Archive for April, 2010

Above

Thursday, April 29th, 2010

Above

This is a simple one-thumb sky-jump game with stellar anime-influenced artwork. Press and hold anywhere to charge your businessman’s jump and release to jump upward accordingly and hopefully land on a platform. Wash, rinse, repeat. The timing and strength of these jumps is the core gameplay, which benefits from a small number of platform types; stationary, moving, trampoline, and disintegrating. There are three different environments, each with beautifully hand-drawn backgrounds. For me, this doesn’t have the addictive quality of other pick-up-and-play titles like Doodle Jump, but it still has a nice level of polish.

Rating: ★★★½☆ icon
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Pew!

Wednesday, April 28th, 2010

Pew!

This unassuming little shooter actually has a lot going for it.; it’s challenging, it has a compelling upgrade system, and it has good replay value. I played through the whole game and still plan to play through again, if only to get the early completion achievement. While the achievement design itself isn’t stellar, they mesh so well with the upgrades that you can’t help but try to get them all. Repeated plays earn cash that can be spent on upgrading each and every section of the ship: left and right weapons, armor, and combos. Each section has three different categories to upgrade and, in the case of weapons, can also be replaced with different armaments. For instance, if you don’t like the basic weapon upgrades, rate-of-fire, damage, and number of cannons, you can purchase a deadly laser cannon or heat-seeking missiles. Which item to upgrade at what time is actually an important decision each time, because you have to take into account the types of enemies you are currently encountering. The enemies themselves have a decent amount of variety too. All in all, I would say this is a decent shooter with enough challenge to offer at least one play-through.

Rating: ★★★☆☆ icon
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Lt. Fly Rise of the Arachnids

Tuesday, April 27th, 2010

Lt Fly

Don’t pass up this Match-4/Shooter hybrid, even if you despise Match-3 games, because it definitely stands on its own with regard to gameplay and innovation. The play field consists of a block grid on the left and an open area on the right, which allows for all sorts of creepy spiders to deal death from above by careening downward on their silken threads. Tapping on the war zone fires a weapon from a centralized cannon, which requires ammunition. Ammo is obtained by completing matches on the block grid and causing ammo blocks to drop off the bottom of the screen. Completing certain achievements unlocks other temporary weapons that are fueled by matching blocks of the same color. When you fill the corresponding bar, tapping the bar opens a weapon wheel used to select the flamethrower, laser, and mud cannon, among others. Managing your ammo and weapons is a big part of the gameplay, as are the powerups. The powerups have you flipping over the iPhone to change gravity, shaking it to stun enemies, and snipping spider silk by swiping laterally. The pacing is fast and furious, the challenge is well-tuned, and the artwork is quite nice, as well. This one is definitely worth a look.

Rating: ★★★★☆ icon
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