iPhone, iPad Games, Apps, Reviews, News Sat, 01 Aug 2015 15:00:07 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Allied Star Police Review: A Wish Come True Thu, 28 Jul 2011 15:55:31 +0000 Read More]]> Allied Star Police Review-5

[rating: 5/5]

Allied Star Police Review: This is a special game. It is more than a game. It is a Wish come true.

Perhaps you’ve heard of the Make-A-Wish Foundation. It does what it can to grant a wish to children who are staring down a fatal disease. Well, it was one fourth-grader’s wish to hang out with real video game designers. Owain Weinert, who suffers from a form of leukemia, did more than just hang out. He surprised everyone and outlined an entire game, challenging the developers at 4th and Battery at PopCap to make it real. And the result is Allied Star Police available for free in the App Store. (Read more about Owain’s story.)

Allied Star Police Review-3

The game is a fine bit of work that gets pretty intense at times. It’s a type of tower-defense game that somehow reminds me of Han and Leia during the battle for Endor. (I have no idea why. It really has nothing to do with it.) You are the Allied Star Police with your home base on the left of the course and the Flamion base on the right. There are four lanes that connect the two and your job is to deploy ATVs, snipers, tanks, and other resources in each lane to battle against the Flamion’s encroaching advances.

Your equipment fires automatically, so your attention is focused on keeping the lanes occupied with the best equipment and making sure enough equipment is deployed to keep the enemy at bay. Eliminating the Flamion’s equipment earns you cash that can be used to purchase more and bigger resources to improve your chances. Once you’ve succeeded in defending your home base, you advance to new courses that get more, um, “interesting” as you go.

Allied Star Police Review-1

The graphics, animations, and colors all hint at the intense nature of the game. Some of the text on battlefield can be difficult to read, but colors help keep things straight. The music, voice commands, and sound effects all give it an arcade feel. Overall, everything combines to keep your heart rate elevated and your attention focused.

It’s easy to love this game for the good it does. But it’s also easy to love this game because it’s good.



]]> 0 Zombie Digger for iPhone A Must Have Game Only $.99 Sun, 10 Apr 2011 19:08:46 +0000 Read More]]> Zombie Digger for iPhone - Review-1

[rating: 4.5/5]

Zombie Digger is an awesome new game where you defend your home from a slew of zombie monsters. The zombie monsters come in all shapes and sizes and you are strapped with both creative and serious fire power to dispose them. On one side of the screen, your house; on the other side, a hoard of zombie freaks wanting nothing more than to tear your house apart. Like the Under Armor commercial says, “You must protect this house!”

The game controls in Zombie Digger are easy to pick up and fun to use. You have lots of options on how to dispose off the zombies but the control system stays constant regardless of your weapon of choice. The thing that you must remember about the weapons is that they have a timer that you must wait for to reload before you use them again. This adds an extra degree of difficulty. Another control that might be my favorite is the fact that as enemies slip by your holes that you dig or by your arsenal of weapons, you can click on them and flick them back towards where they came from to keep them from your house and give you another opportunity to kill them. Pretty awesome added control if you ask me.

Zombie Digger for iPhone - Review-9

You start with a simple list of weapons at your disposal but as the games goes you can purchase upgrades for each weapon. There are four categories of weapons. You begin with a shovel. To use the shovel, you simply tap a spot on the ground and it digs, the more you tap a spot the deeper the hole goes, you’ll understand soon enough why you need a deep hole. You also begin with a slingshot that you can shoot at the oncoming zombies. This is simple as you click on the zombie you want to shoot. The bomb will quickly become one of your favorites, you use it the same way as you did your slingshot but as you’d imagine, it packs more punch. Finally you have a special weapon. The special weapons are my personal favorite because they are the most creative. You tend to use these special weapons by simply clicking on its icon. The special weapons range from a flying cow that poops on and kills the zombies to a tractor that mows them down. Pretty awesome and very creative! Love the weapons in this game.

Since the monsters come in all shapes and sizes, the difficulty to dispose of them also varies. You will face everything from elephants, bouncing hedgehogs, tank-driving crocodiles, giant zombie snails, and tons of others. All of them do varying damage to your house. A word to the wise, the flying zombies quickly become the biggest problem you face. You have to beware for zombies on skateboards cruising right in and out of the holes you dig as well as enemies on pogo sticks that bounce right through and past your holes, this is where the flick option comes in handy.

Zombie Digger for iPhone - Review-8

This game sports over 40 levels and one of my only complaints is that it’s so fun I wish there were more levels. You have an arsenal of 12 types of weapons at your disposal as well. There are 5 gaming environments that help to change the settings while holding on to that addictive gameplay. There are unique bosses that you face and as with all of the zombies, there are unique ways to kill them all.

The visual presentation of this game is awesome. I really enjoyed all the different zombies, the change in background and all the different weapons and how they work. The weapons actions change according to the upgrade so you aren’t stuck with the same animations every time. The sounds are also pretty awesome as they sound effects are funny and accurate at the same time. The pogo stick sounds were pretty funny. I must say that this game is awesome and the presentation just compliments an already amazingly addictive game.

Zombie Digger for iPhone - Review-2

For 99 cents this game is a must have in my opinion and I still haven’t stopped playing it. You have the added benefit of posting your achievements in the game on Facebook and OpenFeint as well. I really like the fact that they didn’t miss on these social options as they are becoming more and more of an everyday thing. Get this game!



Category: Games
Released: Mar 29, 2011
Version: 1.1
1.1 (iOS 4.0 Tested)
Size: 34.7 MB
Language: English
Seller: Crazy Bit
© CrazyBit 2011
Rated 9+ for the following:
Infrequent/Mild Horror/Fear Themes
Frequent/Intense Cartoon or Fantasy Violence
Infrequent/Mild Profanity or Crude Humor
Requirements: Compatible with iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad. Requires iOS 3.0 or later


Zombie Digger for iPhone - Review-1 Zombie Digger for iPhone - Review-2 Zombie Digger for iPhone - Review-3 Zombie Digger for iPhone - Review-4 Zombie Digger for iPhone - Review-5 Zombie Digger for iPhone - Review-6 Zombie Digger for iPhone - Review-7 Zombie Digger for iPhone - Review-8 Zombie Digger for iPhone - Review-9 ]]> 5 Inkub HD New Kind of Tower Defense Game for Mac Mon, 07 Mar 2011 18:25:48 +0000 Read More]]> Inkub HD Mac App Store-1

Inkub HD [rating: 3/5]

Inkub HD for Mac is a kind of tower defense game, which is set in the incubator rooms of an alternate world. It features a different look from most games of its genre, and bright colourful graphics with a nice intro. I took it for a whirl to see how it plays on OS X.

The main menu of Inkub has a nice bunch of menu features, including different play modes and information on enemies and weapons – both of which you can unlock more of as you progress.

Here are the key game modes:


In the Adventure Mode you will be in charge of the incubators for 40 rounds spread across 5 different worlds. Each world has 8 rounds in which you will unlock weapons, special powers and enemies.


Choose a scenario amongst the 5 available and try to keep your incubator safe as long as possible. Each new wave of enemies will be tougher and you will need all your skills to achieve the best scores.

The general look and feel, as well as the execution of the game’s interface is very much like an iOS app. There are iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch versions of Inkub, and this is probably a text book example of a game that is portable across all the platforms Apple make. So that is what it appears as if the developer has done. Nothing wrong with that. It is simply an observation. But unfortunately because of this my first impression of Inkub HD was that it was a little simplistic for a desktop game. And this initial impression was borne out as I dug deeper.

Inkub HD features 3 difficulty levels and 5 different worlds each with 8 rounds.
You can also rotate the play area to reveal hidden tubes, and activate some hidden rounds.

Gameplay is solid, and revolves around the usual fare in tower defence games; where one strategically places weaponry to defend your base. Except in this case the base is an egg in an incubator, and the enemies that you place weaponry to defend against are crawling down vent tubes connected to your incubating egg.

As the game progresses you unlock more versatile weapons, and your incubating room gets more vent pipes. At the same time the enemies get more abundant and also change in variety.

Inkub HD Mac App Store-2

All of this is played out against the backdrop of a planet, and a gradually more cluttered incubator room.

Sound effects are cool. And the look and feel of everything is done competently. And this game would look great on a smaller screen I expect. But even on a 17″ laptop display the graphics, whilst well drawn, are too big, and the animations are too clunky for my tastes.

I was not really keen on the way that the vent tubes had some sections that were impossible to see through. This meant that enemies could disappear and reappear going round bends in tubes, which is actually a fun twist. But also made the play area, that is already constrained to the vent tubes, feel all the more sparse on a big screen with lots of irrelevant atmospheric activity going on around it.

Overall I found Inkub HD very easy. And a little too slow in its progression.
For a kid, playing a tower defence game for the first time, Inkub HD would probably be a great introduction to this genre on either the Mac or iPad – while a little too simplistic for an adult. On an iPod Touch or iPhone I think it would be quite a good game for anyone in an idle moment.

But overall as a Mac App, as cheap and as cheerful and as well implemented as this game is, it’s a little too “blaa”.

The Good

The Not So Good

$3.99 (View in iTunes)
Category: Games
Released: Mar 01, 2011
Version: 1.0.0
Size: 22.4 MB
Language: English
Seller: 46 To Shinjuku Medialab, S.L.
© 46 To Shinjuku Medialab, S.L.
Rated 9+ for the following:
Frequent/Intense Cartoon or Fantasy Violence
Requirements: Mac OS X 10.6.6 or later

]]> 0 Sentinel 3: Homeworld The Tower Defense Game that all TD games will now be measured by Sun, 28 Nov 2010 03:39:04 +0000 Read More]]> Sentinel 3 Homeworld App Store

Sentinel 3: Homeworld [rating: 5/5]

While I’ve always enjoyed the occasional tower defense game none has ever gripped to the point of coming back to it again and again, that is until now! I don’t want to give away my conclusions on this game but writing this review is taking me away from playing it and therefore I’m resenting having to write it a little! Well OK maybe I’m over egging things slightly, writing this review is allowing me to put into words how great I think this game is.

In Sentinel 3: Homeworld the basics for a tower defense game are all there, your task is to defend yourself against an alien onslaught of massive proportions with a range of weapons that you can purchase, upgrade and unleash on wave after wave on alien aggressors. While graphics don’t usually make or break such games when they look as detailed and beautiful as they do in Sentinel 3 they certainly add to the game.

This is especially true on the retina display of the iPhone 4 where the graphics sparkle on the screen from the beautiful environments to the sharp animations on the weapons and enemies. All of this can be seen both while zoomed in and zoomed out allowing you to see even more of detail. The menu’s both in game and pre game are sharp to allowing easy navigation to all areas of the game.

Sentinel 3 Homeworld iPhone

There are three game modes to choose from which are Campaign, Endless and Classic. Campaign mode is where you’ll want to start your adventure as not only does it start things slowly for you but also because it’s how you unlock additional levels and your commanders power. There is a storyline to the campaign mode and while it’s interesting it doesn’t get in the way of the game, in fact you could not read the level details and still thoroughly enjoy the game.

As you would expect you start the game with just a few weapons available to you and limited dollars but as you start to wipe out the waves of enemies you’ll soon be able to upgrade your weapons and buy new ones. There are 10 weapons to be unlocked in total from the simple laser and bomb to the more explosive missile and flame throwers and that’s even before you bring in the ‘Sentinel Weapons’ which add a whole new level of offence to your armoury.

The path of the alien waves vary from level to level, sometimes they will appear from a single location while multiple entry points will be used on other maps. Once you’ve reviewed where the onslaught is coming from you’ll be able to start placing you artillery and other weapons. Placement is as simple as dragging and dropping the required weapon onto the map with a green marker showing if you can place it and red if you can’t.

All of this can be done while the aliens begin the attack or you can pause the game allowing you more time to consider you options. I found myself using both at times depending on the ferocity of the attack I was under at he time. There are a great variety of aliens too although you will have to wait a while before you see them all.

They all look appropriately aggressive as they march towards you defences and each one will potentially require a different weapon to destroy it. This ensures that maximum thinking power is required especially as you progress to the later levels. In addition to your air and ground attack your commander can move around the playing area to defend your structures which when all defeated will result in game over.

Sentinel 3 Homeworld

Between each level you get the opportunity to not only increase the weapons you have in game but also to increase the powers of your commander with the dollars and experience that you’ve earned completing the level. There are 20 levels to play through which will then be available in Endless Mode which is where you can play to compete online with your best scores.

The third mode is Classic Mode which uses a set scenario to challenge you to defend a set number of waves, complete each level to unlock the next of 6 levels. Your scores on Classic Mode will also be uploaded to the online leader boards that are provided by integration with both Open Feint and Apple’s very own Game Center which also provides 47 achievements to complete.

The overall pace and difficulty of the game is just right and I’d recommend Sentinel 3 to both newcomers to the experienced tower defense players. At $3.99 it’s not the cheapest TD game but it’s certainly the best value for money as it provides quality, quantity and options all in one package.



$3.99 (View in iTunes)
Category: Games
Released: Nov 26, 2010
Version: 1.0.0
1.0.0 (iOS 4.0 Tested)
92.9 MB
Language: English
Seller: Origin8 Technologies Limited
© Origin8 Technologies Ltd.
Rated 9+ for the following:
Infrequent/Mild Cartoon or Fantasy Violence
Requirements:Compatible with iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad. Requires iOS 3.0 or later

Sentinel 3 Homeworld App Store Sentinel 3 Homeworld from Origin 8 Sentinel 3 Homeworld iPhone 4 Sentinel 3 Homeworld iPhone Sentinel 3 Homeworld ]]> 0 Robin Hood – Archer of the Woods An enjoyable defense game that just misses the bullseye. Sat, 16 Oct 2010 23:14:21 +0000 Read More]]> Robin Hood - Archer of the Woods

Robin Hood – Archer of the Woods [rating: 3.5/5]

Tower (Castle) Defense games are pretty popular on touch screen devices and Robin Hood – Archer of the Woods is the latest addition to the genre, all be it with a little less strategy and more action.

Robin Hood is all alone in this game that takes his name, on his own that is other than a constant stream of the sherifs men who are armed to the teeth and on a mission to destroy the village that Robin is aiming to defend.

The game works across a horizontal scrolling playing area with Robin on the left of the screen behind the cottages that he must defend while the hordes of attackers start entering from the right.

The screen is split into two levels and so attackers will enter either on the bottom or top level as they walk towards you. And as you would expect Robin’s only weapon is his trusted bow and arrow.

To launch your arrow you simply touch the screen, pull back, direct the arrow and launch it. the direction and power of the arrow will dictate whether or not it takes out one of your enemy or falls aimlessly into the ground.

Robin Hood - Archer of the Woods iPhone

It would be nice if the prior arrows power and trajectory remained on the screen to help you with your next arrow but it doesn’t stop the controls from working well.

The enemies come think and fast, some on foot, some on armor and some on what appear to be ancient segways, and unless you kill them before they reach the cottages they will start to destroy them. When all the cottages are destroyed it’s game over.

As with most games in this genre the attackers come in waves and between waves you will face an end of level baddie that will require multiple accurate hits to destroy. There are also power-ups placed randomly on each level which when struck will enable a range of extra features to your arrows.

These power-ups become more and more important as not only do the number of enemies increase so do the number of cottages that you must defend.

The game looks good, plays well and is full of action. The only down side is that the gameplay doesn’t have much variety and can become a little tedious.  Robin Hood – Archer of the Woods would certainly prove to be enjoyable for players who like this genre.



$0.99 (View in iTunes)
Category: Games
Released:Oct 14, 2010
1.0 (iOS 4.0 Tested)
21.6 MB
Seller:Clickgamer Technologies Ltd
© Mudloop Games
Rated 9+ for the following:
Infrequent/Mild Cartoon or Fantasy Violence
Requirements:Compatible with iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad. Requires iOS 3.0 or later

]]> 0 Last Front: Blob Invasion for iPhone. Entertaining Tower Defense Game from The 1950’s Fri, 18 Jun 2010 17:26:01 +0000 Read More]]> Last Front Blob Invasion iPhone

Last Front: Blob Invasion [rating: 4/5]

Last Front: Blob Invasion reminds me of a 1950’s B Movie, I’m not quite sure why it works, but it does and I’m not complaining! Tower Defense games appear to be both popular and successful on the various iDevices and Last Front: Blob Invasion is just going to join the ranks of the succesful TD genre. That’s not to say that there aren’t some missing features but at just 99 cents this is more of an add-on to the already successful earlier release from the makers of Last Front:Europe.

The main thing that stands out between this and other tower defense games is the premise, defending the world against an invasion of jelly bean looking blobs has to be unique but it adds a unique twist and keeps the game entertaining for the short time it lasts.

The game provides four maps for you to defend against the invading blobs, this is not as many as I would have hoped for and perhaps future updates will provide more maps but they are still different and provide a good challenge. Each map contains multiple spawning points and while the initial notification of where the next group of blobs is going to attack from it soon becomes clear and doesn’t stop you from planning your defense and attack appropriately.

You do need to move fast though as the blobs don’t hang around and while the spawning points may repeat the blobs movements aren’t so predictable so no two games are ever the same. The maps are a decent size too and you will need to scroll around the map by dragging your finger across the screen.

Once the invasion is on its way you can start deploying you various units. Your units are split into three varieties, your cheapest options, and the most readily available with the limited amount of money that you initially start with are the defense options where you can place mines, barbed wire and other defense options to help route the enemies in your preferred direction, namely your weapons.

Last Front Blob Invasion

The next set of options are your attack options which just like the other options are placed by simply selecting and then dragging them onto the screen. If you can place your unit it will be highlighted, otherwise it will remain dark and you’ll need choose a different location. The final options are your moveable units, the difference with these units, other than their price, is the fact that once place they can also be moved between waves on invasions.

All units can be sold and upgrade as and when required and with the variety of waves of the bouncing jelly beans you will need to be flexible in your placement but this is easy to do and  makes it entertaining and never boring. And just wait until the blobs split instead of die, then things get really crazy!

The game is not easy and if this is your first Tower Defense game it’s going to be a fairly steep learning curve, but a worthwhile one. The lack of maps is disappointing and with only local leader boards for each map the long term enjoyment from Last Front: Blob Invasion may be a little short, but for 99 cents it’s still good value for money.



Price: $0.99 (iTunes Store)
Category: Games
Released: Jun 07, 2010
Reviewed Version: 1.0
Size: 15.4 MB
Language: English
Seller: Plow Digital
© (C)2010 Plow Games
Requirements: Compatible with iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad. Requires iPhone OS 2.2.1 or later.

]]> 0 Kill Kill Monster Campaign for iPhone and iPad. Game Review Tue, 11 May 2010 13:49:58 +0000 Read More]]> Kill Kill Monster Campaign

Kill Kill Monster Campaign [rating: 4/5]

Developed by 1up-game Kill Kill Monster Campaign is an addictive catapult game for iPhone. Killing the brainless, gory monsters coming towards you is the only option to survive in this game.

The game play is straight forward, walking towards you are what is described as ‘stupid monsters’ all you have to do is hit them with boulders to stay alive! To do this you use a catapult to fire large rocks. When the rocks land on them they then splatter and die. Everytime you see one appear on your screen you then do the same.

Now watch out if any of the monsters reach your catapult you lose some of your health bar, lose too much of it and the game is over. If you do well your experience level goes up. Every time it fills to the top it adds points to enable you to upgrade your catapult. Obviously the more you upgrade the better you are going to get at killing those pesky monsters. There are 15 levels altogether and lots of different monsters to kill. As well as the chance to upgrade the catapult there are also different kinds that you can use.

The controls are straight forward and the instructions are shown on screen when you first start. To move the map from left to right you just move your finger from left to right. To aim and shoot you drag your finger from the catapult to where ever you want the rock to land, then let go. The rock then launches and goes in that direction.

There are ways to increase your score as well by doing as many combos as you can and also accurate shots will give you extra bonus points. The game is also OpenFeint enabled so you can compete online with all your friends. Completing set acheivements and trying to get on the leader board.

Kill Kill Monster Campaign iPhone_2

Within the game there are different modes to play, all offering you a different variation to the game. The main one is just to kill the monsters and clear out the village. There is also levels like, Save The Villagers who are trapped and you have to save them before they explode to pieces. All making the gameplay a little bit more interesting and varied.

The sound effects are quite good with lots of splattering and background wind blowing noises. The music is upbeat but annoying after a while but you can change to a song from your iTunes library which I have to admit I much preferred. The graphics are very good, they are bright and colorful with a  lot of attention to detail. There is lots of blood splattering on your screen all fitting very well into the game.

Within the app as well the developers give you the option to submit your own map. If you have an idea all you need do is sketch it down, email it to them and if they use your idea you get your name credited in the game. Great for anyone who becomes a fan of the game!

It is an enjoyable game and when the monsters start coming faster and faster at you it does become an addictive game. With the option to use OpenFeint as well it has got the benefit of being a good game that you can pick up often to try compete. With the mention of new levels to follow as well it should definitely keep you going back to play the game.

The Good

The Not So Good

Kill Kill Monster Campaign Official Trailer

Price: $0.99 (iTunes Store)
Released: May 08, 2010
Reviewed Version: 1.0.0
Size: 18.3 MB
Language: English
© 2010 1UP Studio
Rated 9+ for the following:
Infrequent/Mild Realistic Violence
Frequent/Intense Cartoon or Fantasy Violence
Requirements: Compatible with iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad. Requires iPhone OS 3.0 or later.

]]> 0 Defence Of The Future for iPhone: A game of the future apparently from the past Thu, 11 Mar 2010 21:27:16 +0000 Read More]]> Defence Of The Future [rating: 2.5/5]

Defence of the Future or DOFT, sets you with the perilous task of defending the earth from an alien invasion. Luckily for you this title is based far into the future so you don’t have just your bare fists to work with but instead a super hero from an initial choice of 8 all of whom have different skills.

It’s a classic tower defence game where you will have to defend your three cannon towers well attempting to destroy the aliens 3 towers, if only it was that easy!

Before you launch a new game it’s worth studying the 8 hero’s you have to choose from. Each of the 8 has a different balance of defence and attack and so depending on whether you like to go on all out attack or prefer a more stealthy defensive approach the hero you choose will certainly have an effect on that.

Defence Of The Future for iPhone_5

After selecting the hero that you intend to see you through your numerous battles you are then ready to play the game although newcomers to the genre may like to review the help section first to prepare themselves for the battles ahead. Unfortunately the help is not that helpful, just three screens of what for a beginner are not very helpful.

So into the game we go. It’s a 2D top down view of the battlefield with your towers in the bottom right and the enemies in the top left. The battlefield is pretty simple with three paths between you and your enemy. You control your chosen hero by touching the screen and they will travel to that location automatically firing on any enemy combatants in it’s way. Given that your hero is a robot I guess it shouldn’t be too much of a surprise that they move like robots too. Unfortunately that doesn’t make for flowing game-play.

Along with your hero that you can control and direct you also have a legion of drones that automatically fly around shooting at anything and everything that approaches them. These drones are smaller and less powerful than your main control but they add a valid line of defence. As you progress you can update your hero stats in mid game making him more powerful and also cast skills that will give you an added boost in your attack. If you do die however it’s not game over although it will take a while for your hero to re-spawn and during that time your defences will be under heavy attack.

Defence Of The Future for iPhone_4

It’s the lack of initial instruction through that is the biggest cause of concern here. Because the help is so limited and there is no in game instruction either it’s easy to get stuck not knowing what you are supposed to be doing and you will soon find yourself in a loop of shoot, die, re-spawn, shoot, die, re-spawn etc, etc, etc.

While the game has a lot of potential the learning curve for beginners will be too steep while old hands of this genre will find the initial release of DOFT lacking in depth and options. If the developers could spend some time providing some of the basics for example better instructions on game-play and multi-player options, (even if just over Bluetooth or local wi-fi), then they may have a more successful game on their hands.

The Good

The Not So Good

Price: $1.99 (iTunes Store Preview)
Released: Feb 23, 2010
Reviewed Version: 1.0
1.0 (iPhone OS 3.0 Tested)
Size: 6.5 MB
Languages: English
Seller: Guangxi Nanning Qiwang Computer Ltd.
© 2010 Guangxi Nanning Qiwang Computer Ltd.
Rated 9+ for the following:
Infrequent/Mild Realistic Violence
Infrequent/Mild Cartoon or Fantasy Violence
Requirements: Compatible with iPhone and iPod touch. Requires iPhone OS 2.2.1 or later.

]]> 0 Fleeced! for iPhone Makes Llama Rustling a Sheer Joy Sun, 17 Jan 2010 01:03:41 +0000 Read More]]>

Fleeced! [rating: 5/5]

Update: Fleeced! has  just been Featured in What’s Hot on the App Store and will be 50% off for the time of the feature.
One of the great things about the Apple App Store is it’s ability to enable fresh new talent to engage in producing new and unique apps. Bight Games aren’t new to the App Store, they already have the well received Big Top 10 available for purchase but soon their latest and perhaps the most bizarre game to hit the App Store will be released in the form of Fleeced!

In it’s simplest form Fleeced! for iPhone is a Castle Defense style game where you need to defend your walls while attempting to break down your opponents. Nothing too unique in that but it’s the way that you do it and the reason why you are doing it that makes Fleeced! so unique.

You take the role of one of two Peruvian brothers who have taken sibling rivalry to a whole new level. Both brothers have a Llama and in order to defeat your brother you must attempt to shear his llama of all it’s valuable wool before he shears yours. Both brothers are helped on their mission by local llama rustlers who, while you destroy your brothers walls to the ground will run in and sheer the llama as quick as he can! Is there another game that comes close to this in the App Store? I think not.

OK, so the premise may sound confusing but the game is anything but. You start the game in a small pen made of hay walls with just you and your llama inside. You have 3 coins to your name and an angry brother on the other side of the field in a similar pen. The first thing you’ll need to do is get yourself a weapon, and in Fleeced! the weapon of choice are a variety of cannons. For 3 coins you are only able to purchase the smallest of the cannons. To do this you select the cannon option from the 4 action buttons in the bottom right hand corner of the screen. This will bring up the cannon options where you can drag and drop your cannon into your pen. Placement is key here on the later rounds esp. as cannons can take up quite a bit of space.

With a cannon built you can now start firing at your brother, or more specifically at his walls. The main action button in the shoot button and when the cannon is loaded and you are positioned behind it the fire button becomes enabled and you can launch your cannonball(s). From this point on until the cannonball(s) hit their target the playing perspective turns to 1st person mode and you can control the direction of them by moving the iPhone/iPod touch left/right and backwards/forwards. This takes some getting used to at the start but after a few games you’ll be breaking down your brothers walls with comparative ease.

The first cannon that you purchase will only smash a couple of layers of wall and so you’ll need at least a couple of accurate shots to break through his defenses to let the llama rustler through to shear your brothers llama. However, the rustler runs around the walls in a fixed direction so opening up a gap in the defenses while the rustler is at the other end of the pen will give your brother the opportunity to fix the wall.

While all this is going on of course your brother is attempting to break down your wall so that his llama rustler can get to your llama and shed him of his valuable fleece. As with most Castle Defense games you need to balance your defense and attack appropriately.

You control your character via a virtual dpad in the lower left corner of the screen. Run towards a destroyed or partially destroyed wall, which is highlighted by the icon at your characters feet, and click the re-build icon to repair it. A fully repaired hay wall can then be upgraded to a wooden wall for extra strength, at the cost of 1 coin, and while that will become more and more necessary as you progress through the levels you need to save some of those coins for upgrading to bigger and better cannons.

Coins are randomly dropped inside your pen and so as you run between wall and cannon, cannon and wall you can build up your coins for both upgrading your cannons and walls. Also randomly around you pen power-ups will be placed, from increasing the power of your cannons to automatically rebuilding all of your walls these power-ups can sometimes be the difference between success and failure and that’s even before you mention the Llama Swap power-up which can instantly turn an imminent win to a loss, and vice versa.

The game play is perfectly balanced. Go out on full attack and you will soon find your defenses in tatters while concentrate on your defenses and you’ll never break through your brothers walls. The controls are smooth, sound effects are effective and with an appropriately Peruvian soundtrack that plays along in the background it’s difficult to find anything not to like about this game and we are not even finished yet!

The main Story Mode of the game offers a lot of value and with the 3 difficulty levels it should keep you entertained for some considerable time to come. Fleeced! also overs multi-player options not only over local Bluetooth and local WiFi but also via the internet. The two local options worked flawlessly with only one disconnect during multiple games and that’s probably more to do with the connection than the game itself. Unfortunately as this was a pre-release version of the game I wasn’t able to play the game in it’s online mode but if it’s just as good as the local multi-player mode the extra life that it will give the game should make this a keeper!

The Good

The Not So Good

Reviewed by: Craig Willis

Fleeced – Shear Terror! Teaser from Bight Games

Fleeced Gameplay Trailer

Price: $1.99 (iTunes Store) as of 26 Jan
Reviewed Version: 1.0.1
Size: 8.5 MB
Seller: Bight Interactive Inc.

]]> 1 Unleash Your Wraith With Babel Rising for iPhone Mon, 11 Jan 2010 19:56:48 +0000 Read More]]> Babel Rising [rating: 4/5]

Most gaming genres have one application that defines the whole genre. The games that follow that original hit often strive to imitate the original instead of going off in a new direction. When you think about the space occupied by the “wraith of god” type games on the iPhone, your mind will probably immediately go to Pocket God. Pocket God defined the genre and spawned imitators trying to duplicate its success. While Babel Rising by Bulky Pix and White Bird Productions exists in the same space as that venerable game, it makes a niche for itself that is original and thoroughly enjoyable.

Those familiar with Biblical lore will recognize the story of the Tower of Babel. In ancient times the people of Earth spoke with one language and lived as one people. They thrived and as their prosperity and knowledge grew, they became conceited and believed to be equal with God. To prove this, and truly reach God themselves, the people of Earth decided to build a tower at Babel so high that those that climbed it would indeed be able to be with God. It is in this back story that Babel Rising takes place. You are God and your job is to keep the people of Earth from building their tower. You have six powers to aid you in your task: the ability to crush individuals with your mighty hand, the ability to destroy groups with lightning blots, the ability to blow away people with a mighty wind, the ability to wash away victims with a tidal wave, the ability to rain down a firestorm on the unsuspecting, and lastly the ability to cause earthquakes. Each power has its individual destructive range and ability to dispatch the heretics building the tower.

Babel Rising iPhone GameGameplay is straightforward; keep the Humans from building their tower and continue. If the Humans complete construction you lose. As play progresses the Humans come faster and in larger groups, taxing your capacity to destroy them before more levels can be added to the tower. To keep the player from overusing the most destructive forces, each has an individual recharge time that roughly equates to destructive power. Those abilities that kill the most Humans take longer to recharge. This keeps play varied and interesting. It wouldn’t be much of a challenge if you could just keep breaking out the lightning bolts and earthquakes to destroy the heretics.

The game interface is easy to learn and actually makes sense in the context of the game. To unleash your six powers you use a series of six different gestures and interactions. Individual Humans are crushed with a single touch on the screen. Lightning is unleashed with a single vertical stroke on the game surface. A windstorm is triggered by a single horizontal stroke across the game surface. A tsunami strikes with a dual horizontal stroke on the game surface. A firestorm rains down with a dual vertical stroke. An earthquake erupts by shaking the device. There are no clumsy push button interfaces or selection menus to fumble through. Each move is easy to use, easy to remember, and very satisfying in effect. To practice these moves, you must play through a tutorial before starting the full game. The tutorial is also accessible from the main menu screen at any time if you need more practice.

Babel Rising iPhone Game_4In addition to the gameplay, Babel Rising also provides achievements and high scores through the hugely popular OpenFeint system. Social gaming is almost a given in the iPhone gaming market and its nice to see such a great game including this functionality. I would have been very disappointed if it had been left out. Social gaming and achievements add so much more replay potential to any game that it’s hard to figure out why any game would do without it.

So in case it isn’t obvious already, I really like Babel Rising. The premise is interesting, the game play is varied and challenging, and the interface simple and easy to learn. It doesn’t try to make anything complicated while presenting a game that will keep you coming back for me. The only flaw I could find with the game is the lack of stages or environments. Gameplay occurs in only one setting. Although I understand this is consistent with the mythology the game is built on, having differing stages or environments that can be selected or progressed to would be a nice addition to this already great game.

Babel Rising is a solid game that shouldn’t be overlooked. Unleashing your wraith has never been so much fun!

The Good

The Not So Good

Reviewed by: Erin Peterson

Babel Rising iPhone Gameplay

Price: $.99 (iTunes Store)
Version reviewed: 1.0
Size: 10.7 MB

]]> 0 Space Station: Frontier For iPhone Mines Excitement in the App Store Mon, 04 Jan 2010 17:59:12 +0000 Read More]]> Space Station Frontier iPhone Game Review

Space Station: Frontier [rating: 5/5]

As a reviewer, it’s my job to give you an honest, well-balanced, and objective preview of an application so that you can make an equally well-balanced and objective determination about a purchase. That is completely my intention in the case of Space Station: Frontier but I want to get this out of the way before I continue.

This game is awesome!

Space Station: Frontier from the Origin8 development team combines elements of the familiar RTS and tower defence game genres into a fantastic game. In Space Station: Frontier you have been assigned as the Overseer of a remote asteroid mining outpost. Your job was destined to be relatively mundane until a hostile alien species showed up for a turf war. Now you must mine crystals to both send precious resources back to an energy-starved Earth and earn credits you can use to upgrade, fortify, and arm your space station against the alien menace.

The main gameplay arc is Campaign mode. The campaign involves playing through different interconnected missions where you must mine resources to collect credits and repel the alien menace. Some sort of campaign mode is a mainstay of the RTS gaming environment and it is fully realized in Space Station: Frontier. The campaign is well thought out with difficulty and rewards growing with each successive mission. Success in the campaign also unlocks two additional modes of play; Survival and Mining.

Space Station Frontier iPhone Game Review_2

Survival and Mining modes highlight a truly unique aspect of this game. In most RTS games, credits only exist in the context of a particular mission. You gather resources which produces credits which you spend in turn on various game units. The credits earned only exist in the mission so when the mission is over the credits go away. In Space Station: Frontier credits earned are carried over between missions and additional credits can be earned in the unlocked Survival and Mining modes. I really like this feature because the additional modes of play give variety to the game while adding to the overall Campaign mode experience.

Credits earned in all three modes are spent in the Shipyard to upgrade your space station. Credits can be spent on tactical upgrades like improved lasers and missiles or strategic upgrades like increased power production and storage capacity or repair robots. As with any RTS or tower building game, a balanced approach is best. You need lots of weapons to repel the invaders but if you run your space station low on energy all the weapons in the galaxy aren’t going to help if they don’t fire.

If you’ve played an RTS or tower building game on the iPhone then Space Station: Frontier’s interface will be more than familiar. A bar across the lower left hand of the screen displays all of the units available to the player. You start out with only power nodes and miners available and add more units by purchasing them in the Shipyard. Just above that is a counter that displays the credits currently available to the player to build units in the mission. This will increase as resources are mined and decrease as units are built. To the left of the counter are two vertical bars; the yellow bar represents the current health of the space station and the green one indicates the power available to run the miners and fire weapons. Units are built by selecting an available one from the bar and dragging on to the screen. If a green highlight appears around the unit it can be built in the selected location and a red highlight indicates it cannot be built. All units must be connected to a power node and all power nodes must ultimately link back to the station.

Space Station Frontier iPhone Game Review_4

I sort of tipped my hand earlier to my impressions of this game earlier. I found this game to be one of the most enjoyable and replayable games I’ve found for the iPhone. Gameplay is engaging, the interface is familiar, and there is plenty of opportunity to vary the in-game experience through the two additional play modes available. Space Station: Frontier supports the OpenFeint social gaming platform with a set of achievements, global high scores and the ability to post and compare achievements with friends and other game players. This game was as complete a package as I’ve found yet in the App Store. It may be a bit premature to talk about games of the year when its only January 4th but if Space Station: Frontier is not one of them I will be greatly surprised. Spend the money for this game, it will be worth it.

With all of that said, the only suggestion I’d make for improvement is to take the lock off the additional play modes. Although I understand and appreciate why the locks are there, I think it would make the game that much more varied and engaging if Survival and Mining modes were immediately playable.

Price: $2.99 as of Jan 04 (iTunes Store URL)
Version reviewed 1.0.0

The Good

The Not So Good

Reviewed by: Erin Peterson

Space Station: Frontier for iPhone/iPod touch

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