Month: January 2020

Catapult King

The first thing you’ll notice about Catapult King is undoubtedly the graphical quality, it’s amazing, and doesn’t suffer from any slow down or stability issues. The backgrounds are luscious and vibrant and also highly detailed and the stages are complex and inventive, it’s hard to believe that this is a free game, even harder to believe there is no advertising.

So… what’s the catch? There isn’t one! Gameplay is also amazing, the physics work as they should, the controls are simple. Just adjust the height of your catapult and pull back and release. Advancing through the game, the levels get more complex, towers are made of harder materials, enemies are placed in more difficult positions and you get new types of ammunition. Plus the occasional boss battle, in which you’ll need to attack the dragon directly.

For difficult levels, you have magic available to help get you through, earthquakes and meteor showers or an aiming aid, IAP’s are there for the impatient gamer, you can purchase magic instead of earning it or if you’re really impatient you can just unlock every level. You don’t need to spend your money however, everything you can buy, can also be earned, magic for example, accumulates from finishing levels.

Catapult King currently boasts 80 levels with more promised in future updates, so there’s a decent amount of content as well. Just finishing all the levels will provide some challenge but for the enthusiast you can revisit levels to gain all the collectibles as well, a significant challenge to say the least. This title works perfectly on both iPad and iPhone and it’s perfect for gaming on the go, 1 stage will last only a minute or two.


Major Mayhem

Over an hour later, the seemingly simple gameplay had challenged me and kept me captivated. And the next day I came back for more. It has missions, achievements, leaderboards, upgrades… pretty much everything a gamer could ask for.

I did a little research, and found out that this game had just released a major update (2.0) which increased the playable modes and switched to the “Freemium” model.

The premise is simple. You are on a vague mission given to you by the President of the United States (The bad guys apparently kidnapped your girlfriend… ?), so you run through three different environments, hide behind trees, and shoot things. It is a rail-based game, so the only movements you really have to control is jumping in the short action sequences that break up the “shooting zones,” if you will.

As your character hides behind obstacles, you tap on the enemies on the screen to lean out and fire at them. You can save hostages, create combos, and even shoot chickens! These things all accumulate coins, which you use to buy items in the shop. If you wanted to take a big step forward without grinding, coins are available as In-App Purchases. I have completed all 3 missions so far without In-App Purchases, so the balance is pretty solid. Sometimes freemium models break the gameplay progression, but I haven’t seen that here.

My only real complaint about the game is the jump feature. You can use two fingers to jump, instead of one to shoot, but that is a little tricky. The other option is to press on the “Jump” icon that shows up at the bottom right of the screen. As a right-handed person, this is tough on the iPad, because I am trying to shoot during a “Run and Gun” section with my right finger, but need to jump. I’d love to have that button at the bottom left so I could use my thumb there to jump.


Mistakes Beginners Make On Bidding Sites

Not Setting Realistic Expectations

Because it’s very unlikely to win a high-ticket item your first time bidding, it’s so, so important for users need to set realistic goals when participating in online bidding sites. If you are new to an online bidding site, you shouldn’t expect to win a video camera or iPad on your first try bidding. Understand that you’ll be bidding against users with a lot more experience and therefore, the odds are against you.

Going For High-Ticket Items

Speaking of video cameras and iPads, it’s not a good idea to go after the most popular item on the bidding site on your first try. The most popular items are bound to have the most highly-skilled veterans bidding on them, as well as the most people bidding on them. Once you have gotten used to the bidding platform, you’ll know what measures you need to take in order to protect your bid investment when going after the high-ticket items.

Additionally, we recommend that you commit to only one high-ticket item auction at a time. Be willing to dedicate more time and at least a third of the value of the item in bids in order to increases your odds of winning a high-ticket item.

One bidder said, “When I started out I watched a lot of auctions without bidding just to get a feel for the rhythm of the bidding process, and when I did start bidding I started out small on $10 gift cards and eventually worked my way up to larger prizes.”


Coasterville Facebook Game

The game features a nice tutorial that will get you familiar with the game through a series of quests, teaching you the basics, such as building stands and rides, upgrading them, and finding the items necessary by searching them. Most actions in this game require 1 energy point, which recovers every 3 or 4 minutes by 1 point, the only things I’ve seen that don’t require energy is customizing rides, painting them, and upgrading shops. You can get more by waiting, or having friends send you energy packs. Other buildings in this game help out the park customers, such as rest rooms, first aid stations, and more.

Goods is an item which is required for almost everything in this game, and can be gotten by ordering more from the warehouse. The warehouse offers several amounts of goods to be delivered, denoted by a time associated with them, or you can visit friends to get more from their warehouses and other means.

Inspiration is an item received from visiting your friends’ parks and aiding them by clicking on rides, parks, hotels, and so forth. You receive 1 for each friend, and this is used in the construction of many ride upgrades and ride construction.

Thrill points is an item received from boosting rides, and is also used as construction ingredients in many rides and some stands. Boosting rides will give you a set amount of points, and upgrading the rides will increase the amount you get for each boost! Beware, however, that boosting too much can break the rides and require more goods and such to repair and get it back to normal again.

Annual passes are an item gotten from the Annual Pass Stand, and work as recommendations, like from the game Chefville. You will need these recommendations to expand your park further, so you can build more rides and whatever you wish to add.

There is a few buildings, which are used for crafting parts, food, and props, for your rides and expansions. The more advanced constructions will require crafting parts from these buildings, but thankfully, I haven’t come across too much need for these buildings as of yet. You will probably need these much more often for the more advanced rides, as I have noticed for the Fantasy and Wild West themed rides, which brings me to another point.

Besides normal rides, like bumper cars, ferris wheels, and the like, there is also “Themed” rides and attractions. Currently, the game offers Fantasy (Medieval style), Wild West, (Cowboys and Saloons), and the Winter themes. You also receive customization options to place there, such as dirt for the wild west, and so forth, as well as themed decorations.

You unlock more rides and amenities by getting “Park Popularity”, and you get this by placing decorations, upgrading rides, and building more rides. However, your front gate only allows so many rides because topping off, which will require more friends to hire to upgrade to the next level front gate. Another item in this game, which is required for many upgrades and stands, is hospitality, which looks like a hotel bell. You get hospitality by building motels/hotels, or by asking friends.

The roller coasters in this game have some decent customization options, and you can expand them in 4 directions, and require certain ingredients, such as goods or thrill points to expand. You can paint these rides and customize the sections with ride hills, “barn” sections (riding through an enclosure, like a barn or something), and twists and turns, corkscrews, and much more! The more expansive the ride, the more ingredients are needed for each ride section!


Rayman Origins

In Rayman Origins, you play as (you guessed it!) Rayman, as you tackle almost a dozen different areas, filled with levels that cover the requisite range of fire, ice and water themes, but with some other interesting ideas thrown in to make them feel very fresh again. For example, one string of levels are all tied to the theme of music, with piano keys stretched across the ground and drum heads that launch you into the sky, built into the stage both as enjoyable eye candy and as part of the level’s smart design.

And smart design it is. Gameplay is quite simple, at first. You basically just run, jump and stomp on baddies like you would expect in a typical platformer, but as you advance you are granted powers like the ability to attack, swim and run up walls. Surely nothing revolutionary, but when these powers are combined with some really clever ideas regarding level layout, the gameplay really shines. In fact, should you choose to speed run a level (and the game even encourages you to attempt this) you start to get the sense that many levels can be completed without ever breaking your stride, with a perfection in motion that feels a bit like the speed of Sonic the Hedgehog combined with the accuracy and “no margin for error” gameplay of Contra. Needless to say, things can become quite difficult.

Mind you, they don’t have to be. Playing through this game, with the goal of just reaching the finish line, shouldn’t pose much of a problem. However, this game wants you, begs you to collect, and that’s what its entire framework is built around. I would even go as far as to say you’re really not playing the game as the developers intended, should you choose to push through, collecting the bare minimum.

No, what really makes the levels challenging and interesting is collecting lums, and finding and freeing hidden electoons (the former and the latter being the game’s adorable creature collectables). This provides much more satisfaction than simply crossing the finish line, since all the stuff you collect is tallied at the end of each level and fills in a nice medallion for it respectively, to track your progress. On the world map, you can see which levels you have completed the medallions for, as well as other milestones (like gold medals for collecting a demanding amount of lums, and trophies for completing time trials). You even receive tangible rewards for your work, like unlocking extra characters to use and extra levels to play, including the true and much more satisfying endgame (and one hell of a difficult level to get there). This is one of those games you want to complete 100% before you shelve it.

Visually, Origins is one of the prettiest games I have ever played. It adopts an art style that feels like a living cartoon or painting, and I can see it standing the test of time with its charming and energetic graphics. The music is also well done, but it takes a little time to get there. At first, the music is underwhelming, but as you work your way through the game, it builds in prominence and evolves into something less lax and more dramatic. It even begins to frequently feature the lums singing along in mesmerizing fashion, something you have to hear yourself to really appreciate.

But what would any platformer be without some epic boss fights? Origins has them, but does not tip its hand until the second half of the adventure. The bosses are huge enemies that really brandish the illustrators work, and they are creative battles, being as much a test of your wits as a test of your skills. It’s nothing you haven’t experienced before, but it’s a master class in how to correctly design old school platforming boss fights. The final boss fight is a complete and total let down, and I’m still utterly confused how it happened, but the “real” final boss fight, if you unlock it, is surely one of the coolest boss fights in the game, and disturbingly hilarious too.

I haven’t played the other versions of Rayman Origins, but this game honestly feels like it was built for the Vita. It’s perfect on the handheld, and one of the best games currently available. But regardless of which system you own, this game is completely worth your time, and deserves to be played. I was never a true Rayman fan, often associating his brand more with the Rabbids than anything else, but I am a full-on devotee now, championing good ol’ Ray as a solid entry on the short list of top shelf platformers.And while I don’t think Rayman has quite reached the platforming heights of Mario and Luigi, he’s hot on their tails.


About Mobil 1 Racing Academy

In order to get the best out of the game play, you will have to be a registered player as it allows you to save your points and game settings, which in turn count towards your competition entry. You get the opportunity to choose between the two expert racers to be your mentor while you are at the racing academy. The two mentors that you can choose from are Lewis Hamilton and Tony Stewart. Their experience, expertise, and instructions will be very useful to decide on the outcome of the races. Picking Hamilton as your mentor, you get started with Karting, followed by Formula 3 and finally Formula 1. Picking Tony Stewart as your mentor, you get started with Midget Cars, followed by Indy Cars and finally NASCAR. The game does allow you the option of switching between the two mentors by clicking on the garage door.

As you take part in the races on the turning tracks, featuring some of the best racers in the academy, you should try to finish in good position, perhaps first position to earn maximum points. The points earned can be used to avail the useful upgrades that make you even more competent for the races ahead. You should always be mentally prepared to face increasing challenges as the game progresses but that is nothing to complain about because you get there by choice.

The racing challenges in the game start with relative ease, but the difficulties keep creeping up as the game progresses. As you take part in the game, you will surely improve on your driving skills. There are ads in the game but they always appear with the skip option, which surely is a very likeable feature of the game. Over all, this is a must play online racing game, especially if you are a fan of racing games.