Archive for the ‘ Games ’ Category

Stupid Zombies – They’re Dead Stupid

Stupid Zombies

If you can’t beat Angry Birds then copy it… and stick some zombies in there while you’re at it.
That was my first impression of Stupid Zombies and it feels unfair to level such a comment at app creators GameResort but the fact is there’s a few strong similarities going on here. Whether it’s the similar 2-word name, the level select system, the sideways-on physics based puzzle action or even the sound effect that starts each level it’s hard to ignore the essence of Angry Birds inherent within Stupid Zombies. Thankfully the main gameplay mechanic is different (and enjoyable) enough to warrant your time.
The aim of Stupid Zombies is simple, place your finger on the touch screen to fire your shotgun at the zombies. Bullets are limited so you’ll need an keen eye for ricochets and explosive scenery that will aid your survival. As you progress into the further chapters of the game you’ll come across more weapons, switches that can alter the scenery and moving zombies.
The horror theme is implemented nicely with the menus and in-game graphics providing a pleasant cartoonish vibe. There’s also some great work regarding the music motifs and the sound effects which effectively add to the atmosphere.
The in-game physics work great, decapitated zombie heads and flailing zombie bodies smoothly fly around the screen in a satisying (and amusing) fashion. Sadly there’s a couple of annoyances that prevents Stupid Zombies being an instant classic.
Firstly the old issue of pop-up ads rears it’s severed zombie head. I don’t mind ads in free games, it’s a means to an end however when they get in the way of using an app they become an annoyance. With Stupid Zombies we had a few occasions where the bottom of the playing field would become slightly obscured which hindered enjoying the game.
Secondly, aiming accurately can be difficult due to the fact that your finger is directly over the area that you wish to shoot at. If anyone at Gameresort happens to be reading this, a zoom window (like the one used in Camscanner) would be a perfect remedy.
Thirdly, and this is the worst, when you press the screen to resume a paused game you instantly fire one of your limited bullets therefore rendering your current level progress redundant.  
Don’t let these issues prevent you from trying out Stupid Zombies (it’s a free game, what have you got to lose?), it truly is an addictive game with a great visual style. There’s a ton of levels to enjoy and they’re not the immediate cakewalk that they first appear to be so expect your time to be suitably consumed.

ABOUT THIS APP – CURRENT VERSION: 1.2.2
REQUIRES ANDROID: 2.0.1 and up , CATEGORY: Arcade & Action , SIZE: 10M , PRICE: Free

Links : Android Marketplace, Install via AppBrain

Bottom Line : Enjoyable, addictive and it’s got Zombies. Despite its flaws it’s a great game.

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Wheelz (Free Edition) – Is it Wheely Good?

Wheelz – Free Edition

Aaaargh! Bastard! No, you F@#£ing AAAARGH! That’s what the less hardened gamer may be saying when they get stuck into the harder levels of Wheelz – Free Edition. Not me though, I’m blimmin’ ace at games me.

Truth be told, the main menu is a bit garish.

Wheelz isn’t a million miles away from the popular ‘Trials’ games on the PC and Xbox 360. You control a Monster Truck across all kinds of insane 2d terrain in the hope that the physics engine won’t get the better of you and make you crash.
Games of this ilk either live or die by their physics engines, a recent case being the reported iffy physics in the Android ‘Cut The Rope’ rip-off which has since vanished from the Marketplace. Thankfully the physics in Wheelz seem solid enough to ensure a consistent gaming experience. In a genius move you can also adjust the wheels and suspension on your vehicle to change how the game feels should you get bored and fancy a new challenge.
No matter how easy you find the game you’ll make the odd mistake and that’s when you’ll come across the unforgiving spawn system in Wheelz. It doesn’t matter where you are in a level, crashing your Truck sends you all the way back to the start, not ideal when it comes to the lengthier levels.

Harsh, tricky, unforgiving, frustrating. Yet I keep going back for more.

The free version of Wheelz ships with 24 number of levels with the creator promising to add more in the coming weeks. If you’re feeling brave you can even edit your own levels with the tools on the creator’s blog.
The game flows smoothly enough on powered phones with some nice touches of dirt being churned up whilst wheel spinning. For those sporting less powerful Android phones there are also options to tone things down a touch to help with smooth running.
Wheelz is another Android game to add to the ever growing list of ‘worthwhile timewasters’.

Links : Android Marketplace, AppBrain

Bottom Line : Possibly slightly rough around the edges but Wheelz is still a nicely produced game with an enjoyable amount of content to get through. Good stuff.

Pinball Deluxe – It’s Flipping Good

 

Pinball Deluxe

 

I remember many a holiday from my childhood where I would simply while away my time in the amusement arcades.  The rows of upright cabinets and pinball tables were a haven away from the dull & dreary caravan parks my family would take me to in the furthest reaches of Devon. It may sound like a case of rose tinted spectacles but arcades these days are rubbish, gone are the upright cabinets and multiple choices of games. These days the only options for arcade gaming involve…

  • Driving games
  • Shooting / Light Gun Games
  • Guitar Hero (which most gamers already own or don’t need to pay £1 to play again).

Every now and again, tucked away behind the awful ‘Fast and Furious’ driving games there’ll be a pinball table or two, pushed aside and clinging on for their space in the arcade like the gaming dinosaurs they are perceived to be.

Ball jiggling fun that you can keep in your pockets.

I love a good pinball table but sadly the arcade business thinks otherwise so I’m increasingly forced to get my pinball kicks via video games.
Pinball Deluxe is a pretty good go at recreating the pinball experience on the Android platform. It boasts three large tables (with more promised in the future) and promises to run on all resolutions on all devices, even tablets (which could look particularly cool).
The tables themselves are well made, all contain their own visual and gaming styles with no obvious repetition of playing features. The typical pinball tricks are all present along with mini-games tucked away in the pixel display like you would find on the real thing. You can control the flippers via your touch screen but personally I found the ‘menu’ and ‘search’ keys a far more authentic alternative.
The physics are pretty much spot on, it’s a shame the ball movement isn’t smoother but for a mobile phone game that’s going to be asking a lot. Either way it’s a great effort.
Sadly there’s currently no OpenFeint support, it’s not a massive loss but pinball is a game that appeals to to high-score whore in all of us and online scoreboards would add an extra level of competition between online friends.

Link : Official Page

Bottom Line : Pinball Deluxe is a free download so whether you’re a hardcore Pinball wizard or a casual gamer it’s a recommended download for your Android device.

Doodle Dash Lite – “Canabalt… but with GUNS!”

Doodle Dash Lite

Have you played Canabalt? If you haven’t then you should go play it (once you’ve read this review obviously). It’s a great game, excellent pixel graphics, simple controls, it’s ideal for mobile gaming except that it’s not available on Android. Don’t worry though because there’s always Doodle Dash, it’s like a slightly less polished version of Canabalt but with GUNS!
Doodle Dash is a platform scrolling game where your only controls involve ‘jump’ and ‘fire’, the screen scrolls by itself so there’s always the ever present danger of falling to your death as well as zombies and spikes that will damage your health upon contact. You can take out the baddies with either your firearm or by employing the trusted old ‘Super Mario’ technique of jumping on their heads. Dotted around the landscape are hearts that can boost your health and weapon crates which contain weaponry that’s far more effective than your slightly lousy shotgun (and gives the game something of a Metal Slug feel).  The more you play the game the more weapons you unlock to use in the future and there’s also an ‘easy mode’ should you find things too difficult.
Doodle Dash is a simple and fun game that neatly suits the touchscreen input of Android handsets, the game runs nicely and has it’s own unique ‘cartoon crayon’ style which looks good on a mobile phone. My only complaint is that after 30 seconds of play the control buttons inexplicably vanish. All too many times I found myself falling to my doom because I missed the invisible jump button by a just the tinniest bit, I do wish there was an option to always keep them visible.This aside the game is enjoyable as a quick distraction and the unlockable content ensures a certain amount of replay value, the paid version of the game removes the ads and has more levels and fun weaponry to enjoy.

Link : Install via AppBrain

Bottom Line : Simple, fun and nicely put together. Doodle Dash is worth a download for a quick gaming fix when needed.

Jet Car Stunts Lite – One Crazy Mother-Stunter

Jet Car Stunts Lite

With each passing week it seems that the quality of gaming apps for the Android platform take another step towards excellence.  Latest in this trend is a new free version of Jet Car Stunts courtesy of developer True Axis.
Jet Car Stunts is a racing game where you race all by yourself, woah woah woah! Come back! It’s much better than it sounds. The opposition in this game are the tracks themselves, suspended thousands of feet in the air they twist and turn with multiple jumps, loops and corners that will send you falling into the big blue sky time and time again. It’s less a racing title and more a high-speed platform game… in a car
The first thing that grabs you with JCS is the superb presentation and how slippery smooth the game runs, screenshots and Youtube videos don’t do it justice, you need to see this running in your hands in order to get a full feel for it. Speaking of which ‘feel’ is something that JCS gets totally spot on compared to other driving games I’ve played on any mobile device. In the past tilting the handset in order to steer can lead to an endless chain over-compensating which results in veering all over the track but in Jet Car Stunts the tilting is balanced perfectly making the game infinitely more playable (and controllable).

Here I am, hopelessly flying through the air and about to crash.

The game itself is a joy to play, partly because it looks so good and partly because it’s annoyingly hard (but in a good way). For a trial version there’s plenty to get stuck into, 8 superb new tracks, 3 game modes (including an excellent tutorial) and integration with the ‘Open Feint’ leaderboard community.

The full version has been around on Android for a few weeks but I never had time to try it due to the new 15 minute trial limit that is now part of the Android Marketplace. Thanks to True Axis taking the time to making an excellent free version I am now hugely tempted to pony up for the full game, surely that’s a perfect example for how instrumental trial software can be in driving sales.

Link : Install via AppBrain

Bottom Line : A superb game creation, no wonder it topped so many ‘Best of 2009’ iOS lists. An excellent download for any Android gamers out there.

Mega Jump – Might As Well Jump… JUMP!!

Mega Jump

Awww lookit. A super-cutesy dinosaur. Me wanna play.

I blame ‘Bubble Bobble‘, if I hadn’t got hooked on that game on my Speccy in the late 80’s I wouldn’t have even noticed ‘Mega Jump’. Thanks to the way ‘Bubble Bobble’ seared it’s way into my consciousness if you’re making a game and you put a cutesy dinosaur* front and centre, you have my attention.
Mega Jump is one the numerous ‘jump and tilt’ games that seem to have flooded the Android Marketplace recently and truth be told, of all the various versions available it’s the first one I downloaded and I’ve yet to find a reason to drop it in order to try any of the others. Like the best mobile games ‘Mega-Jump’ has a simple idea, your little dinosaur takes a big leap into the air and you must control him via tilting your handset so he can collect coins which further elevate his trajectory skyward. If you travel too far without collecting coins your dinosaur will lose momentum and eventually fall back down to earth and you’ll have to try again. There are various power-ups to collect en-route such as a fireball jump boost, a magnet to attract coins to your dinosaur or an umbrella to slow your eventual fall, all of which help you to achieve the goal of reaching the top of the play area in order to progress to the next stage.

The static screenshots don't sell it, when in motion it's pretty cool stuff.

Each new stage brings with it a new challenge to overcome be it negative power-ups or baddies that make you drop your collected coins. A notable aspect of ‘Mega Jump’ is the unlockable content, by collecting coins you also rack up ‘Mega Points’ which can be used to purchase new characters, wallpaper and power ups. One point of interest is the alternative way you can collect Mega Points if you can’t be arsed to slog your way through the actual game, you can purchase them via Paypal. It’s certainly a unique (and voluntary) revenue stream for an Android game and it’ll be interesting to see if this is a business model that becomes a common practice as the Android OS gains traction as a gaming platform. Speaking of which, the mobile gaming community ‘Fient’ is also supported and with it comes the usual features of leaderboards and achievements (which I wish popped up in-game like it does in titles such as ‘Fruit Ninja’).

Awww look it at this one, another ickle cutesy dinosaur.

Presentation is key in ‘Mega-Jump’ and everything here is pitch perfect, whether it’s the colouful multi-layed scrolling locales or the excellent in game sound effects and graphical touches, everything that happens is a slick piece of execution which goes some way to explain the hefty 26MB install size (those owning a slightly underpowered Android phone may also find themselves unable to run this game at a quick pace).
As you can probably tell I’m a bit of a fan of ‘Mega Jump’, it’s simple but the quick gameplay is devilishly addictive; it’s ideal for those quick gaming sessions to fill up some time and I’m a complete sucker for it’s cutesy looks. Curse you ‘Bubble Bobble’!

Link : Install via AppBrain

Bottom Line : It may be a big install but Mega Jump is a slick game with an addictive streak. Did I mention the cute dinosaur?

*Technically speaking they’re not actually dinosaurs in Bubble Bobble, according to Wikipedia they are dragons however the 12 year-old me from 1989 doesn’t care what Wikipedia says. If you want to disagree on whether they’re actually dragons or dinosaurs you’ll have to travel back to 1989 and take it up with him.

Rocket Bunnies – Android’s First Space Rabbit Sim

Rocket Bunnies

Defiant Development claim that their new game ‘Rocket Bunnies’ is “The best space rabbit sim you’ll play this year” and you know what? They’re not lying.

Thinking of making an app? Make it 100% better by putting a mental bunny in there.

Rocket Bunnies is an action puzzle game in which you slingshot your character from planet to planet whilst collecting bunnies and avoiding obstacles. Your performance is graded in stars and further levels are unlocked depending on how many stars you have been given. The game features easy to use touch screen controls and it does a great job of easing you into the gameplay mechanics. The gameplay feels original & fun and it definitely becomes trickier as you progress through the game.

Rocket Bunnies is truly striking to watch, the menus looks awesome and in-game everything runs perfectly. This could well be the big new game for Android, it looks superb, it sounds great and I’m sure the more zealous members of the Android community will relish the fact that this game was released on Android before iOS.
This is a free game that features ad-support although an ad-free version has been proposed for the future along with an extra game mode. The only downsides? If you have a Samsung phone, you’ll need Android 2.2 in order to run this and it’s a 12MB install.

Links : Install via AppBrain, Official Website

Bottom Line : If you got the specs and the space then Space Bunnies is a great game to get stuck into. Go get it!

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