Play-Mobile: Two for one

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 studiosKingdomRush” 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.

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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.

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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.

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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“.

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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?

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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.

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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.

You’re welcome.

– eremenko

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Ticket to Ride

Howdy,

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.

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A Ride into the Mountains

Android & iOS

Chia-Yu Chen & Lee-Kuo Chen

69p/99c

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

eremenko

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.

TBoD Podcast – Episode 11 – A Pair of Cunning Stunts

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: –

A new controller system made by a Mad Genius.

The new handheld coming from Nvidia known as Shield.

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

Right Click and ‘Save Link As’ To Download Episode 11

 

Bigger isn’t always better

Micro Machines (3)

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.

micro21Everything is more fun in video game form

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.

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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.

superchargedOne of the many great looking cars available

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.

grand prixTracks galore

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.

fruit ninjaLiscenced tracks and vehicles inspired by other games

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.

eremenko

Play Mobile: – The Hobbit – Kingdoms of Middle Earth

The Hobbit Kingdoms of MIddle Earth Logo

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 behobbit KOM viewgins 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 hobbit mapinteraction 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+.

—–UPDATE—–

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.

—–UPDATE 2—–

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

The Swource of all Evil


Resource gathering, troop training, construction and research can all take a loooong time in “The Hobbit, Kingdoms of Middle Earth” so while I’ve been waiting for my little Elves to perfect their bowman-ship,  my tax collectors to refill the coin purse and my master craftsmen to construct majestic improvements to my city I have been filling the time trying to get to grips with a little belter I picked up for a holiday bargain on the Google Play store.

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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.

a house that looks oddly like a face

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.

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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.

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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.

scythian and dogfella

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.

eremenko

Ready, Jet Set, Go

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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.

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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.

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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.

BeatJSRBeat knew cucumbers worked just as well as Lenses

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.

Jet-Set-Radio_4It’s tricky but soon enough you’ll be pulling tricks and spraying graff like a pro

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.

tumblr_mau330nCZz1r03fmso1_1280Buy this game or I’ll haunt your dreams bitches

Break out your roller blades, get out your headphones crank up your volume and roll with the GG’s.

– eremenko

Play Mobile: – Osmos HD

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

Get yer tackle out

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.

New Star Soccer

My current life section

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.

My career stats

The stats for my player

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.

-Garreedo

Links:

Android

iOS

Flash

Homepage/PC

Smart Casual Gaming

This post has been in my head for some time now but I have been mesmerized by DICE’s Bedouin concubine who calls herself Battlefield 3, whispering of double xp events, tempting me with the sweet scent new weapons to unlock and gyrating its custom server features and other spinning tassels.

I only tore myself from this cushioned tent of FPS to become a thrall to a new siren known as Minecraft, causing my ship of productivity to be dashed hopelessly on her rocks and compelling me to dig through them. Concerning the latter game that I inappropriately sexualised we have a new dedicated page in the works which will eventually surface as soon as we do, but enough of this nonsense, I have other bullshit to talk about

There are a couple of mobile games I have been playing in my spare moments when not near my PC or XBox that you might want to give a go. So if you find yourself with a free minute or 5 on the bus/train/latrine/during a conversation you have grown tired of maybe give these a go.

N.B. None of these games involve hurling poultry or a rope in dire need of cutting and both are 69p on the iOS app store, although I got the first one free from a cool  app called App Gratis, giving you free daily apps alongside a witty description. No Android version of this app in the UK yet but its coming soon according to the site.

Blockado Desert is traditional puzzle game which as you may have deduced is based round a desert theme, but if you hate sand getting everywhere Blockado Jungle and Blockado Deep Sea are available seperately too. The basic object of the game is to get the chests into the pink square by moving obstructing blocks accordingly. It has for 4 worlds each with 10 or more normal levels and 2 optional harder levels if you are insane. Difficulty level goes up at a reasonable rate, creeping up from ‘medium’ to ‘alarming how stupid I am’. In my opinion graphically it looks like plenty of polish has been poured on it and its pick up and play value is excellent, auto saving a level when you stop playing either out of necessity or infuriation. Overall its great value and will keep any mobile gamer with an IQ less than 150 busy for some time. If puzzles are your thing it is available in the App Store now.

Robot Unicorn Attack. Yes you read that correctly, this is a blinder of a game that a couple of my college class mates, who are much more in tune with what happens on the interwebs than me, introduced me to. It started life as a flash game on Adult Swim with the aim that you (the robot unicorn) dash and rainbow attack your way across a neon landscape collecting fairies and stars to amass the highest score possible before you meet your maker. If this didn’t sound trippy enough the music that fills your ears during your unicorning is provided by Erasure…. Seriously? Yep it amazing what a grasp of flash and a lack of a grasp on reality can create.

Any way this if you want to try out the flash version of Robot Unicorn Attack then click here and once you are suitably addicted then you can get your paws on it in the iOS App Store here as well on Android via Google Play here for 9p less than your Apple counterparts. So get to chasing your dreams!

Oh but before you do a friend of mine showed me this and I thought it was fitting, if you like rap parodies and you like casual gaming which lets face it who doesn’t like at least one of those things, you will love this

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