Thursday
Jul212016

Combo Quest 2 Review

Combo Quest 2 is a clicker game in which you are going to need to have more than just the fastest clicks, you're going to have to have the best of accuracy. You see in this game, it is indeed about the clicking, but you have to do so only when designated. 

In this game there will be a slider that will move back and forth at the bottom of the screen, and as it moves it will go over different colored blocks if you tap the screen when it is over, those blocks you start building your combo bar, if you miss the combo bar resets and you take damage. If you let one of the enemy colored blocks reach the other side of the slider, you will take damage. Basically, this game has a lot of room for you to do damage to yourself and if you are accurate a chance to do damage to the enemy. 

You will be faced with a certain number of enemies that you'll have to accurately tap through to get to the boss who will definitely put up a fight. After each battle you will be given the choice of upgrading a random attribute such as:

  • Character Max Health
  • Character Max Damage
  • Character Full Heal
  • Character Critical Hit Chance
  • Character Combo Damage (I still have no freaking clue how this works if it works)
  • Companion Damage

Have no fear, though, at the end of each encounter you will already receive some bonuses to each stat so there's not really a chance for complete neglect on one of your stats. 

Here's the thing though, if you lose in one of your quests your character gets knocked out and you have to either wait a certain amount of time, hopefully have enough gold to heal them, or use a micro-transaction to buy X amount of gold so that you can turn around and heal your character. The scary thing is that it is very easy to lose your first character and be forced to wait or actually pay to keep playing very early on in the game. 

One of the reasons I think this happens is that there is a lot, I mean A LOT, of randomness to this game. Now don't get me wrong, I like to have some randomness in my games, it keeps me on my toes, but when you are starting your characters over at their base stats after every encounter, and the only way that you get to buff your stats is a choice of a random selection of stats? It makes it difficult to keep playing for too long if you are just on an unlucky roll of stat selections. There's also the fact that you get penalized in two ways when you miss a block. First off you take damage from your enemy, usually the amount of damage that is under their health bar (for bosses that could potentially wipe you out fast), the other part is that your slider slows down so if there is an enemy block that you are trying to tap before it gets to your side, but you mistime it you get hit with the enemy damage and then hit with the enemy block going all the way across, which potentially could spell death. 

Personally, I would have liked to see on missed taps that you get the slider slow down penalty. Since there is a double penalty I found myself frantically tapping the screen, hoping that there were blocks there so that I could speed up enough to catch the enemy block. Ah, I should have mentioned that the more success you have at tapping the blocks correctly, the faster the slider goes, which could be great to catch an enemy block, or disastrous because you're going too fast trying to stop all the enemy blocks and you miss and you have damaged yourself, lost your combo, and slowed the slider down so all the enemy blocks will kill you.

At the end of each of these areas you will be given a reward, usually in the form of a treasure chest for the first time through, and then gold for the rest of the times. In these chests you can get a variety of things, new characters, a character you already have which will unlock something new about the character (there are three levels, and to be honest, I haven't really seen that great of a difference from level 1 to level 3), new companions, a companion you already have (levels up again), a new item, an item you already have (levels up), and then there are gem/gold chests which give you one or the other in some amount. 

Now before anyone says, but wait there is leveling up to improve your starting stats for all characters through a stat level up feature, all you need to have is gold to apply to the skill tree, I do know that, and I have to say that I still feel like this really isn't doing anything for the player. This game is difficult off the bat, and penalizes a player in almost every way. If you are very good at timing your tapping you should excel at this game even through the hard parts, but for someone that doesn't always tap at the right time, this game is merciless. Oh, there's also one other thing about the tapping, so as I stated previously for all the good taps in a row, you start building up a combo bar, once you've filled it up to capacity you can unleash a special attack by swiping. Here's the deal though, I can't tell you how many times I've filled the bar and DON'T want to use the special attack, and so I don't swipe, but apparently my tap gets interpreted as a swipe, this game is hard enough without it giving away my real chance to get through some of the battles because it thinks I swiped.

This game is really hard to recommend because it is so frustrating, and out of the people that I have seen playing it, many people have dropped out playing this game long before where I've reached in the game, and that's saying something. This game just isn't fun, it's a test to see how much you can take before you want to crush something. This game gets a 4.8 out of 10.

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Tuesday
Jul192016

Ellipsis Review

Plenty of skill and strategy will be needed if you are going to make it through this game, Ellipsis. In this game you will have to navigate, using your finger on the touchscreen, a circle around the level avoiding enemies, traps, and other dangers. You will also be tasked with collecting at least four of the circular objects on the screen, but there is a catch... You see not only do you have to make contact with each of these spots on the screen, but you will have to have precision, otherwise you're not going to be able to collect all the dots inside the circles. 

The dots will tell you what your final score will be, and of course the object of any game is you're going to want to catch them all. That being said, if you are a true gamer you're going to want to do speed runs in already conquered levels so that you can unlock an additional star to add to your overall score. 

I had the chance to first find out about this game when I went to MomoCon, and the neon colors of the game, and the simplicity of the design drew me in. This is a very polished game, and it has one of the best features in my mind when it comes to games that are going to require you to constantly have your finger on the screen and that is instant pause if your finger leaves the screen. Holy crap, that feature alone is awesome. 

The levels are quick, there's infinite tries per level, and if you start really advancing through the game different paths open up that reconnect further down the line, so there's a chance that you can get through the game without having to take on every single level, but trust me when I say, you're going to want to beat every level. Personally the feeling of accomplishment when you finally defeat a level that has thwarted you is unreal. 

Alright, so lets get a little bit more into the game. This of course is a game in which you are going to be guiding your circle, with the help of your finger, around the screen to specific points, each of these points has small bubbles/circles inside of them, if you just skim the point the bubbles/circles will be released into the level. You can choose not to pursue them, but you will be docked at the end of the level. Each time you hit a point a new one appears, so you won't know where all of them are until you've played through the level at least once. As stated before, there's always going to be an optional fifth point that will pop up at the same time that the portal shows up. To end the level you have to go through the portal, just make sure that you go between the edges of the portal and not right at the portal, I learned the hard way that you're going to bounce off of the edge and if you're being chased by something nasty, you're probably going to have to replay the level. 

There is one more thing I want to say about this game and that is the game map. As you play through the game you get a new area unlocked, and the developers could have just given you linear dots on the screen with a description, but not with this game. It basically feels like you're unlocking a futuristic arcade like world where the area dots form an ever growing constellation. So with that I think you can all tell that this game, in my opinion, is solid and definitely worth your time, especially at a very reasonable price. This game gets a 9.3 out of 10.

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Friday
Jul082016

Crusaders of the Lost Idols Review

I have been trying to write this review for some time now, but I've got to be honest I keep putting it off so that I can play more of Crusaders of the Lost Idols. I have played many clicker games, and I've sunk many an hour into different clicker games, but there is something about this game that just will not let me go. 

In this game you will have a list of characters that you'll be able to recruit after accumulating enough in game gold. You will then be able to level them up, unlock special skills, and hopefully successfully defeat all the enemies that get in your way. The thing that sets this game above the rest is that there is a lot of detail to not only the main character, but to the entire cast. Each character has equipment slots, each piece of equipment helps out either that character or the entire selected team. 

There's also the different formations that different scenarios put you in that make you re-evaluate what your best group of characters is as well as who needs to go where. The reason for that second part is that there are characters that give all characters in the same row, the row behind them, or the row in front of them bonuses. There's also bonuses for certain types of characters. As you can see this is just another level of complexity to the game, but none of the layers made this game difficult to understand or play.

You will also receive different missions, limited time scenarios, and more that will keep everything about the game fresh. There's chances to gain additional characters through special events or missions and they can be swapped with a specific character that is currently in your character selection. This causes a pretty solid gaming balance because you are faced with a decision of what character works best for a specific part of the game. If you switch out a character you can't use that character while the substitute is active. 

My favorite thing about this game, and this really puts it in a league of its own is the fact that after you put a good amount of time into the game you don't even have to have the clicker character in the formation. You can literally pick any other character and leave that one alone. This of course brings its own series of challenges and what not, but in the end I absolutely love it. 

Now there are of course, even more pieces to this game that add to the fact that there's a ton of playability to this game. There are buffs, powerups, accessories that can be stacked and can help with the overall finding of gold, damage, and skill cool down. The final thing that I think most people know about clickers is that this game is free to play with in-game transactions. I know that many of you out there will not like that bit of news, but this is a game that you don't have to spend a dime on, but I personally would recommend at least buying into the game once.

So here's the part where I get to give this game a review score, and to be honest, I really don't have any negative points for this game so you know its going to be high, but before I get to this I do want to say a couple of things. This is a solid game, it might not be for everyone, and it does take a little bit of time to really find that groove, but if you take the time to get familiar with the game, you're going to have a lot of fun with it. This game easily gets a 9.8 out of 10.

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Monday
Jun202016

APESTORM: Full Bananas

Take to the skies to defeat the terrible humans and protect the forest with your band of rogue apes. That's right these apes are not your average primates, these are intelligent and vengeful apes who shall use their zeppelin to take down all in their path. APESTORM: Full Bananas will take not only great flying skills but a good sense of physics as you will have to aim carefully to destroy only that which needs to be destroyed. This is a challenging game, however, it does have some of its drawbacks. 

So lets start off the biggest thing in the game and that is Bananas, that's right folks, it is in the title and you're going to have to complete objectives that will give you bananas at the end of each stage. The thing is that you can potentially get through a level successfully and not gain a single banana, which to me seems odd, wouldn't you think that by surviving a level, which is challenging in some cases should warrant at least a completion banana? 

The objectives range from not bombing the forest, blowing up all the buildings, blowing up the outhouse, destroying watch towers, and so on. The interesting, or challenging thing is that as you progress through the levels the difficulty ramps up and you start to unlock more power ups, but these power ups actually are more of a hindrance more times than they help. The reason is that there's usually something in the level that will cause a penalty to incur upon hitting something that you're not supposed to hit, and that chance multiplies exponentially when you use most of the power ups. 

As it stands this game has 20 levels to sink your teeth into, and if you are looking for a challenge, and a game that you're going to have to play levels many times over to achieve specific objects, then this is a game you're going to want to get. I do love the fact that you can focus on one objective, complete the level, and then restart it again with already having credit for completing the previously completed objectives. If you had to complete everything in one run I'm pretty sure that many a mobile device would be thrown against hard objects and lose their lives in the act. 

Graphically, this game looks good, and surprisingly the controls actually feel good. My issue with mobile games of this variety usually stems from the fact that my fingers take up almost the entire screen, but for some reason, even though you have to interact a good amount with the screen to speed up, slow down, rise, fall, and shoot, I never had that big of an issue with playing the game, from that standpoint. 

Here's the deal, at the end of the day I think that this game has its entertaining aspects to it, but it also has some game mechanic issues that just don't seem to completely fit just right. There's also the fact that to this day I still can cause the game to, basically, on any level, make everything from that level disappear and not show up, which of course means that I can't actually complete any of the objectives for that level. This game ends up getting a 6.9 out of 10.

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Monday
Jun062016

Kingdom Hearts Unchained X Review

Kingdom Hearts Unchained X is a F2P mobile game from Square Enix & Disney, available on both iOS & Android.  It's a direct descendent of a Japanese version of the game - now in English!

The game starts off simply enough where you have a Keyblade that you put medals in.  During battle, you use you chosen keybload containing between 3 & 5 medals in your keyblade (depending on its level) to battle enemies of the darkness.  Combat is nice and simplistic.  You 1) Swipe for a multi-attack 2) tap for a single attack or 3) drag your medal's portrait to use their special ability.  In each of the missions - 325 currently available in the American version - you will encounter a variety of maps and enemies to fight.

While combat is simplistic enough, its the meta that can really draw someone in.  There's your typical rock > scissors > paper > rock combat - in this case, Power > Speed > Magic > Power.  I really appreciate that there are only 3 elements to keep track of and the game always has this relationship displayed.  In some games, this relationship is rarely shown and I always forget.  So, you have thse form of tactical combat.

There's your keyblades that you level up.  Do you go with a balanced keyblade that gives a little power to all the elements, or keyblades that grant great power to 1 element but not others?  Then, there's leveling up your medals and optimising them for combat.  While you have to level them up like most of these mobile games, I find the leveling system in KHUx interesting and I really do have to plan ahead.

There are 2 things I things that give me pause:

1) For F2P players such as myself, you'll be severely limited in the quality of medals you can get.  You get medals in 2 ways: 1) Story mode drops (these are free medals) and using the premium currency, jewels, to randomly draw medals  Recently, there was a special even with 2 of the best medals available via a random draw.  Being F2P, I could have randomly drawn twice with a very low chance of actually getting these medals.  And the cost of drawing 10 random medals is approximately $15.  Not a cheap gamble!  To be the BEST at the game, KHUx is absolutely P2W.  The best medals in the game will undoubtedly go to players who lay down a large chunk of money.  But, ya know what?  I don't care that much so long as another player's P2W doesn't impede on my fun, which is true in KHUx.

2) The social aspect.  When going on a mission, you can select a friend's medal to go in with you.  Friends can also summon raids for the party.  Besides chat, there's really no ither direct social interacting in the game.  It would be interesting if party members could interact with their avatars at the same time in raids or special missions.

Overall, if you like mobile games that has decent combat and a meta to draw you in, Kingdom Hearts Unchained X is definitely worth checking it out.  I've been playing it pretty much exclusively the last 2 weeks and have been enjoying it!

Wednesday
May252016

Mandie Manzano Jigsaw Puzzle Art Review

Puzzle lovers of the world rejoice, there's finally a game on mobile devices worthy of your time. In Mandie Manzano Jigsaw Puzzle Art, by Octo Mini, you will get to put back together the stained glass-like art of Mandie Mazano. You will be able to start with 12 pieces and you can build your way up to 2000. There's even a choice to allow for piece rotation or not. Now if this doesn't seem like every aspect that a puzzle lover wants in a game, I'm not sure what is missing. 

You will get to start for free with 8 different pictures to hone your skills on and then if you are ready for more, you can buy additional packs for a low cost of $0.99 each, or get the 4 pack bundle for $2.99. Each of the current packs has a theme to them there is Fair Ladies, Below the Waves, New Orleans Inspire, and Tell Me Stories. You also get the chance to see each puzzle in thumbnail view to give you an idea of what you're going to be getting.

I'm going to be honest, I was a little hesitant when it came to putting a puzzle game that could go from 12 to 2000 pieces on my iPhone, but amazingly enough it actually works pretty well. Sure, there's a good amount of zooming in and out that has to be done and there is definitely some moving around the workable area, but overall I enjoyed the ease and the challenge presented by this game. Now I will also say that it took me a good amount of playing before I was brave enough to turn the rotation feature on in the game, but with a simple double tap to make the pieces rotate I was right at home as if I was doing a puzzle on my kitchen table. 

This game is definitely not for everyone, but with the vibrant colors, the stained glass style, the soft music, and the challenge of putting these pieces together, I have to say that if you like puzzles this is something you have to, or at least try. The best part of course is that you can take this game for a test drive for Free. So go get this game, and know that we gave it a 9.2 out of 10.

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Thursday
May122016

Orbit's Odyssey Review

The peaceful planet, Planet X, a very little known planet on the other side of the galaxy was thriving until the day the Parasitic Robot Space Zombies attacked and stole the very core of their planet, a core made of the most pure form of gemstones. Thankfully a lone traveller saw the attack and theft take place and vowed at that moment that they would take on the PRSZ and take back the fragments of the gemstone core that was stolen, and return all the pieces back to Planet X. This is how the story starts in Paperkyte's Orbit's Odyssey, and you will quickly find out that you will have to keep your wits about you as you will have to adapt to different strategies to deal with different planet's effects. 

From a control point of view, this game is REALLY simple, you will touch the screen to cause your character to walk forward, when you release the character will stop walking, however that doesn't mean that the objects, portals, etc. that are rotating on the planet(s) stop. You will have to come up with ways to collect the coins in each level so that you can then retrieve the gemstone fragment. Now what makes matters a little bit more difficult is the fact that most levels contain a couple of Parasitic Robot Space Zombies, and unfortunately for you there are times where they will multiply, and if they do end up touching you it is game over. 

I will fully admit when I first took a look at this game I had concerns that it was going to be a rip off of another game that Altered Confusion has reviewed in the past, but as it turns out with only share element was the fact that the character's interactions with the planets was them standing on top of them. 

This is definitely one of those games because of the simple controls that you think, how hard could this game be if all I do is tap and hold down on my screen, and that's the trick. The developers have found a way to trick you into a sense of complacency and allow you to build a bit of confidence up and then they begin to show you that this game is going to require more than a nonchalant approach to it. This really starts heating up when the game introduces you to multiple portals on multiple planets that will make you have to build a multi-layer strategy, all the while trying to avoid those PRSZs that seem to be multiplying the longer you take. 

I think it's obvious that this game definitely stands up on its own, and with over 90 levels I think you'll find a game that isn't going to easily be taken down in a single sitting, hell I think I'm on sitting 30 and I'm still trying to battle my way through some of the more complicated levels. This game gets a 9.0 out of 10.

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