Saturday, October 25, 2014

Now Playing : Agents of Storm

Agents of Storm
Free, universal, 95mb download, gamecenter enabled.

Oh good lord a Clash of Clans clone with no pvp in it at all? Still has an online requirement but so far I'm building my island, attacking npcs, there appears to maybe be a leaderboard of some sort but I don't see any of this genre's typical pvp components at all. There is also metal, freaking gorgeous game, let it sit for a minute and it goes in to screensaver panning around your island at random. All the iap so far is vested in speeding things up, and all the iap purchases are consumables. And ironically their trying to lure me in with a 5 hour 50% off sale for all their iap, oh the temptation!

Not really, I do NOT like consumable iap. Give me a damn coin doubler guys. I love your game Royal Revolt 2, you offer me bundle offers from time to time that give me permanent benefits. These are iap's worthy of purchase, they are residual. I want residual iaps dev's. Coin doublers, stuff like that.

But anyways, off that soap box. What is this game? Its a base builder. You build up your base, adding buildings, upgrading buildings, collecting resources idly. On top of that though its also a semi rts game. On the map is a long path of missions to keep you busy killing the bad guys. Missions involve two phases. First is getting to the enemy base. You will see lines connected to ship slots. You place your ships in the slots you want them to go down and hit go. They'll shoot the npc turrets and energy drills. Tap the drill kegs that plop down, you will use that energy against the enemy base itself. Fighting the base is fairly straight forward. Your ships shoot, their defenses shoot, you win. You will also have various abilities you can use that require the previously tap-collected energy from the drills.

Once battle is finished you collect your rewards and head back to base where you upgrade, build, repair and prepare to go out again. On top of the main story missions, which are all farmable, you have side convoy missions, latter missions, etc, etc. Lots to do here!

Controls are fine, nothing annoys me about them. Sound, same. Graphically, this game uses iOS 8's metal graphics engine and it is gorgeous to stare at!

I'll keep updated on my progress with this one but so far, definitely a fine change of pace from the normal pvp inflicting crap most of these builders have now a days.


Angry Birds Transformers

Angry Birds Transformers
Free, universal, 95mb download, gamecenter enabled.

I don't think I ever actually wrote a review on this one. Sorry bout that. Summary : Auto runner in stage format, you'll play as AutoBirds and DeceptiPigs while fighting off these giant robot eggs that are trying to assimilate everything. In each stage as your transformer moves from left to right on the screen you'll be tapping on enemies to shoot them, tapping on traditionally built structures of wood stone and ice to break them, attacking large assimilated structures in the background, all sorts of fun. The sound track is amazing, controls work well.

On the negative side, this game is timer hell, the difficulty ramps up like crazy throughout too. By timers I mean, timers to upgrade your bots, timers to unlock stages (the bots assimilate, when complete they literally make the stages for you to beat), timers to heal your bots (they don't auto recover hps between stages). This means you need a lot of patience or alot of iap spending to progress in this game.

Ok so, dealing with the difficulty. This game I'm going to recommend highly that upgrading your bots always take priority over opening new areas. If you always try to open things as quickly as possible you will shortly run in to large walls where all the available stages are too hard for you. I prefer to always have something to do so if I am always upgrading my bots over unlocking new areas I'll always be able to handle the available stages.

Things also get pretty expensive pretty quickly and the pay from the stages is almost never good enough. You can watch 3 to 5 videos a day to double pig kill count (you need x amount of pig kills to unlock each new bot when you discover them on the map) and double the coin won on a stage. I only watch a video if the stage pays out more than 1k before the video. Also, keep an eye on all the un assimilated areas of the map, they idly generate coin.

Now, next problem is the timers. You can speed these up with blue crystals and to be honest it isn't exactly a bad idea since there doesn't seem to be any other use for the iap currency in the game aside from speeding things up. Alternatively you can play in offline mode and flip your devices clock forward to wrap up timers in a better fashion. There are drawl backs here as well. I tried this once or twice and have noticed the next time I went online the game penalized me by damaging all my bots hit point levels to varying amounts. Not bad, especially if you farm up some good pocket change in offline mode before going online. But folks on the forums have reported occasional level loss of one or more bots and its rumored that the game does not let you progress on the map if offline. I can't personally confirm either of the last two possibilities.

Now, lets see. Progression. You will be working you way across the game world unlocking it in increasingly expensive chunks. These chunks have a level up requirement before you can even see their coin cost. Top left corner is a title and 5 star bar along with a number under it. The title is nothing more than a cute award you receive every five levels. I'm an archivist atm -muscle flex- The star bar, every 5 earns you a new title. The number under that is your level and your level is the requirement for expanding across the map. Leveling up your bots directly increases your level, the star count and as a result your title.

Once you have the level requirement for an area on the map, its coin cost is revealed to you. Once you pay the cost you'll see whats under the cloud. Almost always a new stage and often a new bot encased in ice. Unlocking the bot requires pig/bot kills, this is earned in the stage gameplay.

Leveling up your bots increases their hit points, their dps, their vehicle form speed and increases charges you can carry for their special abilities, each bot has a different special abilities that you charge by smashing assimilated objects in the background of each stage.

This game is facebook integrated and if your friends on facebook play, you can bring their bots in to your stages. Summoning them mid stage does an aoe bullet time explosion and the bot hangs out with you for a brief period of time. At the end of the stage you can high five them if you want, but pigs will never high five a bird and vice versa. On the world map there is an icon two down from your level where you can collect iap currency rewards everytime your friends use you in a stage.

Along with the core game there is the jenga mini game that just like in angry birds go is a good time passer that earns you in game currency for knocking things down. Problem is its 10 bucks. Now that itches me sour to be honest. I refuse to buy consumable iap in freemium games 95% of the time. And this games only other option of supporting the devs is a overpriced mini game. Now I haven't purchased it so I don't know how well it pays but I do know how well it paid in angry birds go and in that game it paid crap.

I'm still on the fence about supporting these devs. I want to. This is a highly enjoyable game for me. The burst gameplay mechanics keep me from burning out and the stages are almost always fun. I like almost all the bots and despite the cost of progression I am still making progress. I just don't want to buy consumable iap... and I don't think this is worth 10 dollars.


Ahh well, As for progress, all my bots are level 5 or higher, the next coin expansion wants 60k and there is only one at this price range, I suspect there is a boss behind it. There are 2 areas asking for me to be level 60, I'm level 48 right now, title Archivist.

Will continue updating on this game, Wish it had a 4 dollar coin doubler or something that I could support these guys with...


Friday, October 24, 2014

Midweek Release Followup

Time for a quick peek at the ones that actually made it to my ipad. Note, not all the ones listed last night made it. Early feedback on The Arrow Game, I determined it to not be my type. Never been fond of tilt games, meh.

So here we go.

Puzzle to the Center of the Earth

Controls are good, there's a big grey bar bottom of your screen. slide and hold your finger left right or up to move in those directions. Visuals aren't unappealing either. Core gameplay is literally a match three game, all blocks are colored and you drag your finger to match between three and five (currently, possible I may be able to match longer chains later) to destroy them. This creates a path that you then guide your character through. Swiping down on a block with no block underneath it causes the block to fall. There is an energy limit to each stage, limits how many moves you can make. The goal is to reach the bottom (though ive read elsewhere that this isnt always the case). Finishing levels unlocks futher stages below the house.

Thing to do in the stages. Ok so obviously its a goal to reach the bottom of the level (usually). Tapping on a level also reveals three total goals. One is the above, the other two are optional. As an example, level one wants you to get to the bottom as first goal. Second there is a star hidden somewhere that is 'need to move on to new areas'. Third there is a hidden switch. 'Activating all hidden switches in an underground area to open a door hidden in one of the levels!". Okey dokey.

Fourth or so stage you unlock the market in the game that has alll sorts of in game currency upgrades available. Also three iap purchases at bottom that should not be used. These are one use consumed from what I understand and thats bad iap. Want to support the developers? Buy the one time infinite lives iap top right corner of screen when looking at your home. Thats a better investment.

As for depth, fourth stage gold coins were added that are used in the market. Fifth stage unlocked two things. 1, you can now chain six of the same color. Doing so drops a red diamond. Pick it up because... 2, chemical combinations! The fifth stage where this unlocked every time I had a red diamond (can stack these just like energy), I could drag blue -> green -> red to make a large explosion. Very cool! Unlocking chemical combinations also expands the merchant shop where you can upgrade your combinations and unlock new formulas.

So, thats my summary of this game, I recommend it. Its free, the infinite lives iap is 5 bucks, worth it if this is your type of game. Avoid the consumable iaps though.


A simple 3d puzzler. You have this furry... ferret? Squirl? Not sure but anyways, you have this critter that never stops walking on these floating paths, you just use one finger to pan the enviroment around until the path the critter is on lines up with another segment of path. The critter walks on to that one and so it goes until you reach  Decent game if its your type, good graphics, good music, good controls. Not much depth beyond what I just described though. You receive star rating based on how quickly you solve the puzzle and then you move on to the next.


Simple game, in two of the game modes (easy, hard) you will see a design top of the screen. Left side has two panels, one full of pieces, another full of screws. Drag the pieces to the outline in the middle of the screen to build the object requested, drag the right screws to the right places. I like this one, will probably hold my attention for a good while. There's also free mode where you can build what ever the heck you want.


And thats that, the beast game didn't hold me more than afew minutes. Still hoping to eventually find a battle beast collect/levelup type of game that I stick too. They look like alot of fun, just none have quite hit the mark with me yet.


Thursday, October 23, 2014

Midweek Release

Bunch of games I'm looking at curiously, will probably end up downloading most of them.

Puzzle to the Center of the Earth
Free, Universal, 125mb download, no gamecenter.

Match three platformer? Sounds interesting, looks like you'll be matching colors to open up paths downwards for your archeologist guy to proceed. Treasure to find, 80 levels to clear, monsters to kill, sounds full of potential.

1.99usd, universal, 69mb download, no gamecenter.

3D puzzle game involving camera rotation inorder to solve optical illusions while getting a blue... critter across various increasingly complicated stages.

1.99usd, Universal, 16mb download, no gamecenter.

Looks like a puzzle game where your given a number of pieces and put them together with screws to create a pre existing design. Looks like lots of models to build as well as creative mode to let your mind wander.

Beast Battles
Free, iPad only, 209mb download, gamecenter enabled.

Monster collector/battler, screenshots suggest very good graphics, leveling up and upgrading your critters, could be entertaining.

The Arrow Game
.99usd, Universal, 53mb download, no gamecenter.

You use tilt to control a arrow shot out over various proceedurally generating enviroments, your goal is to hit the target identified by the arrow with distance listed. The challenge is the goal will usually have things in your way that you have to tile to avoid.


In the land of updates, Plunder Pirates has engaged its halloween event which includes a unique trainable highly powerful unit, halloween themed things to kill on the exploration map too. Pumpkins are everywhere and you can even switch your island to a spooky dusky time of day. Fun stuff :)

Junk Jack X has its halloween event going as well, same as previous years pretty much. Lots of halloween limited time stuff to chase, kill and build.

Republique Episode 3 just hit.

And thats that, so far.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Space Engineers

Just some photos of whats going on over on my server. First batch, I started work on 2.0 again. Was inspired by several events in the game. First, Keen fixed weapons, they no longer blow up portions of the ship when engaging npcs! Plus they redesigned explosions so explosions against heavy armor no longer destroy things behind the armor if the armor in question survives the explosion. Means 95% of my deaths against npcs are now gone!

Little sister and I hopped in the Pill Bug and blew up a half dozen or so ships before some well aimed shots against a mining hauler resulted in a ship worthy of capture. She brought it back and parked in between 1.0 and 2.0. Watching her make it her own, I suddenly felt like working on 2.0 abit. The photos that follow are of progress and finished work.

As can be seen, we've added afew dozen more mods to the server heh. ALOT of fluff objects in the game now, fantastic stuff. Whats next, I've gotten decent at capturing npc ships instead of blowing them up and after them sitting around various asteroids for afew days I decided to put the little brothers asteroid to use. I built an entire system of keeping all the ships under station power, all are tethered to the base.

With them all sitting there lined up I had this mental image of a truck stop and decided that worked. I built a 'rec center' and named it The Donut Connection heh. LOTS of custom mods on display in here.

Two nights back after a evening of fiddling around I figured out how to add asteroids. Cool stuff, I also discovered that there is an asteroid in the game that the game as default never places in peoples games because its sooo freakin huge that it taxes many computer systems. Its almost four times the size as the cave I use for my base, following photos it can be seen. First photo, left side. Second photo top, Third photo is a... easter egg I suspect. Keen is fond of zelda apparently heh. I added a pipe line out to this new asteroid and a second solar panel array, base is getting bigger by the minute, needs more juice. Eventually I plan on building a docking port out there.

Finished mk9 miner. More thrusters, more armor, chews dirt amazingly well. She's done, next time I build something industrial it will be mk10 and it'll be 'large' ship class.

Last but not least, I've resumed work on 2.0. Docking hangar complete, I went 'different' with what follows, had some fun and challenge making it work but the end result is fantastic in my opinion. I've moved 2.0 down on to the pipe that connects main base to the new asteroid. Better lighting until Keen fixes the foglights in the game.


Tuesday, October 21, 2014


DLC number three for Alien: Isolation is on its way, very cool! I loved every god damn minute of that game and can't wait for more of it. A recap of the DLC's follows.

Crew Expendable : Mother is running simulations to determine the best way to handle the alien and in this particular simulation you choose who you want to play as and go in to the air ducts where you play out the movie scene where Dallas was closing off air vents trying to pen the alien in. Prior to engaging this mission you are free to explore the entire ship which has been painstakingly recreated!

Last Survivor : Ripley is the only one left alive and in this mother simulation you get to run around the belly of the Nostromos arming the reactors to explode and escaping in the shuttle pod!

The next dlc isn't tied to the first movie, its tied to the events of the game itself and expands on the lore of the game. Its called Corporate Lockdown. In this dlc Seegson Exec Ransome learns that he has been financially cut off from the company, he knows the Torrens is on its way and decides to make his escape taking encoded Nostromo flight recorder data with him. However, there's some loose ends he wants to tie up before doing so...

This third dlc will introduce gauntlet mode which challenges players to complete all three survivor challenges back to back without dieing. October 28th, can't wait!


My iPad Air 2 is scheduled to arrive tomorrow! Two days before their supposed to be in anyones hands! Win! Faster processor, better screen anti-glare, better screen quality, thinner, finger print scanner, better camera, gold. They ditched the 32gig model this year and shuffled down the larger sized models accordingly so this year I get a 128gig for the same price as my 64 gig last year.


My Apple tv was delivered today and finally the vagueness of this damn device is lifted. Here is what you can do with it.

. Watch hulu and netflix
. Watch any major tv station so long as you have a provider your already paying for it.
. Access itunes and stream any music you own as well as the radio stations, podcasts, movies, etc.
. Access your itunes on your pc wirelessly which gives access to your playlists.
. Youtube
. Access your phone's itunes for same reason as your pc.
. Airplay for games that support it. If the game doesn't support it you can still hear your games music play.

Not bad, was hoping for some sort of subscription system where I paid say 10 dollars for hbo, 5 bucks for history channel, etc, etc but oh well. Wife loves this thing, its set up in the living room downstairs and she access to all her music without having to set the laptop up down there.


3 1/2 weeks till Warlords of Draenor.


Last thursdays Space Engineer update fixed weapons! No more exploding turrets when firing on npcs! I'm back in to the game hardcore, working on 2.0, collecting npc ships that I don't happen to blow up, also figured out how to add asteroids and discovered that there is an asteroid that the game as a default will never use when creating a new singleplayer or multiplayer save. The reason is its size, its almost 3 times the size as the asteroid I call home. I added it, going to build something on it eventually.


Styx got its first patch last week, fixed every single complaint every review had about it. This game is an assassin's creed / thief game from the perspective of a goblin. Very cool, well priced at less than 30 dollars.


Rooster Teeth just wrapped up season 12 of its show Red vs Blue and that end was amazing! Revealed who the main antagonist of both 12 and 11 is, and its someone I had completely forgotten about who has been a player in the series since season... 3? 4? Can't wait to see where they go with this :)


Shadows of Mordor got its second free dlc today. Adds a "Black hand of Sauron" skin and three new overpowered runes. Nature run makes you immune to poison, Ascendant doubles focus time for ranged combat and Elven Grace cuts incoming damage in half.


New comic on Order of the Stick!


Metallica is the performing band at 2014 Blizzcon!

Monday, October 20, 2014

TV Shows!

Watching anything cool? Here's what I'm watching, spoilers after the break. Thank god the fall line up is kicking in to gear heh. Whew. Before the lineup, read fantastic news somewhere that hbo is going to be the first of the stubborn networks to offer a individual subscription service for their shows. And then I believe cbs announced their decision to do the same the next day.

Its about time. I respect cable networks and other providers for what they've offered us for the last hundred or so years but welcome to the new century. You have to understand by now that no one wants to pay 200 a month for 500 channels they have no interest in watching just so they can get the 3 channels they do want. Hulu / Netflix paved the way for change, I know these providers like comcast and metrocast and others will say its going to cost jobs or somesuch when folks abandon their payment method and go to hulu / netflix but guys, we've been screaming for YEARS for you to just offer a payment system that works like the following :

. I go to your site, I hit subscribe.
. I see a master list of all 1000 channels or how ever many you have.
. I check box click all the ones I want, each channel has a individual dollar amount per month cost.
. I hit check out, bam.

Hulu in particular wouldn't exist right now if the traditional provider companies had adopted the above system 10 years ago so anytime someone tells me that I'm costing people their lively hoods I reply, "No I'm not, its the provider companies who are by not adapting to the times." Its no different than blockbuster / netflix. If blockbuster had opened its eyes, realised that mail delivery / digital streaming was the future we would all have blockbuster monthly subscriptions and not netflix. Dosen't matter that netflix did it first, if blockbuster had jumped on right at the very very beginning alongside netflix they would of dominated due to customer loyalty so long as they didn't do anything stupid. But stupid isnt something we had to worry about, they never even tried.

So yea, comcast, metrocast, etc. You all are endangering the livelyhoods of your employees and you stubborn networks that refuse to step away from these providers stubborness, your endangering yours as well.

-steps off soapbox-

Don't know where that came from, guess its just something I've wanted to say for awhile. But anyways here's the break and beyond it is my show lineup with a brief 'whats going on' for each.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Ruling the Game Podcast up!

Hey everyone, just a heads up that Lisa and I did a new podcast episode and its up on itunes right now! Follow the link bottom right to get to it quick like. In the cast we ramble about iOS 8, the Air 2, the mini 3, the i6 and i6+ phones too. Then we went off to discuss the following games :

Plunder Pirates
Free, universal, 97mb download, gamecenter enabled.

A enjoyable Clash-of-Clans alike with a much much larger pve mechanic, more friendly ranking system, more in depth training system, buildings are linked to each other for upgrading purposes, there are buildings with no purpose aside from cosmetic that have to be present to upgrade other buildings, there are guild focused buildings offering perks and bonuses based on guild participation towards the building. And that doesn't even cover all the things to do on the pve map. Worth a try!

My suggestion to the developers, make the water 'road' that sticks from the ship unusable for enemy player landings. All having it usable by attackers does is cause all the progressive minded players surround their ship with land since attackers can't deploy directly on land. It really ruins what is otherwise an emersive interactive and fun to watch town.

Royal Revolt 2
Free, universal, 93mb download, game center enabled.

My original comment summary for this game was 'clash of clan clone' and that was my greatest disservice to it. This game is in only the lightest lightest sense of the word a clone. You can attack other players. That's it, nothing else. Base building is fixed position, no worrying about whether your building it right. Instead you have the road. The road is what other players have to run through to reach your castle gave and victory. You can layout the road anyway you see fit, load it with traps, configure waves of your defenses that flow out and attack, get as detailed or not as you may want. On top of that the game is very very generous with the what-they-get-for-winning vs what-you-lose-when-they-win. All buildings are upgradable and fully change appearance as you go. The dungeon under the castle is massive and littered with in game currency rewards, iap rewards, equipment rewards (you upgrade all equipment on your king who you control in battle much like you would in any rpg) and even new units for your kingdom to use in defense as well as offense. Combat is limited to your wheat count but you can indefinitely watch 30 second videos to resupply the wheat needed for combat. One video gets you another fight, you can go for hours and hours and hours just chasing leader boards, chasing the event ranks and amassing a fortune that you use upgrading everything in your kingdom, your road and all your kings equipment.

I have to say I haven't enjoyed a game as much as this one in a very very long time and will be playing it for a long time to come. My only suggestion to the developers : Implement some sort of guild system, a social aspect to this game would blow everything else out of the water.


We also discuss Space Engineers but I won't ramble on it here, I'll make a separate blog entry for it. Want to know more about it? This blog has plenty of entries that ramble on length about why its my favorite pc game of all time and has even caused me to retire Kerbal Space Program recently. Like minecraft? Want better controls, graphics, combat, the works? Check it out.


And there you have it, enjoy the podcast, we 'promise' to make more and keep up with it this time.

-whistles, hopes, no guarantees though heehee-


Saturday, October 4, 2014

Reporting in from the Batcave

Ahh yep, that's I named my asteroid base in space engineers. No creativity, I know. But hey look who's writing this. I still haven't named 1.0 or 2.0 :P

Speaking of which, progress stalled on 2.0, got distracted by other stuff so no new photos to show off. Neck and head of the ship are present, but mostly hollow. I'll finish her eventually. What I have done was elsewhere. I overhauled the tail end of miner mk9, making her abit more sturdy.

The neck is stronger, a great deal more engines to keep her pointing in the right direction and some custom hot keys set up allowing me to turn rotors on and turn on forward thrusters at reduced output so she autopilot digs now. I wanted to do what I've seen other mining frigates do involving artificial mass and gravity generators to pull the ship forward, would of been very cool but currently not possible. Gravity generators can't be installed on small class ships. No worries, she gets the job done. Eventually I'll revisit the mk9 miner and add more armor plating to the tail end to protect all the engines reactors and whatnot but for now, she's solid.

On to power needs. I started fiddling around with solar panels awhile back, but a change in the skybox moved the sun rendering those solar panels useless. Moved them, changed skybox a week later to something cook, sun moved back to stock spot, again rendering my newly aimed solar panels useless. I'd use rotating pistons to manually aim them but rotating pistons are currently bugged so that's not an option. Instead, I decided to put to use a pipe that I recently ran between my brothers asteroid and mine. He kept hoarding construction components in his frigate out there, and I kept having to go get the stuff when he wasn't using it so frak it I literally ran a conveyor line from my asteroid to his. Walla, but that's old news. What is new is that I moved the solar panels out on to the pipe line itself. Works very well to be honest and I doubled the panels, half are at a slightly different angle so if the sun moves again, I got it covered.

On to the next project, I finally started surfing the workshop and furniture is just starting to show up. I've had the 'command center' of the batcave in position for awhile but it was empty, not anymore.

I've added five more mods to the server. Recreational, mess hall, medical, bunk beds, etc. Will begin fiddling with them as I expand the batcave beyond the confines of the asteroid :) And maybe figure out a better name. Here's afew photos of the batcave as she looks currently, enjoy :)

Will update again once the crew wing is installed :)