If you’ve been around the adventure game circuit as long as I have you’re undoubtedly familiar with the “land of the lounge lizards” and its star inhabitant, Larry. The boy is back in Leisure Suit Larry: Reloaded, a prime example of crowd funding done right. Spearheaded by Al Lowe himself, the game takes the plot of the original and brings everything else up to modern standards in a big way. Maybe you prefer a little bit of naval warfare that doesn’t take place on a grid. Pirate Hero 3D might suit your needs with a more arcade like approach to boat on boat combat with some cool scenery to boot. Those that enjoy strategy but like a more hands-off approach to the combat portion of the game should check out Rivals At War: 2084. It takes the thrill of card game deck building and lets you watch the battles play out in real time 3D glory.
lolo, developers behind popular fitness apps like Easy Abs and Easy Arms (two apps that have helped me get back into shape), have released 7-Minute Workout (High Intensity Training) for the iPhone. In case you’re not familiar, the 7 Minute Workout first appeared on NY Times and is “based on science”, where you do 12 sets of exercises in 7 minutes. It does get pretty intense during this short span – especially if you push yourself. Since reading about it a month ago, I’ve done a number of these 7 minute workouts and I find them great when you don’t have a whole lot of time to exercise. Compared to the many 7 minute workout apps that have sprung up on the App Store, lolo’s is probably the most involved of the bunch.
Have you ever wished that while travelling abroad, you could keep your own phone number AND not have to pay those exorbitantly high roaming rates? Well thanks a Latvian based company who also brought us VIR2SIM, their recently released Roamer app will let you do just that – keep your number while saving a bundle when overseas. Basically, you’ll need an unlocked iPhone/Android phone and a local SIM card from the city you’ll be travelling to. Then after activating the new SIM with the Roamer app, whenever calls are made to your home number, they’ll be re-routed to your new local number. According to Roamer, you can save up to 96% on those pesky roaming rates. For example, if you’re traveling to the UK, €10 credits is good for 250 minutes of incoming calls (€0.04/min). Outgoing calls are slightly more expensive (depending on destination), but the catch here – and this only applies to outgoing calls – is that they require an internet connection, be it via a data plan or WIFI.
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.
I don’t know how the weather out by you is, but thankfully the iOS game “drought” only lasted a week. This time around Sqaure Enix released Deus Ex: The Fall, a new chapter in the lengthy first person action / strategy series. Expect a level of immersion not dissimilar to what you might expect from its “big boy” cousins, all nestled snuggly on your iOS screen. If you prefer your action with a bit more puzzle thrown in then you should check out Sprinkle Islands. This clever sequel to the 2011 release Sprinkle is tougher despite its cute appearance, and this time you actually get to move around the locations. If you really just want some brain teasing puzzle play – okay, there might be just a bit of timing involved – then Rescue Aliens is a good choice. There are several different aliens each with their own abilities, and while rescuing your fellow beings isn’t so difficult, collecting the three stars on each level can prove challenging.
If you’ve ever gone shopping for a car cradle/holder for your phone, chances are you’ve come across plenty of the same old designs with the arm grip and suction cup. Thankfully, there are those that look way more sleek and stylish – as evidenced by the Zyroshell, which was successfully funded on Kickstarter back in October of 2012. Made out of aluminum, the MacBook-inspired Zyroshell can be used just about anywhere, be it your car, office desk or home.
One of the best mash-ups conceived so far (at least in my opinion) is the idea of an RPG that uses a match 3 board for combat. Of course like any good thing there is almost an overabundance of them now, and there are just as many ones that make you go “blah” as ones that captivate you like Puzzle Quest. Fortunately, Puzzle Blade is one of those that fall on the side of captivating the player. The developer has managed to put a fresh spin on the concept and made sure that anyone short of a person suffering from A.D.D. should enjoy it, assuming you’re into the genre in the first place.
I knew it had to happen eventually, but every week I was hoping it wouldn’t be THIS week. The seemly endless “Christmas in summer” we’ve been having on the App Store has temporarily come to an end. There were still some decent games to find, though, and the star of the show this time around is LIMBO Game. In all fairness this is a port of an already wildly popular Xbox et al game, but it was my first time playing it and it’s certainly a must have for fans of the platform puzzle hybrid genre. Vertical scrolling shooter fans might enjoy BeeCluster. While it lacks many of the amenities of modern SHMUPs it has a distinct atmosphere that actually works well for the genre. If you love the thrill of hitting homeruns but don’t care for the rest of the sport of Baseball electronically, PowerStrike might just be for you. It’s not quite as comprehensive as the Homerun Battle series, but I’m pretty sure you won’t find another batting game where you get to select a dragon as one of your hitters.
These last few weeks there have been so many interesting looking new releases that the only way I could really do this article justice would be to spend a week playing them all before even beginning to write the piece. Since that’s not going to happen, I will as always do my best to bring you an interesting cross-section of the latest offerings. PlayFirst returned to their most lauded franchise this week with the release of Diner Dash Rush. Basically it’s Flo meets Facebook as you still have to happily serve as many customers as possible, but now you have a short time limit and can compete against your friends. Ravenous Games is back with the third installment of their popular retro side scroller series, League Of Evil 3. It’s just like you know and love, but this time with spinning wall blades and level replays thanks to the Everyplay video service. Sugar Rush is a crazy new “Facebook to iOS” game from Full Fat. A 60 second time limit, the board closing in from both top and bottom and some insane multipliers make for one wild ride.
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. Continue reading…