Articles by Andy Matthews

Castaway 2

Robinson Crusoe had it lucky. He was only stranded on a desert island once. Things are not so easy for the hero of RPG adventure game series Castaway.

The original Castaway was very popular apparently. I wouldn't know, I never played it, but if it's anything like it's sequel, the cunningly titled Castaway 2, then I can certainly see why.

An isometric action adventure RPG, Castaway 2 incorporates a colourful anime style and some pleasant stirring music (initially at least - the opportunity to turn it off after a couple of hours gameplay is a godsend) that makes it clear from the off that you're dealing with a polished, accomplished effort. The game looks and plays like a slightly watered down version of one of the Zelda games on GameBoy or DS, and that can only be a good thing.

Published by Andy Matthews on 24th May 2011
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Insectonator

If the only good bug is a dead one, then you will be doing one helluva lot of good work in this cheery insect massacring game.

Let's get one thing straight before we begin: I loathe creepy crawlies of any kind. I only use half of my garden shed, having surrendered the rest to an army of enormous spiders that have made it their home, in some sort of fragile peace treaty.

I was once held captive in a Spanish apartment for an hour by an angry cockroach who wouldn't stop clawing at the doors to get at me. Even when finally plucking up the courage to leave, it was via the back door. In short, bugs make my skin crawl. With this in mind, I should be the ideal person to get to grips with Insectonator - FlyAnvil's top-down shooter where house flies are the bad guys.

Published by Andy Matthews on 3rd May 2011
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My Little Army

My Little Army takes the core game play of battle sims like Epic War and Warfare 1944 and dresses it up with cute cartoony graphics and a Disney-like fantasy setting. The end result is one of the funnest strategy games we've played in a long while.

My Little Army is a disarmingly cute side-scrolling strategy defence game from the creator of the popular Epic War series Rudy Sudarto. The aim is to lead one of three hero characters to victory in a quest to gain control of the ‘Myth Balls' - the concept of which I remain unclear about, no matter how many times I sit through the game's colourful comic-book introduction. But then I suppose the story doesn't matter so much when a game is this much fun.

Your chosen hero is permanently stationed on the left of a scrolling battle screen, acting as a command post from where you can dispatch a variety of units to do battle with a surge of oncoming enemies from the right.

Published by Andy Matthews on 23rd April 2011
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Upgrade Completer

Some jokes are worth telling twice, as parody-cum-vertical shooter Upgrade Completer proves.

Ah, Upgrade Complete. If ever a game was crying out for a sequel, that wasn’t it. But that’s exactly where we find ourselves with Upgrade CompleterArmor Games’s follow-up to the highly amusing and original, um, original.

For those of you that may have missed the first game, Upgrade Complete was a simplistic vertically scrolling shooter tacked on the end of a well-observed parody of the modern day gamer’s thirst for meaningless achievements, trophies and unlockable content. Players were forced to purchase and upgrade literally EVERYTHING in the game, including menu items, background music and even copyright smallprint. It was very amusing, clever stuff… but surely a sequel would stretch the joke a little thin?

Published by Andy Matthews on 15th April 2011
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