Symmetrica – Minimalistic arcade game in Review: Please Say It Ain’t Over!

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I don’t typically get into what I consider “twitch” games, mainly because I’m just not that good at them.  As a result, levels that to me seem like they should be easy and interesting often become frustrating and make me just want to shut off the game.  I would consider Symmetrica a “twitch” game, at least to an extent, and there were times that some levels became frustrating.  In the end, however, the difficulty was well balanced enough that I never wanted to chuck my device across the room, and when I finally did complete certain levels I felt a sense of accomplishment rather than simply sighing in relief that I could move on.
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Deadly Puzzles: Toymaker HD in Review: Not Your Children’s Playthings

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If I mention the likes of Big Fish Games or G5 Entertainment you’ll know what I’m talking about in an instant, especially if you’re a hidden object game fan.  Artifex Mundi, on the other hand, might not ring any bells.  If it doesn’t you should look them up, because their iOS games have received some of my highest accolades where hidden object / adventure games are concerned.  Knowing that, it shouldn’t come as much of a surprise that I was excited to see them start publishing under their own moniker on the App Store.  I finally had the chance to check out one of their titles, Deadly Puzzles: Toymaker, and it’s fair to say I couldn’t put it down (well, except when I had to go to work).  It wasn’t quite what I was expecting, as it forgoes the now standard object puzzle elements for a straight hidden object / mini game combo, but it just goes to show that in the right hands such a combination still works.  With this as an example I can’t wait to dig into more of their iOS titles. Continue reading…

Forgotten Places: Regained Castle in Review: A Tale Worth Remembering

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When it comes to hidden object games, Big Fish Games and G5 Entertainment seem to have dominated the mobile market.  However, if more developers / publishers start turning out games like Forgotten Places: Regained Castle, the “big two” might actually start facing some serious competition in this genre.  The game is certainly not without its flaws, but it’s one of the best “third party” hidden object games I’ve played in quite a while.  This is actually the second in a series, and I hope it does well enough to warrant a third installment.
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Perfect Angle in Review – Not Quite, But Almost

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Ever have one of those experiences where you know a game is great, but you wish that either the developers had done one or two things slightly differently or that you simply could play the game under better circumstances?  Perfect Angle is just such a game for me.  When a game’s opening screen is itself a puzzle (albeit in this case a very simple one that they give you ample leeway to solve), you’re in for something special.  Unfortunately for me new technology far outpaces my budget right now, and my ailing iPad 2 does not handle the processing requirements of the graphics very well.  Combine that with the limited number of helps you get before having to shell out some cash to buy more and this becomes a journey that I sadly probably won’t see through to the end.  However, if you have a newer device and are reasonably astute at solving optical puzzles, you’d be remiss in not giving this game a try.
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Royal Trouble: Hidden Honeymoon Havoc HD in Review: Not So Happily Ever After

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It’s hard to believe it’s been over 3 years since we last saw Loreen and Nathaniel, but the outrageous couple is back and ready to start their life of Happily Ever After.  In this sequel to the wonderful adventure game Royal Trouble: Hidden Adventures, our royal duo has just gotten married and are embarking on their honeymoon.  Naturally chaos ensues, leaving us with a wonderful adventure full of quirky characters to meet, plenty of puzzles to solve and no hidden object scenes to scrounge through.  Unfortunately there is one little side hunt that just slightly mars an otherwise stellar offering, but if I didn’t have something to complain about I’d probably be lost.
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Lifeline: Silent Night in Review – Great Story, Minimal Game Play

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Lifeline: Silent Night is the third in a series of “interactive conversations” from 3 Minute Games.  On the plus side, this chapter of the series returns us to the adventures of Taylor the astronaut, because the second installment went off on some weird mystical tangent that was anything but engrossing.  The problem with Lifeline, and with this style of game in general, is that I feel more like I’m taking a psychological exam then playing an adventure game.  I applaud the fact that they take a completely different approach to telling a story, but in the end I find that the mechanism actually removes me from the narrative instead of drawing me into it.  It’s a shame, because the story deserves more.
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Venture Kid in Review: Modern 8 Bit Platforming Glory

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When I first saw the screen shots for Venture Kid I thought it was just going to be a cheap knock-off of Mega Man.  Even the main character looked like nothing more than a Photoshopped version of the Mega Man sprite from one of the 8 bit iterations of the game.  Still, as a fan of the series that obviously inspired this game I really wanted to give it a try, and I don’t regret it for a minute.  Since there’s not likely to be an iOS version of Mega Man (at least as far as original content is concerned), Venture Kid is a more than adequate substitute.  Smart level design, a decent variety of enemies and a difficulty level that will make fans of the famous blue robot feel right at home all come together to make Venture Kid a platform game worth playing.
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Fire: Ungh’s Quest in Review – Not Your Typical Caveman Adventure

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There were several adventure games in 2015 that stood out for one reason or another, but Fire: Ungh’s Quest was by far the most unusual one that still managed to be enjoyable.  A wacky plot, plenty of challenging puzzles and some crazy supporting characters has kept me engaged for the most part.  Unfortunately, the need for a walkthrough has been a bit of a turn off.  In the end though, helping Ungh recover his fire has been primarily been a rewarding experience.
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Air Attack 2 in Review – Sorry Sky Force, You’ve Been Replaced

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So how do you make a compelling scrolling shooter that works at all the right levels?  I could list a bunch of criteria here, but I figure I’ll just make this easy for both me and you and say “give Air Attack 2 a try”.  Much like Sky Force in 2014 (and much of 2015), Air Attack 2 will be the scrolling shooter to dethrone this year.  Between the extensive single player campaign and several special runs that allow you to compete against other players around the world, Air Attack 2 has plenty of game play to keep you busy.  And, while you might have to fly some missions over and over again to achieve all the goals, you’ll never get bored doing so.  If this is your type of game then you’ll want Air Attack 2 on your device right now.
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Myths of Orion: Light from the North HD in Review – Another Fine Myth from G5

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Myths Of Orion: Light from the North HD was the second to last hidden object game released by G5 in 2015, and it has been a pretty decent way for me to end out the year.  It hasn’t been my favorite title I’ve played over the past 12 months, but it has certainly been entertaining working my way through the different lands in the game.  The story is interesting enough, though pretty standard for a fantasy game, and there are plenty of locations to explore and puzzles to solve.  I do wish the game would have been balanced more towards object puzzles than hidden object scenes or mini-games, but overall it wasn’t too skewed.  While G5 has stronger options in their collection, you could certainly do a lot worse than Myths Of Orion as well.
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