This year is going by way too quickly for my liking, Christmas is almost upon us and a lot of us regular gamers will probably find a game or two under the Christmas tree for us to play over the Christmas season. Hopefully those games are multiplayer for the sake of those loved ones that we’re supposed to be spending our time with. Just because it’s the Christmas season though, it doesn’t mean that we have to stop playing the odd game or two on our iDevices. This week we’ve got a strange little platformer called Bunny Reaper, a game with ninjas (what more do you need to know about that?!?) called Ninja Throw, a game with quite an interesting concept and graphical design in Rocket Riot and, lastly, we’ve got a puzzle game with a little bit of a twist in the form of Candy Town.
That should be enough to get you through these cold mornings as we head on quickly towards the end of the year.
Let’s play some games!
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Some games end up on my list and I’m not exactly sure why or how, such was the case with Bunny Reaper, a game, developed by Daily App Dream whose story is exactly described by its title, you play as a reaper of little bunny souls and must roam each level finding each and every one of them. Yeah, I had that face when I first saw it too. Nevertheless, I decided to fire it up anyway and see if my worries were unfounded.
The gameplay tasks the player with harvesting the souls of cute little bunny rabbits by standing close to them and tapping the attack button. In order to progress to the next level with any kind of a decent score, players must collect all of the souls on a given level by navigating their way around the environment, finding all of the bunny rabbits, which are blended in with the surrounding foliage due to both of them being plainly black. This is the first of what ended up being a massive amount of disappointments. The name of the game sounded like something I could have had fun with when, in actual fact, the opposite was true. The visuals make everything difficult to see and the camera is consistently too close to the player meaning that when jumping it’s difficult to see where you’re going to land, if you land where you want at all.
The second disappointment game from the game controls, on-screen controls are notoriously something that I have major problems with but Bunny Reaper has some of the worst of the lot. Tiny left and right buttons meant that I often mis-pressed them and jumping was so “floaty” that it was impossible to use it to any degree of accuracy. Add both of these problems together and you’ve got a game that will be practically impossible to play for the vast majority of people. A lot of potential players will even get frustrated at the menu screen, attempting load a level is unnecessarily difficult and the way that the user navigates the menu, by controlling the main character, is unique. But it’s unique for a very good reason; it doesn’t work. Add on top of all that the fact that, despite the game’s graphical failings, it will crash while loading a lot of the time and you’re left with a game that should offer itself up for reaping, never mind dealing it out to others.
When it comes to disappointing games Bunny Reaper is quite high up in the list, unfortunately that’s the only list that it’s going to come near the top in. The graphics are terrible, the gameplay is almost impossible to get along with, as are the controls, and on top of all that, the game crashes too regularly for it to be something that you can grin and bare. Nothing about Bunny Reaper enables me to recommend it to others. I would avoid it as if the Bunny Reaper was after your own soul.
Ninja’s are cool right? Yeah, everybody knows it, it’s a fact as much as saying the sun is going to rise every morning. As such, there are a load of apps on the App Store dedicated to our shadowy friends, but how many of them are actually any good, and how many just try and take some of our hard earned money by putting “Ninja” in the title and hoping that we won’t be able to resist? Ninja Throw, by Hadron Solutions, is another game with “Ninja” in the title, but which category does it fall under? This is Mobile Monday after all, so I think we should find out.
The gameplay revolves around trying to get a throwing star to hit a huge gong at the end of the level. The problem lies in the fact that the path to the gong isn’t always in a straight line, there could be walls, wind and other obstacles that cause trouble for the player in their attempt to finish the level. At first look it would be easy to say the Ninja Throw isn’t much of a puzzle game, but as soon as you start playing you’ll start to realise where the puzzle element comes in. The player will usually have a limited amount of objects in their inventory which they have to use in order to help the Shuriken along it’s path towards the gong. Items are usually used to change the direction of the throwing star, items such as Hakaze, which is a cloud that blows the throwing star away from it.
As is usually the case with puzzle games similar to Ninja Throw, there are multiple levels to “finishing the level”. Players can get either one, two or three throwing stars as their score once the level finishes. The number of throwing stars that you achieve will depend on how many attempts you took to get to the end as well as how long it took you to complete it. Players will be able to move on to the next level as soon as they finish the current one but completionists will want to get all three throwing stars before they move on; Ninja Throw caters for this type of player too. The control scheme is also something that’s very easy to pick up, even for players that only ever play video games for short periods of time. All of the game is possible to play using a single finger as all the player has to do is move the line of trajectory to the desired position and tap the ninja to let lose with a throwing star, hopefully hitting the gong in the process.
If you’re looking for a new style of puzzle game to take your attention away from your morning commute then you could do much worse than Ninja Throw. The gameplay can get repetitive after long periods of time but it’s always easy to come back to on a regular basis for a little bit more of Shuriken throwing fun. The art style is good also but there are many other games that have a visual style more pleasing to the eye. Those games, however, don’t have ninja’s; ’nuff said.
There are a lot of games available for the iPhone and iPad, too many for me to play all of them in a single lifetime, but I do my best to get through a lot of them so I can get a Mobile Monday to you fine people every Monday afternoon. I play so many games that it takes a lot for a game to shock me when I start it up. Rocket Riot, developed by Codeglue was one of those games. Looking at the icon and the name of the app I was expecting a simple little puzzle game that had the possibility of holding my attention for 20 minutes, maybe 30 if it was really lucky. What I got with this game was a game that seemed to melt all of reality around me, nothing else mattered except getting to the end of the game; such is the beauty of Rocket Riot.
The main gameplay element is difficult to nail down, it depends entirely on which of the many levels you’re playing at any one time, some of the levels task you with taking down all of the pirates or other enemies within the game, while others ask you to destroy certain things within a time limit. Other levels have totally different objectives all together and, as such, change the fundamental aspects of the gameplay.
The most impressive part of the gameplay, at least for me, is the fact that all of the environment is destructible. The levels are made up of blocks, giving the entire game an old-school feel to it, but if the player shoots their rocket towards the walls they will be able to destroy them. The levels eventually respawn but a lot of the fun inherent in Rocket Riot is certainly in floating around the levels and destroying everything in sight. So much so that actually performing the task that you’re supposed to be doing in a given level takes a back seat to just blowing the hell out of every part of it you can see. In fact, if the game had no objectives at all, and just allowed the player to vent their frustrations, I’d still enjoy it. That being said, the objectives are fun to play and will keep players coming back for more time and time again. The story that’s displayed at the beginning of the game is a little bit silly but, to be honest, players aren’t playing Rocket Riot because the story is amazing. They’re here to blow stuff up!
If you’re looking for a game that will allow you to vent some frustrations while also enjoy some pretty unique gameplay, then Rocket Riot is right up your alley. The visuals are some of the most striking that are available on the iPad, they’re not fantastic, they’re just not something that most players will be expecting when they load up the game for the first time. Rocket Riot is time consuming, but in a good way, hours and hours will drop by and you won’t realise what’s happened until you look up and the sun’s gone down; I speak from experience.
Some games on the App Store are simple to describe to other people, they involve racing around a track as fast as possible or lining up blocks of the same colour in order to advance to the next level. Candy Town, developed by Inneres Auge, is a game that’s difficult to try and put into words but, when you do sit down and play it, looks like something that shouldn’t have taken so long to describe at all. In essence it’s another “match 3 in a row” game but that’s where the similarities stop. Everything else in the game, from the way the objects move, to the way that the user selects them, is totally different; that’s where the difficulty lies when it comes to describing it.
As I mentioned earlier, the main gameplay element of Candy Town involves the player matching a set of three or more cupcakes. These can be in a row, diagonally or vertically, as long as they’re touching in some way it doesn’t matter. What makes Candy Town different to almost all other “match 3” games is the fact that the cupcakes are always moving, the player has to, in effect, catch them by drawing a line through the cupcakes that they want to select. This ensures that the game is always fast paced and will keep the player’s attention for long periods of time as they will invariably attempt to predict the colour of the cupcake that’s going to come next in order to get bigger and bigger chains. This style of gameplay makes Candy Town rather difficult to put down.
Players have to get to a certain score in order to finish the level and, in this way, it will remind most people of Bejeweled. Couple that with the addictive gameplay and you’ve got a game that , if you enjoyed playing Bejeweled and other games of that ilk, you’re going to love. The control scheme ensures that the maximum amount of people possible have access to the game as all that’s required for play is a single finger, all the player has to do is draw a line through the cupcakes that they want to attempt to capture and that’s it, job done. It’s always a very smart move when developers utilise the touch screen in a way that makes sense, the people over at Inneres Auge certainly did just that with Candy Town.
If you’re looking for a fun little puzzle game to pass the time then Candy Town is just what you’re looking for, it’s colourful, enjoyable and just the right amount of addictive. The control scheme is exactly what you want for a game that’s aimed squarely at the casual audience and there are plenty of levels to keep people entertained for a long period of time. It’s not a game that would be played for extended gaming sessions, not for most people anyway, but for those inevitably boring bus/train journeys that we all have to take every now and again there are much worse ways to pass the time than Candy Town.