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.
I’ve always been partial to turn based strategy games because I tend to have difficulties processing everything that’s going on all at once when the action is real time. However, I began taking an interest in the real time side of things again when I was introduced to what I call “strategy lite” games where you basically have one screen full of stuff to deal with and the action is mostly relegated to simply trying to take over your opponents’ structures. With no resource management, no complex troop management and advanced quests providing fun but unnecessary diversions, games like Mushroom Wars still provide a decent level of strategy but supply it in a nice pick up and go package.
If you’ve ever been out in the bitter cold and wanted to use your iPhone (or smartphone in general), then you already know just how much it sucks to do so as your fingers feel like they’re about to fall off. Thankfully, there’s a solution to this and it involves non other than a pair of touchscreen compatible gloves. Some simply have cutout holes at the fingertips, while others are actually made with conductive fabric and no digits need to be exposed. One such pair is the Glove.ly touchscreen gloves, and they’re designed where the entire glove can interact with the iPhone’s display. They’re smartly designed, look great and even have two magnetic points that help keep the gloves together.
Triad Audio’s L3 is one of the biggest battery-powered carry-around headphone amps that TMA has gone over. The other, MST’s FiQuest, is a champion of customisation and performance. While not nearly as customisable as the FiQuest, the L3 commutes from HiFi component to road warrior with less hassle. It is also one of the handsomest large amps this audio fool has seen.
Lately I’ve been more focused on RPG hybrids when it comes to my match 3 experiences (like Dungeon Story), but I’m all for a good old fashioned pure match 3 romp, given the right game. Sadly, those options don’t come along much any more. Now we have Jelly Duel, however, and my faith in the genre is slowly returning. Unfortunately, this game will only do you some good if you have WiFi or data connectivity since it is an online offering. Still, as much as I don’t like “connected” gaming, I’m seeing a lot of potential in Jelly Duel.
I love physics puzzle game, but there is certainly more than a fair share to choose from. Still, if one seems to offer something new or do something proven really well I’m more than happy to give it a shot. In the case of Block Blasters you get to use various forms of explosives to shuffle the board around, so who wouldn’t want to give that a go? Unfortunately, while the game is conceptually intriguing, in practice it’s more burdensome than anything else. Imprecise controls, frustrating puzzles and annoying sound effects highlight what should have been a fun little puzzle game.
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.
Tralucent Audio came out of nowhere. Their unique 1Plus2 earphone began stirring up Headfi a few months ago; other audio forums have followed suit. Startlingly less uproarious is their excellent T1 amplifier, a 250$ piece of aluminium, solder, and bolts, that thumbs its nose at many a +400$ amp. It’s a pretty little thing, sporting a black coat, thick walls, good ergonomics, and an audio drive
train that is as strong as it is resilient.
Super Dragon is another physics based puzzle game, but at least it doesn’t have the same “topple buildings and defeat the opponents within” type feel that the Angry Birds movement spurred. This time around you play a dragon that simply wants to get his teeth back so he won’t be laughed at by all his friends. Naturally, though, your teeth end up in all sorts of precarious spots, and it’s to you and your fireballs to figure out how to get them back without knocking yourself out in the process.