One of the things I really admire about Chillingo is that they have a knack for digging up games that take tried and true mechanics and give them enough twists and flair to make them feel like fresh games. Such is the case with Rolling Hero. Anyone that has played games on their iOS device for a reasonable length of time has probably played one or more titles where you rotate the board to get your hero to the proper location, yet this one feels different somehow. It definitely has a cute factor that seems to permeate a majority of Chillingo’s best titles, but there’s a certain spin this game takes that keeps me wanting to come back for more. Even if I never completely put my finger on it, I guess that’s a good thing since I’m spending my time with the game.
Heavy Sword reminds me of a cross between Super Mario Bros and The Legend Of Zelda. Now some of you might be thinking “isn’t that basically Zelda 2 for the NES?” That’s probably fair enough, but since I never played that title I’m sticking with the correlation. The problem is that this really isn’t as interesting as either of those games separately, let alone what a good combination of them could be. That alone I could live with, since either of those franchises is hard to live up to. What is troubling me, however, is the fact that the game keeps freezing up on me.
A good adventure game has a balanced story. It gives you enough to keep you interested but not so much that you have no reason to continue playing. The puzzles are fair and at least some of them should be challenging. There will be both inventory based challenges and riddles that simply challenge the mind. In a perfect world there would be NPC interaction as well, but sometimes the story might prohibit that. And even though you might have to do a lot of traipsing back and forth, you won’t mind because you’re too into the game. Vanished: The Island is a good adventure game.
What do you get when you take two artists from a well known company and set them on their own to design mobile games? Apparently you get a family friendly cave flyer style game that takes place under water with fish. Fin Friends is one of those games that are nice, but other than some flashy graphics it doesn’t do much to differentiate itself from the pack. If you like cave flyer or infinite runner style games you’ll enjoy Fin Friends, but don’t expect to see any revolutionary game play elements here.
Whether you’re a student, writer or just someone who likes using big words, the Thesaurus is undoubtedly one of the best tools to have around. The largest resource on the web is Thesaurus.com (owned by Dictionary.com), and they’ve recently released Thesaurus Rex, a universal iOS app that has 550,000 synonyms & antonyms and features several handy functions, like sorting by relevance or A-Z, filtering results in real time by complexity, and more.
Taskbox, the iPhone mail client that aims to help you get to zero inbox while turning emails into tasks, has dropped to Free on the App Store for the very first time. First launched last October, this well received and ever improving mail app has a gesture system much like Mailbox, in that you can simply swipe left or right to perform actions: add task, complete, archive and delete. And similar to Mail Pilot, Taskbox lets you easily create todo lists out of your never ending inbox.
Now that developers are comfortable with the iOS platform and have realized how well it works for adventure games we’re starting to see a lot more original content come to Apple’s mobile devices. One of the latest entries in the genre is The Silent Age, and it’s clear the folks behind this game know a thing or two about what made the old Sierra classics great. If I had to come up with a down side, it’s that the game was over just as it was reaching its peak. Thankfully the developers are already hard at work on a sequel, though, so even that little inconvenience will be rectified at some point.
Ravenous Games has a decent collection of retro-looking casual games piling up in their catalog, though I’d wager that they are best known for their League of Evil series. Gravity.Duck is nothing like those games aside from the graphics style. For some reason that bothered me at first, but it didn’t take long until I got completely hooked on this one. In fact, I think I’ve played it more than both of the League Of Evil games combined. Ravenous has one again nailed the art of the casual gaming experience, and I for one am happy to indulge.
Kickstarter has given birth to some really innovative products in the past and the iKit NuCharge is no exemption. Dubbed the most “advanced iPhone battery case ever made”, it’s also the world’s first interchangeable battery and case cover for the iPhone 5. With such a design, users can decide whether to go with a light and minimal case, or pop on the battery for slightly more bulk to juice up the iPhone. I was recently sent a pre-production unti for testing and so far I’m really liking the iKit for its versatility, lightweight and slim 1900mAh battery pack.
About all I knew of LIBERATION MAIDEN going into it was that the game was a shooter and that it was a port from another system. This is definitely a game that has been under-promoted in my opinion. As much as I love scrolling shooters, I’ve realized that my iOS experience with the genre has never lived up to its potential until now. Liberation Maiden certainly isn’t perfect, but it’s unlike any shooter you’ve played on your iPad to this point. The final boss battle alone almost makes the whole game worth it, as it was one of the most intense experiences I’ve had with this genre on a mobile device. The price tag is a bit hefty relatively speaking, but if you’re a die hard scrolling shooter fan you should seriously consider this one.