Monday, 20 October 2014

Ingress Got Me Out & About!

Just before I left for my trip to the USA, Ingress became available to iPhone users and Cold picked it up immediately. I have a few Ingress players on my Twitter feed too so I'd seen a few posts about it but never really took much notice. Sadly my Android phone is a 'lite' version which is nice and cheap on my monthly budget but doesn't have much memory so I couldn't play. All that changed when I arrived Stateside though. You'd think after almost 5 months apart that Cold would have put his phone away and talked to me - well, he did, for about 5 minutes at a time!

Yes, he was hooked. Everywhere we went, he had his phone in his hand to hack or capture portals, make links and fields and generally not pay much attention to crossing roads. At first it drove me crazy and I felt like slapping the phone right out of his hand but I'd budgeted to get myself a phone I could use in the US so once I bought my Samsung S3, I downloaded the game so I could play too.

I should mention that I had already downloaded it for my iPad and although my iPad is wi-fi only, I am able to use my old phone as a mobile hotspot so I had tried to play a bit at home. Unfortunately my whole town only had about 8 portals in it so it meant I needed to jump in the car every time I wanted to hack a portal! Obviously that wasn't practical, but in St Louis, Cold has about 10 portals within 50 yards of his building and 2 he can reach from his sofa! Needless to say, the old motto of 'if you can't beat them, join them' applied here and by 6 weeks into my stay, I hit Level 8 and over 1 million XP!

Living in a city with great public transport means you don't really need a car so we hacked portals as we walked or rode the bus. Once his vacation time was over and I had all day to myself, I found that I was going out to walk around the University Campus just to hack portals and maintain our coverage of the area. There's also a nice short walk to fill/maintain about 6 other portals too so if I didn't have time for a full Campus walk, I'd just go do the lap around the block instead!

It may seem sad but we also planned some of our day trips based on portal density. We were going places for me to see parts of the city I hadn't seen but if we couldn't decide where to go, the portal density was the deciding factor! There are various achievements in the game, including Unique Portals hacked and Unique Captures so it's a great motivator to get out and about to places you've not been before. We had a weekend in Philadelphia while I was there too and that gave us over 300 new portals on our scores.

Overall, it's a great idea for a game and if there's anything that will get a gamer out and about, it's having targets and achievements to reach. Now that I'm home, I will be keeping my eyes open for places and things to submit as new portals in my home town. Since I've been away, there are already 4 or 5 new portals here so I'm hopeful that a walk in town will not only keep me moving but will help my game experience too!

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Wednesday, 8 October 2014

One Minute Gaming #27 - Star Wars Commander

This week, I downloaded Star Wars Commander at Rez's request. At first glance, it's very much a Star Wars themed Clash of Clans, a resources management, base building type game. The tutorial is filled with familiar faces and the Intergalactic nature of the graphics are pretty good.

You build your base using alloy and credits which are the two resources you will be collecting and waiting for. At the lowest levels, resources can build up fairly easily, the building upgrades are fairly cheap to buy & are completed quickly.

If this game follows the same path as Clash of Clans, the higher levels could get very slow and patience will be a huge requirement!

The biggest difference besides the theme is that in Star Wars Commander, you can recruit Heroes from across the Galaxy. You do have to recruit them after each use but that will just add a little variety to your army make up.

Overall, it's very polished and if you like Star Wars and haven't played Clash of Clans or Boom Beach then this could be a good game for you. If you have played those other games then I'd guess you won't want to play yet another version!

Looking at it with fresh eyes, I'd give it an 8 out of 10 although I won't be playing it as I'm still building my base in Clash of Clans!

If you have a game you'd like me to try, you can contact me on twitter @NevAHAddict.

So until next time, have fun


Monday, 29 September 2014

One Minute Gaming #26 - Zombie Dive

This week, I've been playing a game called Zombie Dive - yes, a Zombie high diving competition with great graphics, spooky music and some great sound effects. There's a little humorous trash talking too but it's very family safe stuff.

The tutorial takes you through how to make the dives and then the competition starts! You have 3 attempts to reach the target score and each dive required is shown at the top of the screen - you just have to watch the wind gauge and land in the oil tank! If you do mess up though, you can always bribe the judges for extra dives - they really like cookies!

The only thing that spoils it for me is the adverts in between each dive competition - with only 3 or 4 dives seperating them, they do become a bit annoying but any cash shop purchase will remove them - not sure I like this game enough to spend cash though!

Overall it's a fun game that might keep the kids occupied for a while but I don't see it as addictive or having staying power so I'll give it a 6 out of 10.

If you have a game you'd like me to try, you can contact me on Twitter @NevAHAddict.

So until next time, have fun!


Saturday, 20 September 2014

One Minute Gaming #25 - Deemo

This week I want to tell you about a game called Deemo - I'm not sure quite what category this one will fit though - it's a music/rhythm game but the graphics are beautiful anime and it's based on piano music.

As far as I can see, you just tap the screen as the falling notes hit the bar - I'm so unmusical, I can't tell if I'm doing it right or not! I tried hitting the notes as they touch the bar and I tried hitting the notes before they hit the bar but my score stayed almost the same each time.

It's billed as a rhythm game though so perhaps it's more about hitting them in time to the beat or something - that pretty much counts me out then!

There are various levels of difficulty too and you can change the speed of the falling notes to make it harder as well. I'm still on the basic easy level stuff but I am finding it quite compelling!

The graphic art is gorgeous - slightly macabre anime and beautiful line drawing illustrations decorate each music choice - all of which are piano based tracks but all are lovely and help keep you absorbed in the game.

I'm sure this won't be a popular choice for many but it does have a certain je ne sais quoi about it so I'm going to give it a 7 out of 10.

If you have a game you'd like me to suggest, you can contact me on twitter @NevAHAddict or leave a comment below.

So until next time

Have fun!

Friday, 19 September 2014

One Minute Gaming #24 - A Dark Room

Not exactly the most enticing screenshot!
This week, I tried an old fashioned text adventure game called A Dark Room. I've only played one text adventure in the past - Forest of Doom on a Commodore 64 so I thought I'd have a look at this one for you.

The reviews were mixed - those who said they loved it remembered text adventures from the past, those who said they hated it just didn't understand it's simplicity - I'd guess they were youngsters, too used to flashy graphics and loud music of more modern games.

I have to say, I'm not sure which camp I fall in - love it or hate it - as a text adventure it actually seems really slow to me. The game designers have added in resources to collect which I don't remember from the old games and so far, I haven't found anyone to fight. I have started to build a village and gained some gatherers though.

The reviews suggested that the story takes a while to unfold so I'm going to keep going a while longer yet but unless it picks up pretty soon, I think this will be a limited time game on my ipad. It may well appeal to some of you but I'm really undecided about A Dark Room so I'm going to give it a 5 out of 10, mainly for it's slowness so far!

If you have a game you'd like to suggest, you can contact me on Twitter @NevAHAddict or leave a comment below.

So until next time - have fun!

Monday, 15 September 2014

One Minute Gaming #23 - Puzzix

This week I have another puzzle game for you called Puzzix - it's a little bit like Tetris but with nicer music, graphics and probably more polish. I used to love Tetris and was my family champion so I had to try this game out. It's available on the Apple iStore and on Amazon for Android users too which is a nice change. So many games I review are iPhone/iPad only as I don't have an Android phone with enough space to play games to review them!

The basic idea is the same as Tetris in that you have falling shapes that you need to fit together to clear them, but Puzzix only requires you to match 3 or 4 together to clear them. The shapes are a lot more complicated though so it evens out the difficulty level.

Each level is timed to 2 minutes and they get progressively harder. You start off with just 1 column of falling shapes but that increases as you go up the levels. I've got to level 20 and now I have 5 columns of falling shapes and more starter shapes already in place to clear.

The music is calming and so far, the game hasn't got faster but with the difficult shapes, I'm not sure it needs much more speed.

I like it although I'm not sure how long I'll keep playing. With the calmer music and gentler feel, it doesn't get the adrenaline flowing like Tetris used to so I'm going to give it a 7 out of 10.

If you have a game you'd like me to try, you can contact me on twitter @NevAHAddict or leave a comment below.

So until next time, have fun!


Friday, 29 August 2014

One Minute Gaming #22 - Toilet Time

This week, I found a silly game called Toilet Time which was one of the titles suggested for this segment so of course, I had to review this game for you! It's also available on Android so no-one gets left out! You can get the Android version of Toilet Time via Amazon and like the ipad version, it's free too.

It really is a silly 5 minute game but it is quite catchy too. If you've ever played Dumb Ways To Die, you'll have a good idea of this game. If you haven't played Dumb Ways to Die - Toilet Time is just a series of very quick puzzles - probably 15 seconds each and you have four toilet rolls for lives!

There's a maze, a wash your hands, a squish the bug and a sort the queue into male & female puzzle to name just a few but it is definitely schoolboy toilet humour throughout.

There's a challenge to beat a certain score & if you do, you get a golden key - that reveals a historic toilet display in the toilet museum with a witty description - so far I've found a Pee-ramid, and Eco-loo and a Chinese loo with a saying from Con-poo-cius!

Overall it's a pretty sad game but it does have a little humour. I'd give it a 4 out of 10 and probably flush it pretty quickly!

If you have a game you'd like me to try out, you can contact me on Twitter @NevAHAddict or perhaps leave a comment below.

So until next time, have fun!

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