Tuesday, 23 August 2011

Racing Moto

 It's quite rare to find free games that really make the best of the accelerometer that most Android phones have, often driving games with them fail to really work as you expect and in fact it seems an under-utilised tool. Racing Moto however manages to use the accelerometer to create one of the more addictive driving games on the Android which brings an arcade feel to the phone and a high speed enjoyment.

You control the rider and bike on a long stretch of road and the controls are really simple. You press down on the screen to go faster and tilt the phone left and right to steer the biker past cars on the road. The further you get the more points you get and you a bonus for going faster as well.

Whilst the control are the simple and the graphics are more then acceptable the game really stands out for not only how well it uses the accelerometer but also for how addictive it is. The game has the same sort of addictive qualities as those old arcade machines that we'd pile more and more money into almost like a gaming crack addict.

Whilst the game it's self will have you hooked the only real problem are the pretty basic sound effects and maybe the fact the game isn't actually that original. We've all played similar sort of flash games, though the controlling method is a bit different to the norm on these sorts of games and it is genuinely enjoyable even if it doesn't really push the boundaries of gaming.

Addictiveness-8/10 Arcade like addictiveness
Controls-9/10 Really simple...though it's used wonderfully.
Graphics-7/10 Nice, and although not highly detailed they are sharp enough to see whats actually happening
Sounds-3/10 Rather annoying bike sounds that you will end up turning off sooner rather than later.
Originality-5/10 It's an "avoid the traffic" game, not new but the control method is a nice new slant on it.

Total score 32/50

Although it's addictive the life span seems to be rather limited and although you'll enjoy it in bursts you'll likely go back to it once a week for a few runs rather than sit hooked to it for a day or two. The game is enjoyable fun to play and is hopefully a game that shows the others how to use the accelerometer properly.

Game mark B+

Monday, 22 August 2011

Yoo Ninja

It seemed fitting that if I was going to review a platform game then it was only fair I reviewed a really good one and in Yoo Ninja I think I've picked a beauty.

The game sees you controlling a small ninja (as you can see in the screen-
shots) who has to run from one level to the next in a fast paced and action packed game. What sets this apart from most other platform games isn't the frantic pace that rivals Sonic but the method in which you avoid the gaps in the floor (and ceiling). Instead of jumping like you would in a normal platform game you "flip" and start running on the roof.


Whilst this may seem like a simple task, the fact that you are automatically guided through the levels leaves this not as a test of your true platforming ability but of your reactions as some gaps are almost instantly followed by one on the flipside.

With Yoo Ninja you get a frantic and challenging game that will beat you senseless but keep you coming back for more which is the perfect sign that the developers (RunnerGames.Studios) have created a fantastic game. Though it's not just the control method and simplicity that makes it so good but the sharp graphics and excellent backing music add to the pleasure of playing what is simple one of the best games you will find on the Android market!

Addictiveness-9/10 It'll make you cry, it'll make you feel like you suck but you'll come back.
Controls-8/10 Really simple...but really effective.
Graphics-8/10 Wonderful, a real delight to see an Android game remind me of the old 2D platform games of my childhood.
Sounds-8/10 "Ninja" themed backing music, not to everyone's taste but I certainly don't mind it.
Originality-7/10 A huge twist on Platforming games. Quite similar to VVVVVV if you've ever played that.

Total score 40/50

It's not often that I find my only flaw with a game being "it frustrates me like a hot woman who wants to tease me" but that's the feeling I get here. It's beautiful, it's fun, it's addictive, it's challenging and it's one of the most complete Android games you can find on the market. It's life span may not be huge though it's challenging enough to keep you busy.

Game mark A

Wordfeud Free

 I'm sorry it's almost 2 months since the last entry on to this blog, though I've had a good excuse and returned with an excellent game that brings multiplayer action, intelligence and a twist on a memorable game. Firstly I've been busy with the parent blog of this one which has now become a booming success regularly getting 400+ visitors a day. If you'd like to check that out click here and read about tips and tricks to get the most from your phone and even how to save some money!

Anyway now we've returned to Android Games Reviews we've returned with Wordfeud a multiplayer scrabble clone that has become on my most played games on my phone. As you can see from the screen shot on the right this is essentially Scrabble under a different name with slightly differently set "bonus" squares and and the letters scores have been tinkered with slightly.

Whilst the graphics are simple and the sounds are relatively minimal what the game does wonderfully is is allow you and a friend to play head to head to try and out score each other.

The rules are basic, you are given a "rack" of 7 letters with which to make words on the board and try to accumulate more points than your opponent. You word must connect with at least one other word currently on the board and when all the letters (or "tiles") are used the player with the highest score wins. Despite being awfully simple the competitive nature of the game will have you hooked and the fact you can spice up the board with the bonus squares randomised and playing randomly selected players makes the game a good time waster.

The game also has a chat function in if you wish to flirt...or taunt your opponents.

The game has 2 issues that I'm not a big fan of, mainly that your wins and losses don't seem to be recorded any where which is a bit of a shame and the adverts. Whilst the adverts do lead to the game being free they just seem a little bit too frequent for my liking. However neither of these detract from an excellent game and a game that truly shows how excellent the internet can be used for gaming with an android phone.

Addictiveness-8/10 The competitive nature really hooks you.
Controls-7/10 Simple but they work. The game really couldn't have much simpler controls.
Graphics-5/10 They do their job.
Sounds-2/10 Very simply sounds, nothing to be shocked or amazed by.
Originality-5/10 It's scrabble with a slight twist.

Total score 27/50

Very fun and shows the ability to make truly online multiplayer android games. This is a success and who cares if it's a clone of Scrabble?

Game mark B

Sunday, 26 June 2011

Drag Racing

 Now we've stumbled upon our first "free" racing game, Drag Racing. The premise is simple it's you and another car racing down a 1/4 mile or 1/2 mile strip. There is nothing too complex about and even the controls are simple with you controlling just the start and when the car shifts.

Despite the simplicity of the concept of game the first thing that strikes you is actually the way the game looks. It's actually very polished graphically for an
 Android based game with simple but solid and bright colours.

The game starts with you choosing a car to buy (see the screen on the right) and through the game you race and upgrade your car bit by bit in a bit of a Gran Tourismo (GT) lite type of game (or Forza lite if you'd rather). Although there is a lot of depth in terms of upgrading this is also where you find one of the games two major problems. The upgrading is done with money ($) and Respect Points (RP) with RP being limited and really limiting you in terms of upgrade unless you choose to pay real money to buy them...maybe this game isn't so free afterall.

As well as the RP "issue" the actual game is simply too simple. There is nothing but a straight race down a drag strip. Not a corner in the game and this feels somewhat limited and relatively boring as you find yourself grinding to earn the ingame money doing the same race over and over and over...Whilst this doesn't take away from the short term appeal of the game it leaves you with not really wanting to come back for long.

Whilst the game does feature an online mode it is quite a limited one and is more like racing a ghost than a true head-to-head online race.

Whilst it's a fun arcade thrill the game lacks the depth it feels it has due to the way you need to pay for the RP. Whilst I under-stand the developer putting in a monetary system we only review FREE games and asking us to pay isn't "FREE". Hence the game limits it's self to us.

Addictiveness-4/10 Playable and fun but limited by it's "freeness"
Controls-7/10 They do their job but they are awfully simple and somewhat uninteresting for a racing game
Graphics-9/10 Best part of the game by a mile. Looks brilliant for an Android game.
Sounds-3/10 Simple engine noises when your car is moving. Nothing to be amazed by here.
Originality-4/10 It's racing, it's taken a trick out of the GT book of tricks and yet it's racing isn't original at all

Total score 27/50

Overall it's fun but you can't help but feel the developer is asking for far too much if they feel like they will be paid for Respect Points. Had they put in a free way to get a reasonable amount quickly you'd likely be hooked but sadly they've only made it possible to get a limited amount and it's a real shame as it cuts the game into pieces. What is, if you pay, presumably a very good game is more like a fun but limited game for free.

Game mark C

Monday, 20 June 2011


 After enjoying a number of maths based games I decided to try some word based games and downloaded Wordaholic. I was hoping that this would be just as addictive as things like Mathgame, Math Maniac and the excellent The King of OX though was left sadly under-whelmed by this for some reason.

The game sees you making words from the letters in the honeycomb like structure that can see below. Each of the letters has a number on it that corresponds to the score you get for using it in scrabble (Z=10, A=1, J=8 etc) and the idea is that you try to build the biggest score you can with all your words added together. In principle this sounds fun and set against a clock it should be frantic and really, really good fun.

The games big flaw comes in with it's "reward" system. For every 5 words you create you get a bonus 15 seconds on all 3 of the games timed modes (Normal, Lightning and Chaos) although this is a good idea in principle it leads to a big flaw with the game. The ability to create endless strings of 2 letter words. Using the image to the right you can create a number of very quick and easy 2 letter words (things such as "aw", "it", "de", "da", "to", "ho", "aa" and "he" amongst many others) to in essence give you unlimited time. Whilst it's nice to be rewarded it turns what should be a quick and addictive game into a real slog to try and put your name on the leaderboard (or should that be leader bored?).

The huge flaw in the game is the worst part though the graphics don't do anything amazing and won't blow you away either. Oddly the game, which played fine 12 hours ago, now seems to be plagued by yet another, much more serious problem, repeated Force Close screens after pressing "Submit".

Addictiveness-4/10 When it was working it was flawed, fun but very flawed
Controls-7/10 They do their job but feel a little bit off at times
Graphics-4/10 Uninspiring and unexciting
Sounds-0/10 Silence means a score of 0* (At least it seems like silence, the game is now crashing before I get to test)
Originality-3/10 Similar, in a way, to Boggle and boggle clones so it's nothing original though it's still a nice idea to put onto the phones.

Total score 18/50

The combinations of the Force Close screens and the games "big flaw" has seen me actually uninstall the game as it's broken. Our rule on "broken" games is that they are automatically given an F. Oddly when the game was working fine I'd have given it a D+ as it's acceptable but boring and the "flaw" kills the game's sense of urgency addictiveness.

Game mark F
This game has been inducted into our Hall of Shame

Saturday, 18 June 2011

Smart Tac Toe

The games default screen
 Having played Tic-Tac-Toe and Four in a Line recently I had also seen the very similar "Smart Tac Toe" which expands on the concept. Instead of needing to connect 3 or even 4 you need to connect 5 in a line (either horizontally, vertically or diagonally) on an open layout (unlike the gravity based Four in a Line) that expands far beyond the realms of both the other games.

The game gives the option of 3 types of opponents, Human (shared phone), as well as 3 levels of AI and the very ambitious Online. Sadly the online version is still in Beta mode and is awfully flawed with the 3 games I tried playing all finishing within seconds with the other "surrendering". Hopefully the developer will improve this part of the game in the future.

Although the game is technically a very strategic one and will, with 2 equally leveled opponents be very interesting. It's not likely to be the sort of game that will draw you too it. For a start there isn't a title screen, the screen to the right is the first screen you see when the game has loaded. It doesn't help that there graphics are so ultra simple and there is no clever background just a plain white grid it really is stupidly simple and the sounds (or again, lack of) don't help to add anything.

A full match played
in just a 5 by 5
 Whilst the idea is a brilliant one in principle the game sadly fails to build on it and whilst the strategy of it is a good idea it's just too plain and too unexciting to keep you hooked. Sadly the game's one big step forward is still in a beta and you see lots of the screen to the right when you attempt to play online.
The typical screen
that follows
an attempt at
playing online

 The lack of sound, the lack of colour and the lack of a title screen all take away and make the game look amateurish and whilst I do like the concept of a large scale O's and X's it just fails to really come together as it should do. Added to the fact you're forced to see an advert after every single game and you soon get sick of it. Hopefully the developers do come back and sort out some of the flaws, add a little background music and a little more colour as well as correcting the Online mode and they maybe on to a winner, for now they have a good idea but not great.

Addictiveness-4/10 It is fun and a nice idea but until the online works it'll have very limited appeal
Controls-8/10 They do their job and are really simple.
Graphics-4/10 Uninspiring and unexciting
Sounds-0/10 Silence means a score of 0
Originality-5/10 Tic-Tac-Toe with a a twist that improves the game but fails to completely reach the heights that I hoped it would.

Total score 21/50

Overall the game is, at heart, Tic-Tac-Toe with a twist and it's a twist that could really work. Sadly though the game can be a little boring on single player and until the online version works completely it's got limited appeal. If the developers want to get in touch when they fix the online I'll be happy to update the review, though for now it's a slight disappointment.

Game mark C

Friday, 17 June 2011

Turn Me On

 With a name like "Turn Me On" you'd expect this to be some sort of sexual fantasy based game in with you get someone like Erica Campbell to strip on screen or Britney Spears giving a lap dance. Sadly guys we need to look elsewhere as this is games as far from that as you could possibly imagine.

The game actually sees you linking squares together to try and make them green. To turn them green you need to link them to the the number on the square (just follow the rules which are below).

 The game looks incredibly simple from the rules and in fact it is simple sadly it's a bit too simple and even when your in the later levels the game doesn't really give any major challenge as you'd perhaps expect it to. Instead of mentally challenging you it ends up sadly boring you as you brisk your way through the game which lacks any major mental tests.

Although it's playable enough, if far too easy, it's really the other aspects that leave the game feeling shallow. The graphics for example are really really dull, the background doesn't change from the dull 2-tone colouring and the "squares" are always one of 3 colours. If you then count the black and white of the numbers the entire game uses just 7 colours. Whilst there is no need to use all whatever million colours the phones can show a few more colours, variable backgrounds and even obstacles would make the game look better and be tougher.

The sound is another issue or rather the complete lack of sound. There is no music, there is no sound effects, it's just complete silence. This is a shame as again the game could seriously use some form of background music, or even a celebratory noise when you've managed to complete a level. It's a shame that something so simple hasn't been put into the game.

Addictiveness-4/10 It is fun to start but no challenge so you won't find yourself hooked for too long
Controls-8/10 They do their job and are really simple.
Graphics-4/10 Uninspiring and unexciting
Sounds-0/10 Silence means a score of 0
Originality-4/10 There is a bunch of similar games that manage to do it better.


This has a lot of potential though sadly they've failed to really go with the potential. If mkoss want to update the game they need to put in some sort of obstacles to add difficultly, some sounds and music to make it more fulfilling and some different backgrounds as the current one just feels boring after 3 or 4 levels. It seems like they could make some easy improvements to make the game better and hopefully they will. Sadly as it is, it didn't turn me on, rather turned me off tbh.

Game mark C-