Duet is a minimal action game for iOS with an absolutely amazing soundtrack. You control two spheres that are orbiting and avoid obstacles to progress through levels. There’s also this story that starts to unfold as you progress through levels and the difficulty increases as well.
In a time when the makers of Candy Crush Saga file for an IPO and sue developers who use Candy in their name, mobile gaming is seen in quite the poor light. This is where puzzle games like Lyne come into the picture. Lyne is a great example of mobile gaming done right. The fact that features of a game list things like “no ads or in app purchases” is just sad. Lyne by Thomas Bowker is a puzzle game done right.Continue Reading…
Tengami by Nyamyam is a popup book style puzzler game with a Japanese touch. The screenshots of the game pretty much sell the art style to you instantly. After watching the trailer, Tengami looked like something I would love because of the #sworcery-esque gameplay and uniqueness.
I’ve been discovering a plethora of great games recently and just like everyone else, I bought way too many games during the Steam sale last week. Out of all the games bought and seen during the sale, one game was left out: Kentucky Route Zero. I only got to know about the game when Nathan posted about voting for it during the sale. After doing a bit of research and watching a few videos I was more or less sold on the game. The only stopping me from going in was the fact that the game is split up into chapters and that means playing it part by part and having to wait.
Kentucky Route Zero (Henceforth KYZ) reminds me of #sworcery a lot. Both games involve you exploring and are point and click adventures. Both also have amazing visuals. KYZ has a very interesting way of telling you the story. As you play it, all communication is done in text format and you get to pick what each person says in many cases and with each choice, more of the story is revealed. There are a whole bunch of visual cues indicating what you can interact with like an eye indicating you can inspect (in text). The story progresses and you find conversing with yourself from the other person’s perspective many times. You control Conway for the most part who is a truck driver and are delivering an antique to 5 Dogwood Drive. I’m going to avoid going into details about the story because almost everything will be a spoiler and the story needs to be experienced untarnished. In fact I went in without even bothering with reviews or even videos barring a 1 minute gameplay clip on YouTube.
As of this writing, two acts are available. Act 1 is the intro where you, Conway, arrive at the Equus Oils station and meet an old man who asks you to fix something in his station. You explore the station and the basement and some of the stuff you find is just plain creepy. You run into more people and some even join your party along with your trusty and old dog, Homer. The visuals and gameplay in some scenes in Act I reminded me a lot of the game Windosill. If you can interact with something, remember to do so while the scene progresses because more of the story is revealed with every small thing you do. The visuals are stunning. Every scene deserves to be made into wallpapers and high quality posters. Travelling from one scene to another is accomplished in a very old school text game based look with your truck being represented as a wheel moving along a thin line on a monochromatic and simple map. Act II brings in more questions than answers and the story really gets into its own here. I did however get really annoyed in the map mode in Act II because traversing one part was really confusing and I spent like 15 minutes just wandering around nothingness in circles. The music in Act II is more memorable with a certain tune still stuck in my head hours after completion.
KYZ is full of surprises and you remain engrossed. The small details like in game text going hazy when it rains simulating an old television set and how the position the character moves to when you click is indicated by a horseshoe being thrown on a small pole in the ground, are things I really enjoy seeing. KYZ is an experience and right now only two out of five parts are available. A purchase gets you all five parts and they will be delivered to you as soon as they are released. KYZ is available for $25 on Steam and directly from the developers, Cardboard Computer, here. The direct version has a DRM free version and a Steam key for the game and that is the version I recommend getting. The game works on Windows, Mac and Linux.
I love great looking word games as can be seen from the many featured in the games category. Paper by 53 has been on my iPad homescreen since the day it released. It is by far one of the best apps out there. I discovered Coolson’s Artisinal Chocolate Alphabet (I still can’t get over the name) from an RT by Matt Gemmell. After checking out the website, I was pretty amazed that most of the game design and artwork was created in Paper.
The game can be played in two ways. The whimsy way has a nice story narrative that you see as you progress and the non whimsy way just gives you a nice and simple word game to play with no real distraction. When you start the game you see Coolson’s factory all done in Paper with animations and a nice and catchy tune. I really love the use of the nicely drawn graphics with the quirky sounds. Your main aim is to fill up boxes with chocolates that have alphabets (hence the name) and make sure none of the chocolates go into the trash. Like most mobile games, the aim is to get 3 stars in each level. Levels are divided into days on the calendar. There are three months to play through with weekends not included. Almost everything on each screen is tappable and I urge you to play around with the different objects on every screen. The gameplay does get quite difficult as you progress because just like in Scrabble, using tiles or chocolates in this case to form words across a row and column in a box gets to you. The game also has support for Game Center and a nifty battle mode that can be played with someone locally or over the internet through Game Center. The local battle mode is a lot of fun and the game doesn’t look bad like most other games do with a split screen.
I’ve praised the game a lot and there’s only one small thing that really annoys me about it. The app icon doesn’t fit the rest of the game at all. I hope it is fixed or changed to anything but the current one in an update. Coolson’s Artisinal Chocolate Alphabet is available for free on the App Store with an in app purchase to unlock the complete game. There is also a premium version with no limitations available for $3.99 right now.
Remember when Tweetie changed the way apps were designed? Loren is known to do that kind of stuff. Letterpress might do the same when it comes to multiplayer games on iOS. Letterpress was the first game that brought Game Center multiplayer to the mainstream. Snowman, the team that brought Checkmark to us, is back with a memory game that is the first amazing looking multiplayer game in a Letterpress world.
Circles looks beyond great. It has sounds for everything, which I love. The game relies on light colours and white text on a black background. I was surprised to not see any theme options. The game is a memory game involving coloured circles and tapping them in a correct order. The gameplay is divided into four main modes. The first mode is the practice mode that allows you to choose the circles you want to play with and everything from the animation of the circles appearing from the middle of the screen to the sounds and congratulations messages that appear on successfully tapping the pattern make the experience great. If you fail to identify the pattern correctly in practice mode, there are some hilarious messages with pop culture references. The second mode involves different sets of levels with the number of circles increasing as you go ahead. The top score section gives you four difficulty choices ranging from easy to alien to test your mental might against the top score worldwide. Multiplayer lets you play turn based against an opponent through Game Center. The game has weapons that you can use in multiplayer mode that can be bought using coins that you unlock. If you don’t have enough coins you can even use in app purchases to buy more coins and as much as I hate in app purchases in games, the implementation here is nice and at no point does the game force you to part with money. You can also use coins to buy chances that give you a second chance in any level of the game.
The ambient music in the game coupled with the Letterpress-esque sounds and beautiful visuals made me love this game. Circles by Snowman is by far the best looking memory game out there. Although, I did experience 2 crashes over the last few days while playing. A percentage of each sale will be donated to help fund Alzheimer’s research and support programs as well. If you’re a fan of Letterpress and enjoy memory games, this one is a no brainer. Circles is available in the App Store as a Universal game for $1.99.