I remember back in the good old days when home computers were still a long way away from being the preferred past time of younglings, we entertained ourselves with various “hardware” games. And among these were the popular “Where’s Waldo” style exercises, printed in just about any kid’s magazine you could think of. If you’re by any chance not familiar with those, the goal was simple – Find Waldo (a skinny guy in a funny striped shirt and hat) on a picture. Just 20 years and some clever devs have taken the concept to a whole new level with the range of Hidden Object games, recently joined by Pirate Mysteries.
Anyone who’s read my reviews knows I’m a big fan of puzzlers and pick-up-and-play type games on my iPhone. The latest to cross my path is Chillingo’s Collision Effect. Promising unique gameplay and brain teasing challenges, let’s take a look and see why this one’s a winner.
Hamlet or the Last Game without MMORPG Features, Shaders and Product Placement in Review – None of the above, but a devilishly good puzzler
The adventure game genre has seen quite varied incarnations on the iDevice. From ports of the classic games like Broken Sword: Director’s Cut (TMA Review), to all original hardcore adventures in 1112 episode 02 or HECTOR: Badge of Carnage Ep1 (TMA Review), to more light hearted ones such as Mystery Mania (TMA Review), a good number have found their rightful spot in our App Store’s Best Adventure list. And it is this last genre that has just been updated with a title with the very long name of Hamlet or the Last Game without MMORPG Features, Shaders and Product Placement.
Escape the room genre is one of those casual spin-offs of full scale adventure games, born with the rise of Flash-based games. Since then it has become a beloved pastime for many office employees and after a while, found its way to the App Store as well. Unfortunately the quality of these titles on the iDevice differs wildly (remember Escape the Room: Magician’s WC (TMA Review)?) But Escape the room 2 is a whole other kettle of fish, having some serious muscle behind it from Tate Games, the dev team responsible for the excellent RPG Crimson Gem Saga (TMA Review).
3bot is kind of like Q*Bert in a 3D world with a 50’s sci-fi twist to it. The game is fun, and between the levels being timed and certain other restrictions on given levels, you’ll face quite a challenge to get every level perfect. The visuals are neat, the audio is good and the controls are easy to execute (though not necessarily easy to master). Now if I could just get my brain to think more quickly in 3D…
Damian Filigree: the Book of Thoth is a quirky little game. It provides a rather interesting match 3 mechanic combined with a “keep on running” component complete with a nasty mummy and a bunch of traps. The problem is that while it initially feels like a casual affair, it ends up being more of a hardcore experience. As a result I’m not really sure how much I care for it. I can guarantee you that you’ve not experienced anything quite like it before, however.
Talking about catapult type games, there’s no question that the top one on anyone’s mind right now, as well for the whole 2010, is Angry Birds. But whatever some may think, the genre itself is rather old. Born originally from the unique Yeti Sports: Penguin Toss, known at the time of its release back in 2004 as Pingu Throw, it has been a favourite of Flash developers ever since, and almost every kind of variation fathomable has been done at some point. So keeping in mind that the dreaded birds vs. hogs didn’t actually invent anything, let’s take a look at the most recent release hoping to claim Angry Birds’ crown – Pirates vs. Ninjas vs. Zombies vs. Pandas.
I didn’t think the match 3 mash-up could get any better than the original Puzzle Quest. It figures that it would take the sequel of the game that pioneered the concept to prove me wrong. Puzzle Quest 2 raises the bar that its predecessor set with a new isometric perspective that actually lets you wander around town, side quests complete with mini-games, and a tournament mode that allows you to fight with the monsters! I’m not sure what Puzzle Quest 3 will bring (or if there will even be one), but if it’s even half the upgrade this one has been we’ll be in for another treat.
It seems like so many people are hung up on labeling games – every game has to be “just like that other game I played”. If I was forced to compare this to something I’d have to give it the title “Puzzle Quest Lite”, though that’s neither fair to the impact that Puzzle Quest had on the match 3 genre or the brilliance of Dungeon Raid. Instead, let’s just say that Dungeon Raid is a match 3 game with some simple RPG elements thrown in that can take you a few minutes or somewhat longer to play depending on your skill level and the difficulty setting you choose. All I know is that despite the game’s basic nature I tend to find myself getting lost in it quite easily.
Every once in a while whenever I look at new releases on the App Store, I get a wave of nostalgia threatening to swipe me off my feet. I don’t care that the devs are just taking good old games and bringing them to the i-platform, I just care that they do it right. And what can compare to the joy of reliving those sweet memories on the Jesus phone? Especially if those memories have iii in them, as in the famous Gobliiins.