Backflip Studios has had a number of interesting properties over the years, but for me the most endearing title in their collection has to be NinJump. The game took the infinite runner and turned it on its side as well as introducing the concept of defeating 3 similar enemies in order to temporarily gain a power related to that enemy. The ninja’s back, though this time he’s headed to the rooftops in what feels just slightly like a more traditional infinite runner. That doesn’t make it any less addictive, though, and I fear it might suffer the same fate as the original: removal from my device so I can actually find the time for something else.
Not too long ago a game called Scurvy Scallywags came out that created a new breed of match 3 hybrids. It was a welcome evolution from everything we’d seen so far, and I was hoping that more games would take the concept and run. Well, not only did Cavemania run with it, the game created its own finish line. Now I’m not trying to say I love Scurvy Scallywags any less, and there are actually a couple of features in that game I like better, but Cavemania has me hooked. I’m really not quite sure what to classify this as yet, but if you had to give it a label I suppose “strategy / RPG / match 3” hybrid would work as well as anything.
Mikey’s been a busy boy. He’s still looking for shorts and fighting bad guys, and now he’s added grapple hooking to his repertoire. This sequel to the game Mikey Shorts feels very similar to the first installment, but sometimes that’s okay, as is the case here. The levels are quick, the challenge builds up nicely over time, and you can decide whether you want to make it about the stars, the cash or simply getting to the finish line. Plus there are a whole lot of costumes to collect for those of you that like collecting things.
I’ve always felt platform games were a staple of the mobile game world, or at least they were until everyone wanted a touch screen. It’s not even that people didn’t want platform games any more, but rather while some developers did a much better job than others, no one could really seem to master solid controls with no physical controller. LIMBO doesn’t accomplish that task either, but thankfully that didn’t stop the developers from porting the game over to iOS devices. There’s something about this game that grabs you pretty much from the beginning and just doesn’t let go… even when the main character doesn’t do what you want him to.
This is one of those rare cases where I let my objective reviewer guard down and thought to myself “this game is going to be great. After all, it came from the mind of Ron Gilbert, so how can it go wrong?” I was basically setting myself up for mild enjoyment, because we all know over-hyping something diminishes its “wow” factor, or utter disappointment. Thankfully Scurvy Scallywags not only failed to disappoint, but it actually exceeded my lofty expectations. I’m not going to dig myself into a hole by saying this is the best game ever, but boy is there a lot to love here.
When it comes to certain genres like marble poppers, there’s not a lot of variation to be expected in actual game mechanics, unless you create some sort of mash up like what has become popular with match 3 games. What does set one entry apart from another is the presentation, and in that regards Sparkle 2 excels even more than its predecessor did. There are a couple of other things that make it rise to the top, though, so don’t think I’ve been unduly distracted by glittery things. In the end, the Sparkle franchise continues to be my favorite marble popping addiction.
I couldn’t decide if I wanted to invest in The Room or not, but I was really tempted to grab it when the game went on sale for 99 cents. A raving review in a TouchArcade forum I frequent pushed me over the edge and I made the purchase, but then I began to play it and started having second thoughts. Once I went back to it after a day or two, however, something clicked and I realized how brilliant the game was. I’ve always been more interested in Sierra and LucasArts style adventure games with lots of convoluted object puzzles and silly dialog than pure puzzle based games like Myst, but something about The Room captured my attention and wouldn’t let go.
Now that developers are comfortable with the iOS platform and have realized how well it works for adventure games we’re starting to see a lot more original content come to Apple’s mobile devices. One of the latest entries in the genre is The Silent Age, and it’s clear the folks behind this game know a thing or two about what made the old Sierra classics great. If I had to come up with a down side, it’s that the game was over just as it was reaching its peak. Thankfully the developers are already hard at work on a sequel, though, so even that little inconvenience will be rectified at some point.
Sporos is one of those games that makes you wonder why they haven’t done something like it before. The game is like a chain reaction puzzler except that instead of trying to destroy objects and clear the board you’re attempting to fill the board with the few objects you’re given. It’s a clever take on the genre, and if it’s been done before I must have missed it. Whatever the case I’m glad I’ve been introduced to the idea now, and Sporos is certainly a great starting point for getting acquainted with this type of gameplay.
I’m all for the latest trends in technology. In the end, though, I just want my games to be fun. If there’s one thing the METAL SLUG series has proven over and over again it’s that you don’t need the latest 3D accelerated graphics or quad core processor to make an enjoyable game. In fact, as a whole it seems like ports of older games provide some of the most intense scrolling shooter experiences available on the iOS platform. Besides, there’s something about awesome pixel art and classic 90’s video game tunes that’s hard to beat these days.