Monthly Mobile Review Roundup – October

Linelight (Developed by My Dog Zorro. Available on Android & iOS)

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I’m just going to say up front that Linelight is my sort of game. I don’t know if that is a recommendation or not, but there we go.

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Linelight is a really well thought out puzzle adventure game that uses the simple premise of “What if everything takes place on a line?” and runs as far as it can with it.

You move the little line around by dragging on your mobile device screen in the direction you want to go. You traverse a variety of screens and solve the switch puzzles, avoid the enemy lines, and collect keys to open up gates to allow your further progress. There are even secret areas to find if you choose to.

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After some of the initial stages the game even points out that you can play it in any orientation which I thought was a nice touch.

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Overall the game has around six or so hours of playtime and while I haven’t got that far with it yet I have really enjoyed my time with it.

Linelight is also available on PS4 and Steam

And also apparently the little line you control is called Dash

Worth your time/money? Yes

 

Space Frontier (Developed by Ketchapp. Available on Android & iOS)

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On January 28, 1986, the NASA shuttle orbiter mission STS-51-L and the tenth flight of Space Shuttle Challenger (OV-99) broke apart 73 seconds into its flight, killing all seven crew members, which consisted of five NASA astronauts and two payload specialists.

I still remember seeing the footage and the news report on Newsround. I was only 8 then, but the imagery and the sense of loss of human life has remained with me ever since.

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My first failed launch in Space Frontier brought all those memories flooding back to me. This time, however, the rocket blowing up was my fault. It was my poor timing that caused that. I’m the one to blame. It’s weird how the mind works and how something that probably never crossed the mind of the developer can have such an emotional resonance.

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As for the game; Launch a rocket and hit the best separation timings to reach the optimum altitude. Earn coins for successful launches and upgrade your rocket. Upgrade enough to carry people and land on Mars (and other planets/moons) to set up a colony to earn coins to repeat and repeat and repeat.

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As long as the rocket exploding doesn’t bring on harrowing flashbacks this has mild entertainment value, but don’t expect that to last.

Worth your time/money? No

 

Magink (Developed by InterNerdtion. Available on Android & iOS)

I wish I knew more about Magink, but sadly it has not yet been translated from Chinese by indie developer InterNerdtion. Don’t let this put you off trying it though as the game is fully playable and, other than Chinese text in the opening video, communicates through animated though bubbles an onscreen directions.

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You take control of a woman with a magical paint brush weapon and, using the power of coloured inks, use elemental attacks to fight through a series of boss fights. Movement is controlled by an on-screen analog stick which is nicely responsive, and fighting is done through gestures swiping and holding gestures. Calligraphy also plays a part as a special symbol can be drawn for each of the coloured inks to summon super powerful moves to help in the battles.

Overall the game looks great, but I did find some of the gestures for the elemental attacks difficult to do. During my play time I managed to beat two bosses, but got stuck trying to defeat a monster axolotl that shoots one hit kill water blasts from its mouth. I found some solace in the trailer video in the app store as whomever compiled it didn’t beat the axolotl either, or they just didn’t include any other boss fights to avoid spoilers. Definitely the former rather than the latter.
Worth your time/money? Yes

 

Square It! (Developed by Infinity Games. Available on Android & iOS)

Minimalist and meditative puzzlers have found a very comfortable home on mobile devices, whether it’s because the small screen feels less cluttered with that design, or because these type of puzzle games are perfect for quick play sessions. Square It! is a very good example of both that aesthetic and quick play sessions when time allows.

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The goal of the game is to fill in the board by moving the square around through simple swipe mechanics. The challenge comes when your have 2 squares that are affected by the same direction of movement, and when a teleporter pad is introduced, but other than that there is nothing else to it.

Square It! really is a very good puzzle game that feels well designed to the extent that you feel as if every board has different ways to complete it, but you’ll never get a second chance (unless you reinstall it) as the minimalist design pervades the game to such a degree that going back a level isn’t an option. Maybe like Klocki (another minimalist puzzle game) it loops back to level one as a way to show completion, but after the sixty levels I have completed so far I’m not bothered about replaying levels.

Worth your time/money? Yes

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