Indie Showcase … – Super Axe Boy

Super Axe Boy is a platformer from independent developer Matthias Falk. Featuring a mix of 2D and 3D gameplay, Matt hopes to bring something unique to the genre with Super Axe Boy, and has turned to Kickstarter to make it happen. Looking for €25,000, and with stretch goals extending to €60,000, the campaign has reached 20% of its goal with 22 days left.

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Super Axe Boy sees you play as Axe boy, a humble lumberjack. One day however the Earth is invaded by Beaverians … a race of sneaky alien beavers, hell bent on building an intergalactic burger franchise … I appreciate a weird and quirky story as much as the next gamer, I just hope it’s presented in the correct manner and isn’t just there to retroactively add some kind of forced meaning to the platforming.

Speaking of platforming, one of the most unique feature of Super Axe Boy is the mix between 2D and 3D gameplay. The following is taken from the games press page:

“Levels will switch back and forth between 2D sections (emphasis on: precision, timing, fast movement, countdown sections) and 3D sections (emphasis on: sense of freedom / branching-off level paths, exploration, puzzle solving, cinematic sequences).”

The game is also promising a huge variety in gameplay, a retro chiptune soundtrack, and a nice low-poly aesthetic. Check out the games Kickstarter video to see this in action!

Here’s the full feature list from the press page:

Features

  • Unique mix of 2D and 3D gameplay
  • Cool indie/chiptune soundtrack
  • Huge gameplay variety
  • Fresh axe chopping mechanics
  • Unique graphical aesthetic
  • A silly story (but hey, still a story)
  • Memorable characters

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There’s not much to view of Super Axe Boy yet, but fans of platformers might want to stick it on your watch list! If you want to support the project then head on over to Kickstarter! If you want to learn more about the game head to its official site here!

Let’s take a look at … – Super Bomb Noms

SuperBombNoms is the latest title from Super Cookie Games. In their own words “It’s a cross between Bomberman and Pokemon, where you can collect all the Bomb Noms and play with them.” It certainly is, and the result is really rather pleasant.

I played the game for roughly 20 minutes so I’ll run through my experience.

The first thing that I took note of were the graphics which are very cute! The aesthetic works perfectly and everything is very well tied together. There’s a wide range of BombNoms you can collect that are all different designs and colours so you can collect them all! I’ll cover that more when we talk about gameplay. With bright, vibrant graphics you need the soundtrack to match and they certainly have that. The music is very preppy, bubbling and light hearted much like the graphics. All in all, my first experience on running the app was great. I have a particular fondness for this style so mileage may vary, but I think everyone can agree it’s a cute looking, and sounding game.

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Onto gameplay. There’s 2 modes, online and solo play; I only played solo. After a short tutorial you’ll pick your starting Bomb Nomb, much like picking a starting pokemon, and then the gameplay begins. Solo gameplay is, from what I can tell, a tournament which you enter and play against AI opponents through a number of rounds.

Actual gameplay is much like the classic BomberMan. Try place your bombs strategically to blow up your opponent. Here’s where I ran into my first negative. For my preferences the controls were a bit slow. The games implements a virtual keypad and I found trying to perform quick moved on it just didn’t work. For example, if you were to press down-up-right pretty quickly it would only action down-up. It’s not a huge problem, but I felt it slowed down the gameplay a bit would could be avoided with tighter controls. Keeping your finger on the keypad and moving it, as opposed to individual presses for each action, felt nicer but I feel could still be tighter.

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Collecting BombNoms is another major part of the game so let’s look at that. If you enter the ‘Bomb Center’ (the big bomb on the main menu) you’re taken to a large screen filled with unlockable & purchasable BombNoms. Most of them for me were not filled in as I hadn’t played much, but there’s LOADS that you can unlock. Clicking on the few that were unlocked I could see that you unlock them with coins and there’s some that get unlocked by liking their Facebook page etc. like in other social games.

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SuperBombNoms uses an in-game purchase revenue system which I’m not a huge fan of, but it’s not too forced; You can certainly still enjoy the game without making purchases and there’s lots of content to unlock through Facebook etc. You can buy coins in-game to speed up the processes of buying the characters you want. One area of this ‘pay to play’ mentality that I don’t like is the lives system. If you run out of lives you either have to wait for them to recharge, buy more with coins (which promoted in-app purchases) or ask friends on Facebook. I understand that in the app marketplace in-app purchases a leading source of income, but having limited gameplay been indirectly related to purchases (coins >> irl money) is not ok in my book. A game should be a game. You buy it, you can play all you want.

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All things considered I really did like SuperBombNoms. The graphics are cute, complimenting audio, the gameplay is solid and the app is well polished. Sure I think the controls could be tighter, and the tight coupling with social media and in-app purchases will deter some ‘hardcore’ gamers, but that’s not the demographic. For the ‘cacual’ mobile gamer SuperBombNoms I’m sure will be a much visited app and the Google App Store reviews mirror this. I’d rate SuperBombNoms 7/10.