Review: Super Cat Bros

2016-11-19-05-54-16 Have you ever wanted to play Super Mario Brothers on your mobile device? Well, I can’t give you Mario (without an emulator) but I can give you Super Cat Bros (from FDG Entertainment)

 

An adorable side scroller with many functions like a Mario game (jumping, swimming, moving 2016-11-20-03-19-22platforms, avoiding monsters) plus a new mechanic to set it apart. You have to collect different kinds of cats, and each cat has it’s own ability. One can swim against strong currents. Another can jump father. Another can bash through walls. You have to switch the cats out in specific spots, which involves a little strategy as you get higher in levels.

2016-11-20-02-29-43The level design is much like the original Mario worlds. A grid over world that you slowly make your way through, finding keys and characters that open some paths.

It’s easy to pick up the mechanics of this game. I managed to make it through a couple dozen levels within the first day, and capture three of the cats. I haven’t beat it yet, but I did scroll across the game map and there are 50-100 levels across various terrains.

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Each of the levels has three coins to collect, some of which you won’t be able to collect until you get specific cats and go back to the previous level.

It’s a fantastic platformer, with new tricks and strategies as you go through the levels. While it’s reminiscent of the early Mario games it is not a copy. It has it’s own functions, mechanics,  and art style. It works well on mobile. There are a couple of tricky maneuvers, but after a couple of attempts I was able to get through them.

Over all a great little platformer available for download.

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First Impression: Sim City

2016-10-03-03-54-40 I, like many of you, grew up playing the Sim City franchise. It was an amazing game in which you created cities, charged taxes, and built a dream city. The original series had different scenarios that you could also beat in order to earn achievements.

2016-10-03-03-57-36For the mobile version, Sim City Builder (from EA) you do a lot of the same things. You build roads, set city zones, raise taxes, and expand your city. The mobile version is also stripped down to a much smaller scale, but the basics are still there.

It does, however, add some mechanics that 2016-10-03-03-59-21 the original did not have. Specifically earning coins and materials to make new buildings from the buildings you previously made.

It’s a waiting game, letting the materiel and coins build up so that you can purchase 2016-10-03-04-06-31or upgrade new  buildings.

It was a very frustrating experience. Already, just an hour into the game, I already felt like I needed to purchase coins if I was going to be able to play this game in any effective way.

As much as I love Sims games, I am heading away from them. For the last couple of years Sim City, and to a lessor extent the Sims, have gotten away from the core building mechanics, and more about money. There are other games, like City Skylines and Tropico, that do a much better job of the core game play without adding in all the money grabbing additions.

What this says for an actual city builder on a mobile device I’m not sure yet. I’m going to have to try to find one that is actually worth sharing, and recommending. For now, Sim City for mobile isn’t recommended.

 

Review: Plants vs Zombies Heroes

2016-11-26-23-28-28I found a new card game for mobile. I actually found this while listening to Co-Optional Podcast. Total Biscuit talked about how much he liked Plants Vs Zombies Heroes, so I had to try it out.

2016-11-26-23-17-24From the first comic strip that pops up on the screen, to the cards themselves, PvZ Heroes is a funny, bright, vibrant, and addicting game.

Like most mobile card games you have to pick up more cards by earning packs, and each pack will have 1-5 cards. You can earn credits to buy some packs, and others are awarded by hitting milestones. Through the first tutorial you can pick up a number of cards to fill out your deck. You can also earn or 2016-11-27-00-20-44purchase new heroes, each with their own powers. Once you get through the tutorial you can start playing as the zombies and learn their tactics from the other side.

2016-11-27-00-04-06There are quests that earn you more currency, and you can, of course, purchase the currency for money as well.

But the actual content, the cards and moves the zombies and plants do, are hilarious. From the dolphin rider with flavor text that says “the dolphin is a zombie too”, to sour grapes that says “Sour. Bitter. Resentful. It’s all true. But he’s got his reasons.”

2016-11-28-00-24-31 The game plays well. After several dozen matches, and progressing two of my plant heroes, and one of my zombies, I have to say this is one of my favorite card systems. Not just because of the theme and jokes, but also because of how strategy plays such a huge roll, while still being within reach. I’ve lost a few battles because of bad RNG coupled with bad choices only to go fight the same zombie and pick a new strategy that works in a much better way.

The learning curve is pretty subtle, easy enough to pick up, and as you go it gets harder and hard. But I must admit that I’ve yet to try the player vs player mode. I’ll do that soon. Till then I’m just enjoying the story mode.