Dominant Species game Review

Note 2 Caution
Lots of strategy; worker placement “algorithm” works well for computer play Useless tutorial; no asynchronous multiplayer; interface obscures important information Dominant Species is a good game stuffed into a box that’s too small for it.
Mother Nature may be red in tooth and claw, but that doesn't mean she can't enjoy a good strategy game every once in a while. That means Dominant Species should be right up her alley, assuming she can figure out how the game works.
Dominant Species is an iPad conversion of a strategy board game published by GMT Games. It depicts Earth shortly before the last Ice Age, with arachnids, insects, amphibians, birds, reptiles, and mammals competing to survive and prosper as glaciation overtakes the land.
It's a nasty, brutal struggle of... well, of placing pawns, moving little cubes around in hexes, and drawing cards. The game is a little abstract that way. In the board game world, Dominant Species is known as a "worker placement" game. You have six pawns, which you use to choose the six actions you want to do during the round. Each action is a simple event within the game, such as adding a food source to the board or scoring points. You have many more choices than you have pawns, and you can do the same action more than once if you like.

Dominant Species game review

Crocodile vs Rhino, only on Nature's Pay-Per-View
Worker placement games work a lot like computer programs, with the players calling the subroutines that will help them to score the most points and win the game. This makes worker placement games easy to adapt into computer games, but it also makes playing the game feel a lot like programming a computer.
In the case of Dominant Species, playing the game feels a lot like programming a computer without a reference manual. The rules are not difficult, but the tutorial does almost nothing to help you learn them. It shows you how to place your pawns and move your creature pieces, but it never tells you how the different game events work, or why you should choose them. You learn a little bit about the mechanics and nothing about the strategy, which means you're likely to spend your first game flailing around and wondering why you’re losing.
The only way to really learn the game -- assuming you don't have a friend to teach it to you -- is to read through a long and sometimes opaque manual. You’ll find the most important part (what the various events you can choose actually do) several clicks deep.

Dominant Species gameplay

If you squint hard, you can pretend they're ripping each others' heads off
The game also hides important information in the menus at the upper left corner of the screen. This isn't a fatal flaw, but it's a big difference from other board game conversions like Ticket to Ride, which makes sure that everything you need to know is right there on the main screen.
Once you've learned the game, you'll appreciate the strategies that are available. There are many ways to win, and each type of creature has its own subtle strong points.
On the other hand, you'll also notice more little flaws. Once you've started taking an action, for instance, you can't undo or cancel it. That’s inexcusable in a game that can be lost with one misplaced tap.
The lack of asynchronous online multiplayer also limits the game's long-term appeal, though that would be a difficult feature to implement given the game's structure.
Dominant Species is not a bad game. In fact, it's a very good game. But it’s difficult to learn and presents a lot of information crammed into a counter-intuitive interface. If Mother Nature ever does play this game, let's hope she's not easily confused, or that she's in a forgiving mood.
After all, it's not nice to fool with Mother Nature's strategy gaming...

Stupid Zombies 2 Game Review

Stupid Zombies 2 good
Improved graphics; retains addicting ricochet-based gameplay; lots of content; male and female characters to choose from; easy reset button; better targeting solution; guns that shoot guns that shoot zombies; the satisfaction of killing an entire stage full of zombies with one bullet Doesn’t offer much new; still can’t skip a level if you’re stuck (save for spending money on air raids) Stupid Zombies 2 is really just more of the same, but a little better, and that’s not really a bad thing.

Stupid Zombies 2 Game Review
- has all the earmarks of a by-the-book sequel: It takes everything that made the original great, polishes some things up while making a few tweaks and additions, and boom, new game.
If you've read the original Stupid Zombies review, almost everything that applies there applies here. The two key exceptions to this are that there are only 300 levels here, and you can no longer skip to a different chapter.
Instead, the game calls for a certain number of stars to open a new chapter, which is actually a bit of a downgrade, given that the ability to move around to different chapters freely was seen as one of the positives of the first game, especially since you can't skip levels without "air raids," which cost real-life money (or "Liking" on Facebook) to acquire.

Stupid Zombies 2 gameplay

"It's over, Anakin! I have the high ground!"
Those are about the worst things we can say about the game, though. Everything else that made the original great is here, and they've refined it and polished it to make it even more enjoyable. The graphics are a bit nicer, you can now choose between a male and a female character, and there is an easy reset button always available within reach for whenever you've screwed up a shot.
In addition, you can now trigger a laser-sight on your guns by holding down on the touchscreen. This option was sorely lacking in the original game, and made judging where your initial shots would go more difficult to accurately guess. While ricochets are another matter entirely, this one simple feature adds a lot, especially as you loose a shotgun shell and watch it tear brutally and beautifully through numerous dead bodies in a row.
Stupid Zombies 2 gameplay
Boom, Headshot.
Those who thoroughly enjoyed the original Stupid Zombies should find plenty to like here. Yes, it's yet another
game featuring zombies in lieu of anything more interesting (the thought of ridding the App Store of zombie games sounds like a good zombie game in itself), but as games of that type go, this one is still quite enjoyable and worth cocking the gun for another round. By and large, this sequel plays it safe with its source material, and does all right for it.
Stupid Zombies 2 developer trailer

Critter Escape game Review

Critter Escape Review Score

Critter Escape logo
Critter Escape, a stealth-based puzzler developed by KIZ Studios and published by Chillingo, is now available from the app store. Using mechanics similar to Spy Mouse, you must maneuver a trapped creature from start to exit without getting caught.

Critter Escape Pros Review:
  • Presentation is polished and animations are fluid
  • Soundtrack has spy movie quality
  • Line-drawing/tap controls are easy to use; power-ups add to the fun
  • Lots of expansive levels and star-based challenges
  • GameCenter integration for achievements
Critter Escape Cons Review:

  • Some control quirks; line-drawing mechanic could use more polish
  • Isometric viewpoint causes some areas to remain hidden
  • Limited replay value
Critter Escape loading img

There are more than 100 levels to explore, tasking you with leading the unnamed and unidentifiable main character toward the exit and one step closer to freedom. You achieve this by using line-drawing mechanics to create a pathway for the critter to follow.

Patrolling guards threaten to immobilize you if they catch you, so it’s best to avoid detection. Each level has a gem hidden within, adding a fun objective to break up the monotony of making a beeline for the exit. There are also a number of power-ups to utilize, which can give you a speed boost, make you invisible for a short time, or even turn you into a hulking monster capable of crushing any foes that get in your way. Collected gems can be traded in for power-ups, too.

The levels are fairly large and it’s easy to get lost or happen upon an enemy unexpectedly, given the isometric viewpoint that masks certain areas, the lack of a map, and the inability to rotate your viewpoint.

After reaching the goal, you are evaluated on your ability to find the gem, as well as complete the level challenge, earning a star for each (and an automatic star for completing the level). Challenges include reaching the exit within a tight time limit or escaping without alerting any guards.

Critter Escape gameplay

Graphically, Critter Escape has a polished presentation with a pleasing art style, smooth animations, and enticing gameplay. The soundtrack is decent, creating a spy movie type atmosphere. The controls work well, but there are some rough spots where the critter can get stuck on objects or the line wends around in lengthier lines that negatively affect your speedy escape.

You can choose to tap on the screen to send your critter scurrying to the target spot, or you can drag your finger to create lines for him to follow, pausing time as you map our your route and giving you the opportunity to explore areas of the board that would normally go unseen by the critter from its current location.

While they were serviceable, we couldn’t help but feel that they needed a little tightening up.

Critter Escape game play

Replay value is decent if you need to pick up any missed stars, but for the most part, there isn’t much to keep you playing the same puzzles over and over. There are a few bonus levels to check out, but little else. GameCenter integration allows for 3 dozen achievements to earn. A universal app for $0.99, Critter Escape is a fun 4-Dimple app.

World Series of Poker- Hold 'Em Legend Review

iTunes Link

World Series of Poker- Hold 'Em Legend is a poker game by Glu. $4.99

[This is a modified post from TheAppEra]

With the launch of the App Store can a great poker game by Apple themselves, which feature great graphics and strong reasons why it should be the only poker game you need to buy. Over a year later and I have finally found a poker game that I feel it worthy to share the limelight with Apple's Texas Hold 'Em. It just so happens that this game is also a fully licensed WSOP game.

Being a total Poker nut, even to the extent of winning a fair sized tournament and owning about three poker games for my Xbox 360 I feel like I know enough about the topic to review this game. When I picked up this game it was really about comparing it to Texas Hold 'Em by Apple. This game has some qualities that are better than Apple's attempt, but it is also been beaten in other areas. Overall though, taking into account what is important in a poker game, I believe WSOP: H'EL comes out trumps.

The main area where Texas Hold'em wins out is definitely the graphics department. Apple have filmed various people betting, calling, folding and all sorts of actions to watch as your turns go around. Even in horizontal mode I feel as if it looks better than WSOP. The closest WSOP gets to this are the short cut scenes when you have a sort of rival in various tables and the short movie of each hotel before you start playing a particular tournament.

You can only play WSOP horizontally and it looks basically the same compared to Texas Hold'Em, except with the graphics not as smooth and crisp as the earlier game. Also the game doesn't seem to be as responsive and quick compared to TH'E. If you are looking for a poker game that has better visuals and everything, this isn't the game for you. Luckily though poker games don't care too much about how snazzy it looks as it is all about how good the gameplay is, which is where WSOP really comes out on top.

The controls in this game are pretty simple really. The game plays out with other players betting and folding as they please, which can be fast forwarded straight to your turn with a single touch of the screen. When you get to your turn to bet you have to touch the table to bring up the betting screen. This can sometimes be frustrating as it doesn't come up straight away. Once it does pop up though you slide it to whatever amount you choose and press bet. If you want to check your cards you just double tap the screen, similar to double tapping the table in real poker to check.

Just like in TH'E there are some special tricks you can do to speed up certain processes. Whenever you want to fold you just touch your cards and flick them into the middle of the table. Also if you want to skip betting and go straight to going all in then you can do that by dragging your chip pile into the middle just like with the cards. This will automatically put you all in.

Gameplay is where this game really happens. Those who have it will know that TH'E has a few different tables that require you to win money from smaller tournaments to buy in and try your luck. In WSOP it is basically the same, yet in more detail. You start off the game most likely in Legend Career (A local and global multiplayer option is also available). This career mode lets you create a player to slowly work your way up the casino's to be the ultimate poker superstar. You start off with limited cash and really only one casino that you can play on. As you master that table and increase your cash amount you can progress until you get to the last hotel, with a heap of cash flowing out of your pockets.

WSOP has many different hotels to play in, with something I felt was missing from TH'E, different types of Texas Hold 'Em. While this game doesn't feature games like Omaha and 7 Stud Poker like the console version, it does have many different modes like Shootout and Winner Takes All. All these basically do is affect how much you can potentially win at the end of the day, but it can affect what game I will play depending on how strapped I am for cash.

The other great thing about this version is that Glu also has the rights to let us win one of the coveted WSOP bracelets that real life poker stars can win in major tournaments. These don't come easy but winning one is an achievement in itself. On that note there are also 20 achievements that can be achieved through playing the game. These are meaningless but a bit of fun to collect.

The main aim of WSOP is to get to the final hotel, with your eye on the main prize to win the WSOP main event. This is the hardest poker tournament in history, and will require a lot of cash from hard earned tournament wins and even more skill and luck combined to get you through for the victory.

Getting to this main table will probably be a dream for some of us poker wannabe's but there are hours of fun sucking at the smaller tables to be had none the less. Poker is a game I can play all day and the amount of new and riskier challenges in this game has even dragged me from my WSOP Xbox game and Zynga Poker on Facebook.

Like Poker and want something more challenging than Texas Hold'Em? Then this game is definitely for you. Countless hours of fun to be had. The only downside I found to this game was the lack of people wanting to play in the global multiplayer, which I found to never be able to connect me. I would stick to the Legend Career for now and just hope you don't get dealt a 2 7!

Gameplay- 9/10
Graphics- 7/10
Sound- 6.5/10
Overall- 7.5/10

I would recommend this game if you enjoyed- Texas Hold'Em

Zenonia iPhone game Review

iTunes Link

Zenonia is a RPG game by Gamevil. $5.99

A modified post from TheAppEra

The long awaited RPG by Gamevil has finally made its way onto the App Store. Zenonia has sold extremely well in Korea with it being download over 600,000 onto various mobile phones. With over 40 hours of gameplay, it was interesting to see if it is a step above the competitors. After just 30 minutes of playing the game, I can safely say YES! Zenonia is an amazing game that provides some big aspects that RPG games have been lacking on the App Store.

The best graphics in a RPG game on the App Store before Zenonia would have to be Chronicles of Inotia: Legend of Feanor by Com2Us. Zenonia blows those graphics out of the water with a game that would do a DS game proud. The anime characters are superbly done with many animations and cheerful nature. The many environments coupled with the great day/night feature in are super detailed and the graphics department in Gamevil definitely deserve a huge high five for their work. Gamevil has done well to make sure the game is very stable with no lag what so ever. In previous builds before its release the game was super unstable and lagged quite a bit, but has been fixed. The animations in Zenonia are quick and with the way they have incorporated some fighting tactics makes it alot easier for the player.

At the moment the controls in Zenonia would be its achilles heel. The D-Pad is very easy to use but at times a small finger flip will send you walking in a totally different direction. Double tapping the D-Pad in one direction gives you a ’short’ boost of speed that can throw you into opponents. I found out the hard way but it eats up your SP very quickly, which I will get to later. To attack you just press the attack button over and over again to use whatever weapon you currently have, no matter whether you are an Assassin or another type of character. The smart thing in Zenonia is that you will turn and attack your nearest opponent which is a very handful this to have when the D-Pad hasn’t been perfected. Special moves can be added to quick slots below your status bar and when touched unleash the special move of the particular icon. This works well but the icons are very small and is obviously brought straight over from the mobile, like the menu screen.

With Zenonia being a surprisingly 10mb download you can’t really expect much sound in the game. There is a Pokemon like tune that runs throughout the whole game and Regreat (The Character) makes a high pitched squeal when he attacks. There isn’t much sound obviously and this is a game to play silently or just jam to your own tracks.

A great storyline that is almost Fable-like where you can choose whether to be good and fight for the Guild of Light or evil and fight for the Guild of Dark. The graphics remind me of the well known Zelda games and the city travelling has a Pokemon aspect in it. The storyline is prominent in the game for the entire time, and seems to be better than Chronicles of Inotia, Dungeon & Hero and Vay. This game just feels easier to pick up and play than the other RPG’s on my iPhone. There seems to be more quests and less time grinding for no purpose in the game, something that threw me off other RPG games. Zenonia is more casual gamer friendly, but may become a bit dry in later hours of the game. I better put down the game so I can actually write this review already!

The basic storyline in Zenonia is you fight for either the good or evil Guild and need to help fight against the opposite clan. You (Regret) wakes up and a dragon had come to your town so you flee to the town of Adonis. There you must do many main and side quests to what I assume is defeat the Clan. I have only played through 5-6 hours of Zenonia as a Good warrior and have no idea what is to come ahead.

Most RPG’s have a game style of Grind, Grind, Grind, Mission, Grind, Grind and Grind. Zenonia put the fun back into grinding as the many side quests don’t even make you realize that you are in fact grinding. Having many cities between the various areas means that it feels more like a Zelda/Pokemon game rather than a basic RPG. The storyline is strong and really grows on you.

I’m not sure if the original writers were Australian, but if not they sure should be. The game is absolutely hilarious with some of the things said in this game. Some saying heard from various characters are:

  • “It would never work, I’m just a NPC”

  • “I’m sure this side quest is some crazy story from one of the developers”

  • “How would I know what that was, I only just started playing this game”

They aren’t the exact words, but time and time again these one liners give me a little chuckle. This certainly lightens the mood of the gameplay. Most of the time you will be whacking and smacking all of the monsters and various creatures that come and attack you. It is sometimes quite hard to fight back as these anime characters are just so cute! Everytime the big cute teddy bear attacks me I run away so I don’t have to see it die.

I could go on for ever about some of the things in this game, but they are better experience for yourself. An amazing game that is not only a true RPG for serious gamers, but will also provide long lasting entertainment for those more casual gamers. For $5.99 this is incredible value, probably being one of the longest games on the App Store with Puzzle Quest, which is $7.99. The amazing graphics, animation and gameplay of Zenonia will bring you back time after time. This game could put alot of RPG’s on other devices like the Gameboy and possibly DS to shame with how good it is. Seriously guys, if you don’t buy this then you are missing out!

Gameplay- 10/10

Graphics- 10/10

Sound- 8/10

Overall- 9.5/10

I would recommend this game if you enjoyed- Chronicles of Inotia: Legend of Feanor

Tell me what you think about this review at Twitter- next up is Leaf Trombone: World Tour!

Thanks- iPhone_Reviews

WWE WrestleFest Premium game Review

WWE Wrestlefest Premium - $2.99

WWF WrestleFest is a fondly-remembered arcade game developed by Technos Japan, and released in 1991. Players could take control of such legendary figures from the world of sports-entertainment as Hulk Hogan, the Ultimate Warrior, Sergeant Slaughter, and “The Million Dollar Man” Ted DiBiase, among others, as they took on all comers in the over-the-top-rope Royal Rumble, or paired up to conquer the unstoppable Legion of Doom for the World Tag Team Championships.

As with many old school games, it has made the transition to the iOS platform with bolstered rosters and graphics while keeping the same arcade beat 'em up style of the classics. Various WWE titles have made their way onto the App Store over the years, mostly trying to replicate the more realistic experience of recent console titles. Despite all of these, the best iOS wrestling experience I had was TNA Wrestling which also followed the 2D arcade nature of Wrestlefest. It's safe to say that this will be a hit for those fans as well.

At its heart, WWE WrestleFest is about big sweaty men hitting each other until one of them is unable to stand. The premise of the game is fairly self explanatory and will be easy for newcomers to pick up and play automatically. There are eight of these perspiring gents to choose from, with a further five unlocked as an in-app purchase. You control your wrestler with a virtual stick and two buttons. The stick lets you move around the ring, and the two buttons control your punching and kicking. Once you're in a grapple, which happens when you get close to your opponent, mashing 'kick' will fling him at the ropes, while mashing 'punch' will perform one of your throws at random. After you've beaten your foe's health bar down to zero, and stamped on his crotch a few times, pushing 'kick' will fling your muscular sprite atop his prone body for a pinning attempt. The controls are responsive and work perfectly, something titles with on screen buttons have been guilty of in the past.

There is a lot of choice in the game with a large array of fighters and locations. Almost all of the original roster and locations are gone and replaced with new ones, with both help yet hinder the experience for those wanted a nostalgic feel to the game. Yet, for all the choice you are given between wrestlers and arenas, it’s all pretty much cosmetic. Every single one of the Superstars controls in the exact same way, with a joystick, one punch, and one kick button being your only means of input. Different combinations do different things, and each wrestler still has their signature and finishing manoeuvres.

There are plenty of modes on offer, from single matches to career-spanning climbs up the wrestling ladder. Some bouts have different victory conditions, such as the Royal Rumble, which tasks you with hurling men out of the ring. But mostly you're punching, kicking, and throwing until it's time to lie down.

Online multiplayer lets you take a wrestler out into the big bad world, fighting against other people for pride and bragging rights. This is a nice addition, but as with so many other games which aren't able to the hit the top of the charts the lobbies are a bit dry and it may be hard for you to find a match. If you are able to get a friend to play you, then the life of this game is expanded extensively with a nice bit of local competition.


If you are picking up WWE Wrestlefest Premium hoping for the classic arcade gameplay of old you may go home disappointed. This game has more changes than just the heading and is actually a complete revamp with only the base gameplay remaining. That being said the arcade action is a heap of fun and the large variety of modes will keep you body slamming weary foes for hours to come. Just go into Wrestlefest knowing it is an advancement and not a direct port.

Gameplay- 8.5/10

Graphics- 8/10

Controls- 8/10

Overall- 8/10

I would recommend this game if you enjoyed- TNA Wrestling iMPACT