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November 21, 2020
Bombarika ($0.99) by Street Lamp Games is a puzzle game that you can actually win. Forget those games where you just play forever and ever — Bombarika gives you puzzles that you can solve and get an actual ending to. If you enjoyed recent games like Umiro and Vandals, then you'll like Bombarika.
When I need some relaxation time, I often turn to puzzles to calm my mind down. There's just something about the fact that they're relaxing yet stimulating that keeps me hooked. Though I feel like I've gone through and tried pretty much every type of puzzle there is on the App Store, I'm always looking out for new ones. Bombarika is just one that happens to strike my fancy this week.
GHI Media, LLC
ARTE France Apps
Monument Valley 2
ustwo Games Ltd
Visually, Bombarika is gorgeous. The game features an isometric 3D aesthetic that's strongly reminiscent of Monument Valley, except rather than Escheresque-style dreamscapes, you're dealing with typical rooms that you'd find in a house or even a business. It's more realistic, but the art style is downright beautiful to look at and behold. I also find it to be serene and minimalistic, so it's definitely nice eye candy. Animations are smooth and fluid, so there's no lag on my iPhone 8 Plus. The music is upbeat and quirky, proving to be rather delightful to my ears. Sound effects in Bombarika are realistic as well, and pretty hilarious when the bombs go off.
Like most puzzle games, Bombarika is level-based. At the moment, the game only has 14 levels, but the developers are promising more in the future. Again, as mentioned already, Bombarika is a puzzle game with an ending. And you can actually reach the ending within 30 minutes if you're good enough, but the game can be fairly challenging. The goal in each stage is to use household objects to push the bomb out. No diffusing the bombs, just discard them somehow by getting them out of the house before they blow up. Sounds easy, right? Wrong!
In each stage, you're responsible for noticing when the bombs get dropped into place and using whatever's in the room to get the bomb out. To interact with these household objects, just tap on them, and they'll do something. You can have drawers spring out to push the bomb away, or slide a table to nudge it, rotate a table so the bomb can pass through, or activate fans and vents so the bomb gets where it needs to go. Beds and couches can be lifted up to reveal hidden doors, and standard doors can be opened with a tap. You must think fast though, because you only have a certain amount of time before they go off.
Levels here will usually need a few playthroughs before you figure out the correct order of events needed to get the bomb out, and the hints provide you with a blueprint of what needs to be done. You can also collect the blue pyramids on each stage, which act as currency in the game. You can spend these "Rikas" on new bomb types, which have unique abilities. For example, the Sapphiro gives you three more seconds, Flush Out reveals all exit points, and the Puchakaya removes the time limit. If you want a bomb but are low on Rikas, you can buy more via in-app purchase.
Bombarika is a fantastic little puzzle game if you're looking for something that can be completed and is also challenging. The graphics are stunning, the music is delightful, and the controls are simple enough for everyone. Even though it's a short game, you'll still need time to master all of the stages and complete it, and the different bombs add a new layer of depth to everything.
While there's a lot I like about Bombarika, it's not perfect. I was definitely expecting more levels, because 14 isn't enough. I also noticed that sometimes it was hard to see things like slopes and depth perception in certain rooms, so I wasn't sure if an object was going to reach the bomb as I planned. And since the game is premium, I wasn't thrilled that there are still in-app purchases.
As a sucker for puzzle games, I'm really enjoying Bombarika so far. I'm not done with the game yet, since it's taking me a few tries on some stages. However, I love the graphic style, the music is charming, and the controls are simple. I just wish that there was a bit more detail when it comes to depth perception here, and not too happy about a premium title still having in-app purchases. Still, it's a fun and challenging game that is sure to delight many puzzle fans.
Bombarika is available as a universal download on the App Store for your iPhone and iPad for just $0.99. There are in-app purchases.
Game Controls 8.5
Cheetah Technology Corporation Limited
Source link: http://appadvice.com/reviews
from : Mid Atlantic Consulting, Inc.
Tiny Bubbles ($2.99) by Pine Street Codeworks is a relaxing physics-based puzzle game that lets you play at your own pace. If you enjoyed games like Level 24 and Ruya, then you'll get a kick out of Tiny Bubbles.
While I consider myself a gamer, one of my favorite genres to play are puzzles. There's nothing quite like being able to relax and keep my mind busy at the same time, you know? Though I've gone through most of the puzzle games on the App Store by now, I can't help but keep my eyes peeled for new ones that hit the market. And Tiny Bubbles is definitely one of my new favorites.
FLG DEVELOPMENT, OOO
MIRACLE TEA STUDIOS LTD
Visually, Tiny Bubbles is impressive with it's offering of a cute and whimsical cartoon style art and bright colors. And if you're colorblind? Don't worry, Tiny Bubbles has a mode for color blind players, and there's also a Dark Mode for more contrasting hues too. Everything's rendered in 2D with smooth, fluid animations that don't lag on my iPhone 8 Plus. The ambient music is atmospheric and immersive, and the sound effects of popping bubbles is zen-like.
Like most puzzle games, Tiny Bubbles is level-based. There are different chapters full of puzzles to solve, but there's an infinite mode as well. Each stage in Tiny Bubbles has a different objective that you must complete before it's considered cleared. These goals range from just popping all of the bubbles to having just enough bubbles to fill a target area, and much more. And to make things more challenging, you'll only have a certain number of moves to do it all in. However, there is no time limit or stars to earn, so you play at your own pace.
The controls in Tiny Bubbles are simple. At the top of the screen are the moves available to you, which includes colors that you fill bubbles in with, or abilities like scissors to cut the bubble outlines. To fill in a bubble with that color, just tap it. To use the scissors for cutting, just tap on the line you want to cut. Bubble physics takes care of the rest.
Eventually, you get to the point in Tiny Bubbles where you'll need to combine colors to get another color. Just tap on a colored bubble to mix the colors together and create a new shade. When you forget what colors create what, just long-press a bubble to see what colors it's made with. And when you cut the outline of a bubble, it can blend with another bubble, or pop entirely if you cut the external line.
Also, you'll encounter a fish named Bloopers. It blows bubbles that get added to the existing bubbles, thus adding another layer of challenge to the overall game. It can either add one bubble after you make your move, or blow continuous bubbles, so you need to think fast.
To clear out bubbles in Tiny Bubbles, you must make matches of like-colored bubbles in groups of four or more. Once bubbles pop, more cool bubble physics happen and everything shifts around and melds together. And with the 60 frames-per-second framerate, these bubble physics are just super fun to watch.
The game always tells you the objective before you begin, and there are hints if you get stuck. And even though it's level-based, you can choose to play stages as they open up (multiple paths get unlocked sometimes), so it's not too linear. New elements get introduced along the way, but the game does a good job of explaining each one as you go.
As far as the endless mode, you unlock it after a certain point in the game, but it's pretty early on so not too hard to obtain. After that, you earn "tickets" to play it after a certain amount of time, and once you're out of moves, you'll need to wait for more tickets. It's not the best implementation of an endless mode, but it's decent since you can spend the downtime playing the regular stages.
Tiny Bubbles is an excellent puzzle game for any fans of the genre. The graphics are stunning, especially Dark mode, and the frame rate is as smooth as butter. The music is soothing and delightful to listen to as well. I also love the sound effects, as they're whimsical yet still fairly realistic. The gameplay is simple enough for anyone to pick up and enjoy, but it's still quite challenging. The variety of objectives keep things fresh and interesting, and the endless mode is something to look forward to while you play.
While Tiny Bubbles itself is a fantastic game, I'm not sure I like the way endless mode is set up. I believe it should be a standalone mode that lets you do just that — play infinitely, as long as you want. I was a bit annoyed to discover that I'd need to wait for tickets to play it, because that's just not endless, in my opinion. Still, I suppose it's not too bad, since the regular puzzles are fun to play as you wait for tokens.
Tiny Bubbles is a welcome addition to my ever-growing collection of iPhone puzzle games. I'm in love with the unique visual style and sound design. The gameplay is interesting since it combines Tetris-like mechanics with physics puzzles, and knowing your color combinations is a true test. I just wish endless mode was truly endless, but the rest of the game is top notch.
You can find Tiny Bubbles on the App Store as a universal download on your iPhone and iPad for $2.99. There are no in-app purchases.
Game Controls 9
Pine Street Codeworks LLC
Ever since Apple allowed third-party keyboards starting with iOS 8, users have been able to select from a wide variety of different options that bring additional features compared to the stock version.
Now almost four years later, there are so many keyboard options available, it’s hard to know where to start.
But if you’re looking for an all-around choice with a number of great features, take a look at TouchPal Keyboard.
After downloading the app, you’ll need to activate it for use. Head to Settings > General > Keyboard and then choose TouchPal Keyboard.
Then select Allow Full Access.
That will allow users to access all of the different features include language switching and themes.
The most important part of any keyboard, typing, is easy with the app. With special technology, you can simply slide your finger from one letter to another to form a word. Your finger will never lift from the screen. You can also type normally or even select from a T9 or T+ keyboard layout.
To make sure your typing is error free, smart prediction technology learns your writing style and then predicts more accurately what is coming up next. At least for me, the predictions were even more accurate than on Apple’s own keyboard.
There are more than a few ways to customize the keyboard. Various themes you can select include a Super Mario-esque Super Game and others. If none of those suit your fancy, or you can even select a picture from your own gallery for the keyboard background.
Any emoji fans should also be very happy using the keyboard as there are more than 1,500 to select from. And there’s no need to switch keyboards. Just hold the Enter key to bring up the different options.
And coming soon, the keyboard will add even more smarts with a personal assistant named Talia.
With that feature, users will be able to quickly access their keyboard to paste in information.
It will also predict a relevant emoji based on the text. You’ll also be able to search and send anything directly from the keyboard.
TouchPal Keyboard is designed for the iPhone and all iPad models.
It can be downloaded now on the App Store for free.
For more information about the keyboard, you can also visit the official TouchPal Keyboard site.
If you've grown bored with Apple's stock keyboard for an iPhone or iPad, TouchPal Keyboard is a nice option to definitely consider.
The swipe typing feature is accurate and smart prediction helps make sure that you stay error-free. Additional features like the different themes, emojis, multiple language support, and more, are a fun bonus and make the app even better.
iPhone Integration 9
Is engaging 8
Does it well 8.5
Lasting appeal 7.5
User Interface 7
TouchPal Emoji Keyboard
TouchPal HK Co., Ltd.
For a generation of British school kids, Chuckie Egg has some incredibly positive associations. You see, its home was the BBC Micro, and the BBC Micro’s home was at school.
That meant most of us only ever played Chuckie Egg on that most glorious of occasions: the last day of term. For the rest of the year, the game sat silent and tantalizingly out of reach in its metal prison.
But rose-tinted spectacles are a dangerous thing. They are associated with numerous cases of crushing disappointment every single day as aging gamers dust off their fondly remembered vintage games only to discover that they are, and were always complete and utter garbage.
Can Chuckie Egg escape this fate?
Developed in the early 80s by a teenager called Nigel Alderton, Chuckie Egg sees you climbing ladders, navigating platforms, and avoiding enemies as you attempt to collect all of the eggs in each stage.
Super Chuckie Egg naturally embellishes on the original. It embellishes on last year’s Chuckie Egg 2017 as well, replacing the slow, deliberate, tricky gameplay of that remake with faster, easier, and more modern gameplay in which you race along collecting a string of eggs, the camera zooming in and out dynamically like in a Bourne film.
It contains 36 stages across the four seasons of the year, and five difficulty levels. Unusually, you can play any stage you like from the outset, and once you’ve completed the game you’ll get a chance to play the Title levels for additional kudos.
Super Chuckie Egg is a genuine update, and it feels much fresher than last year’s Chuckie Egg outing, with significantly improved graphics and gameplay.
As you work your way outwards from the center of the season clock the stages get more difficult, but even at ‘challenging’, they’re no harder than the early levels in Chuckie Egg 2017. This is a game that wants you to kick back and have a good time.
The tighter controls help, as do the zoomed-in graphics, which together give you a greater sense of control over little Harry, encouraging you to attempt more exciting and dynamic jumps.
Also, it’s just a lot more satisfying to collect long strings of eggs rather than individual eggs dotted around. The addition of silver eggs gives the game a bit of extra texture too since you can decide whether or not to clear up or just collect the golden eggs you need to complete the stage.
While we enjoy the novel way the game lets you play pretty much every stage from the outset, 36 is a small number of levels in a modern platformer. Yes, you can play them all at five different difficulties, which materially affects how they play, but we would have liked to see more unique stages.
Likewise, while there’s no question that Super Chuckie Egg is a massive improvement on its far less ambitious predecessor, we feel more could have added to the franchise to bring it up to date.
For instance, there’s only one gameplay mode. Developer Downsideup Games has some experience experimenting with mini-game variations on Chuckie Egg with this year’s Chuckie Egg Pop!, so it’s a shame not to see more of that creativity here.
Super Chuckie Egg is a major leap forward for the venerable franchise, taking a character from the prehistoric age of videogames and giving it a chance to shine in a polished, playable, fun platformer.
We’re only hoping that Downsideup Games can pull out even more stops for the next Chuckie Egg spin-off. With a few more modes and a little bit more ambition, little Harry might even find himself in the Premier League of platformers again.
Game Controls 8
Super Chuckie Egg
The one thing action-RPGs lack these days, at least on mobile devices, is action. Canny developers have worked out that a finely tuned progress mechanic is sufficient to keep players hooked, so the combat in most current action-RPGs tends to just involve tapping the screen, or even tapping the ‘auto’ button and sitting back.
That’s why GALAK-Z: Variant Mobile is such a treat. It has everything you’d find in a decent action-RPG in terms of upgrades and currencies and so on, but it doesn’t scrimp on the action. In fact, the combat sections of GALAK-Z: Variant Mobile could easily be a standalone arcade game -- and a pretty great one too. The game is also available on Google Play.
The game consists of 100 story-driven missions, spread across 17 sectors. There’s a nicely illustrated, well-written narrative to follow, though you probably won’t pay too much attention since it’s necessary to go back and replay levels multiple times. It’s hard to hold onto the thread.
Long story short: you’re taking on the Baron and his army.
There are basically two phases to this: battles, and distributing the spoils of battle back on your ship. Whenever you complete a stage you return with Salvage, the main in-game currency. Most of the time you’ll also nab a relic by defeating a boss. These relics need to be decrypted, and they contain Salvage, Fragments, and Crash Coins.
Salvage repairs ships and buys upgrades, Fragments actually create the upgrades, and Crash Coins let you do nifty things like expedite the relic decryption process, come back to life when you’re killed in a mission, and also buy new bots and slots to put them in.
But what are these bots? They’re basically creatures, with four different classes: Tank, Offense, Speed, and Resource. You can level them up by cannibalizing others, and assign them to slots on your craft to increase your strength in different areas.
Those are the basics, but GALAK-Z: Variant Mobile has plenty of details and nuances to its RPG mechanics that we simply don’t have space to cover here.
There’s also a very basic multiplayer component, whereby you can attack other players’ AI controlled defense bots to earn Bot Parts and trophies. Your own bots are also vulnerable to attack, and a global leaderboard lets you keep track of how you’re doing.
The RPG ecosystem in GALAK-Z: Variant Mobile is rich and well-balanced. Rewards, loot, and other items do not come thick and fast, as they do in other mobile action-RPGs, but that fits with the style of the game.
In contrast with the more casual fare that tends to come to mobile, GALAK-Z: Variant Mobile feels like a traditional arcade game given a coat of cutting edge, arcade-colored paint.
The combat is outstanding, whether you take the mech or the fighter into battle.
The mech is a close-quarters attacker, wielding a giant laser sword and a shield that protects you from head-on attacks. Whenever you lunge with your sword, however, you drop your shield for a moment, making you vulnerable to counterattack.
The fighter is a ranged attacker, firing missiles. You have no shield in the fighter other than the general one that applies to the whole craft. When you take a hit the shield takes damage first. When that’s gone your health starts to suffer, but if you can escape the bullets for a few seconds your shield regenerates.
Both vehicles have special attacks, and each of the environments you fight in is filled with features that can assist or harm you depending on how you use them. Sometimes you’ll come across lakes of lava, or crates full of dynamite, or giant ship-eating worms, any of which can ruin your day -- or your enemy’s.
All this makes combat incredibly tactical and layered. You need to balance assault and retreat, somehow weaving between terrifyingly accurate missiles, using the environment to inflict a bit of extra damage or box your opponents in when you can.
The controls and vehicle physics are tight and intuitive, and it’s totally possible to overcome a difficult level through good old-fashioned arcade skills. There are even juking dodges and reverse movement, giving you huge scope for mastery.
Yes, this is an RPG, and you probably won’t get far without staying on top of levelling and upgrades, but even so GALAK-Z: Variant Mobile is one of the few games in this genre that understand the importance of action in an action-RPG.
GALAK-Z: Variant Mobile is not an easy game. Whereas many action-RPGs on mobile can be played on an almost absentee basis, with combat sections that play out automatically, this is a game that requires your full attention.
This isn’t likely to be a problem for the core and mid-core gamers the developer clearly has in mind, but if you’re in the market for another mobile action-RPG to romp through on autopilot, GALAK-Z: Variant Mobile may give you a shock.
As you can tell, we like GALAK-Z: Variant Mobile. After years of playing increasingly casual, increasingly automated action-RPGs that emphasize addictive progress mechanics over everything else, it’s a real treat to see those mechanics being used to make a great arcade shooter even better.
There’s not a lot to grumble about. It’s clear that a lot of love and attention has gone into everything from the finely balanced gameplay to the gorgeous Anime-style presentation, slick graphics, and thumping soundtrack.
Just go and download it.
GALAK-Z: Variant Mobile
GungHo Online Entertainment America, Inc.
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