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A qualified Environmental Chemist who happens to live in a fairly dense city with no real environment or chemistry industry.

I review indie games on another blog and you'll see them pop up here if I think the review is a good or interesting one (along with a shameless bit of self promotion)

I also operate another blog reviewing films and I mean t pick that back up when I can.

I've been gaming since the SNES days. I've been in the pro scene before for tribes 2 but hate the present pro scenes and have no interest in going back into it.

I tend to get into quite a few Betas and love ones without NDA as it means I can write about them. I have even beta tested an xbox 360 game in my time (and no not a normal public Beta one )

In gaming I'm normally the guy looking at the shelf below the AAA titles first to see if there are any great hidden gems.

My gaming drug of choice: Timesplitters in any flavour (Why won't you make Timesplitters 4 Crytek, why ????? I need my fix of insanity )
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Name:†Hungry Dinosaur † † †

Format:†Android, reviewed on the Kindle Fire HD

Cost:†Free

Review Bit:†so who here has heard of or played the game†Cut the Rope†?
here,†go play a bit of it on Chrome for free because you know, itís kind of a fun little game

Now youíve done that let me talk about this blatant rip off of the entire concept in the form of†Hungry Dinosaur.†

The game is add supported to make its money rather than microtransaction supported or payed like cut the rope but that doesnít help the fact the game is absolutely damn awful. The physics engine used doesnít actually function fully and the levels seemingly havenít been designed in such a way to compensate for the engine. Consequently some levels I believe are actually impossible to three star. Thatís fine though right as the whole idea of cut the rope is not just the three stars but to get a highscore too.†Hungry Dinosaur†has no high score system, you collect the three stars and thatís it, level done, no reason to go back. So how does this game compensate for the lack of high score systems ? A lot of levels is how. Thereís four sections as such each with 25 levels. To unlock the first new area the game claims you need 50 stars. Guess what ? The game lies, you actually need 50 stars and to finish all of the levels in the previous section to carry on and have got 50 stars.

From the first two areas I played which is all I could bring myself to play they take the ideas and mechanics of cut the rope wholesale and then simply adjust the visuals slightly. So the first area is bubbles and spikes the second is instead of air blowers, little fish that blow air. Even the visual stylingís seem copied: the levels seem like theyíre set in boxes, the different ones even have the same themed colours found in cut the rope with the first being a brownish box and the second blue.



The games further problems are: that it doesnít look that great, the ropes look very blurry almost and low quality; the physics engine and previously mentioned doesnít seem functional to the job; the level design often causes you to have to rely on lucky swings and bounces rather than the sense of a skilled move in Cut the Rope. The games own logic also seems a bit off with instead of sweets you trying to feed the dinosaur meat so why do the spikes break a piece of meat ? Are these ropes the meat is attached to or bungee cords as it bounces up and down ?

Furthering the level design problem is the issue on some levels youíre required to tap or cut a rope near a function button. Now while the†kindle fire†is quite accurate it does make it hard when you have about 1cm between cutting the right rope and hitting the rest button and resetting the level. One level seeing me reset 5 times by accident due to this.

One final complaint is that while in Cut the Rope the music and sound effects are kind of charming, in†Hungry Dinosaurthe sound and music are annoying. I had to trun the music off within 3 levels and the dinosaur sound effects in 6 as the sound effects seem to have been taken from a budget kids dinosaur toy with sound effects.

One last complaint for luck, the game only runs portrait so you can play it landscape no matter how much you want to.


Verdict:††It may be free but I say avoid this as if Time = money this is a waste of your time and therefore your money. Donít download this app not even to try as I think any add money going to this company would just be going to show support for what is a blatantly unoriginal idea aping a more successful one. If you want to play cut the rope just buy it or play the free Chrome app version. Either is better.†

Rating:
1/6†



Lepís world

Format:†Android, reviewed on the Kindle Fire HD (game also avaliable on IOS)

Cost:†Free Ad supported

Review bit:††So weíve done a†Cut the Rope†clone now for the obligatory†Mario†clone

Ok this game is far less of a clone than others as it does mix up the gameplay a little.

You play Lep who due to a tornado has lost his gold stash so you set out to get it back. Gameplay for the most part is a standard platformer, the difference between this and your standard Mario game being instead of power ups giving you more hits you have a health system. Yes you can take three hits before you die and you restore health by collecting, what else but, shamrocks. The differences from†Mario†other than the health system are: you can throw pinecones at enemies rather than just jump on them also the enemies that retreat into their shells when hit canít themselves be used as weapons.



As such there are no real power ups in the game so I personally found levels became stale fairly quick other than the odd automatically running stage. Mostly the difference is the aesthetic of the levels and sometimes slightly different obstacles.

Donít get me wrong this is a†Mario†clone game as the aesthetics could have been simply ripped right† from any title. The blocks in game can as youíd expect be smashed by jumping at them with the yellow / organey ones giving items, normally shamrocks. Also the enemy idea of one squishy one that splats when you jump on it and one that goes back into its own shell its very clearly Mario

Other than the whole ďItís a†Mario†cloneĒ I do have two minor issues and one big issue with the game.
Firstly the controls are place such that as a level ends adverts come up just where the controls were and as such more than once I nearly ended up clicking an advert and opening a new window. The second issue is the controls donít feel quite as precise as they need to, they feel just ever so slightly floaty leading some deaths feeling unfair. The big issue I have is on a certain level you have to use the pine cones to break through a wall, now while I had plenty of the damn things itís possible to run out and as such find yourself unable to continue due to previous actions in the game.

Verdict:†Iím guessing if you had the beer goggles on you could mistake this for a†Mario†game. Though in the morning your wake up look over and feel a slight sense of regret over what you did the night before. Iím not going to recommend this game, nor am I going to say itís a huge broken piece of rubbish to be avoided. Also I hear there is a sequel and that actually might do more things different

Rating:
2/6



Name:MaxAwesome†(hey thatís how the titleís written on my Kindle fire)

Format:†Android, reviewed on the Kindle Fire HD (Also†available†on IOS)

Cost:†Free, ad and micro transaction supported

Review bit:Joe Danger, a game Iíve never actually played but was apparently a rather underground hit. Turns out it wasnít a case of putting a attempt at a cute character into†Trials HD†like I initially thought a long time ago. Anyway with†Joe Danger†getting a sequel it was inevitable that someone would go and make an Android rip off version of it. Having not played the original I canít bash this one for how unoriginal the ideas are or how much was lifted wholesale from†Joe Danger.

In†Max Awesome†you play Max Awesome (Durrr) a stuntman, and itís your job to complete the obstacle course like levels and complete certain objectives on each level. Objectives range from time attacks to collecting certain items or hitting certain targets to stunt score targets. Each completed objective gives you Awesome, yes thatís the currency of this game, I now forgive any developer for just calling their currency Money as this shows how stupid some currency names can be. The Various items in the store can as far as Iím aware all be bought with in game currency, should you wish to work to get it.

What this means instead is I can bash the game on its own rather unfortunate list of failures. However before I do that its time to throw out a good point for the game. The art direction and style isnít bad. Thatís the best youíre getting. No really thatís it.


So the bad points, oh my the bad points. Firstly the game is designed to get you to spend money, Iíve played most of Trials HD and got through at least all the Easy and Medium tracks and a good portion of hard getting perfect, I struggled on the first few levels to make the times. The unlockables can cut anything from 0.1 to 1.5 seconds off your time and believe me that makes a huge difference. There are also further items that increase your end of level pay outs and score multipliers for score based levels. Without buying anything the game is quite hard and as you need to progress to get currency to buy things, the game is balanced around getting people to buy something by making the game itself harder and more annoying and full of tedious repetition to get you to simply pay up. Next the game is add supported and Microtransaction supported. I believe you can pay £1 to remove the adverts but why not simply charge for the app...... oh wait less people would pick it up and get so annoyed by the adverts theyíd pay that £1 to remove them. The Problem with the adverts is they pop up right before the level starts often you can see the level loaded then suddenly full screen pop up advert for you.

Next the game is mechanically flawed to an extent and the level design actually illustrates these flaws more. Certain parts of the level can find you getting stuck and being unable to continue, other areas have you doing almost blind jumps which on your first play of the level will lead to you being killed.



To put the ass cherry on this turd pie there is a section which sees you race fellow stuntmen, not a multiplayer mode but part of the campaign. So how do you think these would go down ? Some epic race on the track ? Some grand ballet as two stuntman duke it out ? Well I doubt youíd imagine youíd be racing along the level against a cardboard cut out representation of the opponent that bypasses every obstacle and just goes in a straight line to the finish.

Trailer:




Verdict:MaxAwesome†is far from it, as such from me I say avoid like everyone somehow avoids knowing of the Taurus stunt awards and mainstream TV avoids every showing them here in the UK. Screw the Oscars I want to see the awards for stunt performers already.† Oh yeh†Max Awesome.... itís a bad game designed to get customers to pay and if I were more familiar with the Joe Danger games Iíd probably be far more furious about this one. though at least the game plays better than in the trailer................. yeh that really is the official trailer too.†

Rating
1/6
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