Tagged: Android

A new videOST for CounterSpy is out today!

There’s something in CounterSpy’s visual style and soundtrack that more than compensate for its gameplay flaws. It’s a terribly inconsistent game when it comes to being spotted which makes the experience more frustrating than it should be. Still, I really liked it and after the first several hours with the game I couldn’t stop humming its cool 60’s spy flick music.

I went looking for an official soundtrack but only found a few songs on Soundcloud and one copy on vinyl… that comes direct from the developers??! So I did the thing I usually do and recorded it myself! It was a fun process and really got me thinking about the audio design and how it’s all linked to go along with the randomly generated levels. Then I thought about things even more and edited all the musical cues and interludes into a new videOST series. Watch, listen, enjoy and then go play the game yourself. It’s pretty fun, only a little flawed and it’s on every PlayStation platform as well as iOS and Android.

Of 2014: The ‘I played some mobile games?!’ List

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What is the world coming to when I — Touchscreen Naysayer No.1 — play enough mobile phone games in a year to warrant a list of them?! This was originally a moanful free-to-play list but that trend is so ingrained nowadays it’s not worth highlighting. That I put a ton of time into games on my phone is way more noteworthy so let’s do a little rundown.

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Watch Dogs Companion: ctOS
Status: Still Installed
This is the kind of multiplayer experience I want! The app syncs you up with someone playing Watch Dogs (on any platform) and puts you in control of Chicago’s police force to throw obstacles at them while they try to complete a checkpoint race. It has its own level system with unlocks and achievements and was an all around magic moment of technology in 2014.

Disco Zoo
Status: Uninstalled after months of not playing
I expected nothing less than pure, simple addiction from the makers of Tiny Tower and that’s what I got. This one throws in a memory-style puzzle game to fill the ranks of your ever-expanding pixel zoo. It was simple enough to play for 20 seconds at a time and enticing enough to come back to for a few months.

Dragon Coins
Status: Uninstalled after months of not playing
Coin Dozer meets Collectible Card Game meets RPG. It was a great combination of gameplay that had me strategizing individual coin drops and building up my preferred deck of monsters. It was fun but after a few weeks the endless slog of replaying old battles revealed itself and I mostly burned out.

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Smash Hit
Status: Still Installed
This one is still on my phone because it’s absolutely gorgeous to watch. A simple rail shooter where you launch balls at abstract shapes, it has amazing lighting and wonderful physics simulation (and destruction).

Trials Frontier
Status: Reluctantly Uninstalled
It offers so much Trials for so little I didn’t ever feel the burning urge to buy the newest console version. Maybe they made it too good. Nah, if it were I’d still be playing it but after months of fun challenges I finally hit the brick wall where absolute perfection is required. That’s not something I enjoy working for on a touchscreen so I reluctantly removed the game. It sure was great for a good long while and by far my favorite mobile game of the year.

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Disney Tsum Tsum
Status: Still Installed, Rarely Played
It’s like Bejeweled if it were made out of squishy plush Disney characters. The floppy physics adds a fun wrinkle to the typical fast-paced puzzle gameplay and the steadily improving power-ups enable higher and higher scores. Another one that was fun for months that I now only play very rarely.

Word Puttz
Status: Uninstalled
Minigolf and word games, a combination of two things I love that I never would’ve expected anyone to make. From the You Don’t Know Jack folks, it was great to have a single player word game but then they introduced an evil A.I. opponent that I could never beat. Fun for a bit but those timed challenges ruined it for me.

 

Done Playing: Trials Frontier (Android, iOS)

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It was the fourth part in one of the game’s longest string of quests. Each round requires out-racing an increasing number of real player ghosts. After numerous attempts and waiting for the timer on a few bike upgrades I was finally able to top the 26th opponent in my way. With the victory dialog finally ready to reveal something I felt like I was in for a big reward… and then the game broke.

It would be a day of force closing the app, restarting it and watching it crash on that same almost-reveal. I posted to the official forums and another day later was advised to remove the game and download it again. Booting it up didn’t find my save game until I’d replayed the introductory section again but finally, I was able to complete the quest. The reward? Another tier of 26 opponents and a tease of a further sentence of explanatory text. My other quest option was similar; another tier of endless grinding to craft top tier items in races against grueling A.I. opponents.

That was about a week ago at this point and since I haven’t had the heart to load up the game I think it’s safe to say I’m officially ‘Done PlayingTrials Frontier. It was a lot of fun and I played it for a solid two months and change; I even gave them five bucks when they had a pack of coins, gear and diamonds on sale. Those boosts helped but the quests I’m up to now require double the time, luck and energy as the ones I’d worked through in the weeks before.

Here is the apex of what I’m willing to give for some physics-y fun driving and what the game wants to take out of me to let me keep going. And like one of those impossibly steep inclines on an Extreme difficulty Trials track I just can’t throw myself at it any longer. Now, if they’d just put Trials Fusion on sale already!

Continue reading this series with Part 1Part 2, and Part 3 

Still Playing: Trials Frontier (Android, iOS) Pt.3

Here’s some trans-media content for ya, a little video tour of where I’m at in Trials Frontier. I’m using ADB’s screen record function here so there’s no audio and it hits the framerate a little hard in spots but mostly this is what it’s like to play; slick victories and grindy prize wheel spinning alike.

Continue reading this series with Part 1Part 2 and Part 4

Still Playing: Trials Frontier (Android, iOS)

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Quests, coins, upgrades and time sinks

In my last post about Trials Frontier I was on the verge of unlocking a new bike and a new tier of races. That much went fine but shortly after the game’s progression hit one of those trademark Trials inclines that looks impossible to ascend.

The new tier was fun to explore and the courses really feel on par with Trials Evolution. There’s even a few physics-y gimmicks I don’t remember dealing with in any previous Trials game. It was around this point, though, that bike upgrades became a necessity and not just a periodic quest line. It doesn’t look like it by the tiny sliver of top speed or acceleration that you’ll get out of a $20,000 upgrade but you can definitely feel it.

And so the grind has been on for coins and crafting materials while I continue to beat my head against an array of ghost races. At least three different quest lines have you racing AI or live player ghosts to progress; one set is literally a bunch of races against a ghost. Despite the impressive number of tracks available (I’ve got 50 unlocked so far) the game seems to favor the same seven or eight courses which makes things feel even more tedious. Adding to the slow new pace of progress is some actual slowdown. Sometimes a race will load and the framerate on my Galaxy S4 will be cut in half. The slow-mo effect has helped me win a few races by giving me time to fine tune my landings but overall it’s a bummer.

All this could instantly be rectified if I were willing to pump some money into the game. For $5 I could get enough gems to skip the crafting materials and for another $5 I could buy enough coins to pay for the next few upgrades. But the races themselves still have to be run and won so I’m taking this new pace as the game’s slower middle age.

I still play several times a day and almost every day. The slot machine continues to provide fun new challenges and doles out some nice rewards between quest victories. Just the act of playing Trials still feels great and that’s enough to keep me going for the time being.

Continue reading this series with Part 1Part 3 and Part 4