All posts by Daniel

About Daniel

I have been an iPhone game addict ever since the NES emulator came out on the 1.1.4 iPhone 2G. After 2.0 and the App Store came out, my iPhone homescreen has never been the same. Other than writing reviews for App Store games, I play soccer/football, American football, volleyball, and golf. I love going to the beach and fishing on the pier. Some games not available on iPhone/iPod Touch that I truly love are the Call of Duty series, Guitar Hero III, Madden NFL 09, and PGR: Gotham Racing.

9mm Review: Violent, Vulgar, and Volatile

The App Store isn’t a stranger to the likes of “gangster” games; Gameloft has released their own in Gangstar and Gangstar 2, and Rockstar has also released Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars on the iPhone and iPad.

And in the vein of these gangster-like games comes an all new title from Gameloft dubbed 9mm, a game in which you play bad cop, defeating all the gangsters and criminals in your way to ultimately save you and your team from death.

Looking at 9mm from a graphical standpoint, I would have to say that it’s quite impressive, although I’ve come to expect these types of graphics when reviewing Gameloft games.  One marked improvement above the rest, though, lies in the voice acting.  Now don’t get me wrong, the voice acting still needs a little bit of work, but it’s a very large improvement from the past, and the characters actually sound like they would in real life.

Of course, being a universal app always helps along with the inclusion of online multiplayer.  And the story isn’t too shabby either.

But be warned: this is one of the most vulgar games I’ve played on the App Store.  This is definitely not a game that should be bought for your 10-year old son’s birthday, and I’m not even sure I should be playing this game at times.  I’m not too bothered by vulgar language and such, but when there are unnecessary doses of four-lettered words, it does seem to get a little bit of an annoyance.

Still, 9mm packs some great graphics, an interesting storyline, and quite an interesting online multiplayer mode.


Voice-acting: I love when game developers approve on their next games, and while Gameloft took quite a while to shore up their voice-acting, they seem to be headed in the right direction with 9mm.  I wouldn’t say that the voice acting is spotless, but it’s enough to sit there normally without cringing at the sound of out-of-place tones and such.

Online multiplayer/universal: I think both of these points really speak for themselves; the inclusion of online multiplayer and being a universal app has been quite a staple in Gameloft’s recent games, and I just have to commend them for that.  Their Gameloft Live servers seem to have improved tremendously, overcoming it’s infancy and becoming one of the smoothest online multiplayer experiences on the iOS.  As for being a universal app, you can’t really say much about it other than the fact that you love it.  No more buying a game twice — one for your iPhone and one for your iPad — it’s now packed into one, convenient download, along with being, technically, half the price.  All in all, both the online multiplayer and universal are a winning combination for the consumer.

Action-packed: If there’s one thing that 9mm provides, it’s action.  The shooting scenes are quite exhilarating, the weapon selection is extensive, and the action itself seems to never end (which in this case is a good thing).  While I wouldn’t call it the most action-packed game in the App Store, I would have to say that 9mm is up there.  So if you’re looking for thrills and chills, 9mm is really the way to go.


Vulgarity: Like I mentioned before, vulgar language doesn’t really bother me too much.  But when it’s every other word, it really becomes unnecessary to use so much colorful language in such a short sentence.  This is totally subjective here; if you can compromise and deal with it that’s fine with me.  It’s just a warning to all purchasing that there’s a lot of language in here that may just not be suitable for everyone out there.

Short campaign: The campaign isn’t too long, lasting a mere 3-4 hours.  There is online multiplayer to add some more playing time to the game overall, but the campaign is a bit short.

9mm includes some improved voice-acting, great online multiplayer, an interesting storyline, and an overall action-packed adventure that is sure to entice third-person shooter fans.  Just note that the game isn’t for everyone, and I personally thought the amount of language in this game was really unnecessary.

9mm was developed by Gameloft, and I played through version 1.0 on my iPad 2.  The price is $6.99.

Sid Meier’s Pirates for iPad Review: Ahoy Landlubbers, Ye be in for an Adventure

All the stereotypes associated with pirates—treasure, plunder, and swordfighting—are what makes the entire world of Sid Meier’s Pirates.

You start out with a small yet quick ship, ideal for plundering the larger ships if you know what you’re doing.  The game doesn’t seem to start out with any tutorial (although there is one accessible from the menu), so you’re pretty much on your own, learning all the nuances of being a pirate as you adventure out into the different colonies.

As for the point of the game, there really isn’t any.  But that’s not a bad thing; no, far from it.  The possibilities are nearly endless in a game such as this, allowing you to explore all around the colonies, plundering as many ships as possible, hiring tons of crew members, defeating other pirates; like I said, the possibilities are nearly endless.

You can also create a type of allegiance to the countries present — either England, France, Holland, or Spain — by fighting their enemies.  So for example, if you capture different Spanish ships, you’ll most likely be given a higher position (captain, major, colonel, etc.) by the French and the English, considering the fact that those two countries weren’t huge fans of the Spanish during that time.

All in all, it’s quite an exhilarating game that has very few flaws, if any, that I can see.


Adventure is out there: This game really brings out the adventurous, little child out in all of us, allowing us to pillage, burn, earn money, dance, etc.  There’s just so much to do in Sid Meier’s Pirates that you really can just do whatever you want.  It’s hard to really describe in mere words and letters, but Sid Meier’s Pirates is probably the most adventurous game on the App Store thus far.

Variety: Like I said, there’s just so much to do in this game, it’s ridiculous.  You can go from sword-fighting the captain of another ship to ball dancing with a governor’s daughter.  You can also hire more pirates, fence fencing masters, trade with the merchants… again, the possibilities are endless.

Difficulty: The difficulty level at Journeyman, for me personally, is absolutely perfect.  I haven’t tried out any other ones for fear of losing progress, but for beginners, the Journeyman difficulty is just perfect.


Some sounds: Some of the sound effects in the game get pretty irritating, such as the sound the game makes when tracking a Top 10 pirate.  The 10-or-so second sound loop when fighting another ship also gets a bit redundant.  Not major issues, but there are some sound effects in here that do become a bit tiring after a while.

Beginning: You have to be a little resilient in the beginning of the game given the fact that you know absolutely nothing.  You don’t know what the objective of the game is, you don’t know how to earn money, and you don’t really know how to play the game.  The tutorial does a mediocre job of teaching you how to play, and you really just have to learn through trial and error.  Not the ideal way to learn how to play a game, but after a while, you should be in full swing.

Crashes: Thankfully there is autosave included, but the game does crash every once in a while.  Buyer beware.

Sid Meier’s Pirates is absolutely stunning.  This stands as one of my all-time favorite games for the iPad, considering the fact that there’s so much to do and so little time.  Just do yourself a favor and purchase it now; I doubt that there will be any regrets for such a fantastic game.

Sid Meier’s Pirates was developed by 2K Games, and I played through version 1.0.4 on my iPad 2.  The price is $3.99.


Swords And Soldiers Review: Vikings, Aztecs, and Chinese; What More Could you Ask For?

Two Tribes’s all new castle defense game Swords and Soldiers comes into the App Store after being mysteriously shrouded in secrecy; from what I can remember, most of the pre-release information were teasers.

But after playing around with the final release, I can’t say I’m not happy.

With some great, cartoon artwork and an addictive gameplay, Swords and Soldiers should keep you busy for quite a while.

But one aspect of the game really keeps me from giving this a perfect score, and that’s the gameplay balancing.  While the beginning of the game is more or less pretty easy, as the levels progress, the difficulty becomes way too much for gamers such as myself to handle.

It has led to a sense of frustration at times, and if I didn’t want to review the game, I would have quit playing a long time ago.

The gameplay is great for a while, but when it gets difficult, it’s hard to stay happy.


Artwork: The cartoony artwork is very well done, and I have to commend Two Tribes’s artist(s) for this artistic marvel.  I am in love with the artwork, and again, props to the artists.

Attitude/Atmosphere: The whole atmosphere of Swords and Soldiers is somewhat ridiculous — in a good way — along with being just plain silly.  There’s enough serious in here though, so you won’t exactly be laughing your head off.  Still, it’s silly enough so that you’ll actually feel a lot more laid back playing this rather than a lot of other games out there.


Gameplay balancing: I somewhat ranted about this in the beginning, and this is really my only dislike for the game.  Everything else is great; this part of the game, though, really cripples a lot of the game experience.  It looks great, plays great for the first few levels, and it feels just so enlightening.  But once those difficult levels set in, there’s really nothing but frustration awaiting. 

Swords and Soldiers could just be the next best castle defense game on the App Store.  But the gameplay balancing really needs some tweaking as does some of the difficulty; with those fixed, I would be more than happy to slap a Must Have rating on Swords and Soldiers.  But still, it’s a solid game for those looking for something new to play.

Swords and Soldiers was developed by Two Tribes and published by Chillingo, and I played through version 1.0 on my iPhone 4.  The price is $2.99.

‘Cut the Rope’ Receiving Yet Another Update, Plush Toys Coming Soon as Well

Cut the Rope, the very successful iPhone puzzler published by Chillingo, will be receiving a new 1.4 update in the coming months, which includes 25 new levels, a new character, and all-new gameplay mechanics that challenge the players to bounce the sweets into Om Nom’s mouth.

Along with that, the new update promises the introduction of the Star Key, which allows you to unlock future level boxes.  There are also hidden drawings within each box, and once found, you can post them on Facebook; the update also includes the ability to choose what type of candy you want to play with — donuts, cupcakes, and hard candy.

In other news, Chillingo and Zepto Labs have announced the upcoming arrival of Cut the Rope plush toys for all those Cut the Rope fans out there.  These will be arriving sometime in September through online gift and specialty stores.

If you haven’t picked up Cut the Rope yet, be sure to check out our thorough review of the game.  It is available now for $0.99 on the iPhone and $1.99 on iPad.

Bug Heroes Quest Submitted, Coming Late July/Early August

Bug Heroes Quest, essentially a sequel to the overwhelmingly awesome Bug Heroes, has been submitted to the App Store for review.

While Bug Heroes was more of a tower defense/dual-stick shooter survival game, Bug Heroes Quest promises to be more of a story-based action RPG, complete with dual-stick shooter goodness, character development, and more.

The game spans over 60 different missions with GameCenter leaderboards and achievements included, alongside tons of armor, weapons, etc.

Bug Heroes Quest also boasts of a very in-depth fantasy world and an interesting storyline, not like the old “cookie cutter save the princess and the kingdom”.

We’re looking forward to getting our hands on Bug Heroes Quest, but for now, be sure to check out the recently released game trailer; look for it in the App Store late July/Early August.