Entries by Jamin (Page 1 of 1)
by Jamin Smith on 7th Apr 2010
I can't quite work out if this is cool or not, but I watched the video in it's entirety, which certainly says something. The title of the blog post explains all you need to know, so I'll give my fingers a rest from typing and just let you watch it. Enjoy!
by Jamin Smith on 4th Jan 2010
Christmas for me has always been synonomous with gaming. Whether this came in the form of a console I was expecting as a present when I was young, working in game related retail for a bit of extra cash, or simply wasting away the festive hours catching up on all the titles I hadn't had time to play over the year. This Crimbo was no different, and as well as putting some serious hours into a variety of PC and console titles, I played my fair share of iPhone games too.
In attempt to continue my weekly round up of iPhone games that didn't quite make the review section of the site, here's a rundown of what I've been occupying myself with this Christmas.
All Fridges are Psychotic
Sporting perhaps the best name of any game ever, All Fridges are Psychotic is a homage to the classic point and click adventure games of years gone by. Following the antics of the aspiring script writer Julius Brown, the plot quickly introduces Gustav Du Pont, a time travelling fridge that helps Julius achieve his dreams.
Truth be told, I'm not completely sold on the visuals, which take the scrappy child like art-direction to a whole new level (The artwork was drawn by Manda Rin from the band Bis, if that means anything to anybody). The script and narrative is fantastic however, and I found myself laughing out loud as I played the game. The game, internet and general geek culture woven into the dialogue will force a few laughs out of the right player. The puzzles are decent enough too, and anybody who knows a thing or two about the adventure genre will feel right at home.
I'm really not sure how die hard adventure fans will take to All Fridges are Psychotic, as there's a lot in the game that could potentially rub them the wrong way. As I don't class myself as a die hard adventure fan however, I can safely say I enjoyed the game.
Cross Fingers is the latest puzzle game from Mobigame, the masterminds behind Edge. The game challenges players to fit a selection of wooden shapes into a designated area, much like a jigsaw, but with the emphasis on shape rather than picture. The game introduces some really neat touch based mechanics which can literally involve crossing your fingers in order to complete successfully. Red shapes require sliding out the way in order to move the normal blocks past, but as soon as you take your finger off them, they slide back to their original position. In order to complete certain levels, you have to keep quite a few of these red blocks in place at once, requiring Twister like finger skills.
Cross Fingers has a really addictive nature to it, and once you understand how the game requires you to think, levels can be completed with relative ease. Thankfully, there are three difficulty levels, each with thirty levels, and the latter levels get very hard indeed. Puzzle fans will love Cross Fingers, and should snap it up as soon as possible.
I've been feeling the powerful urge to get stuck into an MMO recently, and refusing to return to WoW, I thought I'd try Champions Online. Giving players the opportunity to customise their hero in literally any way they could possibly think of, the game gives rise to some truly awesome looking characters. Mine was no exception, and is without a doubt the coolest looking super hero I've ever seen (pictured below).
After putting around twenty hours into the game, I've lost the drive to play much more. As a role playing experience, the game is certainly no match for Blizzards behemoth, but it was certainly fun for a while. I'll cancel my subscription shortly and continue waiting for The Old Republic...
I also played a fair bit of Modern Warfare 2, Borderlands and one of my favourite RPGs of all time, Chrono Trigger. But I could wax lyrical about that those all day, so I'll stop writing while I've still got an evening left to enjoy.
That about wraps up this week's round up, hope all your Christmas's were as entertaining and relaxing as mine. Look out for more next week!
For more up to the date opinions on my game playing shenanigans, follow me on Twitter!
by Jamin Smith on 4th Dec 2009
Being the absurdly busy fellow that I am, I just don't have the time to review each and every iPhone game that I get sent. This sadly means that many of my fantastic opinions on the latest games go un-voiced, doomed to float around the expansive chasm of my mind for all eternity.
Here then, is the first of a weekly blog that attempts to solve this problem. A simple run-down of what I've been playing during the week; an offering of bite-sized opinions on the the smaller, lesser known games that couldn't make the front page of the site due to time restraints. Although I'll try to limit this to just iPhone games, the odd console game or two might find their way onto these pages too. I'll strive to update my blog every Friday with this feature.
Here we go then, this week I've been playing...
Pocketball (Big Bucket Software, $1.99)
Truth be told, I didn't go into Pocketball expecting great things, but the puzzle game designed by Matt Comi has caught me complelet off guard -- I'm hooked. A delightful physics-based puzzler that is addictive from the get-go. Pocketball has already stolen a fair few hours of my life, and I'm happy to give up a fair few more on top of that.
The objective couldn't be simpler. Guide a falling ball into it's correct pocket by drawing a series of ropes between pegs. Sounds simple on paper (and screen), but the difficulty soon ramps up, and you'll find yourself repeating the same level over and over again, adjusting the position of ropes to get the ball where it needs to go. This repetition doesn't get dull however, and is actually the source of the games addictive nature. With new mechanics introduced regularly, the game never gets stale and always remains challenging.
Headspin (Runloop, $0.99)
Runloop's quirky take on a line matching puzzle game turns the mechanic on its head, quite literally. A grid of nine robotic heads need to be adjusted so that all are facing forwards, which I can assure you is easier said than done. Dragging a finger upwards to spin a head will also spin the heads of every other robot in that column, and a sideways spin will rotate all heads in that row horizontally. Thinking in terms of rows and columns as well as in all three of our earthly dimensions is vital for success, and requires a different train of thought to that of similar puzzle games.
With three modes of play and global leaderboards, the game has a reasonable amount on offer, so long as the puzzle mechanic itself can entertain you for long enough. Headspin isn't fantastically innovative and the production values aren't as high as other puzzle games on the App-Store (although I have to admit the scrappy visuals did grown on me after spending a while with the game) but it's certainly worth a look for puzzle fans looking for a refreshing break from the norm.
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2
Yes, the world and his mother are playing this game right now, and I'm no exception. I've yet to dip my toes into the icy waters of online-play, but the campaign mode is holding my attention more than well. As with every other game in the series, I'm playing through on Veteran from the get-go, which saves playing thorugh the campaign twice for extra achievements...
I haven't the time to offer anything more on the game than this, but it's fantastic, and I'm off to play some more right now.
I've also been playing Skater Nation and Oh My Word! 2, but expect more in-depth reviews of these to hit the main site in the next few days.
More next week.
For more up to the date opinions on my game playing shenanigans, follow me on Twitter!
by Jamin Smith on 23rd Nov 2009
The best thing about having a blog is the audience that comes with it. I happen to be somewhat of a game collector and take every opportunity I can to show it off to the world. Granted, it's not a massive collection, but it's slowly getting bigger. A while back I posted some pictures of my collection as it was in the process of moving rooms. As a little follow up to that post, I thought I'd post some updated snaps of the collection in it's new home. The pictures don't show the collection in its entirety, as much of it won't actually fit in the new cabinet, but it gives you the general idea.
by Jamin Smith on 22nd Nov 2009
Kia Ora! Those who peruse the pages of AppGamer.net on a regular basis (and are familiar with our staff and writers) may have noticed that I haven’t posted in some time. The reason for my lack of contribution is due to the fact I was off gallivanting across the globe in search of adventure and excitement. Proof below.
Thankfully, I didn’t lose touch with what was happening in the iWorld completely whilst I was gone. Armed with my trusty iPhone, I was able to catch up on all the latest news whenever I came across a WiFi hotspot. When the never ending coach, train and plane journeys started getting too much, I hit the App Store to stock up on new games to save me from inevitable death by boredom. The excellent geoDefense was the saviour of most of my travelling within Australia (I even managed to bash out a review while I was in Perth), and when Beneath a Steel Sky was released I couldn’t resist splashing out on a copy even though I had a promo code waiting for me in my inbox. I also played a fair bit of Craneballs studios latest title; 33rd Division, which is undeniably the most refined and enjoyable time management game the App Store currently has on offer.
I also need to take this opportunity to apologise to the (literally) hundreds of publishers and developers whose emails have gone un-answered whilst I’ve been gone. I'm back now however, and will endeavour to answer every email I receive hence-forth. So drop me a line!
Admittedly this hasn’t been the most interesting of blog posts, but my fingers have been itching to get back to the keyboard, and this seemed like the perfect opportunity to get back into the swing of things. Must be off now though, I have a mammoth pile of games to catch up on, and they're not going to play themselves.
by Jamin Smith on 6th Jun 2009
After three long and arduous years, my University experience has come to an end. Now I'm living back home again for a while, it was time for a room change, meaning that my game collection had to be moved from one room to another. The pictures below show the state of my old room after my games had been taken out of their housing in preparation for being moved. This isn't even close to my whole collection, a load of Saturn and Megadrive games are currently in boxes in the new room, but I couldn't be bothered to unload 'em just for the photo.
New desk setup
I'm buying some glass cabinets to display the collection in the next week or so, so I'll post pictures of the complete collection and new set-up once the works been finished.
by Jamin Smith on 4th Jun 2009
Earlier in the week I posted a picture of a concept image for the new iPhone. Following on from that, I thought I'd share another image that is currently causing much speculation and discussion in iPhone circles. Again, this is by no means the real deal, and is nothing more than an unconfirmed concept image. I personally prefer the design of this second iPhone, even if I do suspect it's nothing more than a 3D render from a talented iPhone fan.
UPDATE: No sooner than I blog the image is it confirmed as a 'fake'. And when I say fake, I mean a fan mock-up. I did call it though.
Thanks to Razorianfly for the tip off.
by Jamin Smith on 2nd Jun 2009
The image below shows off some concept art for the new iPhone. Note the word 'concept' -- this is not necessarily what the next iPhone will look like, and I'm not even sure if it's legit. Still, interesting enough to have a gander at. Can you see this being the next iteration of the iPhone? Hit the comments section below to have your say.
Image courtesy of Lilrobbo
by Jamin Smith on 30th May 2009
by Jamin Smith on 20th May 2009
Ico and Shadow of the Collosus are right up there with my favourite games of all time, so obviously I'm hugely excited about the third game in the series. Imagine my excitement today then, when I found that a leaked video of that very game had found its way onto the intrwebs. Apparently the footage is a year old, but by all accounts the game looks phenomenal. For those who have yet to see the video, find it embedded below for your viewing pleasure.
If you're not impressed, there's something very wrong with you.
by Jamin Smith on 18th May 2009
The more astute AppGamer reader may have noticed that I've been absent from my journalistic duties the past month or so. I'm nearing the end of a three year course in Computer Game Technology, meaning that life's been somewhat hectic of late (apologies to any emails I haven't replied to!). Today however, saw the completion of my final piece of coursework, meaning that I'll soon be a free man. Bar one presentation and an exam in June, I'm finished, meaning I'm back aboard the good ship AppGamer, ready to explore the uncharted seas of iPhone gaming.
As well as announcing my 'return', I thought I'd take this opportunity to share the fruits of my sleepless labour. The work that I've poured my sweat, blood and tears into, and what will hopefully give me the degree I've been working three years towards. Although I contemplated sharing some excerpts from my dissertation, I figured some snaps of my 3D art would be a tad more interesting...
The pictures below are of a subway level created for an 'imaginary architecture' unit. It's the first 3D environment I've created, but I'm fairly pleased with the end result. For those in the know (or indeed those who care) -- the environment was created in 3D Studio Max.
If you have any thoughts, good or bad, don't hesitate to whack 'em down in the comments section below and let me know. Feedback makes it all worthwhile.
by Jamin Smith on 29th Apr 2009
Every now and again, a video turns up that puts things into perspective. A video that after watching, one cannot help but smile. This is just such a video. A cover of Ben E. King's classic 'Stand By Me'. Watch, smile and remember; life is good.
by Jamin Smith on 14th Apr 2009
I've been a busy bee these last few weeks, a busy bee indeed, and therein lies my excuse for why this first blog post has taken so long to grace the site. By way of an apology, I thought I'd share with you exactly what I've been so busy working on...
Alongside my editorial role for AppGamer, I've also been putting together a dissertation based on emotional attachment in gaming. More specifically, I'm looking at the bonds that players form with NPCs (non playable characters) and examining the techniques that make these characters so successful.
My research involved plastering gaming forums and communities with a question that would lead me to the three most emotionally effective characters. After reading through hundreds of pages of posts, it became apparent that Agro (Shadow of the Colossus,) Yorda (Ico,) and Alyx Vance (Half Life 2) are the most emotionally investable video game characters of all time.
I would imagine that if you are reading this blog, you too are interested in games in one form or another, and so I ask -- do you agree with these results? If I had asked you what video game character you formed the strongest bond with, what would your answer be? My dissertation is still far from finished, so hit the comments below to have your input.