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.
My first thought in regards to CandyMeleon was “oh great, another one of those games”. You know, the ones where you have to feed a cute character candy all day long? Sure enough it is, but at least there is no rope cutting or fan blowing or gadget positioning of any kind. In fact, this really isn’t any sort of physics game at all. Instead it’s a good old fashioned arcade game where you have to grab the good stuff, avoid the bad stuff and last as long as you can. It’s also quite addictive once you get into it. There’s no brain power required here, and it’s a nice change of pace when it comes to games about consuming sweets.
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.
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.