Sunday, February 26, 2012

February iPhone Review Round-Up

Last month I did some reviews for the free multiplayer turn based tactics game Hero Academy, the stylish and well made tower defense game Jelly Defense and the very addictive match-up game Triple Town. All recent iPhone games and you may check out all those reviews here. However this month I will be reviewing some older iPhone games, but they are still interesting games and are still being supported. This time we have Ticket to Ride,Trenches II and Kairosoft's Edo Towns. Like last month's game these games are compatible with the iPhone 3G or newer.

Trenches II by Thunder Game Works and EA
With Trenches II we have a sequel that failed to live up to the expectations of many. The first game was an enjoyable yet limited strategy/action game that had you fighting world war I as British or German soldiers. The second game follows the same idea, but add's the French into the mix as well, plus on top of that there are additional new units, upgrades and a large amount of content. This all sounds good and fine, but the core gameplay is exactly the same as the previous game. The game is side scrolling and you direct each unit as they charge towards the enemies barracks, while at the same time enemies head toward your barracks. This is a very common gameplay idea that is prevalent among free games that are likely to frequent the likes of Armor Games or Kongregate, but Trenches II has a great deal of depth and polish. There are few bugs in the game and you do have quite a few options for your armies, you have a unit limit and you have to choose what to bring out each battle, whether that's medics, riflemen, machine gunners, tanks, artillery or bombing runs, among other options. The presentation and depth helps this game hurdle over it's limited and repetitive gameplay. As long as you know what you are getting into you can have a bit of fun with this game and it is quite cheap $1.99. Check out this gameplay video below and if you are truly interested take a look at the lite "demo" version.
Main Website:

Violent Score: 3 (out of 5) 

Ticket to Ride by Days of Wonder Inc. 
Ticket to Ride is a board game brought to the iPhone and iPad, much like the popular Carcassonne. It is a challenging game that is essentially built for turn based online gameplay, but it does have singleplayer with A.I. and a tutorial. This game is deceptively simple looking, but there is quite a lot of strategy involved and it is something that will develop as you have to deal with more challenging opponents. All you essentially do is connect train routes around the map in order to achieve objective cards, random card that you pick at the beginning of each game that will give you objectives like Detroit to Sacramento. This idea get's quite complicated when it comes to doing this with many other players also doing the same thing. You have to learn how to read other's players moves and try to see where they might block your route or where you may block theirs. It is an addicting game and one that is very fun to play with other friends who have an iPhone or iPad, plus you can also play with random strangers and that is is plenty enjoyable too. Games can be quite long, depending on how attentive each player is, but you can have several games going at once. The big negative for Ticket to Ride is it's price. It is $1.99 on iPhone and $6.99 on iPad. The iPhone price is highly justifiable if you have a few people to play with, but the iPad price is pretty hefty. The graphics are minimal, but they work well and the UI is easy to learn. It doesn't have a demo/lite version, but I still encourage anyone who enjoy's turn based multiplayer games to check it out. The video below is a bit cheesy, but it still shows off the basic concepts of the game. 
App Store:

Violent Score: 4 (out of 5) 

Oh! Edo Towns by Kairosoft Co., Ltd
This is not the latest from Kairosoft, Oh! Edo Towns originally came out in November and was followed by Venture Towns and Pocket League Story. Like all of Kairosoft's other games this one is a management simulator but this one is all about building a Japanese town. You build houses, shops, shrines, and scenery, very similar to Hot Springs Story if you've played that one. It doesn't really do anything new compared to their other games, but it does have a lot of content and the Japanese town theme is pretty pleasing to anyone who is inclined towards such a theme. The object of the game is to build your town into the biggest city possible with the highest yield possible. There are a lot of things you can do to increase yield, like putting specific buildings close together to create specific types of combo's, or you have artists who create crafts that you can use on any person or building.

Oh! Edo Towns does the whole town management idea quite well, but it is bogged down by slow paced gameplay that often leaves you waiting around for the year to end or for an event to happen so you can get more money. Generally you don't earn that much money just from people spending money at your shops, but the majority of your income comes from people moving into new homes or taxes, which take place once a year. I really like the game, but if you are one of the many who loved GameDev story but haven't found that same attractive feeling in any other Kairosoft game, then you should really try the "lite" version first because this has a good chance of not being all that enjoyable for you. I personally enjoy it quite a bit, but it's slow pace and odd gameplay mechanics are hit or miss. It really doesn't help that the price of the game is $3.99, but it is on sale somewhat often. Hopefully in the future Kairosoft will create something as attractive or interesting as Game Dev Story. Check out some of this very long gameplay video below. 
App Store:!-edo-towns/id474177077?mt=8

Violent Score: 3.5 (out of 5) 

That's all for now, I may have more news today, but if not I will definitely post a few tomorrow. Also, keep an eye for our 100,000 views giveaway that should be happening soon. Thanks for reading. 

-Written by Sean Cargle


Post a Comment