Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Final Thoughts - Kingdom Rush [Android]

Title: Kingdom Rush
Genre: Tower Defense
Developer: Ironhide Game Studio
Publisher: Armor Games
Release Date: 2011
Platform played on: Android Phone [Samsung Galaxy S7]
Available on: Android, iOS, Windows PC
Completion Status: 90%
Trophy Status: N/A

Kingdom Rush is one of the top tower defense games for mobile and I think it is for good reason. Originally it was a paid game, however, now that the company has a few of these games available, they have changed the payment model for the first game (Kingdom Rush) to be free-to-play with mobile ads for revenue. I assume the change has to do with how old it is by now and they were not making much money off of it through paid sales.

Kingdom Rush is a tower defense game, in these types of games, you fight enemies that come in waves and you need to place static defense along the path that the enemy waves walk down and you hope to defeat everything before it reaches the end. If the enemy reaches the end, you lose life and when you run out of life, you lose. You begin with a set amount of currency and you gain more by beating enemies as well as clearing waves. With the currency, you can place new towers, as well as upgrade them. Each tower does a certain thing, so it is good to try and experiment with the towers to see what works best for you.

The graphics are nice and from what I remember, the music is okay too (I tend to turn off all music for all mobile games I play). There are several basic towers as well as specialized towers as well that have branching paths once you reach its maximum level. Also, you command hero units that can turn the tide of battle in the event that you have bad tower placement or types on the field.

I really enjoyed this game and I am glad that they were able to make two successful sequels to this (Origins and Frontier) and I can easily suggest that you try this one since it is free and try the other ones as well if you like this one since they are the same formula, but they change it enough that it stays fresh with new towers and enemies.

Come back next Wednesday for my Final Thoughts on Danganronpa 2 for PlayStation Vita.

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Final Thoughts - Tap Adventure [Android]

Title: Tap Adventure
Genre: Tap-a-thon
Developer: Kongregate
Publisher: Kongregate
Release Date: December 12, 2015
Platform played on: Android Phone [Samsung Galaxy S7]
Available on: Android, iOS
Completion Status: Never-ending
Trophy Status: N/A

Tap Adventure, I call these types of games tap-a-thons for mobile platforms. The goal is simple, whenever you tap, you deal damage, and... that's all you need to know.

With each tap, you do damage to the enemies on the screen at the time, when they die, you get coins which you are use to either upgrade your own damage, recruit new minions, or upgrade your minions. You do this until, well, the end, which I haven't reached yet.

Source: itunes
Each level is divided into 10 waves, each wave ends with a boss called the commander which is stronger than your normal enemies and after 10 waves, you fight the epic boss, which is a stronger version of the commander. When you beat the commander, you are transported to a new area. Rinse and repeat.

Each minion that you recruit will attack automatically on its own and you can upgrade their attack and life. Upgrades cost coins and each upgrade increases all subsequent upgrade cost. The upgrades give your recruits abilities that are passive as well as some that are active (one per recruit) which you can active while in combat, they range from attacks to heal spells. Each of these active abilities will have a timer, so that it restricts how often you can use them.

Source: itunes
Occasionally, chests are dropped that require keys to unlock and you begin with a small amount of them. As you progress through the game, you get to the point where you run out of keys but you will keep getting chests. You will hit a point where you have the ability to 'Time Loop' which will reset everything back to 0, but you will gain keys and rune stones which you can use to buy/upgrade relics which are items that have passive abilities for everyone, this ranges from DPS increase to coin increases. So, you see that there is a lot to it while at the same time, there isn't much to the game.

As a bonus, while you are away from the game, coins are collected on your behalf, so you can leave the game for awhile and come back and collect a lot of coins for upgrades. The ads in this game are not intrusive and don't happen that often. The ads themselves are usually links to games that Kongregate released, so I have no issues with them. In-app purchases are present, but unnecessary in my opinion and don't really add much to the game.

Source: itunes
I thought I would have dropped this game awhile ago, but for some reason, I keep coming back for a little bit, it might have to do with how little I need to pay attention in order to get something out of the game. Free-to-play, so give it a shot. There are several games that are like this and I'm sure if you like this one, there are tons more for you to try out.

Come back next Wednesday for my Final Thoughts on Kingdom Rush for Android.

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Final Thoughts - Sky Force [Android]

Title: Sky Force 2014
Genre: Shoot'em up
Developer: Infinite Dreams
Publisher: Infinite Dreams
Release Date: 2014
Platform played on: Android Phone [OnePlus One and Samsung Galaxy S7]
Available on: Android, iOS
Completion Status: Complete
Trophy Status: N/A

Sky Force is a free-to-play shoot'em up for mobile phones and it is one of the few that I really enjoy. The timer that is in the game is based on lives. You start with 10 lives and each time you die, it decreases until you are down to 0. If you play and beat a level without dying, you don't lose a life. Your lives will regenerate overtime, but I never found myself really running out of them. You can pay for extra lives or for stars which is in game currency.

With this shoot'em up, your plane always shoots, so you are mainly responsible for making sure you don't get hit. There are items that you gather and you can use as you progress through the game. With each level you complete, you will get stars, those stars will be used to upgrade your plane to make the levels easier, so you can get more stars and upgrade your plane and progress through the game.

With each level, there is a set of objectives that are optional that you can meet. When you meet them, you gain access to the next difficulty level and you replay the same level at a higher difficulty which gives you more stars. At the end of each level is a boss and there are quite a few levels to play and get through. Each level ends with a boss battle and each boss is different, however, each level and enemy spawn locations are pre-determined.

The graphics are surprisingly nice in my opinion for something that is a free and on my phone. It has since between ported to the PC and will be coming to the PlayStation 4 and PlayStation Vita later in 2016.

It is a fun little game that I played through entirely on my old phone and will likely go through again with my new one. I wish that I could transfer over my save to my new phone, but that isn't a big deal since it is not a long game.

Come back next Wednesday for my Final Thoughts on Tap Adventure for Android.

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Final Thoughts - Hitman Go [Android]

Title: Hitman Go
Genre: Turn-based puzzle
Developer: Square Enix Montreal
Publisher: Square Enix
Release Date: June 4, 2014 (international release on both iOS and Android, a bit earlier for soft-launch)
Platform played on: Android Phone [OnePlus One and Samsung Galaxy S7]
Available on: Android, iOS, Windows Phone, Windows, PlayStation 4, PlayStation Vita
Completion Status: 90% complete
Trophy Status: N/A

I played this on my Android phone, but later it was released again for PlayStation 4 and PlayStation Vita, but I haven't touched either of those versions, so I'm just going to write down my thoughts based on my Android experience.

Hitman Go is the first game under the 'Go' branding for Square Enix and it was a great game even though people initially thought poorly over it since it is both on mobile platforms which a lot of people equate to non-full fledged games and that it was changing the type of game completely from its originating series. I got it when it was on sale for $1.00 and it was well worth it and looking back, had I known what I was going to get into, it would be worth the full price purchase.

In Hitman Go you are placed as a hitman on a diorama board which has preset enemies and routes that you can take. You swipe to move your character (up, down, left, or right) and after you move, all the enemies move after and you take turns doing this until you reach the end goal or objective. It sounds simple, but the enemy types, position of things you need to get or hide behind, makes it a fun game to play and sometimes a head scratcher when you try to determine how to solve the puzzle.

The game is cleverly designed where each chapter/section is a 'board game' where you open the box and you see the layout of the areas that you visit. Those areas are the dioramas that you play in. Each 'board game' has a different theme such as airport or opera house to name a few and it gets progressive harder in difficulty as you play. Each diorama has three stamps (similar to three stars in other games), but in order to get the three stamps, you usually need to play the level several times, so there is a lot of replay value to it. One stamp might be beat it in x moves which is usually the quickest route, one might be get the briefcase which requires some finesse and thinking. As you progress, there are newer things such as enemies with dogs that follow you, keys that you need to unlock doors to progress just to give you an idea.

I haven't finished this game yet, but I am at the last board game so I'm not too far now. There is no story in this game, it is just you trying to determine how to finish the diorama. I don't take issue with this since I never play mobile games for story (besides Punch Club).

Definitely worth a try in my opinion. Unfortunately there is no demo, so you cannot try it out, but if you watch some gameplay videos, you will quickly understand how the game is structured and how to play it. With regards to length, there are 7 boards, and at least 10+ dioramas within each one, so there is plenty of content in this game for the asking price.

Come back next Wednesday for my Final Thoughts on Sky Force for Android.

Sunday, May 1, 2016

Month In Review - April 2016

Here's what I played in April 2016:

Tap Adventure for Android, a game where all you do is tap. There really isn't that much more to it. Each tap deals damage, which eventually kills enemies, which drops gold, which you can use to level up your tap damage or hire recruits. The levels are broken down into 10 waves of enemies before a boss. If you lose again the boss, you just replay the waves until you have enough gold to upgrade yourself enough to try the boss again. I got to around level 124 and I still play from time to time. It is fairly mindless and I'm beginning to wonder why I'm playing at all. It is free-to-play and I don't think the purchases actually add much value to the game itself. Give it a shot since it is free. There are a lot of games that fall under this genre.

Clash Royale for Android, I have played it a bit more, joined a clan and reaped the benefits. Unfortunately, I hit the wall where I was not able to progress any further due to not having good cards and the fact that I was always fighting people with the same cards which made it very hard to progress. In the end, I deleted the game and I won't be playing this anymore. It was fun at the beginning, but the grind is fairly real and I decided to give up on this game.

The Division for PlayStation 4, I have reached level 30 and we started to play a bit of the Dark Zone. It is clear that after you reach level 30 and started a bit of the Dark Zone, there isn't a need to really play the non-Dark Zone areas anymore since the loot drops are a lot better inside. We haven't tried the incursions yet which is new, nor have we tried the missions on hard or challenging difficulty which is supposed to be different once you hit level 30. I'm not sure how much longer this one will last, but we will see.

Alienation for PlayStation 4, the latest game by Housemarque who have made several games that I enjoyed including Outland, Dead Nation, Superstar Dust, and Resogun. I would say that if Dead Nation was combined with Diablo, you would get Alienation. The game itself is played as a twin-stick shooter where the left stick is for moving and the right stick is for aiming. I haven't played too much but I see potential depending on what the end game content is. With each level that you complete, you gain experience and loot. The experience gains will mean more health and the loot will be used as new weapons, scrap which is used for rerolling stats of rare or higher weapons (each category of the weapon will have a range and you can reroll the end value), or cores which you can put into weapons which will upgrade the categories.

There is a lot going for it. I only play a couple hours (maybe 2-3) at this time, but I enjoy what I see. It is one really pretty game and it only costs $20! Watch some gameplay videos to see if it is for you and go nuts!