Infinite runners are to action games like Match 3 games are to the puzzle genre: there are a lot of options on the App Store, and so many of them start to feel the same after a while. Thankfully I like the infinite runner style of game play enough that I’m pretty much willing to try any one I can get my hands on, and occasionally I’m still surprised to find one that doesn’t feel just like the rest. Now I’m not suggesting that Ronin does anything revolutionary for the genre, or quite frankly even really evolutionary, but there’s something about it that keeps drawing me back.
I never considered frogs to be a very popular subject for video games, but there really are quite a few games staring the lily pad bound amphibians and their desire to eat bugs. Thankfully Mister Frog is a different beast altogether. Yeah you’re still trying to collect bugs with the protagonist’s tongue, but there isn’t a lily pad anywhere to be seen in this game. Plus, the actual game play mechanic is different than any I’ve come across in this sort of game to date. This is another fine example of simple, fun and addictive blending seamlessly together to create a game that probably won’t get the recognition it deserves.
Many of you are probably too young for this, and those that are my age probably had better sense than me, but the phrase “I have the power” was pretty much a regular part of my after school routine in grade school. It was part of the battle cry that transformed mild mannered Prince Adam into He-Man, the most powerful man in the universe. If you think it sounds just a bit corny, try watching the show some time. He-Man makes The Brady Bunch look like intense drama. Anyway, for better or worse – depending on your viewpoint – all the cheese that made the show what it was seems to have ended up in the game. And of course you have many of the main characters and locations from Eternia. Just don’t expect anything revolutionary game play wise.
There’s a reasonably credibly founded stigma regarding crossovers between video games and other media: it doesn’t work well. When it comes to basing video games off of other media, you tend to lose the story in favor of events that simply take place in the same universe. Go the other route and you find that many comics based off of video games pretty much have to come up with their own stories because the source material doesn’t have any. Either way you tend to have a match that doesn’t feel made in heaven. Ape Entertainment is trying to do their part to stay on the winning side of the curve with two offerings based off of currently popular mobile games: the Squids franchise of action / RPG games and Temple Run, the game that did for infinite runners what Angry Birds did for physics action games. In terms of content they’ve mostly succeeded, though I’m still not quite sure how I feel about the interface.
There was a time when “playing bat and ball” meant your kids were probably out getting a bit of exercise. Nowadays it could simply indicate that they are sampling the latest variant of the classic Arkanoid. Mechanics wise there’s no question that Magic Orbz pays homage to such games of old, but the environments and some of the power ups really give it a fresh feel. Don’t get too laid back while you’re playing, though, or the challenge of the last level set will really smack you in the face.
If you've ever felt your photos don't have enough pizzaz, maybe it's time to "smize" yourself. Much like Zoolander’s stare, smizing is a way to bring attention to your personality, though unlike the made up model’s technique this one apparently really works. It’s a concept developed by Tyra Banks whereby you “smile with your eyes”, and you can learn it for yourself with the iOS application Smize Yourself! You’ll even be taught by the mater as the lessons were recorded by Tyra Banks herself. Don’t worry, though, because the software contains facial morphing options to help where smizing
Sometimes a simple maze game where the main goal is just to get out of each level can actually be entertaining, as long as the game is constructed well. My big concern with Little Labyrinths was that it was going to be too easy since you basically trace your way out of each maze with your finger. It turns out that with the right game play mode this is not only challenging but can get quite addicting. Thankfully Little Labyrinths has 6 game play modes to choose from, and in the right combination these can be rather rewarding. Just make sure that you have a “big kid’s” game to quickly switch to when someone wants to know what you’re doing.
Retro 64, developers of the awesome turn based tile RPG Rune Raiders, released a new game called Zombies Don’t Ride earlier this year. This is one of those games that drive me nuts because while I can list several reasons why I shouldn’t like it, I find it hard to tear myself away from the game any time I load it up. It’s certainly nowhere near the caliber of Rune Raiders, yet it’s highly addictive in its own way. It also has the potential to be a money grubber, so if you can’t resist IAP, you might want to stay away.
Around the time that Earn To Die came out it seemed like several such games came onto the App Store. I tried some of the other ones as well, and for some reason this one seemed to catch my attention the most. The concept as a whole is fairly redundant: race until you run out of gas, upgrade your vehicle and repeat. Still, Earn To Die has managed to suck me in every time I load it up, and as far as I'm concerned that's the most important feature a game should have.
Until November 30th, Digiarty is giving away version 4.0 of their DVD ripping software, MacX DVD Ripper Pro. Among other things you can use it to rip DVDs to iPhone and iPad compatible video formats. For more details and to grab yourself a copy of this software, check out this link: MacX DVD Ripper Pro giveaway.