sIf you are a fain of the original Super Mario Bros. series by Nintendo, you will probably enjoy Way of the Turtle by Illusion Labs. In way of the turtle you play a turtle (actually two different turtles at different stages of the game). The turtles are trying to reunite with the each other, and you do this by traveling through various parts of an island in a Mario type style game.
There are coins to collect, little creatures to avoid and jump on, and obstacles to get through. Sound familiar? However, in this game the coins actually help you. You can sell them at a store for objects like a map and other items. There are also gems to collect which you trade in at the store as well. Once you have the map you can jump to various parts of the island you have already been too.
You are also collecting different turtle shells along the way which offer different powers needed at different points of the game. One shell has the turtle stop and go into the shell, another shell gives the turtle the power to dash over gaps and other spaces and the third give a spinning battle action.
My biggest problem with the game is changing the shells. At different parts of the game you have to switch shells and are prompted to do so. However, you can only switch shells at the prompt, not before or after it. When prompted the first time you don't even know what shell you need, or if you already have the right one. I have found myself time and time again going ahead in the game and losing a life because I have the incorrect shell on because I switched to the wrong one or didn't switch at all. It would be great if you can switch anywhere on the fly.
The power to stop the turtle comes in very important since the game is a constant scroller. You can change direction by swiping, but the turtle is constantly on the move unless you stop or hit an obstacle like a wall. The scrolling nature of the game does change from pure side view to more angled and straight away at different parts of the game. It adds an element of variety and makes it more challenging.
Speaking of challenging, the controls do take getting used to and you have to learn how to switch direction on a dime for some of the harder obstacles like floating platforms. The game does work with a controller, and it is much better with a controller. Moving the turtle, activating powers, and even switching shells is a lot easier with a controller.
One nice feature is that saved games sync between phones, iPad, and AppleTV via iCloud. One twitter user told me that there were issues with AppleTV saves, however I have not found this to be the case. Your mileage may vary here. There are also frequent checkpoints throughout the game levels so you can continue from "fair" points in the game instead of having to go back and repeat something over and over again.
Overall, Way of the Turtle is a lot of fun and worth the download. I know I will be keeping it on my iPad and trying the get to the end of the game.
Arcade Reviews Ratin: 4 out of 5
At their September event one of the games Apple highlighted with their Apple Arcade introduction was the new Frogger in Toy Town. Many people online ridiculed Apple for using Frogger to sell the new gaming service. Well, I don't know what those people think about the new Frogger, but I love it. It is a bunch of fun and extremely original.
First, let me say I grew up with Frogger. I remember playing the original at the arcade and eventually in my house and trying to get the frog to the lily pads. I played Crossy Road, which is influenced by Frogger, when that came out. So, I had to try this new Frogger.
Based on the initial reactions to the demo, I was not expecting much. I'm happy to say I was pleasantly surprised. This new Frogger has reinvented the game.
In this new version you have to rescue little froglets who where have been trapped in human homes after a tornado. The gameplay is similar to the original game in that you travel through a course dodging obstacles like cars and trucks. However, there is so much more. There are other obstacles like shooting balls, a springy chicken, falling books and an interactive environment of blocks, books and more. There are jelly beans you collect along the way that lead to a power up. There are collectible power ups too like a bomb and a marble. Sometimes, you can even jump on top of the vehicles when they are blown off the road by the bomb!
These are just some of the obstacles. From the demo video it appears as if the logs are back from the original, and more. I haven't gotten that high in the levels yet (which are spread out among three houses as of this writing).
Oh yeah, and you have to collect the froglets too. As you play, if you lose a life you also lose any froglets you have following you. There are checkpoints along the way to drop them off.
There is no lily pad at the end, just a finish line.
I have tried the new Frogger on a phone, an iPad and AppleTV. It plays great in all three places. However, my favorite gameplay experience came on the AppleTV with a gaming controller. Fantastic fun!
If you have Apple Arcade you have to try out Frogger in Toy Town.
Arcade Reviews Rating: 5 out of 5
Hexaflip, by Rogue Games, is a great casual game for a quick gaming fix. The game looks fantastic and the gameplay is extremely simple and fun.
Basically, you move a hexagon through a hexagonal puzzle. In some cases you are avoiding obstacles. In other cases you are trying to collect objects. Other puzzles have you just trying to get to the end without falling off the puzzle or getting stuck.
Movement is easy. You click right to move right and left to move left. While you play you have to figure out the correct right-left combination to get to your goal.
Along the way you earn coins, which can be used to continue levels. You can also collect different skins for your token. You can’t seem to buy skins with the coins. You have to earn them. This seems a bit odd, but not a game changer.
As of this writing there are about 80 levels divided among 6 worlds. Hopefully, more worlds and levels are coming.
As I said it is a lot of fun. It is also very playable on an iPhone. Too me, it is best on the smaller screen of the iPhone and best for on the go gaming.
That’s basically it. The game is fairly simple, yet worth downloading and playing. You can play for a few minutes and stop, or you can also get sucked in playing for a lot longer.
Aarcade Review Rating 4.5 out of 5
For the first review on this site I figured I'd review the one game I haven't been able to stop playing. I have installed and tried close to twenty games from Apple Arcade. Most I am liking and have kept on my phone and will install on my iPad when I can. Others I am waiting to see if they are better on the iPad or AppleTV. A few I have just deleted and have not liked. However, Assemble With Care, by ustwo games is a game I cannot put down.
In the game you play Maria, a traveler who is trying to help member of the town Bellariva repair their old gadgets. As you play you have to repair items like an old 35mm film camera, a cassette recorder, a rotary phone and more. You have to take items apart, replace damaged pieces, rewire some parts and put it all back together.
In between repairs there is a scrollable story to read. However, to be honest, I have skipped the story and rushed to the next repair because it is so much fun! I had a huge grin on my face as I used a pencil to spool back an old cassette (something I did many times growing up). Even more fun was playing a mini game on the handheld gaming system I just repaired! Each item is more fun and it is not as hard to rapid as one may think.
See and repairing many items I grew up with is pure fun. Many kids (and possibly adults) won't even recognize a lot of these items!
Gameplay is smooth and the artwork looks great (in the story and the gameplay area). The screwdriver just works as you would expect it to and the parts come apart and go together smoothly without issue. It just works as a game should without any issues.
As of this writing, Apple Arcade is not available on the iPad, but the game plays fine on an iPhone/iPod screen. No size or control issues. It just works.
If you have Apple Arcade you are going to want to download and play Assemble With Care. It is a winner!
AArcade Review Rating 5 out of 5
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