Usually I do not play much on my Android phone. But when waiting for someone or something, to have a good puzzle is worth it.

Slitherlink, as you can look up in the Internet, is not an idea of this app author. It is a known puzzle, and if you look up in Google Play, you will notice a few implementations.

I can’t say that this one is the best, as I did not test any other. But it installed correctly, runs smoothly, and seems to have some good diversity of modes and difficulty levels. Therefore, I am quite happy with it, happy enough to consider buying the ad-free version, with extra levels. Truth be said, the free version includes a good mount of levels, and ads are not intrusive. So, kudos for that.

About the game, it is up to you to read about it and test it. It can be seen as some sort of minesweeper, with some reasoning mechanisms also used in sudoku.

Idle Town

Idle Town
Idle Town

I post about Idle Town for two main reasons. First, because it is a project from students on the Polytechnic Institute where I teach. Second, because it is a type of.. well… game, that I wasn’t expected. And, worse, I wasn’t expected I would run it so many times myself.

The game does not need any thinking, strategy or whatsoever. The player just needs to tap in the screen. Mostly anywhere. In the big coin, to get extra money (for free), or tapping in an empty field, or in an existing building, to create a new building, or to upgrade it.

So, no, you do not need to manage your money. You can ask for more just clicking in the coin, or waiting for the time to go by. And, curiously enough, this is a lot entertaining…

From Tamagotchi to SimCity Build It

I am not sure if you remember the Tamagotchi at all. It was a small device, kind of “Chinese electronics” (sorry, I know most electronics are made in China anyway, so not sure why the ones that does not have a non-Chinese mark are mostly so creepy), where the child needed to take care of a pet.

Probably there were other games with similar behavior, but this is the first game that I remember that needed constant attention, as it worked in real time. From time to time, the device will ring and flash, asking the player to do something, like feeding the pet, or playing with it.

From Tamagotchi we got to different other games with real time behavior. Probably the most common is the FarmVille, the game from Zynga. You all know the game, so probably I do not need to talk about it. But the player is a farmer, and needs to take care of animals. Events occur from time to time, if the player is playing, or not. So, it cannot be compared with other games like the old Sim City. There, things happen from time to time, as well. But the player can change the speed of the time, or just exit or pause the game, getting to the last position next time it plays.

Well, the kind of FarmVille games continues. There is another one, very similar, for Android, Hay Day. Probably there are much more. But I just happen to have installed that Hay Day some time ago, as I really liked the chicken on its icon.


Well, recently I just downloaded SimCity Build It for Android, from Electronic Arts. You know, I am, or I was, a SimCity fan. So, why not to get a SimCity version and play it? Who knows, even buy it?

But I got frustrated. Why? Because SimCity Build It is Hay Day (or FarmVille) in disguise. The mechanics are exactly the ones from Hay Day. Even the market! But if Hay Day is prepared with some caution (for example, to make a strawberry cake, you need flour, sugar and strawberries), in SimCity Build It, to build a house, you might need some iron, plastic or some wood. But you might also need some seeds, or a couple of hammers or even a measure tape. Yes, you might need seems to build a building. Yeah, that makes sense (not).

And, again, this is a “real time” game. You can’t pause it, you can’t exit it, you can’t speed forward for some time. You do not control or play the game. The game plays you.

This also leads to the discussion on the old “Pay to play”, or the new “Pay to win”. I confess I prefer the first. You might even release a free shareware version (lets say, 5 free levels). Just make that clear in the download page. Then ask for some amount of money to buy the full game. But this might be a good discussion for any other future post.

Need for Speed (2014)

Need for Speed
Need for Speed

I am a Fast and Furious fan, and a somewhat retired Need for Speed player. I had fear regarding this movie, trying to, at first, mimic the game, and at last, compete with Fast and Furious. I must admit I was wrong. The movie is very enjoyable and somewhat unpredictable in some situations. At some extend it is the usual Hollywood movie, but in some other situations, it is not. I do not want to give spoilers, as this is a quite recent movie, but I must say that the Need for Speed (game) imitation is only at the end, and not that bad.

If you like cars, velocity and dangerous stunts, then this movie is for you. There are a couple comedy situations (as the one above) and a little drama too. So, a kind of complete movie.

If there is a sequel, I will be watching it. Voted 8 in 10 at IMDB.

Broken Sword 5

Broken Sword 5
Broken Sword 5

I was a backer at KickStarter for Broken Sword 5 and I would back a Broken Sword 6 if they even think of that. I like adventures. I recall the first ones I played, like Space Quest. They helped a lot on learning English. I know it is nor perfect, but it helped a lot. This new type of adventures are mouse oriented. You listen to the characters, and if you want, you might read what characters say. But your iteration is with the mouse, acting on specific places of the screen. That makes these games a little more restricted.

Regarding Broken Sword 5, I would say it is smaller than previous games. Or that, or I am older, and it seems smaller to me. Also, it seems more simple. Usually you do not need to leave the current scene for your actions and continue in the game. Nevertheless, I had some difficulties in three or four moments. One because of my lack of English lexicon, other because my MacBook Pro wasn’t with enough contrast, other because there was a little detail in the drawing that I did not notice, and just once because I wasn’t thinking correctly in-game.

The story is, again, about religion. But that isn’t relevant. It is interesting, and you get engaged on it. It is not a linear story, leaving always a little of surprise. It also as some good jokes. From time to time I get tired of the dialogues, but probably that’s just me

Broken Sword 5 – The Serpent’s Curse – Part I

Broken Sword 5
Broken Sword 5

I just finished the first part of Broken Sword 5. In case you do not know, this game was funded using the Kickstarter website. I can not recall how much I donated to the project, but it is great to see that the game ended in the market.

The game continues in the same line as previous episodes. We have Niko, a girl, and George, the boy, trying to solve mysteries. In this first part, mostly the assassination of that guy, in the floor.

The story is not anything revolutionary. The puzzles are mostly accessible (at least for me). There is a hint system that I used only twice. I think the first time I would not need to use it if I was more fluent in English. For the second time, yeah, I needed a little the hint.

For now, expecting the second part. My main question now is: can I uninstall the first part, or do I need it to play the second? If anybody knows the answer, I am welcome.

Diablo III – Open Beta/Stress Test Weekend

This weekend was the Beta Open Weekend, or the Stress Test Weekend. This fact is already interesting. I do not know any other company with any similar initiative. This is not only great for them as a mechanism to check how good their servers can cope with the game and some hundreds or thousand players, but also because this works a demo. I would love to know how many players made the pre-order during this weekend. I am one of those.

There are lots of critics about this game. Most of them are funded. The characters don’t seem as dark or scary, but more comic-like, the magic system is more simple, the inventory items are smaller with less detail, etc. I defend that we need to be open to new approaches to the same game. If it is all similar, just an enhanced version with new enemies and new characters, that doesn’t get that interesting (my opinion).

We expect some issues to improve in the final release, but we can’t expect much changes.

I didn’t play much, but my main complains are that for two times that the game returned me a black screen only with a cursor when exiting (Mac OS X), and that it doesn’t have any logic to have a character (witch doctor) whose primary weapon is a jar full of spiders. And, as far as I could dig, I can’t have a standard weapon instead of those “magic” weapons. But probably I didn’t dig enough.

Now, waiting for the release in May.

GTAiv: Lost and Damned – first impressions

GTAiv: Lost and Damned
GTAiv: Lost and Damned

I just started to play Grand Theft Auto: Episodes from Liberty City. It took me some time to get back to GTA controls after some Red Dead Redemption. My first impressions start with the knowledge that there are two episodes. I did not know they were two. Thought it would be just one new story. Also, I didn’t know you are not playing with Niko. Started with the first one (well, the one that appeared at the left in the monitor, thus, the first, for me that read from left to right), named The Lost and Damned, that is about a group of bikers. Wanna know more? Well, buy it and play.

Main differences from plain raw GTA? Well, bikes are easier to ride, but still a lot unpredictable… second main difference, is that now you do not need to take care of your life, but of your friends. And your friends can get behind you and the enemy and, as far as I could dig, there isn’t any visual hint on whether a character is friend or not. That will make things harder. In half an hour that I played around, already noticed I am pretty good on killing my friends…

Red Dead Redemption

I’ve been playing Red Dead Redemption for some time. Well, in fact, I do not play it for a while, but it is the latest game I played on my XBox (that I am not using that much, I must confess). I am a fan of Grand Theft Auto and therefore I needed to test this new approach, with the same game engine. Well, my first complain is that horses do not run as fast as a car, and that is a problem, because in Red Dead Redemption you need to walk from city to city and that takes some time. It is true that the landscapes are beautiful (just check the image above, it is from the game, not just for ad) and there are some small missions between cities.

I did not finish the game, and will not finish it. Not because the game is not good, but because I do not have much time to play, and now I want to test another one (Episodes from Liberty City).

Regarding Red Dead Redemption my main complain is with the aiming but that is probably my fault for not playing enough. Other than that, I do not have the patience for collecting plants, but that it not essential for the game.