GameCentral reviews a terribly awful new game from Supercell and the added taint of the Metal Slug and Contra franchises.
What is a game? Ten years ago, answers could include challenges in dexterity, tactics, or team play. These days it’s harder to pin down, with tracks like Metal Slug: Commander, last month NieR Reincarnation and the Upcoming Everdale removing any player skill tests in favor of distributing upgrades that beg your time and attention.
In this new world of interactive entertainment, it can sometimes be difficult to tell if you are playing or if you are playing. It’s just as good that there are releases like F-Sim | Space Shuttle 2, Dungeon & Puzzles and Tesla Force, to restore some faith in humanity.
So while September won’t be considered a typical month for mobile games, there are, as always, some glimmers of hope.
Dungeon and puzzles
iOS, £ 2.49 (Nekolyst)
In this Sokoban style puzzle game, you slide to send your mini knight as far as he can go in any direction, then slide again to attack monsters within range. Kill all the monsters and you’re ready to exit the room, but you’ll need to make sure you’re lined up for the door.
In addition to monsters, there are new weapons, spiked traps to avoid, furniture that grabs you but then allows you to continue in the same direction, and a regular introduction of new mechanics as you progress. .
Thank goodness there is also a cancel button and you can try out multiple levels at any time which makes it harder to get stuck. Options which, along with satisfying graphics and sound effects, and the growing inventiveness of its challenges, make it a crunchy little puzzle.
F-Sim | Space shuttle 2
iOS, £ 4.49 (SkyTale Studios)
Rather than being a combat simulation, Space Shuttle 2 is a landing simulation, where you bring the shuttle into its final approach and land at Edwards Air Force Base, Kennedy Space Center, or the White Sands missile lineup. recently added.
Set the time, date and weather, then tilt your device to steer, with subtlety and restraint being your key words. There are no buttons to get in the way, so it’s just you and the precisely modeled glide path.
Not everyone will like it, but if you are into flight sims, the brevity of each race, combined with the fundamental weirdness and high difficulty level of the Space Shuttle, gives it an added appeal. An Android version is expected later this year.
Assetto Corsa Mobile
iOS, £ 4.49 (505 games)
Building on the long-term success of its PC incarnation, Assetto Corsa Mobile seeks to bring the same simulation-grade racing action to mobile.
The 59 cars and 9 tracks you’ll use and unlock in career mode are at the heart of the game, as you level up and earn new cars and upgrades. Unfortunately, that’s the end of the good news.
Your phone’s default tilt control scheme is a fudge at best, and there’s a lingering issue where competitors zigzag wildly down the road, even in a straight line, and it happens all the time. There is a solid racing game out there, but it will need more development to reveal its delicacies.
Metal Slug: Commander
iOS, free (SNK Corporation)
Born out of the venerable Twitch gaming franchise, Metal Slug: Commander takes the charming and colorful 16-bit graphics, characters and world of Metal Slug and grafts them onto a brain-dead gacha game.
Random loot, auto-battles, fast-forward mode, login bonus – you’ll find all the free tropes in a game that doesn’t require skill or timing, your job being to pick which roster goes into battle and choose when you want to spend money. money.
How much fun can you get from claiming reward after reward in a largely empty, skill-less system? Metal Slug: Commander is a dystopian masterclass on late capitalism. It looks good and luckily has nothing to do with the upcoming Metal Slug Tactics.
iOS, £ 4.99 (10 tons)
Tesla Force is a roguelite double stick shooter that puts you as video game favorite Nikola Tesla or Marie Curie, who apparently takes a break from his Nobel Prize-winning research into radioactivity to detonate several waves of monsters in the air. using automatic weapons.
There is a decent variety of enemies out there, which at least in part makes up for the relatively paltry assortment of tasks you complete in its levels, but as always with roguelites, the real joy is in the hard-earned leveling process that takes place. gradually opens more and more games.
Touch controls work well, but it’s best with a gamepad, although DualShock owners will have to accept the Xbox controller instructions.
iOS and Android, free (TiMi Studio)
Another old school franchise that’s getting a free makeover this month is Konami’s Contra, a series that dates back to the ’80s and is perhaps best known to UK gamers as Gryzor or Probotector. In Contra Returns, you’ll choose a character, equip two pistols and a super weapon, and then tackle its short 2D levels.
The happily jumpy cut scenes that book story missions are voiced entirely by actors doing their best with hilariously inane script, and it’s all set off by an art style you could politely describe as generic.
Online battles provide an odd moment of fun, but the matchmaking is regularly unfair, the gameplay is just a shaky veil over the leveling system and in-app purchases, and your character’s stats are the biggest factor. most important. It’s boring, over-commercialized drivel that isn’t even a shadow of the franchise it sullies the name.
Rush Rally Origins
iOS and Android, £ 4.49 (Brownmonster games)
Taking a pleasant arcade-style approach to its driving, this is the original Rush Rally, remade with many improvements evident in Rush Rally 3.
Its default helicopter chase camera view works particularly well on a small screen, and the touch controls are tricky but usable, though using a physical controller will instantly improve your times.
The real problem, however, is that it lacks the career mode, which was at the heart of Rush Rally 3. Despite the excellent interface and management model, the game feels a bit hazy.
Everdale (beta test)
iOS and Android, free (Supercell)
It’s not that often the UK is used as a soft launch market for gaming testing, but Supercell’s latest Everdale does just that.
While you can see the lineage of games like Clash Of Clans and Boom Beach in the profusion of currency and multiple countdown levels, where these games dress things up as mid-core combat, Everdale has no skill requirements. at all – all you do is wait.
Your expectation is separated into interrelated branches, so if a building requires wood and clay, your workers need to collect them, but also soup, which requires slow-growing pumpkins or faster-acting eggs or mushrooms. but rarer – which you also have to sell to earn very large gold. And so, the network of interacting requirements unfolds in an exercise in endless plate rotation.
It will clearly benefit from balance adjustments and player feedback, but as it is, and despite an extraordinary level of finish and the ability to build collaboratively with other players, it remains a particularly hollow company.
By Nick Gillett
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