One of my most anticipate games for Apple Arcade was a new Pac-Man. I had no idea what it was going to be, but I was really looking forward to it after seeing a tease in an Apple Arcade trailer. When it was finally released a Pac-Man Party Royale by Bandai Namco I immediately downloaded it. Unfortunately, I am sorry to say, I was disappointed in the game I played. Read on to find out why.
Pac-Man Party Royale is not your typical Pac-Man. Instead of trying to clear the board and avoid ghosts and eat fruit, you are trying to avoid just one ghost while eating more pellets than three other Pac-People. While doing that you are trying to eat what I would best describe as a moving power pellet which enables you to eat the other players and the ghost. Your goal is to be the last one standing.
Now, these game scenarios could be fun, and it is at first. However, it gets old fast.
One of the biggest issues before even playing the game is figuring out how to play a one player game. There is no guidance on how to do this when you open the app. Upon opening the app you are given the option of hosting a game or joining a game. The games have to be local, meaning not over the internet, but via Bluetooth with people around you. If you don't have anyone to play with it appears as if you are out of luck.
However, there is another option and that is to play by yourself again three Pac-Bots. The problem is finding this, which I did accidentally. You have to start a game and keep clicking through until you are given the option to play Pac-Bots. You start the game and are playing solo. As I said, there is NO indication of this at all. Most people probably see that can't play a solo game and delete the app. The beginning of the video below will walk you through the steps.
This is not the only issue with the game. As you play you pick up speed by eating more pellets. However, the starting speed is too slow. It is insanely slow. It is almost to the point where you don't want to play because it is so slow. Then there is the game itself. As I said earlier, it is fun at first, but it gets old and boring fast. I found winning against the bots to be fairly easy.
Controls are also not the best. Swiping on the iPad or iPhone is not very responsive and difficult. I used a controller, and it was much better, but not the greatest. It seems as if all Pac-Man iOS apps suffer from this issue. I would have hoped they would have figured it out by now.
Finally, what this game really needs is true online play where you can jump in and play people around the world. The description in Arcade says more modes are coming soon, and hopefully this is one of them. Of course, this will require other people playing it and hopefully enough people are still playing the game when and if it is added. If this is a mode coming soon it should have been in the initial release and the local player games should have been saved. After all how many people actually have a house full fo people ready and willing to play a battle game of Pac-Man?
I will hold out hope that things improve in an update, but for now I can't recommend this game.
Arcade Reviews Rating 2 out of 5
Download the game here.
For some reason this is not made obvious in the game. What you have to do is start a multiplayer game and keep clicking through. It looks like you need to add friends by giving out the code, but keep clicking through. Eventually, you arrive at a screen where you can choose AI players. Select that and you can now play a one player game.
tint. by Lykke Studios is a relaxing color mixing puzzler. In the game you are presented with different pages of color. You have to get specific colors to endpoints or goals. Those goals might be colored Origami butterflies or colored bells or other colored objects.
Sounds easy enough. However, sometimes the goals are not the colors you have and you have to mix colors. Basic color mixing theory knowledge is a must.
Other times paths need to be adjusted with white paint. Even further into the game colors themselves need to be adjusted by going through special blobs that remove a color. For example, green going over a blue remover makes it yellow.
The end result is a scribble of paint that doesn’t necessarily represent anything. Although some of the random designs you create to get to the end are cool looking.
The game definitely makes you think, and can be tricky at times. The levels definitely get harder as you move through the game. There are hints available which will point you in the right direction or use them all to solve the level. I found myself using hints in the higher levels and thinking "Why didn't I think of that!" Thanks to Apple Arcade these hints are free (not gaming your subscription to Arcade). I can easily see them requiring an ad view or an in app purchase if the game was outside of Arcade.
One nice thing about tint. Is that it is easily playable on any size screen. iPhone play will not be an issue.
There are fifty levels in total and the end of the game promises more levels. I will be keeping the game one my iPad eagerly awaiting those new levels.
Aarcade Reviews rating 5 out of 5
Download tint. from Apple Arcade here.
When I opened Apple Arcade on my iPad this morning I was pleasantly surprised to find several new games had been added. Among them was a game called Pilgrims, by Amanita Design, and I decided to download it. I started playing it and could not stop!
So, what is Pilgrims all about? In Pilgrims you start as a Pilgrim, or traveler, and you are at a campsite. You eventually work you way to a boat. At the boat there is a woman who will give you a ride if you find her bird. This sets you off on a variety of missions and adventures and the map of the game expands to the entire land. See the gameplay video below of the beginning of the game (some parts of scenes have been fast forwarded through).
As you play, you encounter a variety of characters who need certain items in exchange for other items and tasks. You need to complete these tasks in order to find the bird (which you have to find three times before catching). There are different ways to interact with the different characters which changes the course of the game.
Gameplay is very unique. Instead of guiding a character and clicking another character to interact with him or her, you have a deck of cards under the main screen. These cards consist of characters and items. You place the cards onto the main screen to interact with the scene. Different cards produce different results. As you play, subtle hints are dropped about what you need to do to succeed in a scene in the form of characters talking to each other or thinking about what they need.
There is also an achievement screen full of cards. Each achievement you accomplish fills in a card. You can see the unfilled cards as another hint of how to play and what you have to do.
When you finish the game, which took me about an hour the first time (I have played through twice as of this writing), you can go back and try other options to complete different achievements. For example, there is a dragon character in the game. Without giving away anything, there are two ways to interact with this dragon which also results in the end story for another character. There are several scenes that have these multiple options. However, in the end the bird will show up three times so you can get the boat ride.
The artwork in the game looks great. It reminds me of Maurice Sendak and "Where the Wild Things Are." The style is a lot of fun, and it adds to the humorous portions of the game.
Overall, Pilgrims is a must play in my book. It is a unique game and a lot of fun.
Arcade Reviews Rating: 5 out of 5
DOWNLOAD PILGRIMS FROM APPLE ARCADE
If you like puzzle games that challenge your brain (think games like The Room series) than you will enjoy Down in Bermuda by Yak and Co.
In the game you play a pilot who crash landed in Bermuda about thirty years ago, and trying to get back to civilization. You start out on an island with several fairly simple puzzles to solve. As you solve the puzzles other are revealed and you have to collect orbs which power the door to the next island and also little stars. The orbs are found by solving certain puzzles, while the stars are hidden throughout the island. When you collect enough stars one final puzzle is revealed for the last needed orb.
Puzzles include arranging blocks correctly, pushing buttons or other objects in a correct sequence, or unlocking doors with buttons and levers.
As you progress through the three islands (there are only three as of this writing with more coming) the puzzles get harder and harder to find. There are also more of them to solve in order to move on. There are also keys you collect as you go which not only unlock something on the current island, but the previous one.
The gameplay is unusual. That is not to say it is bad, but different. You don't control the character. Instead you move around the island with your fingers finding the various puzzles and solving them by tapping. Sometimes the character is involved, sometimes he is not.
The issue I had with the gameplay is that it is hard to actually find the puzzles and know what you are suppose to be doing. I randomly started tapping on objects that might be a puzzle as I played. Sometimes I got lucky, other times it was just part of the image. By the way the game looks great.
The game is very playable on the iPhone and iPad. The controls are very easy to understand and very smooth. Interacting with objects seemed flawless to me. I actually found it easier to play on the smaller screen of the phone. I could move around easier and it felt like I could see more when zoomed out from the island. (You zoom in and out as you go through the game.)
Overall Down in Bermuda is a great game and worth the download. It is the second game in less than a week that I have finished (or gotten as far as I can go) and will keep on my iPad eagerly awaiting an update with the next level (hopefully levels). (In case you were wondering the first was Way of the Turtle.)
Aareviews Rating 4.5 out of 5
Mini Motorways by Dinosaur Polo Club is a fun game from Apple Arcade that has you building roads in a city to get cars to their destination to take a pick up people from the buildings. It’s a little more complicated than that, but that is the basic goal of the game.
During the game you start with on house and one building of the same color that you have to connect by essentially drawing the road with your finger. As you play other buildings, some the same color and some different, will pop up at random. You have to connect the buildings to roads that you create and draw. Along the way you might need a bridge to span a river, a highway, or even a traffic light to help with this task.
More and more buildings and houses will appear as you play, making the roads busier and busier. This is when the highway and or traffic light can come in handy.
The game takes place during the days of the week and every Sunday you are given more road pieces and one extra (bridge, more road, traffic light, or maybe a highway).
You goal is to get as many cars to the buildings as possible. The game ends when one of the buildings overflows with passengers for the cars.
Gameplay is very easy and addictive, once you get the hang of the game. In my first impression tweet I send out I compared the game to Lemmings. The cars are like the Lemmings and you are building the pathways for them to reach their goal.
There are 6 city “levels” to choose from. I don’t know if they are really levels, because I found no difference between them in difficulty level. Each city has a goal of 250 cars reaching their destination. Once you do that there are no additional goals and you are playing for your own personal goals. I wish there were more goals per city to add more challenge. I finished all of the city goals in a couple of hours and now I just play to see how high my score can be. Hopefully goals and more cities will be added in an update.
The graphics of the game are simple and clean. There are no details in the environment, but they aren't really needed.
Overall, I really like Mini Motorways. If you are an Apple Arcade subscriber it is worth trying it out.
Aarcade Reviews rating: 4 out of 5
Download from Apple Arcade
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
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