TouchMyApps » Platformer 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 Mon, 14 Apr 2014 11:45:56 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.7.3 Bulba The Cat in Review – The Bouncing Never Ends http://www.touchmyapps.com/2011/01/17/bulba-the-cat-in-review-the-bouncing-never-ends/ http://www.touchmyapps.com/2011/01/17/bulba-the-cat-in-review-the-bouncing-never-ends/#comments Mon, 17 Jan 2011 15:00:06 +0000 http://www.touchmyapps.com/?p=46515 I like fun and I like silly, and as luck would have it Bulba The Cat has both of these in spades.  It doesn’t really provide a very deep platforming experience, and there aren’t a wide variety of obstacles to face, but it makes great use of what it does have to provide some compelling … Read more]]>

I like fun and I like silly, and as luck would have it Bulba The Cat has both of these in spades.  It doesn’t really provide a very deep platforming experience, and there aren’t a wide variety of obstacles to face, but it makes great use of what it does have to provide some compelling levels.  The game is not very difficult either, and I might even have it beat by the time I finish this review, but I’ve enjoyed it so much through the process that it won’t really matter to me that the experience was a tad short (though I’ll be sad that it’s over).

In Bulba you play the eponymous cat.  Your sushi has been stolen by an evil crow and left your octopus girlfriend balling her eyes out, and it’s up to you to make things right.  To do this you’ll have to conquer 60 levels, recovering all the sushi along the way.  The thing is, you’re quite literally not going to take this standing still.  It seems you must be the poster child for A.D.D. in cats, because you can’t seem to stop bouncing.  While that may appear annoying at times (and it is) it actually provides for an interesting game play mechanic.  Add to that the fact that you’re technically tilting the playing field rather than directly controlling Bulba and your mindset needs to be a bit different than if you were playing a traditional platformer.

The biggest obstacle in the game is water, which Bulba really doesn’t like.  There are also these big spinning wooden things that will knock the wind out of Bulba if they hit him.  Some platforms disappear soon after you land on them, and moving platforms present a unique challenge due to your constant movement.  Windmills will periodically emit a burst of wind that you sometimes need to ride and other times need to avoid.  The trickiest piece of landscape is the slope, which likes to see you bounce in the opposite direction you were headed when you landed on it.  Conspicuously absent from this whole affair, however, are any sort of “bad guys”.  It’s just you, your bouncy personality, and a bunch of obstacles to conquer.

The tilt control works all right except that there’s no means of adjusting the center of balance, so I often find myself playing with the device nearly parallel to the ground.  It works, but it feels kind of odd.  There’s also no way to zoom in and out, so you never really know the big picture, as it were.  It also means that at times you’re quite literally taking a leap of faith to progress in the game.  There is no score and no social network integration, so pretty much once you’re done the game is over.  Of course, contrary to my facetious remarks in the opening paragraph, somewhere around level 23 the challenge picks up a bit, so the average player should get decent play time out of the game.

The graphics are decent, but they have an “OpenGL tutorial’ vibe to them.  Everything is blocky and covered with basic textures and the water has no real depth to it.  Bulba is pretty cute, though, and there are a couple of nice effects like puffs of smoke when Bulba lands and a particle fountain when he hits the water.

The sound effects are pretty typical.  When the cat bounces it sounds like a spring.  Splashing water actually sounds like splashing water.  The big wooden things make decent creaky sounds.  All told there really aren’t a lot of different sound effects.  I love the music.  It ranges from nice, subtle tunes that almost sound like elevator music to this crazy song with laughing and a singing cat!

Bulba The Cat is one crazy ride.  In some ways it’s rather simple for a platform game, yet the level designs get quite interesting and challenging as the game progresses.  I do wish there were some actual villains, but that’s a minor quibble.  The graphics are basic but look good, and the music is very nice.  There’s not really any replay value, but the initial trip through is worth the price of admission in my opinion.  Bulba’s certainly worth checking out, especially if you’re into platform games.

App Summary
Title: Bulba The Cat Developer: C4M Prod
Reviewed Ver: 1.1 Min OS Req: 3.0
Price: $0.99 App Size: Size: 51.7 MB
  • Crazy level design
  • Nice graphics
  • Enjoyable music
  • No way to adjust controls
  • No replay value

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Alice In Wonderland – An Adventure Beyond The Mirror in Review – Up is down, left is right and the world is spinning round… http://www.touchmyapps.com/2010/09/01/alice-in-wonderland-an-adventure-beyond-the-mirror-in-review/ http://www.touchmyapps.com/2010/09/01/alice-in-wonderland-an-adventure-beyond-the-mirror-in-review/#comments Wed, 01 Sep 2010 15:15:37 +0000 http://www.touchmyapps.com/?p=38689 Alice in Wonderland is one m-m-maaaaad story. The adventures of a young girl in the mysterious world have been made into one of the best Disney cartoons and inspired millions of girls around the world to follow the white rabbit. The followup story, Alice Through the Looking Glass, is not as well known, though the … Read more]]>

Alice in Wonderland is one m-m-maaaaad story. The adventures of a young girl in the mysterious world have been made into one of the best Disney cartoons and inspired millions of girls around the world to follow the white rabbit. The followup story, Alice Through the Looking Glass, is not as well known, though the recent Tim Burton adaptation certainly will fix this soon. And hot on the heels of the movie is, of course, a companion iPhone release – Alice In Wonderland – An Adventure Beyond The Mirror .

Alice in Wonderland adds to the quite rare genre of Platform/Puzzle game (contrary to the obscenely popular Arcade/Platformer). The game is quite loosely based on the movie, following the adventures of Alice as she tries to find her way back home from the strange and unfamiliar world behind the mirror. And, of course, to aid her in this quest an improbable group — namely the White Rabbit, the Cheshire Cat, the March Hare and the Mad Hatter– of misfits join forces.

Quite commonly for the platform genre, you control Alice in her efforts to get to the end of the level. Uncommonly though, there is no shooting here and very little enemies as well. There IS a lot of jumping involved however, as well as timely usage of the special abilities of Alice’s companions. These include time freezing with the White Rabbit, making things disappear with the Cheshire Cat, moving stuff with the March Hare and shifting items to the other dimension with the Mad Hatter. The places where you can use these abilities are marked with floating spirals, colour coded to specific abilities.

Alice in Wonderland is a surprisingly challenging puzzler. Despite the hot spots being marked for easy spotting, it’s still quite a test for that grey matter most people call a brain. To make things even more interesting, scattered across the levels are additional devices, like mirrors sending you to the other side of reality or some kind of compasses that allow rotating the whole world around you. And finally there are the ever-threatening card-soldiers you have to avoid.

For the achievement addict Alice in Wonderland has a selection like almost no other. While a lot of the stuff is unlocked from the game itself, after finding dome hidden rooms and solving some exceptionally devious puzzles, some are quite unorthodox. These include items unlocked using the GPS of your iDevice in Disney theme parks around the world, taking pictures of hinted stuff and solving riddles. Of course, while most of these are likely of more interest to the younger part of the iDevice audience, it’s nice that the devs are not afraid of experimenting.

Graphics in Alice in Wonderland don’t do much to blow your mind. The developers tried and mostly succeeded going for the style of the Tim Burton movie. The backgrounds and most of the objects look very detailed and fit in with the setting. My biggest gripe is the main character. While I see the resemblance, I just feel the developers could have done a much better job. The interface is ok as well, with all controls done using a couple of directional buttons, a jump one on the right and an occasional activate in the middle. Abilities are activated with a tap on Alice, which also works well, though on the go I often wished for a separate toolbar to make it easier.

The iPhone to date has quite an exceptional record of quality titles based of various movie franchises and Alice In Wonderland – An Adventure Beyond The Mirror is no exception. The game combines atmospheric graphics and sounds, challenging puzzles and an unusual variety of ways to interact with the world around, with a hefty bit of achievement hunting on top to make a game appealing to both the young and old, the casual and hard core audience. And even if some of the graphical choices might look a bit off to me, there’s no accounting for taste, right?

With this I declare Alice In Wonderland – An Adventure Beyond The Mirror officially touched!

App Summary
Title: Alice In Wonderland – An Adventure Beyond The Mirror Developer: Disney
Reviewed Ver: 1.0.1 Min OS Req: 2.2.1
Price: $4.99 App Size: 46.66MB
  • Original gameplay
  • Challenging puzzles
  • Lots of achievements
  • White Rabbit, March Hare, Mad Hatter and Cheshire cat all with their own special abilities
  • Rather poor quality of Alice’s graphics

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Take a look at some of our other Platform games reviews!

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Castle Of Magic in Review – It’s Simply Magical! http://www.touchmyapps.com/2009/07/20/castle-of-magic-in-review-it%e2%80%99s-simply-magical/ http://www.touchmyapps.com/2009/07/20/castle-of-magic-in-review-it%e2%80%99s-simply-magical/#comments Tue, 21 Jul 2009 01:56:44 +0000 http://www.touchmyapps.com/?p=15930 Every console and every mobile device needs its own platformer. I grew up playing the Spyro and Crash Bandicoot series on my PS1 which, in my opinion, were two of greatest series the gaming world had ever seen back when the 32-bit console wars were heating up. This time, the spotlight isn’t on the Playstation … Read more]]>

Every console and every mobile device needs its own platformer. I grew up playing the Spyro and Crash Bandicoot series on my PS1 which, in my opinion, were two of greatest series the gaming world had ever seen back when the 32-bit console wars were heating up. This time, the spotlight isn’t on the Playstation or Dreamcast; its on the 32-bit iPhone and the war has been over a long while.

Having recently turned one, the AppStore has brought us many famous apps such as Sims 3 and Worms, along with a couple infamous apps such as Baby Shaker. Almost every genre has at least a handful of notable games. Puzzle, novelty – they’ve all had their limelight. But the platformer section at the App Store is quite dusty. There is only a small handful of sublime platformers for the iDevice led by the likes of Rolando (which already has a sequel). Gameloft has hit the nail on the hand with one of their latest games, and indeed my favorite, Castle Of Magic. This game is top-tier in terms of polish and design among iDevice platformers. Reminiscent of the two rivals, Sonic and Mario, Castle of Magic is one of my favorite games.

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Castle of Magic gets off the ground when Boy (who won’t be named till Gameloft’s contest is over) and his friend Jenny get bored after they break their game console and decide to explore the island called “dreaded beach”. There, they open a magical treasure chest expecting candy or some other random commodity like gold or gems. Of course, it wouldn’t be a game if the story ended there. That’s why the total opposite happens and a wormhole in the space-time continuum opens up and sucks up both Boy and Jenny (go figure)! The next thing you know, Jenny is captured by the evil magician known as Nesfastax (say that ten times fast). Obviously, Nesfastax has other things on his mind than to be kind and hand back Jenny. He runs off leaving Boy (who has acquired magical powers after awakening Nesfastax), to chase after him through the Castle of Magic (hence the name of the game).

Castle of Magic consists of five diverse and distinct worlds ranging from a pirate base to a space world. The graphics in this side scrolling platformer are vibrant and colorfully rendered in 3D. Each world consists of three levels and a final boss. As for music, it is wizardy-themed, catchy and cannot be described in any other way. The controls are well implemented, consisting of a d-pad and two action buttons: jump and attack. If you hold the jump button then your cape activates and you are able to glide. Jumping while holding down on the d-pad does a ground smash.

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Being a magician wouldn’t be the same if you didn’t have a magic few tricks up your sleeve. In Castle of Magic, you’re able to transform into six different outfits that have their own special abilities. My favorite by far is the hunter outfit mainly because Boy says, “Robin Hoooooooood!” in a funny voice. Not to mention, you’re able to shoot arrows and jump on them to get to higher places.

You collect stars (three per level) and gems as you progress through the game. 100 gems equals an extra life. You can also find hats through out each level which automatically give you an extras lives. If you touch an enemy, you lose all your gems (but are able to regain them if you reach them before they disappear). If you’re hit without having any gems then you die and lose a life.

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I really don’t have any complaints with Castle of Magic. After about an hour and a half, I’m almost done with the second world. With that being said, the game probably lasts around 3-4 hours. While this is a decent length, finding all three stars per level adds replayability once you’ve beaten the game. There are many hidden rooms and areas to explore to find stars as well as a bountiful amount of gems. The only thing that slightly annoyed me sometimes were awkward controls where instead of simply moving left or right, I would end up doing ground smashes. I believe this is due to my clumsy thumb covering the wrong parts of the d-pad rather than the controls themselves (but it is evidence that the iDevice has its work cut out for it with action games).

Overall, Castle of Magic is a very solid platformer that hits all the high notes. Having beautiful graphics, different magic outfits, and five unique worlds to explore, it is definitely the game to have. For the fair price of only $5 (less money than a plastic Harry Potter wand from Wal-Mart), I fully recommend this amazing game and award it the mystical and magical Kiss It rating.

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App Summary
Title: Castle Of Magic (v1.0.1) Developer: Gameloft
Price: $4.99 App Size: 75.0 mb
  • Beautiful graphics
  • Controls
  • Six different outfits
  • Six diverse worlds
  • Some replayability value
  • A tad on the short side

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iDroidsMania in Review – Just how far will robots go for love? http://www.touchmyapps.com/2009/07/07/idroidsmania-in-review-just-how-far-will-robots-go-for-love/ http://www.touchmyapps.com/2009/07/07/idroidsmania-in-review-just-how-far-will-robots-go-for-love/#comments Tue, 07 Jul 2009 13:59:54 +0000 http://www.touchmyapps.com/?p=14918 iDroidsMania, by Artificial Life (go figure), is a breath of a fresh air among side-scrollings. While the story may not be completely original, gameplay mechanics and weapons definitely make iDroidsMania a distinct and great play for your iDevice. The story acts out like any other action platformer whose storyline revolves around love. If you’re familiar … Read more]]>

idroids1iDroidsMania, by Artificial Life (go figure), is a breath of a fresh air among side-scrollings. While the story may not be completely original, gameplay mechanics and weapons definitely make iDroidsMania a distinct and great play for your iDevice.

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The story acts out like any other action platformer whose storyline revolves around love. If you’re familiar with the famous Mario series then you’re already acquainted with the plot in iDroidsMania. The world of iDroidOpia is an interesting and quirky one where the robots are love machines and BabyBots run amuck and in large numbers. The love between hero HAXX and his beloved wife Pixie is impenetrable. That is, until BAD RAMM – the third wheel whom nobody loves – comes along. Jealous and heartbroken BAD RAMM decides he’s had enough of HAXX and kidnaps Pixie and the BabyBots. Bowser anyone? It’s your sole duty to bring back your wife and kids in addition to stopping BAD ARROGANT RAMM once and for all!

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iDroidsMania has you adventuring through iDroidOpia through 11 missions and 3 boss battles. The graphics are uniquely presented in the various scenarios and backgrounds in iDroidMania. You encounter new enemies such as bees in their hives, and sharks and will face challenges (like collecting a key to open a door or accessing a portal to teleport to a different part of the level) as you progress through the droid world.

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The controls are sadly my biggest gripe about iDroidsMania. There is a directional pad that lets you move HAXX left and right, jump button, activate weapon button, and a wheel to choose your weapon. Sometimes they are unresponsive and rather difficult to jump over enemies or onto platforms. There is also an accelerometer control which worked pretty well, but I still prefer the d-pad despite its issues. To cycle through weapons, swipe a wheel located at the top-right corner of the screen. They include a Zapper, Stealth Suit and even a Goo Shield (which looks oddly familiar.. I believe you can get something familiar from your local pharmacy). Hands down, my favorite weapon is the Lightning Blaster, a gun that obliterates any foes that stand in your path. Each weapon has its own purpose, and in cooperation with its accessories, helps you through levels. A good example of this is the grapple which enables you to swing to platforms as well as kill enemies.

idroids5The background music suits the game well and pairs nicely with the industrial robot themed vibe of the game. There are even scrolling-picutre cut scenes that attempt to captivate the player into the story.

There are personal and online leaderboards for you to upload your score as you progress and eventually finish the game. You can also connect to facebook and see your friends’ scores, another nice touch.

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I'm working my way to the top!

The dev’s sense of humor is highly evident throughout the game. At first, I thought it was just my twisted mind seeing things. But, upon further analysis, I’ve come to the conclusion that I’m not imagining things. To spare our younger readers, I will evade from going into vigorous and horrifying detail over the many accounts of sexual innuendo I encountered. If your thirstily curious mind must be quenched, just pick up the game for yourself and give HAXX a good ol’ recharge – you’ll figure it out.

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Hmmm....

iDriodsMania’s only negative is its controls. The UI is clean and responsive, but the controls themselves aren’t. In the future I would love to see some new levels and maybe even a different antagonist (BAD RAAM JR. anyone?).

In the end, iDroidsMania is a fun side-scroller for the iDevice that offers some great graphics and a few hours of gameplay. With its quirky humor and decent storyline, iDroidsMania is a solid title that anyone can enjoy for a couple of hours of laughs.

iDroidsMania “grapples” itself a Grab It rating.

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App Summary
Title: iDroidsMania (v. 1.0.1) Developer: Artificial Life, Inc.
Price: $0.99 (sale) App Size: 35.5 MB
  • Cutscenes- different weapons
  • 2 control schemes
  • Good graphics
  • Online leaderboards
  • Story
  • Controls

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