Android Games Roundup [8/30/20]

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So I would love to blame the gap between roundups on this nasty little pandemic that’s been circling the globe (if you’re reading this after the fact, assuming there is an after the fact, Google the time frame to see what I’m talking about), but thankfully it hasn’t impacted me for the most part. I just don’t seem to get around to spending much time on my phone these days. In fact, I’m pretty sure I started this one pretty much right after I finished the last one, because it has been months since I played the first game on the list. Oh, and there’s also the fact that I spent some time transitioning between phones, which meant either starting games over completely or figuring out how to get the save games to transfer between devices. Incidentally, if you happen to be a developer reading this, take advantage of available services to make data transition seamless. I was amazed at how many games still don’t provide a decent way to start a game on one device and continue it on another. I don’t even care if it’s cross-OS, but it should at least be easily doable for the end user between devices on the same app store. There’s my quick soapbox for the day. Now on to what you actually came here for which is to read about the latest set of games that I have been playing. Continue reading…

Plunder Kings in Review: Not Worth The Gamble

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I have been a fan of the scrolling shooter (or shmups as they are theoretically affectionately known) for a long time, and I get excited every time I come across a new one for my mobile devices.  The thing is, like with most genres the basic tenant of such a game doesn’t change from one outing to the next, so it’s up to each developer to come up with something that sets their product apart from all the rest.  Plunder Kings managed to do that, and I actually like what they came up with.  The problem is that the rest of the game falls square in the middle of the scrolling shooter spectrum.  It’s not a bad game by any means, but at the end of the day I can find enough games in this genre that are more appealing that there’s no particular reason for me to add this one to the “permanent play” collection.
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Maya The Bee: The Nutty Race in Review: Not Quite So Nutty

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Normally I wouldn’t review a game like this. “What do you mean by that?” you’re probably asking at this point. I have nothing against the genre or anything, but the game was designed for a young audience. Since my “youngest” is a freshman in high school, I don’t really feel that I have a good perspective on games targeted at a younger audience any more. On the other hand, I remember that there were some games designed for the kids that I even enjoyed, so when given the opportunity I check them out once in a while anyway. Besides, I figured with the release of Mario Kart for mobile phones I’d see what a competitor for kids had to offer.
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The Majesty of Colors Remastered in Review: Not Quite So Majestic

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There are so many games out there that I like to be able to bring to you some of the more unusual ones that might not get a lot of coverage in other places. I’m going to go out on a limb and say that Majesty of Colors qualifies as “unusual”. It’s really more of an interactive narrative than a game, and it won’t take you long to complete, unless you decide to hunt for all of the endings. It’s certainly not going to be everyone’s cup of tea, but if you’re tired of every game feeling like it came from a “tutorial to mobile gaming” mold, it might be worth the dollar to give it a try. Hopefully I’ll make that decision easier for you.
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Warhammer: Doomwheel in Review: Rats and Destruction Should Be Better

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I know very little about the Warhammer 40K universe, but to be honest that’s not what drew me to this game anyway.  I like infinite runners, and the idea of portraying a rat driving a big wheel of doom just sounded pretty cool.  The concept is actually decent, and the game has its moments.  It even has one of my favorite elements of the infinite runner, the ability to level up by grinding through the worlds and completing missions.  It just doesn’t do anything to set it apart from all the infinite runners that have come before it.
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The Scoundrel in Review: Nostalgia Isn’t Always Great

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I remember when a PC monitor only displayed 16 colors, and the Mac was an odd rectangular device with a black and white screen. I dare say these are even fond memories, because for me many of these experiences were technical revolutions, and not just footnotes in the history of where we are today. As such I’ve been a big fan of the retro movement, as developers and publishers try to give us a glimpse into the past of computer and console gaming. Sometimes it works, but then there are those instances where it feels like maybe a particular game or era should have been left to bask in the glow of our rose colored glasses. Unfortunately for me, I think The Scoundrel falls under the latter category.
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Roll For It in Review – A New Style of Dice & Cards

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It took me one or two tries to get into Tsuro, but once I did it quickly became one of my – and my kids’ – favorite multi-player games. Without even really knowing anything about it, I was rather excited when I heard that Thunderbox would be releasing a new mobile offering, this time based off of a card collecting physical game. It’s not like a CCG, however, so if that’s your aim you’ll need to look elsewhere. This is a simple game where you roll dice to win cards on the playing field, with the ultimate goal of being the first person to score 40 points. It’s easy to understand, it doesn’t take long to get through an individual game, and it can be rather addictive if you have the right people to play it with. But, it doesn’t quite live up to the bar set by its predecessor.
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ROTii in Review – Vacuuming Doesn’t Always Suck

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Back when I was an avid console gamer I used to love 2D platform games. Castlevania, Mega-Man, Super Mario Bros.: there was just something about the format that really resonated with me. When touch screen, mobile gaming took over my electronic life I drifted towards scrolling shooters, because generally speaking the controls seemed to handle themselves better than most platforms when you didn’t have the aid of a tactile controller. Still, whenever a platformer looks like it has promise I’m more than willing to give it a try and ROTii is just such a game. ROTii certainly has many of the qualities that remind me why I like the genre so much, but there are also a few issues that keep it from rising to the top.
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Android Games Roundup [7/15/18]

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Another roundup is here and it hasn’t even been 2 months yet!  I know, I’m shocked too.  I was hoping things would pick up a bit, but life has this funny habit of continually getting in my way.  At any rate, I actually included an additional game in this roundup, and eventually I might get back up to the 10 game quota I had in the iOS days.  I tried to pick a nice variety of genres again, and I finally got to try out a game I’ve been wanting to play but that wasn’t compatible with my old Apple device.  I also found a couple of nice RPG lite games for those who like the grinding but don’t have hours at a time to invest in a mobile game, and a cool motorcycle game that reminds me just a bit of one of my SEGA Genesis favorites.  I apologize for the lack of corresponding iOS links this time around, but iTunes isn’t cooperating with me at the moment.
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Eventide 3: Legacy of Legends in Review: Not Quite So Legendary

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By now it should come as no surprise that I love adventure games, and while I continually refute the claim that they are “not dead yet”, it is hard to argue that the genre is feeling a bit stagnant lately, especially on the mobile front.  Even G5, whom we used to be able to count on for some fun Hidden Object / Adventure games seems to have resorted mainly to updating a couple of F2P offerings every now and again.  Thankfully Artifex Mundi is still delivering, and I recently got the chance to play one of their latest, Eventide 3: Legacy of Legends.  I can’t say it was my favorite offering, but it was a solid game with an enjoyable if not fairly standard fantasy plot.
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