On paper, Mush should be fantastic. You are a crewmember aboard a spaceship, and each other crewmember is also a player online. You're tasked with working together to keep the ship safe and stocked, while venturing out to surrounding planets to gather information, resources, and whatever else you can find. But here's the catch: there's an alien disease spreading throughout the ship, and you have no idea who has turned.A great idea indeed, and one that I was eager to jump straight into. Unfortunately the proof lies in the execution, and this isn't so well thought-out. Clumsy, slow-moving free-to-play action means that it's difficult to truly immerse yourself in the drama, and eventually you end up just bounding around the ship every so often, completing a couple of menial tasks here and there that aren't exactly what I'd describe as exciting or fun.The game starts off pleasingly enough. You choose a character, get plopped onto the ship, and are then shown the ropes, from keeping yourself fed to manning the turrets and taking down enemy ships. This is all told from an isometric viewpoint, with the various rooms on the ship separated up as to show what you can see at any one point.Mush is a semi-turn-based style affair. You're given action and movement points, and once these have run out, you then need to wait for the start of the next "cycle" - i.e. 3 hours of real time - before you can make another move. Hence, it's all about making the best of your actions, and preparing yourself for what you hope to achieve in the next round.
- It's becoming more and more difficult to write about Kairosoft games. The main issue is that they all sort of blur into one after a while - go and read any other Kairosoft review on Gamezebo, and you'll already have a great idea of how Kairosoft's new game Pocket Harvest works. Just replace the theme of the review with farming, and you're away.Kairosoft used to have a great thing going for it, with charming, easy-to-understand management sims that were as expansive as they were exciting. All these years later, and Kairosoft still has the very same thing - except that the excitement has well and truly dropped off. When you've played the exact same game over and over again, simply with a new skin each time, enjoyment levels really start to wane."Pocket Harvest is the worst example yet. You're presented with an isometric grid, on which you can play with fields, paths, and buildings. By planting crops in the fields, filling the houses with workers, and placing down all sorts of tourist attractions, your goal is to build up your cash reserves, buy the surrounding land, and become the most lucrative farm in the world.Everything here is the hallmark of a great Kairosoft game. You've got workers who potter around, planting seeds and digging up tomatoes, carrots, and the like; There's tourists who can't wait to buy a fruit juice and see the sights and smells your farm has to offer; And fun little animations that play along the bottom of the screen to show how a worker is progressing towards all forms of expansion.
- It feels a bit eerie to be passing judgment on a game that has been on this earth for more years (and is therefore wiser) than myself. Yet this is the situation I find myself in, reviewing a special 30-year anniversary addition of Spelunker, previously available for the Atari, the Commodore 64, and the NES.Everyday Spelunker is a mobile version of the classic pot-holing game, with new touchscreen controls and slight adjustments to the difficulty: the only elements out of place compared to the original release. It's a decent conversion, but unless you're feeling nostalgic and want to pick this up for the memories, this is very much an experience that feels out of place in today's video game world."Players take control of an explorer who is plumbing the depths of a colossal cave. There's a lovely treasure right at the bottom, but to get there is easier said than done, thanks to a variety of traps, pits, and enemies that threaten your existence. Everyday Spelunker is all about dodging around, grabbing treasure, picking up keys, and making it to the end.Everyday Spelunker is very difficult. Holes will open up without warning and swallow you whole. Platforms teeter and ledges loom, all in aid of bringing about your demise. Just the tiniest of slips can lead to death, and while I haven't counted the exact number of things that can kill you in this game, I'm going to go ahead and estimate it at around 1 billion.
- King Arthur's Gold is one of those strange indie titles that appears to be constantly in beta - i.e. not completely ready according to the developers, yet still available to purchase in its current state. The game was also in beta back when I played it more than two years ago as well, so it's anyone's guess when the "full release" will happen.Still, there's a lovely online multiplayer experience to be found in amongst all that treasure, especially if you can get a bunch of friends involved. It may be perhaps a little too "hardcore" for some players, but if you've enjoyed 2D sandbox-style games like Terraria and Junk Jack X, then King Arthur's Gold may well be up your street.You take control of a war-wager, part of a larger team that is looking to take out the opposing team by any means necessary and steal their flags. Everything provided is in a very medieval vein, from the classes you can select, to the machinery you can take control over. By working together with the rest of your team, it's possible to build up your castle's defenses, and then rain hell down on the opposition.The action takes place on a 2D Terraria-like plane, with each individual block in the world available for smashing up or building on top of. The Builder class is able to chop down trees and build grand-scale structures to keep the enemies out, while the Archers and Knights are tasked with keeping baddies at bay. It's all about balancing who takes what classes in your team of up to 16 bloodthirsty wretches.
- We've done endless runners, and endless jumpers, and endless shooters, and all sorts of other endless objectives in video games. How about a little bit of endless falling? Mega Dead Pixel tasks you with dropping off a computer monitor, and dodging around the various pixel shapes for as long as possible, pulling off tight maneuvers and collecting other dead pixels that have lost their way in this crazy world.There's something suspiciously compelling about Mega Dead Pixel. While the idea of falling around various pixelated shapes might not sound like such a heavenly idea, I found myself unable to pull away from it for hours. I just had to unlock that next pixelwall, and buy those new shapes, and beat those new missions, and enter that new world, and...That's essentially the entire pull of Mega Dead Pixel in a nutshell - there's just so much to unlock and play around with in this game. But it's also the playful twist on the regular endless runner genre that keeps the game fresh. See, you don't get points for getting as far as possible in this game; rather, it's all about pulling off near-misses and smashing through anything smaller than yourself.If you brush past any object as you fall, you'll gain points. Brush enough pixels and you'll turn into Mega Pixel and begin smashing through the level. Each time you smash into another shape, you'll gain some points and get slightly smaller. If you're the smallest you can get and you hit something, it's game over.
- This is the story of a man named Stanley. Stanley worked for a company in a big building where he was employee number 427. Employee number 427's job was simple - he sat at his desk in room 427, and he pushed buttons on a keyboard. Orders came to him through a monitor on his desk, telling him what buttons to push, how long to push them, and in what order. This is what employee number 427 did every day of every month of every year, and although others might have considered it soul-ripping, Stanley relished every moment that the orders came in, as though he had been made exactly for this job. And Stanley was happy.And then one day, something very peculiar happened. Something that would forever change Stanley. Something that he would never quite forget. He had been at his desk for nearly an hour, when he realized that not one single order had arrived on the monitor for him to follow. No one had showed up to give him instructions, call a meeting, or even say "hi." Never in all his years at the company had this happened - this complete isolation. Something was very clearly wrong. Shocked, frozen solid, Stanley found himself unable to move for the longest time. But as he came to his wits and regained his senses, he got up from his desk and stepped out of his office."All of his co-workers were gone. What could it mean? Stanley decided to go to the meeting room - perhaps he had simply missed a memo. When Stanley came to a set of two open doors, he entered the door on his left, the utterly perfect narration for his outlandish, sprawling tale working in unison with the first-person perspective to create one of the most charming, story-driven video games ever created.
- I once tried my hand at a bit of Origami. I had a double free period during school, and there just happened to be a big ol' book of Origami patterns lying on the library desk. Several sheets in, and I knew that it probably wasn't my forte. KAMI, a new iOS game about folding paper to change its color, definitely backs up my theory that paper folding and me aren't meant to be.KAMI is all about filling the screen with the same color in as few moves as possible. It's gorgeously styled and surprisingly complex, with plenty of rules and tactics available to get you through its 36 puzzles. It's not massively exciting as such, and you won't exactly spend days or hours afterwards thinking about it, but as a distraction for a bus ride or two, KAMI will keep you tapping.On each level you're provided with different colored paper that is overlapping all over the place. By tapping on the paper you can change its color, potentially causing it to merge with similar-colored paper around it. Using this method, you can tap-by-tap fill the entire screen with the same color. But there's a catch - you only have a specific number of taps you're allowed to make before you lose.KAMI's paper-folding animations and general look and feel are great. It's very easy to pick up and play, and resetting puzzles is as simple as a single tap. The way that the paper looks when folding out from your tap is really gorgeous, especially that final tap that expands all around the book. KAMI has managed to capture that feeling of paper-on-paper remarkably.
- My brain shouldn't be able to contemplate what Duet is throwing at me. There are white blocks zipping towards me, and not only do I have to dodge them once, but I'm being asked to dodge them twice simultaneously. Yet here I am, ducking and diving and rotating for my life, keeping those little balls of red and blue alive... well, for the most part anyway.I remember watching videos of Duet before I played it, and thinking that what I was witnessing just wasn't possible - these glowing heroes dancing around the incoming, unrelenting walls of doom with relative ease and vigor. Having now blasted my way through Duet, and despite having died many, many times over, I feel this incredible rush and excitement at knowing that my brain is capable of parsing these ridiculous situations at breakneck speed. Duet is a game all about challenging your eyes to stay focused, and managing to overcome adrenaline-filled adversity.Red and blue are two orbs, stuck to a circular track. They're forced to always be opposite each other, meaning that as one attempts to dodge around obstacles, the other must move around the circle to match their movements - potentially crashing head-first into a different obstacle. Duet asks you to keep both orbs alive, tossing and turning around obstacles in the most bizarre and seemingly impossible ways.