About This Place

First started in late 2007, Kasey's Mobile Game Review (then just a regular feature of Kasey's Korner) started as a simul-post between here and IGN. Later I realized there's no reason to post it twice, when I can use the traffic on my own site. so, here we are, in 2010, and the mobile game industry has grown a bit. What do you think?

Mobile Game review: "Gangstar: Crime City"

Review of Gangstar: Crime City, a GTA clone by Gameloft for mobile phones, is up on IGN.

Mobile Game Reviews coming soon...

Super Gadget -- by Starwave Mobile (strangely, no reference on it found anywhere!)

Fish On! -- by who? (strangely, no reference on it found anywhere!)

Dirge of Cerberus: Lost Chapter -- a Final Fantasy VII: Dirge of Cerberus Lost Chapter, ONLY for cellphones

Turok Mobile -- Turok goes 2D platform, fun, or not?

Imprisoned -- Korean import RPG, way too hard at times, but VERY deep, full length

3D Metal Slug Mobile 3 -- Metal Slug Mobile 3, now with 3D flying enemies! Doh!

Gangstar: Crime City -- Gameloft's take on GTA... on a cellphone

Mobile Game Review: "Ridge Racer" by Namco

Read the review of "Ridge Racer" by Namco. It's an old game (2006-ish) for mobile market, and it really shows.

Mobile Game Review: "GT Drift: Untouchable"

GT Drift is a weird game, as it seems to be a game of rally (such as WRC), yet it is NOT (as you do see your opponents on the tracks). So it's basically inventing a genre of motorsports that doesn't exist, while drifting doesn't existing on rallying at all. It's fast, but a very "boring" kind of racing, not much beyond the old "night driver". All in all, you can find MUCH BETTER racing games.

GT Drift from Gamevil is a strange racing game. You race on rally stages, and you even get pre-race briefs just like rally stages. However, once race starts, you need to make it to the end of the stage, and pass the other competitors in the meanwhile. And there really isn't that much time in the race stages. You are in a "behind-the-car" chase perspective, so you can see yourself slide around corners. So how exactly do you slide/drift? You double-tap the direction key. Yep, that's it. Obviously, you have to time the slide/drift just right, and you have to counter the drift when the curve ends. Your car accelerates automatically, but you can brake. The trick is then how to maintain a constant speed, as you really can't. Thus, the trick is when to brake, when to drift, and so on. You do get rally-style "pace notes" (left turn, etc.) but that doesn't help enough.

You can unlock more cars, but those don't seem to affect the performance much, if any. You have to win certain stages in order to unlock further challenges and the cars. You can do time trial (timer only), quick race (one stage), or championship (the full series), but remember, most stuff are locked for the other two if you don't progress far in the third. Thus, most of the game is locked away. boring!

All in all, this game is far more reminiscent of old Arcade games like Cruising USA as it's all bitmaps without any real 3D, with one trick: supposed drifting. It may be fast, but it's not really drifting, and not much of a racer.

Rating: 6 out of 10

Review of mobile game "Space Monkey"

On IGN again, here's review of Space Monkey

Review of "Metal Gear Solid Mobile"

Here's the review, on IGN, of Metal Gear Solid Mobile

Review of Mobile Game "Pit Boss"

Pit Boss by Skyzone is basically a casino simulator in the vein of SimCity, but more of a SimCasino. The game is challenging, but in an unexpected way, due to strange game mechanics, and rather artificial "goals" you must fulfill. Still, it is rather interesting to see your casino grow under your management, and the machines kept busy by steady stream of players.

There are actually two modes of play: game, and challenge. Game mode is where you play sort of a campaign where the monthly quota is raised month after month, and you need to finish the whole year to pay back all the debt you borrowed to keep this running. In Challenge mode, you need get some special requirements instead of merely monthly quota. Things like "upgrade to level 2 interior within 8 months" and so on. The final challenge, extremely tough, is "have NO dissatisfied customer for 1 month". And that is extremely tough.

The game mechanics are not that difficult, actually. You start with a single sector of the casino floor. Rest are blocked off for now. You install new slot machines and video poker machines. They cost money, of course, but they will increase your income. As you accumulate enough money, spend it to expand the interior, which will give you 4 sectors. Next upgrade is to 6 sectors, and finally, to all 9 sectors. Your upgrade menu will tell you which games can you still install.

As your casino expands, you must add facilities, and hire staff. A bar needs a bartender and hostess. Restaurant needs chef. Machines need a technician, and the entire casino needs security guard. You also need janitor to wipe up. In true Sims (tm) fashion, people will complain if they see bad things, like "dirty floors" (you need janitor!), "thirsty" (no bartender / hostess or no bar), "hungry" (no chef / no restaurant). So you have to build those and hire staff, whose contracts last exactly 1 month, so you have to keep rehiring them.

Technicians and Security Guard live more harried lives. You get alerts on the floor that a sector is having problems, either machine is going bonkers, or a player is causing problems. For the former, you call in the technician, before the machine electrocutes someone (which is bad for business!) and the latter you call in the security guard (unless you WANT the disgruntled player to really make a mess, which scares away other players). You do that by pressing 1-9 for the respective sector, then either * or # to call the respective specialist (provided that you *did* hire them, of course).

So basically it's a constant struggle as you deal with one crisis after another, while dealing with other complaints, adding more machines, and upgrades, and basically keep the customers happy. When it's working, it's money keep cha-ching cha-ching coming in. When it's not, you're frantically adding things and spending $$$, hoping you would have earned enough for the debt collectors and higher-up by month's end.

The graphics are acceptable. It could have been better, but the busy floor and lots of objects limits the amount of animation for each. Sound is nothing exciting.

Overall, Pit Boss is a decent casino sim that needs on-the-fly planning as well as understand how one factor mess with the others, and how they affect how you'd achieve the next goal. No violence at all, but it's a mature subject.

Overall: 7.5 out of 10

Review of Mobile Game "The Sims 2: Castaway"

It appears that IGN is not ready for a Sims 2: Castaway (mobile) review yet, so it'll have to go on my own website! Here's their link for it though.

Sims 2: Castaway is a fine mobile game, though it doesn't measure up to "Stranded" (reviewed earlier).

You are one of the Sims having a fine time on the high seas on a yacht... until your yacht (USS Llama? That makes no sense...) met with some disaster... You all went overboard... and washed up on this island. You'll need to collect items on the island, build shelter, gather food, find the other inhabitants, and eventually, get off the island.

As in any Sims game, you have multiple needs you need to fill (hunger, rest, friendship, etc.), and try to make friends with everybody. And they will give you quests (called "goals" here.) which is basically beat someone in some sort of contest, and you'll get the item you need. And each person will usually have one "game", such as "surfing", or "dancing" (which takes care of "fun" need).

The different areas of the island, as you unlock them (by getting tools) can be "jumped to" by accessing the map, and simply selecting the area, and you'll instantly go there.

There aren't that many hazards on the island, but there ARE some. Don't shake trees with a bee's nest on it, and don't step into lava pools or quicksand pools. And that's pretty much it. So the game is quite forgiving.

Getting food is easy... find trees with coconut or bananas, and shake the tree. If you manage to locate a spear later (as one of your quests), you can start spear-fishing.

So basically the trick is finishing the quests, then learn the different quests, and see which quests can unlock areas, which will unlock other quests. Eventually, you'll get to the raft.

Example. Crazy Carl won't leave the caves unless you bring him a fish stew. So you have to go to Brandi to get a fish stew, except you lack some of the ingredients, and the only way you'll get them is start your own garden, and get some chili peppers from Greg the nerd/scientist's area up at the cliffs. And the garden, must be built by another inhabitant, and then you need seeds. Except you need to get seeds back from someone else by beating him in a surf competition. Then you wait two nights so the ingredients will grow right (and you need to fish at night to catch the right fish) and finally go back to Brandi to get the fish stew cooked, and take it up to Carl. THEN he'll give you the next quest...

Obviously, you need to be on speaking terms with people for them to give you quests, and so on. Chatting is okay, gift giving is best. Romance is possible, if you want to go that far.

All in all, Sims 2 Castaway is basically Sims 2 meets Lost, albeit in a PG style (did I mention you need to "shower" once a day for people to even want to talk to you?) It's simple, it can be finished in a few hours, and it's a short diversion. Your stats are recorded so you can compete for things like fastest escape (I got off the island on the 8th day), most friends (I got all seven), and so on. If you wish, you can reset the stats and start over. However, once is enough for me.

Overall: 7.5

Pluses: big sprites, easily recognizable Sims control interface and needs, pretty good 2D isometric graphics

Minuses: short game, needs too simple, adventure game rather than Sims game despite the name

Update to Mobile Reviews

Games Already Reviewed

Destroy All Humans 3: Crypto Does Vegas -- Crypto's back to vaporize more humans for more DNA... (reviewed on IGN)

Small Arms Mobile -- XBLA game made it to mobile... platform shooter is a bit of fun. (reviewed on IGN)

Elven Chronicles -- console style RPG on a mobile, kinda fun, except for the final battle. (reviewed on IGN)

Grey's Anatomy -- yes, there's a game too. You play Meredith, as you work through Seattle Grace. The "surgeries" are minigames, and you can answer quizzes and search for bonuses around the various rooms to keep going. Not bad. (reviewed on IGN)

Sushi Shuffle -- match-3 gameplay pushed to new heights, plus several other minigames to keep you refreshed. (Reviewed here)

Shadow Walker -- female ghost hunter seeks out origin of the ghost ship... 2D platform game. (Reviewed on IGN)

Leisure Suit Larry: Love 4 Sail -- a new LSL adventure NOT related to the old LSL game of the same name, not as raunchy as before, more like slapstick and sitcom (reviewed on IGN)

Stranded: A game of survival -- basically, LOST into a game, with nature log (reviewed on IGN)

Dead Rising -- port of the 360 Zombie Survival Horror game (reviewed on IGN)

The Incredible Machine -- old PC classic turned into mobile game, some puzzles too hard, you're rated by can you solve it in a SINGLE attempt, or not. Not that fun (reviewed on IGN)

The Simpsons: countdown to meltdown -- Homer and his pig caused Springfield to go nuclear? Better save the day. Cute as you do have lots of objectives here and there (reviewed on IGN)

Saints Row -- the gangland game ends up as a GTA clone with not enough pixels. (reviewed on IGN)

Asphalt 3: Street Rules 3D -- decent racer, bikes or cars, in 3D (reviewed on IGN)

Military Madness -- turn-based strategy, unbalanced by way-too-powerful air units. (reviewed on IGN)

Monkey Ball Twist and Tilt -- cute game that has you balancing a ball with a monkey inside, try to get him to land on the platform without falling off isn't as easy as you think. (reviewed on IGN)

Scarface: Money, Power, Respect (not the same as Scarface: Rise of Tony Montana) -- better version of Tony Montana as game, more GTA like (reviewed above, permalink soon)

Atlantis Sky Patrol -- Zuma variation, movable launch point, more bonuses, upgradeable launcher, and ability to stop the waves from coming, 100+ levels! (reviewed on IGN)

Emergency Mayhem -- drive one of three emergency vehicles (police, fire, ambulance) around the city, responding to emergencies, which is basically 2D driving game, leading up to a minigame as the emergency. There are only six minigames total, so you can be sure you'll get bored VERY quickly. (reviewed above, permalink soon)

Stand Down 3D -- Prey 3D with new set of enemies and levels (reviewed on IGN)

Action Hero 3D -- 2D platform game rendered in 3D instead, cute manga style presentation (reviewed on IGN)

White House Rumble -- boxing game as political satire (reviewed on IGN)

Rush Hour Taxi Trouble -- your basic "sliding" puzzle where you need to get a "taxi" to the exit by moving other vehicles within the limited space. (reviewed on IGN)

Prince of Persia Classic -- the classic platform game made it to mobile with a few nice additions. Coins shows you areas you haven't explored yet as well as paths you should take. Butterfly will point you at a certain direction. Lots of levels and whatnot to figure out... they're all here. (reviewed on IGN)

Worms 2007 -- Worms classic artillery gameplay ported to mobile platform (reviewed on IGN)

Metal Gear Classic -- 2D stealth action? Not my cup of tea, but it looks right. (reviewed on IGN where it's called "Metal Gear")

MX vs. ATV Untamed -- Reviewed here

Destroy all Humans 2 -- Crypto goes... turn-based tactical? Closer to XCOM or Laser Squad than the original, this game has only a few missions, but quite good! (Reviewed on IGN)

Take Yer Meds fer Prizes -- ER Rush clone, with bronze/silver/gold ratings instead. (Reviewed on IGN)

Played but not yet reviewed

Imprisoned -- Korean import RPG, way too hard, but VERY deep, will give full review soon.

3D Metal Slug Mobile 3 -- Metal Slug Mobile 3, now with 3D flying enemies!

Gangstar: Crime City -- Gameloft's take on GTA... on a cellphone

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