Android · games

[Android] Random game picks

Yeah, usually, it’ll be Picks of the Week or Month but since I kind of download new games without a set schedule, I can’t define a period.

Anyway, I’ll discuss 3 mobile titles that have struck my fancy recently! I won’t get into much detail about each one though.

Ninja Village

Ninja Village Army
My army is ready to kick ass.

Kairosoft found a spot in the hearts of many mobile gamers when they released the video game making management simulation title, Game Dev Story, in the last quarter of 2011. Since then, they gained a fan following where almost everyone a part of it would  instantly buy their games the moment they are released. Currently, Kairosoft’s Android fanbase has been enjoying a more or less regular release schedule where localized titles come out at an almost bi-monthly rate. Factor in Japanese releases and Android gets nearly monthly doses of cute, 8-bit building and management sims.

Ninja Village is their most recent offering at the Play Store. It’s based off of the mechanics found in Epic Astro Story but has some improvements such as allowing players the option to sell raw materials directly. (If you’ve played EAS before, you know how annoying it is to have aliens wander onto fields or into mines and simply buy up everything you produce from them.) They’ve also removed the walking distance restriction found in EAS yet this brings about other problems due to the stupidity of the AI of your villagers.

Along with the changes, one main and important difference between Ninja Village and Epic Astro Story is that you can preview your enemy’s army size before committing to any battles. This is a welcome option as it’ll allow you to properly outfit your own army with the necessary units and skills to combat your opponents. Unfortunately, battles are still fully automated but at least you can dictate the actions of your Archers somewhat.

At the moment, Ninja Village is among my favourite Kairosoft games; the others being Mega Mall StoryKairobotica, and World Cruise Story.

Incidentally, I would like to point out that we have a guide for Ninja Village at AdeptGamer. :3 In fact, we have guides for most of the titles released.

Defender of Texel

Defender of Texel party
My motley crew for the Treasures of Texel Special Event Dungeons.
I’m not looking for any friends but if you want to start out with some privileges in the game, you can use my code: nKad. XD

I trash talk social mobile gaming networks like Mobage and GREE. I trash talk them a lot. It’s mainly because all their games are freemium and have some sort of pay-or-wait gimmick going on and I hate that kind of shit. I mean, why put limitations on how much play time users are allowed to have. If you want to continue as soon as possible like a normal game, you have to pay. What gives? Who started this crap?

So if I terminally rage about dumbass freemium gimmicks so much, why the heck do I have Defender of Texel (also known as. D.O.T.) among my gaming picks?

It’s because it’s fun and one of the few that I can stand. Overall, the core gameplay is reminiscent to the bajillion freemium card battle games out there for mobile devices; you create a party of characters that you will use to conquer dungeon after dungeon. These characters can also be upgraded by merging them with other characters or “self-fusing” them to develop them even further. There’s nothing really special about the dungeons in D.O.T. either since you still have to hit ye olde big single button to go through them. The difference is that once you get into a battle, you don’t just press a plain old “Attack” button over and over; there’s a grid of 9 boxes where you must select lines of 3 by swiping horizontally, vertically, and/or diagonally as a means to choose which party members go into battle and in what order.

Sadly, that’s about the only gameplay bit that’s unique to Defender of Texel that I can name off the top of my head.

It’s pretty amazing how playable D.O.T. is without spending a penny. I do anticipate reaching a wall of sorts eventually where my band of heroes won’t be able to defeat enemies after a certain level due to a myriad of reasons like characters that aren’t strong enough to last through battles or not having the right skills to quickly take out enemies. Once this happens, handing over money to participate in the lottery build in hopes of nabbing an Epic character — one that possesses stellar stats and abilities — may be the only way. Of course, I can always just build and fuse until I can upgrade my Rare characters to Epic rank. This will require a lot of grinding though. But hey, that’s how freemium games roll, right?

One gripe about D.O.T. is the energy amount you’re allotted. You only have 100 and replenish 1 energy unit every 3 minutes AND you consume 5 units per move. Dungeons get ever-longer the further into the game you progress which means getting to the end of a dungeon requires hours upon hours of waiting. Naturally, there are items that can fully restore energy or 30 units of it. For the latter, you’re limited to using 10 of those per day. If you want a full restore, you’ll have to shell out money for that item. They may also be handed out as prizes during special events though.

The Room

Screenshot from The Room
Solving a mini puzzle in Chapter 3.

At the time of this writing, The Room is only available for Android as part of The Humble Mobile Bundle. The developers, Fireproof Games, state that it will be released to Android stores soon, however. And that’s great news because this puzzle game is quite enjoyable.

I can’t describe it all that much since the only other game that I’ve played that’s similar is Myst. So if you know how Myst is — with all those vague puzzles and equally vague clues scattered throughout the game — you’ll have an idea of how The Room plays. But unlike Myst, you’re not travelling to different worlds and collecting pieces of magical paper.

The Room is set in a room (is that a surprise?) and all the puzzles are on an object you find in a safe. Heck, the safe itself is a puzzle. None of them are overly difficult but may require some abstract thinking to reach a solution. And if you ever get stuck, there’s always the handy clue button which always provides enough information to get you looking in the right direction.

My only disappointment with this game is that it’s too short. It only consists of 4 chapters and the amount of time I spent going through them all probably doesn’t even add up to 3 hours. Fireproof Games has noted that there will be free DLC in the near future and a sequel coming in the Fall. I look forward to both!

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