Review: Sailor Drops

2016-05-18 21.03.42Like match three games? Enjoy anime, and Sailor Moon? Then you might want to check out Sailor Drops from Bandi.

Sailor Drops is a match three game in the style of Candy Crush with a Sailor Moon theme. Much like Candy Crush you advance across levels encountering new puzzle types, timed exchanges, and making special tokens and powerups power. Unlike Candy Crush, Sailor Drops also adds in powers for each of the characters you unlock, and has a boss battle at the end of each section.

2016-05-18 21.01.34There are micro transactions in this game as well. You can earn most of the keys to get past the barrier ribbons by getting high scores in some puzzles, but if you can’t earn the key you can always purchase crystals or ask friends to send you keys. They make it incredibly easy to make friends, allowing you to ask five active players each day to add you. They also give you fifteen days to use all of the hearts your friends send.

2016-05-18 23.53.45The game is adorable, and the little phrases the Sailor’s say in Japanese are cute. The music is on par with the anime, though a bit repetitive.

If you don’t mind the limitations on tries, and you enjoy the cute chibi style of the game, then you might enjoy Sailor Drops.

 

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Review: Beggars Ride

2016-05-10 23.18.33Beggars Ride (by Bad Seed) is a beautifully drawn platformer and puzzle game that leads you along the journey of a beggar as he collects masks that give him god like powers. Each mask gives you new powers, and these powers enable you to get deeper down the maze, finding new creatures and well-designed puzzles to solve.

2016-05-10 23.14.42I can’t get over how beautiful this game is. There are crystalline animals walking along the path, and mushrooms balanced on spindly trunks that you grow. The clockwork nature of the puzzles adds even more mystery to the world. Coupled with the eerily beautiful sound track, this is a fantastic game.

2016-05-10 23.31.11Beggars Ride has a very linear progression, adding difficulty to puzzles as you acquire more masks while keeping the core mechanic of a jumping and running puzzle. As you gather masks the puzzles get more intricate, incorporating all aspects of each of your powers.

2016-05-10 23.34.42Over all a well done game, well suited for the mobile experience, and highly recommended. For $3.99 with no ads, a great purchase.

Review: Bushido Bear

2016-05-15 18.33.33I’ve been a fan of Spry Fox LLC for a while. Triple Town and Alphabear are two of my favorite games. So when I logged on today and saw they had a new game, Bushido Bear, I had to try it.

2016-05-15 18.30.52Spry Fox is a fan of adorable square bears, and they make use of them in all three of their titles. Bushido Bear makes their signature bears into ninjas protecting a forest from evil spirits. It’s a quick paced slice fest that puts a big spin on the Fruit Ninja style of game. Instead of fruit being tossed up from below the screen the evil spirits teleport in. You get a warning, and you can plan your attack accordingly.

2016-05-15 18.43.11Each of the different spirits has a unique style. Some move really fast, but take a few seconds to charge up. Some dance around the screen in unpredictable manners. Some burrow beneath the ground and you can only hit them when they are above the surface. Then at the end of every ten waves you get a boss battle with a larger spirit that takes multiple hits to kill.

The game is cute, but it’s also well designed, and has a lot of room for unique new discoveries. You can also buy new bears with the coins you earn that have unique skills, and upgrade your abilities. However, I did notice after the first two bears it’s very expensive to get the next bears, and while it tells you that you can take three bears into battle it did not actually seem to let me do that unless I watched an ad.

2016-05-15 18.35.24There are also options to watch ads for bonuses that give you coins or new bears. There is a $4.99 buy for no ads as well, but Spry Fox has always been very kind about their ad placements so I’ve never felt the need to purchase the adfree version except to support a great game company, and get a few extras for the game. Also, I’m not sure how the adfree version will effect things like taking three bears into battle, or getting new bears faster.

Over all, a fantastic addition to the slicing style of play that adds a lot more character, and challenge, but each level is short enough that you could fit in a game while waiting in line.

Review: Zen Koi

koi 8  When I saw Zen Koi (from Landshark Games) on the app store I wasn’t hoping for much. Breeding fish, letting them swim around on a wall paper maybe. Instead I found a pleasant, and beautifully rendered, diversion.

koi 9 Zen Koi begins with one koi in the middle of a small pond. There are other little creatures like protozoa, small minnows, and algae for you to eat. You feed your fish by tapping on the various creatures. When you eat enough of a specific kind you get a gem that will expand your pond. koi 3 Expand it to the fullest and your koi will become a dragon. The dragons are collectibles, not playable, and once you level up that fish to dragon status you can no longer play that fish. But by then you should have bred several new fish and have an egg ready to hatch.

koi 5The music is soothing, the graphics pleasant, and there are several levels of creatures to feed your koi, each with slightly different strategies. While not challenging, it is a zen like experience. Leveling your koi to a dragon only takes a few hours of play, but collecting all of the hundreds of dragons will take months.

koi 4You can also breed your koi to try and get more patterns for their scales. However, you can only keep three of your hatchlings unless you purchase more koi slots with pearls. Microtransactions also let you purchase scale patterns without breeding to get them, and purchase more koi. You do occasionally find pearls while opening flowers in your expanded pond, and you can earn them by watching short advertisements. I was able to purchase one koi slot without purchasing any pearls. You can also have eight eggs ready to hatch while you ascend your koi to dragon. The only real limit to the game is how many slots you have for fish. If you level them up one at a time, and take advantage of egg slots, you shouldn’t need that many pearls. But I do suggest saving any pearls you get for koi slots.

Review: TheoTown Beta

Screenshot_20160424-120556TheoTown is a stripped down version of Sim City on mobile. Lobby Divinus is still developing the game, so I will be reviewing it with that in mind.

The basic game design is already in place. You can build roads, add zones for residence, commercial and industry. You can have police, fire houses, and schools. You can also set the town on fire after building it.

Screenshot_20160424-190238The music is generic, but I am assuming that is because the developer is using copyright free music, however it’s easy enough to turn that off and have a podcast or your own music running in the background. The graphics are basic, accounting for running a city simulator on a mobile device, but there are a lot of buildings, and a lot of variety for everything there. Screenshot_20160424-190255You can watch as they are constructed, and set in place, then watch cars and trucks moving around the city. The graphics are not, however, scale-able. If you zoom in it is the same house, only now the pixels are more noticeable. I do not know if that is to save on size of the file, or if the developer is getting the game play down before making the graphics better.

Screenshot_20160424-120617The nicest part about the game is that I only saw one advertisement. When you open up the city overview and budget screens you’ll find a small, unobtrusive ad at the bottom of the screen. The developer also has a donate button on the main menu, and when you first open the game there is a note from the developer asking you to keep in mind the fact that this game is in development, and to please vote him up if you see the potential in the game.

Screenshot_20160424-190209I do see the potential. The system already works pretty well, and I was surprised to find such a good (if bare bones) city simulator available for my phone.