Category Archives: Game-Boyz

Manny Pacquiao: Pound for Pound

Manny Pacquiao: Pound for Pound for iOS | iPhone/iPod, Reviews, Boxing

After boxer Manny Pacquiao was robbed of the WBO Welterweight title on June 9 by two judges who must not have been watching the Pacquiao-Bradley fight, I wanted to see Pacquiao redeemed. Because he doesn’t fight on my command, I settled for playing Manny Pacquiao: Pound for Pound on the iOS. This boxing game is presented in third-person with the camera behind Pacquiao featuring boring fight mechanics, an upgrade path that isn’t fun, and a ridiculous story.

I gave it a 2/10.

Reaction to Nintendo’s E3 press conference

E3: Nintendo’s Press Conference and a Touch of Yesterday | Blog | Game Boyz
The bad:

  • Some ports of older titles

The good:

  • New Mario game for Wii U
  • New Mario game for 3DS
  • Wii Fit U with pedometer
  • NintendoLand amusement park game for Wii U with other Nintendo franchises as minigames
  • Moving a game (not all) from TV to gamepad
  • Zombi U, Ubisoft’s survival-horror, with real-time inventory management on gamepad while game world on TV

Sonic x Vapor

Sonic x Vapor | Blog | Game Boyz
Nike has a campaign called “My Time Is Now” that uses an interactive video. As the video progresses, you can click on various soccer players to read about them. You can also sometimes find areas to click that branch the video in a new direction.
One of these branches leads to a playable Sonic game, Sonic x Vapor!

Marvel vs. Capcom 2

Marvel vs. Capcom 2 for iOS | iPhone/iPod, Reviews, Fighting

Capcom recently brought Marvel vs. Capcom 2 to the iOS, and I tried it out on my iPhone. In case you don’t know, this is a fighting game featuring characters from Marvel and from Capcom. It was originally released in arcades and on Dreamcast and has since been ported to many other systems. The iOS doesn’t usually do well with games that require buttons, and fighting games really do. I was cautiously optimistic because Capcom’s Street Fighter IV did decently on the iOS. Unfortunately, I was let down by Marvel vs. Capcom 2… However, it seems like Capcom just wanted to cash in on hype for the Avengers film. At $4.99 on the App Store, I recommend you pass on this one.

Beat Hazard Ultra

Beat Hazard Ultra for iOS | Reviews, Shooter

Beat Hazard Ultra is an awesome Steam game turned iOS title that has found a way to eat at my time even when I’m not at my computer. Published by Cold Beam Games, it’s a “twin stick shooter” without the sticks. Beat Hazard Ultra features procedurally-generated levels based on your own music. I loved the Steam version but was doubtful about the iOS version. However, I was proven wrong when I tried it and was amazed!

Autographed Chip’s Challenge

Chip's Challenge
Chuck Sommerville, creator of Chip’s Challenge, autographed my copy of the game! Chip’s Challenge has been one of my favorite games for as long as I can remember. I’ve been wanting to get Sommerville’s autograph for a while but only recently actually asked him. He’s also the creator of Chuck’s Challenge and the soon-to-be-released Chuck’s Challenge 3D. I’ve interviewed him for Game Boyz, which you can read here.

Draw Something

Draw Something for iOS and Android | iPhone/iPod, Reviews, iPhone

I can’t stop playing Draw Something. It’s far too addicting. Created by omgpop, which was later purchased by Zynga, Draw Something tasks you with drawing things for others to guess and guessing what others draw. You can have multiple games going at the same time, allowing you to maximize your drawing fun. At the start of each turn, you watch your partner guess your last drawing. Then you guess his or her drawing. Finally, you draw something for your partner again!

Chuck Sommerville Interview

Chuck’s Challenge 3D Interview | Blog | Game Boyz
Chuck Sommerville, creator of Chip’s Challenge and Chuck’s Challenge, answers some of my questions about him and his games. There’s currently a Kickstarter for Chuck’s Challenge 3D, the PC and Mac port of the iOS game. Normally I only link to my articles on Game-Boyz, but I’m going to cross-post it here. However, check Game Boyz for some of my other writing or for game coverage from the rest of our staff.
* * *
Do you know Chuck Sommerville, my favorite game developer? Perhaps you’ve heard of his game, Chip’s Challenge, or his new game, Chuck’s Challenge?
Chip’s Challenge is a puzzle game originally created for the Atari Lynx by Chuck and later ported to Windows. Most people who know it played it on the PC. Fast-forward to the era of iOS games in 2010 to find that Chuck has created a game called Chuck’s Challenge in the same spirit as Chip’s Challenge. Like Chip’s Challenge, it’s a fantastic puzzle game. Now there’s a Kickstarter to raise money to create a 3D version of Chuck’s Challenge and to port it to PC and Mac.
In Chuck’s Challenge, like Chip’s Challenge, levels are tile-based. Your task is simple – get to the goal. To unlock the goal you’ll have to collect certain items, including power-ups that allow you to travel across various obstacles such as water and fire. New to Chuck’s Challenge from Chip’s is the ability to “rewind” and undo your mistakes; this is a huge feature! The game includes a level editor as well so you can share your creativity.
For a $5 pledge to his Kickstarter campaign, you’ll get the game for free when Chuck’s Challenge 3D releases. For $25, you’ll get a digital copy of the soundtrack as well. For $50, you’ll get all that and the chance to beta test! Looking for something physical? Pledge $100 and you’ll even receive a hardback copy of the Chuck’s Challenge v1 book autographed by Chuck Sommerville. (I pledged $100.) Of course, you can pledge more as well.
Chip’s Challenge was a major part of my childhood. It was one of the earliest games I played and has always been one of my favorites. I loved my Atari Lynx, and I played with my father, grandfather, and uncle. In fact, I still have the box with game on display by my TV.
Chuck’s received a lot of questions from fans since starting the Kickstarter project. To answer some of them, he’s created the following video. (If the video fails to load, try refreshing.)

That wasn’t quite enough for me, so I asked him some additional questions. He took the time to answer, and I’m very thankful to him for that. Care to read the interview?
PA: Have you ever ran into a fan that recognized you (or your name) in person?
CS: No, that’s never happened. Once I was having my computer repaired, and we were talking about programming. I told him I wrote Chip’s Challenge, and he didn’t believe me. I had him Google my name, and he said he had to eat crow. That was funny.
PA: Were there any games that inspired you to get into game development?
CS: Only early arcade games like Pong. There really weren’t any games when I started. I wrote my very first games before you could even buy a computer, on a college mainframe they used to let me use. I always loved making games. When the first Apple II computer came to the market, my parents bought me one. It had serial number 364. My first games were released on cassette tape by a company called SDL. I was still in high school. My first major published game was Snake Byte, when I was a student at Georgia Tech.
PA: As a child, my family had three Lynx consoles. I played a handful of games with my father, grandfather, and uncle. Chip’s Challenge was by far my favorite. Are there any games of which you have fond memories playing with loved ones?
CS: My dad and I used to play a game on the 3DO called “Return Fire”. [It] was a great PVP tank game. We could only play it when he visited, because I had moved away from West Virginia where I grew up, so I could live in California and be part of the game industry.
PA: Do you have any favorite levels from Chip’s Challenge or Chuck’s Challenge? Personally, I enjoyed Nuts and Bolts because it was an early level that incorporated a lot of different ideas. When I returned to replay the game years later, I found that I could solve the room filled with ice just with muscle memory!
CS: My favorite level from Chip’s Challenge, because of its simplicity is South Pole. It seems frustrating at first, until you “Get it”. It was designed by a friend of mine named Scott Nelson. It was the only level he designed for me.
PA: How was the development of Chuck’s Challenge different from the development of Chip’s Challenge?
CS: The development was extremely different.
On Chip’s Challenge, I was the only programmer, but I had a team of about 10 level designers and 10 testers to speed me through the process. All those engineers and testers had just finished the rest of the initial Lynx games set, and were available to help finish my game. After finishing the game code, my job consisted mostly of bug fixes, and being an editor, selecting and arranging the levels into a sequence I liked.
On Chuck’s Challenge, since I didn’t have the experience developing for the iPhone & Unity, we have a very talented development team to do all the heavy lifting. My job is to oversee the design to make sure the game has the same flavor as Chip’s. It

The Hunger Games: Girl on Fire

The Hunger Games: Girl on Fire | iPhone/iPod, Reviews, Action Games, Platformer

The Hunger Games is quite popular lately, so it seems like a great time to review the new iOS game, Hunger Games: Girl on Fire. First it was a book, then it was a movie, and now it’s what the publisher is calling a “teaser game.” Published by Lions Gate Films, Inc. and developed by the creator of Canabalt, it’s a simple game with lots of polish. The character runs forward constantly, and you swipe to jump and tap to shoot!
It’s no surprise that there’s a game now that The Hunger Games has become such a phenomenon. It started as a trilogy of teen novels that I thoroughly enjoyed. I don’t want to give too much away, but they’re about the Hunger Games – an event in which the government puts a group of kids into an arena, forcing them to fight to the death. More abstractly, the books are about social status, class wars, government’s role, control, independence, manipulation, and love. As movies usually do, The Hunger Games movie lost some of the character development of the novel and focussed on visual action scenes. The film also shows many great scenes not seen in the book and does a terrific job. How does the game hold up to the novels and film? Excellently.

Hatchi

Hatchi, iOS Pet | iPhone/iPod, Reviews, Simulation

Hatchi is a virtual pet game for the iOS created by Portable Pixels. It’s very much like a classic Tamagotchi. In fact, if you’ve ever used one, you’ll know exactly how to use Hatchi. It has very simple graphics and sound by intention to feel like the older virtual pets. You take care of your Hatchi, let it evolve over time, keep it satisfied, and then release it!

Just what I’ve been looking for!

JAZZ: Trump’s Journey

JAZZ: Trump’s Journey | iPhone/iPod, Reviews, Platformer

JAZZ: Trump’s Journey is a new platformer provided to me by BulkyPix and Egg Ball. When you think platformer, you think saving the princess, collecting coins, grabbing rings, and getting emeralds, right? In the future you’ll be thinking playing jazz trumpet. Trump’s Journey tells the story of Trump as he struggles to make it as a musician in 1920’s New Orleans. The game was inspired by the life of Louis Armstrong and is definitely a lot of fun.

ASH II: Shadows

ASH II: Shadows | iPhone/iPod, Reviews, RPG

After putting some time into SRRN Games’ RPG, ASH II: Shadows, provided to me by Konami, I can definitely say I’m impressed. ASH II has the classic RPG style and feel combined with rich graphics and 2D sprites. The game features some of the normal goals – find dungeons on the overworld, explore, talk to NPCs, and battle enemies. Its writing is it’s strongest part, but I’ll go into more detail on that later. I should note that ASH II: Shadows is the sequel to ASH, which I did not play. The game starts in medias res with players following what I assumed to be an antagonist. I might have known more about what was happening had I played the original, but the story was immediately engaging regardless. I didn’t have any problems. In fact, it makes me want to go back and play the original too!

Fun RPG, humorous dialogue, great dialogue system that allows you to go backwards if you missed a line… fun game!

Curio

Curio for iOS | iPhone/iPod, Reviews, Action/Horror, Platformer

When Brain Blast Games offered me a horror title, Curio, to review for the iPhone, I was intrigued. Horror? I don’t see that very often on the iOS. Then I tried it, and after less than a minute, I found myself mumbling, “what the heck?” Okay, it was a little more colorful than that. I think that question sums up the game, and I mean that in a good way! While I wouldn’t exactly say it’s scary in the sense that it would cause me to jump, it’s definitely horror-themed and creepy and would be sure to scare a younger audience. It’s odd, and more so, it’s unsettling. It’s a running title in which you go for a high score, and I like it!

Terra Noctis

Terra Noctis | iPhone/iPod, Reviews, Platformer

Terra Noctis is a charm-filled platformer that’s a wonderful addition to the iOS’s lineup of games. Provided to me by publisher BulkyPix and developer Fire Fruit Forge, it immediately won me over with its graphics and music and continued to impress me with its gameplay. I should come clean and say I have a bit of a bias; I love platformers. Of course, that also means that I’ve played a lot of them, so take that for what you will. While not without a few small faults, Terra Noctis is an amazing game.

Funny Hell

Funny Hell | iPhone/iPod, Reviews, Strategy

Recently Bulkypix provided me Funny Hell to review for all of you! It’s a light-hearted, simple strategy game featuring side-scrolling action. Your army marches right. The enemy army matches left. Where they meet, the armies clash! It’s simple to play with short levels and various types of goals. In addition, it’s definitely a different look at hell than normal!

WHOT! Free

WHOT! Free | iPhone/iPod, Reviews, Card games

WHOT! Free is a card game available for free by nKanika! I played it on the iOS, but it’s also available for Android and Facebook. Before I go into any details, let me tell you a little about the game. First, it’s fun, and I like it. (Uh oh, I gave away the ending of the review!) It’s only single-player for now, but multiplayer is coming soon according to the press release. It’s very fun yet simple and has multiple difficulties for those looking for more of a challenge.

THE aMAZEing Labyrinth

THE aMAZEing Labyrinth | iPhone/iPod, Reviews, Board

THE aMAZEing Labyrinth is a lot of fun. I just feel bad that I missed the original board game! With complete single-player and multiplayer modes, it offers a wide-variety of gameplay. Pass-and-play style multiplayer is rare and much appreciated as well! Not all of my friends have iPhones, and when they do, they rarely have the same games as me. With THE aMAZEing Labyrinth, this isn’t a problem. The game is $3.99 for the iPhone version and $5.99 for the HD, iPad version. I think it would be more appropriately priced lower, but board game fans shouldn’t let the price deter them. If you like board games, you should give it a try!

Girl with a Heart of

Girl with a Heart of | Reviews, Adventure

Girl with a Heart of (yes, that’s the whole title), provided to me by Bent Spoon Games, is a wonderful new game that I had the pleasure of playing recently. I played it on the iPhone, but it’s available for $2.99 on iOS and Android and for $5.99 on Mac and PC. It’s an interactive narrative telling a fantastic story. No one playing it will stumped. No one will find themselves thinking he or she isn’t good enough. The main character in the game must overcome challenges, but the player can simply experience the story. Despite a couple small, technical problems, it’s a great game!

Crazy Escape

Crazy Escape | Reviews, Action Games, Puzzle

Crazy Escape, provided to me by Bulkypix and KoolFing, is a fun new action and puzzle game for iOS. It’s also a path drawing game, although that honestly didn’t even enter my mind until I sat down to write this review. It features an odd story too; you control penguins driving an off-road vehicle. (Of course. What else would they drive?) Your goal is to drive around, rescuing sheep from wolves. Why are penguins even involved? Who cares!

SQUIDS

SQUIDS for iOS | iPhone/iPod, Reviews, Action/Adventure, RPG, Strategy

SQUIDS is a fun new game for iOS provided to me by The Game Bakers. It just hit the App Store (early!) last night and will be available on Android soon. SQUIDS is a colorful strategy game featuring cartoon-like graphics. When black slime enters the underwater kingdom and begins corrupting, a team of heroes must band together. Of course, these heroes are squids. What else would they be? Combining turn-based strategy, light RPG, and touchscreen controls, SQUIDS is a welcome addition to mobile gaming.

Shadowgun

Shadowgun | iPhone/iPod, Reviews, Action Games, Shooter, Third Person Shooter

When I read that Shadowgun for iOS was a console-quality game, I was skeptical. However, after Madfinger Games provided the game to me, I was very impressed. Shadowgun is a third-person shooter that looks to be inspired by Gears of War. It uses the Unity development platform, usually used in web-based applications. It looks stunning is an experience you wouldn’t expect to get from an iOS game! I entered expecting exaggerations yet was so impressed that I promptly ran to show my friends.

Off-Road Drive

Off-Road Drive | PC, PC Games, Reviews, Racing, Simulation, 1C-Avalon, 1C Company

After seeing Off-Road Drive two years in a row at 1C Company’s annual preview event, Another Night in Moscow, they finally provided me with a copy of the game. Even though I had already tried the game, I was very impressed. You’re not going to find a better off-road truck racing simulator than Off-Road Drive. With a wide variety of trucks and locations, lots of control over your vehicles, and even the ability to leave real ruts in the mud, this game is a blast.

Red Orchestra 2: Heroes of Stalingrad 2

Red Orchestra 2: Heroes of Stalingrad | PC, PC Games, Reviews, Action Games, First Person Shooter, Shooter, Tripwire Interactive, Tripwire Interactive

Recently I had the privilege to receive the deluxe edition of Red Orchestra 2: Heroes of Stalingrad from Tripwire Interactive. Running on the Unreal Engine 3, it’s a World War II first-person shooter focusing on a realistic take on the war. As the title suggests, Heroes of Stalingrad is centered around the Battle of Stalingrad, July 1942 through February 1943. You can play as either the Russians or the Germans in both single-player and multiplayer. While there is a single-player campaign, the game really shines in multiplayer where there is online stat tracking and the ability to rank up to be a Hero! Despite a few problems and a less than stellar single-player campaign, it’s a great multiplayer shooter and really scratched an itch I’ve been having for a World War II first-person shooter!

Burn It All

Burn it All for iOS | iPhone/iPod, Reviews, Action Games, Puzzle

Burn It All – Journey to the Sun is a new iOS game that’s bound to be a huge hit! After Bulkypix provided it to me last week, I’ve spent a lot of time playing and enjoying it. It’s currently $0.99 on the App Store, and it’s fantastic. I think we’ll see it on a lot of phones in the future! It’s fun, you can jump into and play it in one minute chunks, and you can sink a lot of time into it if you want. You can try to get through levels quickly or you can try to make perfect runs. It features a simple concept but builds on this concept throughout the game.

Really fantastic game!