of time by unscrupulous developers. I’ve also received a special Chocoplushe, hand-made by the developer, and reserved for players who managed to complete the game. Anyway, more than a year later, and ChocoRun can still be found on both my iPod and my iPad. It’s one of the toughest platformers around, has some awesome level design and is a blast to play. If you missed out on it the first time around, or just didn’t happen to hear about it until now, it’s definitely a game platformer fans do NOT want to miss out on.
**Note: This review was written after playing Version 2.0.
Super Meat Boy is one of my favorite platformers of all time, so with the clones hitting the AppStore lately, you’d think I’d be a pretty happy camper. But not really. For the most part, there’s filled with horrible controls and floaty physics. But when I first saw ChocoRun, I couldn’t help but get excited. The original build of the game was awesome, and the one touch control to jump worked perfectly. Now, ChocoRun has been totally re-vamped in a new graphical style, has more levels, and an added Easy Mode, as well as unlockable characters. So what better time to review it then now?
This platformer from Alejandro Jimenez Vilarroya hit the AppStore about two months ago, and proved that it was the SMB clone for the iOS that everyone needed to get. Top notch level design, along with great physics, easy, but precise one touch charge and jump controls, and clean graphics helped spur an instant fan following. Over the last two months Alejandro teamed up with a new graphics designer, and the flashy new update has hit iOS devices around the world, and the graphics in the updated version of ChocoRun are awesome. There has been increased detail in the objects and platforms that were already in the game, and the backgrounds were completely enhanced to fit the new graphical style. Also, being retina supported and Universal gives us the opportunity to see all these graphical updates in HD, the way they were meant to be seen. The animations are outstanding, each and every razor blade looks amazing while it’s spinning or flying through the air right at your cute little head. Choco now spins while jumping in the air as well, which also adds to the great look and feel of the game.
Level designs in the new update are just as great as the previous build’s levels, maybe even better, and more thought out. It’s very clear that loads of beta testing has gone on, and that each level was tweaked and edited to make them all just right. The game now has 50 great levels, which will keep you busy for weeks. Another great addition to the update is the new Easy Mode. Choco is given 3 lives to waste in each level before re-starting here, along with a cute little pink bow. If you’re having a hard time unlocking the next set of levels, Easy Mode is always there to help out.
So, with all this said, ChocoRun is definitely one of my favorite iOS platformers, and very easily the best Super Meat Boy clone in the AppStore. With The original SMB developers saying that they wouldn’t port SMB to the iOS device because the virtual controls wouldn’t work, Alejandro Vilarroya has given us a Super Meat Boy clone, not with virtual controls, but with controls that work extremely well on a touch screen. It’s highly recommended to all platformer fans, as well as fans of very frustrating and difficult games. This one will keep you glued to your iPod screen, as well as screaming and banging your head against the wall. For $0.99, it’s a great deal.
**ChocoRun is still priced at $0.99
Chillingo. Just saying the word brings hundreds of games to mind. They’ve ranged from casual to hardcore, puzzlers to action, adventure to arcade titles, they’ve basically released something for everyone, and I still find myself being surprised fairly often by the games they shove into the AppStore’s virtual shelves. Case and point? One Tap Hero, the new Puzzle Platformer from Coconut Island Studios (developers of the physics puzzler, Finger Balance and the score-chasing toilet paper dragging game, iDrag Paper).
I should say that I know there are some gamers out there, platformer fans, who are worried about a ‘one tap plat former’ – but with games like ChocoRun, Wind-up Knight, 1-Bit Ninja, the newer titles Bitless and Sunshine, and the onslaught of Endless Runners with platforming elements that have made their way onto the iDevice, I was pretty excited to check out another addition to the genre. Knowing that like-minded titles can range from fairly easy with simple level designs to hardcore with crazy level designs and enemies/hazards everywhere, I wasn’t sure what to really expect, but I knew right away that it had the potential to be a great game. Even then, I was still surprised while making my way through the game.
One Tap Hero is the story of a little ghost looking creature who’s, in a way, chasing after his abducted girlfriend. While out in a field one day, a wizard appeared, turned his girlfriend into a zombie like teddy bear, and now, as you collect stars from each of the levels, you’re slowly turning your sweetheart back into the normal cutesy little creature she use to be.
As the name suggests, One Tap Hero is controlled by tapping an action button. That’s right, everything in the game is controlled this way; jumping, climbing ladders, switching levers, stopping at certain spots and more. Your character constantly moves throughout the level, bouncing off of walls, while you try and collect all 3 stars in a level, and make it to your girlfriend. The amount of different things your character could do with just one tap actually kind of threw me off guard, but with some great level designs, and well thought out gameplay, it never got too cluttered up, wanting your character to do one thing, but having him doing another was something that just does not happen throughout the game.
One Tap Hero’s Story Mode contains 4 separate environments, each offering up new mechanics and atmospheres, and having 20 stages, along with 5 bonus levels which can be unlocked by collecting hard to snag keys throughout some of the stages. Each level has a possible 3 star ranking, along with coins which you can try and collect, which adds to your total score, as well as another challenge to try and master. You can also spend your coins in the game’s shop, which lets you purchase different outfits, keys to unlock bonus levels, and bombs which you can use to take out the ninja enemies later on in the game. Also, these days, almost every time you see a shop in a game, you can bet there’s going to be IAPs, and there are; 1,500 coins for $0.99, 5,000 for $1.99, 15,000 for $2.99, 30,000 for $3.99 and each bomb costs $0.99, but you don’t NEED to purchase anything extra to enjoy and complete the game.
The graphics and animations do a great job of helping to draw you into the world of One Tap Hero. Levels are placed on top of various backdrops, and I will admit, as much as I love retro graphics, it’s nice when a platformer strays away from this. The animations are nice and smooth, and do a great job of keeping players immersed in the game. Completing this is a wonderful relaxing soundtrack, matching the gameplay and environments perfectly, and complimenting the atmosphere quite a bit.
Coconut Island has also done a fantastic job with the level designs. Even though the games difficulty isn’t really up there on the charts, that doesn’t mean that the levels are simplistic by any means. With perfectly placed pits, platforms, stars, coins and hazards, alongside levers that move entire sections of stages, spikes, rotating worlds and more, it’s very clear that a crazy amount of time has gone into the level designs, especially later on in the game.
GameCenter integration adds the final touches, with 4 leaderboards, one for the total score of each world and 43 achievements, there’s enough content and replay value to keep gamers busy for a while. Priced at $0.99 and being Universal, One Tap Hero is another great Chillingo publication. Coconut Island has done a great job with just about every single aspect of the game, and compared to their previous titles, it‘s clear that they‘ve learned quite a bit in their so-far short developing life-cycle. Though, it would be nice if there was more of a challenge, and the constant back and forth with the difficulty levels as you progress through the game would have been much better as a constant upward climb in difficulty. Power-ups would have also been a great inclusion, especially later on when the enemies make an appearance. But even so, One Tap Hero is another great addition to the Single Tap Platformer genre, and one that casual as well as hardcore gamers can enjoy. Now let’s just hope that this Chillingo game will be updated and that ’Coming Soon’ world actually does come soon.
One of the AppStore’s most addictive, and incredibly awesome puzzle platformers has got to be Shaun Inman’s The Last Rocket. With it’s great retro graphics, simple one-touch tap/swipe/hold controls, and fantastic gameplay filled with style, it’s one iOS game that everyone should own. Fans of the game will be happy to hear that Flip the rocket is back, in an all new game, Flip’s Escape, an endless game that takes place after the events of The Last Rocket.
One thing I should bring up before we start. Flip’s Escape is not a sequel to The Last Rocket. In fact, aside from having Flip as the main character, it’s nothing like The Last Rocket. Flip’s Escape is more of a mini-game when compared to it’s predecessor, but that doesn’t’ mean it’s not worth checking out. Rather than go the Kickstarter route, Shaun Inman decided to take 3 weeks, and throw together an endless game to appease fans of The Last Rocket, and let them in on what Flip had to go through after the ending of the game. The money made with Flip’s Escape is all going to help fund Shaun’s next game. It is nowhere near as depthy or content rich as The Last Rocket, but is a great idea when you look at the alternative.
Now with that out of the way; Flip’s Escape. There’s one mode contained in the game, but there’s quite a bit of drive and plenty of ‘one-more-go’ gameplay. Flip moves left and right automatically at the bottom of the screen. Tapping anywhere causes Flip to stop moving. The goal of the game is to avoid hitting asteroids while collecting the stars that orbit said asteroids and get as far away as you can from the blast lingering behind you.
Collecting the stars that orbit the asteroids fills up your star meter. Once you’ve collected 6 stars, it’s WARP time! While you’re warping, if you tap the screen as quickly as you can, you’ll build up your warp meter, and travel further distances. Flip also collects gems while he’s warping, which you can use to purchase and upgrade items in the shop.
In the shop, there are two cheap consumable items which you can use to get a little further in your travels; the Nose Cone Drill, which lets you survive 1 asteroid collision and the Star Magnet, which attracts 5 missed stars. These are stackable, and you’re able to take 3 of each into each game with you. What’s great is that if you die and you haven’t used up all of the magnets yet, they are carried over into your next game. Also available in the shop is the Speed Inhibitor, which reduces your maximum speed, and the Speed Booster, which, you guessed it, increases your minimum speed. These have a pretty big effect on your warp distances, as the Speed Inhibitor will cause you to not travel as far while warping, no matter how quickly tap, and result in not collecting as many gems, and the Speed Booster will make you travel further while warping, resulting in more collected gems. You might be asking, ‘Well then why even include the Speed Inhibitor?’ – well, the game can be pretty difficult, and avoiding asteroids can be a challenge, and slower movement helps with that, which could wind up getting you further in the long run. It really depends on how you feel about the difficulty of the game as to which booster you choose to purchase.
Also included in the shop are Friends. These friends are fairly costly, but totally worth saving up for. The Fare earns you 1 gem for every 10 lightyears traveled, and when you’re traveling upwards of 10,000 lightyears each game, that really adds up! The Trailer is your other available friend, tripling the amount of consumable storage space, letting you carry up to 9 of each consumable item. The last items are the Hulls. These are the most costly, priced at 200 and 300 thousand gems, they are purely cosmetic, but do give gamers something to play for after all the other items and upgrades have been purchased.
The graphics and animations are, of course, totally reminiscent of The Last Rocket. If you love the whole retro 8-bit throwback look, you’ll love the graphics. The background animations are also top notch, with stars racing by leaving little streams of light behind them when traveling fast, and those streams of light disappearing when you stop Flip, it definitely adds to the whole feel of the game. The music is also just like TLR’s chiptune tracks, completing the whole retro feel that Shaun Inman has become so incredibly great at creating.
So; is Flip’s Escape worth checking for $0.99? While it is Universal, and supports GameCenter, with leaderboards for Furthest Distance Traveled, Furthest Distance With Upgrades, Furthest Distance Without Upgrades, Furthest Distance Without a Collision and Furthest Distance Without Warping along with 20 pretty hard to snag achievements, all adding the typical endless replay value all endless games have, there will be people that this just doesn’t click with. After The Last Rocket, Shaun Inman set a bar, not only for himself, but for future puzzle platformer developers to come. Flip’s Escape doesn’t come close to hitting that same bar, which will upset some gamers and fans of The Last Rocket. However, if you look at Flip’s Escape as more of a great, unique, original endless game that you got as a special thank you for helping to contribute to Shaun Inman’s next video game project, chances are, you’ll totally enjoy it. The challenge is crazy, and with some insanely high scores on the leaderboards already, the score-chasing has already hit full throttle. Hardcore gamers looking for a hardcore endless distance gameplay experience will eat Flip’s Escape up. It has the ‘just-one-more-time’ hook perfectly done, and lets fans of The Last Rocket in on what happened to Flip after the end of the game. With Flip’s Escape only taking 3 weeks to complete, I’m totally stoked to find out what Shaun’s been working on, and is continuing to work on. I just hope we don’t have to wait too long to find out.
One of my favorite genres of video games happens to be platformers. Luckily for me, there’s loads of great titles available in the AppStore. One of my favorites has always been ChocoRun; A hard as nails, Super Meat Boy influenced game with one touch controls for jumping. Since it’s release, there hasn’t been another title even remotely similar. Until now. Bitless, developed by Nicholas Rapp, is a touch-to-jump, hard as nails, retro platformer that will drive you insane and keep you addicted at the same time. What more could you ask for in a platformer? Well, other than tight controls, awesome level design, sweet bosses, and some badass chip tune music… which, fortunately, can all be found in Bitless as well. Excited yet?
Bitless contains 50 levels spread across 4 worlds, and includes 3 bosses. Starting off, the game is simple enough. Your little character moves on his own, and to jump, you just need to tap the screen. Holding down longer results in a longer/higher jump. If you hit an edge, your character will change directions on his own. However, even with this very simple gameplay, it leaves a lot of possibilities open for some very challenging segments and levels.
As you progress through the game, you’re gradually introduced to new gameplay elements; pits, wall jumps, wall sliding, static enemies, moving enemies, small platforms, ect. Each time you die, you’re confronted with a large eye in the lower corner spouting condescending bits at you; Splat, Death, Balls, Really?, Delicious, Ha Ha Ha, LOLZ, and more. You’re also told that each time you die, the enemies grow stronger, though this is really just a mind-game, as with each time you die, you get more frustrated, and the enemies have more power over your aggression. Each time you die, it’s added to your counter, as well as the world-wide counter, and the leaderboard. Checking out the boards will show you how many levels gamers have completed, as well as how many deaths, and believe me, some of these death numbers are insane.
The retro graphics and animations in Bitless are fantastic. The backgrounds contain images which kind of look like platforms, but not really. They mix in very well with the actual levels, and give it a sort of 2.5D look, which is great. The animations for movement are fairly simple, but keep with the sort of minimal graphic look of the game. The music and effects are also top notch, mixing in a very well produced chip tune soundtrack, and throwing in some great sounds.
What really stands out is the level design. It’s very clear that each level has been crafted and tested, hundreds of times, to make sure that the game doesn’t contain any missing tiles, and that the jumps are perfectly spaced apart. The segments of wall jumping mixed in with the dodging of the evil eyes, disappearing platforms sections, endless pits, eyes that chase after you, eye shooting boss eyes, and much, much more is all put together so well that it creates one hell of a challenge, and one extremely entertaining, and almost sadistic gameplay experience.
Being Universal and priced at $0.99, Bitless is a game that EVERY platformer fan needs to pick up. GameCenter integration is not included, but will be in a future update. However, the game contains it’s own worldwide leaderboards, and pretty large list of achievements. The difficulty might be a little too high for a lot of players, but if you’re up for a challenge, Bitless will definitely provide it. It’s easily of the best platformers I’ve played on the iOS, and one of the most difficult I’ve played on any platform. I really can’t wait to see what Nicholas Rapp will bring to the table with his next releases.
One of my favorite old-school video games has got to be Final Fantasty. Created by Hironobu Sakaguchi, pretty much everything his hands touched turned to gold; Kingdom Hearts, Parasite Eve, Vagrant Story, Legend of Mana, and loads more, Sakaguchi left Squre, created Mistwalker, and has since released some fantastic titles; Blue Dragon, Lost Odyssey, The Last Story, and more. Releasing titles on the XBOX 360, Nintendo DS, and Wii, Mistwalker finally found their way over to the AppStore with the release of Party Wave, a casual arcade title that has players controlling groups of surfers.
Surfing really isn’t a sport that’s touched on much in the iOS gaming world; Rising Board, Derby Surf, Line Surfer, South Surfers, ePig Surf and Robo Surf are the only titles that come to mind, and with other genres overflowing with games, it’s pretty surprising to only have a few surfing themed games laying around. But with the reputation of Mistwalker, Party Wave has the potential to blow them all out of the water, so to speak, even before checking it out. Fortunately, that’s not how things operate, and getting our hands on the game, seeing how the first step away from the RPG genre Mistwalker has taken, as well as how they approach the casual arcade genre, we’re pretty darn impressed.
For those of you who have never heard the term, ‘Party Wave’ is a term for any large wave which several surfers ride on. And that’s exactly what you’ll be doing in the game. Starting off, you’ll guide each of the surfers to a specific spot in the water by swiping on them, flicking them to the area. Once you get all of the surfers there, the fun begins.
Each surfer will start to blink once they hit the bottom portion of the wave. This is your cue to tap them, sending them up and into the air. Once in the air, you can tap them again on their way up to do a trick, and again on their way down to do another trick. It sounds pretty simple, right? Just tap on the surfers when they’re at the bottom of the wave and in the air, no worries. But once you throw three or more of them together, and add in the hazards of the water, it can get very challenging, very quickly. What makes it even harder, is that some stages require that you get a certain number of perfect scores on previous levels in order to play them, and progress through the game, and sometimes you’ll need to go back and try and replay stages without having any surfers fall off of their boards.
The gameplay is pretty straight forward, but can get awfully hectic at times. Quick reflexes, quicker thinking, and fast fingers are definitely an asset worth having if you’re going to compete on the leader boards, or complete the game. For those of you who really look for replay value when you get your iOS gaming on, Party Wave caters to you as well; the gameplay gets even more depthy the more you get into it. Perfect scores for getting all of your surfers on the wave, and not letting any of them fall off are great and everything, but what will really make you coming back, trying to max out your score? The little mechanics that add that special spark to a game, having it stand out above others within the genre, as well as all the titles available in the AppStore.
When you perfect clear a stage, stars start showing up. Collecting these while you’re playing will give you power-ups, like giving a surfer extra speed to make it to the wave catching area, which you can trigger by pausing the game, and touching the stars in the menu. You can also collect stars by touching the strange UFO which appears in the game at seemingly random times. Also, the closer you get to the hazards and objects in the first part of each level, while you’re flicking the surfers to the wave catching area will give you special little bonuses as well.
Something else that will keep you coming back? The special ultra spiffy Arcade Mode! Here, you’ll try and get through six sets of four stages in a certain amount of time. Doing tricks adds to your time limit, while running into hazards depletes it. Arcade Mode can get very difficult, but never in a frustrating way, and when you nail tricks just right, it can become a lot more fun than the already incredibly entertaining Level Mode.
Party Wave, priced at $1.99, being Universal, and having GameCenter support with 2 leaderboards, one for your total score in the level stages, and another for Arcade Mode, is a fantastic title. The experience of Mistwalker definitely shines through out the entire game, from the graphics to the gameplay, and even down to the little special mechanics that make the gameplay deeper than it looks on the surface, and keep you coming back for more. Party Wave is a shining example that yes, everything Mr. Sakaguchi touches really does turn to gold.
Adult Swim has published some fantastic games over the last year. Monsters Ate My Condo, Bring Me Sandwiches!!, Snoticles, and more. But recently, a little title that really just seemed to really slide by a lot of gamers, Rocket Jump’s Major Mayhem got a huge, and I mean HUGE update. 3 new gameplay modes, a crazy amount of weapons and equip items and one of the most requested features, GameCenter achievements (100 of them!) have all been added to the game. Major Mayhem has also gone free, following the freemium trends with the hopes of recouping some of the costs of development. Not to worry though, as this has got to be one of the best paid to freemium conversions to ever happen within the AppStore.
Back in November of 2011, Rocket Jump released Major Mayhem. Being published by Adult Swim, and having a bunch of advertising done on late-night TV, and across the net, it was pretty surprising that the game didn’t really sell too well. Maybe it was because gamers were hoping for some more strange and goofy games after Monsters Ate My Condo and Bring Me Sandwiches!, maybe they were let down by Shadowngun and EPOCH, and didn’t really want to take another chance on the cover-based shooter, but whatever it was, Rocket Jump dove back into the game to try and make it stand out in the AppStore, and recoup some of their losses at the same time.
One week ago, the Version 2.0 update went live, and I, along with others, were thoroughly impressed with the new game. 3 new gameplay modes, TimeBomb, which has you trying to get the best score you can in 60 seconds, Arcade, which has you go through the levels in random order trying to get the best score you can, without getting any health drops throughout the game, and Survival Mode, which has you trying to survive a whole world without any continues. Not only were new modes added, but a whole gang of power-ups, weapons, and cosmetic equip items were thrown into the mix as well.
On top of all of this, the game was converted to a freemium title, with the hopes that more players would pick it up for free, see how much content the game has, and how incredibly fun it is, and want to support Rocket Jump by purchasing the game’s new currency. Those who still had the game on their device when the update hit also got 20,000 coins, which would have cost them about $1.99 with the new IAPs, as a little thank you. However, not many people did still have the game on their device, but luckily, the IAPs are very unobtrusive, and are not required to unlock or purchase anything new in the game. You’re able to unlock every game mode, and purchase every new weapon and cosmetic item just by playing and progressing through the game.
Back when the game was originally released, a lot of players were upset that there weren’t any GameCenter achievements. These have also been added to the game, and not just a couple, a whole mass of achievements and objectives were included. Now, you can try and unlock the 100 GameCenter achievements, as well as try and grab all 150 and the game’s objectives. Set up like Jetpack Joyride’s objectives, every time you earn 3 or 4 of them, you gain a new rank. You’re also awarded with a random prize for every rank you reach, as well as 50 coins for each objective you complete. With the GameCenter achievements, you’re given even more coins, depending on how many GC points the achievement is worth.
Major Mayhem’s move to freemium is easily the best I’ve seen happen with any game in the AppStore. It’s obvious that an incredible amount of time, effort, and work has gone into making Major Mayhem one of the best cover-based shooters available on the iOS, and it’s incredibly surprising that all of this was done for free, with the hopes that people would purchase IAPs. If you haven’t checked it out yet, now would be the perfect time. Rocket Jump has definitely proven that they are in it for the long-haul, and know exactly what it takes to go above and beyond to create an outstanding video game.
Tower+Base Defense games are everywhere in the AppStore. It’s definitely a genre that has been overwhelmed with releases. With the growing capabilities of the iOS hardware as well as it’s software, this genre is finally expanding after a sort of dead period where nothing really new was hitting the gaming scene, and 3D Tower Defense titles seem to be gaining ground. The most recent TD release from the very prominent publishers over at Bulkypix is Chicken Doom. A tap-based 3D Base Defense title that has you defending a chicken in a lookout tower armed with a Gatling gun.
Chicken Doom has you playing through various environments on Easy, Medium, and Hard difficulties. Your chicken sits at the top of the screen, back in the stage a bit, while enemies come at you, appearing from the bottom of the screen. The controls are simple; Tap on an enemy to fire at them. You can also hold down on the screen to constantly fire, but this knocks out any chance of building up a combo multiplier, seriously effecting your score.
So long as you can hit enemies consecutively, without missing one or having too long of a break between hits, you’ll build up your combo, which, in-turn, seriously helps build up your score. The higher your score, the more currency, labeled as ‘Corn’, you’ll earn. Helping out with this is certain power-ups. You’ll be able to use these to increase your combo by picking up an individual enemy, and hitting them about 10 times. During this period, the action freezes, and the one enemy is the only enemy on the screen.
You’re also able to purchase and upgrade power-ups in the store. Here, you can equip up to 4 power-ups, from a TNT Barrel, which rolls down the hill, flattening all the chickens in it’s path, a Bugger power-up, which covers the chickens in goo, and slows them down, a Chicken Bomb, which burns all surrounding chickens, and more. You are able to upgrade these as well, making them stronger and stronger as you progress through the game. Items will also be unlocked as you reach achievements within the game. A huge plus here is that there are no IAPs, so the game isn’t incredibly difficult just to push you towards throwing more money at the developers. Not to say that the game is easy. It’s not.
With each of the 6 stages having 3 difficulties, Medium and Hard will offer up quite a battle. You should definitely expect to spend quite a bit of time on these, and be ready to play them more than just a couple times before you complete them, especially in the later environments, which are unlocked after you complete the beginning levels.
What really makes the game stand out is the Co-op Mode. You’re able to play every level with another player on the same device. Unfortunately, it does not support online co-op gameplay, which definitely would have made this one of the best base defense titles available in the AppStore. But it does add an extra level of fun as well as strategy to the game, which is fantastic to see within the genre.
With Chicken Doom priced at $2.99, and on sale at the moment for $0.99, it’s definitely a game that base defense fans should check out. Yet again, Bulkypix doesn’t disappoint. The tap controls could use some tightening up, and more content would be great, as right now, even though the levels offer up plenty of replay value, especially when you take into account the 12 GameCenter Leaderboards, one for each stage, as well as co-op boards, and 24 Achievements. It could use some improvements, but it’s a huge step in the right direction for the 3D Base Defense genre.
Action RPGs have quite a fan following in the AppStore. I’ll admit that since Hybrid and Zenonia, I’ve been hooked on them. But there comes a time when the same thing over and over again becomes dull, and with the crazy amount of Action RPGs available for the iOS, it’s no surprise that seemingly everything that can be done with them has been done, and, aside from an interesting story, the genre is in kind of a slump for the time being. Fortunately, there is light at the end of the tunnel. South Korea’s own Oozoo Inc., a new studio on the iOS gaming scene, has given gamers a very interesting new Action RPG title, Brandnew Boy, developed with one of the best engines available, Unreal.
Brandnew Boy is the story of Rookie, a young boy who’s lost his memory, but happens to have a little TV robot to help him out. As you’ll quickly find out, to figure out who you are, where you are, and what has happened in your past, you’ll need to fight. Various enemies are attacking you for no reason, but you appear to have what it takes to survive, and find yourself.
Brandnew Boy is a 3D game with 3rd person view, something that’s rarely done with iOS RPG titles. What makes Brandnew Boy really stand out is the combat system. To attack an enemy, you just need to tap on them, and then tap in time with the attack animations. There’s also a gauge at the bottom of the screen which lets you know when the optimum time to tap is. This isn’t required, but tapping right when you hit an enemy results in a lot more damage. Once the enemies are about to attack you, an exclamation point appears above their head. To avoid their attack, you can swipe on the screen in any direction, and Rookie will dive out of the way. The movement controls are simple as well, tap to move, and swipe on the screen to change the direction of Rookie. To stop moving, simply tap on the screen again. These controls allow for a clean UI, and work great.
There are two game modes to choose from, Scenario Mode, which is the basic campaign/story mode, and Infinity Mode, which lets you battle it out with various enemies, trying to get the best score you can before you die. As you can imagine, the graphics are top notch. Oozoo Inc has done a fantastic job creating a wonderful world with vibrant colors, loads of detail, amazing animations, and great character designs. The music and effects also help to create an incredibly immersive gameplay experience.
As you level up, and your stats increase, you’re also able to unlock and purchase more items from the shop. Here, you can buy various gloves, shirts, accessories, skills, rings, potions, and more. There are IAPs available, but you can earn quite a few coins just by going through the stages, and playing in the Infinity Mode. You’re also able to replay levels, which is great, because if you get stuck on a stage that’s too difficult, you’re able to go back and earn more coins, and maybe level up some more, increasing your stats.
Brandnew Boy is above and beyond, one of the best Action RPG/3D Action-Combat titles available for the iOS. The great graphics, and superb gameplay offer up a fantastic gaming experience. For $3.99, it’s a great buy for anyone remotely interested in Action RPGs, and a must buy for fans of the genre who have gotten tired of the same old recipe developers have been using. Including 99 achievements 6 leaderboards in GameCenter, coupled with the Infinite Mode, there’s endless replayability. Right now, Brandnew Boy is on sale for $0.99, so it’s an even better time to snag this great game. With more updates in the works, I can’t wait to see what Oozoo has in store for us in the future.
Point & Click Adventure titles are a perfect fit for the iOS, and with more and more of these titles being ported over from other platforms, fans of the genre couldn’t be happier. The most recent addition to the genre is the PC title, Yesterday, developed by Pendulo (The Next Big Thing, the Runaway Series, Hollywood Monsters and Igor), and published by Bulkypix. It revolves around a non-governmental organization’s volunteer, Henry White, who’s trying to help find out who is behind a series of killings driven by a Satanic psycho.
Yesterday isn’t your typical Point & Click Adventure. Revolving around murder, Satanism, insanity, the homeless, and more, Yesterday is more of an adult-themed title, which definitely sets it apart from most titles within the genre.
Even though the atmosphere, environments, and story all revolves around darker subject matter, and looks like it might fit perfectly as a Velvet Acid Christ music video, the character models of Yesterday are fairly cartoony, looking like something you might find on Cartoon Network. Even though this is the case, it doesn’t detract from the amazing atmospheres. The characters, though seeming callow most of the time, provide a rich and immersive dialogue, creating a wonderful story to experience while solving the various puzzles and exploring the dark environments throughout the game.
The controls are typical of any other point & click title on the iOS. You’ll tap where you’d like to move your character, tap on objects or areas you’d like to check out more closely, and when the items in question are shown on the screen, you’re given a magnifying glass and hand icons, with the magnifying glass icon giving you more information about the objects, and the hand letting you interact with the objects.
If there are objects which you can interact with, they will be moved to the bar at the top of the screen, so that you can combine them with other found objects, or use them later on, while dragging them from the bar to an object in the environment lets you use them.
The puzzles contained in Yesterday can be pretty challenging, but helping out with what objects can be checked out is an icon in the lower left corner of the screen. Tapping on this icon lets you see what all objects and items can be looked at more closely in each screen. Checking out everything you can within the environment, combining multiple items and using them to activate various objects in the game is required to progress through the story. But like most point & click games, figuring out what goes with what, and where everything can be found and/or used is where the real challenge lies.
Mixed in with the game’s object matching mechanics are little parts within the dialogue which help add to the game. For instance, towards the beginning of the game, you’ll need to figure out certain chess moves in order to move on in the dialogue. Fortunately, if you’re not into chess, and answer wrong, you can keep tapping on the answers until you get it right. Even though this does sort of beg the question as to why these were included in the game, but they’re nice to see regardless.
Yesterday is Universal, and priced at $4.99. If you’re a fan of the Point & Click genre, it’s definitely one of the best titles available for the iOS, and since it’s published by Bulkypix, you can pretty much guarantee that if any issues arise, they’ll be fixed or dealt with in a timely manner. The only thing missing from the game is GameCenter integration with achievements. But non-the-less, Yesterday contains a fantastic story-line with incredibly immersive atmospheres, and characters that draw you into the story. It’s a title that I’m very pleased to have on my iDevice, and hope to see more titles from Pendulo ported over in the future.