Monday, 24 June 2013

Despicable Me: Minion Rush
Free to Play
Available on iTunes and Google Play

Game loft has finally managed to reinvent a game bringing new dimensions to an old concept. 

Despicable Me: Minion Rush an improved temple run where players are required to use different controls at different parts of the game
  • swiping from left to right to direct the minion for the most part
  • tilting the phone from left to right when on the rocket power up or on the slide
  • tapping droids to kill them in the mini challenges present that spice up an otherwise routine run
The graphics feature the cute characters from the movie and different views of the minion throughout the run (making the controls more challenging).

I would definitely recommend this game! One of the better games to come out of EA in a long time.

Sunday, 9 June 2013

Features that make a top grossing app - Hay Day

I had finally decided to try out Hay Day after months of seeing the app top Apple's top grossing charts. By simply looking at the top grossing games, strategy apps make the most money while action/sports games gain the most traction usually topping the free charts. Therefore, I wanted to discover what it was about strategy games that make players want to spend.

Create 2 forms of currencies
The cheaper currency may be earned by playing the game religiously while the expensive currency can be bought and provides short cuts such as reducing waiting time for items to be built.

Put in mini achievements while making the game practically endless
While achievements/mini challenges make the player feel they have accomplished something, creating endless levels sustains the players constant strive to complete the game

Building in the social element
This can be done by giving bonus credits for players who sign in with FB but it is better to make the players want to share the game on FB. In Hay Day, players announce to their friends that their apple trees are withering, their friends have to water the trees or players must cut them down. This increases user engagement.

How to improve Hay Day

Prices offered on the board do not change regardless of how long an order takes to be fulfilled. The game should reward players who can fulfill orders immediately or within a certain time frame. This will encourage users to spend more time on the game in hopes of gaining additional credit.

Tuesday, 28 May 2013

Tetris Blitz
Free to Play
Available on iOS and Android

EA Games recently released Tetris Blitz a fast paced version of the classic Tetris game we have all come to love. This is a 2 minute race against the clock to gain as many points as possible and front the facebook leader boards that are refreshed weekly.

The BLITZ version introduces new features like the score multiplier that increases each time the player clears a "tetris". Quick clearing of lines brings the player into Frenzy mode where the player needs to clear as many lines as quickly as possible. New boosts are also available to help clear lines.

My problem with this game is the point system, Frenzy mode should be a reward to help players gain points quickly but when a player enters Frenzy mode, many gaps are present in the blocks given (see image below) which makes getting more "tetris" or increasing the multiplier very difficult. As such, it is almost as if the player should not enter Frenzy mode until later in the 2 minutes when they have a sufficiently have multiplier.

Furthermore, besides the facebook leader boards, there are no other social features. Comparing this to Tetris Battle (may be played on facebook) where players can challenge friends/other players in 1 minute battles and can send rows to be cleared by the other player each time they build combos. The latter is a much more intense and thrilling game due to the competition aspect. Tetris Blitz seems like a failed attempt to use old tricks (used in bejeweled blitz) to revitalize a classic game.

Nonetheless, the game can be quite engaging but it is unlikely that players will be attached to it for very long.

Tetris Blitz may be downloaded from the following links:
Google Play:

Frenzy Mode

Power Ups

Saturday, 25 May 2013

Fruit Mania (By Team Lava)
Free to Play

This is a new release by Teamlava that created the Mania series (Bubble Mania and Jewel Mania). This is an arcade styled game where the next level is unlocked when the previous one has been passed. Players need to match 2 more more of the same coloured blocks to burst them. Challenges range from freeing the mice that are stuck between the blocks of fruit or colour mode where one has to burst x number of a certain colour.

Of the 3 Mania games, I would say this ranks last (1. Jewel, 2. Bubble 3. Fruit). This game lacks a certain challenge that other arcade styled games have. It feels like it requires more luck than skill. Plus, it drains your battery life, perhaps a bug that will be fixed in the next version.

Nonetheless, it helped to pass the time on the bus for a couple of days before I got bored of it.. I say, bring on the next one.

It can also be downloaded from the following links:
Google Play: Currently not available

Friday, 24 May 2013

An Introduction

The beginning
I have loved mobile gaming since there was snake on Nokia's 8250 some 10 years ago. This fascination with high scores only increased when I got my first iPhone 3G 5 years ago.

Today, I spend at least 1 hr a day playing a variety of games from the hottest game today (candy crush) to more classic games like bejeweled.  Although I am not always proud to announce that such a large part of my day is wasted on mobile games, it helps me relax and it is my guilty pleasure!

So, as mobile gaming continues to boom, I hope to help you navigate through the plethora of choices to find the best games that get you both addicted and excited!