Archive for the ‘Action’ Category

Green Fingers

Monday, August 24th, 2009

Catch the falling powerups in the corresponding flowerpot, by swipe-swapping the pots. This can get pretty hectic, which is good, but having the game end after one mis-catch seems pretty abrupt. Still worth the $1, though.

Rating: ★★★☆☆ icon
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Dungeon Scroll

Sunday, August 2nd, 2009

This is a fascinating mash-up of Textropolis and a Dungeoncrawl, that most closely matches the gameplay of Popcap’s Bookworm Adventures (which is brilliant, BTW), if you’ve seen or played that game. The player is presented with a tray of letters and must tap them in the proper sequence to form words. A monster will attack from the inset dungeon room and the spelled words inflict an amount of damage that corresponds to the length of word spelled and the quality of tiles used. It’s quite fun, but it does end, unlike most of the competing word games that don’t include the monster mash elements.

Rating: ★★★☆☆ icon
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Warpack Grunts

Sunday, June 28th, 2009

Warpack Grunts

This game has been on the hype train for a few months and it was finally released. Fans of Cannon Fodder, will recognize this as a spiritual successor. Having played Cannon Fodder a great deal, this doesn’t fell nearly as good to me, but it has the same cute little, Alvin and the Chipmunks sounding army men with heavy weapons. You control a squad of four little tykes as they wend their way through a variety of levels and environments, blasting the living crap out of other cute little army men. You have default rifles, fired by furious taps, and any number of secondary weapons picked up along the way, which can be fired when your squad is stationary. You control the movement of the squad by pressing and holding a location, which causes problems as it often obscures your view of the battle. You can find binoculars (shown above) to scope out the level, in advance, and sniper rifle that works in a similar fashion. It all sounds great, but in practice, the controls can be cumbersome. The menus system is ridiculous and confusing; you can continue a campaign mode, but you select on a per-mission basis, but you have no idea from the UI, what mission you were last on. It’s not even clear, after cycling through the options, which is the first or final mission. I somehow managed to screw up and have to restart my entire mission again, at one point. It’s cute and funny, but it needs some work, IMO.

Rating: ★★★☆☆ icon
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Frootrees

Friday, June 26th, 2009

Frootrees

Good core idea, great sense of humor, good escalating challenge, and it’s fun. You just pull the froot off the trees and plop it in the collector of the corresponding color. I have to say that the risk vs. reward mechanism in this game is brilliant. You want to do the lob move, to get the local multipliers, but it takes much more skill than the drag move. It’s also interesting that the low-threat, early to mid-game is when the lob is the easiest to pull off, but it is in the end-game, when you have racked up a higher global modifier that it really matters. The more I play this, the more I like it. I wish every Froot type smiled when they were ripe, because it’s sometimes hard to tell when they are prime for the pluckin’. You want players operating with full knowledge of the game state, otherwise it can be frustrating. When I get a low score, I want it to be due my own screw-up, not because I couldn’t tell when to time my moves. Game’s fun, though.

Update: I really recommend this title, if you guys and girls have overlooked it, for whatever reason. I have consistently returned to it, because TheTinMan has hit on such a perfect combination of simplicity and depth. The screenshots really don’t do it justice, because the game is very involving. I’m not even sure that a video would capture it either; you really need to play it. I ended up playing one-metric-ton of this game, because there is always that feeling of being able to do just a little better next game. AGON leaderboards have been added, as well, so you can see which of your friends is the biggest Froot!

Rating: ★★★★☆ icon
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Sonic the Hedgehog

Thursday, April 30th, 2009

Sonic the Hedgehog

Yes, that’s right, the seminal first Sonic title, in all it’s glory, on the iPhone. Well, almost. If you have a 1st gen phone, you’re going to get some framerate issues and sound stutter, but this is less of an issue on current phones. Other than that, it’s a thoroughly pleasant return to the Green Hill Zone, with decent controls and all of the things that made this brilliant game a system seller, in the first place. The original title was a platform seller, for me, so I welcome the opportunity to play it on-the-go. (1-Star demerit for the software emulation issues outlined above, though. Lazy devs…;))

Rating: ★★★★☆ icon
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Noiz2sa

Tuesday, April 21st, 2009

Noiz2sa

Anyone familiar with the top-down shooter sub-genre known as “Bullet Hell” knows exactly how this game plays; you pilot a ship through a near-constant wall of bullets, while shooting down the enemies that spawn them. The art style is outstanding, the sounds are appropriately industrial, and the gameplay is maddening/fun. This is a sequel to another iPhone game, called rRootage, but it is by a different developer. Unfortunately, they didn’t adopt the same control methodology, so like most iPhone shooters, your ship is sometimes obstructed by your finger. Obviously, in a Bullet Hell game, you need to see your ship. This is quite annoying, particularly since rRootage solved the issue by allowing finger placement anywhere on the screen to control your ship, much like Metal Gear Solid Touch controls. Framerate suffers a bit on my 1st gen phone and the level select screen is impossibly difficult to navigate for some reason, so you’ve been warned. Download rRootage for free first, to see if you even like this type of game.

Rating: ★★★½☆ icon
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Resident Evil: Degeneration

Tuesday, April 7th, 2009

Resident Evil: Degeneration
Ack! TMI, dewd. People seem to like this one, but I can’t really get into it. The controls are sketchy, just like the other games in the franchise, but they are manageable. The game just feels kinda slow and boring to me; you shoot, miss, zombie grabs you, you shake him off, you shoot. Wash, rinse, repeat. Not necessarily the ideal game for the iPhone. You shouldn’t really take my word for it, but there is no lite version, unfortunately. If you are a big fan of the franchise, it may be worth the asking price, but I wasn’t thrilled with it.

Rating: ★★★☆☆ icon
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Dark Raider

Sunday, March 29th, 2009

Dark Raider

Worst game icon I’ve seen…EVAR. It’s meant to be a hybrid between Zelda gameplay and Indiana Jones theme, I guess. You travel between 8 themed worlds (Egypt, Greece, Rome, etc.), each with 8 levels, collecting keys to gain entry to more secret tombs. There are a variety of monsters, traps, and puzzles. The game’s not bad, but it’s not really good either. The primary issue is the controls. I rarely felt like it was my fault when I died, which is a huge problem. It seems like it has depth, but you have to be willing to soldier through the control issues to experience it. Sometimes, a game just rubs you the wrong way and this is how I felt about Dark Raider; it just doesn’t do anything really well. /do not want

Rating: ★★½☆☆ icon
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Car Jack Streets

Wednesday, March 11th, 2009

Car Jack Streets

Think, top-down,  cell-shaded version of the original Grand Theft Auto, similar to Payback. Get missions to rub out competitors, steal cars, and various other shenanigans. It looks great. It’s shot from an overhead perspective city, with lots of details like bushes and crates, kewl cars like taxis an street-cleaners, and tiny little people that run for their lives before being flattened and smeared in bloodstains. Just like GTA, different radio stations even play depending on which cars you steal. The gameplay is good too; weapon upgrades, including rocket launcher and flamethrowers, diverse missions, and a variety of interesting characters. The controls can take a while to get used to, because they are vehicle-relative, meaning if I’m driving down-screen, pressing right turns me left. Get over it, it’s a good game.

Update: This has nearly been made obsolete, now that Gangstar: West Coast Hustle and Grand Theft Auto have been released. Hence, the lowered rating.

Rating: ★★★★☆ icon
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Kids vs. Zombies

Saturday, March 7th, 2009

Kids vs. Zombies

Please don’t confuse this game with the upcoming title, Plants vs. Zombies (which is due out on May 5th, available on Steam preload now for the low, low price of $10, my mostest bestest, most favorite-ist game of the year, which I’ve played for roughly 800 hours, and which I highly recommend. Honest…I don’t own stock in the company).

Anyway, Kids vs. Zombies is being called a Last Stand clone, but it’s not really (Attack from the Dead is the iPhone’s Last Stand clone, but I digress). This game puts you in charge of all three precocious little kids faced with a dilemma…they are about to be eaten by a horde of zombies. To prevent this catastrophe, they must protect their fort from a variety of gruesome attackers. The player earns points after each level to upgrade each of the kids’ skills and items, in variety of ways, or the fort itself. The core tactic of the game is knowing when to attack with which kid, based on the composition of the enemy forces that you are facing. Each child has a specialty; machine gun, sniper rifle, or grenades. Pressing one of the kids allows the player to control the direction, and sometimes distance, of fire. The game has a great theme, good upgrades, and it’s good fun.

Rating: ★★★☆☆ icon
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