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.
On November 26th you’ll be treated to a new distance running game in the form of Dino Rush, and I have to say that the game does a decent job of setting itself apart from similar games. You play a little dinosaur that has a series of missions to complete, but it just so happens that you’re always hungry. To keep your strength up you must consume all the fruit you can find, as well as avoid all the other nasty dinosaurs and things like quicksand and lava. You’ll receive various power ups like a spiked helmet, fruit magnet and super-dinosaur suit that will help you in your quest (and are often imperative to your survival).
I tend to like tank games, because at a base level they all tend to involve blowing things up. Tank Raider is no exception, except it throws the convention of collecting gems into the mix. In theory that should make the game more fun, but it tends to make it more tedious instead. Add to that controls that aren’t real conducive to fast action, and what could be a nice change from the run of the mill tank game feels like a bit of a mess instead. It’s certainly not a terrible mess, but it doesn’t stand out like it could, either.