Over the holiday season I picked myself up and iPad Mini (with retina display), so when the opportunity came up to review Gearbox Software’s Brothers in Arms 3: Sons of War (iTunes or Android), I put up my hand. As a lover of first-person shooters, I was curious to see how this genre made the jump from the console systems and PC to the hand-held device. I must say that I was impressed with the game-play and that I have continued to play the game after the completion of my review. However, as fun and entertaining as this title is, the game-play is detracted from – but not for the reason that you may think.
When I was younger, I used to burn a lot of time playing Arkanoid: Revenge of Doh II (aka Arkanoid 2) on my Commodore 128. I had played breakout games before that, of course, but there was something magical about Arkanoid 2 that hooked me right away. There have been many Breakout clones since then, on many different platforms – with some being more entertaining than others. Isotope 244 recently released their own entry in to the breakout genre with Acky’s Breakout Reloaded – Brick Breaker for iOS and Android devices. While not the most modern-looking game, Acky’s Breakout Reloaded is definitely a fun game with an 80’s arcade feel that won’t break the bank.
So, The Book of Life is out on Digital HD and Fox wants to have a little bit of fun with folks that have purchased it. Later today (January 9) at 20:00 ET/17:00 PT, there will be a Twitter viewing party hosted by the film’s director, Jorge Gutierrez. Folks that want to tune in can join @BookofLifeMovie and join a real-time conversation during the viewing with tons of fans and journalists! If you are participating, be sure to use the hastag (#BookofLifeFiesta) so you can make yourself heard and have fun!
Back at the end of 2013, I reviewed a set of Parrot Zik headphones and was duly blown away by their audio awesomeness. Since then, more than a few different listening devices (both wired and wireless) have come through our doors, with very few being able to top the Ziks in terms of audio quality and functionality. So how much better is the Zik 2.0? What does it bring to the table? Well, Parrot sent us a set to try out so we could answer those questions. In short, I found them to be amazing – most likely better than Parrot’s previous outing into this space. However, there are some caveats that need to be mentioned…
When a game can combine fun and education, it’s a sure bet that I’ll like it – for a number of reasons. First of all, as a parent, I love to have games on hand that I can feed to my kiddo when she’s in the mood to game – so that she’s not necessarily playing addictive garbage without any redeeming benefits. Secondly, I love games that force me to think – nothing like giving the ol’ noggin a workout to keep the mind fresh. The challenge to developers is that it is a tough tightrope to walk: too much on the educational side, and the game ceases to be as fun; conversely, focusing too much on the fun removes any educational benefit. The Counting Kingdom, developed by Little Worlds Interactive, is one of those games that strikes the perfect balance between the two – simple, fun, and educational, this is a PC game (also available on iTunes) that I would recommend to anyone from 6 to infinity.
I have to hand it to Ironhide Studio; not many developers are as adept at publishing several titles in the genre of tower defense without things getting stale – but they have done so again with Kingdom Rush: Origins. Released last month for iOS and Android, Kingdom Rush: Origins is the prequel to the original Kingdom Rush. Ironhide has brought back their signature sense of style, great game-play, and role-playing game sensibility to the title, once again treating players to a very fun and addictive experience.
Earlier this year, Smallest Thumbs and I went to the movie theater and saw How to Train Your Dragon 2. It was one of those movies that one would fully expect to be just “okay” (as most sequels tend to be), but it was far better than we expected – and we enjoyed it immensely. Recently, at the Canadian Videogame Awards, I noticed that Ludia, a Canadian developer from Montreal, released a free-to-play game called Dragons: Rise of Berk for Android, iOS and Facebook. This hand-held title is based on Dreamworks’ high-flying sequel, and it won the 2014 Fans’ Choice Award. After I congratulated them for their victory, they encouraged me to give their title a try; and after spending some time with it, it is not difficult to see why Ludia took home the prize.