One of the things I like about a Reiner Knizia game is that you never know what you’re going to get, but it’s always in a good way. Sure several of the games might feel like board games (especially since the source of many of them are), but the actual contents of each game is unique and often thought provoking. City Of Secrets Skyline HD is no exception to the rule. I will admit that one of my motivations for wanting to try the game was its tie-in to the upcoming City Of Secrets 2, but by itself the game is a simple yet challenging strategy game that certainly doesn’t feel like any other Reiner Knizia game I’ve played on my iOS devices.
The title of this game kind of scared me away, because I thought it was going to be the video game equivalent of a chick flick. The truth is that in a lot of ways it really is, but never the less it’s proven to be quite amusing. It’s a runner with finite levels, multiple goals and an altruistic purpose – to find true love. When you get past the mushiness you’ll discover a game that can at times be challenging, is always visually appealing and even manages to have a sense of humor occasionally. It’s not the ‘next best runner”, but it has certainly done the job of keeping me entertaining while I’ve been playing it.
I’ve played quite a number of time management games over the course of my reviews, and generally I find that the more hectic they are the more fun they tend to be. Of course the chaos needs to be organized, but the key is that there has to be a lot to do. Occasionally, though, I just want to have a nice, relaxing time, and Streetfood Tycoon fills that bill quite nicely. At times it almost feels more like an arcade game than a time management sim, but lest you forget you can always check all the stats to bring you back to reality. The important thing is that the game is fun, and I have become rather addicted to the game play and atmosphere.
Tom and Nelly are back for the fourth installment of the treasure hunting, bad guy thwarting hidden object series Treasure Seekers. Check out the links after this review for my thoughts on parts 2 and 3 of the series. Fans of the series will feel right at home with this iteration of the franchise, and newcomers should be able to jump in fairly easily as well, though references to older adventures might not make much sense to them. Overall it still provides a decent balance of game play mechanics but there isn’t really a lot of what I’d consider mini-games this time around. It’s not my favorite of the bunch, but I don’t regret hanging out with the treasure seeking duo again.
I’m a big fan of overhead racing games, and because I remember the days when the NES reigned supreme I can appreciate things like “old school” graphics, as long as they are done well. Like so many genres on the App Store, however, there are enough games of this type that you have to really do something different to stand out. Retro Racing’s biggest problem is that it really doesn’t, and beyond that it has a couple of issues that actually detract from the fun factor. I think the game is a nice start, but it might be a little too retro even for my retro tastes.
For starters, this isn’t another Angry Birds or Bejeweled clone, so that’s a bonus. Twist & Catch is actually a nifty little puzzle game with a bit of a… well, twist to it. There are plenty of levels, and with a three diamond ranking system you probably won’t beat the game in an afternoon. Be warned, though, that you will get hooked and quite possibly want to chuck your device at a wall sometimes.
Personally I would find the task of trying to pick out games to publish quite daunting. When you’re a developer it’s almost inevitable that you think your product is good (or you wouldn’t be making it) but as a publisher you have a whole different perspective on things. I’m rather impressed with how consistently Chillingo picks out winners. That’s not to say that every game they publish is gold because there have certainly been some I didn’t like, but the majority have proven to be quite fun. As you’ve probably guessed by now, Diggin’ Dogs fits into that latter category. The concepts are tried and true, but the movement mechanic is unique and the lack of a time limit actually gives you the chance to do something that many platformers don’t, which is the opportunity to explore.
Well, it seems G5 has done it again with Royal Trouble: Hidden Adventures for the iPhone and iPad. The best part is that despite its name and web page description it’s really not a hidden object game! Don’t get me wrong, because I love HoGs, but there’s also a need for more traditional point and click adventure games, and Royal Trouble delivers that kind of game play in spades. The story is funny, the characters are cool, and while you occasionally have to think about something for a bit, all the puzzles are really quite logical. I hope this is the start of a trend towards this kind of game on iOS devices, because I like it.
Generally I prefer my games to have a somewhat compelling set of goals, but there are times when I do enjoy the simple pleasure of mass destruction. Still, while I figured Reckless Getaway would be fun, I was pretty much expecting it to be a “few minutes here, few minutes there” sort of game. Turns out I’ve become quite addicted to this little gem. With it’s over the top… well, everything it feels like you’re in control of a chase scene stolen from a John Woo film. About the only thing I wish at this point is that there were a variety of cars to choose from, but otherwise it’s a nearly perfect no holds barred racer.
Petri-Dash is one of the new generation of “dodge everything” games that realizes a game can always use something more to do than just dodge things. In this case you are some sort of sub-species that lives in a Petri dish, and all you want to do is survive. In order to do that you’ll either have to dodge all the other organisms or take them on in a battle of butting heads in order to dominate the dish. Everything comes at a cost, however, and in this case you are constantly losing life just by swimming around. You are also weakened if you collide with another organism without dashing them. When your life is spent is back to the primordial pond for you. You can collect energy pellets to refuel your health, and there are also little versions of yourself that will attach to you when you run them over and give you bonus multipliers to your score. You lose these friends when you hit one of the bad guys.