Review: Battle Nations

I was introduced to Z2 Live by way of Trade Nations back at the end of 2010. I really enjoyed the game, but after I got past a certain point, it just started to get boring. The tedious checking on crops and running of shops had no real goal, and I haven’t played for over a year.

But when I saw a classmate playing something resembling Trade Nations, I asked him what it was and decided to have a try. I had heard of Battle Nations before, but never looked into it. The first thing that strikes you is the deep story involved. Unlike Trade Nations, where you were a lone city in an empty meadow, Battle Nations has a proper setting with likeable characters. The unavoidable tedium of a city-building game is softened by the humour of the people involved in those tasks.

However, the main element that sets this game apart from other city-builiding games is the combat. While it is rather simplistic combat, it provides an incentive to get to the next level so you can get different types of troops to raid your friends with. The time-management of your troops also brings another element of strategy into the mix, albeit a rather annoying one.

You can always buy nanopods to speed things up, but I think that not only takes the strategy game for themselves, it messes up the game for everyone else. I’m sure this will never be changed, as the makers of the game have no doubt skewed the stats on purpose to make money, but it really is frustrating. The more and more I play Head-to-Head battles with random opponents, the more I notice how uneven the game really is.

But in the grand scheme of things, that doesn’t seem to matter much. The Friend system is great, in my opinion, and now even better with the new Assistance system released a few days ago. Since I’m only at Level 17 and a free player, I can’t cover the whole game, but what I can tell you is that the game gives you quite a bit of fun for no money at all, and (if you feel like ruining the game for others) you can always pay for more stuff to do and to speed up the game.

So check it out on the App Store. You can visit Z2Live’s website here and the forums (with lots of tips and tricks) here. What do you think of the game? Tell us in the comments!

Review: Cut the Rope iPhone App

Cut the Rope is probably the second best iPhone game of all time (after Angry Birds, of course!). The object of the game is to get a piece of candy to a loveable green creature called Om Nom while avoiding obstacles and enemies, and collecting all three stars. Gameplay is easy enough for a three-year-old to learn, but the puzzles are difficult enough to be a challenge for all ages!

Price: $0.99

Pros:

  • Easy to learn
  • Smooth graphics and realistic physics
  • 250 levels and counting

Cons:

  • It doesn’t get much harder as you progress through the levels

We Reccomend: Try the free version. If you like the difficulty of the levels, get the paid version. For slightly more of a challenge, consider also buying Cut the Rope: Experiments.

Download Here

Review: Bejeweled iPhone App

One of my Christmas presents this year was a $15 App Store Card for iOS, so this will be just the tip of the iceberg for app reviews in the next month or so.

This app was my introduction to Bejeweled, and I’ve never played it on the computer. The gameplay is pretty smooth, and the retina display graphics are really rich. There are three modes: Classic, Zen, and Diamond Mine. Classic and Zen are basically the same game, but Zen has relaxing ambient sounds and stuff like that. Diamond Mine is a sort of digging game that’s really stressful, especially when the deep-voiced dude in the background says ’30 seconds’! My only complaint is that Blitz mode isn’t built in, so you’ll have to get that free app separately.

Price: $0.99

Pros:

  • Good graphics
  • Smooth gameplay
  • Diamond Mine mode is exciting, and Classic can keep you entertained for hours

Cons:

  • Basically only two modes of gameplay
  • Blitz mode not included

We Recommend: Buy this game to play the classic game of Bejeweled (which is pretty long depending on how good you are), or to try out Diamond Mine mode, but if you prefer shorter games, then just get the free Blitz version, which is perfectly adequate if you don’t mind one-minute games.