Alto’s Adventure Review: Coolboarders

altos-adventure-headerWhile my day job might be in accounting, the other university courses I liked were communications and marketing. One of the concepts that they emphasized is being able to pitch a product in one line. If I was to give a short line to describe Alto’s Adventure, it would be “Journey as an endless runner.” While a free-to-play mobile game won’t quite live up to one of the best games ever released on the PS3, Alto’s Adventure sure does more than hold its own in its genre.

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Clash Royale, Pay-to-Win Mechanics and Your Wallet

clash-royale-bannerI’m not sure a day goes by that I don’t see justified complaints about Clash Royale over on Reddit. The game doesn’t attempt to match make on skill but is often determined by who has the better cards. Emotes should be mutable. The tournament system has died without Supercell propping it up.

There’s a perfectly good reason why Supercell isn’t addressing any of this: Money. Addressing these issues would likely take money out of Supercell’s pocket not just through the costs of making the changes but the loss of revenue from making them.

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Uncharted: Fortune Hunter Review: Gold on the Run

uncharted-fortune-hunter-headerIt’s not unusual to see big game franchises get mobile spin-offs as part of their lineup. Square Enix has mobile games for Final Fantasy, Tomb Raider and Hitman. Nintendo is working on a move into that sector. EA has a whole host of mobile titles too. Now, Sony is dipping its toes into the mobile sector with a puzzle game based Uncharted that’s more of a booster pack for Uncharted 4’s multiplayer than a new entry in the franchise.

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Motorsport Manager Review: Checkered Flag

motorsport-manager-mobile-headerThis September, Motorsport Manager is coming to Steam as a rather impressive looking and much enhanced port. It’ll be the same style of game at its core but will turn the graphics up to 11 and make some aspects of the simulation much more realistic including production of parts, rules charges, calendar changes and more. While the underpinnings of Motorsport Manager won’t change, a lot of it will be upgraded from the mobile game.

But what about that mobile game? I’ve been playing it for a while now and while it’s not quite Football Manager levels of complex, it’s certainly the best management game for motorsport fans I’ve ever played.

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Clash Royale Review: Dealing from the Bottom of the Deck

clash-royale-bannerNow that I’ve got a phone that’s less than three years old, I can finally start reviewing mobile games. Let’s start with one of the latest games to top the mobile games charts.

Supercell had a hit on its hands with Clash of Clans. The tower defense game still sits near the top of Google’s top grossing games chart. For their follow-up, they took many of the elements of Clash of Clans and distilled it into a competitive multiplayer strategy game called Clash Royale.

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Monument Valley Review: Uncanny Valley

monument-valley-headerI’ve never been much of a mobile gamer but that’s probably prejudices getting in the way. When I hear about a mobile game, I immediately think of a free-to-play game of fairly low quality and nearly impossible to play without dumping a pile of money into microtransactions.

Monument Valley isn’t one of those games. You have to pay up-front but you also don’t have to pay microtransactions and the gameplay is quite good. Unlike the stereotypical mobile fare, you could actually call Monument Valley a real video game.

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It’s Not Free-to-Play but Mobile Gaming That Is Broken

dungeon-keeper-microtransactions-headerThe big story in the games news world right now is EA’s mobile release of Dungeon Keeper. The original Dungeon Keeper was released in 1997 and was an instant cult hit. Gamers loved it and game designers were influenced by it. Even today, Dungeon Keeper is often among the top sellers on GOG.com.

The mobile version of Dungeon Keeper pretends to pay homage to the cult classic and instead bastardizes it with the worst free-to-play microtransactions system that many people have seen. While we’re used to free-to-play cash grabs, this might be the most blatant attempt to stop gameplay at every possible turn to squeeze the player for more money.

I don’t think, however, that the problems with Dungeon Keeper Mobile aren’t a result of the free-to-play model. If you go looking for free-to-play games, not all of them are blatant cash grabs. However, when you look at it more closely, you find that so-called games designed to print are really a mobile gaming problem.

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