I had to make up for me nearly on time article by dragging out the games for you this week. What I do have is a good set of games that should help stave off your fall yard work. First up is a game that combines slam dancing and destructible environments. I also have a space strategy game that riffs on Dune. I then close out with a new interpretation of the Tomb Raider games.
Slam City Oracles – Mac
Combining the chaos of something like Katamari Damacy with slam dancing riot girls is a pretty novel idea. Conceived as part of a NYU game jam, Slam City Oracles is a game that makes a simple concept extremely addicting. You and another play slam around the stage by hitting the A button, I used a 360 controller to play the game, and then a direction. You’ll shoot your self into the air, giving you a platform to knock down buildings on clouds and platforms. If you get high enough you can high five god and knock him off his cloud.
Each of the various things you can knock down are tied to an achievement. You get a summary at the end of the game, which lasts about two minutes, showing each of the things you managed to complete. However, some of these are going to require that you play with two players. My only complaint with this game is that it only has one song, and doesn’t let you select your own music tracks to use in it’s place. The song is pretty cool, but I was sick of it after playing the third or fourth time through.
What’s Good: Really fun arcade experience.
What Sucks: Only a single song to play, no user songs.
Buy it?: If you like crazy arcade games, check out Slam City Oracles. You can name your own price for it here.
Line Square Dot – Web
Considering that the developer of Line Square Dot has a very german name, I’m going to assume that the LSD abbreviation was unintentional. Silly name aside, this is an addicting little web game. (You can actually download the code and compile this for your platform of choice, as it is on Github.) The premise is simple, you have to guide a dot into a square, using lines that you draw around the level. You fail if the ball falls to the edge of the screen, going back a level.
Each level increases the difficulty by adding additional pieces when the level starts. If you get your ball stuck you can surrender and start over. This isn’t anything all that complex, but it is fun. I think if you’re looking for something to waste a few minutes, this is a great game for that. It’s also a web game that works on iOS as well, the screen shots above are from my iPad.
What’s Good: Simple game, lots of fun.
What Sucks: Repetitive, not very complex.
Buy it?: f you like simple web games check out Line Square Dot.
Sentinel Command – iPad
I am going to preface this review with the idea that I am rather partial to space strategy, so Sentinel Command is right up my alley. The game sets up a space war between various houses, and you play a baron in the house of Sedaris. Your job is to prevent an invasion by the Daraay house. For the most part the story isn’t important. It adds to the background, but your job is to stave off attack on your mines. As you defeat invaders, you can capture escape pods to find the location of the invader’s bases in your space.
You have a fleet of three ships to start, but as you go you can get up to six. Each of those have crew and equipment that you upgrade using XP and ore. This is tied to how well you stave off the invasion, as your mines production is affected by attacks. What parts of your ship are upgraded depend on defending areas of space and donating some of your ore.
While this game isn’t exactly a grand strategy title, it is fun. The space battles are turned based, but even on normal require a thoughtful approach. You need to use various skills to ensure that you’re ready for the next big attack. It gets easier as your fleet gets bigger, but you need to make choices.
What’s Good: Fun space strategy game.
What Sucks: Story is disposible.
Buy it?: If you’re looking for a light take on strategy, and don’t mind a lightweight story, check out Sentinel Command. Pick it up on the App Store for $6.99.
Walking Dead: Road To Survival – iOS(Universal)
Making another Walking Dead game is hard after the first Telltale Walking Dead game. Even they had a hard time following it up. Now there is a new RPG/City Building game set in the world of the comic itself.
You control a group of survivors set around the time of the Governor in the comic, a pretty grim time for a tie in to take place. You’ll have to contend with Walkers and survivors trying to kill you. To survive you need to round up and arm your own band of survivors, leveling them up and training them. You also have to build you town to get resources that help you further arm your survivors.
The game is interesting, but it is buried in a lot of IAP. You’ll be pitched in-game currency to unlock characters and weapons, as well speeding up building your city. The game divides the gameplay between story missions and PVP tournaments, all of it via RPG style combat.
The game is fun, but is missing the human element that makes the comics interesting. The motions are there, but it’s not delivered in any way that engages the player. If you don’t mind the casual approach to the story, this is a good RPG. There’s a lot to manage, and stats hounds will likely find a lot to like.
What’s Good: Lots to manage, both characters and town progression.
What Sucks: Weak story, lots of IAP.
Buy it?: If you’re an RPG fan that doesn’t mind a light story, check out Walking Dead: Road To Survival. Get it on the App Store for free.
Tomb Raider: Go – iOS(Universal)
The Go series of games is a radical reinterpretation of a game outside of its genre. The first game was Hitman, now Square is back with Tomb Raider: Go. Rather than the platforming and climbing of the original Tomb Raider games, instead you run along a pre-set path. This path is full of obstacles, you have to work out patterns to get through the level.
For example on some levels you’ll need to work out how to get through a switch puzzle with areas of the map you can only cross once. There’s other maps that require you to use a spear to create a crossable pattern through enemies. There’s collectibles you can find on each level by spotting urns, these unlock new outfits for Laura.
The game is an interesting genre. The board game like approach does have it’s downside, having to swipe for every movement is a bit awkward. On the other hand, the pure puzzle approach rethinks the exploration puzzle of the original game into a more contemplative game.
What’s Good: Interesting reinterpretation of the original game, collectibles to encourage replay.
What Sucks: Not going to appeal to all fans of the franchise.
Buy it?: If you like Tomb Raider and don’t mind a radically different gameplay experience, check out Tomb Raider: Go. Get it on the App Store for $4.99.