Casual

February Games Roundup – part 2 of 2

Flipt – Inside out upside down puzzle madness.

fliptFlipt takes the spatial puzzle to the extreme, and lets you use all you mental rotational objects skill. The aim of the game is to get the protagonist to the exit. The controls of the character are all touch based, but rotating the iPhone/iPod Touch does the important aspect of flipping the game world. I would love to be able to play Flipt without having to constantly flip the phone around. Using headphones makes it a real pain in the backside. Furthermore I get more confused than necessary when I loose view of the game for that short moment it takes to flip it. As it is a spatial puzzler I would like to see what differences occur when the game inverts itself. The puzzles are quite hard, and even though there are only 20 of them it takes hours to beat them. Unlockable time trials, and characters cater for some extra gamelife alongside the high score list. The graphics are cool with a bright shine to them. The setting is urban underground, and the music suits it quite well. Flipt is among the better spatial puzzlers I have tried for the iPhone when it comes to inspiring and challenging levels. With more control options the game could even rival the best: :Shift:.

Flipt $0.99
Version: 1.03
Seller: GarageGames

Doppelgänger – A quick round of memory.

doppelIn Doppelgänger you have to go back to your childhood, and get back that focus and concentration you had. Before girlfriends, mortgages, kids, school and the general worries of adulthood you had the possibility to focus 100%. In Doppelgänger you have to match pairs of cards. With a limited number of misses the game demands quite a lot from your mental ability to memorize where that ice-cream was. There is a lot of variation to the objects you get to match, and some are harder than others. For me it is easy to match candy, furniture and similar items. It is much harder to get weather, dominoes and playing cards correct. It is fun to play Doppelgänger for a little while, but I tend to get tired after a couple of rounds. It takes quite a lot of concentration to reach a good score worthy to send to the online leaderboard. The presentation is quite straightforward with a brain as background. No music but instead sound effects that increase as you progress. I don’t know if it is intentional but I do get a sort of Radio Flare feeling as I play. A major selling point is the quick load time getting you into the game within five seconds. For those who love to play memory/pairs and think you still have the ability to focus sufficiently.

Doppelgänger $0.99
Version: 1.0
Seller: Tilman Reiff

Alien vs Stickman – Killed by snot, what a way to go.

aliensI have a great sense of potty humour, but I want it to be a little less blatant than that found in Alien vs Stickman. In Alien vs Stickman you get a barricade/castle defence game where you defend large blubber of an alien using snot. Drag and release the snot to obliterate the stickmen attacking your pink creature. The alien race is actually called Snotrons… For 10-15 minutes it is actually quite fun obliterating stickmen using the snot cannons. Soon it becomes tedious though, and not even new weapons and upgrades can save it. Castle defence games can be quite fun, but it is always a balance between a fun game and something that feels like a chore. I found it a bit hard to aim, and fire with the same amount of force repeated times. Easy stickmen could easily stand around bashing my Snotron for several seconds as the snot bounced around them. The sound effects also become quite annoying, but at least the ambient cute marching music is good. The game comes with 15 levels, 3 levels of difficulty and Openfeint integration. If you are into castle defence games, and wants something a bit different definitely give the lite version a go. For most players the game will get boring quickly, and some will even feel repulsed by the theme of the game.

Alien vs Stickman $0.99
Version: 1.0
Seller: yang chisheng
Aliens vs Stickman Lite

Box n’ Bug – Box stacking bugs.

boxBehind the somewhat peculiar title is a quite easy to describe game. You might have associated the title to box moving games such as Sokoban but alas this is a stacking game in the vein of Tower Bloxx from Digital Chocolate. You get a spider dropping boxes onto a large stack trying to get as high as possible. The spider swings back and forth, and you simply tap when you want a box dropped. The physics of the game is really good, and if you time the drop wrongly there are consequences. If too many boxes are lost the game is over. A cute ladybug illustrates the height you have reached, and it is this attention to detail that makes the game really enjoyable. The backgrounds are beautiful renditions of leaves, trees and mushrooms. All the boxes are neatly packed parcels of food stacked for the winter. To help you there are two power-ups: web stabilising the boxes together and bomb letting you get rid of boxes that have been misplaced. Openfeint integration brings achievements and online leaderboards. The music is ok soft instrumental rock tunes with a cute amateur feel to it. The sound effects are quite annoying, especially the high-pitched sound when you loose a box. Overall though I can highly recommend Box n’ Bug as a nice casual game that is easy to pick up and play.

Box n’ Bug $0.99
Version: 1.1
Seller: 99ft Jetpack
Box n’ Bug Lite

Bee Spelled – Cute battle of words.
beeAnother word game, oh man there are a lot of them around these days. Bee Spelled is a word game where you have to create words using a grid of 16 letters. The letters don’t have to be connected when you create a word. You play as the Spelling Bee who seems to have become quite unpopular. The game is a turn-based duel where you have to kill the opponent before you get to be a dead bee. Cats and robots each take their turns trying to get the better of you. Thankfully there are powerups in the shape of coloured letters. Red letters give a burn damage effect, blue freezes for one turn and green heals your bee. Multipliers give higher scores, and you can easily beat an enemy if you have a strategy for the turns to come. There is only sparse menu music, but the sound effects are quite good. The graphics are not far from those found in Bookworm, and the different animations are fun and nicely done. Online leaderboards and achievements through Openfeint give the high score game a longer life. I found it really addictive to play a word game as short 30-second duels. At a buck I definitely think that Bee Spelled is a worthy addition to your word game collection.

Bee Spelled $0.99
Version: 1.1.1
Seller: The Dumpling Dimension
Bee Spelled Lite

3D Maze – A maze game leaving you feeling lost.
mazeSome games are more tech demos than actual games, and 3D Maze is one of those. You get a choice of size of maze, and then it is all about finding the exit in the shortest time possible. Using a virtual joystick in the lower left corner does movement. I found the controls responsive. The speed is quite sluggish, and when I get lost it feels like a real bore backtracking the maze. Graphics of the walls and floor is ok but there is a definite lack of textures, and no objects to be seen. There is no sound at all, but at least you can play your own stuff. Openfeint leaderboards for the different sized mazes. To me it is definitely not worth getting 3D Maze as there is little gameplay to be found within the title. It is as uninspired as the title itself, and even finding it in the App Store is hard. Skip this one, even as a free title it would be a waste of time.

3D Maze $0.99
Version: 1.0.1
Seller: South East Games

Virus Laboratory – Loaded with virus killing content.

virusVirus Laboratory is a block-matching puzzler where you have to remove the viruses before they fill up the screen. Viruses of the same colour group together, and are removed as a group by tapping them. It is very easy to get into Virus Laboratory, but it is hard to master using multitouch. There are three game modes: Arcade mode where you beat ever harder levels, Puzzle mode where you have to get rid of all viruses using a limited number of taps, and Endless mode letting you play for the highest score you can achieve. Different medicines can be deployed, and as you progress the more involved the gameplay becomes. The presentation is bright and cute, and somewhat reminds me of the Simpsons when it comes to the colour palette. Minimal techno music, and suitable sound effects give the game some extra polish. It has Openfeint integration for achievements and online high scores. Virus Laboratory is definitely worth the $0.99 asking price.
Virus Laboratory $0.99
Version: 1.1.0
Seller: Hong Fai Wong
Virus Laboratory Lite

Flaboo! – Give some love to the Fat Chick!

flabooFlaboo! is a Doodle Jump kind of game taking casual to the extreme. You get to play as Fat Chick, and the aim of the game is to reach as high as possible in the time available. To travel upwards you have to flap Fat Chicks small wings. Tapping the screen does this, and it has to be timed to when Fat Chick hit a cloud. Tilting adds a bit of control left and right. Some clouds have locks that you have to unlock by picking up keys. This gives you powerups such as coffee letting you flap your wings intensely. Some clouds are dark, and hitting one makes you loose all your keys. Other clouds encase Fat Chick in a bubble that is broken by tapping on it. It is quite fun, and if you are a fan of Doodle Jump you will definitely enjoy the antics of Fat Chick. The graphics are cute, bright and easy on the eyes. Music is ambient chillout letting you drift off into the world of Flaboo! The game has Openfeint integration for achievements. Flaboo! is a definite timewaster with a lot of different powerups and obstacles. I like having the timer ticking down as it makes the game easier to predict, and more hectic. Getting to a checkpoint or finding extra time on a cloud in frenzy during the last seconds is truly fun. I can definitely recommend Flaboo! even though it is limited to only one game mode

Flaboo $0.99
Version: 1.2.1
Seller: Fluttermind Ltd.
Flaboo Lite

Clay Hunt – Realistic clay shooter.

img_0483I have been a hunter for the last 15 years, and I really enjoy the combination of weapons, coffee and shooting things in the woods. What beats the actual hunt in sheer adrenaline for me is using my old Russian side by side shooting clay pigeons. In Clay Hunt all you do is hunting clay pigeons, and the focus is on getting the experience as close to the real thing as possible on a small screen. Touching the screen lets you pull, and the clay pigeons are launched. Multitouch lets you touch, and drag the shotgun around while a second finger lets you shoot by tapping the screen. It is really intuitive, and anyone can get into shooting these orange pigeons. Clay Hunt is quite limited, as all you get to do is shoot clay pigeons. There are different levels of difficulty determining the speed, and variation to trajectory of the clay pigeons. The backgrounds look good, but are too few in my opinion. The rifles also have a nice realistic finish to them. Some basic aspects of the game are missing such as high scores, and statistics. In the current version the game is more of a tech demo than a game. Other things needed to get the attention of a larger audience are customization, missions and online functionality. In the current version I can only recommend Clay Hunt to those only interested in shooting clay pigeons.

Clay Hunt $0.99
Version: 1.2
Seller: Aleksi Rantonen


Bloxomo² – Tetris in four directions.
img_0489Some games are trying hard to be unique, and at times even too hard. Bloxomo² is such a game that tries to reinvent a classic by taking it to the extreme. Instead of clearing lines you clear squares in the middle of the screen. The game starts with just a grey square in the middle, and you build coloured squares around it. Tetris shapes fall from all four directions, and the game is over if it fills up in any direction. Initially the game is quite confusing but after a couple of tries the puzzle elements start falling into place. The controls stay confusing though with a combination of two available controls at the same time. There are buttons at the bottom of the screen letting you steer and rotate the shapes. The buttons are really small though, and it is easy to miss the one you aim for. At the same time you also get touch controls on the screen letting you control the shapes. What happens is that if you control by means of the buttons and go too far above them you start using the screen controls. If you try using only the taps and swipes of the touch screen it is harder to get the shapes to rotate the way you want them to. Then you have to use the rotate shape buttons of the other control scheme. This confusion to the controls breaks the game for me once it starts getting hectic. Presentation is quite poor both when it comes to graphics and sound. There is no music in the game, and you always get the status bar at the top. Bloxomo² feels half-baked, and even with both speed and challenge levels I can’t recommend it. At times ambition doesn’t spell success, and that is definitely true in the case of Bloxomo².

Bloxomo² $1.99
Version:
Seller:
Bloxomo² Lite

Space Box – Ever wondered where your lost parcel is?
img_0488In space no one knows where your parcel is, and at times it is the same with the Swedish postal service. Where is that box they sent me? No tracking number equals no way to find it. Perhaps one of my parcels is the one starring in Space Box. Space Box is a physics platform puzzler in the vein of the excellent iBlast Moki. You have to move the box by hurling it through space. Tap, and drag a blue arrow from the box indicating trajectory and power. Then tap the blue icon on the bottom right corner to launch. Moving like this you have to get the box to the end platform. So far it sounds ok, but it isn’t ok. I found the game really tedious and slow due to the fact that the box moves quite short distances. Furthermore if you land too close to an obstacle you have to hurl it backwards to get an angle to proceed. The longer levels with moving platforms takes so much time with the box moving back and forth. The combination of poor gameplay, boring level designs and extremely bad presentation turn Space Box into dud of the month. I see no reason to play this, and I can’t even recommend you to spend time downloading the free lite version. Let this parcel stay in space, the contents have already been manhandled and broken.

Space Box $0.99
Version: 1.0
Seller: Tom Graczyk
Space Box Lite

White Lines – Ultimate pass n’ play challenger?
A simple idea done in an uncompromising manner can turn into a really neat product. White Lines is such a product where you take one basic idea, and run all the way with it. You get to see a pattern of white lines shown quickly, and then you have to draw to replicate the pattern. Simple as that but it is addictive, and perfect if you want to play a quick game against a friend. It takes about 5 seconds to grasp the game, and 10 seconds to get hooked. The game is really good at interpreting your lines, and lenient in the judging. There are five levels of difficulty, and you progress through them as you complete them. You can start at the higher levels of difficulty right away if you want to as well. Concentration, and a functioning short-term memory is definitely needed to get good at White Lines. It lacks online functionality, and achievements. In the current version it is only a bare bones local high score game without even the ability to put your name on the list. I hope it will be updated to turn it into a full-fledged game without loosing the charm and simplicity. The clean black and white minimal presentation along with the ambient electronica makes it a pleasant experience to play White Lines. To get a feel for it I linked to the hilarious street test done by the developer. I will keep White Lines alongside Drawrace as my local multiplayer games of choice.

White Lines $0.99
Version: 1.0
Seller: Kyle T. Webster Inc.

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  • FirenzeGirl

    White Lines surprised me, too. I thought the simplicity of the game might make the game too easy or one-dimensional. It was totally wrong; the simplicity and focus of the game make it all the more engaging and addictive. Yes to pass and play.

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