Hardcore Droid http://www.hardcoredroid.com by gamers for gamers Sun, 19 Oct 2014 09:06:01 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.9.2 You Review It: Nightmare Cooperative http://www.hardcoredroid.com/you-review-it-nightmare-cooperative/ http://www.hardcoredroid.com/you-review-it-nightmare-cooperative/#comments Sun, 19 Oct 2014 08:25:33 +0000 http://www.hardcoredroid.com/?p=29619 From the Play Store:

Fiendishly difficult! Adorably cute! Utterly engrossing! 
How much gold can you get before your entire team is destroyed? IT’S NEVER ENOUGH!Play The Nightmare Cooperative now – it’s a strategic adventure where you lead a group of unlikely comrades through some rather difficult situations. Your village has fallen on hard times (due to reckless spending by the Village Council) and it’s up to you to bring back some gold.The Nightmare Cooperative is a puzzley roguelike. You control a group of characters, each with different special abilities. The trick? They all move together, as a group. Something of a cooperative, if you catch the drift.Every playthrough will be different, and you’ll always have to start at the beginning, no matter how well (or badly) you did before. Your score is the amount of gold that you pickup during your journey. Opening crates gives you extra gold, but releases more monsters.

In her Hardcore Droid reviewClaire Donner gave Nightmare Cooperative 4.5 out of 5 stars, detracting half a star for a few technical glitches. Did you dig up more trouble lurking in its depths? Tell us why or why not in 300 words or less.

Return to You Review It  >>>

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Google Play Now Supports Nearby Multiplayer: Hardcore Droid News http://www.hardcoredroid.com/google-play-now-supports-local-multiplayer-hardcore-droid-news/ http://www.hardcoredroid.com/google-play-now-supports-local-multiplayer-hardcore-droid-news/#comments Sat, 18 Oct 2014 15:21:58 +0000 http://www.hardcoredroid.com/?p=29601 Google Play has featured online multiplayer for some time now, but has finally updated to support local multiplayer. Now you can scream directly in your friends face when you lose!

The feature has been making its way to users recently, but now that it’s official, you should have no problems seeing it. Notifications will appear if someone nearby is playing the same game as you. You can also search for nearby players in the matchmaking screen. Maybe this can be used as a casual icebreaker on the train.

The choice to add multiplayer is of course, left to the developers. Developers have to add the Play Games APIs to enable multiplayer. There are already a good number of games that use Play Games in some capacity, so hopefully you’ll actually have the opportunity to try this. Any games you want multiplayer support for? Let us know in the comments.

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Rollercoaster Tycoon 4 Comes To The Play Store: Hardcore Droid News http://www.hardcoredroid.com/rollercoaster-tycoon-4-comes-to-the-play-store-hardcore-droid-news/ http://www.hardcoredroid.com/rollercoaster-tycoon-4-comes-to-the-play-store-hardcore-droid-news/#comments Sat, 18 Oct 2014 15:11:28 +0000 http://www.hardcoredroid.com/?p=29598 Rollercoaster Tycoon, once one of the staples of the ‘sim’ management genre, has had a few rough years, but that still didn’t stop Atari from releasing the latest installment exclusively for mobile. Rollercoaster Tycoon 4 Mobile features all the fun from previous installments with all the new annoyances of the free-to-play format.

If you’ve never played a Rollercoaster Tycoon game before, here’s the lowdown. the game is basically an amusement park simulator. It’s your job to keep your park profitable by strategically expanding, adding everything from food stalls to infrastructure like bathrooms and gift shops. The more attractions you make and upgrade, the more money you pull in, and the more you can build.

The real fun of the game comes from building your own coasters, but actually customizing the tiny parts is somewhat difficult on a touch screen. I couldn’t help thinking how much easier it would be with a mouse and keyboard.

Most of the parts can be unlocked using in-game currency, but the real cool stuff sits behind the premium paywall. You must collect tickets either by grinding for days, bugging Facebook friends or simply pay your way through.The IAPs aren’t incredibly annoying, not as much as the controls, anyhow.

The game launced for the IOS a few months ago to poor reviews when it launched as a paid app, so hopefully the free-to-play model helps paint a better picture for the series. If you’re feeling the nostalgia coasting through your blood, you can download it here.

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Anomaly Defenders Review http://www.hardcoredroid.com/anomaly-defenders-review/ http://www.hardcoredroid.com/anomaly-defenders-review/#comments Sat, 18 Oct 2014 06:00:05 +0000 http://www.hardcoredroid.com/?p=29528

android- strategy-anomalydefenders-thumbIt’s not often that I receive genuine bona-fide messages from the future. So you can imagine my surprise when, on downloading the 800 megabytes of Anomaly Defenders I was greeted, not by the Android game I thought I was installing, but by a completely real message from actual aliens. To the astonishment of me and everybody else in this benighted poop-closet we call the present day, it seems I’d been chosen to  take command of the forces of these alien fellows and save them all from certain destruction! It seems like they had literally nobody else to call; I can only presume that Will Smith, Tom Cruise and Mel Gibson were all too busy being f@!ing crazy to respond. So I got the job!

Hooray!

In an obvious breach of the Geneva Convention, it seems that future-humans were totally going to destroy all these pitiable alien folk. According to the alien lady who briefed me, I had to buy time for these puny, pants-pooping aliens to launch their escape pods and begin some traumatic exodus into the outer dark where there is only a wailing and a gnashing of mouth-parts (or teeth or whatever it is they have). It was a story so utterly original and completely novel that it just had to be completely real! And when I reached the future, I could really tell it was the future: everything was made out of glowing turquoise and orange lines, and there were robots and stuff. It was all so unexpected that my puny present-day human brain nearly exploded from the shock of it all. I could almost understand why those naughty future-humans wanted to blow everything up. Living in the future must be hard with all those lights glowing and going BAZOW around you!

android-strategy-anomalydefenders-01And how, I hear you asking, was I supposed to buy time for these plucky exiles-to-be? Why, by building towers that would destroy the incoming waves of human attackers as they crawled along fixed and pre-determined paths! I can only presume that the generals of the future have all suffered massive brain hemorrhages, and that their junior officers have taken to just following the lines their drool makes on the carefully-drawn maps of the battlefield. It was all very intimidating as I had absolutely no idea how I could ever prevail against such daring and nuanced strategic minds!

And then I started my defense. The enemies came, and I built towers; the towers shot at the enemies, and the enemies eventually exploded, leaving me enough resources to build more towers. I found this cycle to be so utterly rewarding and fulfilling that I decided to repeat it for another 24 thrilling levels. I never even used my magical ability to speed up time (woah! But it’s true!) at all, because defending those escape pods constantly demanded my attention in meaningful and interesting ways, and never once asked me to go through cycles of meaningless and repetitive micromanagement actions! All the time I was commanding the defense, I simply couldn’t think of any of the other things I’d rather be doing: whether it was eating fish and chips, filing my tax returns, or breaking my own legs and those of the furniture I was sitting on, never once did I think I’d rather be doing any of these utterly riveting and entirely compelling things! I was so engrossed, I even spent extra time with the game trying to learn the details of its technology tree, building at least seven spreadsheets in order to help me work out what the best upgrades were. That’s how much I cared for those happy-go-lucky alien refugees, folks!

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So, yeah. That’s Anomaly Defenders, a Tower Defense game of average presentation that quickly reveals itself to be so clunky and tedious that I had to resort to sarcasm in order to avoid falling asleep while I was reviewing it. Next time I get a message from another planet, I’ll probably ask around and see if Tom Cruise can fit them in. That or tell them to go f@!k themselves.

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You Review It RPG: Lethal RPG: War http://www.hardcoredroid.com/you-review-it-rpg-lethal-rpg-war/ http://www.hardcoredroid.com/you-review-it-rpg-lethal-rpg-war/#comments Fri, 17 Oct 2014 11:17:19 +0000 http://www.hardcoredroid.com/?p=29592 From the Play Store ~

Lethal RPG: War Description

Journey on an epic quest with Lethal and his elite party of warriors through a huge fantasy land. Play as Lethal and his companions in exciting turn based battles against a variety of fantasy creatures.

- 8 playable characters, all with unique abilities, armor and weapons.
- Turn based combat featuring a diverse and engaging battle system.
- A huge world with 13 areas to explore, all with unique enemies and quests.
- Craft powerful armor and weapons from materials gathered from intense boss monster encounters throughout the kingdom.
- Over 50 story quests to complete.
- An arena that lets you put your abilities to the test, where you face off against more difficult versions of past encounters.
- Loads of pets to find that have special abilities to help you face your enemies in battle.
- New Game Plus mode that lets your bring all your characters and items into a new game, creating an all new experience.

In his review of Lethal RPG: War, Hardcore Droid’s Sharang Biswas gave a 3/5,  saying that while it was fairly banal, it “hit the right buttons”. Do you agree? Or is he too emotionally manipulable? Let us know below!

<<Back to You Review It>>

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Lethal RPG: War Review http://www.hardcoredroid.com/lethal-rpg-war-review/ http://www.hardcoredroid.com/lethal-rpg-war-review/#comments Fri, 17 Oct 2014 02:53:21 +0000 http://www.hardcoredroid.com/?p=29556 Lethal RPG: WarIn my experience, “intellectual” and “emotional” enjoyments constitute two different species of the same genus. Some things, I just enjoy, and I can’t explain why: I often still crave the sweet treats from my childhood, even though my palate can recognize the ersatz, sugar-laden additives that masquerade as real flavor. Other times, even unpleasant experiences can feel good if I can rationalize them: I feel refreshed and buoyant after a dental appointment, even though I would hardly classify the dislodging of calcified deposits from teeth with ultrasonic vibrations as a fun activity. The problem arises when you’re supposed to give a professional, critical analysis of something. What do you say when a game is clearly just a run-of-the-mill RPG with no outstanding features, yet one that you find yourself whipping out a phone to play at every available opportunity? Because that’s the case with Australian developer Benjamin Webb’s Japanese-style Lethal RPG: War (LRW), and may the Gaming Gods absolve me of my mortal sins… because I’m giving it a good rating. I asked one of my game-designer friends what she thought were LRW’s strongest features, and the best she could come up with was “The map is cute, I guess.” And that’s really my feeling about the entire game: “I guess it’s good…” If you want a deep, immersive plot with compelling characters, try Baldur’s Gate. If you’re looking for quirky gameplay, check out Bardbarian. If you all want is pretty graphics, play Legend of Ixtona. Because LRW is really none of those things. And yet… and yet… Android-RPG-LethalRPGWar-03   Story-wise, LRW is completely banal. You’re given almost no back-story and plunked into a pretty clichéd “Undead hordes are plaguing the countryside” scenario. You know virtually nothing about your starting characters’ history or motivation, and quests proceed in the linear, step-by-step fashion that tends to reduce me to droopy-eyed boredom. And all the quests are essentially the same: go to this spot and kill this thing. No choices, no interesting conversations (in fact, the dialogue is pretty dull and filled with awkward grammar), not even unusual tactics for boss-fights. Often, side quests feel like busy-work. Webb’s story-telling skills are clearly not his defining characteristics. The game mechanics of LRW are nothing spectacular either. Pretty standard turn-based fare. There’s an armor-crafting mechanic that forms the backbone of the loot system, but it’s fairly linear. Webb did, however, put effort into trying to differentiate the combat styles of different characters. Lethal, your protagonist, is pretty customizable, and has different pets that you can train. The summoner character changes her attack type (earth, fire, air; basic RPG-fare) based on who she’s summoning at the moment, while the necromancer weakens foes and drains health. So while the mechanics are standard, combat is still engaging: you have to make decisions about which elements to use against enemies, whether or not it’s worth inflicting status effects, how essential potions and defensive items will be etc. The game also starts off pretty easy, but quickly ramps up in difficulty, forcing you to use your wits to vanquish monsters. I suspect it’s this scaffolding of combat difficulty that makes the game so addictive, in which case, I applaud Webb for extremely clever design. lethal-rpg-war-best-android-rpg-00 Finally, LRW’s art is simplistic and, as one of my colleagues put it, “looks like it was made by a teenager”. I’m not the kind to criticize simplicity (Badlands, for example, has elegant and beautiful 2D black and white art), but “simple” and “simplistic” are distinct descriptors in my book, and Lethal lands unceremoniously in the latter category. Backdrops for combat are monotonous and rendered in washed-out, uninspiring colors (lots of grey, for some reason). Combat animations are unexciting. The only nice work lies in the visual distinctions in armor and weapons as you upgrade them, which isn’t saying much given that many games simply fail to make any distinction whatsoever. So all in all, LRW is the kind of game I would generally rate very low. But game design, like any art, is not about checking off a list of “Standard Principles” or “Best Practices”. Like a good book or a well-made dish, Lethal RPG: War is infused with a grain of that indefinable, weirdly compelling quality that only the human creative spark can achieve. And for me, that’s enough to make it a decent game.

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Tower Dwellers Review http://www.hardcoredroid.com/tower-dwellers-review/ http://www.hardcoredroid.com/tower-dwellers-review/#comments Thu, 16 Oct 2014 04:14:47 +0000 http://www.hardcoredroid.com/?p=29521 android-strategy-tower-dwellers-01If I dwelt in a tower (rather than lived in it – dwelling seems to imply that people haven’t invented TVs or fridges yet), I’m pretty sure I’d want to be an archer. Archers, it seems to me, have got it figured out: not for them the life of a swordsman, sitting in a tin can and beating your face against your enemy’s face until one of those faces breaks. No, archers stay well away from dangerous creatures, making their entire houses into larger versions of aforementioned tins (aka towers). Better yet, if someone threatens your tin/home, you simply shoot them with sticks of wood until they die from little-sticks-of-wood poisoning.

So it is with Tower Dwellers. A Unit-Crafting Tower Defense game, it’s served from roughly the same cauldron as Kingdom Rush and Clash of Clans. It pits you against the obligatory hordes of monsters marching along fixed paths, and gives you towers filled with cute wee folk with which to stop them. Your basic towers only produce peasants, little better than yokel-flavored speed bumps in the monsters’ path, but add support buildings next to your towers and out pop steel-hatted soldiers, rustic-looking archers, or bearded wizards. Adding more buildings either gives them better versions of their original equipment (soldiers become sergeants become knights, and so on), or hybridizes it to give you things like paladins who can heal nearby allies, or musketeers who add a bit of a magical zing to their attacks. Your soldiers march out from their towers to a point specified by you, so you can back up the meatiness of your knights with the spicy relish of your marksmen – and prevent the monsters from blending them all together to make a sort of bloody gazpacho.

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And it’s fun. There’s a delight in the first few levels of pushing your little men about with the touch-screen interface, whisking them into the path of enemies and away again. The art style, while far from original, is cute and easy on the eye, and there’s a nice range of monsters to gawk at and then butcher. The game also offers rudimentary but ultimately charming narration: the background story (wherein you must rid the land of monsters) sets the scene even when it’s obviously piffle. It’s not afraid of being challenging either: there’s a lot to do in the more difficult levels, and I found that the game started to stretch my mastery of its interface relatively early on. In fact, this was the first difficulty I had with the game. I found that it worked better on my PC emulator (Bluestacks) than it did on my touch-screen, where the accuracy and speed of the mouse interface became more useful as unit micro-management became more important in determining my success.

Sadly, my initial pleasure wore off sooner than I’d have hoped. Part of this was that most of the levels have their challenges spread unevenly, with tricky setup and boss phases bookending rather humdrum midsections. But a more important part of that wearing process was that Tower Dwellers does a poor job of directing you towards its more interesting gameplay elements. You can pull off some pretty neat tricks, like moving rally points around to confuse the AI pathing; this makes the more stubborn monsters move backwards to chase your steel-suited fellas and gives your archers more time to pincushion them. Neither the gameplay itself nor the occasional tooltip will lead you towards this feature, though.

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The game is also pretty tight-lipped on the relative merits of the different units you can build, leaving you to discover them for yourself – though I found that most of the hybrid units were rather useless, and couldn’t keep up with their thoroughbred counterparts. For these particular tower dwellers, the gods have decided that if you’re going to be an archer, be an archer all the way; don’t mess about trying to wear a tin hat that doesn’t suit you. This was a small niggle, but it became emblematic of how I felt about the game: the hybrid units looked cool, but weren’t much use for actually beating the game. And though your soldiers can swan about, rushing from one lane of attack to another, you never get the feeling that they’re achieving very much, even when you win.

In short, Tower Dwellers doesn’t seem to have made the most out of its interesting features. About halfway through it fell into the same repetitive rhythm that so many TD games do, that same rhythm you fall into when you’re trying to get the last bits of soup out of the bottom of a can. I watched the monsters amble towards my tins of sword-twirling human spam, and I thought: they’re probably having more fun than me, with their fangs and their crazy costumes. Screw being an archer and screw dwelling in some soup-tin of a tower. I want a game that lets me invite those monsters to a party.

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android Puzzle Hellraid The Escape 4Hellraid: The Escape is an impressive title, a combination adventure-puzzle game in which you find yourself in a series of chambers immersed in a plot driven forward by phrases of mysterious notes.. In order to work past the mechanisms and enemies that populate each chamber the player has to successfully solve a different fair but challenging puzzle. It’s a simple premise, and one that we’ve seen before, but approached here with the polish and enthusiasm of The Escape, it becomes an adventure worthy of exploring.

Hellraid: The Escape runs on a version on the Unreal Engine, which is impressive itself, especially on mobile platforms. In The Escape it provides not only an impressive quality to the graphics and physics but also lends the title a familiar feel. Anyone who has played even a handful of big budget console games will immediately be at home with the movement and aesthetic of The Escape.

This is not an action game. You have to figure out how to use the environment to dismantle your enemies, or cobble together a buff via brewing potions to help you avoid them altogether, like giving you super speed to avoid an otherwise invulnerable enemy. This is the genius and the hook behind The Escape. This is not a hack and slash title. Brainpower and preparation (as well as some trial and error) prevail throughout. The game also includes side quests in the form of finding “crystals” each chamber has a number of them hidden away, but it’s a system I largely ignored. The puzzling is done so well. I found myself so engaged that I just wanted to see check out new set of challenges rather than stick around and scour areas I’d completed.

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Hellraid: The Escape is a beautiful game. The character models are terrible to look at (in a good way) and the environments and fire effects are some of the best I have seen in mobile gaming. In fact, the biggest incentive for the crystal collection meta-game is going back to explore the pretty and suitably gothic feeling chambers. It’s a game of magic, and horror, a title with sumptuous graphics and grotesque character models. If you enjoy a cerebral puzzling horror adventure, The Escape will undoubtedly rate high on your mobile game list.

With stunning visuals, gameplay delivered by way of the Unreal Engine, a phenomenon that has been tremendously influential in gaming for decades now, enthusiastic puzzling, and an interesting story arc that keeps the veil on well enough to keep you hungry for more, to say nothing of the cool way The Escape tied its reincarnation mechanic into its narrative, (something almost every game ignores as a an accepted mechanic of gaming in general). Hellraid: The Escape is a trip that nobody would be disappointed in taking. While it is not quite a grand European tour, it is like a trip to the country to check out the beautiful leaves in fall. It isn’t rewriting any conventions but it is using established thinking to create an experience that is as engaging as it is rewarding.

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The single recurring mechanic that doesn’t work so well are the platforming sections. They are not bad per se, but they do unfortunately take you away from The Escape’s superb puzzling, and in context can be frustrating, which speaks volumes about the quality of the game’s puzzles For example, the tilt sensor seemed at the same time too sensitive and slow to respond. Balancing across narrow paths is tricky. Once you get through one of these sections at least you can rest easy knowing that the next one won’t appear for quite a while.

Replete with the polish and creativity of an AAA release, Hellraid: The Escape is one of the best mobile action-adventure titles we’ve seen this year and easy to recommend. If you have an appreciation for puzzlers and eye candy, The Escape is the game for you. In fact, anyone who enjoys immersive gameplay and well-constructed worlds will enjoy Hellraid: The Escape.

 

 

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South Park Pinball Tables Coming To Zen Pinball: Hardcore Droid News http://www.hardcoredroid.com/south-park-pinball-tables-coming-to-zen-pinball-hardcore-droid-news/ http://www.hardcoredroid.com/south-park-pinball-tables-coming-to-zen-pinball-hardcore-droid-news/#comments Wed, 15 Oct 2014 16:08:12 +0000 http://www.hardcoredroid.com/?p=29539 Pinball fans, gather around! I’ve got something you lot might enjoy. Zen Studios, makers of Zen Pinball, have announced two South Park-themed pinball tables. The two tables will be called South Park: Super-Sweet Pinball, and South Park: Butters’ Very Own Pinball Game and will feature all of the main characters from the TV Show.

Like previously themed tables, the South Park ones will feature major events taken from the actual TV Show including things like tracking down ManBearPig and their journey into Canada. The first table is more about South Park in general, while the other will focus more on Butters and his own brand of hijinks.  Both tables are full of references to the show which should please fans of the show.

Both tables are $2.99 and should become available later this week.

Any South Park fans excited over this? Let us know in the comments.

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Charming Point & Click Botanicula Comes To Play Store: Hardcore Droid News http://www.hardcoredroid.com/charming-point-click-botanicula-comes-to-play-store-hardcore-droid-news/ http://www.hardcoredroid.com/charming-point-click-botanicula-comes-to-play-store-hardcore-droid-news/#comments Wed, 15 Oct 2014 15:24:04 +0000 http://www.hardcoredroid.com/?p=29533 Botanicula is a  new adventure game  about five tree-dwelling friends who must save the last seed from their home tree, which has become infested with nasty parasites. It comes to us from Amanita Design, the same group of people that bought Machinarium.

The game is a point-and-click adventure with tons of puzzles and bonuses to unlock. The game includes over 150 locations to explore, all rendered with gorgeous artwork. Botanicula visuals are similar to Machinarium, which isn’t a bad thing in the slightest. Both are games are charming in both their style and gameplay.

The asking price is $4.99 and there are no IAPs in sight. It’s such a pretty game (and the soundtrack is great!) so it might be worth checking out. Look for it on the Play Store here.

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