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?

And here are some previews for February Reviews...

Super Puzzle Fighter II TurboImage via Wikipedia

Here's some previews for the games that will be reviewed in February...

Super Puzzle Fighter II -- Street Fighter II meets Tetris

Zaxxon -- the original arcade game

Mini Golf: Wacky Worlds -- 3D minigolf, almost like Tiger Woods PGA...

Captain Galactic: Space Hero -- Very simple controls, very complicated timing gameplay

Schizoid -- think of it as space-age tag and avoidance

Kitten Cannon -- not really a game, but a random outcome generator

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Hint Guide for Field Runners

A masonry turretImage via Wikipedia

Following are hints for playing Field Runners, the tower defense game. Enjoy!

  • The enemy units will seek a path, but it will not see the most efficient one. It sees about 2 squares ahead. If you leave it a path ahead, and divert it off to the side, it will not see a path that is off to one side
  • Your layout should emphasize putting in the most turrets, and the most powerful turrets in the DIRECT path from entrance to exit, in order to intercept the air units. Those fly OVER everything, and thus can only be slowed down by the stun/goo turrets. For the regular game, that'd be the missile turret Mk III for the most part (cost is 20+15+15, or $50). Tesla/lightning turrets cost too much ($70+50+50, or $170). In the extended game the flame turret turret can be a good in the middle, after the units have been slowed. They don't "reload", so to speak. Once they start shooting, the flame is continuous. They are also great anti-personnel, but not so hot on the tanks and mechs and such. For that you need the mortar/mini-nuke.

KMGR of Wolfman

An 18th century engraving of a werewolfImage via Wikipedia
The Wolfman legend is getting remade into a movie, and you KNEW there is going to be a mobile game as well, and Namco nabbed the rights. It is basically a platformer with some clever bits, and it has unlimited continues and checkpoints. So it is player-friendly, but it is actually not THAT interesting overall.

The plot is your typical wolfman legend. You were investigating strange occurances near a gypsy camp when you were attacked by a werewolf. You basically fought, escape, re-caught, escaped again, got back home, and fought the beast that turned you and killed it, breaking your curse. Typical story, right?

The game essentially is a 2D platformer. You control either the man, or the beast, and both have some special attacks, as well as some good athleticism as you climb, jump, and fight your way through the level.

As the man, you carry a cane, which you can swing like a club. You can also use the sword hidden in the cane for special attacks if possible. You also occasionally can hide behind bushes, furnitues, and so on and perform sneak attacks.

KMGR of iShoot

The first Worms game featured darker tones tha...Image via Wikipedia
iShoot is basically a slightly more professionally done version of Scorched Earth / Artillery for the mobile. Play with up to 3 other humans (hot-seat) or AI (total of 4 tanks) and shoot at each other with other weapons. Start with 15000 and buy various weapons to shoot at each other with. Go through 5 (or more) rounds and see if you can win the "tournament". Use winning to buy more/stronger weapons. There really isn't anything special about this game to really recommend it. It is well polished, but nothing else.

KMGR of Bioshock (part 1)

BioShock box artImage via Wikipedia
Bioshock gets adapted to mobile, and for the most part, the game's spirit is preserved, though it feels quite a bit simpler, and shorter. Also, using the environment is minimized, and there is no watching the two sides fight and you pick off the survivors. It is also short, as it ends right where Atlas found the sub destroyed by Ryan. There supposedly will be a part 2 and probably part 3, so we shall see.

Bioshock mobile is essentially a 2D shooter with two "types" of weapons... plasmids, and physical weapons. you are Jack, whose plane have crashed in the middle of the Atlantic, and you found a small island with a lighthouse. You found a bathysphere inside, and you take it to descend into the depths... and found an underwater city called Rapture. Atlas talk to you via intercome and apparently wants to keep you alive. You also find bits and pieces of "diary" that tells you the backstory of the place. The whole place is nuts... different splicers are fighting each other, and "Big Brothers / Little Sisters" roam the place, sucking up ADAM from all living (or ex-living) creatures, including the splicers. Atlas wants you to help him get to his family at the sub pens.

KMGR of Voltron

VoltronImage via Wikipedia
It's 25th anniversary of Voltron, and now we get a Voltron mobile game. It's basically controlling the lions one by one, then every few stages you do the "boss fight" as you fight the robobeasts with Voltron. It's not that bad, but it's not that GOOD either.

The game is basically two games in one: an isometric "shooter" where you control the lion, and a 2D fighting game where you take Voltron up against robobeasts.

In the lion part of the game, you got 10 shots of your special weapon, shoot missiles out of your mouth, claw enemies up close, or stomp itty-bitty enemies close by. In your way are ultra-droid laser, ultra-droid rocket, doom tank, super doom tank, turret, and doomship, and sometimes, artillery. You can jump from ridge to ridge, even hide underwater for a bit. On the other hand, there's bazillion of them, and just one of you. You do have shields, and occasional recharges, but they don't last very long. You can beat throw the enemy missiles back at them. The lion can't really be killed, but you the "driver" can, if you got hurt too much. However, if you can avoid getting hit, your lion will automatically heal you (you CAN move in the meanwhile). The special attacks aren't that special, and I never really need to use it much.

More previews! January Previews!

Screenshot of gameplay in Scorched Earth.Image via Wikipedia

Upcoming reviews of mobile games include:

Voltron -- yes, the lions are back in a mobile game

Bioshock -- yes, that became a mobile game as well

iShoot -- Scorched Earth on a phone, basically

The Wolfman -- is this movie tie-in going to be any good?

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KMGR of Harvest Moon: Frantic Farming

Harvest Moon: Frantic FarmingImage via Wikipedia

HMFH is basically a puzzle, despite the word "frantic" in the title. It's cute, and it can be quite hard as you need to learn how the game thinks.

The plot is simple: you need to help a "harvest fairy" harvest as much as possible. You can move some tiles around. As the fairy harvests, the adjacent squares gets "irrigated" (i.e. watered). A square needs to be irrigated up to 3 times to be harvestable. The idea is to move a few tiles so the fairy can harvest as many tiles as possible before you run out of time.

The problem is the fairy can only harvest "fully grown" stuff and it takes up to 3 irrigations to make it fully grown. The fairy will turn 90 degrees and look for adjacent "fully grown" stuff. If the fairy didn't find any, then he'll yell for help (from you the player), and timer counts down really fast... So you have to line up the adjacent squares with the stuff that needs irrigiation along the path. You also need to create chains, which is multiple of same item in a row/column so the fairy can harvest them quickly. The longer the chain, the more the fairy will irrigate (usually it's just adjacent, but if you do a chain of 3 or 4, he can irrigate radius of 3 or 4 as well).

KMGR of Sherlock Holmes

Statue of Sherlock Holmes in EdinburghImage via Wikipedia
This movie tie-in game is not bad, and somehow makes more sense than the similar Avatar movie game. You get a 2D game that's semi-isometric and is a combination fighting/shooting game (depending on if you're playing Holmes or Watson). Then every once in a while you do this "coach driving" where you need to dodge Blackwood's henchmen, environmental hazards, and basically get through the stage. There is even a "stealth" level, and of course, MMA level where you beat up the big boxer. Overall, this game seems to fit the movie better, though it seems a lot of stuff was actually cut out and not implemented.

The game has essentially two modes: the 2D isometric fighting/shooting/sneaking mode, and the top-down carriage move/combat mode. In the 2D isometric mode, you play either Holmes or Watson, as you move about London, in and out of houses, and beat up thugs (as Holmes) or shoot thugs (as Watson). If Holmes run across a cabinet, he may be able to get stuff from it. When there seems to be no clue, Holmes can engage "genius vision" to spot special clues. In the top-down stagecoach mode, move left/right/up/down to dodge hazards, run over thugs, and shake off any thugs that decided to jump on your coach.

The hand-to-hand combat is simple enough... hit W to attack. Hit it multiple times to get combos, such as double punch, spin kick, backkick, and so on. Break open some barrels to get medicine, which comes in 20%, 50%, and 80% varieties. There are occasional keys and other objects you will run into to do certain things later. Against normal thugs rapid presses of W is enough to defeat them. However, against the "boss", a champion boxer, his bull rush is very dangerous, so you will have to dodge.

KMGR of Field Runners

FieldrunnersImage via Wikipedia
Field Runners is tower defense for the mobile phone. With 3 maps, 3 difficulty levels, and 100 levels each of different enemies, this game is fun, though not quite as polished as the other tower defense games. Nor is it as campy as "kill all bugs". Thus, it is not quite as good as it can be.

The game gives you three maps: grasslands, which is your normal one-way-in one-way-out map, crossroads which is a two way in two way out map where it crosses in the middle, and drylands, which is a THREE way in (2 from the left and one from the top) and three way out. It can get exciting on those maps when enemies come from all sides.

The towers, as you'd expect, operate by themselves, and there are only four kinds: gun, stun, missile, and electric. Each can be upgraded up to level 3. You upgrade with the money earned from killing the enemy units. However, in the extended and endless modes, you get 2 more types of turrets to play with (flame, and mini-nuke), for a total of SIX kinds.

KMGR of Avatar (the mobile game)

Avatar (2009 film)Image via Wikipedia
Gameloft turned Avatar game into a mobile game. Unfortunately, what this really is is Super Mario with a few bits of 1942 thrown in. It's really not that interesting, and the gimmicks isn't that involving. All in all, it's not that good.

In Avatar (mobile), you play the game two ways: a regular 2D side-on platformer (i.e. Super Mario) where you control JakeSulley, the Na'vi avatar, and in a few levels, you control a banshee and the game turns into a top-down 1942-like game where you dodge islands and enemy fire as you shoot back against enemy gunships.

In the platformer, you jump, run, slide, climb, and so on among the various levels. Instead of collecting coins, you collect "wood sprites", which you can later trade for additional levels which will give you special attacks or skills in any of the six areas, such as staff, bow, life, and so on. Every 100 points you collect is worth one level in one of the skills. You need to dodge natural enemies such as panthers, sticky-tongue beasts (like the barnacle in Half-Life!) and jump properly and don't fall to your death. You have limited in the number of "continues". Later, you get the bow, which allows you to shoot enemies from longer distances.

KMGR of Doom 2 RPG

The corporate logo of the UAC.Image via Wikipedia
Doom 2 RPG is both MOTS (more of the same), and yet it is a lot more. You get to play through this game now with THREE viewpoints: major, scientist, or sarge. While they go through the same levels, the tactics will be slightly different. There are more cinematic "cutscenes", presenting more of a story. There are now sentry drones, which you can control to fight or explore. There is also a bit about UAC's evil experiments, and how they have unleashed the "hell" onto Earth by actually trying to harness the forces they have unleashed on Mars. All in all, it is a masterpiece of mobile gaming.

When I say "more of the same", I mean this is the same mechanics. The rooms are actually square grids, and you can face in only 4 directions. The game plays with that illusion by adding a bit of up/down looking and a bit of 2D displacement to add ladders, ramps, and so on to give an illusion of 3D. Combat is actually turn-based. You choose among the various weapons you have, and shoot at enemies, and they shoot at you, of course. You can use your turn to use medic pack, or eat some snack. You can use "nano drinks" (Doom-speak for "potions", which gives you special bonuses), and you find them as loot, or buy them from vending machines. Different enemies are more vulnerable or even immune from certain attacks.

January Previews!

The cover artwork for Doom II: Hell on Earth, ...Image via Wikipedia

More previews of upcoming reviews...

Doom 2 RPG: Is second time even better than the first time?

Avatar the mobile game: the movie is a definite WOW. But how about the game?

Field Runners: another defense tower game... how well does this run?

Sherlock Holmes the mobile game: is this movie tie-in passable, or just lousy?

Harvest Moon Frantic Farming: can this cute puzzler make you like farming?

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