Archive for August, 2009

A Quest Of Knight’s Onrush

Monday, August 31st, 2009

A Castle Crashers clone, from makers of Knights Onrush (which is really good). It’s a little buggy and the fact that you can’t jump past some obstacles is a bit annoying. Nor does it replicate everything that made CC great, but it does have great graphics and it is free. Be sure to try the lite version of Knights Onrush which is packaged in the same app.

Rating: ★★★☆☆ icon
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Skabooki

Sunday, August 30th, 2009

Put Sackboy from Little Big Planet in a nice looking puzzle game, add some kewl achievements, and a ton of levels and you have Skabooki. While LBP is one of my favorite games, the gameplay here is completely different. Your goal is to remove colored tiles from any of several groups that form the structure under Skabooki’s feet and cause him to maneuver into the exit at the bottom of the level. I say “cause” him to maneuver, because you don’t directly control his movement; you have to make him land on predefined movement blocks that display an arrow that corresponds to their push direction. It looks great and it makes you think.

Rating: ★★★★☆ icon
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Bust-A-Move

Saturday, August 29th, 2009

Yes, THE Bust-A-Move, not a clone. I have no idea if it contains “all” the levels, but I would call this a faithful port, for the most part. I was forced at gunpoint to play the original a bajillion times by the Starcraft: Ghost team, but I still can’t claim to be an expert. I imagine this would be 4/5 for fans of the series, but I rate it 3/5, because I am evil.

Rating: ★★★☆☆ icon
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Atlantis Sky Patrol

Friday, August 28th, 2009

This is a Zuma clone, although it’s more like Stoneloops of Jurassica, due to slide control, as opposed to rotation. It has beautfiul Victorian era artwork with dirigibles and steam engines, tons of powerups, achievements, a world map, and bonus levels that consist of catching or smashing coins. It’s a really solid title that right up there with SoJ.

Rating: ★★★★☆ icon
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Mr. AahH!

Thursday, August 27th, 2009

A very simple game that is is well executed and still offers a worthwhile challenge. You just have a teeny tiny dewd that swings on a rope, from the pillar he stands on and you simply tap the screen when you want him to jump and hopefully land on the next pillar. The pillars, however, get smaller and smaller. Oh and the wind and gravity can change drastically, every few levels. The Japanese narrator is hilarious and when you hit a bullseye, huge letters appear that say “JUST!” Chaining justs, scores big points, which will help you climb the online ladder. Great idea for a quick-play game.

Rating: ★★★☆☆ icon
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Numeri

Wednesday, August 26th, 2009

This is a pretty straight forward Slitherlink clone, which is a good thing. You are presented with a field of numbers (as shown in the first screenshot) and you must form a continuous loop around all of the numbers, while obeying the only other restriction- the line must be adjacent to the number of sides dictated by each number. It’s a good puzzle, but can be a bit difficult to grasp. Well worth a $1, in my opinion, but I’m a sucker for logic puzzles.

Hello Kitty Parachute Paradise

Tuesday, August 25th, 2009

As the title suggests, the player must guide his or her adorable kitty parachute pilot through a series of obstacles, collecting tasty apples, all the way. Super cute graphics, of course, as you can see above. Relatively frequently, you manage to pilot your parachuting pal over one of the many goodies in the game, which can then be placed in your well-rendered HK playhouse. Unfortunately, this collection mechanic doesn’t feel nearly as kewl as it does in Puzzlings, so don’t expect too much out of that portion of the game, but overall I think this will please most Hello Kitty fans. It needs a price cut, though.

Rating: ★★★☆☆ icon
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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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Snood

Sunday, August 23rd, 2009

I apologize to all you die-hard Mac Snood fans that have played this religiously for years, but man, I do not see the draw. Maybe the port is sub-par or something, but it just feels very static and it lacks the polish of games like Azkend, for instance. I think releasing so close to Bust-A-Move is going to hurt.

Str8ts

Monday, August 10th, 2009

I’m really enjoying Str8ts and I highly recommend it to fellow number crunchers. It’s exactly what I was looking for; a layered logic game with enough depth to really make you think and enough content to make it last indefinitely.

The concept makes sense after you play, but it’s non-obvious, initially. Luckily, a thorough tutorial is included to compliment the rules explanation. The goal of the game is to fill in all of the empty white cells with numbers, while following a set of placement rules. Each white “compartment” can only legally contain a contiguous set of numbers, but they need not be in order (for instance, “2, 3, 1″ is a valid set). This is where the game gets its name; think of a straight in Poker. A compartment is analogous to a “run” in Kakuro; a set of adjacent cells, in a row or column, that is capped at both ends, either by a black slot or the board edge. The black compartments cannot be edited and simply remove a number from play, but you don’t know which number. The visible numbers in the black compartments cannot be used in the white compartments.

When you start the game, some of the white slots already have numbers placed in them and this is where to start. You look for obvious answers. For instance, if there is a 2-slot compartment that already has a 9 in it, then you know the other slot must contain an 8. If you have a 3-cell run, that contains a 4 and a 6, then you know that the missing number is a 5. After filling in each of these instances, more opportunities arise. If you have a slot in which every other number has already been used in the corresponding row and column, then you simply fill in the remaining number. Soon after, though, you’ll really need to start thinking. This is what I mean by layered logic; I’m referring to the escalating brainpower needed to solve a puzzle. In some instances, you can narrow down your possibilities, but not all the way. This is why you can mark potential candidates, to revisit later. Candidates are entered via a modal entry interface, similar to many Sudoku implementations, in which tiny numbers are displayed directly in the cell. This seems like it will definitely be a game where players will “plateau” at certain points, but figuring out these problems is what makes the game really challenging and engaging.

There are four difficulty levels, each of which contains enough levels to total over 750 in the entire game. The puzzles were all designed by a published puzzle designer and it shows. Don’t sleep on this one; it’sreally good.

Rating: ★★★★★ icon
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