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?

KMGR of Commandos

Allied Commando
Commandos is an old EIDOS 2D game that basically is a combat-oriented puzzle. The mobile version did not change much. The idea is command a team of different special operations soldiers in WW2 in enemy territory, performing various missions of sabotage, assassination, espionage, and such. The problem with this game is that the missions are too long, and lack of mid-mission save, makes the game WAY TOO frustrating, and the complexity is a turn off.

KMGR of Tricky Tracks

Crossing TowerImage by railsr4me via Flickr

Tricky Tracks is basically a puzzle where you have to "rotate" the different pieces of tracks to form a route for the train to go. The complication comes in that you may have to perform changes on the track WHILE the train is still moving (on a different part of the track)! What's more, there are also "switches" to play with as you try to manipulate the route of the train by diverting it onto a different track. Add a time limit, multiple levels of success, and you got yourself one tricky puzzler.

KMGR of Saboteur

The Saboteur from Pandemic Shown off at EA Pre...Image by Colony of Gamers via Flickr
Saboteur is a WW2 game where you play one of the resistance fighters taking the fight to the Nazis with your fists and some know-how with explosives and such. You will NOT be wielding guns (until the finale), as this is NOT a shooter. This is like Splinter Cell or Metal Gear, but in WW2. There are also console and PC version of this game. If you play the mobile version, you can unlock special hints and tips for the other versions. While the graphics is a bit on the primitive side, the action is fine and the tension is pretty high. Overall, it's a pretty fun little game.

KMGR of Blademaster

Swordsman by Hoang Trung ThanhImage by J0nB0n via Flickr

Blademaster is a new "action RPG" from MinorAxis, a South Korean developer that is doing very good work adapting games for their market to American markets. These games are full-fledged RPGs with large maps, plenty of quests, lots of items, TONS of monsters to kill left and right, and three classes of weapons to master (slayer [big sword], regular sword, dagger) plus special "magic moves", plenty of enhancements, even "intensify" your items... This can be sold for $15-20 if it is a computer game, so it's a bargain at less than $5 for a month! You're talking about 30-40 hours of play time PLUS "extra tough" hero mode... Only Minor Axis RPGs give you that much play time.

KMGR of "Conspiracy Theory: Area 51"

Aliens at Area 51!
While the title sounds like fun, the game is actually a "hidden objects" game pretending to be an adventure game. The game makes a joke of FBI, as these FBI agents break laws left and right, even overseas, and basically behaving like a couple idiotic criminals. The writing is lame, the scenario is lame, and the game itself is also lame. If you want hidden objects, you can do better than this.

KMGR of "Cooking Mama"

Cooking MamaImage via Wikipedia
Taito's Cooking Mama is one of the first "cooking sims" which basically have you repeat a bunch of keypresses, meant to simulate cooking on a console. It has since spawned multiple clones on the mobile, but also made its own way to mobile. Is it any good? Not really.

KMGR of Tony Hawk's VERT

Tony Hawk at the opening of the Mobash skate p...
Tony Hawk's VERT is a cartoony skateboarding stunt arcade game, combined with a "photo shoot" minigame. It is a pretty good game giving you a taste of the skateboarding scene using the "standard" U-shaped ramp, but presented in a cartoony way.

You start with just one venue, each venue has different events. The first event you have is the tutorial, which is pretty much 'follow the instructions', and you're introduced to the different stunts... the ramp lip moves, and the flying moves, then the advanced moves, which requires a lot more "air". So the idea basically is do as many different moves, go as "high" and get as much air as possible, and do as many moves as you can.

One of the minigames is to snap shots of another skateboarder. If you got the advanced moves, and the guy is centered in the frame, you get good points. If you're off center, or got the lame moves, you get like 1 or 2 points. You need to score X points within Y shots.

Each "event" has two levels of success... regular, and expert. Expert has additional stipulations. For example, finish the tutorial in 90 seconds, or complete the 2nd event without falling once, or fly high enough to hit the train 3 times, and so on.

KMGR of Red Bull Soapbox Race

Red Bull Soapbox RaceImage by pdgibson via Flickr
This game is not really about your typical soapbox racer, but rather a combination of keypresses. It's cute, it's customizable, but is it really soapbox race? I dunno. At least it is based on a real event.

When you begin, you need to customize your racer in terms of suspension and speed, durability, and such. The options doesn't seem to make THAT much of a difference though.

Then you need to perform a dance with your three racers. (No, I am NOT kidding) by pressing keys at random. (that's not in the real event that I know of)

Final previews of 2009...

Cooking MamaImage via Wikipedia

And there are a LOT of titles! Let's do a record... EIGHT games!

Red Bull Soapbox Race -- ever want to play a game of soapbox racer on a phone? Neither did I.

Tony Hawk's VERT -- a cartoony Tony Hawk game for the mobile

Cooking Mama -- is a cooking game actually any fun on a keypad?

Conspiracy Theory: Area 51 -- a "find the items" game with a non-sense plot

Blademaster -- BUY THIS RPG! You won't regret it! I swear! One of the best RPGs you can get on a mobile!

Saboteur -- the mobile version is not bad, and lets you get special hints about the console/PC version as well!

Tricky Tracks -- routing a train to its destination has never been more fun... or frustrating

Commandos -- the "team work" action puzzle for PC finally gets ported to the mobile... and got killed with a fatal bug

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KMGR of "Cro-Mag Rally"

Parilla engine demonstrated by Maranello and W...Image via Wikipedia
Cro-Mag Rally is badly named. While it's supposed to be a "rally" using "primitive" vehicles, it is really "Mariot Kart" in pre-historic drag.

You run around a circuit, and collect various "powerups" which you can shoot at fellow racers, any way to get ahead. There are only like 6 tracks, and 4 or 5 vehicles, and controls are a bit sensitive. You "can" skid in a corner, and in fact, one of the powerups is "spike tires" to enhance traction.

Looks are primitive, as it's supposed to, but that's about it. Unfortunately, seems the 3D engine itself is also primitive as heck. Objects flash in and out of existence, texture tears and breaks. AI vehicles don't drive as much as "floats", and staggers, and somehow they move as fast as you, and even sometimes, faster.

KMGR of "Scarface: Last Stand"

Scarface: Last Stand is a cover-and-shoot shooter adapted to the cellphone. As the title implies, this is based on the final shootout at the end of the movie Scarface.

Basically means you hit 0 to dodge, then 1 through 9 (in a 3x3 grid) to "shoot" at the enemies. You shoot lots of thugs, who will be shooting and throwing grenades and/or rockets at you. Try to shoot them in mid-air or else your cover will take too much damage. If you lose your cover, argh. If you stay hidden, your health and ammo replenishes.

The game is more arcadey as it even has power-ups. "Shoot" the powerups and you get special powers, like rage (insta-kill bullets), unlimited ammo, armor, explosive, grenades, and so on.

Kill level after level of bad guys, and eventually you'll reach the game's end, when the enemies just overwhelm you and you die. Of course, if you want more challenges, you can crank up the difficulty to even medium or hard.

There are achievements too... Like kill lots of thugs, kill 10 thugs with grenades, and so on.

KMGR of "World Crisis"

World Crisis is a turn-based strategy game where you must advance your faction's agenda on the continent through any means necessary: military, economy, or diplomacy. In other words, it's a standard 4X game, shrunk to the mobile, and it's a pretty decent game in that regard.

You can choose from any of the three factions available, each with a bonus. Iron guard, for example, has a +2 bonus to their infantry units. If you start a brand new game, you start with the Iron guard. There are just a handful of unit types, and only three resources. You can capture any of the resource points: oil rig (oil), naval yard (electricity), and warehouse (food), but only with infantry and artillery. Those resource points can be upgraded to raise their production but that needs resources too.

Capital itself can also perform research in military, economic, or diplomatic fronts, which will provide vast improvements if you want to dedicate a LOT of food and other resources toward the research. Those will give significant bonuses in various areas. For example, level 1 military research gets you 1 extra hitpoint on every infantry unit (12 to 13, or for Iron Guard, 14 to 15), while later items get you reduced production costs, increase production of resources, etc. You can set the research rate (i.e.how much to spend). Standard is 10, but you can go up to 50, which of course makes your research 5 times as fast. Capital itself can also be "upgraded" to increase production.

KMGR of "Planet 51: On the run"

MADRID, SPAIN - NOVEMBER 24:  The directors of...Image by Getty Images via Daylife
P51 is a tie-in mobile game to the CGI movie "Planet 51", and it's a simple platformer that basically have you playing the two main characters as they try to resolve their own issues, jumping from house to house, collect some parts, avoid the, uh... whatever police and military, and get the poor sap to his capsule and go home. It doesn't seem that interesting overall.

From playing through two levels (out of a dozen or so) the game seems to be a standard platformer: jump from level to level, avoid the few "baddies", collect all the tokens and parts and such on the level, and get to the end, really, that's it. Chuck can stun the cops like Mario (tm) by jumping on them, while the kid can't. But other than that, there isn't much different between them.

Some more previews...

Planet 51Image via Wikipedia

Planet 51: On the run -- can Planet 51 be a fun platform game? Or is it a real stinker of a game?

World Crisis -- can a turn-based strategy game work on a mobile, or is that doomed to failure before it starts?

Scarface: Last Stand -- how does a duck-and-shoot shooter work on a mobile? And it is any fun to play?

Cro-Mag Rally -- is this prehistoric racer any fun or is it a clone of something else?

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KMGR of "Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2" mobile

Modern Warfare 2Image via Wikipedia
Actually, the real title is "Call of Duty: Modern Warfare Force Recon", and while it's marketed as COD:MW 2 mobile, it is actually completed UNRELATED to COD MW2. This is a normal 2D shooter with a completely unrelated story line. As a 2D shooter, it ain't bad, but there's nothing special about it, but it has a lousy storyline, and takes liberties with so many realities it's basically dumb.

The storyline is about a marine recon company's grunt... Some sort of major terrorist attack is taking over the city of Hermosilla Mexico, and the Mexican president asked the US for help, and the US sent in the Marines. The problem is the game is completely unauthentic when you look into the details.

First of all, you are issued what looks like an MP-5. Don't these game designers have researchers? Marines only issue M-16A4's to the grunts! And don't tell me that's some fancy new weapon like SCAR either.
Then there's this part about shooting "bazookas" at certain targets. Hello! Bazooka is a WW2 term! The REAL USMC light anti-tank weapon is the LAW rocket! (And that doesn't look like a LAW rocket either!)

KMGR of "Assassin's Creed II 3D"

Assassin's CreedImage via Wikipedia
Assassin's Creed II (3D) mobile is a fun little action number that's very similar to Prince of Persia (3D), considering that it's from the same publisher: Gameloft. The action this time is just as interesting, and this time the writers linked in more historical figures, such as the Medicis, Da Vinci, and more. The 3D engine this time allows more acrobatic moves, and a bit side-game. What's more there are also dramatic "kill moves" that shows you graphically of your special kills. The result is a good button pusher, if a bit on the mature subject side.

You are Eeio, whose family was wrongly put to death in a conspiracy. After discovering you are descendents of a cult of assassins, and you got the training, you befriended some of the best thinkers in Italy, who will help you get revenge on those who had wronged your family. Your first stop is to remove the judge that sent your family to death. He is in central square overseeing some more executions... and you will be helped by none other than Leonardo Da Vinci, who had hidden one of his flying wings for your getaway.

The actual game itself is a mix of Prince-of-Persia like blade combat that has attack vs. block, then jumping / climbing ledges, jumping from pole to pole, jumping off rooftops and bouncing off "trampolines", and so on while you collect "gems", which also tell you the path you should be taking.

KMGR of "Spore Creatures"

Spore CreaturesImage via Wikipedia
Spore Creatures is a variation on the Spore theme. In Spore Creatures, you play this "adventure" game where you decide you want to be nice or nasty, and basically "explore" this island, while gathering more and more DNA for your creature, get a collection of "parts", and decide on the eventual shape of your creature.

Spore has you start as a simple critter. You explore the island to find DNA pools, avoid nasty creatures, traps, and environmental dangers. Talk to other creatures, and either fight them for domination, or do the befriend routine and gain their trust by doing a simple DDR routine (up / down / left / right / center pattern matching). If you befriend the three creatures at each "submap" you will gain access to a new part. Defeating the "epic creature" at each map will gain you an epic ability. The idea is to explore the island, get all the DNA, defeat or befriend all creatures, and generally "win" the island.