Phony Gaming: Robot Unicorn Attack 2

rua2I’ve played a lot of Robot Unicorn Attack 2 over many small sessions. But I think I’m done with it now. There are many games in the Google Play Store that seem fun and interesting from the get go. Then overtime they seem shallow, get repetitive and flat. This is what has happened to me with both Robot Unicorn Attack and its sequel.

This Adult Swim game just screams silly with its name and game-world. You play as a robotic unicorn running through a 2D world full of floating platforms. The world is colorful and ridiculously fantastical. The background draws attention to itself with passing fantastical creatures, like different unicorn-versions of animals and polished ice-mountains. It’s the joke version of what a stoned person sees, or what the hippie has printed on his t-shirt. The games background is deep, wide and looks like a great-looking PC screen-saver, ironically selected of course.

The game-play is less fantastical, it’s a two button based endless-runner. One is jump and one is dash. You jump from platform to platform and try not to fall off or run into any obstacles. The other is used to dash through curtain types of objects, such as stars and laser shooting giants. As you run through the world you collect drops, that can be used to upgrade your unicorn to be able to specify speed or add the ability to jump mid-air. There are also circles to jump through that double your score, and faeries you collect. When you eventually earn your wings you will also get the ability to fly when the unicorn hits max speed. I don’t know with other player though I had a really hard time with the flying as the switch was made, one second I was in jumping mode and in the next I wouldn’t have the ability to jump but to slowly ascend into flight. I know I sound ungrateful complaining about the ability to soar above the earth, though I would always miss the indication that I’d hit max-speed and would think I was going to be able to jump though I would fly into the wall instead.

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Like many other similar games there are missions that you can try to accomplish either during one run or over time as you play your games. I think that other games that include them has succeeded a lot better by including them. I found that in this game they weren’t that fun to go after, they didn’t add anything new. There also didn’t seem to be a huge amount of different goals in the game and the same missions got repeated a bunch. This game also includes extra missions with its community and online battle system, they are the same as the ones included from the beginning.

Now let me dedicate this section to the new feature of online teams and battles. I’ve played two games recently that included similar systems were you are asked to choose between team red and team blue. As you and others in your team play the game you gather points for your team and if your team gets the highest amount of points you win. This seems like a fun competitive addition to a game though the mechanic is broken. The two games I played let you switch teams, for a small fee, and of course if one team seems to have double the points everyday you are going to transfer over to that team. If everyone notices this and does the same what is stopping one team to have 100% of all player on it winning 100% of the time? I just think it’s weird that both games seems to have included the mechanic though didn’t think further or just stopped caring about it when it so noticeably broken and unbalanced.

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You complete your missions, level-up and unlock new map skins and mechanical parts for your horned horse. In some games this would have had me going for a while. I know this game has gotten a lot of buzz. I don’t know if it’s just because of its title and aesthetics, but the game didn’t really click for me. It’s like a pretty paint-job and four really awesome shiny rims on a car with a shitty engine. It might look cool from a far but it ain’t gonna win any street races anytime soon.

Phony Gaming: Game Dev Story

1. Game Dev Story
2. Super Stickman Golf 2
3. Plants vs Zombies
4. Jetpack Joyride
5. Plague Inc
6. Anomaly: Warzone Earth
7. Kingdom Rush
8. Cut the Rope
9. Simpsons Tapped Out
10. Angry Birds

gdsKairosoft’s hit simulation mobile game shouldn’t be an unknown title to any video game fan with a smart phone. A game where you are in control of a video game development studio ready to take over the market. Filled with a lot of fun ways to create your own fun fantasy titles and a bunch of references to the industry. This is another addictive game defiantly worth the small number on its price tag.

The game starts up with a small company in a fresh little office space. To start things of you are given the power to name the company, be it something personal or a silly pun. From there the company needs a couple of employees. There are several different types of workers, as the game proceeds workers can get changed and evolve into other “classes”.
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Each project gets stripped down to four basic video game areas, fun, creativity, graphics and music. Your studio can either do contract work for other companies or make your own game. When you do a contract work you get a short lapse of time to produce a curtain amount of points in some of these video game areas. When you make your own video game the set amount of points in each area is limitless and at the end of production your game will get review scores based on how well you managed to produce your game.

As you start a new game you get to name it, choose the genre and what the production should look like, if it should be a fast money grab or a well-made title. You also get to control which console it should get released to, if you have their license. All this factors in as you play through the game.

This is a pure management game through and through, you are managing your economy, training your staff, all to make the best game of the year and beyond. There are a lot of things to check and stats to read, though it isn’t to hardcore that you have to fight the limit of your handheld device’s screen-size. It’s well-balanced between casual addictive gameplay and a well made economy, with the occasional joke to lighten the mood.

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To say that this is addictive is correct, it doesn’t stop it’s always gives you a fun stream of gameplay. It isn’t that it’s hard to put down as much as it makes you forget why you would ever want to. Game Dev Story is that kind of game that you play and get in a state of timelessness where the hours fly away. One of the negatives for the game is its end game, if you’ve played it for a long while you’ll get to a level where you’ve won the game though the game keeps going.

I want a more hardcore end game with more difficulty after all the time and care I’ve put into the game. Although I know that this isn’t the game that Kairosoft made. They made a love-able, casual game that gets you sucked in and invested. And I don’t know that it’s all that fair 085661to expect the game to diverge itself too much from what it was made to be.

Game Dev Story’s graphics look a bit blockey though this is one of Kairosoft’s trademarks. They make games that look like a remake of a game on Nintendo’s Gameboy Advance. It might look a bit cheap to some but they have kept to the style and really made it their style in a lot of ways. As you scroll through the various mobile stories their games will stand-out and have a curtain look.

This game seems to be made with care. From the world building with its different console releases and video game conferences to all the industry gags this is a game by people who loves video gaming culture for people who feel the same. That said, the well-made, addictive game itself should stand on its own as a fun experience even if you just get some of the jokes. It’s truly one of the best games on the phone gaming market to date.

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Phony Gaming: Super Stickman Golf 2

2. Super Stickman Golf 2
3. Plants vs Zombies
4. Jetpack Joyride
5. Plague Inc
6. Anomaly: Warzone Earth
7. Kingdom Rush
8. Cut the Rope
9. Simpsons Tapped Out
10. Angry Birds

Almost done with the list only the two games left. I struggled choosing between the two, but in the end I had to put Super Stickman Golf 2 on second place. Not a bad achievement, eight positions higher than smarthpone-gaming’s darling Angry Birds. My list might not have that much say in the grand scheme of things, but it’s something.

ssg2-1Out of all the tiny short bursts of joy and/or time-killing the Google Play store has to offer Super Stickman Golf 2 is in my opinion the best. Easy to learn gameplay distributed through short levels which can be finished quickly. A single player campaign for the beginners, achievements and unlockable hats for the completion and a multiplayer for the competitors. This is why Super Stickman Golf 2 is so high on my list of the ten best games I’ve played on my Android phone.

Super Stickman Golf 2 is a golf game played from a 2D side-view. The course is sliced in half like something out of a biology exhibit. The levels start of pretty basic with a grass field with different hills and valleys, but will get less banal and break the rules of reality and physics as parts of the course start to float unhindered in mid-air. Making it more fun to play and harder for you to get under par on each hole. Playing as a stickman-figure you control the characters aim and power of its shot. Later on you also get some abilities such as balls being able to stick to surfaces, freezing water or magnetic balls. You use these carefully to strategies how to get the best out of each shot and break the best score.

The gameplay is as easy to grasp as the visuals of this game seems to have been to make. After a few courses you get the hang of it and even though the levels introduces some new gameplay elements over time (as games do) the simplicity of the aim and power-gameplay never leaves you clueless.

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This game shines in multiplayer, being able to take turns trying to out do the other one hole at a time is so incredibly satisfying. No matter how good your opponent is. It’s one of those games where you can get your ass-kicked by a player yet learn from the way the played. Seeing each hit in replay before your turn and memorizing which short-cuts and abilities they used to get down the hole one stroke under you. Each game will give your secrets to the opponent and by each game both of you will learn new ways to play through the course.

Taking turns playing each hole works great as it will only take you a short amount of time to get through it, being perfect for when you just have a few minutes to spare. Of course besides the occasional game on the toilet I’ve filled up my list of games and played through multiple games at the same time.

There is also another type of multiplayer game where you challenge player over a local wifi-network. In the race mode your goal isn’t to get through a course with the least amount of hits but getting down the hole first. This game is played in real-time with both players on the course at the same time hitting the ball as fast as possible. It’s chaotic, fast and tense as you fight to be in the lead. I haven’t been playing this game all that much as it came a little late to the Android version of the game. But it’s a fun experience which turns the vanilla gameplay on its head.

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The noodlecake game Super Stickman Golf 2 is available for all phone devices and should really be played and enjoyed. It really is one of the best games that the phone gaming market has to offer.

Phony Gaming: Plants vs Zombies

3. Plants vs Zombies
4. Jetpack Joyride
5. Plague Inc
6. Anomaly: Warzone Earth
7. Kingdom Rush
8. Cut the Rope
9. Simpsons Tapped Out
10. Angry Birds

Plants vs Zombies Android LogoI spent way, WAY too much time playing Plants vs Zombies on PC. It’s the game that I’ve played the most out of all the games in my Steam catalog, granted I don’t play much PC games because I haven’t had a gaming dedicated machine since 2006 or so. But never the less this little casual, easy to play, simplistic tower defense has so much humor and is so fun to play that I shouldn’t feel bad for the hundreds of hours I spent playing it. but i do It made my third place of my favorite Android games, and it might even have gotten a spot higher up if I hadn’t played it so much on PC before the Android version.

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This tower defense game takes place in your backyard. Zombies are attacking and trying to get into your house and you have to place plants on your lawn to protect yourself. You start out with a pea-shooting plant which attacks zombies with its range attack. After every completed level you get another plant and get to choose before each level which arsenal of plants you want to play the level with. The economy of the game is sunshine, this drops from the sky and you pick it up and spend it building a stronger defense. It can also be produced using sunflowers.

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So the game screen is fixed on your lawn. The lawn is a 5×9 grid, where you can plant flowers on each one of the squares, and the zombies come attacking only on one of the five horizontal grid lines. It’s very simple to understand when you start playing it, and it freaks me out a bit because I need my lawn to have a perfect symmetry as I finish each level.

The game is made up of different chapters containing nine levels. As you play through the game new enemies are introduced and new plants collected. Each chapter have their normal standard tower defense games but it also throws in some mini-games for example the bowling mini-game. They are fun and a nice pause from the main game. And each chapter ends with a special level as well, where the rules and standard game-play gets changed slightly.

Besides its wonderful gameplay the game also has some really corny yet funny humor. Everything from the over-all concept to your neighbor CRAAaaaAaZY Dave and the different types of zombies you face. The different names and encyclopedia entries for each enemy and plants. This game is full of love and so much detail its hard not to see how much fun the developers must have had making this game.

The game is out for pretty much everything, I count fourteen different platforms on their wikipedia page. Popcap are working on a sequel to the game, ‘Plants vs. Zombies 2: It’s About Time’ which is due out any day now. I don’t know if I should be excited or worried, mixed feelings.

GREAT GAME!

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Phony Gaming: Jetpack Joyride

4. Jetpack Joyride
5. Plague Inc
6. Anomaly: Warzone Earth
7. Kingdom Rush
8. Cut the Rope
9. Simpsons Tapped Out
10. Angry Birds

JetpackJoyride_Icon-290x290Much like Tower Run or Robot Unicorn Attack, Halfbrick Studios’ Jetpack Joyride is an endless side-scrolling runner. Your character is on an ever more accelerating course to the right and you control his jetpack lifting him up from the ground, or descending towards it. Along the way there are coins, and bonuses to pick up and goals to achieve. Its thrilling, fun with a bucket full of ridiculous.

It all starts of with the running thief Barry stealing a machine-gun jetpack from a science lab going on a last joyride through the huge lab. On the way defenses try to bring him down with high-amounts of incoming missiles and flesh slicing lasers. You control Barry with your finger touching the screen to activate the jetpack, bringing Barry higher up and lifting your finger from the screen to let him fall to the floor. The farther into the lab Barry runs the faster he’ll get and harder to control. 2013-07-25 09.50.10 Through-out the lab there are vehicles, coins, and tokens for you to collect. You get the vehicles by grabbing an randomizing vehicle cube, this gives you any one of the six available vehicles. Each control differently from one an other and are a great way to ride through the levels. When they break Barry walks away unscathed and returns unaffected to his jetpack. The coins can be used to upgrade Barry’s equipment or customize him with new jetpacks and cloths. The tokens you use during the final spin. At the end of each game after Barry’s been struck down a coin slot machine comes on-screen, betting the tokens you collected during the game you can win prizes such as a new health, bombs blasting you further down the track or more coins. You also have missions during each game to complete. These range from flying really close to deadly objects, sliding your head against the floor for a set amount of time or not harming any of the scientists in the lab. As you complete these you rank up your level which gives you new gadgets to aid you in the game. Barry’s gadget range from his gravity belt, to his coin magnet and pet robot dog Flash. They give some variety to each game and helps you beat your high-score getting longer runs. 1 I love this game so much, the first time through was just full of surprises and a lot of other weird stuff. EACH GAME ENDS WITH A SLOT-MACHINE! But what ultimately made me play this for a total of 24.5 gameplay hours (1381 different games) are the missions and the level-system and the unlockable achievements. They’ve struck a great balance between difficulty, time commitment and reward in their missions and achievements. 2013-07-25 08.27.03 I played this game over and over, each time getting more stars and a few new levels and then I hit a wall where I wanted to stop playing the game. That’s probably when I started playing it the most, going to it again and again with the goal of unlocking everything in it so that I would be free of its addictive hold. Since I got all the achievements in the game, all the cloths and different jetpacks I could finally put it down. This may say more about me than the game, though it takes a curtain kind of game to wake that urge in me. The urge to get a 100% all the way through. Also, I opened the game for the first time since then to check some wording and stats and saw that they’d added some new stuff. It’s not a lot though I will have to win it.

Phony Gaming: Plague Inc

5. Plague Inc
6. Anomaly: Warzone Earth
7. Kingdom Rush
8. Cut the Rope
9. Simpsons Tapped Out
10. Angry Birds

plague_incThe ridiculously enjoyable and satisfying game where your goal is to wipe out the entire human race. Its theme of biological warfare, dark humor and excellent point-system really works great together to create one of the more successful games on the phone gaming marketplace.

Your game starts of with a choice between what kind of disease you would like to control throughout the game, each game lasts between twenty and thirty minutes. You may choose between bacteria, viruses or fungus. These are unlocked as you complete the previous one by killing every last human. Each have their own strength and weaknesses and must be played accordingly.

Afterwards you get to name your disease, which is brilliant, Atheism or Your mom are two popular choices when I play. Then you click where on the world map you’d like Atheism to spread out of. This is your game view, you can see your bacteria spread through the world as a red color creeping over the world map. There is news rolling by on the screen with funny remarks and useful information. A time and date, which starts from your real-life date. You can also see your DNA-points which are earned as you infect and kill people. Adjusting your disease is done through three different skill trees, transmission, symptom and abilities. In transmissions you place points on how your disease should spread, through rodents or water supplies. Symptoms are after researched later in the game and have to be well-balanced between how lethal it makes the disease as well as how easily detected it is. Abilities differ between the different types, bacteria have better resistance against climate for example.

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Then you keep spending your DNA-points and invest them into the different skill trees so that you eventually kill everyone and win the game. It’s a fun game were you need to strategies your every move and hold back on the urge to kill everyone right away. Having a too lethal disease will result in higher priority for scientists to get an antidote ready and distributed. They will also start closing up their borders restricting access to their airports and harbors. To have infected everyone put the people living in island is a common mistake. Or worse you may kill each host before they have a chance to infect others, it happens.

A while ago I traveled outside of the country to work at a new job and lived, worked and spent my free time with strangers, and this was the game we sat around in the dinning room playing. Each with a phone of their own in-front of them making up fun names for their disease. And when someone had infected the whole planet and were ready to spend their points in the symptoms tree we would pause our games and watch as the kill-count raced up.

There is something so terrifyingly exciting about watching as the kill count jumps by millions of death per day and the all the red lights on the world map turning to a colorless dark gray. Then get a congratulation sign for accomplishing your goal to kill everyone.

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Plague Inc came out for iOS and Android devices in October last year. Since then they’ve added some extra types of diseases and gaming modes. I haven’t tried them yet, but if it’s just more of the same game I probably should try them out. There’s a free limited version for you to try, and the full version you’ll have to unlock for a small fee.

Phony Gaming: Anomaly

6. Anomaly: Warzone Earth
7. Kingdom Rush
8. Cut the Rope
9. Simpsons Tapped Out
10. Angry Birds

anomalyThe last game before this feature goes into my top five favorite gaming experiences I’ve had on my Android-device is, Anomaly. It’s the first game I played when I first got my Galaxy S3 and it’s still on of the better looking games I’ve played on it.

I talked a lot about the tower defense gaming-genre in Monday’s Phony Gaming post for Kingdom Rush, and Anomaly has many times been described, accurately, as a reverse tower defense game. In the game you are a commander and oversee a convoy of vehicles moving through an urban dessert war-zone. This convoy must move through an area protected by enemy towers. Your goal is to manage the route of the convoy, buy or upgrade the vehicles and order repairs, smoke screens or other limited commands.

The game plays from a top down view and each level starts up on the navigation-menu. From there you choose the way which your troops shall pass through the hostile area. The game is paused when ever you go into this view and you can take your time and strategies and find the way which results in the lest amount of damage on your vehicles. You can go to the navigational view all through out the level and tweak your route when you need to. When you leave this menu the convoy starts to move, following your demands and automatically firing upon the enemy towers. The towers will go down after a while and this will sometimes get you new commands as a reward. When your troops get low on health or need some extra help you choose which command to issue and choose where on the screen to place it. These commands are limited and to survive a level you need to manage your resources well.

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Playing this game you never feel overpowered. There are a lot of towers and to find the perfect route and smartly (or cowardly) pass between them feels tense. As your troops are progressing through the streets you sometimes find yourself staring at a tower just to see if your convoy will pass through outside of its field of view or not.

All the commands are so precious and helpful yet easily consumed. To choose whether to repair your troops now or see if they’ll make it through another bullet storm alive might be what stands between you and a well accomplished mission. Also to line up the right type of enemy according to what commands you’ve got left to issue.

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Lastly I just want to say that I think this game looks great. It’s one of the more pricey games on the Google Play store, yet it looks really good. This isn’t your cute animated animal to fill up the shoes of otherwise mediocre graphics, not that there’s anything wrong with that. Of course I don’t know if the game might bring with it any performance issues on other devices, the only thing I can tell you is that it runs great on my Galaxy S3. The game is also available on PC and to both Xbox 360 and PlayStation.

There was also a sequel, Anomaly: Korea which I’ve got installed on my phone but haven’t played yet, as well as the unreleased Anomaly 2.

Next week well be getting into the top five, aren’t you excited. If not why not leave a comment and tell me whats wrong.