(Coffee & Swiping is a weekly news-y/blogg-y article about the past week’s news/drama in the mobile gaming industry. It’s basically an excuse for Noen to ramble on about anything and everything that has to do with nothing.)
Goooood Morning everyone and welcome to the start of your week! It’s been a pretty eventful week, so pour yourself a big cup of coffee or head to the closest 7-11 (Psst! If you use the app and you get the 7th one free!) Because old Noen is going to tell you a tale about the past week in mobile gaming.
Last week was a little different than it’s been recently. I put a hold on all the backend work on SNAPPZILLA and pretty much just focused on playing games. It was actually pretty nice. I’ve been so busy doing other stuff, my actual “game time” was shrinking. I was able to catch up on SOME of my backlog before the “App Storm” hit us on Wednesday/Thursday.
While looking through some of my old games, it made me think about how much gaming has changed just on the App Store over the years. Digital gaming is so much different now. Back when the App Store first started getting big, I remember buying games left and right. Catching sales and pretty much just hoarding games. It had gotten so bad that I was buying iPod Touches (4G) just to store all the games. Yea, I had a problem I think, but I was the same way with console games. Then, Apple started updating iOS and breaking a lot of these games. That’s what started changing things more me. I went from buying everything that released, to only buying what I plan to play in the near future. Yea, there’s the occasional impulse buys here and there, but for the most part, my gaming has “matured”. It’s even carried over into my console gaming also. Now, I rarely buy a console game on release day. Shit, it’s usually in the bargain bin by the time I pick it up. Hell, I don’t know. Maybe it’s just old age. I will say that I still have those old iPod Touches to this day with like iOS 6 on them and just about every old game still plays great. Soooooo, I guess it wasn’t THAT bad of a stupid idea back then.
Ok, story time is over. How about I ramble on about new releases and what the hell I was playing last week. Sound good to you? Of course it does.
So, we ended up with another great week for new games on the App Store last week. The SNAPP Roundup usually averages around 70-ish great games every week (I know, crazy right?), but last week seemed to be pack with REALLY great games. (Yes, there’s a difference between “great” and “really great”). We had everything from Injustice 2, Sky Gamblers Races, Crash Club, Just Ski, and everything in between. Besides tearing up my front lawn to plant new grass (I’m getting old. I actually care about my lawn now.), I the entire weekend trying to get through them all. I’ll leave a couple games out to review this week, but here’s a chunky chunk of the games I played over the weekend.
I played a little of Injustice 2 when it originally soft launched on one of the App Stores, but I decided to go back to it once it released worldwide. Now, I love me some fighting games. This one is good. I’ll say it’s definitely a step up from the first and that one was pretty decent. The only thing that rubbed me the wrong way is of course, the F2P system. It’s not horribly greedy, but I just can’t deal with random drops in games. It’s not a deal breaker for me, but it still leaves a bad taste in my mouth. I can’t recommend the game, nor can I not recommend it. I’ll just say that if you dug the first one, most likely you will dig this one.
I did a short SNAPP Review on this next one, so I won’t say much, but poked around with this new Doona by an indie developer named, JunHak Kim. It’s another “Crossy Style” game that seems to still be pretty popular with the cool kids. I almost passed it up originally, but it’s turned out to be kind of cool. It’s pretty much a Crossy RPG with a ton of crafting. The game is actually a lot deeper than what the description in the App Store says. I feel like I haven’t even scratched the surface. Check out my SNAPP Review and decide for yourself I guess.
Another one that I just couldn’t get into was Kill Shot Virus by Hothead Games. This is another one of those games where the F2P mechanics complicate things and actually pull you away from the game. It happens more often with free games than it doesn’t. I’m not a F2P basher by all means. I understand the times and I know that it’s hard to find the perfect balance. You’re never going to make everyone happy. But, I really liked this game at first. It’s a beautiful (in its own gory way) looking game and the controls work really well on the touchscreen. It’s just once you start hitting upgrades, factions, supply drops, etc., you start getting pulled away from the real game and the menu becomes a game in itself. It’s a great shooter if you don’t mind all of that though.
Next up is Crush Them All by Godzilab. I tried hanging on to this one for a couple days, but ended up deleting it yesterday. I know it seems like I’m dogging on a lot of these games, but I’m not. They are all good in their own way, just not for me. This one is another idle style game where you are just saving money and upgrading your characters so you can get a little farther and save some more. I just couldn’t get into it. It was just too much of watching numbers for me. The closest I’ve come to liking these idlers is Nonstop Ninja/Chuck Norris. It was kind of along the same lines where you were doing a lot of waiting to upgrade, but it just felt like I was playing the game a little more. I guess I’m just “old school”. I want a little control of my characters. Again, this is another decent game if you’re a fan of the genre.
Steredenn is a really cool “shmup” game with some gorgeous pixel art. I’ve been playing a lot of this one. My only big gripe is that I wish there was more of it. It’s pretty much a high score chaser or “see how far you can get” wave based game. I would have loved to see like a full on story with levels and different ships/upgrades. For what it is though, it’s pretty damn good. It’s one of the games I keep going back to.
I finally started digging into Legend of AbhiManYu last night. It took some time getting through the beginning story and the tutorial, but I’m finally into the actual game now. I’m still fairly early on, so I can’t say a whole lot except that I’m actually liking it quite a bit. The fighting mechanics aren’t perfect, but everything else seems to be pretty good. The visuals are beautiful and the story is well done. I’m actually interested in finding out more of the story. That’s pretty rare in games for me. I’ll do a review on the game once I finish it or at the least, let you know if it’s worth your money next Monday.
Like I said, I’ll leave some games to review this week. Besides these games, I’ve been messing around with a lot of betas like Touchdowners and Big Shot Boxing by Colin Lane, Road Warriors by Lucky Cat/Turtle Blaze, Stickman Skate Battle by Djinnworks, and HyperBeam by Rinikulous Games. The best way to put it is that I love every one of these games so far. I’ve sunk quite a bit of time into every one of these game even though my saves get deleted after each update of a lot of them.
I’m going to skip over last week’s news again. Sorry. I know this is two weeks in a row now, but last week I let off a rant about the indie media industry. If you haven’t read it, go ahead now and come back…………..Go on, I’ll wait. Ok, now that we’re all caught up, I guess some people thought that the rant was focused directly at certain sites/people. In all honesty, it wasn’t directed at anyone. It was directed at the industry as a whole. It was my way of telling people to support indie websites ALONG with the bigger sites. It wasn’t a “choose us over them” thing. I totally respect these bigger sites for paving the way for little sites like SNAPPZILLA to come along. They are the pioneers of the industry! Does it get frustrating at times? Of course. It gets frustrating a lot. But, like I’ve said in other articles I’ve written, I know that it’s all part of the business. Nothing happens overnight and without a lot of hard work and determination. Do I feel like we (mobile gaming media) are all on the same team? That’s a tough one. Yes, I feel that we all write for the same industry, but sometimes I do feel that we (indie sites) are on our own. I mean, I’d have no problem telling a reader to go to “bigwebsite dot com” if they were looking for a review/info that we didn’t have. No problem at all. We do that now with other indie website. Hell, I’d LOVE to see a shout-out from one of the bigger sites to us! Something small like that would be HUUUUGE (that’s my awesome Trump impression) for a small site like SNAPPZILLA. I mean, I could totally understand if it’s two websites in direct competition though. That’s why I try to write about what what everyone else isn’t writing about. That way, we don’t really have any competition or beefs. Maybe it’s the “Detroit” in me. Detroiters always feel like the underdog. We are a different breed. We don’t trust easy and are always watching our backs. So, I’m sure a lot of that comes out in my writing.
I know that I can be brutally honest at times (most of the time) and I don’t sugar-coat anything. That’s just how I am. One of the things I wrote in a really early article about SNAPPZILLA was that we will never walk all over people to get ahead. We want readers to support us because they enjoy our content. Not because they don’t like website X or Y. Yea, we could have went that route and did a couple “shots fired” articles to stir up trouble and gain some attention, or bought a bunch of followers on social media to make us look better, but that’s not us. We want every single reader/follower to support us because they actually like what we are doing.
Anyway. Hopefully this week’s rant kind of clears things up a little. I know that I tend to ramble on. I blame that on the coffee though! Bottom line is that if you took last week’s rant as a jab at yourself or anybody else, don’t. It wasn’t meant to be that at all. It was about supporting indie sites like we do indie games. Everyone has to start off somewhere. Even today’s bigger sites all started off small time. You can’t fault them because they are successful. It all boils down to content and exposure. If a smaller site has shitty content, they most likely aren’t going to do well. But, if you enjoy a site week after week. One that you know is struggling, show your support. Whether it’s donating, a shout-out, or just a simple retweet. “Hey, these guys are doing a great job over at “smallersite dot com. You should check them out!” Little things like that go a long way to little sites. I still get geeked at every single retweet, email, or comment about us. And I’m sure it’s the same with everyone else just starting out.
Alright. I am TOTALLY rambling on now. It’s almost afternoon. Sorry again for the rant. Have a great week everyone and remember to keep on swiping…………