Puzzle Your Way Through Art in Inklings

As someone who’s no expert on art, I can’t always appreciate a painting or drawing the way some people can. What I can recognize is how cool art-style backdrops would be as levels in a mobile game, which is why Inklings caught my eye.

Its creator, Applepine Games, describes Inklings as “a beautiful Lemmings-style puzzler featuring artsy hand drawn and painted levels.” The Inklings themselves are small round beings with glasses (maybe being too close to the art is having detrimental effects on their vision?) who need your help to get to the goal of each level, which appears to be a pretty literal hole in reality.

As you can see in the trailer below, guiding the Inklings through each hand-drawn or painted level takes some doing, thanks to the varied nature of the backgrounds and a host of interesting game mechanics.

The way the characters interact with their environment looks extremely engaging, as you can see the Inklings erasing parts of the paintings, shifting objects around, using portals and much more. Physics also appear to be variable, which, let’s face it, is kind of what you’d expect if you were sucked into a painting. Not that I’ve thought about that since Mary Poppins, mind you.

In any case, Inklings is on the way for both iOS and PC/Mac on October 6. It’s already got a Steam page to call its own and an official site, and since it’s a “pay one price” affair and not free-to-play, you may want to consider setting aside a few bucks for the App Store if this tickles your artistic fancy.

Pumped BMX 3 Review: Pumped Up

As a kid, I was too big a wimp to try BMX biking, despite watching a few friends pull off some cool tricks. A lack of dexterity in my body and some good old-fashioned cowardice got in the way for me. Luckily, I have some dexterity in my hands which means that games like Pumped BMX 3 are ideal for my wishful thinking.

The third and final instalment in the popular Pumped BMX series continues to build upon the success of earlier games. You’re tasked with over 720 challenges to work through, participating in various different arenas across 6 interesting environments. That’s a lot of content. It’s also admittedly content that not everyone is going to see. Pumped BMX 3 is pretty tough at times. It’s something that you can learn and improve at, but don’t expect it to be an easy ride.

Pumped BMX 3 Review: Pumped Up

Starting out, a tutorial guides you through the basics. A pump button helps you accelerate down the course, while spin has you spinning in midair. A joystick can be tilted in numerous different directions in order to pull off certain moves while you’re flying through the air. Oh, and tilting your iPhone affects how you lean on the bike. That’s quite a lot to take on board, but Pumped BMX 3 is reasonably good at easing you in.

The key to many levels is to be able to build up sufficient momentum in order to even get to the end. Oftentimes, you’ll have to replay stages to get a feel for a stage before knowing when and where to pull off a few tricks. Luckily hitting restart takes hardly any time at all. Juggling tricks and the many different ways in which you can achieve them is a real balancing act, but it’s satisfying when you manage it. The idea is very much a matter of “don’t run before you can walk.”

Pumped BMX 3 Review: Pumped Up

Where Pumped BMX 3 helps you out is through the Skill Challenges section. Upon selecting a level, you’re given a series of objectives. These relate to different medals. You can gain a bronze medal simply for completing a level, while a platinum might have you pulling off a series of cool tricks in a row. It’s an excellent system because it means that most ability levels will still be able to achieve a bare minimum medal. It also gives you the perfect reason to go back for more, trying to improve upon your earlier scores.

And that’s the beauty behind Pumped BMX 3. It’s tough but consistently rewarding. You find yourself going back for more, even if it might make you yell a few choice words along the way. For the personalization fan, there’s the option of picking out different bikes too, as well as changing up your rider. It’s a small but neat touch in a game that’s full of sensibly thought out ideas.

At times, the physics engine might seem a little dated. Certain moments have your rider stuck in the ground in a way that looks awkward rather than charmingly ragdoll-ish, but mostly, Pumped BMX 3 hits the spot every other time. Not everyone is going to manage to complete all 720 challenges, with some particularly fiendish, but the journey there is satisfying stuff. Even more so when completely free of in-app purchases. Pumped BMX 3 is an ideal premium purchase.

Wheel of Fortune Free Play Review: Not So Lucky

Wheel of Fortune Free Play is a game that’s simultaneously quite fun and utterly forgettable. Kind of like the TV show it’s based on. We’ve all enjoyed a few episodes of Wheel of Fortune here and there, but I can’t imagine anyone has thought “I can’t wait to see the next show!” The gaming equivalent is much the same. It’s fun, but you won’t exactly be rushing to return to it.

Wheel of Fortune Free Play attempts to throw some kind of structure into the core game by having you travel the world by completing different themes in various cities. Along the way there are upgrades to pick up too, helping to give you a sense of progression. Despite this attempt at turning Wheel of Fortune Free Play into a kind of story-led game though, the bulk of the experience is pretty much what you’d expect.

wheel of fortune free play review
You take your time spinning the wheel, picking out letters, and trying to solve the puzzle by guessing what the phrase is. It’s a format that’s familiar to anyone who has owned a TV set in the last 30+ years. There are different categories available, ensuring there’s a fair amount of diversity.

Where Wheel of Fortune Free Play falters is that some of the solutions can be a tad obscure. This is partly down to them sometimes being niche references, but also because they don’t always fit into the category hugely well. When pursuing something listed under ‘people’, you assume it’s going to be a famous person rather than a group of people that happen to be related to each other. But you’re just as likely to find “School Principal” as you are “Angelina Jolie.”

Despite this, Wheel of Fortune Free Play is still pretty fun once you learn its eccentricities. Each game only takes a few minutes and follows the format of the show closely. You take turns with other players, opting to spin for a consonant or pay for a vowel. Win a game and you get to partake in a bonus round which leads to additional bits and pieces that all tie into the many freemium style elements of the game.

wheel of fortune free play review

And yes, this is unfortunately a game that offers an energy system, meaning you won’t get to play for as long as you might like. It doesn’t even have the decency to restore your energy when you level up. This probably isn’t a game you’re going to want to play for hours on end anyway, but it is notable that Wheel of Fortune Free Play feels increasingly like it wants your money. As well as the energy system, you can buy hints for a price too.

On the plus side, there’s a goals/achievement system that encourages you to complete certain things before earning diamonds for doing so. Those diamonds can then be used to buy hints and other bonuses. In a way, it’s all filler content. After all, merely completing the word puzzles themselves is pretty satisfying, but the achievements system does help those keen for more of a structure.

Those puzzles could be sharper, and the free-to-play elements less intrusive, but Wheel of Fortune Free Play manages to capture the feel of the show fairly well. Will it stick around on your iPhone for a while to come? I think that’s actually down to a hidden away addition — the ability to create your own puzzles and share them with friends. Get some people involved, and that’s where things are most rewarding. Otherwise, alone, you might find Wheel of Fortune Free Play a little too samey in the long term. One day, you’ll run out of energy/tickets, and you’ll simply forget to go back.

Cybird Looks to Take BFB Champions to the Top of the League in Latest Update

It was only released earlier this month, but Cybird has wasted no time getting back in the studio to give its latest release – BFB Champions a monster upgrade.

The update sees the addition of brilliant new features such as new match scenes showing off the silky skills of Captain Tsubasa (the popular Japanese comic that inspired some of Europe’s top footballers to take up football) and a great new tutorial to aid your understanding of the game.

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But that’s not all you’ve got to look forward to. In the run up to the new update, Cybird has partnered with a whole host of YouTube’s footie enthusiasts and experts to launch a competition for the keepy-uppy whizzes among you – giving you the chance to prove your ball skills on the pitch.

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And the Japanese developers aren’t stopping there. With plans for future updates including major new functions like club unions, adding a bit of rivalry to the game, and a mentor  system – giving the experts a chance to benefit from coaching the newbies – we’re already excited about what the next update has to offer.

On top of all of that, with talks of adding more features like multiplayer tournaments, and time sensitive single player leagues – it’s looking like BFB Champions is going to keep getting bigger and better with every update.

BFB Champions is available as a free download from the App Store and Google Play.

This article is sponsored as part of Steel Media Preferred Partners.

RPG Creator is Exactly What it Sounds Like

I tend to never think that I can do things better than the pros. That’s especially true for games, since I know next to nothing about code. So when an app like RPG Creator comes along and says it can help me make my own RPGs right on my iPad, it immediately made me sit up and take notice.

Prior to this app, creating RPGs was something that was exclusively the domain of console and PC gamers. The burning question is obvious: Can you really make a full-featured game with zero additional knowledge or tools? The answer is yes, but not without some serious dedication and a willingness to experiment.

Part of the reason that’s the case is that RPG Creator does very little to ease you into the process. There’s no tutorial to speak of, and when you first fire up the app, you find yourself looking at a menu with some options and no instructions. What you want to do is tap ‘Open Project,’ which can start you on the road to becoming an amateur game designer.

The free version of the app permits you to work on three different projects at any one time, and it even lets you download a sample game if you wish, something that is extremely helpful. Starting a brand new game almost literally gives you a blank canvas on which to start.

RPG Creator

What can you do with that digital canvas? A whole lot, as it turns out. RPG Creator gives you all the tools you need to lay out maps, drop in locations and enemies, create triggers for events and dialogue, devise your own loot and much more. It’s very impressive to see all of this in one package, and while you can upgrade to a premium version that removes all the limits of the free version, you could easily lose yourself for hours in the creation process even with restrictions on the number of maps and levels.

It’s just a little tricky to figure out how all of it works. I made some headway by just fooling around on my own. There is a pretty complete help system built in, but it’s not easy to find. You need to tap the menu icon in the bottom-left corner of the main screen, then tap ‘System.’ You’re finally given ‘Help’ as an option, and from there you should be able to find the answers you seek. It’s kind of an RPG-style quest of its own.

Once you get the basics down, you can test out your game at any time, changing any parameters as you see fit. When I encountered bugs in my experiments, it was always something I did wrong as opposed to something funky within RPG Creator itself. There’s also a community aspect to the app, as you can visit the ‘Creator’s Web’ area to test out and rate other users’ games — and share your own if you’re so inclined.

Without ever having used RPG Maker or any other similar title for console or PC, I don’t have a frame of reference for RPG Creator. I will say it’s pretty much what it claims to be, and considering you can download it for free, it’s certainly worth trying if you fancy yourself able to crank out the next Final Fantasy.

Pumped BMX 3 Tips, Cheats and Strategies

Pumped BMX 3 is the third (and supposedly final) installment of Yeah Us!’s highly enjoyable Pumped BMX series. It’s a tricky but satisfying game that has you trying to nail various tricks while riding your bike across short courses.

Gamezebo’s Pumped BMX 3 Tips, Cheats and Strategies are here to give you some assistance as you get to grips with things.

The Basics

Pumped BMX 3 Tips, Cheats and Strategies

  • Replay the tutorial a few times to truly master things. It’s a fairly simple layout, meaning it’s the perfect place for you to master how things feel as you fly through the air.
  • Kind of like Tiny Wings, momentum is everything. Sometimes, you’re better off not nailing a small trick. Instead, using that time going over a ramp to build up some speed for a bigger leap.
  • Spins are one of the main moves available to you. Simply tapping the spin button has you performing a slow spin, while holding speeds things up massively. Adjust accordingly. If you’ve got a big gap to clear, you should be good to pull off a hefty spin. Only a small leap involved? Don’t overdo it!
  • Remember to release the pump button just after you’ve taken off. It’s not needed at this point, and you want to hit it again as you’re landing.
  • More importantly, if you keep holding pump while going through the air, it slows you down which isn’t a good idea when clearing a big jump.
  • Remember to keep an eye on each level objective. Ideally, you want to aim to complete a few of these over time. Knowing what move is expected of you helps a ton, although you can always have fun simply messing around.

More Advanced Tricks

Pumped BMX 3 Tips, Cheats and Strategies

  • Tweaking the joystick will activate various moves such as no hands or a tail whip. It’s good for building up some points quickly, especially when negotiating a small drop.
  • The more you play, the more you’ll realize that certain joystick moves work better with different jumps. No-hander is particularly good when dealing with a small drop, as your bike isn’t tilted at the time.
  • Tilting your iPhone can help with points too. Doing so will often invoke a flip or two, which can be great in conjunction with other moves.
  • Don’t go crazy with the leaning though. Go slowly. Pumped BMX 3 is twitchy and it’s easy to overdo a move, and have to restart.
  • In later stages, linking together tricks is a key way to get the best medals.
  • Also, don’t forget the T2 tricks. You can switch between easier tricks called T1 and higher scoring T2 tricks. They’re harder to control, but your points will fly through the roof if you nail them.
  • Whatever trick you’re pulling, make sure you land safely. Landing flat and even is vital otherwise you’ll screw up and fail the level. It is possible to finish off with a manual, but it’s a lot safer if both wheels are on the ground.

Know Your Tracks

Pumped BMX 3 Tips, Cheats and Strategies

  • Don’t be afraid to repeat a level over and over again. it’s the perfect way to master them, and gradually improve upon earlier scores.
  • Having said that, if you’re not enjoying it, Pumped BMX 3 opens up new levels pretty readily, so you can always go back and forth. Sometimes, a break can help.

Forest Legends: The Call of Love Review – Cat-Like Reflexes

Ages ago, humans lived alongside a magical species of cat-like folk known as the Felizes. Everything was all flowers and rainbows for awhile, but as you might have guessed, something eventually went wrong. A great war broke out, with humans driving the Felizes away and banning all forms of magic. But love conquers all, or so the saying goes, and despite the animosity between species, a woman falls in love with a Felize. It seems like things are just starting to get good when a group of hunters appears, guns raised, ready to rid the world of the werecat you love.

Forest Legends: The Call of Love is a casual adventure title created by the well-known Alawar Stargaze team. The game weaves a tense plot that centers around a forbidden romance, placing you in the heroine’s shoes as she rushes to save her beloved. The forest is filled with all kinds of strange creatures and enchanted beings, everything from a bug that beeps like a pager to a scarecrow tree that is guaranteed to give you nightmares. No matter what magical corner of the woods you’re poking through, however, Forest Legends is a gorgeous, easy to play game.

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Forest Legends does a nice job giving you room to explore, spreading things out over a handful of scenes instead of boxing you in place. Puzzle solutions often require items found half a dozen screens away, creating a collect-stash-experiment mentality that encourages you to stay on the move. Also, collectible items and clickable points of interest blend in well with the background. To find what you need, you have to click on just about everything. It’s a little unconventional, but oh-so-satisfying thanks to the game’s luscious visuals.

There are no standard hidden object scenes in Forest Legends. Instead, the game is stuffed with mini-games and puzzles that sit outside of the normal flow of the adventure. Each time you plug an item into something you’ll need to complete a mini-game. These diversions are easy to understand but difficult to solve, presenting familiar elements mixed in unique ways. For example, you might stumble across what looks like a traditional Towers of Hanoi swapping puzzle. The pieces move in the same manner, but to actually solve it, you have to make a logical leap to match tiles with pictures surrounding the board, not just swap them all in place. It makes perfect sense the moment you look at it, but getting it done still requires some work.

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Forest Legends: The Call of Love stumbles a little when it comes to story and voice acting. Both are a bit on the saccharine side, cheesy enough to make you roll your eyes but not so cringe worthy that you can’t keep playing. Certain audiences will eat up the forbidden romance angle, but for others it won’t be enough to hold their interest. Fortunately the game itself is a solid piece of puzzle solving entertainment.

Wheel of Fortune Free Play Tips, Cheats and Strategies

Wheel of Fortune Free Play is the iOS gaming equivalent of the TV show of the same name. It stays pretty faithful to what you’d expect from the show, having you spinning a wheel, before picking out letters in order to solve a puzzle. While a lot of it is fairly straightforward, there’s still plenty of opportunity to improve your game.

Gamezebo’s Wheel of Fortune Free Play Tips, Cheats and Strategies will provide you with some sound advice on how to get ahead.

The Basics

Wheel of Fortune Free Play Tips, Cheats and Strategies

  • Knowing which letters are more likely to turn up is an important part of the guesswork behind Wheel of Fortune Free Play. Don’t bother with tapping on the Z or X unless you’re confident that they feature in the hidden word.
  • One good strategy is to look for letters such as S, R, or T early on. Typically, at least one of those will show up. They also form a great basis for helping you decipher what else could be within the word. Letters such as N, H, D, L, and C are pretty common too.
  • Vowels must be purchased. Early on, it’s wise to buy one or two when you get the chance. That means you have a better chance of figuring things out. Be careful, though. Your opponents will often buy vowels too. When they reach a set number of letters found, the AI will solve the puzzle correctly. You don’t want this happening before you get there.
  • Hints are great, but again, use them sparingly. They cost diamonds and you only have so many available to you.
  • The best time to use hints is during the bonus rounds. This is because of how bonus rounds play out.
  • In a bonus round, you can only look for a few consonants and one vowel, meaning you’re out of options if you don’t have any hints left. It’s important to win a bonus round as you gain more for doing so. More importantly, your combo meter resets if you lose a bonus round, meaning the rewards aren’t so great. Remember this and take advantage of it!

Diamonds and goals are your friend

Wheel of Fortune Free Play Tips, Cheats and Strategies

  • Diamonds can be earned through levelling up, and also through the goals system.
  • Goals work like achievements or objectives in other games. They relate to completing various simple tasks while playing. Simply earning a winning streak will reward you with some diamonds. Also, buying vowels helps out too.
  • Goals can be both daily goals and lifetime goals. Obviously, focus on the daily goals as you only have so long to complete them!
  • At the end of each puzzle, you’re asked to vote on whether you liked it or not. Supposedly, it helps the game figure out the best puzzles to give to players. The real benefit is to do with goals, though. Frequently, voting a certain number of times is part of a daily goal. It’s a really easy one to get, so don’t forget it.
  • Don’t bother using diamonds to refresh your energy tickets. Just be patient. Diamonds aren’t easy to come by, and topping up your tickets is expensive business.
  • That goes for category changes too. Buying a change might seem wise, but it’s just an expensive waste. Stick with it. Most words make some kind of sense after a while.

Game of Dice Gets Another Exciting King of Fighter’s Inspired Update

September is the month that keeps on giving for fans of the successful mobile anime board-game, Game of Dice.

In case you’re not familiar with it, Game of Dice is a fun board game style app where you and your opponents take turns rolling a dice to move your characters around the board. The aim of the game is to land on and buy up all the real estate you can, as well as skilfully playing your cards and items, to bankrupt your foes and takeover the board.

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Earlier in the month, JoyCity (the South Korean developer behind the game) brought King of Fighters ’98 Ultimate Match into Game of Dice’s multi tiled world in a unique crossover – introducing two popular characters from the KoF series, Kyo Kusanagi and Iori Yagami.

Now the ladies of KoF are about to get in on the dice throwing action, with the inclusion of the hugely popular Mai Shiranui and Athena Asamiya in the games latest limited edition pack.

limited edition pack

You’ll even get a chance to win 1 million gold for drawing either Mai or Athena from the deck – and as part of a special event JoyCity is also giving you the opportunity to be one of 5 lucky winners that will receive a KOF XIV voucher code for the PS4.

A further 200 Users who purchase the pack will also have the chance to be rewarded with really handy special items as well as gold and luxury points, making this a deck definitely worth having. You can find more exact details on the event below:

  • Event Period: The 28th of September to the 6th of October 7:59 PDT
  • How to enter: Share this Facebook post and leave your Member Number
  • Event prize: 200 Gems for 50 entrants
  • Winner announcement and Prize distribution: 10/11 PDT (Date is subject to change)

Game of Dice can be downloaded for free from Google Play and the App Store.

Emojis Meet Pac-Man Meet Agar.io in Emoj.io

Even though their creators have spurned them, emojis continue to be on a pretty nice run here in the West. It stands to reason, then, that a game called emoj.io would have a pretty decent chance at success, especially if it takes advantage of another trend that’s been popular this year.

As you can see in the trailer below, emoj.io will do exactly that when it releases for iOS and Android on October 13 (and for PC via Steam a day later). It’s a multiplayer game where your emoji and others are together in the same maze, switching roles between hunter and prey along the way.

It’s impossible to miss the Pac-Man influence as well, since it appears you are only able to chase down other players once you consume power pellets — or whatever they’re called in emoj.io — and you’re eating gems the rest of the time. Take a look.

Easily dismissed? Maybe. But you could easily have said the same thing about agar.io and slither.io when they came out, and we all know how those two games blew up. In addition, emoj.io is the brainchild of Phil Hassey, the man who gave us the Galcon games, and thus someone who understands how to take a title with simple presentation and endow it with meaty multiplayer gameplay.

This is all our way of saying that even if you’re as over emojis as the Japanese, there’s a good chance many people (my daughter among them) are not, and emoj.io is a game worth keeping an eye on. The official website is live but doesn’t offer anything more than what we’ve already given you, so the only thing left to do now is check back at the App Store or Google Play next month.