Number of Results: 24
Endless games are a staple of the AppStore. Almost everyone has more than a handful of them, and even if you’re sick to death of all of the endless runner/climber/diver/jumper releases, chances are, there’s at least one or two (or ten) that will never leave your iDevice. Captain Antarctica, FDG’s newest release developed by Ideal Bureaucracy, might just wind up turning into one of those rare titles. At the moment, Captain Antarctica isn’t an Endless Runner, per say. It’s level based. But there is an endless mode coming in a future update.
You’ll control Captain Antarctica, a penguin who’s on a mission to save his family. After his wife and children were kidnapped, Captain Antarctica decided to team up with a wacky scientist who’s invented an underwater jetpack suitable for a penguin to wear. Now it’s up to you to make your way through 6 different levels, each with a boss battle at the end, and manage to save your wife and kids.
Captain Antarctica is a diver. You’ll need to dive down into the depths of the ocean in order to defeat each level’s boss, and move onto the next one. Fortunately, these 6 levels will take multiple replays in order to beat the bosses. Each time you make it through the stage and down to the boss, you’ll be able to attack him once, knocking off a piece of armor, or injuring him. Also adding to the amount of times you’ll play through each level are objectives. These objectives help you earn coins which you can use to upgrade and buy equipment in the shop.
There are IAPs included in the game, but these are, like most games, only if you’d like to outfit your character with all of the best gear right when you get the game, or want to show your support for the developer, sending them a couple extra bucks.
In the shop, you’ll be able to purchase Utilities, including extra health, a better flashlight so that you can see better in the deep dark ocean, rescue buttons, which let you stay alive if you run out of health, and rush kits, which torpedo you down at light-speed. Bonus items are also available to be upgraded. You can increase your booster, upgrade your magnet, get a better shield, or upgrade your portal gun. There’s also cosmetic upgrades for your jet, you can purchase a trash can, flower, fruit, smiley, Soviet and more jets. Unfortunately, none of the jets increase your speed or agility, and are strictly cosmetic, though it would have been great if each of them had stats.
As you make your way through each level, you’ll be able to collect goldfish and various power-ups while avoiding the wall’s edges, sea urchins, fish, bombs, and other hazards. As you collect the goldfish, you’ll fill up your jet’s booster gauge, which will propel you down to the depths quicker once filled.
The graphics and animations are fairly polished, though having some better animations for when the penguin collides with objects, instead of just having him flash, and having explosions when you come into contact with bombs, would have been great. The comic strips however, look fantastic, and are one of the definite highlights of the game. The music and effects are a little cheesy, but they fit the game well.
Captain Antarctica is priced at $0.99 for the iPhone, and $1.99 for the iPad version. There’s not really a lot of content, but with the added objectives, and soon-to-come endless mode, it definitely has a chance of staying on your device for a while, especially if you’re interested in competing on the GameCenter Leaderboards for Total Coins Earned, and Total Distance Traveled. There’s also 32 achievements, adding quite a bit to the replay value. The addition of bosses at the end of the levels is great, and does kind of help the game stand out. However, not really being able to do battle with these bosses is a bit of a let-down. Having the penguin have to attack certain spots at a certain time would have been awesome. But there’s still enough here to keep endless gamer fans happy, and playing until they complete the game 100%. It’s definitely another nice FDG release. I can’t wait to see what they publish next.
The first stealth game I played on my first iOS device was Silent Swords. Since then, the stealth genre hasn’t really gained much ground in the AppStore. It’s not something fans of the genre aren’t use to, good stealth-based games don’t come along too often, and on the iDevice, we’ve only got a couple available to us. But thanks to Hassey Enterprises, developers of the iOS version of Galcon, we can add one more title to the list of so few; Dynamite Jack, a new iPad only stealth game where you control Jack, a captured space marine who was forced to work in the mines can only use bombs and a flashlight to escape.
Don’t get me wrong, there are many more items that Jack can use during his escape, but your two main resources are your flashlight, and an endless supply of bombs which you can use to break through walls, and destroy enemies. You’ll also need to find and collect keycards, data chips, crystals, and more while figuring out how to move through each section of the mines without being spotted.
There are two control setups in Dynamite Jack, a virtual joystick which can be fixed or float, and a line drawing option. If you’re more comfortable with the Spy Mouse or The Nightworld setup, you might want to use the line drawing controls, but for those of you who prefer it, the virtual joystick is a great option, even though it can be kind of finicky with movement, especially if you choose the floating joystick option. This can sometimes get frustrating when trying to quickly hide from guards or quickly place a bomb. With both control schemes, you’re also given icons for turning your flashlight on/off and placing + exploding your bombs.
You’ll have to be careful as to when you have your flashlight on, as it can draw the attention of the mine supervisors, and their only job? Shoot on sight. Not only do you need to be very cautious with your flashlight, but also your bomb placement. Since bombs also draw the attention of the supervisors/enemies, and you’re only able to place one bomb at a time, not being able to place another one until you set off the one you’ve already set, placing a bomb in the wrong spot can get you killed. You’ll need to figure out where exactly to place a bomb so that you can be far enough away, but also not be in the line of sight of the guards as they come over to inspect the loud boom they just heard, and maybe be able to place a bomb between them and their designated lookout area so that you can kill them on their way back to patrol.
What really stands out, aside from the fact that this is quite possibly the best stealth based game I’ve played on the iOS yet, is the fantastic level design. Needing to explore, and being forced to use your flashlight, even in the most inconvenient of times in order to figure out where to go, or how to reach a certain item is fantastic, and adds a ton of challenge and difficulty to the game.
With 28 levels, the game may seem short, but there’s plenty to do even after you’ve completed the game. Each stage has 3 objectives which are optional, but which add to the replay value, or, if you’re determined to snag them all the first time through, add a crazy challenge to the game. These objectives include beating levels in a certain amount of time, getting through levels without using your flashlight, collecting all of the crystals, leaving all of the guards unharmed, collecting all of the data cartridges, beating a level without dying, detonating a certain amount of bombs, and loads more.
Also adding to the replay value is GameCenter integration which includes 13 hard to unlock achievements. There’s also leader boards for speed run times on every level within the game. Here, you can go against your GameCenter friends times, as well as compete with players around the world. If that isn’t enough, there’s also a level editor, which lets you create levels, and community area, where you can share your levels as well as download maps from other players.
With Dynamite Jack priced at $2.99, and definitely standing out as one of the best stealth games available for the iOS, it’s a must buy for fans of the genre. I’d consider it the best if the controls were tightened up a bit. But even if you’re not into stealth games, Dynamite Jack provides a great challenge for casual and hardcore gamers alike, and is definitely recommended.
Castle Defense titles have become a great way to grab a few minutes of defense strategy gameplay while on the go, because of the AppStore. They’re great anywhere, appeal to a wide range of players, and hit that strategic nerve a lot of us gamers have without requiring us to play through a 2 hour game, or 45 minute level. While games like Stick and Cartoon Wars pioneered the genre on the iOS, games like Legendary Wars and the Fortune series pushed it more towards the hardcore strategy gamer, and that’s where Category 5 Games most recent title, Warmongers, fits in.
Warmongers is a single screen, 5 lane defense title, which requires quite a bit of strategy to progress through. While battling it out through hundreds of levels, you’ll be able to collect coins, unlock and upgrade characters, build up powers, and select special ability giving colors for your army.
Starting off, you’ll need to play through one area, with 3 stages. Each of these stages has 3 separate battles that you’ll need to complete in order to take over the area. Once you battle your way through all 9 stages, each getting progressively harder than the last, the territory is yours. As you make your way through the territories, more and more battles are required to play through before you take the territory over.
In order to win a battle, you need to get enough of your characters over to the enemies side. At the top of the screen is a gauge, starting with each side locked at the middle. Once you get a character over to the enemies side, your gauge takes over a little bit of the enemies gauge. If they get a character over to your side, the gauge moves back. To win the battle, you need to completely own the enemies gauge. Sometimes it can take less than a minute, others, it’s an all out epic battle, going back and forth, with each side almost winning multiple times. It all depends on what characters you send out, when you send them out, what power ups you use and when, and when you use your special color ability. With each character you send out costing mana, and only 200 mana available to you at any given time, it’s usually a struggle the whole battle.
In the shop, you’re able to upgrade your characters, powers and colors. With each character, you can upgrade their level, which increases their defense, speed, and attack, or increase their attack and defense separately. You’re also able to purchase Bloodlust abilities, which are special attacks that can be used when your bloodlust gauge is filled.
There are IAPs in the shop, and with no levels being able to be replayed for extra coinage, and the pretty high cost of upgrades and character unlocks, and the difficulty brought on by only having 200 mana available to you at any given time throughout the game (with characters mana costs being between 35 and 45) it can feel like the game is pushing you towards purchasing extra coins quite a bit. This is a shame, because everything else within the game is top-notch. Unfortunately, this push to purchase extra consumable IAPs after the original purchase of the game can be a real deal breaker for many gamers.
Right now, Warmongers is having a 50% off launching sale, and the iPhone version is priced at $0.99, with the HD version priced at $1.99. Considering it’s pushed towards purchasing extra coins through IAP, having a $1.99 and $3.99 title, and not being universal, it’s a hard game to recommend. But if you’re looking for a game that pushes you towards making certain upgrades without any experimentation, and loads of challenge, and high difficulty, then Warmongers is a strategy game you’ll most likely fall in love with.
Myst. For a lot of gamers the name conjures up great memories, fantastic gameplay, and one of the most innovative games of the 90’s. The first time I played Myst was in 1999 during my 3 free periods in High School. It took me about two weeks to complete the game, but it’s stuck with me after all these years. I had heard about a ‘realMyst’ which was done in a type of first-person gameplay incorporating free-roam, but I never got the chance to play it. Now, almost 20 years after it’s original release, realMyst has been ported over to the iOS, and I’ve been extremely excited to dive back into the game after all these years, being able to experience it in a new way.
If you’re new to Myst, it was originally a point and click puzzle adventure title done in a first person view that had you thrown onto an island and left the rest up to you. There was no tutorial, no one telling you where to go or what to do, you had to figure it all out on your own. There were clues left in notes around the island, and little clips found in books and strange machines that guide you along and give you backstory. It took me about 10 tries before I actually got into the game because I never knew what to do, until a friend told me where the first note was, and then I was off, totally immersed in the world, exploring the island through the different ‘ages’ solving puzzles, backtracking, gathering clues, and loving every minute of the gameplay.
The controls fit perfectly with the touch screen, dragging to look around, tapping and holding to move forward, doing a double tap and hold to sprint, and touching two fingers to the screen to move backwards. Everything within the game can be dragged or tapped to be activated, and like most other point & click games, feels like a perfect fit for the iDevice.
The graphics in realMyst are fantastic. The atmospheres and environments are beautifully crafted, and full of seemingly esoteric structures that eventually come to life before your eyes. Unfortunately, there are some notes within the game that are pretty blurry, and hard to read. There’s also some very noticeable drops in frame-rate and jitteriness while exploring the world. This does wind up knocking you out of the immersion a bit, but it doesn’t really harm the gameplay. Myst is not an action oriented game, no one is chasing you, and you’re not under a time limit to find clues so you’ll never die because you couldn’t move fast enough or because a couple frames were skipped. But it would be nice if there was a way to optimize the game, even at a drop in frame-rate, so that you’re not constantly reminded that you’re playing a game. But it’s easily one of the most graphically impressive games I’ve ever had the pleasure of experiencing. The music, ambience and sound effects are also just as fantastic as the graphics, and fit in perfectly with the settings, adding immensely to the atmosphere and feeling of the environments throughout the entire game.
It might take a while to actually get into the game, and figure out what to do in some parts, but the main thing is to keep at it, keep exploring, keep looking at everything, switching levers, touching books, pictures, and knobs, and you’ll slowly progress through one of the most amazing games to date, and find out why some gamers call Myst an experience that borders on being referred to as art more than a game. realMyst is only available for the iPad 2 and 3rd Generation iPad, and priced at $6.99 for launch, with the price set to go up to $9.99 soon. There is no GameCenter integration, which is kind of disappointing, as achievements for Myst would have been a wonderful addition, and would have added to the drive to really explore every little inch and crevice throughout the entire game.
If you’ve experienced Myst in the past, realMyst’s gameplay and feeling is different enough that it’s worth checking out again. If you’re new to Myst, realMyst is quite possibly the best version you could check out, and even at the regular price of $9.99, is more than worth every single penny you’d spend on it, even with the couple of issues within the game. Being able to have Myst on my iDevice is still pretty surreal, and I’m going to fully enjoy every single minute I spend exploring and solving the puzzles all over again. It’s definitely one game that every person who calls themselves a gamer should experience, and with this iOS port, it’s yet another opportunity to do just that.
Hacking based games have always been a favorite of mine, and they really seem to fit very well on the iDevice. Hacker Evolution, Digital Heist, The Hacker, The Hack Run Trilogy… but none of these have really done for me what Introversion Software’s Uplink has done. A perfect port of the PC version, Uplink’s fantastic story, user interface, graphics, music, gameplay and paranoia are just as addictive as they were 10+ years ago using a mouse and keyboard. Though not very realistic, it captures the essence of ‘Hollywood Hacking’ like that shown in Hackers, Swordfish, Sneakers, and other ‘Hacker Inspired’ films, which makes for a much more interesting video game.
Uplink’s story revolves around the Andromeda Research Corporation, which is creating a computer virus using artificial life research that can destroy the Internet. Another company, Arunmor, is trying to create another virus that can destroy Andromeda’s virus. You’re able to choose between Arunmor and Andromeda, or you can just focus on completing every mission you can while the story goes on without you.
You start off joining the Uplink Corporation who provides work for hackers by matching missions with skill levels and providing both the hardware and software that’s needed to do the work. Once you create a user account with the company, you’ll need to prove you have what it takes to work for them by completing a test mission. You are able to activate the tutorial for this, which walks you through, step by step, showing you the basic mechanics of the game. There’s also a ‘Help’ section on the Uplink Corporation’s mainframe which gives you information about security systems and software, as well as anything else you might have questions about throughout the game.
Once you complete the test mission, you’re able to sign in to the Uplink Corporation and view the ‘Mission List’. Here is where you’ll be able to accept jobs from companies based on your user level. Completing missions raises your level and gives you credits which you can use to purchase more software and upgrade your hardware. Starting off, you’ll have a bunch of missions which have you copying and deleting files, but once you raise your level, you’ll be altering documents, destroying entire libraries of data, and even outing other hackers.
The user interface for a hacking game like Uplink is extremely important, and Introversion Software has done a great job making the game easy to navigate and understand. On the top of the screen, you’re able to see the date, and your IP address, as well as fast forward time which comes in handy if you’re waiting to have better hardware installed, or are waiting for more missions which fit your level.
There’s also a CPU Usage bar , which is pretty much like a Task Manager, showing what applications are running, and how much power they’re using. You can also send more power to a specific application, making it run faster, or take power away from one that doesn’t require as much, like your Trace_Tracker (which lets you know when you’re being traced), so that you can give more power to your file copier, password breaker, or any other applications that might need to be sped up.
In the top right corner is the world map, showing all of the networks which you can connect to. Here is where you’ll bounce different connections off of different networks, making it harder for companies to trace your IP address.
Along the bottom of the screen are your icons used for starting up applications, reading e-mails, reading your accepted missions, checking out your level, credit amount, installed software and what hardware you currently have. Tapping on the satellite in the bottom left corner pops up a menu which separates your applications by type; Utilities, Drivers, Security, Crackers, ect. To start an application, all you need to do is find it in the list, and tap on it. Once you get further along into the game and need to change information, or enter names to search for, a keyboard pops up on the bottom half of the screen. It’s responsiveness is fairly quick, so you’re never stuck waiting for the keyboard to pop up, taking up time while you’re being traced, which is great.
Uplink is priced at $4.99, and only available for the iPad. If you’re even remotely intrigued by hacking, or into hacker games, Uplink is one of the most entertaining titles, on any gaming platform, that you can check out. Sadly, there is no GameCenter integration, which means no achievements, which would have been a fantastic addition to the iOS version. A leader board for total number of completed missions would have been great to have as well. But the gameplay doesn’t suffer from the lack of a leaderboard and achievements, and still gives players the drive to keep coming back, completing more missions, and progressing further along with the plot. It’s a must get for fans of the genre, and at the current price, is a steal. Hopefully Uplink will sell well, and get some much deserved attention so that Introversion Software can port over more of their fantastic titles to the iOS. DEFCON, Darwinia and others would be fantastic on the touch screen.
After the success of Pulse, another rhythm based puzzler which came in 2nd place in the Kongregate contest “Project Eden: Experience The Music”. Apparition Games was formed, and it couldn’t have come at a better time. It seems like the music genre for iOS games is finally looking up. After loads of Guitar Hero type games that required tons of song purchases or were made to help sell music for one group, we’re starting to build a list of ‘must have’ games if you’re into the genre. Groove Coaster, Cytus, Thumpies, Miku Flick, Beat Sneak Bandit… well now we can add Apparition Game’s first iOS release, Micron, another rhythm based puzzler, to that list.
In Micron, you need to place objects around a level, guiding balls to hit buttons, opening doors, to get a ball into the exit. A basic beat will be playing at the beginning of the stage, and every object within the level creates a sound. Bouncing balls off of platforms creates new sounds, which wind up making a full song by the completion of the level. Granted, music doesn’t effect the gameplay, but it’s a very creative use of beats and sounds merged into the gameplay, and it’s clear that a lot of thought, work, and testing has gone in to the placement and possible placements of each and every object.
The controls in Micron are simple. In the left column, you’re given a certain amount of items which you can use to complete each level. To place them, you just need to tap on the level’s grid where you want to place the object, and then select the object from the column. Each exit has a barrier, which requires 4 balls hitting it in order to open, exposing the exit, which just needs one ball to enter to complete the level. There is no time limit, and each level is shown as complete by having a star next to it on the level selection screen.
The level select screen is made up like a tree, with branching off stages which unlock when the previous stage is completed. This means that not every stage needs to be completed to get to the last level. As you progress through the game, more objects are thrown into the level designs, like different colored balls which can go through lasers of the same color, but can’t go through lasers of a different color. With the placement of different colored doors and buttons to open those doors around the levels, there’s some very nice level designs, especially later on in the game.
All of this going on with each object being hit making a different sound is incredibly impressive. Sadly, there’s no real replay value, so after you complete the 51 stages, there’s no drive to keep you coming back. Also taking away from the replay value is the lack of GameCenter or OpenFeint. No achievements and no leaderboards. A game that has this much work and thought put into it suffering from no scoring system, leaderboards and achievements is kind of disappointing. If players were timed, or there was a score based on how quickly you completed the levels, and had that as the leaderboard, it would add quite a bit of replay value. Not to mention achievements. The game just needs something to keep players coming back to it.
All-n-all, it’s a very impressive first title from Apparition Games. Priced at $0.99, and being Universal, those of you who have been waiting for more music based games to hit the AppStore should definitely pick this one up. The developer has said that he’s planning on adding more levels, more music, and possibly a level generator and way to share community generated content, but only if the game sells well. It’s a long shot, but here’s hoping that more will be added to Micron. There’s tons of potential here, and it would be a shame if Apparition Games didn’t take advantage of it.
Arena based platformers for the iOS are really hitting their stride. But, as you can very well imagine, OrangePixel, the AppStore Retro-GODS, newest game, Chrono & Cash, doesn’t just sit back on the bleachers with the rest of the so-so titles in the genre; it’s out there, playing ball as best it can with the rest of the heavy hitters, with love for the game clearly visible in it’s eyes. And I think that’s enough of the baseball talk.
OrangePixel’s previous releases, Meganoid, Stardash, INC, they all fantastic platforming games. Easily some of the best in the genre for the iDevice. So already, the bar is set fairly high for Chrono & Cash. If you keep in mind some of the other games within the genre; Spellsword, Muffin Knight, RodLand, Snowy, Superstar Chefs, Blast Ball… then standing out of the crowd is not done easily. But OrangePixel’s developers definitely know what it takes to create unique and original games even in genres that are swarming with titles.
Chrono & Cash has you playing as a robber who needs to collect as many items as he can before being caught. As you collect these items, you’ll be able to achieve objectives, which ups your multiplier (up to 5X ATM, with more objectives coming in future updates), and unlock other playable characters from very well known retro inspired iOS games (Cavorite, Commander Pixman, Scorched Monster, and more). Also adding to the already fairly high challenge, after collecting an item that’s got a white outline around it, another item will light up with the same outline. If you can collect all of the items in order of how they light up, you’ll get an end of level bonus. If you can get this bonus consecutively, the bonus points double (giving you the potential to grab 4,000 extra points every 3 levels). If that’s not enough, you’re able to rotate your device and play in portrait mode, which makes each of the levels platform and item placement different, almost like playing a separate version of the game.
Like most other OrangePixel releases, the controls in Chrono & Cash are adjustable, being able to separate how close or far away the left/right buttons are, and also has Joypad and iCade support. The game’s graphics are also done in the fantastic retro style that OrangePixel has become known for, and includes a great chip tune soundtrack. With all of these features, the game feels and plays like a true retro/old-school arcade title.
Priced at $1.99, being Universal, and having GameCenter support with 2 leaderboards (one for Arcade Mode, and one for Landscape Mode), and endless replayability, it’s a great addition to the Arena Platformer genre, and to the AppStore in general. If you’re a fan of OP’s previous games, buying this one is a no-brainer, but if you’re new to OrangePixel, Chrono & Cash a great place to start. The difficulty level isn’t as hardcore as their previous games, and the gameplay is more accessible to the casual gamer.
If you’ve been a reader of The App Shack for a while now, you probably already know that we LOVE Ayopa games here. Their nice releases, along with super support from the developers of the games they publish really makes them easy to support. Their most recent publication comes from developer Steven Pastro; an action puzzler, Light Byte.
Light Byte has 3 different gameplay modes; Endless, Time Attack, and Full Byte. Each mode’s play is basically the same. You’ll need to match two blocks that are the same color, which will make them fall from the slowly descending wall of blocks, giving you access to the blocks behind them. The more blocks of the same color you match, the higher your score will be, and once you take out 8 blocks of the same color, you’ll enter frenzy mode, which turns all of the blocks into stars, and you can just tap away, knocking them all down.
In Endless Mode, you start off with 3 colors of blocks, yellow, blue and red. As you knock down these blocks, they‘ll fill a level meter as well as color meters at the bottom of the screen. Once the level meter is filled up, you‘ll go up a level, and the speed of the descending blocks will slightly increase. Below the level meter are the color meters. Each meter is added to when you knock down blocks of the meter’s color. Once one of the meters is filled, it shoots stars up to the top of the screen, clearing all of the blocks on screen, and gives you a point bonus. And bonus points are a huge part of Light Byte.
As you knock down blocks, each block that’s the same color as the last is increased 100 points. Once you enter Frenzy Mode, each block knocked down gives you 500 points, and here, you can tap very quickly, and gain quite a few extra points, and if you’re lucky, you can clear the screen of every block, and get a clear bonus. With GameCenter support, and 14 leader boards, high-scores are a huge part of the replay value, and drive to keep playing. There’s also 33 achievements, helping to add to the replay value and challenge.
Also a part of score chasing, unlocking modes requires you to collect a certain amount of total points. Normal Mode in Time Attack requires you get 5 million points to unlock it, Challenge Mode in Time Attack requires 10 million, and Extreme requires 50 million while Full Byte Mode needs 25 million.
With the Modes being unlocked by cumulative points, and fairly large amounts, there’s a guarantee that even after playing for hours on end, you’ll still have a pretty big chance of unlocking something new, and having a whole new leader board to compete on. But if you’re impatient, you can unlock all of the modes for $1.99.
As we’ve said quite a few times in the past, Ayopa is one of our favorite publishers. The developers who release their games through them are very supportive, and have worked non-stop to make their games as user friendly as they can, and as entertaining as they can, based on gamer feedback. It’s pretty much a give-in that Light Byte will be the same. As it is now, I haven’t found any issues with the game, but as with almost every other game out there, the chances of someone finding some are fairly high, so it’s always great to have a team of developers+publishers that are devoted to customer satisfaction. Light Byte is $0.99, and Universal. And with the crazy amount of content and replay value, it’s a great game to get if you’re into action puzzlers or games that require quick thinking and reflexes. With Light Byte, you can chalk another one up to Ayopa, it’s definitely a game that’ll end up staying on my iDevice for a long, long time.
Score-chasing arcade games are a god-send for iOS gaming. They’re a perfect fit for the platform, with endless play, quick gaming sessions, and tons of drive that always keeps you coming back for more. In my opinion, the AppStore will never have too many score driven arcade titles. The most recent addition to my Score-Chasing folder on my iPad is Chillibite Entertainment’s Stunt Bunnies Circus.
This tap based arcade game has you controlling an extremely quick and agile rabbit who’s trying to save all of the falling rabbits from smashing into the floor. It sounds pretty basic, and the main idea is, but once you add in the fireball tossing rabbit, fireballs around the falling rabbits, cannons shooting rabbits every which way, the different types of rabbits, the snarling lions, combos needed to gain coins, things can get pretty hectic pretty fast.
There are two modes of gameplay, Story, and Arcade (which is unlocked after completing Chapter 2 of Story Mode); Story Mode has you going through 8 level chapters, adding different mechanics as you go along, and slowly progressing in difficulty. Here, you need to try and save as many bunnies as you can from hitting the ground. Only being able to catch 5 rabbits in a row, you’ll need to keep making sure you drop them off before the next wave starts or else you could wind up missing quite a few of them. You’re able to earn coins if you catch more than one rabbit per tap, but you’re also able to align yourself mid-air. This does require more taps, and quickly, but once you get the hang of it, pulling it off is incredibly fun. As you catch bunnies, you’ll fill up a bar on the right side of the screen. Once this is full, you’ve completed the level. Arcade Mode is basically an endless mode. You’re able to miss 5 bunnies, and then it’s game over, but here, you’re able to earn quite a few coins which you can spend on power-ups which can help you get through Story Mode.
With the coins that you collect in both gameplay modes, you’re able to purchase one time use power-ups. There’s Rocket Fuel, which doubles your jet pack speed for one round, Crash Mats, which gives you 3 mats which will each save one bunny from hitting the ground, and a Fire Jacket, which protects you from up to 10 fireballs in one round. Prices for these are fairly high, with Rocket Fuel priced at 100 coins, Crash Mats at 200, and the Fire Jacket at 500, they’re pretty much only there for Story levels that you’re having a very hard time beating, or when you’re ready to try and get a high-score in Arcade Mode. But you can pretty much count on either playing through the vast majority of the levels with no power-ups, or purchasing coins through IAP (1,000 coins for $0.99, 2,500 coins for $1.99 and 10,000 coins for $2.99). Now, I have nothing against IAPs in games, but having consumable items (and ONLY consumable items) in your game, with consumable IAP, and games that push you towards IAP with INSANE difficulty, or having to wait for 10+ hours before getting a couple gold pieces, kind of leaves a bad taste in my mouth. Luckily, here, they aren’t required to play through the whole game, as you only need 1 star to move on from level to level, so you’re really pushed towards getting better at the game than purchasing coins, which I view as a positive addition to games.
With Stunt Bunnies Circus priced at $0.99, being Universal, having pretty much endless replay value and GameCenter with a leaderboard and 26 achievements, it’s a nice score-chasing tap based arcade title. It’d be great to see even more bunnies added, some playable characters which could be unlocked, or more power-ups, but as it is now, it offers up some nice variety, a great challenge, especially if you’re going to go for 3 stars on every level, nice graphics and animations, and all-around entertaining gameplay. It’s very clear they know what it takes to make a fully rounded iOS title, and I’m hoping to see more from Jujubee Games in the future.
One of my favorite iOS games ever is Super Stickman Golf. It’s sucked hours upon hours of my life away one swing of the golf club at a time. So seeing Dynamo Games title, Golf Squared, which looked AMAZINGLY similar to SSG, the excitement hit me instantly. But along with that excitement came unease. Would Dynamo Games be able to match the amazingly addictive gameplay of Super Stickman Golf, or would it fizzle out, being a less than mediocre clone? Well… it’s time to find out.
Starting off, the graphics of Golf Squared look great. The boxy look of the characters coupled with the nice modern retro type inspired environments, minimal user interface and vibrant colors all come together to create a very appealing graphic styling.
The animations and physics add a bunch to this, with your characters showing obvious disappointment when things don’t go their way, sand kicking up when you hit a bunker and grass and flowers popping up when you roll through the rough. The physics when hitting a ball in these areas is also effected, which is a great addition to the gameplay. Sadly, other areas of the game don’t stand out like the graphics, animations and physics.
There’s only one Mode, no online features like multiplayer, and no GameCenter or OpenFeint support. Within the one mode of gameplay, you’ll be able to choose between a male or female character, and have only one environment (golf course) to pick, with a “More Levels Coming Soon” message when you click the misleading arrow, thinking there’s more than one area to play in. In this one area, there’s 18 holes, each having an available 3 star ranking. That’s it. 18 holes.
Once you actually get into the game, you might notice right away that zooming in and out can become quite a hassle. Once you zoom out, and then hit the ball, the camera automatically zooms back in, and stays there until you zoom it out again. This can get pretty annoying, and winds up taking away from the immersion of the game quite a bit.
You’ll also probably notice that there’s no in-game currency, no in-game store, no customization what-so-ever. Now, this does mean that there’s no extra IAP, which I guess is a good thing, but with every single golf game out there these days having in-game stores, with extra balls, clothing, clubs, characters, and more that you can purchase, it’s kind of a let down. No powered up balls to unlock, you can’t even change your characters colors.
Now, with this being Dynamo Games first real game released in the AppStore, it’s not exactly bad. But once you get past the graphics, the game doesn’t stick out. At all. The levels are designed kind of like Stickman Golf’s courses, but each is very short, and with only 18 of them, there’s not much gameplay here. You can replay the holes until you get 3 stars (which is done by achieving a Birdy [2 hits under par]), but then that’s it, and there’s not much drive to even do that with no online leader boards, and no store to purchase items. Hopefully Dynamo Games will keep working on Golf Squared, because it does have a ton of potential. But right now, it really just feels like a bare bones, graphically enhanced, lite/demo version of Stickman Golf.