Game Quicky: Mini Metro (Android) ~ Transported Over There

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Mini Metro is a game I own twice. Once on Android and once on Steam. Truth to be told, I’m mostly playing the Android version. I play this game quite meta… Since I play this game mostly on the train to work. Yup, playing a public transport sim on public transport. But is it worth your time to play it yourself? Let’s take a look at this game in this game quicky. And as usual, feel free to leave a comment with your opinion on the article and/or the game in the comment section down below.

Positives

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The game is so simple and easy to understand, there is no tutorial really needed. You need to draw lines between the stations so the right shaped dot can go to the right shaped station (the white and bigger figures in the screenshot).

The UI (user interface) is amazing! I love how the menu system is set-up as a sort of poster you find in the subway system.

The visuals of this game are kept really simple and clean. This way I can focus more on the gameplay. Also, I love there is a day mode and a night mode. There is only a visual difference between the two modes. It’s like the “dark theme” in various Android apps. Speaking of the visual design, you are able to “move” lines so you can make your network more visually pleasing.

The screenshot feature is lovely. This way you can make your own screenshots to share. Since the game is randomized each and every time, this is a fun way to share your most amazing moments in the game.

The game is really addictive to play. When I’m waiting for the doctor or the train, I play this game on my tablet. While this game could be played on phones, I think it’s more fun to play on a bigger screened phone or a tablet. This game is really challenging as well. I have almost finished all the maps, but I’m stuck at the last three maps.

At first, you think that 16 levels aren’t that much. But you can play each level in 3 modes. And not only that, you can keep playing these levels after you have beaten the goal to advance to the next level. Also, each gameplay mode offers a new style of playing. You have a normal mode and a hard mode. In the hard mode, you can’t erase tracks. And the 3rd and quite recently added mode is an endless mode.

This game gets bug fixes and new options very regularly. Oh, and before I forget this game got recently a new gameplay mode. The endless gameplay mode!

Negatives

Mini-Metro-4.jpgI have to go real nitpicky to find negatives for this game. So, here are the negatives of this game.

In some maps, I don’t like the color combination of the lines that much. Some colors don’t fit each other in my opinion. But, while playing, I don’t mind that much.

In the Android version, I miss a feature that’s present in the PC-version. And that’s a way to remove a line completely from the map to redraw it. That would be extremely handy.

When you have more than one line arriving in a station, it’s sometimes difficult to select the right line. In some cases, I had to try three or more times before I was able to pick the right line.

Sometimes, it’s confusing to understand why an empty train doesn’t pick up any passengers and rides to the end first. I have seen this happening more than once but it doesn’t happen all the time.

This game is way too cheap. Seriously, I see this as a negative. This game is worth more money than the developer is asking for it! I would gladly pay double to play this game on Android.

The only real negative in this game is the soundtrack. Maybe it’s just me, but the soundtrack in the Android version is nothing to write home about. I even think that there aren’t more than 3 tracks present in this game. And if I remember correctly, there is more music in the PC-version. Yet, the music present is pretty good and is nice to listen to. I think that more variation would help the game a lot.

Conclusion

If you are looking for a great time waster for a real cheap price, look no further than Mini Metro! It’s one of the best games I have ever played on Android.I can’t recommend this game enough.

The game is almost perfect in my eyes. The fact that I had to nitpick to find negatives for this game tells a lot. If you like puzzle games, you owe it to yourself to pick up this game and give it a try. Casual game fan? Play this game too! Seriously, it’s a fun game.

In any case, thank you for reading this article and I hope you enjoyed reading this article as much as I enjoyed writing this! I hope to be able to welcome you in another article, but until then, take care and have a great rest of your day.

Score: 90/100

Rant: Tetris, mobile versions and the dreaded square block

Tetris is one of my favourite games ever. It’s a practically perfect game. You can play it for hours or just for ten minutes. It’s brilliant in its simplicity and simply brilliant. Everyone knows Tetris. Only mention the name, and the soundtrack will be stuck in your head for the rest of the day.

Now you’d think a game like this would be great for mobile platforms. There’s a plethora of Tetris clones on the Google Play Store, but looking through all of them, I can’t seem to find a good one. I must’ve downloaded fifteen different versions. Either they take up 50 to 100MB (Seriously? For Tetris?) or they play horribly. Most of them use a poor algorithm that doesn’t randomise the blocks well enough and/or often give the same blocks three or four times in a row. That, or they speed up way to quickly.

Tetromino - screenshotThey often don’t show what block is next, have horrendous controls or just “feel” wrong. The “best” version I found so far is called Tetromino, but it’s a looooong way from perfect. Putting that aside and talking about the game itself right now, I abhor the square block. Some people hate the Z and S-shaped blocks, but I don’t. You can rarely actually use the square block and when you do, most of the other blocks can deliver the same effect. Often, when given the square block, you have no choice but to create holes. And I HATE holes.

Rant: Let’s go mobile – please no.

Mobile-Gaming-600This rant might come as a surprise. I also write articles about mobile games and now I’m going to actually talk bad about it. I read an article today and something snapped inside of me. Something just made me sigh so hard, I almost blew over my nearly empty can of soda. I just realized something that will be a grave danger if we didn’t talk about it. Even if this might seem nonsense to you, I’m quite afraid it might happen. Feel free to discuss this in the comments, I’m kind of curious what you guys think. Warning: this rant has been written when I was a bit angry and disappointing by the news I open the next paragraph with. Just a heads up, m’kay. It might be not written as good as I usually write. 

Layton and Fantasy Life sequels go mobile.

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Thank you Kotaku for sharing my opinion. I simply can’t believe that Level5 is making this idiotic move. I have a lot of respect for Level5, since they made some amazing titles. But jumping on the mobile cash train is just making me sad. Extremely sad.

Apart from that, Nintendo is also moving mobile after a lot of complaints. I’m extremely afraid that they might do something stupid as well.

I could rant about how disappointed I am about this, but it might be better to explain why I feel like that actually. There is something going on in the mobile market that is really not good for us gamers.

Moving to mobile

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When I browse the app store lately, I notice that big titles like Final Fantasy and Fifa are appearing on the mobile market. This business scheme is just insulting in my eyes.

Why? Simply because those games don’t belong on the mobile market. At all. Since mobile games are meant as timewasters at the doctor’s office or waiting for a bus. Games that work well on mobile are games that are easy to understand and play. Games that have a simple idea behind them. That’s why Candy Crush is doing so well.

I’m quite sure that some people will disagree with me on this. They will try to prove that I’m wrong with examples of games that did well on the mobile platform. A game that actually did well on mobile platforms is Minecraft Pocket Edition. But then again, it’s a game you can enjoy in short bursts and it’s something excellent to do while you are waiting on something.

Why don’t triple A games belong on the mobile market? One reason is, that a tablet and phones aren’t meant to have long gameplay sessions on. Tablets where originally a decent alternative to a laptop for business men. But phones, they just aren’t meant for it. Think about it, you can’t call somebody because your battery died because you played too much games on it.

Also, because people want to use their phones more and more to do stuff on, where actually a tablet or a laptop is made for, the sizes of a phone gets… just out of proportion. I have seen phones that barely can fit in a pocket.

Target groups

My biggest issue is the fact that the people who play games on their mobile phones are a different group who play games on their consoles, handhelds and/or computers. When I see people play games on Facebook and their phones, I rarely see them play games on a handheld. Also, when I look to most of my friends who play games on consoles and other devices, I rarely see them play games on mobile phone. It’s because most people who play games on their mobile phones aren’t that interested in games to begin with.

I could try to explain it, but let me prove my point. When I went to Minecon a few years ago, the people who played Minecraft Pocket Edition had a separate room. Most of the people there were young mothers, males that did a lot of sport or very young children.

Or another example, the more popular games that started on mobile, get their way onto Steam, handhelds and/or consoles. Weird isn’t it?

Before I forget to mention it, the fact that you have no buttons to play with feels so awkward to me. Not only that, what you see on the screen then depends on the size of your fingers as well. Not only that, when you are in a situation where you need to do some sort of quick action, buttons are just better. Since you can press them and it’s harder to press them by accident.

No tablet for me

So, I’m already seeing some comments in my head. But if it’s on a tablet, it might be better to play on since your fingers take up less space or you can plug in a keyboard.

1379515873Hold the Android there. (Little phone pun, sorry.) First of all, I agree with the argument of the tablet being a better size to play games on. I honestly think that mobiles shouldn’t be powerful enough to play games like Delver or Fifa on.

But the argument of being able to plug in a keyboard or a controller is just, well, it makes for a whole different experience. Out of that idea we got tablet-laptop hybrids and a console named the Ouya.

I actually own a tablet. I use it to watch video’s on when I’m on a trip or in bed and I can’t sleep. It makes less noise and it’s lighter to carry then a laptop. In the end, I actually prefer a laptop.

Anyways, I think I’m going to wrap this one up. It felt quite nice to blow off some steam about this. It’s possible that I look back at this article later and my opinion might be different, but I think that the big triple A games shouldn’t go towards mobile platforms. If anything, they should rename it to “tablet platforms”. Since then my arguments about phones have less meaning.

So yeah, I might write more about this subject but in any case, I hope you found this interesting. While I could have written this when I was more calm and collected about the subject, I feel that, as a writer and creative person, you should allow yourself to publish something you created when you were in a different mood. But that’s a whole other subject. Take care and until the next article. I already have something in mind. ~

What games do you play?

Arpegi Back

A friend of mine asked me recently when I was showing him my collection: “What games do you play?”. That question was followed by the most annoying question for me as a blogger, “What is your favorite style of games?”. After thinking about it for a bit, it actually gave me the idea for this article. It’s part a rant and part a gamer’s thoughts. So, yeah. Typically me, trying out new things. Just a side note, this article might be a bit longer then my usual stuff, and it also contains links to previous articles if you are interested in my opinion of the game I mentioned. Also, feel free to leave a comment on the subject with your opinion and or the answer to the questions.

Reply – part 1

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So, what games do I play? The easy reply is anything that catches my interest. But hey, let’s not be lazy here. If you scroll through my blog you see clearly that I play a lot of different sort of games. From adventure games like Monkey Island to strategy games like Europe Universalis 4.

In the past I said that I play games that have a deep story and take you on an adventure. On second thought, that isn’t always true. Since I’m not a big fan of the Walking Dead series which would be a game that would fit my fancy easily.

But I also play other games that haven’t anything close to a story. Like Minecraft or the RollerCoaster Tycoon series.

One thing is pretty clear, I play almost every genre of games. There are few genres I actually don’t like. The two biggest of them are racing games and fighting games. The reason for that is that I don’t really enjoy racing that much. Since I’m not interested in cars at all, I feel that a lot of content and such is… Well, not understood by me.

Fighting games, I don’t tend to play them since I have a bad memory when it comes to sequences. I rarely remember button combinations. When there is a certain order to complete a task in a game, I “program” my brain for it. So, my fingers do the job without thinking. Besides that, I have two other “issues” with the genre. I feel that it’s repetitive to me. Yes, to me. If there are fighting games that offer some variety from nearly always having to battle, feel free to tell me. The other issue I have is that my reaction time is more set to RTS and tycoon games. I can react more quickly in those games instead of fighting games.

That doesn’t mean I hate or don’t play those genres. As a kid, I played a lot of Mario Kart and I have fun memories of me playing Mortal Kombat in a store and a crowd of children gathering around me because I was able to beat opponents that they had trouble with.

A genre I don’t like as well are those games that are either meant to be a joke or have these clumsy physics like Octodad or Goat Simulator. I simply can’t stand them. They are just a novelty thing. As soon as the joke starts to fall flat, the game starts to show it’s flaws. So, I avoid those games like the plague.

I got distracted from the subject, didn’t I? The games I play are games that look interesting to me. Games where you get the feeling that they could be a distraction from life. Ugh, this is such a hard question to answer.

Reply – part 2

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What is my favorite style of games? There is also an easy answer to that. I could argue that my favorite changes from time to time depending on the games I’m playing at that moment. But in reality, there is always a genre that will get more love then others.

Surprisingly, I’m actually able to give a proper answer to this question. I have two genres that get a whole boatload of love from me. If you haven’t guessed it yet, let me tell you.

I adore adventure games like Alan Wake, Tomb Raider, Zelda and so many others. I have a soft spot in my heart for them. I grew up with Pokémon and Zelda. I can’t forget the point-and-click adventure games! Broken Sword and Monkey Island being my favorites.

My 2nd genre has to be the visual novel. Corpse Party, Virtue’s Last Reward or Ace Attorney are just some examples. My biggest hobby is writing. It’s quite true that writers actually read a lot as well. I don’t read books, but I read almost all of the text a game presents me. The visual novel genre surprised me countless times with deep stories, memorable characters and an unforgettable experience.

Kinetic novels, no thank you. Those novels are a cross between a comic, anime and a game. I just miss the interaction. To me, it’s just a story with a skin. I’m not saying that these games are bad, don’t misunderstand me here. I’m just saying that kinetic novels aren’t my thing, at all.

 So, why those genres then? I actually replied to it already. Because the games from those genres had the most influence on me in the past and they haven’t let me down ever since. If I’m writing an article about a game that comes from those genres, it has always an advantage.

s35009_wii_9What where my first interactions with my favorite genres. My first adventure game has to be Zelda – Oracle of Ages. I think, I’m not a 100% sure. Depending if you count Pokémon as an adventure game, I think that it was my first adventure game.

My first point-and-click game has to be the Freddi Fish series. Aw yes, I love those games a lot. When I found out that the studio that made them are still in business, I’m hoping that they create a new entry into the series. In the Freddi Fish series or in any series that they developed, since they are masters of child entertainment.

My first visual novel was Ace Attorney. After I read so much references online, I gave it a try. Man, I wasn’t prepared for that. I played all the games without getting distracted by another game once. Yeah, that rarely happens!

 Ranting

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So, the annoying side effect of this question is that people assume you like or play every game in a certain genre. I had people who actually said bad words to me because I wasn’t that good in a RTS.

You shouldn’t be judged on the games you play. I admit that I even play games meant for children. As long as it provides me a fun experience, why shouldn’t I be allowed to play it. I actually have a great excuse myself. My blog and my younger relatives are a great way to not make a fool out of myself.

Honestly, I think that the question “what kind of games you play” is actually a bad question. It should better be: “What kind of games you like to play?” Since then you can explain what you look for in a game. If somebody asks me the question what games do I play, I actually use a trick that I learned while I was still studying to become a teacher. Replying with the correct question. I reply, “What games do I like to play… well…”

And now, I can actually give them a link to this article. To explain that I play all sorts of games. From platformers to puzzle games, from sandbox to RPG’s. From adventure games to visual novels. I even play mobile games. Wait, talking about mobile games…. There is actually something that needs to get off my chest about mobile games.

I hope you enjoyed reading this article as much as I enjoyed writing it. I think I went over everything I wanted to say about this subject, so now I can focus on something bigger. Something that is starting to annoy me to no end. The mobile market needs some good bashing. Prepare yourselves, because next time on my blog, I’ll actually try to explain why I think that the mobile market is going too far…

NekoJonez Update Blog April 2014: Let’s look at the future

1gXjAIt has been quite some time that I spoke to my readers directly. It has been since the 10th of February when I announced I wanted to go on a hiatus. While I have some exciting news, I have some sad news as well. I would love to do these more often. I’m even planning to do an update blog each 2 weeks. Who knows. Anyways, in this blog I’ll talk about what happened and what’s going on for my blog and my website. In that way you don’t have to scroll through a ton of tweets to be up-to-date. (While it stays the best way to have the latest news from me.) So, yeah, let’s start.

To hiatus or to not hiatus.

Alright, through some magic I was able to write more articles then I thought I could. While I have written way less then before, I think I did a great job to maintain my blog. And thanks to my buddies over at ButtonSmashers, I don’t think my blog will be dead when I’m too busy to write an article.

My main goal is one article each week. While I’m still on a hiatus, I try to win time with different stuff. Like for example, my streams will be way less frequent. With that time, I write more articles. Also, I start writing articles in advance to make sure I have content ready for the upcoming week(s).

Some people may call me crazy but almost 100% of my free time goes to my website and blog now. In study breaks I make notes of what I could write an article about. But don’t worry, I relax as well by watching some TV. Sadly enough, it’s hard trying to keep up writing creative articles each week while having an extremely busy life. But writing and working on my website is what actually relaxes me.

So, from now on, take this hiatus with a grain of salt. What I mean with this is that it’s quite possible that nothing changes. That I have a new article for you guys each week and that I stream here and there. But if there is no content of me or when there is content from other people, don’t panic. It just means then that I didn’t had the time for writing that week.

What’s making this cat so busy?

So, why am I so busy? Let me explain that to you. First of all, college asks a lot from me. I have to write various assignments, study 14 exams AND create a lot of things. For those who don’t know yet, I’m studying to become a teacher in elementary schools. In my country, that means for children from the age of 5 till 12. I have done a lot of work in my Easter break already, which ends on the 22th of April,  I don’t not quite done with everything. But I’m close.

Secondly, I’m planning a move of my blog. Yes, I’m planning to possible move my blog to the server of my forum. This will have a huge advantage for me. That way it’s easier to link my articles to my forum and I have more features to play with. But I’m not quite sure.

The third thing that is keeping me so busy is my forum. I have done some big updates to it recently but there are some plans to update it even more. Most of the plans are mainly behind the screens. This will make the forum run faster and more efficiently. But there will be some updates for you guys as well. So, come on by. Make an account and start posting without problems. Since some time now, there is no admin approval anymore.

Also, I have some things in my personal life to take care of. They are private so I won’t go sharing them on the internet. But they are nearly all family related.

Changes in my life

In the course of the few months I haven’t posted an update blog like this, there has been quite a lot of changes. I honestly don’t remember everything I should mention in this update article.

One of my previous articles already mentioned it, I think it was my Alan Wake American Nightmare review, I had to fix my numbering of my reviews. I stupidly made some mistakes so that my numbering was off by 2. Now it’s all correct. So, no more issues there. For the people who linked to my articles, don’t worry, the URL’s didn’t change.

Another update is that I got a big chance. I was allowed to write for a company about gaming violence. I was first a bit unsure if it was actually real. So, I researched the company and the game. And as it turns out, it’s actually quite real. I’m thrilled when a company asks me to write for them but to avoid scams and such, I do research. I want to know for sure that I’m telling the truth and not lying to you guys.

So, if you follow me on Twitter, you probably already know that I have a new phone. I have a Samsung Galaxy Ace 3. While some people who recommend me a different one or say that it’s not a good one… Well, I honestly disagree. I find that this smartphone fits my needs perfectly. I’m quite glad that I got it.

And to wrap up here, I did quite a lot of work behind the screen of my blog and my forum. I’m trying to update all old information to the latest information and I try to make sure everything gets the content correctly. Yeah, tons of works have been done.

Before I go to the next, and last, part of this article, thanks for all the support you guys gave me. It truly motivated me to continue with this blog and with my studies. So, thanks to you guys, I’m finally able to close some unpleasant chapters in my life and live quite happily. Thanks for that!

Future plans

What is planned for my blog? Well, if it hasn’t been published already, an article about video game violence. Check it out, it’s quite surprising.

While I have deleted one draft of a creepypasta that I wrote, I’m actually planning to write a few new ones. Oh yes, I have quite some idea’s to write some creepypasta’s and some might be not game related.

I’m planning to revive a dead series of mine. I wrote some time ago about Android games you should try out. Since I’m playing a lot on my new mobile phone (to get used to it), I have found some games that I want to cover here.

Soon, I’m planning to write a new game quicky where I return to the first game that a developer asked me to review. Has it been updated and so, for the better or for the worse? In that same article I might also talk about the other game that SkyJoy asked me to review. Super Kid Cannon has been released worldwide, so it’s time to take another look at the final version.

I’m also in a podcast or two with the ButtonSmashers. As soon as they are posted, I’ll post or reblog the link here. So you guys can listen to it.

Last but not least, I have some games that deserve an article. I’m making a list of games that I want to review. But honestly, I want to write about something different as well. I mean here, articles about gaming in general.

So, I think that’s all. Thanks for reading this quite long update. I hope you enjoyed reading it as much as I enjoyed writing this. So, see you guys next time!

Simple Android games you should try out.

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I’m a big fan of the Android Market. I often find myself playing games I find on there. While waiting for the bus the other day, I played a few games on my tablet. The following games are games I won’t have enough to write about for a full review but games you should check out. But before we do that, I have a few questions where you guys can have some input on. First of all, it’s most likely possible that I’ll find more then the games I’m going to mention here. So this will maybe turn into a series. Which name should I give it? Does NekoJonez plays Android sound okay? Anyways, I’m also going to link these apps here so you can easily download them when you are reading my blog from your tablet or mobile phone. In addition to that, give me some feedback on the format I write for each game. If you want to know more about the game or things like that. Oh, my goal is that all games are 100% free too. Some might have in-game things you can buy or ads. Welp, lengthy intro is lengthy. Let’s dive in. 

2 Player Reactor

(This app contains adds)

2_player_reactor_for_android-474583-1318928025I’ll start the list of this article like the extremely bad NES game Action52 did, with the game that requires two players to enjoy.

In this simple game you have to be quick and precise. Your challenge will be always above your square, as well as your score.

You have to do simple tasks. Like guess the capital or check if the squares match each other.

When you tap on the correct moment, you’ll earn a point. When you tap on the wrong moment, you’ll loose a point. Self-explanatory. But there will be fun reactions, some you won’t expect.

You can go in minus, like you see in this screenshot.

This game has been translated in various languages, so you can enjoy this game in your native language. I played this game with my sister often in Dutch, since we Dutch people our brains don’t work in English THAT fast.

With various options and settings, you can leave modes out. Who has the most points at the end wins. There is also a “pro” version that supports 4 players.

I have one minor complaint with this game, and that’s on smaller screens, the text isn’t broken up to fit the screen.

Score: 4 / 5

Line Puzzle

unnamedAs simple as this game looks, as simple as you’ll get it. Made by DevSquare, this game has some amusing music.

In this game, your goal is that you have dots connect to other dots. The numbers represent how many dots you can use from that given square.

There are many puzzles, and some can get very big.

There is a “daily puzzle” which reminds me from the Professor Layton downloadable puzzles.

With the points you earn, you can buy hints, helpful for when you are stuck.

Some bad points are:

– The bad English translation. The option menu is a great example.

– They use the technical terms for music (BGM) and sound (SFX).

Score: 4 / 5

Card Game

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(This game contains Japanese)

To finish off this article, I would like to talk about another free game released by the guys of Beasty Bay.

In this game, your goal is to put the same number on your main card OR one of the same kind.

You have 3 “jokers”. The mascotte is a wild card, the monkey’ll change ALL cards that you can’t use and the lady’ll show you the card up next.

You can bet, with virtual coins. The more you bet, the more you can win. You need to have a chain of at least 17 cards to play a mini-game and earn your coins back.

You can choose to skip the mini-game and get your coins back or play the mini-game and win the double amount, or more, of coins back.

You can’t go broke in this game because when all your coins are up, you restart with a fresh 50 coins.

Each match is random.

This game might be in a Japanese interface, but it’s easy to find your way. After playing it for a little while, you can get easily the hang of it and enjoy playing.

The music is adorable too, like the graphics.

Score: 4,5 / 5 (A 5 if it was English)

Closure

So, that are 3 games that are free that I recommend. I will scout the market and come next article with more games. Also leave great recommendations here in the comments.

I hope you enjoy yourselves with these games and that you find some new studio’s or developers you can follow on the Android market. Have fun and I see you next blog entry.