Author Archives: David Craddock


'Plight of the Zombie' Review - Eating Brains, One Puzzle at a Time

Zombie stories boil down to cat-and-mouse tales, with us human beans unwillingly playing the part of the mice running from all the undead kitties. Plight of the Zombie [$0.99 / Free] is a little different. You play as Craig, an average slob who stays home channel-surfing while a zombie apocalypse transpires right outside his window. He decides to venture out for a burger when a zombie shambles in from the side and passes along a severe case of rotting flesh and a healthy appetite for protein. Tragically, Craig can't roam the city munching on brains by himself, because as any student of popular culture knows, zombies are dumb...

SolaRola [Free], a 2D platformer from Square Enix, has a lot going for it. It's charming, accessible, and realistic physics that players manipulate to solve increasingly complex puzzles. Unfortunately, it's also rather bland...

You miss a lot of video games when you're a twelve-year-old kid with a paper route. You miss even more games when you have a mother who insists on sticking half your paycheck in the bank, leaving you roughly $30 a month to divide between Batman comics and cartridges for your Super NES that ran between $60 and $80 apiece. (In fairness, Mom's lesson stuck with me. Did I appreciate Street Fighter II after three months of chucking papers at customers finally earned me a trip to KB Toys? You better believe it.)..

Much like the eponymous film currently raking in millions in ticket sales, The Dark Knight Rises[$6.99] aims for great heights and mostly hits its marks. The game follows and expands on the events that unfold in the final entry in The Dark Knight trilogy film saga, but don't worry: we won't divulge any spoilers for the two of you who haven't seen the movie. All you need to know is a masked terrorist named Bane has bad intentions for the people of Gotham City, and you, being Batman, need to strongly discourage him against those plans...

Deep in the bowels of my local Wal-Mart, past frozen foods and sporting goods and electronics, a heated Bop It! tournament takes place. The competitors: me, and the last sticky-fingered kid who pulled one of the boxed electronic toys off the shelf and pulled, twisted, and bopped his way to a high score. ..

'Tiny Troopers' Review - Huge Fun on a Tiny Battlefield

Imagine your favorite real-time strategy game, probably one native to the PC. Now imagine it on a mobile device. What would it look like? Like someone sneezed virtual buttons all over your screen, I bet. The trick to building any RTS is playing to the strengths of its platform. In Tiny Troopers [Free], developer Kukouri and publisher Chillingo created a deep and arresting tactical RTS that keeps the interface simple and interaction even simpler, leaving players free to concentrate on the fun stuff: coming up with strategies and executing them with unwavering precision...

There's an element of reality lacking from even the most atmospheric video games. As a survival horror buff, I take masochistic pleasure in waiting until the sun slinks away for the night before turning off all the lights, drawing the blinds, slipping on headphones, and creeping through old mansions and other haunted grounds...

I admit without shame that I was a huge Poké-nerd back in Pikachu's heyday. The explosion of Pokémon's popularity coincided with my sophomore year of high school, and being nerdy enough to know my cool-kid rep was in the negatives even before I started lugging around a Pokédex with my textbooks, I wore Pokémon t-shirts and evangelized the games and cartoon without a care. I also saw new Pokémon movies on opening night and, surrounded by squirmy kiddles and their irritated parents, broke out in wild applause and cheers when the Nintendo logo appeared on the screen, which prompted all the kids to whoop and holler along with me (and the parents to stare at me with such loathing that I wanted to crawl into the nearest Poke-ball)...

I love the App Store. On a single platform, I can draw from a well of my favorite classics like Doom [$4.99], and try out thousands games like N.O.V.A. 3 [$6.99] that take their inspiration from popular console and PC games but offer an experience tailor-made for tablets and smartphones. But what I enjoy most about the App Store is the chance to drop a buck or two on quirky titles you don't see on any other platform. Take Rocket Fox [Free], for example, a new puzzle/platformer game starring a fox named Guy who loves fireworks. He loves them so much that he's not content to admire them from afar like your average Fourth-of-July party-goer. No, Guy likes to hop aboard rockets before they blast off and ride them skyward. Of course, what goes up must come down, and that's where you come in...

Like most 2D platformer stars, Mr. Pop of Frenzy Pop [Free / Free (HD)] enjoys long walks on the beach, scouring levels for hidden items, and running and jumping through a series of trap-infested environments. Fortunately, the orange soda bottle's bag of tricks distinguishes itself by extending quite a bit deeper than just running and jumping...

Shark Dash [Free / Free] features all the trappings of a classic love story. At the tale's outset, we meet our protagonist, a toy shark enjoying a romantic swim around the tub with his gal. Suddenly rubber ducks, the most vicious of water fowl, come splashing onto the scene and restrain our hero, who flails about while the diabolical ducks spirit his fair maiden away. Rather than flexing his fins, the shark sets off on his quest to save his lady love by solving a series of physics puzzles...

Aby Escape [Free] is the newest freemium title from BulkyPix and Pixel Ratio, and a 3D spin on the iphone's popular runner genre. Instead of dashing full speed to the left or right sidescroller style, the game plants the camera just behind Aby's back and leaves it to you to guide the terrified raccoon down paths cluttered with rocks, cars, animal herds, beer-bellied hicks who lie in wait until you approach, and other obstacles...

Do you like tacos? How about star fields, spaceships, and throwback games that trade polygons for pixels and full orchestras for beeps and bleeps that hearken back to the glory days of the Atari 2600? Developer Taco Graveyard serves up generous helpings of those elements and more (even the space tacos) in Omegapixel [$0.99], a fast and furious action game that throws in a fair bit of puzzle solving to keep you on your toes...