Casual Game Review – Zombiesanity by Jimp & Jay

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Posted 29 Jan 2014 — by cheersphilip
Category Games, review

Graah! This is an action platformer with a zombie theme that is great fun to play for a while.

I’m tempted to call this a Roguelike-like, as your objective is to get as far through a map as you can on one run.
The levels are a random assortment of a half dozen room layouts, so I guess purists would not call that procedurally generated, but rather, er, random-room-layoutly-generated. You can use that one, if you like.

Anyhow, the rooms ave different buffs in them, including the ability to spawn assistants, who will then shoot zombies or man one of the guard towers, first-aid generators or repair generators that might occupy a room.
The repairs are for the piles of crates that you can hide behind to shoot the pesky zomboids, and which they must batter down to reach you

Pros

Gameplay s great, good amount of gore, the physics feels just right and hell, I just just love shooting zombies in the head so – result!

Upgrades are simple and not too easy to get. You only get one upgrade point when you level up, and you won’t necessarily level up each time you play.

The assortment of zombie types is varied and well chosen, which makes for fun gameplay and strategies. Same with the weapons and their upgrades.

Cons

although the levels are random, the room layouts are limited, so once you’ve played for a while you get to know where to stand for best tactical advantage. I guess there’s no way round this other than to have more rooms.

The same goes for the weapons and purchasing choices. Once you’ve played for a bit, there’s little to tempt you into using anything other than you fave weapon (minigun) and using that to take out the big guys while your assistants handle the little flying chaps.

Once you’ve got to this point, as opposed to some objective in the game, then this is it for you and this game.

Weapon purchases are persistent so after a bit you start the game with a full gun cupboard, which makes the first few levels feel a bit grindy.

Conclusion

All cons relating to later on in the game don’t matter, as this is not the type of game where you expect to be coming back to it regularly.

One thing I would say is that it would be good to include some sort of end game so you could feel that you ‘completed’ it rather than just getting bored of it. If there is already this, then it needs to be messages better, as I had no idea!

This is a great game to pick up, shoot some zombies gleefully in the face and move on – so yay!

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Casual Game Review – Kingdom Rush Frontiers

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Posted 17 Jan 2014 — by cheersphilip
Category review

The carnage returns! This well executed tower defence game sees you dispatching all sorts of wannabe bad guys as they trundle, mercilessly past your fortifications.

I’m a big fan of the series, and this latest installment does not disappoint. It’s as slick, precise and engaging as all the others. Basically, whenever Ironhide release new content I lap it up like a thing that really likes another thing that is being given.

Pros

Artwork is delightful. Baddies, goodies, towers, scenery and incidentals are varied, playful and clearly delineated (so you can the difference between the diff types of baddies)

Reward and upgrade system is very finely tuned well balanced – idk if its finely tuned, I just know that it works pretty seamlessly, so that you pretty much don’t notice it. This, to me, is the hallmark of a good system, where it’s totatlly firctionless. To try and explain this I will say that you feel motivated to get upgardes and do well,. and although you can consistenely get the upgardes it is by no means garanteed, so you feel that you really have to keep your game up, which makes each round very exciting and nerve-racking. On the other hand, its rarely so difficult that you’re having to replay the same level more than five or six times to crack it, except maybe later on, or if you’re a completinoist trying to do all the Iron challenges on Veteran mode.

You choose a strategy and implement it. If it doesn’t work you choose a different strategy. I like this, as it engages me, holds my interest and lets me feel ike i’m developing/becoming smarter.

You can interact with the scenery! I love that! Make camels explode or banthas poo!

Cons

To be honest, I well love this game and I have nothing to write here.

Conclusion

Play this game, then wonder where your lunch hour went :)

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Casual Game Review – 10 More Bullets

Posted 13 Jan 2014 — by cheersphilip
Category review

You are the lone defender of your planet :-O all you have is a big canon pointed into the air as swarms of enemies fly overhead, and you only have 10 more bullets! A frenetic, quick reaction game based around chaining the explosions of enemies so that they destroy each other in as few shots as possible! Flak-tastic!

Pros

I love the explosions - its just fun to watch a whole heap of pixels going nova as you watch on, eagerly awaiting the exact moment to put another cat amongst the pigeons.

The chain reactions are well balanced in the whole – the first ship to explode from a shot emits three particles, which will destroy a ship if they hit one. the result of that explosion will be four particles, and so on. By the time you’ve hit ten ships in a row the screen is beginning to get more particles than ships!

The biffs are well balanced, too, with a variety of buffs randomly dropped as loot from exploding ships, which aere picked up by your scuttling droids

The upgrade system works well, with a fairly smooth gradient in terms of cash earned versus power of upgrades.

Cons

All the above breaks down once you get further on in the game. Basically it just runs out of steam and disappears up itself. By the time you have a 20+ chain reaction, then you can just sit back and watch, which is only fun for so long. Its not challenging once you get there.

The highest achievement is for a large number of ships destroyed. What I found on the couple of occasions that I did it was that you’ll either run out of bullets miles before reaching the achievement, or the chain just takes over and you overshoot the mark by such a large factor that I went and made a coffee and it was still going, having doubled the required score to earn the achievement.

In order to reach this particular achievement I ended up kludging the game, in that if I didn’t hit the first little ship that came along, I would start again. This is not a nice way to play, but I was driven to it!

Overall

Really fun! Really enjoyed the pretty explosions. Got a bit boring after a while (30 mins).

Explosions!

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From the sketchbook – element UI

Posted 09 Dec 2013 — by cheersphilip
Category Games, Sketchbook, thought

Just doing some doodles relating to UI. How to signal to the payer of a game that elements of the game have a property that decays over time? It has to be different to a health bar, as there may be many of them on the screen at one time.

Here’s what i came up with…

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Casual Game Review – Heroes of Loot

Posted 21 Oct 2013 — by cheersphilip
Category Games, review

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Heroes of Loot is a top down dungeon crawler done straight for mobile by Dutch indie studio Orange Pixel.

PROS
I love the music and the pace of the gameplay. This is a fast, fun piece if work that soon ramps up the difficulty in a very pleasing way.
Orange Pixel have taken an interesting stance on dynamic analogue controllers, in that you have have what looks like dual analogues, but after time you realise that there’s just one analogue – the other being an auto aim fire button.
If you like pixel graphics, then you will like these ones. If not, you should write your own review and place the graphics under ‘cons’. Pared-back, cute, amusing and well imagined, these pixels are finely crafted. I particularly like the cyclops!
The quests are good – against the clock item-gets.

CONS
The shooting can be a bit annoying! Not so much when it’s shooting the locks off cages to free prisoners, when it should be raining down a shower of retribution on a range of dungeon monsters, as to correct that would I think be too much to ask of an auto-aim feature.
No, instead what narks me is the lack of discrimination between your regular weapon and powerful ‘runes’ that you pick up.
The fire rune, f’rinstance, kicks arse by spinning a wall of fire around you. You can’t however, choose where that wall starts spinning from, or whether or not to use it in a corridor where it is almost useless.
Same with the lightning rune, an area-effect affair – you can’t choose to save it up for a room full of baddies. Instead it gets wasted on the easy drones down the corridor.
Another thing that’s less than fantastic is the progression. On my first play I got to dungeon 28 and had the difficulty ‘upgraded’ (along with witty cut-scenes) to max.
The second time I played there was nothing left to do, other than feet all my data. There are items to collect, but so far they just mean that you start on level 2, which is not enough to keep me playing. Especially as its so difficult i can now only get to dungeon 6!
The shops are a bit random, in terms of what items are offered.
The different characters that you get are a bit samey.

CONCLUSION
I like it, but I felt it wasn’t quite worth the money for the amount of gameplay that you get, but at least they didn’t try and upswell you at every opportunity.
A good,fun game. I will certainly buy their next offering.

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