I used to start out reviews of Arkanoid style games with something along the lines of “I’m not a real fan of this genre, but…”. The more I play this type of game on mobile devices, however, the more I realize that it can actually be quite entertaining, provided it brings something a bit different to the table. Welcome to the world of Anodia. You can’t get much different from your average brick breaker than to make a brick breaker with no bricks! Unique level designs and a couple of interesting power ups set this Arkanoid clone above the rest, including Arkanoid itself.
I’m generally not a big fan of the puzzle platform genre; it just feels somewhat outdated to me as a concept. I understand the nostalgia that powers a lot of the sales behind it, but am an alien to it myself. The truth is – almost everything that could have been dreamed up, already has been. Or so I thought before trying out Cavorite, a recent addition to the App Store with a unique concept wrapped beneath seemingly traditional graphics.
The epic war between pork and poultry has finally wormed its way into the line drawing genre of games thanks to the fine folks over at Pan Vision AB / Tactile Entertainment. I never knew that pigs lived in trees, but apparently they do and the woodpeckers don’t like it. The premise is quirky, but the visuals are fun and the game itself is quite challenging. The different types of birds also bring some interesting elements into play. If you thought you were done with the whole pig / bird conflict, here’s a good enough reason to join the fight once again.
Reviewing Flick Golf! (TMA Review) a few months ago I was absolutely thrilled by the new and original spin (pardon the pun) on the genre. Distilling the essence of one of the most aristocratic sports to a simple flick of the finger is pure genius. Well, Tiger Woods, it’s time to eat your golf club, as Flick Golf Extreme! takes the same unique gameplay and offers to go dunk the golf balls from helicopters and skyscrapers for the ultimate golf experience.
The Last Ace of Space is the epic story of a cat, his flying pig, and the big green slime that wants to eat them both. The atmosphere reminds me of what might happen if Don Bluth made an infinite running game. The action, however, is a far cry from the simple “tap to jump” that dominates most infinite run games. My only concern is that it might be a bit overwhelming for the particular genre it competes in. It is certainly unique for this style of game, but robs the genre of one of its compelling points – simplicity.
I’m beginning to feel like a broken record, but the reality is that a game in the App Store these days has to stand out to have any chance at success. Luckily, Angry Business Man is a very different sort of constant running game. The premise is simple: the bus failed to stop and pick you up, so now you have to catch it. The game handles the running for you, and the only obstacle to worry about are randomly placed traffic cones that you jump by tapping on the screen. There are two things that make Angry Business Man a bit different game play wise. The first is that the landscape is 360 degrees. Yes, you might not want to play with headphones on, because you’ll often find yourself rotating your device such that headphones will simply get tangled.
Why did the chicken cross the road? If you’re doing your job right, you shouldn’t have to answer that question. Egg vs. Chicken is an interesting mash up of match 3 and tower defense that actually manages to blend the two genres fairly seamlessly. The cartoon quality visuals and 70s action TV show theme music make for a wacky atmosphere that serves a game like this well. I just wouldn’t expect too much depth from the game beyond trying to maximize your score via combos.
There’s been a lot of positive buzz about Storm in a Teacup, both before and after the first time I attempted to play it. After muddling through the first 2 levels I just didn’t get the appeal of the game. Luckily I had committed to reviewing it, so I forced myself to pick it back up and move on to level 3. It didn’t take long for me to realize that this is one of the best platform games I’ve got on my device right now. I think the visuals sometimes border on amateurish, and I’ll get to the music later, but overall I am so glad I stuck with it to see what the game had to offer.
I have to admit that I thought the X-Men arcade game came out before 1992, but apparently my memory is already starting to fail me (I thought this mainly because I didn’t think I frequented arcades so much when I was in college). Whatever the case, I played this game any chance I got, and I always longed for a nice home version – or any home version – to be released. Alas, it wasn’t meant to happen until 18 years later when the game arrived on XBLA and PSN, neither of which I had access to. Finally, however, Konami must have caught drift of how badly I wanted this game, and they released an iOS port of the arcade classic. It was so totally worth the wait.
Tower defense games have become synonymous with winding paths full of bad guys, protective offensive structures that can be upgraded, and more recently, guiding heroes that have a trick or two up their sleeves. Drake’s Tower takes the genre back to the basics, giving you one tower to control and upgrade to the hilt as you protect your little piece of land against wave after wave of zombie invaders. The fact that your playing area is so limited in scope gets a bit tedious at times, but once you start getting into some heavy action you’ll forget about that. Not being a huge fan of the TD genre, I’m finding Drake’s Tower to be a refreshing deviation from the norm.