12 Things That Piss Me Off in Heroes of the Storm

Games, PC games, Reviews
Copy of 251-01 12 PO HoTS

Heroes of the Storm is a fast paced MOBA that’s great fun to play until you encounter one of following scenarios that makes rage quitting an extremely pleasant idea. Read on to find out the 12 pains I’ve faced since I started playing the game one year ago.

1. Bad Nazeebo! Bad Zombie Wall!

More poison, less wall, Naz.

More poison, less wall, Naz.

There’s a retreating enemy, one more hit till he dies. You’re giving chase until you’re trapped in a ring of tiny zombies scratching at you but doing no damage while your prey escapes. Sounds vaguely familiar? That my friend, is an example of a bad Nazeebo and his frustratingly ill-timed zombie walls!

Newer Nazeebo players often make the mistake of trapping their allied teammates, not realizing that they can deactivate the walls immediately by using the same key that activates it – ‘W’. In team fights, this mistake can cost the team an objective and their lives.

2. Azmodan, why u block me?

You killing me, bruh.

You killing me, bruh.

Azmodan is a physically massive character to play in the game and he body-blocks enemy players with great ease. But the same can be said about body-blocking choke points or retreating allies with low health, giving the enemy the upper hand. Positioning yourself well is essential when playing as Azmodan.

Why!!

Why!!

3. Zeratul’s void prison denies you a kill/win

Zeratul’s sneaky ways are further empowered by one of his ultimate abilities ‘Void Prison’. Players or structures trapped in the void take no damage for a short duration. This buys his team time to move to a better position to ‘gank’ enemy characters stuck in the void or save a teammate fleeing from danger.

Copy of 251-05 12 PO HoTS

 

Walk into my void minions!

Walk into my void minions!

4. Gall leaves, Cho sad

Copy of 251-07 12 PO HoTS

Cho’gall is currently the most unique hero in the game where two players share the body of one character. Cho controls movement and does the tanking while Gall brings the pain as the assassin. The best of both worlds, they must pick talents that complement one another and work closely to destroy enemies.  If Gall leaves or disconnects, Cho becomes an easy kill for the enemy team.

Also the reason why Blizzard insists that both Cho and Gall queue together instead of randomly match-making players.

5. Tracer, so much cancer!!

Her mobility kills.

Her mobility kills.

Going up against a good tracer can be such a nightmare. Her blink ability allows her to dodge fatal blows and escape quickly when chased by the enemy. Her pulse bomb does massive damage at higher levels if you’re the ‘lucky’ fellow it latches onto. And her recall ability returns her to the position she was at 3 seconds ago, further confusing enemies and dodging damage. It’s a wreck and you do not want to be caught in a 1v1 with a competent tracer.

6. Long queue times

Copy of 251-09 12 PO HoTS

Prepared for an exciting match, you hit ‘start’ to realize 10 minutes later, you’re still in the queueing screen. My hands are clasp tightly together like PJ Abathur, slightly shaking as I pray to the Nexus gods for a game to begin. And BOOM! He blesses me with a 5-man stack so my team and I can be steamrolled.

7. Reconnecting, forever

Copy of 251-10 12 PO HoTS

 

Fights get intense, adrenaline is pumping and lo’ and behold, you’ve lost connection and are forever waiting to get back into the game. It’s infuriating and sometimes, restarting your game actually gets you back in on the action faster.

8. Ping, much?

Say no to over-pinging!

Say no to over-pinging!

I know things are about to hit the fan but dude, you have got to chill with your pings. Pinging incessantly distracts and annoys your team, try to calm down and prioritize if it is really necessary.

9. Guys, we got a RAMBO

HoTS RAMBO : stupid and… stupid.

HoTS RAMBO : stupid and… stupid.

Every once in awhile, you’ll get a ‘RAMBO’. A term I like to bless players with when they charge into an enemy team without checking if backup is on the way. Usually, it plays out with RAMBO dying, leaving the team to face a 4V5 fight over an objective. Why oh why?

10. Objective, Objective, Objective!!

Dragon Knight! Altars! Tributes!

Dragon Knight! Altars! Tributes!

Players who just don’t understand that Heroes of the Storm is an objective based team game. Guys, fellas, people of my people, please, focus on the objective when it activates, we can leave the epic team fights for later after we’ve secured it.

11. Don’t you dare AFK!

Why you AFK?

Why you AFK?

You died, you spawned. Okay, maybe you teleported back to replenish your mana but why are you still at the base when there’re fights to be had??

12. Mercenary camps ain’t a bad thing!

Capture the camps!

Capture the camps!

I’ll admit that badly timed fights to obtain mercenary camps can be detrimental to the team but they should not be completely ignored. If the situation permits, players should secure camps right before an objective spawns to give the team some additional pushing power while you engage the enemy over the objective.

Source for Images:  Gamepressure, Heroes of the Storm

KILLING FLOOR 2 Beginner’s Guide: Avoid These 10 Rookie Mistakes!

Games, PC games, Reviews
Copy of 172-01 KF2 Beginner Guide

 

Killing Floor 2 is a survival shooter that drops a crew of 6 highly trained killers into a hot zone crawling with ZEDs, failed experiments that escaped the facilities of Corporation Horzine. Promising to purge the city of these vile creatures, the team fight through a total of 10 waves, each getting tougher as stronger mini-boss like ZEDs get dropped into the mix. Survive the waves and you get an opportunity to kill their leader, the final boss, winning you the game. Read more about the game in my review . For today, I’m going to touch on 10 rookie mistakes you should avoid to become a better player.

#1 Difficulty Level

There are 4 difficulties in KF2 – normal, hard, suicidal and hell on earth. If you’re just starting out, I recommend picking normal difficulty to learn the ropes and stick close to the team at all times. Hard mode is a feasible option once you start to get familiar with maps and unlock level perks that make you a stronger fighter. Don’t join the Suicidal or Hell on Earth difficulties unless you really know what you’re doing, the difficulty is punishing! Here’s a handy guide to check when you’re ready to graduate to the next level:

Copy of 172-02 KF2 Beginner Guide

#2 Class Types

When you pop into a lobby with other players, be sure to check what classes have been selected. Don’t blend into the crowd by picking the same class, instead, pick one to increase the survivability of the team. Too many heavy DPS? Pick Commando or SWAT, their main role is to mow down the weaker ZEDs so DPS can focus on taking down the larger ones. No healer? Go field medic and help to sustain your team’s health through the waves.

The ‘Zerk’ excels at taking down bigger ZEDs but is weak against groups of Clots

The ‘Zerk’ excels at taking down bigger ZEDs but is weak against groups of Clots

Each class has its own weakness, for example the Berzerker can decapitate stronger ZEDs because of his speed boost and ability to run through ZED time. Place him in a group of weaker ZEDs like the Clot however, and they will grab and trap him, leaving him vulnerable to damage.

Refer to this guide to pick the right class for your team:

Each class has its own weakness

Each class has its own weakness

The heavy DPS class will focus on taking down bigger ZEDs like the Scrake and Fleshpound while regular DPS will support them and focus on Sirens, Husk and Bloats. Horde Clearers will mow down Gorefast, Stalkers, Crawlers and Clots and the medic will focus heals on the team.

Goodbye!

Goodbye!

Once you’ve got the classes and game difficulties under control, there are smaller details to remember to make sure you’re always at the top of your game. They are:

The almighty healing syringe

The almighty healing syringe

#3 Always tap ‘Q’ when you’re low on health

If you’re low on health, with no medic in the team, spam ‘Q’ to heal yourself. It has a cooldown period but in certain situations, it could be the difference between life and death.

#4 Run faster with your knife equipped

Once a wave ends, it’s time to head to the trader. If you’re lucky, it spawns close by but if it’s far away, you’ll need to move fast to make sure you buy the ammo needed for the next wave. One trick to boost a little speed is to equip your knife when you run. This is extremely important if you’re playing a Support that tends to move slower than others because of your heavy equipment.

Buying ammo does not reload your gun

Buying ammo does not reload your gun

#5 Reload all guns after you buy ammo

I’ll admit, even I’m still guilty of doing this. I get it, in your over excitement at reaching the trader to do more shopping, it might slip your mind to reload all your guns. Sadly, that’ll see you charging up to a Fleshpound ready to unload your whole magazine into him, only to find your gun empty, yet to be reloaded. Boy, the feeling of being caught with your pants down GETS REAL. So remember, reload ALL your guns before the start of a new wave.

#6 Use your pistol

All classes come equipped with a basic pistol, use it to pop the heads of weaker ZEDs and conserve the ammo of bigger guns for larger ZED types.

Leaving 1 ZED to roam buys you time to get to the trader

Leaving 1 ZED to roam buys you time to get to the trader

#7 Leave 1 ZED to roam

This is a trick more experienced players use to buy time to get to the trader. The trader only starts the countdown before it closes when the wave ends so why not capitalize on this? Leave the last ZED to roam while you explore the map searching for free armor and more resources.

Kill ZEDs faster with headshots.

Kill ZEDs faster with headshots.

#8 Aim for the head

Since smaller ZEDs like Clots and Gorefasts make up the larger count in the horde, it is imperative you aim for their head. Headshots kill them instantly, saving you ammo and dosh for later rounds.

#9 Learn to kite

No, I don’t mean standing in a park flying some fabric in the air. I’m talking about learning how to run through the map when the going gets tough. This usually happens when most of your teammates have died and there are tons of ZEDs after you, further supporting my point in #1 of the need to familiarize yourself with the map’s paths on easier levels. With this knowledge at your fingertips, you can find a route to kite safely while taking down ZEDs, carrying your team to the next level.

Always look forward and kill anything standing in your way when you’re kiting. You don’t want to turn around to see a bloat blocking your path, trapping you right between it and the incoming horde. So check if the road ahead is clear before you turn back and gun those ZEDs down.

Hans Volter

Hans Volter

#10 Boss time!

You’ll meet 1 of 2 bosses in the game, Hans Volter or The Patriarch.

Hans Volter is best dealt with in an open environment, allowing your team space to dodge his toxic bombs that inflicts a lot of damage. When threatened, he will put up his shield to minimize damage from the team but this is easily broken with hard hitting guns such as the  AA12 (Support). Once he’s low on health, he will target one of your teammates to drain life from. Since he always get his target, let him drain someone quickly so you don’t waste bullets and end the fight faster.

The Patriarch equips himself with a machine gun and rocket launcher, making it wise to avoid tight spaces like narrow hallways where his weapons do the most damage. Find a semi –open location with structures to hide behind instead and dodge his bullets. He will cloak and run away 3 times to regenerate health, so be sure to unload every single bullet in his face when he has no more heals left.

TL;DR

  • If you’re just beginning, play on normal or hard difficulty to get familiar with maps and their routess.
  • Play a class that covers the weakness in your team.
  • Leave 1 ZED alive each round as you roam through the map picking up free armor, ammo and weapons.
  • Reload all guns after buying ammo from the trader and always, always aim for the head to maximize damage and save ammo.

Source for images: Killing Floor 2 Official Site

HOCUS Review: Mind Warping Puzzles!

Games, Mobile Games, Reviews
Copy of 178-01 Hocus
Hocus is an optical illusion platformer, you say?

Hocus is an extremely minimalistic game with no other features than 50 levels of mind warping puzzles to complete. It’s an optical illusion platformer where you play a small red cube running along the corners of a wide variety of impossible shapes. Your goal is to lead the cube into a tiny red hole buried at an angle in each of the puzzles. To solve it, you can either try to trace a path backwards from the end with your eyes or use trial and error to hopefully guide the cube home to its cavity.  Sounds simple, but things can get a tad tricky at higher levels. Thankfully there are no timers within the puzzle, giving you ample time to solve it.

Can you get the red dot home?

Can you get the red dot home?

Many tricks up its sleeves

The game definitely warps the mind of players, trapping them into thinking one face of the shape is pointing outward when in fact, as you travel further along, it is pointing inward. Players stuck on a level should refer to the black dot above the puzzle that indicates possible directions the red cube can take once it reaches a point.

It’s hard to describe the concept of the game in words so I’ve included a gif below. Once you witness it in action, it will make complete sense.

Copy of 178-03 Hocus

What could have been better?

One thing the game could improve on is the reliability of swipes, I wasn’t sure how big or small a swipe had to be and often had to try several times before the cube listened and travelled in the direction I wanted. Since the game plays on the dimensions of the shape, my cube was frequently hidden amongst the twist and turns of the puzzle, making it super frustrating figuring out where I was at, often muddling my memory about the path I intended to take it on.

Although there are no frills to the game like leaderboards and other modes, the game is still fun to play and has a brilliant concept.

Tips to get you started in Hocus
  • Try to trace a path back from the destination to plan your cube’s movement.
  • Always refer to the black circle at the top for available routes.
  • Don’t give up!
TL;DR
  • An optical illusion platformer with 50 levels to complete.
  • Players will constantly be tricked into thinking one side of the shape is facing outward and discover it actually faces inward once they travel on it.
  • Controlling the cube takes some getting used to

Hocus  is available on Google Play , The App Store and Steam

Source for Images : In-game screenshots, Hocus trailer

WARHAMMER: END TIMES – VERMINTIDE Review : Destroy the Rat-Men!

Games, PC games, Reviews
Copy of 176-01 Warhammer End Times - Vermintide
A reskinned L4D2?

The first thing I noticed is Warhammer: End Times – Vermintide plays a lot like the massively popular zombie survival shooter, Left 4 Dead 2. Both are 4-player gory online-coop games with cities overrun by hordes of malicious creatures and each character starts with a basic loadout that involves weapons, health and explosives. When low on supplies, players need to search the map for health boosters and ammunition.

The game often spawns stronger creatures with abilities that punish lone rangers that decide to split away from the group so it’s a good idea to stay close to your team so they can rescue you quickly if you’ve been caught. The campaigns deliver the same hectic atmosphere with certain sections requiring you to collect X amount of items, like oil barrels, scattered about the map and deliver them to Y location. This plays exactly like the final stages of Left 4 Dead 2 maps Dead Center and The Passing. That’s where the similarities end however.Developers Fatshark have built their own flavor into the game by introducing character classes, an RNG loot system and filling the game with rat-men known as Skavens, the malicious enemy you’ll be dealing with.

Pick from five unique classes

Pick from five unique classes

Character Classes

There are five heroes to pick from: Witch Hunter, Bright Wizard, Dwarf Ranger, Waywatcher, Empire Soldier. All of whom have their own unique play style, abilities, weapons and personality. Since this game is heavy on close combat, you’ll be using your primary melee weapon the most. Your secondary ranged weapon is quite powerful as well, but use it wisely as ammo is rather hard to find.

The Witch Hunter enjoys welding light and agile weaponry, making them lethal and quick in battle. Masters of the Pistol, they pick off enemies with maximum efficiency from a distance. When the enemy draws near, he will swap to his Rapier and pierce the bodies of Skavens.

All the weapons you can weld as the Witch Hunter

All the weapons you can weld as the Witch Hunter

The Bright Wizard is usually found channeling magic spells from afar, casting a concentrated beam of intense fire, to a large flame column bursting up from the ground. I’ve seen other players in action and the animation is supremely satisfying to watch. However, if she uses her spells in quick succession, she may overheat and immolate herself. It is important that she keeps herself in check and regularly swap to her wizard sword to avoid overheating.

The Bright Wizard’s uses her staff to burn her foes!

The Bright Wizard’s uses her staff to burn her foes!

The Dwarf Ranger is fearless in battle, jumping into the fray and bashing Skavens aside with his shield and hacking at them with his beloved axe. He is able to draw the Skaven’s attention, luring them away from other teammates when overwhelmed. For long range battles, he can swap to his Grudge-raker (what an awesome name!) that delivers immense close range damage like a shotgun or swap to a highly accurate range gun called the Dwarven Handgun.

Awesome guns for the brave Dwarf Ranger!

Awesome guns for the brave Dwarf Ranger!

The Empire Soldier excels at crowd control, wielding two handed weapons like the Great Hammer or Great Sword. He’s adept at taking down several enemies with one hefty swing. He can also choose to swap to a sword and shield combo that makes him more versatile, able to take on any situation on the battlefield. He is also able to attack at range with his Blunderbuss or armor piercing handgun that is useful in taking down stronger enemies.

Melee weapons equipped by the soldier can slash through multiple enemies

Melee weapons equipped by the soldier can slash through multiple enemies

The Waywatcher is my favourite class to play. She is fragile but deadly. Armed with double daggers to hack, slash and stab Skaven at close range and a bow to pick off stronger Skavens before they create mayhem. She is best used to support the hunter, dwarf and soldier.

The sharpshooter of the team, she excels at taking out stronger Skavens.

The sharpshooter of the team, she excels at taking out stronger Skavens.

So what types of rats would one be up against?
So many Skavens to kill!

So many Skavens to kill!

There are nine different species of Skavens you can expect in the game. Most of them can be destroyed easily by running up and slashing at them. However, the ones I want to highlight have special abilities that could potentially bring a team to its knees. They are the Gutter Runner, Pack Master and Rat Ogre.

They’ll pin you down till you’re freed by teammates!

They’ll pin you down till you’re freed by teammates!

Gutter Runners are an extremely sneaky Skaven that uses stealth to his advantage. Similar to Left 4 Dead 2 Hunter, he leaps at enemies and uses his weight and momentum to hold them down. He then proceeds to use his glowing neon green claws to hack into the hero’s body, injuring them and bleeding away massive amounts of health. When pinned by the runner, call out to your team for help so they can save you quickly.

A successful hook separates you from the team.

A successful hook separates you from the team.

Packmasters are experts at hooking players and strangling them to their deaths. Similar to smokers in Left 4 Dead 2, he always targets the one straggling behind or the lone wolf of the pack, making quick work of them. Unlike the runners, he can be spotted from afar with his ‘things-catchers’, a pole used to hook players, sticking out from a horde of Skavens.

You don’t want to make him angry!!

You don’t want to make him angry!!

Rat Ogres are the tanks in Left 4 Dead 2, they’re humongous mutated rats capable of causing massive damage to the team. His special charge is usually saved for players inflicting the greatest damage, irritating him further. When he charges, the ground shakes and you had better dodge to avoid being on the receiving end of it.

RNG System

Even though every character starts with a standard loadout, players will be given an opportunity to collect dice, an item that allows them to spin for new weapons when they successfully end each chapter. Encouraging repeated plays to see what surprises it delivers. This makes the game feel more like a grind, which could put some people off.

Collect dice and spin for loot!

Collect dice and spin for loot!

However, if this is right up your alley, you can increase your chances of better loot drops by collecting tomes and grimoire found around the map. A tome can be equipped in the healing slot that doubles the success rate of one loot die at the expense of the player’s access to a health potion. The grimoire is equipped in the potion slot that increases the quality of your loot drop by another tier in exchange for a 33% decrease in total party health pool. Strategize with your team carefully because once both tomes and grimoires are equipped, both benefits and drawbacks apply to every player on the team, creating a high risk high reward type of gameplay.

Tips to get you started in Warhammer: End Times – Vermintide :
  • Stay close to your team at all times.
  • When low on health or ammo, buddy up with another player to search the map for supplies.
  • Use your ranged weapon wisely as ammo is limited.
  • Pick up dice found around the map to spin for new loot!
TL;DR
  • Rats know as Skavens now overrun the city and you’re in charge of purging them.
  • There are five human classes to pick from, each with its own unique playstyle.
  • You’ll fight against nine different Skaven types but the most deadly ones are Gutter Runner that pin you down, Packmaster that hook and strangle you, and Rat Ogres that are massive killing machines
  • There is an RNG loot system at the end of each chapter, collect dice in-game to spin for new loot!
  • Collect tomes and grimoires to increase the quality of your loot drop in exchange for some drawbacks.

Warhammer End Times – Vermintide  is available on Steam

Source for Images : Vermintide – Together to the End

HUNGRY SHARK EVOLUTION Review: It’s A Shark’s Life!

Games, Mobile Games, Reviews

Copy of 174-01 Hungry Shark Evolution

“Yesss, eat all the humans!!” I shouted as I boosted my shark out of the water onto the shore to eat a pair of unsuspecting swimmers that had just emerged from the waters. This is the type of satisfaction you can expect to feel as you swim around hunting for a nice meal of humans that float above the waters. It’s wrong, sadistic and inhumane, but I can’t help looking forward to my next hunt in Hungry Shark Evolution.

Unlock stronger sharks!

Unlock stronger sharks!

The sharks need to feed!

Hungry Shark Evolution starts you off at the lowest rung of the ladder, a reef shark. You’ll need to constantly feed on whatever you find in the ocean to keep from starving. Most of the time you’ll come across smaller snacks like fish, turtles and birds to fill your belly. However, blood is your sport and all you hunger for is human flesh.Try skimming the surface for unsuspecting swimmers or “floaters” (people lounging on floats!) to chomp on. Be careful not to reveal yourself too early though, the humans are watchful and once you’re discovered, they will start swim like Michael Phelps. Fret not, there is a boost ability you can use to catch up to the target and chomp down the tasty treat.

Damage, speed and boost are all upgradeable

Damage, speed and boost are all upgradeable

My sharking skills suck, how do I become a better hunter?

You earn coins each time you consume something, the bigger the better the rewards (boosting for humans FTW!). Coins can be used to upgrade the bite power, swimming speed and boost speed of the shark, improving your ‘sharking’ game. The longer you survive and keep your belly full, the faster your shark grows, which eventually leads to you unlocking stronger sharks. Another way to earn coins is to collect seashells while hunting to unlock new mission like the ‘Pelician Pinch’ that earns you a set amount of coins when you eat three Pelicans.

Keep your hunger meter full or starve!

Keep your hunger meter full or starve!

The waters can also be a dangerous place

Everything is not all hunky-dory in the waters for sharks even though they’re at the top of the food chain. Smaller creatures with deadly toxins can attack your shark, making it sick and unable to continue its feeding spree. When roaming in deeper water, be extremely careful when chasing after your prey and avoid contact with poisonous fish. As just two examples, Puffer fish poison with their spikes and Stingrays sting when you collide with them. There are a host of other dangerous creatures that can cause you to die a silly death, so take extra precautions as you dive deeper.

Humans are your favourite snack because they keep you fuller for longer, so attack as many of them as you can. This won’t go without notice and the beach patrol will send out skilled divers to hunt you down. As a reef shark, you won’t have the chomp power to fight or consume them so avoid them at all costs, until you upgrade to a bigger, more vicious shark. That’s when the tables are turned and these dangerous threats start looking a lot like convenient snacks to keep your belly full.

Use boost to reach targets!

Use boost to reach targets!

Yay or Nay?

As you will have noticed above, I personally enjoy the rush and satisfaction of hunting humans, skimming the shore lines every few minutes and positioning myself accordingly before I boost out for the kill. The game constantly tempts you to swim to deeper waters to possibly find hidden treasure or seashells, while spawning more threats and lesser snacks. On the one fin, you might make bank by finding tons of gold, on the other, you may die a slow painful death of starvation. It’s really up to you to balance the risk and rewards!

What I didn’t like are the constant pop ups to watch ads or play other games for more gold. That really took a toll on me after a while. The lack of a control interface on the screen may confuse players and take a while to get used to. An alternative that’s available is to change to tilt control, where the movements of your shark matches how you tilt your phone. I feel this is a more immersive way to play the game and really improves the control of the shark.

Tips to get you started in Hungry Shark Evolution:
  • Focus on your hunger meter and keep it full as much as you can.
  • Always check the surface for yummy humans and don’t be afraid to boost up on shores to catch humans entering or leaving the water.
  • When humans are scarce, explore the sea for other yummy snacks like fish, turtles, crabs and more! When you eat them, you’ll earn coins that contribute towards your next  upgrade
  • Change to tilt control in the options to get a more immersive experience.
TL;DR
  • You play a shark hunting the sea for yummy snacks to fill your hunger meter.
  • Keep watch for humans on the surface and consume them to keep you fuller for longer.
  • Use coins from your feeds to upgrade your shark’s abilities.
  • Avoid dangerous creatures at all cost as they can poison and kill you.
  • Always fill keep your hunger meter full so you don’t starve and die.

Hungry Shark Evolution  is available on Google Play and the App Store

Source for Images : Google Play

CUTE MUNCHIES Review: Don’t Get Carrot Away & Sabotage Yourself

Games, Mobile Games, Reviews

Copy of 173-01 Cute Munchies

In Cute Munchies you start off as a cute but hungry rabbit, munching its way through grass tiles as it closes in on its favourite snack : carrots! You can choose to swipe left/right/up/down and the cute little fella will hop and munch his way through till it meets a boulder or the edge of the puzzle, stopping its chomping spree. There will be many times where your over eager munching accidentally isolates you from the other carrots on the map. Fret not, restarting the puzzle comes at no cost and you can re-chomp your way across the puzzle.

Yummy carrots!

Yummy carrots!

Get all the carrots!

When you begin a puzzle, your rabbit spawns on a predetermined tile, with yummy carrots and tricky boulders haphazardly but strategically scattered. Your goal is to munch your path to all the carrots without getting trapped. At first glance, the cartoon-like graphics fool you into thinking you’ve got it all figured out. When boulders trap you or you’ve eaten away your only path to your next carrot, you start to realize there is more strategy involved than meets the eye. Glowering at the remaining carrots, you vow to consume them all in your next try.

So many puzzles to unlock!

So many puzzles to unlock!

New features when you unlock new chapters

The game currently has 16 chapters to unlock, each filled with approximately 10 – 12 levels. Each chapter unveils a unique feature to make puzzles even more challenging. For example, Chapter 2 introduces steel tiles that can’t be chomped through while Chapter 3 inserts burrows  that the rabbit can fall into, ending the round early. If you’re ever stuck on a particular puzzle, two free hints will be available to assist you in solving the puzzle, further satisfying the perfectionist in you. The other option is to backtrack your previous move but you’ll have to pay using in-game currency, gold, which is a bummer but not a deal-breaker.

Community created puzzles are really challenging!

Community created puzzles are really challenging!

Play other user-created puzzles or create your own!

If you’ve finish all official chapters and are looking for a challenge, head over to the online level feature that randomly picks from  community created puzzles for you to solve. Fair warning, those puzzles are not a walk in the park, the people behind them are hell bent on exercising your brain muscles. There’ll be all kinds of traps on the puzzle and you’ll leave with satisfaction solving it or crying from the sheer torture at being outsmarted by tiny little tiles. You can also try your hand at creating puzzles for others to solve in the build level feature found in the menu.

Unlockables like new characters are available and have really cute names like Popo, Nala and Ricco! Although the logo of the game reveals certain characters, you’ll be tempted to shell out some gold to see the character designs behind the names.

Overall, Cute Munchies is an addictive but deceitfully strategic game that beginners with no experience can pick up easily.

Tips to get you started in Cute Munchies :
  • Log in each day to claim your daily gold!
  • Make use of hints when you’re stuck on a level.
  • Try to ‘path’ your route to carrots before moving your character.
  • Make full use of boulders and lack of tiles to change direction.
TL;DR
  • Swipe left/right/up/down and your character will eat the path they travel on. Be cautious, it’s easy to cut off a path you intended to travel on.
  • Plan your paths to carrots before moving your character.
  • The undo move costs gold, restarting the stage could be a better option.
  • If you get tired of adventure mode, try the online level feature and solve other community contributed puzzles.

Cute Munchies is available on Google Play and the App Store

Source for Images:  In-game screenshots

SHADOW FIGHT 2 Review : Punch Demons Back Into Darkness!

Games, Mobile Games, Reviews

Copy of 150-01 Shadow Fight 2

Just like Adam and Eve, even the most benevolent of people can succumb to evil. This clearly happens in Shadow Fight 2 when the nameless protagonist disobeys his elders, opening the Gate of Shadows. Countless of demons rush forth, tearing at his flesh and stealing his soul in the process. What remains is a mere shadow of his former self. Now, he’ll have to hunt down and fight these demons for his soul.

Close quarter combat with the Okinawan Sai.

Close quarter combat with the Okinawan Sai.

Shadow Fight 2 is a free to play game similar to classic fighting games such as Mortal Kombat and Street Fighter but with toned down intensity and speed of combat. This is a good thing as it  makes picking up the game slightly easier for newbies to the genre. As you beat up demons, you’ll earn money or gems that can be spent on purchasing new equipment and learning magic spells at the store.

An extensive selection of melee and ranged weapons for you to choose from.

An extensive selection of melee and ranged weapons for you to choose from.

The game also boasts hundreds of weapon types, each with its own unique fighting style. For example, if you’re wearing brass knuckles, your attack speed is faster at melee range versus wielding a sword which slashes at a slower pace with further attack reach. Once you own a weapon, you can use gold to upgrade it to deal more damage, the same can be done to armor and helmets to give them better defensive stats.

With every victorious fight, your character levels up, unlocking active and passive perks to enhance your fight style, building the ultimate demon hunting warrior.

Explore three exciting modes to make your character even stronger!

Explore three exciting modes to make your character even stronger!

In order to progress to the next chapter, players must beat five bosses of incremental difficulty. It is really tough to get through each boss without the right gear and experience; this is where the three other modes will come into play and help you gain experience. The first mode you’re introduced to is tournament mode where your skills are put to the test in a one-to-one match against 24 unforgiving demons, each with its own weapon specialties. Survival mode is subsequently unlocked to determine how many demons you are able to defeat in a single lifetime, the more you beat down the better the rewards. The last mode, Duel, matches you to a random demon challengeable once every four hours, weapons will be assigned by the system even if you do not own them. The gold and experience earned from these modes will prepare your character to eventually beat the final boss.

Simply breathtaking backdrops to enhance your shadow’s form.

Simply breathtaking backdrops to enhance your shadow’s form.

What I enjoyed about the game is how these silhouette styled characters contrasted beautifully with the vibrant backdrop during battle. It helped to highlight how detailed and fluid the fight animations are, making every fight seem real. Fights are made more dramatic when it slows down for a few seconds as you connect a critical hit or a finishing blow, making every encounter satisfying.

However, what I was not a fan of are the positional controls – mainly the directional stick on the left and the tiny punch and kick buttons on the right. The controls are also not as responsive as I’d like, which resulted in delayed kicks and punches that led to bad positioning when countering enemy moves. Since close-quarter combat is fast paced and intense, you’ll need to focus keenly. Your hand-eye co-ordination could tire after a short spell, making this game best played in spaced out intervals.

While Shadow Fight 2 is a challenging game…
  • The user interface is friendly with really simple controls
  • The game is beautiful and animations are incredibly detailed
  • Defeating demons becomes a very satisfying experience
  • There are many chapters packed with content to keep you entertained

Difficulty: Challenging

Shadow Fight 2 is available on the App Store and Google Play.

Source for Images: In game screenshots

Beginner’s Guide To Zul’jin : Taz’dingo!

Games, PC games, Reviews

Copy of 175-01 HoTS Zuljin

With lines like ‘we bring the pain’, Zul’jin the Armani troll warlord makes his brutal intentions clear as the latest hero to enter the Nexus.  Zul’jin descends from a long line of forest trolls that are best known for their berzerking skills. At low health, he will deal a ton of damage and potentially become invulnerable, making him god-like.

In Heroes of the Storm, Zul’jin is an aggressive ranged assassin, capable of solo laning. He works very well with healers and supports that can shield or sustain him as he exchanges health for damage output.

Let’s take a look at his passive and active abilities :

Zul’jin’s abilities dish out tons of damage at low HP.

Zul’jin’s abilities dish out tons of damage at low HP.

Abilities
Balance your health and damage carefully!

Balance your health and damage carefully!

Berserker is Zul’jin’s bread and butter, a trait that provides passive and active boosts. In its passive form he attacks 1% faster for every 1% of maximum health missing. When activated it increases his basic attack damage by 25% but consumes 2% of his maximum health per attack, making him a very powerful hero. Players must use his active skill wisely because it eats away his health very quickly as his attack speed increases. Since he will be constantly low on health, Zul’jin does not make a good hero to contest objectives in Sky temple, Haunted Mines and Garden of Terror.

Great for 1 to 1 fights.

Great for 1 to 1 fights.

Grievous Throw launches a jagged axe forward, dealing 125 damage to the first 2 enemies hit, marking them for 8 seconds. Marked enemies take 50% bonus damage from Zul’jin’s next 3 basic attacks. To maximize your damage against marked enemies, only use it in open areas where there are no structures to obstruct you from landing your next few basic attacks.

Twin Cleave animation looks so impressive!

Twin Cleave animation looks so impressive!

Twin Cleave is Zul’jin’s crowd control ability that damages enemies nearby. Two axes fly in a large circular arc dealing 112 damage and slowing affected enemies by 15% per axe for 2 seconds. Players can be slowed a maximum of 30% if they happen to be at the point where both axes cross paths. Caution: you’ll miss this opportunity if you cast when the enemy is right in front of you. Since Twin Cleave is tricky to master, you should practice to cast it to the side of the target instead. This increases the chance of the axes hitting enemies as they retreat.

Slip out of the fight to regenerate health!

Slip out of the fight to regenerate health!

Regeneration helps Zul’jin stay alive longer, giving him 25% of his maximum health over 4 seconds. During an intensive team battle, Zul’jin might run low on health and attempt to regenerate. Channeling this ability can be interrupted when the hero moves or takes damage. It is therefore imperative for players to pick isolated locations to heal.

Ultimates
Zul’jin becomes untouchable.

Zul’jin becomes untouchable.

To compliment his abilities, Zul’jin can pick either Taz’dingo or Guillotine as an ultimate.

Taz’dingo! is an impressive ability that makes Zul’jin unkillable for next the 4 seconds and his health cannot be reduced below 1. This ultimate synergizes beautifully with his trait, Berzerker. With it, he can boost his attack speed to almost 100% without fear of being killed. Taz’dingo is best used when he is at low health, however, applying it preemptively could save him from an enemy’s ability combo. He can also use it defensively to escape, when the battle is not to his team’s favor.

Party up with other crowd control heroes for spot on hits.

Party up with other crowd control heroes for spot on hits.

Guillotine launches a massive axe into a targeted area, dealing 210 damage and more, the lower his health is. When this ultimate is used, there is a slight delay before it hits the target area. It is therefore essential that players trace enemies movement before casting it. Guillotine is best used with other teammates crowd control abilities like E.T.C’s mosh pit, Thrall’s earthquake and Zeratul’s void prison to ensure it strikes intended targets.

TL;DR
  • Use Berzerker active trait wisely, it increases your attack speed but drains your health quickly, leaving you vulnerable.
  • As Grievous Throw will mark the first two targets it hits, use it when your targets are in clear view without enemy minions blocking your path.
  • Always randomize the location you pick for Regeneration, damage from enemies could interrupt it.
  • Sometimes it is good to use Taz’dingo early to avoid enemy combos or escape a messy team fight.
  • Tracing your enemy’s movements is crucial when casting Guillotine as there is a slight delay.

Zul’jin is best paired with strong frontline heroes that can peel the enemy away from him as he deals massive damage. As noted above, given he trades health for attack speed and damage, a good support hero like Uther and Auriel can help sustain his life.

Players will need to constantly balance when to sacrifice Zul’jin’s health for increased damage and speed. Mastering this will make you a strong Zul’jin player and an asset to the team.

Source for Images: Heroes of the Storm Youtube Channel

KILLING FLOOR 2 Review: ZED-Slaughtering Goodness

Games, PC games, Reviews

Copy of 148-01 Killing Floor 2

Killing Floor 2 – It all began with Corporation Horzine performing their devious and underhanded experiments to enhance the human form. But something went awry and their pet project turned into a living nightmare. Test subjects turned into ZEDs, horrific creatures with a voracious appetite for human flesh and now, they are everywhere.

The lucky few that survived have gone into hiding, but not all is lost yet. A motley group of civilians made up of ex-soldiers, mercenaries have banded together and sworn to fight the outbreak. Once an outbreak is reported, you’ll play one of the characters dropped into the ZED-filled hot zones to eradicate all threats using any means necessary.

Weaker ZEDs group up together when attacking.

Weaker ZEDs group up together when attacking.

Killing Floor 2 is a gruesome 6 person co-op shooter with an in-depth class system and a massive selection of weapons to pick from. Players new to the game will have to pick one of 10 classes (also known as ‘perks’): berserker, commando, support, field medic, demolitionist, firebug, gunslinger, sharpshooter, survivalist and SWAT. In each class, there are skills that unlock every 5 levels until the level 25, which is the highest you can go. You won’t feel like you’re making a big impact at lower levels until you’ve reached level 10 when your skills start to matter. For example, field medics will build greater resistance to toxic bile while the support class can be further improved as an ammo supplier when the team runs low on ammo.

A high priority target best taken down quickly.

A high priority target best taken down quickly.

Each game has 10 waves, starting off with smaller ZED types like the Clot that group up to grab and immobilize you. They’re easier to gun down however, than later waves filled with bigger ZEDs like the Scrake and Fleshpound. The former are slow giants with chainsaw hands, ready to saw you in a million pieces. The latter are abominable mini bosses that flash red when low on health and charge at you with grinder arms. They could very likely wipe out a whole team if not handled properly. Waves at later stages randomize ZED types, which keeps things fresh until the final wave where you finally come face to face with the boss.

“Watch out for Hans Volter’s line of toxic bombs!”

“Watch out for Hans Volter’s line of toxic bombs!”

“The Patriarch owns a lethal chain gun and missile launcher capable of significant damage”

“The Patriarch owns a lethal chain gun and missile launcher capable of significant damage”

The game will randomly pick one of two bosses – Hans Volter, a sadistic man dressed in an exo-suit with a vast amount of health and a large arsenal of toxic bombs that he likes to throw around. Watch out for these bombs,  they’ll eat away your health pool quickly. The other boss is Horzine CEO, the Patriarch, a heavily mutated and deformed mass of muscle, equipped with a chain gun arm that also works as a missile launcher. Each boss will appear and fight the team until his health is low, it will then sneak away to regenerate. This will happen three times throughout the battle before your team can annihilate it.

There are currently 13 uniquely designed maps that you can play, some of which are favorites brought over from the first Killing Floor. Although you’ll see red everywhere from severing limbs and decapitating the heads of ZEDs, the maps are designed with vibrant colors to make battling ZEDs some form of art. An example is Burning Paris, a map where you’ll perform the bloodiest show of gibbage with a backdrop of a burning Eiffel tower on the verge of collapse as your medic shoots healing bullets bursting blue gas as it hits you. The colors are amazing and hypnotizing in this game.

“Fire fighting at its best!”

“Fire fighting at its best!”

What I enjoy about Killing Floor 2 is the satisfying gunplay designed with great detailed effect whenever you reload or swap weapons. When you perform a particular killing move such as popping heads off a group of ZEDs consecutively, a special moment is triggered that every player would enjoy called ZED TIME. For a short period, in-game time will slow down and graphics will turn monochromatic, giving players an opportunity to take a breath and come up with a strategy. This is great when you’re up against a bigger ZED type like the Fleshpound, allowing to you escape your death or maximize damage and movement speed for certain classes like the Berserker and Commando.

What is lacking in game is mode types. The only other mode is versus where players are split into humans and ZEDs. On the human side, it’s business as usual. For the ZED team, players will be randomly assigned a ZED type that could feel underwhelming if it’s a small ZED or very powerful if larger, potentially causing a lot of damage to the humans if played strategically. Although players will embark on this mode for the laughs, it has dropped in popularity because it is poorly balanced, which results in mostly ZED wins.

While Killing Floor 2 is a challenging game…
  • You get so much satisfaction from the gruesome action.
  • Special moments like ZED time amp up moments of panic.
  • There is a massive range of weapons to pick from.
  • The game provides hours of addictive play while still staying fresh.

Difficulty: Challenging

Killing Floor 2 is available on Steam.

Source for Images: Official Website

MEKORAMA Review: Will You Help Lead a Tiny Robot Home?

Games, Mobile Games, Reviews

 

Copy of 149-01 Mekorama

A tiny robot travelling through space suddenly crash lands onto a strange plot of land. It recovers from its dazed state only to be surrounded by strange structures and moveable brick bridges. Seeking a way out, it explores the terrain and realizes it’s stuck in a bunch of puzzles! A red dot hidden amongst the structures is the robot’s only way of escape. Will you help lead a tiny robot home?

Mekorama has more than 127 diorama puzzles that unlock in the form of level cards. Each time you solve a puzzle, two more will unlock. I assume the developers did this in case you were stuck on a specific puzzle, giving you a chance to progress further if you solve the other puzzle unlocked. This feature is extremely helpful if you want to continue riding the free to play wave. However, if you’re a perfectionist and require closure by completing every single puzzle, you can donate as much as a dollar in order to take a peek at the hints.

The in-game tutorial teaches you everything you need to know.

The in-game tutorial teaches you everything you need to know.

The first puzzle you discover is the in-game tutorial, teaching you how to move your robot. The next lesson covers how to rotate the three-dimensional puzzle and move around blocks to access unreachable areas. Exploring each side of the puzzle is essential in reaching the deceitfully trivial but almighty red button that grants you access to the next level. The next few puzzles follow the same concept and you’ll need to play around with the skills you learnt in the tutorial in order to solve them.

Jump robot, jump! Why don’t you have a jump?!

Jump robot, jump! Why don’t you have a jump?!

I have to admit that I didn’t expect much when opening the game but these puzzles are designed very intelligently and can get extremely challenging to solve. Some puzzles like the one featured above, fool you into thinking you’re in for a simple ‘tap, move and win’, but actually require quite a few minutes of thought, trial and error before you solve it.

Please don’t get electrocuted!

Please don’t get electrocuted!

Later stages will require you to time your movements properly with the introduction of roaming electrocuting battery-looking robots. Upon contact, your poor little robot will be electrocuted as you watch it fall off the puzzle onto its face, or drown in sad misery if the puzzle involves a body of water. The game doesn’t automatically restart the level so you can take all the time you need grieving for the loss of your tiny robot before manually restarting via the menu. Quite a sadistic move from the developers I might say.

Mekorama’s charming user interface.

Mekorama’s charming user interface.

Mekorama’s user interface is presented like a digital book, swiping left or right flips to other features in the game. You can make your own masochistic levels and share them with your friends and other players, or you can find tons of other levels to solve on the official Facebook and Twitter page for Mekorama. Simply scan the QR code in-game on the images and the game will pull them right into your library.

Mekorama is best for people with some gaming experience
  • You play a charming robot, what’s not to love?
  • Features over 127 adorable diorama puzzles to keep you entertained.
  • Complex puzzles can be quite challenging especially for beginners
  • Low cost of entry when you need a hint to complete the puzzle.

Difficulty: Moderate

Mekorama is available on the App Store and Google Play.

Source for Images: In-game screenshots