My first thoughts: this is a NES game, right?
Infectonator! World Dominator is a game that perfectly captures the look of those NES games from way back, set in a much more modern gameplay environment. It’s a fusion of top-down world control and simple point-and-click mechanics.
The more damage you inflict, the more financial loss a town suffers. In true Resident Evil style, you get a reporter at the end of each clicking session, detailing how much damage you’ve done. Hit them hard enough and you unlock other towns, weapons (like bombs). There’s a coin-collecting component to the game (when villagers die, they drop money: this is the “financial loss”, but it isn’t worth much: all you have to do is move the mouse towards the coins. Easy peasy.
Of course, any game has targets. Infectionator sets targets for you to hit. Kill this number of people (usually half a town’s population) and you unlock bigger villages, towns and cities. Tougher places have soldiers and such that will mow down your zombies, so here’s a hint: get them before they get you. Your zombies will attack people and make them drop coins, which you use to upgrade the stats of whatever it is that you’re spreading, increasing the duration and so on. There’s no real indicator of how this affects performance in the field, so it’s mostly clicking the “+” button and hoping you can kill 15 more people this time around. As a result, gameplay isn’t that deep: it’s mostly down to clicking and watching all hell break loose.
The verdict? It isn’t brilliant, but it’s fun, especially when something that should be so simple (it’s just clicking, right?) turns out to be so difficult to time right. It’s awesome to see people going around saying “What a great day” and the 8bit mayhem that breaks free after a click or two. Visually, the game does its job with a touch of old-school nostalgia. In terms of audio, it’s great. There’s a chiptune beat going on that I absolutely love.
The game’s full of rough edges, especially an annoying lag that occurs on the first click. The 8/16-bit aesthetic works well. For a few sessions, at least. I don’t see myself conquering the whole world, but a continent or two? Great for when you’re in a foul mood and feel like messing up some innocent 8bit bystanders. 6 out of 10: a solid game with several flaws and several virtues.
Bloons 2 is a bubble-popping game. You control a monkey who fires darts at balloons: your job is to aim, charge and pop as many balloons as you can with each throw.
Now each level has different numbers of balloons, darts, and patterns, but that’s the core mechanic: popping balloons. Unfortunately, it isn’t very fun after the first few tries. There’s a gravity component that makes the darts feel slightly too heavy, and the action just seems too off to properly enjoy.
Controls are also nice with a choice between mouse control and the traditional WASD/Arrow keys scheme. Mouse control is simply the better option but for those playing on their laptops the keyboard scheme is necessary.
Objectives are varied with Clean Up missions, Engineering, and Scouting, among others. Missions are locked and certain upgrades are needed to unlock them. In the graphics department, the animations are stunning. The AI is also noteworthy. Gone are the days that you are just going to run and gun, zombies will throw rocks at you if you are keeping a distance. Also, the zombies eat the corpses lying around, a neat addition.
Certainly, Decision is one of the few games that maximize the limitation of the platform. Nothing groundbreaking may have been added for such a tired genre but nonetheless, the execution is flawless.
It is very difficult to define genres of games nowadays. Knightmare Tower may look like a “launcher” game, but it is more like of a “jumper” one. Anyway, we’re not going to beat up ourselves trying to figure out what’s the genre of the game, but how good or bad the game plays.
Knightmare Tower was developed by Juicy Beast, the same team who created Burrito Bison, another launcher game. Like Burrito Bison, Knightmare Tower features colorful, cartoonish graphics. The models are comic, so the violence gets a little diluted. The environment details are dynamic, as it changes as you progress. Though, if you have a fairly weak machine, it may lag, and lag a lot. You can always turn off some of the graphic details like dynamic shadows, particles, and miscellaneous special effects.
Gameplay is where Knightmare Tower stands out. This is a launcher game and all you’ve got to do is keep moving upward as long as you can. You also have to kill monsters on your way up and use them as launch pads while you slice them off their faces. You can move around while in the air by using the arrow keys or the mouse. Dashing is done by the down key and the left mouse button. Basically, you are going to rescue princesses held inside the tower.
The level design is rather complex. This is not your usual launcher/jumper game where you die when you fall off the screen. As you are flying into the sky, hot lava is slowly creeping up too. You won’t die immediately if you fall off the screen but it will make the lava chase you. You could see in the screen when the lava starts is nearby since there will be a red/orange vibes washing all over the place. And if you splash directly to the lava, you’d be dead, regardless if you have complete lives.
The enemies drop items like hearts (extra life) and moneybags. You can use your collected money in purchasing upgrades in the shop like armor and your sword. You can also buy potions and other unlockables.
There are also quests, which are rather funny. Even the item and upgrade descriptions are funny. Knightmare Tower also tracks your stats like loot, rescued princesses and distance travelled. There is also a worldwide leaderboard so that you can boast your score and compare it to others. Completing the game will unlock the survival mode. It’s the endless version of the game proper where you beat your previous record and such.
Knightmare Tower usurps every little launcher games available in the Internet as it is the most complete, most interactive, arguably the prettiest and it’s just so fun to play, whether you’re a casual player or a hardcore gamer.
Nothing is more popular than shooters. Most of the console and PC games nowadays are all about shooting things into smithereens. Armor Mayhem is an action shooter that everyone would actually enjoy playing because of the sheer amount of guns the game offers.
Armor Mayhem sets you in the future where space marines are sent into space to find energy source. In other news, your controlled characters and AI-controlled players are extremely similar to Halo, the game which propelled the FPS in consoles because of its fun multiplayer game.
There is a campaign mode. It’s just a throw-in since the narrative barely makes sense. You have to play the entire campaign to unlock all the levels that you can use in custom battles. You can also command AI teammates, (by pressing E) it’s a cool addition but not spectacular. It would be far better that you do things on your own and let your comrades be just mere distractions.
Controls are fine, but it is much fluid. You’ll find your marine flying all over the place because the physics is too “soft”. You move by WASD keys and you can aim with your mouse and shoot with the left mouse button. Pressing S would allow you to pick up weapons scattered all over the levels. You can always switch back to your standard weapon with Q. There’s a bullet-time ala Matrix that can be filled when you pump bullets to your enemies’ armor and you can activate it by holding down the spacebar. There are lots of game modes like Team Deathmatch, Capture the Datasphere, Territory control and Overdrive.
You can unlock maps by simply winning the matches. However, if you wish to upgrade your weapons and customize your space marine, you have to spend in-game cash. The game warns you that it is taxing to your CPU, and it’s true. I played it on my netbook and the lag can kill you right away. Regardless, if you have a powerful machine, you won’t have a problem.
Armor Mayhem is the best at what it does but there are lots of shooters that executes better than this one. Doesn’t mean this game is not a must-play. It is, but there are no online multiplayer, which is a must-have feature for games like these.