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Category: Reviews/Previews

Monster Truck Destruction – iOS Review

Callum

Ah, monster trucks. Sitting somewhere between professional wrestling and NASCAR events in American culture, it sees over-sized vehicles powering around arenas, over cars and through caravans in a motor-fuelled orgy of engines and manly-ness enough to excite motorheads and thrill-seekers alike. Although an impressive spectacle to watch live, it’s not exactly a format that lends itself to gaming, with this generation’s Monster Jam effort not only slipping under the radar but borrowing miles beneath it. Developers Odd Games attempt to change this by bringing the mayhem to iOS with Monster Truck Destruction.

Zooniverse – iOS Review

Vin

Freemium [free-mee-uh m] noun. A sales strategy, especially on the Internet, in which the basic product or service is free, but customers are charged for additional features and content. That’s the dictionary definition for an ever prevalent format in current gaming. Zooniverse is latest offering of the genre, brought to us by the mobile giant Chillingo.

Potshot Pirates – iOS Review

Ruaidhri Walker

Pirates, they’re a wacky bunch aren’t they. Ever since the acting chameleon that is Mr Depp first dressed up as a pirate everyone seems to have forgotten about the slavery, alcohol abuse, murder, and to put it politely, the slavery, abuse and murder of women. When some fey man prances around like Keith Richards and wears eye liner we all swoon and ignore their illustrious past. Pirates are now a hot property, so much so that they’re appearing in all sort of weird games on iOS, today’s game that features the wanderers of the sea is Potshot Pirates.

‘I will ask, and you will answer’: A Brief History of Halo, Part Two

Max

Miss Part One? Read it here: http://pixelbedlam.co.uk/?p=1100

Halo 2 is the tortuous story that follows on from the destruction of the Halo ring in Combat Evolved. It’s the Attack of the Clones’ bureaucracy to A New Hope’s simplistic wonder. That’s not to say the game itself is bad (dual weapons wielding and a cloaking device spring to mind), but this is the one that is essential to understanding Halo 3.  And it gets a little confusing.

Man in a Maze – iOS Review

Ruaidhri Walker

Crystal Maze was cool, this is a simple fact. So cool that when it appeared in the awful film version of Dungeons and Dragons it made one scene almost cool. For those not old enough to remember, or born in an area that wasn’t in the UK, the Crystal Maze was a game show which featured Richard O’Brian, who wrote The Rocky Horror Show. He led a band of men and women around a disturbingly well designed set in a studio featuring; Aztec Zone, Industrial Zone, Medieval Zone and Future Zone. In each zone various challenges were submitted in different rooms and with that came a time limit, if said contestant lost or ran out of time they were locked in the room until their team mates deemed their life valuable enough to warrant sacrificing some of the game shows money to buy back their pathetic existence.

The Last of His Kind: A Brief History of Halo, Part One

Max

I’ll level with you: up until about 6 weeks ago I had no interest in the Halo franchise.  I bought an Xbox – the original one, made from pinball machines – not long after launch.  I also bought its ‘killer app’ (as marketing execs and teenage mutant ninja turtles would be wont to say).  My initial thoughts at the time were, ‘this looks great’ and also ‘this looks boring’.  I held that belief for almost ten years, until curiosity got the better of me (and because a brand new trilogy was on its way).  Turns out I loved Halo the second time through… but this article isn’t about the whys of gameplay, or the hows of instigating a new era of shooters.  No, this is about the one thing that even my indifferent self of ten years was curious about.  The story of Halo…

Sky Hero – iOS Review

Callum

 Chances are if you own an iOS device, you’ve played a runner game. From Temple Run to Jetpack Joyride, the genre and platform are a perfect match with short, sharp, pick-up-and-play sessions lending themselves perfectly to gaming on the go. Does Sky Hero, the latest offering from mobile publishing giants Chillingo, offer anything new to the genre to really stand out from the crowd?

Endless Road – iOS Review

Ruaidhri Walker

I have never made secret my love for Mirror’s Edge, I wrote an entire love letter to it here. It may seem like a bit of a faux pas to start a review for one game by talking about a love of another but for me it’s like telling your friends that your girlfriend/boyfriend looks like Mylene Klass/ David Tennant, the comparison is more praise than anything else you can give. Endless Road is close to aesthetic perfection as Mirror’s Edge.

Pony Trails – iOS Review

Ruaidhri Walker

What is a pony? I genuinely have no idea. Is it a short horse? Or a breed of horse? I am 26 and I have only just come to the realisation that this is a piece of information I am missing from my brain. All I know about ponies is that there are 3 types of people who truly like ponies. The first is little girls, this seems like a given. The average little girl like ponies and kittens and ballet. “Pink stuff” I refer to it as. The second person to like ponies are the middle England upper class that enjoy watching Crufts and fox-hunting. The final person to enjoy ponies are bronies. To explain what a brony is I should first say, they scare the hell out of me. These are generally guys in the mid twenties who watch My Little Pony cartoons in a supposedly ironic way but then also have an undying love for it. They’re weird, really weird, the kind of weird that leads to a hotel room being filled with photos and red string leading from one face to another.

F1 Race Stars – Xbox 360/PS3/PC Review

Ruaidhri Walker

Formula One is something that I’ve never had an interest in. The loud noise and repetitive nature always perplexed and bore me rather than rattle my core and send me into a screaming frenzy. The sight of cars that can go so fast in such a small amount of time being forced to screech to a halt to get round a corner is more of a confusion than titillating. And the process of the drivers doing 70 odd laps was mind numbingly dull. It should be said now that no sport has ever entertained me, I’ve tried with football, I tried rugby and I even tried snooker but each I felt was too long. Being the walking hypocrite and contraction I am I did for a very short time find golf fascinating, not because of the skill or excitement, but because the quiet sound of some birds tweeting, the occasional golf swing and the bright green colours would send me into some sort of serene fugue state.

He-Man:The Most Powerful Game In The Universe – iOS Review

Spike

Over the last few years executives all over the world have become acutely aware of the selling power of nostalgia. From live action Transformers to semi-anime Thundercats and everything in between we are choosing more and more to watch/read/and play stuff we liked as a kid. Now i’m certain I watched He-Man as a child but as I came to play this game I realised that I remember almost nothing about the show that inspires it. Which is pretty bad for my own identity as a nerd from the 80’s, but probably a good thing to go in fresh as a reviewer.

Save Them All – iOS Review

Ruaidhri Walker

There’s a question that often enters my balding head, one that in this return to pick up and play/one minute/pooping games is more prevalent than ever: Do games need a point?

Games with plot and characters obviously have motivation and a reason to keep playing but then there’s endless run games like Temple Run, Canabalt and Save Them All which try to maintain player interest through the concept of power ups and score board whoring.

Carmageddon Review – iOS

Ruaidhri Walker

There was a golden age in gaming, a time where copyright and intellectual property laws were hazy for PC games. This time allowed small PC developers to essentially rip off films without any comeuppance and at the same time rise up the ranks in the consumers eyes. During this era we had such classics as Rowdy Roddy Piper’s film They Live get large chunks stolen and put into Duke Nukem 3D “I’m here to chew gum and kick ass, damn I’m all out of gum”. And we also saw Stainless Games lift the concept and point system from the 1970’s film Death Race. Well look who’s back risking law suits with a re-release of Carmageddon on iOS.

One Girl And Her Pig: My Favourite Game And Why You Should Play It

Spike

There are many great things about the internet. Some are already well documented, some will in time no doubt be discussed elsewhere on this fine website, and some should frankly be kept to yourself you filthy people. The thing that I enjoy more than most is the ability of mass awareness. In the past you found out that something was good because the advertising told you it was good or perhaps someone within your circle of friends had played it. Now, thanks to the interwebs, our circle of friends is exponentially bigger and experiences that would previously have past us by are ours to savour. The songs that you would never hear on radio, the straight to DVD movies, that are so bad they’re awesome, and the strange video game at the back of the discount racks staring a photo-journalist and a pig.

Thomas Was Alone – PC Review

Ruaidhri Walker

How to draw a character from Thomas Was Alone: Draw a straight line, well done, that’s a great straight line. Now draw a shorter line coming off it at 90 degrees (clockwise) draw a third line equal to the first again 90 degrees from the second. Finally join up the third and first line. There you go, you should have a rectangle. Give this rectangle a relatively common name and you’ve created your own Thomas Was Alone character.

Shank 2 Review – XBLA/PC

Ruaidhri Walker

Violence is great, but in the real world we can’t get away with shoving a baseball bat down someone’s throat or taking a machete to their arm, that’s why the weak civilized nerds have taken to gaming. Games are at their base level about escapism and doing the stuff we’ve always wanted to do but physically or legally can’t. I feel the need to point out that at no stage have I ever dreamed of feeding someone a baseball bat or giving them a crash diet by cutting out some intestines but at the same time I’ve never dreamed of going to space, yet I like Halo.