Tag: Ipad

walking dead the game

RELEASE: 4/2012 (Episode 1) | DEVELOPER: TellTale Games | ESRB: M for Mature

Walking Dead The Game is the best point and click game I have ever played. As a fan of the comic book series and of the AMC TV show I felt duty-bound to play. However, I did have my reservations: I’m not super-into point and click style games and I’ve been burned by TellTale games before, see Jurassic Park or Back to the Future. This game has won tons of awards and has been reviewed by just about everyone but you came here for my two cents, so read on, in my spoiler free review below.


Shopping can be especially tough during a Zombie Outbreak

We’ve been over what a point and click adventure is before. To summarize, it’s the videogame equivalent to a Choose Your Own Adventure book. Basically, you are presented with a series of multiple choice options and each answer will move the story along in a different direction. TellTale has improved on their point and click games with some serious updates. Multiple choice scenarios are now timed making your answers more instinctual rather than well thought out. Consequences are more severe in this game and sometimes very hard to deal with emotionally — unlike the Choose Your Own Adventure books of the past where you could simply keep your finger in place to skip back to the moment before your bad decision.

Walking Dead The Game is one of the first successful games sold in TellTale’s episodic fashion. Five episodes make up the complete game, which were originally sold separately and released months apart. Each episode lasts about 2-3 hours. This was an intriguing sales gamble, the primary risk being that gamers would not be interested in buying a partial game. Although, there was an option to “subscribe to the season” for a lower price. I believe their gamble paid off and having five separate release dates helped push awareness of the game and keep gamers talking about it. “What is going to happen next” tweets reminded me of old fashioned water cooler talk at the office.

Will these gentlemen be friends or foes?

 The art style is fairly loose, if such a description has ever been applied to a video game. The illustrated graphics, a bit jarring during the first couple of episodes, actually improves over the course of the episodes. The characters felt a bit bobble-heady to me at first, but as I got used to the art I barely even noticed that. By the final episode you will be so engrossed in the game you will literally forget how childish it looks when compared to the live action TV show. It’s a wonder though, why didn’t they go with Charlie Adlard’s already established look? I would have liked to see that.

Is this my Walking Dead? Fans of both the comics and the television show will enjoy this companion story. It fits neatly into either fiction by introducing (mostly) all new characters. I’m purposely avoiding talk about the story here. You play a survivor in the wake of the zombie outbreak. Your character has a back story, an attitude and ultimately a goal: to protect a young girl named Clementine. Clementine is smart, winsome, nine-year-old girl and the heart of the story.

It may not be my favorite game of the year but certainly deserving of many accolades. The compelling story will keep you playing. I imagine it will be the first platinum (100% completion) trophy for many casual players since simply completing the story will unlock it. It’s nice to step out of your comfort zone and try a different kind of game. Hopefully, trying something as simple as a point and click will inspire shooter and sports game aficionados to try some new games. Unlike those kinds of games, I don’t see a lot of replay value in Walking Dead The Game. Once your spoiled on the story it is spoiled, so be careful.


If you cry easily, bring some tissues

This is a great game for fans of the Walking Dead or any TellTale point and click games. Rarely has a game pulled off the “protect me” scenario but you’ll find that you feel sincerely compelled to protect Clementine. The game forces you to pick sides and choose favorites amongst the characters. It is clever how even the main menu in the game reflects this Television mentality with fast forward and rewind buttons. Each episode adds to an already dense serialized story but also leaves itself open for additional “seasons”.

Like I said in the beginning, Walking Dead The Game is certainly the best point and click game I have ever played. However, like all point and click games I’ve played I sometimes feel robbed of the action. With dramatic cutscenes that look like they might be more fun to play than watch or the nuisance of having turn over (figuratively) “every rock” to find the little piece of the puzzle to move forward, sometimes I just want to blast everything and move on. Available on most every platform, the first episode is even free on iOS. Obviously, the game is worth checking out.

B+
Nom nom nom for more
 

grand theft auto III 10th anniversary edition

PLATFORM: iPad

RELEASE DATE: 12/2011
PUBLISHER: Rockstar Games
RATING: 17+
One of the best selling games of all time, re-released for iPad for only $4.99, what a steal! Without hesitation I had to pick this up, if only to see how they translated the PS2’s controls over to the touch screen of the iPad.
The crime-ridden streets of Liberty City are at your fingertips. This sandbox-style adventure game will have you pow-wowing with lowlifes and hob-knobbing with hookers, just like the original. The GTA franchise is famous for its mix of the third person shooter and racing game genres. Steal any car you like, knock down old ladies crossing the street and/or become the most wanted criminal in all the city. The choice is yours in GTA III.
The translation of the PS2’s analog sticks into on screen touch controls takes some getting used to and accuracy definitely suffers a bit. A bonus is the on screen controls are not in a fixed position and appear wherever your thumbs end up landing, which is clutch and I hope more games start doing this. Your buttons are now very specific: one for open door, one for use weapon and one toggles running and walking. Similar buttons correspond for driving: gas, break/reverse, star left and right.
My only major complaint is the constant quitting of the app. The current build is clearly not stable and I’m hoping this will be addressed with an update soon. In addition to quitting on it’s own the “quit” button is located dangerously close to the map button causing further frustration. I think this could also be moved or eliminated all together in a future update as well.
GTA III is really a fun game. It may be a little past it’s prime and you can see this in the graphics. I was hoping the game might get an HD makeover but that’s not the case here. Be prepared to see exactly what you saw in 1991, which can be shocking because your memory of something is often better than the real thing.
B
A potential iPad port masterpiece, if they can stabilize it

temple run

PLATFORM: iPhone
RELEASE DATE: 12/2011
PUBLISHER: Imangi Studios
RATING: 9+
Highest Score: 242,144 (as of posting)

I’m not going to break any news with this post. Sadly, I discovered this game after seeing dozens of fellow straphangers playing it on their phones. It was a 10(ish) year-old kid that I just had to ask. “What game is that?” Temple Run he said. Soon as I came up from the subway I downloaded it and started playing. Quickly, I discovered the secret to this game app’s addictive popularity: It’s free.


Somewhere, in a game app designer’s computer, Nathan Drake and Sonic the Hedgehog had a baby. If that description doesn’t work for you try to picture an Indiana Jones-esque world. Add in the speed and simple game controls from one of the 3rd person Sonic titles (I was pretty fond of Sonic Adventure 2 Battle personally). The result is the world of the highly addictive Temple Run.

Your character is called Guy Dangerous and he is being chased by Demon Monkeys. Racing down narrow, Aztec-like stone paths and collecting various coins along the way. That is pretty much the whole story, unless you die, then you get a witty little sign off line like “Temple slippery when wet” or “Watch your step”. Watching your step is the name of the game as the speed of the game gradually increases.

This game takes fast-passed to new levels on the iPhone. There are barely any load times at all. The opening cut scene (if you can call it that) is less than a second. Temple Run takes advantage of the vertical orientation of the phone allowing you to see the path ahead. Controlling the game relies on your ability to swipe up to jump or down to slide. Lean to either side of the path by tilting the phone left or right. The path twists and turns in sharp 90 degree angles that you must almost anticipate before seeing in order to direct your runner.

High scores are based on your distance and coins collected. Collected coins can be used to purchase power ups such as Invisibility or a Coin Magnet. Some power ups such as the Mega Coin can greatly influence your high score. Once you have a large cache of coins you can buy some big purchase items such as advanced power ups or character skins.

I almost hope that kid from the train reads this post. I got you beat kid, one-handed! My high score has been climbing by the day let me know what yours is below.

A
This is what I want in a game app


angry birds

PLATFORM: iPad (& every other platform)
RELEASE DATE: 12/2009

DEVELOPER: Rovio
PUBLISHER: Chillingo
ESRB RATING: E for Everyone

Angry Birds isn’t a video game.

There is this very popular phenomenon happening all around us. Unsuspecting people are toying with the laws of physics in our gaming world. Through the guise of little, simply rendered “birds” and a sling shot, they are honing their trajectory skills. Sure, right now, these average joe’s are only knocking over blocks and destroying sadly painted green “pigs” but what are they being prepared for? Surely these people, who wouldn’t be caught dead playing a “vidya game”, aren’t indeed playing one themselves? No, it couldn’t be, there must be something much more sinister at work.

There is a revolution coming, folks. And Angry Birds is just the first, heart-warming casual game leading the way. We’ve all felt that pride of knowing all there is to know about a game. Mastering, not one, but a whole genre of fighting games. Soon, we may have to share this with everyone. The popularity of Angry Birds is evidence of an impending invasion of casual gamer’s, with whom we might have to share our controllers. Lets look at some examples.

The older lady on the train. What is this? She has a better iPad case than me! Nothing too gaudy, like her purse, but rather a simple thin plastic sheath. She looks so comfortable with the gadget as she casually lines up her shot and flicks her manicured nail. I wonder if she would be up for a coop match?

The toddler who wants to play the bird game. Everyone knows somebody with a kid. More and more these little monsters are everywhere. Even in restaurants you can hear them tugging on their dad, trying to get at his phone. Toddlers, aka digital natives, now have a new family member to occupy their short attention span. Mama, papa and the bird game.

Mom who can’t work her phone enough to change the ring tone has, and plays, Angry Birds. There she is, caring a minimum of three bags on her way to wherever. Juggling her keys, gym bag and a small puppy while reading her eBook. What’s this? She’s not changing the song, she’s knocking over blocks with birds?

The hard core gamer who can’t stand these “casual games” and considers their mass use as a spit in the face. Sure, he gets to brood even harder at these new Angry Birds people now, but at what cost? Now, they want to know things. “What games do you play on the Wii? What do you stream Netflix on?” and “Do they still have Mario?” The hardcore are not the most friendly bunch, it’s a good thing they are on our side. FYI – they don’t play Angry Birds themselves, but they’ve had it downloaded since 2009 and can tell you what game it’s ripped off from.

Twelve million copies sold with no sign of sales slowing down. This app is spreading like wild fire. You would be hard pressed to find someone who hasn’t tried it yet. Luckily, Angry Birds is just one shiny needle in a hay stack for now. Most other iOS and Android games are crap. Seems the major players making games are just dabbling in the new wave of devices out there. Some large franchises like Dead Space and Need for Speed have app game versions but they are severely scaled down from their console counterparts.

Angry birds seems to be the test subject for breaking in a new product. “How’s that new tablet.. does it have Angry Birds?” Its simple mechanics allow it to easily be ported to every platform possible. Thats a long, profitable and unusual journey for a video game. This test subject has garnered enough attention to go mainstream; eventually the mainstream will want something else to play. Very soon the household staple fight over the remote may be the fight over the game controller.

A
For Assimilation

canabalt

PLATFORM: iPad

RELEASE DATE: 09/2010
DEVELOPER: Semi Secret Software
ESRB RATING: NA
Progress: 5683km (so far)
Every now and then a game comes along that really gets under your skin. You hear the music and find yourself reliving the moments in your head. You run back to play it every chance you get — not so much to advance or improve but rather, just to get your fix.

Canabalt is one of those games. This truly casual game, which anyone could get into, has graphics that consist of simple game sprites and even simpler backgrounds with only one thing the player needs to do: jump. One button control is all that’s needed to play and in some cases it is as simple as just tapping the screen. As the game’s tag line says “Outrun the demolition of your city with just one button!”. This is a survival game, meaning: try not to fall and you can keep going. Your character simply runs from roof-top to roof-top, hurtling through the air. The only control is the jump button which is sensitive allowing you to choose a lighter jump rather than a longer jump.

Designed and coded by Adam Atomic and his friends. This game began as a experiment for gameplay and in just a few weekends (about 5 days spread out across most of August 2010). Canabalt was made with Flash using the Fixel actionscript library of code. The game was released on the web September 1st, 2010. It has since been ported to the iPad and iPhone.

The music is repetitive but enjoyable (it was done over night). It’s an eerie sound that becomes increasingly fast in tempo. The beats combined with stark, black and white graphics set a (seemingly) serious tone. There are some cute sound effects as well.  Listen for my favorites, including the pitter patter of your feet running as fast they can and the sudden thud as you miss your window jump and slam against the side of a building.
Canabalt is available for free a few different places online like Kongregate.com and here at Not Doppler. App versions are available for both the iPhone and the iPad for a minimal cost. I’ve been playing myself on my recently acquired iPad and so far it is my go-to game. So, much like Neo just make that first roof jump yourself and you will be hooked looking your Carabalt fix too.
A
Tap tap tap d’oh!

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