The effect of an overactive imagination

My husband Kim and I do love our nightly walks. We haven’t had many of those lately. Mainly because work has been so busy and I have more then my fair share of side projects to do.

Last night he took me out for a walk. It is that time of the year where there is a slight chill in the air. The insane warm weather was gone.

This was the first time in a while since I could enjoy a walk. It’s just been too warm of  a summer that I am glad to see come to an end. For exercise purposes, my husband downloaded an app from the android store called “Zombie! Run!”

Very interesting app. What it does is that it uses your map and let’s you select your destination. Once you’ve done that, get ready to avoid Zombies! On your map now, you have Zombies moving towards you. The only way to beat the game is reach your destination before they get to you.

There are several settings when it comes to the amount of Zombies and their speed. We started on the lowest of the low. Two Zombie shuffling after us at a speed of 2-5 miles an hour. Not to bad right?  We did have to pick up the phase to get away from them though.

That I like about this, is that you have to use your imagination. When you walk late at night and you hear a noise in the bushes, or a wind that sweeps by an empty plastic bag, the hair in the back of your neck stands up. You walk faster, because you know, there are Zombies around!

I am very much aware that I have an overactive imagination and I’ve always had a fear of Zombies. This game had me picking up the phase as soon as they were close by. In a few nights, I’ll be wearing comfortable running shoes and go with a higher setting.

If you see a crazed lunatic run while screaming “Zombies!!”, feel free to say hello. I love meeting new people!

Check the App here and enjoy!

 

zombie.jpg (323×481)

Image from aboutclock.com

 

Lets check out Wisp and move around a bit

The more I play Kinect, the more I am addicted to the concept. I know that most of us gamers should be appalled at the thought of getting up and move around. Maybe, just maybe, this was created for us who do sit still all day and need to get up and move those slowly growing tuckers. For years I’ve given up on XBOX 360. They never released much of late that captured my interest long enough. Honestly, the last few years I’ve seen stuff growing out of my bellybutton that is more interesting to me then any XBOX releases.

Then we got a Kinect.
People compare it with PS3 motion and the Wii-motes, but trust me, this is different. There are no buttons to control any actions, it is just you and only you.

After completing Kinect adventures I set my attention Michael Jackson the experience. Again, it did not disappoint. I’ve been moving around like crazy, sweating and pulling muscles left and right. Body parts flying all over the room and by sheer luck, nothing has been destroyed yet. Captured by this siren of gaming I’ve neglected to review a Triolith game that I downloading form the android market a while back.

So let me tell you a little bit about Wisp.

Let me first of note that I will be playing this game on an Android phone (sorry apple fanboys). A HTC Evo 4G to be exact.
Feel free to look up the stats so you understand what kind of firepower I am working with.

The game started with loading the Triolith logo, what i notice is that I see rogue pixels in the rounded corners of the logo. I am not sure if it was made intentionally but it did give me the itch to erase them. Just a taste thing I guess.
On to the next screen. It is an image of a tranquil Forrest scene with lovely mushrooms and some glowing dots/flowers. I can read the buttons but i had to squint to read “HQ”. Then there is a logo of a speaker and another one for music. I assume that one removes sound and the other removes music only, keeping the sound effects. That threw me a little bit of because it just seems a little bit randomly placed. I guess this is an attempt to make things faster to access which is appreciated, but confusing for us who are used to an “options” menu.

The music is very captivating and very euphoric, which is to be expected for a “fantasy” style game. The loading time for the first level itself took well over 10 seconds, which is not to bad, it just did have me worried momentarily that my phone crashed. So for you people who have no patience, wait…a….bit…longer.

Now, to the controls. They threw me off a bit since my fat fingers kept getting in the way of the lovely wisp character Eira. I think this is something that can grow on me a bit later, but for now the primary controls are tilting your device left and right to move, while holding your finger on the screen to have her ascend. I was surprised not to see a story or an intro. Nothing really to introduce the character in the first level. I thought maybe I missed something important so I reloaded the first level. Still nothing that really introduces the character.  I wanted to return to the main menu, but there was no option in game to go there. Probably for the best too, because the finger is all over the screen, you would most likely keep pressing menu by mistake. I do think that there is a solution. For instance, instead of a pause button on the right top corner and a reload button on the left, there could be an option button instead that pauses the game automatically (encase you press it by mistake) and it would give you the option of returning to the main menu. What I do enjoy is that you get to see the instructions as you “fly along” which is a bit more interacting rather then a manual. Once you finish a level, the menu will be available to you. It brings you to the level selection so I can for now assume that there isn’t an intro story in the very beginning. That the creators might have placed it along the way. I pressed to continue on level two. Again I thought it froze, because it took 13 seconds before the loading screen turned up. I might just be impatient or something.

Now it gets a little bit more challenging. Still no story really but you are told that there is some black icky vile goo that is dangerous. Just for the hell of it, I flew in to it to see if I’d experience some fairy splatter, but nope. It was a quick implosion. Parents, this is childproof. Thought I wouldn’t let children touch the device because, you know, stiiiiicky fingers. While flying around and enjoying your tranquil wispy groove, you come across some shiny things. You know how them fairies like shiny things.  There are three in each level. That is how many there has been thus far so I can assume that it is that way on every level. Some are hard to get, protected and cleverly hidden. When you collect all of them, you are presented with a perfect game. This brings a bit of a challenge since not only do you have oozy black holes (that are fueled by pure evil!) but you have to satisfy her bling satisfactory too. Greed doesn’t become you Eira! Either way, to the point. It is a very much enjoyable game. Even if I would like an intro to present me with a task of survival and/or save the world. It felt empty to start. But continue on and you will be rewarded. If anything it will give you some relaxing tunes while and a beautifully yet simplistic designed graphic to go with it.

Now, the big question, would I buy it? Well I already did, so yes I would. I enjoyed it and I will continue enjoying it. Does it feel like something revolutionary and new. No, it is very familiar and somewhat safe. I Would’ve liked to see some other theme using this engine. Fantasy casual can sometime become disappointing for people who are used to the crazy elaborate stories and new types of battle engines. I think that if you are going to make something casual, use a design and a model that is unique. For instance, instead of a wisp in a  Forrest, a cat wearing a top hat that moves itself around by expelling some methane gas, and be careful of the fire torches! I know that it sounds silly and probably someone already made this but it would be a bit more entertaining to me. Then again, I am a big fan of Thunderbang!

I can’t wait to see what Triolith comes up with next!

Thunder bang a what?

We’ve noticed a more acceptance type attitude towards gaming and gamers in general the last decade.
UK is investing millions in creating jobs in the gaming industry because it is a more accepted pass time for all cultures, age groups and genders.

That being said, we have the gaming giants that dominate their respective genre.
For a new game or developer to grow, they will need to present something so original and revolutionary, to be able to make their mark onto the circle jerk that is the gaming industry.
Many small developers appear on the market with the growing popularity of smart phones. Most of them vanish just as fast as they appear. I think the main issue is the lack of exposure. There are few sites that cover games that are not “the flavour of the month“. Exposure is so very important towards helping a smaller developer or game designer to grow. I think this is where us gaming bloggers/ sites need to cover these unknowns a bit better. To create a more competitive market, the better the games it will generate.
I mean, aren’t you sick of the same titles over and over again? Same brands, same names, same game play.

They do need some competition and it is our responsibly to bring that competition to them.
-“Look what these dudes made! I like it, people like it, it is awesome, new and it’s making decent amount of money”

A game to get any recognition needs to either have tremendous funding or a known brand backing said game. However, few games break through that market and present something new. Take angry birds for instance. It swept the world like a storm and is still one of the most popular games on the smart phone/pad market.
Hilarious graphics and a great physics engine was the key in their success.
Now about the rest of the smart phone gaming market? Well I want to cover that part a bit more.
A new upcoming game company came to my attention called Triolith entertainment.
I call them upcoming because they haven’t reached the glorious turning point where it either plum-it’s down or sky rockets upward. In the eyes of the big boys, they are in fact, newbs. Which is exactly the reason I will be covering their progress. I think it will be exciting for everyone involved to see how far these people can go from start up, to greatness/and or crash ‘n burn.
BACKGROUND
Triolith Entertainment was founded on a campus in Skoevde Sweden by 6 enthusiastic students in March. (The new developer smell hasn’t worn off yet!)
Their CEO approached me about their controversial game called Thunder Bang. I call it controversial because it has received both bad and good feedback. As someone who has some experience in reviewing games, I’d think my review might help him in further development of his games. The new developing companies do need exposure and feedback so we can enjoy a future of great quality games and if we are lucky, more affordable. (Much more affordable, I’m literary going broke trying to keep up with the gaming releases)

THUNDER BANG
Thunder bang is a gaming equivalent of Kick-ass with the body of Captain America and the mental capacity of Dead pool. Actually, never mind all that, he IS dead pool. In mannerism and how he perceives reality (which as we know, is a whole different reality then the one the rest of us exists in).
Installing the game went in without a hitch. A different story however when I started to load the game. It made an audio hiccup while loading. Meaning that the music started then abruptly ended and the next screen where the music was supposed to launch, all I got was a “whoop” and then silence. I run a HTC Evo 4g, so I doubt it is lack of power. I did relaunch the game and this time started without flaw. The song seems very Turricane inspired..
One wonders..
You know, I’d never thought i’d see the day where a game presents
a monkey bomb and a cat UFO. This was like looking into the sub conscious
of a hamburger wearing glasses.
The game presents a few possibilities.
Play endless (Playing the game without the story)
Story mode (Well, the game with story)
Options (difficulty settings blah blah blah:)
Lets start with what type of game this is. I’d compare it to a touch screen platform. The music, the tempo of the game remind me of classic nes/snes fighting game. You are remember by those old style Kung fu games, where all you did is walk continuously and occasionally beat up bad guys without being able to walk back. The screen moves along with the character and there is no stopping Thunder bang. Once you beat up the bad guys for a bit, Thunder bang starts to sprint, making it harder to slide your finger around the screen to control Thunder bang.
The finger sliding sometimes launches a move i didn’t want to use.
For instance, to jump you tap the screen, punch you slide from left to right. At times when I slide to punch ,it launches the jump function instead. I did not tap the screen to what i was aware off.
The game is played by holding your smartphone  horizontally. I noticed that once I held it vertically, the game became easier to play. The miss communication between sliding and tapping became a true rarity where I could claim blame. That is how I kept playing it till the very end of the game.
I think this picture is self explaining. There is Thunder Bang, a boss and how
much health he is currently hogging. Spandex FTW.
The story campaign took me about 40-50 minutes to complete. Going through 6 chapters in which at the end present a great little comic that gives you a little glints into our so called “hero” wanna be Thunder bang. The story comic itself was worth going through all that sliding and tapping.
While the game got progressively harder, I felt that at the end “chapter six” the game just went beyond crazy hard. Most of the game play was progressive in a standard phase, while the difficulty jumped at the end to the point of finger machine and blister sliding hell. In any case it was great fun, I cannot deny it. I was able to play through the entire thing and finish it.
It costs about a dollar on the android market, I am not sure if its available in the apple store as well. Either way, is it worth the Price. I’d say it would’ve been if there were a bit more levels. 40 min game play is just to short. I do not dismiss the purchase either. Because it was entertaining. Also you only have four type of bad guys, it gets a bit monotone after a while.
Once the story was done, it didn’t really offer any replay value. Maybe if you are a point junkie, it would be a great deal for you. For me, I am more about the story.
I have one suggestion that I would like to see replaced.
After you enter every level you get a tutorial that show you how to defeat the bad guys. It is useful the first few times, but I think a skip button should be implemented, it gets dull when you’ve replayed a level 4-5 times .
Either way, I enjoyed the game. I am looking forward to see more from Triolith  Entertainment and wish them the best of luck. The more options the market has, the better and we need to support new developers. They will make the big guys nervous enough to give us more value for out buck.