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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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)

 

No Man’s Sky and Pricing

“No Man’s Sky” is now up for pre-order at $59.99. And people are already up in arms.

Why? Because only AAA titles should be $60. I can’t say that I agree with that logic.

We’ve been pissed off at the established game companies for a while. EA was voted the worst company in the USA several times because of their over use of DLC, pay to win, and other money grabbing ventures. Warner Brothers released broken games for $60 and people screamed bloody murder. Mass Effect was $60 and everyone bitched and moaned about the ending being horrible.

Why do we automatically assume that AAA titles are worth $60 just because they come from a big game factory? Yes, they have more overhead, more people working on the projects, but that does not mean the games are good, or worth the price. In fact often it means just the opposite because they sneak in fee to play, multiple DLC, and buggy or just broken content and slap a $60 price tag on it then ship it out. They make us, the consumer, pay to be their de-buggers. They allow us access to make mods so that we can fix their multiple bugs. Then they encourage us to think they are better because ‘oooohhhh, graphics.”

Some of the most played games out there are less than $30, and have basic graphics. Minecraft, Terraria, Undertale, Binding of Isaac, Limbo, Super Meat Boy, Bastian, and the Stanley Parable… just to name a few. (Really, I had to stop, there are just so many!)

The Witness came out a month ago and had a $20 price point. I have to admit I baulked at the price too, but not because “it’s a puzzle game.” On the contrary, I believe the game is well worth the $20 price tag. All of the game play footage makes me want to play the game that much more, and from all the reports IT ISN’T BROKEN! It is a complete game with hours of content, beautiful graphics, and some really mind twisting puzzles. It is at the same time relaxing to walk through the beautiful scenery and incredibly aggravating to be stuck on a puzzle that you know you should be able to solve, but you can’t wrap your head around it. And watching someone else play the game is far worse than playing it yourself because I found myself yelling at the person to just turn around, or look at it from a different angle. It’s so frustrating to see the solution and not be able to implement it because the person on the screen hasn’t figured it out yet.

No, I didn’t get “The Witness” because I knew I’d be lost in it for hours and I have things to finish before I could allow myself to get lost in it.

I got into the indie game scene for two reasons. One, the price point. I can afford a lot more games at indie prices then I can at AAA prices. Two, time investment. Most indie games are less than ten hours long, or are broken up into bite sized chunks that you can play in one sitting. AAA titles, on the other hand, can be hundreds of hours long and take a great deal of investment. You can’t just leave Skyrim for months at a time and come back knowing where you are in the game.

Add to that all the titles I bought with bugs that made it unplayable, or ridiculous log in requirements that made just opening the game a chore (that means you, UPlay!) and I have just been burned once too often. Since SWTOR I refuse to buy ANY game without finding a review and some game play footage before laying down the cash. This has saved me a lot of headaches, and a lot of money.

I want to play “No Man’s Sky.” It looks like the type of game I could easily spend hours playing. I love survival, hunting and gathering, space flight, economy, exploration, discovering new things…I love this game, and it hasn’t even come out yet. It seems (SEEMS) to exemplify everything I love in a game.

Is it worth $60? I don’t know. I haven’t played it. I don’t know what the actual story mode is, or if it’s an endless survival like Minecraft. I do know that I have played hundreds of hours of Minecraft, and while Minecraft (which is still a best seller) might be slightly under priced, the price point of $30 has also meant wider adoption. Yes, kids play Minecraft, so do thousands upon thousands of adults, and some people have multiple Minecraft accounts because of that price point. The same people who bought, and love that game, might have hesitated if it had been $60.

So yes, I understand why people are upset over the price point of “No Man’s Sky.” But why aren’t you upset over the price point of AAA titles, too? Maybe we should change our thinking and start paying higher prices for good, well done, COMPLETE games that are made by indie studios, and stop paying AAA prices for broken games masquerading as AAA. Being made by a AAA company shouldn’t make a title automatically AAA. We should start downgrading titles that are utter crap. Call them the FFF titles of the major companies, and elevate some indie games to AAA. We should be rewarding good game design and punishing bad game design. And the best way to do that is vote with your dollars.

Yes, wait till “No Man’s Sky” comes out (or don’t, Steam has refunds). But don’t just discount it because of the price point. If you’re going to say it isn’t worth the price say that because of the game, not because of the studio.

Pay to Watch Ads

UPDATE: Humble Bundle did get back to me after a while and said this was a glitch. The wrong file got uploaded. However, the general sentiment of paying for games with adverts in them still holds true.

 

There’s is an understanding with a lot of us who enjoy games on our phone. We get free to play games, and the creator earns money by showing us a few advertisements. A banner, maybe a short video, or even an option to watch a few extra videos for coins. We get that, it’s the price to pay for free.

So when I purchase a game with money I expect that game to be free of advertisement, right? No. Not according to the latest games included in the Humble Bundle Mobile edition.

I’ve purchased most of my mobile games through Humble Bundle. It’s a great cause, some of the purchase price goes to charity, and I get games I enjoy. I now own several hundred games because of this site, many of which are mobile. I’ve downloaded and played most of the games from the mobile purchases at least once, and never had a problem with advertisements…until this one.

This month’s titles are from a Bandai Namco Pack and includes:

namcoCrush the Castle (free), Pac-Man Kart Rally (free), Flight Control ($0.99), Puzzle Quest 2 (free), Pac-Man Championship ($3.99), Ridge Racer Slipstream (free), Bird Zapper (only available on iTunes), Mahjong Butterfly (free), Galaga Special Edition (free), and Pac-Man CE DX ($4.99).

After looking up all the prices on Google Play I was more disappointed with Humble Bundle. This months collection is filled with games that are available for free. If I am paying for access to these games shouldn’t I get something special with them, like the removal of advertisements?

I love Pac-man, and Galaga, and I have played and enjoyed Puzzle Quest 2 so I thought this would be a good pack to get. Also Mahjong is always fun, and this version lets you collect butterflies. But is the pack of games worth the $5. You are only “paying” for three games, their total amount being $8, and you still get the advertisements from the other free to play games. It’s misleading.

Galaga was the worst offender. I downloaded and started to play this game, and within a minute of play a big advertisement stopped my game and made me watch a loud, obnoxious advertisement before I got to move on.

The Butterfly Mahjong wasn’t as annoying. I played it for a good twenty minutes before I saw an advertisement. Again, it was a video that I could not skip or get out of, though they gave me a mute button. A slight improvement.

It pains me to say this, because I really love the Humble Bundle platform and what it stands for, but this months Android bundle, and Namco in general, was a huge disappointment. I think it should have been advertised that half the games were free to play and still had advertisements in them.