Tag Archives: iOS

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: The Walking Dead: Michonne

Spoiler Alert: This review is written as commentary on story elements within the game. Reader discretion is advised.
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The Walking Dead has become synonymous with Telltale Games in recent years, standing with its own unique characters who don’t appear in the TV series (except that one time with Glenn, but that was only in Episode One!)

Now however we have The Walking Dead: Michonne, a character that does appear on TV. This game gives us a bit of back story to her character, her regrets and the weight she carries on her shoulders. Right off the bat you’re thrust into her story, with her chopping through some brush while avoiding zombies (ahem…sorry…I mean walkers). She begins to hallucinate about what I can only assume are her two daughters.mich

From there, as in all Telltale titles, you’re met with amazing fight scenes in which you must kick everyone’s ass by pressing certain button combinations. This is followed by the obligatory cut-scene and finishes with Michonne uncharacteristically pulling out a gun and letting the player choose weather she blows her brains out. Being the sword-wielding bad-ass that I am, I choose not to and was soon met by some rather unsavory characters who took me aboard their ship.

From there we were floating down a river in our lovely sailboat, and Michonne wakes up from a nightmarish nap; The crew of the ship checks to see if she’s okay before receiving a distress call from their trading partners aboard another boat. Continuing on in yet again classic Telltale fashion, the story then brings you to search for a radio signal. More boat issues begin, and the ship gets stranded. You take a row boat over to the other ship that the signal was coming from, and conveniently get parts to fix your ship.HeadChop4_1920x1080

But you already know, since it’s a Walking Dead title, that nothing goes according to plan. The boat tips over, you avoid getting bitten by walkers from under the water and you make it ashore…only to be thrown into another dark scenario. This time its followed by the first Walking Dead combo cut-scene where you must push all the buttons in the right succession to survive; a twisted game of “Simon Says”.

So more exposition befalls you as a group of men break into the place, trying to get a bag of supplies, and mistakes you for a troublemaker. So they kidnap you and take you to their super secret base, which isn’t so super secret. This dark game has become even more dark, because it’s The Walking Dead.

Alright let’s stop for a minute here. The Walking Dead is a dark series. We all understand that it’s a zombie Apocalypse and that there are roughly 300,000 people left on Earth. But what bothers me about the stories is just how often these events happen with the original Walking Dead game from Telltale Games. You must see the story play out in a way that makes considerably more sense, where they’re held up in a hotel and are working their way forward. But in The Walking Dead: Michonne it feels like they’re just trying to advance a person’s story with unbelievable acts that they’re presenting as believable.
The-Walking-Dead-Michonne-4 With a long string of coincidences that help make her who she is, it feels like this game is falling short of her comic book counterpart. There are two parts left to go and hopefully that will make up for that. As this is a Telltale game, it will be limited to 3 episodes instead of 5 or 6, like the rest.

Don’t get me wrong, Michonne is a great character and very well received. Hell, she actually gets raped in the comics, endures it and gets revenge later on. But in terms of how bad-ass she is, there feels to be a huge gap. It feels also that the first installment doesn’t do her justice.

The Telltale formula is getting really old and there’s almost no innovation that makes it feel like an actual game to me. It feels like Simon Says meets a story book, and not in a creative way. I honestly wish they would take a lesson from King’s Quest in terms of design, but that’s just my input.TWD_Michonne_Kids

Overall the story is a bit lacking, as are the interactions throughout. Nothing really kept me interested in playing, but hopefully the next installments will fix this.

First up is our disclaimer. 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.

-Daniel Clatworthy-
Michonne

Haven Review: Oceanhorn: Monster of Uncharted Seas

Oceanhorn: Monster of Uncharted Seas

I am the son of a famous and brave explorer. However, my father was taken by a creature known as Oceanhorn; a mechanical monstrosity that makes a terrible haunting sound whenever it emerges from the murky depths. It’s now my destiny to take up the sword and find out why the monster took my father. Anyone who stands in my way, be it monster or man, will fall by my hand like a leaf on the wind.

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The hero is on time

Oceanhorn: Monster of Uncharted Seas is a cutesy and fun game about exploring islands, getting new gear and discovering new places to explore. This game clearly carries its inspiration on its sleeve and makes me wonder why there aren’t more of these for PC. The hero starts out with a sharp pointy stick that eventually gets replaced with a sword and shield. Later he’ll get bombs and a bow. If this sounds familiar to a certain fellow in a green tunic, then read no further. (There is no Link to be found in this game). If not, then carry on reading.

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Adorable graphics

Each island holds a clue to where another island is located. Each place has a lot of treasure hidden in clever places, such as behind walls that can be blown up with bombs.  The journey between islands is on a sailing ship, complete with a trusty peanut shooter to fight enemies and clear debris; the latter containing money and ammo when destroyed. When I eventually found an island, there were usually some talkative natives and foul beasts about, which quite often led to a muddy dungeon. Dungeons are full of monsters, insidious traps and terrible block puzzles which eventually lead to a boss room.

Combat is an easy and smooth affair, since it’s based around using tools, blocking attacks and running around a lot. When I died (which happens every now and then), I re-spawn at the dungeon entrance. If there is anything to complain about, then it has to be the tad wonky physics of movable objects. As the enemies keep dying and island-specific challenges get done, the hero gains experience that will give him more items and ammo capacity. These perks are lost upon death.

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Big bosses to battle!

Water is bright blue, clouds are white and one island is flying!? In other words, the art direction is beautiful, simple and very vibrant, with exaggerated character designs and a cartoonish style. All this is complemented by a lovely soundtrack and fitting non-intrusive sound effects. Kudos for excluding an annoying beeping sound when the player is at death’s door. Oceanhorn: Monster of Uncharted Seas is clearly a game that most people will enjoy, until they get stuck in a puzzle they can’t solve. I know this because it happened to me! The game is available on Steam, as well as for iOS.

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Steam store page.
store.steampowered.com/app/339200
D
evelopment blog
http://oceanhorn.blogspot.no/

Disclaimer:  We received this game for review purposes only. As such, all views in this article are our own. No money has been exchanged for this review.

-Njål Sand-