Summarizing the year; I played some video games (phony gaming-edition)

As said in the previous post there were also a lot of gaming being done on my phone. I’ve already done a bunch of talk around android gaming under the title ‘Phony Gaming‘, but here are some of the games that I never got around to (purely out of laziness). There are five of them in total, and you’ve probably already heard of them and might have played them also. If you haven’t then you really should, let me tell you why.

Tiny Death Star is a version of the Tiny Tower game now placed within the Star Wars-universe. You build and manage the activities going on inside the Empire’s mighty Death Star. Just like in Tiny Tower you build different sorts of levels including apartment-levels for your inhabitants and also retail, food and others that your tiny inhabitants can get employed at and run. Your job is to tell your employees to restock their stores, then when their work is done you approve their work and sign them onto restock other stuff that might have gotten sold out. When you build an apartment level you get new people and have to put them to good use, choosing where they are best fit to work or if you might want to evict them for the possibility of getting someone with better stats.

tsdThere’s also an elevator in the Death Star that you control, visitors might want to visit a level and you have to transport them there for a small tip. There might also be a VIP-visitor coming and these have special abilities such as boosting sales at a level, and such.

All of this was part of the original Tiny Tower game as-well, but there are also some new stuff in the Death Star sequel. There are missions in the new game, the emperor himself will ask you to complete different tasks for him, e.g. build two service levels or capture two rebellion spies for me. These are tasks which you would probably complete even if he wouldn’t tell you to do them for you, but he’ll give you a little something-something for your trouble. There’s also the addition of the Imperial levels. These expand inward and is in the deep mysterious core of the moon-like space station and will create different items. These items are to be collected and given to sith-lord Darth Vader when he pleases. It’s just like the emperors missions, you are told to make two of these and three of those and then you’ll get a little reward for it.

It’s a free game with the option to put in some real-money to fasten the experience. You can also unlock known (or lesser known) characters from the Star Wars saga and have them visit your station, I presume, I never did put any money down so I can’t know for sure. But I’ve actually seen some characters such as Leia, Lando Calrissian and IG-88 assassin droid. If you’re a Star Wars fan possessing a smart phone you defiantly should download this free, cute little game and just embrace the toying around with the Star Wars-franchise.

Deer Hunter 2014 is pretty much what it sounds like. You are in the woods and have a target which you shoot. When the animal has been shot you get your reward along side a guitar riff and explosion and then it’s on to your next target. The game is fairly easy and doesn’t vary too much between levels, some of the missions want you to shoot multiple animals at the same time, some want you to kill the animal in a specific way, and some levels may include some extra animals so that you’ll have to double-check which one you are supposed to pierce a bullet through. The reward is money and you use it to buy better equipment so that you can kill more animals.dh

I do wish there were something more to the game because it gets really repetitive and boring after a little while. I don’t really know what more to add, I ain’t no designer of games, but something more than just the same old wild animals and a metal rod that goes boom would have been nice. The game is free so maybe if you want to check it out you can do so with ease and without any regret.

Ridiculous Fishing is a game were you play as an old man at sea. He sits in his little boat with his phone, it’s used to change areas to fish, look up what types of fish has been caught and upgrade his equipment. There’s also his dear fishing rod and a deep-sea underneath him full of fish to be caught. You tap the screen and the hook is thrown in to the water, now begins stage one out of three for catching fish in the game. I don’t want to spoil the gameplay too much because I think it’s part of the fun ridiculousness of the game initially.

rfThen as you catch more and more fish you gain access to different levels and better equipment to help you catch fish more effectively. There is a pokedex-like fish encyclopedia which you’d want to fill up with all the different fishes to get a 100% completion. In the beginning the game is a bit hard but after a while as you start gaining some money and upgrade your equipment you’ll soon find yourself speeding through the different areas and reaching the ending quite quickly. The ending, just as the gameplay, is quite surprising and entertaining in that it comes out of left field. It’s a fun little game that I definitely think is well worth your time.

Plants Vs. Zombies 2 is the sequel to the well-loved tower-defense game by Popcap, where zombies attacked your lawn from the right and you plant different plants to defend yourself. In the new game the fun and kooky neighbor character Crazy Dave eats a taco and takes you on a ride back in time for the opportunity to eat that same taco one more time. The story is more ridiculous than it is funny. Crazy Dave made some minor and lovely appearances in the first game, but now he’s with you all the way and it get tiresome. To take the comic-relief and shine the spotlight solely on him is a mistake many franchises makes, and so does Plants vs. Zombies.

The time travelling plot device let’s you visit (as the time of this post) three different worlds in which you fight zombies. The level layouts from the first game are all gone and you now have three different level layouts to fight through. A lot of the plants have been striped out of the game as well and a couple of new ones has been added.pz

Lastly, but certainly not least, this game has been made with micro-transactions in mind. You have the ability to buy plants, to buy costumes for your plants and to buy the in-game currency. There has been a lot of backlash against these decisions and the game recently got ane update, which I think tried to fix most of these issues people have been having. Previously the game contained keys which unlocked doors opening up new paths for you to collect new plants. These keys dropped in the levels on the main path and did so very rarely and you needed to spend a lot of time grinding the levels, OR buy keys using real money. I haven’t played through the game since this update and can’t say whether it’s better or worse now, but it seems to have gotten a bit shorter and less repetitive than before.

Rymdkapsel, which is a Swedish word and means ‘space capsule’, is a strategy game where you build a space station to try to fight off invading forces. You have different resources and different building that are used to harvest these resources. You build and collect resources with small characters you have on-board, these are also used to fight off the invaders using defensive buildings. It’s pretty simple, but what makes it unique is the look and gameplay that comes with that look. Each building is like a platform shaped like different Tetris-looking blocks. You have to build and choose how to place each building so that you can stretch out and reach the next source of resources with as little platforms and money used as possible.

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It’s a fairly short game and only have three missions for you to complete before the game is over. There is something of a high score system built-in so if you like perfecting your strategy and reaching higher scores it might be something for you. But I was baffled at the short length of the game. I felt as if I’d just begun and then I realized I’d won the game and done everything there was to do. I do think it’s a well-done and original game, and although it’s of a higher price than most games in the app stores it’s well worth your money. You get a handful of hours out of the game, but it won’t continue any further than that initial level. It’s still great, but the enjoyment I felt after getting over that hump was quickly destroyed by the sudden ending of the game.

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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 Reader’s Top 10

All the my ten most favorite games played on a phone posts has been posted on the site. Now is the time for you, site viewers, text readers, blog enthusiasts to vote for your favorite game on the list. Choose one of the ten I choose or vote for the miserious ‘other’. And always post thoughts and opinions, missing titles and note-worthy products in the comments below.

More Phony Gaming-posts will probably get published, though future posts will include games that either didn’t make the cut or weren’t considered to be in the top 10 list. I have some games I recently played and can write about and there are always new games or game-like apps coming to the smart device stores.

If you missed my previous Phony Gaming posts here is the top 10 list for a last time:

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

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.