4th November 2019

If there’s one game that I’ve been enjoying as part of Apple Arcade, it’s Outlanders. I have been mildly obsessed with it ever since I gave it a try, very soon after it was available.

Outlanders Map

In essence, Outlanders is a game where you control a town of people, have them build out the town, whether it’s a farm to create a sustainable food source, or a tavern which they can go to at night that increases their happiness.

It’s very fun, and it’s based around scenarios that have a primary and secondary goal that you aim towards. For example, the level I’m on right now (6, which is currently the last) has an overall target to build 7 Windmills (which are used to convert wheat to flour, in order for a Bakery to make food), and 5 Taverns. All within 120 days. The optional secondary goal is to have a population of at least 70 by the type you finish.

Outlanders Level 6

At the start it’s relatively simple. You have some people forage for foot, while others focus on getting wood, and building houses for a growing population. But eventually you have a big population, that requires a lot of focus on what needs to be prioritised next. The maps are also finite, so the amount of resources (wood and food) will eventually dwindle down, leading you to build farms, windmills, and bakery’s to sustain the food for the population.

The first five levels I managed all within a few attempts, however this last one is proving to be quite difficult. Which is actually one reason why I’m enjoying it. It’s a fun game, which requires attention, and a general plan on how you are going to build out the town and population.

I really hope that the developer adds in more levels soon, as it’s only a matter of time before I’m finished with this one.

You can download Outlanders as part of Apple Arcade, and I would recommend it as not only one of the best games from the subscription, but of the many games that I’ve played on iOS over the years.

11th March 2019

So, there’s been a ton of new information shared about the upcoming Harry Potter AR game, Wizards Unite. And it’s certainly shaping up to be an incredible game!

Here’s the back story:

A calamity has befallen the wizarding world, causing artefacts, creatures, people, and even memories to mysteriously appear in the Muggle world. Witches and wizards from across the globe must come together to solve the mystery of The Calamity, overcome the confounding chaotic magic that surrounds these “Foundables,” and return them to their rightful place, keeping them safe from Muggle eyes.

Your journey begins as a new recruit of the Statute of Secrecy Task Force, established by the Ministry of Magic and the International Confederation of Wizards for the purpose of investigating and containing The Calamity.

From the story alone, there’s a massive scope for what the game could turn out to be. On one side of the scale, it could have been a simple rip-off of Pokémon GO, but essentially a hide-and-seek game with a Harry Potter theme. But instead, what we’re getting is a much more all-rounded role-playing game!

Image

Of course, at it’s an AR game, one of the key mechanics will be exploring the world, finding some of the “Foundables”, casting spells, and also Portkeys that offer a full 360 AR experience out in the real wold. That already feels to me a more immersive experience than Pokémon GO (And I’m a big Pokémon GO player!).

Where I think the richness of the game will come from, is the things like potion making, challenging other wizards and foes in Wizarding Challenges, and developing your Wizarding skills while specialising in certain professions.

It sounds like a game with many ways to play. You can simply explore the world, while finding “Foundables”, Portkeys, potion ingredients, etc. You can compete with other players by battling with them at Fortresses, but you can also team up with them and compete Wizard Challenges together. And at the same time as all of that, you’re developing your own character, gaining new skills, and just taking your own route through the game.

One thing I’m unsure about though, is the “Spell Energy”. I’ve never found a mobile game that has some kind of perishable energy source to be that great. As there’s usually long waits to refill, mostly with the aim for players to spend money on in-app purchases. You can find food and drinks at “Inns”, which will be in certain places around the world, and will replenish your Spell Energy. Hopefully there’s enough of them so it doesn’t inhibit gameplay.

My other worry is that the game will be too rich. Sure, I wrote earlier that it’s one of the reasons why I like the sound of this game, but maybe other people won’t appreciate it. As not everyone is as well versed in the Harry Potter universe as others (me), and a steep learning curve for a mobile game may not work out well.

But despite how anyone else finds it, I can already tell I’m going to be really addicted to this game.


You can find out more about Wizards Unite on the website, and also find more of the details I mentioned on their blog.

26th February 2018

I’ve been playing Alto’s Odyssey (the sequel of Alto’s Adventure) a lot recently, and it’s quickly become my go-to game no matter my situation.

I’ve read some reviews about the game already, and it appears that everyone on the internet has something good to say about it. I can only add to that.

The whole game is quite a mix, in that it’s very relaxing, while requiring your complete focus. And also having a potentially very long game time, while offering short term goals.

I find it very easy to be sucked into, and it’s a great game to take your mind away from other things. The achievements and Game Center leaderboards help my own competitiveness, and I really want to move up in the Best Score category. As of the time writing this, I’m ranked 11,157 with 65,065 points. But at the same time, I also enjoy playing it when I short bursts of free time, such as commuting to work, or just between other tasks.

Apart from the gameplay, the game is a really immersive environment. With ambient music, relaxing sounds, and super colourful settings. It’s enjoyable to just look at the thing.

Alto’s Odyssey on the App Store.

1st February 2018
Permalink

From the Pokémon Company:

Don’t miss the epic new Pokémon GO trailer created in the style of a nature documentary, featuring Pokémon that have recently begun appearing near you in Pokémon GO.

[…]

The video is narrated by iconic actor and comedian Stephen Fry, with his dulcet tones complemented by an original symphonic score by legendary composer George Fenton.

This could quite possibly be one of the best game trailers ever.

Watch on YouTube.

Read the full announcement.

19th March 2017

f you’ve ever been to an arcade, then you’ll know that there are a few classics that you always go back to. In Pocket Arcade, you get to experience the four main ones. They are even managed by coins, so there’s a chance to run out of money just like in real life.

You’ve got UFO Catcher, which is a grabbing style game. It’s not as weak as the ones in real life, but it can still become equally as irritating when you just miss a prize. Then there is Mayan Coin Pusher, which is the coin machine we all have probably left too much money on. Alien Whacker is the class Whack-a-mole game, and this is really fun. And lastly, there is Hoop Hero, which is a mini version of the basketball shooting game, which I find to be really suited to the iPhone.

All the prizes you collect are stored in the Gallery, and there are over 200 different prizes to collect at the moment.

I’ve seen similar games on the iPhone already, but this little collection of games are very well designed, and there’s also chances of more getting added in the future.

You can download Pocket Arcade for iOS for free on the App Store.

8th December 2016


TapGap is a new game that I have just released for iPhone, and it’s an experiment of sorts.

The game itself is a simple idea, you have to tap the screen when the line is inside the gap. Sounds easy, but it isn’t. The gap randomly changes, and also the speed of the line increases.

However, unlike most of my applications, this one is completely free! Of course there are ads (one every 5 games as a minimum), but you can remove these with a super tiny IAP.

Anyway, check it out, and try to beat my score!

29th July 2016
<div class="kg-card-markdown"><p>A few days ago, it was announce that Square Enix (the creator of Final Fantasy) was releasing a role-playing game for the Apple Watch. It was all because of <a href="http://www.jp.square-enix.com/cosmosrings/en/">the (rather ugly) website</a> that was made, to promote the upcoming app, Cosmos Rings.</p>

Here’s what the website says about the story:

A dark and timeless world.
The Goddess is gone and time has stopped.
Now it’s up to you to traverse the Rift an stand against those who would see it’s flow stilled forever. Regrettably, the path to saving the Goddess of Time is not an easy one.

And about the Apple Watch experience:

Retro pixel art and the Apple Watch’s cutting edge graphics come together to tell an unforgettable story.
The power of time is in your hands.
Simply use the Digital Crown to turn back the clock!
Certain conditions may also earn you special messages.

They also released a promotional video , which in my opinion doesn’t really show much about the game.

I think the graphics are very similar to the Final Fantasy games, which I didn’t really like either.

Anyway, you can buy Cosmos Rings from the App Store for £4.49/$5.99. I’ll be watching the game from a distance for a while, because that’s a lot of money for a game which I’m 90% sure isn’t for me.

14th December 2015

I created my first ever snake clone! It was a quick entry for Ludum Dare #34, just because I wanted to enter something, and it’s something I’ve never done before.

So I went with a basic 4 colour palette, in the style of old GameBoy games. And also super simple graphics, so everything is square blocks.

It’s my first SpriteKit game as well which is nice, because I’ve been meaning to actually use it for a while. So hopefully I use it again soon!

Here is what the game looks like:
SNKE_2

You can view the Ludum Dare entry page for the competition version, or if you want the more updated version then check out Serpentine on itch.io. I’ll probably add a bit more to Serpentine in the future, so if you want any updates it’s probably best to follow me on twitter @chrishannah.

25th August 2015

I’ve just finished another game, for Ludum Dare which is a 48 hour game development competition. The idea is to start with a blank slate, and a theme, and then you have 48 hours to create everything and to create a game. The entries are then rated by other game developers and after three weeks, you get to see where you ranked.

My latest entry was “Kitten Killer“, a game where you have to kill as many kittens as possible in 60 seconds. It may seem horrific, but the theme was “You are the monster” so I thought it was very suitable.

It only finished Sunday evening so I have a while left, but it’s already started to receive very positive comments.

You can play Kitten Killer on itch.io.