Agent P DoofenDASH Review

Nov 18, 2013

3D endless runner-type games are a dime a dozen on the App Store, so it takes something extra and/or special—perhaps even “extra special,” if you will—to stand out from the rest. With the Phineas and Ferb license to use the exploits of Agent P (aka Perry the Platypus) versus Dr. Heinz Doofenshmirtz and all of the hijinks that entails, that might have been enough to do the job, at least for fans of the show (such as ourselves).

Unfortunately, Agent P DoofenDASH just comes up short overall by missing a few key fundamentals, and of course, exploiting the free-to-play model. The graphics are great, despite being 3D (translating characters from the 2D hand-drawn Phineas and Ferb cartoons into full 3D models always tends to be a hit-or-miss proposition, but this does it well), and the voices and tunes almost make it feel like you’re involved in another episode of the show. They even switch things up a bit by occasionally allowing you to switch over to a hang glider segment which operates much the same way as the running portions.

In our experience, the controls are simply a bit lacking. Swiping left and right moves Perry in the corresponding direction, while swiping up has him jump, and swiping down makes him roll. At least, that’s how it works in theory—too often, we found that we would swipe in a given direction, only to have Perry do something else, with the worst instance being swiping down to have him roll and instead seeing him jump right into the obstacle we were trying to avoid. As is often the case with these games, it only takes one small slip-up before you have to start all over, so there is no forgiveness here.

Incidentally, the tutorial is a little lacking as well. Granted, there’s not a whole lot to take in here, and fortunately, as noted, the glider portions operate much in the same way as the running. What the tutorial doesn’t cover, however, is cornering and whether or not turning is automatic. Turns out that it isn’t—back to the start, and rather quickly after just beginning the game, too. Not a great first impression.

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QuizUp Review

Nov 18, 2013

Our highly-connected society delivers three benefits: the endless pursuit of knowledge, the endless pursuit of adult materials, and the ability to demonstrate what we've learned through any number of online quiz games. QuizUp is a mobile trivia game that lets you show off your smarts across a large number of categories and sub-categories. There aren't any quiz categories dealing in the aforementioned adult materials, however. You'll need to look elsewhere to impress your friends in that department.

QuizUp is free, simple, and addictive. It's multiplayer only, so be prepared to enter a contest of wits against strangers. If you start to feel lonely, you can view your friends' scores by logging in with Facebook, Twitter, or Game Center. Once you create a game ID for yourself or log in via a social platform, you're turned loose to play. QuizUp keeps track of your favorite categories, but don't pigeonhole yourself. You'll never learn anything if you insist on staying within the safety of your expertise.

QuizUp

Easier said than done, since you're almost certain to find a topic or sub-topic suited to your tastes. Want to be quizzed on literature? Sure, QuizUp has that. But why not get more specific? Are you familiar with the nuances of children's books? What do you know about Harry Potter? The Hunger Games? How about Stephen King or Neil Gaiman? Do you have each passage of the Bible memorized? Can you recall, in great detail, every event that occurred in (shudder) the Twilight series?

Whatever you enjoy, you will almost certainly have the chance to school someone at it in QuizUp. Finally, all that retro Nintendo knowledge you have stored in your brain will go to use. And mother said you'd never amount to anything.

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Cut the Rope 2 gets its first teaser trailer

Nov 15, 2013

ZeptoLab has released the first teaser trailer for their upcoming game Cut the Rope 2, and it turns out the highly-anticipated mobile sequel now has an official subtitle. Newly christened Cut the Rope 2: Om Nom’s Unexpected Adventure, it looks like our little green alien pal may have gone missing somewhere along the way!

The brief 20-second video showcases Om Nom sailing through an open blue sky while attached to his titular rope, as dozens of those delicious-looking candies float on by. The video ends with the hashtag “OmNomIsMissing,” which seems to be our only real tangible clue thus far as to where ZeptoLab plans on taking us for this go around.

And while we’ve still yet to see anything regarding the actual gameplay of Cut the Rope 2 at this point, at least we should be finding out soon, as the game’s release is still scheduled for some time “this holiday season.”

So does anyone have any ideas as to why Om Nom might be missing, or just where the heck he’s gone off to for that matter? He does have a big sequel coming up after all, that slacker. Help us figure this one out in the replies!

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Free Games and Sales: Papa Sangre II, Trouserheart and more!

Nov 15, 2013

I’ll tell ya, my wallet has really been hurting this month after shelling out hundreds of dollars on the newest next-generation home gaming consoles, and so scooping up a ton of great games for mere pennies on the dollar is exactly what I need right now. I could also probably use some fresh air too, but who has the time to dillydally around outside when you have all of these free games and sales to look into?

You don’t need to spend $499 to get a whole swarm of awesomely discounted games like Papa Sangre II and Anodyne Mobile for your iPhone and iPad; you don’t need a $60 yearly subscription to scoop up all the latest and greatest games from the 10tons catalogue; and you certainly don’t need to spend $120 for a handful of launch games when you’ve got Gamezebo’s own iShooter Gamer Bundle for a mere $4.99!

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So which games are you picking up this weekend with the spare change that you have left after this month’s big next-gen console releases? Did we happen to miss any good deals that are still out there during our money-spending stupor? Let us know in the replies!

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Games Like Temple Run

Nov 15, 2013

It’s no secret that Temple Run has become a force to be reckoned with on the App Store today. Not only does it continuously hold a spot on the App Store Top 100 charts, but it also inspired a number of direct sequels and spin-off games, such as Temple Run: Oz and Temple Run 2. But even beyond that, Temple Run had a huge hand in crafting a brand new game genre that has since taken the mobile world by storm: the endless runner.

Now it’s pretty safe to assume that you’ve seen a game or two appear on the App Store that plays a bit like Temple Run, and for good reason: there are a lot of them these days. So we’ve decided to compile a list of some of our favorite mobile games that offer a gameplay experience that’s similar to Temple Run.

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Do you like our picks? Do you have a few good ones that we may have missed? Don’t be afraid to let us know of any other games like Temple Run down in the replies!

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This Week in China: Print is dead

Nov 15, 2013

There was a time right here in North America where the newsstands were lined with gaming magazines. EGM, GamePro, Nintendo Power; if you stuck Metroid on the cover, you were going to sell some copies. Over the last few years – much as we’ve seen with the print industry at large – gaming magazine have been dying off one by one. And if you thought this was a Western phenomenon, this week’s news from China will prove you wrong.

As always, we’d like to thank our friends at the Beijing-based gaming website Laohu.com for sharing the latest news to come out of China with Gamezebo’s readers. If you’re looking to get your Chinese news straight from the source, be sure to check them out!

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Meltdown Review

Nov 14, 2013

Meltdown is one of the most unique experiences I've had playing a mobile game. Like a confused college student, it has a few ideas on what it wants to be, but it gets lost in its own search for an identity. On paper, that identity is easily understandable. In practice, there are two experiences that are nearly identical. The single difference between the two is enough to shake the game's foundation.

Upon first glance, it'll seem like Meltdown is a lot like Bastion, which is a fair assumption. The birds-eye camera view and the 360-degree motion result in this game controlling much like Supergiant's indie hit. Your character carries two guns and a melee weapon. Each gun can be purchased and upgraded by spending coins and upgrade cards dropped by enemies.


Customization is one of Meltdown's strong points. Projectile weapons and your character all have individual skill trees. When a gun has been upgraded nine times—it's maximum—a new one will appear in the shop. Your character's skill tree is similar, but lacks the hard limit. You can choose to obtain skill boosts in damage, health, and weaponry. You can ultimately fill it out completely, so there's not much risk in selecting the wrong path. Regardless of skills and which two weapons you equip, you'll play the game the same way, only ammo types and meter regeneration changes.

Meltdown's level-based gameplay is the bulk of what the game offers. The default controls are annoying, at best. I found myself trying to adapt to the touch-heavy controls, only to become frustrated and quickly go digging in the options menu. Fortunately, there's an excellent control scheme that mimics a game pad. This setup lets you move with a virtual thumb stick and press virtual buttons for shooting, dashing, and using a melee strike. There's also controller support for those with a compatible pad.

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Neon Shadow Review

Nov 14, 2013

The AI is relentless. It is reprogramming itself to wrest control of the station, and it appears on my comms to enlighten me as to what my fate will be. It appears as a “he” and, though polite, he carefully informs me that I am a little more than a virus to him – a bug that must be eradicated. What follows is nothing short of soul-crushing monotony and a host of poorly conceived control and mechanics issues that leave Neon Shadow feeling bogged down and nearly unplayable.

The evil AI has been a staple of sci-fi within the world of entertainment since 2001: A Space Odyssey’s Hal was asked to open the pod bay doors. And yet, despite this well-worn material, the concept itself is rife with opportunity. Think to such classic gaming experiences as the Mother Brain of Chrono Trigger and you’ve got a recipe for multi-genre overlap. Unfortunately, any subject matter is only as good as its execution, and Neon Shadow is executed poorly.

Neon Shadow

Controls are of the virtual variety, an element that has certainly become common enough to be implemented well. The option to lock the virtual joystick to a static location is helpful enough, but the camera and shooting buttons rest right on top of one another: meaning you’ll either shoot when you wish to move, or vice-versa. Additionally, it is uncomfortable to switch between camera control and firing, and this often results in little choice beyond coming to a complete stop to survey your surroundings.

A learning curve is implied within the framework of today’s modern gaming experiences (especially mobile), but when enemies swarm from multiple directions and make movement impossible, all you can do is stand in one place, hope for the best, and curse your depleting health bar as you frantically try to locate that incoming fire, that ill-intentioned quad-copter, or what appears to be some sort of laser-mounted robotic vacuum cleaner.

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Eon Altar Preview

Nov 13, 2013

Eon Altar is one of those ideas that immediately makes you wonder why somebody didn't think of it ages ago. As most such ideas are, it is both ingenious and remarkably simple: a tabletop/video game RPG hybrid, played with smartphones that are linked to a central tablet serving as the “game board,” through which the story is told. The machines crunch the numbers, handle the character management, perform the virtual dice rolls and more, but the experience is more akin to an old-school pencil-and-paper RPG session – the best of both worlds.

Eon Altar supports face-to-face gaming in groups of two to five, with each player accessing the game through an iOS, Android, or Windows smartphone. Each phone in the group is connected via Wi-Fi to a tablet or PC which displays the game world, combat, and other cinematic aspects of the action, and also saves the progress of the campaign, which will unfold episodically over nine modular “adventures.” Each adventure contains enough content for at least three sessions, and will be released every four to six weeks after the game launches.

Eon Altar

“Once we are finished [with] our first story, over nine adventures, we'll evaluate and see where we want to take it – whether we'll continue the same characters in further adventures within Eon Altar itself as further campaigns in the same structure and engine, or if it'll be time to do an overhaul of the game itself and evolve it into an Eon Altar 2,” Edward J. Douglas, the Co-Founder and Creative Director of Vancouver-based Flying Helmet Games, said. “It will really depend on where the technology is at and how players enjoy using it. It moves so fast! Our world is large and we have a lot of story planned after this first campaign, lots of challenges ahead for these characters.”

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Juice Cubes Walkthrough

Nov 13, 2013

Juice Cubes is a puzzle game from Rovio Stars, wherein you will need to connect cubes to create explosive fruit bombs in a variety of themed worlds. You will need to make matches of three or more of a kind in order to create the bombs and take on the challenges ahead. Taking on the challenges presented can be difficult if you don’t have the knowledge to take them on, but with Gamezebo’s quick start guide you’ll have all of the tips, tricks, and walkthroughs you’ll need to stay ahead of the game.

Juice Cubes

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