Posts Tagged ‘OpenFeint’

Eco Punk

Sunday, February 14th, 2010

Eco Punk

From the creators of Rasta Monkey, comes this sordid tale which begins on a street corner of a what looks to be a major metropolitan area populated with dispicable people that dispose of garbage out the windows of their gas-guzzling cars; cardboard boxes, bottles, stand-up basses, full cases of Brillo pads, piggy banks, gameboys, underpants, you name it. Apparently, these tossers are ignorant of how litter affects our environment, but luckily, the protagonist of our story is enviromentally conscience and he is here to save the day.

Our hero looks to be some type of a skateboarding Anarchist punk rock rabbit cookie-head and his job is to skate around the city block picking up refuse by running over it with his skateboard, all the while, avoiding the careless motorists. Picking up multiple bits of garbage in sequence provides a progressive-scoring chain combo that scales with the number of items snatched. That’s not all, sometimes power-ups drop, such as a laser machine gun or invincibility, so you can mow through the pigs on their goofy Segways. There are three modes of play; Classic, Timebend, and Blitz. Classic is the basic mode that ends when you become roadkill, cars in Timebend only move when you do (making it much less hectic, but still lethal) and Blitz is simply a timed mode.

Since there is only one map that covers just one street corner, the developers were able to render some beautifully lit  and detailed artwork. The game has personality and I love the stylized look and, even though it is somewhat limited in scope and depth, I still played it for 50 games straight and even got an achievement to prove it, thanks to the OpenFeint support. The touch controls are amazingly fluid and make D-Pad controls seem outdated. It’s a fun diversion and you may even decide compete with your friends to see who can become the most celebrated Eco Punk.

Rating: ★★★★☆ icon
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Valet Hero

Tuesday, February 2nd, 2010

Valet Hero

In this recent addition to the line-drawing genre, you are gently ushered into the exciting and glamorous career of…valet parking! Wait, wait, before you go anywhere, it’s actually pretty good. The player is tasked with parking each and every random car that enters the parking lot into a space that corresponds to the color of the car (there is a colorblind mode that adds symbols to the cars and parking spaces, which is a nice touch). You simply swipe your finger from the car to the space to park it, much like Flight Control.

What really matters in this game, however, is how well you park each car. Park it crooked, you get a “sloppy” penalty. Park on the wrong color, you also get a penalty (and in Marathon Mode, this is disallowed entirely). Park two or more of the same color car in sequence, you gain a multiplier. Bonus points are added for rear-in parking, pull-through parking (when you drive over another space before coming to rest in the adjacent space), and if your combo meter has juice, you can press-and-hold the boost button to speed up all cars on screen. This becomes necessary on levels with a ton of cars to park and in levels that have obstacle cars, like the po-po, that are all up in your business.

There are five different parking lots, each with a Bronze, Silver, Gold, and Marathon level. You can play any of the lots, but for each one, you have to complete the Bronze, before you can play the Silver, and so on. The devs switch up the content a little bit in the medal levels, but the Marathon level of each lot follows separate rules. It’s endless, spots are colorless until the corresponding car enters the lot, and you are required to park in the matching spot or it’s game over. Same way with hitting a car or other obstruction; you’re dead, kid.

I think it’s a fun take on traffic control, but it’s hard to say how much lasting power it will have. It is OpenFeint enabled, though, so you can compare your scores with your fellow valets.

Rating: ★★★½☆ icon
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Ghosts’n Zombies

Monday, February 1st, 2010

Ghosts'n Zombies

What a pleasant surprise; this game came out of nowhere, from the developers of Cell War, and it is a blast. The first thing you’ll notice is that the artwork is superb. For instance, the protagonist is an ornery old monk with bushy eyebrows and a bright read nose, presumably from sampling his monastery’s fine brews.

In the first level, he enters from screen-left and must fight off a horde of ghosts haunting his place of prayer. He begins with a buckshot pistol that is fired simply by tapping the screen, but this is not a run-of-the-mill tap-to-shoot duck hunt. You see combos can be scored when nailing multiple ghosts with one shot, so position is of the utmost importance. The player controls the monk’s movement by simply tilting the iDevice left and right and he will automatically pick up fallen gems that serve as ammo.

If he runs out of ammo, freakin’ Death appears and lops his head off with a double-bladed scythe, dripping with blood. To keep from reaching this point, the player can upgrade weapons sequentially by scoring combos and he has quite a killer arsenal, up to and including a chaingun. I haven’t seen a flamethrower yet, but this game has me praying that there is one. When you do tap your upgraded weapon, a glorious angel descends from the heavens and provides to you the blessed tool of destruction. I know, right…best thing ever!

While the gameplay may seem rudimentary, it’s not; the developers, TipCat Mobile, have really put some thought into how this game plays. Aligning shots is important, as I said, but there are a variety of enemies that can potentially hinder your performance; pesky rodents running across the floorboards, meatheads that enter from either side and continue to hassle you even after their heads have been blown off, and also a number of flying enemies whose movement patterns and speed keep you on your toes. There is a Story Mode and an Endless Mode, in which every enemy and their momma are thrown at you. Good thing a holy cross shows up once in a while that obliterates every enemy on screen.

The whimsical and twisted theme, the beautiful artwork, the pacing, and the core gameplay mechanics all come together to deliver a game that, for me, is a must have title. It’s even OpenFeint enabled, with achievements and all, so be sure to pick this one up.

Rating: ★★★★☆ icon
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Bird Strike

Tuesday, January 26th, 2010

Bird Strike

This game offers the same approachability,  intuitive controls, and replayabitlity as some of the best casual games, with the added bonus of some delightful artwork. If you are a fan of games like Scoops or Doodle Jump, this is really worth checking out. The graphics are top-notch and loaded with character. It starts off as a simple Winter Bells clone, but soon diverges from the formula by adding different powerups and obstacles. The best part, though, is when you reach the maximum sky height, by grabbing rocket powerups, you encounter a UFO that blasts you back down through the vertical level at top speed. It’s even more fun on the way back, because you score big for destroying any of the obstacles that you originally had to avoid. At the very bottom, if you tilt your little blue bird perfectly, he plummets down through an open sewer lid to grab even more goodies. Great stuff here, for the most part, but the end-game can sometimes degenerate into an un-winnable state, if you overuse your rockets. Once you play through all the levels, you either return to compete more on the OpenFeint leaderboards or simply delete it with a satisfied feeling.

Rating: ★★★★☆ 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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Wheeler’s Treasure

Sunday, November 22nd, 2009

An innovative title; not quite a platformer, not quite a racer, not quite anything really, but it is fun. The player character propels themselves through the side-scrolling level in a giant hamster wheel, collecting coins, bouncing on enemies and treasure chests, and avoids obstacles like tar pits and lava. This is accomplished by grappling to a solid section of the wheel and riding it up to collect goodies. Your grapple has a cooldown, so timing is important. If you take too much damage, you can stop off at water holes to heal. It’s all very strange, but still compelling.

Rating: ★★★☆☆ icon
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Bloons TD

Tuesday, October 6th, 2009

Based on the popular Bloons license, this Tower Defense game is actually pretty decent. Not much in the graphics department, for my tastes, but the gameplay is solid. There are six tower types, each upgradeable down two different non-exclusive paths with visible changes. The inclusion of several low-cost, temporary items is one of the things that sets this title apart from its brethren; pineapple grenades to defeat steel or stone balloons (?), expendable pop tacks, slow goo, and even a tower that increases the effectiveness of all tower type in proximity (!). Some are not actually too cost-effective, but can save you, if a few balloons slip past your primary defenses. And they will too, because there are quite a few balloon types that are sometimes tuned to be drastically different or provide some sort of gimmick. It has quite a few themed maps, versioned for each difficulty level, and it seem like this title may have some staying power.

Rating: ★★★★☆ icon
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Strongholds

Friday, March 13th, 2009

Strongholds

I really want to like this and I haven’t given up on it yet, but so far the depth just isn’t there. I thought it would have similarities to Orions, which I love, but it’s severely dumbed down, as compared to that game. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t mind approachable games, but there really isn’t enough decision-making here for me. You have a hand of cards that can affect any number of features of the opponent’s base, like wall defense, research, and such. You don’t deck-build, though, you just use the cards that are dealt. For a turn-based strategy title, there just isn’t enough strategy involved, at least for my tastes.

Rating: ★★★☆☆ icon
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Ow My Balls!

Sunday, March 1st, 2009

Ow My Balls!

OMB, here goes all my credibility as a reviewer…I like Ow My Balls! Granted, there is not much of a game here at all, but every time he hits the ground and yells, you guessed it…“Ow my balls!”, I laugh. In fact, I’ve been known to scream it out, in the middle of the day, for no apparent reason. The fact that he farts to propel himself further in the level is just icing on the cake, as it were. They took it off the app store, for a while, so I emailed the guy to see if he would float me a copy and his response began with, “Thank you for your interest in My Balls.” Genius. If you want to relive being 12 years old, get this app. Don’t do it for me, do it for yourself. Just don’t tell anyone I recommended it…

Update: Believe it or not, the developer added OpenFeint social network support, so you can keep in touch with all your master farting buddies. You can also unlock videos of people getting kicked in the junk.

Rating: ★★★☆☆ icon
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