I remember being slightly concerned that a simple line tracing game would be a bit on the boring side when Neon Mania came out. It actually wasn’t a bad little game, but it seemed to be missing something. I believe that its successor, Neon Blitz, has found that something. I don’t usually care for games with timers, but in this case it gives the game play an intensity that was lacking in the first outing. I still think it could use a couple of extra game play modes, but Neon Blitz took the concept from a decent but ultimately lackluster game to something that can actually become addictive.
If it weren’t for the fact that other publishers release great games as well, I could easily spend my game time just playing titles from Chillingo. The advantage to being latched on to a publisher is that you’re more likely to get a wide variety of game styles to choose from, and in this case we have a one touch platformer with a hero that looks like something out of a little animated segment you might see in between live footage on a kids’ program from the 80s. Growing up with the gaming industry and watching the need of designers to try and cram more buttons and triggers onto a controller, it always amazes me when someone can make a fun and challenging game where you have one control. That’s why I like One Tap Hero so much.
In my humble opinion, if ever there was a style of game that shouldn’t be so fun or addictive, it would be the mini-game collection. After all, doesn’t such a design simply mean that the developers couldn’t come up with enough material for a full fledged game? Well, okay, I am being a bit harsh, and I really don’t believe that, but it still amazes me that I fall so easily for this type of gameplay. The latest captor of my time is Tap The Frog 2, and this game is insanely addictive – even though concept wise it’s so simple a little kid could grasp it with ease. I just wish I had the native iPad version, because I find that my overcompensated fingers like the big screen better. Thankfully, the app is remarkably playable on 2x mode on my iPad 2.
Okay, you’re probably getting sick of reading about infinite running games right now. Unfortunately, they are sort of my genre-level addiction at the moment, so you’ll just have to bear with me until the phase passes on. At least I’m just trying to share with you the quality titles, and there’s no question that One Epic Knight falls under that category. Brought to us by the folks that designed the creative tower defense game Tiny Heroes the twisted humor of the developers carries on to this offshoot title. From the opening calisthenics to the nice dent you leave when you collide with a wall, One Epic Knight is all about being epic… epically funny that is.
Lately I’ve been touting how sometimes it seems like the simplest games are the most engaging. Unfortunately simplicity can have just the opposite effect, and I think Canyon Dash is almost to that point. The concept of a runaway mine cart on a dangerous track has always been intriguing, but there’s not much more than a concept to go on here. It’s not that Canyon Dash is a bad game, it’s just that there are other offerings on the App Store that make the renegade mine cart notion a lot more entertaining.
There’s a popular saying that “there is nothing new under the sun”. The video game industry is a prime example of this, as most popular games these days can be broken down into a handful of categories, and it’s not uncommon to see the word “clone” in a review. Still, with all the games that are released on the App Store each week, there are a few that feel fresh due to atmosphere, mechanics or some other aspect of the game. Knights of the Round Cable happens to be one such game.
There’s no question that Temple Run added a whole new dimension to infinite runners with it’s over the shoulder view, ability to slide in that view, and cool mechanic of turning to continue down a winding path. There are even times when I’m playing Zombie Run that I think to myself how the game feels like Temple Run with a different skin. Zombie Run bears many similarities to its predecessor, yet it still manages to be entertaining in its own right. I’m not saying I’ve forgotten you, Temple Run, but now you have to share the spotlight.
I really wanted to hate this game. Everything from the icon, to the design, to the introductory “story,” to the overly simplified controls initially made my skin crawl. I could only expect for this feeling to continue on as I trudged through next few hours of gameplay. It wasn’t until the fourth or fifth run through that I realized my cynicism had become, dare I say it, sugar coated. My frustrations began to find grounding in the fact that I wasn’t doing as well as I knew I could as opposed to a true aversion to the game itself. This is when I realized that I had more of a sweet tooth than I would have ever guessed.
There was a time when I was really into the original Diablo, and like many players I thought I was going to wear out my mouse with all the button mashing. Mad Acorn is that game for my iPod Touch. In fact, sometimes I get worried that I’m going to leave a finger indentation on the screen where my thumb is most active. Then I forget about my concerns as the next wave of bad guys roll by. I’ve never been a fan of Tap Tap Revenge style games, but when a game in an established genre tightly integrates music into the mechanics, that’s a whole different story. Not to mention that Mad Acorn is the cream of the crop in that regards.
You’d think by now that “infinite runner” games might be a bit stale. Well, maybe you wouldn’t, but I certainly have thought that from time to time. As I play through GoNinja I’m once again reminded that this theory isn’t necessarily true. Depending on the atmosphere, a perpetually moving protagonist on a constantly scrolling and somewhat generic background can still be entertaining. Apparently, a merciless ninja slicing down everything that crosses his path is just such a scenario. It works just fine for me, at least.