Amongst all of my past console excursions, the one that I remember with the most fondness was my time spent playing my Nintendo Entertainment System. A franchise that kept me entertained if not a bit frustrated was Ninja Gaiden, the tale of a ninja named Ryu that kicked butt and liked to do back flips. At first glance one might feel that Shadow Blade is a modern interpretation of this classic series, and there’s nothing wrong with that. After spending some time with the game I’m not so sure if it’s meant to be an homage to or simply inspired by the old favorites, but either way the game is quite entertaining. It also manages to pretty much conquer the issues most action games have with controls on a touch screen device.
While some developers have come a long way towards making playable FPS games on touch screen devices, the shooting gallery style game is really a much more pleasant experience for said hardware. One franchise in particular that has always brought entertaining installments to this genre is Moorhuhn, aka Crazy Chicken depending on where you live in the world. One recent edition to the franchise is Crazy Chicken: Pirates for iOS devices, which as of the writing of this article has been subtitled Christmas Edition for the holidays. It has all the wackiness you’d expect if you were familiar with the brand, and three different game play modes to boot.
I’ve been pondering how to keep this review from sounding like a simple retread of the first installment, but that might be a bit of a losing battle. Thankfully that’s not entirely a bad thing because the original Nightmares From The Deep was definitely one of my favorite G5 offerings, and so far the sequel has been just as entertaining. The protagonist Sarah Black is back, as is the slimy sea serpent Davey Jones. The backstory is different, but ultimately it’s still you against evil incarnate with a healthy dose of exploration, puzzle solving and mini-games coming your way. Are you ready to match wits with the stuff of legends once again?
If you’ve played the original Air Supply (and shame on the infinite runner lovers that haven’t) then a lot of this will feel familiar. Sam is back, but his perspective has changed a bit, or more appropriately he’s finding himself going around in circles. Air Supply – Infinite is just as fun as the original, and the best part is it maintains the unlock system that kept me going back to the original for more. I’ve always maintained that even the best developers will falter once in a while, but so far Quantum Sheep has not let me down.
Games like Diablo certainly popularized the concept, but in my opinion one of the earliest examples of a good action / RPG was The Legend Of Zelda. There have been many installments in the franchise, but more importantly there have been a ton of wannabes made in an attempt to provide the same type of game to non-Nintendo platforms. Some of them have succeeded to a limited degree, but Oceanhorn is one of the few to do so in both mechanics and spirit, and probably the only one for the iOS platform so far. Apparently you don’t need a tri-force for this type of game to be fun.
So I was asked if I could try to compile a list of what I thought were the best games of 2013. To be perfectly honest, that’s a pretty hard thing for me to do, especially given the fact that I rarely get the chance to finish most of the games I play. Instead, I’m going to present to you a list of games that are definitely top notch and that I think I worth investing your time in. They may not necessarily be the best of their breed, but they are ones that stick out in my mind for one reason or another. And be warned right now, there will probably be some that you’d expect to see on this list that won’t show up, in large part because I probably have not even played them yet. Now that we have the ground work laid, let’s get on to the games…
Honey Tribe Studios has an interesting way of making social commentary, first on the plight of bees and then on the state of humanity as it revolves around money. Their latest effort focuses specifically on the Christmas season, and while it may not be a message you want to hear it’s sadly true. It’s also an entertaining game, at least in small bursts. Can you help turn the tide of commercialism this holiday season?
The minute I began playing Darklings, I had a lot of questions. What is a Darkling? Where is my character and what on earth is going on? Out of all the iPad games I’ve enjoyed, this was definitely one of the strangest. That isn’t, of course, to suggest that it’s bad – in fact, I found the game surprisingly intuitive once I’d figured out more about the strange character at the bottom of the screen. This $0.99 iPhone/iPad game was created by MildMania, and is definitely on par with dark and quirky games like Limbo. When you load the app, you find yourself in control of a small character called a Lum, and it’s your goal to save him from surrounding monsters that have come to attack. Your character exists in a lonely looking universe where it’s constantly night time, and you’re surrounded by endless models.Adding to the mystery and spooky element of the game is the soundtrack. I immediately noticed the audio of the game when loading, and enjoyed it from the very beginning. Despite the initial confusion over the character and the purpose of the game, the soundtrack was superb and I quickly became engrossed in the story. Your ghostly little character, or ‘Lum’ needs to use his powers to get rid of all the evil Darklings. The dark characters surround your Lum and must be fought off using magical powers.
When I first saw this game I liked the screen shots but I thought it was basically going to be a “been there, done that” sort of match 3 game. In some ways it really is, but it packs in so many cool features from other games in the genre that it doesn’t really matter. Throw in great music and a story that ties everything together and you end up with one of the best match 3 games to hit the virtual iOS shelves in quite some time, if not ever.
A game has to be pretty special to make up words for its name and not have you go “now that’s silly”, and Tilt To Live 2: Redonkulous is just such a game. It takes everything the original did and does it even better: intense action, crazy weapons and sometimes maddening achievements. There are plenty of “dodge the enemy” style games on the App Store, but the Tilt To Live series are among the only ones that handle the genre nearly flawlessly.