The Friday Games Review

Uploaded by androiddevelopers on 05.10.2012

>>Dan Galpin: AndóOh yes. Here were are at the Friday Games Review. Oh, we need to go
back to theó [sounds stop] There we are. That's us.
>>Koh Kim: Hey. >>Dan: We're actuallyóRight behind us is
the Building 44 Arcade here in beautiful Building 44 in Mountain View.
>>Koh: Mountain View. >>Dan: I'm Dan Galpin, and once again with
me is our intrepid world traveler. >>Koh: Koh Kim. I'm back. It's been a while,
folks. Well, how are you? >>Dan: Excellent. And we've got a great set
of games here today for us to look at. It includes the gravity bending block breakout
game that is Space Out Lite, the pin-toppling transpositioner's shuffle board, bowling,
and poker that is 10 Pin Shuffle. The wannaó >>Koh: Hmm. And the wannabe lost cat creation
known as Meowch? It's Meowch? >>Dan: Does that sound right to you?
>>Koh: Meowch, Meowch, Meowch. Okay. >>Dan: Somyeol, which is an interesting take
on a multi-character platform game that combines aspects of lemmings, and thenó
>>Koh: Snappy Dragon 2, the sequel to the original Snappy Dragon, where you get to be
a cute dragon and you get to throw fireballs at all your enemies.
>>Dan: That's right. It's all those pesky garden gnomes, right?
>>Koh: Yeah. >>Dan: [laughs] It's almost a physics game,
but not quite. All right. So let's go on to our first game, which is going to be Space
Out Lite. >>Daniel Pham: I think that viewers want to
know what kind of beer you guys are drinking. >>Dan: Oh, very good point.
>>Koh: Oh, good point. >>Dan: We are drinking todayó
>>Koh: Today, the beeró >>Dan: The Anchor Brewing Company Liberty
Ale. I'll hold it up so you all can see it. It's really nice. I'm a huge fan of Anchor
in general. >>Koh: Mmhmm.
>>Dan: They are up in San Francisco. You can go take a tour of the brewery. It's really
fun. I've never done it, but I know a lot of people who have and have given really,
really good feedback on it. So let's take a quick look at Space Out, the
listing for Space Out Lite. Normally, we always review the papers in here on the Friday Review,
which often gives the best experience for our viewers, but also guarantees that our
developer gets one sale. >>Koh: Aww! [laughs]
>>Dan: [laughs] We need to buy it afterwards. We haven't done it yet. But we were lazy today,
so here's the Lite version that was actually nominated. And you know, I wanted to say,
this feature graphic contains a really good set of elements. It makes it clear what sort
of game we're talking about. The Space Out graphic itself is a good size.
>>Koh: Right. Mmhmm. >>Dan: It'd be very legible if the game is
featured. It could be a little bit more polished looking. I think that perhaps the effect behind
Space Out might be a little bit much, but it fits all of our guidelines.
>>Koh: Right. Yeah, for sure. I mean, if you think about it, this is your first graphic.
If your game ever does get featured, that gets seen on your mobile phone, so you have
to think about your screen size as well. So it's always important to focus on the most
important elements, which is the title and also what your game is about. I wouldóactually,
do hope it would actually include a little bit more of the 3-D depth, because the actual
game is in 3-D, and so it's kinda strange that I'm seeing a 2-D 8 bit version game.
I actually was not expecting the game that I was playing from the feature graphic.
>>Dan: That's true, that's true. It could go a little further, though. The other thing
I was going to say is I love the fact that the icon is not a rounded rectangle. That's
always really, really nice to see. >>Koh: Yes. Android designed it.
>>Dan: I actually find that when I see a whole bunch of rounded rectangles, I have a harder
time recognizing what the different things are. This makes it very, very clear. The icon
is really distinct. It's got a distinct shape. I really like when people take advantage of
the fact that we don't require that everything look the same.
All right. So the game itself involves changing gravity around. We can now switch to the view
of the game itself. [loud ambient sounds] This is gonna be challenging because we actually
[Koh laughs] have to manipulate the tabletó >>Koh: The tablet.
>>Dan: --without spilling the beer. All right. So I've got the tablet.
>>Koh: He's doing this one-handed. It's pretty awesome. Let's go.
>>Dan: This isóFirst of all, you actually align the screen, so you can see, it's to
prevent me from starting the game the way that's just going to [unintelligible]. This
level's actuallyóIt has all of the tutorial stuff. You can see, it's telling me the gravity.
The higher levels actually allow you to die. This level is just really a tutorial. It allows
you to see how the screen is. >>Koh: Right.
>>Dan: That's what I'm showing you now. I'm actually holding the tablet upside-down here.
>>Koh: Yeah. And you notice, he's actually playing the game.
>>Dan: Yeah. One of the power ups is this fire power up. It did aóoops. I think we're
going to lose HDMI through here if I'm not super careful.
>>Koh: Right. Sorry. >>Dan: It's-- One of the glorious things that
is micro HDMI, is that it's really not meant to be tormented, spun around like this. This
is an explosion one, this power up. One of my favorites. All really, really well done.
There isóIn terms of the art itself, some of the textures could be a little more interesting
on the blocks. >>Koh: Right.
>>Dan: They're interesting, but they just look kinda like checkers.
>>Koh: They look all the same, sorta likeóyeah. I mean, there's something that's very cool
about them, but-- >>Dan: Yeah. That would be my feeling. I want
to see cool designs with blocks. But it's got random pieces of marble and stuff like
that, and we're in a cool space game. >>Koh: Yeah. Also, it's the color scheme,
right? The problem with space-themed backgrounds and all that, it's very dark. I can imagine,
if I'm playing this in a very brightly lit area, it'd probably be hard for me to see
where I'm going. [laughs] >>Dan: A little bit. And the game does get
hard very, very quickly. >>Koh: Right.
>>Dan: Like here, it's very, very easy to die. I'm trying to hold this together. Hope
everyone can see this. >>Koh: Right. Because the way that you die
is if you actually jump out of the block cage. [laughs]
>>Dan: Yes. One of the fun power ups actually allows you to split balls, which is pretty
cool. >>Koh: No.
>>Dan: No, that's not the one I wanted. >>Koh: No.
>>Dan: Okay. I'll see if I can do this without dying. All right! Made it to the other side.
Let's see if I can actually get through a full level of the game for you all. Was that
the tutorial level? Ah, there we are. >>Koh: 'Cause truly, Dan is a big gamer, and
this should be easy, right? >>Dan: Yes, yes. Exactly.
>>Koh: [laughs] >>Dan: Actually, I mean, this gameóI really
enjoy this game. I love the explosions. Oh, it's so cool. And yeah. I mean, the developer
did a great job. I really have to congratulate them. The game is really, really fun. I had
a great time getting a chance to play it. >>Koh: Great twist on breakout.
>>Dan: Absolutely. Now, some other things I always like to note. You've got the vestigial
menu key down here at the bottom of the screen. That means they are not be targeting the latest
[unintelligible] version, and that doesn't have a menu anymore. [unintelligible] It doesn't
do anything. I realize it's so cheap. One of the things that happens for a game like
this that's using a native code to react the terminal on of compatibility packs, basically
to make sure that you are maintaining the compatibility with lower versions. But that
slows performance down a bit and doesn't allow the [unintelligible] to work as it normally
would. I'd definitely like to see them taking care of their [unintelligible].
All right. I think that's it. Is there anything you want to stand out more?
>>Koh: I don't know. I always feltóI love to check my favorite, the back button. It
looks like the back button acts appropriately. >>Dan: The back button acts perfectly. No,
that was good. Thanks, guys. Makes me feel like people are watching the show when that
happens. Also, I will say the sound also works when I [unintelligible] I'm going to place
the sound on, sorta like Youtube. All right. >>Koh: Right.
>>Dan: So, we're playing without sound, but I conclude the sound works correctly. All
right. Let's go-- >>Koh: To the next game. What are we playing
next? >>Dan: All right. Hold on. Let me getó
>>Koh: Oh, switch. Oh, look. >>Dan: This is going to beó
>>both: 10 Pin Shuffle. [ambient noise finally stops]
>>Dan: Which again, isóAnd we're going to go into a landscapeósorry, portrait-mode
game here eventually, but let's talk a little bit about their feature graphic. Now, this
feature graphic has 10 Pin Shuffle appearing very, very small.
>>Koh: Yeah. >>Dan: And honestly, this is one of those
times where what you have in the game in terms of icon is nice, but in this, it's just a
very, very tiny part of the scene. That being said, I love the rest of it. Other than the
title, which I'd change up. I think I would just get rid of the 10 Pin Shuffle shuffleboard
look and just move those two pieces of text out, make them larger.
>>Koh: Right. >>Dan: It would look much better. It's also,
just from a graphic design perspective, it really does feel just squashed up there in
the middle. When you're on a landscape screen like the view we've provided to the feature
graphic. When you're looking at it on the device itself, it looks okay because it's
in portrait mode, and this is a forced portrait mode game. But you do get a very good idea
of what the game is going to be. It's going to be a combination of shuffleboard and bowling,
and also poker. >>Koh: Poker, yeah. They mix up a lot of different
genres in this. >>Dan: Yeah, this is a total gaming mashup.
>>Koh: Right. >>Dan: I first started to play, and I'm likeóThe
only thing that actually kind of sucks about the gameólet's actually move on to the game
screen hereóis that you could actually kick butt on the bowling and shuffleboard side
of it. >>Koh: Right, but then you can suck at the
poker side of it. >>Dan: And still lose on the poker side. And
it's not like there's betting or anything like that, which would have actually made
it even more interesting. 10 Pin Poker is the only game that's actually active in the
free version. I haven't unlocked this, which I really should have done.
>>Koh: Right. Yeah. >>Dan: I'm totally denying all this income
to ouró >>Koh: Yeah, look at all those locks. Now
I'm actually curious. I was going to actually get the premium version of this, but--
>>Dan: I know, I intended to. It's beenó >>Koh: It's okay. I'm going to attempt to
play this sideways. [laughs] >>Dan: Right. Actually, we can actuallyówe'll
rotate. We'll rotate. >>Koh: We'll rotate it?
>>Dan: Here we are. If we lose it. Here we are. One, two, three. All right.
>>Koh: All right. >>Dan: It's much, much easier to play. Okay.
And I actually had set up, I think, to play with a component. Oh, I did so badly.
>>Koh: [laughs] >>Dan: I'll let you take over. [ambient noise
starts again] The controls for that were kinda interesting. There's two levels of controls.
Your initial ability to gain and rotate the floor. Next, you have the initial position
of up, as well asó >>Koh: I'm ready to get my butt kicked right
now. >>Dan: I think I'll rotate the end of the
board from the start, but actually, much depends on your accuracy in the target. Excellent.
[high pitched voice] Strike! >>Koh: Excellent. Strike.
>>Dan: All right. It's a quantifiable shuffleboard team.
>>Koh: Right. >>Dan: But in all seriousness, it was a little
bit confusing when I first started playing the game. Once I got into play, I realized
a lot of times how I manipulated the board and the initial setting didn't work at all.
[unintelligible] And making sure [noise stops] that I had a very accurate, straight shot.
The presentation's really, really nice. I love the little reflective effect on the surface.
It's a very nicely done texture. >>Koh: Right.
>>Dan: There's a lot of really well done sound effects as well.
>>Koh: Yeah. >>Dan: That we're not hearing.
>>Koh: Yeah, the extras are really great on this game.
>>Dan: Absolutely. It's really, really nice when you get out. When you get a spare, it
does things like it has a crowd that you can hear that boos when you get a split.
>>Koh: Right. >>Dan: I mean, this is a really, really well
done game. Again, this is another game that you can see the vestigial menu on the bottom
of, but as far as I can tell, it handles sound correctly. This is--
>>Koh: Right. Everything sounds right. The back button seems to work appropriately when
I remembered. >>Dan: Yeah.
>>Koh: Yeah, see. Look. You want to quit? No, I don't want to quit. I'm doing pretty
well, actually. >>Dan: What if you hit it again? Does it--?
Oh, that doesn't do anything. >>Koh: Right. Yeah, that itself.
>>Dan: It should dismiss it, rather than have it do nothing. Or, you know, potentially take
you back to the main menu. I'd like to see this thing because it's really clearly dialog.
So that's something our QA team would actually say, "Hey! You should make it do something"
because the backing should always do something. >>Koh: Right.
>>Dan: But other than that, the game works well. In terms of tablet presentation, it's
pretty good too. I think that it might be that the gestures are a little bit longer
on tablet than they might need to be. It might be fun to play with that. In terms of how
you move position and actually shoot, I'm not sure how much the developer did with that,
but that was my feeling. I had to gesture a little longer than I thought I should have
to in order to actually make it go. But it also--
>>Koh: Right. Well, it also varies, right. 'Cause I played this on my Nexus 7, and it
seemed to me that the sensitivity on that was a little bit different than what a Transformer
is. I mean, if you give the user some sort of way to be like, "Oh, maybe I just want
to flick a little bit." Sensitivity controls would be nice.
>>Dan: Yeah. I think the way to do this is to build an initial sensitivity based upon
the density of the screen. Maybe not in this case, not even the density of the screen,
but actually based upon the distance that the user actually is having to swipe. That's
something to think about, in terms of improving it. I still thought it was pretty darn good.
To be honest-- >>Koh: Yeah, it was pretty good. I mean, it's
very high quality. Once you got usedóyou sorta figured out what's going on.
>>Dan: Yeah. I had no qualms recommending this game to friends. It's fun.
There are a couple of little tiny issues in terms of presentation that could be helped
on the tablet, but honestly, without being nitpicky, I would say it looks really, really
solid. So yeah. Great job there on 10 Pin Shuffle.
We'll go on to our next title now. >>Koh: Next title.
>>Dan: I know, I know, you have to end your game.
>>Koh: I know. I'm actually doing pretty well. >>Dan: You're doing pretty well. I know.
>>Koh: This is not normal for me. [laughs] I actually was pretty bad at this game.
>>Dan: I want to see what happens. Have you seen, by the way, is that what's going on
in the game is that as you play the game, you actually get a better and better poker
hand, and you get the ability to swap out cards. That isóYou can say, "Which one do
you want to play?" >>Koh: I don't know. I don't want to lose
my pair. >>Dan: You can't lose your pair. I would pressó
>>Koh: Press Alt to take up the 9. >>Dan: The 9. It's a bigóHave you tried counting
cards with this to see how accurate it is? I was curious to seeó
>>Koh: I was thinking about that too. >>Dan: Yeah. I assume it's from a single deck,
but you know. I don't know. We'll see. We're almost done with here. We've got some time.
Let's finish the game. >>Koh: Let's see. Let's see how I'm going
to do. >>Dan: All our viewers-- Exactly. [high pitched
voice] Strike! >>Koh: So by the way, I have never won a game
of this in poker. [laughs] Even as many strikes as I have. 'Cause somehow, the computer's
always gotten a better poker hand than me. >>Dan: Yeah. I really don't get that at all.
So let's get rid of the jack and the king here. We keep our ace high. And then draw.
Let's go for it. Ohhhh! >>Koh: Aww, I should have just gottenóYeah.
Sometimes I'm just not-- >>Dan: Yeah. As I said, you don'tóit's hard
to tell exactly what's going on, because you can't tell what the computer's doing.
>>Koh: Yeah. >>Dan: I find the computeróThey've done the
computer nicely, so that if you are really, really sucking at the shuffleboard part of
the game, the computer does really, really badly.
>>Koh: The one thing that I kinda am a littleówould not take out is if you look in the upper right
corner, it does say, "Available on the app store." So I would--
>>Dan: I know, I know. This is the default ad when an ad isn't showing up. Come on, guys!
>>Koh: Right. >>Dan: I don't have one of them devices. Dude!
It's an Android game now. All right. So you've got one more shot. Want to get rid of that
one? Ah, such a tough one. >>Koh: At this point, you'd want to keep the
thing. I would just get rid of-- >>Dan: I would say go for it. Yeah, go for
it again. >>both: Yeah!!!
>>Koh: Full house, look at that! This may be the first game I've ever won!
>>Dan: It's exciting. We get to find out what happens when you win. Suspense, you know.
One thing that is kinda frustrating is that I do notóalso, at the end of the bowling
game, if youóit doesn't actuallyóif you end up getting a strike, it doesn't give you
extraóIt doesn'tóyeah! >>Koh: So I was going to be really mad if
they had a better full house. [laughs] >>Dan: Yeah, exactly. All right, we finally
[high pitched voice] woooooooon! All right. So that'sóoooh, nice.
>>Koh: Oooh. >>Dan: No, no, no. Let's not play new opponents.
>>Koh: Right. >>Dan: So I guess you end up getting more
challenging opponents as well. Again, thumbs up. Clever mashup of a bunch of stuff. Does
this mashup exist? Does anyone know? >>Koh: I don't even know. That's the first
I ever saw a mashup like this, I was like, "Poker and shuffleboard? And bowling? Really?"
>>Dan: Yeah. I really want to know. >>Koh: If you do find out a game, post a link,
'cause I'd be interested. >>Dan: Yeah. If any viewers out there know
the answer to this, let us know in the comments. >>Koh: Actually, that would be a very interesting
show. We should do a mashup, genre mashup show. [laughs]
>>Dan: [laughs] All right. So let's go on to our next game here. I'll let you move the
tablet, Koh. >>Koh: All right.
>>Dan: And I'll take control of the slide deck. So our next game is going to be
>>both: Meowch! >>Dan: And Meowch is kinda an interesting
game, because I wasn't sure how I felt about it.
>>Koh: I wasn't really sure. I saw the feature graphic, and I was like, "What is this game?
Interesting." >>Dan: Yeah, yeah.
>>Koh: I mean, it is a very bold feature graphic, though, so I give the developer or whoever
designed it that much. It's definitely attention-grabbing. >>Dan: Let's switch over to it here. So there'sóooooh.
>>Koh: I was like, "Whoa!" >>Dan: Transitions, oh yes. You can tell that
Ian didn't make this deck. So yeah. Actually, this is a great feature graphic in terms of
making sure the text is forward. It does not tell me anything about the game. Sometimes
it's a good thing, sometimes it's not. >>Koh: Sometimes a bad thing. Yeah.
>>Dan: It doesn't necessarily have to. One of the things that's really interesting: we
had a developer who got their app featured recently, and they doubled the number of installs
just by making a more attractive feature graphic. They actually went and-- The first, their
original feature graphic, was just a blowup version of their logo. They ended up replacing
it with this beautiful artwork and imagery. >>Koh: Right. Right.
>>Dan: Beautiful imagery in this case. With a slightly smaller version of their logo.
But it just looked pro. >>Koh: Well, yeah. It was the app Dwellable.
It was basically a vacation rental app. Originally, it was just basically this garish, bright
orange background with their logo. >>Dan: Yeah.
>>Koh: And so you can imagine you're like, "What is this app? It doesn't tell me anything
that it does." >>Dan: But then they showed me this beautiful
house that you could rent, along with Dwellable. And boom. All of a sudden, itó
>>Koh: Double installs? I was like, "No, it's more installs."
>>Dan: So these feature graphics really are important. I don't know how many more times
we have to emphasize this. This is great. I think thatóI honestly don't know if I would
represent this game any other way. >>Koh: Yeah.
>>Dan: It's pretty reasonable. It is hard to go, "What's going on in this game?"
>>Koh: Right, until you play it. But luckily, they have a free version for everyone to try,
so it gives everyone a chance to try it. >>Dan: Absolutely. So let's go into the actual
gameplay itself. We'll switch over to our gameplay slide here. This is another-- [laughs]
I had to rotate the tablet. >>Koh: Of course. [laughs] Now you've got
to rotate it back. >>Dan: I have to rotate it back, because this
is it. >>Koh: Okay.
>>Dan: The reason I actually like leaving this in the key dock is because it makes it
easy when we have to rotate it. Otherwise, it's kinda a challenge.
>>Koh: Oh, yeah, yeah. >>Dan: All right. So I'll let youóI didn't
play this one as much as some of the other games.
>>Koh: But we'll just go to the first level because it's just easy.
>>Dan: Yes, it is. >>Koh: Just to see what's going on.
>>Dan: You don't get the humans trying to grab the cat through the windows.
>>Koh: Right, that happened in the second level, which was kinda crazy. So basically,
you're essentially a cat, and all you do is you--
>>Dan: I think you actually are a cat. I don't even think it's essential.
>>Koh: Yeah. But you're essentially trying to get all this Meowcat food and then go to
the exit. Right? >>Dan: It's a missing cat sign, actually.
You're trying to get rid of the missing cat sign so that you canóBecause obviously, it
makes itó >>Koh: Enjoy your freedom.
>>Dan: Enjoy your freedom. >>Koh: Right.
>>Dan: The goal isóyou're this not stray cat. You're a cat who's trying to be found
by its owner, and you're desperately trying to avoid being found by your owner. Which
is kinda weird, actually. Unless maybe what you are is you areóNo, it's a missing cat
sign. >>Koh: It is a missing cat sign. So you're
a cat that decided to escape from its owner because you don't like cat ladies. [laughs]
>>Dan: That does seem to be actually exactly the case.
>>Koh: All right. >>Dan: You're owned by a crazy cat lady.
>>Koh: You're owned by a crazy cat lady, and you're trying to escape for your freedom.
[laughs] >>Dan: So the game does get harder in the
second level. There's a lot more elements. You also are a catóI would describe you as
being sortaóusing theóYou're sorta the angry cat metaphor here, where you actually are
kinda a giant kitty slingshot. >>Koh: Right. Right.
>>Dan: If you actually kinda pull the tail on your cat back, in order to launch your
cat forward, probably for reasons of animal abuse, they don't actually show this. Which
is probably good. But it is a littleóThe controls are a little weird, 'cause it's not
really obvious what you're doing. Like, "Why am I pulling back on the cat? To make the
cat jump?" >>Koh: Yeah, I wasn't really sure about that.
It took me a while to figure out what up. Even the objective, too. I think a lot of
itóI didn't realize, "Oh, I was that missing cat."
>>Dan: Yeah, exactly. Exactly. So anywhos, we'll just try to get out of here. I didn't
do well this level. But at least I avoided the crazy cat lady who's trying to get me,
and the animal control officer. >>Koh: Right. Right.
>>Dan: But that's basically the game. I'm sure they add more elements as you go farther
into the game. >>Koh: Right.
>>Dan: It didn't strike me as a game that I really had to play. From an art style perspective,
it's somewhat consistent. It's a littleóIt definitely has that "I drew this in Adobe
Illustrator" kind of look to it, but it doesn'tóAnd it's fine. I mean, I think it'sófrom what
I saw, it seems like a reasonably clever game. But it did kinda strike me as an odd game.
And again, I really wanted to play this game deeper than I actually was able to do.
>>Koh: Right. >>Dan: Some strange things about this game
in terms of the juxtaposition of different elements: you do have this sort ofóthat the
numbers have a really, really different feel to the score, and a couple of other things.
>>Koh: Right. >>Dan: It might be worth playing with it to
keep this. You've got this really cool hand run style already.
>>Koh: Yeah. Well, I think a lot of it is just try to educate your player on what all
these different elements are. Like, what's actually bad? I didn't even realize the lighted
yellow windows is actually, the crazy cat lady can come out. It took me a while to be
like, "Oh! I was not supposed to do that." It doesn't give you an indication of whether
youóNot like failure, per se, but you did something wrong. I had no idea. I was like,
"Oh, animal pest control. Oh yeah, that's actuallyóI don't want to get caught by that."
Or "Oh, these antennas, these satellite dishes. Oh, I can bounce off of them." You just have
no idea unless you experiment. Now, that's alsoóI mean, that can be a good thing, but
you want to make sure thatóI mean, this is only the third or fourth level, right?
>>Dan: Yeah. >>Koh: You have to think about who your audience
is in terms of these types of arcade action games. You just want to make sure--
>>Dan: Boom. [high pitched voice] Ouch! >>Koh: Yeah.
>>Dan: So one of the things that's interesting about this game, that I would say isóActually,
I want more frames of animation. I actually wasóEspecially in the cat. Because IóThere's
some, but I think that's actually one of the things that would make the game really just
feel that much better. When you have the cat and the cat is the main character, just a
couple of additional frames would look really, really nice. So that way, if there's any little
polish I would add to the game, you know, everything else is pretty much-- Stylistically,
we're talking about here. >>Koh: Right.
>>Dan: Now, I will say one thing I'm really happy to see is this game actually is targeting
a recent SDK. We don't see a vestigial menu. In terms of back key support, it does exactly
the wrong thing. [laughs] >>Koh: Yeah. Right. It doesn't bring up a
menu, an actual menu button. It just brings up "Do you want to exit?"
>>Dan: Exactly. >>Koh: But at least it's something. I mean,
this is progress. I mean, before, we had a lot of games that didn't have anything.
>>Dan: That's right. >>Koh: But that game is also coming. [laughs]
>>Dan: Exactly. So I don't know. I wasn't sure. It wasn't a game that really engaged
me. Space Out really engaged me, 10 Pin Shuffle really engaged me. Meowch? Meowch was fun.
I think I would probably recommend it to someone. It seems like it was targeted at someone younger
than me. But at the same time, it also seemed really, really challenging. I kinda wondered
whether an eight year oldó >>Koh: In world 1, number 3, it was pretty
hard until I figured it out. >>Dan: Yeah. So my feeling is that it's sorta
this strange combination of a game that seems to be targeted at kids but seems to be too
difficult for kids. >>Koh: Right. Right.
>>Dan: Maybe there is some balance that can be struck there.
>>Koh: Right. >>Dan: All right. We're going toó
>>Koh: But great art style though. Positive. Great art style. I like the design, the graphics.
But definitely, a lot can be improved on it. >>Dan: All right, so now we're going to eventually
move to a landscape game. >>Koh: All right!
>>Dan: All right. And this game is Somyeol. At least, that'só
>>Koh: Somyeol. Somyeol. Yes, Somyeol. >>Dan: So I wasn't quite sure how it was pronounced,
but now it'sóI believe Koh in this case. >>Koh: Yeah. This is actually kinda strange.
So I see this feature graphic, I have no idea what to expect. I'm assuming the Somyeol is
actually probably what those little lemming-like creatures are?
>>Dan: Yeah, yeah, I think so. Again, lemmings wear green hair. This is purple hair. So they're
definitely not lemmings. >>Koh: Right.
>>Dan: And I would say there's a lot of things about this game. First of all, [ambient noise
in background for a short while] you can actually look at the feature. So the feature graphic
here actually at least had the text in the right proportion. It's big, it's flashy, it's
eye-catching. We have another rounded corners icon for no apparent reason. Especially when
you've got something as dynamic and eye-catching as the actual Somyeol hair itself. It just
sticks out in all directions. You know, why not make that part of your icon, part of that
look? I think we missed out. There's a missed opportunity here.
>>Koh: Yeah. You can definitely do background transparent image and just stick out there
hair. That's probably fine. >>Dan: Absolutely. But let's actually look
at the game itself. So hopefully, we actually have this running.
>>Koh: So we can actually play it. >>Dan: We can actually play it. Now, some
things you may not notice at home: everything is really, really low res.
>>Koh: Right. >>Dan: Okay, in this game, exceptionally,
exceptionally low res. And it is a hand drawn art style, but when you see hand drawn art,
it's so much nicer when you actually get to see it at a resolution close to what the tablet
is playing on. It just feels like, "Okay, this was made a long time ago."
>>Koh: Right. >>Dan: And it's not made a long time ago in
that, "Oh, cool, it's retro." It's made a long time ago inó
>>Koh: As in someone didn't think about HD. It lives in SD land.
>>Dan: As that it was made for a device that had a much lower resolution than this. And
other notes: we've got lots of icons all over this screen. We have individual icons for
a whole bunch of things. I'm actually at least glad that it's not trying to get me to click
on them, but I always feel like if you're going to do an Android game, having a standard
Android share icon in addition to all those, at least, if not it being the only thing there,
it's really nice. 'Cause right now, if I wanted to post to my Google+ account, I can't do
it. If I want to send email that contains similar information, I can't do it.
>>Koh: Right. >>Dan: If I wanted to share stuff with somebody,
perhaps from the web store to someone, I can'tófrom the Google Play Store, I can't do it. So there's
a lot of things here. If I wanted to rate the game, there might be a way to do this.
I have no idea how I might do this from the information in the screen.
>>Koh: No, no. Not the screen. >>Dan: There's a lot of things that are here
that may or may not be useful, and yet, a bunch of things that are definitely important,
like "Please rate the game" is not here. Just some little thoughts. Or if it is there, I
can't possibly tell what it is. >>Koh: Right.
>>Dan: Now again, we kinda considered this. We go back to this very, very low res, hand
drawn art style. Cute. But the game is really inventive. And I think that's actually what's
kind exciting about it, isóLet's go to one of the levels that'só[pause] [laughs]
>>Koh: [laughs] >>Dan: Againó
>>Koh: And againóThat's interesting. >>Dan: Yeah, yeah. Well, you know, it's definitely
artwork that feels like the stuff that I would draw if I were drawing a game.
>>Koh: I mean, it could be on purpose. I just wish it was in a higher definition.
>>Dan: Yeah, yeah. Again, you know, it's hard to say. Whenever you're looking at a title
like this, you're like, "Well, was this intended? Is it supposed to have that feel?"
>>Koh: [hums] >>Dan: Some very cool things about this game.
So this is actually a multiplayer platform game, where I've got to get these guys to
safety and get them onto the rocket. Okay? Obviously very, very straightforward to do
in that level. >>Koh: Right.
>>Dan: But it gets tricky because sometimes, what you have to do is actually group them
together. You can actually sometimes drop them into place and have to squash them into
one level. >>Koh: Right.
>>Dan: And there are puzzles to solve where half of them go one place and half of them
go the other way. >>Koh: Go the other way.
>>Dan: And you control them all as this block. A lot of times, it's figuring out how to split
them up and still control them, etc, etc. There's a lot of really interesting puzzles.
There's a lot that's going on in this game. I kinda wantóI just want a presentation that's
just a littleóthat says to users, "Yes, this game really had a lot of thought put into
it." But it's probably-- >>Koh: Right, right. But the gameplay element
is probablyóit's very interesting. I think it's very unique, and so--
>>Dan: Yes. Yeah. I'd like to see the game do more.
>>Koh: Right. >>Dan: One other thing to note in this game
is not only is the game targeting an ancient SDK version, but it's actually not targeting
all screens. So we have the zoom controls on it. And it might actually look better,
honestly, zoomed. >>Koh: Zoomed in full screen.
>>Dan: In this particular case. Although it's pretty much gonna beóIt's gonna look very
similar. And there are a few assets here that are higher resolution than others.
>>Koh: Right. >>Dan: So that might be something worth noting.
In terms of back key support, it is doingó >>Koh: Seems like it's doing what it's supposed
to do. Yeah. >>Dan: What it's supposed to do. Yeah. That'sóLike
this "Please rate"! Oh, exit. It'd be better if that was a link.
>>Koh: Right. >>Dan: Maybe it is a link, and I couldn't
tell. >>Koh: Yeah.
>>Dan: But in any caseóso that's Somyeol. And the final game that we're going to look
at todayó >>Koh: Is Snappy Dragons 2.
>>Dan: --is Snappy Dragons 2. And Snappy Dragons 2 is a beautiful looking game. Extensive Studios
did a fabulous job on it. It is, again, a sequel to the original game. And we're, once
again, playing the light version. If you nominate the light version, there's a chance that we'll
play the light version. If you want us to actually use the premium version, please nominate
the premium version and we'll do it. >>Koh: Yeah.
>>Dan: Don't make your premium version like $10,000 the one day we go to play it.
>>Koh: Yeah. >>Dan: But in all seriousness, we don'tó
>>Koh: Well, then we probably won't review it. [laughs]
>>Dan: Probably not. Well, I think it's actually the maximum is like $99 on Google Play. But
any caseó >>Koh: But feature graphic wise, really cool.
I'm not really sure if I would have used the transition between the yellow to red. It's
really hard to see against the light blue background.
>>Dan: You can't really tell you're on the website.
>>Koh: Right. >>Dan: But we have the beautiful advantage
that we're actually looking at the screen right now. A very small screen. Like, I couldn't
possibly read the text in the review itself from where we're looking, but the size of
those reviews, of the graphic that we're looking at right now is not that far off from this
size on a phone or a tablet. And I justóit looks likeó
>>Koh: You just can't see anything. I can't read it.
>>Dan: Yeah, it looks like P Drag 2. I can read the 2. So a little bit more contrast
would actually help quite a bit. And this is one of those times where really, a subtle
drop shadow would help a little bit more. There might be one. If there is one, it's
really subtle. >>Koh: Right.
>>Dan: I see it over here. No, I don'tóOh, a little one, maybe.
>>Koh: No, no. I mean-- >>Dan: Yeah. We can read it. We can read it
when we're looking at a closer screen. >>Koh: Right. Really, the biggest thing is
just think about, when you're thinking about designing your feature graphic, always think
about your color schemes, what you're using, and all that stuff. I mean, there's always
thisóIt's a lot of cool color sciencing, but yeah. Contours--
>>Dan: The composition is great. >>Koh: Oh, yeah, the composition's great.
You know, honestly, if they just switched it all to red letters, it probably would have
been fine. >>Dan: It would have popped.
>>Koh: It would have popped a lot more. Or orange. Blue and orange are complimentary.
They're going to stand out to contrast. >>Dan: The other thing is, no rounded rectangle
needed on this guy. You're already pushing the boundaries on it. I would just say get
rid of it. It looks cool enough without it. We don't need it. And yeah. That would be
my take on that. >>Koh: Okay.
>>Dan: So let's go to the actual game itself. >>Koh: So the actual game itself. Oh, I wanted
to show people what I didn't like about the game to start out. So let's restart the game.
>>Dan: All right. We're going to restart the game so we canóyes.
>>Koh: Mostly 'cause this is a pet peeve of mine, but mostlyóAll right, if this is the
first screenóSo it'só >>Dan: Have you played the game before?
>>Koh: Have you played the game before? >>Dan: Yes.
>>Koh: So if you look at this from first glance, think about a user, I looked at this, I was
like, "Well, is this an ad? Am I supposed to click on something, or is this just another
screen?" It's actually very hard to tell. And it wasn't until I started touching the
screen that I realized, "Oh, I was supposed to touch it." [laughs] In order to start the
game. >>Dan: Yeah. That's a really, really good
point. I think it's one of those things where, as an interstitial, where it's really clear
that it's interstitial, this is cool, but it's a very first screen you see in the game.
It's a little bit-- >>Koh: Right. Right. I would just have rather
it had gone to this screen. But, you know, that's just my slate. [laughs]
>>Dan: Absolutely. No, no. I think it's a really good point. And again, beautiful composition
here-- >>Koh: It's a beautiful first screen.
>>Dan: --on the title screen. This is nice. Again, I'd like to see a standard Android
share icon next to other things or in place of other things. I reallyóyou know, people
should be allowed to share on whatever social networks they are using.
>>Koh: Right. >>Dan: Mu and . There are places in the world
in which, actually, Facebook is not the most popular social network. And Twitter, people
don't even know about it. So make sure that users that are in Korea, for exampleó
>>Koh: Korea, for example, yes. >>Dan: They use their social network of choice.
>>Koh: There are other social networks out there. They're probably a lot more beneficial.
[laughs] >>Dan: So just again, using the Android standard
share app allows someone to use what they have installed. If you want to include things
next to it, that's great. But I really like seeing at least that there.
>>Koh: But let's play this. This is actuallyóit was very interesting because it was one of
those things where-- >>Dan: It's a beautifully, beautifully drawn
game. >>Koh: We're gonna try a harder level, because
it's just more fun. So you're basically, essentially, controlling a dragon. And your objective is
throw, breathe fireballs and fiery fury against all of your opponents. Right now, it's these
little wizards. They're keeping your baby dragons captive.
>>Dan: I thought they were gnomes. Maybe they are wizards. In any caseóso the thing-- The
animation is actually really, really well done on the dragon. It feels almost like cartoon
animation, which is great. I would say the only sad thing for me about this one was that
the destruction of the buildingó >>Koh: The building--
>>Dan: --was so boring! >>Koh: Yeah.
>>Dan: They're not buildings. They don't behave. >>Koh: It's like Worms from old school.
>>Dan: Yeah. >>Koh: Right?
>>Dan: It is basically, it is exactly like what you get in Worms. And you don't get things
that are falling in any reasonable way, you don't get any kind of destruction. It was
kinda sad 'cause everything is so beautifully done other than that that it was sorta sad.
It doesn't mean the game isn't fun. The game is still fun. It's still beautiful. It's just
that I was hoping that I was gonna get this cool physics gameó
>>Koh: Yeah, see things blowing up. >>Dan: --and what I actually got was a very,
very old school kind of game. And when it came to the gameplay itself. That doesn't
mean it's not fun. >>Koh: Right.
>>Dan: Let me say that. But I just wanted to see it taken to the next level, especially
knowing this was a sequel. That being said, the artwork is beautiful, the game really
is fun, it's got a lot of greató >>Koh: It's very animated.
>>Dan: --elements, it's very well animated. >>Koh: Well thought levels. Yeah. I mean,
I thought, overall, it was a good job. I think out of the set right now, this may be, in
terms of execution, probably the best one. I just kinda wish that the--
>>Dan: It is the most polished of the games. >>Koh: Definitely the most polished.
>>Dan: In terms of the art style, the look and feel. All really, really blends together
well. All of the elements are really well thought out. As far as the most fun games
to play, honestly, both of the two first games are really fun. My favorite game was probably
actually the-- >>Koh: 10 Pin Shuffle was actually pretty
fun. >>Dan: 10 Pin Shuffle was very fun. I liked,
though, the weird gravity breakout game. I thought that wasó
>>Koh: Yeah, yeah, yeah. Space Out was pretty cool.
>>Dan: Space Out had a lot of stuff going for it.
>>Koh: I just wish it had a different color scheme. It was very dark.
>>Dan: It was very dark. Maybe that wasó >>Koh: I'm a very visual person.
>>Dan: Yes. [laughs] >>Koh: If you want to impress me, it's all
about the visual. [laughs] >>Dan: So I mean, I did want to mention, this
was the first time I've ever actually done one of these shows without a hat. So this
isó >>Koh: [unintelligible]
>>Dan: Not onlyóI know. Not only are we in the beautiful Building 44 arcade, or at least
we're in front of the Building 44 arcade, but we also haveóThis is setting a new trend
here. But yeah. In all seriousness, this game really has a lot going for it. I just kinda
want to see the developer take it to the next level, because I think it could be better.
>>Koh: Yeah. I just kinda wish that when you go up the buildings, all those bricks and
all that fall apart and all that and stuff. But I guess that kinda would affect the level
design, because you can't hit the baby dragons again after you destroy it. So it'sóBut overall,
good job. >>Dan: Yes. And one other thing I wouldóYou
know, when you look at a presentation like this, you put this in front of marketing and
merchandising people, and they're not going to have any trouble featuring this in terms
of the look and feel. They're gonna say, "Oh, yes, this is the kind of professionalism that
people expect when they click on the feature graphic within Google Play."
>>Koh: So I think the one thingóI think this is the one game that did not have a back button
thing. So if you do press the back buttonóOh. But in the beginningóMaybe it was in this
one. It may have not been this one. There was a game where it was in mid-play, when
if you hit the back buttonóIt may have been this one, actually. In mid-play. No, not this
one. >>Dan: No, there wasó
>>Koh: There was definitely another game with a weird back button.
>>Dan: Yeah. This one handles it pretty well. >>Koh: Yeah.
>>Dan: There we go. >>Koh: Weather widget.
>>Dan: So one of the things we like talking about occasionally here on the show-- and
I'm going to move us back to our correspondence slide here on the Friday Reviewóis the kind
of games we're playing now. One of the ones that Koh brought to my attention is we have
the largest game ever onó >>Koh: In terms of assets files.
>>Dan: In terms of assets files. [laughs] >>Koh: So the reason why I was excited about
this game: it's called A Bard's Tale. It's from InXile Entertainment. And for all of
you that follow the video game news, you gamer nerds out there, InXile Entertainment was
founded by Brian Fargo. He's actually-- >>Dan: The founder of Interplay.
>>Koh: Founder of Interplay, who founded the Wasteland series. So he successfully did Wasteland
2, kick started Wasteland 2, which probably brought in, what? Multi millions of dollars'
worth of stuff? >>Dan: It was certainly one of the most successful
of all times. >>Koh: It was pretty big amount of money for
a crowd-funding campaign. >>Dan: Absolutely.
>>Koh: So he actually didóThis was originally-- I think it was originally on iOS and is now
ported to Android. It was recently released-- >>Dan: It was originally on Xbox.
>>Koh: Or Xbox. Yeah, it was back in 2004. >>Dan: Yeah.
>>Koh: And then they decided to move to move to mobile. I think it first was on a differentóIt
finally is now on Android, so now it's mobile. So I was like, "Cool, I get to play this wherever
I want." Whatever. So I was on my Nexus 7, and it was probably the best choice, to be
honest, 'cause I could definitely tell it was made for the Nexus 7 tablet. But the total
download asset file size was-- >>Dan: Monstrous. Almost 4 GB. 3 and a halfó
>>Koh: 3.6, 3.7 gigs? >>Dan: Yeah.
>>Koh: So you definitely need Wifi. [laughs] >>Dan: You definitely need Wifi. And if you
have an 8 gig Nexus 7, it's pretty much the only thing that's gonna be on your Nexus 7,
but it mightó >>Koh: Well, it actually is okay, because
it's probably when I don't haveóI don't keep that many games that are on my tablet or still
on my tablet. That is probably one of the few games that will be still on my Nexus 7.
But anyway. >>Dan: Yeah. Absolutely. Hats off to developers
for bringing such an ambitious game over. It's completelyóI would say that, you know,
the thing with the Bard's Tale is it relies so much on the musical element of the game
that itó >>Koh: Right. Music, audio.
>>Dan: It's hard to bring the game over without having it in there, but the music is enormous.
There's just an enormous amount of audio in this game. If there was a way to bring over
this game, this particular game, without having to have the audio, it might actually allow
for some more casual gamers to actually get into the game. The problem is that it's justóthe
audio really does provide some of the absolute best experience within the game. You could
just go-- >>Koh: Right. I mean, some of the jokesóI
mean, you can tell, this is a very well scripted, this is--
>>Dan: This is an adult game, too. >>Koh: This is definitely an adult game.
>>Dan: Let's make this very, very clear. >>Koh: The humor is pretty funny. [laughs]
>>Dan: It's bawdy. If you've been to a Renaissance Faire, you pretty much know what this game
is gonna be like. >>Koh: [laughs]
>>Dan: In fact, when I heardówhen I listened to the first song of the game, I'm like, "I
know that I've heard that song at a Renaissance Faire."
>>Koh: Right. >>Dan: So you definitely have that element
in it. Yeah, you know, if you've got small children, this is probably not the game to
pander. >>Koh: You don't want to share your tablet
ifówith your small children. If you have this game on your thing. [laughs]
>>Dan: With this game, yeah. Yeah. It's definitely a game for you and your teenage friends to
play, and/or other adults. It's definitely got that level of humor in it.
>>Koh: Right. >>Dan: But it's very fun. It's very, very
well done. And they did a beautiful job on the Tegrad version for Nexus.
>>Koh: Yeah. No, it looks beautiful. >>Dan: Just to switch over to the tablet really,
really quickly. >>Koh: I mean, we're only playing this on
a transformer. And if this is what it looks like on the transformer, you can imagineóAnd
actually, there's two different versions. It doesóI mean, basically, the basic, the
actual files, standard file's about 1.6 gigs, but if you do have a Nexus 7 or any Tegra
3 tablet, or an NVIDIA tablet, then you will be given the option to download the bigger
version. >>Dan: I thought this song was just so appropriate
for our Friday Review here. >>Koh: [laughs] Right.
>>Dan: And yeah. You can actually hear this song basically sung in its entirety at Renaissance
Faires. But in all seriousness, this actuallyóSo the transformer prime has the same GPU and
similar kind of capabilities to what we have in the Nexus 7.
>>Koh: All right. That's right. That's nice. That's anotheróI forgot about that.
>>Dan: Yeah. So this does have the truly awesome, massive megadownload made available for the
NVIDIA chips. And it really does look good, as you can see. It's just really, really great
to get to see it. So I thought I'd mention, because sometimes we don't talk about what
we're playing. >>Koh: Right.
>>Dan: And it's nice to say, "By the way, in addition to all these other games that
we're playing, we're also spending time doing this."
>>Koh: Right. So you can tell, yes, my range of games that I like are pretty far. [laughs]
Pretty extreme. >>Dan: Well, that's why it's great to have
Koh here on the show. >>Koh: [laughs]
>>Dan: 'Cause pretty much, you know, there are games tható
>>Koh: Hey, I like my Match 3 games! >>Dan: Hey, I like Match 3 games.
>>Koh: Right. >>Dan: Absolutely. Yeah, that's why it's good
to kinda mix things up here on the Friday Review. Get lots and lots of different ideas.
And also find out what people are playing. So yes. Tell us what you're playing. Make
sure to go to the Moderator page, nominate your favorite games, nominate games that you've
written, nominateó >>Koh: Nominate games that you think we should
know about and talk about. >>Dan: Yeah. If a game is awesome but something
about it just drives you nuts, let us know. Because we want to make games better on Android.
>>Koh: Right. >>Dan: That's our goal here.
>>Koh: And it's okay if they're in another language. I can actually speak and read Korean.
[laughs] >>Dan: Absolutely. And I can watch her speak
and read Korean. >>Koh: [laughs]
>>Dan: So it all works out. So I think we're going to have a short show here today on the
Friday Review. So if there's anything elseóIs there anything from the live stream that we
should know about? Is there anyone on the live stream?
>>Daniel: There's tons of people on the live stream, but I think you answered the biggest
question, which was, "Where's your hat?" so I think we'll leave it at that.
>>Dan: [laughs] Where's my hat? >>Koh: Where'só[laughs]
>>Dan: Now everyone knows why Dan wears a hat.
>>Koh: But we do have Halloween coming up. >>Dan: We do.
>>Koh: We should do a show about zombies or witches oró
>>Dan: Yes. So if you see some great Halloween-themed games out there, let's start getting them
nominated. If we see enough of them, we'll do a Halloween-themed show.
>>Koh: And we'll actually dress up. >>Dan: Yeah, absolutely. I mean, what would
you dress up as, though? >>Koh: I don't know. That's a secret. Maybe
I'll leave that to the Moderator forums. >>Dan: Oh, yes. [laughs]
>>Koh: They actually do a Halloween. >>Dan: That's right.
>>Koh: Maybe that's a bad idea. >>Dan: That's a bad idea. Yeah, exactly.
>>Koh: [laughs] Right? >>Dan: Koh, you dress up, well, however you
like. >>Koh: [laughs]
>>Dan: And we'll see with some anticipation here. Set some suspense about what Koh might
actually dress up as for future episodes. [laughs]
>>Koh: [laughs] >>Dan: All right. So that's it for us here
at the Friday Review. Thank you, of course, once again to Daniel Pham for being our engineer
todayó >>Koh: Yeah!
>>Dan: --and making sure everything was running smoothly. He also corralled us and made sure
the show happened today. >>Koh: Right, right.
>>Dan: Which is always good. And, of course, cheers.
>>Koh: Cheers. Happy Friday, everyone. >>Dan: Happy Friday.