With close to 650,000 apps there is no doubt that Apple’s app store remains the leader in providing consumers with the most applications to download for their mobile and tablet devices. However, this doesn’t necessarily mean that most are of any quality whatsoever and Skyline: Test Your Knowledge is one such app which makes the case for Apple to be more stringent in what they allow in their store. To put it bluntly Skyline: Test Your Knowledge is an awful application that would still fail as a grade ten computer science project. While the game concept seems like it could be novel and distinct from other quiz games by using silhouettes of various city skylines and tasking the player to correctly choose the right answer the entire project reeks of amateurishness from start to finish.
Square Enix, makers of Final Fantasy and other standout Japanese Role Playing Games, have never had a problem with their presentation as their games ooze high production values at every turn with gloriously realized graphics and melodic soundtracks. Even small elements like menu select screens have an undeniable flair. Nevertheless, Square Enix have been known to shoot themselves in the foot in areas such as gameplay and narrative, a rather common phenomenon that unfortunately plagues their recent work in the current console generation. That said Imaginary Range shows that Square Enix is still eager to try new things out although the end result is decidedly mixed.
If imitation is the highest form of flattery then it must follow that the developers of THQ’s Kung Fu Panda 2: Be The Master absolutely love Doodle Jump and Fruit Ninja as they have in essence copied those games so well that you would expect a team of lawyers to descend immediately on THQ’s head office. Make no mistake, Kung Fu Panda 2: Be The Master is certainly a fun and enjoyable title but it in no way adds a modicum of originality outside of its glossy veneer and expensive movie license.
One of the side effects of a summer blockbuster movie is the incredible array of ancillary merchandising that accompanies such a release. From glass cups at Burger King to toys in Happy Meals to cereal boxes and even to bed spreads and undergarments, nothing is safe from the impending launch of a merchandising behemoth. Kids and diehard fans love this time of year although I have an inkling that most parents groan and get headaches just thinking about all the toys and props that have to be bought in order to satisfy their offspring.
Koi Pond smacks me of that old acronym, WYSIWUG. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to deduce that an application named Koi Pond is specifically about a small pond inhabited by fish. Imagine my surprise if it featured giant transforming robots and pachinko machines? Regardless, Koi Pond is most definitely, “What You See Is What You Get.” I find it odd that I have penned numerous reviews on games for just about every console imaginable yet this is the first time I’ve had to focus on….a screensaver. Yes, that’s exactly what Koi Pond is. Those expecting some dextrous fish racing better look elsewhere.
One of the side effects that has arisen with the release of both the Nintendo DS and the Apple iPhone is the re-emergence of the long lost adventure game. Not since the heady days of Sierra’s Quest game catalogue have there been so many games released in this genre. That is not to say that the quality is there yet but at least adventure gaming has made a comeback.
Stone of Destiny is yet another one of those “hidden object” offerings that seem so prevalent in casual gaming. The concept whereby the player finds certain items that have been skillfully superimposed onto a drawn or digital piece of art is harmless enough but there comes a point when one wonders if this constitutes more than a rudimentary level of gaming.
As one of the highest profile titles to be released on the iPhone, Star Wars: The Force Unleashed, has been subjected to much scrutiny. Will this be the iPhone’s killer app? The pedigree of the license cannot be called into question although there have also been many games based on this franchise that have suspect quality.