Tag Archives: Jelly Biscuits

Xmas Planet Review: How Santa Travels In One Night

It’s all about reactions.  How quick you can swipe, how fast you can tap, it’s all on you.  You must swipe and find the color of the house before Santa falls behind his schedule and tap the color to drop off the present.  Failure to speed up and produce will result in an inevitable game over, and your reactions must be in quite a shape to keep your record going.

Volcano Planet is a game I quite enjoyed, and now it’s back in a more enjoyable version along with the integration of AGON Online.  While it isn’t as frantic or hectic as Volcano Planet, this interesting twist should have fans running to buy this one.  Xmas Planet, as described above, is a casual game that should appeal to both hardcore and casual, and with the integration of AGON achievements and leaderboards, the good just got better.

Likes

Graphics: Volcano Planet looked good, Xmas Planet looks even better.  The 3D, Star Defense-like graphics were solid and looked great, and the planet modeling was well done.  There was a lot more detail put into the game versus Volcano, and the design was simple and worked well.  If you can’t tell from the screenshots, all I can say is that the game looks good.

Casual Done Right: Some developers tend to hit the casual market right on the money, while others fail to do so with over-simplistic gameplay.  While Xmas Planet is quite a simple pick-up-and-play game, it was enough to keep the player interested throughout.  Online highscores just put the icing on the cake, making competition even thicker.  I wouldn’t place myself in either hardcore or casual markets, but I would find myself competing against my brother for the higher score.  Me: 166.  Brother: 33.

Different: What most developers find themselves doing is replacing their game with a Christmas skin, then selling it as a new game.  While I don’t object to this style of selling, it’s always nice to see some twists and turns from the actual gameplay.  That’s what the developer Jelly Biscuits did to this game, and instead of just orange and green smoke, it’s all about following the colors.  There are around 4 or so different colors: blue, green, red, and orange, and it all depends on how well you follow the directions.  I found the twist quite welcoming, and it definitely feels like a wholly different game.

Dislikes

Limited: There’s only one map and one gameplay mode, and as with everyone reading this, they’ll agree that it’s lacking.  It would have been nice to atleast see one or two more maps, and maybe even another gameplay mode; a mini-game would have been fine also.  While the casual part was done right, it still would have been nice to add a bit of variety.

Easy: Volcano Planet was frantic, maniacal, fun.  Xmas Planet, on the other hand, is considerably less frantic with little to no resistance to your swipes.  While I would find myself sitting at 33 in the beginning, as time progressed, I received 166 on my second try; placing me at number 4 on the worldwide leaderboards.  While it may not be as simple for some, I personally found the game to be quite laid back; straying away from the franticness of Volcano Planet.

Xmas Planet is a solid casual game, and for those looking for the next big thing, I think you’ll find it right here.  Some may not like the lack of variety or the inclusion of only one map, but I personally enjoyed this title a lot.  The game looks good, feels good, and most important of all, plays good (or for those English perfectionists out there, “plays well”).  Jelly Biscuits did a good job of delivering the biscuits in this title, and those looking for Christmas games should look here first.

Xmas Planet was developed by Jelly Biscuits, and I played through version 1.0 on my iPhone 3GS.  The price is $0.99.

First Look at Volcano Planet

So the story goes that the carbon emission was so great that volcanic activity started to happen more and more frequently.  You must delay the blowing up of the planet by stopping the volcanoes from emitting their fumes.  Volcano Planet is similar to Whack-a-Mole except the fumes never go back in, they just keep emitting fumes until your planet explodes into tiny particles.

Gameplay is very similar to Whack-a-mole in the way that you have to extinguish the fumes as fast as possible… in 3D.  The planet is a in 3D of course and you flick your finger searching for volcanic activity found across the planet.  Your job is to find all the erupting volcanoes and stop them from emitting fumes before it’s too late.  The longer the volcanoes fume, the more they emit.  You have two types of fumes, and a bar representing how much of each is in the air.  If even one of the bars gets to full, your planet goes bye bye.  Once your planet blows up, there are local and global highscores to compete in.  I found this game really hectic and addictive.

Graphics… can’t say much about them.  The fumes, volcanoes, planet design, and everything is nicely done.  Menu designs are quite simple, yet appealing, and the highscore boards are adequate enough.  I found the “connecting to server” message when submitting a highscore a little bothersome and awkward, but it doesn’t ruin the gameplay of course.

All in all, Volcano Planet offers some hectic Whack-a-mole fun.  It takes the Whack-a-mole formula and multiplies it by 50 to offer a simple, yet addictive gameplay that’s actually really fun.  I was never a huge whack-a-mole on iPhone fan, but this gives a feeling of wanting to play over and over.  The 3D aspect adds to the craziness since you have to keep spinning your planet (via finger) to stop those fumes.  I would have liked it if your highscore was submitted automatically to the global highscores, but for now, I guess the manual submitting works just fine.  Another addition should be that you should be able to find yourself on the highscores without scrolling through the highscore table searching for your own score.  For $0.99, I think I can fully recommend this to anyone looking for something simple.  The gameplay is quite addictive for hardcore gamers and casual gamers a like, and the addition of the global highscores makes it even better.

The price is $0.99, and the creators are Jelly Biscuits.