Tag Archives: Reviews

Pocket City review – Everything you’d want plus more

Pocket City

If you’re going to make a city building game, you need to do something special to stand out. Pocket City has a unique focus when compared to games in the same genre, it cares about your experience. There are no IAPs, no advertisements nothing to stop you from sitting down and enjoying the game, which is a breath of fresh air.

I have avoided these types of games on the App Store for one reason, it always felt like gameplay was the secondary focus. The primary focus of city builders was to annoy you into purchasing something you didn’t need. Whether it was annoying ads, wait times or a level cap that could only be broken by additional purchases, city builders just felt charmless. Pocket City avoids all these problems by allowing gameplay to unlock content. There is only one currency to keep track of, and you can’t buy more of it. The only way to earn more virtual money is to well, earn it.

Pocket City

Now that I’ve got the IAP stuff off my chest, I can focus more on how the game plays. Pocket City adds more than enough content to keep you entertained for hours. Start off career mode by building your city. At this point, you have unlocked nothing special so your focus is to please the bars in the top right corner. The bars are colour coded to show what areas your city needs more than others. Green represents residential areas, where are your civilians going to live? Blue shows commercial areas, where are you townsfolk going to spend their money? Orange represents the industrial area, how will your people spend money if they have nowhere to work.

Pocket City

So, you start the game following the instructions of the bars, but that’s not all there is to do. Your focus can now shift onto something more specific, quests. There are several individuals that issue quests to you, a personal advisor who gives you objectives to aim for in the long run like a larger population. Street thugs who seek to disrupt your town with crimes such as muggings and car theft. A gardener with an eco-friendly attitude and many more including the police chief, fire department and bank manager. Their missions can be as easy as building a new building, or as difficult as finding a spot where your citizens do yoga.

Other aspects that keep the game interesting include the random events. Your city is situated in a hotspot for tornadoes and underground volcanoes, which can do monumental damage to your city if you’ve designed it poorly or are not prepared. Besides random events, there are unlocks that require you to go back and do some redesigning on your city. One quest requests you to put in bus stops while another wants a train line connecting the industrial and commercial area. So you are always going back and chopping and changing what you’ve previously done, or upgrading your old buildings.

Pocket City

I could go on and on explaining each part of the game and why its good, but I don’t think that is necessary. If you’re a fan of city building games, then you will love this. If your not a fan of city building games, then you’ll love it more. It is the perfect game to spend any train journeys playing, it fills you with a real sense of accomplishment and does tedious activities like collecting revenue from shops automatically. Your focus is very much on what do I build next, how do I increase my revenue and keep my city safe.
If I were you, I would grab a copy from the App Store or Google Play today.

The post Pocket City review – Everything you’d want plus more appeared first on Gamezebo.

Asphalt 9: Legends review — Full throttle arcade racing for all

Asphalt 9: Legends

If you make it to the ninth game in a series, you must be doing something right. Gameloft has hit that mark with Asphalt 9: Legends, the latest installment in a racing game series that started all the way back in 2004. The franchise has come a long way since then, when it was on mobile, the N-Gage (remember that, kids?) and a Nintendo DS launch title, but one thing has remained constant, which is that Asphalt 9 does a great job reminding us right off the bat what it’s not.

Namely, this is not a racing sim, even though it features beautifully rendered real world cars from a wide variety of manufacturers. Asphalt 9 features full-on arcade racing, complete with jumps, 360s, destructible environmental features and copious amounts of nitro. It’s not even trying to be realistic, which is part of what makes it so universally appealing.

Asphalt 9: Legends

The accessibility has taken another step forward this time out with the addition of Touchdrive, a new control scheme that joins the returning tilt and tap to steer options. Touchdrive takes the finer points of steering out of the player’s hands, automatically guiding it around the track and essentially leaving just the drift and nitro buttons to worry about — with the latter being exceptionally important, as always. As you race, a selection of icons will appear at the top of the screen, indicating when nitro bottles, ramps or simply forks in the road are coming up. A simple swipe, timed correctly, will put you on the path toward whatever feature you desire.

Touchdrive works really well, but not so much that it takes skill out of the equation. Using it in the game’s eight-player live multiplayer races, for instance, probably isn’t a good idea as you’ll be outmaneuvered by people using more exact control schemes. It’s also not infallible, as you can and will crash on occasion because Touchdrive won’t be able to overcome your overenthusiastic use of nitro boosts at the wrong times. That said, it’s a welcome addition that is well implemented and extremely useful to boot.

Asphalt 9: Legends

While many developers promise console-quality graphics in mobile games these days, Gameloft’s Barcelona studio truly delivered in Asphalt 9. The backgrounds are dripping with detail, the cars look amazing from any angle, and the tracks are imaginative and full of character and unexpected (the first time you race on them, anyway) surprises. The adrenaline rush while playing is real, and it’s easy to see even people who aren’t typically into cars or racing enjoying themselves.

For those who want to go deeper, Asphalt 9 offers five classes of cars to chase and unlock, from popular tuners and entry level sports cars all the way up to supercars with multi-million dollar price tags. In a bit of a departure from previous Asphalt games, you need specific numbers of blueprints (read: cards) to unlock each car, which takes away some of the freedom you have to choose the order in which to pursue them. On the other hand, the game’s various game modes almost all work toward the same goals, and you do get a constant feeling of progression, particularly if you decide to join a Club (like a guild for racers) and devote some time to multiplayer as well.

All told, Asphalt 9: Legends offers a lot to like both for devoted fans of the series — of which there are undoubtedly many, given its longevity — and for people simply looking for a new free-to-play game with outstanding production values. While we don’t want to get ahead of ourselves or put any pressure on Gameloft after they just released this one, you get the impression that this franchise will definitely see its tenth game, and probably many more beyond that too.

The post Asphalt 9: Legends review — Full throttle arcade racing for all appeared first on Gamezebo.

Lords Mobile review – a strategy RPG combo that works

Anyone can build a city, defend it, and train troops to send into battle, and there are plenty of mobile games out there to test your skills at doing exactly that.

What distinguishes Lords Mobile from all of those other titles is that you train your heroes through single-player campaign adventures, making the game something of a cross between a typical build-and-battle affair and an action-RPG.

Both aspects of Lords Mobile are simple enough for anyone to pick up and play. The game’s tutorial leads you through the basics of building a castle and associated structures to help keep your home turf safe.

All the activities you’d expect from a build-and-battle game are part of the deal here, including producing resources, training troops of various types, and researching new technologies. A unique skirmish system offers PvE battles that can help you expand your holdings to build even more.

Once you’ve gotten your feet wet with the action on the home front, it’s time to open up the world map and dive into the game’s multiplayer.

Not only are there large stores of resources waiting to be claimed by anyone bold enough to go after them, but you can also send your armies to hunt fearsome monsters for great rewards like premium currency, PvP shields, and crafting materials.

That last part is especially important for your heroes, who have to fight the monsters on the world map alone. Thankfully, you can have members of your guild join in Monster Hunts as well, giving you plenty of incentive to join up with other players.

When your heroes aren’t hunting monsters or attacking other players, you’ll get a chance to lead them through the action-RPG portion of the game to make them even more powerful.

Unlike the clashes where you simply set your forces loose and trust you’ve committed enough of them to win the day, the action-RPG sections see you taking a more active role, assisting your heroes as they battle through multiple waves of monsters to get to the boss battles, activating their skills at just the right time to help lead them to victory.

The very real ways in which the different game modes complement each other is something that not too many other mobile games offer, and ensures that there’s always something to do every time you log in.

Though the interface can be a little bit busy, it’s well designed and makes any task pretty clear — although you will occasionally find yourself wondering what to do next, or confused as to what you could be doing to advance your status in the game world.

But what a game world it is, beautifully rendered in an art style that also helps it stand out from a crowded field of competitors. Even the hands-off PvP and skirmishes are pretty fun to watch thanks to the sheer scale of the confrontations.

So while there’s a good chance you’ve played a game in the same genre as Lords Mobile before, you’ve probably never played anything quite like it.

By keeping things simple enough and accessible while offering enough variety to make the game feel unique, IGG has come up with what should be a winning take on a tried and true strategy-RPG formula. 

Download Lords Mobile on Google Play (and the App Store) now.

The post Lords Mobile review – a strategy RPG combo that works appeared first on Gamezebo.

Teen Titans Go! Figure review: Teeny figures, big fun

Teen Titans Go! Figure

When Teeny Titans first hit the app stores, it was a surprising smash hit. It wasn’t that people doubted the strength of the source material, because even though some fans pine for the return of the previous animated version of the team, Teen Titans Go! is immensely popular. It was more shocking because at $3.99, it was a legit premium game for which mobile gamers did not seem to have any qualms about paying to download. Though it seemed like a long wait for the sequel, Teen Titans Go! Figure should continue that run of unexpected success, as it brings back everything people loved about the first game and tacks on some more cool stuff to boot.

As one should expect for this franchise, Teen Titans Go! Figure is heavily self-referential and treats its predecessor like it really happened. That is to say that the characters are all gonzo for battling with little figures of superheroes and villains, except that someone has decided to stop making the Teeny Titans. This can’t stand, so you need to take one of the Titans (and in one of the game’s rare missteps, you’re locked into your choice for good) and get to the bottom of the mystery.

Your quest for the truth takes you all over not only Jump City, but also Gotham City and Metropolis, home to two DC Comics icons who might not be as willing to help you as you’d like. But regardless of whether other characters are on your side or not, convincing them to give you assistance nearly always involves beating them in a figure battle.

Teen Titans Go! Figure

Those battle play out in 3v3 strategy RPG style, though it’s more real time than turn-based. Each character has a meter and up to three abilities at various points on it. As the meter fills over time, you can either choose to activate the first ability when it’s ready or wait and go for another, likely more powerful one further down the bar. Since your AI opponent is doing the same thing, there’s a definite risk/reward element to each decision that is lots of fun, and the developers did a nice job dreaming up different abilities that affect the meters in various ways. Though the core mechanics are pretty simple and some battles are simply too easy or too tough depending on the level of your figures, the whole thing is meaty enough to make you think in particularly challenging fights.

There’s also a lot of sheer collecting joy involved in trying to track down all of the game’s dozens of figures. You’ll find not only various versions of the Teen Titans themselves, many of which are callbacks to specific episodes of the animated series, but also members of the Justice League and their foes. It’s especially nice to see relatively new characters like Green Lantern Jessica Cruz included.

Teen Titans Go! Figure

If you’re at all familiar with Teen Titans Go!, you know exactly what kind of animation style to expect, and there’s some voice work done by members of the show’s voice cast to keep things extra authentic. The show’s sense of humor is firmly intact as well, though the game isn’t over the top silly like some of the episodes can be, so even people who still long for more serious Titans should be fine with this.

There are IAPs on top of the download price, which is a big red flag for some mobile gamers, but there’s nothing you need to buy to play and beat the game. It’s basically a bet on your impatience, a gamble that more than one dev has won over the years.

The big takeaway is that Teen Titans Go! Figure does not disappoint those who were waiting anxiously for a followup to Teeny Titans and should delight plenty of people who never even tried the first game. It’s asking a bit more than most current mobile games to give your time and money right from the start, but there’s certainly enough to like about it that you very well may find the price no big deal.

The post Teen Titans Go! Figure review: Teeny figures, big fun appeared first on Gamezebo.

Hello Neighbor review – A horror to play

Hello Neighbor has a lot going on for a mobile game. It has several chapters, quirky graphics and a storyline that is surrounded by mystery. That being said, I struggle to give it any more kudos beyond the aforementioned.

Gameplay involves navigating as the smallest child in history, trying to uncover what on earth “your neighbour” has hidden in their basement. It sounds simple and straightforward, yet it all goes downhill from there.

It’s a mess. As a game that was originally made for PC, the hard work was done in terms of developing. All that was needed was a good effort with regards to porting it over to mobile. The controls don’t work, and by that, I mean in terms of practicality and reliability. The widget that controls player movement sets itself based on where you press. Brilliant right? Well, this game requires stealth and the occasional run for your life situation, therefore by having a widget that repositions itself is incredibly frustrating. There is nothing worse than being caught in a stealth horror game, especially when you’re let down by the controls.

Hello Neighbor

Another aspect that really lets this game down is the graphics. When games like ‘Asphalt 9: Legends’ show up on the App Store with next-generation quality graphics, you really can’t afford to cut corners. Hello Neighbor didn’t just cut a couple corners, it cut them wherever possible. The graphics are very low quality, they may look quirky from a distance, but everything is unpleasant to look at close-up. What makes this even more frustrating is the file size, a 1.2GB mobile game should be filled with lots of content and decent quality graphics but instead it falls short.

Hello Neighbor

Now let us talk more about gameplay specifically. As a man who studied video games and is an avid player, I can comfortably say this game has made no effort in immersing the user in the game’s magic circle. Each game has its own reality (magic circle) where certain things are possible, for example in PUGB there are 100 individuals, lots of loot, last one standing wins. In Fortnite, there are 100 players, lots of loot, last one standing wins, and you can build your own ‘fort’ for protection, a game-changing mechanic. Although both games are a similar “battle royale” style, they have different realities where different things are possible.

Hello Neighbor drops you in the deep end with regards to what they expect you to do. There is a quick cutscene at the beginning which effectively lowers your expectations of gameplay. Then an even quicker tutorial to explain each button and the rest is up to you. There is no way on earth that if you started to play this game, you would accidentally stumble upon the right thing to do. There is no explicit or implicit instruction, ‘beyond a door is locked’ or ‘the key is upstairs’.

Hello Neighbor

Well, maybe it’s as simple as going upstairs and retrieving the key? Of course not. In order to progress in Act 1, you must get on the roof, smash a window upstairs, flick some switches, turn on a fan, run outside, stand on a platform, break in again, steal a key and then finally unlock the basement. The stealth horror aspects come into the game later, but as of now, there is close to none. In fact, the neighbor patrolling his property at the start is a total decoy. There is nothing you can do downstairs inside his house without that red key.

This game is really unfriendly. It doesn’t do a lot in terms of setting the scene, besides a couple cutscenes after getting caught a number of times. At first, avoiding the neighbour is an exciting experience but it is quick to become novel as the NPC feels very much overpowered. Once in the basement, I can say the atmosphere is better but far from good. It’s obvious he is constructing some type of dungeon, but the NPC is far too frustrating for stealth to come into the game.

Hello Neighbor

When you originally arrive in the basement you have a brief period without the neighbour intruding which allows you to explore and really appreciate what the game was trying to do. Although, as soon as the neighbour joins you it quickly becomes tedious and boring once again.

Overall, I would say give this a go, I think there is some fun to be had with this game you just need to adapt to bad controls and look up what to do. I personally would not invest in this game. Stealth horror games aren’t for everyone and I think there are many better attempts out there on mobile.

The first act is free to play on the App Store so why not give it try and tell us what you think in the comments below.

 

The post Hello Neighbor review – A horror to play appeared first on Gamezebo.

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