TouchMyApps » Freemium http://www.touchmyapps.com All Things iPhone and iPad for those who like to Touch. iOS App reviews, News, New Apps, Price Drops and App Gone Free Fri, 12 Sep 2014 16:31:12 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.7.4 Virtual City Playground in Review – Build your city for free, no strings attached http://www.touchmyapps.com/2011/11/08/virtual-city-playground-in-review/ http://www.touchmyapps.com/2011/11/08/virtual-city-playground-in-review/#comments Tue, 08 Nov 2011 15:31:22 +0000 http://www.touchmyapps.com/?p=60391 I reviewed the original Virtual City (TMA Review) last year and found it to be an entertaining casual variation on the build-your-own-city theme. Though much closer to the Transport Tycoon franchise in spirit than SimCity, the mixing of various gameplay elements and the addition of quests to guide the development made for an excellent package. Building … Read more]]>

I reviewed the original Virtual City (TMA Review) last year and found it to be an entertaining casual variation on the build-your-own-city theme. Though much closer to the Transport Tycoon franchise in spirit than SimCity, the mixing of various gameplay elements and the addition of quests to guide the development made for an excellent package. Building on this quest system G5 Entertainment has done what seems to be the fashionable thing these days and has gone freemium with Virtual City Playground.

Virtual City Playground follows the same basic city-building idea as the original. This time there isn’t any sequence of separate scenarios; instead you’re thrown into a semi-open playing field (extension bought separately) to build and run that city you’ve always dreamed of. Take that, Mr. Mayor!

The basic idea is to build up various production facilities and organize supply chains to earn money. Freedom reigns, as in theory, you’re presented with an open field and left to your own devices as to how you’re going to earn the cash. In reality, however, almost all building options are locked until you complete preceding quests, which generally guide you through building up individual product chains one step at a time. As well, some population oriented tasks are thrown in for good measure. Of course, you can spend loads of investment points and unlock any building right of the bat, but where’s the fun in that, right?

And herein lies the conundrum. Very quickly you’ll run up to a point where you’ve filled up all available space and want to expand. Expansion costs real cash and the aforementioned investment points can only be earned at a measly one point per level, or thanks to the recent update – for dutifully checking in the game everyday. Considering that each consequent expansion costs even more in both investment points and cash, though the latter is never a problem, you’ll almost immediately run into a serious deficit of them. Especially since some of the buildings can only be constructed with said points. Loads of cash for more investment points, anyone?

Visually Virtual City Playground builds on the base of the original by adding new buildings and landmarks. The graphics still hold up quite nicely, so you won’t be left wanting in this respect. The controls however are a bit clunky both in terms of construction and everyday management. Tapping-n-dragging through 10+ pages of environment buildings is frustrating as hell. And the preciousness of real-estate makes you pack the buildings in as dense as possible, thus making it nearly impossible later to select the one you actually want. Lastly the addition of being able to close the app and have your city continue to live and breathe for making money offline looks great in principle. In reality it leads to the necessity of recalculating all the changes on each switch-back to the game, adding loading times even when restoring from the multitasking tray. And waiting for the game to load after a good night’s sleep for a reasonably built-up city can easily take a whopping 5-10 minutes (or even more) on an iPhone 4.

Overall Virtual City Playground is quite a nice addition to the sandbox building genre. It offers all of the features of the original well-balanced city-builder and more for a hefty price of FREE. Unfortunately some interface flaws, along with the horrendous loading times will often test your patience. But at the zero price point offered, Virtual City Playground is definitely worth a try, only if to make you buy the superb Virtual City.

With this I declare Virtual City Playground officially touched!

Tap It Rating - 3/5

App Summary
Title: Virtual City Playground Developer: G5 Entertainment
Reviewed Ver: 1.2 Min OS Req: 3.0
Price: Free App Size: 58.44MB
  • All features of the original Virtual City
  • Very nice quest system
  • Makes money minimized as well
  • Free
  • Very restricted in ways t earn investment points
  • Horrendous loading times once the city is built-up

appstoreicon

Read more]]>
http://www.touchmyapps.com/2011/11/08/virtual-city-playground-in-review/feed/ 0
Touch Detective in Review – Cute, cudly and odd freemium adventure http://www.touchmyapps.com/2011/10/25/touch-detective-in-review/ http://www.touchmyapps.com/2011/10/25/touch-detective-in-review/#comments Tue, 25 Oct 2011 17:09:12 +0000 http://www.touchmyapps.com/?p=59712 Looking at the adventure genre on the iOS I can safely say that it has matured quite a bit. Over the last couple of years, we have seen both adaptations of classic PC titles, like Broken Sword: Director’s Cut (TMA Review) or The Secret of Monkey Island: Special Edition, as well some all original ones created … Read more]]>

Looking at the adventure genre on the iOS I can safely say that it has matured quite a bit. Over the last couple of years, we have seen both adaptations of classic PC titles, like Broken Sword: Director’s Cut (TMA Review) or The Secret of Monkey Island: Special Edition, as well some all original ones created specifically for the platform – 1112 episode 01 / 02 / 03  and HECTOR: Badge of Carnage Ep1 (TMA Review) being the most noteworthy. The latter has even been picked up by Telltale and brought to almost all modern platforms, which quite a feat for a mobile release. And this family of games has quite recently been joined by Touch Detective, an original detective adventure.

Touch Detective is a reasonably traditional 3rd person point-and-tap adventure. Young Mackenzie has got it into her head that she can be the next big thing in the detective scene. Aided by her animated mushroom creature – Funghi – she investigates the strange happenings, though mostly to Penelope, in her home town… seemingly populated by kids and talking animal-creatures only.

With such a name as Mackenzie, and being a member of the detective club, it’s no wonder that things start going crazy. Starting with the dreamy Penelope, who’s been having some strange and disturbing dreams of late, your protagonist begins exploring the events in a reasonably friendly point-and-tap mode. Unfortunately no hot-spot highlighting is available and you’ll find yourself tapping meticulously over the entire area to find all them. On the upside, there’s the “Touch List”, which records hidden items you come across; find them all and unlock a hidden easter egg.

Sadly the item and dialogue-based puzzles themselves aren’t too enticing. The logic is almost always too childish and next actions obvious but you’ll find yourself resorting to exploring the same areas over and over again, either trying to find the missed hotspot or the character to talk to yet again. And the whole atmosphere of an adventure built for a 5 year old permeates Touch Detective in everything – from the graphics to the characters and dialogues.

The visuals leave a mixed feeling. On one hand everything is quite carefully drawn, albeit in a quirky style. Unfortunately, no support for the Retina display is present, with even the interface elements being too spritey for the modern devices. The controls work well mostly, but the noted absence of hotspot highlighting or any reasonable hint system makes progressing through Touch Detective a bit of a chore.

Touch Detective left me with the impression that I was outside of the target audience. I imagine a younger player would quite enjoy the simplistic puzzles and dialogues, though he/she would face the same problems with the absence of hints or hotspot highlights. I myself found the whole atmosphere rather frustrating even without the interface quirks, with some characters giving me the urge to hit them in the noggin with something heavy. If you’re in doubt whether this game is for you, you’re welcome to try it out since almost a quarter of the game is available for free ; the rest is unlocked via IAP. Be prepared, however, as unlocking the whole story will cost you $8.99.

With this I declare Touch Detective officially touched!

Tap It Rating - 3/5

App Summary
Title: Touch Detective Developer: BeeworksGames
Reviewed Ver: 1.1.1 Min OS Req: 3.0
Price: Free ($8.99 via IAP) App Size: 193.73MB
  • Nice graphics
  • Almost a quarter (one full chapter) available for free
  • Memorable characters
  • Frustrating puzzles and interface
  • Childish dialogues
  • Poor hint system
  • Expensive to unlock the full game

appstoreicon

Read more]]>
http://www.touchmyapps.com/2011/10/25/touch-detective-in-review/feed/ 0