Friday 31 August 2012

Horn now available on Android

Best Android Graphics (but only for Tegra 3 Phones)
The graphically immense iPad hit Horn is now available on Google Play. Android users can now download the console graphic equalling game with one catch, at the moment Horn is only available for Tegra powered Android phones.
So if your Android has an Nvidia powered Tegra chip beneath the bonnet we seriously recommend getting Horn. And in another side note for Android fanboys wanting to prove Tegra's superiority over Apple products, including the IPad HD , the Android version has the best graphics out of all the platforms! We will update this post soon with pictures showing just how good Horn's Tegra graphics are in comparison to the iPads.
We've been doing some research into Horn again today (3/09) and are quite ashamed to see that Google Play only lists the game as having 50-100 downloads! As Horn is probably the closest Android users, or indeed any Smartphone users or Mobile gamers have to a near perfect console experience this is an absolute shame.
It's critically lauded by all the gaming press, has a full orchestral score, has next generation mobile graphics and bags of playability.
So Android Tegra 3 Phone owners get your act together-if you're a gamer you need to download Horn now!

Plants vs Zombies free on Amazon EU

Today's free app from Amazon on the European Amazon Appstore is Plants versus Zombies.
Yesterday's offering of Angry Birds Adfree didn't really get us all that excited but having this horticultural tower defence game for free is a big coup for Amazon and should bolster the much needed fanbase that the GooglePlay alternative so desperately needs in these early days. So today's choice is Plants vs Zombies free on the Amazon Appstore Europe or you could pay 2.37 pound from GooglePlay. Nice to see some more choices for us Android gamers.

Final Fantasy Finally on iPad

Final Fantasy Dimensions is now available for the iPhone and iPad. Fans of JRPG will be delighted, Square Enix less so as it seems at the moment only the Prologue chapter is available as in app purchases aren't working yet!
The good news is that the prologue chapter to Final Fantasy Dimensions is free and your save will be carried through if you carry on via the in app purchases.
This weekend us a bumper weekend for JRPG on the IPad as The World Ends With You and Bastion are proving immensely popular too.

Vegas Sports : Got it Under Control?

Ever place bets on sports teams and wish you had a good method of keeping track? With the Vegas Sports - bet tracker  app you can do easily organize the games, teams, and bet(s) made. It would be horrible for an app like this to not have more than one bet at a time. Luckily this app does allow you to do so. The name is appropriate. No sharing is involved so your bets are your business and not anyone elses.  It requires Android 2.1 and up, so nothing too new. Supports different types of sports like NFL, NCAA, NBA, MLB, UFC and more. The smartphone application keeps tracks of different types of bets including straight bets, parlays, teasers, over/under, money line, draw.

Directions are easy to follow and bets(events) are simple to set up. Just put in the the date, time, teams, and type of sport. I don't know what Rotation and the Halves are because I have not made a vegas type of bet before (only push up bets or bets for a bowl of pho).

Simply State whether each bet was won or lost. Win Loss percentages and net earnings or losses are calculated and displayed. Easy overview of current bets and information on each bet.

FOR ONLY $0.99 you can have this handy tool wherever you go (except underwater). The user interface better be smooth for a dollar, and it is. The app is brought to you by Vegas Sports Inc.  They have a Las Vegas background and have made sure that this application is useful for betters whether professional or not. Download it here on Google Play.

Thursday 30 August 2012

Is the Amazon Appstore Cheaper for UK buyers than GooglePlay?

Amazon Appstore UK price comparison with GooglePlay
The Amazon AppStore can now be used in the UK , but are prices for games better from Google Play or on the Amazon AppStore? We've just Qr coded the Amazon love on to a Samsung Galaxy S3 and the sign up process is simple. The Amazon AppStore just required our much used Amazon log in and already had some recommendations for us (bearing in mind this is the UK version of the Amazon AppStore,I'd imagine the European version differs slightly.
The Amazon Free App of the Day is something that us Europeans can be excited about, today's free European Amazon App is Angry Birds, the ad free version, nothing to get to excited about yet but we hope Amazon is just playing safe and Europe will see a lot more exciting apps in future.
But what about the whole alternate AppStore experience?
So far I prefer GooglePlay, Amazons Black and orange mobile template just doesn't look that appealing, also even on a Galaxy S3 the app seems quite laggy.

But does Amazon give UK users cheaper apps? That's definitely the priority question and these are some prices to compare: Plants vs Zombies: £2.37 on both the Amazon site and GooglePlay, Angry Birds Seasons- Free with Google ,but 0.63p with Amazon( ummm not looking good for the European Appstore so far!), Sinister Planet -0.95 pence to the Booksellers and £1.30  to the search Engine Giants-at last Amazon scores! Google undercuts Amazons app prices by a penny with their Cut The Rope download coming in at 0.62 pence. , no results from Amazon for the Asphalt games, a search for Where's My Water returns not the expected Disney game but Catfish Fry as a top result( coincidentally it costs 0.63 pence through both outlets).
No FIFA 12 could be found via the online Bookstore but you can have FIFA Stats for 0.63 pence on both old faithful and the new boy in the hood. Another old favourite Doodle Jump is cheaper on Google Play than on Amazons AppStore ( again by a penny,but hey add up all them penny's and you can get Minecraft for £ 4.99 on Google but alas not Amazon.
About the worst Amazon/Google App price comparison we saw was Amazon charging 1.49 pound for Flick Golf Extreme and Google only 0.69 pence!
So is it a good thing that the Amazon AppStore is now in Europe?
Undoubtedly with some good personal recommendations and reviews,one click app buying and a Free App a Day. But price and content wise it seems that generally Google Play is still the better source for apps and games.

Is the Amazon Appstore available in Europe?

US Android gamers have enjoyed the fruits of the Amazon Appstore for quite some time now; for Europe the wait is finally over as Amazon has announced that their Android Appstore will be Europe shortly.
Countries benefiting from.Amazon's European Android service include Germany and the UK.amongst others.
One click app payment and apps recommended for you all feature and are sure to bring a smile to the Euro countries and at long last UK Android users get to play Jetpack Joyride!

What are the new Clash of Clans Updates?

New Defence in Clash of Clans Update-Hidden Teslas!
Massively popular Clash of Clans has just had some potentially game changing updates!
candy crush level 117 walkthrough If you're after good visual effects in mobile games then check out the new graphics for the Clash of Clans Dragon Attack and Wizard Tower Attack.

If you're from Sweden , China, Australia, India, Thailand, Norway, South Korea or Japan then you can now buy a flag for your own country in Supercell's game.

Find out what how good your clan members defences are by now being able to view their traps when you visit their villages.

Did you hate spending all your money on a PEKKA only for a spring trap to take it out? In the new Clash of Clans update the spring trap no longer affects the P.E.K.K.A.

And be prepared to up your defences if you're lucky enough to own a Level 7 Town Hall as you can now get the new Hidden Tesla Defence!( at a million gold per unit the Tesla Defence is the priciest defence so had better he worth it!)

And apparently Supercell has even more plans in the coming weeks to make Clans even more tactical. One of the most exciting features we've heard rumour of is the new Clash of Clans Spellforge. Undoubtedly this will be a higher level building and will allow devastating offensive type spells as well as give the ability to add buffs to your troops. In addition the healer unit might be redundant as you will be able to use the Spellforge to heal units mid attack.
In a very bold tactical decision Supercell will soon be adding the ability to see a replay of attacks. A little hint we have now as to our weaknesses in defence is where the enemies tombstones have fallen, but with full replays we will have a much better way to plan our Clash of Clans Defence. candy crush level 117 walkthrough

Tuesday 28 August 2012

Apple Avengers Review

The Unity game Apple Avengers was hyped up in our previous article showing how good an indie Unity game could actually be. Now after a week with the IPad adventure game we're ready to deliver our gaming verdict.

Apple Avengers is good because it tries a lot and delivers a lot. Clearly a lot of thought and effort has gone into it; and that fact combined with its indie nature continues to impress.
Gameplay is paramount in this type of title and AA delivers some tight, well thought out progressive platforming. 

The simple objective to find the key and free your buddy while negotiating some precision jumps; swooping platforms and a variety of enemies, is always clear and well executed. And talking of enemies,worms of course, are the main antagonists being Apple's natural predators. But ice worms, flying worms, frost worms and more will try trip you up, providing variety and a sense of lets see what's next excitement.
But other enemies abound and are contextually appropriate whether you're negotiating the desert world, frost world or any of the other varied environments.

And to add even more variety there are different Apple Avengers that you can play as too-the Gungho Tank Apple being one of our favourites.
A great feature set that we particularly love is the fantastic throwback to old school gaming of Boss Fights being included, again varied and intense enough to make you want to play to win. So far in our short progression through the iOS game we've beaten two of the bosses, both with very definite attack patterns and solutions to beat them.

There are prettier games out there though and it is clear graphically that this is a mobile game, but the cartoonish looks combined with well designed if sparse backgrounds don't detract from the overall experience.
A word of warning though; the game is no pushover and will test your patience; it's a testament to good level design that you will carry on playing as its difficulty is progressive and never stops you from enjoying yourself. 

Find Apple Avengers on the Appstore now and join the Game Center leaderboards to be the fastest player through each of the game's levels.

Monday 27 August 2012

VoX Mobile App (save money with VoIP)

Scared of overage fees? With VoX Mobile VoIP app you may worry less about going over your minutes. You your Wifi or data plan(3G or 4G) to make calls, even internationally. Save big with this convenient application.  Make a smarter use of your smartphone. Set up is quick and easy. With over 50,000 downloads on Google Play and an average user review of 4.6, this app must be really helping out a lot of people connect or reconnect with their loved ones overseas and/or across borders. Another nice touch is unlimited calling with other VoX users. No contracts required.

The app easily integrates and uses your phones contacts list. So no need to hassle over creating new contact lists.

    If you have an android smartphone (Android 2.1 and up is required) and a decent Wifi at home then you're good to go. My DSL is only about 80mbps. My 3G+/HSPDA+/4G is only is only slightly faster. Using simple and easy Geekaphones Mobile Speed Test I found out my download speed to be 1.12mbps and upload speed of 0. 48 mbps (with 2-3 bars on the connection strength). Using my Data to make a phone call was a little less clear than normal dialing, but that isn't a big loss for using other resources to dodge overages. If only I had quicker high speed internet I'm sure the phone call quality would had been great. My mom likes calling overseas and this service would definitely be better than constantly buying phone cards.

The free trial gets you 60 min FREE to any of their supported 60 countries. After that you can purchase a plan for a select number of countries starting at $4.95. If a country is not in those plans or you use up your minutes in that plan, then each minute is charged the international rate for that country. International rates are low. Countries with varying discount plans include U.S., Canada, Brazil, Mexico, India, U.K, Puerto Rico, and Vietnam. Again a feature with the app is unlimited VoX to VoX Mobile users. You're VoX account will have a different number that you can use to send and receive calls. The Free plan can only send outgoing calls.

I blocked out the number I called. Although app runs smooth and is good, there is one thing I don't get here. What's that Keypad option that pops up after I click call from the call logs? Might only be for paid accounts. Every other calling button in the app just makes the call without this pop up.
As of today August 27th 2012, until you get to page 14 of the user reviews, lots of the review seems short, fishy and could be fake. But the reviews that are  longer, and/or posted before that page seems more human.

To be honest I do not use that much of my regular plan minutes and have not thoroughly tested the app(it has many features), but if you have any questions, their website is really user friendly. ( The smartphone applications user interface is nice and neat. It doesn't need syncing or setting up to use. Just make sure your carrier supports free VoIP(using internet to make calls) so that you don't get charged for that. Most big carriers like AT&T and Verizon let you use VoIP.

An example of the international rate:
United States and Canada $0.029 per minute (maybe that  means $0.03/min) $4.95 plan gives you 500 minutes vs that rate which would give you 170 minutes. As a comparison my standard ATT rate is $0.49/min(and that's for non international calls).

Happy savings.

Hungry Shark App (FREE)

We have all seen and heard reports about shark attacks and how dangerous and ferocious sharks can be. Ever wanted to become a shark? Well with the Hungry Shark app you can do just that. With some of the same fish species as the ones found in Finding Nemo, you can go "Hey' it's that one" (Yes Dori/Ellen DeGeneres  is included.) Play as a shark who gets hungry quite quickly and must eat to replenish his energy. Fish aren't the only things you may devour. In the game you can eat humans (please don't try this in real life) and birds as well. Even jumping out of the water is a possibility. Bonuses such as clearing the shores of lively creatures exist to keep you playing. Your high score will be recorded. During gameplay, if you reach your previous high score, the game will alert you that you have come to that point.

A turbo bar(red) recharges as you don't swim full speed. The bar doesn't have to be full for you to use whatever turbo juice you have saved up. To use the extra burst of speed, just move your finger farther from the center of the on-screen joystick than usual.

You're not invincible so be careful. Swordfishes, jellyfishes and pop up fishes may harm you. Upon losing all your health(green bar) you will go "Belly Up". I haven't gotten very far in the game as I've been busy. I'm sure there are other dangers as well, like spiky underwater mines that go "POP"!

The Hungry Shark free! application is brought to you by the developers Future Games of London. It's available on both Android (over 5 million downloads) and iOS (over 20 million full versions downloaded) and had a 4.3 rating on Google Play. The FREE version is limited to 12,000 points. There are 2 sequels to this game. Hungry Shark - Part 2 (Hungry Shark 2) and Hungry Shark part 3. Both also have their own free counterparts. I'm not too sure on what additions were made to the game, but you can find out for yourself. Probably have more kinds of fishes for the predator to prey on. The game is great for quick fun.You can also use tilt controls, but I'd rather not.

Larger prey will grant you more health. Makes sense.

You have to watch out for humans too. I guess not everyone is a fan.

Happy Feasting

Sunday 26 August 2012

What is the best defence in Clash of Clans?

Tricks and hints for clash of clans
Clash of Clans defence Guide
Clash of Clans is the new massive multiplayer resource management and defence game now hot on iPad and iPhone. If your'e slogging away gathering elixir and gold only to have rival players and clans sneak past your archers and air defense and mortars, then perhaps you need a little help in improving your base defences in Clash of Clans, and want to find out what the best defence is to use. Look no further than this handy guide to finding the best defence. See you on the battle field! (And now with our first Youtube video up showing you some defence tricks: )

Making Better Defences in Clash of Clans
Clash of Clans Guide for defences

  • Using Archer Towers: Archer Towers are even superior to Cannon when it comes to point defense, due to their superior range and ability to target both Ground and Air units. Upgrade Archer Towers to increase their firepower, but beware that your defensive turrets cannot shoot while being upgraded!
  • Where is it best to use your bombs in Clash of Clans? Bombs are great to be placed a strategic choke points as to deal the most damage to the enemy or merely being placed near areas of high contention. However, Bombs are destroyed after 1 use, so replacing them may be costly. Also remember that unless you have an enormous amount of gold there are going to be weaknesses in your walls and holes in your defense. These are good areas to be defended by bombs and spring traps. You can even design your walls to funnel your enemies to these areas.
  • What's a better defense than a bomb? A GIANT BOMB of course!:  An Giant Bomb a cousin of the smaller and less lethal Bomb, it still is a hidden trap that becomes visible once an enemy unit walks into range, however it now deals massive AoE Damage and becomes available at Town Hall Level 6, but remember as these are only one use defenses it's not wise to base your entire defence around them as it could prove very expensive, and also if a previous enemy has triggered it you will be left defenceless until it is replaced.
  • Using Cannons:  Cannons are great for point defense. Upgrade cannons to increase their firepower, but beware that your defensive turrets cannot shoot while being upgraded!We recommend upgrading these as fast as possible as they have a lot of hit points and can do some serious damage
  • Mortars: Strengths:
  • Mortars are great against clusters of weak troops, so it is to your benefit to keep all Low HP units away from their destructive blasts.
  • Weaknesses:
  • Mortars are easily countered by High HP units, such as the defense destroying Giant, because they're AoE attacks are slow and do not deal significant Damage.
  • Air Defense: Costly to build and upgrade but when an enemy starts coming at you with Balloons they're going to be crucial
  • Pumpkin Bombs: The Halloween Update adds a bit of seasonal flavour to your defence.
  • Hidden Tesla: Again higher levels can use a mysterious new defence-the Hidden tesla styas invisible until it's area defence becomes necessary (talking about high levels have you upgrdaded to the Dark castle yet?)
  • X-Bow: Level nine town halls can now use the rapid elixir bolt firing X-bow-it can be used to either just fire on ground units at longer range or for a shorter range X-Bow attack you can take on both air and ground units.
And don't forget to get the Halloween Clash of Clans Updates-here's our guide.
General Points about improving your defense in Clash of Clans:
Remember walls don't need builders, so use spare cash to upgrade and build them whenever possible. A wall will slow down an enemy allowing your defences to pick them off.
Use walls wisely and remember to keep upgrading your defense.

Layer your defences: An archer tower is great, but lacks the hit points of a cannon so keep them within the fire radius of the other defences. A mortar while mightily powerful at rang can not via in its immediate vicinity, so keep its location protected.

Good Town Hall Placement,
but weak defences will
soon be overrun
An enemy generally needs to destroy your Town Hall to get his one star and above, so surround this with defenses and walls to slow down and defeat the enemy. Remember that a builders hut might be attacked before the Hall, allowing other defences to take out the attackers while they are taking out less valuable targets.

During the various stages of the game you might decide that it is more important to protect your gold/elixir storage or the Town Hall. Layer your defences accordingly, if the Town Hall is surrounded by other buildings these will be taken out and you will lose your resources-but the enemy still might lose the battle because their forces have been eroded taking out other buildings.

Keep your defences topped up, Spring Traps, Bombs etc. at the lower levels are only one use defences, if you've been attacked the make sure that you rebuild what has been lost.

Looking forward to bringing the fight to you, I'm BombDaddy77 and currently don't have a clan, so come and face off and lets see if this guide has improved your play!

Saturday 25 August 2012

War of Human Tanks

War of Human Tanks Review
By Alex Kende

This Semi turn based strategy game, made by Fruit Bat, comes to us from the hearts and minds of a dedicated, if not very biased, small team of people.
The overall theme is a standard TBS setup, build troops, win battles, unlock better troops, repeat.  The game drifts from this mold in story, art, and throwing in an action time meter for troops giving the game a very Japanese RPG feel with some troops acting much faster than others.
First Impressions:
Oh boy did that game just jump into things.  No small lead up, just a few lines stating the world is at war with two interchangeable superpowers, and the fact that you fight using little girls.
Yup, that weird Japanese fascination with turning inanimate objects into living, thinking creatures always keeps me at a loss.  Not that I am bashing that, I’m not, but this is my disclaimer.  It feels weird when something like a tank, or a gun, is given the avatar of a small girl.
Maybe it’s just me.
After that opening I’m greeted by a UI and story those of you who have played Dating Sims will find familiar.   Story progresses with a mouse click and characters are introduced with a fade in and that’s all she wrote.
After some both memorable and painful dialogue we get to the meat and potatoes of this title.
Way to throw me a fast ball Game.  I got all kinds of fast then slow dialogue; I was completely unprepared for how fast the combat goes sometimes.
The combat map is a grid with some basic staples of strategy games mixed in, fog of war, obstructing terrain, and good ‘ol recon commands to reveal the map without sacrificing a unit.  
I don’t get that last part as much in modern RTS’s and it’s something I find lacking in many large titles.  
You get a variety of units, all of which die as easily as any other; Assault for mid range combat, Command for short range recon and support, Barrage for long range, Scout for close range and Vision, and Shock for suicide charges.
The game plays like a turn based game, but rewards quick action.  The action meter on each human tank, as they are referred to, is different for each class of tank.  An Assault tank can act two to three times before the Barrage can, and the Command and Scout tanks act quicker if upgraded
This is not a game targeted for me.  Nothing about the dialogue and characters I find grabbing my attention, and sometimes the exposition gets so long winded I find myself just clicking through it so I can get back to the combat and upgrade screen.  
However my wife found the drawings and the Human tanks cute and some of the dialogue she walked in on she laughed at in a non satirical sense. 

I can’t think of a better way to describe the dialogue then that.
So with the idea that this game is not meant for my age group, I proceeded to numb my brain with candy and soda after a long day and sat down in front of it.  
I had a better time thinking the game wasn’t condescending and just writing for younger gamers.
One thing I give this game happily is that from what I have played there is no romance happening between the clearly stated tanks that look like people and actual people.  The game goes to great lengths to show that even though they look cute and talk funny, they are still weapons of war.
The last thing I need is to look at a M4 Sherman and question why I it brings my pulse up.

Full review at MMORPG Focus
Why wouldn’t you find that sexy?
I don’t think of myself as a hardcore gamer but I do play games a lot and I pick up on them very quickly, so when I say I was unable to finish this game in a week, take that for what it is.  
The difficulty curve can be frustrating at times with enemy AI going from suicidal to downright pre-cognizant.
I gave this game a few hours a day, which if I bought this game would already be a good sign, and I think I’m close to the end, but it feels longer.
I find myself liking this game because I enjoy turn based strategy games and a long play time keeps me working on it.
I just don’t like the game in areas that I see only because I know how to make games myself, I ruin the flow of the game because I know why something was or wasn’t done, it’s like going to see an action movie with a physicist or someone with military experience.  They’re just going to bring up why that wouldn’t happen or why something doesn’t do that, I just want to watch the damn movie man.
Well, I do that to myself when playing games and it frustrates the hell out of me.
I’m going to keep playing this game because I want to.  And if that doesn’t express my feelings in the simplest of terms I don’t know what will.
Full review at Mmorpg Focus

How to Socket and embed Gems in Call of Thrones

How to Craft, Socket or Embed gems to Gear/Weapons/Charms/Rings in Call of Thrones.
 Firstly why would you want to socket gems , like most other MMoRPG's player attributes and can be boosted.  This Call of Thrones Crafting Guide  will  focus on the most basic and easy gem crafting in the game which is Red, Blue, Green, Multi-Colored and Orange gems. 
Crafting in Call of Thrones
Where to find Gems in Call of Thrones

Every gem has its corresponding attributes and boosts. These are the basic gem attribute, please refer to in-game full info for some higher gem attributes.

To start a more progressive or productive gem crafting, start securing Gemstone shards in your Inventory and enough gold for crafting compensation. Collect enough shards to start.

Crafting is done at a Gemstone Crafting Table.

Go to Any East City, look for Gemstone Crafting table. Refer to the image below.
Call of thrones Crafting Table

Low level gems in Call of Thrones preview:

 Complete Guide to the use of Gems for Socketing in Call of Thrones
5 Gemstone Shards = 1 Low Quality of Red, Green, Blue and Orange gems.
5 Low Quality Gem = 1 Med Quality Gem of same type and attributes
Some of gems are especially obtained by smelting gears.
Basic attributes of gems per type:
Low Grade Green Sapphire: Def+30 HP+50
Low Grade Emerald:HPDrain+1 HP+50
Low Grade Green Beryl:EPDrain+1 HP+50
Low Grade Red Sapphire: Dmg+6 HP+50
Low Grade Ruby: Acc+4 HP+50
Low Grade Red Beryl: Crit+4 HP+50
Low Grade Garnet:Speed+2 HP+50
Low Grade Blue Sapphire: Str+2 HP+50
Low Grade Topaz: Stam+2 HP+50
Low Grade Blue Beryl:Agi+2 HP+50
Low Grade Golden Sapphire: BleedDmg+1 HP+50
Low Grade Amitrine: PoisonDmg+1 HP+50
Low Grade Golden Beryl: BurnDmg+1 HP+50
Low Grade Citrine:Healing+2 HP+50
Crafting to higher Quality gems has its corresponding percentage of success. At Low Quality, it is 100% but there are cases that it can result on failed creation. (Maybe, affected by Luck of you char on that day)

Multi-Colored Gems are obtained by crafting Rainbow Gemstone Shard gathered from smelting gears.(This basic is for the common attribute and basic crafting, Please refer to in-game info to get familiar with these rainbow gemstone shards.) 

When you already know everything stated above , proceed on to creating socket on gear/charm/weapon. Every item that can be dragged from your inventory is able to do this.

Once you have successfully drilled socket/s on the item, you will notice that slot/s will be open. Socket/s are/is obtained randomly based from some formula of the game (can be affected by the current luck status of the char in some cases, maybe). Only gems with the same color with the socket can be embedded that’s why before you craft your gem, be sure to look the socket color of your target item to minimize unwanted gem creation that may lead to unwanted expenses.

Then create your preferred gem for your target gear.

After successful socket creation and embedding of gems, you can now unleash the new potential of your gear.
Can You remove gems later on?
Note: Gems created in the early phase of the game can also be removed from the old gear and transferred to much better gear by removing it through the Embed/Remove Window but this will cost more gold than the above process.

eXPERIAnce the Fun: Lara Croft and the Guardian of Light

   Lara Croft is a legend. And now that legend has made her way to Playstation Certified phones with Lara Croft and the Guardian of Light. The app has been said to be almost an exact port of the original. This time, she is in a game without "Tomb Raider" in it's title. It's the first game from developers Crystal Dynamics to be a downloadable only title. Take on Xolotl, the God of Darkness, and stop his evil plans and save the world. The publisher is Eidos Interactive. The app has received positive reviews from gaming sites, even without Angelina Jolie in it. It's exclusive (sort of) to the Xperia lineup of  smartphones that include the Xperia S, Xperia ion and Xperia Play for $1.29.

A few things to be aware of:
-fixed 3D camera angle. 
-According to two user reviews, IT DOESN'T SUPPORT TRANSFER TO SD CARD, this can be a big problem for the Xperia Play, one of the 3 supported Android devices.
-the app versions have 10 levels of the 14 levels in the full version. 
-it is common for people to have issues with with the videos (cutscences). A method that might help remedy this bug is to try what this person did.  

Stefickk - August 1, 2012 - SEMC Xperia Play with version 1.2.284922
Great Game!! [by the way, problem I solved the problem with video in this way: - fully uninstall the game; - restart the phone; - download again the game; - restart the phone before launching the game. Many thanks to support!!]
                                                     -Source:Google Play review

Can I still play the game if I don't have one of those specific  phones? If so, how?
-Owners of other smartphones can bypass this lockout by using Onlive and purchasing it for different prices. This is probably not the ported version.
    *$3.99 for 3 days
    *$6.99 for 5 days
    *$14.99 for Full (unlimited play?)
 You'll need fast wifi to play it with Onlive though.
And by purchasing the game from Steam for $14.99.

If you find yourself wanting more after completing the game, There are downloadable contents for both games for additional costs. (at least for the nonported versions) I haven't seen any signs of the Ported App versions having any DLC.
DLC's for the console versions and PC versions of Lara Croft GoL are:
-Raziel and Kain Character Pack      (from Crystal Dynasty's other game Legacy of Kain)
-Challenge Pack 1: All the Trappings      (4 new maps)
-Challenge Pack 2: Things That Go Boom      (4 new maps) (not available for XBox360)
-Challenge Pack 3: A Hazardous Reunion       (4 new maps)

-  iOS can already get the application from the App Store for $2.99. It's been available there since December 2010!!! in this version you can. In Multi-player mode Play as Lara Croft, or the Guardian of the mirror, Totec. I'm not sure if the Android version has coop play(but I believe there would be complaints if it didn't). The original version received online two player mode. iPhones could play with iPads by using wifi and bluetooth for co-op.

All the listed prices are just as of right now (8/22/12) and I don't know if they are on sale or not.

The game isn't new. The actual nonported version of the game came out in August(Xbox Live Arcade) and September (Playstation Network) of 2010. So those are other ways you can get a hold of the game if you own those consoles. However, the Lara Croft game is fresh to Android. So although the game isn't exclusive to those Xperia devices, owners of those mobile phones get the perk of having it for the cheapest price. Wikipedia doesn't even have the game as being available on Android yet.

I have to admit, iphone's App Store have way better screenshots besides the big title headline image on top.

The pics are a lot more informative of how the gameplay in action looks.

Even interaction is shown.

And how the store system or menu looks like.

On Google Play the developer and distributor is Square Enix Ltd , more popular for it's RPG franchises like Final Fantasy, Dragon Quest and Kingdom Hearts. Most of these exclusive apps are only exclusive for a while, however there is no indication if it will expire like the more commonly seen 30 day thing. Oh well, whichever gaming console or OS you have, Enjoy.

Friday 24 August 2012

Acclaimed Browser Games by Jordan Magnuson

Loneliness, Freedom Bridge, and The Killer

Loneliness, Freedom Bridge, and the Killer are three browser games by Jordan Magnuson. He has made other games to be downloaded and played on a PC, but let's focus on the web platform.The  Loneliness browser game has been featured on the acclaimed gaming vlog Extra Credits, as an example of using game mechanics as narrative and metaphor.

Right away, let me laud that effort to use the interactivity so specific to games to tell a story, rather than trying to ape other mediums; the gaming community has a lot to learn from other forms of entertainment, yes, but we should not blindly follow the leader. Moreover, all three games succeed in telling a story through mechanics. Gameplay is very simple, a couple of buttons at most, and the interaction with each game world just enough to convey the message.
This has the best graphics of all three games

Some commenters have complain either about the kindergarten level of the graphics or the « emo » music. To me, the piano sadly chiming out its notes showcases perfectly the tough issues at hand. As for the graphics, well, M. Magnuson is a programmer AND a game designer, not an artist; besides, the simplicity only makes the point of each game more potent. And boy, are those points hard truths. They do need to be put out there.

So overall, yes, they are great “games” or apps that you can play in a couple minutes each and that are eye-openers. I still have to pick some bones with them. To me, they felt far too long. Yes the slow pacing is supposed to confer gravitas and prepare you for the end screens. ; the end result was that when I got to the point of each game, I was bored out of my mind, didn't really feel the emotional pull that was intended, and had only “all that for that?” reaction.

Ok, so having first heard of the game Loneliness through Extra Credits, I may have started the game with heightened expectations and thus was bound to be disappointed. Maybe our culture of quickly flitting between interests has irremediably damaged my attention span; maybe I'm that egocentric that I can't spare a few minutes for something that I know matters, or maybe I just wasn't in the right frame of mind. But how many people are going to “suffer” from similar dispositions? Keep short and sweet would be my advice, especially for something with so little interactions, such simplistic graphics and sad music: there already isn't that much to hold people's attention, don't risk impatience cutting the message short.

Again, these Jordan Magnuson games games are worth the time. As drawn-out as it felt to me, this may just be my very personal reaction. And the fact that everyone will have a different reaction to them is perhaps the greatest strength of all: they let the play interactively and yet almost-subconsciously crafted his own story out of each game. If you have maybe 15 minutes, you can try all three and have spare time to ponder over them.

F18 Carrier Landing Lite

I've been looking for a Jet plane flight simulation 3D app for a while and have ended up with nothing. I didn't know this F18 Carrier Landing had a lite version(FREE) developed by SoftCOM. In one mode you can Control and land on an airstrip or carrier ship. I've landed 1-2 times on a carrier and airstrip. Took me quite a while. Controlling an airplane is a lot harder than turning a car in video games. Adjust engine output, air brakes, angle, and toggle landing gear. Both tilt and touch controls are options. Being able to change Sensitivity is a good thing to have. The water looks kinda cool too if you get close enough. At high speeds the Danger warning comes one right before you crash so the warning may not be helpful in those situations.  The sky is beautiful and not pixelated, which is surprising since the plane already looks so detailed and smooth.

 In another mode you try to fly through as many rectangular windows in skies as you can before you run out of time. The rectangles are green and gives your timer increased time to make it to the next one. Once time runs out, it's game over and your score is recorded.

It's hard to see how much the airbrakes help with turning, probably because the game is too good at being realistic. I'm also not sure how the landing gear affects flying. There is a 20second replay available. There isn't a fighting more where go against another plane and try to blow em up to pieces with bullets or missiles. an Online Vs Mode could be cool to have too.

Xperia Play Optimized. For a similar app try Air Wing. That app is more difficult, but it also offers more types of planes like a helicopter, and more modes. I can't even get the landing right on this one. Both apps are Free on Google Play.

Thursday 23 August 2012

Triple Town: Facebook and Smartphone Puzzle Legend

Triple Town for smartphones and Facebook

Triple Town is a free puzzle game available on Facebook, Google+, Android, and iOS. The browser and mobile version are the same regarding the gameplay : group 3 items (or more) of a kind and they are upgraded into one item on the superior kind. For example, if you group 3 bunches of grass, you'll get a bush to appear where you put the 3rd bunch. As you combine more items you'll get better features for your town, but will also run out of place; when that happens, you collect a reward in coins and can either rebuild that city or try another map.

To complete the game mechanics, you have a "storehouse" to keep one item at a time aside for later use and crystals that serve as wild cards. 

You also sometimes get bears. They will take up place, but if you can trap them, i.e., they can't move anymore, they'll change into a tombstone. Group 3 tombstones to get a church, 3 church for a cathedral, and 3 cathedrals for a treasure chest. Ninja bears can't be trapped as they teleport and must be killed with an imperial bot.

Treasure chests can also be grouped to get better chests, and be obtained from busting with an imperial bot some combined stones, often obtain from using a crystal on the board without combining items. You'll get random items, score boost or coins from the chest.

The coins can be used to get more turns, additional storage, as well items of different kinds, « undo » icons, and fortune cookie to predict your few next moves. You can also buy, with real-life money either gems (for upper-tier items on Facebook & Google+) or directly coins. 

One of the major differences between smart phones and browser is the possibility to make an in-app purchase of 3,99$ to have infinite turns. Otherwise, in standard fare for Facebook-like games, you have the equivalent of an energy bar and that bar replenished itself over time. Plus, that in-app purchase opens additional maps.

The other major difference between browser and mobile versions is the “Capital City” on the web: still using the “Combine 3” system, you build up your city with buildings giving you additional items every few hours. This also where you choose you map for standard play. You also note that the mobile version's graphics (pictured left) differe slightly.

All in all, Triple Town is a free app that is terribly addicting, with a simple premise that still opens up loads of complex strategies. If you like puzzles, match-three mechanics, and city building, don't hesitate to try out this highly-rated game.