RoundAPP: Ambush in Sector 9, Treasure of Nahala, Spoony Fish and Ocean Hunt
For this roundAPP I thought of gathering four games that are good when trying to kill some time waiting in line in an office somewhere. Tried any of the below mentioned or have others to suggest? Leave a comment, that’s what the part at the bottom is meant for.
Ambush in Sector 9, old-style Arcade shooter
There was a game, back in the day when I was not peeing 2 times a night, called Raiden. Beautiful shooter where you controlled a starship and had to destroy everything on land and air that shot back. Level after level of pure joy, that’s how I thought it. The memory came back to me when trying “Ambush in Sector 9”, although it’s not as detailed as Raiden was. Still, it’s an old style Arcade shmup (shoot-them-up) where you control a ship and fight against other alien ones.
It is an endless shooting game where the only fact you know for sure is that you’re going to die. Sooner or later one of those alien swarms are going to destroy your ship and when that happens you have to start over. There are endless levels and the ships are auto-generated as are the weapons and powerups you receive. Those are cool but don’t last long, such as your 3 lives you get at the beginning, but down the road if you pass a certain amount of levels you get extra-lives.
There’s a side I’m not too fond of in “Ambush in Sector 9”, and that’s the fact that you don’t get to encounter any boss ships at the end of a level. In my longest game trailer ever you can see below, I hoped to encounter one but didn’t happen and then the author confirmed that there are none present:
The game is free and fun for those moments when you have some time to kill. Here’s an essence of what it offers:
- Endless Arcade gameplay. You control your ship with one or two fingers. If you tap and hold on the ship, you can move it around (forward, sideways) as the shooting is automatic. If you want to be more precise you can use two fingers, one for moving the ship and the second one for aiming at your targets, though I found that it works just fine with one finger too.
- Power ups and drones. As you progress through levels you’ll get power-ups that increase the damage your shooting does and also drones. The drones will form a shield around your ship and not only take a bullet for you, but they also shoot back at the enemies. When you get shot you don’t lose a life but one of your drones (if you’ve got any).
- Retro graphics. The aliens, background, guns and everything else visual has a sort of retro Arcade style look. It reminds me of simpler but fun times.
- Achievements and leaderboard. You get achievements for passing certain thresholds and in the end you get your place on the Leaderboard if you’ve got a good score.
“Ambush in Sector 9” if free and only shows an unobtrusive ad that can be removed for a fee. I even made rhyme, get that.
Spoony Fish, Flappy bird in the water
“Spoon me” said Candy, a gorgeous aquatic specimen that Bilo rescued after a long dangerous swim through the ocean. But then Bilo woke up and realized it was just a dream, Candy, his beautiful muse, was still far far away and he had to go through a sea of dangers to reach her. That’s basically the background story in “Spoony Fish”, where Bilo is the fish character you control and help through the waters to reach his destination. Gameplay is similar to Flappy Bird but the physics are a bit different since it all takes place under water and there are other dangers lurking in there (a thought that crosses my mind everytime I swim in the sea, God knows what’s lurking underneath me).
Bilo, just like his winged cousin, is very clumsy and difficult to control. But that’s what makes the game challenging as you’ll have to guide the fish through dangerous mines and help him collect delicious cupcakes. If you touch one mine, the last thing you’ll see is Bilo’s eyes as the rest will blow up, so do your best to avoid those. Cupcake collection brings another twist to the gameplay, as if you have enough of them you’ll be able to invoke a fairy of some sort that will bring you back to life to continue your journey.
So will Bilo get to finally spoon Candy? Difficult to tell, as he’s as clumsy as it gets. But you can try when you have some time to kill. You’ll have fun if you liked the gameplay in Flappy Bird but are too annoyed from seeing all those birds and their ancestors dodging towers – in Spoony Fish you play in a post-war ocean. Here’s the quintessence of the game (expressed in features):
- Cartoon-ish look. There’s a funny story behind the game and you get to see at the beginning of the game, and all the rest of the graphics follow the same cartoon-like idea. It’s like playing in a Disney, one where there’s no happy ending though (unless we get Bilo to one of those massage places).
- Easy gameplay. Simple taps keep Bilo away from mines and collecting cupcakes. This is one of the biggest selling points of the game, the fact that is simple to control it.
- Addictive. Or frustratingly-addictive as you’ll find out is very difficult to keep a clumsy fish away from mines. But this challenges you and that’s where the addictive part kicks in.
- Invoke THE GENIE. Yes, there’s a genie in a bottle (actually in a jar of cupcakes) that you can invoke if you collected enough cupcakes. It will allow you to continue playing even when hitting a deadly mine.
Help Bilo spoon Candy. Help him even though he’ll realize spooning is not such a great thing to do.
The Hidden Treasure Of Nahala, mystery find-the-object game
Nahala is a real city in Israel, it’s not some mystery Egyptian place, yet it still has a mysterious vibe around it. That’s a great choice to use in a mystery game and this is one thing I observed in “The Hidden Treasure Of Nahala”. The second thing was the graphics, it comes with beautiful 3D surroundings though this gets a toll in terms of the game size (around 200Mb for a full install).
The story starts with a strange letter you find in front of a house that is actually an invitation to a mysterious place. As you progress from one mystery to another, you get to uncover hidden objects that you can use to interact with other ones and delve deeper into the mystery. The ultimate goal is to find a hidden treasure, only regret you’ll have in the end is not having more mysteries to solve. Aside the “find-the-object” part, you also get to solve various riddles and puzzles, such as the famous “Tower of Hanoi” (a math puzzle where you have to move disks from a rod to another by following certain rules). So definitely is not a game for the light-minded, although the author do offers a walkthrough if you’ve hit a dead end.
“The Hidden Treasure of Nahala” is available for both iOS and Android devices and includes features such as:
- 3D environments. I’m a Syberia fan, a game for desktop PCs developed by Benoit Sokal and in which the idea was the same, you had to solve riddles and puzzles to advance. This is what “The Hidden Treasure of Nahala” reminded me of, when I saw the 3D animated environments with beautiful graphics that create a realistic scenery.
- Find the object. The main thing in this game is to spot hidden objects and after that decide what to do with them. Every hidden object you find unlocks another puzzle to solve, until you get to unlock the final mystery.
- Logical puzzles. This game puts your mind to the test a bit more than others, as you’ll encounter mathematical puzzles too throughout the game. In all there are dozens of riddles and puzzles that challenge your thinking.
- Good soundtrack. You are accompanied by an excellently chosen soundtrack that only adds to the suspense and the enigmatic gameplay of this game.
The game has a free version, however at a certain point to unlock all the mysteries you’ll have to pay a fee and get the expansion files. For the price of a donut I’d say it’s well worth the fun you get throughout the game.
Ocean Hunt, let’s spear and reel those water kittens up
Remember Bilo, the protagonist of the Spoony Fish game presented above? Well, F-him, now it’s time to hunt that fish down. “Ocean Hunt” is a game where you get to catch beautiful tropical fish. No more save Nemo or Willy, it’s time to put their meat on the table and the only thing between your spear and the fish is the dreadful amount of garbage lying around in the water.
There’s plenty of fish to catchy in various sizes, and depending on how many you get your score will reflect the prize. In “Ocean Hunt” you get to revenge Captain Ahab, whose only goal was to catch the mother of all fish (actually the father to be politically correct), Moby Dick. Unfortunately for him and his cruise they all failed miserably and this is your chance to get back at the ocean creatures. Some organizations call fish water kittens to warm our hearts, I say yummy!
With very simple controls, the goal is to shoot your spear at the swimming fish and once caught to reel them back up quickly to avoid losing them. You decide where you want to shoot, tap and release to send the spear down and then use a rotating reel to drag your prey up.
You need to have some physics skills as it’s not easy to decide which trajectory the spear will take, but once you practice a bit you get to understand how to play it. “Ocean Hunt” is fun if you don’t have a problem with spearing fish and these are some of the features that make it pleasant:
- Plenty exotic fish. There are well over 28 different species of fish to catch that range in size from small (Nemo-size) to large ones (Moby Dick size).
- Avoid trash. The ocean is filled with our garbage, there’s even islands of pure trash. The game realistically reflects that as you’ll see trash floating around and if you spear those you’ll reduce your score.
- Reel system. After you shot the fish it’s not enough, you’ll also have to bring them back to the surface and avoid freeing them. For that you have a circular reel that you control with your finger to quickly get the fish up and collect your money.
- Catchy soundtrack. Get it, “catchy” – aside the intended pun, the soundtrack does get you into that fishing mood.
- Online leaderboard. Your score gets to be shared online (if you want to) so that you can brag to others on how good a virtual fisherman you are (or water kitten butcher).
The game is free and available on both Android and iOS.