Archive for September, 2009

Underground

Friday, September 18th, 2009

This game is oozing with style; completely original theme, presentation, creepy mood, storyline, insane enemy variety, maze elements, and freakin’ killer underground hip-hop beats. You are a grafitti artist whose spray can transforms into a space ship that fights enemy spray paint creatures on the side of a subway train. The side-scrolling shooter aspects will initially feel somewhat slow, but that was by design. If you go at this with the expectation that this will be Gradius, you will be be sorely disappointed. If instead, you are interested in the theme of throwback 80’s graffiti and underground hip-hop, you may just enjoy this sleeper.

Rating: ★★★☆☆ icon
icon

Meteor Blitz

Thursday, September 17th, 2009

This is a clone of Super Stardust HD (Xbox 360 DLC). You pound away at incoming asteroids, switching between your default weapon, flamethrower, and ice beam, depending on the type of enemy you encounter. You are mining crystals to upgrade those weapons. The dual-stick controls are money and the cloud layer that moves across the Earth is amazing (there are other level backgrounds too). The gameplay is solid; get it.

Rating: ★★★☆☆ icon
icon

Monsterkill

Wednesday, September 16th, 2009

This is an interesting spin on the Castle Defense genre, because you take out the creeps with predefined finger motions. As the mummies, vampires, and werewolves stream in from the top of the screen, you can chop off their heads with a simple swipe or bring down lightning from above with a zigzag motion. There is a bit of decision-making involved too, since you have choose the best attack to combat their numbers, dodge capability, health, and attack pattern. Your goal is to keep the baddies from smashing through your defensive perimeter and ending the game. In between waves, you can upgrade your different attacks and/or the strength of your wall. The creeps looks great as you slice their heads off and electrocute them, which definitely sets it apart from the Stickwars style artwork in competing titles.

Rating: ★★★☆☆ icon
icon

Unify

Tuesday, September 15th, 2009

A very minimal design that offers an interesting twist on Tetris; blocks appear from both sides, are controlled by two thumbs, and meet in the center when they “drop”. I think the color combinations you run into later are bit heinous, but the game is fun and challenging. $1 This rating may go up.

Rating: ★★★☆☆ icon
icon

Levers

Monday, September 14th, 2009

What a strange and wonderful little indie-spirited game. All you do is balance stuff so it doesn’t fall in the water. All of the various objects you see above falls from the sky at intervals and you have to fish them out and add it to your little kinetic sculpture. I love it, but I’m sure it’s not for everyone. It’s free though and if you play through it, you can tell your friends that you’re “artsy”.

Rating: ★★★☆☆ icon
icon

Memovator

Sunday, September 13th, 2009

The artwork in this game is amazing! The goal is simply to deliver each occupant to the floor they request, in a 20 story building. Sounds easy, right? WRONG. It’s extremely difficult; people get on and off the whole time and you have to remember the floors on the way up and on the way down. I know it sounds ridiculous, but try it. Later you open up levels that replace with numbers with Roman numerals, Chinese symbols and…furry animal faces! See that cute little girl with the pigtails? If you miss her floor, her freakin’ face turns blue and she sticks out her Gene Simmons tongue at you! I kid you not.

Bumble Tales

Saturday, September 12th, 2009

Great soundtrack, art, and effects. What strikes me most about the game is that it just feels right; it is the synergy between the aforementioned qualities that does it. The upgrades don’t amount to much, as there is little creativity there, but I don’t think it matters really. They do allow you to have one personality ability active and you can trigger special powers from the buildings you have purchased. The whole game is extremely polished with extensive character profiles that unlock and trophies and such. Very professional effort.

Rating: ★★★☆☆ icon
icon

Silver Skull: Rise of the Pirate King

Friday, September 11th, 2009

This is full-on arcade-style cannon-blast-fest. Hold your finger in on or past the target ship and repeated fireballs tear through the target. The accelerometer controls the path of the ship, which works just fine. Land masses can block your path, as do floating barrels, but a number of ship upgrades remedy that. The heavy cannon fires over islands and blast kegs destroy floating obstacles. Many upgrades are one-offs, so you need to refill them after each mission, but you can buy multiples, if you have the requisite amount of doubloons in your coffers. Using upgrades, you can also present the illusion that you are a ghost ship, so the enemy stops firing, or curse the opposing ships, so they remain stationary for your barrage of artillery fire. If you manage your resources well enough, you can even purchase bigger and better ships. Oh, and if you have a true excess of funds or feel like taking a gamble, you can visit the hot wenches in town for a random “gift”. All in all, I would say the devs did exactly what they set out to do, create a fast-paced naval game with a few interesting decisions. It’ll be off my iPhone, after this review, but it was okay while it lasted.

Rating: ★★★☆☆ icon
icon

Magical Drop Touch

Thursday, September 10th, 2009

I love, love, love the arcade version Magical Drop, which is where I suggest everyone go to play it, because the controls here are nowhere near as responsive as they need to be in order to combat the furious pacing of this game. I have played every single Magical Drop clone on the app store and this is the best version, because all of the characters and sounds are there, but I can’t recommend it, because the sluggish controls are a deal-breaker.

Mr. Driller

Wednesday, September 9th, 2009

This was a phenomenal game that I played on the Dreamcast years ago, which was originally intended to be a sequel for Namco’s Dig Dug,but ended up taking on a life of its own. You guide your little miner deeper and deeper into the vertical cavern, by drilling the rocks apart and collecting air capsules. I must warn fans of the original that the controls on the iPhone don’t feel nearly responsive enough.