Search Results for: label/Casual/index.html

Number of Results: 23

Party Wave [Mistwalker] – $1.99

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. 


High score chasers are always a huge hit or miss venture with me. When I saw Shoot the Zombirds come out in May of this year, I never thought it would be the type of game that would remain on my iPad for as long as it has. If you have played Infinite Dreams’ previous title, Shoot the Birds, you were probably inclined to pass this one by as, for me, it was not one that really embraced that gaming nerve that we all love to caress. Not so for me with Shoot the Zombirds as something about it looked interesting, I thought I would give it a try, and have been gratified ever since.

Like its predecessor, Shoot the Zombirds has you controlling a pumpkin-man type entity whose sole purpose is flinging arrows at pum-kid (you see what they did there!) stealing Zombirds with his trusted bow and arrow. The mechanic is pretty simple, pull back anywhere on the screen, aim, and let er’ rip. The environment is top-notch and set against a Tim-Burton-esque blood-soaked haunted house/graveyard; probably the pumpkin man’s sanctuary. It sounds simple, and it is, but the game becomes quite addictive with enticing Game Center achievements, tantalizing Grave Store power-ups and clothing, and just plain regalement when you ‘Sausage’ two to three Zombirds on your armaments. It can get pretty addictive when acknowledging all of these factors.

The Zombirds vary quite extensively from fat, big, and slow to small and very quick. And the small suckers don’t show up several waves in, as you will have to be combating with them as early as the second wave. And yep, they are pretty tough to hit. The Zombirds make one initial pass and let them fly by, they are going to kidnap one of your pum-kids. You are only allotted a certain amount of pum-kids, another Grave-store item upgrade as well, so taking out any of the fowl with your kin is certainly your primary objective. The participant is also only provided with a certain amount of arrows; the only way you can retain or increase your quiver is to make those shots!

The Grave store items are super cool with power ups like ‘Rain of Pain’ where you can summon a swarm of target-seeking day-saving burning arrows, and the ‘Quiver of Plenty’ where you get infinite arrows for a certain amount of time. Coins are gained via achievements and by shooting these little skulls that traverse the screen from right to left. Power-ups exist to increase their frequency as well. The GC achievements are really well integrated to bait the user to that ‘one more round’ feeling. There is the standard IAP, but I have never remotely felt pulled in that somewhat adverse direction.

If you are looking for a casual pick up and play, laugh out loud a little, make some Game Center achievements score chaser, you may just find what you want in Shoot The Zombirds. It really triumphs in what it sets out to do, and it reminds me alot of something like Temple Run as far as it’s addictive qualities, and for its’ shear pick up and play nature.

Squids Wild West [The Game Bakers] – $0.99

For those of you into RPG titles, last years release of Squids, developed by The Game Bakers, was a great one. It was a casual action RPG title that definitely stuck with people, and managed to stand out in a genre full of clones, copies, and repetitive release after repetitive release. Since then, fans of the game have been waiting for the epic continuation of the story, and now it’s finally here with the release of Squids Wild West. Steev and his friends are on a quest to find Winnick, and save the underwater world from the evil Black Ooze taking over. And it’s just as memorable an experience as the first.
Squids Wild West is just what you’d expect in a sequel. The same great characters, graphics, mechanics, and type of story, merged with new characters, new mechanics, new hazards, and new enemies, and like all fantastic sequels before it, you don’t need to play the previous title to fully enjoy the second. Controls are just like they were in the original Squids, you move your characters by slingshotting them around the level, knocking them into enemies, and getting them in position to use their special powers. 
Each squid is one of 4 different types of character; Shooter, which is able to shoot pearls at the enemy, Trooper, who can produce a large shockwave, knocking all enemies around it back and into anything behind them, Scout, who can dash without costing it any movement points, and Healer, which heals characters just by bumping into them. 

As you progress throughout the game, you’re able to collect many new hats, all of which, you’re able to transfer their powers/stats to the squids who can equip them. This is a huge plus, as it gives you more of a drive to collect and purchase all of the hats you can, because doing so makes each of your characters that much stronger. Hats are unlockable after certain levels, and can also be found in chests throughout the game. It’s a good idea to try and explore each of the levels thoroughly to make sure that each and every item is found. 
Exploring is also required if you want to try and grab the 3 stars that are available for each level. One for finding the secret star, which is hidden somewhere in the level, one for getting all of your characters through the level without dying, and the last for making it through the level in a certain number of turns. This also adds some replay value to the game, but if you’re willing to play through each level twice, you should be able to snag each of the stars, as well as earn some extra pearls which you can use to upgrade your characters and buy hats in the shop. There are IAPs in the game, but it is in no way pushed towards buying them. You’re able to earn more than enough of the game’s currency, which is pearls, just by playing through each of the games levels once. 
With new mechanics, like warping whirlpools, stables and creatures which you’re able to ride, 12 characters to choose from and make up your team, tons of new levels, new areas, new enemies, and tons of stuff that made the first Squids such a fantastic game to experience, Squids Wild West, being Universal, and priced at $0.99 is a MUST BUY for anyone with an iDevice. It’s a great adventure for hardcore RPG players, as well as casual iOS gamers, and provides hours and hours of great entertainment. Squids Wild West is definitely going to wind up on my top 10 games of the year list. 

Tiny Troopers [Chillingo] – $2.99

The AppStore is a great place to find casual variations of more hardcore genres. In this case, Kukouri Mobile Entertainment’s Tiny Troopers, published by Chillingo, takes Real Time Strategy and makes it more approachable to the casual gaming community. Easy to use controls, simple resource management, and automatic leveling up of your characters takes a lot of the depth out of the game, but still leaves in the action filled strategy guided core of the gameplay, and these days, there’s times when that’s exactly what gamers are looking for. 
Tiny Troopers gameplay can be compared to another Chillingo publication, Extraction: Project Outbreak. You’re given 30 separate missions spread across 3 chapters, each having their own objectives. To move your army men, you just need to tap where you want them to move to, and to start firing, you tap on the enemy you want to engage. Unfortunately, there’s no way to scroll out and the camera is pretty close in, making it hard to see what’s around your characters. You’re also not able to direct your characters individually, so what one does, so do the others. 
As you make your way through the levels, you’ll be able to pick up grenades and RPGs which have icons in the top right corner of the screen. To use them, you need to drag the icon to the area you want to fire them. You’re not able to carry these over from mission to mission, meaning only what’s givin to you in the level is what you have to use. This does add to the strategic value later on in the game, and on harder difficulties. 
You’re able to choose your difficulty Easy, Normal or Hard, before each Mission, which has a direct influence on your final score and star ranking. Like most games, Tiny Troopers levels each have 3 available stars which are dependent on your score. How many extra items you pick up within the level, intel, dog tags, and how many enemies, enemy buildings and enemy vehicles you destroy all adds to your score. There are also civilians scattered throughout the levels, and killing them subtracts from your score. 
With the score that you earn, you’ll be able to use those points to purchase one time use items from the store, which you’ll be taken to before each mission. Here, you can increase your stats, or purchase specialists to help you make it through the missions. These can get pretty pricy if you decide to use them often, with the specialists cost being between 15,000 and 40,000 points, and if you don’t make it through the mission with their help, you’ll have to purchase them again when re-trying the level. 
Fortunately, the stat upgrades that last one mission are not as expensive, with increases like increased range of fire, light and heavy armor, increased rate of fire and increased damage all priced between 3,000 and 6,000 points. In each mission, you can earn anywhere between 5,000 and 20,000 points or more, depending on the difficulty, and how much exploration and looking around for extra items you do. You’re also able to replay missions in the Missions Mode, keep the points that you earn there and carry them over to the Campaign Mode, which makes it a lot easier to use these upgrades.
Along with all of the one time upgrades you can pick up in the store, you’re given permanent upgrades which you can purchase with Medals. Medals can only be found one time, so you’re not able to go back into Mission Mode and collect them again. The Medals are used for training of your characters, which increases their Hit Points, Rate of Fire, Shooting Range, Item Drop Rate and Shooting Damage depending on the type of training you spend your Medals on. There are IAPs within the game, but with the Missions Mode, they’re really there if you don’t want to play through Missions more than once to gain points which you can spend, or don’t want to take the time to go through the levels looking for medals to train your characters, so the game is in no way pushing players to throw down more money after the original purchase of the game. 
The graphics and animations in Tiny Troopers are very well done, even though they’re kind of cartoony, the death animations for solders is great to watch, and the explosions look fantastic. There isn’t any in game music, but there is background ambience, with wind and bugs, and the effects sound nice. The music that’s for the menus fit’s the game fairly well, and adds to the military feeling of it all. 
With Tiny Troopers being Universal, and having a launching sale for $2.99, it’s a great buy. Considering it’s published by Chillingo, I have no doubts that any issues that arise will be taken care of, and hopefully, the camera will be made so that it can zoom out (which is really, the only issue I’m having with the game, and it’s not that big of an issue…).  With the 3 difficulties, Mission Mode, and GameCenter Support with a leader board for your total points, and 20 achievements, there’s loads of replay value, meaning Tiny Troopers has the potential to stay on your device for quite some time. It’s definitely a game you should pick up if you’re into the genre, or are looking for something along the lines of a casual RTS title. 

Mech Guardian (SunTownship) – $1.99

Mech Guardian
Casual arcade games are kind of a staple of the AppStore. Easy to learn, easy to control, hard to master, score chasing titles have the possibility of drawing every type of gamer in. However, because of their crazy popularity, it’s fairly hard to find titles that stick out, and offer interesting and addictive gameplay. SunTownship, a 4 person development group based in China, has just released Mech Guardian, a title offering just that; interesting, addictive gameplay that stands out in a sea of titles. Great mechanics, enough challenge to keep hardcore gamers hooked while still remaining approachable for casual gamers, fantastic graphics, and a high-score chase that always leaves you with that ‘one more go’ desire.
The premise is simple. Use your mechanical creature to keep a body of water full of polluting robo-creatures clean for as long as you can by skimming across the top of the water, and using a claw to reach down and snag the ‘enemies.’ As you collect enemies, and raise your score, you progress through levels, with each level releasing more of the robotic sea creatures. So long as you can collect the creatures before they spew out their exhaust, polluting the water, you’ll be able to continue playing, raising your score, and quickly reaching more challenging levels. The enemies do warn you before they pollute the water, by having a red light on their backs start blinking and then blink faster and faster until they dump their waste.
There are quite a few different enemies, each with different swimming patterns, swimming speeds, sizes, as well as scores. There are also some enemies which you can not grab unless you activate a short term big claw power-up. This power-up allows you to grab any and all of the creatures in the water, as well as not having to worry about the size of the enemies slowing your claw down. It can also reach a little bit further, so you won’t have to move all the way over to the left side of the screen to grab an enemy that’s down towards the bottom of the water. Along with the super claw, there’s also a speed power-up, and bombs which are all collectible as orbs, and mixed in with the sea creatures. You’re also able to get a couple of these power-ups free every 24 hours in the game’s store.
The controls in Mech Guardian might seem a bit confusing at first, but after the first game, they’re pretty easy to get. Tilting your device will move your guardian across the top of the screen, while a gauge at the bottom of the screen lets you control your claw movement. It might have been a little easier to get comfortable with if the claw control was put in up-side-down, as the lower half of a circle, but it’s not too bad as is. To shoot your claw down, there’s a button on the movement gauge, and all you need to do is tap it. For the power-ups, there’s 3 buttons on the left side of the screen, each with a picture next to it of the power-up they represent.
The graphics and music are fantastic, making this score chasing arcade game pretty immersive, especially with headphones. The almost steam punk styled graphics are nice and crisp, and with Mech Guardian being Universal, they look great on both the iPod and iPad screens. Along with the chilled out ambient type BGM, it creates a sort of bittersweet melancholy atmosphere.
Even though there’s just one mode, and an upgrade shop or something along those lines would have really helped to round out the game. With the price at $1.99, being Universal, supporting GameCenter with a leader board and 16 hard to snag achievements helping to add to the replay value, all pilled on top of the fantastic, high-quality gameplay, makes Mech Guardian very easy to recommend. SunTownship has definitely provided a top notch gaming experience, and I can’t wait to see what they bring to the table in the future. If you’re a fan of the genre, this is definitely a title you should squeeze into that folder of great arcade games that will be locked on your device for a long time.

Mad Chef – 0.99 (Foursaken Media)

Casual games have grown significantly in popularity over the last couple of years. Angry Birds is almost always #1 in the AppStore’s charts, followed by loads of other casual games. Weather you attribute this to heaps of people having iPhones and access to the AppStore when they previously were never really into video games, or that loads of people just want to relax when playing games instead of really getting sucked into something that can take over parts of their lives, you can’t deny that casual games are a huge driving force for the AppStore. Thankfully though, there are loads of developers out there that know that iOS gaming has drawn in tons of hardcore gamers as well, and are doing their best to produce games that appeal to both the casual and hardcore crowds. Foursaken Media happens to be one of these development teams, and their latest release, Mad Chef, is a prime example of a perfect mix between hardcore and casual gaming.

The controls are simple; tap. Yup, tap on pieces of food flying through the air to throw your utensil at them. But it doesn’t stay that simple. You’ll take control of a street-side fast food vender in a big city, trying to feed the masses. As customers walk up to your cart and give you their orders, your sous chef will be tossing up every different kind of ingredient you’ve got in your fridge, and you’ll need to tap on the correct pieces of food that will combine to make your customers orders.
As you progress from day to day, you’ll earn money which can be used to upgrade various different things. Your utensils, you can buy more recipes, send your sous chef to school, buy a bigger fridge, and get power-ups. With each day that goes by, you are rated by reviewers who will add to your reputation, and give you stars. The higher your reputation, the quicker you’ll earn stars, and the more money you’ll make because you’ll be able to help more customers at a time.
Graphics-wise, there is a feeling of the same type of look from Bug Heroes, but the environment and objects are much more vibrant, with tons of color. The gameplay is very smooth, with no slow-down, even during the rush hour stages, where there’s food on pretty much every single little part of the screen (you’re also able to just tap away, as the customers eat whatever you can give them).
With Mad Chef being Universal, and only $0.99, having GameCenter integration with 8 different leaderboards and 18 achievements, and basically endless replayability. Mad Chef is a game that every gamer should check out. Seeing more game-modes in the future would be a very nice addition, and maybe even some multiplayer, being able to compete against players around the world to see who can make the most money in a set amount of time would really set Mad Chef apart from the pile of casual arcade games in the AppStore, but with Foursaken Media’s extremely great support of their previous games, it’s pretty safe to say that they aren’t finished with Mad Chef. Here’s hoping it grows and truly becomes something special in the future.

Infect Them All: Vampires – 0.99 (Magic Cube)

Magic Cube’s Infect Them All holds a special spot in my heart. It was released around the time I started loosing faith in casual iOS gaming. More and more developers were diving into the IAP scene, making games that pretty much showed gamers how they were truly viewed as consumers instead of gamers or fans. Then along came Infect Them All from a company I previously hadn’t heard anything about, and I was hooked.

Now, after hours upon hours of gameplay with Infect Them All, Magic Cube’s sequel, Infect Them All: Vampires has just been released. There’s not too much of a difference between the two titles, they both include a Campaign, Infinite Campaign, Survival, and Blitz Modes, they both control the same with either tilt or virtual joystick options, can both have a whole lot of enemies on the screen at once, both have 50 Campaign levels, awesome boss battles, and more. The biggest difference you’ll notice at first is that ITA: Vampires gives your character a special ability. With your first character, you’re able to attack humans by hitting an attack button, causing your vampire to jump and slash twice in the direction you’re tilting or pressing on the joystick. After you attack humans, a reaper will appear above all of them that were in your way, and you can either let them die, or jump on them quickly to infect them, making large groups of humans easy targets.
There are also upgrades, like in the original, but this time around, there’s a few more upgrades that you’ll be able to buy, considering the special abilities that each vampire has. The upgrades this time around are set-up in branches. You’ll need to upgrade certain perks before you can upgrade others, leading to more attacks, stronger attacks, and yes, the typical more health, quicker movement, and so on. But the abilities really do add quite a bit more to the game than you would think, adding more strategy, more action, and quicker, more arcade-like gameplay.
As in the original Infect Them All, you will need to infect a certain amount of humans before Survival and Blitz Modes are unlocked; 5,000 to unlock Survival, and 7,500 for Blitz. It does seem like quite a bit, but after you get through the first couple of levels, infecting 30 humans a stage is not too hard, and much, much more (up to about 75) in the later levels, all of which are re-playable, will unlock the extra modes in no time. The two extra characters are also unlocked based on how many humans you infect. The first character unlocks at 1,000, and the second at 3.000, so you’ll have all 3 characters to play with before you unlock the extra modes, giving you adequate time to upgrade all their skills and abilities before taking on the harder modes.
Infect Them All: Vampries is supported by GameCenter and OpenFeint, having leaderboards for each of the game’s modes, and 23 achievements. Considering you can re-play levels, the main boards most gamers will be competing on will be the Survival and Blitz boards. But if you want to play and re-play levels, trying to get into the top 10 or so scores for the Campaign Mode, get ready to sink a good 40 hours into the game. At $0.99, it’s a great buy, especially if you enjoyed the original Infect Them All.

Worms Party Review – 0.99

Worms. They are absolutely repulsive creatures used only to gross out people and to be placed in your parents spaghetti. But they seem to be used often as cute protagonists so I guess they have something going for them. 
In this new worm filled adventure you star as a worm with a rocket on its back. Unfortunately at the party you are sleeping at, three jokesters light the rocket on your back causing you to be brutally propelled out of the window and into the world. It is your job as the player to take control of the worms path and make sure he doesn’t hit any obstacles on his flight. This is accomplished by taping the upper or lower part of the screen. By tapping the bottom of the screen you dive into the ground and by tapping the upper part you jump to avoid obstacles.  Obstacles are placed in various different locations, requiring you to think fast to avoid making the wrong move. Some are embedded halfway in the ground allowing you to either jump or dive to avoid them while others take up all of the above ground area.  Unfortunately after you have played through a few games all of the obstacles become fairly easy to avoid and not even your ever-increasing high speed makes these any more deadly. Also no new obstacles are introduced later in your never ending run so you can get bored of them easily. Also scattered among the level are power-ups which can do one of three things. Either give your worm another life, a helmet, or let him destroy anything in his path. You lose life’s by running into obstacles so its always a good idea to pickup a health or a helmet  pick-up.
By completing certain pre-determined missions you can unlock new rocket types which don’t really do much other than look cool. If thats incentive enough for you to play hours and hours of this game then you really need to find something better to do with your time.  Another annoying feature of this game is its achievment system. They choose to use something called Kiip points. Apparently you can redeem these Kiip points for real world items from certain companies. This system miserably fails for this game as you can only use them for Kodak pictures and is a big nuisance when playing the game.

Overall this is a sub par endless runner which feels like a rip off of Tiny Wings and the original Worms franchise. I give it a 1/5.

Chicken Rescue – 0.99 (Ayopa Games/End Boss Games)

Casual arcady games with an adventure type feeling are pretty popular among iOS gamers. Unlike the XBOX or PlayStation gamers, the AppStore is not really meant for hardcore gamers. With the current common pricing models developers and publishers have for the AppStore, it’s not surprising that it’s brought in a lot of people who normally would not play video games, or maybe even never played video games before owning an iPod. Ayopa Games, publishing their first two iOS games last week, Chicken Rescue, and W.E.L.D.E.R., has joined the parade of casual arcade publishers.

Chicken Rescue, developed by End Boss Games, a game in which you’ll control a mother chicken through 24 levels, using either accelerometer, gyroscope or virtual joystick controls, while she tries to find her missing children, and bring them all back to the chicken coop while collecting stars, apples, coins, breaking boxes, crates, and avoiding hazards, like pigs, cacti and falling off the edge of land into the water. The virtual joystick can be a tad unresponsive at times, which makes it seem a little clunky, it’s also pretty uncomfortable holding the iPod in Portrait view, instead of Landscape. If gamers were able to tilt their devices and have the game go from Portrait to Landscape, it would help make the game a lot more comfortable to play. There’s also no sensitivity options with tilt or gyro controls, and there really needs to be because the accelerometer controls are pretty touchy.
From the perspective of a hardcore gamer, Chicken Rescue can be a little easy, and get pretty boring fairly quickly. Using the tilt controls helps add a bit of challenge to the game, but fighting with the controls doesn’t exactly equal a fun kind of challenging. Chicken Rescue is more of a kid, or family game, which is not necessarily a bad thing. The AppStore does not have many family type games that are decent enough to be played by adults, as well as children, and even pre-pre-school kids. Collecting the flowers in each level along with finding the missing chick, is more designed to be fun for kids, but with the addition of the scoring system, which tacks on 10 points to each flower you snag without wasting too much time between them, does bring some more enjoyment to the game. There’s also some areas where you will need to use your dash ability, breaking boxes, to get to other areas, as well as using the dash to use rocks as ramps, getting flowers found in a higher area of the level.
GameCenter is also added, giving players 4 different leader boards; score, coins, completed levels, and overall completion, along with 8 achievements. This does have some added competition within the game for gamers looking for that extra little push of a challenge. There’s also a store where you can spend your collected coins, upgrading the combo time for collecting flowers, the number of coins found in each level, getting more shields in the levels, making the dash ability re-charge faster, increasing your health, and more. There are IAPs for coins, but you are not pushed towards buying them unless you would like more skins for your Mama Chicken, which cost 1,000 coins or more, and add abilities like increasing immunity time, or having apples restore health, and getting more points per flower combo. A lot of gamers do not like that you can pretty much buy your way up the leader boards, and can be a real deal-breaker when it comes to finally deciding whether or not to make that purchase. But considering it’s more of a kids/family game, it can also be seen as a way to make the game easier for little ones, so it’s hard to bash the developers for this model, especially since if you’re really wanting to get the different skins for your chicken, you can unlock them with in-game money. It will just take you a while to get them, as going through the whole game will usually get you about 1,000-2,000 coins.
In the end, kids with their smaller hands will most likely have a blast with Chicken Rescue. But before it becomes a game that adults will want to play, Landscape mode is a must, along with some tightening up for the virtual joystick, as well as making it more responsive, and adding some sensitivity options to the accelerometer controls. There is enough content and the upgrades are decent, though the leader boards pretty much being able to buy the top scores is a pretty big turn off. We’ve got mixed feelings for the game, because we have kids, nephews and nieces who have played, and enjoyed Chicken Rescue quite a bit, and we’ve had fun playing it with them, but for most of our readers, this isn’t the case. If you have younger children, , and have been looking for another game that you can play with them, that they will find pretty easy to play, and still has enough challenge to keep you interested, or are a more casual gamer, who doesn‘t play games very seriously, Chicken Rescue is a good choice, especially at the current price of $0.99 (which will go up to $1.99 soon), and being Universal. But there’s a few things that need to be added and worked with before it becomes a game that more serious gamers will enjoy.
Chicken Rescue gets a score of 3 out of 5.

Airhead Adam – FREE (OrionArts)

Casual arcade games have become a staple of the AppStore over the last couple years, so it’s no surprised that this is the genre a lot of developers start off with. OrionArts has chosen this path, and done so wisely. Their first release, AirHead Adam, is a well thought out, easily accessible, perfect for all ages yet still challenging addition to the casual arcade genre.

In the game, you’ll control Adam as he searches the galaxy for his beautiful lost girlfriend, traveling through space in a bubble filled with air. You’ll need to guide Adam by tapping next to his bubble to push him in the opposite direction and gather air bubbles to keep him breathing, and stars to get upgrades. There’s also various hazards and obstacles in each level that you will need to destroy or avoid in order to progress through the game. Rocks, aliens, and space ships that shoot at you are around corners, and sometimes you’ll get boxed in by one, two, or all three of these. To get out of it, you’ll need to tap on Adam, and drag in the direction of the object you want to destroy, and he will shoot out some of his air in a bubble that will explode when it hits whatever object you’ve aimed at, and if you hit a space ship, collectable stars come flying out of it. You’ve got to be careful though, because this takes away from your air supply, and running out of air is a game over.
The screen moves at a steady pace, so you’ll constantly be moving Adam upwards through the rock maze, grabbing air bubbles. If you fall behind, and go off into the bottom of the screen, it will cost you an air tank, of which you will start off with one, but can buy more in the shop. This is sometimes a useful thing to use in levels that you’re having a hard time with, because once you sink into the bottom of the screen, and use your extra air tank, you will shoot up through rocks, bubbles, stars, aliens, and space ships quite a ways, putting you further into the level, and so long as you beat the level with your extra tanks, you will not have to play that level again, unless you want to come back to it later in the game when you’re more powerful. There are also power-ups littering each stage, shields, and meteors, as well as big air bubbles and huge stars, and it’s a good idea to try and collect each of these that you see. Some are hidden within big orange rocks and metal tanks, but there are also aliens hidden in these, so it’s always a gamble when breaking them open. However, it would have been nice to see more power-ups, like increasing your air bubble shot power for a short time, point multipliers, or speed increasers and decreasers.
There are 36 levels in the game, split up with 9 in each difficulty, Easy, Normal, and Hard. The levels are all lined up the same, like level 1 on Easy is the same as level 1 on Normal, but the speed is changed, and there’s a few more blocked in areas, and hazards making it just slightly harder. Normal and Hard levels are unlocked once you complete all the previous difficulties levels. You can also pay to unlock these, but if you haven’t gotten the previous difficulty mastered, chances are, the levels will be pretty frustrating.
This brings us to the IAPs. Now, at first, these might turn you off. Chances are, you’ll earn about 120 or so stars in the first 4 levels, and in the shop, upgrades to power-ups are all 1000 stars for the first upgrade, and more after that, and new characters are 4500 stars. With that, you might start thinking that it will take until level 30 or something to unlock one upgrade. However, at the end of your game, when you die, you are given the option to redeem stars that you have earned throughout your game while achieving various achievements. Things like getting 20 bubbles in a row, or 15 stars in one level, and these add up VERY quickly. At the end of my first game, I made it to level 9 on the easy levels, and ended up with 1500+ stars after everything was said and done. So gamers are not pushed as hard towards the IAP as you might think at first.
AirHead Adam is supported by OpenFeint and GameCenter, as well as having FaceBook and Twitter options to upload and share your high-scores. Within OF and GC, there’s a whole slew of leader boards to try and top, including ones for Best Overall Score, Best Overall Time, Total Easy Mode Score, Total Normal Mode Score, Total Hard Mode Score, your Best Time In Easy, Normal, and Hard, your Best Overall Fast Time, Top Bubble Combo, how many total Stars Collected, and more, along with 47 achievements. You can play the game slow and steady, collecting all the bubbles you can, or fast and dangerous, collecting only the minimum amount of bubbles, and getting to the end of each level as quick as you can. Both ways of playing have leader boards, and with that, it adds quite a bit of replay value on top of the leader boards, because you’ll want to go back and see how quick you can get through the levels if at first you went slow, getting the highest bubble combo you could, or go through slow, getting as many bubbles as you can if you flew through the levels the first time. There’s loads of planned updates, and right now the game is priced as free, so it’s definitely worth checking out, as even if you don’t buy any IAP stars, there’s plenty of gameplay to keep you entertained, as well as challenged. OrionArts has definitely proven that they know exactly what it takes to make a cute, fun, challenging casual arcade game that’s good for all ages, as well as keeping it full of gameplay even though it’s free, while giving gamers the option to support them through IAPs that are not necessary to complete the game. If they keep up this basic model with future games, they could very well be sitting pretty on top of a fairly large list of titles.
AirHead Adam gets a score of 8 out of 10.