It's been a good gaming week - I'm enjoying my new balance between console, PC, and tablet. Now if only I had a reason to fire up my 3DS...
Games of note this week:
1 - X:Com - Enemy Unknown
2 - Rows Free
3 - Your Shape: Fitness 2012
4 - Elf Defense
5 - Polara
I quite enjoyed Polara when I first played it - but now I can say without reservation that it is destined to be a classic. Have you ever played Temple Run or Jetpack Joyride and thought "I wish this were made like a real classic game - with increasing difficulty, curated levels, sweet hidden objects, and a story!"
Your wish has come true.
Switching from blue to red is so natural - and so awesome. Jumping is easy, with a bit of hidden depth in exactly how high/far you'll travel. But the combination of the two is nothing short of magical. Jumping through spinning globes, reversing gravity, turning platforms on and off - and then doing them all together! Plus, the boss fights are totally sweet.
This was a surprising discovery - I love a good Tower Defense game, and they seem to be pretty thin on the ground for iOS. (Note the emphasis on good TD games...) Elf Defense might just make the cut. The visuals are great, and the mechanics of the touchscreen are solid. But best of all, there are some really interesting decisions to make - and a robust economy behind the game. Stay tuned to see how long this one can hold my attention.
Your Shape: Fitness Evolved 2012
I'm playing a Kinect game! This is pretty much the killer Kinect app for me - because not only does it tune a workout for me, but it's actually really helpful when I get some of the movements wrong. Doing the Bollywood dance, it might say "straighten your left arm" - because that's exactly what I'm doing wrong! A real person might frustrate me with their little corrections - but I'm loving the personal attention from my Kinect. Also, my body is feeling sore in a way I haven't felt since I was on the track team. That's good?
Here's a blast from 6 months back - a bare-bones puzzle game. It's so simple that I suspect most players wouldn't give it a second look - but math-nerds like me get totally wrapped up. You're given 4 objects, and you need to place them on a grid. Then you're given 4 more. If you get a line or a block which make a Set (set-style!) they disappear. You rarely get to make an obvious set, so the game is mostly all about layout out your pieces to create as many "set opportunities" as possible. I can easily lose myself for an hour in that process. I think the game is actually called "Rows" - but I can't imagine what features a paid version could add to the experience, so I choose to think that you are "freeing" rows.
X:Com - Enemy Unknown
I really like X:Com, but my efforts to play the game have been thwarted one way or another for quite some time. Recently I've been cursed in my games - dying immediately in Dredmor, or FTL. But now in X:Com I think I've broken the curse. I have a classic game running which looks really promising. My biggest complaint is the fact that everything in the game revolves around hit % - but nothing reduces damage. (There is an armor which reduces melee damage, I believe) So in the early game even if you play well a few lucky rolls from the Thin Men can just wipe your entire squad. Grrr...