All posts by Jordan Kamm

Haven Review: Kill Me Again

   Kill Me Again is a free mobile zombie puzzle shooter. Your character moves on rails, backwards as zombies advance on you. Your job is to match 3 colors of bullet casings in order to damage to them. The more casings you line up, the more damage you do. You level up as you go, and get skill points to unlock new skills. Some of these are straight bonuses to your stats, others are combo and chain skills. If you get 5 of the same color in a row, you activate one of those skills. It’s all fairly straightforward.

Unlike standard match-3 games, in Kill Me Again you can drag colors from anywhere on the board to anywhere else. This is useful for setting up those 5 block combos, but slows you down so that the zombies will have a chance to eat you. At first this seemed like an interesting way to mix up the stale match-3 mechanic, but after a while it became just as mundane.

One fairly interesting feature is “critical hits”. You can hold off on making a match until a zombie is right next to you and starts to glow red. Make the match at this time, and you’re rewarded with bonus damage. I feel like this was a way to switch up the idea that you should make as many matches as quickly as possible, and put a little bit of timing into the game. While this is a great idea in theory, I found that the bonus damage wasn’t worth the wait. It was much more effective to just make as many matches as quickly as possible. There are bosses in the game, and they have weaknesses to specific colors of blocks. This is one of the better mechanics in the game. You have to decide whether or not to go for those weaknesses or go for matches that activate abilities.

My complaints are small enough so that I wouldn’t say the game is bad; rather it’s simply more of a standard puzzle shooter. The place where this garbage really starts to smell is in it’s micro-transactions. For each level you play, you need pills…two pills per level per try (except boss levels, which cost three). At the very beginning of the game you get 10 pills. You get 14 more from the “Day 1” present box. There are present boxes for the first 8 days of the game. These give you pills, money and the occasional consumable item. The game will periodically give you more pills, seemingly at random. So after you blow through all your pills (about an hour into the game) you’ll need to spend some time waiting around until they refresh.

Of course, you can spend money. You can trade real currency for in-game gold bars. You get 10 of these for $1 (USD), for example. You can spend gold bars on numerous things. The first item will probably be pills for 10 gold bars. You get 10 pills. That’s right. Five more fucking levels of play for a dollar. That’s like 5 minutes. You need to spend a dollar if you want to play for 5 more minutes. You can also spend on new weapons and consumables. Weapons will run you about 5 dollars worth of gold. They are also needed in the game to complete rescue quests, which give you jack-all in exchange for your gold bars. Luckily, if you play long enough you might pick up one or two bars from fulfilling challenges and achievements. So these micro-transactions take the game from a standard puzzle shooter to a greedy cash grab.

-Jordan Kamm-

We received this game for review purposes only, and as such all opinions in this review are our own. No money has been exchanged for this review.

KMAScale

Haven Review: Mysterious castle

     Mysterious Castle is an “escape the room” game, where players are given a room to hunt down different keys and components to unlock a door and exit. Essentially it’s a glorified Eye Spy game. You must click on various things in the room, such as pictures and pillows to uncover the way to open the door. Mysterious Castle isn’t even a descent one of these.

With it’s poor interface, buggy mechanics, and lousy graphics everything is just kinda lost. You can try and parse through the puzzles and click on the things you think will contain keys, but that is definitely not the most efficient way to accomplish things. Where exactly you need to click on things to access them is so finicky, You could either waste a ton of time clicking on something and it doing absolutely nothing, or clicking somewhere completely different trying to access another part of the room and end up in the place you were trying to get to earlier. It’s best to randomly click until you’ve solved the level. The sound design of the game may be even worse than the game design.

Every time you click on anything it makes this really irritating pinging noise. Given you have to click on a lot of things this becomes a constant to the game. After the first minute of playing I was forced to completely turn the sound off. Occasionally, and by that I mean rarely the game will try to do point-and-click adventure style puzzles, but these never consist of anything more than Combine hammer head with hammer stick to create hammer. It’s almost insulting to call anything this game has a puzzle.

On top of that this game reuses the same puzzles again and again. Every room, has a number lock in it. Part of solving the lock is to locate all the numbers. It gets so repetitive having to remember all the numbers scattered around the room and input them into the shitty lock, time after time. Once instead of (or possibly in addition to) numbers they use card symbols. So I thought the game was going to mix up what I had to input and make it more and more interesting. But, no such luck. They immediately drop that idea and return to the numbers.

Luckily this game is pretty short. There are only ten levels to complete. Well, only nine for me. The ninth level consists of two puzzles.

One where you flip tiles around to create a picture and the other a picture of a rainbow and a bunch of scrabble tiles. You needed to spell out a word or something that had to do with rainbows. However, Every time I tried to put something in the scrabble pieces would either get stuck in their slot and not come out. Regardless of what piece I put into a slot they’d get stuck.

Clicking on them caused them to turn a funny angle and glitch through the slot they were in. The other thing that would happen is that a slot would become unavailable. No matter what I did, I wasn’t able to put anything into a particular slot, forcing the puzzle to become unsolvable. I determined that this was a fitting end to this game and decided to quit.

MC

Survival Guide to a Post Pokemon Go World

 

Pokemon Go has been out for about a week now and the world has already seen some massive changes to it. This game has single handedly reconstructed the face of the earth and life as we once knew. There are now hordes of dirty people roaming the streets. New and strange types of crime has arisen, and dead bodies now litter our rivers. Our grandchildren will ask us what life was like before “it” came out. I pray to god we even have grandchildren to ask us these questions. The world is now a frightful hellscape, and it’s my job to help you navigate it. This guide is for both trainers and NPCs (those not playing the Pokemon Go).

Dead bodies

If you are a trainer, you most definitely will discover at least a few dead bodies. That’s just life now. Our world is filled to the brim with corpses. For the most part they happen to be nice and out of the way. Tucked into our beautiful rivers and neatly filed away in our nations landfills. Now that you are out hunting Pokemon you’ll stumble upon these homes of the dead, and have to come face to face with what lies right out of sight for normal people. The best way to deal with a corpse is to leave it where you found it. Despite what you think there probably isn’t a Ghastly hanging out inside that dead body. You can call the cops if you want, but I’m sure they will tell you the same thing. Your best bet is patience. Over time, the dead bodies will stop freaking you out and they’ll just be a usual part of the experience. Who know’s you might even grow to like them.

Home/business Invasion

this section is mainly for those not playing, but I feel like the information here could benefit everyone. There are going to be Pokemon trainers in your home or business. There is no getting around this. They’ll creep in and start catching Pokemon, bothering everyone around them. You can put up your “Pokemon are for paying customers only” signs, or try to keep them out of your police station, but other than sheer violent force, there is nothing that will keep them away without proper protections. So let’s talk about barricades. If you can afford reinforced steel, I’d say go for it. Better safe than sorry. It’s like the Purge out there. Heavy wood is also a good bet. Don’t use plywood though, kids can tear that shit down in seconds. Remember to line the tops and sides (any vulnerable area really) with Razor wire. Now if you are still wanting to let people in to your establishment you’re gonna need a door in your barricade. The rules above still apply and it wouldn’t hurt to set up a Signal Jammer to cut off trainers from their precious phones.

Pokemon Gyms

One of the more ruthless mechanics of Pokemon Go is that it divides players up into three teams. These teams are then pitted against one another for the control of Pokemon Gyms. The team who controls the most world wide is clearly the best. Pokemon Gyms tend to be in highly populated areas like parks or shopping centers. God help you if your place of business is a Pokemon gym, and please refer to the above section for some instruction. If you are a trainer trying to take a gym please be careful. Make sure you bring some of your team members with you and always be on the look out for rival gangs, I mean teams. Fighting over a Gym is bound to occur. Since there isn’t player vs. player fight in the game, these fights will definitely be real. It’s advised to bring a knife with you to these events. Here a knife will serve two purposes. It’ll put the other team’s players out of commission faster, and will also server as a form of protection, since the other team will most certainly be carrying knives as well. Good luck, and go get those Gyms.

Overcrowding

The biggest phenomena caused by Pokemon Go is the staggering amounts of people now leaving their homes. While normally people wanting to play would be safely hid away in their own house now are venturing out into the world to catch their Pokemon. This means places that were normally pleasant to attend are now viciously overcrowded. Parks are now essentially shanty towns set up by Pokemon Trainers. Now these can be a safe place to live. You’ll be around members of your team and other trainers are usually willing to share a bed or a tasty bite to eat with a fellow teammate. However, there tend to be Gyms in these locations. Getting too close to Gym without being prepared could result in a stabbing. There are also constant border wars between the established territories of the teams. Remember where your borders are.

 

The Pokemon Trainers Arsenal

Here is a list of useful equipment that every Pokemon trainer should be carrying.

  • A Backpack
    • this is useful for carrying all your other stuff. It might even have a sandwich you forgot about in it.
  • Your Phone
    • This is the primary means of being a Pokemon Trainer. You catch Pokemon and Control Gyms through the use of your phone. Remember to keep this close to you AT ALL TIMES.
  • Pokeballs
    • to be fair this is part of the phone but they are an important resource to keep track of.
    • Now as a Pokeballs are expensive you you’ll need a hefty amount of money to pay for these. Luckily there is an easy solution. As a dedicated Pokemon Trainer you’ll be spending all of your time outside. The life of a Pokemon Trainer is the life of transience. Therefore a home is more of a burden than a necessity. So sell your house and all your things, the money you get from that should be enough to pay for all the Pokeballs you’ll every need.
  • A knife
    • Your life is about to become a lot more dangerous. Living the life of a Pokemon Trainer means you’ll need a way to defend yourself or in some circumstances intimidate others. A knife is a great way to accomplish or prevent muggings.
  • Food
    • Trying rationing your food to make it last longer.
    • Share with other Trainers for a more varied diet.
  • Time
    • The most important resource is time. You’ll need to be spending as much time as you can catching Pokemon, getting items from Pokestops, and Capturing Gyms. A Job will most likely get in the way of this. If you are a true Pokemon Trainer work will just slow you down. Plus without a house to worry about you won’t need much money. Soon you’ll be living just like Ash Ketchum.

The world is a different place now and the best thing you can do is arm yourselves with Knowledge. You either play the game now, or you don’t. Either way you need to take precautions. Follow the steps provided and you should be on your way to better survival.

Whatever happens out there, Good Luck.

-Jordan Kamm