Posts Tagged ‘Mobile games’

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I’ve always been an avid motorsport fan.  I’d watch anything from rally, to touring cars, to formula one.  No surprises then, that I’d be interested in a game about managing a formula one team.  This particular offering, a mobile game titled MyGPTeam Turbo, comes from Italy-based developer, Interactive Project.  It’s a relative of their existing browser-based social game, MyGPTeam.

As I started up the game, I was immediately greeted with a tutorial.  This is not uncommon for many mobile games to do, and honestly, it’s a good thing.  After all, I’d rather go into it knowing what I’m doing to begin with.  The tutorial took me through the basics of races and navigating the game.  As you would expect, the game functions mostly through the use of touch button controls and these are fairly intuitive.  I didn’t find myself having to relearn any sort of control techniques.

So what is this game all about? Well, it’s a formula one team management game.  The player is tasked with creating the best team they can possibly make and leading them to victory in races.

Photo 17-12-13 12 22 07As a player, this is the screen you will see the most.  It’s basically a 3d menu that depicts the team headquarters.  It has everything from a company office to a garage and driver’s area.  From here, you can carry out all of the actions you need to create a winning team.

First off, you can head over to the garage and check out your car.

Photo 17-12-13 12 22 24Since this is based on formula one, there’s no need to buy or choose from different cars.  Instead, your team starts off with the sponsored car, which you can then perform many upgrades to.  The upgrades are linear, level-based upgrades that can be purchased throughout the course of the game.

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 These are also limited by the level of the garage, itself, which can also be upgraded.  Each aspect of the car produces a set number of statistics, in the form of points.  This makes it relatively easy to see what effect the upgrade will directly have.  However, it is not as clearly explained how exactly those particular points will affect the overall performance of the car during a race.

Photo 17-12-13 12 23 07In addition, the player also has the option to customise the appearance of the car.  There are a selection of different skins.  Some of which, are available as unlocks throughout the course of the game.  Others are available for purchases via micro-transactions.  Each skin also has a selection of different color variations that are available once unlocked.

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The next place to visit is the driver training area.  Here, you can train your existing drivers in order to improve their skills and eventually increase their overall level.  The player also has access to a talent scout that will allow you hire other drivers.  To train a driver, simply open up the training menu and select the skill that you want to upgrade.  You will then be taken to the driver simulator which, for all intents and purposes, is basically a minigame that simulates the particular skill.  For example, if you wish to upgrade your driver’s skills on straights, you’ll take part in a simulated drag race and you will need to hit those perfect launches and gear changes.

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So you’ve prepared your car and you’ve trained your driver, now what?

Well, then it’s time to race.  There are two main types of races.  There’s the quick race mode and multiplayer 1v1.  In both race modes, the player takes on the role of the chief, not the driver.  So, in order to win, it’s more of a strategy game.  The player must tell the driver what to do at particular times.  Should your driver speed up now, or overtake? The choice is yours.

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For anyone who’s played Gran Turismo 5‘s “B-spec” career mode, the style of play should be fairly familiar.  In addition, the player will be given moments where they will need to complete short minigames during the race that will help maintain an edge over your opponents.

Photo 17-12-13 12 20 34And that’s all there is to it.  Overall, this looks like a very well-polished game.  The music and sound effects are pretty decent.  I didn’t notice any glaring quality while playing.  Also, the graphics are pretty impressive for mobile devices.  So, if you’re looking for a good team management game and you’re a fan of motorsport, this is a good title to try out.  It’s available for both Android and iOS.  Check out their main site here!

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Pay2Win is a phrase that’s been floating around since the advent of free-to-play games.  Personally, there’s an oh-so-very fine line between ‘freemium’ (free to download and play but with in-app purchases) and downright pay2win.

We could sit here and debate all day and night about which games are indeed P2W and which ones aren’t.  But what I want to do right now is talking about Boom! Tanks.

This is Codemasters’ new game on mobile platform, following Colin Mcrae Rally.  First off, yes this is a free to download game with in-app purchases.  I’ve been playing this for the last couple of days since its launch and it’s actually not bad.

The IAP will get annoying after a while and the social media tie-in is there too, but what else is new? As you would expect from a free-to-play title, the cosmetic stuff is pretty much all cash only items and there are ways to speed up things such as tank upgrades with real money.

Currently, though, I haven’t found any real need to spend anything on this game.  The upgrades don’t start taking time to deliver until you’ve reached about three levels into each upgrade module (of which there a total of six, with six total levels each) and the first delivery time is a mere five minutes.  I know time is money and all that when you’re talking about mobile apps but five minutes? I don’t mind waiting, it’s actually a really short time.  The next level after that takes fifteen minutes, again, a very short time.  And, presumably the last levels take thirty minutes (haven’t reached there yet but I’ll update if this is wrong).

And then there’s the camouflage paint.  Camo is pretty much cosmetic.  You do get a bit of bonus money at the end of each match but it’s not really much and certainly not worth spending real cash on.

The gameplay isn’t anything to really rave about.  It’s on rails and you don’t control your tank’s movements.  The only thing the player actually needs to do is move the targeting reticule onto the enemy tank to fill up an “aiming bar” that will, in turn, giving you an “aiming bonus” in the form of in-game currency.  After that it’s just a matter of tapping the screen when the time is right in order to hit and damage the opponent.

The tanks have health bars similar to fighting games like Mortal Kombat and the whole timed-shooting mechanic reminds me a lot of FIFA’s penalty kick, minus any form of aiming.

Oh, and before I forget, there are premium tanks to buy too.  The actual selection of “free” tanks isn’t too bad and they do have noticeable differences, especially when you upgrade them.  Premium tanks give you a boost to your in-game currency earnings per match.  That’s about it, actually.  The currency boost isn’t much and the stats for premium tanks are somewhat similar to the rest of the “free” tanks too.

So then, what’s to conclude from this? Well, it’s free.  And it’s mobile.  It’s a little big, so you need WiFi to download it.  But, overall, it’s really not that bad.  Yes, you will have IAPs thrown at you.  Yes, there will be ads.  But, you know what?  There aren’t any IAPs that I can see would give anyone a significant advantage.  There’s no multiplayer yet, but the only difference I can see if there was multiplayer, would be that a person who spent real money on absolutely everything would end up with a tank that’s no different to free player’s (unless he uses a premium tank, in which case, it’s different, not better.).  But I like the whole tapping based controls.  Simply because games that use tilt controls annoy me.  However, good the controls are, they don’t work while sitting on the bus or train.

So, thank you, Codemasters.  You might not have made a great game, but at least it’s good for killing time on the morning commute.