Monday, April 13, 2015

Fotonica, Dark Slash Hero & Orbitum (iOS)

Over Easter I downloaded a bunch of games most of which I deleted afterwards - but three made the cut and here they are : 

Fotonica - I already own this game twice; once on PC and once on the OUYA, but it really fits on the iPhone - the one button endless runner is so stylish and well designed - it's no surprise it's makers are Italian. I just find that there are too many numbers getting in the way of actually gaguing a high score and wish it was simplified in that area a little more so I could easily compare to friends and leaderboards and know if the run I am on is a good one or not.

Santa Ragona are also responsible for making the equally stylish and well designed (albeit confusing at times) MirrorMoon Ep and (and I just found this out while writing this) they are making their own card game: check it out.

Also just check out the webpage for Fotonica - it looks so good.

Dark Slash Hero - I played the original Dark Slash when it came out and thought that it was so good: simple controls, pixel graphics and sounds and colours directly from the world of Diablo. Slashing baddies like a Samurai gets you points and at some point there is a boss and on it goes - what is not to like?

But interest in the original dried up for me quicker than I expected - there just wasn't enough reason to keep playing. I left it on my phone as a reminder that this game was really good and that at some point there was going to be an update or maybe a some kind of reincarnation for the OUYA as a multiplayer game. Then suddenly out comes Dark Slash Hero.

Essentially it's the same game except with more of everything and this time around they've given us unlockables to upgrade our hero to survive longer and give him some special abilities. I found the IAP to be a little steep and was going to grind for a while before deleting it - maybe I wasn't alone because they dropped the price of their "coin doubler" upgrade by 50% making the game much more playable and grindable. Still there are some characters that can only be unlocked for €2 each (I think €1 would have been more reasonable) and you can't get them any in game currency (in this case : Souls). Still running in circles with your sword trailing behind you like a Ronin and then slashing up a 20 combo never gets old - that and the zombie moan that I am sure is from Diablo - I keep heading back for more.

Orbitum - is apparently a rhythm-based reflex game. I actually didn't play much with the sound on (playing mostly with one hand while I sat in my son's room humming looping melodies to make him sleep.) so for me it was simply a really clean swirling hypnotic high score game.

It's an intriguing concept that gives you charge of this little particle looping around a black hole that eventually will suck the orbit that you are on in, so you must jump to a higher orbit and avoid it. There are also evil red triangle particles that will destroy you riding on some orbits and green and blue particles which you can crash into for bonuses and special effects. At some point the game goes faster, the colours change to distract you and the red triangles form all kinds of formations.

The real dizzying doozy about this is that while everything is swirling you can only go "up" an orbit, so whatever you pass it passed for good - this calls for some careful planning. The thing I find most difficult is when the game "freezes" and everything stops orbiting (maybe the black hole even stops) and you are the only thing that continues to move. Kills me every time.

Funnily enough, this isn't the only game that I have played lately that uses an orbit as a game play mechanic - 0RBITALIS being another, and if you are counting games that rotate and are circular this might even be the 3rd of 4th game I have played this year. Spinning is the new thing I guess....

The game is made by Happy Magenta, who also made Laser Hell (a game I checked out while playing all kinds of Flappy Bird clones) that was one of my favourites and have made a few other (I hesitate to use the word....) 'clones' that are actually worth playing - but they are all very different from Orbitum, which you should check it out (Bonus : also playable with one finger thumb....!)

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