Search Results for: label/3.520Stars

Number of Results: 10

Disney Fish Hooks [Disney] – FREE

As much as I hate to admit it, Disney has put out some incredibly good iOS games over the last couple years. Where’s My Water?, Puffle Launch, Breakspin, Jelly Car, Where’s my Perry?, it’s becoming harder and harder not to check it out when Disney releases a new title into the AppStore. Their most recent, Disney Fish Hooks, is a prime example of a game I didn’t think I’d like, and ended up eventually loving. What’s even more surprising, is that Fish Hooks is a physics puzzler, something I, personally, got sick of some time ago. But Fish Hooks has so much charm and that spark that keeps me coming back to it that I just can’t ignore it.
Fish Hooks is one of very few Disney original cartoons currently in production, which I guess says something. It revolves around a tiny fish Milo and his friends at Freshwater High, a school in a pet store’s aquarium. Why does this matter? Because you’ll be able to watch some cut-scenes, and unlock Milo’s friends in the game, and it’s always nice to know a little backstory, right? Anyway…
Disney Fish Hooks contains 5 worlds, with 50 levels split up between them and a bonus level in each world which, once completed, unlocks another of Milo’s friends for you to play as. Sadly, the characters do not each have separate abilities or stats, making it purely a cosmetic feature. The goal is to collect all 3 apples in each stage before making it to the exit. This is done by manipulating the environment with bubbles to send your character in different directions, bouncing off of turtle shells, and creating and popping bubbles around your character, making them stop, float up and fall down in specific areas. 
Usually, you’re able to find teeter totter type objects in each level, which can be manipulated by creating bubbles underneath either side of them. Most levels will require that you set up all of these objects before popping your characters bubble, and sending them throughout the stage. As they’re making their way around the stage, bouncing off of turtle shells, you sometimes will need to quickly tap on your character, which will create another bubble around them. This stops them in their tracks, and immediately sends them floating to the top of the screen. This is a handy mechanic when trying to make your character land on a specific turtle shell or when trying to collect an apple that isn’t on the path you’ll travel while bouncing off of the shells. As you move on through different environments, and worlds, more spiffy mechanics are added to the gameplay, like spiky coral which instantly kills you if you touch it, moving turtle shells that require timed bubble pops, anvils that smash through coral, moving coral, and more.
The 3 apples in each stage act as a 3 star ranking system. Unfortunately, there is no GameCenter support, which does take away from the drive to 3-Apple each stage. There is also no scoring system, and no timer, so if you’re not driven by the desire to collect each of the apples, there’s no real additional drive outside of that, which is unfortunate. Fish Hooks would seriously benefit from a scoring system and GameCenter integration, and it is something I hope is added to the game in a future update.
As with most games, when you start playing, it’s a little more than easy. Almost too easy actually. I was almost turned off of the game before completing the first 10 levels. But the physics, level designs, and gameplay mechanics showed more than enough potential that I made myself stick with it, and as the difficulty level gradually increased, so did the amount of enjoyment I was having while playing. 
With Disney Fish Hooks available for FREE, the only thing you’ll really risk if you check it out is time, but if you stick with it, and get through the first world, the game really starts to pick up, and becomes incredibly fun. Seeing GameCenter added in a future update would be great, and judging by Disney’s past releases, and fantastic support through updates with them, I’m thinking it’s a real possibility. Even if you’re sick of physics-puzzlers, Fish Hooks is definitely a title worth checking out, and has the potential to be another Disney game you wind up keeping on your device. 


3…2…1…Crank!! Oh man, those were the days. Growing up on both bmx and motocross 2-wheeled madness, when I saw the new DMBX2 hit the AppStore I was probably one of the first to hit the buy/install button. This is the second installment by Randerline gmbh and a very worthy upgrade.

‘DMBX2 Mountain Bike and BMX’ is a Universal, iCloud supported downhill racing game that has a equally entertaining trick challenge aspect as well. The graphics are gorgeous, the sense of speed is pretty good, and the crash animations are comical to behold (once you get past the fact you just wiped out of course) as they are spot on with your rider curling up in a ball as opposed to the typical ragdoll. The racing animations, and opponents expressions (i.e. the winner raising their hands as they cross finish line) are agreeable as well.

The contest comes with 3 types of challenges; time, race, and tricks. Each level also includes a training option as well, allowing you to pre-run the track, which is something that is true to life and a nice addition. The time challenges are just that, you against the clock. The races are pretty hectic with you taking your starting positions with a strong line-up, men and women, and all gunning it for the checkered flag after the proverbial countdown. The last type of adventure is the trick challenge. A variety of tricks are included, from the pretty commonly simple no-hander, to the sick ‘superman’. The best part is that you can throw these moves out during the races and time challenges; when you are hovering in the air on a time challenge, even though it is all about time, it was pretty easy to throw out a slick move as immediately upon leaving earth the trick button set appears. The trick combos that you can put together are pretty awesome. Beating one type of challenge in a level will unlock the next level/stage.

DMBX2 includes 3 ‘worlds’; Highlands, Canyons, and the Mountains. The cool part is that these are not unlocked in a specific order allowing the rider to access any area as they desire. Each world has 4 levels, and each level contains all challenges. Add that up, and it is a somewhat limited 12 levels, but the replayability comes in beating your time and bettering your last point scores. The tracks definitely get more badass as you progress as the jumps get slammer, corners tighter, and the racers more aggressive. There is also a replay option, with a highly navigable interface, providing the speedster with the options to check out that sick trick you just barely and luckily landed. Another worthy extension is the ability to listen to your own playlist as you compete.

The interface is hit or miss depending on your platform. On the iPhone, tilt steering prevails, and you only need to depress the right side of the screen to crank, with the left side trick popup’s. I enjoyed my time with this title on the iPhone, but I originally bought this game with the intention of playing it on the iPad. The same tilt steering options are included for the iPad, but there is also a fixed and floating joystick selection. Here’s the problem with either; The fixed joystick find it’s center in the far upper right of the screen, right under the time and trick displays. Quite odd. This would be the best option for the iPad if it weren’t so strangely placed. That leaves you with the next option, the floating joystick. Once again, it’s center is meant to be in the upper right as that is where it immediately appears, but you can depress the lower right (seems most natural placement for me) and the joystick will work there. The issue with this is that once you huck off a jump, you then need to start to re-pedal and that requires the user to take their thumb off of the screen, depress again, and then push forward. When you are in a race, milliseconds matter, so once again, this is not the best option. Keep in mind that this joystick also controls your steering. So, this is why I found myself enjoying this title on the iphone much more and was disappointed with the control scheme on the intentionally bought to be played on iPad.

If you are looking for a downhill mountain bike racing game with gorgeous graphics, sickbird tricks, and realistic animations, you may find what you are looking for in DMBX 2. If you plan to play on an iPhone, all the better, but if you plan to play on an iPad and are opposed to tilt, you may find yourself frustrated with the current control schemes. Hopefully, the developer will fix this thorn and players on all devices can enjoy this entertaining Downhill mounting biking and BMX diversion.

Blade of Darkness [Zealm] – $1.99

With the recent release of Pocket Heroes re-igniting my love for D&D parties, and bringing back memories of playing Diablo back in the late 90’s, I’ve been on a sort of quest of my own. To find all the Diabloesque and Fantasy Card games for the iOS that I can. Low and behold, one of the first titles I came across, and just can’t get enough of; Blade of Darkness – an open-world 3D RPG/hack-n-slash game developed by Zealm (developers of Monster Fight, Zombies Runner and Angry Zombie Ninja Vs. Vegetables). 
Blade of Darkness starts out with a pretty impressive cutscene giving you a bit of backstory; seems darkness overtook the land after a meteor shower rained down from the skies. Zombies and other undead creatures started to appear everywhere, and the darkness slowly spread. This land is appropriately named ‘Shadowland’. On the edge of Shadowland lies ‘Sanctuary‘; a campsite set up where a small patch of sunlight hit’s the ground. It’s here that you’ll begin your journey. 
Actually, I guess I should say ‘it’s here where you’ll figure out what you’re supposed to be doing throughout the rest of the game.’ The tutorial is made up of 3 pop-ups. One telling you that the joystick in the lower left corner is for movement, another saying that the icon to the right is for jumping, and that to talk to people, you walk up to them and tap on them. Trust me, you won’t forget. Every time you come back to Sanctuary, you’ll need to go through the ‘tutorial’ before you get started again. From here on out, you’re on your own.
After figuring out that people in town with a “!” above their heads have a quest to send you on, you can try and figure out how to get out of Sanctuary. Turns out there’s a pathway right behind where you start from that leads out to two different warp areas, and from here, now you can start your journey. Your first task requires that you go to the East to find the wife of a wizard at camp. It seems they were separated, and he needs you to find her. Unfortunately, leaving the campsite will only take you South, through cemeteries, dungeons, and other dark lands which are full of undead creatures. Directions aren’t really accurate, and there will be quite a bit of exploring involved. 
The battle system is in real time, and is kind of reminiscent of CrimsonHeart. If you just run into a pack of enemies slinging your sword around, you’ll find yourself in trouble fairly quickly. Standing back and luring a couple of enemies towards you, and watching how they attack and block will be a valuable asset to learn early on in the game. Running around to the back of enemies helps you avoid their shields, and can give you some massive hits. Of course, not all of the enemies require this tactic. There are some that will just stand there while you walk right up to them and bash their heads in. It’s all part of the combat system dance. I guess. Once you start killing enemies, they’ll start dropping gold and other items, and you can get your loot on. Figuring out how to pick items up is another task that you’ll need to figure out on your own. I’ll help you out; Tapping on the item inside the window that pops up will put it in your equipment pack.
Don’t get me wrong. Once you figure everything in Blade of Darkness out, it’s really a fun game. But sticking with it through all of the figuring it out will be taxing, and currently priced at $0.99, there are going to be some people who just give up, and delete the game. But if you’re willing to stick it out, and not afraid to learn basically the whole UI on your own, the hack-n-slash, loot driven, Diablo reminiscent gameplay can be very rewarding. Finding those rare items, and beating the hell out of hundreds of enemies is great fun. You’re also able to play in CO-OP mode, which has the game controlling another hero along side you, Multiplayer Mode, where you can host or join another game, as well as an Arena Mode where you can battle other players online. Lets just hope that Zealm sells enough copies to be driven to keep the updates coming, because if they do, Blade of Darkness could turn into one hell of a Diabloesque title, and maybe even one of the top loot driven games on the iOS. 

Mr. Dreamer [Strapped to a Meteor] – $0.99

Last year, one of the more interesting platform puzzlers hit the AppStore; Deo, from the development studio Strapped to a Meteor. Since the release, they’ve been hard at work coming up with another unique and original game for the iOS, and it’s finally hit the AppStore. What is it this time? An endless runner called Mr. Dreamer. If you checked out our preview of the game about a week ago, then you already have a pretty good idea of what the game is. But if you haven’t, here’s the scoop. 

Mr. Dreamer is a score-chasing, endless runner of sorts. On the main menu, you’re shown a strange little guy who’s stuck in an office cubicle with a stuffed animal by his side, pictures of his family on the walls, and the sounds of a keyboard clicking and phones ringing in the background. Looking bored and staring off into space, one you hit the ‘Play’ button, you’re off into a dream world, running up a two sided pathway in a dream world ripe with candy and sweets. 

What makes Mr. Dreamer unique, as well as challenging, is the flipping mechanic that the game is centered around. Once you start running up this pathway, you need to keep the character up-right. If he happens to go up-side-down, a gauge at the top of the screen starts to drain. Luckily, you’re able to re-fill this gauge by collecting the candies that litter the path. 
The game is split up into different level-like environments. Once you’ve completed one, the game will pause for a second while it loads the next one, and you’ll continue on your journey. This does, unfortunately, take away from the flow and smoothness of the game, but it does keep the original loading time down to a minimum, and the game running as smoothly as it can, though I have experienced some jitteriness while playing, even on an iPad 2. As you make your way up the path in the clouds, you’ll come across special candies. Collect 3 of these, and you’ll speed up, having all of the other candies drawn to you as if you were a magnet, and being up-side-down for this short period of time does not drain your gauge. After the first couple of levels, the game gets even more challenging by introducing bombs that sit on the path. If you’re unlucky enough to run into one of these, they’ll wind up draining quite a bit of your health/up-side-down gauge. Once the gauge is empty, it’s game over. 

The graphics and animations are very well done, as you might expect coming from the developers of the wildly entertaining Deo. The sounds as well as the music fit the game perfectly, and the dreamy graphic look creates a great atmosphere. Sadly, there’s only this one gameplay mode, no other power-ups, no unlockables and no special abilities. Having a more difficult timed mode, or more power-ups along side the special candies would have greatly increased the gameplay, as well as the replay value.
But priced at $0.99 and being Universal, Mr. Dreamer is something the endless runner genre has yet to see, and for that fact alone it’s definitely worth picking up for the dollar, as coming across a unique runner these days is something that hardly ever happens. GameCenter is supported, but unfortunately, at this time, there is no leaderboard, and no achievements to collect, though I’m sure this will be fixed in a future update. Strapped to a Meteor has definitely kept with creating something out of the ordinary with Mr. Dreamer, and after the little issues get ironed out, will be a game that (hopefully) winds up pushing the genre forward with new and interesting ideas sprouting out because of it. 

Pocket Heroes [F5 + Ayopa] – $0.99

Online Multiplayer fans should be in heaven right now, especially when it comes to Asynchronous play. Last week, the releases of Outwitters and Summoner Wars (and Left2Die for the non-async MP gameplay), and now this week, with the release of Ayopa and F5’s Pocket Heroes, an RPG title with Roguelike influenced gameplay has hit the virtual shelves, and servers are loaded!
Starting it up, I was pretty surprised to see that Pocket Heroes has no single player campaign. Not that I was expecting it, but I’ve never had the privilege of playing an Asynchronous MP only RPG title, but with the versatility of the iDevice, it’s no surprise that we’re seeing more and more of these MP-async titles popping up. 
You’re able to start a game with up to 3 other players through either your GameCenter friend’s list, or through e-mail. With 4 different classes to choose from, you’re able to put together quite a team. Once you actually start the game, your first quest is a fairly simple one, and acts more like a tutorial phase. You’ll learn how to target enemies, how to move, where you can move to, and how the upgrade system works.

 Upgrading is done automatically, your stats increase with each level you gain, but you’re able to work your way down through the skill tree, getting a skill point which you can spend on an extra ability every other level upgrade. As you take out enemies, they’ll drop loot; coins and items. You are able to pick up items which you can’t equip, and drop them around your friends, so item hunting usually benefits all players involved. After each quest, of which there are 10 in each game, you’ll meet at a tavern. Here, you’re able to purchase items from the shop with the coins you’ve collected, and get ready for your next quest. 
If you aren’t lucky enough to have any friends who own the game, and can’t strategize before-hand, there is a chat area at the top of the screen which lets you co-ordinate attacks, and let the other players know what you’re doing, or what you hope they’ll do. This is also really nice for letting other gamers know if you’ll be gone for a while, or when you’ll be back. It’s really a nice little addition. Right now, as with most MP games that hit the stores, there are quite a few issues and bugs that couldn’t have been found during the beta testing. Some issues that I’ve run into; When I first started the app, I registered my name as ‘Syntheticvoid’ and couldn’t connect to the server. Thankfully, the developers at F5 were kind enough to help me out, look through their server log, and see that I had a capital letter in my name. Turns out I needed to register with ‘syntheticvoid’ in order to connect to the servers. Right now, there’s no random match-making, which could be a real deal-breaker for quite a few gamers. Denying and deleting games is not an option, so you have the potential to wind up with loads of unfinished, or un-joined games in your game log. There’s also no randomized quests. Even though the level generation is randomized, the 10 quests that you’ll go on in each game will always be the same. 
With F5 being great right now at working with players and trying to make Pocket Heroes the best Async-MP RPG title it can be, and Ayopa being the publisher, with every single game under their belt having been updated quickly, and consistently, I have complete faith that Pocket Heroes will reach it’s true potential soon enough. Priced at $0.99, it’s easy to take the plunge, and experience gameplay that’s reminiscent of a Dungeon’s & Dragons session with friends. But if you’re hoping this is a full-fledged Action or Turn-Based RPG with hundreds of quests to do online, you’ll be pretty upset with the game. There are plenty of other titles that let you join in a world that’s pre-constructed and always alive. But if you’re looking for a close game with friends, Pocket Heroes is just the game you’re looking for, and it can only get better over time.

Starbounder [Studio Radko] – $1.99

Runners certainly have their fair share of fans, and it’s not really surprising. The gameplay is simple, addictive, easy to learn hard to master, and best of all, fun. Recently, these games have been changing and expanding, and usually, for the better. Studio Radko’s Starbounder is a prime example of this. A level based, space ship ‘runner’ where you glide along platforms in outer space collecting orbs and jumping from platform to platform. 
Diving right in, you’re given a little bit of a story. Apparently, you’ve been in hyper sleep for the last 5,000+ years, and were only supposed to be awoke when you came into contact with something or someone intelligent. The systems woke you when coming across a giant platform. It’s up to you to explore and catalogue everything you can. What better way to do that than to race across the platforms at top-speed?
Starbounder only has one gameplay mode, but fortunately, there’s 6 separate environments, each with 10 levels. All 60 of the levels have 3 orbs which you can try and collect, acting as a ranking system. But without GameCenter leaderboards and achievements, the drive to go back and collect the ones you’ve missed is kind of lost. There is one racer which you can unlock after you get 180 orbs, and has special abilities, but the rest of the ships all have the same stats, same acceleration, top speed, and handling, so it’s primarily cosmetic. There are patterns and different colored boosters which you can select to change the appearance as well, but it really would have been great to have different stats for each vehicle. 
The controls work well, having a break button in the lower left corner, and a jump button in the lower right, and tilt controls to move left and right. Each of the tracks are a straight shot, but they’re wide, and you will need to do some fancy maneuvering to make it through, but the controls are good enough to get you through, and the edges of platforms are forgiving enough so you won’t have any unfair crashes or descents into the blackness of space. 
The graphics and animations are decent. There is a jumping animation which is nice, and the explosion animation is pretty cool, and both definitely add to the graphical look and feel of it all, and the backgrounds are beautiful. The music and sound effects are a huge plus as well, with pounding beats and great FX mixing in very well with the music, it adds a level of adrenaline to the game. 
The level designs in the beginning are very simplistic, but as you progress throughout the game, they get more and more complex, and really become a highlight of the game. It’s very clear that lots of time, effort and testing has gone into the creation of the levels, and it has a huge impact on the gameplay, especially if you’re going to try and get all of the orbs. They are placed in areas which will require definite skill in order to collect them all, which does help to make up for the lack of GameCenter. There’s a great feeling of accomplishment after pulling off some sick jumps and quick turns to collect the 3 orbs, especially later on in the game. 
There are two versions of Starbounder, SD and HD. The SD version is normally priced at $1.99, but is currently on sale for $0.99, and is made for the iPhone 4 and 4th Generation iPod Touch. The HD build is also originally priced at $1.99, but is on sale for $0.99 as well, and is made for the iPhone 4S and iPads 2 and 3. Both versions are Universal, so you should be careful as to which version you pick up. If you’re a fan of runners, especially level based runners, Starbounder is a great title to pick up. If you’re looking for a level based star racer, with twists and turns, power-ups and other racers, this probably won’t hit that nerve. Hopefully GameCenter boards can be added in the future. Having that extra drive to get better times, or collect all the orbs would be a great addition, and would keep gamers coming back to the game time and time again, even after completing the game. But as it is now, it’s still definitely worth checking out. 

Captain Antarctica [FDG/Ideal Bureaucracy] – $0.99/$1.99[HD]

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. 

Micron [Apparition Games] – $0.99

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. 

Brainsss (Lonely Few LLC) – $2.99

As the surprisingly long list of strategy games that are available in the AppStore keeps increasing, fans of the genre are in heaven. Strategy games are one of the few genres that completely and totally feel like they iDevice was specifically made for them. The latest Strategy title to hit my device is Brainss, developed by Lonely Few LLC. A game in which you run around a city hunting down humans and turning them into zombies. 
Right off the bat, there are a couple of things that bug me about Brainsss. You can’t zoom in or out. That’s right, there’s no pinch to zoom, which can be a real hassle, especially when you’re trying to control more than one group of zombies. There’s also no way to assign zombies to a specific group. So every time you want to move a zombie, or a group of zombies, it either needs to already be selected, or you’ll need to reselect it. This, coupled with no zooming out, means you can’t corner a group of humans by moving half of your zombies to one side of a building and then moving another group to the other side without having to select the first group, move them, then pan and scroll over to the other group, make sure that they’re selected, and then scroll back to where you want them to end up, and just hope that the first group didn’t drive away the humans already so that you can tap where you want your second group to go. Confusing? Yeah, confusing, and frustrating. Especially when every other RTS game has an easy select for groups of troops, and zooming in and out, and that’s what you’re use to having at your disposal while playing. 
Aside from those couple of issues, Brainsss still is fairly fun to play. The action is fast, and so long as you’re fine with moving around one huge group of zombies around the maps, and don’t care about the time limit, getting 3 stars in a level, or earning achievements, there’s some fun to be had here.
Right now, there are 5 Phases (or worlds) to play through, each having 4 different levels except for Phase 1, which has 5 and is the Tutorial Phase. Each level has an objective that you’ll need to complete in order to progress. These range from turning all humans into zombies, or finding a certain type of human, like a policeman, or scientist, and turning him into a zombie, to stopping humans from reaching a helicopter, or getting a zombie to a specific zone on the map. 
Unlike other RTS titles, there are no resources to be found and used, no skirmish mode, and no online multiplayer. You might want to call it a ‘RTS Lite’. And actually, as it plays right now, it’s more like an action game because it’s so difficult to use separate groups of zombies to pin down humans, and really go for achievements. However, if these issues are addressed, this could turn into a very nice strategy game. One that’s very fast moving, and will challenge you quite a bit, especially if you’re going to go for 3 stars, and going to try and snag all 70 (yes, that’s right, a whopping SEVENTY) achievements. 
With the game being Universal, supporting the iPad 3 Retina display, having fantastic graphics, and great comic strips that you can unlock as you progress through the levels, as well as the promise of new levels released “each week”, $2.99 isn’t a bad price at all. I just hope that the developers include some of these features that are typical of most strategy games in one of their soon to come updates. 

‘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