All posts by Jeff

$10 iTunes Gift Card Giveaway – Courtesy of App Insanity!

App Insanity, creators of the gun app Gun Smoke 28 Guns, has graciously provided us with a $10 iTunes gift card for a special Twitter contest. Here are the rules…

1. Follow @NoDPad on Twitter.

2. Check out their app –

2. Retweet “#WIN a $10 iTunes GC (FOLLOW @NoDPad & RT) & Check out App Insanity’s latest iPhone app:

Simple as that. Have fun!

Gore Ball Review: Mashing Multiple Mesmerizing Modes into Mush

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to play a game that is made up of equal parts fighting, brick breaking, and zombie slaying? Gore Ball tries to bring the best of all three worlds into one game – a game where you break tombstones with magical “gore balls” and fight against zombies with your sword as you try to eradicate all evil from the land. It’s a great concept, but ultimately Gore Ball falls flat on its feet due to a variety of reasons. Maybe it’s the cracks that weren’t filled when the three genres were mixed together, or it’s just the insane difficulty. Nonetheless, I still enjoyed the game just because of the unique novelty of the gameplay.


Concept: This concept of integrating many diverse game ideas into one game is uncommon on the App Store. So many apps are either bland and mainstream or flatulence related spam apps. Gore Ball is unique; it stands out and isn’t afraid of the fact it’s not like other games. In fact, it flaunts that factor, and that was what attracted me to the game in the first place.

Story: The storyline isn’t anything extremely special, but it works. You play as Hale, the main character of the game, whose wife and daughter were destroyed by an evil engulfing the land. Since you’re a knight, you decide to cleanse this evil from the land. It’s somewhat stereotypical, but the way the story was presented made it seem special. The voice acting in the beginning of the game was a good surprise too.


Controls: I’m not a big fan of accelerometer based games, and Gore Ball is one of those. You tilt to move the main character back and forth, and tap to launch the ball or swing your sword at a zombie. Not very convenient for me, though the controls may feel like second nature to others.

Fighting: When you’re in combat with the zombies, the animations for the sword swings aren’t very convincing. Instead of looking like Hale is fighting for his life, it looks like he’s using his sword while he has a major cramp in his swinging arm.

Difficulty: This is where the game fails. It’s way too insanely hard. Even on the Easy difficulty, I cannot get past the second level. My suggestion would be to tone down the number of hits it takes to destroy a tombstone – currently each tombstone takes around five hits, and two hits for each would be more than enough. In addition, it’s hard to aim where you want the ball to go, since Hale’s hand that he uses to hit the ball is only so big. Maybe making the energy aura around the hand bigger and the physics somewhat more accurate would make things much better.

Gore Ball isn’t an exceptional game, but neither is it a bad one. A unique novelty to own on your iDevice, Gore Ball demonstrates that fresh ideas are always here for new games. It’s enjoyable and fun to play, but the difficulty and control method keeps it from really showing its true potential.

Gore Ball was developed by Gear Worx Productions, and I played through version 1.01 of the game on my iPod Touch 2G (OS 3.1.2).  The current price point of the game is $1.99.

Spartacus: Blood and Sand Review: A Gory, Glorious Fight for Survival

Artificial Life’s last action-packed release, Pandorum, was none too impressive. Happily however, their recent gladiator-based arena fighting game is much better and shows true quality. Spartacus: Blood and Sand is aptly named and based on the Starz’s new TV series “Spartacus: Blood and Sand” (which in itself is based on an actual history). The game is chock-full of bodiless heads, severed limbs, and tons of gore and blood; something most gamers would gladly jump on. Surprisingly, there aren’t many problems, and Spartacus: Blood and Sand is an extremely fun, realistic, and gruesome fighting game.


Background Story: In the story mode, you play as Spartacus. You will challenge your commanding general, become a slave, train as a gladiator, fight in the dog pits, and then, if successful, challenge the final three opponents for honor and freedom. A strong, wonderfully told story told in between battles provides a realistic setting for the fights, and compels the player to keep on playing to see what happens to the main character next.

Controls: The moves and combos were easy to remember, easy to execute, and beautiful to look at. No thinking or planning required – each button combination makes a different move, and it’s fun switching between the various attacks your character can execute just for style.

In addition, the previous controls had quite a bit of lag with them, but Artificial Life has addressed this in a new update, fixing the unresponsiveness and making this game even better. That shows true effort – they listened to their audience and tweaked the controls accordingly.

Slow-Motion Effects: I have to give credit where credit is due; the slow-motion effects are fantastic. They make moves look even more brutal and aesthetically appealing, and blood spatters across the screen when you manage to slice or pound someone with your weapon.

Character Roster: All the characters have different attacks, and no two animations are the same when you execute a fighting move. This brings fresh gameplay and much replay value to the table when you go back and play one of the Arcade Modes.

Multiple Modes: For those who want a story, they get it in the Story Mode. For those who want a quick game, they get that in the Challenge Mode. For those who want to see how long they can last, they get that in the Survival Mode. There’s definitely a lot of replay value here, and I can see myself coming back to this game time and again. The only bonus the Story Mode gives you is two extra characters if you complete it twice.

Graphics: The graphics a beautiful. The background is somewhat static, but the character models, weapons, and animations are smooth, realistic, and very appealing. Though graphics aren’t the whole of the game, they do make the game just that much better. I believe Artificial Life got this aspect right, and I commend them for that.

Blood and Gore: What would this game be if it didn’t have blood and gore? Gladiators always sustained injuries, especially severe ones, in the heat of battle. In addition, the title of the game even has “Blood” in it, so why should the game have any?

Well, it does. This game is not for the squeamish or bloodophobic – it has blood, and tons of it. Blood will spatter on the ground, on your screen, and around your fighters with every hit you score. In the end, you’ll execute a beautiful and brutal kill combo, slicing off your opponent’s right arm, left arm, head, and then upper torso. Once the enemy is literally lying in pieces in the sand, you’ll move on to the next round. This is gore and dismemberment at its best.


More Death Animations: Currently, no matter what character you use, in the end you’ll kill your enemy by slicing them into the exact same pieces. If there were different death animations the game would be even better.

Currently, Spartacus: Blood and Sand is a very worthwhile fighting game, and one of the best on the App Store. I believe it trumps Blades of Glory (by Gameloft), but I guess all a matter of opinion. If you want to feel how it’s like being a gladiator, then look no further. This game is one of the most realistic, bloody, and brutal gladiator-based combat games you’ll ever see. If you’re slightly interested in this type of game at all, get it. Prepare yourself for the arena.

Spartacus: Blood and Sand was developed by Artificial Life, and I played through version 1.01 of the game on my iPod Touch 2G (OS 3.1.2).  The current price point of the game is $4.99.

Valentine’s Contest: Win Preview Builds, Promo Codes, and More!

Since it’s Valentine’s Day, what with it being the day of spreading love around, we at NoDPad have decided to hold a special Valentine’s contest for all of you! In this contest, you can win promo codes to great games such as Trenches, Hook Champ, Comet Racer, Bowman Legends, Silent Swords, Bombardier’s Guild, and more.

But wait! You can even win a demo build to UNRELEASED games like the Chillingo-published Pro Zombie Soccer! See? We do love our readers! You do have to give us some love back though. Here are the rules for the contest.

1. Follow @NoDPad on Twitter.

2. Tweet “Follow @NoDPad – help them get 1,000 followers and win promo codes, games, and unreleased demos!”

3. We’ll contact you via Twitter if you’ve won.

It’s that simple! Just follow us on Twitter, and we’ll choose around 50-100 lucky winners of promo codes, demo builds, and our smattering of Valentine’s day love. This contest will run for a week.

In addition, if we get to 1,000 followers we’ll make it a habit of holding weekly contests.

Good luck, and have fun! Happy Valentine’s Day!

Metal Wars Review: Creaky Joints and Rusty Weapons

I’ve played my fair share of mecha and robot fighting games, but not many of them have stacked up very well on the iPhone and iPod Touch. However, Metal Wars by Goorusoft was released some time ago, and it was another arena fighting robot game – except it wasn’t in top down view, it was in 3D. This alone intrigued me to no end, and I wondered what the gameplay would be like. After trying it out for some time, I found it to be just another run-of-the-mill dual-stick shooter.


Customization: You can unlock new weapons and mech parts after almost every battle, and getting the newer ones is always a fun experience. What’s more, you can choose from three different paint jobs for your mech (if you’re willing to pay a paltry five gold). The different themes are snowy, sand camouflauge, and red. This level of customization isn’t deep, but its adequate enough for players to enjoy themselves.

Graphics: The 3D graphics are great. Everything from the models to the weapons are nicely done, and the effects aren’t bad either. If you’re looking for solid graphics, this game has it. Though it can’t be classified as great, Metal Wars has some pretty good graphics.

Fights: The duke-outs are pretty enjoyable – they’re genuinely fun and the special effects are well done. The gameplay is rock-solid, and the amount of equipment you can unlock is adequate. All in all, the fights in the game are pretty solid, especially since you can order a second robot to join the fray with you and tell them to “Hold,” “Attack,” or “Follow.” Using your pal as cannon fodder is always good, but you get a bonus reward at the end of each stage if he’s still alive, so the game requires skill and strategy.


Arenas: The arenas are bland, drab, and all there isn’t much variation, since the arena seems to change only every ten stages or so. Some environmental factors and decorations would be much appreciated, since everything looks so blocky and boring.

Weapons: The weapons are all pretty much the same in terms of damage, and it seems that only the fire rate and visual effects are different. I do about the same amount of damage shooting for ten seconds with the missile launcher and shooting for ten seconds with the most basic weapon. A customization factor is present, but since the weapons are all basically the same, it boils down to different robot parts and different skins, which is not adequate enough for me to play the game for more than a few minutes at a time.

Metal Wars is a good mecha brawler, but don’t expect anything new or revolutionary. I had a fun time with it, but in the end it just didn’t have the content, flexibility, or uniqueness for it to be an outstanding game. Right now, it’s just average. Hopefully, in the future it’ll get better, but as of now it’ll only be fun for a niche audience – hardcore robot and mecha fighting fans.

Metal Wars was developed by Goorusoft, and I played through version 1.15 of the game on my iPod Touch 2G (OS 3.1.2).  The current price point of the game is $1.99.