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Tag: Freemium »

Bottle Empire Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
By Jennifer Allen on April 24th, 2015
Our rating: starstarstarhalfstarblankstar :: NEAR MISS
Bottle Empire is an intriguing mishmash of many game types, but it doesn't always hit the spot.
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Driver Speedboat Paradise Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
By Jennifer Allen on April 9th, 2015
Our rating: starstarstarblankstarblankstar :: UNINSPIRED SPEED
Driver Speedboat Paradise is a boat based racing game that you've seen before. A lot.
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Tiltagon Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
By Rob Rich on April 9th, 2015
Our rating: starstarstarstarblankstar :: ROLL WITH IT
Tiltagon isn't exactly a breath of fresh air, but it's a pretty fun tilt survival game in its own right.
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DomiNations Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
By Jennifer Allen on April 8th, 2015
Our rating: starstarstarstarblankstar :: ENJOYABLE STRATEGIES
DomiNations combines many popular strategy games, and mostly succeeds.
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Pocket Ages Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
By Jennifer Allen on April 7th, 2015
Our rating: starstarhalfstarblankstarblankstar :: PRETTY BUT SHALLOW
Pocket Ages is a fairly formulaic freemium town builder, and not a very exciting one at that.
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Fast & Furious: Legacy Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
By Jennifer Allen on March 31st, 2015
Our rating: starstarstarhalfstarblankstar :: FAST
Speedy thrills await, for the patient.
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Horse Haven World Adventures Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
By Jennifer Allen on March 30th, 2015
Our rating: starstarstarhalfstarblankstar :: 'STABLE' FUN
Are you a horse lover? Then you might enjoy this freemium sim that allows you to breed and raise them.
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Final Fantasy Record Keeper Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
By Rob Rich on March 27th, 2015
Our rating: starstarstarhalfstarblankstar :: SOME OF THE BRAVEST
It’s not exactly the ultimate all-star gathering we might’ve hoped for, but Final Fantasy Record Keeper is a decent nostalgia trip.
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Compass Point: West Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
By Rob Rich on March 26th, 2015
Our rating: starstarstarstarblankstar :: IT’S A WEST WORLD
Compass Point: West is a neat, western take on town building and defense.
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Compass Point: West - Tips, Tricks, and Strategies for Staking a Claim on the Frontier

Posted by Rob Rich on March 26th, 2015

[Wondering if it's worth dramatically pushing the swinging doors open on this saloon? Check out our review]

You’ve got a lot of work ahead of you if you want to turn your little patch of dirt into a bonafide frontier town, and Orville Driller and his cronies aren’t exactly rolling out the welcome mat. But don’t worry, even the toughest hombres need help every now and then (okay I’m done with the old west jokes, I swear).




Getting Started

  • Be mindful of Gold and Goods limits - Starting out, you’ll only be able to hold a maximum of 2,000 of either resource. It sounds like a lot, but it’ll fill up quickly. Try not to let your earnings go to waste.
  • If you’re about to exceed the limit, spend it - Successful attacks on Orville’s occupied territories will always yield Gold and Goods, so if you’re really close to the maximum you should try to spend some of either (or both) before continuing on. Build or upgrade stuff if you can, but if that’s not an option you can also clear out trees and rocks.
  • Watch videos when able - There’s a covered wagon with a film strip icon over it that sometimes appears on the road. Tap it and you’ll be prompted to watch a video. You definitely want to watch, as once you’re finished you’ll be able to pick a random card from a group of four. These can include diamonds (used to speed things up), sidekicks, workers, or even piles of resources.
  • Use Jakob Ammann to keep things moving - The basic version of his card will take up to 15 minutes off of one upgrade, which is great for when you’re starting out and things don’t take hours to finish.
  • Use William Wealth when you need a cash boost - The basic form of William nets you 500 Gold, so use it if you’re a little short. Make sure you remember that resource limit, though!

Stan Lee's Hero Command Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
By Jennifer Allen on March 23rd, 2015
Our rating: starstarstarblankstarblankstar :: DULL ADVENTURING
Being a superhero really shouldn't be this unexciting.
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Real Steel Champions Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
By Jennifer Allen on March 18th, 2015
Our rating: starstarstarblankstarblankstar :: GRIND TO WIN
Real Steel Champions is a fighting game that's more about grinding than fighting ability.
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X-Mercs: Invasion Hands-On Preview - Extraterrestrial Combat Gone Free

Posted by Rob Rich on March 11th, 2015

X-Mercs: Invasion is a game about saving the world from evil aliens. And from evil mercenaries. You shoot lots of evil stuff in the face, really. You’ll slowly start to unlock new things to do as you progress, but your activities are mostly divided between four tasks: sending squads on missions, researching new technologies, manufacturing items and equipment, and building up your base of operations. If you’re looking around and thinking this sounds like a free-to-play XCOM, well, you’re not wrong. That’s totally what it is. Don’t write it off yet, however.

What really struck me is how much thought was put into these tasks and wait timers - yes, there are wait timers. Manufacturing items takes varying amounts of time, resources, and money, depending on what you’re putting together. Research follows a similar pattern, although you can only ever research something once so the initial cost is a bit higher. Of course building new structures and clearing out space also takes a certain amount of real time to finish, and should be familiar to anyone who’s played a free town builder before. Lastly there are the soldiers, who will take time to heal up if they’re wounded in combat.

I found that I really didn’t mind the waiting in this case. It’s not all that far removed from having to wait for wounded soldiers to heal or for new tech to be researched in XCOM, and in an weird way it actually works really well on a thematic level. I mean, if my shotgunner was inches from death when I extracted the team, it kind of makes sense that he’d need some time to get back into fighting shape. Severity is a factor, but in my experience heal times can take anywhere from a minute to 20. Fortunately you can also have soldiers waiting in the barracks, then put them on the team to fill any gaps and get back to fighting.

The tactical combat is also reminiscent of that other game I keep referencing, however there are only three main soldier classes and you won’t have to deal with figuring out what the rookies will eventually specialize in (although there’s technically a fourth class since any soldiers that have been KIA can be brought back as a cyborg, complete with a unique skill tree). Another key difference is that the items (just items, not equipment) you manufacture are consumable, so any one of your soldiers can chuck a grenade or two during a mission but you’ll need to remember to make more. Or you could just stockpile them like I tend to do, sine they’re really cheap to make. What’s also really interesting is that the items you need to speed up production (nanites) can be purchased using in-game currency. I’m curious to see how people will respond to such an approach.

I do have a few concerns about repetitive missions, PvP elements (I haven’t been able to try it out yet), tiny text, having trouble telling what can be tapped on in the menu and what’s just set dressing (it took me days to figure out what to tap on to access the Shop), and the ridiculous outfits and physical dimensions of the female characters, but I am currently messing around with a beta build. So who knows how much any of that may change for the final release?

Age of Sparta Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
By Jennifer Allen on March 10th, 2015
Our rating: starstarstarhalfstarblankstar :: THIS IS....NOT BAD
Age of Sparta is a typical freemium strategy game, but one that's slightly above the rest.
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Super Soccer Club Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
By Jennifer Allen on March 10th, 2015
Our rating: starstarstarhalfstarblankstar :: SIMPLE STRATEGY
Think strategy gaming when it comes to Super Soccer Club, rather than the conventional management experience.
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