by Jen Schiller1
Kindle Store Round-Up August 5th
Best App of the day 7/20-8/2
Kindles are fantastic tablets for all sorts of things–reading, watching netflix, and yes–gaming. Each day, the Kindle App store features one game for free, and a smattering of other apps either discounted or simply placed in the spotlight. Our contributor Jen Schiller will take a look at all the games on offer, and every two weeks she weighs in on the best of the spotlight. Jen will also warn you about the biggest misses so you know what to avoid. Tune in regularly to see what games are great and what games are massive flops in the Kindle App store. -ed.
Check out our last kindle review here.
Best Game of the Moment: Smash Hit<<<(free in Amazon Appstore)>>>
This game is a first person runner. In it you are flying forwards through space. You throw balls at glass obstacles either to clear your way, or to earn more ammo. As you progress the obstacles get faster and more complex. I can’t stop playing this game—perhaps its perfection lies in its simplicity. This game has a “premium version” that can be purchased, but the free version is full playable. The only difference I have discovered so far is that the premium version lets you go back to the last checkpoint you passed instead of back to the beginning of the game. However, in an infinite runner, I don’t mind starting over.
It’s NOT All About the Burgers: Success Story <<<$.99 in Amazon Appstore>>>
Here’s a burger game that plays a little differently from all the others. You are a young gun looking for a job, but you get sucked into a sci-fi conspiracy world when you’re hired by a restaurant chain whose robots have all mysteriously malfunctioned at once. The story sets this game apart as well, because instead of simply switching restaurants because you raise enough money, there are people who pop in and out of your life and either want or need your assistance. At the end of each restaurant, there’s a bonus level that uses the same playing board as the main story, but for an innovative mini-game that changes every time.
An RPG with a Heart: Dolphins of the Caribbean-Adventures of the Pirates Treasure <<<($2.99 in Amazon Appstore)>>>
Here is an RPG like nothing I’ve ever seen. Dolphins somehow blends a “save the animals” message with an epic pirate treasure hunt. The blend is nearly seamless and never feels forced or artificial. Be forewarned that there is a lot of reading involved, and it starts off a little slow. My only real problem with the game is that you have to nurse two dolphins back to health while learning about the pirate treasure, and there is no variation between the two. However, this may provide a great exercise in repetition and patience for younger players. Dolphins also has a driving element to it, as you must navigate a boat off the island to various checkpoints and obstacles. It successfully found a way to have something for everyone.
Hardcore Sorcery: Steve Jackson’s Sorcery! <<<($5.00 in Amazon Appstore)>>>
If Dolphins of the Caribbean is a good hybrid game, then Steve Jackson’s Sorcery! is a freakin amazing classic RPG. Sorcery has amazing graphics, fantastic writing, and most importantly, hardcore gameplay. You can choose to start as a male or female token, and from there Sorcery unfolds much like a game of Dungeons and Dragons. You train as a fighter, learn spells as a mage, and get plenty of opportunities to change the course of your fate. While the game itself is largely text-based, spell-casting and fighting are interactive. Steve Jackson has a great reputation for original and exciting game design, and Sorcery! does not disappoint.
Let Down of the Week: Word Game Pack <<<($.99 in Amazon Appstore)>>>
Word Game Pack was off to a great start. It has a handful of innovative word games the likes of which I’ve never seen before—one is like a game of tetris but the letters fall randomly and to clear the board you have to spell out words. There are six other games in addition to word-tetris, all of which can be played on three different levels of difficulty. However, the “hard” levels should be renamed “literally impossible to play”, and the medium could be called “so easy you’ll want to cry”. There is no happy medium for this game. Furthermore, the individual games don’t actually keep score for some reason. Each of the games is generally difficult to control as the “how tos” are vague and the controls themselves less than responsive. Word Game Pack has lots of potential, but doesn’t deliver on any of it.