Android

Alto's Odyssey

First Impressions: Very simple mechanics to this game, just tap the screen, or tap and hold to continue to rotate your character mid-air. Once again, like my review for Monument Valley, this is a great example of simple done well. Hitting combos and earning points to purchase upgrades in the store feels like you are doing more than timing jumps. 

This is a very good game for anyone looking to pass the time and zone out for a bit. It even has a “zen mode” where there is no score, or deaths, just endless mode for fun.


Going Further:

Monument Valley

First Impressions: This is a mobile game that I would put in the puzzle/platformer genre. It cleverly uses perspective to create the puzzles. You only need to tap the screen where you want to move, and tap and drag to manipulate the world. Think of a more aesthetically pleasing Fez combined with a Penrose stairs Escher painting. The combination of interactive sound fx and peaceful ambiance is very soothing. For backstory, all that you know in the beginning is that you are some kind of princess. Every beginning level does a great job of introducing mechanics.

Her Story

First Impressions: When I started this game, I was playing as a detective solving a homicide case. I was controlling a police department computer looking at video interrogation footage. The art design wasn’t fancy but the acting in the video was very convincing and this is what kept me continue playing. There were ambient light bulb sounds which gave a glow to the computer screen in the game. This reflected a game image of myself which was creepy but also brought up my curiosity.

Wheels of Aurelia 1978

First Impressions: When I first saw the trailer for this game in class, I was interested, even if it was mainly to listen to the Italian soundtrack. Even though the trailer was enough to pique my interest, it didn't do enough to explain the depth of the game.

Alto's Odyssey

First Impressions: At first glance, this was just a typical casual game. The reason I chose to play it was that I seldom play video games (except for this class) but when I do, they’re always casual games. I’d seen trailers for Alto in the past and the graphics really appealed to me. The tutorial level was very informative and helped prepare me for the game. The game is centered around a snowboarder who rides down snowy peaks and sandy hills. The gameplay is really simple: tap to jump, hold to do a backflip.

Monument Valley

First Impressions: This indie game can best be described as a physics-based puzzle solving game with incredibly visually pleasing art. You are tasked with moving Princess Ida along three-dimensional platforms to reach the end of each level. In order to make it through most of the scenes, you rotate, pan, and slide the platforms and various other structures so that the princess can travel across seemingly impassable obstacles. The backstory is slowly introduced as Ida finishes a series of levels and communicates with a ghost.

Alto's Odyssey

First impression: Alto’s Odyssey is a game where you control a character that is sand surfing across many different sandy hills. The beginning of the game revolves around the tutorial where you are taught the basic control scheme of the game. The controls are simple, you just have to tap the screen to jump and hold your finger down to rotate counter-clockwise in the air. There are several things in the world you’ll have to watch out for. These include: rocks, jars, balloons, coins, powerups, and the rope strung between hot air balloons.

Monument Valley

First Impressions: Monument Valley is about a princess Ida who is on a mission exploring various monuments. Each monument is a puzzle maze where you as the player must move pieces to get Ida through each level. The game mechanics are very simple -- rotating, sliding, clicking -- and done very well, while the puzzles are still challenging and thought-provoking. Similarly, the artwork is also simple but captivating. The colors are bright, the monuments are all geometric and 3D-like, but the animations give life and movement to the geometry.

Mortal Kombat X Mobile

Since its release in April 2015, I played Mortal Kombat X on my iPad 4, which is the mobile version of the fighting game on PlayStation, XBOX, and PC. With the help of Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment, NetherRealm Studios, the direct successor to Midway Games, designed the tenth main installment of the renowned Mortal Kombat series. I personally played Mortal Kombat, Mortal Kombat II, and Mortal Kombat Deception on the original XBOX. I have been a fan of Mortal Kombat since 2011 when I played the 2004 Mortal Kombat Deception.

Shadowverse

Shadowverse

Introduction

Much of the PC gaming scene is made up of games made by American companies. Blizzard Entertainment, Riot Games, and Bethesda to name a few popular companies are all based in America. With games like League of Legends, Hearthstone, and Counter-strike dominating the live-streaming spotlight, it is a pleasure to discover hidden gems developed by companies overseas.