Information: Game Party: In Motion – Xbox 360
Rit. There, once your in-game money’s gone, it’s gone for good. Note that there’s no horrible IAP to refill your virtual coffers. The game’s sole IAP (£2.99/$2.99) exists purely to unlock two further modes (Double Deck and Fifteens), remove the (unobtrusive) ads, provide stats tracking, and give you achievements to aim for. Craig GrannellLike Lords of Waterdeep, you could argue that this calming little number has what is disparagingly known as a ‘pasted-on theme’: a forgettable story about precious jewels and aristocratic favour that sits awkwardly on top of, rather than having any true connection to, the game’s underlying mechanics. But those mechanics, theme or no theme, are elegantly conceived, and taken as a simple, near-abstract set-collection game, Splendor has a great deal to recommend it. Each turn you can either pick up some coloured tokens (representing various colours of precious stone) or spend these tokens to buy cards from the common supply.
Cards have costs printed on them – you’ll need to have enough of the right colours, or the wild-card gold tokens, which can act as any colour – but once you own them, they reduce the cost of future purchases. A little like Dominion, say, Splendor revolves around ‘building an engine’: buying cheap cards that in turn make you more and more efficient at buying better and more expensive cards. And again like Dominion, a key part of the strategy revolves around knowing at what point to stop worrying about the efficiency of your engine and just focus on buying cards that give you lots of victory points.
How to install Game Party: In Motion – Xbox 360
Once someone passes 15 points you complete the round and then count up. I’ve made it sound reasonably simple, I think, and it’s possible to play with moderate success (and a certain quiet satisfaction) by just sensibly adding to your portfolio of diamond mines or whatever the cards are supposed to represent. But it moves to the next level when you focus instead on what your opponents are doing, and on making them have a bad time: snaffling the card they’ve been building towards, or making an early dash to the finish line if they seem to be dawdling.
We do grieve for the lack of an online multiplayer, since the AI players seem perhaps slightly too easy to beat, but pass-and-play remains a good option. And you’ve always got challenge mode (a set of scripted, specific tasks within the framework of the game’s rules) if you get bored. David PriceLike Ascension (and like the glorious originator of the deck-building genre, Dominion, which sadly remains unavailable as an app), Star Realms gives each player an identical starting deck – in this case made up of eight Scout cards worth a yellow trading point, and two Vipers worth a red combat point – and tells them to get on with it. Each turn you deal out five cards from your deck, and then use them to either attack your opponent or buy more cards from the central repository, gradually evolving from tuppenny-ha’penny fleabites in the first few turns to titanic flagship assaults in the thrilling endgame.
Installed Programs Game Party: In Motion – Xbox 360
First person to have their ‘Authority’ points reduced to zero loses. While you miss out on the painstaking preparation and strategy of Magic: The Gathering, you make up for this in immediacy: the start conditions are a wonderful leveller, and anyone can jump in and compete. As you play you’ll master synergies between cards, get the hang of ‘building an engine’ and learn general strategies (grasping the strengths of the four factions is important, for instance), but it’s entirely possible to just read the descriptions on the cards each turn and proceed, reasonably successfully, on that basis. Ascension and Star Realms are both free, with in-app purchases to unlock certain modes (in this game) and card sets (in Ascension, which is probably a little more generous with its free offering), so there’s no reason not to try both and see which you prefer.
But we suspect that, since the two games’ mechanics are so similar, most people will be swayed by their preference for sci-fi or weird fantasy. David PriceSo moreish that they might as well plug it directly into your addiction centre, Bejeweled Blitz takes the ‘match three’ mechanic of a billion App Store puzzles and squashes it into minute-long blasts of dazzling colours and crazy point tallies.
Opinions and reviews Game Party: In Motion – Xbox 360
You have to swap coloured jewels within a grid (swiping intuitively with a finger) so that three or more line up; the matched jewels will disappear and more will drop down to replace them. But the tense gameplay, constant drip-feed of rewards (rare gems, boosts, coins and level-ups) and competitiveness-provoking Facebook integration combine to make a game that will expand to fill any period of free time. David PriceIt was while explaining to a colleague that my Don’t Starve character hadn’t made it through his first winter, and getting quite upset about the whole thing, that I realised my obsession with this game was getting out of hand. It’s an odd game, really, in the sense that victory is non-existent and death both inevitable and frequent: it has much in common with Minecraft (you’re dumped in a hostile wilderness and expected to get on with it) but it’s far more interested in killing you than in exploring your creativity. It departs from its spiritual predecessor in visual approach, too; in contrast to Minecraft’s era-defining giant pixels, Don’t Starve’s world is endearingly hand-drawn, whimsical, faintly steampunk and Tim Burton-esque. You must survive, then, against all possible odds and the continually encroaching hazards of (in usual order of priority) darkness, hunger, insanity, man-eating animals and bad weather.
At first you’re scrabbling together berries and fungi from the undergrowth, then building tools, felling trees and mining metals from the earth, building a shelter, tilling the soil and keeping livestock. These challenges are perpetual.
Original software Game Party: In Motion – Xbox 360
But in smaller ways every game is different, with a different map to explore, different resources in short supply, different random weather conditions, even different creatures wandering bloodthirstily into your path. (You can actually tailor the conditions of each game if you’d like more hounds and wetter weather, for example, but the defaults seem well balanced.) And there are many, many different deaths – deaths that are permanent, of course, because things weren’t cruel enough already.
Don’t Starve is a beautiful game, in looks and in elegance of design, and makes almost perfect sense on iPad. (I say almost, because the touchscreen interface is occasionally clumsy at selecting the pine cone you want to pick up rather than the entirely useless tree stump overlapping it.) It can be a painful and time-consuming obsession, it is true, but nevertheless one I wholeheartedly recommend. David PriceHarnessing the iPad and iPhone’s multitouch screens brilliantly, each level of Eliss Infinity challenges you to organise and destroy a series of planetoids, rendered in jarring retro colours.
Operations manager Game Party: In Motion – Xbox 360
Include Custom Game Party: In Motion – Xbox 360
You can push them around the screen to keep out of trouble, push two of the same colour together to create a single larger body, or split planets by unpinching. The key thing is to keep different colours apart, because when they touch they drain your energy.
Your job is to conquer a pastel-hued pocket of space by directing armies of ‘seedlings’ from colony to colony, wiping out any enemies that lurk there and establishing your own trees to generate new seedlings. You’ll face tough decisions about how many seedlings you need to defend your own holdings and how many should be sent out to battle.
Features Game Party: In Motion – Xbox 360
The push ‘n’ pull strategy is compelling enough, but it’s the hand-drawn graphics and pretty soundtrack that really make Eufloria stand out as something special. Alec MeerFruit (and the occasional bomb) appears on the screen, and you’re tasked with slicing and slashing it up, ninja-style. If you let three pieces of fruit escape unscathed, or hit one of the bombs, your game is over. You slice by swiping your fingers across the falling fruit, and the game supports slashing with up to eight fingers at a time. Adding to the fun are great visuals, including lots of fruit juice flying with every slice, and a great, Eastern-infused soundtrack.
The iPad version adds local multiplayer, which is hectic fun and highly replayable. Lex FriedmanEndless action games are a perfect fit for mobile devices, offering short sessions but a strong urge to keep playing until you dominate your friends on the leaderboards.
Features Game Party: In Motion – Xbox 360
Helix follows in the footsteps of classics of this genre such as Super Hexagon (below, and reviewed here), with strange low-fi graphics and a simple yet quickly punishing approach to score-chasing design. You build a tally of enemy kills not by firing a weapon but by simply encircling them on the screen by moving your character in a 360-degree arc. The resulting experience is tense and challenging, not to mention unpredictable.
Helix may not look like much at a glance, but by putting the onus on fluid, constant movement rather than attacks and direct interactions, this lo-fi wonder manages to feel wholly unique. It grabs your attention and never lets go: each session may only last a minute or two, but good luck resisting the urge to play for hours. Andrew HaywardMinecraft is probably one of the most popular games included in our list, as it’s available for a myriad of platforms, from PC to Mac to iOS and Android and even the likes of Xbox One and PS4, and provides you with the opportunity
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