At first I was a bit surprised to see Chillingo publish a simple free faller game like Sky Hero ($0.99). But given the number and breadth of games it produces in a year, I guess it makes sense.
I love infinite runners to the point where I’ll even play a bad one a lot longer than I should in hopes it might suddenly become enjoyable. As such, I get a bit nervous when trying a new one due to the small chance it will live up to my self-inflated standards. In some ways JOOL ($0.99) reminds me of another infinite runner I recently reviewed and wasn’t particularly kind to. However, it just goes to show that while one game might falter because of certain criteria, another can shine in spite of such things. This game might not stroke everyone’s plumage the right way, but if you’re a fan of infinite runners like I am, you should at least give it a try.
When G5 released Nightmares From The Deep, I had actually started to grow weary of hidden object games. Thankfully the balanced game play, focus on adventuring aspects, and interesting story kept me captivated until the end of the game. It even convinced me to play the bonus adventure, which I had never done before. Now G5 brings us another treasure from the same developers in the form of Abyss: The Wraiths Of Eden. While I’m not quite sure if I like this one as well as Nightmares From The Deep yet, there’s no question that it shares the same high quality as the previous game. Adventure and hidden object fans should have a great time with this one as well.
Who doesn’t like a good side scrolling infinite runner? If you just raised your hand, this review probably won’t interest you. For those that are left, I’m afraid this game might not interest you. I appreciate that the developers felt they were doing something slightly different than the rest of the crowd, but frankly the game feels like a Robot Unicorn / Unicorn Dash knock-off with a horse riding, sword wielding demon. While in theory that sounds cool, in practice it comes off as a cheap second rate attempt at doing something that’s already been done much better. This may sound awfully harsh, but keep in mind we’re talking about a genre that already has plenty of entries.
If you were lucky enough to own a NES and had good taste in games then you have probably played Balloon Fight at some point. It was ported to a few other systems, and there were a couple of updates through the years, but sadly this title has been largely ignored in the gaming community. While it’s not anything officially tied to one of my favorite 8-bit games, there’s no question that Balloon Loons draws its inspiration from the aforementioned video game. With its colorful visuals, cute adversaries and plenty of levels to explore, Balloon Loons is certain to satisfy that craving for balloon popping that all former NES owners have.
Kickstarter has become a bit of a phenomenon, and with good reason. While just like with any other system there's no guarantee that every campaign will be successful, there are enough success stories to come out of the crowd funding camp to make it worth a developer's while to at least try. I run across more than my share of interesting projects on the web site, and get several requests from developers to publish "their story" and help spread the word. Here are a couple recent contacts that I thought I'd make you aware of.
G5 is probably best known for their adventure and hidden object games, but they have been branching out into other genres including time management and more recently physics puzzle games. Jumpster was an interesting first effort in the latter genre whose initial release was ultimately marred by an almost absolute necessity to buy IAP in order to play for any length of time. Green Jelly is their second physics puzzle release and it has managed to make a much better impression on me overall, except for the less than amicable controls. At least there's no IAP though.
When it came to PC gaming I think adventure games were what I grew up on, and I’m happy to see more developers bringing this great genre of game play to the iOS platform. In late November of 2012 we were treated to a cool time travelling piece called Tesla’s Electric Mist, and since I’m now getting back into it to try and finish it up I thought I’d share my experiences with the game. There’s no question that the developer has a deep fondness for this style of game play, and there are plenty of puzzles to solve and mini-games to conquer. I think it would have been nice to have a little golf cart with all the walking I had to do, though.
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.