We are proud to announce that we have been growing so quickly that we had to go out and get ourselves our own domain!! You can now find our most current articles and news at www.thecurrentgamer.com !!!! Thank you to all of our readers that have helped us grow so quickly!! We look forward to bringing the best of iPhone news, reviews, previews and more to you on our new site!!!
iBlast Moki is a physics puzzler that has you planting bombs under the very cute Moki’s blasting them towards a goal that looks something like an inter dimensional wormhole. But fear not, the Moki’s are a resilient bunch, and are not harmed one bit while being blasted by strong explosives.
The game starts out easy enough, with simple goals that will take the average puzzle fan less than a minute to solve. As you progress further however, puzzles begin to present quite a challenge, requireing multiple charged set in different areas, each timed just right to the fraction of a second. Add in additional tools such as planks, balloons, and rope, and now levels may require a dozen or more replays before you find the correct solution. While this may sound like it could be an annoyance, iBlast Moki seems to really encourage experimentation.
After a failed attempt, a quick button press will rewind the action back to just before you . This feature really comes in handy as puzzles eventually require the placement of several tools at once. Rather than having to re-place every single bomb, balloon, and rope all over again, you simply make some adjustments to your last attempt and try again. I really enjoyed this feature, as I found it really removed the stress usually accompanied with multiple failed attempts. This allowed me to relax, and really enjoy playing around with the physics in the game.
The graphics in this game are nice, and the animations are very well done. Watching the facial expressions of the Moki as I blast them sky high put a smile on my face. The music is relaxing and adds nicely to the overall ambiance of the game. Most importantly the physics work very well, and everything acts as you would expect. The overall mechanics of the game work well, so you never feel like you are fighting with the controls. Bombs and other items are placed easily with the touch screen. Minute adjustments on the detonation timing on each charge are made easily with a timing wheel that appears around a selected bomb.
The level variety in iBlast Moki is very well done. Levels are separated into multiple stages, and each stage has its own theme. Some themes are especially charming, like an underwater stage that completely changes how the physics work. (Moki’s float!)
In addition to the levels that come packaged with the game, you will also find a level editor, that enables you to make your own levels. The level editor is very basic, but will allow for the aspiring level designer to make some very nice creations. Ngmoco’s Plus+ Network is integrated in to iBlast Moki and makes level sharing very easy. Finding a user created level to play is extremely easy as well as levels are divided into recent, most viewed, and top rated. There are plenty of user created levels to choose from already, so this feature adds additional replayability to an already great title. The Plus+ network also tracks achievements and includes global leaderboards.
Overall, iBlast Moki is an excellent title ,and is easy to recommend. The gameplay is very entertaining. With a nice selection of levels, a level editor and integrated online level sharing, and the Plus+ network integration, this game provides a quite hefty package. iBlast Moki is the best quality physics puzzler I have played on the iPhone, and is very easy to recommend.
Score: 5/out of 5
When I came across Peter Und Vlad for review, I didn’t know what to expect. This was a game completely under the radar that I had heard nothing about, and was described as an action adventure sheep herding simulator. Not long after starting this game up, it had completely won me over with its clever premise, its beautiful art style, great music, and some truly solid gameplay mechanics.
The premise of this game brings us to brothers Peter and Vlad both living on a farm. Vlad is a bit of a mad inventor, and comes up with a crazy flying weather machine to help them keep the grass well watered for their beloved sheep. Upon starting up the crazy contraption, things start going haywire. They brothers learn that not only are they not able to turn the machine off, but it also runs on wool and is soon after their precious livestock.
You are given control of Peter and are tasked with herding your sheep safely into the barn before the weather machine gone haywire takes them in on a rather wooly fuel stop. You control Peter by drawing a line on the touch screen guiding him where you would like him to run. This mechanic is similar to Flight Control, and other line drawing games but is done very well. In fact, this is probably one of the best line drawing mechanics I have seen in a game yet. The mechanic is smooth, intuitive and simply works well.
As sheep run into view you must guide Peter to chase the sheep into the barn. The sheep certainly act as you would expect, and I saw no wierd or glitchy AI. As you guide sheep into the barn, you have a certain amount of time to get them to safety before the weather machine appears. If the there is sheep out and about when the weather machine comes by, then those sheep are lost. If the weather machine absorbs to many sheep, it will overheat and explodes ending the game.
Like Flight control, this game is very challenging and you first few round may end verry quickly, but as you continue to play you learn various strategies to keep the game going and extend you score.
One really neat touch is that as you are able to progress further and further into the game, you notice the weather machine begins changing the seasons. The are also powerup available via mushrooms that you eat as you herd your sheep. Eat the wrong mushroom however, and you experience some rather hilarious negative effects.
Peter Und Vlad is the real deal. The music, art, gameplay mechanic, it all works well, and is my favorite review this month. The game may be under the radar, but it is a title that should not be missed.
Score 5/ out of 5
UPDATE: We have a winner! Snake won the contest with this post:
“Because I own a goat. They’re pretty much the same, right?
No, really, I do.”
Congratulations Snake! Hmm… a Snake with a goat? Now I have heard everything…
The fine folks at Dexoris were kind enough to provide us with a few promo codes for their game Peter Und Vlad. As we stated earlier today, we will have our full review up later today, but can confidently recommend that you check this game out. This is one of the most polished titles I have had the pleasure to play Review in some time, and the gameplay is great fun as well!
To enter the contest, simply comment on this pot and tell us why YOU are the best sheep herder for the job. Please be sure to include your email, we will choose a winner tonight! If you do not win, do not fret! We will be giving away another copy later this weekend once the review goes live.
Among a huge bevy of releases last night, one title in particular really stood out and is definetely worth your time to check out. Peter Und Vlad by Dexoris is a very well done take on the popular new “line drawing” genre. I will have a full review for you tonight, but am am having so much fun with this title, I thought it necessary to bring it to your attention this morning. Take my word for it, if you check out one game in the app store today, check out Peter Und Vlad. You will be glad you did. Check back for my review tonight.
Hybrid is an action RPG from Gamevil, the Korean based publisher that also brought us Zenonia. While Zenonia was a very classic RPG, Hybrid is all about the action. No towns to explore in this game, no fields to trek through, and no dungeons to explore. What you will find in Hybrid is pure, raw, demon thrashing action at its best.
Hybrid starts out introducing you to the main character, Grey. As you start the game you immediately find out that the entire world is being taken over by evil spirits, and it is not long before you are thrown right into the battle. The game is made up of 2D sprites moving in a 2.5D plane. You will play through each battle in various closed off area’s consisting of the aforementioned 2.5D plane. I am a fan of 2D sprite art and I really enjoy the overall art style in the game. The detail and variety in the enemy sprites and Boss sprites is really well done. Between battle’s you will learn more about our hero Grey, and his helper Fairy through story dialogue consisting of reading text on the screen. While some players who are more gameplay focused may find the story sequences a bit lengthy, there is a skip button available for those wanting to get right back into the action. The story however, while not the highlight of the game, is entertaining, and I never found myself actually skipping through any of the story sequences.
Because this game is all about the action, it is obviously important that the developers made fighting fun. I am happy to report that they were definetely successful in making battles very entertaining. You will control Grey with a virtual D-pad which works surprisingly well considering how action heavy Hybrid really is. In addition to the large D-Pad on the left hand of the screen, you also have an attack button, and a grip button. The grip button enables you to switch sword grips on the fly, even mid-combo. The grip feature allows you to toggle between two grips, one is better for targeting enemies on just one direction, and the other is better for targeting enemies on both sides when you are surrounded. The combo system in place works well, allowing you to rack up points juggling enemies with long strings of attack both with the sword and by magic.
In addition to sword skills Grey also learns various Magic skills as you progress through the game which can be activate with various swiping movements across the touch screen. Overall the Magic system worked well, and is easy to use. Two other skills Force, and Gravity can be used together with Magic skills making Grey a very deadly weapon. For example when a Force skill is used with a Majic skill properly you are able to initiate the Soulblade. The Soulblade traps surrounding enemies in a circle of gravity and then tosses them into the air where Grey can then repeatedly slice them until they fall to the ground a whimpering mess. The skill system also adds plenty of variety to the combat system over the 70 battles you will encounter in the game. All of the action aside, Hybrid has all the RPG elements you would expect from a quality title. You will find a meaty leveling system including upgradeable stats and skills, as well as the upgrading and forging of weapons and items.
One feature set I was pleasantly surprised to find in Hybrid was an extensive online component. Global online leaderboards allow you to compare your high scores with other players around the world. Not far along the story line of Hybrid you come across another online feature that allows you to send letters and gift items to friends who are playing the game.
The online components are a nice touch as part of an already impressive package. In addition to the 70 battles through the main storyline, you can also find an additional 10 hidden stages. There is also an endless mode if you want to practice, or see just how far you can get going against endless hoards of increasingly difficult enemies. You will find more gameplay in Hybrid hour for hour than you will in some full fledged console games. Fans of Zenonia were not disappointed with the huge amount of gameplay to be found, and fans of Hybrid will be no different. With all of the upgrade options, the battle ranking system, and the addicting and fast paced gameplay you will certainly not be disappointed with your mileage on this title.
Score: Hybrid: Eternal Whisper gets 5 out of 5
The “dual stick” shooter geoFighter. Light Wars is on sale for free for a few days. It seems one of the developers on the team just got thier masters degree and wanted to celebrate. iTunes link: http://tinyurl.com/mu6atx
Recently we had an opportunity to interview Arthur Ham, the developer of Run! the popular reaction game that was recently reviewed by The Current Gamer. Link to Review
This is the second in a series of Developer interviews. Learning more about Arthur Ham’s story helped me appreciate even more just how much the iTunes app store is changing the landscape of the casual and mobile gaming market. I really enjoyed learning more about Arthur’s story, and I think you all will as well. I think after reading this you may, like me, feel good about the direction the casual and mobile gaming space is headed.
Here is my interview:
The Current Gamer: First of all, can you tell us a bit about yourself and how you got started as an indie developer for the iPhone/iTouch?
Arthur: I’m a fresh college graduate who likes making simple, high quality games as a hobby. The story of my entry into iPhone development doesn’t actually begin with Run!, but with a virtual pet app called Pet Playpen that I co-developed with a friend. This was back in December 2008 while we were both still in college and incredibly ambitious. Determined to make the next big and original app, we often secretly discussed our ideas in the middle of class, blatantly ignoring vital midterm material in the process. Ultimately, we ended up creating Pet Playpen since we thought it was simple and knew the demand would be high, judging by the phenomenon of the Tamagotchi years ago. Because I had such a blast making Pet Playpen, I knew I wanted to continue making games in the future.
The Current Gamer: What made you decide on the iPhone/iTouch as a platform for your games?
Arthur: Everyone has probably heard how easy it is to start developing and getting something in the App Store, but it doesn’t really register until you personally know someone who’s already done it. When I found out a classmate of mine had already published several apps, I was convinced that this was the best platform for someone like me with very little real-world software development experience. After getting past the initial hurdles of learning the iPhone SDK, everything started clicking and I found myself learning more and more about some of the neat ways I could create games on such a great little device.
I also believe the iPhone platform is perfectly suited for the simple and casual games I plan to make. Everyone carries their iPhone around, and as a result, they carry around with them a library of games that they can quickly pick up and play whenever they have a couple of minutes to spare.
The Current Gamer: Based just on what I can see in the credits for your game, it looks like you developed Run! as a one man team aside from one other person for QA. How did this impact the development of your game, and what are the positives/negatives of working on a game this way?
Arthur: Working alone has the obvious drawback in that it takes much, much longer to complete a game. On the two-man team for Pet Playpen, we split the game evenly into two parts. We each only had to worry about our own portion of the game. If one of us ran into a problem in the other’s territory, we simply gave it to the other to solve and continued on. When I couldn’t figure out why my virtual penguin laid four times the amount of poop it should have, I ran this by the other developer who instantly knew where to look to solve the problem. You don’t get that kind of luxury as a sole developer.
On the flip side, working alone on a game means you don’t feel guilty letting your team down when you take 5 or 6 days off from work to play Rock Band instead. You can work anytime and anywhere. You have the creative freedom to do whatever you want with your game.
The Current Gamer: How did you come up with the idea for Run!?
Arthur: The idea behind Run! came from a mini-game I was developing for Pet Playpen called “Frisbee Fetch”. In that game, your goal is to flick a frisbee in the air and have your pet chase and catch it within a certain distance. To simulate the chasing of the frisbee, the pet runs in place while the environment moves behind it. I thought this was a neat idea and began to think of ways to turn this concept into a full-fledged game. As I was trying to fall asleep one night, I started coming up with the basic premise of the game. I was so excited about it that I started working on it the very next morning, just to see if it was a feasible project. I almost missed my afternoon class that day!
Frisbee Fetch mini-game in Pet Playpen
The Current Gamer: How long was the development process for Run!?
Arthur: The development process started in April and concluded in August. I created a working app in about two days, using randomly colored blocks as placeholders for obstacles. The brick walls were brown, zombies were purple and the person was green. To animate punching, I simply extended and retracted the right side of green block. When I showed this to a few close friends of mine, they thought I was nuts.
Looks familiar doesn’t it?
However, I soon placed its development aside because graduation was fast approaching and I had my eyes set on another app I was developing. When I realized how time-consuming my other idea was, I picked up where I left off with Run! in July. I spent the next month and a half working on it full-time, creating the graphics, developing the achievement system and creating my own custom global leaderboard.
The Current Gamer: Right now Run! is #18 in the top 25 paid apps in the iTunes store, and your game has received very positive feedback from the iPhone gaming media. How do you feel about the publics reaction to your game?
Arthur: I’m glad that people are not only enjoying the addictive gameplay, but also appreciating the humor of it all. Despite being such a hectic game, I tried to inject as many entertaining bits in as possible, such as adding in an evil-looking walrus and the ability to punch sharks out of your way. I’m also very surprised and honored that some people are comparing Run! to some of the best simple games like Doodle Jump in terms of addictiveness. It’s comments like these that motivate me to put in a little more effort each time I work towards developing an update.
The Current Gamer: What has the fast success of Run! done for you as an indie developer?
Arthur: It has definitely proved to me that I can at least make a decent and entertaining game. Hopefully, whenever my next game comes out, people will remember Run! and continue to support all the hard work and effort I put into making it.
The Current Gamer: Are you planning continued support for Run!?
Arthur: Definitely. I’m currently working on the next update as we speak. There are still many features I originally planned to have in Run! that I’m hoping to add in the future, including power up items and other wacky obstacles. I also have a growing list of great ideas that fans have already submitted. Like our bathroom-sign shaped hero in Run!, there is no limit as to how far this can go.
The Current Gamer: What can we expect to see from you in the future? Do you have any new projects coming up?
Arthur: Updates for Run! will be my main concentration for the time being, but expect to see other dead-simple games like Run! in the future.
I really enjoyed Mecho Wars, a popular turn based strategy game on the iPhone, so I was espesially excited to hear the same developer is working on a new RPG called Space Pirates.
Luc Bernard, the developer behind Mecho Wars and self aclaimed pug enthusiast announced the details on Touch Arcade. Link to Article
I certainly look forward to hearing more about this title, and I will keep you all posted as more details are available. – Robert
We have recently updated our Twitter feed to post info and a link to all new articles automatically as they post on our site! If you would like to be kept in the loop on all new content available on The Current Gamer, follow us on twitter. Just go to our twitter page, and hit follow!