Monday, December 22, 2014

Mobile Gaming More Profitable Than Ever

When you look down at your smartphone, which you may be doing right now as you read this, what's the first thing you think of? For many of us, it's the social media apps that many of us would rather use on our phone than our desktop or laptop. That's not just an opinion either—Mashable reported that people who use Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram are doing so much more often on their mobile device.

Is this surprising, though, given how many people have their noses buried in their phones every day? Probably not, but did you know that the same notion—that of using a mobile device over anything else—is beginning to ring true for games, too? Indeed it is. While the latest console bundles/sales surely helped the PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and Nintendo Wii U end up in more homes, they still cannot keep on a revenue level with what's happening in the mobile gaming world.

According to the Guardian, mobile's dominance is imminent and set to occur in the new year. They found numbers that indicate the market's revenue to increase from $25 billion this year to an astounding $30.3 billion in 2015. To put this in perspective, the article noted that Nintendo was expected to take in around $2 billion this year while Apple should earn around $4 billion.

A big reason for this all-around growth in the mobile market is the expansion into new territories, such as a number of countries in Asia. Beyond that, though, there's no denying that the games offered have gotten better and, at times, exceeded anyone's expectations for what could be accomplished on a mobile device. Take the absolutely gorgeous (and picture) Monument Valley, for example. Along with being extremely easy on the eyes, it offers a new and interesting take on game design while offering addictive gameplay. And for under $5, it's pretty much a steal. Really, that sentiment goes for many of the impressive titles on Mashable's list of the best mobile games of 2014.

Other areas of mobile gaming are seeing the same kind of success by enticing newcomers through free downloads and/or welcome bonuses. In terms of free games, there are so many out there worth trying that you're probably better off cruising through this TechRadar list to figure out which one entices you the most. And in many cases, you'll surely end up playing a game that's free to download but, if you want, can cost you some money if you choose to let it. For newcomers especially, this can be the case at online platform Betfair, where sign-up bonuses mean you can play without spending a dime. Where this gaming hub differs, though, is that you can actually win said money back while the currency you receive in, say, Clash of Clans will only do you some good in the game itself.

As amazing as it's been to see how games have developed on consoles, that goes double for mobile. It's amazing to think that something we could only play Tetris or Snake on in the past is now capable of near-console quality visuals. And if this is where we're at in 2014, I can't wait to see what comes of mobile gaming in the future.

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Rogue Soul 2 Flash Game Review

Link: Rogue Soul 2
Developed by Soul Game
Sponsored by NotDoppler
Genre: Action
FlashMush Reviews Rating: 10/10

About two years ago (back in my game reviewing prime) I played a little game by Soul Game studios that I loved and gave an almost perfect score. The game was Rogue Soul and it was a basic action distance game where you try and run as far as you can. Now the sequel is out called Rogue Soul 2 and I have deemed it perfect!

Well... I mean perfect for my scoring system. Rogue Soul 2 is sort of different than the original Rogue Soul but still keeps its heart and soul. Basically the graphics are the same, nothing has changed there and the general idea of running Assassins Creed style is the same. But in Rogue Soul 2 there have been a lot of additions which I guess is a logical step forward. The biggest change is that Rogue Soul 2 is no longer a simple distance action runner but rather has levels where you try and 3-star them along with level based missions (such as defeating a certain amount of enemies, grabbing a certain item, etc.). While I was at first against this because I liked the simplicity of the original I have grown to accept it. It helps that in Rogue Soul 2 there have been also a lot of move additions to help make you feel more like you're playing Assassins Creed and have more general bad assery. Overall, Rogue Soul 2 is pretty much just a more fleshed out version of the original but that gives it that extra .5 on my rating scale.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Invert Selection Flash Game Review

Link: Invert Selection
Developed by Elio Landa
Sponsored by Armor Games
Genre: Puzzle
FlashMush Reviews Rating: 7/10

Invert Selection is a pretty nice and relaxing flash puzzle game. The goal is to copy various shapes by way of highlighting areas on the screen by way of addition, subtraction and multiplication (sort of an inverse function). The twist is you can only make square areas and sometimes the shape you need to copy is not a perfect square.

This is where all the different functions come into play as well as the meat of the puzzle aspect. There are tons of levels and they can get quite difficult to complete actually. I also like the general vibe that Invert Selection provides both in graphics and style. My biggest complaint actually would be the speed of the game/animations. The time it takes to countdown before a level (why even count down?) and clear the level after completion is ridiculous. Overall though Invert Selection is a nice fun puzzle game.

Monday, August 18, 2014

Hextris Flash Game Spotlight

Link: Hextris
Developed by Logan Engstrom & Garrett Finucane
Genre: Action

Tetris is a game that is more of a style almost genre of game nowadays and has a huge influence. So much that a lot of games take the basic Tetris like gameplay but add some crazy twists to it. Hextris is one of these amazing Tetris twist games.

As you may be able to guess, Hextris plays like Tetris but around a hexagon instead of a single linear line/column .Colored lines fall and you can rotate the hexagon so you have 6 sides to play with. Any combination of three same colored lines clears them to give you room for more. Now I have played similar games to Hextris so by no means is Hextris that unique but it does look very professional/minimalistic which I love. Also worth mentioning is that the difficulty curve in Hextris  really picks up. Personally I would have preferred a more gradual curve but the straight difficulty might be a lot of fun for some people. Overall Hextris is certainly worth playing and checking out.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Quantum of Light Flash Game Review

Link: Quantum of Light
Developed by Foumart Games
Genre: Puzzle/Educational
FlashMush Reviews Rating: 7.5/10

Think you know the properties of light and how light itself works? Whether you do or don't you should check out Quantum of Light by Foumart Games. Not only is Quantum of Light is pretty challenging light bending flash puzzle but also will help educate you on all things light!

The gameplay aspect of Quantum of Light is pretty well done although fairly standard and nothing too unique. Light bending puzzle games have been done time and time again along with similar types of "bending" games. Even still, Quantum of Light does a great job at making challenging levels and putting in various things to keep it interesting. I also like the general graphical/8-bit style that Quantum of Light uses. The educational aspect is nice and I do love when developers put in little tidbits of real information after levels. I guess I like the thought that kids could be learning more than logic skill when playing these types of puzzle games. Overall, Quantum of Light is a fine game even if it isn't totally groundbreaking.

2048 Bricks Flash Game Spotlight

Link: 2048 Bricks
Developed/Sponsored by FlashGirlGames
Genre: Puzzle

While it has certainly been a while since 2048 was at its popularity prime, there are still countless 2048 Lookalikes and similars coming out that are extremely fun and interesting. The latest one to hit my radar is called 2048 Bricks.

The only thing 2048 Bricks really has in similarity to the original 2048 is the number growing aspect. Other than that 2048 Bricks plays more like a standalone puzzle flash game instead. Basically in 2048 Bricks there are tons of levels and in each level there are stacks of bricks with various numbers on them. These numbers are the typical 2048 numerical values, so; 2, 4, 8, 16, 32, ..., etc. The end goal is to still get to 2048 but to get there you will need to rearrange the stacks of blocks and combine the bricks. In a way 2048 Bricks reminds me of a cross between 2048 (obviously) and a card game like Freecell. Overall, 2048 Bricks is an interesting and unique twist on the 2048 viral hit.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Soccer Physics Flash Game Review

Link: Soccer Physics
Developed by Otto-Ville Ojala
Genre: Action/Sports/Multiplayer
FlashMush Reviews Rating: 7.5/10

Want to combine the already silly soccer gameplay of Sports Heads Football with the extreme ridiculousness of games like QWOP and CLOP? Then look no further than new game, Soccer Physics.

Based on the game tag descriptions I already mentioned you can probably guess how Soccer Physics plays. It is your team versus another in an effort to somehow kick the soccer ball into a goal. Sound simple? Wrong! The whole idea behind Soccer Physics and what makes it ridiculous to play is that it is a one button game. Also the fact that your players sort of just...flop around after you hit that one button. So in a nutshell Soccer Physics doesn't really have much in terms of actual strategy or skill but it is more of a game you play with a friend (there is a two player mode) and just laugh at while playing. Should note that Soccer Physics does try to be more interesting and funny as it has different "modes". These include American football where you play with a football, headless mode, big goal mode, etc. These are also similar to the effects the Sports Heads franchise uses. Overall, Soccer Physics is a fun little one button multiplayer game to have a few laughs at while playing.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Parallel 2 Flash Game Review

Link: Parallel 2
Developed by InversionGames
Genre: Puzzle/Platformer
FlashMush Reviews Rating: 7/10

The overall idea behind Parallel 2 is nothing particularly new or even interesting yet it captured my attention and in the end actually turned out to be a pretty neat game. As you can probably infer from the game's title, Parallel 2 has you controlling multiple characters at once in "parallel" worlds. Avoiding danger in all and using neat tricks to help each other out.

Specifically in Parallel 2 you are controlling three different parallel worlds/characters. In total there are 30 levels which actually seems to be extremely short. Level design doesn't vary too much and focuses mostly on dodging spikes in unison or at different times by staggering your characters' movements. There is some neat puzzles using blocks that traverse the different worlds as well. Graphically Parallel 2 is simple using basic bright colors with black foreground in the obstacles and characters which I liked. Overall, Parallel 2 is an interesting flash game but it is much too short and much too easy to really provide a good and fun challenge.