Puzzle games are a dime a dozen, and some genres are so oversaturated that it’s hard to imagine a developer doing any more with them. Then a game like Cardboard Castle comes along that doesn’t really fit neatly into a category and reminds us of why we love puzzle games in the first place. You’ll find no matching or physics related quandaries in this game. Instead what you get is a series of rooms that contain multiple “use this object for this purpose” puzzles that while in hindsight are fairly simple, can be quite perplexing until you’ve figured them out. Add to that the awesome cardboard graphics theme and you have one pretty snazzy puzzle game to include in your collection.
Since I’ve started playing hidden object games I’ve noticed that they have become less about searching a room for a bunch of objects and more about being like an adventure game. You often need to find an object to be used somewhere else, there are mini-games to be solved to unlock objects or rooms in the game, and you even have dialogs with other people in the game. The focus tends to be around people searching for their parents, grandparents, or kids, so the original Treasure Seekers was a nice change of pace in that it revolved around a younger child trying to find her brother (and then looking for a treasure, of course). Now the kids have grown up, but the premise hasn’t changed – sister must find brother, and together they’ll seek the Philosopher’s Stone. Turns out it’s still as interesting this time around, and the more balanced mini-games make for an overall more pleasant experience.
I remember playing the Shinobi games on both my Genesis and Game Gear when I was a kid, and I remember them being tough. However, I also remember them being lots of fun. I guess I enjoyed my games being a bit punishing in those days. When I heard they were bringing a Shinobi out for the iPhone I was quite excited, though I was a bit disappointed that it was part 3 instead of Revenge Of Shinobi, which is by far my favorite. After spending some time with Shinobi III, though, I’m really enjoying it. The game play actually holds up quite well for a game that’s almost 20 years old, and I’d say this is definitely one of SEGA’s strongest emulated games to date.
I don’t know if you ever run into this problem or not, but due to the sheer volume of games I go through, it often takes me a while to play many of the games I own. Then when I finally do, I sometimes think to myself “wow, I wish I would have played this game sooner”. If you haven’t guessed yet, Push Panic is one of those games. The concept is simple, yet it’s a fresh take on the matching genre that really sets a new standard for this type of game. Add to that four different game play modes, social network integration and a snazzy appearance and you have a causal gaming experience that no one should miss.
It seems we live in a world where highly skilled assassins have taken a dislike to the four basic food groups. Paper Ninja takes the novel approach to the whole “slice objects” idea and actually gives you ninjas to swipe at… well, sort of. The game is cute, it is challenging, and best of all you can’t get any paper cuts. I have a couple of niggles with it, but overall I’ve found the game quite fun to play.
Most games these days that toss things in the air at you expect you to slice and dice them. The Balls takes a different approach to the subject, and as a result stands out nicely from the crowd. It’s kind of like Hacky Sack on steroids, and it’s definitely the sort of balancing act most of us would only attempt electronically. Thankfully, though, the end result is a fun game that doesn’t involve ninjas or samurais, fruit or vegetables, yet provides a similar sort of satisfaction.
I’ve been playing electronic games for a long time, and one of the best genres since I can remember has always been the platform game. Sure they’ve evolved greatly over the years just like any other type of game, but the basic premise has always been “start at point A – run, jump and do whatever to get to point B – collect things and bop bad guys in the head along the way”. Pixeline And The Jungle Treasure exemplifies this tried and true formula. The truth is that it adds nothing new to the genre, and actually hearkens back to the simpler days of platform gaming in a lot of ways. Still, I’ve quite enjoyed it thus far, and hope we see more of cute little Pixeline in the future.
20 years ago, Altered Beast was one of the first games I played on my brand spankin’ new Sega Genesis. Playing the emulated version on my iPod Touch brings back fond memories of my 16 bit gaming days, which are probably among my favorite as far as consoles are concerned. It’s also a great reminder of how it takes something special to stand the test of time. Honestly, I’m not sure that Altered Beast has that something special. I’m quite enjoying the game as it’s a part of my gaming past, but I’m not sure how well modern gamers will take to the limited control scheme and basic game play.
When Lemmings arrived in 1991 the world took note, because there really hadn’t been a game like it until then. Unlike many game styles today I don’t think this one really “took off”, but there have certainly been a number of clones and variants since the original firecracker-popping critters came strolling along. Aqua Panic is one such game, but instead of manipulating individual creatures to guide the pack you actually direct the course of the stream of water the creatures are swimming in. The game is interesting, but I’m not sure I’m real keen on the interface, and so far I don’t have a compelling urge to sit and play more than a couple of levels at a time.
Dragon Fire is the prefect example of why buyers cringe when they see the GameSalad logo come up on their screen. The real problem is that Dragon Fire is not a terrible game, but rather a mediocre game marred by some issues that make it not as enjoyable as it should be. It’s also fairly representative of the offerings that come from the aforementioned game authoring tool. If this game were given a bit more TLC it could rise above the ever increasing number of vertical shooters that are making their way into the App Store, but as it stands right now the unique premise of playing a dragon doesn’t help the rest of the game.