Review- Magikarp Jump

Pokemon themed, and bite sized, Magikarp Jump(from The Pokemon Company) is fun for a bit, but not very satisfying. At its heart it is a clicker game. That means you don’t really make very many choices, you just click and your magikarp does all the work.

 

Don’t get me wrong, it’s a cute little game, and you do get to collect Pokemon to sit on the banks of your magikarp pool, but there isn’t a lot of game-play here.
You start by catching a magikarp with an old fishing rod. You then have to up the stats of the magikarp by feeding and training it. (By training I mean watching it jump, or push something.)

Each action takes one click, and rewards you with some cute animations, but nothing else.

Once you’re trained enough you “battle” another trainer by seeing who’s magikarp can jump the highest. Again, this is one click. No skill involved, just clicking to see which one jumps higher based on the stats.

 
Each magikarp has a level limit,

and once it reaches the limit, and beats as many gyms as possible, he retires, and you catch a new one to start all over again.
There are plenty of collectibles in this game. You can collect more Pokemon to give bonuses to your magikarp , collect decorative items, magikarp patterns, and gym badges. There are encounters with locals who will give you coins or gems. But again, not a lot of game play outside of choosing which items to enhance your bonuses, and which magikarp to choose.
It’s a cute time waster, nice theme, but don’t expect a lot out of it.

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Review: The Trail

2016-12-24-23-31-342016-12-25-01-15-34 The Trail (from Kongregate) was announced almost a year ago. I heard about it through the Co-Optional podcast, and described as “walking down a trail, picking up items, and enjoying the view.” It didn’t sound great, in fact it barely sounded like a game at all.

It came out at the end of 2016, and after listening to Dodger talk about it I decided to download The Trail and give it a try. It had more game play than I thought it would, and I actually found it fun, in a relaxing sort of way.

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It is a stroll down a long trail, and you do craft items. You also use those items to craft goods, like clothing hat gives you extra pockets, or shoes that give you more stamina. You can craft an ax to cut down trees, or a sling to shoot animals, and with them gather more items.

At the end of each segment you’ll find a fire where you can sell or buy things from others who are at the same fire as you. A lot of the people you’ll meet on the trail are bots created by the game to do so, but this can be a good thing as they will sell things for your quests, or clothing you might need.

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But really, it’s a beautiful game. I kept finding myself trying to go farther and see what’s around the next bend. Even the little dancer girl with the sandwich board that comes out to get you to watch an ad for a prize is cute, and well designed.

And once  you get to a village you can buy a home, set up shop, work with others to sell goods and upgrade the village, and keep walking.

This really isn’t the normal kind of game. It’s more about the exploration and seeing what’s at the end of the trail then anything. There are so many different areas with forests, snowy mountains, flowery fields, and more. Well worth the walk if you’re looking for something unique and relaxing.

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.

What’s on my Phone 

I’m going to start doing a short “what’s on my phone” review every couple of months. I change out the games on my phone regularly, download new ones, or throw out ones I haven’t played in a while. Here I’ll tell you why I have it, what I like about it, and if I’d recommend it. I’ll also link to the full review if I’ve done one.

Pewdiepie: Tuber Simulator – I just reviewed this the other day, and I’ve had it for a week now. I’ve decorated my room, and unlocked a lot of the items. Once I’ve unlocked all of the room decorations I probably won’t play this much, but until then I am enjoying decorating my space. My favorite clicker. (review)

Alto’s Adventure – a perfect game for short breaks. Each run takes only a minute or two. Waiting in line, in between calls, stuck on the phone: play a game of Alto. (review)

Sailor Moon Drops – Somehow I still love match three games. I know this is just meant to try and get my money, but it’s actually set up in such a way that I never feel the need to pay. I can get more hearts from friends, and make friends constantly. There are extra events with new puzzles so if I get stuck on one I can go try that one. It’s a lot like Candy Crush, only less anger inducing. (review)

Splendor – When I want something a little tougher I love playing Splendor. Strategy, thought, and a challenging AI. Also, they just updated it with even more scenarios to try out. (review)

The Beggar’s Ride – Such a pleasant platformer. Beautiful design and music. I really want to finish this one. Recommended! (review)

The Silent Age – This is a point and click time travel puzzle game. I also have it on my PC and thought I’d try it on my phone, and do a review. Have yet to open it on my phone.

Els Evolution – quick, fun side scrolling fighter game. You level up your characters and learn new skills, then go on to the next level. Or grind a little to get more experience. I haven’t played it much in the last couple months, but I keep it…just in case.

Fallen London – I use to play this online. Saw it in the app store and decided to pick it up. Will do a review later.

Mahjong Butterfly – The only reason I haven’t deleted this game yet is because I don’t want to loose my progress. It isn’t like Steam where the game gets removed but the progress usually remains on your pc. Once you delete it you have to start all over, which is annoying. But at the same time, this isn’t the best phone game I’ve ever played. Maybe I should delete it.

Waking Mars– Such a good game. I have it on PC and phone, and I’d like to finish it. Not sure which would be better/easier/more time friendly to play.

Neko Atsume – Kitties. Okay, I’m a sucker for kitties. I have updated this, and still occasionally feed them, but not as often as I use to. (review)

Adventure Bar Story – An interesting game mechanic. Cooking and adventuring. I got tired of being stuck in the same zone for so long, grinding away to try and learn some recipes, so I quite playing for a while. But I’d like to go back to it eventually.

Knights of Pen and Paper 1 – Love this game. Actually have KoPaP 2 on pc and have played through quite a lot of it. Another one that I come back to now and then, and again I refuse to delete it because I don’t want to loose my progress. With all the zany humor I really recommend this one.  (review)

PAD (Puzzles and Dragons) – I deleted this before and ended up re-downloading it. So sad that I didn’t get to keep my monsters (I had a cat woman and batman monster). Started playing again, but I will probably end up deleting it again after a while. It’s just a big energy hog.

Pokemon Go – Also an energy hog. The reason I bought a battery pack, and the reason I got out and walked a lot for a while. Sadly, I don’t get to go out as much anymore. But I don’t want to give up the pokemon I did catch just yet.  I don’t recommend it. I’ll have to review it and tell you why soon.

Out There – Such a fantastic strategy game. And so hard. A little too many random elements to make it perfect. I find myself dying far too often. But I am determined to beat it some day. Recommended. (review)

 

Review: Pokemon Uranium

uranium I usually review mobile games, but I got my hands on Pokemon Uranium and couldn’t help myself.

First off, disclaimer. I’ve never played more then a few minutes of a real Pokemon game. I played Pokemon Snap and T ornament, but I’m not counting them as “real” Pokemon games poke2because they don’t have the stories, travel, and questing that an actual Pokemon game has.

Pokemon Uranium? Has everything, including a lot of original Pokemon, and a completely new type of radioactive Pokemon!

poke1I haven’t gotten very far into the game yet, but I can give you some first impressions.

The game is easy to navigate, vibrant, and has great sound. The music reminds me of other pokemon titles I’ve watched. The new “fakemon” (seriously, I didn’t know that was a thing till this week) fit right into the Pokemon world and have fantastic evolution. Some of them are better designed then others, but all of the ones I’ve seen so far have been pretty good.

Doing a little research has given me a gimps into the HUGE rabbit hole that is Pokemon Uranium. I’m guessing it’s going to take me a while to catch them all, but I’m definitely going to enjoy doing so.

poke3There are a few differences. No Nurse Joy. You don’t choose your starter, you take a “test”. A few of the Pokemon now have “mega evolutions.” There is a PokePod that lets you connect with other trainers for information. And there is supposedly a way to battle with other trainers, but I haven’t tried that yet.

I’m happy this was my intro to Pokemon. I don’t have a 3DS, and I didn’t get a Gameboy until a few years ago. The Pokemon cartridge I have has a dead battery. So… Uranium it is!

Come on, Nintendo! Put Pokemon on PC, I’ll buy it! No, really, do it!

Review: Nonstop Knight

2016-08-28 19.11.06NonStop Knight (by Flare Games) is exactly what it sounds like…a knight that doesn’t stop running and fighting his way through the dungeons.

2016-08-27 20.53.43This is a new type of clicker game. Your little knight simply fights, and keeps fighting his way through the dungeons. You can activate special abilities, swings and spells, or upgrade his equipment, but you have no control over which direction he moves, though you can do is call the boss for the major battle.

2016-08-28 20.51.42This, like most clicker games, has a fast build up then a slow tapering off as you hit a certain level. Once there you must “ascend” and start the whole process over, but with the new skills you learned in previous incarnations. You do lose armor, money, and experience. Each play through you get a little farther.

2016-08-28 20.53.45While you’re away your little knight keeps fighting for you, and you get a nice little sum of gold when you return. But he won’t fight the bosses unless you tell him to.

Fast paced, with a nice aesthetic art, and smooth animation, NonStop Knight may be a clicker, but it is more entertaining than most, and has enough interactivity with spells and skills to keep it interesting.

There are no intrusive ads, either. The few ads I saw were offered to me with promise of coins or loot for watching a thirty second ad. And the ads I saw had a mute button so you could mute them while they played in the background.

Review: Lost Lands Franchise

Screenshot_2016-06-19-22-41-13A month or so ago, Dodger mentioned playing Lost Lands: A Hidden Object Adventure on Steam. So I tried it.

The artwork is beautiful. Some of the puzzles are challenging. However, Lost Lands: A hidden Object Adventure is, at it’s basics, a hidden object game. Screenshot_2016-06-19-08-26-25You go into different scenes and you find the objects to collect items and open more rooms to play more games. I will even add that the extra puzzles in the game via chests, and

HOWEVER! This is Five-BN Games‘ freemiam game. It works on that principle, and I can’t fault them for making it that way. I will even applaud them for making the graphics and animations so beautiful, and the music soothing.

Screenshot_2016-06-19-08-15-39Then I got my Kindle Fire a couple days ago, and the Amazon Underground that goes with it. Here you get “truly free” games that have no advertising, and no in app purchases. It’s just free. Five-BN Games has several titles in the Amazon Underground, so I grabbed them.

Screenshot_2016-06-19-15-29-56The first game I played was Lost Lands: Dark Overlord. I completed the entire game in about five hours, then completed the bonus chapter in another two hours.

Beautiful music. Fantastic cut scenes. Good voice acting. Engaging plot line. So many puzzles! I did not feel like I was playing just another hidden object game. I felt like I was playing a puzzle game, and unfolding a mystery, and the hidden objects were just part of the puzzles.

Screenshot_2016-06-19-09-43-06Even the hidden object rooms had some game elements. You had to find the items to unlock parts of the room, or match items with their partner (a feather with an inkwell, sword with a scabbard, etc.)

And once you’ve completed the game you can go in and replay the individual puzzles again from the main menu.

Screenshot_2016-06-19-21-31-56While the entire game only took me a couple of days to finish it was well worth it. The individual games are $5 a piece, but they are available on Steam, Amazon, and Amazon Underground through their app.

I will be picking up the rest of the Lost Land games.

Screenshot_2016-06-19-09-01-12Also, the games play similarly on PC and tablet or phone. It’s a little easier to tap then it is to drag the mouse around the rooms, but only slightly. The music, and graphics don’t suffer on the tablet. I think I prefer it on the Kindle Fire only because of portability, but I did not enjoy playing it on my phone because many of the items were too small to see.