Thursday, 13 March 2014

Faif Review

Faif by Beavl Games is a gambling inspired puzzle RPG. Each turn you choose 5 consecutive tiles, but you only get 1 of them. This gives you a 1 in 5 chance of getting the outcome you desire. Now, you might be thinking that winning is just luck. This, however, is not necessarily the case. Sure you can have some unlucky moments, but the real strategy in Faif comes from deciding which tiles to choose and allowing for the potential of not getting want all the time. 

A quick run down of what each tile does:
Skull: -1 health
Heart: +1 health
Sword: +1 damage for each skull in the selection
Gem: +1 gem for each gem in selection

By using a combination of each of these tiles you must over come various enemies and bosses. It is important to know when to try and go for more damage or when to go for health. It is a difficult choice, especially because you are no guaranteed to get the tile you want.

Oh my goodness, Faif can be really annoying though. Sometimes, I can do really well get a good streak and reach the second boss. Then again, other times I get stuck on my first opponent. Relentlessly hitting myself while they just pile on hearts. I suppose this what you can expect from a gambling based game. The meta game does help with this frustration, slightly. Every 100 Silicon's you collect you gain 1 additional gem to start the game with. This makes getting further a bit easier, but not guaranteed, so the game stays balanced.

You increase your Silicon's in 2 ways, beating enemies or challenges. The challenges go from easy to stupid. Making a 2 skull match is alright, fairly easy and quite sensible, but a 5 skull match is just suicide. Sometimes, however, it can be worth it for the substantial increase in Silicon's since more gems, means more shop purchases. This makes the beginning of the game easier and helps you to get farther, too.

I like the music in Faif. It kind of gives an unusual western feel. Perhaps that ties in to the hidden story in the game. I have not managed to uncover it, but I am intrigued by what it could be.

Faif is a cute, addictive and frustrating game. I was initially sceptical about the gambling element, but it actually adds a depth of strategy that applies to real life. Making contingent choices so you can achieve a secondary outcome. The game really makes you think and plan each turn. This, however, will not stop you from getting skulls 5 times in a row and killing yoirself on occasion. Then again, the risk element does make it extremely satisfying and addictive. 


Overall, a great phone game for short burst of play with good progression; just expect to lose a lot.

General Information

Game Name - FaifAndroid
Developer - Beavl
Genre - RPG, Puzzle, Gambling

Tuesday, 4 March 2014

Ikoid Bundle #7 "Android Legends" Review

Recently I discovered Ikoid and goodness is it a relief to have found it. I was looking for more Android Bundles and this one has great variety.

Detective Grimoire

Detective Grimoire by SFB Games is a detective point and click adventure game and probably the best game in the bundle. Although fairly short and lacking in many challenging puzzles, it has great voice acting and is a great mystery game. Set in a swap Detective Grimoire (our hero), must solve a case involving monsters, movie directors and tree houses.

While it is a fairly standard detective romp, it is a well polished and thoroughly enjoyable one. A nice game device being that sometimes Grimoire has 'floating ideas' and you need to put the ones that make sense together. A very enjoyable game and I hope that Detective Grimoire has many more cases in the future. 


Quite easy and fairly standard, but extremely fun detective mystery with great art, voice acting and music.

Devil's Attorney

Devil's Attorney by 1337 Game Design is an odd one. It is a turn based strategy game that take place in the court room. It's a bit strange, but in a good way. You have to reduce your opponents 'credibility' to zero and make them leave the court room. To do this, you use different abilities. Each affects different types of 'enemy' for example interrogation damages people and analysis evidence. Each turn you have a certain number of action people to perform these abilities and try to beat your opponent. At the end of each turn your enemies will damage you for whatever their attack is, lose enough life and you will lose the case. All in all the combat focuses down a turn bases RPG feel to a courtroom. Throw in an apartment where buying furniture and decorations gives you buffs to unlock more abilities and it creates quite an unorthodox, but intriguing game.


I would recommend that you try Devil's Attorney because it has some great aspects to it, even if it does have some cheesey writing.

Sentinel 3: Homeworld

Sentinel 3: Homeworld by Origin 8 is a tower defence game. A genre that has been done many times before, but one that Sentinel 3 does extremely well. Loads of different defences, from ground to air. Special abilities, such as homing missiles. Getting an interest bonus depending on how much money you have left at the end of a wave is clever idea, it makes you weigh up the need to upgrade against getting more money for further upgrades. An upgradeable mech unit that you can bounce around the map. Lots to play with in 2 campaigns, endless mode and classic mode. Sentinel 3 really does have loads to offer. 


A stand-out Tower Defence game with loads game modes, an upgradeable hero unit and lots of varied defences. However, at the end of the day it is just another tower defence game.

Sleepwalkers Journey

Sleepwalkers Journey by 11 Bit Games is a puzzle platformer with a twist. You don't actually control the main character. Instead, our sleepwalking friend Moonboy needs you to move obstacles, lift platforms and move bridges so he does plummet to his doom. With two different collectables for each level, stars and moons, and a race against the clock needing quick decisions, Sleepwalkers Journey is an interesting take on the classic puzzle platformer genre.

Sleepwalkers is a cute game with nice short and sweet levels can leave you puzzling, how do I get all the collectables on this level? It could do with a little more depth, but different elements get added the more levels you unlock. With tonnes of levels and loads of areas to play in, Sleepwalkers Journey is definitely going to let you scratch that puzzle itch for a long time.


Great fun and can be nicely challenging, however could do with more depth.

The mystery game has been revealed to be, Geometry Dash by Rob Top Games. Geometry Dash should come with a warning, "highly addictive and extremely frustrating". In this game, you take control of a little square and click your phone screen to make it jump gaps, avoid spikes, oh and when it jumps on a rocket move it up and down. One slip, a single mistake, a finger left on the screen too long and our lottle square is dead. The game is all about timing and remembering when to jump and when not to. A simple mistake at 98% of your way through a level means being sent back to the beginning. Now, it might sound like I'm being quite down on Geometry Dash,  but the truth is I love it. Loads of levels, a great soundtrack and different characters make for a great game you can play for a minute or an hour.


It has evereverything you want from a phone game, play as little or as much as you want. Hearing the soundtracks through to the end is a reward in itself.

Ikoid Bundle #7 'Android Legends' - Click here to go there.

Ikoid are a new comers to the bundle game, but they come with something different. Android games. For $3.99 (£2.47) you get 4 enjoyable and varied games, plus a mystery game. With a range of payment methods including the ease of paypal, an app to easily download your purchases and an easily manoeuvrable website. Ikoid are a welcomed addition to the bundle world and have some great games on offer.

Overall bundle score - 4/5

Monday, 24 February 2014

The Infinite Black

What can I say about The Infinite Black by Whalesong Games? That it is hands down the best MMO on the phone market, that's what.

Now,  you may think I am exaggerating,  but I'm not. It has essential everything you would want from an MMORPG. Level progression, equipment progression,  clans (corporations), PVP, a low data usage and tonnes more. Still a none believer?  What if I told you that it is free AND in-app purchases don't make the game super broken.  Plus, it is really very fun.

No more of this waiting for your 'energy'  to recover. Seriously, what video games hero should really need to do that? The only real waiting you will do is for warp jumps and gun reloads. Well, that and the grind can seem a bit drawn out, especially at the beginning.

The game really opens up at level 15. You are now competent enough to move out of gray space (the newbie zone) and explore black space. You may, if you are foolish enough, wander into black sectors while under level 15, but you will almost certainly die. This is because there are big nastey aliens out there and even bigger nastier players as well. That right folks, out there in that big black is Player Vs Player space. My poxy level 7 Frigate stood no chance against a level 150 Destroyer. So lesson learnt,  stay in the safe zone until you can at least run away moderately well.

The Infinite Black get slightly let down by it's user interface. Not only can it be a bit clunky, it's confusing nature means new player can be put off. Fortunately, there is a question mark tab at the side so you can access the wiki in an easy overlay. However, it can still be overwhelming due to a large number of features being compressed into a small space. The wiki does have a tutorial that introduces how to play the game, but a formal tutorial would benefit new players.

The combat is fairly straightforward, but enjoyable and suprisingly deep. Each weapon type has it's own damage, cool down and additional stats. So choosing the best weapon for you is important. Do you want to build a heavy goliath, that needs 20 seconds to get off a massive hit? Or something that hits for less but really quickly? Another thing to remember is, equip points. These regulate how powerful your equipment can be. Meaning,  you cannot get enormous guns on your shuttle, but you can on larger vessels. Makes sense really.
There are 7 equipment slots, each one serving a different purpose. Guns for killing, armour for living and storage for collecting your enemies remains. Each equipment type has levels and further subtypes. Meaning different types of armour for different types of ship build. To add even more depth there are 7 rarities as well. This equates to a lot of options for you. Plenty to be playing with as you decide what sort of ship you want to use.

Now we know how equipment works, back to the combat. Once your chosen tool of space domination has reloaded you can choose a target. Your attack can now either hit, miss or crit. The liklihood of each is destermined by both your stats and your opponents. Throw in grappling, (for towing or being towed), the unknown factors about your enemy and splash damage and you have a really deep and strategic system that requires thought and planning. Deciding when to run and when to stand your ground. Which ships to chase and which to let escape. Honestly, I feel like a proper ship Captain taking on the Universe, making snap judgements that could mean life or death.

Overall I give The Infinite Black -
Let down only by being unfriendly to newcomers and hard to get into with a wobbly UI, I still heartily recommend The Infinite Black.

General Information

Game Name - The Infinite Black - Android, iOS
Developer - Whalesong Games
Genre - Action, Adventure, RPG, MMO, Strategy, Exploration

Sunday, 28 July 2013

Dead Pixels Review

Dead Pixels by CSR-Studios is a zombie game, and I know what you are thinking “Not another one…”. Well yes, but this one is actually pretty good. Containing character upgrades, tonnes of weapons, pickups and houses to loot along the way, Dead Pixels takes all the good elements about a zombie game and streamlines them. No more long winded stories with tedious moral consequences, just point, shoot and perhaps throw a grenade every now and again. Take all this and grab an unsuspecting friend for local co-op and you have something that is loads of fun.

Dead Pixels loose story line is not going to win any awards, but it works for an excuse to shoot your way through hordes of zombies.  As we so often do in zombie games, we find ourselves in a city looking to get out alive. As we progress down each street there are houses ransack and other survivors to trade with. Also, everybody knows zombies walk around with loads of cash in their dead pockets, so along the way you might as well liberate them of this unnecessary baggage and buy yourself some fireworks or ten shots of adrenaline. The end of the world can make you quite rich, shame about that whole apocalypse thing and all.

Gameplay is what Dead Pixels boils down to. Run shoot, run some more, shoot again, become over encumbered, try and run but be unable to, run out of ammo and have to poke your way out of fights, get swarmed by the undead, see your partner die and become zombie who then starts to chase you, eventually decide “Hell with this”, dump all your excess weight and dash between all the zombies like you are in a downhill slalom race. Finally, breathe. All of this in a single street. As you have probably guessed, Dead Pixels can be very fast paced and frantic. However it does have a deep level of strategy to it. Managing your weapon ammo and deciding what to buy and sell to a trader adds an unexpected depth to the game. Ammo can be scarce and shops appear erratically, or sometime not at all. With each shop having a different selection of goods and varying prices, knowing when you are getting a bargain is important. However, you don't always have that luxury, what with all those undead folk and everything milling about outside.

Dead Pixels looks and sounds great. There is a wide range of zombie models, along with loads of different types of zombies from spitters to guys who run at you. Dead Pixels really does feel like an entire city, with its vast range of people, has turned on you. While the shops and houses are repeated level after level, I personally feel this adds to the feeling that the road out of the city is never-ending. Dead Pixels soundtrack compliments the game perfectly. It has a great rock/metal soundtrack with some brilliant guitaring throughout. I always think a game with a cleverly built and executed soundtrack is far more enjoyable to play because of it. This is a soundtrack I would buy and listen to separately from the game.

Dead Pixels has two additional game modes on top of the standard escape the city mode. The Solution allows you to choose a character from a list of convicted criminals who each have their own specific stats. The objective for this game mode is to trigger a catastrophic overload in the cities power plant and escape so you get pardoned of whatever crime you committed. With no shops or other survivors to interact with you are simply intent on your target of the power plant and escaping in one piece.  However, you do have the ability to spend the money earned from zombie kills still by using one of the 4 radios given to you at the start of the game. So you can really save up and buy some of the game’s biggest and most devastating guns to smash your way to the power plant and back out again. The other game mode is called The Last Stand and it is your run of the mill survival and time trail mode. No great leap from this mode, but it is a nice addition to two already great game modes.

This is a zombie game to be remembered. It is loads of fun, with plenty of weapons, upgrades and zombies, local co-op, 3 different game modes and 5 difficulties to test you on. Dead Pixel is something I will definitely come back to again and again.  

Gameplay – 5/5
Graphics – 4/5
Enjoyability – 5/5
Soundtrack - 5/5
Story – 3/5
Overall – 4/5

Right, now that you have heard my opinion on the matter why not go down to the comments section and give me yours. :)

General Information

Game Name - Dead Pixels
Developer - CSR-Studios
Genre - Action, Adventure

Sunday, 21 July 2013

Knytt Underground Review

Knytt Underground is an exploration platformer. You play as Mi, a young lady who has gone spelunking. There have been two previous games in the Knytt series. However, you do not need to have played them to enjoy exploring the vast caverns in Knytt Underground. Packed with quests, puzzles and a whopping 1,800 rooms can Knytt Underground dig its way to gaming glory?

Let’s start with story. I have no idea what is going on it Knytt Underground. I go and find some fairies. Do some quests, including finding candlesticks along the way. All while enjoying a lush underground environment and highly enjoyable and responsive platforming. So what if this isn't a game with a winning storyline. It is a game about exploring a complex area of caves and enjoying an adventure to discover what is in the next room. What it boils down it is a Metroidvania game without all that pesky combat. You can simply enjoy exploring for explorations sake.

Knytt Underground has some of the smoothest and most responsive platforming I have encountered in a long time. Usually precision jumping is out of the question, instead just end up diving headlong towards your goal and hoping for the best. Not Knytt Underground. Along with graceful jumps, Mi can also climb up most straight surfaces. This is an important element of the game as without her ability to climb, you would not get very far. There is a rudimentary tutorial that introduces some of Knytt Undergrounds features, but not all of them. Throughout your adventure you will come across these glowing orbs. Each of these gives Mi a specific power-up. These range from turning Mi into a little orb so you can fly across an area or makes and explosion to help you jump higher. No matter what the power-up is, it really changes up the gameplay and shapes Knytt Underground into a unique and unpredictable game.

Graphically Knytt Underground looks great. The environments are wonder, if a little dark at times, but then what did I expect from a game set in a series of caves. Using the various power-up looks as great as it feels to use them. Although the character models are a little shaky, they are a null point since your main focus is the massive scope of the game and its hundreds of rooms to explore.

Unfortunately Kyntt Underground does have some poor qualities. The quest system is just a basic delivery job. Find A and bring it to B. However, you do get to enjoy all of Knytt Underground's other features during each quest. The other bit about quests that could use improvement are the rewards. Now, I am not being greedy or anything, but after collect several random items for a stranger I usually expect something shiny out of the deal. In Knytt Underground all you get is the satisfaction of a job well done and to be able to access a new area. So it can feel you aren’t really progressing even when you are. Now we come to the issue of save points. Why are they so well hidden and infrequent? It isn’t like you need to make sure you don’t die, because all dying does is respawn you back where you were previously. So I don’t understand why the save points are not just a bit more often, it makes playing the game for shorter periods of time difficult – this is something that could be improved upon to expand the potential market for this game. Nifflas Games if you are reading please make some change to this. You need to have more frequent save points, otherwise you end up like me wandering around in search of one for the better part of 20 minutes and that’s no good. 

Backtracking is another element that could have been reduced. While there are a lot of rooms, it seems there are a lot of wasted rooms. There a great deal of rooms with very little in and it seems that the game could have exploited this and had more plaforming elements.  However, there are enough rooms to challenge your skills.

On the whole Knytt Underground is a brilliant exploration platformer with a fantasic physics engine. However, it could be improved by having more frequent and less hidden save points and a more rewarding quest system. These somewhat minor complaints are overshadowed by a well crafted plaformer and highly enjoyable game.

Gameplay – 5/5
Graphics – 4/5
Enjoyability – 4/5
Story – 2/5
Overall – 4/5

General Information

Game Name - Knytt Underground
Developer - Nifflas' Games
Genre - Platformer, Adventure


Sunday, 14 July 2013

Dwarf Quest Review

Dwarf Quest is a dungeon crawler with a turn-based combat system. Playing as Morrin Firebeard you could not have a more classic Dwarven name. Using a simple, but effective system Dwarf Quest pits our hero against monsters, traps and bosses throughout his journey. While Dwarf Quest harkens back to old school dungeon crawlers can it stand up in modern times?

First off, Dwarf Quest is not a game with a grand story. It is, however, one with a loose story that gives you a bit of background. You are playing as Morrin Firebeard as he journeys through The Foundry on this year’s tournament. Along the way poor Morrin discovers nothing, but various creatures with pointy weapons and the corpses of his friends. The reasoning behind this brutal tournament beyond me, but it works for the premise of the game.

Dwarf Quest's graphic are not the most polished. However, the enemy models are quite detailed and varying. I like to think it was the developer’s choice in making the rooms look very similar in order to enhance the feeling of being a lost in a dungeon. If this is the case it is executed perfectly. Even with the ability to see where I had been previously, Hansel and Gretel style, I still felt a bit lost at times. Atmospheric would be a good word to describe Dwarf Quest's graphics, if a little uninteresting at times.


Combat in Dwarf Quest is turn-based. Each action performed uses up one of the dots above each characters head. These actions include: moving, attacking, blocking and using health potions, but not battle cards. Blocking makes shields appear above Morrin’s head equal to the number of dots he had left and reduces the amount of damage he takes. The same is true for his enemies. The real strategy comes from utilising blocking, attacking and moving to the best of your advantage. Certain encounters are trickier than others forcing you to alter your tactics.

Throughout Morrin’s journey he finds a range of items. These span from your ordinary health potions and treasure chest keys, to battle cards. Battle cards buff Morrin’s abilities in a range of ways. They can fully heal him instantly or make his next attack really pack a punch. They can really make a difference in Dwarf Quests more difficult battles and especially in both boss battles. Using a battle card can really turn the tide in Morrin’s favour and should be used accordingly. You find them frequently in crates and chests and even though there is a shop to buy them in, you rarely need to.

Now, onto the shop. What would you normally expect a shop in a dungeon to like? Well, whatever you were expecting I bet you were not counting on it being a coffin. The first few times I saw it did not even realise it was a shop and passed it up wondering "What am I meant to do with all this gold?”. Anyway confusing store managers aside the battle cards can be a tad overpowered, but they can also really make a difference in a tough fight so be sure to stock up.

Now we come to the issue of balance. Dwarf Quest is, unfortunately, riddled with these. Firstly, at the beginning of the game blocking means you take no damage. So it is easy enough from this horde all the health potions in case you need one - which isn't very often to begin with. However, once you progress far enough, finding a shield and another axe, blocking becomes less viable. So you would assume equip the shield, do a bit less damage, but stay alive easier. Wrong. By this stage unless you have two axes equipped the enemies will not take any damage. Puzzler, no? We it goes on. Even with enemies being able to hurt you through your guard they rarely pose much of a threat. this is due to the ample numbers of health potions and battle cards you find. However, in spite of all this Dwarf Quest is highly addictive. I simply could not stop playing even though I found myself complaining about all these balance issues. When it comes down to it, Dwarf Quest is a highly enjoyable dungeon crawler with an interesting combat system. Would I have like some things to be a bit more polished and balanced? Yes. However, with a second one on the works maybe these will be addressed. 

I would say that Dwarf Quest is worth a play. It is a fresh dungeon crawling experience and is unlike many other games today. I am definitely looking forward to the second one.


 - Gamplay 4/5

 - Graphics 3/5

 - Story 2/5

 - Enjoyability and Addictiveness 4/5

Overall 3/5

General Information

Game Name - Dwarf Quest
Developer - Wild Card Games
Genre - Action, Adventure


Sunday, 16 June 2013

New Review Rating System

The new rating system will hopefully streamline the current one. Instead of a final something/100 score, I am going to make a something/5 system instead. This will rate the game in various areas such as graphics, plot and gameplay. I will then tally up the numbers and work out the average. This should give a more representative score for each game I review. This in the hope that the scores will make more sense. I have had a lot of feedback saying that the number at the end of the review is too vague. The reviews themselves will be unchanged. See below for an example of what the new score system should look like.

Graphics - 4/5
Soundtrack - 3/5
Gameplay - 4/5
Overall - 4/5

The number of scores will vary between games. I may add in enjoyment or plot depending upon the game, but the end result of and 'overall' score afterwards that is the average of those above will not. I have yet to decide whether I will be being a decimal point and it might be something that appears rarely or something that becomes a staple. We will just have to wait and see.

Anyway, there we go the new system for reviews in all its shining glory.