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Go Home Dinosaurs Review

Posted by Rob Rich on May 13th, 2013
iPad App - Designed for iPad

Developer: Fire Hose Games
Price: $4.99
Version: 1.0
App Reviewed on: iPad 3
Graphics / Sound Rating: starstarstarstarblankstar
User Interface Rating: starstarstarstarhalfstar
Gameplay Rating: starstarstarstarhalfstar
Re-use / Replay Value Rating: starstarstarstarblankstar


Having a barbeque can often be tricky. Not only is it important to stockpile enough food and beverages, there's also the matter of actually preparing it all. And then there are the pests. Flies and mosquitoes are irritating enough, but Go Home Dinosaurs takes it to the next level with Pteranodons, T-Rexes, and a whole menagerie of other Jurassic (and Cretaceous, and Triassic, and so on) party crashers.

I could try to summarize Go Home Dinosaurs as a tower defense game, and to an extent that's accurate, but there's a bit more to it than that. Yes players have to construct automated defenses and attempt to fend off the dino hordes using limited resources, and yes the nuisances follow a set path, but terrain and character placement is also a major factor. First off, players are in control of a sort of lead gopher. He chucks rocks for an okay amount of damage and has some good range, but his best function is gathering coconuts that are needed to build stuff. Once enough have been collected it's then a matter of dragging a card - one of several pre-selected at the start of the level from a library, a-la Plants Vs. Zombies - onto the field. The catch is that each structure has a specific shape, not unlike Tetris pieces. It both allows from some pretty devastating combos when two complimentary bits of ordinance are placed near each other, and forces players to change up their strategy since some levels simply will not accommodate certain choices.

I found virtually every one of Go Home Dinosaurs' quirky hybridized elements to be fantastic. Having direct control over that one gopher leads to some exciting moments spent bouncing between coconut collecting and doing direct damage. The resource collection and card management also do a fantastic job of keeping players from relying on a single strategy and requires that they really pay attention to the terrain. And I absolutely love how the puzzle-like structure placement feeds in to the terrain strategy.

The only thing about Go Home Dinosaurs that bugs me is the shop. It's possible to collect lots of coins during most of the levels, then turn around and spend them to unlock temporary power-ups that can be equipped and used much like regular defense cards, but I never really used them much. They just feel like a pointless option. Not that there's anything wrong with giving players a choice to develop strategies around these items if they'd like, but for me it just felt unnecessary.

Going in to Go Home Dinosaurs I was half-expecting a cute but typical tower defense game. Turns out it's anything but. Okay, it's still cute, but it's far beyond typical. It's also well worth checking out.

Pixel Kingdom Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
By Rob Rich on April 12th, 2013
Our rating: starstarstarstarhalfstar :: LANE CHANGER
It's not necessarily the most complex or grueling lane-defense strategy game but Pixel Kingdom does fun really, really well.
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Magic Craft: The Hero of Fantasy Kingdom Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
By Rob Rich on March 19th, 2013
Our rating: starstarstarstarblankstar :: FRUGAL DEFENSE FORCE
What could have otherwise been a rather typical tower defense game actually feels rather unique thanks to the in-game economy.
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Block Fortress Review

By Rob Rich on March 11th, 2013
Oh, Foursaken Media, will you ever release something that *isn't* great?
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Fury of the Gods Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
By Rob Rich on March 7th, 2013
Our rating: starstarstarstarblankstar :: SMITE THEM ALL
It's not nice to fool Mother Nature, but it's extremely unwise to launch an assault against The Olympians.
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Heroes and Castles Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
By Rob Rich on January 22nd, 2013
Our rating: starstarstarstarhalfstar :: NONE SHALL PASS!
It's hard *not* to have a good time with Foursaken Media's latest third-person castle defense extravaganza.
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Wrath of Cheese Review

Posted by Rob Rich on December 17th, 2012
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad

Developer: Common Extract
Price: $3.99
Version: 1.0
App Reviewed on: iPad 3

Graphics / Sound Rating: starstarstarhalfstarblankstar
User Interface Rating: starstarstarstarblankstar
Gameplay Rating: starstarstarhalfstarblankstar
Re-use / Replay Value Rating: starstarstarstarblankstar


Behold the power of cheese. Everyone probably thought those commercials were cute, but they speak of a dark truth. Cheese is indeed powerful, but it’s almost too much to be contained. It isn’t just able to train humans or tantalize Santa Claus; it can start all out wars.

Some poor soul pilfered some cheese, and an entire army has been dispatched to reclaim it. Players must guide their soldiers through over twenty levels of castle defending goodness. As with other games in the genre, both forces occupy opposing ends of the screen and must overwhelm the other in an attempt to smash up their base. Cash required to summon units builds up steadily over time, and occasionally can be collected from the base/shrine in a large sum for some much-needed assistance. Magic spells that can be upgraded with skill points earned through victory can heal or hurt as well. What really sets Wrath of Cheese apart from the majority is the ability to place units anywhere, even right next to the enemy base, for a cost.

It’s interesting to note just how refreshing the ability to place soldiers anywhere on the field can be. It changes the formula up quite a bit while still maintaining a fair bit of balance by requiring more cash for more distance from the home base. In other words it’s not easily exploited but can be useful under the right circumstances. Of course the enemy can do this as well, so it’s important to save up a little cash just in case they launch a sneak attack (i.e. drop a bunch of units close to the player’s base). And believe me, they will.

Although I think dialing back the metrics of this placement mechanic wouldn’t be a bad idea. It’s just that placing a unit near the base can range in cost by almost 100 gold depending on how close to the veeeeeeeeery edge of the screen they are. I understand that those few feet can make a difference, but I feel like some kind of alternative would be nice. It’s also unfortunate that a lack of planning, thus leaving one open to a sneak attack, often means the difference between winning and losing. It’s fair to give players a challenge but sometimes these cheap shots can be virtually impossible to come back from.

Wrath of Cheese is a castle defense game that mixes things up a bit to great effect, for the most part. It could use a little bit more balancing in places but it’s still a quality time waster. One with a rather impressive soundtrack, no less.

Bloons TD 5 Review

iPhone App - Designed for iPhone, compatible with iPad
By Carter Dotson on November 21st, 2012
Our rating: starstarstarstarhalfstar :: ALL THE TOWERS
What is Bloons TD 5? Why, it's possibly the most hectic traditional tower defense game available on the App Store. And it also has monkeys.
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Arel Wars 2 Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
By Carter Dotson on October 29th, 2012
Our rating: starstarstarblankstarblankstar :: WAR CHANGES SLIGHTLY
Arel Wars 2 changes a few things, but largely is an unsatisfying strategy game that just clamors for money in exchange for success.
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Blade Guardian Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
By Rob Rich on October 12th, 2012
Our rating: starstarstarhalfstarblankstar :: FEELS A BIT EMPTY
Tossing autonomous super-units into the tower defense genre is a cool idea, but one clever concept doesn't make up for a bland game.
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Goal Defense Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
By Rob Rich on July 20th, 2012
Our rating: starstarstarstarblankstar :: GOAL-DUNK-IN ONE!
This mash-up of sports and tower defense might not always play fair, but it plays fun.
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Alone at War 2 Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
By Kalle MacDonald on July 16th, 2012
Our rating: starstarstarblankstarblankstar :: LACKING
While Alone at War 2 may follow the trend of many other defense games, it fails to provide.
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Moleheart Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
By Rob Rich on July 9th, 2012
Our rating: starstarstarhalfstarblankstar :: ALL ABOUT THE MOLES
Moleheart won't win over anyone with a distaste for defense games, but it's bound to please genre fans.
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Gibs N Glory Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
By Carter Dotson on July 5th, 2012
Our rating: starstarstarblankstarblankstar :: INGLORIOUS
Gibs N Glory is a game that combines the encroaching forces and soldier characters of Trenches with the physics gameplay of Angry Birds.
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Boom Brigade 2 Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
By Rob Rich on June 29th, 2012
Our rating: starstarstarstarblankstar :: BOOM
This particular infestation is going to require a bit more than a rolled up newspaper and some glue traps.
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