Why Nintendo should move to the mobile game market…

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Photo Courtesy of: http://www.picgifs.com/clip-art/cartoons/super-mario/clip-art-super-mario-182626.jpg

For many years Nintendo ruled the gaming world. To some they will always be legends, but now there is a new generation up and coming, and Nintendo must learn to adapt if it would like to regain its throne once again.  Nintendo in our eyes will always be one of the greatest most innovative companies in gaming history. But now as they valiantly stand beside their struggling console, Wii U, they must begin to reevaluate and learn what other steps need to be taken in order to secure the company’s future existence.
Nintendo rules the handheld console market and there is no one that will get in their way, but they have to move to a different scene to continue to be innovators. The mobile gaming market is on the verge of exploding, or perhaps it has been for sometime now. It almost seems as if the mobile market is a thriving community waiting for a king to step in. If Nintendo will step in and begin making first party games for any of the mobile markets not only will there be a “culture shock” in the way games are played on the phone, but there will be a culture shock in the gaming industry unanimously. Nintendo would be able to come in and set the price standards on apps. No longer would we have to abide by the pay to win or in app purchases, instead we would receive an awesome game at a fair price. I would be more than willing to pay 15 or 20 dollars for a IOS version of Starfox, as long as it is a complete game. That is another area that Nintendo should realize, they shouldn’t try adopting the current gaming system but instead create their own. (Break the system even; Just don’t give us a Mario game that we can only play 5 times and then have to wait to refill energy.)

This certainly wouldn’t be a bad thing for mobile gamers either, we are getting a better quality game from a developer that we know we could trust to deliver great games. Nintendo is a prestigious company; and from gamers everywhere the mobile gaming throne is all yours!

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Bridge Me…Cheap, boring and shallow. (You deserve better)

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Lately there seems to be an influx of “cheap” pix-elated games hitting the IOS market. Flappy Bird was one, and now many of the developers have copied Flappy Bird in a “get rich quick” scheme. At least in that regard “Bridge Me” is not a knock off of Flappy Bird, though it shares the same graphics quality, and the similar sound of a coin being collected each time you build a bridge. (Thank you Nintendo) “Bridge Me” and all games alike have become shallow, there is no story line, no interesting achievements, no unlockables, just a leaderboard. (Which could be nice if enough people play)

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So to start, you are a builder, who builds bridges to walk across platforms. You build bridges by pressing the hammer button in the bottom center of the screen, as you do, a wood plank begins to build vertically and it is your job to calculate when to stop building the bridge. Build the bridge for to long and you will walk off the other end of the platform, build it to short and you don’t make it to the other side. Every few levels, there are different types of “challenge bridges” which are different but overall pretty easy to get past.  Luckily the developers thought to add that bit of flavor to this portion of an otherwise, bland, offering.

Now don’t get me wrong, people will play this game because it has all of the makings of a game that casual fans will want. Grandma’s across the world will “dig” the aspect and understanding that the game offers nothing more than the press of a button. We believe though, that while there will always be this type of market for this type of game, that it is time to for developers to work a bit harder and pour more into their product (like many are beginning to do) so that they can truly connect with their users.

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 Overall: ***Weak Play***

I would expect a game like this from a developer who was just beginning to create their first application. (Including this one they have 4) This game fits a stereo type of a casual gamer, and when we see products like this we don’t feel like the developer put much effort into their work at all. Even if they had added some sort of depth with achievements or some more creativity in level design the results would have been better. Next time just show us that you care about what you’re doing.

Colossus Escape! Run for your life!

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Want a side scrolling hack and slash auto run game? Then we have an adventure for you! The devs. over at Adventure Moffee, have developed a fast paced gem with this one and we encourage everyone to check it out!

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.    When you think of auto run games you might think about games such as Temple Run or Subway Surfers (both great games in their own respects), however Colossus Escape (CE) combines those similar elements and adds a sword as well as lumbering foe’s that head straight toward you. Well, what do you do with the sword? Slash the onslaught, and stay focused enough to jump over obstacles so you don’t lose life, or get eaten by the Colossus, who is hot (see what we did there?) on your tail.(The Colossus is made out of lava)   CE also contains swipe strategy to create a deeper dimension to the game. When crossing various checkpoints in the game you are given instructions such as swipe quickly this way, or tap repeatedly here (There are various mini games that really “spice” up the action). In doing so, you will defeat the mini monster or boss and proceed to the next level. Things such as shields, and power-ups can be looted in mid run and placed on an alter in front of you acting like a spell system, this makes your journey much easier.

Now there are things about the game that will make some players annoyed, such as the advertisements that pop up right after the title screen, or right after you die, don’t take that to mean they interfere with gameplay (mid run) at all because they don’t! They just interrupt a smooth process otherwise. However the devs. at CE were smart and do what I think the gaming community should do and offer an ad. free version of the game for $1.99 (Hooray!!!!! this makes us all happy) Another thing that might bother some is the initial tutorial didn’t explain much. I was caught off guard for a bit when the directions for the mini boss appeared for the first time, add to that you only have five opportunities and then you have to start over from scratch, didn’t seem appealing at all. But all was eventually forgiven once I started to get the hang of things.

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Overall: ***Smart Play***

Download and try out this game! You will certainly be happy that you did. This game has beautiful 2D graphics, with great controls, and a fair amount of depth. Tac on the extra maps and characters that will be added soon as well as the leader-boards and you have a game that you will want to keep playing for a while.

Naughty Kitties review! If Cats were actually this cool they would be more popular than dogs

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Now I know that by the title alone, many will come in here with guns a’blaze ready defend the rights of cats to the death. But hold on a sec, I didn’t say cats were bad (for heaven’s sake I’m sure I will end up with one soon), they are just not as popular as dogs! Anyways, this isn’t a review about which domesticated animal is your favorite, but instead about a game in which dog lover’s and cat lover’s alike will have a ton of fun.

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Man, game developers for IOS are getting more and more creative now-a-days, and the devs over at Coconut Island are certainly leading the way. Naughty Kitties at first glance seems as if it would be repetitive after playing for a while, however it is far from it. What you have are your kittens, riding on a space ship (pretty normal so far) when all of the for no good reason enemy ships start blasting you down! (I can feel the PETA rage now) Low and behold though, the Kittens have come prepared and start laying the plank right back. In this side scrolling strategy you are given an option of which kittens you want fighting for you by “draging and dropping” them onto the ship from a queue box. Skill and timing are required so that as soon as another kitten is ready to fight you can replace them and they can get to work without any harm being done . Match up kittens of the same type and watch them unleash super powered attacks. This actually becomes more tricky when you unlock more kittens because the queue randomly assigns a type of kitten so you will never know what kind you are getting. Intense boss battle’s will keep you on your toes and leave you feeling accomplished afterwards.

Perhaps the largest surprise for me was the fact that after I was done playing the first tutorial I was given a host of different customization options. (RPG depth) and like any good creepy cat lady, this game had a bunch cats to choose from. Whether it be cats that helped repair ships, shoot machine guns, fire rockets ect. they could all be used at your disposal. (If you have unlocked them) You could buy different ships which each had different perks, you also had a choice of which cat to lvl up as well! Which was certainly tough at times.(Do I want more repair or more damage???) Coins that you earn ended up paying off in a big way.

Though this game was great, it did have a few drawbacks. You basically play on an energy based system. After you run out of “hearts” (use up one per level) you can’t play unless you purchase more with real money, or you wait patiently until your energy is replenished. Now I understand that developers need to make money and I totally agree that they should, I just wish there was a set price for the game, and that if we pay for something, that it would be more content.

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 Overall: ****Pure Genius****

This is a great game! You certainly should take the time to play it and download it! This brings a fresh new experience to side scrolling strategy, and it mixes great with the RPG elements that are added in. For those of you that don’t like kittens I think you should put your differences aside and check out this game! (You will be lost in the fun gameplay to realize you’re playing with kittens)

Shadow Era: Dark Prophecies…taking me back to the glory days of physical TCG’s

photo 1 Several times throughout my childhood I collected cards. Baseball cards, then moved to Pokemon cards, and then of course Yu-GI-OH. (Maybe sprinkle a little bit of DBZ’s trading cards in there for flare?) Well of course by the time I hit middle school those cards I could no longer play to be with the “IN” crowd.(Oh the fallacy) But alas, everyone can come out of the trading card closet because Wulven studios has brought us an offering that is not to be hidden, nor is it to be ashamed of. Shadow Era: Dark Prophecies!photo 3

When I first downloaded this game I had no clue what to expect. Truth be told I thought I was done forever with this genre of gaming, but quickly the old feelings of excitement and interest took over once again and I delved into the amazing world of Shadow Era. The first thing I noticed about the game was the amount of different starter decks they offered. Shadow Era allows you to choose a deck based on what type of hero you want to be. Hero’s range from warriors and magi to rouges and more, with each class having male and female characters.

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Each hero has unique abilities which can be used at various times throughout the match.  The matches are played similarly to many other software based TCG’s of this gen; sacrifice cards which give you resources so that you can play better cards. Once allies (minions) are on the battle field you then try and take out the opposing teams Hero to win the game. (Each hero has a specific amount of health points) Spells cards come in handy when you need to buff your allies or take out opponents allies. However, Wulven decided to add it’s own strategy spin on things. Regularly in TCG games you would have to attack minions before being able to attack the hero but here you can attack the Hero outright, leaving you to decide whether it is smart to attack early on and let your own Hero take all of the damage, or prepare for the long game and attack opponents minions to preserve your Hero’s hit points. The game looks great visually and it is easy to sink hours of time in, with such smooth gameplay mechanics. There were a couple of issues with the game, one time we experienced some lag while playing against the AI, it almost seemed to have froze mid attack, however the problem did fix itself eventually, and we were even able to finish that game. We suggest putting the speed all the way to 4, that seemed to help a lot when waiting for things such as card drawing and battle sequences. Our other complaint was the size of the cards on the screen. I could barely make out what some of the cards were and I had to do a bunch of extra tapping to see a full size image, but we were also playing on an iPhone and the size may be more suited for an iPad.

Boosters and card packs can be purchased in the shop using gold that can be earned through game play or crystals which can be purchased with real money. (Don’t worry it is only $2.00 for a booster pack) And finally, there is an extensive multiplayer mode. Duel with people you have never met and see how your custom deck stacks up to others, there is even talks of physical tournaments taking place.  For more info, on the physical tournaments  check out their website.(http://www.shadowera.com/content.php?202-Champions-of-Shadow-Era)

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Overall 4.6 ****Pure Genius****

If you are a TCG fan you should definitely download this game on your phone. Great depth along with the uniqueness and the glory of customizing your own deck cannot be beat. Add in the fact that the multiplayer mode is competitive and  physical tourney’s are starting, then there shouldn’t be anything stopping you.

How are mobile devices shaping the gaming industry?

Seems as if the gaming world will operate in a totally different climate within the next few years.

The Next Level Gaming

Smartphones and tablets have revolutionised the way many of us live. When it comes to gaming, the changes are profound.

Check out The Next Level Gaming’s introduction to mobile gaming:

The rise of the smartphone and its tablet cousin has been remarkable. Google’s Our Mobile Planet research suggests that 62% of UK adults own a smartphone today. What’s even more amazing is that this has more than doubled in just two years. Meanwhile, Yahoo has reported that by 2015, the number of people worldwide who own a smartphone is expected to rise to two billion.

But this isn’t just about the numbers. In just a few short years we have gone from seeing our phones as just that – phones – to so much more. Nowadays, we send emails, we browse the web, we listen to music. The term ‘phone’ almost feels redundant.

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Order & Chaos Duels…another great IOS TCG

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Gameloft has done some very impressive things on IOS. If anything Gameloft has encouraged and shown very many gamers that their video game dreams can come true on a mobile device. For those of you that are looking for another solid TCG that is closely similar to Hearthstone then you have it right here.

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O&C Duels starts pretty much the same way that the other popular games do in it’s genre; you pick a Hero class (Warrior, Mage, ect.) and you go to war. Your starter deck has around 30 cards for you to battle with, and depending on which faction you chose (Order or Chaos) it will have varying monsters. Your Hero on the battlefield starts off with a set amount of hit points, take your opponents hp all the way down to zero and you win the game. Hearthstone, O&C Duels and Shadow Era are all very similar in this respect, primarily because its just the type of tcg that is popular right now.

I will say that after playing Order and Chaos online, that it was fun being able to choose a side, it created a connection with the players that was unique to the experience. Another strong point in the game were the graphics and the effects during gameplay. This is normally Gameloft’s strong point in an app, and it was great to see that they didn’t slouch here. Decks are nicely fleshed out with several unique minions, and it is great fun to be able to customize your own deck. Alchemy is another great way to earn cool and unique cards, sacrifice enough of your own cards and you might get a rare one. Another spin on the game are the boss battles that you get to fight. Multiplayer is fun, but just be prepared to battle. Teaming up for a boss battle is certainly a cool aspect that is unique to the game, and ranked matches are a lot of fun as well. Each battle has certain achievements that you can complete that will allow you to earn different items, such as cards or gold or runes (to purchase more cards with)

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Speaking of runes, yes this is the common form of IAP in O&C. (Surprise!) I understand why would want IAP’s, at least for a TCG, but Gameloft just seems to hound us with reminders, which does get  annoying after sometime. The fact that you have to pay for an extra deck slot to build another deck seems a little weak as well. Rare’s are not easy to come by either in the game. (which is the way it is supposed to be sometimes, maybe just a little more grace would be nice)

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Overall-4.5 ****Pure Genius****

Order & Chaos online is a great TCG for the IOS, and does a good job of balancing both quantity and quality. Unique boss battles and relateable characters will have you coming back for more. I highly suggest this game if you are interested in the genre and want it at the palm of your hands.

CubeTrek 2… Fun to play, without the pain!

It is time for a new addiction! One that gives you more of a reward than the trials of Flappy Bird (RIP) Cube Trek 2 is a great game to play that involves more strategy than one would expect. The purpose of the game is to collect as many coins in the allotted time that is given while hopping from cube to cube. Timing is key as the coins are constantly moving and it will be up to you when to time the Jumps.  AFA Studios has done a really good job in rounding out the game with impressive visuals and a pretty art style paintings.

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     OVERALL- 3.8 **Smart**

CubeTrek 2 is a great game to pick up and play any time! You should definitely download it and try it out. It is free and it is quite fun! Controls aren’t too bad to get the hang of and once you do you will be hooked. This game is definitely a game for anyone looking to fill a hole left by Flappy Bird and is a much more rewarding experience than what was previously mentioned.

Think you can beat our score? Tweet us a screenshot @pureplaayz

Think you can beat our score? Tweet us a screenshot @pureplaayz

Of all the mistakes we make in life….this one of the largest….Flappy Bird Review

So while we have been gone we have seen the popularity of an app. called Flappy Bird grow to insurmountable proportions. Are you telling me that this game is so popular that everyone in my circle has it on their phone? NO! Of course not, however it is designed to keep you craving for more. Flappy Bird seems like an innocent, lighthearted bird however it has a dark secret. That dang bird wants to eat all of your time away giving you some tiny glint of hope that you can beat your high score yet all the while that smug little bird is sucking out your soul.

3-***Average***

Shocked that I gave it a 3? Well don’t be, this game is frustrating but we have to admit that most of us have spent hours of gameplay time trying to crush our high score over and over again, yes instead props to the developers, and good luck to everyone out there that still has it on their phone.

Line of Defense Tactics….Something Different

Line of Defense, a strategy game at the heart, and an rpg on a deeper level. This game is quite possibly something you could spend hours playing, and that is only from customizing your squad, actual gameplay will take you even further. In LODT You get to control a squad by tap and drag gestures. You move along maps on foot or by vehicle in rare instance to complete certain objectives. Each soldier can be customized, everything from primary to secondary weapons, or even things such as certificates, which act more like special skills that the soldier can use. ( i.e.-deploying a turret)

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For those of you out there that are “hardcore gamers” good news, at the start there are two different game options for you to choose from. One is clearly for me (beginner) and the other is a hardcore mode. There is also a skirmish mode, which seems to be more like a survival mode, unfortunately you have to pay $1.99 for this game mode.

While this game is certainly a different type of game than what we are used to seeing on the IOS market, it does unfortunately suffer from some downfalls. One of those being that controls are not as fine tuned as they should be. This game is offering something different with the drag and drop controls, however I found that I would prefer the tap and go movement more (which is offered luckily) The units were also difficult to tap on individually and it is confusing to know which unit you have selected in the midst of combat. Furthermore, the in app purchases are not helping this game in any way. Really 1.99 for a game mode? Felt a little deceptive to me. Luckily there seems to be ways to earn credit through the patience and play so that you can upgrade your arsenal of weapons, skills, and armor.

3.1 **Average**

This game is definitely something that will capture many that are interested in a strategy/rpg offering. However the controls and IAP’s really hold it back. Check this game out if you want intriguing strategy mixed with rpg elements.