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Posts tagged with "game day"




Game Day: Fowlst

Sometimes the best distraction from a frantic and chaotic day is an even more frantic and chaotic game. Fowlst, which developer CatCup Games, describes as ‘an action game about an owl that is trapped in Hell for some reason’ is perfect for just such an occasion.

Fowlst is an arcade-style action, dodging game. You play as the owl, pursued by demons that shoot lasers at you while you try to avoid buzzsaws, fire, and other obstacles. The game gets crazy fast.

The mechanics remind me of Don’t Grind, one of my favorite arcade-style games released last year. You control your owl by tapping on the left and right-hand sides of the screen, which makes your owl fly in a bouncy kind of way in the direction of your taps. The controls purposefully require a careful coordination of left and right taps to navigate your owl. Power-ups are activated by swiping up on the screen. It’s a simple control scheme that makes Fowlst easy to pick up and start playing, but difficult to master.

Demons are defeated by colliding with them before you run out of hearts from being hit by lasers or other obstacles. Unlike Don’t Grind, you don’t have to keep your owl aloft constantly. You can rest on the bottom of any stage or a perch, but constantly moving helps make it harder for the demons to get you. There are also periodic bosses theoughout the game to mix up the pace of the action.

When you defeat a demon, it’s replaced with a floating sack of money and occasionally a heart or power-up that disappears after a few seconds. To collect items, you need to steer your owl into them while simultaneously dealing with other demons and obstacles. The cash you collect can be spent to upgrade your owl with health and weapons.

The game ends when you run out of hearts. Fowlst then tallies the money you collected, the number of levels cleared and shows how you did compared to your high score, which has the effect of making the game wonderfully-compulsive to play. Fowlst keeps things interesting by randomizing the levels you are presented each time you play through. It’s a carefully struck balance that keeps the gameplay familiar enough to avoid frustration but also avoids becoming monotonous.

Fowlst combines its arcade action with pixelated art, a complementary chiptune soundtrack, and lots of ‘pew-pew’ laser sound effects. The result is an addictive arcade game that has almost no learning curve and is easy to pick up and play for short periods of time but is difficult to master and hard to put down. It’s a perfect combination for a mobile game, making Fowlst a title I’m going to be returning to often.

Fowlst is available on the App Store.


Game Day: Swim Out

As the summer draws to a close, take one last dip into the pool with Swim Out, a stylish and challenging puzzle game from Lozange Lab that’s available on the iPhone, iPad, and Apple TV.

Swim Out is a turn-based puzzle game that requires you to make your way across a swimming pool to a ladder that takes you to the next puzzle. The playing area is a traditional grid viewed from a top-down perspective, dressed up like a swimming pool, which is a clever touch that gives Swim Out a unique personality. The other design choice I noticed immediately and like a lot is the sounds of people at the pool and the water. The artwork is also excellent with summery blues and reds dominating the puzzles.

The game starts off simply to ease you into the mechanics. Your goal is to maneuver your blue swimmer to the exit ladder without colliding with the red swimmers and other obstacles. As you progress, the obstacles become more complex. Multiple swimmers, people sitting at the edge of the pool, and other hazards appear and get in your way. Run into an obstacle, and you have to start the puzzle over.

As you progress through Swim Out’s 100 levels, objects that help you along the way also appear. For instance, if you grab a beach ball, you can throw it at a red swimmer and freeze them in place for a certain number of turns to allow you to pass by.

Swim Out is a perfect summertime game. It’s easy to learn, you can play for short periods of time, and it’s relaxing to play, while also being challenging. The game does a fantastic job of staying engaging throughout by throwing lots of different obstacles and tools at you, which makes Swim Out an excellent companion for your last few trips to the local pool or beach.

Swim Out is available on the App Store.


Game Day: Pigeon Wings

Pigeon Wings is a hyper-fast, racing game with shoot ‘em up elements and a lot of personality. You play as Pigeon, a pigeon-pilot tasked with saving Megalopolis from the evil Duke Dexter. The backstory immediately sets a light-hearted, humorous tone for the game that doesn’t get bogged down in long cut scenes explaining what’s happening. What sets Pigeon Wings apart though, is its tilt control steering system. The controls work flawlessly becoming second nature so quickly that they fade into the background making it easy to get lost in the game’s short races.

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Game Day: kubrain

Gamebra.in’s new puzzle game, kubrain, proves that there is still room for creativity and innovation in the color matching puzzle genre popularized ages ago by Tetris. Like many other games in the category, kubrain requires players to match colored blocks as they descend onto a playing field, but there’s a mind-bending twist. The playing field is a 3D cube that players can rotate to make room for incoming blocks. The result radically changes the way you approach the game compared to other matching games creating a challenging and novel gaming experience that is fun to play and difficult to master.

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Game Day: Linelight

Linelight, an award-winning minimalist puzzle game by My Dog Zorro, debuted on iOS this week. The game was released for Windows and macOS earlier this year and is available on Sony’s PS4, but this is the first time the game has made its way onto a mobile, touch-based platform. Many games bill themselves as ‘minimalist,’ but few are as elegantly simple as Linelight. The result is a game that is easy to play and understand, highlighting the game’s perplexing and fun puzzles over its mechanics.

You play as a dash of light traversing a line. You guide your dash along the line that splits and branches in different directions by dragging your finger across the screen of your iOS device. To stop and consider how to solve a puzzle, just pick up your finger and your dash stays put. Linelight works so well as a touch-based game, it’s hard to believe that it was designed for keyboards and controllers first.

As you advance your dash along the line, you encounter puzzle after puzzle. In total, there are over 200 puzzles split across six separate spacey worlds. As with any good puzzle game, Linelight introduces new challenges gradually. There are sections of lines that shift depending on whether your dash passes over a switch, keys to be picked up and delivered to designated spots, red dash enemies that you need to avoid because colliding with one means starting that puzzle over, and much more.

There is no up or down in Linelight, so it doesn’t matter if you play in portrait or landscape, which is a nice departure from the many games that require you to play in one orientation or the other. Add a soothing piano-based soundtrack to its tricky puzzles and Linelight is one of the most relaxing and absorbing games I’ve played this year. If you’re a fan of puzzle games, Linelight is a must-play.

Linelight is available on the App Store.


Game Day: Color Magnet

Color Magnet, by The One Pixel, is a classic color-matching puzzle game with a twist. A grid of colors blocks advances down the screen as you drop in strategically placed new blocks to make color matches. The blocks are magnetically attracted to other blocks of the same color. When placed on the grid, the blocks between the newly placed piece and the closest piece horizontally or vertically of the same color change to match the color of the block you placed. Match five or more blocks to clear them and the ones below them on the board.

Gameplay is complicated by locked and cross blocks. A locked block is unlocked by matching colors nearby or clearing a cluster of blocks next to it. Once unlocked, a block becomes a random color. Cross blocks can only be destroyed by clearing blocks above them in the stack. It's not nearly as complex as it sounds, though it requires careful planning and strategy.

Color Magnet looks and sounds great, pairing a palette of pastel colors with a playful soundtrack. There are also light and dark themes for comfortable late-night binge playing in bed.

Replay-value is enhanced by three game modes. Classic mode challenges players to beat their high score. Universal mode pits you against the rest of the Color Magnet-playing world with the same sequence of puzzles presented to everyone. Puzzle mode has 30 unique puzzles that challenge you to clear the entire board.

The magnet mechanic and depth added by the trio of gameplay modes takes what might have been a 'me-to' matching puzzle game and gives it a unique spin that's fun and addicting in the same way Threes is. If games like Threes are your thing, Color Magnet won’t disappoint.

Color Magnet is available on the App Store.