Backflip Studios has had a number of interesting properties over the years, but for me the most endearing title in their collection has to be NinJump. The game took the infinite runner and turned it on its side as well as introducing the concept of defeating 3 similar enemies in order to temporarily gain a power related to that enemy. The ninja’s back, though this time he’s headed to the rooftops in what feels just slightly like a more traditional infinite runner. That doesn’t make it any less addictive, though, and I fear it might suffer the same fate as the original: removal from my device so I can actually find the time for something else.
One of the best mash-ups conceived so far (at least in my opinion) is the idea of an RPG that uses a match 3 board for combat. Of course like any good thing there is almost an overabundance of them now, and there are just as many ones that make you go “blah” as ones that captivate you like Puzzle Quest. Fortunately, Puzzle Blade is one of those that fall on the side of captivating the player. The developer has managed to put a fresh spin on the concept and made sure that anyone short of a person suffering from A.D.D. should enjoy it, assuming you’re into the genre in the first place.
This is one of those rare cases where I let my objective reviewer guard down and thought to myself “this game is going to be great. After all, it came from the mind of Ron Gilbert, so how can it go wrong?” I was basically setting myself up for mild enjoyment, because we all know over-hyping something diminishes its “wow” factor, or utter disappointment. Thankfully Scurvy Scallywags not only failed to disappoint, but it actually exceeded my lofty expectations. I’m not going to dig myself into a hole by saying this is the best game ever, but boy is there a lot to love here.
When it comes to certain genres like marble poppers, there’s not a lot of variation to be expected in actual game mechanics, unless you create some sort of mash up like what has become popular with match 3 games. What does set one entry apart from another is the presentation, and in that regards Sparkle 2 excels even more than its predecessor did. There are a couple of other things that make it rise to the top, though, so don’t think I’ve been unduly distracted by glittery things. In the end, the Sparkle franchise continues to be my favorite marble popping addiction.
I couldn’t decide if I wanted to invest in The Room or not, but I was really tempted to grab it when the game went on sale for 99 cents. A raving review in a TouchArcade forum I frequent pushed me over the edge and I made the purchase, but then I began to play it and started having second thoughts. Once I went back to it after a day or two, however, something clicked and I realized how brilliant the game was. I’ve always been more interested in Sierra and LucasArts style adventure games with lots of convoluted object puzzles and silly dialog than pure puzzle based games like Myst, but something about The Room captured my attention and wouldn’t let go.
Sporos is one of those games that makes you wonder why they haven’t done something like it before. The game is like a chain reaction puzzler except that instead of trying to destroy objects and clear the board you’re attempting to fill the board with the few objects you’re given. It’s a clever take on the genre, and if it’s been done before I must have missed it. Whatever the case I’m glad I’ve been introduced to the idea now, and Sporos is certainly a great starting point for getting acquainted with this type of gameplay.
I’m all for the latest trends in technology. In the end, though, I just want my games to be fun. If there’s one thing the METAL SLUG series has proven over and over again it’s that you don’t need the latest 3D accelerated graphics or quad core processor to make an enjoyable game. In fact, as a whole it seems like ports of older games provide some of the most intense scrolling shooter experiences available on the iOS platform. Besides, there’s something about awesome pixel art and classic 90’s video game tunes that’s hard to beat these days.
Back in the day, by which I mean a time I barely remember and which many of you probably weren’t born yet for, there existed a game called Rogue that quite possibly started one of the first trends of copycats, known as rouge-likes. The games were simple in some ways such as consisting of only ASCII graphics, but complex in others like having a myriad of commands to remember and randomly generated dungeons that were revealed as you moved through them. While I actually enjoyed several games of this type, I’m happy to see that modern variants such as Dungelot have revamped graphics and streamlined control schemes. Unfortunately one challenging feature still remains in many modern rogue-likes: death is death.
Cut The Rope was one of the first games to be billed as an “Angry Birds killer”, and while I don’t believe it quite made it to that status, there’s no denying the game’s impact on the mobile puzzle game genre. The developers are back with an entirely different concept in Pudding Monsters, but the important thing is that the game is just as entertaining as Cut The Rope. Gamers looking for a challenge might be a bit disappointed, as the current level sets are a bit on the easy side overall, but those looking for a cute casual gaming experience are sure to love the whole package.
I probably shouldn’t admit this, but there’s something about wandering around an asylum that’s always been oddly intriguing to me, which I think is why I tend to gravitate towards such games. It’s also a well visited subject, as I can recall games back as far as my Radio Shack color computer dealing with the topic (if you don’t know what that is, congrats on being a younger gamer). Forever Lost: Episode 1 HD is a more recent entry in the list, and it’s actually one of the best ones I’ve played in quite a while. I do miss the fact that there are no wacky inmates to converse with, but otherwise it has managed to nail the atmosphere pretty well, and has a nice balance of object puzzle solving and mini-games to complete. Now if I could just find the skip button for the puzzle I’m stuck on…