Sparkle Review

Having played through Sparkle 2 before trying out both the mobile HD version and lower-resolution PC version of the original Sparkle, I can objectively say that the first game is complete and utter trash compared to its sequel. First, some background—the Sparkle series is basically an incredibly polished Zuma clone. It’s not a big deal if you’re not aware of what that is (I certainly wasn’t before all of this), but suffice it to say that it’s a game where colored orbs slowly make their way along a twisted path toward a hole and have to be removed by matching 3 or more colors before they fall in. This is accomplished via the orb shooter. Really, the best way to explain how the game works is to direct you to the video below that I recorded of a few levels in PC version and then explain what’s happening and why. Read more →

Sparkle Screenshots

I’m not much of a casual gamer, but I ended up playing through Sparkle 2 several months ago and greatly enjoyed it. It even ended up being surprisingly challenging at times, which was unexpected from what I would have once considered a filthy “casual” game. Anyway, I didn’t end up reviewing Sparkle 2 because I first wanted to play through the first game for context, and it ended up taking me awhile to get around to it. As it turns out, the first Sparkle is horrible. I mean, this game is just patently cheap at times thanks to its graphics being squashed on mobile to give the illusion of “HD,” and even the PC version ended up being a hassle, crashing on me so badly at one point that the game simply refused to ever open again. Read more →

Minor site changes and a temporary slowening

If you have eyes and have visited this site multiple times, then you’ve probably noticed by now that I changed up the color scheme. Honestly, I loved the darker look the site used to have, but it came across as less professional than this lighter one. Speaking of changes, I also redid the logo so that I can change the color of the “killa” any time I want to match the background. That’s right—I can be as topical as I want now, provided there’s a color affiliated with whatever I’m celebrating! Read more →

Hitman Go Review

I’m of two minds about Hitman Go, a turn-based puzzle game based on the popular Hitman franchise. On one hand, it’s a lot of fun to play and I greatly enjoyed the complexity of the puzzles and the pace with which it introduced new types of enemies and scenarios to avoid things ever becoming boring or tedious. On the other hand, I have principles, and putting microtransactions in a five-dollar game is beyond the pale. However, those could be considered cheats and everything is easily unlocked in-game, so I’m (hesitantly) going to recommend the game. It’s definitely one to pick up on sale so as to not reward such greedy behavior too much, though. Read more →

Hitman Go Screenshots

Despite its name, Hitman Go has nothing to do with the game of Go. Instead, it’s a turn-based puzzle game where 47 and enemies are on a small map and everyone moves simultaneously, forcing you to rely on careful planning to accomplish each level’s goals (such as “kill all enemies,” “get to the finish in under X number of moves,” and others). It also commits one of the cardinal sins of mobile gaming, adding microtransactions on top of its 5-dollar price tag. On the bright side, the levels that microtransactions unlock can be easily unlocked in-game. It’s only the hints that suffer, then, with the game giving you 3 free level walkthroughs in a game with 263 mission goals and forcing you to pay for any more than that. Read more →

Super Mario Land and the magic of mental bookmarks

Somewhere, hidden beneath a metric ton of stuff that’s slowly accumulated in my closet or one of the million other places I haphazardly throw things into and then forget about, lies a cartridge of Super Mario Land. I can’t quite remember if it’s the same one I had growing up, but part of me suspects that it probably is. If you’re thinking, “Oh no, he’s about to launch into another of his boring childhood stories that only tangentially involve games,” then you’re totally right! Unlike many of my other stories, though, this one is more than mindless blathering, instead serving to illustrate how strong of a mental bookmark games are capable of being. Just so we’re all on the same page, what I mean by a “mental bookmark” is a reaction that’s just short of synesthetic and that’s caused by two influential or memorable things happening in a short span of time to the point where they become inextricably linked. An example most people can relate to would be listening to a song while talking to a boyfriend/girlfriend to the point where hearing that song causes you to think of that person, even years later. Read more →

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