iOS and Android gaming

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stvnorman
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Re: iOS and Android gaming

Post by stvnorman » October 1st, 2019, 3:16 pm

Yep. That’s how I’ve been playing most of these. Works great. I’ve also been going back and trying a load of old stuff that might benefit, e.g. all the Sega Ages games.

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Re: iOS and Android gaming

Post by Alex79uk » October 1st, 2019, 5:25 pm

I am getting pangs of jealousy over Apple Arcade, which I can genuinely say I've not felt once before since moving to Android about seven or eight years ago.

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Re: iOS and Android gaming

Post by stvnorman » October 3rd, 2019, 7:53 pm

Has anyone played Lifeslide on iOS? It’s starts as a beautiful, zen-like game involving flying a paper aeroplane through the different stages of life, and it really feels great on a proper controller. But a couple of levels in, you get to infancy, and I can’t get past it. Definitely not zen-like anymore, but I think it still should be. Anyone know what I’m missing?

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Re: iOS and Android gaming

Post by ThirdMan » October 4th, 2019, 6:41 am

Alex79uk wrote:
October 1st, 2019, 5:25 pm
I am getting pangs of jealousy over Apple Arcade, which I can genuinely say I've not felt once before since moving to Android about seven or eight years ago.
Me too, especially now that the newest range of devices support PS4/Xbox controllers.

The new baseline model iPad is just €399. That could be the answer to a lot of my problems. I've been toying with the idea of getting a Switch Lite, but however I try to justify it to myself there's no getting away from the fact that I don't really play games anymore, certainly not enough to warrant owning a dedicated device.

I'd get so much use out of an iPad (I already am with the 3rd gen model that I inherited but it's just too old). A new iPad for work, study and play, with a rolling library of short indie games that I'll actually finish...

Decision time.

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Re: iOS and Android gaming

Post by Flabyo » October 4th, 2019, 9:49 am

My iPad Pro is basically my normal day to day computer now. I haven’t fired up the laptop in months, and the desktop in longer...

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Re: iOS and Android gaming

Post by stvnorman » October 4th, 2019, 4:45 pm

My iPad rarely leaves my side. Listening, watching, reading, playing, working... Usually all at the same time! The battery is taking the beating of its life with Apple Arcade though. Higher-end stuff like Sayonara is really power consuming. I’m on a 2017 iPad Pro so can probably cope better than most too.

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Re: iOS and Android gaming

Post by ThirdMan » October 5th, 2019, 1:21 pm

The Pro is clearly the dream model but the price is eye watering. If I knew for sure that it would supplant my Mac then it would be easier to swallow. As it stands it's probably a bridge too far. The entry model seems like excellent value so maybe that's the one for me.

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Re: iOS and Android gaming

Post by stvnorman » October 11th, 2019, 8:08 am

Spent loads of time this week on Apple Arcade. This is the second wave of games I’ve played, in the order I played them...

For most people there’s probably not a lot to not like about the stylised undersea exploration of Shinsekai Into the Depths. Unfortunately I’m rarely most people, and there wasn’t much I did like - the art style, the gameplay, the premise (or lack of), the progression... All completely unjustifiably so, but sometimes some people don’t like some stuff. There’s clearly a decent game there if that’s your bag though, so try it and you’ll probably like it!

Lifeslide starts as a beautiful, zen-like game involving flying a paper aeroplane through the different stages of life, and it really feels great on a proper controller. But a couple of levels in you get to infancy, and I can’t get past it. I’ve tried over and over because I really loved the start and thought I’d love the rest... definitely not zen-like anymore, but I think it still should be. A quick Google search says I’m not the only one too. Something not right in a game that could easily be so right!

Speed Demons is a gorgeous top down racer with huge nods to both Spy Hunter and Super Sprint that feels absolutely fantastic to play on the touchscreen, less so on a PS4 controller. Split into loads of chapters, each with Burnout-style challenges from simple races against Speed Demons to takedowns and escapes, all taking place on a packed, neon-infused motorway. Not much to it but who cares when it’s this much fun!

I’d not come across Possessions until I read an Apple Arcade hidden gems article, where none of the others were exactly hidden. It’s a single-sitting, very easy-going perspective puzzler, superfluously chronicling the life of a family and the life of their house. Despite almost no challenge, the core mechanic is very relaxing and the art style and music work well. Completing the short story unlocks an augmented reality mode that seems even more superfluous than the story that held my attention for seconds. I don’t think I’d pay for it standalone but worth a download and play-through on here.

At this point I went back to The Pinball Wizard, which I’d previously enjoyed then binned off for its frustrating checkpointing. There was something very compelling about it though, and I had to go back and finish it! It never gets less frustrating, and you’re still doing the same levels over and over until you’ve levelled it enough to push through, but it’s a lot of fun. If you’re after a rogue-lite / pinball crossover, you could do a lot worse!

What the Golf? kind of plays like a golf game, but sometimes it’s also Super Mario or a football match or a BMX ride or a planetary gravity simulation or ten-pin bowling with a Persian rug instead of a ball, or just about anything else that might involve moving an object from one place to another, meaning it’s not really a golf game at all. As well as huge variety across a huge number of levels, it’s also genuinely funny, and constantly surprises with its inventiveness and cultural awareness over hours of gameplay. Another must-download from Apple Arcade, and another real justification for the asking price.

Four games dropped a couple of weeks after Apple Arcade launched, three of which I didn’t really fancy, but Redout: Space Assault looked cool if nothing else. It’s a partially on-rails space shooter in the Starfox mould that definitely benefits from using a controller. Great feeling of speed and control of your ship as you tear around incredibly bold and highly populated space environments shooting stuff through probably more missions than you’ll need before repetition kicks in. Fun while it lasts though!

I wouldn’t say I’m a massive fan of Impossible Road, but I’ve been playing it occasionally for years and in that time it survived many memory-saving app clear outs on various iPads. Super Impossible Road might be a reason to get rid though. It’s more of the same frustrating but addictive high speed ball-down-ramp gameplay, but seems more structured and is definitely less minimalist. Nice to play on a controller too.

Single-button two-player is probably the way to get the most out of Cricket Through the Ages, but there’s still a lot of fun to be had in single player that goes from the bizarre to the dark and back again in the hour or so you’ll get out of all the different game modes presented by its strange, not quite cricket through the ages campaign.

Pilgrim was another of the four second wave of Apple Arcade games, and despite the lovingly hand-drawn art style, I was initially put off by its apparent point-and-click, deck building gameplay - two genres I’m not a fan of. A podcast review convinced me there was more than meets the eye though (and no deck building), and what I found was about 90 minutes of intriguing, wordless narrative strung together partly by logic and partly by experimentation. And if more point-and-clicks delivered like this I might be more of a fan.

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Re: iOS and Android gaming

Post by stvnorman » October 24th, 2019, 2:01 pm

Closing out my trial month with Apple Arcade, a bunch more games to talk about in the order I’ve played them. Be sure to read about more in part one (here) and part two (here).

Apple Arcade has already become a perfect fit for compact, narrative puzzlers, but unfortunately Where Cards Fall missed on a couple of these points for me. The block puzzle mechanics work well in the isometric environments, but after several hours without much variety they wear thin before the end. This isn’t helped by the story presented between puzzles... it’s effectively visual, but I had no idea what was going on, so that didn’t even take several hours to get old! Worth a download until you’ve had your fill, but be warned, it’s a serious battery killer!

I think Mind Symphony is supposed to be a zen-like rhythm-action game, and it’s got all of the tools except for the small matter of the rhythm-timed screen taps not bearing any relation to either audio or visual prompts. This leads to a less than zen-like experience. Hope it gets fixed because it currently stinks.

Haven’t played many auto-runners since the glory days of mobile gaming, but that’s what EarthNight is. Running on the back of space dragons, collecting loot and power-ups, and avoiding / killing / bouncing on monsters until you get to the dragon’s head, which you then have to repeatedly stab until it’s dead. It’s fun for a while but I felt I’d experienced enough of what it had to offer after my first 45 minute session.

Mutazione sucked me in a lot more than I thought it would. Fairly linear point-and-click that’s heavy on conversation and a bit of music-based gardening! The art style is great, as is the sound design and the aforementioned music, and like most games of this ilk, it’s ideally suited to a touchscreen. The main character might be a bit irritating to any non-millennials, but stick with it and there’s a very dark, compelling, mature story to be found here over a good few hours of gameplay.

There’s a simple and brilliant mechanic behind the wonderfully presented PAC-MAN Party Royale. Unfortunately the opposite is true of matchmaking that Nintendo would be proud of in this four-player battle royale, which is further compounded by how barebones and (literally) pointless the experience is. You either create a party, which involves sending three friends a Game Center code in a way of your choosing outside of the game, or join a party by inputting a code that you’ve been sent by some means that isn’t the game. Should you have three such friends that you’ve pre-arranged a play time with and they manage to connect, there doesn’t seem to be any reward for winning - not even a score record - but you just start again. You can play bots for the same experience if you haven’t pre-arranged to have three Game Center friends playing, and as the only way you’ll realistically play it for the time being, only serves to heighten the disappointment at how good this could have been. Interestingly, at the time of writing, a couple of days after it was released in a further wave of Apple Arcade releases, it’s no longer on the App Store. Just like it’s no longer on my iPad!

Get past the first couple of checkpoints, and Stela becomes a thoughtful and deeply atmospheric puzzle / stealth platform-runner. The environments are among the best looking you’ll see this year on any platform, in no small part thanks to the incredible lighting effects, and the sound is very successful in adding tension to them. It’s not especially well explained why you’re running from what you’re running from, and it can be a bit trial-and-error, especially at the start, but overall a very worthwhile experience.

Agent Intercept casts you as a spy in a transforming car auto-chasing after baddies on roads, off-road and in water, picking up homing missiles and other boosts to do them in with. It’s a great looking game with suitably spy-type music, but gameplay is pretty shallow and rarely feels like you’ve got a lot of control over most of the action on the screen. And when I say gameplay, don’t expect too much... there seems to be a total of three missions available, lasting maybe fifteen minutes total, but each has what seems to be ten hour wait timer before you can start the next one. Given the Apple Arcade business model, all of this seems bizarre. The most half-baked game I’ve come across here so far.

I initially dismissed Neo Cab as not for me, but heard good things about it and gave it a whirl (which I would never have done for its mid-price Nintendo Switch incarnation). It’s a real looker, set in a neon cyberpunk future where you play the last human taxi driver whilst simultaneously trying to make a connection with your customers through dialogue choices. And if you’re into talking simulators, it works great!

And that rounds off my month of free trial. I’ve still got a bunch of stuff installed that I wanted to play as priorities but just haven’t got to yet, including Inmost, Sneaky Sasquatch, Dead End Job, The Enchanted World and Spaceland. I’m still playing Super Impossible Road and two of my top ten games of the year so far (which I didn’t see coming) in Bleak Sword and Speed Demons. Then I’ve picked out this list of stuff that I want to get to next: Dear Reader, Fledgling Heroes, Rayman Mini, Atone, Dodo Peak, Things That Go Bump, Explottens and Patterned. And whatever else drops in the meantime.

Which all means Apple Arcade is way too cheap not to carry on with!

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Re: iOS and Android gaming

Post by Alex79uk » October 29th, 2019, 12:50 pm

I've been playing Golf Peaks on my mobile telephone. It's a relaxing puzzle game that doesn't really have anything to do with golf, but it's really nicely made. Same price on Switch at the moment if you'd prefer to play with buttons, but it works really nice just swiping the phone screen, and I'm always after good mobile games.

https://play.google.com/store/apps/deta ... .GolfPeaks

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Re: iOS and Android gaming

Post by Alex79uk » November 8th, 2019, 5:21 pm

I've not tried it yet, but this seems like a game you may be interested in, ksubzero.

https://play.google.com/store/apps/deta ... ror.quarry

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Re: iOS and Android gaming

Post by ThirdMan » November 14th, 2019, 7:29 am

Alex, have you heard any rumblings about a possible Android release date for thatgamecompany's latest?

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Re: iOS and Android gaming

Post by Alex79uk » November 14th, 2019, 1:28 pm

Nothing other than its supposedly coming at some point, as well as to consoles.

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