RSS

Category Archives: Game – Puzzle

NON FLYING SOLDIERS [IOS] – REVIEW (78%)

Non Flying Soldiers is an obstacle course game released by Chillingo Ltd.

“Let loose the…budgies of war? Take your squad of super squawking soldiers to the limit. Featuring a unique blend of humor, puzzling gameplay, and action, Non Flying Soldiers hits the target in every way possible. “

Non Flying Soldiers give you command of several budgies who need to complete a series of obstacle courses, all filled with a number of deadly traps and obstacles.

You have no direct control over the squad of budgies, your control comes from the items that you can place along the course in order to direct the budgies or make them leap, run or block their progress.

This does have the feeling of a top down lemmings game.

The game offers a campaign that is split into 3 campaigns. Each campaign has 15 levels, for a total of 45 levels at release. The levels are fairly short and most of the time taken on a level will be the setting up of the items.

The levels are presented as two boxes with a course between them. The budgies are locked in the start box until you unleash them. They need to get to the finishing box without dying on the way.

Dangers such as spiked pits, electric fences, rings of fire and oily ground, as well as other are between you and your goal. There are three medals to collect in each level, and you may need to jump through a ring of fire to get some of them.

The developers have also placed a few coins in the game, that will allow you to play a basic “Space Harrier” style game. This is a nice addition, but the game is very basic and I got to level 23 on my first play and found it a little dull.

The game is control by dragging items into the play area. I found it strange that rotation was not done by two fingers, but rather the outer ring around the item. Maybe this is in readiness for a desktop release at a future date.

The graphics and sound are both good. The budgies are cute enough.

On the upside:

  • Puzzles are generally very well designed.
  • Interesting WW2 styling.

On the downside:

  • Lacks a little in the engagement.
  • Loading times are long, and often annoying skippable movies are added, but if you skip you end up looking at a loading screen anyway.

Overall, this is an enjoyable game for those who like a more strategic style of lemming style games. The top down view does not always help with the planning as lots of scrolling is required to look at the whole level. This application was not really my cup of tea, but I know others who will like it. 

Rating: 78%

Size: 128 MB

Price (at time of review): £0.69

Link: Non Flying Soldiers – Chillingo Ltd

 
 

THIS COULD HURT [IOS] – REVIEW (70%)

This Could Hurt is a puzzle game released by Chillingo Ltd.

“You are an Oakguard apprentice. One day you will be a fully fledged Oakguard, charged with protecting the Great Oak—the tree that gives life and power to your Village. But first you must pass the Path of Pain.”

The idea behind the game is your play a young man, who needs to run through a series of “Death Traps”, first to pass the test, and then to try and save the Great Oak.

The game offers 40 levels in all, with four areas with 10 levels in each. You need to complete all the levels in an area to be able to move onto the next.

The levels are presented in a 3D maze environment with paths crossing above and below. You will sometimes run behind pillars and areas, but you are in no real danger while this takes place. You need to run on foot from the start of the level to the exit hole.

The gameplay selected for this game is to have your character automatically run and climb along the set path in the level, your only real control of the character is you can make him stop by holding the screen and start again by letting go of the screen. There are also power ups that can be purchase in-game which you can active from one screen buttons.

The first levels are easy enough, you can in-fact run the entire level without taking an active role at all in controlling the character, he will be hurt, which can be avoided by stopping him, but he does have enough health to survive all the traps. In later levels there are more traps and they do not to be avoided to survive the level.

The traps are a mix of guns, spikes, flames, trap doors, springs and moving blocks/platforms.

The moving blocks and platforms are the biggest issue of the game, they require you to stop on the them, and start to move off them. Is means that timing is required, but into the mix things like spikes in front of them that can slow your run onto them can mean you falling from the ledge you are on.

On level 1-9, I had to play the level over a dozen times to complete it, as timing is vital, as if you stop to long at the end of the level you are thrown back by springs etc. I found the level very annoying, and almost gave up the review, however, coming back to it in the morning I did manage to get past it.

The sounds and graphics are both very good, with a nice graphical style.

The in-app purchases allow you to get acorns to buy powerups, they can be gathered in the game, so the in-apps are not vital.

On the upside:

  • Very nice presentation.
  • Simple gameplay.

On the downside:

  • Some levels are very tricky and you cannot skip them.
  • Miss a tap to stop the character, and you will need to play for a minute or two again to get them to the same place again.

Overall, this is a good puzzle game. However, the limitations of the stop and go movement leads to annoying moments and having to reply the levels again, even though you know how to get past the traps that you can see. If you like simple gameplay and split second timing, you will enjoy this one, if not, you will more than likely hate this game.

Rating: 70%

Size: 64.7 MB

Price (at time of review): £0.69

Link: This Could Hurt – Chillingo Ltd

 
 

PICROSS [TOUCHPAD] – REVIEW (78%)

Picross is a box filling puzzle game released by penduinbits.

“Picross is a game in which solving a puzzle creates a picture. Use the clues at the top and side to determine which blocks to fill in! This game includes 384 original 8×8 Picross puzzles, and a builder with which you can create your own puzzles.”

The ideas of this game is to simply play and complete the puzzles that are on offer.

Gameplay wise, you are given an 8 by 8 blank grid with numbers around the top and left of the grid. From these numbers you need to guess which blocks to fill in, if a 0 or 8 is shown on a line it is clear that you either need to leave it blank (0) or fill in it (8). It will take a little time to get use to how the other numbers work (like a 2 2 will be four blocks on the line with a 2 two blocks), but you should hopefully work it all out. If you get all the blocks in the correct places you will have drawn an image.

When you solve a puzzle you will be shown a smaller version of the grid with the name of the image. Most of the images are fine, but a few leave you feeling “Really, that was meant to be a ….”

As for the longevity of the game, there are 384 8×8 puzzles available to play and you can even create your own puzzles. Therefore, it will take you a long time to even get close to finishing this game.

As far as difficulty went I found some of the easy puzzles hard and the hard puzzles easy, so I think for me as least the difficulty really depends on your luck and judgement.

If you are really having problems with the puzzles, there is an option to switch on “clue match highlighting”, this will not solve the puzzles for you, but highlight green at the edges when you have the right number of blocks on that line, so you can see if a line is missing a block etc.

The creation tool is easy to use and as long as you remember to apply a design to the save grid work fine, but the saving was not as immediately as clear as it could have been.

The game is controlled by tapping the boxes of the grid to change the block between black and grey, to form your final picture.

The graphics are very simple and there is no sound or music.

On the upside:

  • Well designed puzzles.
  • Lots of levels to play through.

On the downside:

  • Repetitive gameplay.
  • Lack of polish (no sound etc)

Overall, this is a good puzzle game. If you enjoy these types of puzzles the application will keep you going for days. I am not a big fan of these games, but I did find myself playing it a fair bit. With a bit more polish this could be a great little application, but as it stands it is solid enough and the effect has been put into the puzzles and that is were it counts. 

Rating: 78%

Size: 5.9 MB

Price (at time of review): £0.79

Link: Picross – penduinbits

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on May 7, 2012 in Game - Puzzle, Reviews, Touchpad, webOS

 

NEVERBALL [TOUCHPAD] – REVIEW (68%)

Neverball is a 3D ball rolling game released by Studio 3D.

“Tilt the floor to roll a ball through an obstacle course before time runs out. Neverball is part puzzle game, part action game, and entirely a test of skill.”

The idea behind the game is that you need to guide the ball to the target as quickly as possible, but making sure you collect enough coins on the way to reach your goal and therefore activate the target so you can exit the level.

The basics of the game is to move the ball around the platform areas of the map. In the easy starting levels you have barriers stopping you from falling off the side and no real dangerous areas. The only thing you are up against is the time limit. As you progress, the barriers are removed, more holes are added and things like lifts are added into the mix.

Neverball offers lots of levels to play, with well over 120 levels available at time of release.

The game is controlled by touching the screen to tilt the maze around you allowing the ball to roll in that direction. Annoyingly, there appears to be no on-screen button to pause the game or return to the main menu etc.

The graphics and sound are good, the areas and balls are nicely drawn in 3D.

On the upside:

  • Nicely Design Levels

On the downside:

  • The touch controls are not the greatest even after tweaking the sensitivity. Tilt controls would have made the game far more playable.
  • Lazy port with references to mouse and keyboard shortcuts, like press Esc to return to the menu.
  • Time limits can be tough.

Overall, this is a nicely designed game, but suffers from being a lazy touch screen port. It tilt controls had been used or even giving access to the keyboard short cuts on the touch screen could have improved this game. I hope the developers will make use of the Touchpads abilities in a future update. If you can get the hang of the controls the game does offer a lot to do. However, younger kids will give up before they get any real enjoyment from the game.

Rating: 68%

Size: 136.2 MB

Price (at time of review): £0.79

Link: Neverball – Studio 3D

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on April 28, 2012 in Game - Puzzle, Reviews, Touchpad, webOS

 

ODDBLOB FOR TOUCHPAD – REVIEW (79%)

OddBlob for Touchpad is a puzzle game released by Astraware Limited.

“Meet OddBlob: the groovy clay dude who loves to bounce! Help OddBlob bound across the squishy maze to grab bonuses, chomp fruit, and win points as quickly as he can as the chasing tiles disappear behind. Watch out for bounce and double bounce tiles that can help you reach your goal or throw you through the gaps to impending peril below!”

The idea behind the game move OddBlob around a maze of platforms collecting food were possible to reach safety on the other side of the maze. Within the maze. there are special tiles that can force Oddblob to move, jump or block his movement. There are also tiles that collapse after you have stood on it once.

There is a simple tutorial that takes you through the basics of how to move and how the various tiles work.

Once this is done you can select to play in either Panic mode and Strategy mode.

Panic mode, is more action based, with you racing through the area as the platforms collapse behind you at an alarming rate. Your reactions and quick thinking are tested as you rapidly collect what you can in your race to safety.

Strategy mode, is slower with platforms collapsing slowly, but it gives you much more time to plan your movements and to gather as much as possible as you move through the maze.

The gameplay is simple, with you looking at that tiles around you and you can jump one block in one of eight directions. As you progress in the levels the maze areas become bigger more holes and blocks appear on the map and the rather of collapse behind you slowly increases. By level 16, especially on Panic mode, the floor is collapsing almost as fast as you can move.

There is also a little mini game if you collect a cake, where you are given a screen filled with movement tiles, a few pieces of cake and a few holes. You need to work out which direction to move to be pushed by the tiles to a piece of cake, rather than falling to your doom.

The game is controlled by tapping in the direction that you wish to move.

The sounds and graphics are both very good, the claymation is very good.

On the upside:

  • Unique graphical style.
  • Fun gameplay tailored to action or strategy.

On the downside:

  • Overlap of text when awards are show after the game.
  • Difficulty levels change the starting level rather than being able to make it easier for younger kids.

Overall, this is a nice mix between puzzle and action game. With fun gameplay and nice graphics it draws you into the game. My young daughter loved the look of the game, but it was fairly difficult for her to play. I would have liked some tweaking to the difficulty levels. This game is been out of iOS for a long time now, but this is a solid port that works well on the Touchpad. It is well worth a look if you like your action/puzzle games.

Rating: 79%

Size: 15.1 MB

Price (at time of review): £1.59

Link: OddBlob for Touchpad – Astraware Limited

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on April 27, 2012 in Game - Puzzle, Reviews, Touchpad, webOS