Saturday, February 21, 2015

Space Miner : Platinum Edition Guide

Ok so, for a great many of you this is going to be a new game to you. It's previous update was mid 2011 which in app store years is eons so... I'm jealous to be honest. Such an enjoyable game for me I wish I could play it over again for the first time. Thankfully the game is enjoyable enough that I don't mind re-running through it on increasingly higher difficulties.

That said, I've had a friend or two not sure what to do and the like so here is a starter guide with tips, tricks, advice and whatnot.

. Easy difficulty is the new players friend. You can always do later play through on higher settings, this one will let you get around and learn the way things work.

The Sectors
. When approaching an asteroid sector for the first time prioritize your reason for being there.
.. First priority is always to kill anything red. These guys are stealing your ore! Quicker you get rid of them, the more there will be for you.
.. Orange lootables are also priority with one exception, if this is a specific quest target. If its for a quest, loot it after you've filled your cargo hold with ore.
.. Then asteroids. Do not 100% fill up your cargo hold, you run the risk of killing one or more asteroids and being unable to loot the ore due to your full cargo. Open ore left behind is lost ore.
. If your a completionist or looking to keep the game as easy as possible for as long as possible, do not move on to a new sector until the current one has the completion icon over it on the map. Also, do all the sectors. I prefer to approach cleaning sectors in a clockwise fashion, circling the mining facility in every larger circles as I clear sectors. This generates a whole lot of ore and be extension cash.
. When I reach the final outer most ring of sectors around the facility I start skipping ones with the arrow/page icon on them. I clear out all the generic ones for profit / random side quests. Then I knock out the story ones.

The Ship
. Every so often when you upgrade your license you will receive new ship hulls. If you receive one option, the choice of which to take is simple but if you see two then you have to weigh your playstyle. The bottom of the two will be more heavily armored, more cargo space and slower. The top choice of the two will be faster, more guns, less armor, less cargo. I always go with more cargo. I am a miner after all. The armor keeps me in tact and a nice engine upgrade solves the speed problem anyways.
. Reactor is the priority upgrade. More juice in the ship means more upgrades you can actually power up on the ship.
. Second priority is the collector. Better models tractor faster (you don't have to slow down) and reach further.
. Beyond that, weapons kill asteroids quicker, scanners are very useful for seeing things on your mini map well before they see you, engines get you around quicker.
. Shields are another play style choice. In general the larger the shield, the slower it recharges. You'll find three choices. One extreme recharge low hp, one exactly the opposite and a somewhat balanced option. I tend to lean towards balance myself.
. Weapons are your largest playstyle choice. You have lasers, missiles, sonic, all sorts of choices here. And with two exceptions the choice is largely up to you. Try them all out early on when they are more affordable, decide which weapon style you prefer and use it.
.. Exception 1, special weapon slot. You can put any weapon you want in this slot but its usually worth while to put a special weapon there instead. some special weapons are weapons, some are thrust turbo boosters, or large speed drills, etc.
.. Exception 2, alien tech. You'll be introduced to this eventually and one of the alien technologies you can put on your ship gives you a really nice attack rate boost, but only if you have certain weapon types equipped.

The Encounters
. Tourist rescue. Rescue them all as quick as possible, pick up ore and kill bots only as necessary. If possible when your down to the last one, stop shy of the tourist and instead go do some mining. When the clock runs short, pick him up. Maximize that profit!
. The alien tech tracker. The shop keep will eventually task you with tracking down several satellites that have whats needed to basically reveal on the sector map every sector with alien tech in it. Each of these satellites is a mini gauntlet. Waves of enemies will attack you, fend them all off and then loot the tech. When you enter one of these sectors fill your cargo half up with ore but don't cap off. Often the bots you fight will drop scrap which is pretty valuable and you don't want to have to leave scraps behind due to a full cargo container.
. Rescue that super hero guy. Don't recall that dumb butts name but basically his ship breaks down, you defend it from waves of enemies.

Things of note
. I've read somewhere that this platinum update brings with it a additional entire follow up story that happens after the main and takes place on a whole new grid of 16 additional sectors to play around in.
. Alien tech follows you permanently every time you start a new save, very useful :) Follow up runs become that much more fun. I'm going to play every difficulty in order so that eventually I'll have every alien tech and will maximize my chances of survival in the final permanent death difficulty.
. Always use the trade button when buying things on lower difficulties, no need to keep old equipment around.
. Higher difficulties you may want to keep different weapon types or ship types around to use as needed base on what your engaging.

Will add to this as I think of more, safe flying folks :)

Friday, February 20, 2015

Weekly Recommendations

Quite a bit of thinking involved in this weeks recommendations... and one game that's alot of part time fun.

Timelines: Assault On America
Free (2.99usd in app purchase for full unlock / add removal), iPad Only, Gamecenter enabled, 562mb download.

Oh thank god! I thought this type of game was extinct on the app store. Everytime someone claims to be a rts these days its almost always some clash of clans iap riddled clone that makes me want to strangle someone. But, thank god. Here this one is. Why am I excited? This is a command & conquer style rts game. Place buildings, train troops, march across 12 stages, unlock multiple upgrades, upgrades carry over stages, visuals are sharp, controls nice. Every rts fan should have this in their library.

Evil Genius Online: The World Domination Simulation
Free, universal, gamecenter enabled, 80mb download.

This one's getting some flak for being a 'dungeon keeper' clone which without a doubt hands down is the single worst game to ever grace the iOS app store but that judgement is a bit harsh in my opinion. Dungeon Keeper iOS was a clash of clans money grab by Electronic Arts, may they burn in hell for damaging so holy a franchise's good name. This game is a full on base builder simulator from Rebellion. Build your base, recruit minions, do quests, Honestly I see no similarities between this and dungeon keeper. The minion's running the job/production buildings reminds me of Rebellion's city builder Harmony Isle and a bit like Zynga's Farmville 2. In order to do jobs and harass the good guys you need items that are often produced passively or actively via various objects in your base, decorating out your base makes it safer. Not sure if there is a pvp mechanic yet, haven't gotten all the way in to the game.

I'm liking it, the iap is mostly avoidable.

World Zombination
Free, universal, gamecenter enabled, 62mb download.

Play as zombies or as humans and fend the side off you didnt choose. Combat feels like a higher speed tower defense game. Upgrading system in place, lots of units to choose from. Idle income generators present. Online required.

AdVenture Capitalist!
Free, Universal, gamecenter enabled, 52mb download.

I... this game is amusing me and I'm not sure why... maybe its the improvement reward nature of this game. Dunno, but I do like it. The game starts out simple enough. Tap a lemon to sell it. And again, and again. Until you have afew bucks and you buy the upgrade for it that lets you sell more with each tap. This makes you earn more per tap. You keep at this till suddenly the managers button lights up. Oh whats this? Look it, a manager for each business, buying the manager automates the taping. Sweet, less tapping is always nice. So now your watching that little lemon sell over and over, your occasionally upgrading it when it hits upgrade 25 suddenly the speed of  selling doubles. Nice! Then the newspaper delivery business becomes affordable. Buy that. tap, tap, tap for afew and get its manager. Win! Two automated businesses! Hey upgrade button just lit up, oh sweet upgrades double permanently triple the profits of the business, nice!

Suddenly 40 minutes later I own all but one of the businesses, I have 6 billion in the bank, all but one owned business managered and upgraded, most businesses are level 100 or higher, green bars are flying everywhere, that cash balance is chinging along, I've watched a advertisement video that gave me a 4 hour double profits buff and now I'm looking at the investor mechanic curiously which apparently is a acquire / sacrifice / spend investor system of improvement.

I like this game :) You continue making profits whether game is running or not. I just unlocked the bank, at level 1 without upgrade purchase but with advertisement boost its putting out 2.149billion every 2 hours roughly.

Can't wait to ge the oil company...

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Space Miner: Platinum Edition

Space Miner: Platinum Edition
3.99usd, 171mb download, universal, gamecenter enabled.

Without a doubt, my favorite iOS game of all time just got its first update since 2011. Top down rpg space shooter. Shoot asteroids (and unfriendlies), bring home ores, sell ores, buy upgrades for your ship or new ships entirely. Large story, lots of areas to explore, fun!

The update brings graphics up to par, iOS 8 support, latest iphones supported, universal added, entire new story, 16 new areas to explore, more stuff! (the video above does not show new graphics)

-runs around in circles happily till falls over dizzy-

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Weekly Recommendations

Ahh god being sick sucks!

Daytona Rush
Free, universal, gamecenter enabled.

Fun little freemium title. Drive your car till you break it or run out of fuel, then spend your earned cash on upgrades and whatnot. Controls are simple. Swipe left or right to change lanes. Fuel up when the left most red lane changes green. Don't stay long in the left most lane is red or your disqualified. Hit drunk drivers (they weave in their lane) for extra cash, your vehicle isn't damaged when hitting them. The further you make it the higher your cash multiplier, better vehicles also increase this.

Fun game. Started out totally free for first few days with no iap and no adds. Yesterday a update hit it, intro period over. Prices of cars and upgrades have increased somewhat across the board and you can now watch a video at the end of each race to double your earnings from that race. Some folks are whining over on toucharcade about this but from my perspective it feels like a very nice balance. Price increase with double profits? Win.

4.99usd, universal, gamecenter enabled.

Very high production value here. Top end graphics, smooth sound and gameplay. This is a... rhythm shooter? The whole game plays in bullet time when on missions, you will find yourself tapping circles at optimal points to score bonus points, or drawling lines and other mini games as your character runs across stages generally winning. All stages are timed. Your chosen agents ratings of strength, reflex and focus determine clock time, how much time actions take and how much time you get back for perfectly executing actions. The more time left on the clock, the better your score. The better your score, the better upgrades and agents and whatnot.

Very good game, I need more time with it to explore the improvement mechanics present.

Friday, February 6, 2015

Weekly Recommendations

I had my sights set on three games this week but the 'heist' one at the last minute went soft launch instead of world wide. Bummer.

Midnight Star
Free, Universal, 588mb download, gamecenter enabled.

Rail shooter with rpg elements. Very good graphics, controls are nice though the where you tap vs where the game shoots feels off to me. Good story, the game is tied in to Midnight Rise, a tell tale styled game near as I can tell also on the app store. Missions, tournaments, events, all award currency you spend on your ship, armor and weapons. Story starts out : Alien contact made, alien contact screwed up, sun exploded, earth's gone. You and three others plus your ship appear to be all that remains of humanity.

Their network appears to be down, I can't register or make use of any of the online features atm. Energy system is present as well as a speed up currency for upgrading things.

Clumsy Knight vs. Skeletons

Fun little auto adventure rpg. Your character runs across the stage, stops to smack everything he encounters. You can feed him potions with various benefits but aside from that you simply sit back and watch. Winning awards experience points, gear, potions and advancement to more difficult stages. Summary of story : Princess kidnapped, you rescue princess. All stages are repeatable. All gear can be combined with potions and whatnot to enhance usefulness of gear. Toss a fire orb on a sword, get a fire sword. Toss a ice orb on a shield, get an ice shield. Want to clear your sword's fire enchant? Toss a ice orb on your fire shield. All equipment can field two stats and those stats to have hard caps that you can combine/upgrade them to. The potions used for upgrading equipment also serve as actual potions that give you on the spot boosts mid combat or heal you and whatnot.

No iap, free, just a simple advertisement across the top center of the screen. On the iPad this advertisement is completely out of the way and harmless, a co-worker with a iphone5 reports its always in the way on his smaller screen. Developers say they are hard at work on additional content / sequels.

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Now Playing: Craft the World

Dwarf Journal
Day one was off ta a pleasant start. Arrived at tha new world, just me solo. Me names Rarin' by the way, Rarin' ta go as I always say, hah! ... Ahh, well anyways. Learned ta chop a tree with a stick. Then how ta dig a whole, alsa figured out how ta make proper tewls for diggin and choppin and smackin things. Somewhere long tha way I 'level'd' up and another dwarf joined me party. His names Uter. Hey, hah. He's Uterly Rarin ta go! Hah!

We spent tha rest of the day learning ta make new tools and ladders and bridges. Then night hit and we learned that critters hide in trees and ghosts like ta throw acorns at us. Made quick werk of'em, never fear! Always know when ones around too, this worlds music changes. Funny, that. Craftin reminds me of ah easier take on tha days when my dwarf friend I used ta be on planet minecraft and planet junk jack. We have a 9 x 9 grid o course. An tha materials need ta be in certain sorts natural'y. Buuttt if we find what we want ta make on the left side an choose it, the 9x9 grid lights up wit icons so I don need ta guess! Thats a win!

Day two spent tha day choppin diggin, buildin ladders and bridges and smacking the occasional tree critter. There's always quests ta keep me and my clan focused, oh by the by. The clan is now four strong. We've started making armors and whut not. Another night based us by, more unpleasants. Think I'm gonna just focus on whut ever that quest log says ta do. Led me right so far.


. Fully talent tree in story mode and optionally if you enable it in sandbox.
. Talent tree unlocks by simply crafting in unlocked tiers connected to locked ones.
. Occasionally I find skill books that unlock literal skills for the dwarf I choose to use one on. Fighting skills, cooking skills, etc. Not sure just yet how to train them.
. Weapons and armor don't degrade here like in minecraft/junkjack.
. Trees and animals respawn periodically.
. Your dwarves can/will climb without ladders if there is wall in the background.
. Your dwarves also will accidentally fall off ledges, ladders, etc heh.
. hostile npcs will attack in packs! -fends off 5 goblin raiding party!-
. I've been getting random packages with usually armor in them. They drop out of the sky with parachute.
. Sand does not stay in its position if the block below it is dug out.
. Rain water accumulates!

Very engaging game, more to come.


Craft the World
9.99usd, 160mb download, no gamecenter.

Whats it about?
Its... minecraft at its most basic from the camera angle of junk jack with your choice of junk jack's hands on controls or a task system that reminds me a whole lot of dungeon siege 1 and 2 (pc edition! not that dung heap from ea on mobile!).

Place things to be built, watch your dwarves build it. Draw lines in the ground, watch your dwarves dig it. Monsters show up, hope your dwarves survive it :P You'll be guiding these little guys across multiple worlds as you build portals and advance through the game.

The pocket edition does not suggest any lacking of features like when mojang tossed the term on mobile minecraft. This game is a fully fledged port of the pc version and normally carries with it a pc price tag of 18 dollars so its worth getting it while its 10.

Is this for you? Hrm. Do you like simulators? Do you like telling little digital people what to do and then watching them do it? Did you like junk jack but wish you had a less hands on feel? Get it now if you said yes to any of those.

Fun game, be wary though because it is a full port there have been reported issues with older devices. Runs flawless on my air 2, your results may vary. "Requires iOS 5.0 or later. Compatible with iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch. This app is optimized for iPhone 5." That is the quote for system requirements though iphone5 users have been reporting stability issues over on the forums.