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Myscreen blog

  • Banny Sammy Android Review

    Gravity is pretty important from what I hear. Or at least I’m pretty sure they said that in science class. It keeps everything in place, making sure our things don’t just start floating away. At least, that’s what I understand from all the space movies I see. So why not make a game based on gravity and physics? Oh, it’s been done already? Well, whatever. I’m reviewing Banny Sammy for Android devices anyways.

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    The Basics

    I’m not going to lie, I’m not exactly sure who or what “Banny Sammy” is even after playing the game. Is Banny Sammy the monkey? Or the panda? Or is one named Banny and the other Sammy? Banny & Sammy? Like some kind of cop show from the 80’s? I’m not sure. And I suppose it doesn’t really matter. So perhaps I’ve just wasted both of our time. Oh well. That’s just more time I would have been playing Banny Sammy I suppose.

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    The Gameplay

    Banny Sammy is one of those puzzle game/physics game/make things move game hybrids like Cut The Rope. Or, at least, what I understand Cut The Rope is. (I think it’s about cutting ropes.) Your entire objective is to destroy blocks of wood and logs in order to roll the monkey character to fruits such as bananas and pears and the panda to...honey and fish? Do pandas even eat those things? I thought they ate bamboo. Not that I’m some kind of amateur zoologist. But still.

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    Is It Fun?

    I haven’t had too much experience with physics puzzle games in the past, but I must say I enjoyed Banny Sammy. While most of the puzzles were pretty simple, there was definitely just enough challenge to keep me interested. Especially considering I’m not exactly sure how physics work. Or gravity. However, I got the hang of it and had a very good time.

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    The Bottom Line

    Banny Sammy may not be the most original game in the world, but that doesn’t hinder the experience at all. Because of its simple premise, you need to only focus on figuring out the puzzle and feeding your animals. Even if the food choices aren’t exactly….accurate. However, I’d recommend this game as an entry point into the whole genre of “move this thing to make the other thing go to the other thing and complete the level” games. Or physics puzzle games. Whatever you prefer to call them.

  • Ninjump iOS Review

    It must be difficult to be a ninja. You have to be in great shape, be specially trained, and always ready for battle. However, you do get those awesome outfits. And ninja stars. Tough choice. Anyways, let’s talk about ninjas. Ninjas are in this game. This game for iOS devices. It’s called Ninjump. That is all. The intro is over.

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    The Basics

    Now, Ninjump as a title pretty much tells you what it is. You’re a ninja and you jump. Just thought I’d get that out of the way for you. So instead of the usual over-analysis of the game’s title let’s talk about graphics. Ninjump has nice, cartoony graphics that fit a game like this perfectly. However, nothing really stands out visually in the game. Everything looks very generically “ninja”, right down to the main character. Whose name is….Ninja...Boy? See, I don’t even remember his name. Let’s just call him Dave.

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    The Gameplay

    While you’d expect a game like Ninjump to be similar to Doodle Jump, that’s not exactly the case. You travel upwards and you jump, but it’s not from platform to platform. Instead, you’re constantly running upward, jumping from one side of the screen to the other. Along the way you avoid enemies and attack bluebirds in order to gain their powers and fly upwards. Which seems a bit mean, as the birds really don’t look all that threatening.

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    Is It Fun?

    I can honestly say I had a good time my first few playthroughs of Ninjump. However, as I kept playing, I noticed there was a bit of a lack of variety. I would constantly break my high score just to see the same enemies and obstacles as I got higher up. Maybe throwing in a few more obstacles or enemies or a rival runner who you have to battle only to defeat him, remove his mask and reveal that he’s your long lost brother. How dramatic!

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    The Bottom Line

    Ninjump has a pretty good concept. I can honestly say I haven’t seen an endless runner attempt what Ninjump is going for. However, there’s a few things that could make it more memorable. Putting some more effort into designing the characters and backgrounds would make the game much more memorable. And throwing in some more variety to the gameplay would keep the experience from being monotonous. It’s so close to being complete, just like this conclus-

  • Neko Atsume iOS Review

    For weeks now I’ve heard my sister rave about Neko Atsume. At the time I didn’t care too much, as I didn’t really know how to even spell the game. Then I realized I could review the game for the entertainment of my many fans. I know you’re out there somewhere, fans. For the uninitiated, Neko Atsume is a game where you lure cats into your yard and care for them. Shouldn’t this game just be called Crazy Cat Lady? (P.S. Crazy Cat Lady is apparently a game on the iOS. I’m totally reviewing that next.)

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    The Gameplay

    You start out by placing some food and a red rubber ball to lure cats into your backyard. Either there’s no pet stores in this game’s universe or I’m supposed to be incredibly lazy. Which I am. The game then urges you to wait a bit until some cats show up. In other words, the game urges you to stop playing at that point. Bold move, Neko Atsume.

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    My first day of playing I had gotten all my toys to lure the cats, refilled the bowls, and was ready to start collecting cats. I waited, on the edge of my seat for cats to start collecting in my tiny virtual backyard. But, after countless minutes of waiting, I came to the dark realization that I was doing something wrong. My backyard remained catless. What was I doing wrong? I shouted from the rooftops. I asked a council of sages what I was doing wrong. But then I asked my sister and it turns out my backyard was catless because I cheaped out on toys. Oops.

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    How Charming Is This Game?

    Very. Very. Very. Let me get something straight: I’m a dog person through and through. But I can see why people dig cats after a few minutes of playing this. It even says “Meow Loading” instead of “Now Loading”. What more do you want?

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    Bottom Line

    Neko Atsume is a cute, entertaining little game. It’s the type of game where you don’t exactly spend a lot of time “hands on”. In other words, it isn’t exactly action packed. But I think that works for a relaxing little experience like this. It’s best if you have the opportunity to check in on your backyard every once in awhile to see how many cats you’ve attracted. And don’t be stingy with your in-game coins like I was. Your backyard will be sad and catless.

  • My Piano Phone Windows Review

    Musical mobile apps are a very fun thing to use. Well, they’re especially fun if you actually know how to play an instrument. However, they’re still pretty enjoyable to mess around with if you’re not a musical prodigy. Plus, didn’t that guy from the Gorillaz record an album totally on his phone using one of those musical apps? Maybe that was just a dream I had. Anyways, today let’s look at My Piano Phone, a Windows app for jamming on the go. Do the kids still say jamming these days?

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    The Basics

    As you could probably figure out (I hope), My Piano Phone is an app for using your phone as a portable piano. The app has quite a few features, such as moving around different parts of the keyboard and switching around instruments. Additionally, there is a full drum kit to play around with. Which, as somebody that doesn’t know piano, I enjoyed greatly. Because drums are much easier than piano. And drum solos are much more fun than piano solos.

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    Is It Worth Downloading?

    Despite my lack of piano prowess, I really had a good time playing around with My Piano Phone. There’s an interesting assortment of sounds available, a full drum kit, and they can even teach you a few different songs. Well, not me. This dog is too old to learn new tricks.

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    The Bottom Line

    My Piano Phone brings to the table exactly what you’d expect and more. My only real issue was with the size of the digital piano keys. I felt like they were a bit too small, as I had to focus very hard on hitting the right notes. Maybe if there was a setting to increase the size of the keys themselves I’d enjoy it a bit more. Or if we, as humans, began to develop smaller fingers over the next few centuries for using these types of apps. Either way.

  • Marvel Comics iOS Review

    Have you heard of Marvel Comics? OK, of course you’ve heard of Marvel Comics. Every other movie that comes out these days seems to be related to Marvel in one way or another. I swear I even heard they were trying to make a movie about the origins of Spider-Man’s aunt. I don’t have proof, but just trust me. But we know them nowadays for the movies. Movies based on comics. But don’t you wish there was an easy way to read the comics these movies are based on? Sure you do. Let’s take a look at the Marvel Comics app for iOS devices.

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    What Is The Marvel Comics App?

    This app is meant for one thing and one thing only: reading comics. The app automatically syncs to your iCloud account to merge any comics you’ve purchased in the past (but probably not your Batman or Garfield comics. Only Marvel.) There are tons of comics available, from modern to classic. They even have the one where Spider Man had that awesome black outfit. Why’d he get rid of that? Maybe I should read it and find out.

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    Is It Any Good?

    I must say, I was very impressed with the Marvel Comics app. The sheer amount of content available at your fingertip is astounding. However, there is one small thing that you’re probably wondering about - money. You see, you will have to open up your wallet if you want to start up your digital comic collection. Nothing’s free in this world. Well, except for the comics the app offers for free.

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    The Bottom Line

    If you’ve just seen Captain America 3 and want to read up on the origins of the characters, the Marvel Comics app is a great place to start. Sure, you’ll have to shell out some of your hard earned cash. But you’ll get to see The Hulk destroy a lot of things. And you can’t put a price tag on that. Well, you can. But whatever.

  • Dragon Land Android Review

    Ready for me to make comparisons to games I played as a kid? Of course you are! Well, let me take you to a journey back to the mid-to-late 1990’s. We thought we had reached as far as we could with the world of video games. Years earlier, Super Mario World let us ride a dinosaur around. How could you beat that? Well, as soon as my brother got an N64 with Super Mario 64, we knew things would never be the same. No longer were games confined to the second dimensions. Mario could run forward, diagonally, side to side. It was bliss. Will kids these days feel that same rush when they fire up Dragon Land for Android devices? Wow, I felt really old saying that.

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    The Basics

    Dragon Land is about dragons. Now that that surprise is out of the way, let’s get a bit deeper into it. You play as a dragon named Blaze and must save your world from….something. I think? I’m actually not entirely sure if this game has a story. Let’s just say that Blaze has to collect as many coins as possible to improve the local economy and help Dragon Land expand its resources. Yeah, that sounds pretty good.

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    The Gameplay

    While I opened up talking about Super Mario 64, this game bares more resemblance to Spyro The Dragon. (For the record, both are 3d platforming games. Please don’t be mad.) Similar to Spyro, you glide around, breath fire, and battle a few enemies along the way. In fact, Blaze looks particularly similar to Spyro… I’d go deeper into that, but I’m just too tired.

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    Is It Good?

    Dragon Land suprised me with its gameplay quite a bit. First off, the controls are very easy to use. After I got the hang of it, I was gliding, fire breathing, and getting to the final coin with ease. Additionally, there was a good amount of work put into his game. Sometimes it will switch around between 2D and 3D to break things up a little bit. My only real issue was how generic everything looked. Nothing seemed to have much personality to it. I say make Blaze more edgy! Give him a backwards hat, sunglasses and, I dunno, parachute pants.

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    The Bottom Line

    Dragon Land is a great reminder of what makes a 3D platformer great. There’s a decent amount of challenge while remaining fun the entire time. If they’d only work a bit harder towards originality, I could see this becoming a better known mobile game series.

  • Doodle Planes Android Review

    It must be difficult to create your own iconic appearance for a game. I mean, I’m no game designer, and I never will be. But I am a reviewer, meaning I can make any bold statement I want with little to no repercussion. Therefore, I believe I can honestly say that I haven’t seen too many games where the appearance stuck with me. Many of them go for the 8 bit look, while others go for the blocky Minecraft appearance. While this may sound like a negative, it makes it so that when a game has an appearance that is new and different, it sticks with you. Much like Doodle Planes for Android devices. How’s that for a segway?

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    The Basics

    The title Doodle Planes explains what the game is pretty well. After all, there are planes. And everything is drawn in doodle form. So it’s pretty honest. Most of the games I’ve played with aircraft in the past have been on-rails shooting games where you battle other ships. Doodle Planes? An on-rails shooting game where you battle other ships. Well, kind of. You see, there’s not as much of the whole shooting part. Allow me to explain in the Handy Dandy Gameplay Section, brought to you by me.

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    The Handy Dandy Gameplay Section

    Like I said, Doodle Planes is all about battling other ships. Well, you only really battle enemy ships towards the end of certain levels. All the other ships and obstacles you simply need to avoid while collecting stars. The only real battling you do is during boss battles where, depending on your ship type, you’ll attack with a variety of weapons.

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    Is It Fun?

    Doodle Planes is a fun little flight game with a few minor problems. As I said, the game focuses heavily on avoiding other obstacles, only letting you use your weapons every once in awhile. Various times during the game I was ready to shoot at obstacles only to remember that you can’t shoot whenever you want and run directly into them. Does that mean I’d like the game to be more violent? Yes. Yes, that’s exactly what I’m saying.

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    The Bottom Line

    While it could use more action, Doodle Planes is a pretty good experience. The paper and pen graphics make it very memorable, and the controls are pretty tight for the most part. Just a few more opportunities to explode the things in front of you is all that I ask.

  • Doodle Jump Android Review

    I still remember the very early days of smartphone gaming. (Wow, as if I needed to sound any older in these reviews.) While not nearly as diverse as now, some of the bigger names of mobile games were just developing. Sure, you had today’s juggernauts such as Angry Birds and Candy Crush, but there was one hidden gem people seem to forget about these days. A little game by the name of Doodle Jump. I have very fond memories of playing this game on friend’s smartphones until they made me give it back and told me to get my own. Does it still hold up today? Let’s take a look.

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    The Basics

    Doodle Jump is a game where you jump. And you’re a...doodle? It was the first “endless jumping” game, where you move vertically instead of horizontally. Much like Temple Run for endless runners, Doodle Jump spawned many wannabes. However, it will always be the best. Why? It’s one of the most charming, addictive, and dare I say adorable experiences I ever had with a mobile game.

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    The Gameplay

    So instead of running forward like Temple Run, you’re jumping and jumping and jumping. Which sounds much more tiring. Along the way are things to help you out like trampolines and jetpacks (and one of those goofy propellor hats that launches you up in the air.) You’ll also avoid enemies such as multicolored monsters, holes you need to avoid, and even mutant penguins. Which, in my book, gives this game an automatic 100%.

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    Is It Fun?

    Doodle Jump has held up very well. When I first played it, I was but a wide-eyed youth, not ready for the many trials of the world. But now, as a hardened adult, I understand why Doodle Jump has remained such a great game. Not only does its gameplay make it perfectly addictive, Doodle Jump is endlessly charming. Everything is meant to look like doodles on graph paper, and it really offers a loveable appearance.

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    The Bottom Line

    When I first played Doodle Jump almost seven years ago, I never rode the bus without it. When I played Doodle Jump again seven minutes ago, well I’m still playing it. The game has held up very well, offering a perfect mix of addictive gameplay and charming art. And, while endless jumpers may not have gotten the respect of endless runners, I still believe Doodle Jump deserves your respect.

  • Babbel Android Review

    Knowing many languages can be a very valuable tool. By knocking down those speech borders, you can interact with others from across the world. However there is just one issue: learning languages is super hard. Despite taking language classes in high school I can barely speak anything but English. And even my English is pretty questionable. So, maybe it’s time to change my ways and learn a new language. Let’s take a look at Babbel for Android devices.

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    What Is Babbel?

    Like my opening paragraph kind of alluded to, Babbel is an app that teaches you a variety of languages. Everything from Danish, Dutch, Swedish, and much more were available on the app. After choosing which language you’d like to learn, you are prompted to answer a series of questions about how you discovered the Babbel app. I’m guessing you didn’t really have to know that, I’m just trying to fill out the paragraph.

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    How Does Babbel Teach?

    The app mainly shows you your new language through a series of quizzes and exercises. It begins by seeing if you are a beginner or advanced language studier. From there you are placed right into a number of exercises. I chose beginner (obviously) and started learning the basics of Italian, such as hello, yes and congratulations. So if I were to go to Italy tomorrow I could greet, agree, and congratulate somebody. It’s like I know the entire language already.

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    Does It Work?

    I must say, I did feel like I was starting to get the hang of the very basics of the language. While it began as only basic phrases, we got a little further into more diverse words as well. However, not everything is available. If you’d like to get further into the lessons, you will have to (*gasp*) pay money. There are a number of different subscriptions available, but you can still learn a good amount without registering. All I wanted to learn was how to say curse words in Swedish. If that is one of the lessons available in the future, I’ll subscribe in a heartbeat.

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    The Bottom Line

    From what I saw, Babbel is a great app for learning different languages. While you will have to pay in order to get deeper into it, the free content available is a great start. So if you’re on the fence, just try out the free version. Whether you’re just looking to learn something new or heading to whatever country they speak Danish, Babbel is definitely worth a shot.

  • How Did Angry Birds Get So Big

    I feel like being an adult and seeing the insane amount of Angry Birds merchandise flowing through stores in recent years must be what my parents felt when Power Rangers came out. All of a sudden, there’s an extremely large amount of Angry Birds merchandise spilling out. And, as somebody that had a non-smartphone (dumbphone?) when the phase started, I felt very out of the loop when I saw everyone with Angry Birds shirts, shoes, and umbrellas (probably). So why has the war between birds and pigs gotten so big? Here’s a few reasons why:

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    The Games Are Pretty Good

    Let’s begin where it all started: the games. The concept is pretty simple: birds vs. pigs. You know, just like in real life. You slingshot your bird at the pigs and try to make them explode (wow, I would have loved to have seen that pitch meeting.) It’s all about gravity with a bit of puzzle strategy thrown in there. It’s basic addicting arcade style gaming that’s perfect for a casual audience. In other words, it’s a good time killer. It’s like Pac Man fever, except instead of teens wasting all their allowances in an arcade, anyone can play it anywhere.

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    The Characters Are Marketable

    It all started with Angry Birds. And then we started getting Angry Birds Transformers, Angry Birds Star Wars, and I believe Angry Birds Mr. T is coming out soon. Clearly, the world of Angry Birds is easy to market with colorful characters and a world that can have so many different tie-ins. But it’s also branched out into non-bird-flinging genres. For example, Angry Birds Go! mixes the Angry Birds characters with classic kart racing. Angry Birds Epic acted as an RPG imagining of the birds vs pigs war. But perhaps you don’t want to play Angry Birds, maybe you’d rather watch them. They now have cartoons and even a movie dedicated to the avian slingshots.

    And, be honest, you would totally play Angry Birds Mr. T Edition.

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    It’s All Free

    On Android devices, the core Angry Birds games are absolutely free. This makes it extremely approachable for the general audience. Unlike something like Mario or Halo, any 7-year-old borrowing their mom’s phone can try it out. And when they try it out, they’ll want the other games. And when they play the other games, they’ll want the merchandise. Then the endless cycle begins again. Trust me, I used to collect Yu-Gi-Oh cards.4

     

    As somebody that got caught up in every craze of the 90’s and 2000’s, I can understand why Angry Birds went from time-wasting phone game to a multimedia phenomenon. Need proof? The crates of trading cards and action figures in my parents’ attic will back me up.

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