Thursday, 23 January 2014



Game Developer: Square Enix 
Price: Free
Reviewed on: iPad 
Updated: January 16th 2014

Ever wondered what it would be like to put yourself into the shoes of a fearless and strong vampire slayer, like Buffy? Well now’s your chance to attach your own face to a digital vampire slayer version and become just that… or kind of.

BLOODMASQUE is an RPG developed by SQUARE ENIX and has witnessed huge success on the App store reaching 500,000 downloads. It is free for a limited time, so why not download it and give it a try?

The game is set in the nineteenth century in Paris, it is completely ruled by the terrifying vampire race. The player becomes the last hope; you are the main character, a half vampire slayer out to save the human race from eradication.

The storyline may seem a bit daunting and depressive, but there is a humorous, light-hearted nature to the game. At the beginning of the game the player has the choice to assign pictures to the digital vampire slayer and associate them with casual, pleased and angry emotions. These prove to be hilarious when seen throughout the gameplay, especially when seeing some kind of resemblance to your face in a weird screwed-up facial expression in dire situations in the storyline.

Trust me it is funnier than it sounds.


As mentioned above, you become a vampire slayer stalking the streets at night to prey upon your vampire enemies. This particular game does require a constant Internet connection, which enables the player to connect with other fellow BLOODMASQUE players.

Missions are set throughout the streets of Paris, completing particular tasks ends with surprise treasures for your custom character. These treasures can range from uncommon to relic, depending on your choice of Stake (gold, iron or wood).  The choice of Bloodclan’s can have a huge impact on the difficulty each fight; each Bloodclan has a weakness and strength.

Each battle typically starts at an easy difficulty, usually fighting against vampire followers (humans) and working the way up to try a shot at the more difficult high-levelled vampire boss. Combo hits result in higher health point deduction against the opposing character, and aid in the charge of special attacks.  Once the enemies HP have reached 0 you have the chance to stake the fiend through QTE which looks remarkable, especially as these moves are vary depending on the vampire killed.

Each mission has a time limit, so quick attacks and intelligent and well judged dodges should be made to ensure the completion before the end of the timer. If you run out of time you risk the chance of losing hidden treasure and having to start from square one. 

Once a mission is completed the player will be awarded with coins that can be used to buy armour, weapons, fangs, supplies and shards. BLOODMASQUE does have an in app purchase feature but fortunately this isn’t essential in order to experience BLOODMASQUEs full potential as a game.


Playing from an iPad device, movements are controlled by either tapping or swiping the touchscreen.

Typical movement when roaming around mission worlds can prove to be difficult, the tap and swipe feature wasn’t ideal for general controls. However, the tap and swipe controls were stunning when used in battle sequences. Tapping to attack and swiping to dodge was simple yet stunning to watch.

Overall, the roaming controls were only a minor setback and didn’t affect the gameplay negatively as there isn’t much of this involved within the gameplay.

Graphics and Sound:

BLOODMASQUE takes full advantage of the iDevice, it was stunning on my iPad with retina display.  The backgrounds were filled with crisp, clear and stunning images of Paris, and each individual character involved within BLOODMASQUE had a huge amount of detail, all adding to the high quality gaming experience.

-Easy controls within battle
-Free for a limited time
-Great custom content treasure
-Your own face on a digital vampire slayer

-Easy to handle movement on pre-mission
-Always needs Internet access
-Battery drainer

Overall thoughts

An enjoyable game like no other, definite strive forward in the development on iDevice gaming. I love the content that can be unlocked through progress in the game, adding new armour and weapons to your own individual character with your facial creatures is strangely pleasing. I would recommend the download of this app is priced back to the original stamp after the limited time has ended. All in all, a hilarious and fresh game with charming graphics and game features.

Score: 4/5

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Twitter: Lauraanneash

Friday, 29 November 2013

GAME REVIEW: The Silent Age Episode 1

Set in 1972; a crucial point in time, disastrous fashion sense and time changing movements all merged into one free episode, just for you.


Our protagonist is Joe, a janitor who couldn’t possibly be more average, even if he tried. Average Joe is average weight, average height, has an average job. Average everything!!!

The story kicks off with Joe tending his duties, one morning he is promoted and is graced with more responsibility in his job. He randomly discovers a dying man who offers him a questionable, solar-powered time travelling device.

The old man is supposedly a time traveller from 2012.

Average Joe’s new job is to save mankind through switching between the present and future with the help of the time travelling device.  Eventually Joe tests this debatable device, and finds himself 40 years on in a deserted police station; there is no sign of human life.

What lengths must Joe go to, in order to save humankind?

A very intellectual game based around an interesting and gripping storyline. The genre is a mix of puzzle/mystery/adventure all in one game, an equation that has to add up to something revolutionary.  The episode is split up into 5 separate chapters, successfully breaking the story into small parts leaving the player engrossed, similar to a book in that respect.

The puzzles are relatively easy to figure out without much thought, great in some aspects but not in others. It is typical of a point and click game, each object picked up can only be used once on the intended place, it will disappear after use.

The puzzle has the player switching between present and future in order to develop further within the storyline. Some problems can only be solved in the future and vice versa, for example; some passages may be blocked off in the present, but they may be open in the future.

Graphics and Sound:
The graphics of The Silent age have a hint of classic film noir with the use of black and white aesthetics with a dash of colour. The use of shadow and darkness add to the eerie, mysterious theme of the game. The graphics also combine artistic and cinematic components; it is amazingly stunning to look at and a great tool for drawing the audience in.

The music fits perfectly alongside the graphics depicting a similar eerie and dismal tone. The two work together strengthening the storyline creating an unforgettable experience. The combination of graphics, sound and storyline seem to work in perfect harmony, nothing seems misplaced.

There are a couple of glitches within the game. If you pause the game, you will be taken back to the chapter selection and you will have to start from the beginning of the chapter.

Also it is important to add that the game developers are asking for donations in order to progress the project into further episodes, it is left in the hands of the beholder, which worries me slightly.

 *Strong storyline and protagonist.
 *Gripping gameplay.
 * Free.

*A few minor glitches.
*Donations expected.


Forgetting the few minor hiccups within the game, I am happy to say that this is by far one of the best iOS games I have played this year (including games I’ve paid for). The storyline idea and beautiful graphics make for a brilliant and fascinating puzzle game. On top of that, the first episode is completely free, even though it has the traits of a paid game. I would recommend those who love this game to donate so we can enjoy the upcoming episodes because the first episode does indeed leave you with a cliffhanger.

I for one want to know what happens next, don’t you?

Graphics and sound: 5/5
Storyline: 5/5
Gameplay: 4/5
Score: 4 ½

Game developer: House on Fire ApS
Price: free
Last Update: 28 June 2013
Platforms: iPhone, iPad, iPod touch

Wednesday, 27 November 2013

GAME REVIEW: Star Wars: Tiny Death Star

Downloading this iOS app really excited me, I didn’t know what to expect. Anything based on Star Wars has to be epic, my hopes were set high with this freemium App, but was I expecting too much from this free Tower Building App?

Jump aboard your own space station and build your own society, your own tiny little death star. The Emperor is building a death star level by level and he is in need of your help. Join Emperor Palpatine and Darth Vader on a mission to attract Bitizens to your galactic tower of business, and take over the galaxy!

Each floor in the tower can hold up to 5 Bitizens and each of your businesses can employ 3, so be careful and picky when choosing to evict certain citizens from your Little Death Star, because the more higher-levelled the citizens are, the better impact it will have on your Death Star.

This is a great game for the Star War fanatics out there; the game has add-on quirky features that allow you to collect numerous species of characters that starred in the films, from Ewoks to Wokkies.

Other features include achievements and hilarious scenes involving your Death Star.

Consequentially, alike all freemium games if you want a higher experience and better gameplay then you have to pay for the extra available features, in this case it’s the Imperial Bux and coins.

So what are the pros to this game?

You can unlock and collect up to 30 characters from the Star War films and live out the dream of creating your own Death Star, while watching humorous extended scenes.

Unfortunately I can’t see many other positives to this game.

So, we get onto the mean part of this post…

The first thing that became apparent was how slow the build up of the game is; building new floors slowly becomes more expensive. Your businesses also take a lot of time generating enough funds to do anything productive within the game. Unfortunately my attention span was shorter than my interest for this game so it quickly became very dull; I didn’t really grasp the point to the game.

Needlessly to say, it didn’t take me long to give up on the gameplay, but I guess the whole point of freemium games it to pay extra for an enhanced experience, but as I have said before I don’t agree with the morals of freemium games.

This game wasn’t particularly for me, but it obviously has an audience out there somewhere. So for you Tiny Tower players, Star Wars fans and those who are curious, go ahead and download it there is no harm in a free game!

Friday, 15 November 2013

Game Review: BASE JUMPER

After downloading an immense amount of Apps in search of a new entry, I found a game called Base Jump but would it be compelling enough to make it into the most outstanding games available on the Apple Store?

If you like the idea of jumping off skyscrapers, or at least the idea of a game that involves this, then you should definitely consider downloading this App. Get your parachutes prepared and dive off a building, each mission involves realistic limitations skydivers face; including the dark and the wind, making it difficult to calculate the correct distance to run before making the leap of faith.

The first apparent and obvious pro of this game is the price, it's completely free, no charges necessary. Can you imagine anything better than a free game? 
I can't!


...The controls (or control) are extremely simple, making gameplay excessively entertaining, the challenging part is figuring out the distance of the jump and when to deploy your parachute without breaking any limbs or missing the target completely (I did this several times). The only control is tapping the screen, to run, jump and releasing the parachute; the wind does the rest.

Oh, and the most important factor is timing; timing is everything in this game, and it's a trait that I have never had. The first section of levels deceivingly easy, but the game became complex rapidly, adding more obstacles into the mix of things, leading to levels that are nearly impossible to accomplish on the first try, this effect isn't dulling, in fact it adds to the addiction. I found myself incapable of putting this game down, every fail strengthened my addiction to the point where I was actually shouting at the screen.  

The game features a classic, but never tedious marking scheme; each level has a scoring rate out of 3 stars. 

Visually the game is easy on the eye, with remarkably creative, scenic landscapes, teamed up with the amusing sound effects, which add to the positive attributes of the game.

Consequentially, nothing is perfect so I have to be cynical and find something that hinders the game. For me, this was a surpassingly challenging task, I couldn't find much fault in this particular game, but if I had to pick something is would have to be the intricate levels that I can't seem to complete but this can be put down to my hopeless hand-eye coordination; so not really a valid point for most of humankind!

Go and download it, it's free and a great time-murderer!!!!!

I KNOW!!!!!
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Wednesday, 13 November 2013

The best of iOS Apps: Beyond the Dead

Today I spent my day ransacking the Apple Store in search of a few decent treasures hidden within the iOS App Store.  I discovered 11 free Apps and 1 cheaply priced, that from first glance looked entertaining.

The first App I looked at was, Beyond the Dead, a free App that can be found on the editors picks selection on the App store. I have always struggled with finding exceptionally entertaining apps for my iOS platforms. 

'Nothing in life is free'; if a product is free, there is usually a good reason behind it and that usually involves ulterior motives to get customers to cough up the cash or a huge sacrifice in game quality. I don't find any of these attractive in gameplay, and sadly it seems prevalent within iOS free gaming. This has encouraged me to hunt for a gaming App that defies human nature and ignores all of the above. 

I thought I would attempt to differ you from dropping the Apple Store like a hot potato and help narrow down your search for the best gaming Apps out there.

Beyond the Dead

(Released October 30th 2013, by GREE INC.)

First impressions are always key!

I thought I had found a winner before I even begun; nothing is better than an action/zombie killing game. As soon as I opened up the App, I felt completely let down, but what should I expect from a free app? 

Lets start with the negative!

1) For me, one of the worst characteristics of a game is the typical freemium feature found all too commonly in Apps. 
2)There is no hands-on zombie killing sprees, they pose no real threat to your avatar. 

If I ignore these unattractive components and focus on the stronger attributes of the game it seems more bearable. The main objective of the game is to build up a team of 5 survivors, which you can train and level up through forfeiting other survivors and bonus goodies found across the game. You also have a responsibility to build up your camp with buildings which you can also upgrade, allowing you to gain more coins to aid the levelling up process of your team. 

Unfortunately this game is a fremium, town builder so everything is free to some extent, with the persuasion of cheap add-ons to improve your gameplay, but this can quickly become pricey! 

On top of levelling up your survivors to compete with others and building your camp, there are also missions set across destinations within the game. The missions usually involve the killings of the different types of zombies (doctors, civilians, clowns, mascots etc.) Consequentially, as I mentioned above none of the deaths are hands-on, all you do is tap once or twice to kill a zombie for the completion of missions to gain coins and goodies, which hastily became a bit dull. 

One of the attractive and addictive qualities of this game is the building of your team, there is a never-ending selection of survivors you can use to frame a solid party. Specific goodies (mystery boxes) rewarded through the completion of missions offer a random selection of common, uncommon, rare and epic collectable personas. This allows every customer to have his or her own experience dissimilar to everyone else's, which is something alien and unique in the AppWorld. 

Unfortunately its major pitfall is its only strength; as the characters level up, it becomes more difficult to progress further into the game with the limited energy offered within the game, (which I guess is probably the whole point) the game producers need to find money somewhere. As I am not a fan of the money-grabbing morals of fremium games, this was majorly off-putting and unfortunately this lead to a very repetitive and lifeless game (for me anyway). 

So, what's the result?

Freakishly similar to the Village People!

Beyond the Dead was a great time killer, I spent hours creating an interesting and comedic team, scarily with a similar look to the Y.M.C.A, which amused me to no end, it was a welcoming feature and I got a good giggle out of it too. Unfortunately similar to all freemium games, the fun was short lived and it became tedious surprisingly fast. 

Still, it offered a lot more gameplay than other free games; so for that I would score it an easy 8/10, within the free game scale.

As a game in general it was doomed from the beginning, unless you are willing to pay the cash. It was a bit of a disappointment, which is the reasoning behind why I score it a mere 4/10 within the overall scale of games. 

Follow me on Twitter: @Lauraanneash