Tag: Casual gaming »
When a super nova threatens a planet full of cats (multiple planets, actually), the self-appointed task of saving them falls on a pair of big-hearted extraterrestrials. The duo will have to hop from world to world, gathering as many kitties as they can before the time limit runs out. Then doing it again, of course. Because CATS, people. Because cats.
The gameplay functions as a sort of weird combination of gravity-based claw machine meets incremental in-game improvements found in titles like Katamari Damacy. The ship’s tractor beam can only pick up the smaller felines at first, but after enough of them are carried off it gains strength and can be used to lift much larger targets. Coins earned through play can be used to buy new ships or upgrade a specific one, while stars acquired through achievement-like progress will unlock new worlds. And there are always special hidden kitties to find and (hopefully) rescue.
The US release of Cats Away should be out sometime around the end of June/beginning of July and $0.99 is all that’s needed to secure this universal iOS cat carrier.
Developer: Riverman Media LLC
Version Reviewed: 1.0
Device Reviewed On: iPad 2
Graphics / Sound Rating:
Game Controls Rating:
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A series of absurd mini-game platform challenges, Pizza vs. Skeletons is one of the strangest – and yummiest – casual games on the App Store. Suspend disbelief and jump in, this silly action title has more variety on the menu than Pizza Hut and Dominos combined.
The games pits the player, a giant pizza, against the skeletal remains of humans and the odd beast in short levels. Don’t try to make sense of it, just roll with the dough. There is no backstory, only simple instructions. Use a combination of tilt controls and one-tap jumping to keep the pizza safe from anything sharp on the level.
The game starts with a pepperoni pie rolling into or jumping and tilting over skeletons holding spears. The pizza needs to crush the bundles of bones by rolling into or jumping onto them without hitting the spear point. Simple right?
But, master that dynamic and suddenly the pizza is rolling down a ski hill following a coin trail, dancing atop a giant skull, saving puppies, or rapidly consuming fish skeletons. Just when I was certain I’d seen everything the game would throw something new and wonderfully bizarre at me.
There are Sumo wrestling boss battles, which are slow-paced compared to the regular action and a bit of a hit or miss when it comes to strategy, but the other levels are zippy and full of challenges, however ludicrously or sublimely dressed.
My only problem with the game is, well, I really don’t like pizza. But that's ok, with money earned players can dress their pizza with mushrooms and sausage, or morph it into anything from a snowflake to an old tire and add toppings like beetles and Ben Franklin. Yes, you read that right, and it’s this delicious nonsense that makes the game a standout.
With all that customization, the attention to graphic detail is not just on the pizza. Each level is actually beautiful – not an adjective used often to describe death matches between sauce and bones – but they are lush and look hand painted and the attention to every detail is striking.
The controls work so well they don’t really seem like controls at all. And, the tilt can be calibrated easily. The only real issue with the game is it can become repetitive after 100 levels, but this isn’t the kind of game you sit down with for hours. It’s a perfect pick-up-and-play game packed with silly charm.
Pizza vs. Skeletons is what I love about reviewing. In an endless queue of redundant concepts out pops a game that is utterly unexpected, irreverent and loads of fun to play. Expect this one to be a long-time hit and to spawn many cheesy copycats; it’s just that tasty.
Coming soon to the iPad is Emma and the Inventor, a new hidden object game from Big Fish Games and Tricky Software.
We all should know by now that Big Fish Games are the gods of hidden object games but Tricky Software might not be so well known just yet. They previously developed Spore Origins and Spore Creatures as well as more recently Crayola ColorStudio. Now they've taken their skills and applied them to Emma and the Inventor.
Looking at the few screenshots we've been given and the previous information from the PC/Mac release of the title, it's looking pretty intriguing. It's a hidden object title but one that promises to offer some challenging puzzles too, presumably as part of the inventing side of the game. Hopefully this will mean a deeper casual gaming experience.
No release date has been announced yet but we'll ensure we have more details to offer soon!
When I first heard about multiplayer gaming on Game Center, the first thing I thought of brutal bouts of casual gaming goodness. There is just something heart pounding about playing someone else in a game that isn't overloaded with overly caffeinated teenagers screaming "Head shot... loser!" Sure, there are many people, including myself, who are excited about first person shooter/action multiplayer gaming on the iOS, but my heart just wants to beat up on someone in a mellow game of Flight Control... and by golly, now I can.
To celebrate the release of GameCenter on the iPad with iOS 4.2, Flight Control is adding a slew of features to the Apple Design Award winning game. To help scratch that competitive itch, Firemint is adding an iPad exclusive verses mode map that can be played locally in the app or via Game Center or local Wi-Fi/Bluetooth multiplayer. Not to cut out the peaceful gamers out there (and I'm sure there are many), Flight Control is also adding a co-op multiplayer game that can be played universally via Game Center too, in addition to the already available local Bluetooth or WiFi . Like everything else on Game Center, you can either invite your iOS gaming friends or you can play with/against random players all around the world.
Since I have no chance at competing in the single player high scores, maybe it'll be possible for me to compete with the masses in some co-op multiplayer gaming. The update isn't out yet, so hang on to your excitement, but Firemint expects the new update to Flight Control to be out right around the release of iOS 4.2. See you online!
Back at E3 I met up with Don Lim from Com2uS, who showed me a few of his upcoming games, one of which being Baseball Sluggers. At first glance, the game looked pretty fun, but certainly nothing groundbreaking. It looked like MLB Slugfest for the iPhone, except without an MLB license and limited only to the home run derby. Being the skeptical gamer that I am, I picked up the game with low expectations, thinking that the game would probably be average at best. But boy, was I wrong.
Instead of showing me all the different menu options and gameplay modes, Don had me just straight into the matchup mode, which is unlike anything else I had ever played on the iPhone. Within a minute of booting up the game, I was engaged in a matchup with one of the beta testers of the game in Korea. The game was easy enough to pick up instantly, but with a variety of pitches and speeds, had enough depth to satisfy my inner gamer. Surprisingly I ended up beating the beta tester, shocking Don... and myself. What can I say guys, I'm just good at sports games.