Review of Aqua Picross, for Mobile Phones

Aqua Picross is definitely one of those games that I am grateful to have downloaded for my mobile phone. I scooped it up off of Tmobiles game apps for under $4.00 or something low in that department.
For those new to Picross, you can first check out how the game works by doing a search right online for ‘play picross online’.

Basically Picross consists of a grid where you will find numbers at the top, and then the bottom of the grid. You have to solve the puzzle and figure out which boxes on the grid get X’ed out, and which boxes remain. If you manage to get through the puzzle a picture will be revealed in the box.

It sounds boring, and basically I guess in ways it is, but it is definitely a game worthy of downloading to your phone for those situations where you have absolutely nothing to do, such as hospital waits, family functions and so forth.

Aqua Picross consists of more than enough puzzles to last you a few months, depending on how often you play. In order to continue on to the next puzzle you have to solve the one before it. With each solved puzzle, you move on to a new one which will be a little more challenging than the last.

Each puzzle reveals a picture, the picture is not the greatest work of art you will come across, but it’s made up of boxes, so you get what the game is capable of delivering.

Graphics

Graphics in Aqua Picross are very similar to those you would find in any other Picross game. You have a grid, there is really not much else to work with when it comes to this game. The puzzle pictures when solved are not that visually stunning either, but the game is more of a brain teaser like Sudoko, so you cannot expect any mind blowing visuals.

Overall:

It’s a pretty good game, and if you already know and love Picross, Aqua Picross will be a fine addition to add to your game applications on your phone. It provides just as much fun as the Nintendo DS version of Picross, for way less than the asking price of that game.

GAME REVIEW – Super Mario Brothers (NES)

It’s probably not really necessary to talk about Super Mario Brothers, the best selling video game of all time (around 40 million units sold) and a game featuring one of the most iconic character in the world. This is a video game that people can recognize even from hearing one sound effect from it. It’s a game that influenced renowned gaming gods such as Hideo Kojima, Shinji Mikami, etc. And best of all, the mere mention of this game invokes a sense of nostalgia, of the so-called golden age of gaming.
But I talk about this today because I’ve never owned an NES in my life and even so, this is one of the very few NES games I actually got to play. Also, this is one NES game that I did not play on an emulator or on a relreased port edition/collection but actually on my friend’s NES when I was fairly young. I never beat it of course but I remember enough of it to talk about this monumental and revolutionary game.

Thinking back, Super Mario Brothers is one of the craziest games I’ve ever played. A mushroom doubles the size of my protagonist Mario and a flower changes him into a cook that can shoot fire balls? Being big also allows Mario to break through bricks by headbutting through it. The craziest parts though has to be with the fact that Mario can enter through pipes by squatting down and enter a world of floating coins. It’s also fun to note that oddly, if you jump on a turtle shell, it acts like a pinball, bouncing off of anything it touches. It sure was one crazy game but for some odd reason, all of that stuck and remained memorable and enjoyable.

The names of the characters were fun and easy to say – Mario, Luigi, Bowser (or what I prefer, King Kooper), Princess Peach, Toad – and the Mario universe was a simple one, composed of bricks, pipes, clouds, castles, large trees, and whatnot. The music was even better and tied the entire feel of it rather nicely and I think all the soundtrack used in this game at the time was simply perfect. Even the gameover music is extremely memorable, which I think is an achievement that is far too easily overlooked by many people.

As stated, I’ve never beaten the game so I don’t really know what the later levels of the game look like but even as a kid, I loved what I saw, especially as I came to grab the mushroom or the fire flower upgrades. With jumping being so responsive and the levels so simple and really helpful in giving you a sense of what to do next and where to go, there was absolutely no reason to hate this game.

As a kid, I got really frustrated as I kept dying in Kooper’s castle with its moving fire obstacles but that had more to do with me being an awful gamer back then. The game gave me a lot of chances though, from mushrooms to flowers to invincibility stars to coins to earn a 1up. Even as a kid, the game had an encouraging tone of doability but at the same time, mixing in really interesting challenges even though I was doing nothing more than just jumping here and entering a pipe there. It was simple yet complex, and a truly revolutionizing masterpiece.

It’s a rather short game and I know this even though I only beat 4 of the game’s worlds because I had heard that the game has about 7 worlds or something like that. Still, its perfect design in all aspects – great visuals, memorable soundtrack, fluid controls, revolutionary yet really awesome mechanics such as the mushroom powerups – made this game’s replay value go off the charts. When I got a Gameboy as a teenager, the black-and-white portable rendition of the game was the first thing I looked for and that was the only game I owned for my Gameboy for a long time. But that was okay because I had no problem playing it over and over and over again.

Super Mario Brothers is really a timeless classic, a platformer to define what that genre is supposed to be, and a revolution to totally change the gaming industry. I didn’t realize it as a kid cause I was just mad that I was only given three lives to go through the hellish Kooper’s castle and all the death traps stored in there, but I look back now and just this one game really makes me wish I played way more NES and SNES games since so many of the old-school games were inevitably influenced by this monumental title.

Richman Online: Not Your Ordinary Online Game

As more and more games enter the gaming world, many of them follow the same format. Fantasy based role playing game, where you take the role of a certain character and fight either monsters or other players to get farther in the game. Games like World of Warcraft, Magic World, Lunia, Conquer Online follow this format. Even if the game promotes that it is a different genre it still follows the role playing game where you assume the identity of someone else. There is a game that entered it’s open beta phase on June 19th of this year. That game is Richman Online. What makes this game different than most is that it is a online multiplayer board game.
I know what you are thinking. Board games can get boring and you can easily play one of either yahoo games or msn games. But Richman Online is not your ordinary board game. Yes you get a board and you get to choose a character you want to play and it’s a turn by turn play style, but it’s not just that. You can create obstacles for your opponent and gain more points and capital and more throughout the game. It’s a lot of fun for people of all ages. Even young children can learn how to use logic and strategy with this game. The characters say funny little sayings throughout the games as well. It is developed by Softstar entertainment and published by Aeria Games. Softstar also developed Dream of Mirrors Online and Aeria Games published Last Chaos.

Richman Online is a free to play game. All you need to do is registar for a account, or if you already have one with Aeria games it will still work with Richman Online. Then you simply download the game. Downloading does take a while to download, but that seems typical of most online games such as this. When it comes time to install however it is really easy to install and doesn’t take very long. Once you have it installed and ready to play when you try to enter the game, it downloads the latest patch like most games do. The great thing about that is it already takes care of some bugs that may not have been updated on the download format.

As soon as the game starts to load it begins to play music. While it is load, it’s not really annoying and it does stop once you enter into the game. There are three characters you can be: Madame Meow, Mo Hammed, Tater Tot, Wei Kewl, Honest John, and Ninja Bob. What you do is you enter a server, on the newbie server is the tutorial. Then the other section is called Little League, it has two servers: Fortune and Glory. It seems like Fortune is more popular and has most of the players right now. Once in a room you find a game you want to play or start your own. You play with other people. In the tutorial it teaches you the basics of the game, but what I have found is that it doesn’t teach what all the cards you get can do or that each game board is different way of playing.

Richman Online is easy to play: it seems a little like a shorter version of Monopoly with a few things added in. It is a turn based game where you roll a die and your character moves based on the number. Depending on where you land you can get cards, points, or something special or bad. The cards you collect help you in the game. You can use them to cause obsticles for your opponant such as a land mine card or missle card. There are also cards where you can steal cards from the other players, choose how many spaces you move or cause your oppontent to move one space at a time or stay where they are. You can also audit them and take 10 percent of what they have. The idea of the game is to make you player lose all of their money like Monopoly. You can also build houses depending on the board you use. You can get cards buy either landing on them or by buying them if you land on a shop square.

The game is so much fun to play and one game can take any amount of time, but no longer than 10 minutes or so. There are different kinds of game you can play either battle, regular or boss. Each game is different from the other and has a different way to play. You can have the game be for two players, three or four players. You can also design it so that people would have to pay a certain amount of gold to get into the game (many of us just make it no cost to get in to be fair) and you can make a limit to the time a person takes to take their turn. Sometimes that’s helpful other times it’s a disadvantage. While your opponents only have a certain amount of time to do what they want, so do you so you need to act fast with whatever you want to do. Planning ahead is a great idea for this game. See where your opponents could go much like chess is a great way to play this game.

If you love board games and multiplayer online games then Richman Online could be the game for you. It’s a good way to meet new people as you play. It’s so much fun to play, but doesn’t seem to be as addictive as most multiplayer online role playing games can be. Check it out for yourself and see how much fun you can have playing Richman Online.