Category: Mobile iPix
Playing God is never an easy thing to do. And even more so when your minions are cute… and helpless.
Enter Wobbles. The adorable game, a first for the Play Nimbus team (which also features former Pixelitis writer Michael Flood), features little Wobbles or little creatures that jump and slide across platforms with the aid of “technologies,” such as fire and water. Its your job to help them collect stars, advance through eras and make sure they don’t perish. The Android and iOS side scroller is riddled with challenges on all levels. And strangely cute tiny cavemen.
I vividly remember, way back in Ms. McGregor’s ninth grade homeroom class, Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic (KotOR) was blowing young teenage minds. If you managed travel back in time to Ms. McGregor’s class to tell us that in 10 years KotOR would be playable on a thin, purely touch-screen device, I would have asked you how you managed time travel. And, well, I would have been impressed by the advances in gaming technology as well.
If you’ve been hiding under a rock or you were born sometime near 2003, Bioware’s take on the Star Wars universe is considered by some to be one of the best pieces of Star Wars fiction. In fact, I’d even call KotOR’s twisting tale better than the original trilogy and the best thing the Star Wars brand has ever produced, and now it’s available for iPad. (more…)
Before videogames began to create open free-roaming fantasy worlds to lose yourself in, gamebooks, a kind of choose-your-own-adventure novel with more rules, came about in the 80s as a method to get your fantasy fix. Originally released in 1983 as a gamebook, Steve Jackson’s Sorcery! has jumped ahead thirty years onto iOS platforms in an era with games like Skyrim making the idea of gamebooks obsolete.
However, Sorcery! adds a few small touches to help the 1983 port straddle the line between game and storybook with grace. While the game-novel still presents you with tons of text to read through and discern what to do and where to go, added touch screen controls and an interesting battle mechanic make Sorcery! more like a game and less like interactive-fiction. (more…)
The roguelike genre is notoriously defined by its steep difficulty, complex learning curve and minimal graphics. The developers behind Cardinal Quest sought to do away with two of these three defining aspects of the genre, and to a large extent they succeeded.
Much like in classic roguelikes such as NetHack, Cardinal Quest will have you traversing multiple, randomly-generated floors on your way to face an ultimate evil or retrieve a precious artifact. While games like NetHack feature dozens of races and classes, Cardinal Quest only has your three basics: the fighter, thief and wizard. What Cardinal Quest lacks in classes it makes up for in appealing 8-bit graphics. The ASCII graphics of most roguelikes can grow tiresome, but Cardinal Quest is a pleasure to look at. (more…)
Manning our own an intergalactic starship probably isn’t something we’re going to achieve anytime soon. I know, the truth of that fact is a hard pill to swallow. But it’s not all bad. Games like Mass Effect and FTL: Faster Than Light are doing a great job at fulfilling our desire to explore the stars. Indie developer War Balloon Games has made exploring the stars cheaper than ever with their $2.99 iOS title, Star Command.
Right from the beginning Star Command tasks you with creating an avatar from a simple set of options and naming your intergalactic vessel. Your spacecraft is filled with empty rooms, and after a few introductory missions you’ll soon have plasma canons and medical bays filling your ship.
Star Command offers more rooms than there are spaces on the ship, and therefore a level of customization. Do you opt for the dodge generator room over the shield booster? The machine gun over the laser canon? Each choice will affect how your ship plays, but your choices aren’t set in stone as rooms can be deleted.
These rooms are manned by your steadily growing crew. As you assign them to specific rooms, they take on a particular role on your ship based off the color of their shirt. Blue shirts heal your crew, red shirts shoot hostile ship invaders and yellow shirts make repairs. You’ll grow attached to the little guys that man your ship, and might be a little heart-broken if they get sucked out into the vacuum of space or blown away by an enemy missile breaching your shields. (more…)
Inspiration comes from the most unusual places.
Sometimes it comes from a fellow artist, or an especially moving piece of music. For the guys behind Ridiculous Fishing, it was a documentary on Tuna fishing–or specifically, a slow motion shot of Tuna soaring through the air with an epic sunset behind them. At PAX East ’13, Dutch game studio Vlambeer had a booth devoted solely to the craft of fishing–ridiculously.
With quirky bright graphics, pixelated simplicity and some awesome items to amplify the experience of fishing, there is fun to be had in the iOS game Ridiculous Fishing. (more…)
When it comes to games, two major themes seem to pervade nearly every genre: zombies and Lovecraftian horror. From Cthulhu Dice to Left 4 Dead, it seems gamers just can’t get enough of either.
Elder Sign: Omens, a game for iOS and Android devices, is based off of Elder Sign, a board game by Fantasy Flight Games. In it, players take up the roles of intrepid investigators, seeking enough elder signs in a mysterious museum to seal away whichever malevolent god is looking to awaken from its eternal slumber and devour the world.
Players manage to do so by visiting a number of random rooms in the museum, rolling dice to fulfill the requirements in each room. This is all while fending off monsters, collecting and using key items and somehow managing to stay alive through it all.
Though the game is compatible with most of today’s smartphones, the game really shines on a tablet. Elder Sign: Omens uses the same impressive illustrations from the board game and the extra real estate on the screen really let that art shine.
Also, for a mobile game that’s supposed to closely mimic aspects of the board game as much as possible, its strong suit is the atmosphere it sets. The music can be undeniably creepy in the Arkham sense. The game’s sound effects make it almost feel like you can hear the floor board creaking under your character’s steps.
My one major gripe with the title is how limited it is in some areas. In the board game, you get a plethora of Great Old Ones to go up against. In the mobile version, you only get three – none of which are Cthulhu. To face him and one other god, you have to shell out another $2.99 each (on Android). While that would be fine on a free-to-play title, Elder Sign: Omens itself costs a bit of cash. To play it on an iPad, you’re already forking over $6.99. By the end of it all, you’ve spent over $10 for a couple baddies, a bunch of rooms and a few more investigators.
If you can get past its board game mentality concerning expansions, Elder Sign: Omens is a great game. With hotseat multiplayer and great gameplay, it’s worth the couple of bucks spent on either the iTunes App Store or Google Play.
There’s definitely something to be said about gathering around a table with your closest friends for a night of tabletop gaming. Now, I’m not talking Monopoly and Trivial Pursuit. I’m talking about the kind of game that Wil Wheaton waxes poetic about on his YouTube show, TableTop – games like Ticket to Ride and Pandemic.
So what do you do when you have the friends, the table and the snacks, but no boardgame? Thanks to the advent of tablets (and cellphones to some extent), you can have the same kind of fun without the fear of someone losing a piece or bending your cards too much.
Take Neuroshima Hex for example, a turn-based, tactical game ported to Android and iOS devices by Big Daddy’s Creations. In it, up to four players each choose one of four armies waging war in a post-apocalyptic war.
And with that last sentence, I’m sure some of you were as instantly intrigued as I was.
Chair Entertainment’s Infinity Blade proved that there is a place on mobile platforms for less casual experiences. This was achieved largely by the level up and experience system, the surprisingly complex touch-based combat system and the gorgeous medieval setting.
Infinity Blade II, released originally December of 2011, improved upon just about every aspect of the original game, and to this day stands strong as one of the best original hardcore titles available for iOS devices.
The honor of Most Improved Feature goes to the level of exploration added to Infinity Blade II. The original game saw the protagonist venturing through most of the same hallways en-route to the final battle with the God King, and upon the player’s death he/she would have to restart and travel through those corridors again. (more…)
Ever felt like tossing your Scrabble pieces at your opponent in a fit of anger? While wearing an early 18th century English petticoat? Well… maybe not the petticoat but if you’re looking for another word game that combines the quick wit of Shakespeare and the mystery of Agatha Christie, there’s Writer Rumble. Created by GameFly Games for the iOS, Writer Rumble fulfills the urge to spout wit without the wait.
You choose a character, fashioned after famous authors such as Agatha Christie, Will Shakespeare or Jane Austen. There are seven characters to choose from and each have their own powers. You battle against enemies in first player survival, local player or online fighting rounds. Most of the time they are random online enemies, other players with the urge to chuck letter tiles. The game is clean and the design reeks of old bound books.
You know that smell.