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Showing posts with label iOS. Show all posts
Showing posts with label iOS. Show all posts

A Brief History Of ChuChu Rocket! In Your Pocket

ChuChu Rocket! is a puzzle game that is undoubtedly a product of a struggling Sega. Imaginative, innovative, insane - one of the many one-of-a-kind experiments that was thrown at a wall in the Sega headquarters in the hopes that something would eventually stick and save the Dreamcast once and for all. Maybe this attempt to stand out was what led Sonic Team to create not just one of the most memorable puzzle games on the Sega Dreamcast, but one of the best and most memorable puzzle games ever made.
For the uninitiated, the premise of ChuChu Rocket! is simple. You place directional arrows on a checker board to guide mice (the titular ChuChus) to rocket ships, all whilst making sure they don't get eaten by giant orange cats that look like they are perpetually tripping on acid.
The guiding brainless animals to safety thing had been done eight years prior by DMA Design's Lemmings, but Sonic Team managed to take the concept and push it to the brink of madness whilst also throwing in a bonkers multiplayer mode and online play (that's still available today thanks to DreamPi). It serves as a high quality break for any Dreamcast fan who has sunk hours into deeper experiences like Shenmue or Phantasy Star Online who just wants to play something simple whilst also having an absolutely cracking time.

These days, with smart phones being in everyone's pockets, puzzle games that are easy to pick up and play function as perfect time wasters on a morning commute or even when we just can't be bothered to do anything else. Sadly, as I'm sure many of us can all agree, the vast majority of smartphone puzzlers are trite, micro-transaction ridden nonsense. But what if we could take a stellar puzzler like ChuChu Rocket! and play that in the palm of our hand instead? That would make perfect sense, right? Well it turns out that Sega did see ChuChu's portable potential...



A Quick Look At Crazy Taxi Gazillionaire (iOS)

No, this isn't a Dreamcast game as such - it's a mobile game set in the world of Crazy Taxi, wherein the sole aim is to make as much money as possible and run a taxi empire that spans the entire city. That doesn't sound too far removed from the premise presented in the original series of Crazy Taxi titles, but Gazillionaire is something of a diversion from the usual chaotic driving, instead assuming the form of a top-down clicker with some light strategy elements. Once again, this is a quick look at the recently released iOS version of Crazy Taxi Gazillionaire so if you're not interested in non-Dreamcast stuff, you can probably stop reading now. If on the other hand you've seen this advertised on your app store of choice and are intrigued...then read on!
Unusually for a Crazy Taxi game, there is a storyline in Gazillionare that is slightly more involving than 'pick up that dude and take him to KFC as fast as possible,' although that's not to say there's anything wrong with that type of fast and loose narrative. A game like Crazy Taxi is pretty much perfection in the grand scheme of arcade thrills, so anything more than 'get from here to there by any means' is always going to seem a bit superfluous. Imagine you had to do The Knowledge before starting the game and had to take your taxi for constant safety checks and services? No thanks. That said, Gazillionaire's new setting doesn't feel too shoehorned in and also gives you an antagonist to battle that isn't simply an ever-ticking clock.
In Crazy Taxi Gazillionaire you assume the role of a nameless taxi firm owner and must try to keep the lights on and the city's passengers happy, all while being pressured out of business by the evil Prestige Megacorporation. Prestige has the added bonus of being able to offer luxurious and super-comfortable taxi travel to those who can afford it and is stealing the business of the small time taxi firm you run so it's up to you to hire the best and fastest cabbies around to take the battle to Prestige. Is this a thinly veiled social commentary on the whole Uber thing? It wouldn't surprise me to be honest.

Crazy Taxi Gazillionaire is probably about as far removed from the Crazy Taxi we know and love as you could possibly get, both in terms of it having a story and also the gameplay style. But is that a bad thing? Actually, no it isn't because as far as mobile games of this type go, it's pretty good fun and fairly faithful to the series' roots in terms of aesthetics. Making crazy money is the aim of the game, and that has never been a bad thing.

Trickstyle Heads To Apple Devices...In Sticker Form

Hold on to your hats folks! If you thought the Megadrive emulator thing was good...you ain't seen nothin' yet: Trickstyle stickers for iOS messages are an actual thing! I know, right?! Step into my super-exciting life and I'll explain everything. While I was skulking about on iTunes looking for nothing in particular, I decided to check in on the DreamPod to see if our lovely podcast was troubling the charts. Naturally, it wasn't but after searching 'Dreamcast' and checking to see if any of you lovely lot had left any more reviews (again, nope) I noticed at the bottom of the screen some 'suggested apps.' One of them was called Trickstyle and I was drawn to it like a moth to a raging flamethrower setting a nest full of Facehugger eggs alight.
Jokes aside, I don't even know why I'm writing this as I'm quite certain nobody is going to give a toss, but what I found was a little app that adds Trickstyle-themed stickers to iMessage in iOS 10. It's a bit of a weird one I know, and the app appears to be published by Throwback Entertainment - the company that now holds the rights to Acclaim's decent futuristic racer. Does anyone use the stickers in iOS? I didn't even know they were a thing until I saw this app. Still, it's slightly Dreamcast-related and so I am duty-bound to report it.

"Show your love for a Dreamcast classic to your friends and family! Elevate the conversation with this sticker pack featuring awesome tricks and moves from the hit title TrickStyle!"
- Throwback Entertainment

I took the advice above and sent some stickers to my brother, but it seems he wasn't overly impressed with my Trickstyle-themed messages:
The app has been knocking about since October but it seems literally nobody noticed. If you really want more information - and let's be honest, the chances of that are pretty remote - head over to Throwback Software's website here, or point your iPhone at the Apple App Store and grab them for free. I bet you Android users are raging with envy right now, eh?!

Famicam64 iOS App Adds VMU Filters & Frames

Famicam64 is a retro-inspired camera app for iOS devices that allows you to add all manner of cool retro gaming and computer effects to your photos. Want to give snaps of your dog an 8-bit makeover and add a pseudo NES box art frame? Famicam64 is the perfect app for you! I published a full review of Famicam64 over at RetroCollect recently and consider it to be one of the best camera apps available for the iPhone, but it just got a whole lot better with the release of update 1.3.
Why? Well, now you can turn your phone into a Dreamcast VMU! I have to admit to having a bit of a hand in the creation of this filter after suggesting it on Twitter, and I must give credit to Famicam64's creator PXL:Artificer for going to the trouble of taking me seriously and actually implementing the VMU frame and filter...

Review: Dreamcast Collector for iOS

The other day I was messing around on my new iPad thingy and came across one of those 'apps' that the cool kids are known to play around with, and I thought it was worthy of a mention innit. Excuse me - I appear to have slipped into 'youth mode' for a moment there. We've previously looked at something similar here at the 'Yard (see Dream Collection), but Dreamcast Collector by PureGaming/Pieterjan Vandegaer is a paid application for iOS which does exactly what it says on the tin - it's a collection tracker for you iPhone, iPod Touch or iPad. On firing the app up, you are presented with a long list on the left of the screen that shows thumbnails of the box art for most of the US and PAL releases (there are 276 games listed in the app). You are then encouraged to tap the icons for the games you have and can enter ownership criteria such as whether you have a complete game, or a copy sans manual or case. It's fairly straight forward and the games are all listed in alphabetical order. 

Dreamcast Collector is the must-have reference app for every Sega Dreamcast enthusiast. This app serves as a reference for every Dreamcast game ever released. Keep track of your own game collection and even keep a wanted list.
 - PureGaming.org