Tag Archives: Worth A Look

Asphalt 6: Adrenaline Review: Losing Ground

Racing games have been one constant for the App Store, with Gameloft, EA Mobile, and Firemint leading the way.  I remember the first legitimate racing game, Asphalt 4, was released on the App Store alongside Real Soccer 2009.

And boy oh boy, did I enjoy that one.  I played that game for at least 8 hours, beating the career mode and collecting all the cars.  I thought the graphics were great at the time, and overall, it was just plain fun.

Then Asphalt 5 came along and the experience just wasn’t the same; there had been other arcade racers such as Need for Speed Undercover that completely raised the bar when it came to racers.  The graphics for Asphalt 5 were much improved from Asphalt 4, but other than that, everything else was much the same.

Now come 2010/2011, we have the release of Asphalt 6.  And I’m starting to get the feeling that Asphalt will never have the same experience as I did with the first one, as Asphalt 6 seems almost like a rehash of Asphalt 5.  The graphics are better, there is online multiplayer… but the game experience is more or less the same.

Don’t get me wrong, it’s still a great game.  Crashing other cars, gameplay variety, tons of cars—the whole lot is still there.  I just think that the whole lot has appeared in all three Asphalts.  In other words, it’s getting old.


Graphics: The graphics aren’t of Real Racing 2 caliber, but they’re good enough.  They’re an improvement—albeit not huge—from Asphalt 5, and it really does show what the iPhone is capable of graphically.  I remember trying to play Fruit Ninja on my friend’s Droid Erus… didn’t work out too well.

Online Multiplayer: This is a feature that I have been clamoring for since the release of Asphalt 5, a game that looked perfectly ready to take on an online multiplayer feature.  While the online isn’t too deep and won’t provide tons of replay value, it’s online multiplayer.  I mean, what more can you expect?

Controls: I’m pretty sure by now, if a developer cannot get the controls for a racing game down, they either don’t know how to develop or are too lazy to make the adjustments to create the right control scheme.  Gameloft has them down here—like it has in all previous games—and no one should have a problem with them.


Nothing different: I stated it in the beginning of this review, and the Asphalt series really needs to find something that will make it stand out.  It feels like I’ve played this game before around a year ago on Asphalt 5, and the gameplay experience just doesn’t differ from its predecessors.  It’s the same old arcade racing experience: take down enemies, eliminate them, etc.

Gameloft Live: It’s sluggish, old, and much too clunky to be even added anymore.  Hopefully they give it up for GameCenter, as they’ve changed the UI for Gameloft Live at least three times now—the current one looking pretty ugly—and the interface as a whole is quite unresponsive.  And if they’re going to add achievements and leaderboards, why not GameCenter?

The Asphalt series are getting old.  That fact is quite evident in this review, and it just doesn’t feel any different from Asphalt 5.  If you’re really desperate for online multiplayer—again, not really a make-or-break feature—then I guess you can pick this up.  Other than that, there’s really no difference.

Asphalt 6: Adrenaline was developed by Gameloft, and I played through version 1.0 on my iPhone 4.  The price is $6.99.

Perfect Cell Review: Sneak Through An Eerie Atmosphere

Perfect Cell is one of those games that I quite frankly haven’t paid much attention to pre-release.

The game starts out as you being a cell, traversing through the levels killing human scientists and soldiers to save other cells and eventually escape the laboratory.  The story isn’t too compelling and doesn’t really play a major role in the game; it’s mostly slicing and dicing, solving somewhat simple environmental puzzles to move into the next sector.

The graphics are one of the main selling points in Perfect Cell and rightfully so, as the game is pitted in a 2.5D environment that reminds me of something along the lines of Shadow Complex, and overall, Perfect Cell isn’t too bad.


Graphics: Like I mentioned above, the 2.5D graphics really remind me of Shadow Complex.  I do have a problem with the soldiers being all retro-ized—it looks as if the developers just didn’t feel like working on the soldier models—but other than that, the environment is nicely developed.

Controls: The controls aren’t too fancy or too complicated, and they’re made perfectly for the iPhone touchscreen.

GameCenter: I’m probably going to add this as a Like for a while, and you people out there that are reading our reviews are probably getting tired of it.  But hey, I like it.  And there’s a lot of achievements included, which makes me like GameCenter within Perfect Cell even more.


Simplicity: The puzzles are a bit too simple in my opinion.  The first ten levels are basically slicing and turning on all the stations, going back and forth opening doors and such.  It’s pretty predictable, and there’s really no thinking involved.

Nothing more: There’s a campaign-like mode and nothing more.  For $5.99, I expect something more than just one game mode: something on the lines of an arcade mode, an endless mode in which you kill as many humans as possible—I’m not the developer so I don’t have many ideas, but Mobigame really didn’t do much in Perfect Cell when it comes to content.

Humans: I mentioned it above in graphics, but this is something that somewhat bothers me.  I don’t know why they would go with retro character models other than the fact that it’s less work.  It certainly isn’t a design decision as it looks out of place and absolutely horrible.  Maybe I’m being too sensitive here, but hey, I’d like some 2.5D character models.

It’s a great concept hindered by the lack of content and high price.  Until the whole content and price issue is sorted out, I can’t really recommend it to everyone out there.  It is a fun game though, and for those that appreciate unique games, Perfect Cell is definitely one to look into.

Perfect Cell was developed by Mobigame, and I played through version 1.0.5 on my iPhone 4.  The price is $5.99.

Scarlett and the Spark of Life Review: Graphically and Lyrically Great

A Princess in distress. The stereotypical story line would call for the handsome Prince to valiantly come along and sweep her off to safety. But such is not the case for Princess Scarlett in Scarlett and the Spark of Life: Scarlett Adventures Episode 1 by Launching Pad Games. Instead, the feisty Scarlett takes matters into her own hands to escape, motivated by what we learn is to save her sister. What follows is an adventure that will entertain as well as puzzle you. In a unique blend of Point and Click adventure meets Choose your Ending storybook, Scarlett and the Spark of Life has a great story, eye popping graphics and an easy to use interface.


Storyline: The writing is witty and quirky, both leading to a pleasurable experience. The unique adventure and the cast of characters met along the way are entertaining and the story that unravels will elicit several laughs. Stereotypes thrown out the window, Scarlett doesn’t need a Prince to save her, she will construct her own talking horse to aid in her escape. The story is so good that it kept me playing just to figure out how Scarlett solve her predicament.

Graphics: The style chosen is wonderful and bright, with beautiful colors that add to the atmosphere. Clever scenes of a quaint village make the game smoother and actually make up for some of the game’s shortcomings. Combine the graphics with the story and it was a well planned comic book that was delightful and amusing.


Dialogue: Despite the excellent story, the game has much more reading than would be expected in a point and click adventure. Even if this game was designed to be a choose your own ending story, the dialogue loops prevent that. The game leads you to the right choices no matter what you do. Choosing the improper dialogue responses merely end up artificially lengthening the game than anything else. The story is pleasant enough to read through but this excess of dialogue gives the game a bit of an identity crisis. Is it a point and click with too much dialogue or a choose your own adventure story with some puzzles mixed in?

Interface: While the point and click interface is spot on and done extremely well and accurately, the hint system makes the game a bit too easy. For each scene that you enter, the hint system lights up every spot on that screen that has possible interaction. While you still need to figure out what to do with the items you find, this makes the game a little too easy.

Puzzles: Well, there weren’t enough of them and they were not hard enough for the seasoned point and click adventure player. With the hint system and the game pretty much guiding you by the hand scene by scene, the puzzles were too obvious. If you missed some key item along the way, the game would not progress until you went back and found it. There were moments of greatness though as one or two puzzles really were fun to solve, but ultimately this is a great game for a beginner to get a feel for the genre.

Overall, while enjoyable, the game had a few shortcomings that made it confusing to not only classify but to hold my attention. As clever as the story is, it is almost too clever and drawn out. Even though the story that comes out of even incorrect responses is fun to read, it would have been preferable for the choices that you made to affect the outcome of the game. Perhaps if you take too long the kidnappers catch up to the Princess. Perhaps good old Gherkin never sees the light of day if you can’t figure a way to repair him.

Scarlett and the Spark of Life: Scarlett Adventures Episode 1 by Launching Pad Games is a great start for what could ultimately be a classic Adventure series if it can find its true identity and work within that framework. The point and click adventures that have too much dialogue do not appeal much to me, as I like to play my games and not read them; but I really did enjoy the story of Scarlett. If the next episode has more puzzles and less dialogue that would be a huge step in the right direction. In the end, Scarlett does ride off into the sunset; not with a Knight, but with a mechanical horse. Those kinds of witty scenes and excellent writing do give me hope for what the future might hold for the series.

Scarlett and the Spark of Life: Scarlett Adventures Episode 1 by Launching Pad Games was reviewed on both a 2g iPod Touch and a 4g iPod Touch, both with iOS 4.1. It is available now for $2.99.

Rock Band Reloaded Review: This Genre is About to Die

Rock Band and Guitar Hero have been duking it out for the past few years on consoles, Rock Band bringing out drums, mics, and other peripherals, with Guitar Hero following suit in Guitar Hero: World Tour.

And the battle continues on the App Store, with Rock Band Reloaded bringing the first ever voice-singing option in the App Store.  And while that’s all fine and dandy, I’m pretty sure there’s not a lot of people out there willing to sing… by themselves… playing Rock Band on their phone.  Maybe I’m making assumptions, but I for one, don’t care much for the option.

Other than that, there’s basically nothing too different about it.  They did add a new expert mode, but the game as a whole doesn’t seem to difficult to start with.


Voice-acting: It’s a new option and a good one, and although it doesn’t feel too useful to me, at least they added it.  This is one option I can see as giving Rock Band a step up from its competition if singing is your cup of tea.

Content: Guitar Hero has only six songs for $2.99, and Rock Band Reloaded is only $4.99 for 29 free songs.  There’s no comparison there, as Rock Band Reloaded clearly contains more bang for the buck.


Difficulty: I’m not a master at Rock Band or Guitar Hero, and I’m not an above-90% note hitter.  But Rock Band Reloaded makes it way too easy, as I’m able to get at least 90% of my notes hit on even the toughest songs.  And yes, this is on Expert.

Nothing really new: The note-hitting gameplay is nothing new, it feels like I’ve done it before a bajillion times, and it slowly makes me believe that this genre is slowly coming to stop in innovation.  Guitar Hero’s sliding note technique was a step up, and you could say the singing here is a step up.  But other than that, playing the guitar, drums, and bass feel all too familiar.

Facebook: This was a minor problem in the previous Rock Band, but in this one, it’s pretty major.  Every single screen is bombarded with Facebook this, Facebook that.  Post this on Facebook, compete with Facebook friends.  It does start to get annoying after a while, especially when I don’t want to have anything to do with Facebook on Rock Band Reloaded.

I feel like the last few games that I’ve played have all been lacking a step up from their previous versions, and Rock Band Reloaded feels exactly the same way.  After a few hours, I can only describe the experience as boring and repetitive.

Rock Band Reloaded was developed by EA Mobile, and I played through version 1.0 on my iPhone 4.  The price is $4.99, with the iPad version at $9.99.

Robot Unicorn Attack Christmas Edition Review: Santa, Bring Us Something New

There is no doubt in my mind that Robot Unicorn Attack is one of the best run-as-far-as-you-can games on the App Store and the Internet.  I find myself playing it everyday on Facebook, humming to the weird but catchy tune, and slamming my fists onto the desk whenever I lose (not really that dramatic, but something along those lines).  By nature, I’m a competitor and must receive first place amongst my pool of friends, so I’ll be playing this for 10, 20, 30, even 60 minutes at a time to achieve the ultimate score.

In my initial review of Robot Unicorn Attack though, I didn’t exactly enjoy it since it didn’t really include online leaderboards and achievements.  Of course, that’s changed with the addition of OpenFeint and GameCenter—it appears the Christmas edition only has GameCenter—and it’s allowed me to compete with tons and tons of other people.

And while there are people out there receiving ridiculous, almost impossible, scores on Robot Unicorn Attack, it does help me to keep playing.

Now with all that said, the main point of a review is this: is Robot Unicorn Attack Christmas Edition worth getting?  And to that I say no, not really.  It’s basically a rehash of everything Robot Unicorn has, with only slightly different artwork, a different soundtrack, and the exclusion of OpenFeint.

The graphics are still pixelated and not really Retina-ized, and overall, it’s basically the same thing slapped together with a Christmas sign on it.


Addictive: If there’s one thing that Robot Unicorn Attack will do, it’s that it will make you an addict.  You will be playing whatever version: the original, Heavy Metal, or this Christmas Edition; and you will be addicted.  It’s such a simple concept yet such a winning formula, making it one of the most played games on my iPhone so far.

GameCenter: I like GameCenter—don’t love it—but I like it so far.  I’m glad that they’ve put it in here, and it’s good for racking up those achievement points.


The same thing, again: I forgave Adult Swim when they released Heavy Metal and it was basically the same thing as Robot Unicorn Attack, since it was quite the opposite and still hilarious.  German death metal roaring through the background was a pleasant surprise, and it made me feel a lot more manlier when playing it.  But Christmas Edition went a little too far in that now it seems like Adult Swim is just stretching the popularity of the game to gain a few more bucks.  It’s the same thing with a dash of Christmas spirit added, and they really haven’t done much to improve the graphics, user interface, or anything really.

Graphics: I mentioned it before above, but this one really needs a paragraph all to itself.  Anyways, with that said, the computer version has a stallion fully-armored in robot metal, shooting out the colors of the rainbow.  In the iPhone version, you can barely see the metal plates let alone see the detail in the rainbow mane.  Sure, the framerate is all fine and dandy, but it would be nice to improve the graphics a bit.  It’s been pretty much the same in all three Robot Unicorn Attacks, and it’s time for change.  Stop rehashing things.

Robot Unicorn Attack Christmas Edition, hopefully, is the farthest Adult Swim will go with this series before updating something: the user interface, the graphics, maybe some more song tracks… make it worth paying for.  For now, since this is seasonal, I would have you go with the original since there’s A) more people playing it, including probably your Facebook friends and B) you can play it all year round.  It’s only $0.99 though, and if you absolutely love Robot Unicorn Attack, then I don’t see why not.  But just know that it’s a rehash of everything and is now in need of improvement.

Robot Unicorn Attack Christmas Edition was developed by Adult Swim, and I played through version 1.1 on my iPhone 4.  The price is $0.99.