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Monthly Archives: May 2011

NUTS [IPHONE] – REVIEW (76%)

Nuts is a tilt controlled arcade game released by Limbic Software.

The game puts you in control of Jake the squirrel who wishes to climb to the top of the majastic infinitree in his search for nuts.

The basics of the game, is that Jake races up the infinitree at top speed, you need to rotate the tree so Jake does not hit a branch and lose one of his three lives. Lose all of the three lives and Jake falls to the ground.

On the way up the tree Jake will collect nut coins, that can be used in the shop to help you in your next climb. Along the way Jake will also find fireball powerups, shields and extra lives.

As you make your way up the infinitree the tree can change from the green woods, to a charred wasteland and and ice zone.

The game is controlled simply by tilting left and right to turn the tree below Jake, in order to collect bonuses and dodge branches.

The graphics and sound are good, with the Jake the squirrel being nicely animated.

On the upside:

  • Fast and fun to play
  • Changing environments does add something to the game.

On the downside:

  • Lack of things to do really.
  • Very repetitive.
  • Not universal.

Overall, this is an enjoyable game to play in short doses. The ability to collect the coins to purchase temporary power ups is a nice idea, but in the end smacks of the wish to make more money. The game needs a little something that will raise it from good to excellent.

Rating: 76%

Size: 11.7 MB

Price (at time of review): £0.59

Link: Nuts!™ – Limbic Software

 
 

THE MINISTRY OF PECULIAR OCCURENCES [PODCAST] – REVIEW (86%)

The Ministry of Peculiar Occurances – Tales from the Archives is an anthology of short storys based in the steam punk world of the Ministry of Peculiar Occurances which have been created by Pip Ballantine and Tee Morris.

This podcast contains both story stories and interviews about the Ministry of Peculiar Occurances.

This is not the audio book of Phoenix Rising the first book in the Ministry of Peculiar Occurances, but stories by different authors using the same backgrounds and settings, even some characters from Phoenix Rising make an appearance from time to time.

On the upside:

  • Well read and produced
  • Great addition of the original story
  • Lots of Steam Punk fun

On the downside:

  • Interviews outnumber the short stories at present

Overall, if you like Steam Punk or love the work of Pip Ballantine and Tee Morris, then this podcast is a must have. I have found all the storys so far released to been very good and expanded the ministries activities nicely. I hope there will be more short stories soon in the feed and I await with baited breath.

Rating: 86%

Average Running Time: 30-40 minutes per episode

Price (at time of review): Free

Link: The Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences

 
 

KUNG FU PANDA 2: BE THE MASTER – REVIEW (77%)

Kung Fu Panda 2: Be The Master [will be] a selection of mini games released by THQ Inc.

The game puts you into the role of Kung Fu Panda (from the movie) as you train hard to become a master at Kung Fu.

At present the game comprises of two mini games and two mini games that are locked, but are promised to be unlocked in future updates. The two open mini games are Paws of Power and Feet of Fury.

Paws of Power, is basically a clone of Fruit Ninja, it plays in a similar way to the basic Fruit Ninja game, with Beehives instead of bombs, you can let up to three items fall from the screen without the game being over and Wooden Dolls are thrown up into the air instead of Fruit. The game is not a good or varied as the game it is based on, but apart from some minor collision detection issues is a fairly solid game.

Feet of Fury, is again another clone, this time of Doodle Jump, it has you jumping from platform to platfrom, trying to get as high as you can. You can pick up bonus items on the way to help your climb, from a tree branch to launch you, some stilts that help you jump high a limited amount of time and a chair strapped with fairworks from the original movie. On the climb you must kick any ememies, or they will send he falling off the bottom of the screen.

There are also dumplings to collect in both mini games, but to me the use of these are so far unclear, maybe to be used after the update?

The graphics and sound are very good and match the movie well.

On the upside:

  • Nice movie tie in.
  • Solid mini games

On the downside:

  • Only two mini games unlocked? Why?
  • Nothing original here, if you have the two original games, then they are better than this one.

Overall, this is a solid tie in to the movie for kids looking for a Kung Fu Panda game. The game is well programmed and if it was totally original would be a game you could be very happy with at the price. All I can hope that the upgrade when it comes adds more the game. At least the price is only £0.59, so will not break the bank, and if you do not own the games listed above you should be happy with the game so far.

Rating: 77%

Size: 18.2 MB

Price (at time of review): £0.59

Link: Kung Fu Panda 2: Be The Master – THQ Inc.

 
 

IOS 5 – WHICH DEVICES WILL BE SUPPORTED? [SOAPBOX]

Which WWDC only a week away it seem certain that Mac OS X Lion and iOS 5 will be shown.

iOS 5 has been kept underwraps by Apple and the press have been a buzz with what will be added in this addition, but only a few as asking which of the devices will be supported?

It seems that iOS will unify the Verizon phone iOS with the standard releases.

It is of course certain that the iPad 2, the latest iPod Touch and the iPhone 4 will support all the iOS 5 features, but want of the older devices, will they been fully featured?

The iPad seems likely, other than any camera enhancements of course.

The iPhone 3GS and the 3rd Gen iPod Touch are a bit more unlikely, at best they will be able to run iOS 5, but it is almost certain that some features will be disabled on these devices. There is always the risk that Apple will not even allow them to be upgraded to iOS5.

This is a concern to me, as my current phone is a iPhone 3GS, and I was going to skip the iPhone 4 (for several reasons) and go onto the iPhone 5. However, unless there is a shock announcement at WWDC, there is not going to be a new iPhone until August or September. At least I have the lastest iPod Touch for small screen testing of iOS if the iPhone 3GS is not supported.

It looks likely that none of the other devices will have any iOS 5 support.

Will iOS 5 be enough to make us upgrade none supported devices, for that we will have to wait and see.

 
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Posted by on May 30, 2011 in Article, Soapbox

 

TO-FU: THE TRIALS OF CHI [IPHONE] – REVIEW (87%)

To-Fu: The Trials of Chi is a platform puzzle game released by HotGen Ltd.

The idea behind the game is that To-Fu needs to pass the one hundred trials in order to become the “Master of Chi”

To-Fu is extremely stretchy and flys in a direct line from where he is launched. He makes his way through the levels by launching from one platform to the next in order to explore and find the exit (a fortune cookie). There are one hundred levels to explore, and something new added almost every level or so.

On his way through the trials To-Fu, encounters spikes, teleporters, switches and lasers. There are also different floors like glass, steel, wooden and crumbling stone. As you travel through the levels you collect Chi.

The game is controlled by dragging To-Fu to his limits and then let go to launch him catapult style.

At the end of each level you have the chance to get three awards – completing the level, completing in the minimum jumps set and collecting all the chi on the way.

The graphics are generally good with To-Fu silhouetted when infront of windows. The music and sound are good with a not quiet oriential style.

On the upside:

  • Fun and addictive platform based puzzle game.
  • Lots of new things added as you progress

On the downside:

  • Not a universal app, so iPad version need to be purchased seperately.
  • Some levels need to be replayed as it is impossible to get all the awards on the first try.

Overall, this is an excellent and addictive game. With the EA and Gameloft sales it has not really got to the chart position it deserved, so has been flying under the radar, however, word of mouth is just getting into the top ten now. It is not one hundred percent original, but at £0.59 it is well worth a down, especially with one hundred levels right off the bat.

Rating: 87%

Size: 10.2 MB

Price (at time of review): £0.59

Link: To-Fu: The Trials of Chi – HotGen Ltd.