Review: Peter Und Vlad 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

http://www.thecurrentgamer.com

Published in: on September 26, 2009 at 6:26 pm  Comments (2)  

Review: Word Ace by Self Aware Games Review Score: 5 / 5

 A few weeks ago we published an interview with Self Aware Games, the publishers of Word Ace. After spending many hours with the game, I am now happy to review this unique, and clever title.

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   Word Ace is a hybrid title. The game plays like Texas Hold Em’ poker, but instead of the standard playing cards you are used to, you have letter cards. Each letter card has one letter and a point value similar to scrabble tiles. Instead of playing for the best standard poker hand, you play the word with the highest possible point value.

  Instead of playing against boring and predictable AI, in Word Ace you can play online against friends. If  you don’t have any friends handy when you have the urge for a hand you can easily be matched up against other online opponents. The online play is seamless and makes each hand of Word Ace extremely unpredictable and entertaining. Word Ace is a multi-platform title, as online play includes both Palm Pre and iPhone users. The developer also revealed in our recent interview that multi-platform play will also include a facebook version in the near future, giving you even more ways to play the game with your friends.

   The entire user interface has a very high level of polish showing that a great deal of thought and care went into the development of this title. Your online profile for example, includes three seperate avatars. One avatar is your standard, one reflects a sad complexion, another a happy one. You can set these avatars using any picture on your iPhone or you can take the pictures for each reaction with your camera on the fly. As you are playing you can change your avatar with a quick swipe on the screen and your avatars reaction is immediately seen by the other players on your table. The feature ended up being alot of fun and brings extra personality to each player when playing online.

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  Instead of releasing the standard lite and full version for thier title Self Aware Games released Word Ace and Word Ace Pro. Word Ace is a fully featured game, and provides you with 1,000 chips per day for free which is plenty to keep you playing for many hours on the low stakes tables. If you want to really start throwing your weight around, and you want to purchase extra chips to play at high stakes tables, you will want to buy Word Ace Pro. Pro includes a hefty bag of chips to get you started, and enables in app purchases so that you can buy additional chips to play at the high stakes tables. The developers have made it clear that you can enjoy this premium quality game for free, and if you really enjoy the game you can upgrade.

 Word Ace is a great game that can easily eat away hours of your free time if you’re not careful. The unique hybrid brings out the best in both  Texas Hold Em’ poker and word games and is just plain fun. The best part is, you don’t have to take my word for it, just go download Word Ace and decide for yourself.

 Word Ace gets 5 poker chips/ out of 5

http://www.thecurrentgamer.com

The Current Gamer

Published in: on September 21, 2009 at 6:14 am  Comments (3)  
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Review: Run! from Arthur Ham Score 5/5

 

   – Review by Robert N. Mullen

There are certainly more than a few reaction games available on the iTunes store. Run! is another reaction game, but don’t let this keep you from taking a look. During my time with the game I quickly became hooked, and found more substance than I would typically expect from a game in this genre.

  The controls of Run are simple, but work very well. Simply swipe up to jump, swipe down to slide. You can also tap on certain obstacles such as brick walls and boulders to shoot and destroy them. Tap the sole action button in the game to pull off a running punch, or in the air for a flying kick. The controls really make this game. The controls are exremely well adapted to the device, and feel very natural. I found sliding under a barricade, or fly kicking a zombie to be quite intuitive and very enjoyable.

  You will find a variety of obstacles as you run including metal barricades, the aformentioned brick walls and boulders, sharks, walrus, zombies, springboards and more. As you progress forward, new obstacles are added into the mix as you level up.

  The music in the game is fun and fitting. I also noticed there are some really nice subtle touches such as a scenery change in the background changing from day to dusk, to night after each retry.

  As with any truly great iPhone game, you will find global online leaderboards, and achievements, adding replayability to an already addicting title. Another fun feature is a page with additionaly tracked stats such as your average score, total score, and a “death by” chart that shows you just how many times you have been killed by some of the games main obstacles and enemies.

  The developer has already posted some details for the next update that include an additional gameplay mode, new achievements, and, best of all, new obstacles.

  Overall, Run! is tons of fun, and quite addicting. I can enthusiastically recommend this game as the next must-have addition to your iPhone gaming collection.

 I give this game 5 drop kicked sharks/ our of 5

http://www.thecurrentgamer.com

The Current Gamer

iPhone Game Reviews: I Dig It

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  When I first laid eyes on I Dig It I thought, “hmmm the tractor looks kinda cool but how can drilling around in the dirt possibly be any fun?” But then, mainly out of curiosity I downloaded the lite version still confident my intial assumptions were correct.  In 15 minutes was hooked and soon paid for the full version.

 

  I Dig It starts you out in a nice tutorial covering all of the basic skills you will need as a back yard miner. This is always nice to see as far to many iPhone games forget to include this useful feature. (kind of funny since you certainly won’t find a brochure with your purchase…) The basic gameplay in I Dig It is this: You need to raise a set amount of money in a certain amount of time. Depending on the mode you are playing this could be 15 minutes, or it could be 4 hours. You raise money by digging under your farm finding tin, silver, various gems, antique bottle caps and more. You mine the goodies, bring them back to the surface and your wife sells em’ off for some quick cash.

  Much of the fun in this game comes from finding and collecting the various “Diggins” scattered in the earth. There is a large variety of diggins. While digging you all sorts of diggins consisting of various types of ore, antique junk, bottle caps, gems and more. The deeper you dig, the better the digins you find. There are also rare diggins that are much more difficult to find than most. The pacing of the game is very well done so that you really feel a sense of accomplishment when you unearth an espesially good diggin.

  There is also a nice amount of strategy required in the game. You are always on the clock, so digging and mining efficiently is important. You also can not just immediately drill to the higher value diggins. As you progress down into the depths, your vehicle begins to overheat, and your vision is increasingly impaired. To dig deeper without overheating you will need to upgrade your vehicles coolant system. You have several other upgrades at your disposal all of which cost you your hard earned money. Upgrades available include armor, coolant, radar, drill bit and more. Balancing exactly what parts to upgrade and how to make to most out of those upgrades is key. Since you must constantly watch your time while managing Fuel, Temperature, and Hull Damage it pays to have a strategy when digging, in fact a keen digging strategy is necessary for a win.

 While some other reviews I have read have complained about the lack of a save feature, I have found that if you hit the iPhone home button and exit the app at any time, you start right back up where you left off whenever you start the app back up. That is good enough for me, as I see no need to have multiple saves for a game like this. I Dig It offer many hours of gameplay and plenty of replayability with its extra modes and scoring system. You will also find facebook integration which is nicely worked in with in game achievements.

  If you still have any doubts about this highly entertaining title, there is a free lite version available that will give you a very good sample of the game. However, at only $1.99 this game is easy for me to recommend. In fact, if you check the app out right now, you will catch the game on sale for only $0.99

 I Dig It gets 4.5 lumps of platinum out of 5

Published in: on September 16, 2009 at 10:22 pm  Comments (1)  

Review: Racer


Racer is a great pick up and play title that is right at home on the iPhone platform. As it’s name implies, this is a racing game where you must guide your racer through a constant onslaught of traffic for as long as possible.
Playing the game in landscape view, you have access to six lanes of traffic and must guide you car within these six lanes using the touch screen. The interface works well as your finger sits directly behind you vehicle and never really interferes with your view.

Make no mistake, this game is all about the high score. There are not multiple levels, and the games variety consists of a small handful of colors for your car. There are both online and local leaderboards. Fans of games like minigore and icopter should be right at home here.
The overall aesthetic is really nice, the graphics have a cell shaded look and run very smooth. For $0.99 I can easily recommend this game, and there is now a lite version so you can try it out first. Score: 4/5

Posted by ShoZu

Published in: on August 25, 2009 at 2:37 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Review: Big Top Ten


Big Top Ten is a very polished number game with a suprising depth and challenge. Faced with a sort of grid of numbers, you are challenged to string sequences together adding up to the number ten using the touch screen. The more numbers that are in your sequence the better. Each sequence is worth points based on the sequence length. You also gain valuable time from each sequence, gaining significantly more from longer strings.
This may sound easy, but add in negative numbers, and a quickly depleting time clock, and you soon realize this game is quite a challange. A recent update added openfeint integration with chat and online leaderboards.
For those of us who enjoy number games, Big Top Ten is an excellent time sink. The replaysbility is almost infinite as there are always people better than you on the leaderboards silently taunting you to try again “just one more time…” For $0.99 this one is very easy to recommend.

Posted by ShoZu

Published in: on August 20, 2009 at 9:29 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Review: Dungeon Scroll – Old school dungeon crawling + Scrabble = fun!

Did you ever wish that somehow a classic dungeon crawler and Scrabble would someday come together, creating a new hybrid game combining the two genres? Me neither. However husband and wife dev team, Robinson Technologies have brought their cult hit PC game Dungeon Scroll to the iDevice, and this unexpected hybrid may be your new mobile time sink.
       Dungeon Scroll has allot going for it. The game will appeal to fans of both old school Dungeon Crawler RPG’s, while also appealing to the large group of word game fans in the iDevice user base. Like most Dungeon Crawlers, you start out in Dungeon Scroll in a monster infested dungeon. You have a set amount of health points and must defeat a seeming endless barrage of monsters one by one. Instead of set spells and attacks you have a handful of lettered tiles that have a striking resemblance to Scrabble tiles. You attack and cast spells by spelling words with the tiles you have available. Longer words do more damage than smaller words, and some letter tiles have extra values such as 2x damage. There are even power-ups like the more rare “Oracle” that will automatically choose the best possible word for you.
        After just a few plays, I found a satisfying amount of depth in the strategy involved in beating each dungeon, and 3 difficulty levels should provide ample challenge for most. Because the monsters you have to fight in any given dungeon require varying amounts of damage, you will find a need to think ahead when to use up your larger words with higher damage points, and when to save them for a tougher fight. This of course also applies to power-ups. Some monsters even have special requirements such as words with no less than 4 letters.
   Replayability is also satisfactory in this game, as every playthrough will play out differently as you never know which tiles and words you will have at your disposal. The aforementioned 3 difficulty levels also help add additional hours of gameplay.
   I am also happy to report that the overall control interface works very well. The developer obviously took great care to make sure that the move from PC to the iDevice was done right. Everything will feel very intuitive to anyone who has any experience using an iDevice. Placing tiles, removing tiles, and shifting tiles all feels very natural.
   At only $0.99 it is easy for me to recommend this unique title to both fans of Word Games, as well as fans of Dungeon Crawlers and old school turn based RPGs.
 
My Rating for Dungeon Scrolls: 5 out of 5 loot chests
Published in: on August 20, 2009 at 2:32 am  Leave a Comment  
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