Mucho Taco is a bad idle game on iOS that first might have been a cool cookie-clicker rip-off but instead does nothing new or interesting with the genre and eschews some of the things that I would expect in an idle game. With bad core controls, slow progression and random consumable items, it's not a game I'd recommend to anyone.
Angry Birds 2 follows the pattern of many sequels to popular games by once well-meaning studios; Plants versus Zombies 2, the more recent Peggle games and all these iOS sequels of non-mobile games. It takes a cool core idea, adds free to play mechanics and other useless busywork and hopes to bank on some nostalgia here and there. There's also something a bit silly in calling a game "2" when you have made about 30 of them, but that's another story entirely. Angry Birds 2 gets a 2/5, because it's pretty bad.
Space Galaga International Edition is bogged down by weird controls and superfluous mechanics that overall just burden it with useless padding. The core game could be interesting - a galaga-like arcade shooter where you acquire new gear and upgrade it, with stats and pilots and a progression, but instead making you collect currency to buy and fuse stuff while you spend more time opening space chests and messing around menus trying to figure out what's useful and what's not. I thought I might have an okay time with this game, but in the end, I didn't.
Production values won't save your flawed product; That's the lesson Fallout Shelter keeps on teaching us. Okay, it might be making tons of money - the fallout name and setting will bring users in, for sure, even if they had never played one of these free to play timesink money grabbing schemes yet - and it might look and feel better than most of these shameless Skinner boxes, but I'll have nothing to do with it. This is farmville in a post-apocalyptic setting.
I vaguely remember playing Doodle God a while back; you would mix elements like earth and fire to create more and more elements. The concept worked because there is plenty you can make using your imagination and a few basic items and the 'goal' of the game to finding all possible combinations felt okay. Now with Doodle Tanks, you have to fumble around aimlessly with tank parts, engineers and other doodads, making matches that don't make sense, basically trial-and-error-ing the whole thing.
SkyForge did not grab my attention at all. It might have been a neat free MMO, but I really don't enjoy the combat system - and what else is there, really? You might be able to change jobs at-will and some of the systems might be neat but if I don't enjoy killing things, there is not much left for me to do.
Masters of the Masks is a confusing and convoluted free to play turn-based RPG where you spend stamina in order to fight guys, only to die on the fourth level because the balance is out of wack. To do so, you find materials to create masks and gear and you spin wheels and wait for a few minutes in order for crafting to complete - or you can always pay to make it faster. I didn't have much fun with it.
This is a bad game. If you ignore the core, the mechanics around it are encrusted with layers upon layers of systems, resources, microtransactions and other purchases, unlockable content and levels, things that need to be added carefully to not spoil the broth. But then, if you look at the main game, this just adds insult to injury, as the core gameplay is clunky, unbalanced and not fun.
Disregarding the risk to repeat the beginning of my TIAVH2 review, let me state that the first Van Helsing game was a pleasant surprise that came out of nowhere, a different Action RPG that had a few cool systems and all-around solid gameplay in general. Let me also state that the second game wasn't as good, bogged down with weird ideas - separate classes, almost identical systems, a dumb cliffhanger, but that I still enjoyed it when it almost came out of nowhere. I had forgotten that there would be a third one, and I wish they hadn't made it - at least, not like that. It's bad, really bad.
When I was in high school, Ragnarok Online was one of the games I almost played religiously. All MMOs of that time were typically weird, in the pre-world of warcraft days, mostly coming from non-english speaking countries and featuring endless grinds, obtuse mechanics, sometimes harsh death penalties, a low potential for custom characters and the level of interaction you needed to have with other players was more or less random depending on the game. RO was fine for it's time, since I didn't know anything better. Seeing as it was on Steam, I decided to give it another shot. This is a situation where I grew up and the game didn't.
When I think of 'mining' games, much like the Motherload of old, I think about digging down to find valuables that you sell for various upgrades in order to be able to dig deeper for more valuables that can be sold for more upgrades, ad infinitum. If you're telling me that your game is a 'mining' game but with multiple levels and you need to get to the bottom of each mines in order to continue, I might find that a bit weird, but the potential is still there for a fun game. Obviously, the more you'd progress, the tougher the levels would be, so you would need upgrades. Pocket Mine 2 takes a tiny sliver of that idea and fills the rest with nonsense.
Switch&Drop starts by asking you to agree to a EULA, this is always a good sign. Otherwise you just can't play the game. S&D is a game where you drop blocks by sliding lines of colored puzzle pieces and the goal is to match three or more to break them and activate special bonuses. It would probably be fine if it didn't have in-app purchases, energy timers and best values. This might sound a bit reductionist - I'll admit I haven't played that game for very long - but putting your worst foot forward isn't a way to make me care.
Although for me, gameplay is king and systems will trump over the story and graphics of a game, LISA is a case that reminds me how I play games to escape reality and its brutal problems. I'm not a big fan of games that relate the sorrows and tribulations of people in our modern society - or in a realistic past. Games that deal with heavier subjects are things that I don't tend to consume, no matter what genre they belong in. LISA was no exception, presented as an earthbound-inspired RPG with a ton of party members and systems like using russian roulette to power-up your character, I didn't get very far in it and didn't enjoy my time with the game overall.
Combo Quest is the first paragraph in a design document for another game; CQ is the core mechanic that should be embedded into something much bigger than it is, while actually being all there is. CQ could have been a pretty neat RPG for touch devices, but it's barely a tech demo with some inappropriate in-app purchases. I didn't enjoy my time with Combo Quest for various reasons.
Click Titans is almost a direct clone of Clicker Heroes, a web game where you buy heroes to kill enemies to make money to buy more heroes to kill more enemies to reset your game with more money in the next one (in order to kill more enemies). I like Clicker Heroes, but CT is just a way worse version. Mired with pop-ups for ads and opportunities to watch videos or pay in exchange for quicker game progression. Since the only point of "idle" game is the progression, it's a bit silly to expect people to pay for it.
It's a wipe! is a really bad game based on a cool concept - being a guild leader and running 'raids' against huge enemies with a bunch of people at your disposal. The interface is clunky and broken in spots, the battles take forever even if nothing is happening, you have close to no control over your characters and it's quite difficult to plan strategies properly so the end result is a depressing little RPG.
I like Peggle, it's a fun little franchise where you shoot balls on pegs to clear levels. You get power-ups to help you beat the levels and the characters are quite funny (I'm looking at you, Pharaoh Cat). Take everything good with Peggle, replace it with terrible odds skewed in favor of the game, add micro-transactions to every single thing you could, slap an energy system on it and give it for "free" on the app store, you got Peggle Blast.
Lost Viking is way too hard. It's a "puzzle" rpg where you slide tiles around to attack enemies, collect gold, unlock chests and do other things. It's way too hard and it's barely a puzzle. The core mechanic is that tiles appear and you slide the whole board - a bit like Threes - but with the tiles being pseudo-random and there being about six type of tiles, sometimes you just can't do anything. The game is also plagued with a bunch of progression-related issues and a few weird technical glitches here and there. But hey, at least there are no microtransactions.
This is a match-three game where you have to spend money in order to get anywhere. A few good ideas here and there, but I grow bored of these things. It's also very frustrating in the maps where you can't do anything and the only way to save yourself is to spend some money on items to break tiles or resurrect your troops.
Puzzle Bandits, simply put, is a Puzzle&Dragons clone. You match things to make combos and then you attack your enemies or heal and after a fixed number of turns, your enemies attack you. You can fuse heroes together to raise their levels, you can buy random heroes for real money and they are really strong. While P&D had me going for at least an hour before I stopped, PB didnt last more than ten minutes because of some extreme difficulty