Always Win (2011) – iOS Game – Review

3 Stars

Always #Winning.

The name says it all, Always Win! Always Win is a prank app disguised as a simple card game. The game works like a standard version of the card game high or low, but with a unique and tricky twist. Two players face off and each is given a card, with a card labeled Tap Here placed in between. Clicking the center card will virtually turn over each players card at the same time. The player with the highest card wins, it’s that easy.

The catch, however, is that the Tap Here card can manipulate the outcome depending on where you press. For a fair game of high or low, you simply press the center of the Tap Here card and the cards are randomly generated. Controlling the outcome is just as simple. Tap the top part of the card and the card above will end up as the high card. Tap the bottom part of the card and the high card will be on the bottom. So as long as the owner of the app is the one doing the clicking, she or he can dictate whatever outcome they like.

Fruit Ninja: Puss in Boots (2011) – iOS Game – Review

3 Stars

Put the boot to fruit.

Fruit Ninja by Halfbrick Studios is one of the most popular App games of all time, with over 10 Million copies sold worldwide. Although, I enjoyed the original Fruit Ninja the first time I picked it up, the game quickly became just another application on my phone that I never revisited. Don’t get me wrong it was a fun game but it had just a little too much repetition for my taste.

After purchasing Fruit Ninja: Puss in Boots I was expecting more of the same old thing hidden beneath new packaging. Dreamworks’ Puss in Boots (2011) film is obviously the inspiration behind the title, and I suspected Halfbrick Studios was hoping to make a pretty penny based on the tie-in alone. Surprisingly, Puss in Boots is more than just a cheap remake of the original with a new title.

Fruit Ninja: Puss in Boots Gameplay Trailer

The game features two different modes: ‘Desperado’ and ‘Bandito’. ‘Desperado’ is your standard Fruit Ninja formula with a few new additions, like special magic beans from the film. ‘Bandito’ the new minigame mode, is a breath of fresh air that brings both new challenges and varied gameplay to the tired formula.

“Bandito” mode is broken down into four acts, with each act having four different challenges. The challenges are randomly selected each time you play, and each act has a random challenge marked by a “!”. Some challenges require aggressive slashing, while others require more finesse. Both types provide entertainment and the constant variety is enough to keep you wanting more. This is something the original Fruit Ninja sorely lacks. Plus, hearing Puss in Boots comment during key moments in the game adds some flavor to the experience.

Bottom Line: Fruit Ninja: Puss in Boots is a fun, time-wasting iOS game with more to offer than the original. With a price tag of only $0.99 for the iPhone and $1.99 for the HD iPad version, both new and old fans of the series should give this game a try.

Published by: Halfbrick Studios
Developed by: Halfbrick Studios
Platforms: iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch
Reviewed on: iPhone 4

Jaws Revenge (2011) – iOS Game – Review

3 1/2 Stars

Big fish, blood filled pond.

Jaws Revenge is an entertaining iOS (iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch) game with a small price tag. Based on the classic movie franchise, Jaws Revenge is the second Jaws based game released on the iOS platform. In a fun twist, rather than save people from Jaws like in the first iOS game. You instead control Jaws himself, directing the giant shark to devour any object in his path.

Like most games on the iTunes Store, Jaws Revenge relies on repetition but it also manages to do just enough to keep you engaged. With highly addictive gameplay and 30 levels to master, the game is deep enough to keep you playing for hours. Jaws Revenge is a nicely polished effort for only $0.99.

Transformers: Dark of the Moon (2011) – Video Game – Review

1 1/2 Stars

Like all video games based on movie franchises, I approached Transformers: Dark of the Moon with a bit of caution. Although last year’s Transformers: War for Cybertron was surprisingly well polished, this year’s effort falls short in several categories. The title suffers from bland level design and repetitive combat. Rather than relying on smooth design to move the player through the game, Transformers: DOTM chooses to send waves of enemies while you wait in virtually fenced-in arenas. After just a few minutes of playing I knew I was in for a long night. It’s not that Transformers: DOTM is horrible, it’s just that the game did absolutely nothing to impress me on any level.

LEGO Pirates of the Caribbean (2011) – Video Game – Review

3 Stars

LEGO Pirates of the Caribbean, the latest LEGO game based on the popular movie franchise, follows in the tradition of the pervious titles offering a fun and relaxing gameplay experience. The game covers all four of Disney’s Pirates of the Caribbean films including the recent Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides (2011). The beauty of the LEGO franchise lies in its ability to tell familiar tales in a unique fashion. The LEGO franchise uses no dialogue or subtitles to tell the stories. Instead, the game relies on the occasional storyboard and the actions of the characters to act out the plot in a childish yet entertaining manner.

Green Lantern: Rise of the Manhunters (2011) – Video Game – Review

2 1/2 Stars

Green Lantern: Rise of the Manhunters is well, actually better than I expected. That doesn’t say much of course. Anyone who plays videos games knows that blockbuster adaptations normally disappoint. Green Lantern: ROTM is better than most but still manages to fall short of any ‘wow’ factor.

The game takes place shortly after the power ring was acquired by Hal Jordan, however, any background on how he received his powers is mostly glossed over. As a player you are expected to already know the universe or at least be ready to jump into action almost immediately. Overall the plot offers little to the game. The cut scenes themselves lacked emotion and were pretty stale for the most part. It is nice that they brought in Ryan Reynolds for the voice acting, but hopefully he is more convincing in the movie than he is in the game. (more…)