Posts Tagged ‘Best’

Castle Doombad

Castle Doombad by [adult swim] iconI love Adult Swim games for the iOS.  No matter who the developer may be, they’re all great.  Castle Doombad is no exception.  I bought it 3 weeks ago and have been all-about it since. 

 

The story is basically that you work for a bad guy who needs you to build defenses in his castle to keep heroes away from his captured princess.  You get to build all kinds of traps over multiple stories of the castle, including a trapdoor, a troll that blocks the path of the would-be good-guys, and spinning blades on the ceiling.  There are a ton traps that can be unlocked, some that attack on their own and some that rely on your expert timing to be deployed.  All of this is purchased with “screams” that you are harvesting from the aforementioned princess and from machines you can build that create artificial screams. 

Castle Doombad pits you against a number of heroic characters.
Pictured: Not your character

Castle Doombad is not the most original title in the world.  It harkens back to the 2004 game Evil Genius in a lot of ways, but it is simple to play like any other tower defense game on iOS. Still, what it lacks in its originality it makes up for in its execution and charm.  The minions you can buy are a lot of fun to watch run around your castle, and the heroes all have a level of personality that can be appreciated without being too distracting to make some nail-biting, last minute, game saving additions to your top floor.

 

Some other things this game gets right is that it’s not on a freemium model.  You buy it, and that’s all there is to it.  Other Adult Swim games could have used this approach (I’m looking at you, Amateur Surgeon 3), and I hope something has been learned here. 

 

While most Adult Swim games can end up feeling very repetitive (Robot Unicorn, Mole Escape and Giant Boulder of Doom, primarily), Castle Doombad has kept my attention for a while now.  Chalk this up to interesting game modes (including a mode that moves your castle progressively lower into the dungeon instead of up into the sky. I still can’t figure out why playing in this mode feels so different and game changing when it really isn’t…), tons of unlockables and upgrades, and an endless mode where you can earn a ton of gold to unlock other goodies. 

photo (1)

When things get flipped over in the dungeon stages, things feel very different.

If you just got an iOS device, I would still probably recommend Super Monsters Ate My Condo, but Castle Doombad is a close second.  It is by far my favorite tower defense style game on iOS, and possibly my favorite tower defense game ever.

 

Castle Doombad gets an A+ for creative design, fun characters, and game play that does not dull out as quickly as other iOS titles.

 

You should play this game if you’re a fan of: iOS games, Adult Swim games, Tower Defense games, super hero characters, super villains, or cartoon humor. 

Donkey Kong Country Returns

A must have for Wii owners of all ages.

A must have for Wii owners of all ages.

Donkey Kong Country Retruns.  I wish they would have called it something else…Like “Donkey Kong Country: Anything Other Than Returns.”  It was gone for a while, and now it’s back.  I get that.  It’s returned.  Ok.  But man…so cliche.  But it’s Nintendo, and since it’s not a Zelda game, the title is going to be, at the very least, lackluster.  At least they didn’t make some kind of banana pun.

Now that I got that out of the way, Donkey Kong Country Returns is the best game I’ve played on the Wii yet.  It might be the best platformer I’ve ever played, along with Super Mario World and Mario 3.  And of all the recent Nintendo re-imaginings and re-releasings, it shines as bright as the sun.  The game pulls no punches in its extreme styling and imaginative level design.  It holds on to all the things we fell in love with the first time we played a game as Donkey Kong and Diddy, including the rhino and a plethora of hidden areas.   It contains countless hidden items and offers great replay ability.  The game is very near flawless.

I played a lot of the game with my girlfriend.  The multiplayer is a marvel in the platforming genre, in which it is common for a second player to feel like more of a burden or a distraction.  NEW Super Mario Bro.’s suffers from this problem, as a second player gets in the way and is constantly vying for the best power-ups and trying to run ahead or is constantly slowing you down.  In DKCR, one player controls Diddy and the other Donkey Kong.  Each has his own abilities, such as DK’s ground pound and Diddy’s ability to use a jet pack and gun, and so each character  is very useful.  If a player in multiplayer is going to slow, they are transported to the faster character.  There is no slowing down.

The level design is what really puts DKCR in my list of top three platformers of all time.  Some levels take place during dusk, making everything in the level a silhouetted black.  Another level is shrouded in smog.  The mine cart levels return, as do new challenges, such as a rocket barrel you must navigate through obstacles R-Type style, and barrels that shoot the player into a new path hidden in the background landscape of the primary stage.   Yet another level has the player being attacked by an octopus from the background of the level.  By far, the most impressive level is one in which everything (from moving platforms to hammers that can crush the player), moves in beat to the level’s music.  It is level design like that, which can remain interesting and fresh even on your tenth try, that keeps gamers from giving up on the hard levels and pushes them to enjoy the next stage.

In terms of beautiful level design and meaningful interactions with those levels, DKCR delivers and delivers big.

In terms of beautiful level design and meaningful interactions with those levels, DKCR delivers and delivers big.

The boss battles can be a bit over the top in difficulty.  There are some things that seem to be random, like enemy attacks, that feel like they really should be determined by a pattern.  Some of them, like the crab boss, seem unfair because of this.  Still, it is entertaining and offers up a bit of variety in difficulty and game flow.

On the surface, the game can at times seem a bit campy and too cartoonish. Hardcore gamers should not be fooled. The true core of this game is groundbreaking and inspired.

The games gets an A+.  I loved every minute, and after finishing, there is still a lot more to do.  I can’t wait to 100% the game and really get the full effect.  If you own a Wii, this is a must have.  It is simply a beautiful and exciting game.