Growing up, I loved going to the restaurant Chuck E. Cheese. Besides the video games, one of my favorite things about that place was the animatronic show featuring Chuck E. Cheese and his friends who performed in a band and played music for you while you ate cheesy pizza. The grease in the pizza combined with the music created by these robots created a kind of bliss for children that can’t be explained unless experienced. But in the back of my mind, I was always a bit creeped out by these animatronic characters. They looked so life like yet moved like robots. And sang.
Fast forward twenty five years. I was checking out the top apps in the Apple app store and I stumbled upon a $2.99 game called Five Nights at Freddy’s. The game centers on the fictional pizza restaurant called Freddy Fazbear’s Pizza. The player acts as a night security guard, defending themselves from the malfunctioning animatronic animal characters by tracking their movement through the facility using security cameras. Each of the four characters have distinct movement patterns; however, most of the characters’ movements take place off-screen. The camera feeds are dimly lit and distorted, one of the rooms only contains an audio feed, and the cameras do not cover certain areas of the building. Sound creepy yet?
Being a fan of video games, scary movies and childhood nostalgia, I must give this game a try. It is supposedly very scary to play but I don’t care because it looks awesome. I will post a review of the app later, after I download it tonight. Well, if I make it through the night.
When I tested out a PhoneGap app I was helping to create, I noticed that there were black bars on the top and bottom of the iPhone 5 screen. It looked like the iPhone 5 was pulling in an app in an iPhone 4 frame. Luckly, there is an easy fix to this problem. After implementing the code, when the app pulls the splash screen from the config.xml file at those same 1136px x 640px dimensions, the app will know to stay at those dimensions on your iPhone 5 device. Simply add the following code to the config.xml screen and you will see the results:
<gap:splash gap:platform="ios" height="1136" src="res/screen/ios/screen-iphone5-portrait.png" width="640" />
Lately, when a new children’s movie comes out, along with it comes a movie game based off of an already popular game. Some past examples include Hop (Doodle Jump), Brave (Temple Run) and Rio (Angry Birds). This however is the first time I can think of that a movie has used a game that has already been used for a movie. This version of Temple Run is based off the new Disney movie Oz: The Great and Powerful coming out to theaters soon which is a prequel to The Wizard of Oz which came out some 70+ years ago.
Temple Run Oz plays just like the other Temple Run games but with a few differences. One of the neatest things about this game is the new hot air balloon feature. Control the balloon through the sky by tilting your hone or tablet and collect coins but avoid the dangerous crystals. Another cool thing is that you can switch between locations as you progress through your game. After you get so far, there will be a sign for the dark forest at which point you will turn and see a status bar. Eventually you will go through a cloud tunnel and then be transformed into the new world. You will go back to the first world again after a few more minutes of play. The trick is to pay attention to the post signs as they offer you hints on which way to go to get the bonus features.
When I found out that one of my favorite game developers came out with a new game, I immediately went to the app store and downloaded it. Pik Pok’s latest app is a cross between Fruit Ninja and their own Slam Dunk King. It is an Oreo promotional game called Twist, Lick, Dunk. The game takes place in a kitchen setting and you have 60 seconds to twist, lick and dunk as many Oreo cookies that come flying on your screen as you can. The first swipe over the cookies will twist them apart, the second swipe will lick them, and then you must dunk them into the glass of milk on the table before the next cookies will appear. The more cookies that you do this with in a single swipe, this higher your score will be after your 60 seconds of gameplay are up. You will then see how many gold coins you won. Gold coins can be exchanged for unlocking up to 20 different types of Oreo cookies that Nabisco released throughout Oreo’s 100-year history. The more unique unlocked cookies will yield higher bonuses, thus giving you a higher overall score.
The game is very solid with beautiful hi-res graphics. I think that it would be more realistic if the cookies flew onto your screen for a reason. Perhaps a person can be flinging them up into the air rather than them just flying onto your screen from oblivion. The game is free but you will see some ads pop up every couple of games.
Angry Birds is at it again. They’ve already traveled through space in the last iteration of the series and it looks like they made it to a galaxy far far away. Instead of making the birds the typical birds we see in most game in the series, they have been upgraded to Star Wars style characters equipped with lightsabers, Blasters and Jedi powers. Even though I haven’t made it very far in the game yet, apparently you can unlock R2-D2 and C-3PO bonus levels. Angry Birds is available for $.99 on the iPhone and the iPad version can be had for $2.99.
I was looking through the iOS app store this morning and I noticed Crazy taxi is available for download. I used to play the Dreamcast version all the time and then downloaded the PS3 version a few months ago. I was curious to see how Crazy Taxi would look on the iPad so I decided to give it a try. Considering that this was a full port, it turns out that the game is just as fun as I remember thanks to beautifully updated Retina graphics. The original soundtrack from the Dreamcast version featuring The Offspring and Bad Religion are also here. Ya ya ya ya ya!!
The controls in the game play surprisingly well considering it’s the iPad. There are only four buttons to tap: left, right, drive and reverse. The buttons are large enough to easily tap but not too large that they get in the way of the gameplay. There are also optional tilt controls which I haven’t tried yet. Crazy Taxi is $4.99 and while that price may seem high for an iPad game, it’s really not bad considering people shell out $60 for new console video games.
A few days ago I posted about Rovio coming out with a new game where the pigs from Angry Birds would be the star. The game just came out last week and I downloaded it for my iPad and have had a chance to play it. It’s called Bad Piggies. The genre of this type of game has been called a “physics puzzler”. The story goes that the swine are stranded on a desert island and have to build vehicles and contraptions to make their way to the delicious eggs. Your job is to use a limited number of parts to assemble, in a grid like structure, these modes of transportation that will take you to these eggs. Some of the parts that you use to build with include wheels, fans, wood and engines. On your way to the goal there are obstacles like ramps, rocks and jumps for you to take into consideration while building.
I’m excited to progress more into the game because it looks like once you get farther, more advanced parts will become available. Bad Piggies is definitely more difficult than Angry Birds and it will make you think more than it too. If you are expecting a game similar to Angry Birds then you may be disappointed but if you are looking for a contraption builder that will make you think with the some of the same fun gameplay elements that Rovio has brought to you before, this game is for you. The game was so popular at release that it became No. 1 on the iTunes App Store charts in just over three hours.