Really? It’s Monday again? These weeks are just going around way too fast! Well it’s a good job that we’ve got another selection of games for you to take a look at this week. Firstly there’s Bike Baron, an iOS game similar to the popular RedLynx game Trials HD. When Pigs Fly comes next, a game very similar to another popular iOS game Tiny Wings. After that we’ve got a game that’s, thankfully, a little bit more original, Little Lost Chick is a physics based puzzle game that’s as addictive as it is cute. Lastly there’s a classic board game for you to spend your time with in the for of Trivial Pursuit: Masters Edition.
There we have it, read on to find out what we thought about each of the games and see whether you’d be interested in playing any of them yourselves!
Let’s go play some games!
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!
As I’ve said many, many times when it comes to games that are available on the iTunes App Store, there are a lot of them. Often too many. The only way that we normally get to help us wade through the sheer amount of them that are available is to look at what Apple deems worthy of the “Featured” spot when you first load up the App Store. People will generally look at whatever game is in that spot, maybe purchasing it, maybe not, but at least they’ve got a better chance. Bike Baron was one such game, but does it deserve to be in that much desired “Featured” spot?
If you’ve played Redlynx’s Trials HD then you’ll be pretty well versed in the main gamplay elements of Bike Baron, go from the left of the screen to the right as quickly as possible and without falling off of the track while doing so. There are coins to collect in order to achieve a higher score as well as three little stars, as most iOS games tend to have nowadays, to keep you coming back for more. Those three stars are achieved by doing certain things, one of them is for simply finishing the level, another is for finishing it after collecting all of the stars and the last one is for finishing it within a set period of time. Thankfully you don’t have to do all these things at the same time. For example, you could collect all of the coins in a level, taking as long as you want, then, once you’re at the end of the level, start it all over again (knowing that you’ve safely attained the star for the coins) and get to the end of the level as quickly as you can, getting that final, elusive, time trail star.
The visuals in Bike Baron are quite impressive, the cartoon style helps it be a little less serious than games which it clearly gets its inspiration from, such as Trials HD. Players generally won’t be able to keep themselves from laughing at the moustachioed title character launches his way through the air, performing backflips, collecting coins and crossing the finish line with style. The controls are a little bit of a let down but when you’re trying to control something as precise as Bike Baron, where even a slight lean in the wrong direction could be the difference between nailing a landing and faceplanting the woodwork, the controls are bound to feel a little bad when you’re presented with a set of on-screen buttons. Again, that’s a problem with playing games on touch devices and not the fault of the game itself. Perhaps when OnLive release their bluetooth controller things will be different; let’s hope so.
As it stands Bike Baron is certainly a game that’s worthy of the “Featured” spot on the iTunes App Store, if you’re a fan of RedLynx’s Trials HD and want a version of the game that you can take with you wherever you are, then Bike Baron is that game. Visually pleasing graphics and humorous gameplay almost makes up for the on-screen controls. Almost.
WHEN PIGS FLY:
If you make a game worth playing then chances are that people out there are going to start emulating you at some point in time. Whether that emulation is out of respect for your original property or just plain old ripping you off in order to turn their game into a quick money maker on the back of your hard work, the simple fact of the matter is that if you create something that’s popular, be prepared to see a lot more of it; in lots of incarnations. That seems to have been the case for Tiny Wings, a game that came out for the iOS devices earlier this year and took off (no pun intended, unless you laughed, then it was totally intended) and now we’re starting to see the clones come trickling through; When Pigs Fly is one of those clones.
The gameplay in When Pigs Fly is exactly the same as in Tiny Wings, propel your little character along the levels by making them run down the declines of various hills and attempting to take off during the inclines. No part of that popular formula seems to have changed here. The character that you control is Penelope Pig, a little porker who always wanted to fly and, thanks to you and your ever-trusty pointy finger, she can do just that. Along the way she’ll have to avoid as many crocodiles as she can, get as high and as far as she can, all while collecting little pieces of sweets along the way. Sounds simple enough right? Yup.
That’s the main problem with the game though, once you’ve worked through this first area, figured out how to fly and avoid the numerous crocodiles at the same time, you’ve pretty much figured out the whole game, so there’s no reason to keep coming back for more. Sure you could keep coming back in order to beat your own high score, and if that’s your thing then by all means keep having a go at it, but it would have been nice to see some more gameplay options available to keep people interested. A mode where you have to see how high you can get, see how far you can get in a certain time limit or any other idea would have seen people coming back for more than just beating a high score. As it stands, once you’ve either mastered the basic flight mechanic, or got bored of it, whichever comes first, there’s nothing left to keep you occupied. Which is a shame really.
On a plus note the graphics look crisp, clean and visually appealing, and the single touch control method can’t possibly get confusing, even to the most determined technophobe but unfortunately it doesn’t do anything to help the fact that When Pigs Fly is just a clone of a much superior iOS game. It’s a good attempt, and maybe if the concept was a little bit more original it would have been something really special, but as it stands there’s nothing here that hasn’t been seen before, and been done better.
LITTLE LOST CHICK:
A lot of games on the iOS market can class themselves as casual games, some of them do a very good job at fitting into that little niche that other games have carved along the way and some of them don’t quite get what it means to be a casual game. Little Lost Chick is one of those games that knows exactly what it’s meant to be from the moment it starts. A casual game that’s sole purpose is to get people that wouldn’t normally play video games to play them, and enjoy them while they’re at it.
The gameplay of Little Lost Chick revolves around getting the titular “Little Lost Chick” to the basket at the end of the level, in order to do this the player must move, delete and alter the terrain in order to roll the little birdie into the basket. This starts of simply enough, will just a single barrier being removed, but it soon turns into a test of timing and skill as more and more obstacles are put in the way and you have to navigate everything at the same time. Having multiple pairs of eyes wouldn’t be a bad thing most of the time with this particular game.
As we’ve become accustomed to when it comes to casual games, there are multiple ways of completing each of the levels. You can take the easy way out, and simply get the little chick to the end of the level, or you can do what most people would probably be doing anyway and collecting as many little eggs as you can along the way. There are a total of three possible eggs in each level and collecting all of them, on every level, means that you’ll be well on your way to 100% completing the game; something every gamer strives towards.
The controls in Little Lost Chick are as easy as you’re going to get, simply tap the object that you want to make disappear and it does so. There are other objects that need to be controlled in different ways but they’re all simple enough to do, often requiring a swipe or a drag, nothing overly complex; which means that everyone can at least have a go, which is perfect for a casual title. The visuals are also something which adds to the overall casual feel of the game, with their little cartoony, sprite based animations which will do make people say “awwww” every time the little chick does his awesome little fist pump upon reaching the nest.
If you’re a fan of physics based puzzle games, or even just bright and cheerful puzzle games in general, then you’re going to love Little Lost Chick. There’s something here for everyone, and there’s plenty of levels too, meaning that people who love a challenge will have plenty of levels to test their wits in and people who just like a game that’s worth every penny that they paid for it will be sated too. You can go wrong here; now where did I leave that iPad?
TRIVIAL PURSUIT: MASTER EDITION:
Quiz games. A lot of us love them and a lot of us love to hate them. When we know all the answers (or at least pretend we do) then there’s few greater feelings in life. The new Trivial Pursuit game for the iPad allows players to do just that, either on their own or with friends and family members. It time to start sharpening those wits and collecting those wedges. It’s general knowledge time and Trivial Pursuit is here to make sure that we’re being asked the right questions. Hopefully ones we can answer.
If you’ve ever played a game of Trivial Pursuit before, either the actual board game, or on any other of the multitude of platforms it’s been released on over the years (I even had a Master System 2 game!) then you’ll already know how to play the age old game. You pick a colour and proceed to make your way around the circular board collecting all of the wedges as you go around. Once you’ve collected all of the wedges, each of which represent a particular category, the only thing left to do is to race towards the centre of the board, answer one final question, and you’ve won. Sounds simple doesn’t it? Well, it is simple, as long as you know the answers to the questions.
There are lots of different ways to play Trivial Pursuit: Master Edition. You can play on your own, just trying to beat your own score and getting around the board as quickly as you possibly can, or you can play with other people, passing the iPad around and playing the game in a more classical sense. However you choose to play the game you’ll soon find that the classic Trivial Pursuit gameplay is there and working as well as you ever remembered it. If you start to find that the same questions keep getting asked over and over again, then you’ve even got the option to purchase a selection of question packs via in-app purchases. Never again will you have to see that one question that everybody knows again; or at least you’ll have a smaller chance with a larger pool of questions.
Everything is presented in the classic Trivial Pursuit style that players of the game in any previous iteration will instantly recognise. Thankfully the graphics have been updated since that last Master System 2 version I played quite a while ago now and even players that have never played the game before will be able to play while looking at something pleasing to the eye. The controls are simple enough too although they did seem to be a little unresponsive at first. Flicking the dice will roll it and once even a new player has done this a couple of times, the action will feel second nature to them.
With the Christmas season coming up and all of us planning trips to be with our families then there’s no better game that you could be taking with you to liven up those afternoons when you’re too full to move. The main downside of Trivial Pursuit: Master Edition is that it has a tendency to crash on the first generation of iPad, however, once the game has successfully loaded into a match there didn’t seem to be any crashes at all. If you have an iPad 2 then you probably won’t have a problem at all. Aside from that problem the game itself is about as close to the classic feel of a Trivial Pursuit game as you can find, all the way down to manually rolling the dice. Plenty of questions will keep you busy and the option to buy even more will ensure that it’s a game that you’ll be playing, either on your own or with others, for quite a while to come.