6 Games You’ve Never Played, but Should
Our original plan was to use this first blog to make a formal introduction to both Kelly and myself. Luckily, we realized that’s a piss poor idea and we are better off just hopping right into the fun stuff, games.
Let me just put this out there. I played more Diablo I & II than you. If you want proof, inquire with my friend Johannes. Good luck with that though, because he doesn’t exist. That being said, one of my first missions after getting my iPhone 4 was to immediately figure out where I can spend countless hours crawling through dungeons, smiting the undead, and quenching an insatiable appetite for that oh so glorious loot.
Where could I find this gem? The Arkaine’s Valor, if you will, of mobile gaming?
Well, it’s here, in a little game from Raptisoft called Solomon’s Keep. Solomon’s Keep throws you in as an up and coming Wizard looking to prove himself. Your mission, should you choose to accept it (I highly suggest you do), is to put a stop to the evil Necromancer Solomon.
What SK lacks in plot thickness, it makes up for in subtle humor (talk to townsfolk), fast paced action, loot, challenges, character customization, and enough replayability to keep the adventure going for a long period of time. It’s the only game I have ever played where I literally drained the entire battery life on my phone in a single session. Don’t worry, I plugged in and remained in the fray.
Solomon’s Keep is a real winner. Even better, Raptisoft dropped the price from $1.99 to FREE about a year ago. If you ever enjoyed a good dungeon crawler, or just like fast paced action, Solomon’s Keep will certainly provide you with some decent hours of entertainment.
Music games are a dime a dozen so it would be very easy to overlook Beat Hazard by Cold Beam Games Ltd. Anytime I try out a new music game, there’s always one question on my mind: Does it have untz? What is untz you might ask? Untz is the sound and feeling you get when you’re dancing to electronic dance music. Bright lights, amazing colors, pew-pew lasers, deep beats, and lots of feeling. From the initial load screen, I was pleasantly surprised by Beat Hazard – “Warning, Photosensitive Seizures – Strobing Effects”.
Another awesome addition is that the entire game can be powered by your music. The controls are smooth and you’re really able to appreciate the colors and music while you dodge your way around the baddies. It reminded me a lot of geometry wars on the XBOX 360 but with many more sounds and colors. The levels may seem quick, but this factor alone allows you to progress through your vast library of music. Bottom line: If you haven’t picked up this game yet, get it now and drop the beat.
A real gem from South Korean mobile developer, NCSoft, this tower defense game will satisfy even the most ravenous TD player. At first, I was skeptical, how would a company known for MMO games make the leap into mobile, especially the TD genre? Answer: extremely well.
Gem Keeper is my new standard when it comes to TD games. Aside from the outstanding graphics, the vivid colors and variety of gameplay makes for an extremely addicting game. As you beat the levels, you get access to new towers.
Each time you are introduced to a new tower, the level is fitted around how to best use the tower, teaching you instead of telling you and interrupting the game. In keeping with the true TD genre, the towers are upgradeable and sellable.
Something that NCSoft has done that I haven’t been introduced to in the past is the sliding rail. Placing towers on a sliding rail may not seem like a big deal, but this nuance adds to the complexity of beating each level. Timing, placement, tower choice… they become even more important when you throw rails into the mix.
While the multiple levels and endless choice of towers are huge pluses, another aspect that stood out to me was the cute critters. They are well animated and each cause havoc in their own special way — sprinting to steal your gems, dilapidating or freezing your towers, and morphing into gem-carrying-tank-beasts. Gem Keeper is an amazing tower-defense option for TD and non-TD fans alike. Countless stages, two different modes, a variety of towers… I highly recommend this game!
Baseball, America’s Pastime, but for video games, I just never really found a baseball game that I’ve liked. After picking up Homerun Battle 3D by Com2us, I’m ready to change my tune. Homerun Battle 3D is well… a homerun!
The game makes great use of the gyroscope. Similarly to real-life baseball, Homerun requires all-star finger-eye coordination as well as major-league tilting skills. The responsiveness is sharp and multiple modes of game play keep the replay factor extremely high. As you get the hang of how to hit homers, you can start challenging yourself with more skilled pitchers. Learn how to hit a curve, fork, and more.
Once you’re done challenging yourself, move on over to multiplayer. I was also pleasantly surprised by the multiplayer. Skill balance matchups and quickness of pairing me with an opponent were fair and fast. There’s a free version of the game, but I highly recommend upgrading and trying the full-feature version. Batter up!
If there are two things I can appreciate in life, it’s someone that can effectively wield both a scimitar and a rock solid poker face. Doing both simultaneously is a feat I have only seen in Gaia’s “Sword and Poker”
The concept is simple, fight your way through various temples to progress your character and attain various weapons, shields, and magical powers to better annihilate your foes. The fun part comes in an excellent twist that flawlessly mixes turn-based style fighting with Poker. Every battle gives you a 3×3 grid with nine random cards placed within. Each player’s hand contains 4 cards for which 5 card poker hands are created around the edges of this grid. The better the hand you create, the more damage you will do to your opponent.
S&P does offer an option for local multiplayer. Which is of course a great addition and allows you to keep the gameplay lasting longer. While I would have loved to see a wifi multiplayer option, the long lasting single player campaign is certainly worth the $3.99 price tag. With the popularity of poker games on the app store, and the unique game-play mechanics S&P offers, I’m a bit surprised some of the giant game publishers have not yet shameless ripped it off.
Make sure to check out this one-of-a-kind game before it’s too late. For unknown reasons, Japanese developers Gaia have been known to take the game off the app store in the past (at least the U.S.). This is certainly a title that should not be missed out on!
If you have come this far, not only do I applaud your reading skills, but also your conscious recognition that I’m really into games with dungeons. Luckily for you, all three of the dungeon games mentioned could not be any more different from each other (aside from the fact they are created by awesome Indie developers).
Dungeon Raid takes your match three game and…wait never mind, calling Dungeon Raid a match three feels like a lie, as Dungeon Raid’s unique matching characteristic requires you to match many more than three. Your playing field is a 6×6 grid that can contain any number of different pieces. Matching coins generates money to buy items, matching potions restores your health, and shields restore defense.
Unfortunately, nasty foes appear on the board, which will inflict damage and eventually kill you if not destroyed. Matching swords with the skulls can be an effective way to defeat these foes, however magic spells like Fireball or Hack & Slash can crush a number of foes in a single turn.
Dungeon Raid is one of the most polished games you will find on the app store. Smooth gameplay and graphics, endless amounts of characters and abilities to unlock, and leaderboards to motivate you at 2 am for just One More Game…. You can get this monster of a game for $2.99, or, check out the lite version before shelling out those hard-earned bucks. Whichever route you choose, Dungeon Raid will not disappoint.