Archive for the ‘Line-Drawing’ Category

Taxi Jam

Wednesday, July 29th, 2009

Much like Car Mania, which I reviewed for the last AppGamer installment, this game falls into what I call the Traffic Control genre, populated with such titles as Flight Control and DrawRace (both cracking good games, BTW). This one has nice, clean graphics and an interesting risk/reward mechanism. The goal of the game is to maneuver taxi cabs around the city, to pick up and deliver patrons, one at a time, to the destination that corresponds to the color if their choice. What’s interesting is that the player decides how many taxi cabs are in operation at all times. More patrons show up? Pull an extra cab out of the garage and notch up your time management skills. Very clever and well implemented.

Rating: ★★★☆☆ icon
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Car Mania

Monday, July 13th, 2009

This is an excellent addition to the Path Routing puzzle sub-genre. The player must guide each of the cars to the garage of the corresponding color. This is done by tapping each intersection from the origin point to the destination point. This game is a bit different than its competitors, since the cars do have low-level AI that allows them to stop and wait at a crowded intersection. Waiting, however, causes the Rage Meter to increase, which is the game ending condition. Also, unlike Flight Control, for instance, you can stop the cars yourself. Different cars have different speeds, streets must be repaired, and there are other tasks to manage. There are several level types, each with their own goals and obstacles. The 2.5D graphics are great and the title is really polished.

Rating: ★★★☆☆ icon
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Sea Captain

Thursday, July 2nd, 2009

Sea Captain

I hate to be the one to say this…I really do…but this game blows Harbor Master outta the water! *groans* Crisp graphics, icebergs that float across beautifully rendered water, moving cloud cover, characterful sailors, a fast-forward button, a killer French Lounge inspired soundtrack, and nighttime levels with only a freakin’ lighthouse beacon to see by?!? Talk about raising the bar. This game owns. Dewd, if you’ve even heard of this style of game, you owe it to yourself to buy this one. Oh, did I mention there are pirates?

Rating: ★★★★☆ icon
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The Battle of Pirate Bay

Tuesday, June 23rd, 2009

The Battle of Pirate Bay

This is like a Castle Defense meets Harbor Master, but with guns! You have three ships, each with a different combination of movement speed, weapon range, and ammunition. These ships are charged with defending the central fortress, which takes damage from the attacking pirates. The fortress has a long-range cannon to defend itself, because when the fortress reaches zero “health”, the game ends. The levels aren’t as diverse as Sea Captain, but hey, you get to shoot pirates.

Update: The developers, Muteki Corporation, allowed players to cast votes on the inclusion of upcoming features, which garnered a favorable response from the community. They also added power-ups, which improved the game a lot and improved the tuning. Rating increased to 3 Stars.

Rating: ★★★☆☆ icon
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Harbor Master

Monday, June 8th, 2009

Harbor Master

This is Flight Control with boats and less fluid controls. What it adds, though, is cargo that has to be delivered to the port that the boat docks in. The duration of the cargo unloading process is dictated by the number of boxes present on the ship, which is another factor the player must take into account, above and beyond the normal routing game. The graphics seem pretty bland, when compared to competing products like Sea Captain, but they have done a number of good updates (including pirates!).

Rating: ★★★☆☆ icon
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Flight Control

Monday, April 27th, 2009

Flight Control

I’m really impressed by this elegant control scheme that allows the player to simply swipe their finger to form a flight path for a plane to land. Swipe again, at any time, to adjust the course to avoid incoming planes. The control is excellent, but unfortunately, there is only one map, no achievements, story, or progression. If they update the game with some of those features, they will have a really solid game here.

Update: Yes! 2 new levels have been added and a full-on leaderboard system; a great casual game just got a whole lot  better.

Update 2: This game has been on my iPhone forever, it has spawned an entire genre of Traffic Control/Routing games, and it still holds up well, to this day.

Shapium

Sunday, March 8th, 2009

Shapium

Sometimes the simplest of ideas just work, if nurtured properly, and this game is a good example. All you do is match up the shapes to their corresponding slots. The types of shapes and the total number of shapes escalates as you move up in level. The spacing and direction of the shapes vary. It is multi-touch, so you can use as many fingers as you can manage to slide the shapes into place, but it is nowhere near as difficult as the original Eliss, for instance. If two shapes ever collide, the game ends abruptly. As simple as the artwork is, it really is detailed and different than most other games. The backgrounds vary every few levels and one of the little creatures pops up and says one of many intriguing phrases. That’s about it, really, but it works.

Update: This developer, 10tons Ltd. went on to make quite a few more excellent games including, Boom Brigade, Azkend, and Dragon Portals, all of which are worth a look.

Rating: ★★★★☆ icon
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