ibb & obb is a quirky platformer for the PS3 continuing the recent rise in popularity of the genre. It attempts to combine both puzzle solving and twitch platforming, all wrapped up in an enjoyable co-op experience. The premise is a simple one: you take control of the titular characters, either by controlling both if playing alone or having a friend tag along, and you make your way through to the end of the stage, all while employing a unique gimmick: you can either traverse above or below the stage floor. But while initially charming, how does the experience fare after extended play? Read the rest of this entry »
These past few years have seen a heavy influx of puzzle games, and many of them have stood out. With such a plethora of them, it’s hard to create one that is unique, but Might and Delight have accomplished exactly that with their Puzzle/Platformer, Pid. While inconsistent in parts, Pid holds up its end of the bargain for the most part, delivering a riveting experience full of inventive brainteasers all wrapped up in vibrant aesthetic.
Pid puts you in the shoes of a little boy named Kurt, who finds himself stranded on a strange planet after an even stranger bus ride. Although the planet seems to be inhabited by friendly, yet unique characters, all Kurt wants to do is find his way back home. Here’s where you come in. Early in the game, Kurt comes across an orb that allows him to manipulate gravity. This, coupled with several other items you encounter and use over the course of the game, will allow you to make your way through the various puzzles.
Big Ant Studios and Halfbrick Studios bring another mobile transplant to the PS Vita, PSP and PS3 with the immensely popular, Jetpack Joyride. Developed by Halfbrick for Facebook it roared across Android and Apple devices and eventually to Sony’s portable and home consoles. BeatShapers released a pay version of the game in Fall of 2012 and Big Ant Studios brought us a new, free version in December of 2012.
The game at its core is a simple running game; guide Barry the gramophone (see also really old record player) sales man through a top secret laboratory with the aid of a machine-gun jetpack. That is to say, a jetpack which propels you with the shear force of belching out a stream of bullets. While the only control you have is move up and drop down by touching the screen and releasing, the game provides some enjoyable challenges and lessons in pattern recognition. Various power-ups, vehicles and cosmetic items can be utilized to enhance gameplay as well as a cash shop to purchase in-game currency via the PlayStation Network.
Sine Mora was developed by Digital Reality and Grasshopper Manufacture. The game was released on March 21st for XBLA, November 9th for PC and November 20th for PS3 and PS Vita for $9.99. A review copy for the PS Vita was provided for review purposes.
There’s several levels of bullet hell that live within Sine Mora. Unlike Dante’s Inferno, there is no guide to help you through the lower depths. Being on your own you will find out quickly that you may need practice if you are to survive, being both a blessing and curse. This seems to be exactly what co-developers Digital Reality and Grasshopper Manufacture wanted. The developers bring back the classic shooter in all of its glory and frustration. The legacy of Digital Reality dates back to 1994 when the Hungarian based group designed their first title, REUNION for the Amiga and PC. Grasshopper Manufacture is home to the infamous Goichi Suda otherwise known as Suda 51. Suda 51 is known for such popular titles as Killer7, No More Heroes and Shadows of the Damned.
With a decidedly adult story, Sine Mora touts a mature rating due to the gravity of the story (a reference to the rape of one of the characters) and occasional profanity. Though it is easy to click through or fast forward past the dialog and cinematics, the weight of the world created by Digital Reality/Grasshopper Manufacture creeps through. Beyond the storyline, the game offers an arcade version of itself that gives you limited continues (three to be exact) without cutscenes. Score Attack mode allows replay of previously unlocked stages, without progression to the next stage. The Boss Attack mode pits you against any bosses you have previously encountered. Be wary of games that offer a practice mode, punishment is around the corner. For the PS Vita, there is also a GPS Gallery that collects location data that “uses the location acquisition service to track the distance traveled with the game and unlock concept art images at certain distances.” What that means is: you unlock concept art by traveling with the game, the GPS syncs and tallies “distance traveled.”
Warlords was developed and published by Atari. It was released on October 10, 2012 for $9.99. A copy of the game was provided for review purposes.
Have you ever had the opportunity to pick up a controller and play the game Pong? Think of this as a more crazed version of it [Pong], rolled in with a bit of Space Invaders. Then instead of trying to keep track of one player passing a ball back and forth, you have to keep track of three players firing five balls your way. Atari is a pioneer when it comes to arcade games. With its fun atmosphere and very fast-paced method of controls, playing Warlords can make you feel as if you are a kid again, hunched over an arcade cabinet trying to keep up with all that is transpiring on the screen.
Silent Hill: Book of Memories was developed by WayForward Technologies and published by Konami. It was released for the PS Vita for $39.99 on October 16, 2012. A copy of the game was provided for review purposes.
The revival of the action-rpg (ARPG) has been welcomed with open arms. Diablo 3 and Torchlight 2 have re-invigorated gaming fandom’s thirst for hacking, slashing and looting. Silent Hill: Book of Memories is an odd entry into this genre. While the game at its core is an ARPG, Silent Hill: Book of Memories is still heavily soaked in Silent Hill lore, though without the suspense and methodical build of dread and anxiety. Silent Hill is known for surreal psychological survival horror flavored with a mix of disturbing imagery and sound. Book of Memories makes many attempts at this while delving into an unlikely game style.
Fans of the series have been critical of Book of Memories since it was announced. Is this still a Silent Hill game though it lacks the adventuring aspect? Looking beyond the Silent Hill branding, what is left? Though it is not without value, Book of Memories is at its best an adequate action game with some grievous errors in execution of gameplay and basic concept. It relies too heavily upon it’s namesake and catalog of wretched enemies.
BreakQuest: Extra Evolution was developed and published by Beatshapers and licensed by Nurium Games. It was released for the PS3, PSP and PS Vita for $3.99 on October 16, 2012. A copy of the game was provided for review purposes.
Beatshapers brings us a sequel to Nurium Games’ break-out homage BreakQuest. Beatshapers previously ported the original game as a PlayStation Mini in 2010. The success of BreakQuest spurred the inspiration for a sequel a year later. BreakQuest: Extra Evolution was developed by incorporating the spirit of the original game with a new vision.
At its core, BreakQuest: Extra Evolution is a breakout game; break the bricks by bouncing the ball off the shuttle. There are 100 levels, ten bosses, a slew of power-ups and variant shuttles to fling your projectile about the board. Players can also control the ball through the use of energy shields and the Gravitor, which allows for a bit of thrust to change trajectory.
Worms Revolution was developed and published by Team 17 Software. It was released on October 10, 2012 for $14.99 or your regional equivalent. A copy of the game was provided for review purposes.
The Worms franchise has been around for a long time, almost two decades. If you haven’t heard of it by now, you should probably put down the PS3 controller, hop online, and do some research about the PC games of yesteryear. Somehow, developers Team 17 have found a way to keep players coming back for more. Maybe it is the insane gameplay of the Worms games, or maybe it is just the fact that the feisty little worms are so darn cute. I’m not really sure. But, Team17 set itself a high bar with Worms Revolution by promising to bring the quintessential classic Worms experience into the 21st Century. Did they succeed?
Red Johnson Chronicles: One Against All was developed and published by Lexis Numerique. It was released on September 12, 2012 for $9.99. A copy of the game was provided for review purposes.
Point-and-click adventure games seem to be making a comeback, especially in these last few years. We’ve had TellTale knock it out of the park with Back to the Future, and with the incredibly successful The Walking Dead more recently.
Now we have Lexis Numerique’s Red Johnson Chronicles: One Against All, a point-and-click adventure game with a high focus on puzzles and presentation, sequel to Red Johnson Chronicles. Even though this is a sequel, there is nothing for new players to worry about. The story of the last game is quickly told in a cutscene as soon as you start the game, making the story in One Against All stands all on its own. But what is this game all about? In it, you take control of the titular Red Johnson, who is on the run from the various gangs in his town of Metropolis after his exploits in the last game. Red is a detective, and what’s at first a simple game of cat and mouse, turns into a full fledged investigation once he finds out his brother, Brown, is missing. Will he be able to save himself and his brother, or will he fail in the attempt? Read the rest of this entry »
Arkedo Series was developed by Arkedo Studio and published by Sanuk Games. It was released on October 16, 2012 for $5.99. A copy of the game was provided for review purposes.
The Arkedo Series, an anthology of games by Arkedo Studio, is a throwback to times long past. When games were more about the intense challenge that came through hard and sometimes frustrating game design than they were about technical breakthroughs. A time when games didn’t hold the player’s hand as much and respected them as a player.
The download comes with three of the games previously released on the PlayStation Network, including JUMP!, a collect-a-thon game where the player must grab bombs and escape before time runs out. SWAP!, a puzzle game where the player must match four or more blocks of the same color in a row by swapping them around. Last, but not least, PIXEL!, an action-adventure style platformer where the player takes control of a cat and navigates through treacherous worlds.