Thursday, November 26, 2009

Earthworm Jim Review

Earthworm Jim, a platforming video game from 1994, was wildly popular. While it hasn't received the success of Mario, it is known as a difficult platformer that provides hours of entertainment. I've never played the 1994 version, but I got a chance to try a re-vamped version of the game, developed by Gameloft, and released for the iPhone a few weeks ago.
In Earthworm Jim, $4.99, you control a worm named Jim, who has a suit which gives him special abilities. You can jump, shoot a gun, and use yourself as a whip. The evil Psy-crow has stolen Princess What's-Her-Name (Yes, that is her name), and you must go through 16 levels in 10 different environments to save her. There are 12 types of enemies, and 9 bosses, which provide variety in the game. The graphics are exponentially improved from the 1994 version.
There are two ways to control Earthworm Jim. The first is analog stick, which allows you to move Earthworm Jim around by using an analog stick similar to the ones in Gangstar, Modern Combat: Sandstorm, and other Gameloft titles. The second format is a virtual D-Pad, similar to the one in Castle of Magic. In certain levels of the game, you use tilt controls to avoid incoming asteroids. From my experience, the D-Pad is the easiest to use, since it's annoying to have to drag in a direction on the analog stick. Players of the original game have said that the controls aren't precise enough, but they're fine for me.
The variety of Earthworm Jim is amazing. One level, you're battling a snowman in a hellish setting, the next, you're in underwater pipes chomping through enemies while riding on a hamster. There's even a boss level where you're Earthworm Jim, but you're helpless because you don't have your suit. The controls change based on the context of the game, and that's what makes it a perfect match for the iPhone and iPod Touch.
The best, and worst part of the game is the difficulty. Earthworm Jim is ridiculously difficult, but not so difficult that hardcore gamers can't even beat one level. This lengthens the play time, since you usually have to try parts of the level over and over to figure out how to beat a section. This doesn't get tedious unless you just can't get your lasso to one hook, climb up one wall, etc. However, if you are a casual gamer, you might get frustrated easily.

Great Re-Vamped Graphics
Precise Controls
Lots of Variety
High Difficulty


Bottom Line:
If you're a hardcore gamer who loves platformers, Earthworm Jim is for you. However, the sheer difficulty of the game might deter the majority of iPhone and iPod Touch users.

Graphics: 5/5
Gameplay: 4/5
Controls: 4.5/5
Sound/Music: 4/5
Replay Value: 3/5

Overall: 8/10 (not an average)


If You Like Earthworm Jim, You May Also Enjoy:

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Ravensword: The Fallen King Video

The Ravensword: The Fallen King Review can be viewed here on youtube.


Graphics- 4/5
Controls- 4/5
Gameplay- 5/5
Replay Value- 5/5
Sounds- 5/5

Overall- 9/10


Lengthly gameplay
Open world 3D environment
Excellent Gameplay
Multiplayer/Expansion packs coming in the future


Controls take some time to master
Graphics are excellent, but they definitely have some room for imrovement

Bottom Line: If you're looking for an open world 3D RPG for your iDevice, look no further then Ravensword. This high graphical RPG will provide you many hours of gameplay. Check it out.

Coming Soon: Mission: Deep Sea, Published by Chillingo

An intriguing upcoming title, Mission: Deep Sea, is coming the the App Store. In it, you play as a sea turtle underwater, and unearth a mystery throughout the course of a few "episodes." One of the most interesting parts is that you control by pinching. If you use an outwards pinch, you are propelled forward through the water. However, you're only controlling the turtle, the in-depth storyline is quoted here:

The use of animals for military purposes is as old as the history of war. Mankind has used animals for transportation, communication,
offense and defense purposes. The use of animals during wars however, has extreme cases like guided missile pigeons, killer dolphins and fire-starter monkeys. During 1950s and 60s, the golden age of parapsychology, the CIA conducted experiments on animals. During these researches of telepathic methods, the experiments to command animals with electromagnetic waves through implanted electrodes
were also conducted. Fortunately, direct usage of animals in wars is, now prohibited by animal rights.

Mission: Deep Sea takes place in the near future, where a neural-chip that enables the humans, command and feel the nervous system of primitive animals. In 2015, Snapstronics Incorporation’s n-chip, succeeds on reptiles due to their primitive brain structure. This provides a way to benefit from the perks of these, otherwise wild animals. The fitted n-chips, transports the nerve commands between partners, without interfering the autonomous systems like breathing and digestion. This way, the human partner with the pairing n-chip, is able to command to the muscular system of the animal, and feel what it feels like his own.

Sea turtles, populated with the help of cloning technology, and no longer being an endangered specie, have been fitted with n-chips, to form
human-turtle partnerships, and these partners started to be tested for various noncombatant tasks like search & rescue and reconnaissance.

In the first episode of Mission: Deep Sea, we get introduced to our partner Buddy, the sea turtle, and practice swimming, during various missions. Later on, during a mission in an ancient sunken city, we find ourselves in a story, where we discover reliefs about sea monsters, and their connections to REMICONN, the underwater research station which was shutdown in 1970s, because of an experiment gone wrong.

The first episode of the series, do not have too many levels, but because of scoring against the time, and global high score tables, the high score challenge will keep you in these underwater race tracks. An empathic connection is built during our time with our partner loggerhead, and with hidden messages throughout the game, an environmental awareness is raised. More importantly, a part of profits from this game is decided to be donated for the protection and conservation of sea turtles around the world.

New Games from This Week

Here are some big titles that came out this week:

A.D.D. has been in the approval process for 6 months now, and has finally gotten released. It is a game similar to WarioWare, with random mini-games popping up with little or no instructions.

Gameloft's newest title, Rogue Planet, is a turn based strategy game, developed by Agharta Studios. I've played the game hands on for a few minutes, and I have to say the story is very interesting, and the graphics are amazing. This is one of the first games I've played where I actually enjoy watching the cutscenes. More information on Rogue Planet coming soon in a review.

Stair Dismount is an interesting game by the creators of Zen Bound, where your goal is to make a dummy fall down various flights of stairs, maximizing damage. The graphics are incredibly good, and you can swipe or pinch to scroll and zoom around the falling dummy. You can take photos of the falling dummy in motion, in strange positions. Sadly, there aren't leaderboards in the first release, but it would be welcome to see who in the world can make the dummy suffer the most.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

The Game of LIFE Review

The Game of LIFE is one of my favorite board games. The only problem I had with it is that it takes relatively long to play a game. My problems were solved when EA came out with The Game of LIFE for iPhone and iPod Touch. Now, this isn't the only board game by EA I love. They're churning them out, ranging from Monopoly to Boggle.
The Game of LIFE Classic Edition, $4.99, developed by EA, hosts a slew of features. You can play in six different languages, against a computer, or with your friends on the same device. This isn't your typical cell phone Game of LIFE. It's rendered in full 3D, with swiping motions to spin the wheel, views of the car pieces from above, and from behind/front, and fast forward options to skip through the other players' turns. This way, games can take 15 minutes instead of an hour.
The graphics in game are 3D and it makes the game come to life. The board isn't flat, there are hills, lakes, houses, and other different landmarks. The different sections of the map can even be snowing, or have moving water! This would not be possible in the board game, and EA definitely took advantage of the platform.
The game also has "Share the Wealth" cards, which range from cards that allow you to gamble with your money to gain some exponentially, or make opponents pay half of what you owe for landing on a spot.
However, even with all these additions, you won't like the game unless you like the board game. Even fans of the board game might be annoyed by the added features, and the somewhat confusing menu systems that allow you to buy stocks and more. It might not just be the same as holding the real money and pieces in the actual board game.

3D Graphics With Elevation
iPhone-esque Swiping and Zooming
It's the Game of LIFE!

Slightly Confusing Menus
Some Changes to Gameplay

Bottom Line:
If you really like the Game of LIFE, you should definitely buy the game. It may disappoint some fans, but it sure impressed me.

Graphics: 5/5
Gameplay: 4.5/5
Controls: 4/5
Sound/Music: 4/5
Replay Value: 5/5

Overall: 8.5/10 (not an average)


If You Like the Game of LIFE, You May Also Enjoy:

Friday, November 20, 2009

Asphalt 5 Review

TouchReview's first video review. Exciting, isn't it!? :).. While there are some minor flaws/errors, the review can help you decide whether or not to purchase Asphalt 5 by Gameloft.


Online Multiplayer
Unbeatable Graphics
Excellent Controls


Cop Chase mode is difficult


Graphics- 5/5
Replay Value 5/5
Sound 5/5
Gameplay- 4/5
Controls- 5/5

Overall- 10/10

Asphalt 5, $6.99

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Toy Bot Diaries Compiliation Review

The Toy Bot Diaries series is one of the most famous in the App Store. Recently, IUGO released a combination of the three games in one, which is an amazing deal for your money.
Toy Bot Diaries Compiliation, $3.99, by IUGO Mobile Entertainment Inc., is a physics based platformer where you are a small toy originating in a vending machine, and you must save your king, then eventually the world. There are three "Entries," each lasting an hour or so, if you don't try to collect the hidden phones scattered throughout the levels. At the end of each entry is a boss battle, with unique gameplay elements. The first entry is inside the vending machine and sewers, the second is out in the open world, and the third is in space, with some sections of zero gravity.
The controls are simple. Tilt to move, and touch on an area to grapple there, if it is a certain type of metal. You can also tap and hold to activate magnet boots, which stick to an object or wall. This allows for complex puzzles involving magnets, grappling, pushing objects, and other elements. Sometimes you even have to carry an object with your magnet boots to a different portion of the level to unlock a door.
The graphics are cartoony, and perfect for the game. When doing different actions, Toy Bot makes different facial expressions, which makes him seem very real. All the items and enemies are different from eachother, and almost each level you can see something new in the game.
Some of the levels aren't entirely linear, and it's sometimes hard to find your way around them, especially in the second entry. Some of the levels in the third game introduce "security camera" sections, where you are viewing your character on a monitor, and can press switches to clear your path to the exit. If you are interested in those types of games, IUGO has another game called Toy Bot Mini Missions, with multiple characters.
The music of the game, along with the sound effects, make you feel like you're in a vending machine, or space, or in a sewer. It's very well done, though the noise you hear when Toy Bot grapples can get annoying once you've heard it over and over, and over. (And over)

Perfectly Fitting Graphics
Cheap for the Amount of Content
Almost Spot-On Controls

Somewhat Repetitive Sound Effects
Levels Can Get Confusing

Bottom Line:
The cute graphics, storyline, and good controls featured in Toy Bot overcome its shortcomings by a long shot.

Graphics: 5/5
Gameplay: 4.5/5
Controls: 4.5/5
Sound/Music: 4/5
Replay Value: 3/5

Overall: 8.75/10 (not an average)


If You Like Toy Bot Diaries, You May Also Enjoy:

Monday, November 16, 2009

This picture may look familiar to you. It's the Nazi Zombies level in Call of Duty: World at War. However, this may not.
It's the official iPhone port of the game, Call of Duty: World at War: Zombies. It features this one level, plus worldwide or local online multiplayer. It's $9.99, which is relatively steep for one map, but first impressions have been great, saying the online multiplayer is incredibly fun, and the controls are good. The graphics are supposedly better than Modern Combat: Sandstorm, by Gameloft. There will also be in-app purchases with new maps, soon. With the release of this, we may see premium, top tier games on the iPhone, and hopefully even a full-fledged port of Modern Warfare 2 (with lower level graphics of course) for $19.99 or $29.99. Would you buy that? Comment with your opinion.


Sunday, November 15, 2009

2D Gravity Based Platformer Round Up! Gomi Vs. Soosiz!

It's not that often that you get two games, each with unique ideas, developed and published independently by two different entities, released in the same time frame, and happen to be very similar. Well, that's exactly what happened with the releases of Gomi and Soosiz. (Pronounced "Sue-sihz" I believe)

Gomi, $2.99, developed by the creator of the popular free game, Trace, is focused on leading different colored gelatinous blobs slowly through 8 worlds, collecting trash to make the world clean. You move around planetoids by tilting, and the gravity allows you to spin upside down, and every which way. (Similar to Super Mario Galaxy, but 2D) The graphics are hand drawn, and some think it adds charm to the game, while others think it makes the game look unprofessional and child-like. There are also special abilities which you can activate by tapping your Gomi, and you gain one for every world you beat. You can customize the shape, color, and ability of your Gomi to fit your playing style more. Gomi also features mini-games, all of which could probably be sold for $.99. The gameplay moves very slowly, and is more of a game for fans of strategy, not frantic action.

8 Worlds
Good Controls
Relatively Fun

Slow Paced
Childish Graphics

Soosiz, $2.99, by Touch Foo, is a game similar to Gomi, but you control your character, "Soosiz," throughout 8 worlds by using on-screen buttons, while trying to find mini versions of yourself. Soosiz is very fast paced, and involves puzzles with different buttons, spinning wheels of spikes, and more. It feels more like Mario than Gomi, and I actually find the game more entertaining than Mario. It feels even more like Mario because the controls are spot-on and incredibly precise. The graphics are clean, cartoonish, and perfect for the game. Small details, such as a scuba mask in the underwater world and a helmet in the space world add a lot to the polish of the game. There are power-ups in the form of Mini-Soosizes, which can make you faster (and gain more momentum for jumps), jump higher, or gain lives. Also, if you get 100 coins, you can activate invicibility.

8 Worlds
Incredibly Fun
Perfect Controls

Some Difficult Levels

Basically, if you want the slow, Katamari type game, choose Gomi. If you want the fast paced, Mario action game, choose Soosiz. Both are easily worth your money.


Thursday, November 12, 2009

James Cameron's Avatar- Releasing on Dec. 15th for the App Store- First Video from Gameloft!

Avatar, the upcoming game based on the movie, developed by Gameloft, has just had the first gameplay video be released. The game takes place before the movie, with the main characters being Avatars, human-alien hybrids created to move the Na'vi, an alien race on the planet Pandora, out of valuable forests. In the iPhone game, you are one of the Na'vi, and fight back against the Avatars (and humans). The first video of the game was just released, on Gameloft's YouTube channel. As you can see from the video, the game features a similar engine to Gameloft's other games, and a view close to the Dungeon Hunter camera angle, but closer up. It features the same virtual analog stick as many of Gameloft's games, but of course with a new futuristic alien skin.

Since Gameloft chose not to allow the video to be embedded, the link to the gameplay video is below:
In the video description, it also announces that the game will be released on December 15th, a few days before the movie.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Cliffed, Zombie Attack Second Wave, and Implode Released by IUGO!

Over the past few days, three new games by IUGO Mobile Entertainment have been released. The games are:

Cliffed, $1.99- Cliffed is a multiplayer centered game where your goal is to fall through holes in cliffs, using one of 12 characters, over 3G, EDGE, or WiFi. It includes IUGO's new VIP system to unlock the characters faster.

Zombie Attack! Second Wave, $3.99- The sequel to the popular tower defense game is here. You are a survivor of a zombie apocalypse, who must kill zombies using 7 different towers, on 4 different maps. The unique twist in this tower defense game is that you actually control the survivor while he plants the towers. Zombie Attack 2 also uses the VIP program, which allows you to unlock different "skins" for your survivor.

Implode!, $1.99- Implode is a demolition game, where you place dynamite in chalkboard themed structures, to make them collapse. There are two types of bombs, and three difficulties. The VIP program allows you to unlock a cheat that allows you to never lose. (but high scores are disabled.

The users' responses for the games are positive, but we'll have our say on the games soon.

Jelly Car 2- Now Published By Disney- is Out!

Jelly Car 2, the sequel to the wildly popular Jelly Car, is now available for the price of $.99. In the first, created by Walaber, you are a car made of a squishy material, in a world, also made of squishy material. You must progress and get to the goal. You could tap on your car to make it larger, and press left or right on the screen to move in that direction. Also tilt to adjust the weight pressured on your car. In the second, published by Disney, it seems that the grow power-up was replaced by balloon and "walking on walls" power-ups. There are also three new modes, including a level editor, car customization screen, and more. Based on the fact that the two games are published by Walaber and Disney, it's probable that Disney bought the rights to Jelly Car and hired the developers to create the sequel.
Here's the full list of features:

****************ALL NEW MODES!****************


• Create your own puzzles with the Custom Level Editor. Choose ramps, wheels, levers and more from over 40 items.
• Customize your JellyCar! Choose from multiple body styles and color combinations.


• Where does all this squishy goodness come from? The Jelly Factory, of course! In this puzzle game your goal is to guide the falling parts into matching chutes. Tap the levers to open different pathways to guide each part down the conveyor belts.


• You’re going for distance, so go for speed! Watch out for objects that can slow you down, and look for objects that can help give you a boost!

*************ALL NEW JELLY ABILITIES!*************

• Sticky Wheels: Activate Sticky Wheels and drive up walls!
• Balloon Ability: Activate Balloon Ability and float out of trouble!

Since its release less than 24 hours ago, Jelly Car 2 has risen to the #10 paid app spot, and is rising fast. From what the user reviews say, it seems that it's just as good as the first, if not better.


Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Asphalt 5 by Gameloft is Released!

Asphalt 5, a Burnout style racer by Gameloft was released yesterday for $6.99. It's the sequel to the popular Asphalt 4: Elite Racing, and I must say it improves every single aspect of the game. I've had some time to play the game, and I can already tell you, it doesn't disappoint.
    Take a ride in over 30 of the fastest, most prestigious cars you’ve ever dreamed, from manufacturers like Ferrari, Lamborghini, Audi and Ducati.

    Highly polished HD graphics let you see every detail and animation of the track as you speed over snow, mud, dirt and more in 12 beautiful locations around the world including St. Tropez, Aspen and Las Vegas. Discover hidden shortcuts and jump off ramps!

    Challenge yourself to 8 different racing events including Drift Contest, Cop Chase, Time Attack, Duel Mode, Last Man Standing and Escape.

    Six-player Bluetooth and Online Multiplayer lets you compete against friends and anyone around the world in tournaments and join the Asphalt Academy on Speed your way to the top of the online leaderboard!

    Tune your car radio to play your favorite songs stored on your iPhone/iPod touch during the race and let the music move you.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Derek Jeter: Real Baseball Review

Derek Jeter: Real Baseball is an impressive game by Gameloft that gives the full experience of baseball on your iPhone/iPod Touch. However, don’t purchase this title thinking you’ll be playing with the Mets or Yankees. Derek Jeter: Real Baseball has nothing to do with Derek Jeter or ‘real’ baseball. Even though it has fake teams, the game is still extremely amusing. Gameloft uses graphics and the excellent gameplay to compensate for what they are missing; legit teams/players.

Real Baseball, by Gameloft, offers two stadiums, and a variety of unauthentic teams. You can play from Rookie all the way to Legend. Several game modes are featured in Derek Jeter: Real Baseball. These include “Season Mode,” where you play 162 games, “Playoffs,” and “Home Run Contest,” where you see how many home runs you can hit. A Trophy Room is also available to view all the trophies you’ve earned (Hitter of the Year, Playoff Champion, etc.) These are just like achievements.

Controlling your character in Derek Jeter: Real Baseball is pretty simple. When batting, you have to options to hit the ball. You can simply hit the ball, once you have proper timing, or you can use the special slider to hit the ball. The slider is located on the right of the screen and you drag the icon down once ready and slide it back up when you choose to swing the bat. You can also steal bases and choose where you want your character to be (first base, home, etc.) When you are pitching, you first aim the ball (make sure it’s in the box, unless you want a “ball.”) Then you choose your pitch type (cutter, fastball, etc.) And then you’re good to go. You can tap a base on the mini map depending on where you want the ball to go. That’s controls in Derek Jeter: Real Baseball.

Graphics are fairly impressive in Real Baseball. They are some of the best the iPhone has to offer, when it comes to baseball games. The detail really blows me away. However, there definitely is room for improvement. I’m not asking for PS3 MLB 09’ graphics on an HD TV. But, the graphics aren’t at it’s best; they are the best for a baseball game though, just not best in general. It would be nice to see better graphics. The stadiums and the crowds don’t have much detail into it.

Therefore, Derek Jeter: Real Baseball isn’t so realistic, however, it is a very fun game. The gameplay is great and the game is just fun, in general. It would be nice to see authentic teams such as the New York Yankees or the Boston Red Sox, or even more stadiums. But Gameloft compensates for this by adding nice graphics and bringing a full baseball experience to iPhone.


Decent graphics

Full baseball experience

Excellent gameplay

Game modes


Unrealistic teams/stadiums

Poor commentary

Bottom Line: If you’re looking for a baseball game that gives you full experience, Derek Jeter: Real Baseball is definitely the way to go. Without real teams or stadiums, the graphics, low price, and gameplay definitely add a lot of entertainment to this app.


Graphics: 4/5

Gameplay: 4.75/5

Controls: 5/5

Sound: 3/5

Replay Value: 3/5

Overall: 7/10 (not an average)

Derek Jeter: Real Baseball, $.99

Shrek Kart™ Review

Previously on TouchReviews.TK, we had a kart racer round up. Of the three, Cocoto Kart was the winner. But now, we have a new contender. While it may not be the best, it sure is one of the most polished and fun-to-play kart racers out there. It is: Shrek Kart™.
Shrek Kart™, $4.99, is an officially licensed Shrek kart racing game, developed and published by Gameloft. It boasts great 3D graphics, tons of power-ups, 11 characters, 15 tracks (including 3 battle mode tracks), 4 single player modes, and Local WiFi/Bluetooth multiplayer. All the items fit the theme of the movie(s), and the characters will be familiar, such as Shrek, Fiona, the Baby Ogres, and the Ghost of Lord Farquaad. The tracks include The Swamp, Far Far Away, and various other environments such as fire/lava, beach, or countryside. However, there are really only 8 true race tracks, because there are 4 "revisited" tracks which make you play through the track backwards. While this does feel like a new track, it still has the same environment and wouldn't be as exciting as getting to play in a new environment.
You can control the game using either tilt or touch control, touch allowing you to tap the sides of the screen to turn your kart. You can press the brake button(s) to slow down and eventually go into reverse, or quickly turn sideways while pressing it down to drift, then get a boost. The tilt controls aren't sensitive enough, and your kart is so big on the screen that it's sometimes hard to see where you're going. However, drifting with tilt controls is easy. If you use touch controls, it's easy to turn, but it's slightly awkward to drift.
The file size of the game is 105 MB, so it's relatively small for a Gameloft game, which is good if you're tight on storage. I've heard some complaints about frame rate in Shrek Kart on older generation devices, but since I've been playing on a 3rd Generation iPod Touch, I've been experiencing no problems at all. I have gotten a chance to try out the Bluetooth/Local WiFi multiplayer, and it is slightly slower than the regular mode, but still fun. I couldn't get the Bluetooth to connect, but Local WiFi works well. The only downside is that after every match, you have to set up the match again completely, so that means going into multiplayer, choosing your character, and starting the game again.
The battle mode of the game is similar to the version in Mario Kart. You drive around a somewhat circular arena (one of three), and gather power blocks, and try to attack other players. (In the offline mode, computers) You get a thumbs up for each time you hit someone, and a thumbs down for each time you get hit. These get added up at the end (positive for thumbs up, negative for thumbs down) and the winner is shown.
Those are all the features of the game, and now you must be wondering, "but is it fun?" Of course it is! It's probably the most fun kart racer on the iPhone after you get used to it. However, you would soon get frustrated at the fact that if you try to play any cup without finishing all of them with one player, you lose all your progress in it. For that reason, it's much more fun to play time trials than any other game mode.

Great Graphics
15 Tracks (but 12 not counting "revisited" levels)
4 Single Player Modes
Local Multiplayer

Shaky Controls
No Character Phrases from the Movies
Various Glitches/Bugs

Bottom Line:
Shrek Kart™ is one of the best kart racers out there, but is hindered by lower-than-average controls and progress issues.

Graphics: 4.75/5
Gameplay: 4.75/5
Controls: 3/5
Sound: 4/5
Replay Value: 4/5

Overall: 9/10 (not an average)