When games set the bar so high in a particular genre, much like The Treasures of Montezuma 3 did for match 3 games, I often wonder if new variants are even going to be worth trying. I was especially nervous about this one because I had played its canine sibling, Puppy Sanctuary, on the PC and didn’t really care for it. I’m happy to report that not only is Kitten Sanctuary a much more interesting game than its puppy partner (or I didn’t give the other enough of a chance), but it can actually be quite addicting. The whole Tamagatchi style interludes aren’t even that bad.
I’m beginning to think developers are purposely making the tough puzzle games cute. They do it to lull us into a false sense of security because of course a cute looking puzzle game is going to be easy. It has to be for the kids that will invariably be drawn to it, right? I can’t think of a more charming premise than a disgruntled sheepdog that dons a motorcycle helmet and goes all Evil Knievel to get the sheep he’s supposed to be rounding up to respect him. Yet some of these levels can be quite maddening.
While rhythm action games in the old-school vein of Parappa the Rapper have certainly seen their day, Simogo Games has come to the table with a lightly veiled reincarnation entitled Beat Sneak Bandit. The game takes place in the city of Pulsebury, in which you, The Bandit, have learned that all the clocks in town are being stolen. The suspect is none other than Duke Clockface: villainous owner of the mysterious Clockwork Mansion. Serving more as Batman than Bandit, you invoke vigilante law in an attempt to steal back the town’s clocks.
There is a list that sits on my desk that is infamous – at least to me – because it is the list of all the games that I have slated for review. It’s not a bad list, mind you, but rather a constant reminder that I have a lot of playing to do. The problem with this is what has compelled me to write this particular review. I sat down one day at lunch to play one of those games that I’m supposed to review, and I spent about 10 minutes with it. The game was fun, but I was ready to move on. Then I decided to go back to Trundle Unlimited. Before I knew it a half hour had passed and my lunch break was over. I felt like I had been playing for five minutes.
Not too long ago before this review I wrote a preview for Azkend 2, so I decided to start over and play the game on my iPad this time around. I was about half way through the game on my iPod Touch, but the truth is that I’ve had just as much fun the second time around with this match 3 from 10tons. Actually, I think it was a bit more entertaining because I found it easier to pull off massive combos on the larger screen. Still, whether you’ve got an iPad or just a small screen device with which to play iOS games, Azkend 2 is definitely worth your time.
Thanks to the inspiration of such classics as Bejeweled there certainly isn’t a shortage of match 3 games on the App Store, but quality ones are an entirely different story. For every Treasures Of Montezuma there are literally dozens that… well, just aren’t. Thankfully 10 Tons rises above the ranks of “the others”, and with Azkend 2 kicks this particular series up a couple of notches [TMA's Azkend 1 review].
Not too long ago when my mom was really into playing games on her computer she’d often tell me how she was finishing a game for the second or third time. I never really got that, because between beta testing and reviewing I’m lucky if I get through a game once, let alone multiple times. There are rare occasions where I get caught up in something I know I shouldn’t, though, and such is the case with Gardenscapes HD. I’ve already finished the game on my PC, yet I find myself almost to the end of it on my iPad now. It’s possible that I’ve even enjoyed it more this time around as well.
There’s something about the world of Tiny Planet that captured my attention from the very first game screen. The Tiny Bang Story HD is not your typical hidden object game; it’s a bit light on story, and it assumes that you don’t need any handholding. It can also get frustrating at times, even with something as simple as figuring out what to do next. Through it all, though, I found myself hardly able to put the game down. That’s even after playing the first chapter 3 times (once on my PC and twice on the iPad). There were only two significant letdowns to the game – it ended too quickly, and the end was actually a bit anti-climactic.
Out of all my university courses, my least favourite was probably mechanical drawing. You know, where you have to meticulously prepare a technical image of an object to scale according to all the rules and regulations. I’ve had little problems understanding how it should look like, but doing it neatly – let’s just say that it didn’t always go according to plan. I’ve even had dreams about the sketches, though they were more like nightmares. And funnily enough, those drawings in my dreams looked almost exactly like Blueprint 3D.
Sometimes I fear that a particular genre will start to get old, especially when the App Store gets littered with games from that genre. The physics puzzler is one such genre that comes to mind, but thankfully Greedy Penguins isn’t the game to make that fear come true. This cute puzzle game about feeding some hungry aquatic birds can be challenging, but it is also satisfying and often quite entertaining. Control is a bit troublesome, which I have a feeling is due to the small iPod Touch screen, but overall the playing experience has been top notch.