Despite all my parents’ warnings, I’ve always loved playing with fire. The way the flames dance fascinates me and burning stuff is always fun. Verrry fun. And thanks to BulkyPix I can now do so on-the-go on my iPhone with Burn it All – Journey to the Sun – one of the most recent and highly acclaimed additions to the casual puzzle genre on the App Store.
Casual games rule the App Store and it sure didn’t take long for them to invade one of the most popular genres for hardcore gamers – Strategy Games. This subgenre blending aspects of strategy and action first originated in the explosion of various office time-killers (aka Flash games) and finally found its way onto the iOS. And what’s more, it was given quite a warm welcome by the iPhone community, with some of the titles finding their way into the top of the charts. The latest such entry to emerge from the crowd is Legendary Wars, uniting all the best aspects of the many predecessors and bringing some new features of its own.
About a year ago, Plants vs. Zombies (TMA Review) made its way onto the App Store with much fanfare and it was highly acclaimed across the board by both critics and the general public. With its mind-boggling success, it was only a matter of time that look-alikes would popup. If anything, I’m a bit surprised that it took as long as it did. Nevertheless, regardless of how KillingZone Defense may resemble PopCap’s famous twist on the tower defense genre at first glance, it turns out to be a rather different game altogether.
At a time when home computers had less memory than the average modern video card, “sprawling” CRPGs consisted of randomly generated dungeons rendered with standard characters from your typical keyboard. The challenge came from a combination of a myriad of commands to learn and the fact that once you died your save game was deleted – there were no second chances here. The leader of the pack at one time was Rogue, hence the modern label “rogue like game”. While I still enjoy some of the concepts behind the generic dungeon crawling, I never was good at remembering all the keystrokes. That’s where modern interpretations like Sword of Fargoal come in.
Action RPGs are a tricky lot to get right. You have to have the perfect balance between RPG and action in order to appease both types of players. On top of that you have to be careful to avoid a common feature that plagues both style of game: repetitiveness. Forcing the genre into a side scrolling perspective adds additional burden, because you all but lose one facet of the RPG side, which is puzzle solving. Unfortunately, ILLUSIA tends to weigh more heavily on the action side of things, and quite frankly that action is starting to get rather boring. I’ve put at least 3-4 hours into the game, it feels like I’ve been playing for days, and I don’t feel like I’ve accomplished much.
Deer hunting simulators have always seemed kind of silly to me. I can’t believe real hunters would find any exhilaration in simulated game, and people who don’t normally hunt won’t get anything near the real experience on a computer. That’s why I think Tatem Games is on the right track with their Carnivores series, since it’s not like I’m going to be able to step out my door any time soon and hunt real life dinosaurs. The game has held my attention much better than any deer hunting affair to date, but the extreme difficulty winds up frustrating me more often than not.
The Devil May Cry series is certainly one of the hallmarks of the console action/slashers. Known for spectacular stylized combos and a mix of both ranged and melee combat, it has set a standard few have been able to achieve. And it seems Nintendo and Sony have ever more reasons to be wary of the iOS devices, as Capcom has quite unexpectedly released a version of the latest reincarnation of the franchise on the App Store. Let’s see if Devil May Cry 4 refrain can live up to the benchmark set by the console versions of the series.
Lara Croft is one of the most widely known game characters ever, in many ways revolutionizing the way females were perceived in the industry in the mid-90s. She has seen numerous appearances in games on almost every console imaginable and even has a couple of movies of her own to boot, starring the luscious Angelina Jolie. So you can imagine my surprise when without any kind of fanfare or publicity Square Enix released the first Lara Croft game for the iDevice platform late last year – Lara Croft and the Guardian of Light.
EA is one of the few major publishers that have truly embraced the App Store. Even better, many of their titles truly set a quality benchmark for others to follow, from the classic boarding goodness of SCRABBLE to becoming the mayor in SimCity Deluxe to the parkour action of Mirror’s Edge. And now they’ve has set out to redefine the 3rd Person Shooter genre with the highly anticipated release of Dead Space. Continue reading…