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Category: Reviews/Previews

Buddha Finger – iPad/iPhone Review

Ruaidhri Walker

I don’t like violence in real life, I know that sounds cliché and obvious but I think its something that a gamer in this current climate of “Games are the route of all real world violence” should put forward. That being said, I enjoy a violent game. The visceral escapism of beating someone up or performing horrific acts with a machete is liberating for someone as middle class and repressed as myself. Sometimes though originality in presentation of violence is more interesting than 12 gallons of pixel blood. Step forward Buddha Finger.

Flick Champions Winter Sports – iPad/iPhone Review

Lyndsay Moir

Following the success of the popular Flick Champions, and Flick Champions World Editions, Nawia Games and Chillingo have paired up again to bring us a Winter themed edition of the well-received game, for the iPhone/iPad/iPod Touch. You start by choosing which country you want to compete for, and help get to the top of the leader board. Then you are greeted by the menu screen, which allows you to choose which game mode you want to start playing in. You can go for a quick game, and have a fast paced thrilling match of either, Slalom, Skating, Ski Jumping, Ice Hockey, Curling or a fun Snowball Fight. My personal favorite has to be Slalom, as I am really competitive with myself, and just love trying to get through all of those gates!

Preview – Hands-On with Tomb Raider

Neil Ramjee

On a bitterly cold Tuesday in central London, I was summoned to an evening at BAFTA HQ to attend Crystal Dynamic’s Developer’s Q&A for their forthcoming ‘rebirth’ (we can’t call it a reboot apparently) of the Tomb Raider franchise.

On hand were studio head Darrell Gallagher, creative director Noah Hughes and seasoned games writer Rhianna Pratchett, to defend their baby which had spent the past four years in gestation.

Rock Runners – iPhone/iPad Review

Callum

In gaming, sometimes less is more. For every enormously deep and varied title like Skyrim and Grand Theft Auto there are the games that take a simple concept and absolutely nail it. The iOS platform lends itself perfectly to the minimalist approach; smaller game size, less powerful processors and more simplistic controls means the games that really flourish are ones with a basic core premise executed perfectly. The heavyweights of the iOS platform, from Angry Birds to Temple Run, all conform to this formulae and Rock Runners from developers Recoil games follows suite, combining the runner and platform genres in a game that is both amazingly simple and brilliantly fun.

The Wait Of Expectation – Finally Getting My hands On Ni No Kuni

Spike

The weight of expectation looms large in the world of the geek. Larger than in other worlds for the simple fact that we are geeks. Our childlike excitement for the simplest crumb of news, our hours of frame by frame dissection of trailers or leaked scripts. The vitriol we spill if, god forbid, someone’s visions and ideas for a beloved franchise do not match our own. We all have those games or books or films that we want to see, and then when they arrive we almost always want to see them done better. Sometimes it can be great, Skyrim (for all it’s bugs) was a great game. And in the face of some of most pedantic of geeks managed to meet most expectations (unless you happen to be playing on PS3). Duke Nukem Forever would be antithesis of this. We waited year after year with bated breath for the defining game of many of our childhoods to rise for the ashes. And then finally release day came, and we all died a little inside. I’ve chosen 2 games as examples here because rabid fan base is coupled with long development times lead inevitably to huge levels of expectation and indignation when they are not met.

Be Together – The Cutest iOS Puzzle Game Around – iPad/iPhone Review

Lyndsay Moir

I am lucky enough to say that I have been playing the new game ‘Be Together’  from the guys over at LinkGoGame over the last few days, and have really enjoyed it, even though some of the levels have been seriously tricky! It is a perfect mix of cuteness, with an ounce of puzzle and all the right hazards and perks to make it a good game. You begin the first level, in the first world, learning the ropes of how to play the game. To start each ‘game’ you have to tap the little blue creature, or press the play button in the top right hand corner, and then watch him roll towards his little orange character, who he wants to be with, collecting gold stars in the process. Now this sounds simple, yet I have missed out one main problem. In each level you are faced with different scenarios, hazards and tricky to collect coins, which prevent you being with your loved one. You have to use given props to bounce, slide and teleport your way past them, into her waiting arms.

Pixel People – iPad/iPhone Review

Ruaidhri Walker

Cloning is a fascinating concept, something that in my mind is as easy as taping two people together with Duct Tape. Obviously I know that when producing Dolly the Sheep all those years ago it was probably extra strength Duct Tape or something similar. Pixel People just confirms my theory about cloning and in the process produces something excellent. Straight away I’ll say Pixel People is a great game!

Addicted to Dangling for Dingles – Dingle Dangle iPhone/iPad Review

Lyndsay Moir

Dingle Dangle is an excellent contribution to the mobile gaming market, from Just Some Games. This cute, crazy addictive game hits all the right spots when you are in need of some light hearted app distraction. The game begins with a graphically brilliant cinematic sequence, which introduces you to the world of collecting ‘Dingles’ (who, by the way, are painfully cute) and the music and sound effects that accompany this short clip are just great. Instantly you feel involved in the game.

Tin Man Can – iPhone/iPad Review

Callum

It’s an understatement to say that the app store is massive. Even colossal doesn’t begin to cover it. In September 2012 it boasted 700,000 apps, 90% of which are downloaded every month. The app store has been Apple’s main weapon in fighting off other platforms and keeping it’s iDevices the most sought after tech products. With so many games out there, unique concepts are hard to come by – even birds being thrown at pigs has been done to death. Tin Man Can, a game which surely must have muddled up the words in its title, manages to shine a light of innovation through the bloated app store by offering a new twist on the runner genre with a unique protagonist – a unicycle-riding, helicopter-robot.

Bouncy! – iPhone/iPad Review

Ruaidhri Walker

I’ve spoken before about my love/hate relationship with the iOS platform and in particular the tripe that sits on the App Store (Here). It’s criminal, or at least indecent, how many clones there are on there. When a game like Temple Run does well we then have to put up with a tidal wave of copycats, A catapult game scores high, “Quick guys, build something similar, but not so similar we get sued…”. To an extent it’s clear why it’s done, small developers need to get attention and money to build the projects they really want to do, and to get there they may have to produce things even they’re not proud of. I saw a talk by some UK indie iOS developers, they laid out the cost of producing a game, including wages and a years rent etc, and quite simply it’s a lot of money, since then I’ve had a lot more respect for the indie developers, and with this review of Bouncy! I present to you Monogames , from Sweden, who also gain respect for producing an original iOS game!

Swing King – iOS Review

Spike

I’ve come to notice that I have a habit of starting reviews for games by talking about a different game entirely. So holding to tradition I shall begin here by talking for a moment about Angry Birds. I think it’s fair to say at this point that Angry Birds is a success. With somewhere around 1 billion copies sold it has spawned sequels, a spin off and TV series in the making. You can now buy hats, shirts, toys, phone cases, docking stations and for some insane reason a cookery book of egg recipes. It’s a pretty good money spinner. So it’s easy to see why developers would look to imitate Rovio’s success.

Anomaly Korea – iOS Review

Ruaidhri Walker

I don’t know much about Korea, North or South. I think that at some point America and either the North or South was at war, and I know the following about North Korea’s former leader Kim Jong-Il; 1. He played golf once, he managed 11 holes-in-one in one round, he then retired from the sport. 2. When he was born a new star appeared in the sky and there was a double rainbow heralding his arrival. 3. He had built crazy water slides in the back of one of his many mansions. The long and short of this is that Korea is such a secretive nation, all or none of these could be true, and with my lack of knowledge I fear the events of Anomaly Korea are happening right now.

‘Don’t make a girl a promise’: A Brief History of Halo, Part Three

Max

 

Miss Part 1? Read it Here

Miss Part 2? Read it Here

 

‘They let me pick, did I ever tell you that?’ These are Cortana’s opening words in Halo 3. They – the UNSC – let her pick, and she picked the best of the best.  An icon, not only in a universe filled with alien races with a penchant for the colour purple, but for a whole generation of gamers.  And after going through so much – dying, reloading, scratching your head at its ludicrous plot, you feel like you’ve reached the final chapter of something important, and that’s because you have.  You are the Master Chief after all, and you’re here to save the galaxy.  Sure, you might have saved it from Reapers or Sith or any number of black and red orientated bad guys, but this is different… okay, maybe it’s not, but let’s at least wrap it up until the end of the next trilogy in 2018.

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.