Tag Archives: Glu

‘Gun Bros’ Update Adds Universal Support, Christmas Outfits

Gun Bros is probably one of the best free games on the App Store right now; while mindless, it sure provides more than a few hours of fun.  While it does include DLC, most of it is really just money and such to get you ahead of most people, although much of it is very unnecessary.

The update adds support for Apple’s iPad along with adding new Christmas outfits and weapons for your characters.  As an added bonus, if you download the version 1.2 update, you’ll receive three war bucks for working so hard to update the game.  They’ve also allowed the ability to earn war bucks, so those aren’t just available through in-app purchase anymore.

If you haven’t picked up Gun Bros yet, it’s available for free on the App Store.

LotR Middle-earth Defense Review: A game deserving the wrath of Mordor

A thoroughly mediocre tower defense game wearing the thinnest veneer of a beloved intellectual property for the sake of retail markup, Lord of the Rings: Middle-earth Defense is a game which ought to be thrown into the molten bowels of Mordor.

LotR:MeD comes in two miserable flavors, a $6.99 iPhone version and a $9.99 HD version for the iPad. In either case, you’re paying a premium price for the license only, because the underlying game is just wretched.

The game takes all of the epic encounters from the film trilogy, and pulls them down to a sluggish pace for the sake of creating a plodding, uninspired tower defense game. And as if the gameplay weren’t bad enough, the game is just plain ugly to look at.


LotR: I love Lord of the Rings. I love the books, and I love the films. I even love the games. Just not this one.

Heroes: The game allows you to place the story’s heroes — Aragorn, Gimli, Legolas, the hobbits and others — has towers on the field. Using gold acquired in combat, you can level-up their attack strength, range, speed and special skills. These aspects of the game are actually pretty cool, but a sad case of good ideas buried in a poor game.


Graphics: Environments comprised of muddy textures, blocky and poorly animated character models, cheesy interface components and ugly text windows make the game an eyesore to behold. Even the typography is bad. To claim this game is HD is a bad joke, and I’m sure Glu will be laughing their way to the bank.

Pacing: There’s an option to run the stages at double-speed, but even that seems far too slow. I keep drifting off while playing the game, having to wrench my attention back to the screen to initiate the next wave of attack. The fact that the game can’t even hold my attention from one wave to the next is surely a bad sign. Eventually the game becomes difficult, but it never gets good.

Stage Design: Stages are not only muddy and ugly, but also poorly designed from the standpoint of interesting gameplay. Each stage consists of various paths along which the forces of Mordor may march. The game very clearly shows you the path enemies will follow. You can erect barriers to divert their progress along different paths, but the game only allows you very limited influence over their path. Likewise, friendly units may only be placed at specified points on the map were nodes indicate a defensible position. Everything seems to play out in a very by-the-numbers fashion, and players are provided much less control and far fewer strategic options than in other tower defense games. LotR:MeD really seems as if the developers mean for stages to be completed in only one way.

At time of this writing, LotR:MeD enjoys a solid four-star rating on the app store, but you and I know there are fanboys out there who will rate it highly based solely on the property. Truth be told, Lord of the Rings: Middle-earth Defense is both the worst LotR game and one of the worst tower defense games I have ever played. And were it not for the LotR license being attached, I’m certain most gamers would pass it by without a second thought.

For fans of the story who simply must have it all, nothing I write here will prevent you buying it. But for anyone else, I strongly advise steering clear of this. There are a thousand tower defense games in the app store more worthy of your time and money, offering both a better experience and a better bargain. Play one of them instead.

Lord of the Rings: Middle-earth Defense is developed by Glu Games, and available for $6.99 or $9.99 HD. Reviewed on an iPhone 4 and iPad.

Transformers G1: The Awakening Review: Robots in Disguise

I must admit, Transformers toys were pretty awesome.  When I first saw the commercials for them, the song was so catchy that I found myself singing/yelling it right to my brothers’ faces.  But, of course, I never found myself going to Toys R’ Us and purchasing the plastic machine, as it was a waste of money for a person of my age.

I never admitted the coolness of these action figures though, and it never was until the movie was announced that people started to think of Transformers as cool.  And like almost all the guys out there, Transformers was cool for one reason and one reason only: Megan Fox.

But enough with my little spiel, let’s get down to the nitty gritty.  Turn-based strategy is a popular genre on the iPhone, Transformers G1: The Awakening fits right in.  Need I say more?


Strategy: Transformers G1 cleverly implements the Autobots’ ability to transform into vehicles through distance, having you to think strategically on when to transform or not.  This turn-based strategy game has enough strategy to keep you playing the game, and while it isn’t especially deep, it’s perfect for the most simple sorts of people and the most complex.

Gameplay Balancing: The story slowly progresses, so perfectly in fact, that it keeps you playing the game.  Gameplay balancing has been perfectly matched to feature one of the most balanced games I have ever played.  The perfect balance lead to me playing for over two hours straight without realizing the passing time.  It definitely got me hooked in, and that’s when you know a game is a good game.

Battle Animations: Amidst the horrible graphics, the battle scenes are pretty amazing.  The cell-shaded graphics work well in such an intense environment, and I have to commend Glu for their work in this sector.  The battle scenes are definitely the best I’ve seen in a turn-based strategy game so far.

Multiple game modes: Transformers G1 has multiple game modes that should keep you busy for quite a while, and although it doesn’t boast of the content found in Battle for Wesnoth, it has enough for that price tag.  The game modes also provide slight variations for those times when you feel like playing something other than the main story mode.


The other visuals: The other visuals, besides the battle scenes, are pathetic.  I don’t know if they went for a retro look or what, but the visuals don’t impress me at all.  For one, the overall game is way too small.  By that I mean the text is small, the robots are small, and zooming in doesn’t help at all.  Playing zoomed in only makes the experience worse instead of better, leading to small robots and small text.  Along with that, the pixelated look doesn’t fair well in this environment at all.

Lack of Online Multiplayer: All the other TBSs like Battle for Wesnoth and Robocalypse contain online multiplayer, so it would seem fair to point this out as a dislike.  It would have been nice if they added it though, but alas, it seems like they have declined to include this feature.

Transformers G1 is a solid turn-based strategy game, but it isn’t perfect by any means.  I didn’t find any issues with the gameplay itself; I just found issues with what they didn’t include.  With must have TBS titles like Mecho Wars and Robocalypse including so many features, it’s hard to justify our highest award for this strategy game.  But still, those in search of some noteworthy strategy games on their iPhone should include Transformers G1 in their list.

Transformers G1: The Awakening was developed by Glu Mobile, and I played through version 1.1 on my iPhone 3GS.  The price is $4.99.

‘Glyder 2’ from Glu Mobile Released

Glyder 1 wasn’t my cup of tea, and I didn’t exactly like it as much as others.  While the graphics were beautiful, the gameplay itself was quite monotonous and very… slow.  I know others were appealed to the stunning visuals and laid-back gameplay, but for me, I didn’t like Glyder.

The second version has been released that includes some more features including customization and new maps.  This version looks to improve upon its predecessor, and it seems to be more towards my taste.  The first one mostly depended on your personal preference, and Glyder 2 should be somewhere near that also.

Glyder 2 is available now for $3.99.