Archive for the ‘Physics’ Category

Fox Vs Duck

Saturday, March 27th, 2010

Fox Vs Duck

What a pleasant surprise. The crew over at MrFungFung, the creators of the action-packed MiniSquadron, deliver an experience of an entirely different sort. From the very start, you can’t help but notice the perfectly executed graphic design vision that permeates this product. The minimalist headers slide in at the perfect pace from off-screen. The color, or lack thereof, prepares you for what you are about to see in-game and here is what you will see: a beautifully stylized black and white pool of water whose pleasantly calming waters are scattered with lilypads and vegetation that sprouts up at intervals. Beneath the water surface, a big fish lazily swims about. Outside the pool, a frisky fox prowls the environs. The whole scenario is quit zen-like.

In the middle of this serene scene, a cute little duck drops from the sky and splashes into the pond, causing quite a stir. Particularly if you don’t quickly tilt the iPhone in the appropriate direction to steer the little tyke away from the carnivorous fish lurking below, in which case he is snapped up instantly and thrashes to and fro in the sharp jaws, until noting is left but a widening circle of blood. Assuming you are deft enough to avoid the beast below, you can then tilt your ducky to the safety of the shore…unless of course…the wolf is nearby, in which case your little friend is gutted and left in a pool of his own blood.

The whole experience is tuned quite well: the amount of drag the lily pads cause, the frequency at which new plants appear, power-up drop rate, and the rate at which the fox’s speed increases with each new duck that appears. The gameplay will be too shallow for some, but I’m happy to help support talented developers with such a unique and beautiful vision.

Rating: ★★★½☆ icon
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Ragdoll Blaster 2

Monday, March 15th, 2010

Ragdoll Blaster 2

I don’t need to say much about this one; this sequel offers 150 new levels of ragdoll rage, as good or better than the first title. The graphic style is much more sophisticated now, but it is up to each individual whether they think it betters the original doodle art. Personally, I like the update. Anyone that loved the first title has already hit the Buy Button, but for those that missed the original, it was an excellent pick-up-and-play physics puzzler that was smothered in winsawse. You simply aim the cannon and set the shot strength, together in one simple swipe, and hope for the best. Ragdoll hits target, move to the next level. Couldn’t be simpler. Killer game.

Rating: ★★★★☆ icon
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Thumpies

Saturday, February 27th, 2010

Thumpies

What surprising and innovative rhythm game. At the beginning, it’s very simple; just tap the drum when the Thumpie bounces on it and you start to hear a rhythm emerge. When you reach the higher levels on hard difficulty, though, it can be maddening; four Thumpies bouncing every which way at breakneck speed, multiple drum positions and butterflies being snarfed up before you can tap them. That last point is important, because different numbers of tapped butterflies open up new Thumpies, including one called “Flippy”, thank you very much. On-beat drum taps fills the meter and moves you to the next level, but watch out, because letting it bottom out consumes one of your precious butterflies.

The artwork is amazing, both background and foreground, and you simply have to see these little guys bouncing around in 3D (well, 3D actors on a 2D plane). What’s really important in a rhythm game, though, is the music and rhythm and Thumpies scores high marks on both counts. What separates this title from others in the genre is the fact that you are discovering the rhythms, insead of trying to replicate them. Initially, you are just tapping when you see a Thumpie hit a drum, but later on, when there are several simultaneous Thumpies, the ability to recognize rhythm really helps. These quirky little creatures emit the strangest form of alien beat box too, which adds immeasurably to the charm of this title. The game really is lovingly crafted and I love pretty much everything about it, which is why I would also love some additional levels please…

Rating: ★★★★½ icon
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iGibbets

Sunday, February 7th, 2010

iGibbets

I downloaded iGibbets, sat down, and proceeded to play through every single one of the 30 levels provided. On one hand, this shows the developers nailed the fun-factor and this makes it worth the price of admission. On the other hand, it shows how fleeting the experience is and that the outcry for additional content will ring out across the land (although you can activate Hard Mode, which seems to be replaying the same levels, but with fewer arrows in your quiver).

Each level presents the player with several poor souls hanging from gibbets, soon to be executed. It’s the player’s job to “save” the victims, by shooting each noose with an arrow. If a stray arrow or two happen to graze one of these fellows…hey, it’s better than dying, good sir knight. To sever the cords, the player simply presses the convenient bow and arrow icon, drags it to set angle and distance, and then releases to let it fly. Arrows are a valuable commodity in this line of work, so the player is sometimes presented with a powerup that provides three additional arrows when shot. For those hard to reach places, a ricochet powerup can be shot, which bounces the arrow in a predetermined direction.

Sometimes, the player must shoot down a stack of boxes in order to take aim at the vict…uhh, rope…the rope…the one that suspends the victim. I mean…shooting directly at the guy would just be sadistic…*nervous laughter*. Anyway, these stacks of crates may seem out of place, but after a little research, I found that this practice is somewhat historically accurate. Executioners would oftentimes stack boxes at various locations near the gallows, in order to prevent some sissyboy from spoiling a perfectly good execution by “saving” the victim with a well-placed shot.

The physics model is good, the challenge is adequate, and let’s face it, piercing a guy in the neck…and then the elbow…and then the ankle is just inherently fun! I don’t think anyone would dispute that, particularly when the target is hanging from a noose; now that is Comedy Gold, “Arterial Sprays for 200, Trebek.” In fact, the overall experience this title provides is so real and so compelling that it may even serve as a safe outlet for people who enjoy shooting criminals down from the gallows, in real life.

To the potential naysayers, let me assure you, no actual prison inmates on death row were harmed during the filming this video game.

Rating: ★★★½☆ icon
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Parachute Ninja

Wednesday, February 3rd, 2010

Parachute Ninja

You are little blue ball. Evil black ball kill your parents. Your house in flames. You flee to hut of uncle, Master Yo, a yellow ball. He teach you to be ninja. You must regain control of ninja scroll. Only this will avenge death of your family. Aaand…scene.

Picture a level filled with the slingshots from Must.Eat.Birds. Your ballboy is snug inside, while it’s stretched to the limit. You see an arcing, dotted line that shows your intended path, much like the system in Ignite (which I predicted ‘everyone ‘would copy…and I was wrong). You bounce between slingshots, collecting glowing goodies, until you reach the sacred lamp, at which point the level ends. If you miss your landing and you are plummeting to the water, which is deadly to your ninja ball, you can press-and-hold anywhere on the screen to pop open your umbrella to slow your descent. Tilting the iDevice left and right controls your directional vector. As you progress through the levels, springboards, giant fans, manually rotatable springboards, timed slingshots, an evil spiked ball, and other obstacles and modes of transport increase the level of challenge. BTW, don’t hit the spikes; it hurts. Although, it doesn’t matter that much, because blue ball has infinite lives.

The colors are gorgeous and the artwork too (especially the map), the music is soothing, the opening cinematic is super-cute, and the mechanics are good and scale properly. What bothered me at first was the pacing of the story mode. I thought it was a snoozer until figured out the rhythm of hitting the slingshots and parachuting to the nearest neighbor slingshot, then it became more interesting. You really need to embrace your inner zen. The endless mode is a bit speedier, though, the water level rises, and the obstacles are semi-randomized. It’s definitely a polished effort, although I don’t know long it will stay on my springboard.

Rating: ★★★½☆ icon
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Arachnadoodle

Monday, January 25th, 2010

arachnadoodle

To call this game “Spider: The Secret of Bryce Manor meets Peggle” is not far from the truth, but both are great games and this one stakes its claim in the mobile gaming space quite well. Pins are laid out across each level, all of which must be passed over in order to win the level. The player sets the direction and power of Boris the spider with a simple finger swipe, which sends the little critter whizzing across the level, leaving spider webs in his wake. This process is repeated a number of times to clear all the pins, at which point the player is scored for the percentage of web coverage. Then Boris kicks back as insects stream in from off-screen (to the well-known tune of Ride of the Valkyries); many of them will escape, but others will get trapped in the network of webs, netting the player more points before jumping to the next level. Over the course of 32 levels, all sorts of bugs and obstacles show up to keep the game interesting and test your finesse. This game is similar enough to the aforementioned titles to appeal to the same audience, but different enough to stand on its own legs…eight to be exact…

Rating: ★★★★☆ icon
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Tomena Sanner (US)

Tuesday, January 19th, 2010

Tomena Sanner (US)

Okay, this game is pure genius. The gameplay consists entirely of timing moves for your little man in a business suit to execute, WHILE BREAKDANCING, in order to keep his pace and reach the goal before the timer runs out. It is loaded with wacky Japanese goodness, including a rhythm section at the end of every level. The crazy factor most closely resembles that of a old playstation game I have called Incredible Crisis (which is a must-play); while the gameplay is completely different, the humor and style is similar. Over the course of the 9 game levels, you will accomplish all of the following important tasks:

  1. Moonwalk with Santa…on the moon
  2. Ski down a dinosaur’s back
  3. Disco-dance with a panda
  4. Play Baseball with a man in a Godzilla suit
  5. Get a kiss from a Swedish maid
  6. Line-dance with Japanese schoolgirls
  7. Slam dunk on a 20’ rim
  8. Do the robot…with a robot

    By the way, if you play through the whole game, you will be able to visit both heaven and hell. Buy this game and make Konami filthy rich.

    Rating: ★★★★☆ icon
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    Pocketball

    Thursday, December 10th, 2009

    Colored balls drop from the top and must be directed into the corresponding colored box, by placing bounce lines between pegs that are static. Any two pegs can be connected by physics-appropriate rubber bands. When a ball crosses an arrow icon, it receives a nudge in the corresponding direction. It’s really polished and somewhat challenging, because the solutions are not always obvious and there are other obstacles not represented in the screenshot above. My only complaint is that deleting placed bands is unnecessarily difficult.

    Rating: ★★★★☆ icon
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    Implode!

    Wednesday, December 9th, 2009

    Great art style, clever gameplay, and tons of levels. Place the explosives in the best locations to blow the building, but be sure that all of the rubble falls below the dotted line and does not blast into the edges. Recommended.

    Rating: ★★★½☆ icon
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    Angry Birds

    Tuesday, December 8th, 2009

    Really nice catapult game themed around the idea of…um…birds that are angry at fat pigs, for some reason. Guess I didn’t catch the story, but the game is good. There are several different types of birds: one that splinters into three, once that explodes, one that gets a straight boost. There are several types of bricks too and the physics are convincing.

    Rating: ★★★½☆ icon
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