Archives for : Avatar Games

Trivia or Die Review

Trivia or Die, the XBLIG with Avatars by Fun Infused Games is a 4 person trivia game. The fate of the world is in your hands. If you fail the human race will be devoured by alien zombies, so you have to show them just how smart we are. If you have played just about any multiplayer trivia game; 1 vs 100 comes to mind, you have a good idea on how this game goes. But this review would be a little boring and lackluster if I left it at that so lets get into the details on what makes this game different.

First thing and probably one of the biggest differences is in the host. He may look like your typical game show host from 80’s and 90’s tv at least he sort of did to me, but he doesn’t act like one. After a question is asked and answers are given he busts out with an insult to all the players who got the answer wrong. It’s a little different than being praised for right answers, although the insults are really tame so it’s nothing you would or should be offended by at least not in my eyes.

The second difference is after the challenge is over all losing contestants avatars fall into a pit of fire. Now you don’t see anything, no melting or bleeding avatars in this game. You know they have rules against doing that, but it is a little funny. This difference won’t make or break the game in my opinion. It is after all a trivia game and that is what is going to matter most.

So what sort of questions can you expect from Trivia or Die. From my time playing it, just about anything. Some questions about popular books, some sports questions. Plenty of questions about continents and counties. Some game questions are also in the fray, I thought the questions were pretty varied and that makes for a good Trivia game to play with your friends. We all know a bit about other things so I felt the questions didn’t really put the favor in the hands any particular genre lover. You get points for your right answers and you get some bonus points if you answer them quickly.

Much like most Trivia games, I wouldn’t say this game truly stands out from the crowd. It’s a solid trivia game and will hopefully be periodically updated with new questions. It does start with over 500 questions for it’s measly 80 msp so you have quite a bit of questions before you start seeing a lot of repeat questions. With computer opponents that you get to decide how smart they are.

All in all the game is fun and pretty solid, I give it a 3 out of 5. If you’re a trivia buff you might dig this game for some of the questions, and it’s a good game to play with friends as well.

Avatar…Fly Review

Ninja Fever‘s Avatar…Fly for the XBLIG marketplace, does exactly what it say it does. There aren’t any big surprises here, you’re set up to play as your XBox avatar and fly. Sadly this isn’t a free form flying game like Rotor where you pick up missions and attempt to accomplish them within the time length. This game is a little more like a flying race game where you are kept alive by a form of checkpoint that increases your constantly decreasing time.

If you love playing games with your Avatar and really what purpose does it really serve other than to play in some games. Or if you are ever the addict for time  challenge style games, then this one may interest you. There is really only one option available to you with this game and that is to select Play. upon doing so you are flying as your avatar with an clock that is running down. Your goal is to collect stars and go through the rings. Going through the rings will give you points and time as does the stars, The more consecutive rings you fly through the higher the multiplier gets.

Obviously the game gets faster as the levels progress and the rings become more spaced apart. Although at no point does the game ever feel impossible, just challenging enough to keep you trying to get to a higher level with a better score. You can also turn on 3D mode if you have the 3D glasses and enjoy this game that way as well.

The game also has an online leaderboard which is very fitting for a game like this. As simple as this game is, it is rather fun and reminds me of a number of other games that cost much more for pretty much the same experience. I may not be a big fan of avatar games, but this game plays smoothly and having an online leader board only serves as incentive to beat the other players out there.

I give this game a 3 out of 5. Its definitely fun, but you should try the trial to see if you will enjoy it.

TriLinia ReAct Review

Tendi’s XBox Live’s indie game TriLinia ReAct is puzzle battle game. You’ll face off against a player or an AI on one game board where you will drop domino like pieces down to make 3 block matches. Now you may be thinking “This has been done so many times before”, but not like this. TriLinia ReAct throws a few twists into it’s gameplay and creates a interesting and more complex puzzle game than a simple columns clone.

TriLinia ReAct has 4 single player modes to keep you busy. You have Quick Match which is pretty much the same thing as playing a two player match just against the AI. I’ll get into the multiplayer matches later so we’ll move on to the 3 other modes of single player. You have challenge mode which consists of 6 worlds made up of 10 challenges each. Each challenge can give you 1, 2 or 3 stars depending on how well you beat them. The more stars you collect the more challenges and modes you can play. Each challenge is on a card that once you beaten it, the stars you’ve earned from it will be marked so you can see if you should try it again to get a better score. Another mode you have is Score attack, and  once again the stars you collect unlock more score attack challenges. The Final mode is Time Attach which is a time based challenges that earn you stars and also need stars to unlock them. All three modes earn you stars that are shared amongst the modes and you don’t pay to unlock the challenges within the modes you just need to have earned that many stars and the card with the challenge will flip and become available.

Now your probably wondering what sort of challenges would you face within these modes. A lot, the challenge could be to destroy a certain number of blocks in a certain amount of time. It could be to defeat an opponent by destroy his color blocks and preventing him from destroying yours. You might need to use a special or destroy blocks as a combo. What gives this game some added difficulty are 2 major things one you and your opponent share the same board, so you can be messing them up as much as you are helping yourself or vice versa. Another thing is specials or magic attacks during battle matches you may have special abilities you can use on your enemy by earning mp to cast them. With a few other special board based attacks that come into play things are very fast paced and a player or an AI can make things very challenging.

Score Attack and Time Attack are a lot like the other challenges you’ll face in Challenge mode, but are focused on your score or earning as many points as you can before the time runs out. These modes I found are a nice get away from the difficulty of some challenges. When you place a piece on the board it begins to fall and if it makes a match of 3 of the same color it blows those blocks up. Since you drop a block of two squares the pieces fall independently so, dropping a block sideways could have one block slide down a path while the other stops on top of a much higher block on the board. It can be very important at what height you drop the piece on the board.

TriLinia ReAct also sports a good Multiplayer mode to boot. You can play locally against anther player in one of three modes. The first is a standard battle mode without special magic attacks and board powers. The second is a battle mode that does using the magic attacks and board based attacks. The third mode is mission mode, this mode is the most complex. In mission mode you will play a number of matches, each match with a time limit but a different goal. The person to accomplish that goal before the time runs out will win that match and a new goal will be announced. If no one gets it a new goal will still be announced when the time for that match is up. You will keep doing this for a number of rounds. Once all the rounds have been played the winner will be the one who has earned the most points for winning the most rounds. Many different missions keep the matches interesting.

This game has excellent graphics and a challenging set of missions to earn the stars to see all the boards and missions. TriLinia also sports a stats section for those players who love to check out how good they are doing as well as awards for players to try for. It’s also quite a bit of fun taking on another person, locally or on live.

I did have a few issues/problems with the game. One with both players playing on the same grid it was hard to tell what was going on when the AI or other player moved their blocks onto the same place of the grid you were at. Another issue is the game is quite difficult and takes some time to really get the hang of it. My last issue is simply that this game needs more of an audience playing it. It is very hard to get a online match going, which is a bit of a disappointment.

Even with those downsides I give TriLinia ReAct a 4 out of 5. If you like puzzle games you’ll surely like this, otherwise try the demo. I’m betting you’ll like it even if you don’t like puzzle games.

Bouncing Avatars Review

Bouncing Avatars another Xbox Live indie game by Running Pixel with the objective being to climb as high as you can. If you liked Avatar Ragdolls you’ll love this. In most ways they are very much the same, there are some differences worth note, so lets get to it.

Your no longer flinging your avatar around, it’s in a bubble and bouncing its way up the top. Much about the game feels like a rehash of Avatar Ragdolls, but the differences it has I feel make for a better game, although there is still room for improvement. You start to play by picking how many players there are, the more the merrier. Once the all the local players have joined it’s time to start bouncing.

You start with a rocket to get you some good height. You will continue to bounce your way up on the many platforms, attempting to reach and beat any previous height you’ve had not to mention beat the other players who are also bouncing on the same stage as you. Yes, you can be malicious and bump them off a platform to watch them fall. This tactic can even make it impossible for them to get back up. You see not all platforms are the same.

You have falling platforms which once someone has bounced on it they begin to fall. This is how you can trap someone below you. Knock out a falling platform and you can potentially remove their ability to reach the next platform. It works, it happened to me. You have spring platforms to send you soaring and bomb platforms that explosively do the same. That isn’t all though, there are instant death platforms you have to avoid bouncing on. You also have rocket pickups along the way. So if you use up your rocket don’t worry you’ll have chances to get some more.  These are really helpful if some one attempts to block your path by taking out the falling platforms. One last thing to worry about besides the other players bumping you is falling black balls that have pretty much the same effect as a falling player.

The game ends when all players have fallen into the rising water level. Once again this can be a horrible situation if you fall into it early and the other players go for a long climb. If only once you died you had a way to drop something on the people still playing to make it harder for them. It would sure prevent a player who isn’t very good or just to young to really keep up with their older siblings from getting bored.

Now in all honesty I enjoyed this game a little more than Avatar Ragdolls, but I was met with a terribly unexpected glitch. This glitch rendered the leaderboard useless because it counted my gained height as legitimate and that means others have probably done the same. Now your wondering how this glitch effected me, I’m sure. Well as I hit 500ft I noticed it had a checkered finish line look, but what happened as soon as I crossed it I was launched into the air as if gravity was reversed. I just kept rising, I knew it was a glitch because the ignorable music became a horrible screeching static sound. If that wasn’t enough, I ended my climb manually by ending the match and it kept my height of 3000ft and placed it on the leaderboard.

Knowing I could have kept going and potentially got the highest height ever if I really wanted to watch my avatar just fly upward with no help from me, is upsetting. Simply put I know there are cheap players who think they are all that when they can get on the top of a leaderboard even if it was by taking advantage of a game glitch.  Any ways I would have easily gave this game a 3 out of 5, but with it’s primary focus on climbing to great heights and a glitch this bad within the game that renders that point useless.

I have to give it a 2 out of 5 until this bug is fixed and the leaderboards cleaned out.

Wizard Apprentice Review

Thelostone released Wizard Apprentice an Avatar Dungeon Crawling RPG for the Xbox Live Indie Game marketplace. This RPG reminds me a little of Pokemon and your Avatar is taking Ash’s place, except you have a few more tricks up your sleeve than him. No you won’t be throwing some capture item out at the enemy monsters in your attempt to add them to your monster roster. It’s far simpler than that.

So what is Wizard Apprentice about? Well you’re an apprentice wizard and your final test is this dungeon. Now that you know why you’re are there, you can forget all about it because you will never hear anything about that again. Not even in the credits. So if you are looking for a story driven RPG this isn’t it. Wizard Apprentice is a top down dungeon crawl that when you touch a visible monster, you start a battle sequence.

The battle sequence will drop you down to a slightly angled side view battle of you, your monster versus the monster you came into contact with. Yes you touched it, the monsters do not chase you or move at all. So you can pick and chose most fights unless a monster is blocking your path.

Now that I’ve given you a bit of the game lets talk about how it’s played. When you start the game you are asked what type of wizard you are; Arcane Elite (Eventually Grants you the ability to cast two spells a turn), Beastmaster (Stat boosts to your monsters), or Summoner (You can summon a monster to make an attack on the enemy). The summoners summon only makes one attack per call. It comes down attacks and is gone again, much like any standard spell would act. The beastmaster just grants stat bonuses no actual spells are ever involved. The Arcane Elite is focused on magic stat bonuses and finally the ability two dual cast in a turn.

Once you have selected what you are, a random monster will be given to you and you must chose it’s class; ninja, monk, or darkcaster. Ninja’s get poison attacks, monks get healing abilities, and darkcasters gain some of the spells you get. This is in addition to their feral abilities which are based purely on the type of monster. Monsters Jobs/Classes max at level 5 but their regular level keeps going up. Both you and your three set monsters gain experience from fights. More experience is awarded if you release the monster after you beat it, and less is received if you capture it. You can’t capture bosses. There appears to be 20 different monsters you can catch and 40 monsters can be captured total. So you may need to release one to make room for others if you keep capturing versus releasing. In a battle if one of your monsters is taken down it jumps to the next of the 3 chosen for battling. You only lose if all of your three possible chosen monsters are defeated.

After every fight your monsters heal back up. So there is no need for items of that nature. The items available are equipable gems that up you and your monsters stats, as well as few you can use during battle. You can upgrade your wand and buy gems from the shop. I found buying gems unnecessary since it appears that some of the most powerful gems can be dropped from low dungeon levels. The dungeon is 14 floors in total. In the end I found that even the last two bosses of lvl 75 and lvl 100 were simple to beat as a dualcaster with the right gems equipped and I was only level 30. You don’t need to spend time grinding in this RPG. Any dungeon can be replayed as many times as you like, even after beating the game.

The biggest glaring downside to this game is that there is only one save location. If you want to play as a dualcaster in one game and a beastmaster in another you will have to delete your previous game. I thought this was a really poorly thought out system. When you start the game it will immediately jump into your saved game and to get back to the menu you have to exit out of your saved game. Another poorly thought out design. With enemies that don’t surprise you no difficulty settings I found the game really easy.

I give this game a 3 out of 5. It could have been so much more should have been at least a little bit more but just falls short. Still a good game overall, but I would give it a trial run before you buy.

Dirchie Kart Review

Dirchie Kart by BrownBot Games brings us an SNES Mario Kart style mayhem filled racing game. Dirchie Kart is a kart racing game with animated whimsical racers as well as the option to use your Avatar.

Dirchie Kart is one indie game that really brings back a classic Kart racing feel. It has two cups you can race, each with a 250cc, 500cc, and 1000cc mode. The tracks are brutal and the weapons are your classic weapons. The racing is pretty hard on 500cc. I get crushed on 1000cc, but I know I will keep at it. This game doesn’t go easy on you though, even in 250cc. If you hit a wall dead on your going to have to back up and get yourself back in the race. Falling off the track can totally ruin a race for you.

You can play this game single player or up to four players and still have the computer controlling the other racers so even in multiplayer mode the fun doesn’t stop. Not only can you play the cups in multiplayer mode but you can play battle mode and drag mode. Drag mode is something I can honestly say I’ve never seen in a kart racing game. It’s a fairly easy mode to understand just be the first to cross the finish line on a drag strip. Battle Mode is pretty much the same as battle mode in other kart games, the order of survival is what determines how many points are earned.

When you play the game in multiplayer mode you can choose to play it in event mode which you set how many rounds there are. After each match it allows the next person to pick whether the next round is a race, drag, or battle mode. After all the rounds are up the player with the most points wins. I thought this was a great option. I’ve been a part of many kart racing games multiplayer matches and inevitably at least one person will be wanting to race or battle while everyone else wants the other mode. Event mode allows that player to choose the race mode when it comes to their turn.

You have 3 weight class cars for your choosing. Each class has different benefits and negatives. There is the race kart which is the fastest and has the highest boost but only one heart and can only carry one weapon. The convertible has two hearts can carry two weapons but is slower than the race car and has less boost. The last option is a Semi front that has 3 hearts can carry 3 weapons, but is the slowest car and has the least amount of boost. You can activate boost by drifting and in the cars that can hold multiple weapons you can switch between them. Like any good kart racer you can launch most weapons forward or backwards.

Dirchie kart even offers a track a little like the rainbow road, it is like a painter just started letting different colors of paint splatter. This makes for a very difficult track that is incredibly easy to fall off of repeatedly. When it comes down to it this game features the things we love of from kart racers with a few bonus features for extra measure.

4 out of 5

Avatar Ragdolls Review

Have you ever pictured your avatar as a ragdoll and just want to throw it? Well thanks to Running Pixel’s new game Avatar Ragdolls, you get to do just that. With the extra twist of throwing your avatar up versus to the side or downward. So grab your floppy headed avatar ragdoll and lets get throwing.

The concept of Avatar Ragdolls is very simple. You must throw your avatar up, onto higher crates and keep climbing as the floor below starts flooding. If your avatar goes under the water its all over. The objective is to be one of the few on the top 15 leaderboard for having the highest height. Once you begin you will keep throwing from one crate to the next to keep your height increasing. There are a few things that will slow and can halt your progress to the sky.

Boxes will fall from the sky as you climb sometimes knocking you right back down. There are also crates that once you land on them they will drop so you only have a few seconds once you land on of these to launch off it. Another crate is the exploding crate, when you hit one of these it will explode and send you flying back the direction you hit it from. This can be a good thing and a bad thing. There are also crates that when you touch them, the crate will begin to float up, the bigger the crate is seems to determine the speed it will rise at. No you can’t memorize any pattern to the stage, it is randomly built every time you play so you never know where the next crate you need to land on is until you’ve launched yourself upwards.

You have a few things that can help you though. When you are in the air you can launch again, but it doesn’t nearly have the same force as a launch from a solid surface. You can also control the direction your avatar flys and falls to help you to make those landings on a lower platform after you miss the higher one. You also have a little boost option that can actually knock some boxes out of the way as it pushes you up just a bit. You can also cartwheel your avatar while he’s flying though the sky.

Avatar Ragdolls does support local multiplayer. Which plays on split screen, but you can see each other. So it’s a little like a race and a who will mess up first. Just so you know though in multiplayer mode if you’re really good and they aren’t once they fall to their doom and you’re that last man standing it might be a considerate action to fall to your death. Otherwise they will have to sit and watch you keep climbing until you do. It does count your height in multiplayer towards your highest height though, so you can get a better height for the leaderboards while playing multiplayer.

Now don’t think I’ve told you everything about this game. There is a little something special waiting for you at 2000 ft. I remember fondly how I found it, as I yelled “oh crap!” at the screen. In the end I say the game is fun and the multiplayer option is a great thing for it to have, but it does get a little slow at times.

3 out of 5 definitely worth a trial run.

CuBlocks Review

CuBlocks is a puzzle game by Stinky Badger Games. CuBlocks reminds me a little of Gyromancer in someways, but with the goal of creating blocks. A bit of a change of pace from the the many games where the goal is to match 3 blocks in a row. So let’s dive into the blocks and get to the nitty gritty.

CuBlocks has both a single player and a multiplayer mode. The single player mode is relatively simple. You start with 3 lives and you must beat the level before the time runs out or you lose a life and have to start the level over again. To beat a level you will rotate a block of 4 blocks clockwise or counter-clockwise in an attempt to create a 2 by 2 block or larger of a single color. You will repeat this process multiple times and after you make a block it will commit the block after a few seconds giving you time to make the block larger before it is committed. Once it is committed the blocks that were made will vanish and the little blocks above will fall down to fill the gap. The game is persistently keeping the screen full of blocks as you remove them. To beat a level you must remove a set number of blocks within a time. Once you beat a level it moves you right into the next level.

The multiplayer mode is called Block Brawl and it pits your avatar against a local players avatar. Your goal is still to make blocks that will be committed after a time. Once the blocks are committed the player who removed the most blocks will take the offensive and their avatar will start beating up the other players. The match will continue going like this trading off which avatar is attacking based on who committed the most blocks the last time. The match ends once one of the two avatars runs out of life.

Their are two extra features I thought were worth noting for there novelty factor. There is a screensaver mode which fills the screen with the pretty colored blocks getting turned and removed like they would if you were actually playing the game. The other feature is called the Gallery. The gallery feature displays pictures of scenic views like a slide show screensaver. Now I know this isn’t really a gameplay aspect or anything, but I thought it was a nice extra feature.

As I said the gameplay is really easy to get a handle on, so there really isn’t any learning curve. Just practice to see the best blocks to rotate and keep going without stopping. Now I will admit there is a couple of things I didn’t really like about the game. The first is that in single player mode it just keeps going between levels and your goal and time left is on the right of the screen and I found it difficult to glance over at it to find out what level I was on and how many blocks I needed to reach the next level. The speed of the game really pushes you to just keep making blocks because the timer is relentless. The other thing I wasn’t exactly fond of is in multiplayer. I really think it would be a bit more fun if you punch or kick your opponent every time you make a block instead of having to wait to see who made the most.

In the end I still loved the multiplayer option of the game. I think that is really where the game shines. The single player although fun, just wasn’t as enthralling as the multiplayer.

I rate CuBlocks a 3 out of 5.

Avatar Ninja! Review

Milkstone StudiosAvatar Ninja! is a constantly running platformer. Your Ninja training begins here. Amongst all the different XBLIG Avatar games out there, this one has stayed on top downloads for a while. Sadly there won’t be any ninja fighting in this game though.

Avatar Ninja starts you off running and you’ll need to do three things to make it as far as you can. Jump over the logs, Slide under the Spike balls held up in the air by parachute/balloons and finally break the boards with your throwing stars. You’re a ninja in training running on water and this is your test. Now to understand what makes this game good, well go into the gameplay.

The game sounds simple enough, but it is challenging. You have to keep your timing with the A button, you are running on water and you have to keep pressing it. Your X button is used to jump over the floating logs. You use your B button to slide under those floating Spike balls. You use your Y button to throw the throwing stars at the signs to break them. You have to keep running and not run into the obstacles, as you run you’ll be picking up those Asian coin things as well as scrolls that offer different effects. What makes it hard is you will continue to run faster and the obstacles will become more varied as you go.

One level flows right into the next level never stopping between them. So you just keep going and racking up points to put you higher on the leaderboard. The game is single player only, but that doesn’t really stop the fun. This is just one of those games you keep coming back to, just to prove you can do better. Although it isn’t one that you’ll probably play for hours, more like a couple run throughs now and a couple more in a day or two.

My complaints are the lack of variety to the type of obstacles and the sheer repetitiveness of the game. I’m hooked more by the aspect of beating my last score.

I liked this game and I give it a 4 out of 5. This game is not for everyone though, but it works for me. I recommend you try the trial first.

Avatar Bump! Review

Avatar Bump! by Milkstone Studios is a sort of a bumper car arena game. No actual cars though just tires, pumpkins, barrels and such. I have to admit I’m not a big fan of avatar games, although my kids are. This game reminded me a lot of mini games from games like Mario Party, but with more options to the one mini game. Here me out I’ll explain.

You have a single player mode, co-op mode and a multiplayer mode. That is pretty much it as far as the modes go. In single player its all about staying alive. longer your alive more points you earn. knock opponents out of the arena and they end up on a conveyor belt that circles the arena. After a time they will be let back in to the arena that goes for you too. That is unless you run out of lives/hearts. It seems like a pretty simple concept for single player, but its not as easy as it sounds. The longer you go the more opponents enter the arena. Not to mention the power-ups that appear in the arena that have many varying effects. Some freeze you making you an easy target, some make it hard to move you, another causes an earthquake and many others. All these little things actually make the single player game surprisingly difficult.

Co-op mode is pretty much the same thing as single player mode just with a partner. There isn’t really much to add to it than that. It’s fun but it doesn’t really change much of the game.

Now multiplayer is where it gets really fun in my opinion. There are a number of game types in multiplayer mode. You have your basic gain points for knocking others out. One mode is to be the first person to stay in the ring for the most time. One is all about collecting star coins, if you get knocked out of the arena you lose a bunch. So you have to get back in there and collect as many as you can and knock the new leader out of the arena. There are many modes one in which its like tag and after a certain amount of time it will blow up who ever is it. So you need to bump your opponents and then avoid them. All of the options make this a great local multiplayer game.

This game is a great family game and your young ones are sure to love it. Older gamers will probably grow tired of the single player option and wish the multiplayer option was not local only. It is a well built game and I didn’t find any flaws in its gameplay or controls. If you have people you play games with who like games that aren’t to serious and just want to knock you around a little, they would probably enjoy playing this with you. Just don’t expect to lose hours playing this game. It just doesn’t get you like that, it is definitely pick-up play for a bit then play it again in another week.

As that I do like this game and can’t see anything wrong with it or how it’s playability I give this game a 4 out of 5. Grab your kids or younger siblings and have some fun.