George: Scared of the Dark Review

George is just a lonely ghost who doesn't really know who he is, but there's something that might answer his question if only he can get to the lighthouse, and find out who lives in the small cottage. In this platformer/runner game, George: Scared of the Dark, you will be taking on the part of George, you will have to dodge enemies, collect skulls, and survive each of the 10 levels to get the whole story.

Graphically I found that the game looked great. You don't need flashy graphics in this game, and the color scheme and look just seemed to fit. I enjoyed the look of the enemies as well, although after retrying a level over and over again, you start to REALLY hate that specific type of enemy.

This game is procedurally generated, what that means is that you'll never play the same level twice, even if you are retrying the level. Now in most part there isn't an issue with this method in the game, however, when you get further in the game this method starts to backfire. Now understand that this is meant to be a difficult game, and so there's definitely going to be many retries per level, but the thing is that some of the retries are based solely on no-win situations. The reason I say this is that there are certain times where you're not going to be able to dodge the enemy or projectile and so you're going to be forced to be okay with the outcome.

Now I mentioned enemies in the game, and there are quite a few of them, some MUCH more dangerous than others. You will quickly be introduced to the Yellow Blobs, and they are going to make life interesting for you because they are either going to jump in place, charge at you, or do a combo of both. Then there are the rolling eyeballs, by far the most mundane of the group, all you have to do is time the drop of the eyeball and be ready to jump over it. There's also zombie hands, that actually are about on par with the eyeballs, and as long as you time it right, they're not even going to beat you. The bats, on the other hand, are going to take some skill as not all of them will awaken, and when they do, they are going to try to come right after you, so timing is beyond key, but if your timing is a little bit off you're going to find yourself restarting the level. Finally, we have the knives, and this is probably the most menacing enemy/projectile in the game because the chance of no win scenarios is higher with these. There are two different knives, a rotating cleaver and a flying steak knife. I believe they are trying to aim for your current location, but with the runner factor of the game there are times where you have no choice but to either get cut in half or fall to your death.

I mentioned that this is a runner game and that means that you are constantly running from left to right, which means that you'll have to always be aware of what is ahead of you be it enemies, skulls, or jumps. This means that you're going to have to lean on the controls of the game. As this game was played on the iOS that means that you're going to be relying on touchscreen controls. You will tap to jump you can swipe forward to speed forward, and you can swipe back to back flip and sometimes go backwards a bit. Here's the issue, the jump mechanics are the only thing you can count on in the game. There are times where the swipes don't actually register or register in a way that causes more harm than good.

An example of this is in the flying knife level where you're going to have to backflip a lot if you're going to find any way of potentially navigating past those knives, however you're going to find that sometimes the flip takes you back, sometimes it's ignored, and sometimes you go flying back on the flip. Actually, this applies to the speeding forward mechanism as well, sometimes you don't really leave the ground when you speed forward, sometimes you speed backwards, and sometimes, I'm guessing because the swipe wasn't EXACTLY left to right, it does nothing.

I stated that there are 10 levels to this game, and to be honest, I feel like that is too few. You have so many features/ideas/monsters/etc. that appear in this game, and most of them are quickly used and then forgotten. If that's the way it was to be developed why have all the different enemies and such in the first place. It feels like the developer thought, "hmm, this could be cool," and then immediately forgot about it on the very next level design.

At the end of each level that is a skull that will tell you a story, or at least attempt to, I'm not really sure what it's talking about, and if I want to read what was said again I've got to run and successfully beat the level in its entirety to get a second chance. There's also the fact that there are sometimes where the text on the screen seems to appear for too long and other times where it's a little bit short. I can only assume that the developer decided to have a constant amount of time no matter the character count, and there's also no way to advance the text pass when the game wants it to change.

Now here's something that I'm going to have to say I'm just nitpicking at, and hell, maybe people think I've already been pretty nitpicky with what I've said so far, but this is how I see games. Unless something has changed this game actually doesn't meet the required criteria for being a game on a mobile device. When the device receives a call the game is to pause and upon returning from the call the game should present you with a pause screen so that the user is prepared to continue. This game does indeed pause when a phone call comes in but when the call ends, it goes right back into the game, and since it's a runner game 99 out of 100 times you're going to be restarting the level, even if this is the furthest you've gotten through that specific level.

Alright, so let's get down to it, is this game worth a spot on your iOS device... It could be, there's something to this game that is entertaining, but there is a lot of frustration that is caused as well. I'm going to say it's a 50/50 type of recommendation to you, the reader. I'm going to give this game a 5.7 out of 10.

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The Hunt for Red Panda Review

Someone has defaced famous paintings from all over the world and it is up to you to find this menace and bring justice down upon them. The criminal goes by the name of The Red Panda, and it will take every ounce of skill that you have to piece together the clues to their identity. In The Hunt for Red Panda a Hidden Object game for the iOS device you will not only have to find what doesn't belong in the famous paintings around the world, but you will have to find them fast. Are you up for the challenge? You better be because you're going to need it.

This game intrigued me right off the bat because it gives an international sleuth story and combines it with puzzle solving. Now of course, most of the puzzles revolve around hidden objects, but for me this was exciting simply because the items were never going to be the same in the picture. There are a lot of pictures that you'll take on and as you go you will unlock new tools that you will have to use to get rid of the added pieces. 

You will have an eyedropper that is used to identify the added piece of the painting. You will have an eraser to erase some of the items, a paint brush to paint over some of the items, a paint scrapper to remove the items, and a needle and thread in case you accidentally rip the painting. The interesting thing about the tools is that if you do use the incorrect tool you will have to take on additional steps to clear up the issues with the paintings. If you erase when you're not supposed to, you'll have to paint over the area that you erased. If you paint where you are not supposed to, you will have to scrap off the excess paint. If you scrap where you're not supposed to, well you're going to use the needle and thread. 

The entire finding of the hidden object mechanic centers around the eyedropper, and herein lies the first of many issues with this game. For some reason the eyedropper isn't selected by default, in fact NO equipment is selected by default, which makes things difficult if you have to take on a painting again (I'll explain that in more detail a little bit later). This to me seems a bit odd and creates an additional step that the user has to do EVERY TIME they attempt a level. 

Now let's talk about attempting levels, for some reason the developer decided to go with the once 100% completed the level is locked and you can never try to find hidden objects again. Now that's not to say that if you are trying to find 25 objects and you only find 15 of them that you can't replay the level. Here's the thing though, if you were to go back into the level because you're not at 100% completion, you will be searching for 10 objects that have been randomized since your last attempt. You are then given less time to find them since you are trying to find only 20% of the total number needed to fully complete the level. This sounds good in theory until you only have 1 object left. Remember how I pointed out you have to select the eyedropper EVERY TIME. Well, you have roughly 6 seconds to tap the eyedropper, then locate the item, then switch to the correct remover. This is VERY difficult. 

In my honest opinion, there should be two options when trying to retry a level. The user should have the choice to either start over at 0 items found, or try to find the rest of the items with a time penalty. Speaking of starting over, WHY oh WHY is there no way, short of removing the application off your device and reinstalling it, to play this game again or any aspect of the game again once you've completed it. Sure, you catch the bad guy, and sure the paintings have been restored, but since there is a randomized hidden object feature that SCREAMS replayability and yet the developer takes that away.

Now there are a couple of other mini-games within the game, each if completed successfully, will give you an additional hint for trying to find objects in the paintings. The thing is that your number of hints is always restored back to a set number, so it's not like you're going to run out of hints if you use all of them in a previous level. This basically means that these mini-games are basically not needed at all, and to be honest, most of them really have no relevance to the game.

Here's the thing, this game is fun, it is challenging, and I did feel rewarded when I finish it, but I am so depressed and frustrated over the fact that there is NO easy way to replay anything in this game. Speaking of replaying levels, there are certain levels scattered throughout the game where you have to find the hidden objects and swat flies. I still have no idea why this random feature was added, and on top of that, no matter the outcome of the level, the level is locked and you can't play it again. So basically I wasn't able to get 100% completion because I wasn't able to try again when it came to those weird fly levels.

I want to like this game, I really do, but this game ends up being more frustrating, and feeling unfinished, and not completely put together. So I have to say that it might be fun for a one time playthrough, but the potential of this game was so extremely squandered that it might be worth looking for something else. This game gets a 5.8 out of 10.

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Auto Warriors Review


Create your post-apocalyptic vehicle of destruction and mayhem as you will have to take on all challengers in arena matches to the death. As you progress through the game, Auto Warriors, you will gain new parts, new vehicles, upgrades, and more. If you play your cards right, you'll have a vehicle that no one will be able to take down. 

Now I've got to be honest when I heard that this was going to be a turn-based game I had my doubts. Here's a game that screams fast paced action, but you take turns? Well, this game sure proved me wrong. Sure, this game is turn based, however you try to create the move that will net you the best result and click on the go button. You can do as many moves as you'd like, however there's an overall time clock that is counting down, and if you don't take out your opponents you fail. I like to equate it to a game of speed chess, but with machine guns and rocket launchers. 

Graphically, this game looks great on the iPhone, the game is responsive to zooming in and out as well as rotating the area so that you can get the best looks at all the right angles. There are different looking levels that not only appear unique, but have different obstacles, ramps, buildings, etc. so you'll have to have several strategies to this game if you're going to win. 

In the levels you'll see that there are boxes scattered around the level, those boxes contain salvage which can be used towards upgrades. This adds an additional strategic element into the game, if you know you can destroy your opponent, perhaps you can take some time to collect boxes, or maybe if you're headed in that direction what would it matter if you take a couple of extra seconds before turning the car. 

This is actually a pretty solid game once you understand the mechanics, and sure there are some frustrating moments where the enemy just won't line up with where your guns are firing, but that's all part of the game. Speaking of guns, you can potentially have quite a lot of firepower to protect your front, your rear, and a certain area around your entire car, the catch is that only one gun can be active at a time, so you have to choose wisely. Oh, and there's this thing called limited ammo, so you may want to save your rockets for a clear shot and not one that has you dashing between buildings, I learned that one the hard way. 

There are quite a few different modes that you can take on in this game. You have the single player campaign mode that sits at 50 levels. You have the PvP mode, which, if I understand correctly pits your "PvP" vehicle against someone else's, so you're not fighting live, you're fighting their car with the AI behind the wheel. You also have the Deal and Mechanic Challenges that can net you some good bounty if you're able to pull it off, and then you have the Fleet PvP, think of a Fleet as a Guild. 

The one confusing thing about this game is the amount of the different currencies you have to keep an eye on. You have the tokens that are used for any type of combat, it's basically your cost of admittance. You also have the golden gear, which I believe is used to upgrade your car to the next level. You then have cash, which is used to pay for upgrades. Finally, you have gold bars which are the currency to help wrap up upgrades faster. So as you can see, you have several different currencies, all with different functionalities. 

Now you might have noticed the tokens piece, that's right, you can't just play until you want to stop, you have a limited amount of times you can play before you're going to have to wait for a refresh. You can do micro-transactions in this game, however, they are for cash and gold. You can then use the gold to buy a VIP membership that can allow you a couple more tokens, but there is no way to directly buy more tokens.

In summation there's definitely something about this game that will have you coming back to it simply for the strategy portion of the game as well as the build your own car, however you have to take damage to the car and weight into account but most of the time you can make a pretty nasty car. The thing is that the restriction on how much you can play, even when you pay is very odd to me and I feel like this might become a nuisance to the point that only the diehards who are willing to wait around often will stick around. This game gets an 8.0 out of 10.

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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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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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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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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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