Pokémon Masters is a nostalgia trip for everyone who has played the OG games. The game takes place on Pasio island and your character arrives with a Pikachu to enter a Pokémon tournament. The game includes a wide array of famous trainers from past games. Fan favourites, Misty and Brock, are also present with their characteristic anime voice. Each trainer brings their own signature Pokémon and you have to assemble teams of three to take on other trainers and the ‘bad guys’. The player gets to control all 3 Pokémon. The battling style isn’t the typical turn-based Pokémon battle. Each ‘Sync Pair’ (Trainer + Pokémon) has an energy bar and moves consume energy. You can keep attacking until your energy bar is drained and then you have to wait until it fills up again to ‘Thunderbolt’ the sh*t out of your opponents. Of course, since this is a Pokémon game and friendship is key, and blah and blah… trainers can cheer at their Pokémon to give them a boost. The game is a neat little tribute to the Pokémon legacy however, microtransactions and slow battling style does limit its appeal.
Gravity Rider Zero developed by Vivid Games S.A. is a sequel to their popular game Gravity Rider. However, dubbing it a sequel may be incorrect since it mostly seems like the original game has just been redesigned with a very few novel features. It’s a physics-based motorbiking game that has striking similarities to the Trials games. The basic premise is that you ride around a plethora of terrains on futuristic-looking vehicles. You start off with a classic bike and can gain access to other vehicles by unlocking them from chests you win. One level has three separate stages and if you f*&k up on any particular stage, you have to start ALL over again, which is painful, really. If this pains you too much, just watch a free ad! An ingenious move really on the game developer’s part since players will often feel so invested in the effort they’ve taken to get far in the level and they’ll end up watching the ad reluctantly. The game zeroes in on the racing aspect more than precise obstacle dodging and there’s quite a steep learning curve in understanding how to control your vehicle. This isn’t so much a “racing” game as it is “complete the level without screwing up” game. There are other racers riding along with you, but even if you don’t win you pass the level. Kinda counterintuitive, isn’t it? Also, the control buttons are a bit too cramped up. Overall, the game is still fast-paced, challenging and immersive.
From developer Adventure Islands, veteran in the field of retro-styled pixel-art puzzle games, comes Total Party Kill, a retro-styled pixel-art puzzle game. Total Party Kill is very fun puzzle game that has a simple premise with excellent execution, which makes the puzzles not only challenging, but fun as well. In Total Party Kill, you control a party of three characters and the goal of the game is to get to the exit, no matter the cost. Even if it means that only one of the three party members makes it to the end. Your party is a traditional fantasy RPG party, consisting of a knight, a mage, and a rogue archer. Each of these characters has a single ability. Which you’ll have to utilise smartly in order to get to the exit of the level. The knight can whack stuff (your party members) with a sword, killing them and sending them flying. The mage can turn stuff (your party members) into blocks of ice you can stand on and push around, and the archer can pin stuff (your pa- you get it) to walls so you can jump on them and climb higher. Those are just their basic uses, and as you progress through the game you’ll need to combo their abilities to get to the exit. It’s quite a challenging and fun puzzle game that we’re happy to recommend. There are plenty of ads unfortunately, but you can pay to get rid of them. Another unfortunate thing is that there’s only 60 levels in the game. We wish there were more.
The combination of the gritty and gory Gears of War and the Funko Pop line of toys is a weird one, but we guess it kinda works? We’re not big fans, but the game would totally work without Funkification. But anyway, here we are, with a Gears Funko Pop game that’s very much a Clash Royale rip-off, with a few additions sprinkled in. Gears POP utilises a tried-and-tested formula, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. It’s a formula that works, you can easily spend hours playing this game. It’s a gameplay loop we’re all too familiar with, when you play, get a chest, wait out the chest timer, open the chest, upgrade characters, get stronger, rinse and repeat. It’s a grind. Gameplay is very similar to Clash Royale, except for the addition of walls to the field. There are now walls on either side of the gameplay field, which certain characters can capture, pushing your line of attrition further. This lets you summon units closer to the opponents base. Instead of a castle and two towers, this time you’ve got your own custom Funko Pop character and two towers at the top and bottom ends of the map. With the top being the opponent and you being at the bottom. You’ve got an energy system which is constantly replenishing, and the rate speeds up as the game progresses, just like in Clash Royale. There’s a timer and everything. Gears POP also has Xbox Achievements. You can actually log into your Xbox Live account via the app, if you’re into that sort of thing. Anyway, it’s a decent game with tried-and-tested gameplay and a familiar loop. Give it a try if you liked Clash Royale.
GAMEVIL is no stranger to the mobile gacha game market. Elune is their latest action RPG entrant and while it’s your standard fare collect-em-all RPG, there’s no denying that it looks amazing.
The premise of Elune is that you’re an Elune, one of many such Elunes tasked with keeping the justice in the land. How do you keep the justice in the land? By hunting monsters of course! But wait, there’s more. You’re not hunting monsters down in just one dimension, no no. You’ll be doing monster hunting across seven (very well-detailed might we add) different dimensions.
Combat in Elune is pretty standard, what you’d expect from a game of this kind. What makes it standout though are the animations for each individual Elune. They look really cool, and that alone is enough to encourage you to want to collect them all and grind them levels up.
Because of all of those animations, the game is a pretty large download. There are some very cool looking cutscenes to go through. Otherwise, the interface is just about what you’d expect from a gacha game.
There are automated 5v5 PvP battles as well, where you can pit your own team of Elunes against other players.
Overall, Elune is a pretty good-looking game with great animation and is surprisingly fun for a gacha ARPG. You can easily sink hours into this mobile game.
Nintendo has a habit of being happy in their own little bubble. Their games are often designed quite well but the overall experience is where they take quite a beating.
Mario Kart Tour is fairly simple to play since your cart is always accelerating and you simply have to slide left or right to control the direction. This makes it easy to play the game with just one hand which is how they went with Super Mario Run as well. The game has tours which lasts two weeks and you can earn your way towards bigger tours.
The powerups are also present to make your life simpler or for you to be an absolute prick to other players. However, getting the complete experience would require you to partake in a little microtransaction shopping run without which the game doesn’t seem to be all that fun.
You start off each race by picking your rider and a couple of accelerators. The good ones are, you might have guessed this, behind a microtransaction.
It’s not that you cannot play the game without paying up, it’ll just be the same old stale stuff.
It’s how Nintendo is hell bent on making every person part with their monies that ends up being the problem. The microtransaction prices aren’t exorbitant if you remember that this is a Nintendo game.
On the switch, this would have been pretty ordinary but on Android, or iOS for that matter, it seems a little too much for people to stomach which makes it pretty hard for us to recommend it.
It is not everyday that you come across an entirely-new gameplay mechanic, and ten years into the existence of smartphones, Walk Master somehow manages to do it. You are a woodland or farm creature on stilts, and you have to walk your way across jungles and farms, navigating a number of obstacles on the way. This is done through a repeated series of swipes across the screen. Balance and precision is everything.
The controls, by necessity, are extremely sensitive to even the slightest movements on the touchscreen. This is a bit unnerving at the beginning of the game, and it takes time to get used to. Once the movements of the character on the screen matches intimately with your swipes, then navigating through the levels becomes more of an unconscious activity. This is when you start to navigate the more tricky portions of the game, including moving platforms, logs on cranes that can fall, and even surprisingly cooperative crocodiles that are waiting to ferry you across rivers. The level design is top notch, and there are plenty of them available, apart from challenges that can be unlocked.
This is really one of those games that are easy to learn and hard to master. The difficulty curve is smooth and well thought of. Every level introduces new challenges, and you can also unlock movements. After a few levels, you get the ability to jump by swiping up, which introduces another interesting mechanic. There is also a puzzle element when it comes to navigating some platforms. The game is stuffed with little details and animations. You can unlock a number of animals and they interact with each other in fun ways. The only thing that hinders the experience are ads, but you can pay to get rid of them.
There seems to be some kind of a trend to mashup the age old game of chess with staples of the application stores, and Knight Quest is one such effort. This game combines an endless runner with chess, a seemingly unlikely combination that works surprisingly well. You get to control just one piece, the Knight. You have to then use the Knight movement to navigate a series of levels, where all kinds of chess pieces come at you. The board keeps scrolling, which is the endless runner bit. Mostly, you are allowed to only move forward. During this motion, you have to make sure that none of the pieces further down the board can attack you. The enemy pieces all use standard chess moves, but not the standard chess numbers. You may come across four kings or eight bishops in a single level.
You do not need to worry about the pieces between a certain point, which is indicated by a white line about half way up the screen. Now this is where it gets really interesting. The levels are not procedurally-generated, but instead have a set number of pieces. The exact movements of these pieces do change though, and that depends entirely on the actions you take. This gives replayability to each of the levels. Apart from collecting the power ups and stars, there is a strategy aspect. The game is enjoyable enough to allow you to challenge yourself to finish the levels quicker, or use as few moves as possible.
Causality at first appears to be a well-crafted puzzle platformer. This is not really a game that can be easily explained. Think of it as a bunch of time travelling astronauts, who have to navigate through worlds and accomplish particular tasks. There are tiles on their paths that you can switch around to make them move in particular directions. There are also buttons and levers that give access to certain areas, and hazards you need to avoid such as disembodied tentacles and monsters. This is a turn-based game, and you are provided with a budget of so many turns to finish a particular level. You can swipe backwards to do over a particular action or step. Alternatively, you can directly drag the circular indicator along the bottom to go back several steps. That is not where the time travel ends though. You also get portals that send you back in time to a particular step. You need to use two versions of your astronauts to solve the level, and they can even interact with each other. This game gets really complicated, really fast.
The game has only 40 levels as of now, but each of them are daunting and offer something new. It is not like once you figure out a particular level, the next few are a breeze. This seems to be a conscious decision on the part of the developers, to include only good levels, and not spam the game with tons of levels requiring the same or similar logic to solve. Causality is by no means a casual title, and as the game progresses, the puzzles start getting increasingly complex and difficult. You might have to sit down and carefully plan your actions using pen and paper to make it through some puzzles. Causality is sure to tax your brain, and there are even some bonus especially hard levels when you complete a particular area.
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