Art Of Gravity Review

Puzzle games are always a bit difficult to write about; since they’re focused more on mechanics than story, half of the stuff that I tend to focus on in my reviews is immediately off the table. Art Of Gravity makes things even more difficult because a lot of what I wrote about the developer’s previous game Zenge remains true here. You still pick up on the gameplay mechanics through clever level design that teaches you through doing rather than forcing you to go through a bunch of dry tutorials. There are still numerous mechanics gradually introduced and elaborated on at a decent pace. This game also costs a dollar. Of course, Art Of Gravity has its own unique mechanics unlike those in Zenge, and the goal of each level is also different in that it’s more of a physics puzzle where the goal is to shoot spheres at blocks in such a way that all of the level’s blocks are destroyed (I think this is what I like so much about this game—it speaks to both my love of puzzles and my love of wanton destruction). I suppose one obvious difference between the two games is that I played this one on a PC rather than on my phone; whereas Zenge had an Android version that I picked up, Art Of Gravity is iDevice-exclusive on mobile, and my old iPhone 4 falls well below the iPhone 5S or better requirement needed to actually run the game. Read more →

Simon the Sorcerer Review

I hate this game with every fiber of my being. Sure, it looks good and has some top-tier sprite work. Sure, it has lots and lots of voice acting. Sure, there are dozens of items you have to combine in various ways to progress. It manages to screw all of these up in some way or another though. The good graphics seem to have put a focus on visuals that necessitates walking through many same-y areas, most of which have nothing you can interact with and that exist only to showcase more art and slow down the middle parts of the game to a painful crawl. The voice acting is grating, takes forever to get to the point, and tries so hard to be funny that it manages to instead come across as irritating to the point of becoming genuinely infuriating. The large number of items only exacerbates the puzzles’ tendency to rely on huge leaps of logic, sometimes veering so far away from anything approaching observable reality or even cartoon logic that the game more or less necessitates a walkthrough just to complete. I enjoy old games and adventure games and went in to this thing expecting the best, only to be faced with one of the least entertaining adventure games I’ve ever played, and anyone speaking positively about Simon the Sorcerer is drawing from nostalgia or brain damage. Read more →

Cthulhu Saves the World Review

It’s depressing the number of times I’ve covered the first game in a series, only to then leave the sequel (or unrelated followup in Cthulhu Saves the World’s case) untouched. Call it a bad habit. In my defense, though, it’s only been 4 months since I reviewed Breath of Death VII. That’s quite a bit more defensible than the 3 and a half years it’s been since I reviewed King Arthur: The Role-Playing RPG and its spinoff despite owning the sequel for even longer than that. I think part of the problem is one of expectations; it’s easy for a sequel to play things safe and end up feeling like the same game, just like it’s easy for a game to diverge so much from its predecessor that it fails to embrace the things that made the first game worthwhile in the first place. The latter is what’s seen Lost Horizon 2 sit idly on my desktop for the past few months, while the former is why I had to force myself to jump into Cthulhu Saves the World—I was expecting more of the same, and while I was pleasantly surprised by the number of things that were improved on since the previous game, the biggest problems remain unchanged and render a sizable portion of the game a tedious slog through yet more mazes. Read more →

Zenge Review

I remember seeing Zenge on the Google Play store and having no idea what it was, and like so many games I’ve bought out of curiosity, it ended up being left unattended on my phone for a depressing amount of time. All I remembered by the time I finally started it up was that it looked like a vaguely adventure-ish puzzle game, something that quickly proved to be untrue; for all its art and store claims about a “journey,” this is a pure puzzle game that shows you pictures between levels that hint at a story and journey that isn’t really there. Not that there’s anything wrong with that—puzzle games can be some of the most rewarding games out there, even when they’re a bit on the easy side like Zenge is. In fact, I’d argue that this is one of the more uniquely rewarding puzzle games I’ve played because of how well it teaches you its rules, with that being especially notable since there’s not actually a tutorial or explanation at any point. You learn by doing, and this is something other games could take a page from. Read more →

Tengami Review

Tengami has interesting visuals, good music, and two decent puzzles. I want to get that out of the way right now because the rest of this will be unabashedly negative. This is a game I hate so much that I uninstalled it as soon as I was finished like its pretentiousness was somehow poisoning my computer. This is a game that lasts something like an hour but felt 10 times that long because of how tedious the gameplay somehow manages to be. This is a game that took me from optimistic to “what the hell is this garbage?” in the span of something like 15 minutes. It’s almost impressive how bad this game is, and if it had lasted just a bit longer, I could see it becoming one of those rare games that ends with me swearing off an entire studio/individual developer for life (never again, Ragnar Tornquist). Fortunately, Tengami is mercifully short and easily forgotten, so the worst that can be said of it is that it’s painfully pretentious and so comically un-fun to play that you’ll feel compelled to pick up another game—any other game—and play that instead. Read more →

Amazing Breaker Review

Whenever I play through something really good or really bad, it always becomes hard to decide what game to move on to next. Sometimes the thought of finding a better version of something similar is tempting, but I usually prefer to veer into a completely different (and most often simpler) genre, and that’s how I ended up playing through Amazing Breaker again; I’ve played through this game a couple of times in the past after picking it up from Amazon back when they still did their free app of the day promotions that made paid apps free for a short time, and while most of the available apps were a waste of time, there were also occasional gems like this that I’d have otherwise ignored. Amazing Breaker is just a weirdly addictive game that it becomes easy to lose chunks of time to. It has a few problems and one troublesome (potential) skeleton in its closet, of course, but at the same time, it only costs a dollar for a base game that comes with 120 entertaining levels. That makes it easy to forgive. Read more →

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