Category Archives: gamereview

icon.png

Wp7 Game Review: Bomberman Vs Zombies

icon Bomberman Vs Zombies by Contlex is a Bomberman clone that was already available for Android and iPhone, and is now in Windows Phone marketplace, and has been garnering some attention. Is it worth a purchase? Read on…

Gameplay: As in the original Bomberman game, you are a person with infinite supply for explosives, and you have to clear the entire screen off creeps before you are allowed to proceed to the next level. The concept is simple, but the gameplay is surprisingly hard, specially by the standards of today’s game. You have to anticipate the position of the enemies several seconds in advance, and you have to take into account the fact that if they see it in plain sight, they will probably avoid it by taking a different route. While there is some strategy involved here, the first few levels definitely sound like a lot of trial and error, and luck. There is a good variety of different zombies, including skulls and a teleporting zombie. Powerups are not that frequent, and there are negative pickups also.

screen1

Controls: I tried playing the game initially with the default swipe controls, unfortunately, it is really difficult to do it properly. When you swipe, the bomberman continues to move in that direction till you tap. In a game that involves constant evasion and movement, this did not work well at all. So I switched to the big D-pad, which worked much better. You may have to occasionally drag the map around manually, when it gets confused and lets the Bomberman escape beyond the screen. The controls were responsive and felt natural.

Music: The sound of the footsteps is really annoying. The setting for the music is a binary on/off, so it’s a pity, because the ambient music in the menus and the screams of the zombies are quite well done.

screen2

Graphics: The art is very well done, and all the objects and the environment felt quite cohesive. The gameplay was buttery smooth and had no hiccups at all.

Odd Stuff: For no apparent reason, the free version of the game requires access to the location sensor (it doesn’t have ads either, so that is all the more surprising.) There are a few bugs in the game, like some tutorial text that goes away too fast to read, and “the hatch is open” messages appearing twice (once for getting the key, and once for killing all the zombies).

Overall impression: After a long hiatus from reviewing games on wpsauce, I am truly happy to be returning with a quality title to review. You should definitely pick up this game, because it is among the better ones out there. You may have to mute it before you play, though.

Download the free version or the paid version ($1) from the windows phone marketplace.

grow-icon.png

Wp7 Game Review: Grow

grow-icon

Grow is an innovative arcade game in the Windows Phone marketplace where you have to make your fish feed on smaller fish to grow up. Conceptually, it is similar to Katamari Damacy, but the execution and visual styles are quite different. At WpSauce, we are big fans of indie games, especially ones that innovate in concept and gameplay, so we recommend you check this game out!

grow-screenshot-1

grow-screenshot-2

 

In Grow, you play a small orange fish that starts out in the middle of an aquarium, with plenty of small fish swimming around. The idea is that you have to eat fish that are smaller than you and avoid fish that are larger than you. Thankfully, all the fish larger than you are made visually distinct, by both their significantly larger size, as well as by a red glow around their body. When you gobble up a fish, it leaves some orange bubbles behind, which you can collect to gain stars on the levels. Grow has an item shop, where you can buy upgrades for your in-game items, including the speed of the fish, powerup slots, etc. You use those orange coins in that shop.

Grow trailer for windows phone

 

I found myself using the tilt controls throughout the game, although the game allows you to use a dpad or swipe controls as well. The music reminds me of the ocean. The visuals of the game were quite polished and enjoyable, and it did a good job of conveying dangerous fish vs. benign ones.

I loved Grow, since it’s gameplay was innovative, it’s visuals polished and it had a lot of replay value. Download Grow from Windows Phone Marketplace, for $1.99 with a free trial.

shaktimaan-icon.png

Windows Phone Game Preview: Shaktimaan

shaktimaan-iconIf you grew up in India in the ‘90s, you could not have avoided watching the Indian superhero series: Shaktimaan. Shaktimaan was a an evil-fighting, cape wearing superhero who used his yoga skills and power derived from 7 chakras (or elements like water, fire, earth). His most impressive power was his superhuman strength and his ability to start spinning and fly off to far-away places extremely fast.

Viacom 18 have now released the official Shaktiman game, and it’s totally free. In the game, you play as the superhero in a terrible hurry to get somewhere. You have lasers at your disposal, which you use to blast off and avoid various debris and rocks on the way. The controls use the accelerometer and are fairly intuitive. The powerups echo the chakras in the TV serial, and affect various health bars and attack powers.

shaktimaan-screenshot1
shaktimaan-screenshot2

The marketplace description reads:

Play as Shaktimaan – The Greatest Cyber Yogic Hero.

Tamraj kilvish (king of darkness) has kidnapped a innocent child.You as Shaktimaan have to fight against all evils to save the child. You can reach Tamraj’s kingdom only if you gain seven chakras of kundalini through various levels. Battle the evil forces of tamraj in various levels. Destroy the Crystal of Black Power to kill Tamraj in the final showdown.

- Use super powers of Sun, Om, Fire and water.
- Save shaktimaan from negative elements.
- Destroy the evil elements.
- Gain Chakras at each level to unleash powers of Shaktimaan.
- Constant action throughout the game.

So does it have the phrase “Andhera kayam rahe”? Play the game for free to figure out.

boonce

WP7 Game review: Boonce

Boonce is a physics puzzle game in which you have to shoot cannon balls at targets and hit them in a particular way: certain targets can only be hit directly, some targets can only be hit after a bounce.

The game is described on the marketplace as:

Boonce is a 2D cannon shooter game boasting a plethora of original concepts and challenges. Thoughtfully designed levels and beautiful hand-drawn art are backed by a mellow soundtrack that belies the game’s fast-paced and rewarding experience.

With over a hundred level cards spread across two ‘decks’, Boonce has plenty in the way of variety and challenge. Destroy an array of unique targets in different ways to progress through the game and earn medals based on your performance. Throw into the mix the fact that each target comes with its own rules for being destroyed – some must be hit directly, others require you to bounce the ball first and others must be avoided altogether – and it’s fair to say that each level offers a fresh challenge for the player.

The trial version of Boonce! comes with 28 levels to beat and includes a sneak peek at the Science Lab deck. If players like what they see they can buy the full version for a modest amount through the game itself. Kalidorn have more decks planned in regular updates, each with their own new toys to play with. The first update deck is The Lab, with Teleportals and Anti-Gravity Fields and is available today as part of the full version. Thank you for playing and we hope you enjoy our game!

Boonce is fun to play, the music is appropriate and relaxing, and the puzzles are well thought out. If you have a few minutes to kill, you should definitely check it out.

ef5fa891-4534-4eb5-9648-bde99696b613
56663ca1-08ba-4cec-a467-11f70883ba8d

A couple of levels in Boonce

As always, there are certain things that could be improved in the game. In a puzzle early on, a direct hit target was kept enclosed by walls on 3 sides, making it hard to hit. Without an underlying story to the game, it seems a bit contrived to have such a hard target early on. Unlike Angry Birds, boonce does not show the ghost of your previous attempt, so you have no basis to gauge your next attempt. Balls that leave the cannon seem to bounce around for a long time, which makes it a bit distracting.

Overall, I can recommend boonce wholeheartedly. Check it out in the marketplace now.

WP7 Game Review: Rummycomb

rummycomb

Leda Entertainment has a holiday-themed update for their game Rummycomb. So how is it? Read on to find out.

Rummycomb is a hexagonal grid of icons, and you have to drag your finger over icons of the same color to make them vanish. It is one of those matching-board games that make me really wonder what color-blind people think when they browse the marketplace.

Right off the bat, I was super confused what to do, because the game came with no instructions. It took me a while to understand that you are supposed to drag your finger over neighboring icons of the same color. A few instructions would have been nice. After you figure out what to do, the gameplay is fairly simple. You remove icons in a frantic race against the clock. You can rack up bonus points by doing some special tricks, like removing a set of icons of the same shape and  color. However, the gameplay is not too engaging.

The visuals are nice and shiny, and the Christmas-themed icons are jolly enough. While I understand the motivation behind choosing the font (it matches the hexagonal theme of the overall game), the readability is not very nice. A bigger problem, however, is that the game gives no visual cue that the icons are dropping in from the top. Selected icons just disappear, and new ones take their place, and you will be none the wiser where they came from.

rummycomb-1rummycomb-2

 

Rummycomb is free on the marketplace. Overall rating: 2.5 / 5 for a fun free game, that lacks appeal in the visuals and is not very replayable.

all

Wp7 Game Reviews: 3 new Xbox live titles – Ghostscape, Shuffle Party and Farm Frenzy 2

The Windows Phone blog today updated to let us know about 3 new Xbox:Live titles – Ghostscape, Shuffle Party and Farm Frenzy 2. Here are some quick reviews of the games.

 

ghostscapeGhostscape is an adventure game where you begin in front of a dilapidated old building with nothing but a camera and massive amounts of courage and try to investigates the ghosts in the house. The way you get rid of ghosts is to… take a picture of them using the camera. If only the Ghostbusters knew about this trick!

While the setting is eerie (even the main menu is made out of satanic symbolisms), playing the game with music turned off is not recommended, as the movement of the ghosts might make you burst out in laughter.

On the other hand, I love adventure games, so I cannot wait to play this game more.

ghostscape_1ghostscape_2

Ghostscape is $2.99 on the marketplace and has a free trial.

 

 

shuffle-partyShuffle Party is an arcade game which allows you to play four game modes: Bowling, Challenge, Shuffleboard, and Pass & Play using pucks instead of a bowling ball. It is one of the few Xbox:Live games that is free and ad-supported.

Bowling: the classic bowling game, but with pucks instead of bowling balls. I liked the controls. For once, instead of oscillating bars of energy that you have to time, you are allowed to position and angle your puck accurately. You flick the puck forward and the bottles are positioned sufficiently far away that this is still a challenge.

Challenge: In this game mode, you have to collect coins as well as stop the puck in a region with maximum points, and avoid obstacles.

Shuffleboard: the classic game, where you have to control your flicking speed so that your puck lands in the region with the maximum points, does not overshoot it or collide with existing pucks and throw them into the gutter.

Pass & Play, The same as classic shuffleboard, but you play with a friend.

shuffle-party-1shuffle-party-2

I think the pleasantest surprise you get from playing Xbox:Live titles such as these is when you see your avatar standing at the edge of the table, cheering for your highest score. Shuffle Party is free on the marketplace.

 

 

 

farm-frenzyFarm Frenzy 2 is a farm simulation game. In the first few levels, your objective is to get the chickens to lay some eggs, which you proceed to sell to the local market. The chickens in this game are temperamental brutes who just refused to eat the grass I laid down right at their feet and instead go eat on stale grass 20 feet away in the corner of the map.

Farm Frenzy is reasonably fun, if you are into that sort of thing. Unfortunately I am not, so I am not the best reviewer for this game. The chickens were amusing, and the graphics were nice (the screenshots below do no justice to the graphics, by the way)

farm-frenzy-1farm-frenzy-2

Farm Freny 2 is $2.99 on the marketplace and has a free trial.