Tagged: mobile

It is Totally Time to say Goodbye to PlayStation Mobile!

I hope you loaded up on all your favorite Flappy Bird clones and weather apps because the PlayStation Mobile marketplace officially died yesterday on the Vita. Actually, it’s more like it’s slowly being strangled to death. July 15th marked the last day for new content releases (of which there were none) and as of September 10th purchase via web browser and re-download of previously purchased content will be disabled.

In honor of the dysfunctional storefront, which I periodically kept an eye on, I recorded one last look at all the game and app categories. Dramatic readings of busted game descriptions ensues. Unfortunately, when I stopped to eat dinner the microphone got muted and so there’s a 30 minute chunk with no audio. I pop back on at the 1:14:00 mark, and yes, I recorded 90 minutes of this derelict marketplace. I really did like it, for good and bad reasons.

Now Playing: Tori Watch (iOS, Android)

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Do you like birds, but don’t want the mess and noise of having one as a pet?  Do you like birds, but don’t like sitting outside too often  to watch for them?  Well this Japanese app (game?) has solved these problems!  The app is still mostly in Japanese, but is available here. It’s called Tori Watch by ククリス・ゲームズ (Cuculis Games) and you can find it on the Google Play store and iTunes.

Even without reading Japanese many of the menus are easy to figure out.  You can upgrade the food items you feed them with to attract new types of birds.  There are info cards to tell you about them, but those are in Japanese.  Hopefully it will get translated to English someday, but until then here are some info cards I made myself.

Shawn’s Thoughts
First off, Katy’s images are fantastic! The in-game models are cute but I didn’t realize how spot on they were to the real birds until Katy put them side by side. Questioning if this is a game at all is also spot on but as the adorably translated description proclaims, “you can play it without any complicate action”. They know the score. Truthfully, the most challenging thing I’ve done is to keep my screen from timing out when new birds arrive.

Despite the simple nature of this “bird watching game to observe leisurely small birds”, it definitely follows modern mobile game design. Don’t worry, none of it involves microtransactions or hot sales on ‘Energy’, it’s supported by simple ad banners. Birds fly in, you get points. Like Katy said, you spend those points to upgrade your feed options or expand your park to accommodate more birds. There’s a journal with goals to shoot for (again, all in Japanese so I’m guessing stuff like “get a male and female on-screen at once”) but that’s about all you have to do.

It’s been a cute little diversion over the last few days and fun to poke around the Japanese menus to figure out how the game works.

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