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I recently blogged about geocaching on my website about how it can b used as an impetus to get out and take some photos but as I typed it out I realized that I also use it as a type of game as well. As my previous posts show here I love iphone games and if an application is fun enough to use then it itself can be turned into a game with a little use of imagination.
Geocaching is essentially treasure hunting in real life. Once you have downloaded the app or visited geocahing.com you can search for near by stashes and once located you can upload them to you GPS enable device and head off on the hunt. Using the gps coordinates and clues from the original geochacher its up to you to find it. Once found you can notify the app you have discovered it and leave a signature or treasure behind for other geocachers to discover when they find it. The whole thing is a ton of fun and very active but how am I turning it into an iOS game?
Well the answer is simple: Set a goal. I load up the app and find a group of caches that are within a reasonable distance of each other. I then set myself a time limit to find and photograph them all and if completed I win! Simple yet extremely effective. For the more imaginative people out there I?m sure they can apply a storyline to the whole thing as well (though I don?t go that far ). I highly recommend geocaching to anyone who hasn?t experienced it before and to try and turn it into a game as well. Video games are a amazing and can keep one occupied for hours on end but no one can deny the good clean fun getting out and walking can give.
The Act is one of those rare games in which it dosen't feel like a game at all. This title is far more akin to older games such as Dragon Lair where it's more like an interact cartoon than anything else. The art style as well is similar to Dragons Lair or the early Broken Sword games which is fantastic because beautiful art style coupled with a pretty decent sound track make these experiences all the more worth while. This "games" sound track happens to be key to the whole scenario as there is no dialogue from the characters themselves. Instead the music accompanys the actions and facial expressions being given off by the cast of the story and works to great effect. As you watch the main protagonist's efforts unfold you either swipe left or right on the screen to make him act to a certain situation and watching closely to what is happening and to the music is vital if you wish to succeed. This could be a great gameplay mechanic but there is no in game prompts what so ever and if you do fail the game simply rewinds to the start of the scene and lets you try again all without telling you what it is you did wrong. In the end its a simple case of luck to progress or being able to remember exactly which way you slid your finger during the previous try.
Over all The Act is a great little title, and one that will keep you busy for some time unless you happen to be a clairviyant Steven Spielberg.
Remember the good old days? When you started out on a quest, fully intending to save the day by trekking through endless dungeons, battle hordes of evil creatures and micro manage your heroic party only to find it was dinner time and no save point was around? Well those days of late are gladly (sadly?) gone. I haven't played an RPG akin to Final Fantasy VII or Star Ocean 2 on a console for years. Sure there maybe some titles out there but with the casualisation of the current market I have like many others followed suit. So when a game does rear its ugly head I am usually not to bothered to play it because I like to win at games and the thought of gruelling level grinding and endless turned based battles just don't do it for me anymore.
That was until I decided to pick up Rainbow Moon. I wasn't following the development of game, in fact I had never heard of it before it popped up on the PSN but after a quick google and youtube search I realised this could be a game for me or at least if nothing else could fill the gap in my gaming schedule as there is currently nothing else to play at the moment. The reason it caught my eye was its cute graphics, shameful I know but it caught my eye none the less. You play a hero who finds himself on a distant moon with no means of getting off it. Cue adventure and princess galore (I'm sure) as you set out to right the wrongs of the strange planet and try to discover a way home.
The story isn't the main selling point of the game however. As with many titles today its the gameplay. The battle system is strategic, painful and exciting all in one. Like the games of old the system uses a turn based approached which allows you to think before you leap. As the game starts out its just a single hero you have to think about but after some time passes you'll be micro managing a whole team of adventurers in arenas of 10+ bad guys to pit against. It took a little while for the strategic part to dawn on me but once I realised where it came in what was 60 second battle turned into 5minutes or more. You are able to move about the map, attack, cast spells and use items and depending on your level and attributes you get to combine various actions together in stead of just having one turn per go.
The games over world is large and doted with towns and dungeons for you to explore and packed with minions to battle but as well as the potential battles you can see ahead of you the game also throuws random battles at you like older rpg's used to do but this time you can either except them or ignore them. This system allows you to grind and level at your own pace. Collecting experience and the games currency as you see fit and if you want to fast track even more there are micro transactions that allow you to purchase curency for real money. There is free pack to get you started and everyone shoul take it as it is a nice little boost to stat off with.
Rainbow Moon is a strange mix of casual and hardcore. It allows you to save as you please, boost youself with micro transactions and has an appealing cutsie style and story to it but at the same time has a deep combat system and gruelling grinding in to tow. This is a definate time sink, perfect for the lull in gaming you get in the beggining summer months.
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