Yeah, see I knew that would happen.
Still, only 1-0. Could have been worse.
I’m gonna go and listen to country music.
And, yeah, talking of how I like games and can enjoy most of them… here comes Omino!
It’s a bit like Super Mario Bros, only missing inertia and a lot of animation. Feels like something made in a construction kit, though it’s probably not.
It’s not that good, really – but, but, but I didn’t hate it. I downloaded it – it’s free! – and played through the two included levels without feeling angry at using up some of my life on it. When the screen popped up at the end of the second level asking me to spend 59p on the rest of the game I declined, but I didn’t mind it asking.
It has all the hallmarks of something one person put together at home in their spare time – and if I’d made this game I’d be very pleased with myself. Let’s hope the developer keeps going and makes better and better games. If you’re reading this, I may not have loved your game, but I salute you, madam or sir. Keep going, get better and well done. Oh – and that walk-on-water power-up was a nice surprise.
(Conversely, if the game was made in an office by a team who are hoping to make money for rent and food from the game… oops. Sorry guys.)
It’s not often that I buy games I don’t like. This is mainly because I research games before spending my money, but it’s also because I just really like games. I can get enjoyment from flawed games if they have good ideas or polished games that don’t have any ideas of their own. And if I enjoy myself for half an hour and never play a game again, that counts as a good use of 59p in my book.
Doodle God, though, I can’t stand. I spent half an hour or more with it last night, trying to like it, but I just don’t get it. It’s selling well, it’s got good word of mouth, but I don’t think I’ll ever understand why.
Basically, you’ve got “elements”. You start with earth, air, fire and water and by combining two of these you make new elements and then you combine them to form even more elements until you’ve got plasma and swamps and ghosts and all sorts of things.
So you pick a category of elements, choose one of the them, then pick another category, choose another element and see if they combine to form a new one. That’s it.
It all boils down to randomly clicking little boxes in the hope of generating more little boxes. Why people are finding this interesting, I do not know. It reminds me of being stuck in an adventure game and randomly clicking inventory items to see if you can make something out of them.
So it’s an entire game based on the boring, annoying bit of another genre.
A waste of 59p and a waste of time. It might be something you’ll enjoy, but it makes me angry just thinking about it – especially because I’ll no doubt start it up again sometime to try to see it the way other people are seeing it and end up pissed off that I’ve wasted precious minutes of my life when I could be doing something more fun like contracting malaria or peeling the skin off my cock or something.
And let’s not get started on the cycnical fucking way they’ve shoved “Doodle” into the name of the game to try and increase sales.
Okay, okay, deep breath. I’m beginning to turn green and my shirt feels tight (though, oddly, my shorts are fine), so I better stop typing now and think about kittens or something.
I appear to be paralysed.
Not, you know, physically. I can still type. I haven’t stood up for a while, so I guess my legs might have stopped working, but I can still feel them, so they’re probably okay.
No, I’m paralysed in top iPhone footie game World Soccer Champs.
(And not because of the low memory issues. Running the System Activity Monitor app before starting the game sorts all that out.)
I’m paralysed, you see, because I can’t quite bring myself to play the game. I got England through to the second round of World Cup. (Or the World Tournament or whatever they call it to avoid giving FIFA a million, billion dollar-pounds.) We’re going to face Germany in the second round.
And, I suspect, we’re going to lose. But if we win I’ll have got further than ever before. So I don’t want to play, because I’m going to blow my chance for glory.
I have no belief in myself. Hardly surprising, really, when we only won the group because of some lucky penalties against Algeria and the USA.
I need to work up the courage to play the game at some point, then dust myself off and start again if I lose. But it’s Germany, man. Germany. My arch nemesis. The Master to my Doctor. The Palpatine to my Mace Windu. The mega shark to my giant octopus. The meddling kids to my pissed-off, costumes-obsessed janitor. The Jason Voorhees to my sex-crazed, reefer-smoking twenty-something teen. The snakes to my plane.
You get the idea.
Still, at least I don’t have malaria.
The final game I need to blog about today, Fruit Ninja has just reached the million sales mark. It’s very simple – slash the screen to slice fruit, avoid slicing bombs – but the presentation is exquisite and it’s a very satisfying high score game. For more than 59p it would feel like an indulgence, but at 59p it feels, if not necessary, then at least like money very well spent.
And, right, I do apologise for the lack of wit and insight today, but I’ve been rushing through these and, well, it’s not like this blog has much of either of those things even on its best days.
I starting to wonder if I wouldn’t just be better off writing about each game once and sticking a score on the end, but that’s not what this is all about. Hopefully, even if my writing is generally poor, seeing how often games get played and when is valuable… somehow.
And at least you can be sure of an honest opinion about the games, even if it’s an opinion that might change if I discover a broken level or read the instructions and find I’ve been missing something, or whatever.
Want to beat the keeper? Then this is the game for you. You start your run and then look for clues as to which way the keeper will dive and then kick the ball – hopefully into the goal.
Its kicking mechanism doesn’t stand up against Flick Kick Football and Deadball Specialist, but I like that the keeper isn’t a mere obstacle and the World Cup structure to the game is great.
The runt of this little litter, maybe, but worth a look.
Similar to Flick Kick Football on the surface, Deadball Specialist is more exacting and has a completely different structure. If Flick Kick is the Ridge Racer of free kick games, Deadball Specialist is the Gran Turismo. Tough and rewarding, it makes an excellent companion to Flick Kick Football, but if you’re only going to buy one, this probably isn’t the one to get, good as it is.
In a recent article Touch Arcade talked about three games about kicking stationary balls into the back of nets.
They were 59p each, so I bought them all. (Not all at once, mind, but over three days.)
irst up, Flick Kick Football, an insanely brilliant game from the makers of Flick Kick Field Goal. (Which used to be excellent, but which has been kicked out of the door and into the street with nothing but the clothes on its back now Flick Kick Football has appeared.)
There’s a ball, probably some cardboard-cutout defenders and a goal. You flick your finger to kick the ball, adding curve to get round the obstacles and into the goal. It feels just right and the quest for higher and higher scores left my battery panting and gasping for breath. (I bought it on Friday evening. By Saturday afternoon I’d played for three hours.)
The illusion is broken if you try to kick the ball slowly, so don’t do that, but otherwise I don’t have a single complaint to make. Brilliantly presented, tuned to perfection and 59p – it’s what iPhone gaming’s all about.
Rattling through these posts, pausing briefly to mention this funny little freebie. It’s not a tennis game, but a tennis watching game. As the ball goes from left to right you press the screen to follow it. If you look the wrong way, then it’s game over.
It should be easy, but when the ball hits the net it’s incredibly difficult to stop yourself from looking in the direction it would have gone. It really feels like a psychological experiment as much as it does a game. Why do I keep pressing the screen when I shouldn’t? Why? Who’s in control of my thumb?
The only real blemish is that the game seems to play sound effects even if you’ve got the volume down. Naughty, naughty.
So, yeah, I got into the second round of the World Cup at the weekend. A feat I’ve not managed before or since. Okay, so I then got knocked out by Australia, of all people, but I was still proud of my performance.
It’s a tough game – though I seem to find it tougher than a lot of other people – but it’s very satisfyng. It always feels like the game rewards understanding and skillful play. It’s not an instant smash hit, but it’s definitely a grower.
It doesn’t seem to be selling very well, which is a crying shame, as it deserves an awful lot of love.
I just wish it didn’t keep locking up my phone and forcing a hard reset when it decides I haven’t got enough free memory. Bit of a bugger, that – especially as I seem to be the only person with the problem.