Three and a half inches of fury

To all of you who follow us @TeaBagOrDie on Twitter you will know this already, to those who don’t we are excited to welcome some awesome new writers to the TBoD team. You will get to meet the others over the coming weeks but to kick things off we have a post by the multi-talented Salmonfin. I would link to a little bio about our aquarius blogger but he is getting up to some water-sports in Ibiza as we speak and didn’t have chance to send me one so he will have to remain an enigma for now. Anyway read/comment/subscribe/cheers. -MS Dosser

Its true what they say you know; it’s not the size of the screen that counts, it’s the way you use it. Or did I hear that wrong? Anyway, the rather astute developers at Lake Effect Applications have certainly done no harm to this particular, be it dubious, claim. And in the process have given hope to mobile gamers looking for a shooter fix with their latest creation Trigger Fist.

While I usually avoid shooters on the iOS platform, my mate thought it would be a good idea if I picked it up so we could play together (read: kick my ass).  So, being the great friend that I am, obliged and paid £0.69 of hard-earned student loan for the privilege. After jumping into a game the first thing that struck me was the absence of a y-axis. Meaning, you simply swipe left and right to target your virtual enemies. While this sounds strange for a shooter, I found it to be a stroke of genius as it allows to you focus more on your aiming, rather than flailing round in the heat of battle like an epileptic octopus at a rave. Cue flashbacks to Call of Duty for the Wii. Granted, it does leave the game a little…horizontal, but, less is definitely more in this case. Movement is controlled by a floating joystick on the left of the screen, while aiming is done by swiping anywhere on the screen. Swiping down will allow you to crouch and you change weapons, reload etc. using the icons in the bottom right.

Almost got him

The game has four game modes; team deathmatch, free for all, king of the hill, and my personal favorite, sacred goat. The first three are pretty much self-explanatory. Sacred goat, however, is essentially capture the flag but instead of a flag, you guessed it, you have to pick up a goat who will jump on your back until you’re killed at which point it will continue on its random journey like nothing happened until someone else picks it up. The winning team is the first to keep the goat on their back for 120 seconds. Each of these game modes can be played in 4 different ways, single player with bots, online matchmaking, with friends (via Game Center), and via Bluetooth. Each team consists of 4 players, although, one thing to note is when playing online you’ll only ever have 3 other human players in the game and the rest are bots. This is down to limitations with the Game Center which sucks but c’est la vie.

Unfortunately, I’ve yet to find a ladder in the game

As one would expect there are a number of classes you can choose to be, each with their own progression path. Gunner (LMGs), Rifleman (Assault rifles) and Scout (SMGs) all have their own unique benefits and weapons. Weapons are unlocked individually for each class by gaining points as that class in-game. However, you can buy the next weapon unlock for £0.69. You get the sense that the unlocks are dragged out to entice you to pay for the next weapon, while I don’t mind this strategy in free games I don’t feel they should be forced on you in a game that you have paid £2.99 for (price after the sale, apparently). Perks offer a nice way to customize your load-out and don’t seem to imbalance the game as much as *cough* recent Call of Dutys *cough*.

Ultimately, Trigger Fist understands what its supposed to be and that’s exactly what it is, a pocket shooter. By not forcing over the top graphics or even including a single player campaign it’s given the game a very streamline feel, allowing you to hop on for a quick game or two while on the john. Which is a good thing, too many times I’ve started playing Infinity Blade only to snap back to reality 45 minutes wondering what the time is and why my back’s aching. Anyway, you can pick this bad boy up for £1.99 on the App Store while it’s still on sale.

I hope this rather amateur review didn’t bore you too much. If it did, feel free to abuse me in the comments or if you’re not in the mood to hurt my feelings or have a suggestion for a game I should try, let me know too.

-salmonfin

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Stig-martyr

Is this what you see when you think of gamers?

Why is it that sometimes we gamers are considered second class citizens? Why do non-gamers so often perceive us as anti-social delinquents with little to no redeeming qualities outside of the fact we can crack resi 2 with less than three saves in a little over four hours? How come gaming is considered less worthwhile and more childish than watching television or movies?

I know plenty of people who love the likes of Toy Story or The Princess Diaries yet believe that video games hold no place in society? I’m a guy so understandably I don’t really understand the appeal of Rom-coms nor do I hold them in a negative regard, they are a piece of entertainment like any other designed to take you out of your real life problems and help you unwind so why is it some people cannot allow the same courtesy to a form of entertainment that is arguably far more engaging and thought provoking? Looking down your nose at the likes LA Noire is akin to saying classic cinema is a bore…… Perhaps this is the way some people feel but at the end of the day its a crass generalisation made by people who have little experience of gaming outside of what they see in the press. Games are a media that covers such a huge set of genres (not to mention art style, direction, game play style) cannot be described purely as one form of entertainment.

With the advent of motion controls being just one in a long series of innovative steps taken by the many thousands of talented men and women behind these mega bucks studios it is rash to say Hollywood or television have anything better to offer. When was the last time you saw a movie where Tom Cruise taught you about the power struggles between the Medici and the Bourgia’s in renaissance Italy like AC2 does? (Won’t I be made the fool when it’s revealed little Tom is playing Ezio in the movie) Or expanded your mind like professor Layton? Hell I remember learning geography from where on earth is Carmen San Deigo when I was but 5/6 years old plus I now understand the rudimentary physics that go in to creating a wormhole into slip space with a Shaw-Fujikawa drive (ok that ones not real).

Learning is fun.

Video games today show so much advancement that it’s a little scary at times, where other art forms (thats right I called video games art those of you who have played any of the Ico, thatgamecompany or Viewtiful Joe games will agree) stagnate video games continue to smash the mould and create newer richer experiences that redefine entertainment at every turn. but don’t take my word for it you just need to jump online to see I’m right there are literally millions of blogs just like this one dedicated to the promotion of a media that people love.

You’ve probably guessed already someone made a throwaway comment about games and gamers that irked me and I know I probably took it too personally but I can’t help it, we gamers are a like minded people passionate about what we believe in. So don’t come crying to me when the Earth is under threat from Aliens, Zombies, Orcs, Ghosts or all of the above because you didn’t put the hours in learning just how to deal with such a situation.

Gaming is no longer exclusively a “guy thing”.

The traditional view of gaming nerds is finally being challenged by a new crop of gaming girls who are not in the least bit ashamed of their hobby and the gaming world as a whole has been more than willing to accept them with open arms (not least because we are unable to speak to girls let alone ask them to leave as the old stereotype goes).The stigma surrounding geeks and nerds has slackened somewhat in recent years, thanks in part to the portrayal of geeks in tv land but it has not disapeared completely and it’s still difficult to explain to a “normy” that gaming can be a social experience too. I’ve played with people from India, America, France, Poland and even a guy who lived two streets over from me purely by accident and I love the way online gaming has brought this aspect to the forefront because gaming like anything else is more fun when enjoyed with others.

Seth Cohen: Making life easier for geeks since 2003

Let me know what you think, tell me your stories of being dismissed for being a gamer or tell me why you think we are a danger to society who should be segregated from the rest of humanity and never allowed to reproduce for fear that we create more deranged VG fans hell bent on destroying the earths limited supply of … erm …. Bandwidth, Cds and electricity?

Elths rant over.

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

If you have any comments or suggestions on how we can improve our blog or maybe you would like our views on games / technology that interests you, please leave a comment, subscribe at the top of our page

The Long Write of Solace

Elth: -so this is our new blog from the title it’s probably pretty obvious that the main theme is going to be gaming. I’m elth and this over here is Dosser. We are both pretty avid Halo fans from the north-east of England so get your jump packs ready and prime a Spartan laser it’s teabagging time noobsauce.

MS Dosser: – Yeah pretty much what he said, we will also be airing our rather biased views on other games, new tech and for you Drum n Bass fans you might even get the odd album recommendation from me. If you like what you read please recommend and let us know if you have a blog for us to check out….Now I gotta go Battlefield 3 just finished installing so i’m off to get pwned.