You know what day it is? It’s Monday again and that can mean only one thing here at GodisaGeek: It’s time for another edition of Mobile Monday, the article where we take a look at four mobile games and let you know if they’re worth your time and money.
This week we’re taking a look at Hydroventure: Spin Cycle from Curve Studios, Anomaly Korea from 11 Bit Studios, Wall Breaker from Small Thing and Masters of Mystery: Blood of Betrayal from Big Blue Bubble.
Read on to find the full reviews of each game, but don’t forget to come back next week for more Mobile Monday reviews. While you’re here, if you have played any of the games listed, or even just want to come back once you’ve had a go to let us know how you got on, we’d love to hear from you in the comment box at the bottom of the page.
Titles are available on iPhone and iPad unless specifically stated otherwise. If you like what you read, click the small black “App Store” button to load iTunes up and purchase the title!
HYDROVENTURE: SPIN CYCLE (3DS via eShop):
Nintendo eShop games are a little bit more expensive than your average iOS title, so it’s not unusual to expect that there’s little bit more substance to them. Unfortunately, that doesn’t always seem to be the case, but that’s what we at GodisaGeek are here for, to tell you the game that are worth your time and, more importantly, money. Hydroventure: Spin Cycle is an eShop game from Curve Studios, the guys behind the recently reviewed Stealth Bastard: Deluxe Edition, and is absolutely a game that’s worth your hard earned cash. But that’s getting ahead of myself, let’s break things down a little bit.
The aim of the game in Hydroventure is to get to the end of each of the game’s level with as much of your water intact as possible. Sloshing around any of the level in a haphazard fashion is a quick way to ensure that the water that makes up the main character is going to end up in all corners of the level instead of staying in a single place; which is where you want it. Get to the end of the level in the quickest time possible, and with the majority of your contents still in a single place, and you’ll be awarded with the three stars that you’re looking for.
The story in Hydroventure is something that you wouldn’t normally get in a downloadable game at this price. It’s the kind of story that people of all ages would enjoy and will be one of the reasons why you’re coming back to it time and time again. The different environments that you’ll find yourself in are all created and animated beautifully and players will keep playing the game just to see which area they will find themselves in next.
The controls of the game are one of the things that had the potential of holding people back, while it’s an intuitive control system, it’s not one that lends itself well to playing the game while you’re on the move. In order to move the water around the screen, you’re going to have to tilt the 3DS system to the left or right, pressing the shoulder buttons to make the water jump and tapping the screen to utilise some of the power-ups that you’ll unlock over the course of your time with the game. Tilting the console is fun, and it’s something that kids will absolutely love, but you’re not going to stand there on your way to work tilting the console all over the place, that would get you some really strange looks.
If you’re in the market for a quirky little game from the eShop that doesn’t cost the Earth and utilises the features of the 3DS to a good standard, then you should at least be considering Hydroventure: Spin Cycle. It’s a game that’s been developed with passion, one that looks amazing, plays well, and will keep people coming back for more. If you own a 3DS then you owe it to yourself to at least give it a go.
When the first Anomaly game came out a couple of years ago, people loved it. It’s a take on the tower defence series that’s just familiar enough to get people into the game, but different enough to keep people playing for the long term. Instead of playing as an all conquering Warlord, placing towers in order to keep the creeps from entering whatever you’re protecting, you’re playing the creeps, desperately trying to get to your goal without being decimated by the machines blocking your path. Anomaly: Warzone Earth was such a success, that after being ported to every format imaginable, it’s time for a well deserved sequel; but can it live up to the original game?
Anomaly Korea is essentially a tower defence game with a twist. You’ll start each level at one end of the map and you’ll be told that you need to reach a specific, story-driven point at another area of the map. These points are dictated to the player through the story or the game, it could be rescuing some troops that have found themselves stuck behind enemy lines, or finding resources that you can use in your war effort. Whatever it is you need to find, you’re going to have to use your wit and tactical skills to get past the machines and all the way to your intended target; attempting to pick up as many collectibles as possible too.
At the start of each of the missions, you’ll be asked to decide on which route you’re going to take through the level. The longer route you take – while it will be a bigger risk, usually encompassing a lot more of the enemy machines – the more you will be richly rewarded with items that can be used to upgrade your vehicles, buy new ones or just further your career and help win the war you’re fighting. There’s a definite risk/reward factor to choosing your path, but it’s one where the reward usually far outweighs the risk; providing you have the tactical know-how to get your squad through the difficult sections and out of the other end alive.
Controlling the game is a breeze too, tapping on one of the power-ups will activate it, then tapping on the screen where you want to deploy it will make sure your troops have exactly what they need, when they need it. Whether that’s a quick, tactical field repair or a power-up to ensure that they’re doing the maximum amount of damage possible when it’s important for them to be doing so. All aspects of the game only require a single finger in order to make them work, although some areas do require the player to be quite quick at inputting the actions. Anomaly Korea is a game that can be played by anyone, but it’s more suited to people that play games fairly regularly.
If you’re a fan of one of the many incarnations of Anomaly: Warzone Earth then you’ve probably already been and bought this sequel, so you don’t need me to tell you to do so. But if you didn’t play that first game, and are waiting to find out how Anomaly Korea reviews to find out if you want to buy it or not, then wait no longer. Buy it, play it, and save our previous Earth from the clutches of the machines!
Games where the whole point is to demolish other objects are always fun. The chance to get points for performing a whole heap of destruction never gets old and it’s the primary reason why the iOS App Store is absolutely chock full of Breakout-style games. We’ve reviewed quite a lot of them here on Mobile Monday, some of them have even been pretty good, but can Small Thing, the developer behind Wall Breaker, bring something new to the table, or will it be another game that gets lost in the mix?
Just as you would expect from a Breakout style game, players will spend the whole of their time trying to break through all of the blocks on each of the levels and, once all of the blocks have been demolished, the player will move on to the next level and do it all over again. Throughout your time in each of the levels, you’ll hit various different blocks that perform different functions and will produce different objects and power-ups. Some of them will simply produce coins that, when collected, will contribute to your total collection. Some of the other power-ups provide similar functions to other games, such as multiple balls, sticky balls, larger balls. Any power-up you’d expect to see is here and ready to be used.
If you’re getting a bit bored with the standard Breakout style of gameplay, then you could always go into the Puzzle mode, a mode within Wall Breaker where the objective isn’t to destroy all of the blocks in the level, but to destroy certain specific ones as quickly as possible. The faster you destroy the blocks, the faster you move onto the next puzzle and the more points you get in total. The puzzle elements of Wall Breaker are certainly more fun in the long term, but the normal Attack mode is where people will be going for that short fix that iOS games are so good at.
The controls in Wall Breaker are simple to learn, all you’re going to be doing is sliding your finger across the bottom of the screen in order to move the palette that you’re using to reflect the ball around the screen. The main difficulty of this, which is a problem due simply to the format that the game exists on, is the fact that most players will want to put their finger on top of the palette in order to move it; this obscures everything from the player’s view (as their finger is on it) so it makes the game a little harder to play. The player doesn’t have to place their finger on the palette, they can place their finger just underneath it so that they’re not obscuring anything, but the subconscious want to place your finger on top of what you’re moving with your finger is quite strong.
Wall Breaker isn’t the best Breakout style game out there, but it has some features which set it out from a lot of those other games. The collection of coins puts it more in line with the more recent Mario games than anything else and there are moments when you’re going to have to choose whether to collect the coins or reflect the balls. It’s quite a hard choice to make at times but it’s the choice that makes you want to play more and more. While Wall Breaker isn’t the greatest game of its kind out there, it’s still a fun game to play, and it certainly deserves a look.
MASTERS OF MYSTERY: BLOOD OF BETRAYAL:
There’s nothing better than a good mystery. Whether it’s in a book, a video game, or on TV, a lot of people like to take part in murder mysteries and try and figure out what happened. Some people even go so far as to go on murder mystery holidays. Not my cup of tea but you see what I’m getting at. Playing adventure games is another thing that some people absolutely adore too, so when these two things come together, and we get an adventure game that asks the player to solve a murder mystery, then we’re bound to get something that’s going to be enjoyable to play by a good many people. Masters of Mystery: Blood of Betrayal, developed by Big Blue Bubble is one such game; but is it any good?
Most of the player’s time with Blood of Betrayal will be spent looking through each of the different scenes and looking for the pieces of evidence that you have listed in your notebook. Certain objects, which are coloured differently in the notebook, will activate small sections of the story, causing the characters to talk to each other and further the game’s story. Once all of the objects are collected, some of which will require special tools to reveal, the player will be allowed to move on to other areas of the game and do the same thing over and over again. It’s an aspect of the game that doesn’t sound particularly interesting, but if you’re a fan of story within games, and murder mystery stories in general, you will find yourself compelled to keep playing even though the gameplay itself isn’t particularly inspired.
As well as going through these collection areas of the game, in certain scenarios you will be asked to perform other actions in order to progress through the title. These alternative actions will be tied to something currently going on in the story. You won’t be asked to do anything that’s detached from the genre, but you could be asked to dust for fingerprints or use a UV light in order to reveal spots of blood at a murder scene. Whatever it is that you may be asked to do, all you’ll have to do is follow the instructions and perform the actions on the screen and you’ll get through it without much of a problem. These sections are few and far between but they adequately serve to break up the gameplay and keep the player interested.
Masters of Mystery: Blood of Betrayal is an enjoyable game for people who enjoy adventure games and murder mystery stories, although it doesn’t really do anything new to pull people into the genre who may not have previously enjoyed it. If you’re a fan of the genre then you should at least give the game a go, the story is a little bit hammy but it works well enough to get player’s through the title and keeping them entertained throughout.