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Weekly Game Impressions!

View Poll Results: How do you prefer impressions?
Short and sweet 28 77.78%
Long and technical (very in depth; review-like) 8 22.22%
Voters: 36. You may not vote on this poll
11-19-2011, 10:37 PM
#1
Joined: Oct 2011
Location: Ohio, USA
Posts: 2,869
Weekly Game Impressions!

Backtothis and I started this thread to post weekly impressions of new releases. This thread is purely for impressions, but if you have any specific questions we'll still answer them in the "Mass..." thread. Also, feel free to post your own impressions for new releases!

If you have requests for games that you want impressions for, please ask on our respective Twitter pages or our public walls in this forum. We want to reduce as much clutter as possible.

We're also keeping a comprehensive list of our impressions that is easy for everyone to find. The B (backtothis) and G (GoofyJmaster) denotes who the impressions are by. The dates just denote the big release day (Wednesday nights in the US) of the week these are games are from. The impressions can easily get lost as this thread gets more posts, so this will ensure that people don't miss the important posts. Thanks.

We'd like for you to not post about games that are older than two weeks!!!


B=backtothis, G=GoofyJmaster, L=LOLavi

(B) 11/09/11: http://forums.toucharcade.com/showth...99#post2007999

(B) 11/16/11: http://forums.toucharcade.com/showth...04#post2008004

(G) 11/09/11, 11/16/11: http://forums.toucharcade.com/showth...25#post2008125

(G) 11/23/11: http://forums.toucharcade.com/showth...98#post2013298

(B) 11/30/11: http://forums.toucharcade.com/showth...27#post2021327, Part 2

(G) 11/30/11: http://forums.toucharcade.com/showth...71#post2021671

(G) 12/8/11: http://forums.toucharcade.com/showth...41#post2033841

(L) 12/8/11: http://forums.toucharcade.com/showth...00#post2034500

(B) 12/8/11: http://forums.toucharcade.com/showth...52#post2037452, Part 2

(G) 12/14/11: http://forums.toucharcade.com/showth...55#post2047555

(G) 12/21/11: http://forums.toucharcade.com/showth...19#post2056919

Game Center: GoofyJmaster My Twitter; Weekly Game Impressions! Thread; Game Guide 2011
Playing Frederic Resurrection of Music, Jazz: Trump's Journey, Russian Dancing Men, & Cytus

Last edited by GoofyJmaster.; 12-21-2011 at 03:39 AM.
11-19-2011, 10:45 PM
#2
Joined: Jul 2009
Location: Houston/Austin, TX
Posts: 13,251
Impressions.

Hope you guys enjoy these posts and find them helpful in deciding what to purchase each week. Of course, there's no way we can cover every new release since we're paying for these games and have limited amounts of time, but we should get to most of them. To reiterate, post your own impressions of games from the respective week as freely as you'd like as well. This thread isn't just for the two of us. The included dates just refer to the major release day of that week (Wednesday nights in the US). I'll include my top 3 games (if applicable) for the week along with an honorable mention at the end of each post. I'll let you guys know on Twitter when I add games to a post and when I make one of these posts. So, please follow me @back2this. Thanks!

11/09/11

Asteroids Gunner

Dull and uninspiring. Besides spamming you with constant achievements (they aren't even GC ones), the game doesn't do much for the DSS genre on the AppStore. Five waves was enough for me. Among the myriad of good DSS titles available, this one definitely doesn't shine. If you've played Space Miner Ore Blast (not the original game), you'll have a good idea of what to expect from this. It's free to try out though and offers plenty of levels. Can't say I'd recommend taking the time though.

Blueprint 3D

Got through the first level pack of this one. Have to say that it's an excellent puzzle game. Not only that, it's creative. It was extremely hard figuring out how to get through the levels at first (the third tutorial level took me forever), but it becomes quite accessible once you figure out how the game works. If you get stuck, just use the words/numbers that label different parts of the object you're creating to point you in the right direction. For a dollar, this is highly recommended to anyone looking for a very fresh puzzle game. Like I said, anyone can get into it. In fact, my girlfriend finished all of the levels in around an hour. That's before trying to get the best scores for each level. Also, more levels are coming soon! Great buy for a dollar.


Chocohero

This is Com2uS' newest title. It's a fall-down survival game where you collect stars to purchase upgrades for future runs. There's no GameCenter, and while the art and characters are great, the game doesn't do much for the survival genre. Of course, tons of iAPs for purchasing additional stars to give you an extra boost up the leaderboards are included. Like I said, the endless/survival genre has been overdone, and there's plenty of good titles that fall into the genre. This isn't one of them. Not recommended.

Epoch

The first thing you notice are the cutting edge graphics. They're spectacular. That's expected though since it uses the Unreal Engine.

You get a nice tutorial to start you off. It covers just about everything. Getting through the first fight will allow you to get used to the controls. By level 2, you'll be amazed by how freaking intuitive they are. It's all swiping and tapping if you're wondering, but wait, what was Infinity Blade again?

Although the leveling system is a little weak here, the amount of equipments you can purchase doesn't disappoint. There's five slots for equips (guns, grenades, rockets, and more), and there's plenty of each that you can buy at the store. You'll want to replay the game quite a few times to get them all.

The game spans 10 levels. A little over an hour is a good estimate of how long one playthrough will take. You unlock medium difficulty by beating it on easy, and so on. The story is told through transactions you pick up, which there will be plenty of. It's effective for getting the job done, but nothing special. It's really all about the action here.

I was actually hoping it'd be a continuous game like Infinity Blade, where it pauses before each fight, but the level selection screen works fine here too. Between levels you get to read through the transactions and go through the store/equip stuff.

The sound effects/music goes well with the game and are top notch.

Saying this game is repetitive is like saying Infinity Blade is repetitive. I say it's very well-made and is perfect as a cover-based shooter. There's actually no iAPs to purchase additional funds either, which is always nice to see (or not see).

If this game sells well, which it has, I'm really hoping multiplayer will be added. The gameplay here is dying for online multiplayer. Something like Infinity Blade's arena mode would work perfectly here.

High hopes and great impressions for Epoch from me. Worth the $5.99? I'd say so. Right on par with Infinity Blade's original price and definitely not too much to ask for. Recommended.

Currently crashes on the 4th gen. iPod upon launch for 5.0.1 as of 11/12/11. Wait for the bug fix before getting it.

Edit: Crash has been fixed as of 12/03/11!


Evertales

The game is a well-made action platformer with tons of life and humor. Extremely appealing visuals and effective controls as well. The storyline is silly and has a fitting narration voice for the job. It's a pretty good collaboration from CM and TGW. The boss fights are good fun. Evertales gets the job done. However, the game is indeed only about an hour long and without any true replay value. The characters aren't very diverse, and you can easily beat the entire game using one character except for a few spots that require the use of a certain character. There's a few weapons to unlock/upgrade and plenty of outfits to unlock, but besides a few of the weapons, you probably won't want to take the time earning gold to unlock any of these things. There's a survival mode once you beat the game, but it feels lazy and is probably there just to make the game appear longer. Like I said, you probably won't play this game more than once.

Junk Jack

Brutal learning curve for people who haven't played any type of Minecraft games like myself. However, after looking through the beginner's guide, which can be found in the Junk Jack help thread, you should be able to get a good idea of how everything works. There's so much depth to be found here, and it's no doubt a title I'll be investing a great deal of hours into in the future. It definitely feels like a niche game though. For anyone who doesn't know, it's a sandbox game where you create your own world and try to survive. Again, lots and lots to do and endless possibilities really.

Major Mayhem

It's little more than a shooting gallery where you alternate between shooting and reloading/taking cover. The game looks/sounds great, but there's not much to it. There's plenty of levels but all of them are based on having quick reflexes/accurate tapping. It's more of a high-score game than anything. There's no control of movement. I guess if this is the type of game you're looking for, it's pretty awesome. I was looking for a cover-based shooter, and this isn't it. You get to use different types of weapons later on, and that makes it a bit more interesting. The game is a lot Time Crisis, but even simpler. Nothing too special here.

Ravenmark

First off, you get an incredibly helpful tutorial to start you off. You play the game as you'd expect from any TBS. There's a counter triangle (square in this case), perks for certain units, and all of that. The graphics are extremely attractive. The controls are perfect. So far, the storyline/writing has been wonderful. But really, it's something you'd be able to get into even if you have never played a TBS in your life, unlike Wesnoth or FFT, which are completely overwhelming for beginners. There's intuitive mechanics like being able to see the order that units will take action after you've planned your moves, you can read up lore/special effects/etc while in game, you can combine regiments, etc.

Beyond that, there's more content coming in the near future. Right now there's 15 levels, and from the two levels I've played so far, I can say that's going to be sufficient for the time being. It's more of a SRPG than a TBS. War of Eusrath and FFT are some close competitors for the best SRPG on the AppStore.

The game's soundtrack is definitely worth mentioning as well. Definitely good stuff.

For $2.99, you're getting an amazing strategy game with an above par storyline. Highly recommended.

Edit: The developer fixed up the performance of the game very quickly. No more crashes on the 4th gen. Good stuff. Retina was taken out though for the 4th gen. to make this possible.


Rocket Riot

This game is awesome, mindless fun. Blowing up everything is extremely satisfying. The powerups are great. The music and art are both top notch. As others have said, multiplayer would be sick. Not a huge fan of the movement controls though; a joystick would be great. The view makes me dizzy as hell, but I'm sure that's all part of the package xP. Recommended.

----------

There were a ton of great releases this week. Check out the screenshots and videos of the ones you're interested in. Lots of good buys for sure. Blueprint, Epoch, and Ravenmark are my top picks. Junk Jack is also a solid choice.

Popular game(s) not covered: Gangstar 3

Twitter: @back2this

Last edited by backtothis; 12-03-2011 at 07:48 PM.

11-19-2011, 10:51 PM
#3
Joined: Jul 2009
Location: Houston/Austin, TX
Posts: 13,251
Impressions.

11/16/11

AoZ Anniversary

Not much to say about this one. It's the same great game AoZ was except with improved visuals and a bit more content. $0.99 is probably the best price point since it doesn't really bring much more to the experience to warrant the same cost as the original game.

Anyways, the game is probably still my favorite survival DSS on the AppStore. How the lives work is simply awesome. Having a defined amount of health is a thing of the past. I also like how weapon collection works. It's great that they just drop randomly instead of having to earn them. Besides all that, the amount of enemies that'll be on screen at once makes the game extremely hectic as a survival DSS should be. On top of all that, there's an enormous amount of survival maps to play the game on. Awesome controls, awesome weapons/upgrades.

The campaign mode is nice. It'll probably last about an hour with the addition of the new levels. Nothing too special here. The boss fights are pretty fun, but the levels are pretty much survival mode except with a defined amount of enemies. Nothing wrong with that though so this really is a survival DSS. You'll have to play through the campaign once to unlock all of the survival maps anyways.

For those of you asking what the iAP is, it's just a way of to unlock all the survival maps without playing through the campaign. Not sure why you'd want to get it except to support Halfbrick.

Barry says tons of funny stuff, the dialogue is pretty hilarious, and the voice-over is awesome for when Barry actually says something. If for whatever reason you never got the original game, make sure you grab it now. Highly recommended for a dollar.

Bullet Time

Really wanted to like the game since it's actually quite a competent DSS with an actual campaign. First off, it crashes way too often on the 4th gen. iPod. That's probably due to the visuals. They're pretty awesome.

Anyways, I was pretty surprised that it turned to be a freemium title after having looked forward to it for weeks. The difficulty in the game spikes up so quickly that iAPs will become a must. I noticed the wasn't a difficult level titled "easy." Now I see why. Looking through the iAPs was pretty disappointing.

The co-op mode should make things easier though. You get to play survival maps with up to 3 friends over GameCenter. You can earn extra money to buy to buy equips/upgrades this way.

With the content the game provides, I would have gladly paid $4.99 for the title if it had reasonably priced equips/items and no iAPs, especially since it includes co-op. I'm sure it'll make a lot more money with the current pricing model.

You might as well give it a try for free in any case.

Edit: Actually, it turns out, the iAPs are perfectly implemented into the game. As long as you manage your resources wisely, you'll get through the game just fine. Not to mention, the multiplayer mode is great for getting additional money and quite fun too. There's a ton of upgrades/equips to unlock. Definitely check this out for free. Glad I gave it a second chance. Also, the developer already updated the game with a performance fix for the 4th gen. device. Runs pretty great now.


Chickon

The game is pretty subpar. After enjoying the Galcon series greatly due to the multiplayer (best online game from late 2008 to early 2009), I have to say that this is quite a downgrade.

Besides having a ridiculous premise, the game only has single player. Not only that, it's a freemium title. There's nothing new gameplay-wise either from the Galcon games. Also, the campaign is extremely easy as it's aimed at the more casual crowd.

The one-lined app description does a good job in summarizing the game, connotatively that is: a lazy effort.

Crimson: Steam Pirates for iPhone

The game plays a lot like Steambirds, but there's ships instead of planes. It's a TBS where you and your opponent plan your move at the same time, and then the actions happen simultaneously during the action phase. You have to predict what your opponent is going to. The game has a lot of depth. Tons of different ships along with crews that give different abilities to the ships. 24 levels if you buy the iAP, which gets you the last 8 levels. It comes with 2 pass-and-play maps as well. That should be fun with a friend. Steambirds was pretty fun so this should be a step up due to the additional depth and because it's story-oriented. Great for the dollar or two if you get the iAP.


Extraction

I find the controls to be extremely intuitive as is. I don't think it's a game where you're meant to aim by yourself. You move by tapping somewhere on the map and shoot enemies by swiping over them.

I really like the upgrading system. Adds a lot to the game and replay value. I'm looking forward to getting through the lengthy campaign advertised at 4-5 hours. Looks like the missions should have quite a bit of variety as well.

The graphics and sound effects are both pretty top notch as well. Great job putting in the multiple save slots. Really wanting to see more games include the feature.

It's a bit lame seeing the inclusion of iAPs for in-game credits, but I don't think they'll be vital for getting through the game from what I've played.

You're getting a killer package for just $0.99 though. Very surprising price point. Apparently, it's not even a launch deal. I'm looking forward to GC being added in though. Crystal is pretty much the equivalent of a dinosaur-computer in terms of iOS social networks. I'm sure the devs will be adding it in.

Highly recommended for the dollar and as I said.

Edit: The game does get repetitive as you get further into the game though. The collection of upgrades/new weapons is pretty much the only thing that makes me want to play more. Missions aren't very diverse like I had expected them to be.

Superman

The game is pretty mediocre. It's really just a side-scroller that requires you to do a number of different tasks quickly in order to go for a high score.

The included storyline doesn't do much for the game. At least the controls work pretty well. Not sure why the movement analog is jammed as close as possible to the bottom-left corner though. Nice look for the game with the art style. Everything looks great except for Superman himself..it looks like he's melting or something. Not sure what's up with that.

Also, not sure what's up with the volume. I have to turn the iPod volume up to half-way just to hear what I'd normally get from one volume bar.

Once again, the game doesn't do anything special. Was expecting more, but it compares more to Thor and Captain America quality than Spider-Man quality. Still looking for another superhero game that even comes close to Gameloft's Spider-man.

$0.99 is a fitting price.


----------

For this week, I'd recommend you check out Bullet Time for sure. Extraction and the new AoZ are also great choices. They're my top picks this week. Crimson is also a good buy if you're a fan of strategy.

Popular game(s) not covered: Homerun Battle 2, Minecraft PE, NFL Flick QB, and Space Tripper

Twitter: @back2this

Last edited by backtothis; 11-21-2011 at 04:13 AM.
11-20-2011, 01:54 AM
#4
Joined: Oct 2011
Location: Ohio, USA
Posts: 2,869
Impressions!!!

Past 2 Weeks

Blueprint 3D - Link
Just to reiterate, the first level pack will be challenging because this is a new type of puzzle game. It's tricky to learn, but easy to master. I will say that the game gets repetitive after the first couple of level packs, but I felt like I needed to keep playing more of it. I, always, wanted to know what design the next blueprint held.

Ultimately, it's a well designed game that turns into quick flicks and rotations to get the lines to meet up; but, nonetheless, offers addictive gameplay. I'm definitely looking forward to new level packs and increasing my score (currently 3,000 out of over 100,000; top 5%, not to brag **COUGH**COUGH**).

Epoch. - Link
Backtothis sums it up very well. I will, however, add that it's not worth the asking price at the moment. I'd either wait for a sale or a major update before purchasing. The game doesn't deliver anything spectacular in the gameplay area, but it does offer superior visuals.

Evertales - Link
This is what I like about this new thread; you can see two opinions on games, clutter free!

Yes, Evertales is a very nice looking game and can be fun, but I don't like the controls. I'm one of the people who yearned for the double jump. I'd, also, have to say with the recent releases of platformers, this game felt uninspired and dull at times. I, also don't like that you have to start at the beginning of the level after dying, and I died frequently in this game. I, also don't like the new idea of micro gaming. I don't want to pay a dollar for a game that's incredibly short and have to keep purchasing level updates. it's not that it's expensive, but honestly how long will it take for updates. you play a really awesome game for about a hour and want more, but don't get a new level for possibly months.

Enough ranting, but overall the game is very nice looking with decent controls, but with the new micro system it feels more like a dollar demo. If you have a dollar to spare, I'd suggest maybe looking into it.

Junk Jack - Link
I pretty much agree with bactothis oon this one. It's a fun sandbox game; the art style and gameplay design will definitely appeal more to a sandbox newbie.

If you want something more intense I'd suggest picking up Minecraft or Eden - World Builder!

Ravenmark - Link
I actually don't own this game, but iIwas one of the beta testers, so I got the final beta build.

I'm not going to go into a long rant about why I love this game because backtothis pretty much covers every aspect of it. This is by far my favorite TBS on iOS by about a mile. As far as strategy games in general, it's second only to King of Dragon Pass.

**SIDE NOTE**
This game is not for the feint of heart; prepare to be flanked endlessly by the most wonderful/smartest AI system on the iPhone.

Crazy Panda Link
I've been calling this my hot little find of the past two weeks! It's definitely a refresh to puzzle games (I consider myself a puzzle game connoisseur, lol). It has 36 different levels but two different playing modes, so it totals up to 72. In the first mode, it's more similar to your normal puzzle games where you have to figure out the best strategy. It's just a unique take on it due to level styling and how you direct the panda; you use different environmental factors to get your panda to knock its target (pigs) out of the map. Overall, this mode is very fun because everything feels physically correct. The second mode is the accelerometer (motion controls) mode, and you tilt your device to knock the pigs out. it is a bit challenging at first, but it grows on you quickly.

Another addicting puzzle game that will have you looking for the high score!

Age of Zombies: Anniversary - Link
Backtothis summed this up nicely, as well. If you own the first game, I wouldn't say it's a must unless you really liked the first one. To newcomers it's definitely a good DSS game.

I still think the controls could be a smidge better (I'm a fan of Minigore controls).

Bullet Time - Link
These are my posts from the "Mass.." thread. The first one talks specifically about the crashing problem. The second is more gameplay. The third is me getting b2t to say it's better than Extraction.

"Also, for Bullet Time, once I cleared my memory the game worked fine for the most part. The problem is that 4th gen iPod touches have half the RAM of the iPhone 4, so we need to clear the memory to play graphically intense games. I had this same exact problem when beta testing Ravenmark; the 4th gen iPod just couldn't handle all of the sprites at only 256mb of RAM. So, clear your memory and restart your device."

"Yeah, so I just wanted to retouch on the the Bullet Time crashing. So, I've played it quite a bit more and after clearing my RAM and restarting my device, I haven't experienced any crashes. Geez, this game looks great and I have to say it's a great alternative to Extraction:Project Outbreak if you don't want to pay a dollar. In all honesty, it might be better, but I haven't decided yet. Bullet Time does offer achievements, co-op, integrated community (which I love), better controls, and better graphics (this is my personal opinion). Hmm, maybe I have chosen; Bullet Time does beat Extraction.

Also it's free, yes it does have IAP to get crystals, but it's not like a Glu Mobile game where you need to buy them to really enjoy the game. I would've bought this game, in a heart beat, if it wasn't free."

Quote:
Originally Posted by backtothis View Post
I thought Extraction got boring pretty fast. It was extremely fun at first. The only thing that'd keep my playing is the weapon tree. Lots of stuff to upgrade/earn. I don't think it's that similar to BT though. BT is definitely the better game. Nonstop action, lots of weapons/gear to collect, and a very competent multiplayer mode. The campaign gets the job done as well.


Ultimately it's a very nice top down/3rd person shooter/adventure game that will offer one hell of an awesome challenge!

Extraction: Project Outbreak - Link
No comment...

I'm just kidding. I pretty much agree with the post that I quoted of backtothis. I'll also add that the control scheme isn't favorable, IMO. Oh yeah, it's a very nice looking game.

It's worth a dollar since they'll probably be updating to add GC supprt and a better control scheme.

Katana Jack - Link
Quote:
Originally Posted by GoofyJmaster. View Post
Katana Jack! is pretty awesome. It's the more modern, iOS version of Bomb Jack (classic platformer), and I have to say Tehkan/Tecmo would be proud, in a sense. The game was completely made on an iPad and it looks beautiful. Overall, it's a very fun and challenging platformer. It also boasts what may be one of the most complete feature lists: 90 levels with 15 finger painted stages, full Game Center support, HD graphics, 2 different game modes, iCloud, Twitter integration, universal, and iCade support. The only thing is the controls can feel a bit sticky at times, but it doesn't really impact the overall greatness of the game.
In addition this the game is really fun, but challenging at the same time. the levels were very well made, and this is what I call an inspired platform game! To reiterate, it's beautiful!

Raccoon Rising - Link
Quote:
Originally Posted by GoofyJmaster. View Post
Raccoon Rising is an amazing vertical platformer. The controls are responsive and the graphics are very nice. The difficulty level progresses nicely and the game leaves you wanting to play more of it (try and get all 3 stars). Imagine Ninjump, but with more control over your character, better graphics, and more depth.
[[EDIT]]
Most were just reiterations and re-posts!

Game Center: GoofyJmaster My Twitter; Weekly Game Impressions! Thread; Game Guide 2011
Playing Frederic Resurrection of Music, Jazz: Trump's Journey, Russian Dancing Men, & Cytus

Last edited by GoofyJmaster.; 11-30-2011 at 11:29 PM.
11-20-2011, 10:40 AM
#5
Okay, here's my first contribution:

XIII

This is a really depressing missed opportunity. Turning XIII into an adventure game would have been a no-brainer: there's a cool mystery at the core of the comic book, and even though the PC FPS was great, there's no reason why it wouldn't be just as fun to piece together clues, solve environmental puzzles, etc. -- in other words, same kind of gameplay as other Microids adventures, perhaps with the addition of some QT scenes for the action sequences.

Instead, what we get are hiddens object game. Pretty lame hidden object games. Because what you first think off when hired killers are after you is "where did I put that fishing hook?" To be fair, the game does follow the story, but the hidden object puzzles come across as filler. There are a few objective-based puzzles, but the core of the game is definitely HO. Kind of breaks my heart a little .
11-21-2011, 11:41 PM
#6
Joined: Oct 2011
Location: Ohio, USA
Posts: 2,869
This is the updated look!

Would you like a space between the titles and the actual impression? Should the title font size be bigger?


Past 2 Weeks

Blueprint 3D
Just to reiterate, the first level pack will be challenging because this is a new type of puzzle game. It's tricky to learn, but easy to master. I will say that the game gets repetitive after the first couple of level packs, but I felt like I needed to keep playing more of it. I, always, wanted to know what design the next blueprint held.

Ultimately, it's a well designed game that turns into quick flicks and rotations to get the lines to meet up; but, nonetheless, offers addictive gameplay. I'm definitely looking forward to new level packs and increasing my score (currently 3,000 out of over 100,000; top 5%, not to brag **COUGH**COUGH**).


Epoch.
Backtothis sums it up very well. I will, however, add that it's not worth the asking price at the moment. I'd either wait for a sale or a major update before purchasing. The game doesn't deliver anything spectacular in the gameplay area, but it does offer superior visuals.


Evertales
This is what I like about this new thread; you can see two opinions on games, clutter free!

Yes, Evertales is a very nice looking game and can be fun, but I don't like the controls. I'm one of the people who yearned for the double jump. I'd, also, have to say with the recent releases of platformers, this game felt uninspired and dull at times. I, also don't like that you have to start at the beginning of the level after dying, and I died frequently in this game. I, also don't like the new idea of micro gaming. I don't want to pay a dollar for a game that's incredibly short and have to keep purchasing level updates. it's not that it's expensive, but honestly how long will it take for updates. you play a really awesome game for about a hour and want more, but don't get a new level for possibly months.

Enough ranting, but overall the game is very nice looking with decent controls, but with the new micro system it feels more like a dollar demo. If you have a dollar to spare, I'd suggest maybe looking into it.


Junk Jack
I pretty much agree with bactothis oon this one. It's a fun sandbox game; the art style and gameplay design will definitely appeal more to a sandbox newbie.

If you want something more intense I'd suggest picking up Minecraft or Eden - World Builder!


Ravenmark
I actually don't own this game, but iIwas one of the beta testers, so I got the final beta build.

I'm not going to go into a long rant about why I love this game because backtothis pretty much covers every aspect of it. This is by far my favorite TBS on iOS by about a mile. As far as strategy games in general, it's second only to King of Dragon Pass.

**SIDE NOTE**
This game is not for the feint of heart; prepare to be flanked endlessly by the most wonderful/smartest AI system on the iPhone.


Crazy Panda
I've been calling this my hot little find of the past two weeks! It's definitely a refresh to puzzle games (I consider myself a puzzle game connoisseur, lol). It has 36 different levels but two different playing modes, so it totals up to 72. In the first mode, it's more similar to your normal puzzle games where you have to figure out the best strategy. It's just a unique take on it due to level styling and how you direct the panda; you use different environmental factors to get your panda to knock its target (pigs) out of the map. Overall, this mode is very fun because everything feels physically correct. The second mode is the accelerometer (motion controls) mode, and you tilt your device to knock the pigs out. it is a bit challenging at first, but it grows on you quickly.

Another addicting puzzle game that will have you looking for the high score!


Age of Zombies: Anniversary
Backtothis summed this up nicely, as well. If you own the first game, I wouldn't say it's a must unless you really liked the first one. To newcomers it's definitely a good DSS game.

I still think the controls could be a smidge better (I'm a fan of Minigore controls).


Bullet Time
These are my posts from the "Mass.." thread. The first one talks specifically about the crashing problem. The second is more gameplay. The third is me getting b2t to say it's better than Extraction.

"Also, for Bullet Time, once I cleared my memory the game worked fine for the most part. The problem is that 4th gen iPod touches have half the RAM of the iPhone 4, so we need to clear the memory to play graphically intense games. I had this same exact problem when beta testing Ravenmark; the 4th gen iPod just couldn't handle all of the sprites at only 256mb of RAM. So, clear your memory and restart your device."

"Yeah, so I just wanted to retouch on the the Bullet Time crashing. So, I've played it quite a bit more and after clearing my RAM and restarting my device, I haven't experienced any crashes. Geez, this game looks great and I have to say it's a great alternative to Extraction:Project Outbreak if you don't want to pay a dollar. In all honesty, it might be better, but I haven't decided yet. Bullet Time does offer achievements, co-op, integrated community (which I love), better controls, and better graphics (this is my personal opinion). Hmm, maybe I have chosen; Bullet Time does beat Extraction.

Also it's free, yes it does have IAP to get crystals, but it's not like a Glu Mobile game where you need to buy them to really enjoy the game. I would've bought this game, in a heart beat, if it wasn't free."

Quote:
Originally Posted by backtothis View Post
I thought Extraction got boring pretty fast. It was extremely fun at first. The only thing that'd keep my playing is the weapon tree. Lots of stuff to upgrade/earn. I don't think it's that similar to BT though. BT is definitely the better game. Nonstop action, lots of weapons/gear to collect, and a very competent multiplayer mode. The campaign gets the job done as well.


Ultimately it's a very nice top down/3rd person shooter/adventure game that will offer one hell of an awesome challenge!


Extraction: Project Outbreak
No comment...

I'm just kidding. I pretty much agree with the post that I quoted of backtothis. I'll also add that the control scheme isn't favorable, IMO. Oh yeah, it's a very nice looking game.

It's worth a dollar since they'll probably be updating to add GC supprt and a better control scheme.


Katana Jack
Quote:
Originally Posted by GoofyJmaster. View Post
Katana Jack! is pretty awesome. It's the more modern, iOS version of Bomb Jack (classic platformer), and I have to say Tehkan/Tecmo would be proud, in a sense. The game was completely made on an iPad and it looks beautiful. Overall, it's a very fun and challenging platformer. It also boasts what may be one of the most complete feature lists: 90 levels with 15 finger painted stages, full Game Center support, HD graphics, 2 different game modes, iCloud, Twitter integration, universal, and iCade support. The only thing is the controls can feel a bit sticky at times, but it doesn't really impact the overall greatness of the game.
In addition this the game is really fun, but challenging at the same time. the levels were very well made, and this is what I call an inspired platform game! To reiterate, it's beautiful!

Raccoon Rising
Quote:
Originally Posted by GoofyJmaster. View Post
Raccoon Rising is an amazing vertical platformer. The controls are responsive and the graphics are very nice. The difficulty level progresses nicely and the game leaves you wanting to play more of it (try and get all 3 stars). Imagine Ninjump, but with more control over your character, better graphics, and more depth.

[[EDIT]]
Most were just reiterations and re-posts!

Game Center: GoofyJmaster My Twitter; Weekly Game Impressions! Thread; Game Guide 2011
Playing Frederic Resurrection of Music, Jazz: Trump's Journey, Russian Dancing Men, & Cytus

Last edited by GoofyJmaster.; 11-22-2011 at 12:27 AM.
11-23-2011, 09:01 PM
#7
Joined: Oct 2011
Location: Ohio, USA
Posts: 2,869
Update!

Update in the original post!!!

Game Center: GoofyJmaster My Twitter; Weekly Game Impressions! Thread; Game Guide 2011
Playing Frederic Resurrection of Music, Jazz: Trump's Journey, Russian Dancing Men, & Cytus
11-23-2011, 11:05 PM
#8
Joined: Oct 2011
Location: Ohio, USA
Posts: 2,869
Impressions!!!

Week of November 23, 2011

NFL Pro 2012 (Gameloft)
This impression had to be long, sorry! Plus, this game is free but is 200mb.

I don't really play sports games on iOS, especially not football so this impression is from a less experienced player. I chose the Packers since they are the best team in the game, lol.

Well, as usual Gameloft doesn't support Game Center. They sure are taking a stand for Gameloft Live; you have to respect it even if you don't like it.

I've leveled up a few times since playing the game and it is an interesting experience leveling up in a sports game. I guess it feels a bit like the manager mode in FIFA. When you do level up you get some XP points, plus the chance to updrage your players or share via Facebook. If you upgrade, it's pretty straightforward, you pick the abilities you want assign points to; throw power, speed, agility, etc.

Onto the freemium model, the game includes IAP. I don't really know how to explain this without being at least a little detailed. I'm doing this before gameplay itself because it really is part of the gameplay, and it's the huge elephant in the room; you'll know what I mean if you've played it.

-The prices start at $2 for 400 credits and goes up to $26 for 15,000 credits.

-It costs 4 energy points to play a game.

-You start off with 8 energy and it costs 20 credits for 4 energy all the way up to 200 credits for 70 energy points.

-In order to get 4 minute quarters, you need to be lvl. 25 or buy for 3,000 credts; to get 8 min quarters, you need to be lvl. 75 or pay 9,000 credits. Remember, you will only be lvl. 3 by the end of the tutorial.

-You can buy tow new stadiums to increase your player stats. You need to win 4 super bowls or buy for 8,000 and 12,000 credits.

-You can buy new teams for 250 credits, new divisions for 700 credits, conferences for 2,100 credits, and leagues for 3,500 credits. You will also need XP to buy these! This is very important!

-XP Packages: $2 for 10,000 XP all the way up to $50 for 500,000 XP.

-Prices for plays are 1 credit for one time use, 5 for the match, and 50 forever.

Pay to play, anybody???

So Gameplay:

The game starts off with an excellent gameplay tutorial that really helped me with playing this game. You will also receive experience points for completing it.

Started playing the Saints and the defense seems hard, at least for me. The players seem to move very, very quickly, so I had some trouble making tackles; but that must have just been the first play because the QB stopped moving and I was getting sacks back to back. The AI did most of the work on defense for me. On offense, it seemed as if the AI is very poor. Most of the players just locked up and chilled. I could have waited 10 minutes and I don't think my QB would've been tackled. On my first play, I through a 50 yard pass and scored the touchdown; got 9 XP for the run and TD and 1 XP for the field goal. You don't need to run at all in this game to score touchdowns, but i'm pretty sure you get points for running down the field.Tried running but it was hard. I'm probably just bad at it.

I didn't finish playing the game because I really don't like it! I will try and play some more and update, but I had to stop.

Update: The best way to play defense is to do nothing at all. The AI will stop the QB almost every time if you do nothing.

Here's my pic of what happens after you win a game. The 104 is XP, the 10 is credits, and the -4 is the energy you lost.



The graphics were just okay, maybe. They definitely weren't FIFA level, or anything. Player movements also looked jerky when running.

Overall, the gameplay wasn't fun because the AI stood around and didn't do anything, unless you made a run. Also, I don't particularly like tilting my device for jukes. It wasn't pretty to look at and ultimately a major disappointment. I expected at least more than this from Gameloft.

If you don't like pay for play this probably isn't for you (I will test it out some more when I can stomach playing this game). If you want a game that doesn't have bad gameplay then this probably isn't for you. If you want a game that isn't dull and uninspiring the this game isn't for you!!!

***Read some reviews in the AppStore and I truly question the good ones because gameplay sucks and the graphics are sub par, IMO.

Infinity Quest - Link
First off, I have to say I let this slip through my radar for last week. Too bad because it really is a nice game.

I'm going to try something different for this impression. Using pictures since they say a thousand words.

The game is a 2D side-scroller and your mission is to save the princess. So, gameplay is pretty straightforward; you use the arrow keys to move left and right and have an attack and jump button. Everything works pretty much flawlessly.


You have to fight through four waves of insidious creatures to get to the final boss. However, you will not kill him or even come close. The game is set up so you keep replaying over and over again until you finally beat him, whilst leveling up your weapons, armor, and self. You find out that after each time you fight him, you knock 2% off of his overall health. Anyways, you die and the wizards will bring you back to life to fight another day.


The leveling system is reminiscent to Infinity Bade because you gain experience for beating levels and they go into your items until they are fully upgraded. If you like grinding and unlocking new items, you will enjoy the system. You also can level up character, but it's only for attack and health; not a whole lot of options.


Where the game does fall short is in the amount of enemies available. So far there are only 3 types plus the final boss. However, it does look like they will be adding more in coming updates. Also, the game is freemium, but that doesn't affect it too much. You'll have to do a little bit of extra grinding; but the way the game is set up, it doesn't really hurt gameplay.

Overall, this is a fun game with very nice graphics. If you want the side-scroller version of Infinity Blade, here you go! Will it get repetitive; yes. But there are plenty of achievements and items to help you play just a little longer. Think Zombieville 2 when it comes to the side-scrolling formula; same places, new weapons, more achievements, moving from left to right. Think Infinity Blade when it comes to leveling and story.

Game Center: GoofyJmaster My Twitter; Weekly Game Impressions! Thread; Game Guide 2011
Playing Frederic Resurrection of Music, Jazz: Trump's Journey, Russian Dancing Men, & Cytus

Last edited by GoofyJmaster.; 12-04-2011 at 12:38 AM.
11-24-2011, 02:26 AM
#9
Joined: Jul 2009
Location: Houston/Austin, TX
Posts: 13,251
No impressions this week, sorry guys. Just didn't see anything I'd be interested in playing. I did make a list of sales worth checking out though for those of you who've been looking for it. Props to SirAwesome for compiling all the sales. All of the games I've listed pertain to the iPhone/iPod versions of the game. They're all definitely worth checking out on the iPad as well if you use an iPad to play iOS games. Didn't want to clutter the list. Enjoy! Will be back with impressions next week. We should be seeing quite a few worthwhile releases. I'll be editing this list as more sales pop up.

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TellTale

.99

Puzzle Agent
Puzzle Agent 2
HECTOR: Ep1– We Negotiate with Terrorists
HECTOR: Ep2– Senseless Acts of Justice
HECTOR: Ep3– Beyond Reasonable Doom

EA

.99

COMMAND & CONQUER RED ALERT
Dead Space
Fight Night Champion
Max and the Magic Marker
NBA JAM
Need for Speed Hot Pursuit
Reckless Racing
Ultimate Mortal Kombat 3

2.99

FIFA SOCCER 12 by EA SPORTS

Com2uS

.99

Tower Defense: Lost Earth
Inotia 3: Children of Carnia

Gameloft

iPhone

.99

Sacred Odyssey: Rise of Ayden
Starfront: Collision
Spider-Man: Total Mayhem
Prince of Persia: Warrior Within
The Settlers
BackStab

Chair

2.99

Infinity Blade

Konami

.99

Gesundheit!

Namco Bandai

.99

Pac-Man Championship Edition
Rally-X Rumble

2.99

Puzzle Quest 2

Sega

1.99

Sonic&Sega All Stars Racing

2.99

Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode 1

Godzilab

.99

iBlast Moki 2 HD

Kairosoft

1.99

Hot Springs Story
Pocket Academy

Firemint

.99

Real Racing

2.99

Real Racing 2

Misc

.99

Dark Meadow
Gem Keeper
Sentinel 3
Dragon Fantasy
Shantae: Risky's Revenge (IAP for full unlock on sale for .99)

1.99

Tactical Soldier-Undead Rising (IAP discounted to .99 also)

2.99

Grand Theft Auto Chinatown Wars

3.99

The King of Fighters

OrangePixel

.99

Stardash
INC

Twitter: @back2this

Last edited by backtothis; 11-24-2011 at 11:45 PM.
11-30-2011, 06:24 PM
#10
Joined: Jul 2009
Location: Houston/Austin, TX
Posts: 13,251
Time to start off this week's impressions. Lots of amazing releases. What a way to start off December.

11/30/11

Don't Run With a Plasma Sword

First thing I noticed was how well the controls worked. The slide and and jump buttons are spaced perfectly apart, and the jump button registers how long you hold it down. Also, you can go into a slide as soon as you land by holding the slide button in the air. Great work there.

The levels have quite a bit of platforming in them, especially as you get further into the game. Lots of enemies to kill, stars to collect, power-ups, etc. Was cruising along until I got to level 1-6. I think it took me more than 5 tries to get through it. Glad to see the game gets quite challenging. The boss fight was a nice break from the platforming levels and fairly easy. Definitely a nice touch.

As usual for survival-based games, my favorite part is the upgrade system. Not only are there equips to unlock, which give perks in addition to cosmetic changes, you can also upgrade your character. There are actually 10 "skills" you can upgrade 5 times each I think. Some are combo attacks, while others are perks. Awesome seeing some RPG elements. Of course, you have a currency that you earn by playing through the game. This actually comes in the form of XP. You get XP by killing monsters in the campaign levels, beating campaign levels, and playing survival mode. The best part though? There aren't any one-time perks/bonuses. You'll want to buy the first upgrade for each of the basic skills as soon as you can.

Of course, the game has iAP packs for lazy players to get ahead with. They're actually quite cheap though, ranging only from $0.99 to $2.99. Clearly, they're not there to trick anyone into buying them. Instead, it's a way of thanking the developer if you feel like $0.99 was much less than the game was worth.

The graphics and music/sound effects suit the game perfectly. It's the usual cartoony theme set somewhere in the future. Really like the humor though. There's funny lines during the pauses and well, the whole premise is pretty hilarious. There are four worlds (28 levels) and 4 survival modes. Tons of content.

Endless runners/survival games have been one of the only types of casual games I'm actually a fan of, and I have to say, this one is up there in the top 3. Can't wait to play more after having spent an hour straight on it just now. It's something you can play quickly in the midst of this week's AAA releases.

Highly recommended.

The Bard's Tale

The Bard's Tale literally saved the week for me. I was expecting an amazing week of releases, but it turned out to be a crash-fest.

First off, the controls are pretty well-done. You have a virtual stick to move around. Works just like the one in Dungeon Hunter except it's jammed a little too closely into the corner. There's a button to attack and one to defend. There's also a button to open up the magic menu, which pauses the game and works like the one in Mage Gauntlet. There's a great mini-map in the upper right, which can be expanded or closed. You can also zoo in and out by pinching the screen.

The main menu is a bit painful to navigate though. The words are quite small, and it feels a bit old-fashioned in comparison to menus in other RPGs.

The best part of the game is how much soul it has. Imagine Dungeon Hunter 2, but with 10 times the life. It's completely voiced as well, which is done extremely well. The story is definitely something to look forward to. The game relies heavily on humor, so there'll be many innuendos and cracks at various things, but it's fitting for the game and the main character, The Bard. There are quite many cutscenes in the game though as the story is a huge part of the game.

You'll complete an assortment of quests and gain levels/equips as you would in a normal RPG. You get stats points to distribute when you level up, different equips have different stats, you gain more magic as you progress through the game, and so on. Pretty common Western RPG stuff, which isn't a bad thing.

Of course, the game looks great. There's no retina display however. The world around you definitely feels alive and is extremely detailed. You wouldn't expect less from a PS2/XBox game. Not to mention, the world is huge, and you'll be able to travel around. If you're playing on a 4S or iPad 2, it'll look even better with tons of additional effects.

20-30 hours of gameplay is advertised, and that's probably a good estimate from what I've played so far. Definitely don't expect a short game.

For RPG fans looking for the best storyline you'll find in the genre on the AppStore, this is it. I'm looking forward to spending a lot of time with it. Highly recommended for $5.99 and my GOTW for now. It really saved the week for me.

Make sure you realize that this game takes up 1.68 GB of space on your device though before getting it. The 14 hours of voice-overs and expansive world account for that.


Call of Duty: Black Ops Zombies

Getting crashes regularly on the 4th gen. while playing this one as well. The game actually works though. It's just the performance and stability is absolute shit. First of all, it crashes half the time I try to start the game. When it works, the game usually crashes after 5 waves.

CoD: WaW Z was an incredible game when it came out, even though it only had one map. Over two years later, I don't think Activision can get away with that anymore. I don't understand how they released the game with only one survival map when WaW now has 4.

The framerate is awful on the 4th gen. even with detail levels at half-way. The controls have actually gotten worse. The dual-stick option was no doubt the best one in WaW. Not anymore. Now, there's no longer a static dual-stick option. Instead, the virtual sticks pop up wherever you touch on the screen. It doesn't work. Touch controls are still decent, but like in WaW, aren't the best control option.

The graphics for a game that's 15 times larger than the original are incredibly disappointing. There's a lot more going on now on the map, but it looks awful. Honestly, I'd say the original game looks better. The sound effects are all recycled from the first game.

Can't comment on multiplayer since it probably wouldn't work too well on my device. The frontpage review says there's quite a bit of lag in it though. On the bright side, there's now voice chat.

Can't get far enough into the survival map to unlock Dead Ops sadly. According to the frontpage and the main thread though, it should be pretty well-done, and possibly the best part of the game. It's like the normal mode, but from a top-down view, using dual-sticks.

Honestly, the game is just a huge disappointment right now for me. I really enjoyed the first one and put many hours into it, having spent a total of $20 on it ($9.99 for the original game and 2 x $4.99 for additional maps). As the TA review states, this just isn't an appropriate follow-up to original game especially after two years, which is more than half as long as the AppStore has existed. The game doesn't even save when you exit the application. Yep, that's right, you have to start from the beginning once you close the app unlike the first game.

Another survival map is coming soon, and I hope performance fixes are coming even sooner.

If you don't have the original game, get it. You get all 4 maps for just the entry cost of $4.99, which is a great deal. Pass on this one for now.

Edit: Turns out, you don't need to play the normal mode to unlock Dead Ops Arcade. Tried it out after unlocking it and wasn't impressed. Typical DSS focused on survival/high score. However, after resyncing the game and having deleted a few apps (now I have over a little over 2 GB of free space with 203 games synced), the game didn't crash when I tried to play Kino. I was actually able to get to wave 11. Then, the framerate/performance became so terrible that I wasn't moving anymore and I was literally playing with < 5 FPS. Of course, I died. The game needs a performance update badly. I still think the controls are shit and that the graphics/sounds are terrible.

----------

You won't regret picking up Infinity Blade 2, The Bard's Tale, and DRWaPS. In fact, IB2 and TBT are both probably on my top 10 games of 2011.

Popular game(s) not covered: Tetris, Inertia: Escape Velocity, Desert Zombie: Last Stand, Zen Pinball, The Nightworld

Twitter: @back2this

Last edited by backtothis; 12-10-2011 at 06:46 AM.