This week I split my gaming time up between three different platforms. No, I haven’t purchased a new system, I still only have my laptop and PS3, but I finally found a mobile game that I’m playing religiously on my phone. This week’s playlist was as follows: Star Wars: Tiny Death Star, Awesomenauts, Dragon’s Dogma, League of Legends and demos for How to Survive and CastleStorm.
Star Wars: Tiny Death Star
This is the first time I’ve reported playing a game on a mobile platform, and for good reason. My first smart phone was an Android, but was an older phone and didn’t have the capabilities to run the better games. My new-ish smart phone is on the Windows platform — the HTC 8x. It is powerful enough to run new games, but the Windows store isn’t quite where the Android market is. As such, there really hasn’t been any games that I wanted to play, besides ones that cost more than I was willing to pay for a mobile game. I never wanted to pay for mobile games mainly because I never really play games on my phone, but also because I was always stuck in the mentality that I wasn’t earning achievements by playing them. I’ve moved away from that mindset, and as a result have found a truly engaging game. SW:TDS is a city building game, but rather than building a city, you build a Death Star. I love Star Wars, have been falling in love with retro gaming, and though I never was a huge fan of sim-builder games, I’ve played my share of them. This game combines so many elements that I can enjoy, but can be played in short increments, or for hours at a time. It doesn’t require you’re attention all of the time, because when you stop playing, the game persists. When you come back to the game at a later time, you are greeted with this message:
The fact that the game persists without your actions is a great feature, as I can just come back to it when I know certain timers are going to expire. Levels of your death star are all dedicated to certain functions, but the vendors have to be stocked, and stocking takes time. Selling takes time as well, so leaving for a time rewards you with larger chunks of credits. The stores have to be employed, so housing must be built for employees, so they in turn can sell your wares. Imperial levels are built so that supplies can be crafted/researched/what-have-you. All the while the emperor is giving you side missions, and Darth Vader is ordering you to gather materials. Aside from some button pressing here and there, an easy to use menu system adds to the depth, but really the most action you get to control is the elevator:
Despite the simple graphics, interface and overall premise, SW:TDS is a fantastic game, and it’s completely free. I’m sure it’s available on Android and iOS as well. Microtransactions are available in the form of the secondary currency, bux. You can buy bux with real-world money, and those bux can help you to move things along faster. But if you’re patient, you can just take a break from the game and things will complete themselves. I have been patient and don’t intend to buy virtual currency. I’m just curious now if there is some sort of winning parameters, or if it becomes endless. I have 13 levels as of right now, and there hasn’t been any indicator of limitations or a victory sequence. More on this to come, I’m sure.
The only notable occurrence in this game was that I prestiged again, for the 7th time. Aside from that, I had one superb game, and I’m gonna brag:
As you can see, I dominated all categories in the scoreboard (K/D, Minion kills, Towers destroyed). My team didn’t die a single time, their team didn’t even destroy a single tower.
I have much too much to say about Dragon’s Dogma to fit it into this post. Great game from what I’ve seen so far, but I really wish you could play multiplayer, rather than just being able to use your friend’s main Pawns. Oh well, perhaps there will be a sequel with that sort of option. The game comes with a built-in screen shot software, so I have a picture story to tell that I’m going to push into another full post. Look for that this week.
League of Legends:
Season 3 officially ended yesterday. As I already mentioned, I promoted into Silver tier. As a result, I was rewarded with these items:
Aside from the Season 3 Silver Summoner’s Icon and the Border on my profile, there will also be a Silver border around my character on the loading screen. Also, a new ward skin to add to the collection:
I’ve mostly been playing ARAMs since I reached my Ranked goals. I did play a couple of games in other modes, and also earned a couple of the new Harrowing Summoner’s Icons:
The top row depicted here are all icons that I have earned, below that row are the default ones. From left to right: Season 3 Silver, Vilemaw and Statue from Harrowing 2013, Lissandra clan from ARAM release, and the last one is from the Lunar Revel last year, though I don’t remember how I earned it exactly.
This game is basically a mash up of different physics games and reminds me of Swords and Soldiers from Ronimo (the guys who made Awesomenauts). Basically you control a turret that shoots various ammo, and you are trying to destroy an opposing force’s castle before they destroy yours. They send soldiers, so can you. You can send your general to the front lines and use him to combat enemies. Destroying their castle turns into an Angry Birds style fling and smash. It was interesting, but nothing that I would want to buy. Ideas that work on their own don’t always work when mixed together. This feels tacked on.
How to Survive Demo:
The idea of an Action-RPG that is set in a different setting besides High Fantasy is rare indeed. Rare enough that I can’t think of another one off of the top of my head. Maybe the original Fall-out, but that was still turn-based. Anyway, the game looks gritty like Path of Exile, but is a modern setting, and there’s Zombies. As much as I have loved Zombies over the years — I watch the shows/movies, read the comics, play the games — it is starting to become tired. There’s shining examples of how the concept can be used to create a great show/game/movie, but for every good example, there’s another ten games with zombie themes that are awful. This game isn’t exactly awful, it has elements that I can enjoy. It just doesn’t have personality, and that keeps me from feeling immersed. Try the demo before you buy it.