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.
Some people don’t consider iOS devices real gaming platforms, but since I started writing reviews for my iPod Touch and iPad I barely look back at all the other electronics sitting in my house. The adventure game category is covered when you get first rate releases like The Cave from Ron Gilbert and Double Fine Productions. The master of Monkey Island brings his wit to spelunking with a cast of crazy characters and plenty of oddball puzzles to solve. If you prefer your humor a bit drier and tied to the zombie apocalypse then you might want to give Zombie Apocalift a try. There are still quirky characters, but in this game you have to deal with hordes of undead while trapped in an elevator. If you just want to indulge in a lighthearted puzzle game you should give Happy Hills 2: Bombs Away! a try. This sequel has 160 levels, some new ways to get rid of the blocks and an endless arcade mode for when you want to relax your brain a little.
While the bulk of shiggy’s headphone and earphone reviews have moved to ohm-image, expect a few good reviews to come to TMA. Shiggy’s most recent review is of Earsonic’s SM64. Earsonics are a favourite here at TMA and the SM64 seems to be the hit of the SM line. Why? Shiggy has this to say:
The SM64 delivers not only crisp mids and highs, it serves up boiling, authoritative punches that roll through most of audible spectrum. Lower mids are fast up and down. They never tangle with bass. Kudos to kick drums, bass guitar, electronic kicks, and pretty much anything with a beat from there on down. Thruma thwaaaarck! goes lower bass. Thwacka thwacka! go upper mids. Speed is king.
Timeliness – while stereotypically not very French an asset – has a pigeonhole with an SM64-shaped aperture.
Timely and taut though it is, the SM64 stops far before it ever reaches the shrill, metallic highs that has ER4 lovers all agog. Some may take issue here. Metal-tipped responses can be hugely fun. But Earsonics are a musician-oriented company; and in Earsonics 2,0, equitability takes precedence over wow.
Fans of crispy crisp crisp will probably look elsewhere for their bacon. Similarly, fans of warm fuzzies may also have to turn elsewhere. With few outliers, the SM64 sounds rather flat – and certainly crisp – at the ear.
Pik Pok already had one incredible infinite runner on their hands with Into The Dead, so when I saw that they were the creative force behind [adult swim]’s latest release Giant Boulder of Death I just had to check it out. That was a big mistake on my part. Not because the game is bad by any means, but because now I’m addicted to the idea of crushing everything in my path with a large rocky object. Even though you might think you’re sick of “infinite whatever” style games, if you have the slightest depraved sense of humor you owe it to yourself to check out this title. The rest of you just go back to your humdrum lives.
Guess what? A whole bunch of new games came out last week, and I was there to download and try out as many as I could. Crescent Moon Games released Fading Fairytales, a turn based strategy game set in a world where dark forces threaten to tear apart everyone’s favorite childhood stories (sounds awfully familiar). Surprisingly the game is free to play, and it looks to put an interesting spin on all the fables you remember from your youth. Mines Of Mishap is a new hack ‘n slash that doesn’t actually start you off fighting bats, rats or goblins. You can have multiple save slots for each of four character types, there are 40 different gems to discover and upgrade your character with, and you can play co-op with up to four players over WiFi. As usual there were plenty of infinite runners released over the week, but one that caught my eye was Buddy & Me. Visually it looks like an interesting interpretation of The Neverending Story, and unlike most runners that have two characters in this one they work cooperatively instead of having to control them both in separate circumstances.
Three years ago, my search for the best task manager on both the Mac and iOS led me to Omnifocus. I had tried numerous apps that implemented David Allen’s GTD (Getting Things Done) methodology and in the end, I settled with Omnifocus and never looked back. Since OF’s release for the iPhone in 2008, it’s been considered among the top Todo apps on the platform. So naturally, with the release of iOS 7, the Omnigroup have released a new and completely revamped version of the app to match the latest OS’ flat and more modern design.
This was another incredible week for iOS games, starting with the release of heavy hitters Infinity Blade III and Angry Birds Star Wars II. Turns out a lot of other folks released games as well, with the powerhouse known as Disney actually publishing three separate titles. The one that caught my eye more was DuckTales: Scrooge’s Loot, a third person online treasure hunt involving all the quirky characters from one of Disney’s best 80’s after school cartoons. If you prefer something a little more offbeat you might give Captain Bubblenaut a try. This interesting take on the Tiny Wings phenomenon has you rolling over the opposition while moving the landscape back and forth to guarantee your character a safe landing. The You Don’t Know Jack franchise continues to expand with You Don’t Know Jack Party. This time around the object is to taunt your friends in person, so the focus here is to get 2-4 people together, hook the device running the game to your TV, and then use all your other devices as the controllers for this irreverent quiz game show.
Over the years, learning to play songs on the guitar by way of tabulature (or tab) have certainly become more interactive. What used to be an exercise of finding books and sheets of music for your favorite songs, chords and tabs rapidly made their way onto the web. Nowadays, dozens of sites host extensive libraries of tabs to help guitar players of all levels perfect that catchy riff or solo. One such site is Songsterr, which started back in 2008. Besides being an archive of over 500,000 tabs for the guitar, bass and drums, it’s highly unique in that it’s also an online tab player that lets users follow along each tab as the song (with audio) is being played. The Songsterr app for the iPhone and iPad works much like its web counterpart and practicing tabs on-the-go doesn’t get much better than this.
Apparently I spoke too soon last week when I cried that the Christmas like flow of games had ended for now. I could probably write double my normal size article this week and still have games I’d want to cover to spare. Anyway, Tiny Death is a new platform game that’s sure to resonate well with former – or current – console gamers. Cute graphics, decent level design and a nice sense of humor may not make this game worth dying for, but it would certainly be prudent to check it out. Disney has upped the ante for cute physics puzzlers once again with the release of Where’s My Water? 2. You can expect more game play elements, additional quirky characters and I even hear rumors of gravity manipulation. If you can’t get enough of infinite runners you’ll definitely want to check out Infectonator : Hot Chase. This sequel to Infectonator takes the action to an infinite side scrolling format, but you still get to turn people into zombies.
The feeling that we were having some sort of Christmas season in the middle of summer is finally starting to recede, but there are still some developers turning out cool new offerings in the game department. Three years after the original was released the premiere vehicular zombie smashing franchise is back with Zombie Highway: Driver’s Ed. You still have some gadgets to make life a bit easier, but this time around you need to prove your driving mettle instead of just blowing away the undead with cool weapons. On the completely absurd side [adult swim] has released their latest title called Giant Boulder of Death. The story is silly and the objectives mainly revolve around rolling over as much as you can, but it sure is a lot of fun. The winner in the retro revival of the week is Ultima IV: C64. You’ll know if this is for you just by reading the title, but for those that know this is an incredible blast from the past.