Tagged "iTunes"

Aug 07
By Jake In Mobile Games 2 Comments

If you’ve worked in an office over the last decade or so, you’ve probably been hit at some point by the deluge of Excel quizzes. They were fun! Sort of.

Little screen caps from films or scraps of sweet wrapper or whatever, and you have to guess what they are. The whole office gets involved to try to solve the last few tough buggers and no-one does any work for about a week, until eventually the last person loses interest and gives up caring what that obscure chocolate bar is.

Of course, you don’t need a spreadsheet package to play these now – that’s what smartphones are for!


My favourite is the recently released Consoles Video Games Quiz (iTunes: free) by Spanish developer Undercoders, which gives you photos of dozens of consoles to identify.

It starts off straightforward, but soon moves into specific variants of well-known consoles, obscure handhelds and properly retro machinery. It’s around level 8 of 10 that things start to get really tricky: the only one I even recognised was that fancy silver GameCube combo that was only released in Japan (I’ll leave you to think about that for yourself).

There are hints available – manufacturer and year, and some of the letters – which are particularly welcome if you’re as rubbish on Atari and NEC as I am. Google is also of assistance. Hints are paid for with coins, which are earned reasonably generously for quickly guessing correct answers and also over time. You can buy them too, of course, and you can also pay to remove adverts – but the IAPs are really quite restrained.

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Jun 28
By Jake In Mobile Games No Comments

I bloody love a match-three puzzler, and the tile-swapping variety is that rarest of things: a game mechanic born on a controller that actually benefits from a touch screen. Certainly that’s one reason there are so many on iOS. And very nice they are too.

Increasingly though games are playing with the formula – games like Scurvy Scallywags. Its notoriety is not down to innovation though, more that it’s from the brain of Monkey Island creator Ron Gilbert.

Scurvy Scallywags

Which goes some way to explaining the convoluted set-up: the pirate theme comes courtesy of a theatrical production, with the game’s storyline switching between the real world of the theatre and pirate world of the play. It’s not as clever in execution as that might have made it sound. The dialogue – pirate sea shanties, the theatre manager fretting – is gently entertaining, but not enough fun to carry the game on its own.

And what of the game? Your main task is to defeat enemies as they appear on the board. Matching swords increases your power, and once it’s above an enemy’s, you can defeat them by manoeuvring next to them. Fighting depletes your power though, so match more swords before encountering the next enemy, or you may die.

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Mar 23
By Jake In Mobile Games No Comments

Angry Birds Space

They say that there are five stages of grief. Well, in my experience, there are three stages of Angry Birds Space.

1. Anticipation

Fuelled by the NASA association, endless tie-ins and ceaseless media attention, the impression that this is a Big Deal built and built. With it came an assumption that it must be a departure for the series – otherwise it wouldn’t be such a Big Deal, surely.

2. Disappointment

Angry Birds Space

Oh, it’s still Angry Birds. Sure, there are gravitational fields and all, but essentially it’s just flinging birds at pigs in a faintly haphazard way. Again. But in space.

And it’s over-sensitive on the iPhone screen, so releasing your finger can be enough to shift the trajectory. A result of focusing on the bigger versions, perhaps?

3. Acceptance

But still, back you come, for more and more of it. The realisation dawns that gravity does open up some fun opportunities – slingshots, that sort of thing. It’s not huge – not a game-changer, if you like – but it’s enough to make it more than just a bunch of new Angry Birds levels.

One day, Rovio are going to have to take a risk, and do something genuinely different. That’s a day I’m looking forward to.

Meanwhile, despite its absolute ubiquity, Angry Birds Space is still fun. And selling by the arse-load, of course.

Version: iPhone
iOS: £0.69, £1.99 (HD) / Android: free (ads), £0.63, £1.89 (HD) / Mac: £2.99 / PC: €5.95

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