Domino’s Piece of the Pie Pursuit Review

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After a lot of procrastinating I finally got around to playing the new Domino’s game. After all if it’s something that will help you earn Pizza points how could I refuse? It’s definitely got a little effort put into it but I wouldn’t say that the game is all that amusing. I don’t see myself ever replaying it after all. Still, if you’re looking for a motion game where you have to move carefully through the obstacles then this will be right up your alley.

There are 6 levels here and each one is a little different. For example one of them plays out like a Monkey Ball level as you try to avoid the holes in the ground and roll to the goal. It’s probably the most well thought out level. I’ve always liked that game series as it can get quite difficult but never unfair. Some points in this level are incredibly difficult but fortunately there are constant checkpoints so you never have to go too far back. That’s something that I definitely appreciated from the game. Without the checkpoint I’m sure that the game wouldn’t have been nearly as enjoyable.

Another level has you controlling a balloon as you glide from place to place. It’s a pretty interesting concept as you use the fans to keep it on course. It seems difficult to win this level without dying though as the balloon has a tendency to get into bad angles but fortunately the checkpoint fixes that.

Next to we have a level where you manipulate really small balls to try and go down the tunnel. You have to get 10 balls into the correct hole in multiple phases. It’s a pretty fun level although it’s also rather easy as you appear to have an infinite amount of balls. The level is less interesting than the last 2.

The most bland level in the game is probably one where you have to roll sideways from platform to platform. You’ll certainly get there eventually, you just gotta keep going. There’s also a 3D roller where you move from side to side. It’s pretty similar to the Monkey Ball level but with less control so it’s not quite as good. Still not a bad level though.

As far as the graphics go the game looks okay. It’s like what you would expect from a tech demo or something. The colors are clear and everything looks as it should but the actual objects are super basic. Nothing wrong with that but of course it does make it fairly easy for the graphics to look good so don’t go thinking that it’s because this is a AAA game or anything.

There isn’t really a soundtrack here. There is one static theme that keeps showing up a lot but that’s about it. It’s fairly calm and peaceful though so it fit the levels well. Let’s talk about the real trouble here though. There is basically no replay value to be found here. That’s because the 6 levels is all the content in the game. You can’t earn any extra rewards either so the only possible reason to play the games again is to increase your star rank. I don’t know about you but I don’t think that is a good enough incentive to keep me playing. The game is free so it’s not like you lose any money but make no mistake, you’ll only be playing around for about 10 minutes and then after that the game will be over.

Overall, It’s cool that Domino’s made their own game. All things considered I think that they put a decent amount of effort into it. As most people will be playing it for the coupon I’m glad that it doesn’t take too much effort to get it. It’s not a game that I expect I will ever play again but I’d recommend downloading it. Pizza doesn’t get much better than Domino’s so this coupon is definitely pretty handy.

Overall 5/10

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Lollipop Review

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Time to look at the first connect 4 app title I’ve ever played. It’s pretty impressive how much the genre has exploded. There are hundreds of apps on the market just like these. Candy Crush is really what started this segment of the market and it has since grown into something pretty impressive. It is definitely a really fun genre but just playing one or two of them is enough for you to have your fill. Taking on more would just be overwhelming. For me Lollipop was the first and also the best.

You probably already remember the gameplay from my Fruits Mania review so I shall be brief. The goal of the game is typically to match a lot of candy. You can do this in pairs of 3 or greater. The longer the match, the better the reward. A match of 5 will get you the rainbow orb which can destroy all candy of a single color which is extremely handy. Other levels have you trying to match near cookies or getting a cake from the top to the bottom. There are certainly quite a few variations for the levels. I’d say that the best kind is when you have to break a large number of crackers. Those are just the most satisfying to play. You still need strategy but you can just jump in and start marching.

The worst levels are the ones that pop up really late in the game where there will be prisons outside the level and the only way to hit them is to detonate a row bomb in just the right row. It just feels like you need a lot of luck to clear a level like this and the game is basically just telling you to buy the item that you want. This is the kind of game that is definitely pay to win as buying an item like this will really come in handy.

The main game mode is the only mode in the game as you would expect. The replay value is in the sheer number of levels that are included as getting through all 1000+ will be considerably tough. Not to mention that the game is still going as well. You’ll burn out if you try to go through them too quickly so it’s important to just go through a few at a time. Naturally if you are a huge fan and don’t think this will happen to you then you should go ahead and play to your heart’s content.

There isn’t much to say about the graphics or the soundtrack since it is all the most generic themes you can think of. They certainly feel like they are all free domain themes and there isn’t any real variety. It would be nice to have something more than that, but it isn’t entirely unexpected considering that this is a pretty low budget game anyway. The company must have a huge profit margin here because they have 10 games of more that are exactly the same as the others, only they are slightly altered visually. A unique mechanic here or there, but it’s likely not hard to maintain compared to other games. I do think the game looks a lot better than Fruits Mania though because of the color scheme. Blue just pops out and the island esque theme just looks more impressive. It’s definitely quite subjective though.

The app market has really taken off and after laying some of these games I can see why. They certainly are no replacement for console games and if given the option I would choose the latter every time. However, it’s the times where a console game isn’t available that these really shine. Since the levels are quick it is ready to be played at any time. The levels are quite fun as well so it will always remain a tempting option. I could easily see a more dedicated app player beating all of the levels and moving on to one of the other versions just to get more levels.

Naturally as this is a very mainstream app game there are a bunch of pay to win mechanics. You can buy whatever items you want with real world currency. They are fairly cheap but once you’ve bought enough the total will definitely start to spike. Any level can become a cake walk if you buy enough items. It’s one thing Pokémon Go has always done well. You can’t buy candy, stardust, exp, or Pokémon. Without the option to do those things, it effectively prevents the P2W strategy. You will still have an edge if you spend money but it’s not quite as immediate or obvious as in other games. Sonic Forces is unfortunately like this one in that regard as you can just keep buying more loot boxes until you are maxed out with your level.

Overall, your enjoyment of Lollipop will likely depend on how many of the other clones you’ve already played. If this is your first one, then that’s perfect. It will feel really fresh and you’ll be absolutely engaged with the game. If you’ve played others, then this will just seem like more of the same. There aren’t any bells and whistles here. It’s just the gameplay, take it or leave it. At the very least, I know it’s an app that I can easily use to pass the time by, but more often than not, I have other options for that.

Overall 7/10

Fruits Mania: Elly’s Travel Review

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It’s been a while since I last reviewed a mobile game. This time it’s one that isn’t a franchise title so you may be wondering why I picked it up. Well, the game was recommended by a few colleagues and so I quickly made it my mission to get reasonably far in it. After completing over 150 levels, I can definitely say that I have achieved my goal. I actually started this one after Lollipop so I will make some references to it but that review will be coming after this one.

The gameplay is very basic but there are a few advanced rules that you have to find out on your own as the game keeps them from you. The objective of each level varies but typically you have to destroy a certain amount of blocks in various colors or the crackers underneath them. Sometimes you will have to escort candy to the bottom of the level. You do all of this by matching colors in groups of 3 or greater. Groups of 4 will allow you to destroy a whole row or column while 5 will let you destroy a whole color on the board. Use these combos strategically in order to clear the level. Luck does play a large role in this game, but there is still the skill aspect as well. You can’t just blindly blow up blocks and expect to win. Some advanced techniques you can do are to merge explosion blocks or any kind of special block really for intense results. Hit a line block with a rainbow and it will cause a very large chain reaction. This resulting explosion can really change the landscape of the entire level and grant you a swift victory. Of course, it is incredibly difficult to accomplish such a feat.

There is nothing else to do here except the main levels so you really have to enjoy the gameplay if you want to keep playing. There are over 1000 levels though so you don’t really need to worry about running out for a very long time. I don’t care how good you are at this game, clearing it will take time. I’m fairly close to level 200 but the game is getting to be quite difficult now so my pace has slowed considerably. You do get special items every now and then, but it seems to be based on your play time so it doesn’t come as frequently as in Lollipop. Use your items wisely as you will certainly miss them once they are gone.

One thing that is unique to Fruits Mania over Lollipop is that it has actual boss fights. You attack them with your blocks. It’s really just like a normal level, but don’t underestimate it. The toughest levels are still when you have to escort fruits to the bottom of the screen as you have to either plan out your moves and their effects to a very high degree or just depend on RNG.

There isn’t really a soundtrack of course. There are some decent sound effects, but that’s really it. As far as the graphics go, it’s nice and clear. The art style isn’t bad, but I wouldn’t give it much praise since it’s not like it has much to do anyway. It’s just the same fruits in each level so I doubt it takes too much time to set it up. The game is a brilliant idea from the developers because they can just keep on generating new levels which are just the old ones, but switched out a little. It’s most impressive if you ask me. From the gamer side you won’t even mind this much because the core gameplay is what’s fun. It’s not like there is a whole lot more they can do with the game without possibly damaging the formula. They do add new mechanics from time to time, but they have to be careful not to overdo it.

The replay value goes without saying here since 1000+ levels will take forever. Each world has 50 levels and I’m only on World 4 I believe. This app succeeds in what apps are intended to do, make the time pass by quickly. It doesn’t need the internet so you can play the game while in the subway and if you’re stuck in a level you don’t have to worry as the game will give you powerful items before you know it. The best items are the capsules that take out whole rows and columns. They are just so overpowered. .

Overall, Fruits Mania is certainly an addicting mobile title. It’s a step under Lollipop but that could very well be because I played the other game first. As the levels are quick it is easy to pick up and play at any time. I doubt I’ll ever complete all of the levels, but it’s a fun game. I’d recommend checking this out if it’s up your alley but if you already have a game that you like to go too in this category, then there isn’t much point to switching.

Overall 7/10

Sonic Forces: Speed Battle Review

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It’s time for the latest app game that I decided to check out. Given that Sonic Forces was basically hype confirmed I was thrilled to hear about the mobile app. On the surface Sonic Forces is just another free runner so there’s nothing really special about it. Sonic already does have a free runner game when you think about it and that one has many more levels and characters. At the same time, I’ve never played any of those before so it all felt fresh to me. It’s definitely a fun game but one with diminishing returns unlike Pokémon Go which only gets more enjoyable as you level up. It’s a fun game but one that won’t last for very long.

There is only one mode, free run. If you were hoping for 1V1 battles or mini games/a story then you’re out of luck. Every race brings 4 random racers together and you race for the goal. 1st Place will give you around 10 trophies and it typically takes 500 to level up. As you can see it takes a lot of races to level up towards the end and especially when you are fighting tougher opponents who won’t let you take 1st. You start out with 2 stages to play on and as you level up you unlock better stages and better rewards. The rewards are the points you get towards unlocking a specific character. It’s randomized and the characters are divided into rarity tiers so you’ll see how eventually you will have far more cards for characters like Sonic than Metal Sonic for example. Since this is the only mode in the game you will want to really enjoy it.

The game suffered from bad connection errors for a little while but eventually it was able to fix itself. Now there are no issues with the gameplay which is certainly good since that is the entire game in a nutshell. There is definitely a lot of skill involved as you jump over obstacles and slide under others. You want to optimize your run and figure out the fastest way to clear a level. Given that you will be playing the stages very often, that shouldn’t be hard at all.

There are three different levels in the game. The first is your user level. Upgrading this will help you with rings and your special attacks will be stronger. You get the exp for it by leveling upyour characters. Second is your online level, this is what gets you the better loot boxes and allows you to play more stages. You level this up by winning battles online. Finally there are the individual character levels. You beef these up by getting their cards from treasure chests. They amplify the character’s abilities by a small amount but it’s enough to rip the scales your way. As far as I can tell each character has 16 levels total. I can’t confirm that of course as I don’t have anyone who is over level 8 but it’s based on a little guide they have in the game on what you unlock with each level. I’m sure the exp requirement skyrockets by the end so only the most serious of players, or the ones who pay a bunch will reach that point.

The graphics are really sharp. The character models are really well done and the backgrounds are a blast. It at least does feel like a lot of effort went into the graphics. I also enjoy the music but it’s just the one theme which can be a bit repetitive at times. It’s the inspirational version of the main Sonic Forces theme so it’s fitting for any fast paced race I’d say. They should definitely add more themes in as you level up though. Each stage should honestly have its own theme and I can’t even see how that would be tough to implement. Shouldn’t they just grab the songs they need from Sega and put it in?

There’s definitely a lot of replay value to the point where it’s infinite but how fun is this replay value? After all, there’s no point if you’re not going to try and collect everything. As I alluded to in the intro, the game slowly loses the joy that it had from the start. I think the biggest detractor is how you will actually lose points once you level up if you get 3rd or 4th which is unfortunate since the competition does get a lot stronger do it will be tough to get in the top 2 after a while. The sheer repetition of playing the same level over and over again will get to you. If you think about it, most mobile games effectively have you doing the same things over and over again but they cleverly mask this or the gameplay is so fun that it doesn’t even matter. You can say that Pokémon Go is incredibly repetitive but at least it is also a blast at the same time. That’s not to say that this game isn’t fun though. I think it’s the kind of game that is best in small doses. Just play a few races every day and you’re set. I’ll give it some props for being lenient on how long you can play as well. Some games have an energy meter so you can only play a certain amount each day. Fire Emblem has that but it’s so lenient that it barely ever matters. Forces limits how many chests you can get in a day, but that’s all. You can keep playing to your heart’s content.

Overall, Speed Battle is a good app. I think it’s definitely a title that you can have fun with for a little while. I don’t think you will enjoy it quite as much if you’ve played any other free runner though as then this one won’t even feel fresh from the start. Even aside from the fact that there isn’t much variety in the gameplay, I’d at least like for the rewards to be more reasonable. You’d have to win hundreds of races to get to one of the higher levels and I just can’t see myself doing that. It would be such a large time commitment and at the end of the day these apps are fun for playing a little here and there. Not for big play sessions. I’d recommend checking this game out as it is free and all so there’s really nothing to lose but don’t expect the game to hold you over for very long. That’s just the kind of game it is and that’s not necessarily a bad thing. There is a lot of missed opportunities here though. (No Infinite?)

Overall 7/10

Fire Emblem Heroes Review

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It’s time for a new App game! Since I got to Level 40 in Pokemon Go I figured it would be fine to finally check out another free game. This one got a lot of hype back in the day, but I think I got on the gravy train before it completely passed me by. After playing it for a few days I can definitely see why everyone loves it so much. The game is incredibly polished for a free game and it has helped make me a much bigger Fire Emblem fan than I was before. There’s so much to do here that if I took it seriously I would be here a while. It’s going to be more of a side project as new levels come in I’ll complete them and all but I won’t bother going for the more competitive goals.

The game actually has a plot which is already cool. Terry (Your original character protagonist) is summoned into the World of Fire Emblem. The realm is under attack by an evil sorceress with immeasurable power. She has enslaved whole worlds and almost the whole cast is under her power. Terry can tip the balance because he can summon heroes of his own to combat her and he is immune to mind control. You have to team up with the ones who summoned you to stop this foe and rescue everyone who has been enslaved. It’ll be tough though as you’ll have to defeat tough combatants like Lucina, Roy, Ike, and many others. Also, there are so many worlds that as soon as you leave one, the sorceress goes back to reclaim it.

It seems like new levels are added every once in a while, but I don’t expect the game plans to end the campaign anytime soon. The most recent level did end with a big plot twist though. It was one that was certainly expected, but it still counts as progression. There are 12 Story chapters I believe and 10 Protologues, with 2 Xenologues. It’s a pretty good amount of content. I beat the story part of the game in about 2 days, but there is a lot of other content to explore. There are online Arena Battles where you fight other players, Training Stadiums to level up and collect gems, Special Battles where you can fight new matches every day to get more characters and items, Voting Gauntlets, and several other modes.

This game is not lacking in content in the slightest and I probably didn’t even get to try all of the modes for about a week or so. It’s actually very overwhelming at first, but you gradually get used to it as you play more and more. Too much content is never a bad thing after all. If I don’t want to play a mode, then nothing is forcing me to do so. The main currency in the game are Orbs. You get around 5-8 every day for logging in. You can use 20 to purchase a full set of 5 characters. You can also use 1 to replenish your energy each time you run out and you can use 1 during a fight to restore all of your characters and they all get an extra turn. You don’t want to be too frivolous with the Orbs when you start because they get more scarce as you go on.

I mentioned the energy earlier and that determined what you can do every day. Each action costs energy and when you run out you have to use an orb or just stop playing for the day. That’s how they get you as you can purchase extra orbs. I know quite a few people online who’ve spent hundreds on orbs so they could get their favorite character. I definitely won’t be spending any money on this game though. In part it’s because Pokemon Go was my only exception to that rule and also because the game is quite generous with the orbs. I have never been in a spot where I was out of orbs and needed energy or even been in a situation where I was close to that. You would also need to play quite a lot in a single day to approach that limit. It should be a non factor for most players.

Once you’ve beaten the available story chapters in the game, I’d say that the main focus is now to collect all of the Fire Emblem characters. There are currently 168 and I have about 60. The ultimate final goal would be to get all of them to Grade 5 and max them out to Level 40. Of course that increases your time exponentially as doing that is really a long term goal. As such I won’t really be gunning for that. At most I’ll log in every day for my new fighter and eventually maybe I’ll have them all. Even if they’re grade 2 or 3 that’s fine. To improve their grade you have to level back to Level 1 with that character and spend 20,000 Feathers and 20 Shields which are not easy to come by. It can take weeks to obtain that and I personally can’t say it’s worth it unless you’re super competitive in the game.

The gameplay is extremely smooth and highly customizable. It’s classic Fire Emblem gameplay as you position your pieces on the map and attack. All of the characters have special abilities and there are 3 types, Green, Blue, and Red. Each type is good against another one and week to another. There’s also a blank class, but I’m not sure where they fit into all of this. Different characters have different styles of attack like close range or long which you need to take into account. If you want to fight and know that you’ll win anyway, you can set the game to auto fight and let the computer handle the fight while you get a bite to eat or something. I admit that I started doing this quite a lot after I beat the game to save time. You can also turn off the animations for each attack which saves a bunch of time and I wish more games did that. It would be very useful.

Fire Emblem Heroes really shines when it comes to the graphics. They are exceptionally good and easily the best that I’ve ever seen in a mobile game. It spared no expense with the character portraits and attacks. It’s one of the things that really drew me to the game when I first started. It’ll be really cool if they can grab more animated cutscenes by the end of the game, but even if they don’t I’m still pretty satisfied. The soundtrack is also solid. The themes are limited, but memorable. All in all I’m sure a very large amount of money was put into this game and I’m sure that it has made it all back quite easily.

It’s time to go back and rank all of the mobile games. In 1st is clearly Pokemon Go. The game’s amazing and I’ve put in over 1000 hours by now. You just can’t overestimate just how influential the title is. Truly a legend. 2nd is Fire Emblem Warriors. The immense amount of content and reasons to keep playing speaks for itself. I also like the generous log in bonuses as you really feel like it’s worth it to keep showing up. 3rd is Marvel’s Contest of Champions. It was a fun game, but a big step down from the first two as the gameplay was very repetitive. It also had a very long story mode but it was considerably lower budget and you never felt like you were making any progress. Honestly it’s a very similar style to Fire Emblem Heroes but think of the difference being like Mario Galaxy vs Pac-Man and the Ghostly Adventures. 4th is Ingress. It’s basically just like Pokemon only without the Pokemon and the Gyms. It may go up as some point, but my whole area is owned by the opposing team and I need to reach Level 6-8 in order to actually do anything about it. I dunno, it’s fun enough but I always can’t help but think of how many Pokemon I’d be catching if I had Go open. Finally in 5th is 1010!. It barely counts when placed with the others since it has no plot and it more of a very simple game app. Still, I did play through it so counting it is fair. It’s a lot of fun at first, but actually gets less so the higher your score gets. After all, who wants to spend 30 minutes trying to top your score only to come out short in the end? Definitely not me! That’s 6 App games that I’ve tried out now. It could be a while before another one so we’ll see how that does in the end.

Overall, App games are very addicting. It’s easy to see how this one got so far. For every great title like this one there are probably 100 low budget mobile games that are pretty bad, but I’ve done a good job of avoiding those so far. I hope Nintendo comes out with a Super Smash app at some point as you just know that would be really awesome. I finally got Roy, Ike, and Lucina in this game so I’m definitely very satisfied with my turnout. I’d like to get Marth at some point, but I suppose it could be a while. If you’re interested in the game, I recommend downloading it as soon as possible. Even if you don’t want to play it yet, download the game just so you can start receiving your daily rewards by logging in. That way you’ll be extra prepared with a bunch of extra items and characters by the time you really do start. There are still a bunch of features that I don’t fully understand or have barely scratched the surface of and we’ll see if I ever do. At least it’s nice knowing that they’re there if I ever need them. It may be time to get a real Fire Emblem game, but I’ve heard mixed things on the newer ones and the old ones are so expensive. It’s definitely a tough call.

Overall 8/10

Marvel Contest of Champions Review

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Just looking at that cover should remind you just how changed Marvel is from the good ole days. We have a lot of heroes trying to replace the classic ones and most of the old ones have had drastic makeovers. No worries though, this game manages to include an enormous amount of characters so the classics are still here as well. With new characters constantly being added to the game, I don’t see Contest of Champions ending anytime soon. It’s simply too expansive at this point and I’m glad to see it doing well. The amount of content can be intimidating, but it also shows that you can do quite a lot even when under the free to play format. Someone should have told Super Mario Run about that.

There’s actually a plot this time. The Collector is having another game and has decided to pit the Marvel heroes against you. You are the chosen one and your opponent is Kang. Both of you collect Marvel heroes and duke it out until there is only one fighter still standing. The plot will probably have some wrinkles along the way though because there are dozens and dozens of levels. I only played about 10% of Act 1, which was already fairly long. Since they keep on adding new chapters and acts for special events, I can easily see this reaching an RPG’s length by the end. The story isn’t all that engaging so you’ll be playing it for the gameplay. Console games are still my priority though, which is why I didn’t play the game for too long. I played it enough to see what it was all about and then it was time to delete the app.

The gameplay is fairly straight forward. Tap the screen for standard attacks. Swipe forward to dash or back to dodge. You can also use charge attacks and special moves. Each battle will play out in pretty much the same way and the various special abilities will all blend together after a while. This is still a game with a reasonably small budget so you can’t go in expecting Marvel vs Capcom. Still, the graphics are very impressive considering. All of the character models are on point and it’s pretty surreal to see Marvel’s large array of characters all show up. The soundtrack is rather bland, but decent.

One issue is that the gameplay can get a little repetitive. I suppose that can be said about most mobile games, but other titles like 1010 and Pokemon Go are super fun anyway. You may be doing the same thing hundreds of times over, but it never gets old. Contest of Champions will get old after a while so you shouldn’t play it for too long at a time. If you play it seriously for collecting all of the heroes though, then this may not be a factor. I also have to give the game some props for not making the pay to win element too prevalent. You can still play for a while each day before hitting your limit and that’s a good thing. Madden Mobile got annoying for how quickly you hit the daily limit along with Pokemon Shuffle.

The main menu is a little cluttered and complicated, but at least it shows that there is a lot to do here. There are all kinds of modes to explore and crystals to earn. It just never stops and you can be lost in the menus for a good 20 minutes before deciding what to do. The replay value here is endless and that’s what we’ve come to expect from these apps. With this one gone, it’s going to be back to Pokemon Go for me. That’s really the only long term app game that I need. These other titles are good, but ultimately can’t compete.

Overall, Marvel’s Contest of Champions is a fun enough game. The graphics are sound and assembling your team of heroes can be addicting. Eventually you’ll either start to get frustrated by obtaining duplicate heroes even though you only have 5 or 6, or you will be completely into the game by then and just hooked on all of the future updates. If you’re a big mobile player, then I recommend adding it to your roster. If not, then this one can probably be passed. It’s good, but you could always just buy Marvel vs Capcom instead for the superior fighter. I know that DC also got a very similar fighting game on the app store, but I don’t plan on trying it out anytime soon.

Overall 7/10

Super Mario Run Review

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I finally went and played a few Toad Rallies so now this game is set for the review. As you may know, you have to actually pay the 10 dollars in order to play the full Mario Run game. I’m not going to call that a ripoff because then you should just consider it like any other game. I suppose 10 dollars isn’t all that much, but I’m not willing to pay that at the moment so this review is of the free content. I acknowledge that the full game would probably be closer to the next level.

Well, this game’s a free runner so there isn’t much to say about the gameplay. You’re always running and you’ll automatically jump over enemies so you just have to focus on not falling into any holes. The game is super easy at the moment, but all Mario games have an easy World 1. It’s to build you up to what is to come. You can practice your tricks on the enemies and at least rack up the experience points. You are able to play the first three levels under the free form of the game. The other main thing to do is to play the Toad Rallies. Basically, they are time trials against other players and the winner is the one who gets the most coins. Grabbing Toads through cool tricks are a must if you want to win these. I’ve won a few battles and it’s fun to get the extra Toads, but it is a bit of a gambling game as you can also lose toads when you lose. That part will probably get annoying as you face tougher levels.

The graphics are sharp as you would expect them to be. The Mario characters all look good and it is clear that this is in the Super Mario Bros series. They even have the nice spin to get you some extra air distance. The music wasn’t working for me at first, but got better later on. It’s Mario so the musical themes and the sound effects are on point as you would expect. On a technical level, this game certainly does not disappoint at all. There is very little content under the free version so there isn’t much replay value at all, but the full game should give you a good amount for the 10 dollars, not to mention all of the extra characters that you’ll unlock.

You can also earn some My Nintendo Points here, which you can use for musical themes for your 3DS or even the occasional download game once every few months. What holds this game back a little is the Free Runner format. Honestly, I’d prefer to control Mario myself as this style could get a little annoying after a while. The extra challenge should definitely help with that though. I don’t see this becoming as big of a phenomenon as Candy Crush or Pokemon Go, but it is a nice entry to the Mobile Market for Nintendo. I hope to see them continue to participate, but I also want them to give us some epic games on the Switch. They have a lot of good series under their belt so they have to make the most of them.

Overall, I’d recommend Super Mario Run. It’s a fun little title and this game is probably worth the 10 dollars more than some other games. However, don’t expect too much out of the gameplay and there are other Free Runners that you could play for free…just throwing that out there. The game isn’t for Android yet and unfortunately, it appears that this may be the case for quite a while thanks to security concerns. Don’t worry, you guys aren’t missing a whole lot. I’ll probably play this game a little longer, but then it’s time to put it on the shelf. I don’t really play mobile games all that much anyway. For the most part, I like to just stick to 2 of them at a time and I already have Pokemon Go and Marvel’s Contest of Champions on the front. The latter is just about done though so I’ll probably have a review for that one up soon as well. Now I’m set for that Switch Mario game coming out soon.

Overall 7/10

Pokemon Go Review

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It’s time to finally review the big app sensation of the last few months. I played it quite a lot and got all the way to Level 32. The game’s starting to die down now with the cold weather stopping many players so now felt like a good time to review it. I’ll still be sticking with it but my pace has slowed quite a bit so if anything, I’ll just add updates whenever I reach a new level. I can certainly say that it has lived up to the hype although I’ll admit that it was a rough road at first with all of the bugs. The game isn’t 100% smooth yet, but we are getting there and the game continues to add updates. As this is an App game, the review likely won’t be all that long, but still longer than most similar titles.

You are given some Pokeballs to start the game with. You catch Pokemon and every time you do this you get 100 stardust and 3 candies for that Pokemon. You can use stardust to power up your Pokemon and you can use the candy to evolve them into stronger forms. You can transfer duplicates that you don’t want to the Professor. As you level up in the game, you’ll get more items like Great and Ultra Balls as well as access to stronger levels for your Pokemon. The end goal for players is usually one of two options. The first is to simply complete the Pokedex. That’s my end goal although it is certainly a very tough one. I don’t count Regional Exclusives, but even so you have to get lucky to catch some of the rare ones like Snorlax and Lapras. The other goal is to get to Level 40, which is quite the achievement as well since the EXP needed for each level grows tremendously as you go through the game. I’m at Level 32 and I believe that means that I am just barely over half way or maybe not even there yet.

The game itself is very simple. You’ll understand how to play it in a matter of minutes. What made it a sensation is the fact that you find Pokemon out in the wild and you can activate the camera so you can see the real world at the same time. I never use that feature because the battery drain is already quite high without considering that. It’s fun because it loosely tracks the distance that you walk and it’s a way to keep you active and about. You may walk more while playing the game because you want to catch Pokemon and get some more EXP. It’s a game that you can’t play quite as well indoors as outdoors.

If the game had been handled smoothly, I think it still could have been a big sensation right now. Unfortunately, the game has a tendency of shutting off, heating up your phone, glitching your gym battles and locking you out, and a whole plethora of issues. I’m not even going to go into them because you’re probably well aware of them thanks to the internet and how popular the title was. The only bug that really bothers me now is the Gym one. Whenever I try to take over a Gym, I’m blocked out because of a random glitch. It’s gotten to the point where I haven’t taken over a gym in a very long time. That’s tough on coin earning since it’s the only way to earn coins. I have a survey app which has helped quite a lot with that, but it’s still not a very fun issue to have.

I don’t want this review to give off a negative vibe though. As you can tell, I’ve played the game for a very long time. It’s a highly addictive title much like Mario or Pac Man and it’s a game that can last you for well over a year. They may raise the level cap when they add in future generations which could be fun or frustrating depending on how you look at it. That’s not til the summer though and I have my doubts on whether I’ll be playing that far into the future, but you never know. I don’t plan to delete the app even when I’m playing rarely so I can always go back and look at it. Ultimately, it is an app and those are great for passing the time. The game will likely be even smoother and more polished by that point.

The graphics for the game look pretty good. Considering that it’s a mobile title, everything is clear. The soundtrack is limited as it only has one or two actual themes. The main theme isn’t very good, but the other one is all right. I’d love the ability to add in your own musical tracks, but I play on mute 99% of the time so I suppose it wouldn’t actually make a huge difference to me in the end.

Overall, Pokemon Go was a sensation and I’m glad to have been apart of it. It’s definitely the kind of thing that you’ll have fun telling people about many years down the road. This is the company’s second project of this kind so I wonder if they’ll ever do another franchise. I doubt it would get quite as much traction since nothing is quite as big as Pokemon when it comes to catching them all, but it is a very successful formula. At Level 32 with 137/150 Pokemon caught, I’d definitely say that I’ve come far. If you haven’t played the game yet, then I recommend giving it a whirl. It’s not the same as when it first came out of course, but there are still a lot of lures around to attract Pokemon with and it’s better to start now than later. More players is always a good thing for the game since it means that the gyms will stay active and you’ll have actual competition. Just remember that Team Valor is the way to go!

Overall 9/10

1010! Review

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It’s been a while since I reviewed an App game. I technically don’t play a whole lot of them. The first one that I ever dove into was Madden Mobile, which I played for a few months last year. After that, I picked up Pokemon Go this year, which I still play quite actively. I’ll probably review that one once I’m done with the game. I’m planning to stop once I’m level 30 or once I’ve filled up the Pokedex and then I’ll probably just let it rest until Johto. 1010! is a game that I only downloaded because I was challenged by someone who claimed that I could never beat her score. I chuckled and realized that she didn’t know who she was talking too. I am the master of all games and never back down from a challenge! I downloaded the game, and quickly sighed. This was going to be too easy!

The gameplay is fairly simple to pick up and play. You have a classic board of squares that are all empty at first. You are given 3 blocks on the bottom that you have to add to the field. Their shapes will vary based on a limited number of possible shapes. You must fit them all in and then you are given another trio of blocks to add. You don’t have to worry about color coordination as it is purely based on filling rows and columns. Once you fill a row, the row becomes empty and likewise for columns. Completing multiple rows and columns at once will give you bonus points. You keep on going until you are no longer able to add blocks onto the field. When that happens, you have been defeated.

It’ll take you maybe 2-3 minutes tops to understand the rules, but you will get better at making decisions as you play. Soon you’ll be able to eye ball the field and instantly know where you should place the pieces. That being said, no matter how good you get at the game, you can’t get away from the fact that a large portion of the game is completely based on luck. If the game gives you the wrong blocks at a critical time, it’s game over. You always have to gamble based on which block you think will show up. I am not trying to downplay the skill involved though. Some people consistently get scores in the 10000s which is no coincidence. Luck is involved quite a lot, but so is skill. You simply have to play the game enough to really figure out what style works for you.

In the end, I got up to a score of 2919. I deleted the app after a while, but it was a fun run through. I didn’t manage to pass the person who had over 9000, but I helped my Mom get into the game and she shattered the score by about 3000 so I’d call that a win. I did beat the challengee’s friend though so that counts as another mild victory. In the end, you can do just about anything if you put your mind to it! That was my motto as I got into this. The gameplay is certainly a lot of fun and it is easy to just play this for hours and lose track of time. I’ve said it many times and I’ll say it again, mobile games can be great because of how addicting they are and how easy they are to subtly play. It’s hard to take out a 3DS or PSP in public because it might get snatched, but playing something on your phone? That’s no problem!

There’s not much to say about the graphics since there isn’t much to look at here. Everything looks clear so I’ll give it a thumbs up in that category. You can slightly change how the game looks with one or two free options, but the default look ends up being the best way to play. I don’t recall any actual soundtrack, but I usually played with the volume off anyway. The one problem that I have with the game is that its time consuming. After a while, you’ll find yourself less incentivized to play as your high score gets higher and higher. It simply takes too long to get a score that high so you’re better off not even trying. I can’t imagine how people with scores over 10000 keep on playing. Just getting near that number will take a really long period of time. There’s not much of a way to fix that though unless the game added a timer. It’s still a lot of fun so it’s a mild thing that I think could boost the game to the next level.

Overall, 1010! is a fun app. You may not want to play it forever and ever as you’ll find your time vanishing, but it’s fun to play once in a while. It’s certainly good for passing time on the train. I’m the kind of guy who never looks back when it comes to Apps though so don’t expect to see me playing the game again. I do recommend it of course, but Pokemon Go is the only App that I’ve had time for lately. I do intend to play the Pac Man one at some point though. Who knows, if someone challenges me to another App, you may see another review sooner rather than later! Nobody can stop my mad gaming skills!!

Overall 7/10