Review: Funky Smugglers

2016-01-24 22.46.31The funkiest game on your phone!

Funky Smugglers (from 11 bit studios) is a paid game available on Google play for $0.99, or through the Humble Bundle store when available.

2016-01-24 22.46.16Every time I open Funky Smugglers the first thing that hits me is the music. It has the disco era flare, but with a modern feel. It makes you want to get up and groove to it. The art style is reminiscent of the disco era as well, with high afro’s, bell bottom pants, and little old ladies with tiny bags.

2016-01-24 22.50.11Funky Smugglers is set in an airport. As people move through the x-ray machine you have to grab the contraband and confiscate it. Sounds simple, right? It is as simple or complicated as you want it to be. You can tap each of the red items and let them fall, or try to get higher scores (and coins) with trick shots, combos and special moves. Coins allow you to purchase skins, and upgrades.

Google Store says there are in game purchases for this app, and I’ve read reviews calling it a “pay to win” game, but there are no options to purchase gold on my versions. My full version game was purchased through Humble Bundle and downloaded through the Humble Bundle App.

Over all a great game to pass some time, with an upbeat and catchy sound track.

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Review: The Doodle Series

2016-01-25 00.16.38The Doodle Series by JoyBits Co. Ltd. is a wide and varied beast. While all of them work under the same context, they each have their own themes, quests, and achievements. There are current 23 versions available on Google Play, (from free to $1.99) like Doodle God, Doodle Creatures, and Doddle Devil.

2016-01-25 00.18.51Each game allows you to mix different elements to create new elements. From the new elements you repeat until you find the elements that will fulfill various quests or objectives. For Doddle God you must find the paths of virtue, like Charity and Love, while for Doodle Devil you have to find the seven deadly sins.

The various quests and achievements available through the Doodle Series are often behind pay walls, only available if you chose to buy them. Sometimes you will unlock one of these quests with an achievement, but there is no way to know which achievement will unlock what quest until you stumble upon it. Even if you pay for your version of the Doodle Series you will still come across paywall areas.

2016-01-25 00.16.53I’ve found a few of these Alchemy style games to be quite fun, and much more straight forward than The Doodle Series. Like, for instance, Alchemy, which is a free game, though it does not have the achievments.

The sound often doesn’t match up with what you’re doing on the game, and the background music isn’t bad, but it isn’t memorable either.

Over all if you want an element mixing game there are many better ones out there. I wouldn’t bother with The Doodle Series.

Review: Out There

2016-01-24 23.16.50You are out at the edge of the galaxy, lost in a space ship with limited resources, and you need to find your way home. That is the premise of “Out There” (from Mi Clos Studio).

2016-01-24 23.15.05In Out There you jump your ship from star to star, collect resources from nearby planets, and find abandoned space ships to take over. You might even come across an alien race, or an abandoned mega structure around a forgotten star.

2016-01-24 23.18.06While simplistic in design, I have found Out There to be incredibly challenging. The random generation of each game makes it possible to go in directions that give you no fuel, or no oxygen to replenish your ship. You might also find random encounters that damage the hull of your vessel, or blown up in a super nova. Then you’ll need to “land” on alien planets with varied terrain to mine for oxygen and iron. You might even meet a local alien who will teach you a bit more of the language.

2016-01-24 23.15.16At $4.99 it is one of the more expensive games on Google Play, but it is completely ad free, and has high replay value. The sound track is reminiscent of classic sci-fi movies like “2001 Space Odyssey”, soft and ethereal. The sound effects are also well done, with different effects for sailing across the void, adding oxygen to your systems, or repairing your ship.

Over all, Out There is a nice strategy game set in space that easily pulls you in. I’ve often started playing with the notion to only move a few star systems and realized later that I’ve been playing for an hour.

Review: Splendor

2015-12-30 23.46.44My first experience with Splendor was as the board game (from Days of Wonder). I loved it from the first moment I picked up the thick plastic tokens and heard them clicking against the table. When I found the game available through the Google Play on sale it was an instant buy for me. The normal price is $6.99, but if you love board games, and Splendor in particular, then the price is well worth it.

Splendor is a recourse management and strategy game in which you use gems to purchase cards. Some of the cards are worth victory points. Once you have enough victory points you win. Sounds easy?

2016-01-28 06.06.14Splendor translates to a mobile game quite beautifully, with wonderful background music reminiscing of RPG games, and beautiful renderings of the stylized artwork from every card. The game also allows for extra variety and challenges that aren’t seen in the table top game. They also preserved the clicking sound of tokens on the table, and added sound for card shuffling and dealing as well.

They game allows you to play against a computer AI, or play and pass mode with a friend, and is 2-4 players in either mode.

The AI is passable, though I found myself beating the AI nine out of ten games after a little while. The random shuffling of the deck is often harder to get past than the AI, but for quick games the AI is passable. You can also adjust the AI to play more aggressively if you need more of a challenge.

Overall Splendor is a wonderful game that is good as a physical board game, or a mobile app.