November 21, 2019

Rude Racers


When I was asked to do a review for Rude Racers, I was curious.  I saw that it was based off of Road Rash, which was an amazing series on the Sega Genesis, so I went from curious to intrigued.  Then I played the game and the intrigue turned back into indifference. It was an emotional rollercoaster to be sure, but ultimately I’m glad I checked it out, even though I will most likely be putting it aside for better games in my backlog. 

Rude Racers is a casual 2D combat racing game developed and published by Famous Dogg Studios, and is available on iOS, Android and Steam.  I have an Android phone, and it is free to download on mobile devices, but on Steam it is currently $2. The reviews on Steam were very positive, but I started on mobile since its free.  Though most of my review will cover that version, I did eventually get to download the PC version.

The game consists of you riding an ATV in a race against others, and you race upwards on the racetrack avoiding obstacles and beating off the competition to stay ahead in the race.  In a lot of the reviews I’ve read, they mention the action being “fast and furious” in many of them, but I personally wouldn’t go that far when describing it. Your speed does not change in-race, and it definitely doesn’t feel frenetic most of the time, though you can buy vehicles that have better speed stats.  You gradually catch up with the other racers, and after passing them, they gradually catch up to you. The gameplay modes consist of Seasons, where you earn trophies and money for upgrades to your vehicle, person or weapon, and Quickplay matches where you can play a match for some quick in-game cash.  In the Seasons, there are multiple types of game modes, including races, deathmatches mode, and even a mode where you compete with the CPU characters to knock down the most pizza delivery vehicles, which establishes a bit of variety. Each season is a different setting, but each track still looks and feels the same.  If the game seems too easy at first play, you eventually can choose between easy, medium and hard modes for each mode, each subsequent mode earning more money than the previous one if you win. I was bored playing easy mode and quickly switched to hard mode, which was more my speed. (Pun intended) Each round of the mobile version that you play consumes 1 unit of fuel, and once all of it is gone you have to wait for it to replenish.  Video ads pop up periodically between matches, and you can watch ads to earn extra fuel.

The controls on mobile consist of horizontal movement and an attack button, which is nice and simple for a mobile game.  If you have a small enough phone to hold in one hand, I imagine this game is easy to play. I own a Note, and I don’t have Tony Robbins’ hands so I certainly couldn’t play one-handed.  Still, I like my mobile controls simple in a pick-up-and-play game, and the controls work well for what this game is. The PC version allows you to use the keyboard & mouse or a controller, and the controls remain the same.

Thankfully, there is no “paywall” on the free mobile version, and there isn’t any in-game currency to worry about.  There is a shop available to buy extra cash or fuel for $0.99 or $2 to get rid of ads (presumably only in the mobile version), which is the same price of the Steam version.  Well played, Famous Dogg. I didn’t play the game enough in one sitting for the ads to bother me too much. There isn’t much extra functionality to the PC version of the game that isn’t included in the mobile version, which makes the free version a good way to start, especially if you’re unsure if this game is for you.

When it comes to replayability, this game is more suited to being a casual mobile game than a simple Steam game.  It may even have benefitted as a free web-based online game, but I can understand why the Famous Dogg would want to make a bit of money off their efforts.  When I was a teacher, I certainly would have let my students play this after they finished their work, and I imagine kids would enjoy this much more than adults, though it has a certain appeal regardless. Even though the concept of racing and attacking the others is somewhat violent, I’d still let my 5-year-old play this game and he might enjoy it more than I did.

Final Thoughts:
I’m torn as to whether to recommend this game or not.  This game is a simple race and bash game with simpler graphics, and it gets the job done as a quick-fix game.  I never felt the need to play it for long stretches of time, and it’s not the first game on my phone that I run to when I need a gaming fix.  As a free casual mobile game, you could do worse...but you could find a better one too. Give it a shot, play through the first few rounds and get to the spot where you choose game modes and difficulties and you’ll start unlocking things.  If you’re not pulled in by then (and unfortunately I wasn’t), at least you didn’t shell out a whopping two dollars for the PC version. 

Steam version: 5 out of 10 - it’s fun in small bursts, and may appeal more to younger gamers. Would serve better as a free web-based game for kids, but as an adult I’ll turn my gaming efforts elsewhere.

Mobile Version: 6 out of 10 - It’s more accessible to a wider audience as a casual one-handed mobile game that’s easy to pick up and play.  Not the best game out there, but definitely scratches an itch if you need a distraction.


Written by Gamified Dad

Check out more of his work at https://gamifieddad.wixsite.com/mancave

November 20, 2019

Pokemon Quest




Pokemon Quest has that Nintendo shine. The game looks amazing, on both Switch and mobile devices. The developer nailed the art form. But that is where all compliments end with this game.

You can listen to the episode to hear the myriad of problems this game has. It really boils down to this, there is zero engagement with this game. Almost the entire game can be played on auto pilot.

You can even watch me play the game the first time here and see just how bored I get.

As you can imagine Pokemon Quest did not get the Budget Arcade seal.

November 12, 2019

Unbroken Soul

By Elliot

I have not played a lot of the modern day platformers. Celeste, Limbo, Shovel Knight, Cuphead. When I think of the current platformers those are some of the names that come to mind for me. I haven’t even played the newest Mario game for the Switch.

I have played a lot of the previous generations of platformers. Lot of Sonic (can’t wait for the movie!) Mario, Crash, Spyro, Jax and Dexter, Banjo, just to name some that I liked. So Unbroken Soul interested me when it became our game of the week. I was thinking a mix of old school pixel platform and maybe some Dark Souls learn the fight mechanics. And that is exactly what it feels like to me.

In Unbroken Soul you have nine worlds to travel through, each with four stages and a boss fight at the end of each world. Worlds are different and unique enough, as are the bosses that it does not feel like the same zone over and over. Levels are also not to slow, just about the perfect size for a phone game. Some levels require more skill to traverse, others none at all. I found certain worlds to be kinda awful, requiring pinpoint accuracy to make a jump, or grab a hook. Not every world here was created equally, and the difficulty doesn’t progress in a linear fashion. Some are just harder to get through than others. Same goes with boss fights. I found the second world boss to be hard when I originally got to him. But the last three regular bosses before the final boss I was able to one shot without any issue, go figure.

I found I had more problems with levels, not being accurate enough in my jumps than I did with boss fights. Patterns overall were not too hard to learn, and once you have mastered them replaying a level for extra gold was very easy and quick to do. I hate when you have to die to figure out the puzzle as well. That only happened a couple of times, but I feel like that is a cheap mechanic, basically forcing you to die in order to progress, there was no way of knowing what to do without realistically dying at least once.

I also struggle to play games with screen controls, luckily Unbroken Soul has an answer to that. The recent ios update allows you to use a PS4 controller if the game has built in controls. After beating the game I attempted to try out the touch controls and found it next to unplayable for me in some worlds. Could be that I’m an old man now and I need the tactile feel of a controller, could be the game is garbage without one. I also frequently felt like I was sliding on ice with my character, nothing to crazy, the controls are responsive, but you character moves just a little after you let up on the controls.

Story to this game is weak. Dialogue cutscenes at the start of a level, before a boss, and after you leave the zone. BUT. BUT. also in the middle of the damn boss fights, you’ll get a dialogue scene. And if you die and have to do the fight again, you get the same cutscenes. For a game with little to no story, I could have done without.

I find Unbroken Soul to be a well above average phone game, and an average game in general. While being very frustrating at times, I never really struggled to understand what I needed to do in order to get to the next area, I just didn’t have the pinpoint accuracy it required. I imagine if I was playing with the touch screen I would have given up at some point. Pretty good game for a phone, and at the price tag you get your money's worth. By far not the worst way to spend a few hours, but feels like a time waster than a full fledged game at times.

November 11, 2019

Black Desert Mobile



MANHATTAN BEACH, Calif. – November 11, 2019 – Pearl Abyss today announced that the free-to-play open-world action MMORPG, Black Desert Mobile, will be launched globally on iOS and Android devices on December 11, 2019. Following an initial soft-launch on Android in seven countries and driving more than three million game pre-registrations, the grand launch of Black Desert Mobile will include new gameplay features and support for nine languages.

To celebrate, all pre-registrations through the official website for Black Desert Mobile will reward visitors with a free copy of Black Desert on supported consoles or PC. Pre-register now on the official website to claim your key to Black Desert on consoles or PC while supplies last: https://www.world.blackdesertm.com/Intro/prereg The Black Desert franchise spans across PC, Xbox One, PlayStation®4, and mobile platforms with over 20 million registered users and availability in more than 150 countries. Black Desert Mobile offers the same fast-paced action combat and detailed character customization that players have come to expect on PC and console, with support for English, German, French, Spanish, Russian, Thai, Indonesian, Chinese and Chinese Traditional languages. Experience an open-world MMORPG filled with relaxing life skills and more, including:

Character Classes - Choose from five classes: Warrior, Ranger, Giant, Witch, or Valkyrie. Pick from masters of melee combat to those who attack from afar with range, or select a magic-based class for offensive and defensive skills.
Combat - Explore a deep combat system that allows players to experience the same core action of Black Desert on their mobile phone.
Customization - Discover your potential through a detailed character creation system. Design a unique adventurer by choosing from five classes and distinct skill sets to reflect your personal playstyle.
Life Skills - Hone your skills by fishing, gathering, trading, horse breeding, and camp managing your way to riches.
Leveling - Grow your character’s strength with different attributes including Equipment Enhancement, Accessories, the Black Spirit, and various Pets.
In-Depth Gameplay - In-game systems offer an immersive gameplay experience, such as social guilds, weather changes, a real-time marketplace, and environment. Black Spirit Mode, which enables Adventurers to continue their game and get rewards without network connection, even if the app is completely turned off.

Pre-register on the Google Play Store or pre-order on iOS App Store ahead of the global launch on December 11, 2019. For more information about Black Desert Mobile, visit the official website and connect with us on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.

About Black Desert Black Desert is an open-world action MMORPG with cutting-edge visuals and skill-based combat that redefines the genre. Black Desert has the most developed character customization system of any game that is currently on the market. This feature allows users to break out of the norm and make unique characters that truly represent each and every player. Its intuitive controls, beautifully designed world and extensive lore will excite both newcomers and veterans of MMO games and action RPGs. Black Desert has been successfully launched in over 150 countries, is available in 12 languages and has 20 million registered users. About Pearl Abyss Best known for the MMORPG franchise Black Desert, Pearl Abyss is a leading developer in the game industry. Established in 2010, Pearl Abyss has since developed Black Desert for PC, mobile and console. With all their games built on their proprietary engine, their games are renowned for their cutting-edge graphics. The company has three new projects in the works and is poised to continue its growth through 2019 and beyond to maintain its position as one of Asia’s leaders in game development. More information about Pearl Abyss is available at: www.pearlabyss.com.

November 3, 2019

Magic Bricks


By Tessa

I played Magic brick for a couple of days and this is how it went.

This game is really straightforward you use fighters and bricks to protect your king and defeat your opponent. The bricks have special defenses like fire, ice and poison. They are shaped like Tetris blocks and the shapes pop up randomly so you ha e to be mindful of where you put them and how you arrange them. They regenerate after ten seconds. You tap and place them on your board as you go if you place them over one of your opponent’s fighters they become encased for a few seconds.

You get points and coins to build up your fighters and make them stronger. They regenerate after ten seconds and as far as I can tell there isn’t a limit of how many you can use in a match. There are four different types and I guess they do different things but it doesn’t really matter, as they all attack your opponent’s wall.

I wish the game had an option where you could build up your kingdom I love games like that and would probably find this game much more interesting. All the fighters look the same as your opponents you can’t customize them at all which is annoying to me. The game play is just placing bricks and adding fighters then watching said fighters cross the board. It’s kinda boring.

If the game let you customize things and build a kingdom or had a bit more to the fighting I’d give it a higher score. I did however win every match I played so there’s that.

I give this game a 4/10