Category Archives: Mobile

Inversus

Some of our favorite memories of youth were sitting down around an arcade-style game with Krispy, whether it was a driver like Crazy Taxi or a vertical scrolling shmup such as the “1942” that used to be in our local A&W. Whatever it was, those short bursts of competitive and co-op gameplay were a drug that kept us coming back for more.

Inversus has tapped into that pure, endorphin-inducing goodness.

While playtesting, Krispy described it best when he said “It’s a twin stick shooter, without being a twin stick shooter.” This works great on the Switch because it means two players can double team a level, each wielding a single Joy Con. The player moves around with the thumb stick and shoots in one of the cardinal directions with the buttons on the right.

A typical level consists of you (and hopefully a friend) controlling a black square, emblazoned with up to 5 dots on the back, representing your ammo.

You start out in a small patch of white territory – which are the only ground you can roll across, but every shot of your cannon, that isn’t body blocked by an enemy square, continues across the arena clearing a path for you to travel. It never stays that way! A never-ending wave of baddies is sent in your general direction, some fast, some slow… some directly towards you, and others meandering around you. Initially, you’re assaulted by mindless red squares, each of these will cover up your white floor with darkness, but after a few waves of slaughtering these explosive little guys (they blow up and take out their compatriots, which can cause some impressive chain reactions) the upgraded enemies spawn into battle – a square that looks like you, but with the colors inverted, and which shoot back.

No one enemy is ever that difficult, though eventually they’ll take multiple shots, but the frantic gameplay comes from the overwhelming waves of cubes coming at you. It’s an overall concept that simple to learn and a bear to master.

The title flourishes in it’s simplicity, with basic controls, furiously fast gameplay, and an addictive quality that will make you say “One more try…” through gritted teeth.

On the other hand, it’s not for everyone… it’s a very simple title, so don’t expect to upgrade your ship. Which brings up another point, I wish there was some sort of story – am I commander of a lone space fighter defending against aggressive enemy aliens? Are you and a friend living in a post-apocalyptic wasteland, conserving bullets as you try to protect yourself from a horde of the undead? (the latter is what I usually imagine) I guess it’s all up to your imagination.

Overall, it’s a minimalistic, retro feeling “twin stick” shooter that’ll give you reward you with some fun gaming with your bro.

The Good:

  • Fast, addictive gameplay means you can fit in a couple rounds anytime.
  • Controls work flawlessly
  • Customizable color palette works for anyone’s vision.
  • Can play co-op with a single set of Joy Cons
  • Plenty of levels
  • It’s co-op!

The Not So Good:

  • Lack of depth, I’m missing upgrades.
  • Score wall to unlock new levels is very high.
  • Not a lot of diversity in enemies.

A Major Minecraft Update Is Being Crafted

You have to love being able to load up Minecraft on your Xbox (PS4, PC, iPhone…) toss your friend a controller and work together with your buddy to survive those seven minutes of night time / build a neighborhood / castle / dig a hole. But what about when your other friend texts…

You’re about to invite him into your virtual world and set him to work, when you remember he’s a Nintendo Switch Fanboy! Different console versions of Minecraft will never play together, why that’s a disgusting level of cross play that just can’t be allowed. It’s unheard of! Without precedent!

That is, it was, until 2017.

The “Better Together” Update is in the works! Soon they’ll do away with most of the separate versions and unify Minecraft console, mobile, and Windows 10 versions into one shiny, yet blocky and pixelated, version: Bedrock Engine. Soon you’ll be able to create, mine, dig, build and discover on massive servers with your friends no matter what platform they’re using… almost!

The developers of Minecraft are still trying to convince Sony to jump on board, and start building in the shared biome, but as of yet there is no confirmation.

Look for it Autumn 2017!

Update: The Beta is available for Xbox

Links:

Minecraft: Bedrock FAQ

Galaxy of Heroes (Mobile)

Galaxy Of Heroes cover

A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away…

Remember that one scene in Star Wars where Boba Fett led a rag tag team made up of Chewbacca, Anakin Skywalker, Qui Gon Jinn and Luminara? They were an impressive force to deal with… such a great movie. No? That never happened? Well it should’ve, and that’s one of the fun things about Galaxy of Heroes. 

In GOH you unlock and upgrade characters via shards, which are collecting by fighting battles or by purchasing them. Each character has a rating between 1 and 7 stars, which can be upgraded by collecting more shards. 


In addition to rarity level (the stars), each character can reach a maximum level of 85 (until they increase the level cap), and you can “build” better gear for your characters through collecting hardware pieces. Each of these pieces contribute to making your character stronger. In a semi-recent update “mods” were introduced. 


Mods were an interesting addition because, while everyone who has a certain character starts at predefined baseline stats, you could now increase the stats of a weak skill, or strengthen an already powerful skill, it’s really up to you. It allows for a whole new level of customization.  

The game is not a boring, one-dimensional fighter. It takes a great deal of strategy to put together characters who have synergies and feed off each other. One character may have a strong ability to stun, but be slower than a 56k modem – but then you assign a different character with a leader skill that raises everyone’s speed. You might take a character who seems useless, but combined with the right group could be a part of an unstoppable force. 


The last large update brought ship battles, which means you need to spend some of your energy to unlock ship blueprints, which can also be increased to 7 stars, and a level of 85. In addition, the star level, character level, gear level and mods of the pilot increase the power of the ship. Each fighter can only be flown by a preassigned pilot. Only Poe Dameron can pilot Poe’s X-Wing, for example. 


Overall I’d say it’s one of my favorite Star Wars mobile games, and definitely one that I’ve spent the most time on. I think you’ll enjoy it too! If you’re already a player, make sure you shoot us a message in the comments so that we can exchange ally requests!

Cell Phone Games: The Games I Hate to Love

For years I was a hater of all mobile gaming. When Angry Birds rose in popularity (The original + spin-offs held 1st place in the app store over 500 times!) I felt that it was a disgrace to gaming. People who didn’t love or appreciate video games all of a sudden were playing this game with what seemed to be very little depth or soul. But it became a cultural phenomenon and took what was a very small gaming platform and made it a huge one.

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These days almost everyone has a smart phone or a tablet, and you would be hard pressed to find someone with one who doesn’t have some kind of game on it. Maybe it’s solitaire, maybe Clash of Clans, heck, maybe it’s still Angry Birds. But I’d assume 98% have SOME game on there, whatever it may be. For years I avoided this platform of gaming like the plague, not wanting to steal away time from my beloved handheld and console gaming. But then something happened.
One day I had a friend who introduced me to a Star Wars game on my phone. I love Star Wars, I love collecting cards and I love team based gaming, and so Star Wars Force collection became an instant addiction. All of a sudden I had become one with what I had hated not long before. The ease of pick up and play lured me in, the events that had me carefully rationing away energy over time in order to play again in an effort to get the best cards kept me enthralled. Not to mention forming a legion of both friends and strangers which gripped my hand, pulled me in and kept me coming back for more. It’s not the most popular game on mobile platforms but I still love it and will probably play it until the day they woefully shut it down.
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The point is that game started a spiral of me playing different free to play games, some that have stuck (Star wars Galaxy of Heroes) some that haven’t (Clash Royale), but I look forward to playing now and these often get more play then my other, still more preferred, gaming platforms due to their ease of access. At the end of the day I can’t say I couldn’t live without mobile gaming… But it is a platform that i hate that I love so much.