Chop Chop Tennis
From developer Gamerizon, who brought us Chop Chop Ninja and Chop Chop Runner, comes the newest entry in the franchise Chop Chop Tennis. A departure from the style of their first two games, Chop Chop Tennis is a casual arcade-style tennis game with 3D graphics. The controls use a swiping mechanic that's similar to what's found in the other Chop Chop games, and actually proves to be quite intuitive. Since this is more of a casual game, control of the character is automatic and you must only worry about timing return shots and choosing what type of shot to use. The swipe gestures work how you would expect them to, with an upwards arc for a topspin shot or a diagonal swipe for a cross shot, for example.
There are 8 different characters in the game, and although they look cute in 3D they don't look as nice as their 2D sprite counterparts from the other games. The 5 different court environments are colorful, and although not very detailed or lively they get the job done. Content-wise you can take partake in one-off singles or doubles matches, choosing amount of games you'll play and difficulty, or you can partake in one of 3 tournaments. The tournaments are the meat of the single player game and pit you against the other 7 characters over three elimination rounds. There's also a practice round featuring a couple different mini-games that are a fun distraction but get old rather quickly. Local multiplayer over WiFi or Bluetooth was recently added in an update and certainly adds more replay value if you have a friend with the game.
The gameplay is surprisingly fun in Chop Chop Tennis, and our only real complaint is the lack of things to do beyond the short tournaments. If playing endless matches against AI doesn't seem like it will get old to you, or you have a friend close by with the game, then there may be a lot to like here. Chop Chop Tennis was the FAAD game for Tuesday, but as of this writing is still showing up free. If you do miss out on this sale, it's still probably worth the asking price if you are a fan of casual sports games.
Something of a mixture of platforming, physics puzzle, and zen-like meditation, Shaolin Training is a unique concept. You control a monk who must clear boxes from a platform high in the sky without falling over the edge yourself. Cannons surrounding the platform will bombard you, and if you're not careful they'll knock you right off, but can also strategically be used to your benefit to help you shoot off the boxes. It sounds a little strange, but given a few minutes with the game it's actually quite a novel concept.
You control the monk with a d-pad, with a button for jumping and another button for performing a special move. The special move slows down your actions, and releases a burst of force that knocks away anything near your body. There's a recharge time for this move, and typically you'll be pushing boxes towards the edges with good old fashioned strength. Swiping the screen will adjust the camera position on the fly. Boxes come in a variety of sizes, with larger ones being heavier and harder to push. The cannons will always fire towards the monk, so standing in front of a box that's in the line of fire and then quickly jumping out of the way of the cannonball can actually be used to help you with your endeavor. An onscreen counter tells you how many more boxes are left to shove over the edge, and if you fall off yourself the level starts over. There's 15 levels in the game, and the difficulty ramps up rather quickly. The graphics are nicely rendered in 3D, the physics are solid, and the music is peaceful and relaxing โ despite the constant cannon fire.
It's an incredibly simple game, with no such frills as online leaderboards (local only), social network integration, or fancy special moves beyond the one your monk already has. But at the same time that's really what we enjoyed about the title, it's just you against the levels, and it's a real test of your skill. Certainly recommended at it's original 99ยข price, Shaolin Training is a must try while free until June 24th.