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Happy Street Review

Posted by Monica Stevens on August 10th, 2012
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad

Developer: Godzilab
Price: FREE 
Version Reviewed: 1.0.3
Device Reviewed On: iPhone 4

Graphics / Sound Rating: starstarstarstarstar 
Game Controls Rating: starstarstarstarhalfstar 
Gameplay Rating: starstarstarstarhalfstar 
Replay Value Rating: starstarstarstarhalfstar

[rating:overall] 
 
Okay, Haters, say what you will. I just landed on Happy Street, and, well, I couldn’t be happier. Light and babbling, Happy Street, a universal app by Godzilab, is giddy fun for adults and children alike.

The gorgeous and playful design is an immediate attraction for me. Characters Billy and Pepin greet me on screen. Billy is a spry, open-armed fox with turquoise goggles perched upon his cartoonly tangerine mane. Pepin is a greyish-blue wolfen character who bares a single grinny tooth in profile and wears a cap, a vest, a backpack, and a bit of an attitude.

App developers Godzilab advertise: “Discover a lively world where everybody is happy. In Happy Street you will be able to build your own village, discover new places, make friends, play with mini games, fish, craft objects, collect resources, and much more. . .”

Fans of Happy Street adore its graphics, playful approach, and likeness to the wildly popular game Animal Crossing. Fans also note that children will find Happy Street delightful and, in the words of one fan, “Really pleasant and fun to play--lots to do and explore.”

While I play, Pepin and Billy babble nonsensically as English word “translations” roll across my iPhone screen. The English translations direct me on actions to take, such as the suggestion to “build a fruit stand.” Interjected are sweet and friendly statements Billy and Pepin make to me, “You need to rest!” How do they know? I’m assured that Billy and Pepin truly understand my needs on this day.

Happy Street is a fremium app, which means that my going farther down this street requires my commitment to making in-app purchases. In-app purchases allow me to continue building my happy village, and I can pop balloons for extra coins. A neat social feature may appeal to those looking for this type of interaction and play.

I am not usually a huge fan of in-app purchases, and I don’t prefer fremium games for my own personal use, but the stylized playfulness and attractive sound design and graphics are highly tempting. I can see the appeal of gamers to continue their journey down this dusty, mocha-colored road.

Happy Street is aptly titled. I get a light and giggly feeling as I listen to Pepin and Billy’s forested giggles and punchy quipping. Godzilab’s new app is pure and decadent pleasure. The fluff I see on my iPhone screen is the achingly sweet, pastel, and crystallized cotton candy of kiddie carnivals that melts on the tip of my tongue when it meets me.

Look, Haters gonna hate. There’s nothing to be done. Meanwhile, I’ll trip the light fantastic in my patchy hot air balloon and ride the fields and forests to and through Happy Street.

iBlast Moki 2 HD Review

Posted by Carter Dotson on August 18th, 2011
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad

Developer: Godzilab
Price: $2.99
Version Reviewed: 1.0
Device Reviewed On: iPad 1, iPod touch 4

Graphics / Sound Rating: starstarstarstarhalfstar
Game Controls Rating: starstarstarstarblankstar
Gameplay Rating: starstarstarstarhalfstar
Replay Value Rating: starstarstarstarhalfstar

[rating:overall]

iBlast Moki 2 is the physics puzzler grown up. Unlike other physics puzzlers that just require objects and/or trucks to be launched at structures, iBlast Moki 2 requires a bit more thought. The goal of each level is to get all the Mokis, who sometimes wear silly little hats for maximum adorableness, into the big portal at the end of each level. How is this accomplished? By using bombs, of course! But not just plain old bombs, of course; there are also bombs for speeding up the Mokis on the ground, making the ground bouncy, and even glue for sticking objects together. There's also objects like balloons, ropes, and steel girders for connecting objects together and building structures for the Mokis and other obstacles in the levels to navigate through. Timing also becomes a key, as some levels are set up to have objects in the environment fall at certain times, or to require a certain bomb to be used at a certain time; thankfully, each bomb has a delay timer that can be set up to go off after a certain time.

What makes iBlast Moki 2 more substantial than other physics puzzlers is just the amount of strategy and planning that goes into solving the levels. Levels can't just be solved through random happenstance; this requires experimentation and testing. Each level is like building a machine and trying to find a way to make it work properly, and then the scores at the end of each level are grades on how effective the machine is. This isn't just about flinging objects and hoping they'll work; this requires actual thought to succeed. The list of top scores on each level can really help players to try and find better solutions, especially as little adjustments can mean a lot of points. The game's level editor deserves particular mention; it allows players to make their own levels and share them with other players in the game, and is extremely powerful. How powerful is it? Well, the developers claim that they made all the levels in the game in that level editor itself. The editor can be complex, but it allows for pretty much any type of level that the engine can handle to be possible. The HD version of the game continues a trend that I and other multiple device owners can appreciate, as it is universal.

The more complex design of iBlast Moki 2 means that many of the solutions to the game can be very difficult to even start to try and figure out, and while solutions are available to view, they are limited by the number of coins that the player has, and it appears as if the only way to get them is to complete worlds. iBlast Moki 2 really needs a fast forward feature, as testing out slightly improved solutions can become quite time-consuming in the later, more complex levels. The HD version of the game really could use cross-platform waves; this is a feature not seen in a lot of games, but it does exist, and would be fantastic for this game! There is a way to synchronize solutions between platforms, but no actual progress synchronization.

iBlast Moki 2 is a game that at first I loved, then I hated because it was making me angry. The first world of 20 levels or so is simple enough, but once the second world rolls around, the game becomes a lot more challenging. Frustration will abound, but it just makes success so much sweeter. Few games make me feel like the genius that I am quite like this one when I succeed. Fans of the original will want to check this one out, particularly as the new items and the level editor are fantastic additions to the game.

StarDunk Review

By Chris Hall on July 16th, 2010
StarDunk is a space bound, basketball shooting, online playing, high score getting app that will tickle your competitive funny bone.
Read The Full Review »

Godzilab Makes Shooting Jump Shots Cool

Posted by Chris Hall on July 13th, 2010
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad

Most people don't like basketball for the mind numbing repetition of going back and forth shooting jumpers 150+ times a game, they like it because of monster slam dunks and gritty performances. I mean, have you ever heard of anyone getting posterized by a killer 3 (except maybe this once)?

Well crazy dunks and high flying acrobatics be damned, Godzilab (iBlast Moki) is taking the jump shot to a place that it's only gone to once before (with Michael Jordan)... space. StarDunk "is a futuristic game combining the best of basketball, massive online competition and retro games." It's basically a side view jump shot game with special balls and crazy bonuses that you can play against a bunch of people all around the world at the same time.

"StarDunk is really original in its massive online competition, the game has just been released so there's only a few players, but we are hoping to have soon more than hundreds of players playing simultaneously."

Check out the video below to see the game for yourself, and be looking for me online. I'll be raining 3's like Tim Legler in '96.

[itmsapp: 361152652]

iBlast Moki

iPhone App - Designed for iPhone, compatible with iPad
By Will on September 21st, 2009
Our rating: starstarstarstarstar :: VIRTUALLY IMPECCABLE
iBlast Moki is challenging, charming, and fun. With a full level editor and user level sharing function, the best physics game on the iPhone creates almost unlimited replay value.
Read The Full Review »

Monday Morning App HQ

Posted by Will on September 21st, 2009

Random musings of the app store

App Alluvion

This week's only news story also has the sign of the apocalypse and the apps of the week built in - handy, eh? Over a 24 hour period, 453 new games were released! What happened Apple, did someone finally wake up? This is a great disservice to developers, as it's exceedingly hard for an app to get noticed when so many other good games are released on the same day. Sure, developers can set release dates, but if they do, their app is placed on the latest releases section in iTunes according to approval date not publication date, therefore burying it beneath the first page and limiting valuable exposure. Please fix this, Apple! Anyway, enough ranting, here are some of the most notable releases this week. We'll try to have reviews for as many as we can in due time, but until then, here's a quick rundown:

Hybrid: Eternal Whisper

Gamevil's action-RPG follow-up to Zenonia certainly has great aesthetics and a nice online component, but for me so far, the story has been too intrusive and the gameplay mediocre. At $5.99, you may want to wait for our review. Upon playing more, the gameplay has proven more fun and the story's role is minimized. Recommended!

Unify

Zach Gage's first iPhone game is a very stylish Tetris variant with OpenFeint integration. Instead of blocks falling from from the top, the fall into the middle from both the left and the right, where you have to manipulate them using multi-touch controls. Match four or more of the same color to clear blocks. The game starts out slow with only black and white, but quickly becomes challenging with the addition of more colors and faster scrolling. From my time with the game, I can say it's one of the more fun puzzle games on the App Store.

Aera

This beautiful flight sim had our editor Chris in a frenzy before its release. From initial impressions, it seems the game delivers on the hype, but if you don't want to shell out the $2.99 now, Chris will have a review up very soon.

Aves
Aves contains some truly magnificent animations and entrancing binaural audio, but with its simplistic gameplay, it plays more like a tech demo. Still, if you want to see some really cool technology, it's worth the $.99 price of admission, and I'll definitely be keeping an eye out for Ghost LLC's future projects.

Above and Beyond Air Combat

Young developer Josh Rosen's followup to SciFly is a totally different beast. It's still an arcade plane flying game, but it shines with OpenFeint integration, a huge level of customization, open-world gameplay, and shiny graphics. In any normal week, this would easily earn the app of the week award.

Robocalypse - Mobile Mayhem

Robocalypse is a humorous and strong entry into the RTS genre, which is relatively weak on the App Store. Featuring a lengthy campaign and full online multiplayer, Robocalypse is a safe bet for RTS fans.

Alley Gator

Alley Gator is Glu's entry into the quick $.99 games category with accelerometer-based gameplay.

Champion Archer

From the guys who made Sparta comes a port of an addictive online flash game.

Against the Fire!

Meridian's followup to their smash hit Alive 4 Ever is a similar survival shooter but with theme of a fireman putting out water monsters.

Dungeon Hunter (pulled from the App Store)

Otherwise known as Gameloft's Diablo clone, Dungeon Hunter was said to be very impressive, but was unfortunately pulled due to a bug in the game. The game should be available for download again soon.

Castle Warriors

Castle Warriors is another nice addition to the RTS genre on the App Store. The gameplay is similar to Galcon and the graphics are very nice overall.

Super Shock Football

After App Store giants Gameloft and EA turned out full football sims, you would expect Chillingo, publisher extraordinaire to follow up with one of their own, right? Instead, developer Steamroller studios has produced a light-hearted throw back to vintage vibrating football games that is ultimately more suited to the iPhone than either Madden or NFL 2010.

Underground

This Chillingo "shmup" is very stylish but adds little to the genre gameplay-wise.

Scarecrow

Scarecrow is Ezone's take on Doodle Jump and also the latest 3rd party game to incorporate ngmoco's plus+ network.

Apps of the Week

iBlast Moki

iBlast Moki is the best puzzle game on the iPhone, period. This physics-based puzzle game contains challenging gameplay. The goal is to, using bombs and eventually other elements like balloons, get all of the mokis to the exit of the level. It sounds simple, but some of the levels are head-scratchingly devious. There is almost unlimited replay value with over 70 levels, Plus+ integration, and a full-featured level editor/sharer.

Meteor Blitz

By the same token, Meteor Blitz is the best top-down space shooter for the iPhone, surpassing even the famed Isotope. The dual-stick control scheme is incredibly fast and responsive, the graphics are simply stunning, and the gameplay is livened up by the inclusion of RPG elements and many different weapons. The game also features superlative pause and auto-save functions.

Wow, so many great games, and I'm sure I'm missing a few. Of course, I won't expect any good game releases for the next month couple with reports of month-long approval times.

Monday Morning App HQ

Posted by Will on September 15th, 2009

Random Musings of the App Store

New iTunes brings fresh App Store

Among the goings-on at the 9.9.09 Apple event was the release of iTunes 9.0 which included a redesigned App Store. To sum up the changes in one word - "clutter." It seems as if Apple has challenged themselves to fit as many app icons on one page as possible. There are some nice changes, but they are masked by the overall clutter. Top 100's are now top 200's, though looking over the lists now causes eye damage. There is now a top grossing app list, though it is hidden at the bottom of the page and used in conjunction with the top volume list making it confusing for all. Tabs at the top of iTunes are nice though the drop down App Store categories are initially hard to find. One of the new iTunes is the ability to organize iPhone app icons from iTunes. Though it's not perfect, this new feature is infinitely preferable to organizing on the iPhone itself.

Gameloft clones

Gameloft is really wearing thin on me with their clones. GTA is more of a genre now, so I was ok with Gangstar, but with their COD4 clone (Modern Combat) and Soul Caliber clone (Blades of Fury), I've had enough. These games certainly show off the iPhone as a gaming platform, but there comes a point when I just can't get excited about exact clones of existing games. These aren't rough clones either, they're almost indistinguishable. Gameloft is a talented developer, but in order to start making memorable games, they're going to have to show the creativity involved in creating games like Sway and Gomi, two indie darlings. For now though, all the upcoming Gameloft games are clones, including a Diablo clone, a Mario Kart clone, and a Halo clone.

Exciting upcoming games

In contrast to Gameloft, here are some trailers for some games I'm really excited about. Enjoy!

iBlast Moki:


In addition to clever physics-based gameplay, iBlast Moki boasts 70 levels and a fully featured in-game level editor. Gozilab, the developer, has been notified that the game could not be posted because the price was included in the App description, but this was fixed so hopefully iBlast Moki will be making an appearance on the App Store soon.

Hybrid: Eternal Whisper:


Gamevil, the developer of the famed Zenonia, has submitted their stylish action RPG to the App Store so hopefully we'll be seeing Hybrid soon.

Ravensword: the Fallen King


Crescent Moon games has estimated a submission date of September 30 for their 3D open-world adventure RPG.
Contest Winner

Well, you were all horribly wrong, but sf49lu wins the $15 gift card for being the most detailed in his wrong predictions. Congratulations, Chris will email you your winnings as soon as he stops watching football.

Apps of the Week

Sadly, there were no apps good enough to be deemed worthy of this award. Blades of Fury was lacking, Madden was disappointing, and I haven't gotten a chance to play Dexter yet. See you all next week!