Tag Archives: mobile game review

Editorial | Mobile Game Review: SimCity BuildIt

Nearly everyone who played PC games of any kind in the 1990s and early 2000s has played one of the iterations of SimCity.  My first introduction to the game was SimCity 3000, and I spent many happy hours creating multiple cities.  I learned pretty quickly that the key to “winning” that game was just to scrape by, barely making ends meet, until the city was old and populated enough to get a multiplex mall.  After that, the whole thing was a piece of cake.

simcity_buildit_promo

A promotional screen shot from EA’s SimCity Buildit website.

Now, EA Games has paired up with Track Twenty to create a mobile version of the game for both IOS and Android devices.  The promo picture reminded me a lot of the promos from the Sim games of my childhood (I was addicted to The Sims as well), so I was pretty excited to try this game out. Continue reading

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Editorial | Follow Up Review: Clash of Clans

Many months ago, I reviewed a little mobile game called Clash of Clans, by Supercell.  Since then, the game has completely exploded across mobile devices (it’s the top money making game on both iOS and Android right now) and has been imitated by many other games since its 2012 debut, including The Simpsons: Tapped Out and even the upcoming Call of Duty: Heroes.

Unlike most of the mobile games I review, I stuck with Clash for quite a bit longer than the few weeks of play that it usually takes me to get a reviewable feel for the game.  In fact, my Town Hall is now level eight, and I’m in Gold League III with 1500 trophies. Continue reading

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Editorial | Clumsy Ninja mobile game review

I recently downloaded and started playing a great little game called Clumsy Ninja.  This game was actually released in November of 2013, so it isn’t brand new, but I have been having a lot of fun with it.  Here is the skinny on this game.

For lack of a better category in which to place it, I have to call Clumsy Ninja an adventure game.  The objective of the game is for the player to train an extremely clumsy ninja novice to jump, climb, run, and fight.  The motion engine on the ninja character is incredibly lifelike for a free, downloadable app, and the training ground that is the game’s background is rendered in beautiful colors.  This game is overall pretty to look at, and smooth to play. Continue reading

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Editorial | Review: Clash of Clans

So today on my desk I have the screen shots from a game called Clash of Clans.  Supercell, the game’s developer, describes this as “an epic combat strategy game” and today I’ll tell you if this description is accurate.

Stop trying to manipulate me, lady!

Stop trying to manipulate me, lady!

Upon downloading the game for the first time, I got the usual barrage of tutorials, which as in most games want the player to build the rudiments of their basic home-base structure, in this case a village.  The game will insist that the player use gems to speed up the process of building, but these will be hard to come by later in the game without making in app purchases with real money, so I advise against using gems, and just waiting out the thirty seconds it takes to create a Builder’s Hut.  Players do receive gems as a reward for completing the challenges in the Challenge Menu, but they are few and far between.

Initial setup is pretty fun.  It’s nice to learn what all the different buildings do.  The rules and gameplay are very generic.  Gold, which the player accumulates from mines, and Elixir, which accumulates from elixir pumps, are used to purchase and build structures, defensive weapons, and warriors.  Gems are used primarily to speed things up.

The first structure is the Builder’s Hut.  Each hut houses one builder, and each builder can work on one project at a time.  Builders are required for each new structure and to upgrade existing structures.  I currently have two Builder’s Huts so I can only build or upgrade two structures at a time.  (I should mention here that Builder’s Huts are the only structures that require gems for purchase—this can get annoying.)

Help! Not enough wall!

Help! Not enough wall!

Defensive weapons can be purchased for gold.  At first, players only have access to a few defensive items:  an archer tower, a cannon, and a few units of wall.  As they level up and upgrade the Town Hall, they gain access to more types weapons and in greater numbers.

Offensive warriors are purchased with Elixir points.  In order to have warriors, the player must set up barracks to train them, and army camps to house them.  Leveling up the barracks unlocks new types of warriors, and leveling up the army camp allows the player to store more warriors at a time.  In later levels, players can purchase the laboratory which, for a fee, will allow them to upgrade their warriors’ abilities.

Players can attack other fortresses in either of two ways.  They can attack a goblin camp on the map, which results in a small gain of gold and elixir (provided their army wins).  Alternatively, they may attack another player’s fortress.  If I attack another player and destroy his village, he is automatically given a shield for a number of hours corresponding to the amount of damage I do to his village—up to sixteen hours for 100% destruction.  While the shield is in place, no one can attack him again.

Purchase menu

Purchase menu

After a few levels, players can save enough money to rebuild the Clan Castle, and then join a Clan or create their own.  Clans tend to be groups of similar ranking players.  I personally dislike the social aspect of games like this, so I don’t really like this feature.  One perk of joining a clan, however, is the donation of troops to players in need.

All in all this is a fun game at first.  I am playing on a tablet, and there is ample room to tap and move.  Unfortunately, after level fifteen or thereabouts, I became trapped in a cycle of being beaten up by larger clans, saving up money while I had a shield in place, and still being short of the amount needed to upgrade my defenses before the shield ran out and I was attacked and my gold and elixir stolen.

My current fortress

My current fortress

There are huge in-game rewards for continuing on past level nineteen, where I currently am, but I am getting bored with the game and may not continue to play at all.  This game is free on iOS and Android devices.  I give it three and a half Death Stars, because it couldn’t hold my attention for more than two weeks.3.5 Death Stars

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