The Week In Review
Here are some highlights and comments on apps I have been playing this week. I got the chance to play many iOS titles this week:
Having been impressed by Total War Battles by SEGA, I decided to try Samurai Bloodshow as it was on sale. I had the opportunity to try the upcoming sequel, Alexandria Bloodshow at PAX East and so I was familiar with the basic mechanics.
Overall it is a pretty fun lane defense game that combines those mechanics with deckbuilding. The art style is also very interesting though the interface seemed a little overly complicated and unpolished. From what I played of the sequel, it seems like the level polish has been increased. You can pick up Samurai Bloodshow now for $0.99.
Last week I spoke about some of the platformers I had been playing on iOS. This week I checked out Rinth Island which is a puzzle platformer. In this game you are moving around cylindrical levels trying to collect a wanted item. There is no jump and the puzzles come by pushing blocks in the right patterns to open up new pathways. The concept is neat and makes for some challenging puzzles. I have just started this game but it looks like it will present some good challenges. You can check it out here.
Jetpack Joyride Gadgets Update
Several months ago Jetpack Joyride was my casual addiction. During every spare minute in a car or while traveling I would pull it out. As many of you know, this app is especially addictive because of its mission system. In the latest update they have allowed you to use coins to purchase several gadgets which will give you special abilities. The best part about these gadgets is that they can be paired to your liking. I really enjoyed this level of customization, allowing me to prep my self for specific challenges and missions. If you have not played Jetpack Joyride in a while, I recommend trying this update. You can check it out here.
Draw Something Pics of the Week
I received some really great drawings from BGG Users RainFired, Greyrocks and Wildabeast this week. If you want to share your drawing please submit it to firstname.lastname@example.org, with your BGG username, and you may see them show up here.
Game Night and Battlegrounds Gaming
This week I was able to play more Lords of Waterdeep. This is really becoming a staple at the weekly game night and it is easy to find players. I also got the chance to play Summoner Wars this week. I tried a new to me faction, the Jungle Elves. I put up a good fight but the Fallen Kingdom managed to get several champions on the board using special abilities and in the end they were just to much for me. It was a bitter loss. Before leaving for the night I played my second game of King of Tokyo. This really is quite a fun dice game and, if players are focused, can play fairly quickly. It may be one that I need to pick up in the near future.
Thought of the Week
My thought this week stems from the latest update to Jetpack Joyride. Using the gadgets in this update you can set up different strategies to complete each mission in the game. For example if your mission is to collect 500 coins, you can switch to gadgets that increase you ability to collect coins. This element of strategy made this game even more interesting to me.
Thinking more closely about it, it appears that many of the top ranking iOS games contain elements of strategy, defined loosely here as rewarding the player for pre-planning. We can see it in Angry Birds as players must decide how most efficiently to use the birds they are given. We also can see it in Draw Something as much of the fun is deciding how to present the clue to your friends.
We are strategy gamers and we like large doses of strategy in our games, but can you think of a case where small elements of strategy have made a casual game appealing to you?
Note: I intended to have a video review completed for Xenoblade Chronicles this week but I ran in to last minute technical difficulties. Look out for the review next week.