4 stars — Nano War is a clone of Galcon, which is itself a remake of an old 1980s text-based game called Galactic Conquest. Nano War is well-made and enjoyable, although its production is not as good as Galcon. Once you figure out the weaknesses of Nano War’s AI and few simple tactics to exploit them, this game becomes too easy. It could use more levels, a multiplayer mode, and perhaps music.
4 stars — This sequel adds a road trip structure, multiple buildings, and survivors that can be equipped with different weapons, all which enhance its strategic gameplay. However, its production has more problems than the first game: (1) When this game launched at Armor Games in April, it had a serious glitch: if players manually reload the first gun, often they would be unable to fire again or switch to another weapon, and they would have to restart. The game was published on Kongregate three months later — and had the exact same problem; (2) The backgrounds are so dark that they are almost impossible to see; (3) The first game lacks a save function. This sequel still fails to implement one; (4) The ending is disappointingly anti-climatic. Union City should have been a big epic shootout; (5) Fort Tran and the two best weapons are exclusively available at Armor Games. So if you want to experience the full game, you will have to play it at Armor Games.
4 stars — ButtonHunt 3 feels much easier than 1 and 2. Its solutions are mostly very easy, very straightforward. Many levels are simply recycled from ButtonHunt 1 and 2. Overall, it’s better than ButtonHunt 1. Its production (graphics, sound, music, etc.) is as good as or better than ButtonHunt 2, but 2 had more new materials.
4 stars — The graphics, music and level design have improved from the first ButtonHunt. Its levels are more varied than those in the first game, but some require quick reflexes instead of thinking. Those levels are action sequences instead of puzzles, which could be a pro or a con depending on your taste.
3 stars — Its concept is simple but original. Interface and controls are intuitive and effective. Graphics are rudimentary though serviceable. Too many levels are repetitive; they have very similar or the same easy solutions.
5 stars — This sequel adds music, which fixes the only flaw in “5 Differences”. A few images are too dark. I had to turn up screen brightness to be able to see them clearly. Otherwise, this game is an improvement over the first one. (The music are “13 Ghosts II” and “12 Ghosts II” from Nine Inch Nails' instrumental album “Ghosts I-IV”. The album is consist of mostly loud, aggressive electronic rock music tracks, very different from the relaxed music you hear here.)
4 stars — This updated edition gets a graphic overhaul and certainly looks slicker than “Indestruct2Tank”, but its viewable screen is smaller than the previous version. “AE” eliminates the story mode from Indestruct2Tank, which is disappointing. The fast-paced, action-packed gameplay is still very entertaining, but this new version offers less content than the previous one.
3 stars — The gameplay is entirely dependent on luck. The game randomly generates color shapes; so random luck determines how many yellow multipliers and purple powers would appear, which in turn determines how many points you could score at most. Scoring points is not based on a player’s skill but on the randomness of the game. Most players would miss 50 multipliers and 2,000,000 points for the badges because the game rarely generates that many multipliers and powers in one instance. I suspect most users give a good rating to this game solely for its exquisite music, “Before Dawn” from Isaac Shepard's “Swept Away” piano album. (Mr. Shepard also developed this game.) If you enjoy Mr. Shepard's music, I would recommend these similar contemporary pianists/composers: David Lanz, George Winston, Helen Jane Long, Michael Allen Harrison, and Suzanne Ciani, (specifically, her “Pianissimo” album series.)
4 stars — I realize that Pixeljam Games intended the graphics and sound to be retro, but the 8-bit blockiness just does not appeal to me. Otherwise, this is simple fun loaded with an impressive variety of content and extras.
4 stars — Here's an adventure game whose puzzles rely on common sense and logic instead of pixel hunting. Its pictorial implementation of speech and thought bubbles is ingenious. Ambient music, though not necessary, would have really enhanced this game's overall presentation.
5 stars — MAD is a superb rendition of the 1980 Atari arcade classic "Missile Command". This new version adds a variety of building upgrades, special abilities, and enemy missiles. Graphics, sound, music, interface, controls and execution are possibly without flaw — they are not perfect, but they are excellent. The top-notch production and presentation elevate this good clone to a truly great experience.
5 stars — What sets Papa’s Pizzeria apart from Diner Dash, Cake Mania and other notable time management casual games is this game focuses on skill-based mini-tasks, in which players are directly involved in making customer orders by topping, baking and cutting pizzas. What the game lacks is upgrades; players can’t use tips to buy better equipment or tools. An inconvenience is that while delivering a finished pizza to a customer, players can’t move order tickets on the ticket line. The Pizza Psychopath Badge should have been rated as "impossible" instead of "hard" — unlocking the 36th customer takes a tediously long time. Overall, Papa’s Pizzeria delivers a fun gameplay in a polished, quality presentation. (Here’s a tips on playing: pause the game to write down and organize orders in a notebook, so you don’t become confused as customers and orders pile up.)
4 stars — Warlords was different and refreshing at first, but its single-player campaign would soon become repetitive and dull. The campaign lacks a story arc to tie together and make sense of individual battles; it feels flat without any narrative between the battles. The game progress is static and uneventful; it would have been more exciting if players were to unlock and earn new units or abilities by winning new territories. The interface is missing a few crucial functions: pause, mute (for music or sound,) different speed settings, a charge meter, and health meters for individual units. I mostly enjoyed this game because it’s not another tower defense clone and its units have nice (and occasionally amusing) animations.
5 stars — The Last Stand is a high-quality flash shooter with a few problems and glitches, none of which is serious enough to detract from enjoying its gameplay and presentation. My two main complaints about this game are: (1) Survivors would be randomly lost from search parties, over which players have no control; (2) This game does not save progress, so players must play through the whole game in one sitting. Playing through twenty days and nights is longer than what a casual game should be; and any game longer than being casual ought to have a save function. Overall, the fun gameplay and effective presentation outweigh the few qualms I have with this game.
5 stars — This game is like dodging bullets! It has the perfect music and rhythm that gives players an adrenaline rush. The two most common complaints about this game are that it is too hard and too short. It is both, but neither is really a fault. It may be hard, but its gameplay is based purely on skill and not luck. The whole game lasts for only a minute, which is just right for anyone on-the-go who wants to play through a game and pump up on adrenaline in a casual minute; and if this game was any longer, its flashing neon colors would cause seizures and epilepsy. I have only one complaint with this game: it’s a rave, so the elephant should have been pink! (The music is "I'm A Raver" by ZeRo BaSs. Its entire four minutes and an alternate version are available at Newgrounds. Both are remixes of a 1996 song with the same name by a Dutch group, Lipstick.)
4 stars — This lovely game is lushly illustrated with rich, vibrant watercolors. Depending on your age or gender, this game and its characters are either adorable or cutesy. Its puzzles are mostly very easy, but a few are non-intuitive and may turn into pixel hunting. My biggest annoyance with this game was the tediously slow screen scrolling. Overall, Anika’s Odyssey is more charming and whimsical than fun. (An interesting note on the game’s subtitle: Taniwha is the Maori word for spirits, so “The Land of the Taniwha” must have been inspired by New Zealand.)
5 stars — The original Monsters’ Den was excellent; The Book of Dread is even better. This expansion (not a sequel) is a substantial improvement over the original game. It includes the original Monsters’ Den as a campaign with many new enhancements and features, thereby making the original game obsolete. The only problem is the Super Spelunking Badge, which is achieved by earning 50,000 points from either campaign — but not both added together. Players should have been able to earn those 50,000 points from both campaigns instead of just either one but not both. Either campaign finishes at level 9 with about 25,000 points, and then it becomes repetitive and boring. Players shouldn’t have to grind another ten levels after the endgame just to earn another 25,000 points for a badge. We should be able to earn those additional 25,000 points from playing a different campaign.
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