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The main purpose of this website is to support Android indie game developers with tutorials, reviews and promotion of their games. The main difficulty for the developers is not to make the game, but to get exposure. To get it out there. If you find anything useful here, please spread the word. Like my page on Facebook, follow me on Google+ or Twitter. Thank you!

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Monday, 21 April 2014

Naradja: Garuda Nest Rescue Review - Reminds Me of Flappy Bird in a Good Way!

Naradja: Garuda Nest Resque by Mechanimotion Entertainment is of course not a Flappy Bird clone, which is obvious from the screenshots alone. It is something like a mix of good old Paperboy and Temple Run. So why does it reminds me of it? Because it's hard, it's fun and and the fun comes from the difficulty.

Garuda is a mythical bird in Hinduism and Buddhism and your task in this game is to feed little Garuda hatchlings after their parents mysteriously dissapeared. You play as Naradja, who is also a main character of an Indonesian novel and animated series.

The game is presented in 3D and you run from left to right. To control the character, you need to sweep up and down and tap two buttons: Throw (seed) and Jump. Sounds easy, but since the game is played in landscape mode as opposed to the portrait mode of similar runner games and everything moves quite fast, it takes some time to get used to it.

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Sunday, 6 April 2014

AutoTileGen Review - Awesome Tool for Creating Tilesets

AutoTileGen is a new multiplatform tool from Javi Cepa that allows you to quickly generate complete 2D tilesets from just three special tiles. You only need to create a base tile, both sides in another tile and bottom and top in a third tile (caps) and you are done. It sounds too easy, but that's the reality.

Creating 2D tileset for a platformer is a real breeze. I can imagine it can be used for creating top-down tilesets too.

There are basically two ways of creating the tiles. First, you prepare the tiles beforehand, upload them to AutoTileGen and just let it do its magic. The tool gives you some tools to tweak the borders, corner blends and overlaps, then save the tileset in a PNG. Second, you can use the built-in pixel editor to create the tiles in AutoTileGen. Both approaches can be combined.

AutoTileGen is work in progress. There still are a few bugs and the interface lacks some useful options, but I am sure Javi is working hard to make the product perfect. If you are interested, check its crowdfunding campaign. It is near its end and there are plenty of stretch goals! People who back the project with $20 (which is the standard price of the Pro edition) will also get a free AutoTileSet plugin (think Tiled editor inside Unity and maybe other Game Makers soon) and PixelPerfect plugin which makes pixel art games in Unity look more "pixel" :)

Check the video to get better idea on what AutoTileGen can do. The video shows the Unity plugin as well.


 
 

And here's what I was able to do with zero knowledge of making pixel art and limited tileset experience in AutoTileGen. First a screenshot of my workspace when trying to make abandoned castle interior:




And the result, 16x16 complete tileset generated from AutoTileGen Pro. It is enlarged, because the original is too small.



Flappy Bird clone anyone?



Summary

AutoTileGen is really great for creating tilesets. The community of users is not big yet and the crowdfunding is still on. It's the best time to evaluate the tool and maybe suggest some features. AutoTileGen comes in Free and Pro versions, but the Free on is really limited and Pro totally worth the $20. Pro version features built-in pixel editor, normal map generation and preview and custom corner masks and more. In combination with the Unity plugin, AutoTileGen significantly shortens the time to develop let's say a 2D platformer and makes it possible to the artistically impaired devs (like me) to make some cool art!

Official website
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Saturday, 5 April 2014

Golf! (Masters Time) review - A Quiz Game

Golf! (Masters Time) is a quiz game created and published by an indie developer Chris Nowell. It was released just before the Masters tournament starts in April.

The game is a simple quiz where you are supposed to answer ten questions about the Masters golf tournament and its participants. The questions deal with the tournament's history and present.

The questions are challenging for a person with only a basic golf knowledge but getting a perfect score should be easy for golf enthusiasts.

The whole app is pretty basic. There's no music, no sharing of scores, just the ten question. Each question is accompanied by a golf related illustration.
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How to Record Screen Video on Android - Part 1 - Recording GIFs using Genymotion & GifCam

Here's a little serie of tutorials on how to record videos from Android. We will start with recording short films to use on Twitter or developers forums from apps running in Genymotion emulator. These can be useful to share progress with other devs, make simple teasers and so on.

With Android 4.4 KitKat you can now record video directly on the device. But working with the device is not always easy. Moreover the recording is not available in the emulator, it misses the neccessary hardware. Genymotion offers direct recording only in the paid licenses and if you just need the recording capability, it is pricy.
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Thursday, 3 April 2014

CLARC review - Captivating Puzzle Game with Partying Robots!

As a reviewer I have a unique chance to play great games that I would normally miss. And I am glad that CLARC was submitted for review by its makers from GoldenTricycle, because it's absolutely awesome.

CLARC is a puzzle game about a little robot (called CLARC) that can pick up and move boxes around using a tractor beam. The description makes it sound very easy. But soon you will realize that this game will stretch your brain to the max.

The puzzles are smart and the difficulty increases exactly at the right pace. First your task is to simply move a box from A to B, then you need to maneuver yourself into a narrow passage while carrying the box...
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Sunday, 30 March 2014

3rd Game Round-up - March 2014

In March Indie game devs were very productive. So many games were submitted that I did not even had a chance to play all of them properly. Partly caused by the fact that I was on holiday :)

I've picked four games that are original, very well polished and fun. I picked three as usual and one special appearance. A game that I would normally not play at all, but a game that is not very well marketed for Android, but made some impact on other platforms.


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Sunday, 23 March 2014

Umz Mini Games Review - Test Your Reactions and Compete with Friends!

Umz Mini Games by Umz Games is a collection of seven reaction based games: Mail Sorter, Sprinter, Whacker, Samurai Duel, Balloon Pop, Fencing and Math Game. All of the games are very simple and ideal for a short break or a reaction training. And there's also multiplayer mode which adds another level of fun.

Sprinter is a classic "tap-to-run" game. I found this one very easy to play against the programmed opponents. Competing with a human is a must! Whacker is a variant of whac-a-mole with a few extras - higher point moles, skulls that deduct points and lightnings that kill all moles at once.

The Balloon Pop is a classic too. Some of the Balloons explode in smaller Balloons and some of them are dangerous and take a life. The Math Game is a basic math operation game with a timer. Again, it's much more fun with a human opponent.

The Mail Sorter will test your reaction time and attention to detail. Your task is to sort packages and letters to three pigeon-holes. This game is challenging. The packages and letters don't differ that much...



By far the most interesting game for me is the Samurai Duel. It tests reaction only and it's quite exciting for a game that only needs one tap! Two samurais are standing in front of each other and two red bars start to grow. When they touch, the sword icon will dissapear and reappear randomly on the screen. If you tap it fast enough, you win.



The last but not least is the Fencing game. It challenges your reaction and orientation as well. The goal is to score point by touching the correct green light followed by another green light in a very short time limit. If you make a mistake, you have a chance to parry the opponent's attack. Two mistakes and opponent will score a point.



All the games are quite nice and entertaining, if you like these simple games. The advantage is that you have them all in one game. The addition of bluetooth multiplayer makes the games much more fun if you have a human opponent to compete against. Some of the games in single player could use a difficulty setting. When you master them, thet might get too easy.

Summary

If you want a collection of simple games to shorten waiting in a queue or to make a daily commute more entertaining, try Umz Mini Games. Especially if you can play with someone over bluetooth. The games can also improve your reaction time. There are no ads in the game, it is completely free. Moreover there are more games coming in the future updates.

Google Play store


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Flappy Bird Mojo Doesn't Work Anymore, You Can Stop Making Clones Now

Please stop submitting new flappy bird clones. I am not going to review any of them.

It worked for a while, but it doesn't work anymore. Seriously, stop making the clones for profit. I believe making a flappy clone at school or as a programming excercise is a good thing. If you are looking for a first game to learn some new engine, go ahead. Flappy Bird is an excellent choice. But do not expect to make money from it.

On a side note, some people are very creative when using the flappy bird craze. Especially now, when Dong Nguyen announced he's going to release a new, better version of his game. Here's an excellent example how to use the phrase "new flappy bird" to attract more attention to the game called 2048.  You will see this link when googling fo the said phrase. And the first paragraph of the article even mentions another famous game: "This latest addictive gaming sensation [2048] is like Candy Crush for math geeks." SEO FTW.


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Friday, 14 March 2014

Magnomaze Review - Attractive Labyrinth Puzzle

At first sight Magnomaze is a simple labyrinth puzzle, but the gameplay is more complicated than it seems. LUEXA, the studio behind the game, claims the game improves your senses and cognitive abilities and it surely is a smart puzzle.

The first few levels are relatively easy. You control two balls by tilting the device and the main idea of the game is to collect all sparks to open the gate and then meet the two balls to finish the level. However after few levels traps are added and after few more levels, some of the traps start moving. That's when it gets really hard especially because each level has a countdown...
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Wednesday, 5 March 2014

Android Game Development Tutorial in AndEngine - Part X - Taking a break, source code available

Due to my demanding full-time job and a few part-time activities that I actually get paid for, I must take a break from writing the tutorial. The game is complete and I actually published it. You can find it in Google Play store.

If you have followed the tutorial and would like to see how the final code looks like, you can. I am offerring the source code for download for 99¢ (that is about $1 :)).




Features

A lot of important features of AndEngine were used. The list includes but is not limited to:

  • Resource Management, loading and unloading of resources
  • Scene management - Splash, Menu, Loading, Game and Ad Scene. The Loading scene is animated, using asynchronous task
  • Sprites, tiled sprites and simple animations. Entity factories.
  • Physics, bodies with multiple fixtures, collisions with filtering. Mouse joint.
  • Music, sounds.
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