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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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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Toby: The Secret Mine in Review – What’s Not Secret Is This Game Is Fun

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Once you start playing Toby: The Secret Mine you might think to yourself that it feels a bit like Limbo.  Don’t worry, that’s to be expected.  Even the developers admit the inspiration in the first line of their iTunes description.  What makes a game like Toby worthwhile is that it stands out despite the similarities, not because of them.  I’ve run into a few games that try to emulate these two visually, but so far I’d say they are best in class in terms of the game play style.  The most important thing is that they are proof positive that a platformer doesn’t have to be all about shooting every bad guy or collecting coins and power ups.
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RunGunJumpGun in Review – Intense, Addictive Fun

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Welcome to Flappy Bird 2.0.  The protagonist has a gun, the obstacles fight back and if you want to truly “complete” each stage you’ll need to have a reaction time that borders on crazy.  If you’re not into “retro” gaming you might be put off by the screen shots, but you really shouldn’t let that deter you from trying this game.  From the moment I first loaded it up I was hooked, and it gets better with each section and world that you unlock.  The only thing you might want to consider is either having a pile of pillows nearby or putting an Otterbox type case on your device for when you inevitably throw it out of frustration (if you are that type of person).
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Vulture Island in Review – Donut Games Does It Again

 

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While it seems like several developers have “mastered” the art of churning out casual games one after the other, Donut Games is one of the few companies that has managed to do it with consistently high quality.  In the last couple of years they’ve started publishing some more complex offerings as well, the latest of which is Vulture Island.  On the surface it might seem like a simple platform game, but it has an inventory system that reminds me of the classic “Dizzy” games from the golden age of gaming.  It also veers away from the traditional “beat the first level, move on to the next” trope in a way that makes it much more interesting and satisfying to complete than your average Super Mario clone.  Platform gamers should rejoice in this new take on the genre, and those that find the all too linear storytelling of a traditional platform game dull might just find something they like here as well.
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Captain Temporium in Review – Time Pilot for a New Generation

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Depending on the kind of shooter I’m playing I’ll usually mention one of two reference points from the “glory days” of gaming: 1942 or Time Pilot.  This definitely falls to the latter for comparison, as one might even assume without seeing the name that it was in fact a remake of the 1982 classic (yeah, you read that right, I’m old school).  The truth is, even if it has nothing to do with Time Pilot in any way, shape or form, I’m more than happy to label it a “spiritual successor”.  The game has the same frantic, 360 degree playing field, nicely updated visuals, and a difficulty level that would make Flappy Bird fans proud.
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News – Marvel Puzzle Quest Awesome Trailer

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I don’t normally promote trailers for video games, mainly because the game itself is the most important part of the package. In this case, however, I found this trailer to be clever, and if all you see of it is the TV spot then you’re missing out. So, here’s the full live action trailer for Marvel Puzzle Quest: http://bit.ly/MarvelPuzzleQuestTrailer

While you’re at it, why not grab the game as well: https://d3go.com/games/marvelpuzzlequest/

Tiny Passengers in Review – Clay Characters Catching Cabs (sort of…)

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Tiny Passengers is about cute clay characters, budding friendships and the need to pile as many people as possible in quirky rides.  It’s primarily a quick reflex game, but even when you’re not playing puzzle mode it helps if you can plan ahead a little bit.  The atmosphere is clearly geared towards children, but as an adult I can say that the older set should get some enjoyment out of it as well.  Plus, if you happen to have kids then it’s something you can share with them on your iOS device.  The game can get repetitive over longer play sessions, but for small bursts of time it’s a nice diversion from the typical fare you’ll find on the App Store.
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