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Super Mario Run was much hyped release that I tried out after its exclusive on iOS finished. I didn’t like it very much and I don’t think the hype was deserved. It is kind of like Mario mixed with Angry Birds mixed with Miitomo. You play a Mario level (and it auto runs so you only need one hand) repeatedly so you can get a high(er) score and get all the special coins. You can then use your total coin total to outfit your little town. There’s a PvP part as well where you race another player’s ghost to see if you can get the most coins. I didn’t enjoy the game because 1) I don’t enjoy the repetitive nature and frustration of completing a level perfectly in order to “3 star” a level, 2) the PvP doesn’t interest me, 3) I’m too old for town personalization and showing it off to friends. I also don’t like the general UI design (I guess that is DeNA’s style). The game doesn’t get the $10 from me to unlock it (the free part is really just a trial).

Mechcom was a thrown-in in a Humble Bundle that I bought, but it excels as a bare-bones RTS game. The game is straightforward, but the controls are pretty tight, and it is well suited for play even on mobile phone. I haven’t played it much but it seems to satisfy any RTS itch I might have. There’s a sequel to this game, which I also received. I’m not sure I will like that as much though because it adds more bells and whistles. This isn’t a game that I want to be heavily invested into.

Two games I received from a Humble Bundle this time – the first is Galaxy Trucker which is a board game where you compete with other players to make money trucking things around the galaxy. The game is in two phases – first you compete with other players to construct a truck from a communal pile of random parts, then you use the truck you created on a route to earn money. The route has random mishaps and events that affect your ship and your cashflow depending on how you’ve constructed your truck. The concept is neat and I only have a few games under my belt so I don’t fully understand the mechanics yet, however I think there is a potential for fun here. One criticism is that the second phase (using your ship) seems pretty short given that you spent so much effort constructing your truck – it takes 10 mins to construct your ship, and 5 minutes for it to travel your route. Although, the AI I’ve been playing against is pretty forgiving in letting you spend your time to build an optimal truck. Another aspect of the game I like is that there is a single player campaign mode, so you can advance at your own leisure. I’m not sure it’s worth $6, but I paid $5 and received a number of other board games as well in my bundle.

Hero Generations is a game that also has an interesting mechanic. You get a hero, but it is expected that your hero will die (probably from old age). Instead, a main and necessary goal is to find a mate, and then your child will continue the game. It’s like an evolutionary process where each generation is supposed to get stronger until at the end…well I don’t know because I never played it that far. While the concept is interesting, it requires a lot of comprehension of the mechanics (there are a lot of things that can be upgraded over generations) and planning to be successful. It’s just too complex to play for 5 minutes so I got rid of it.

I’ve been playing a game called The Trail that is a lot like Oregon Trail. You play a settler (no family here) and you set off along a trail to eventually settle in Eden Falls. The trail itself is actually rather short, and you reach Eden Falls fairly quickly (no fording required, and no dysentery); in fact the game ends up being more of a collecting & crafting game rather than settling, but I don’t mind – it’s the crafting and levelling that I enjoy (I learn that these are called “incremental game”s). When you arrive at Eden Falls, you get a house which you can also improve via collecting and crafting. There is also a social aspect as you work together with the other inhabitants of your farm towards communal (and competitive) goals.

What actually attracted my attention to this game was that it is by Peter Molyneux, the creator of Fable. It is not as flexible a world as Fable, but there are some nicely designed aspects (who knows if there was direct Molyneux influence though). One feature that I think is great is the trading that you can do at trail camps. It’s useful because it provides an avenue for you to get rid of all the supplies and items that you’ve accumulated. It’s social because you are trading with other players at your camp, and finally it’s a game because there is a finite time limit for trading, and you compete to get the highest trading score to win an additional prize. This is just one aspect of the game that just works and is win-win-win.

Another part of the game that I like is trying to re-arrange everything in your backpack. The backpack is a limiting mechanism so you can’t carry everything at once, but instead of using slots like a normal game would, you actually have to try and arrange things in your backpack so they will fit. Often times you end up with an overflowing backpack while you try and balance that last item that you picked up on the very top!

As I played the game more, I realize that a lot of the social interaction (along the trail and in the camps) is done by NPCs and not genuine. It’s not completely NPCs, but most of it is. Once I saw through that illusion, I was a bit disappointed; although I understand why they chose that route for performance and design reasons. It’s not a game that I have to play everyday, but it’s good if you have an extended stretch of time.

While perusing the store, I noticed Postknight. TBH, what attracted to me to this game was that it was “Unreleased”. What does that mean? I still don’t know but the game is decent enough that I play it every once in awhile. You basically do bite-sized auto-runner type quests to gain XP and items. You can trade items for better gear or use them to gain favor with the ladies (i.e., dating in Harvest Moon style). I just play it for the RPG elements because the dating aspect requires you to play too often. It’s a quick enough time killer and you can slowly improve your character so that’s why it’s staying on my phone.

There are a lot of DC and Marvel games around, but I downloaded Justice League Action Run because the art is reminiscent of the animated series. I actually think this game might be for younger kids based on the art and the simplicity. It’s an infinite runner with a couple of modes – collect items, break targets, fight the boss, etc; but the draw is the theme and the art. Unfortunately, the game seems to be recently released, and not polished yet. The interface and gameplay is laggy on my phone, and there are only 5 heroes to choose from! Hopefully it will get better in time, but by then, I think I will have moved on to something else.

Cardstone is a deck building and dungeon game, where you start with a basic deck and a hero (Warrior, Mage, Paladin or Vampire) and then build and improve your deck as you go through the dungeon. After each battle, you have the opportunity to swap one card in your deck with 4 random cards in your card pool. Through this you’ll strengthen your deck to fight stronger dungeon dwellers, but there gameplay is deep because the RNG prevents you from building the same deck every time (although you can make them thematically the same). It is a good premise and I played it daily for awhile. The problem is that the IAP scales really quick – the cost to buy new cards for your card pool with in-game currency grows exponentially. You’ll get a bunch of rare and legendary cards, and a few is better than 0, but the chances you’ll build a deck of strong cards is rare without spending.

The Battle of Polytopia is free and has distilled Civilization down to its core elements, so it’s great if you’re looking to play Civ (assuming you’re OK with isomorphic graphics). The problem for me is that after playing it for a little while, I remembered why I don’t like Civ (troop management and battles). Plus, in this age of mobile games, playing Civ is just too long.

Big Hunter is a game where you have to throw spears at a big animals within constraints (resources or time). I downloaded this because I liked the simplicity of the art. The game doesn’t do a lot so the art fits in. Basically this is a skill game where you have to angle your spear and time your release, while making sure you stay out of range of the rampaging animal. It has various IAP components but you’ll probably only play this as a little time waster.

I don’t know what this game (うさぎと牛乳瓶) is or why I downloaded it anymore. The premise is that you have to pull rabbits out of milk bottles within a certain amount of time. There are also other characters that show up, which I think extend your time or give you more points. To be honest, I don’t understand how to play this either because it’s in Japanese. It’s not as good as the first game above if you’re just looking for some time killers.

Coup is a quick game where you need to bluff your way to victory. You have 2 cards in your hand that you can use to backup your bluff(s), and those cards don’t replenish. Once you have no cards in your hand, you are eliminated so you need to bluff carefully. I think this game would be great if the UI was simpler and the rounds were faster, but there’s just too much graphic detail in the game to make it enjoyable. Oh and the ads. They make the game too annoying to outweigh the marginal enjoyment I get out of playing this, so unfortunately it is an uninstall.

I bought Sentinels of the Multiverse on sale (99¢ I think?) based on what I read from the listing. It seemed interesting as it is a board/card game (later discovered that it originated on Kickstarter) where you play cooperatively as a superhero team to defeat a villain. Or in my case, you play 4 heroes by yourself. I liked the style as it is done as if it were a comic book (the universe was created just for this game, but the heroes fit DC stereotypes). The game itself is very complex. There are a lot of mechanics, and even after several plays, I spend most of the game reading and understanding the cards (which is difficult on phone resolution). That is both a benefit and a curse. It’s good in that in makes the game more of a puzzle than a board game, but it’s bad in that it is not something you can play on automatic. You have to devote concentration and 30-60mins for a game. I’m still on the fence as to whether this is a game I will revisit or not.

I’ve had my eye on Layton Brothers Mystery Room for a long time because I enjoyed playing Professor Layton in the past. However, I stayed away from this game for a couple of reasons: 1) It was more of a detective game á la Phoenix Wright then a puzzle game and 2) It was a IAP game. I ended up trying it now because it was a game that didn’t require internet connection so I could play it on the plane. I played it on one of my flights the last few months and it basically lived up to what I thought. The gameplay was in Japanese (with requisite English errors), linear and not fun. In order to pass the mission, you have to do things in a certain order, or find some specific thing, which I find limiting and infuriating. Not surprisingly, I didn’t buy any of the IAP to unlock missions after the first 3 (one of which was a tutorial).

I came across Card Crawl while browsing Google Play and it is surprisingly good! It’s a solitaire card game where you attempt to exhaust the deck of your opponent. The rules are pretty straightforward but it involves some thinking to complete the game. If you’re good, you can get a high(er) score and compete against others on the leaderboard. The free part of the game seems to be good enough for casual play and the only criticism I have is that the UI is slow/laggy (too many loading screens).

Mystic Miracles is a clone of the board game 7 Wonders. It has the same mechanics but all the names are different. I have been looking for a 7 Wonders game to play on my phone for awhile – there were a couple of amateur projects but they didn’t get very far, and I stumbled this one while following links from another game (I think it was Dominion). Now that I’ve found this, I 1) forgot the rules and had to learn them again, and 2) don’t find the game very fun any more. However, if you are looking for a good port of 7 Wonders, this is very good (not sure about the AI since I’m not a good player).

Continent Conquest is a game that plays like Civilization or Age of Empires, but doesn’t look nearly as pretty. I played it through a little but didn’t end up finishing the tutorial. There’s nothing really wrong with this game, just that I don’t have the patience to invest in a game like this on mobile when there are other games or faster games to play.

While I was never a fan of Pokemon, I had to try playing Pokemon Go because it is the latest craze. On the surface, this game has plenty of stuff that will appeal to me: the location-based gameplay is interesting (and was the reason I tried out Ingress previously), AR is pretty cool, the UI is pretty slick, and I’m a sucker for collecting/levelling games. Plus, everyone who has a smartphone is playing it so why wouldn’t it be good?

Strangely, I played for a bit and it’s just not entertaining to me. The lack of interest/fandom in the Pokemon franchise really kills it for me (especially the levelling part – I’d much rather play a franchise I’m interested in, like Star Trek). I am not out enough to go to Poke-stops or Gyms (even though there are 2 that are 1 minute from my house), and it’s difficult to hunt Pokemon with two little kids on the loose. Without walking around to catch Pokemon, the game is actually incredibly shallow (I just catch Drowzees sitting at home).

I suspect that a lot of people that play will drop it in a few weeks and this will be just another fad like Miitomo and Clash Royale of recent history.

I started playing Clash Royale because I thought it would be a quality game (from same developer as Clash of Clans) and that it would be a Hearthstone-lite seeing as it is a card game. While it is polished, I think the card aspect is just a gimmick – cards can be replaced with units and the game would be the same. I never played Clash of Clans but I guess this is a striped down version where you battle within an arena. Strangely, the game is not very addicting and even though there are IAP delay elements, I have no motivation to play it. I guess it’s an OK backburner game if I have spare time and I can’t play any of my other games.

Green The Planet is from a Japanese game company and has no IAP; also, it’s free yay! But after playing it for awhile, I think it’s basically a game where you get to look at a banner ad. The premise is that you have to destroy asteroids/comets using a planet-based canon to collect resources (there are a lot of different types, but they all convert to energy) and greenify the planet. There isn’t a lot of gameplay because you simply press on a spot in space and your cannon will fire. The asteroids travel across the screen in a simple linear fashion so they will run into your canon. After awhile, all you end up doing is pressing the screen and waiting – perfect time to watch the banner ad.

I’ve been closely following Nintendo’s first smartphone “game” Miitomo and I was finally able to download and try it out last week. My interest stemmed from reading the initial description of it. It’s not really a game but a messaging app built around the concept of Miis. I remember creating myself as a Mii about 10 years ago, and they look just as cartoon-y now (although it’s neat you can generate a few versions from a photo). I was quite curious how Nintendo can make this a successful (and profitable) game.

After playing it for awhile, I can see that it may be successful. The target demographic seems to be female and/or young. It drives engagement by providing canned questions that can generate discussion (although in a way, that is also quite limiting to be forced into topics). Monetization is done via standard freemium means – you buy in-game currency which you exchange for clothes that outfit your character. There are a couple of very basic RNG games where you can win some unique clothing items. I can see how this app my appeal to Japanese people, but I don’t think it will be successful in North America (especially the male teen/young adult market).

The app itself also feels unnatural. It’s cross platform, but the UI is completely custom. It feels like a kid created the UI design (which may be on purpose) and feels unfinished (the look and constant appearance of loading indicators are driving me crazy). I hope this aspect improves in the future.

I might leave this app on my phone for awhile, but I’m not sure if it will get prolonged use (I say this about a lot of games and end up playing them for months though).

I bought Framed for ~$1 on a year end sale (not sure if it was actually discounted) even though I hadn’t heard about it until I browsed through the games. What sold me was the fact that it was a puzzle game, with a story and a novel mechanic. The story is told in comic book style but the frames are out of order. Your mission is to re-arrange the frames so that the protagonist is able to complete their mission. It’s pretty fun and light, but there is no replay value once you finish the short story.

I was happy to see that there was a new licensed Star Trek game full of IAP purchases called Star Trek Timelines. That’s only half sarcastic because any attempt would be better than Trexels. The graphics are surely better in this one, but the gameplay is certainly not any better. You get lots of crew but you have to level them up through various means, in this respect it is similar to Superstar SMTOWN. It should be very obvious that this game has everything horrible about an IAP game. The gameplay is shallow and lacking skill (it is slightly strategic in that you have to pick the right crew for the missions), you have to check back every few hours, and you must have internet access to play. The Star Trek license will only keep playing for a little while – I think I will be tired of it quite soon.

I bought Lifeline because of the hype surrounding it. You’re supposed to help a stranded astronaut via text messages and it is akin to the text-based adventures of past generations. I had it on my phone for a long time and I actually was saving it to play on a trip, but just started playing it instead of waiting for my next trip. I ended up killing my character (kind of on purpose) but in the couple of interactions I had with the game, I decided that I didn’t enjoy this type of game. The gameplay is too binary (Should I do A or B?) and for whatever reason it didn’t appeal to me like a Choose-Your-Own-Adventure book. Maybe because the dialog was too dramatic – too many text messages/rambling about something simple that I just don’t have patience for. I never built up an emotional connection to the story and/or it wasn’t outlandish enough. I uninstalled it.

Horizon Chase is a throwback to games like Outrun which I enjoyed playing as a kid. It’s an arcade racer so the driving is pretty easy. I haven’t played a racing game like this in awhile so I enjoyed it – although probably not enough to put down real money to unlock the full game. Like most racing games, your opponents, while “real cars” are really just time trials. So you can win a race if you avoid obstacles and finish within a given amount of time.

It’s been a month and a half since I started attempting to rebuild my Always Taeyeon userbase, and the results have been…non-existent. I converted about 5-10 users, and I’m not even sure if those are converted users or new users that saw my posts on Tumblr/Google+ etc! This has been pretty much a failure given that I still have 100+ DAU. There’s just no motivation to download APKs and install them (with good reason, because there is so much potential for malware).

That just goes to show if you’re not on Google Play (or perhaps some other mainstream app stores), then you’re not going to be able to get traction with users.

To help me with my painful process of enabling/disabling SIM cards to switch 4G networks, I built a small Android app to do the work for me. Simmering (couldn’t think of a better name) just does one simple thing, it takes the inactive SIM card and enables it, then it takes the original active SIM card and disables it. I also added a little enhancement so that after a period of time, it will perform the reverse operation. That’s a convenience for me so that I can give my phone a brief period where it can sync and retrieve anything it needs from the cloud, before returning back to my (probably not connecting) WIND network.

Here’s a screenshot of it in action:

The app has a really narrow target audience, but I figured if I spent the time on it, then I might as well put Simmering on Google Play. It’s probably one of those apps that I will never update again.

AdVenture Capitalist is an Android game but I’ve been playing it on PC (via Steam). It’s the same basic game as Cookie Clicker where you start off small (in this case a Lemonade business) and then scale up exponentially to…?? I guess take over the world because you’re a capitalist and you have tons of money rolling in. It’s less interactive than CC since you don’t have to click as much (you buy managers to do that) so it just kind of sits in the background while you try to add more zeros to your net worth.

I saw Avoid being promoted on Google Play so tried it out. Like Flappy Bird/Crossy Road, it’s a game that scales up in difficulty. Your main goal is to avoid your character being cut up by the saws that are bouncing around. Once you’re cut up 3 times, you lose. While avoiding the saws, you also have to collect coins, which you can then use to unlock new characters to cut up. It’s a mindless time killer for a little while, but not addictive. Also I found that it’s relatively easy to rack up a high score (but not coins) if you just sit in a corner. Since the saws are circular, their bounce patterns will generally avoid corners.

Building Always Taeyeon 2.0 was for my benefit, but I also wanted to distribute it to other users. This was going to be quite difficult after the app was removed from Google Play. Shortly after it was suspended, I tried distributing it on other app stores like GetJar and AndroidPit, but they rejected it with similar reasons as Google Play. With this new release, I figure I would try a new strategy (because otherwise I would have no strategy).

I know I was already disadvantaged because any user would have to install the APK directly (and enable unknown sources). So the first thing I did was make the latest version publicly available on a static URL. You can always download it at The link just forwards to a Google Drive file which I can keep up to date with the latest version. Step #1 accomplished – anyone can download my app.

The second disadvantage from being out of Google Play was that users wouldn’t get upgrade notifications when there is a new version. It might be tough to get everyone on 2.0, but if I release further versions, I don’t want to have to go through that pain again. I looked at services that can automatically send a push notification when you have a new version and even thought about using the Google Drive REST API to look at the last modified date as an update check. That would have been over-engineering. Instead, I just popped a simple JSON file on the server which my app can check; if there is a new update, a notification is raised in the app and clicking on it would go to the link above to download. This solution is actually better than Google Play, because a user might turn off upgrade notification in Google Play.

Finally, the hard part is getting all my existing Google Play users onto 2.0 and this new system. Luckily, I had built in a delivery system when I launched the app to ensure that I would have periodic (i.e., daily) photos. Instead of another Taeyeon photo, I can just add an image with my upgrade “advertisement” and hope that it reaches as many active users as I can. The advertisement was fun to make, here’s what it looks like:

I recently blogged about my Always Taeyeon app being suspended and removed from Google Play. I wanted closure because…I had begun working on it again! It was demoralizing to lose my existing user base, but this was actually an app that I used frequently on my phone (I am user zero) and so I had incentive to keep improving it.

I call this 2.0, not because it has a lot of new features; but because I rethought the app a bit. It’s actually slimmer than it was before. I wanted to focus on a stream of Taeyeon photos. In v1, I had a bunch of things like a menu that showed you where the photo was from, and plans for other parts of the app. I had started working on a “Favorites” section where you can save photos and then view them later. I also had an idea of unlockable icons. In any case, I killed all of that.

I was hesitant to do this before because I was thinking about monetizing the app if it was popular. My plan was to give you a page of favourite “slots” (i.e., 9) and then if you wanted to save more, you would have to purchase additional pages. The feature request I kept getting repeatedly (via Google Play comments and email) was to add some way to save the photos, so I know users would have used that; and the arbitrary limit of 9 might have caused people to pony up a few bucks.

For version 2.0, I decided to get rid of that and just let users save any photo to their gallery without limits. Honestly, I think that’s how users would want to use my app – browse through photos, save the ones you like best, and maybe set them as wallpaper or use them elsewhere. This makes the app super easy to use. You just swipe back and forth for new photos, and long press to save a photo. But it’s a significant enough change that I think it warrants a major version bump.

Almost a year ago, I blogged about my Always Taeyeon app and how it was growing pretty well. Then I stopped blogging about it, why? Well there was a good reason. In November of last year, the app got suspended by Google Play and I stopped working on it. If I can’t get any new users, there wasn’t a lot of reward for putting more time into it.

Now, obviously I think the suspension was unwarranted, but that’s the typical position of the “guilty” party (whether it’s true or not is another matter). The rest of this blog is basically a rant on why I don’t think I should have been suspended; I’m not angry, but it’s for closure before moving on.

What my app did is basically displayed photos that were publicly accessible within an app. That was considered IP infringment. IANAL and in the back of my mind it was always quasi-legal (more on this later), but I don’t think it is infringement. Rather, I think of it as helping people be more efficient – you could access the same photos in a web browser. Web browsers wouldn’t get suspended from Google Play.

You may argue that a user has to explicitly perform some action to view the photos through a web browser (i.e., visit individual web pages). Then my argument to that would be that my app is basically a repackaging of a Twitter feed/Tumblr blog. I could RT or reblog a bunch of photos and that would be the same as my app. Is that legal (or quasi-legal)?

In any case, the process for appeal is tough and I’m sure under additional scrutiny, they would find other reasons to keep it suspended (or worse, ban my account). Given that the app was free with no means of generating revenue, it wasn’t worth the battle. It was easier to stop working on the app.

Fallout Shelter has been hyped a lot and it certainly looks like a polished game. However, when I tried it, it just seemed like a (pretty) freemium game with a lot of room upgrading and farming. I have too much fatigue from grinding through these types of games so I couldn’t convince myself to play through it.

I played a game like Current Flow called Curvy when I first got an Android phone. It was fun and I even thought about buying it. However, by the time I decided to do that, I also decided I didn’t want an Android 2.x style app on my phone. Luckily, now I can play a similar game for free!

I bought The Firm on a whim because it was pretty cheap ($1 USD) and it seemed like it would be fun. Like Flappy Bird/Crossy Road, it’s an easy game to play but difficult to master – at least the difficulty starts ramping up pretty quickly. The concept however, is not as good as something like Ridiculous Fishing. I don’t think it was a bad purchase (especially with no IAP) but it’s not a game where I am itching to play.

Trexels is an official Star Trek game whose sole reason to exist seems to be so that you can collect the entire bridge crew of TOS or TNG. Like Happy Street, you collect resources and build buildings (rooms in your ship) in the hopes that they will aid you to get the premium currency (Dilithium). Once you have a large number of dilithium, you can buy one bridge crew. There are also away missions that attempt to give it some variety, but all missions play the same way (irrespective of the lame dialog) so the game is rather boring. I played it for a week, but even the appeal of playing a Star Trek game wears thing when are you’re doing is farming.

I had Wayward Souls on my wish list for awhile because it was supposed to be a good one. Each level is randomly generated so you get a new experience each time. You basically try and go as far as you can in the dungeons (you only have one life, but can get powerups) and the further you get, the more you know of the story. You also accumulate gold which you can use to buy upgrades for your hero. As there is no IAP it’s just about grinding. I guess I’m not in the mindset for that right now because I wasn’t that entertained when I played it (but luckily it was an Amazon free app of the day).

Does Not Commute is a neat game with high production values. The concept is you have to help various residents go to work and other business in their cars. You help them out one at a time but the paths they drive overlay on top of each other as the game progresses. So if you drive one car wildly, it may come back to haunt you. The layering approach is novel but the problem was I just didn’t find the game that fun. There’s a bunch of back story and nice UI and what not, but since it wasn’t fun, I stopped after I tried it for 20 minutes.

Giant Boulder of Death is your typical IAP game but for some reason I find it hilariously fun. Perhaps it’s because it’s a tribute to Katamari where you have to roll over blocky sprites. In any case, it’s my go-to game for now; until I unlock everything or get bored of it.

SuperStar SMTown is a f2p rhythm game based on SM Entertainment’s (one of the big 3 music labels in Korea) musical artists. It’s only available in Korea (translated into English) but I was able to get a copy of the APK elsewhere on the Internet. It’s decent as a rhythm game, although a bit difficult – Easy is more like Normal, and Normal is Hard (can’t get anywhere on the first level of Hard…). There’s also an interesting card collecting/upgrading concept (which is one reason why the game is difficult) to increase replay value and to drive IAP sales. But what makes or breaks a rhythm game is the song selection and that’s where it gets interesting. All the songs are free and are the top hits from various SM artists. I started playing the game due to the SNSD-related songs, but the game has exposed me to a lot of hits from other artists (spoiler: most songs suck). This is actually a really clever strategy to gain more fans for some less popular groups, as they made the rules in the game such that you have to play all the songs (and songs from different artists) to succeed.

I download 80 Days as part of an Amazon freebie event and it has languished on my phone for several months. I finally got around to trying it and was pleasantly surprised with it. The premise is that you must travel around the world in 80 days (like the Jules Verne book) using technologies from (I suppose) the late 19th century, although there is mythology in the world so it’s not exactly history. There is no action in the game, but it plays out like a Choose-Your-Own-Adventure book. You spend most of your time reading, but the gameplay is somewhat randomized (and there’s obviously many ways to circumnavigate the globe) so it’s actually quite captivating. The art and direction is also refreshing, so this is quite a good and interesting game to play.

I’ve been paying attention to Battleheart for awhile now, but didn’t buy it because I heard that the developer was no longer supporting the Android version. I was then, pleasantly surprised, when they released Battleheart Legacy for Android. I bought it even though it was pretty expensive ($5).

It had good reviews and in many ways the game is good. It’s a polished RPG with a build-your-own-hero-skills type approach. However, I think the plot is very loose and shallow, and it’s just an excuse to go to dungeons. Since I didn’t play the original, I’m not sure how to compare the combat, but at higher levels, it’s difficult because there’s too much action on screen and it’s hard to click the right thing. Maybe it’s better on tablets. I was hoping for a lot of replay value, but there isn’t enough story to make me play it multiple times (I don’t mind the grinding that much).

Magic Touch: Wizard for Hire is a fun little tablet game where you have to draw glyphs on your screen to pop balloons and protect your castle from evil robot/knight things. In the vein of Flappy Bird or Crossy Road, the game play is simple and fast. It’s pretty fun when you start playing, but I don’t see it having any staying power because it doesn’t have the same reward-addiction system that Crossy Road has.