Hello again friends,
We’re back again for your weekly dose of gaming news and banter. This week:
And finally……this guy completed Dark Souls, using a Rock Band controller…
Hello again friends,
We’re back again for your weekly dose of gaming news and banter. This week:
And finally……this guy completed Dark Souls, using a Rock Band controller…
Back to basics this week with our original duo The Quim Ninja and eremenko representing TBoD, Crinbot couldn’t make the show this week but the two of us still managed to go long as usual on the following topics;
our ‘we called the dog…’ game this week is The Firm,
Thanks as always for listening if you have something to say about the topics discussed hit us up on twitter or comment below.
This week Quim and I were lucky enough to be joined by the lovely Pete from White Paper games. After a Q&A session about Pete’s work in the industry and in particular on the studios debut title ‘Ether One‘ Pete was kind enough to stick around and discuss some of this weeks big news including;
Barbershop Duet (right click and hit ‘save link as’ to download)
Bum bum bum bum bum bum bum bum bum bum bum bum bum
try getting that one out of your head.
Quim and Menko are once again a twosome for this weeks episode, joined in brief cameos by This is Reklaw and BadMotherLicker. The focus this week is in shooters with the following up for discussion;
Cliffy B’s Bluesteak,
updates to Titanfall and BF 4,
all rounded out with a discussion about Violence in games
Apologies for the delay this week, I am useless.
This week we cover;
A few listener questions and,
and our ‘we called the dog….’ section covers the gorgeous ‘Long Dark’
Crinbot was once again absent so no song …. sorry.
We’re short a member again this week, Crinbot’s absence means we have no song either so apologies for that. We do have the usual content for your listening pleasure so without further ado the stuff we cover;
as always thanks for listening and com-like-a-scribe.
Hello Ladies and Gentlemen,
We have a special E3 cast in store today brought to you by two out of three of our regular hosts. The topics up for discussion this week are’
Hope you enjoy the show, let us know your thoughts on the top showings and give us a run down of who you would award what in the following categories;
Upset not to see
Best in show
Ok folks, welcome back to another episode of the TBoD Podcast, our lively debate this week consists of the following stories;
Another week, another installment on the TBoD podcast.
The topics on the smörgåsbord for discussion this week are;
and our Indie game of the week is “Total Chaos“.
As always thanks for tuning in, if you like what you hear leave us a comment or a review on iTunes, if you have a burning question that you need answering in a meandering tangenty fashion by all means give us a shout on Twitter, Facebook or leave a comment here on the blog.
With an Open Hand < — Right click and choose “save as” to download
Howdy chaps and chapesses,
Here we are again. Another week older, but probably not any wiser; you be the judge.
This week we talk:
XBONE price drops
Virtuix Omni secures funding
Playstation Plus free games for May
New Watch Dogs gameplay video
Civilization: Beyond Earth – wowzers…
Four player narrative coop announced for AC: Unity
Minecraft real-world application awesomeness
Our Indie game this week was Franchise Hockey Manager (chosen by Crinbot, obviously)
We’re back again for another week of epic gaming lolz. This week:
Continued nonsense from Call of Doody.
Nice words from a Titanfall dev.
And the PS4 gets a long-overdue update.
Hello boys and girls,
Welcome to another edition of the TBoD podcast, the topics up for discussion from our likely lads this week are;
Another week, another TBoD podcast. Our new permanent line up stretch their vocal chords talking about;
The DRM debate that has escalated due to Sonys new ToS,
a touch of class from MS in the console war,
Crinbot and eremenkos excitement over a potential new Fallout game,
all the excitement and troubles of the PS4 launch,
and in our “we called the dog … ” section we highlight “Obduction” the new title from the creators of “Myst” and “Riven” which has smashed it’s kickstarter goal.
Hello wannabe futuristic city hackers,
Another week and another raft of stories in the gaming industry, some good and some bad.
On this podcast we discuss a few next-gen stories: -
The delay of both Watch Dogs and Drive Club and how that affects next-gen launch in general as well how one outlet is cancelling bundles that included these games.
Microsoft’s further push into TV Programming with show on street soccer.
Also we comb through the latest Q&A with Dave Dunn of Bungie.
Recently we at TBOD towers have been playing an insane amount of GTA V. Alas there are times when we simply cannot be attached to our consoles and thus cannot become lost in the world of Los Santos, during these moments it is absolutely vital that we keep our thumbs exercised and I’ve been doing so with a couple of real quality titles on my mobile.
I don’t usually like tower defense games but Ironhide studios “KingdomRush” was one of the best in the genre in terms of flash efforts, the mobile port was excellent and the new to android sequel “Frontiers” is an absolute delight.
It’s pretty much your traditional build, kill, earn, build, upgrade format but with a slight twist in that you can deploy soldiers from your barracks to block the path of your unyielding attackers. The theme of the game is taken pretty much straight out of fantasy epics like Lord of the Rings or World of Warcraft, fully equipped with Dwarven explosives experts, Elven archers, stout Paladins and crafty Wizards fighting for the side of good against waves of Goblins, Orcs, Lizardmen, Undead, Giants and overgrown insect pests.
What makes the “Rush” franchise so engaging is it’s upgrade system, not only do you have the opportunity to upgrade your towers as you go but each round see’s you acquire stars which you can use to bolster your troops abilities permanently. There are also hero characters available, these heroes can level up and improve their abilities through a basic talent tree upgrade system, one gripe I have is that despite having paid for the game there are still micro transaction to unlock further hero characters. It’s a massive pain but I can understand the dev’s desire to do so and can’t think of another example where IAP is handled so un-obtrusively.
This sequel improves drastically on the original in many ways that wont be immediately obvious, this isn’t a bad thing as the format of the first title was pretty much perfect but as you go through the levels you unlock extra tower upgrades, all of which are intelligently designed and oh so satisfying to use.
The second title I have spent some time with this week on my Android is a reworking of an all time favourite of mine, manage your planes, trains and automobiles in the triumphant return of “Transport Tycoon“.
I have spent way more time than I would care to admit with “Open TTD” and have loved every minute of it, when I was younger I was really into “Railroad tycoon” and “Sim City“, OTTD provided me with even more ways to interact with my city and meticulously plan train routes and station placement. I know it may sound boring to some of you but hey …. I don’t grief any of you for loving “My Little Pony” do I? Each to their own when it comes to entertainment eh?
So you can pick up an OTTD port on Android, but that’s all it is … a port. As impressive and achievement as that is it’s still somewhat buggy and the touch screen controls are pretty much non-existent. As such a genuine touch screen version is a welcome addition to the Play and iOS library. Add to this the cooperation of the original games developer Chris Sawyer and surely we must be onto a winner? In short yes, the game feels every bit as immersive as it’s PC counterpart which is an impressive feat. The interface has been simplified somewhat but just enough so that it is manageable on a four-inch screen you never feel like your missing out on anything. The game-play is almost identical to what you would expect from a tycoon game and despite the edited touch screen controls being a little tricky to get to grips with you will soon be joining towns with all the efficiency of the Japanese rail system.
I may be somewhat biased due to my love of this classic game but I cannot fault this port, it has a bunch of great challenges to complete and even the ability to play a sandbox mode. If you love city sims, strategy games or if you just have a penchant for playing with trains then this title is a must have.
To sum up, it’s really nice to see some titles coming to mobile that clearly have a lot of heart and soul poured into them and it’s refreshing that they aren’t hampered by ridiculously over the top price tags (*ahem* Square-enix) or riddled with in game adds (everything ftp on the Play store) hopefully this will usher in a new era of games that are priced well and play amazingly.
While we are on the subject of Mobile games with pure class…. please, please, please go check out Nicoll Hunt of I fight Bears debut title “Fist of Awesome” , I had a brief love affair with it at eurogamer and am off to go play it to death right now as it’s just come out for both Android and iOS. Review to follow.
We’re back from our stint in the capital at Eurogamer expo and feeling a little worse for wear. Hopefully this isn’t immediately obvious as we discuss some of the latest gaming news including;
Valves latest announcements,
Battlefield 4’s Beta launch,
Quims console conundrum,
GTA onlines teething problems and what little of it we have played,
If you enjoy the show leave a comment or rate the post, any reviews on iTunes would also be greatly appreciated.
This week took a jaunt to The Big Smoke for this years Eurogamer. We got to experience some of the latest and greatest next-gen queues, and at the end of those queues we got to play some sweet games. This podcast is about those games, and queues.
The games we got to play were: -
On PS4: – Blacklight Retribution, Octodad Dadliest Catch, Driveclub, Knack, Resogun,
On Xbox One: – Battlefield 4, Titanfall, Dying Light.
On PC/Occulus Rift HD: – Dream, Surgeon Simulator (Rift), Skipping Stones.
On iOS/Android: – Fist of Awesome, Framed.
You would be forgiven for thinking I’d given up the writing game but alas I am back once again to delight and amuse (read: annoy and bore) you all with another little review of another lovely little title that has captured my heart.
A Ride into the Mountains
Chia-Yu Chen & Lee-Kuo Chen
Those of you who listen to the podcast will already know I have been struggling to find a game worthy of sinking my teeth into after beating “The Last of Us”, little did I expect that the game to snap me out of my funk would be such a simple little gem.
The premise is not an original one, you play a young man, an evil has been released … you must stop it, hardly ground breaking stuff but it’s the presentation and the execution which has won me over. It’s always nice to stumble across a title which tries to do things a little differently, not satisfied with being a just another build and go title or a rehashed puzzle game or a blatant rip off of another succesful title, a game that takes on and brilliantly utilises all of the functionality of our ever-present pocket pals is difficult to find …. this is one of those games.
The core of the game play surrounds guiding our pixellated hero through a series of levels taking down evil shadow creatures with your bow, whilst dodging their attacks with the maneuverability granted by your trusty steed, it all feels rather easy at first but the learning curve proves pretty steep. Every shot counts and the game can be brutally punishing should you let yourself down with a mis-timed loosing of your bowstring. The enemies get smarter, faster and more aggressive as the ride goes on and the end of stage bosses can and will destroy you time and time again.
Being both simple and brilliant at the same time is a feat few manage to achieve but here we have a game that pushes the boundaries of mobile gaming, which all the while retains a strong sense of familiarity kind of like an exotic oriental tea in your favourite old mug. By combining elements from all kinds of genres the Chens have come up with a formula for guaranteed success, I think I have figured out that formula have a look for yourselves and see what you think.
Can you figure this one out? I’ll give you the cheat sheet at the end.
As with another of my favourite mobile games (Super Bros “Sword and Sworcery”) this game opts to go with a pixel art style rather than attempting to create console level graphics on your smart device. This coupled with another excellent midi soundtrack lends the whole thing a delicious vintage gaming feel which I suppose is part of the reason it feels so familiar to me, but this familiarity should never be confused with a lack of imagination because the world created here is one of much mystery and intrigue. Anyway what are you still reading this for? The game is less than a buck/quid go buy it and see for yourself.
P.S. For those of you who are interested and didn’t already figure this out the formula…. it means nothing it was just an obscure way to reference a load of games that this one is influenced by without actually naming names as such, the rundown of the games is below.
If you take the epic adventure nature of SotC (Shadow of the Colossus) and divide it by the serene peaceful surroundings of JnY (Journey) times that by the simple controls of aBrds (Angry Birds) add the square root (side scrolling beat em up mechanic) of SoR (Streets of rage) and take away the shitness of build and go games like FVil (Farmville) you’re left with x i.e something marvelous like “A ride into the Mountains“.
Thanks for reading.
If you are an O.G. Teabagger you may recall just over a year ago a post where I highlighted the mental and addictive Robot Unicorn Attack as a must play mobile game. This gem was as rare as the mythical metallic mare that was featured in-game. Well RUA2 is certainly sired by the same beast but this steed of steel and steam comes fully loaded with a bunch of extra’s to keep you galloping long into the sunset.
The 80s tunes are back and in full force and although this iteration has a jukebox, which offers a varied selection to the player (including the original song from RUA1), it does so via micro transactions. Now the two free songs for those frugal gamers are as ridiculous as the game itself, in my opinion they don’t quite match the hoof tapping majesty of Erasure featured in the original game.
If the first RUA was a wild stallion then I guess the sequel could be described as more trained for dressage. RUA2 has been brushed profusely – no shit in its tail or anything – giving you a very glossy visual experience in-game and also providing you with the ability to completely customise your colt. Whether you are looking to clad dobbin in very portal-esque turret plating, have it mane set aflame or just a nice pink UV horn then its there for you.
Pimping out your pony isn’t the only carrot on a stick there to encourage you to play as Adult Swim have incorporated Daily online challenges. So once you jump the relevant hurdles and hit a certain level you can choose a side, Team Rainbow or Team Inferno. From there your play time will contribute toward the eternal equine battle and, if victorious, you and your stable mates will be rewarded with in-game credits which can be spent on whatever shiny upgrade or in-game power up your mechanized heart desires.
The game itself does operate on the free to play model, which I personally don’t have any problem with, as I can play this happily for free. But if you just can’t wait to make your horse look like a hoofed terminator then credits can be bought. My only criticism, which is a small one, is that for those who wish to play for free it does take quite a while to accrue a decent amount of points to unlock any permanent upgrades for your bronco. However if you are happy to trot along and are just playing for the fun of it then it really isn’t too much of an issue. The game doesn’t fall in the pay to win category and that’s what counts.
Since I am almost out of equine based puns I think I best round this up by saying RUA2 is every bit as fun as its predecessor, so if you are looking for an enjoyable funny mobile game to pick up and play without having to pony up then this is a dead cert.
Episode 11 is here and this is the first of 2 podcasts this week! The world is in trouble!
Today we are here to talk about various innovations in gaming hardware including: -
and what seems to be the prototype for a Holodeck known as the Oton X! and what the implications of all these new devices will have on our gaming landscape.
We discuss the release of Carmageddon on Android and our vision gets all wobbly lined as we flashback to when we used to play the original all those years ago….
Our final Durango Unchained segment as talk about what must be the last batch of rumours for the Next Xbox before the unveiling.
We cast a suspicious eye over EA’s plans to abolish their online pass scheme and some of their other moves in the industry.
We also talk about a little game we have both been enjoying called Terraria and offer you a chance to win a copy on Steam. Woohoo!
Anyway as usual leave a comment if you are feeling chatty or leave an itunes review if you are feeling generous! Thanks
Micro Machines – Like Puppy in my Pocket … for boys
Every boy who was around in the 80’s or 90’s will remember Micro Machines, those tiny heavily stylised toy vehicles that were cheap to buy but insanely expensive to collect. The toys were immensely popular and the were literally thousands to collect cars, trucks, planes, helicopters etc at the height of their popularity these little belters even out-sold the toy car giants hotwheels. Anyway getting to the point these toys eventually spawned a series of video games.
My main memory (aside from hours spent playing with the toys) was of a particular game on the Sega Mega Drive (Genesis for you American folk) Micro Machines 2: Turbo Tournement a stupidly brilliant title which saw you racing across pool tables, bath tubs and desks through gardens and bedrooms just the types of places you would be playing with your toys. This kind of miniature racing game was never bested despite numerous attempts (Notably the Revolt games on Dreamcast) but now we have a new challenger.
Mini Motors available on Android and iOS from The Binary Mill provides a similar experience to the classic mini racers of the past albeit without quite the same imaginative settings. The tracks are based on your more classic racers with High speed race tracks and battles through winding city streets taking the spotlight rather than jumping over plant pots and trying not to drop into the vortex of a toilet or pool table pocket this may not seem at first glance to be quiet as much fun but the game actually handles really well.
There are options for controls but I prefer to stick with the default mode of having the little wheel down in the bottom left hand corner which you spin to the desired direction. It starts out a little challenging to get to grips with due to the games static viewpoint (something which will be familiar to those who have played Micro Machines V3) but you will soon get the hang of it and be drifting around the courses like a pro. Once you get the hang of the controls the difficulty jumps up a notch the AI racers become more skilled and highly aggressive luckily the game has an upgrade system which will allow you to ensure your tiny car has enough oomph to keep you ahead of the competition.
You can unlock a few cars just through playing but many others have to be purchased with in game cash, however since you are going to want to focus on upgrades rather than making rash purchases of cars the pricing seems a little off. In some respects I feel this is a bit of a cheap shot since it means that to fork out for the new car you are likely going to have to make some in app purchases, don’t fret however none of this is actually necessary because you can just repeat a few races to earn the dough, though that may take the patience some folk don’t have.
It may not be a groundbreaking title but it’s a neat little racer than uses the touch screen to it’s advantage rather than struggling with it, the tracks are well designed and fun to play (with the odd exception) with various surfaces on show (dirt, sand, tarmac, gravel etc) actually affecting the handling of your vehicle. The cars are well designed and each one does handle very differently which gives you ample opportunity to find and max out your favourite model. I appreciate it when a app dev puts out a game for a reasonable price (£0.69 in this case) and doesn’t over use the in-app purchase side of things which is far to often the case now, there is an extra championship on show here that rather than being a paid for dlc is actually purchasable with the money you earn from playing the game which is a real nice touch.
Perfect for playing a few quick races on your daily commute Mini Motors is a title that doesn’t take itself too seriously and rewards you for playing rather than being something you need to throw money at in order to progress. In short this is the type of game I would like to see more of on phones and tablets from a dev who clearly deserve to be taken seriously.
Just like each go I have on this game I am keeping this short, Temple Run 2 is here and is even more addictive than the original. For the twelve of you who didn’t play the first one, basically the objective was to escape a pack of angry monkeys with a golden idol in tow by jumping and sliding passed various obstacles for as long as possible, all the while nabbing coins to boost that score even further.
Temple Run 2 is pretty much the same thing except replace the pack of monkeys with one massive monkey and instead of just jumping over one thing or sliding under another, the guys at Imangi Studios have thrown in a few other interesting game mechanics. Now you have ropes to slide down, mine carts to ride Donkey Kong style and precarious ledges to try your best to not plummet from, all of this makes TR2 much more engaging than the first game, which often felt repetitive, but now its successor has variety in bucket loads I see no end to my addiction.
Power-ups work a little differently but again the tweak is preferable, instead of waiting to just pick them up whilst running you can use a your power bar activate your ability of choice, quick tip, boost is the future. This little switch around makes it easier for noobs and people who, like me, suck at it the game to get a decent score and feel better about themselves.
Of course don’t just take my average temple run scoring ass’s word for it, since January 17th when this ruin robbing runner was released on iOS, then when the Android crowd got their hands on it a week later Temple Run 2 has been downloaded 50 million times, making it the fastest growing mobile game ever. Angry Who? I’m sure the price tag was a decider because right now its free so you best “sprint” for the app now.
(Editor: – Ugh sorry about that joke but you know if you pay peanuts you get monkeys……)
-The Quim Ninja
If you have been living under the Lonely Mountain for most of the Third Age you may not know that The Hobbit just came out, which for me is one of the most anticipated films of this year, what can I say, I love short dudes with hairy feet and a taste for pipe weed. Anyway the hype and marketing has been building up to a frenzied pitch for a while now and has spawned many different products to keep people hungry for their precious. One of which was this decent mobile game that I think you should give a go, unless of course you are related to or represent the Tolkien estate in which case you probably won’t enjoy it.
Lets kick off by saying as a kid I always liked to play the odd strategy game with Age of Empires taking up more than its fair share of my misspent youth, Civilization was another title but to a much lesser extent (because I didn’t know the cheats) and The Hobbit KOM falls into Civ’s turn based approach. The premise hasn’t really got anything to do with the book or indeed the movie that its name heralds from but is at least set in Middle Earth. The game begins with Gandalf telling you how Elves and Dwarves don’t think all that much of each other, at which point your job is to choose which side your sword swings toward and after an obligatory tutorial you are left to start constructing your city. During the early stages of the game completing the quests is relatively straight forward and will earn you some quick resources but as they get more difficult and your building upgrades get more costly you are going to have to venture out, cave some other poor saps skull in and take all his shit. I found this out quite early as I was that poor sap on a daily basis for the first few days of play, with the bigger boys grabbing my pitiful yet hard gained resources and gold leaving my backside sore. Just as I was about to run crying to mother I found that building a vault at least helps protects a certain amount of resources if not your gold from the grubby mits of your would be rapist, I would recommend getting one of these built pronto.
Building your city up and getting troops together are just two of the many layers to this game, if you are to progress and build the might of your city to higher levels then researching new skills to higher levels is essential – and time-consuming. This particular feature is probably the most rewarding because even though it can take fucking ages to get all the necessary resources I personally feel I have achieved something when my new super pimped troops roll out of the barracks. Of course if you are a particularly impatient you can purchase mithril with real money to help you buy resources, buffs and time deductions to hurry things along. Now I know this kind of pay to win philosophy is in the eyes of some controversial but if there is a demand from players for it and as long as there isn’t any ‘one item to rule them all’ in the store then I personally don’t have a problem with it.
Being a game built for mobile and social networking sight as you might expect player interaction us heavily emphasized, whether it be in-game with the aforementioned raids on players, joining an alliance or just having a natter within the apps chat room, or going social by tweeting, instagramming and connecting to facebook and telling your friends how utterly addicted you are to KOM. Of course you don’t have to do any of this you can be a lonely hermit if you so wish, however strategically raiding fools is a good way to get some resources as is joining an alliance, which can score you stuff just by asking the bigger boys and interacting with social media wins you mithril, bonus items and more.
Anyway just thought you guys might want to give this a shot as it is honestly the only mobile game that I have played consistently every day for weeks now and it has loads to keep you interested
Its free on the iOS App Store, Google Play,
Facebook and I think even Google+.
This game is purely for mobile devices as someone in the comments has rightly pointed out. I have double checked and Facebook and G+ do in fact just redirect you to the relevant mobile app store to download. Thanks Travis for originally bringing this to my attention and sorry to all of those who wanted to play on your PC or Mac, but seriously if you don’t have a smartphone or a tablet by now then loosen those purse strings a little.
Still playing this and thought I would give a tip or two on keeping hold of your gold and stop getting robbed. I was getting looted quite often in my old position by one player in particular and was getting a little frustrated so I hit them back and took like 2 million gold from him and spent or gave it my alliance, of course I stupidly sent a few gloating in messages to him, this of course made matters worse and the frequency of attacks upped. In the end I used a Radagasts Gift and moved elsewhere. When the attacks picked up again from multiple sources I took a different tact, I just asked nicely for them to stop and you know what? It worked and I have been able to keep my hard earned taxes for longer. Of course if you are more of an aggressive type and like to raid often then this underhanded tactic might be more your style. It only works if you have a mobile device but basically set up another account and get it to a stage that it can at least join an alliance and transport resources and gold, now get raiding and start sending your gold and other I’ll gotten gains straight there. The seven day protection keeps everything you snatched away from vengeful armies, then when you need some coin for your research simply ship over just enough to pay for the lengthy research time. A bit of an exploit but all is fair in love and war between elves and dwarves. You’re Welcome.
- The Quim Ninja
Recently, my game time has been at a bit of a premium – what with starting a new job and attempting various home improvements, and what time I have had to play I’ve been tending to a dwarf army in The Hobbit or stabbing the shit out of a plethora of Pirates in Far Cry 3 (as reviewed by our own SK1LL4XED). Of course, to write about the same two games week on week I realise must be less than riveting for you beautiful people, so I thought I would sniff out a tasty truffle to sprinkle over your desired mobile device and this is the plat du jour I am serving up.
Contre Jour HD is a lovely little morsel, which finds you taking on the role of a monocular creature known as Petit. The game itself is ultimately a standard puzzler, requiring you to overcome various obstacles to move this little tinker from A to B, all the while trying to collect all the floaty orbs on the level to get the best score possible. I know it sounds like another run of the mill game within its genre but what sets it aside and makes it shine amongst the others, is the care put into the way it looks, sounds and feels.
Polished like fine tableware this game naturally looks great on a high definition display and I would say if you have a high spec’ phone or tablet, then I would strongly recommend you give this a peek. Don’t worry if you phone’s resolution doesn’t cut the HD mustard because Contre Jour is tasty enough to add some syrup to any device. Making my food analogies utterly irrelevant the title of this game translated from French means ‘against daylight’ - it refers to a photographic technique where the camera points directly toward the light source creating a silhouette of the subject. This is very much the style adopted throughout the various game worlds and for me is really effective at making this game stand out amongst its peers.
The music of Contre Jour is as french as its name (which lets face it is really quite french) and is joyful and childlike to the ear, sounding very much like something you might hear in an off beat romantic french film (not the kind with boobs in). As you roll through each stage the music evolves along with the environments you and Petit explore, the nuances of the soundtrack adjusting to each new world but maintaining the same melodic undercurrent. I love it when games ask you to wear headphones as it usually means you are in for a treat and Contre Jour certainly serves up an auditory feast.
When I talk about the feel of the game I usually mean the game mechanics which are admittedly spot on, but then again for any game to be considered good that’s a requisite rather than a plus It ultimately takes the time honoured approach of introducing new game mechanics in an unobtrusive manner as games have done since the days of Mario. But that’s not what I am talking about here, I am talking about how the game actually -physically- feels, the way you have to manipulate the landscape to move Petit genuinely feels, at least to my brain, that I am squashing warm malleable play-doh around in my fingers and thumbs and in my mind the tentacles used to grab our spherical hero stretch like a weird hybrid of a rubber band and Haribo jelly snakes. The Venus fly trap-like obstacle on one level on the first world, when triggered, looks kind of slimy with its tendrils and actually conjures a sticky feeling in my mind (that sounds pretty gross now I read it back).
So whilst I wait for the bill, I will just say that whilst you are moving along the line at the all-you-can-eat buffet of mobile puzzle games, please stop and take a massive dollop of this five star haute-cuisine, it will leave your belly full. Oh and tip the waiter.
-The Quim Ninja
In Sword and Sworcery you take on the role of the Scythian as she searches for the mysterious mega-tome and attempts to seal away the darkness which plagues the world she has entered. Starting out there is no simple tutorial to play through you just have to figure things out as you go, abandoning the virtual pad which is overused to the detriment of most touch screen adventures this game is controlled with a series of taps, swipes and gestures which makes for a far more pleasing experience. To move the Scythian you can use a simple double tap on your destination or a hold to follow function this means you can concentrate more on your surroundings than struggling to move around and this is something you will find both useful and enjoyable. The pixel art styling of the game is exceptionally detailed and stunning to look at, the art work and the sound are the heart of this beast and it is something that begs to be absorbed and prodded.
The game recommends using headphones and that is a good call, the ability to hear what’s going on in your enviroment from the tip tap of footsteps to the rustling of the undergrowth is a massive advantage in helping guide you along in the early stages of the Scythians tortured journey. The game itself pays almost like a point and click adventure but without any of the tedious item searching and pointless conversations, there aren’t many non-player-characters in the game Logfella, Dogfella and Girl are the only three you meet in the first two chapters and they are not what you would deem conversationalists. The real star of this game is the world in which it takes place there are puzzles cleverly woven into the environment and interestingly tied in to the cycles of the moon and it does prove something of a head scratcher in the later stages.
The music is beautiful and haunting if you’re not already listening to it I implore you to hit the play button at the top of the post and soak up the score provided by Jim Guthrie fits so well with the games sound effects and adds to the atmosphere in a way that would make most video game composers green with envy.
Playing this title has renewed my faith in the touch screen adventures whilst your Zenonia games and similar are all reasonably decent I always find them to be lacking somewhat in innovation. Most of us now carry around in our pockets a touch screen device capable of so much more than a traditional controller, why don’t we see more games in the vein of the DS Zelda titles which optimise the use of the touch screen over the game pad? It’s a more difficult feat to achieve it would seem, it’s a lot easier for a developer to simply throw in a virtual pad rather than imagine new control techniques or in this case re-imagine control techniques to work with your game. Switching your device from landscape to portrait to perform actions, tilting on an angle, pinch to zoom and sweeping the camera with your fingers to get a better view all work brilliantly here and lend the gameplay an organic nature which is sorely missing in most mobile rpg/adventure games.
From the introduction we are guided through the story by a mysterious, creepy but snappily dressed cigar smoking host the Archetype, who will explain the basic premise behind the coming chapter and throughout chapters will offer handy hints via your mega-tome (once you acquire it) I mention him mainly because something about him really freaks me out and I wanted to put a picture of him in.
You will feel a connection to the strange folk you meet along the way (despite their monosyllabic nature), a yearning to learn more about the mysteries surrounding the Scythian and the evil that follows the mega-tome. The strange way in which the story is narrated with really obscure references and just down right ridiculous lines keeps the entertainment value high throughout you can even post your favourite peculiar lines to twitter. Check out #sworcery to see for yourself some of the weirdness for yourself.
An adventure not unlike “Journey” in so far as it it focused on style and substance rather than flashing images and explosions Sword and Sworcery is a compelling title which begs to be played and deserves a lot more attention than many of its high ranking mobile game rivals.
The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for our little blog.
Here’s an excerpt:
4,329 films were submitted to the 2012 Cannes Film Festival. This blog had 19,000 views in 2012. If each view were a film, this blog would power 4 Film Festivals
Ever since the death of thier final console the Dreamcast Sega have been rebuilding themselves as one of the top dogs in publishing bringing out a plethora of new IPs but also bringing back old titles that we gamers had once thought of as long dead. XBLA and PSN releases are one thing but more recently our old friends have been breathing life back into old classics on various mobile devices. One game I never expected Sega to resurect was the Jet Set Radio (Jet Grind Radio in the US) series, a quirky, design heavy, fast paced and unique title though it was I had never realised just what a huge following this game had gathered over the years.
If you don’t like bright colours, this game is not for you
Having picked up (with great difficulty) a Japanese imported version of the original Dreamcast title in Y2K I instantly fell for this game. A cell-shaded style which was at the time totally unique and an insane J-pop/Hip-hop soundtrack (some of the tracks still get stuck in my head to this day) for some reason really drew me in despite the fact I had no idea what I was doing or what was going on due to being unable to understand a word of Japanese. As a result I could never really get that far with the original title due to the objectives of later levels being something of a mystery to me. Later I picked up the sequel Jet Set Radio future for the original Xbox and that is where my love affair with this series really began.
Imagine my delight then to find out mere days ago that I would be able to rock out to ‘Oldie but a Goodie’ once more while covering the walls, cars and buses of Tokyo-To with tags all the while being able to actually understand what was going on ….. all this for the bargain price of £2.99 for my android device… yes please Sega … gimmie!
Installing this game plus the initial game set up is a bit of a monumental effort for my little HTC but it made it eventually and the results are something delightful. Sega America have managed to pack pretty much everything from the original into our little devices and that is an achievement to be respected. Imagine the future possibilities, a Dreamcast in my pocket? God yes give me that right now. How does it stack up against the original? Fairly well really, it does have a slightly laggier nature due to a heavily lowered framerate (something that might be less obvious on a tablet rather than a smartphone) and the directional stick leaves a little to be desired but I find this to be the case in almost all smartphone games. Apart from these very minor flaws this game is well worth the price tag. A full on gang battle/adventure through the neo-Tokyo streets avoiding the fuzz while raising the fame and increasing the territories of your in-line skating punk gang the “GG’s” is still a lot of fun and the tunes are easily as catchy as ever.
You start out as Beat guided by Professor K (the host of the pirate radio broadcast station Jet Set Radio) who keeps the plot ticking over with little interludes not unlike D.J from the movie the Warriors. You must first defend your own turf from rival gangs before sweeping into their side of town and taking your revenge by leaving your mark on any flat surface you can find and avoiding the cities increasingly psychotic police force led by the bumbling Captain Onishima. Seriously these guys are nutjobs who take real pleasure in harming innocent young inline skaters, they’ll run you over doing wheelies on police bikes, they’ll chase you with machine guns and tear gas they even call in the attack helicopters at one point. Luckily for you they are about as well trained as the henchmen in an Arnie movie.
Playing the game on a phone screen isn’t ideal, comboing tricks and grinds was never easy in JSR but the small size mixed with the lack of responsiveness from the control stick and some mammoth lag makes things trickier than ever here but it never renders things unplayable. The games mechanic for spraying your graffiti translates pretty well onto a touch screen however I cant help but feel they could have done a little more to integrate this input method into the game, the responsiveness is often not quite what you would hope for and you end up having to try your tags more than once before achieving painted perfection. That said it isn’t too far removed from the original stick input so you shouldn’t have any real trouble painting the town red or blue or whatever. All in all JSR is still great fun and it’s style still looks great Tokyo-To feels alive and vibrant and getting to those difficult to reach tag spots is as frustrating and rewarding as ever. Sega it seems are finally realising just how much love people still have for their old DC titles and I for one am hoping for many more revivals, if they ever manage to get Shenmue onto a phone I think i might just cry with delight. So get over to the google play/ App store now and pick it up it’s not a featured game and needs to have as much support as possible folks if the Dreamcast is going to continue to have the respect it deserves.
Break out your roller blades, get out your headphones crank up your volume and roll with the GG’s.
In all my previous posts I have been a little biased toward iOS exclusive games, however having recently procured Google’s budget friendly Nexus 7 I thought I would try to even the odds a bit by reviewing a big game that puts you in very tiny shoes.
Osmos HD is quite a unique little title in which you take the role of a micro-organism or mote, your goal is simple, become bigger than the other floaty lifeforms by absorbing the smaller ones and avoiding the bigger beasts until you are large enough to suck them up too.
The game-play itself is as simple as the mote you control with a straight-forward, intuitive user interface and colour schemes that make it easy for even the most amoebic of organisms to figure out how to play.
The degree of difficulty through the odyssey mode is intermediate after the first tutorial stage introducing you to the various other types of nasty and how to handle it in a very gentle easy to pick up manner. Then once the game is sure you have got a handle on what is required it throws a couple of really tough levels in at the end of each chapter, which in my opinion can pose a bit of problem at times, in fact the very last level on the last chapter I was stuck on for some time and in fact I only completed it via bit of a fluke. If you do get stuck though you can skip a level at any time, but what is the fun in that, plus with each chapter that you complete unlocks new levels in the arcade section. It took me a few hours to complete the ‘story’ mode and found it to be moderately challenging, the arcade it more of the same and is keeping my suitably hypnotized.
Not only is the game-play hypnotic but the music further adds to that feeling and is so well suited to the way the game behaves. Where possible do what it suggests and wear headphones and you will soon find yourself lost in a microscopic world. Another layer to this game which I think is probably my favourite part is the clever way you can speed up and slow down time in order to help you either dodge a sticky end or expedite the demise of a smaller mote. What I like in particular is the way the music drops or picks up in tempo as you perform this cool little trick and sounds as if its meant to be played at that speed. Very Clever.
So for anyone who has a tablet and is looking for a game that is not only challenging but weirdly relaxing this one is bound to absorb a lot of your time. The game is available for Android devices via the Google Play Store and iOS devices via the App Store for £1.99/$2.99 if you are a yank or a limey respectively, it also can be found on the PC with a much wider selection of levels for no more than $10 but can be found a lot cheaper if you shop around.
If you have played Osmos or if you got the game because of this roundup and want to share your thoughts please do in the comments below, also check out the other mobile titles we have recommended by clicking here or the pressing on the ‘Play Mobile’ tab at the top of the page. Thanks.
-The Quim Ninja
I’d like to start with a confession: I’m not what you would call a “good” gamer. Don’t get me wrong, I’m good at games, I mean I have the odd flash of genius amongst the marginally-better-than-mediocre norm, it’s just that I have my own style of gaming.
I don’t really follow the big franchises like Halo, Assassin’s Creed etc. or get excited for the latest releases. I don’t research updates and new DLC. I don’t look at my stats on things like Halo Waypoint and the EA Gunclub. And although I’ve played pretty much all of the “big games”, I mostly dip in and out depending on my mood and how bored I am.
All this being said, I would class myself as a gamer and I play a lot of games.
Now that’s out of the way, I’d like to talk to you about a game which has taken up much of my time recently, New Star Soccer.
I play on my Android-powered HTC Desire HD and can comfortably say that this is not only the best game I’ve played on my phone, but one of the most enjoyable games I’ve played full stop (period for any American viewers).
Harking back to the days of Sensible Soccer and similar to the already popular Jumpers for Goalposts, NSS is a combination of text and action sequences where you control your player from the very beginnings of their career.
Starting out as a precocious 16 year old, you complete a series of trials which serve the dual purpose of showing you the basics of the game whilst maintaining a more realistic beginning for a young footballer. After the trials you embark on your quest for
world domination and enslavement of the proletariat! um sorry about that, *cough* footballing deity, by playing games (obviously) and buying stuff.
The gameplay is fun and involving without being exclusive through difficulty, and the extra detail in the home screens are informative without being superfluous, insightful to the very border of nerdy, and fun enough to keep you playing, even when between games.
In the ‘Life’ section (shown above), you can buy almost anything any self-respecting footballer would want including stables, luxury jets, even a castle. You can also visit the casino where you can play blackjack, roulette, and slots, as well as buy, train, and bet on horses. Also within this section is an ‘Awards’ tab showing an extensive list of achievements.
All in all, I can’t see an end to me playing this game (barring any serious new update cock-ups of course), and whilst I hesitate to use the uninspired “addicted” tag, this beguiling game will keep you playing way past the shelf-life of most others.