Category Archives: Impressions

Tap Farm, The Closest Thing to Farmville on iPhone

Farmville is arguably one of the most successful games of all time, gathering almost 53 million active users per month.  And with so much popularity behind the game and name, there’s bound to be atleast some developers thinking of porting a clone of the game onto the iPhone platform.  Most have been quite unsuccessful if not hopeless; some notable ones including iFarm from Playmesh.

Tap Farm from Streetview Labs, the makers of Tap Defense, seems to be a different story though, being without “Playmesh points” or other unnecessary things.  And best of all, Tap Farm is free for all users to play.  Another notable feature I found with Tap Farm is the ability to visit neighbors, and while I’m not sure if they are actual players from around the world, it’s still cool nonetheless.

You also have the ability to earn more coins to buy more patches and fruits by downloading Streetview Labs’s other games including Tap Out and Tap Defense.  Overall, the system was quite seamless with little to no loading times, and it almost feels like Farmville on my iPhone.  I haven’t gotten far enough to tell whether you find baby cows on your farm or chocolate milk cows, but so far, it seems to be quite an interesting Farmville clone.

If you’re interested in these type of farming tycoon games at all, Tap Farm seems to be a noticeable standout from the rest.  I’m sure there will be more developers jumping on the farm tycoon bandwagon soon, but for now, Tap Farm is one of the best available on the iPhone.  And for free, you really can’t complain.



First Look at Inkvaders

We reported of Inkvaders coming to iPhone not too long ago, and the game promised to bring gameplay similar to that of Zombieville USA.  Now don’t get me wrong, but Zombieville is one of the most balanced side scrollers on the App Store and will be hard to beat.  Inkvaders seems to offer some similar gameplay with a different artwork and a different theme; let’s see if this is a real “Zombieville” killer.

My first impressions of this game have been positive, and while I don’t exactly feel that the game is better than Zombieville, it’s definitely on par or right behind it.  If you’re just a casual gamer, you won’t be able to tell the difference, and you will receive equal amounts of fun from each game.

One of the major things that Inkvaders nailed right on the dot was the gameplay balancing and the controls.  While the controls are very similar to that of Sparta, Inkvaders’s controls seem to work a little better and seem to be a little bit more responsive.  The gameplay balancing for Inkvaders is absolutely phenomenal, and I really commend the developers for that very reason.  Perfect gameplay balancing is a must in side scrollers, and most fail to accomplish a perfect balance.

All in all, Inkvaders is definitely something you should look out for if you’re a Zombieville USA fan, and it’s definitely better than most side-scrollers in the App Store.  While I didn’t enjoy Sparta or Mummy’s Revenge very much, Inkvaders was actually fun to play and kept me interested.  Please check for a full review on the game very soon.

Inkvaders was developed by The Games Faction and published by Chillingo, and I played through version 1.o on my 1st generation iPhone.  The price is $0.99.

First Look at Minigore

Chillingo released the highly anticipated Minigore last night for the iPhone and iPod Touch.  Minigore features some great artwork, enemy design, and some nice little twists to the survival shooter genre.  Of course, it’s not a perfect game and it’s definitely not a full-on game with campaign mode and whatnot.

Minigore features a choice of two guns: a shotgun and a machine gun.  The machine gun is your default weapon and along the way you’ll start to pick up the shotgun.  There are also bombs that are dropped by the enemies and when you hit them, they explode every enemy within range.  The weapons department in this game is somewhat lacking compared to iDracula, but the developers have promised to release episode updates similar to that of Pocket God.

The game also only has one map in the initial release, and although it is a nicely designed map, it’s lacking compared to iDracula which has around 5 maps.  The map provided in Minigore is actually really nicely designed with some great details and great look.  I would have liked for more maps, but I guess I’ll just have to see how the game develops once those updates start rolling out.

All in all, Minigore isn’t anything special or awesome, it’s just another survival shooter.  Sure it does have some great graphics and some great voiceovers, but apart from that the gameplay is lacking.  It is definitely fun though and adds OpenFeint support, something that iDracula was sorely lacking.  Online highscores for a game of this type is definitely a wonderful addition, and I can’t wait to see what the developers have in store next.  For $0.99, don’t expect too much in the initial 1.0 version but expect some cool updates to come.  Personally, I can’t wait until the Enviro-Bear co-op multiplayer arrives.  For now, Minigore is a pretty impressive title graphically with some laughs involved.

A Closer Look at Resident Evil 4

After Capcom released their somewhat clunky Resident Evil: Degeneration, they released Resident Evil 4: Mobile Edition last night for $7.99.  The game itself is a huge improvement compared to Degeneration, and I thought it was worth a dollar more.  The only problem is, Degeneration was hardly worth $6.99, and this game seems to fair no better.

The clunky design and interface is still present in Resident Evil 4.  I was hoping Capcom would change the interface around so that it looked nice and organized, but the menus are still a jumble of words put together: a sad excuse for a menu.  Capcom really needs to work on interface design for their games, this one is an absolute confusing mess that feels cluttered and awkward for the average iPhone gamer, and I really hope they start to improve the interface.

Now that little rant is finished, I found the rest of the game to be quite enjoyable.  Although I have never played the Resident Evil series on any system, Resident Evil 4 for the iPhone is a well done third-person shooter, especially compared to all the other third person shooters in the App Store.  I found the game to be a lot faster-paced than Degeneration, and I also found the controls to be significantly improved.  There are sensitivity options for the icons and whatnot, and the controls worked pretty well for me.  Although they are far from being the best, Capcom has stepped up in the control department.

So is Resident Evil 4 worth it?  For $7.99, you get a full on third person shooter with great graphics and adequate controls that work.  I have never played Resident Evil on any other platform, and I found this game to be very nice compared to the other shooters on iPhone.  Aside from the clunky interface, Resident Evil 4 improves the slow gameplay and awkward controls in Degeneration.  If you’re a fan of the series, it should be a great experience for you, but don’t expect the console version.  From the heart of my bottom, I believe the game is a little expensive but totally worth it.

The price is $7.99, and the creators are Capcom.


First Look at Puzzlings

Personally, I’m completely tired and uninterested in match-3 games.  After Bejeweled 2, Treasures of Montezuma, etc., I was so tired of developers releasing match-3 games that I intentionally ignored them.  Without these match-3 games, my device has never been cleaner with more space, room, and memory.  Well that’s about to change as Puzzlings steps its foot onto App Store grounds.

When I first saw Puzzlings, I thought “wow, beautiful”.  Nothing more, nothing less.  Gameplay is a match-3, an addictive one that is, and I felt that it was just another developer trying to cash in some easy bucks by making the game look pretty and cute with no inspires gameplay that’s dull and absolutely uninteresting.  After I purchased Puzzlings, my thoughts were swept away by the beauty, magnificence, and awe this game provides to an individual.  Exploring the land of Puzzlings was like exploring a new jungle or even discovering that you just got free food at an all-you-can-eat buffet.  This, my friends, is beauty at its greatest.

Gameplay, like I mentioned above, is a match-3 game that provides unique twists and turns to this genre to make it more enjoyable while providing the same level of challenge.  I found the game to be very laid back and relaxed with no sense of stress or challenge, which provided a relaxing and overall enjoyable atmosphere.  The fact that you are able to customize your character with various clothes and accessories adds to the shallow, yet enjoyable gameplay, and I found myself laughing hysterically when I tried to make my creature look as ugly as possible.  There are around 15 or so levels to unlock/beat, and there is said to be over 120 items to customize your character with.  Each level should take around 15-20 minutes to complete, and although they aren’t very challenging, the customizable option makes a user keep going.

Graphics and artwork, again, are absolutely beautiful.  The puzzle pieces and the avatar/character is very nicely designed, and every (well from what I’ve seen) piece of clothing looks quite detailed on my character.  I cannot stress enough how beautiful this game is, and although it is a little too cute for my taste, I must commend Bight Games on how cute it is.  The artwork will definitely appeal to women, children, little girls, little boys, and maybe even grown men (secretly, right?).  Polish is clearly present, and the amount of time that went into this game is also quite obvious.

All in all, Puzzlings is a great addition to the match-3 genre, and I found it to be so good that it even redeemed the App Store match-3 reputation.  I did find the game to be a bit repetitive and a little short though, but that is the issue with most match-3 games is it not?  Puzzlings offers great customizable options, overall beautiful design, and surprisingly enjoyable gameplay.  If you have a child, girlfriend, mom, etc., this game has got to be on the top of your buy list, and if you’re a grown man, I still suggest this game to be worth a look.  Bight Games, I salute you.  Oh, and I almost forgot to mention that you can pose for a camera in this game.  Sweetness.

The price is $2.99, and the creators are Bight Games and Sonic BOOM Inc..