Exploding Rodents – Tooth and Tail Review

It’s time to rally your troops! We need a fighting force. A team of soldiers that know how to use their weapons and defend the base. They need to be fed, so it’s time to farm up some resources to suit their needs. We’ll need proper defenses and the leadership needs to know how to bring it all together to take the fight to the enemy! We’ll need all of the ferrets and rodents we can gather, and don’t forget the warthogs!

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Yeah, you’re using animals to fight a war full of pistols, mortar cannons, and strategic structure building. Sounds normal to me, what’s your deal?

“Tooth and Tail” is a real-time strategy game that is very reminiscent of the Red Wall Book series by Brian Jacques. The artwork for the game is quite beautiful, and the graphics are nothing special, but they do work for the game quite well. The gameplay is quite simple and very fast-pace. As soon as you start the game, you are treated to quite the simple tutorial that goes smoothly and easily without over-explaining anything. Given the fact that there have been so many tutorials out there that grate against your face like a brick full of holes and interrupt your gameplay constantly, it is worth taking the time to appreciate these pregame sessions that do it right.

Compared to the normal RTS, this one is pretty simple. It has its high points, and simplicity is definitely one of them. One thing that this does entail, however, is that the gameplay is extremely fast-paced. Sometimes a little too fast-paced. There are levels where the enemy comes at you with a decent attack every so often, then there’s a stage where the opposing team will charge you with copious amounts of suicide bombers one after the other. There comes a time where kamikaze attacks just cannot be repelled. Your troops and defenses can only shield you against so many explosions. These stages get especially frustrating, and just downright impossible.

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Unlike your normal strategy army games, this one has you controlling a single unit that acts as a commander for the rest of the troops. The controls are extremely simple, and the tutorial captures that simplicity very well. However, the vulnerability that this presents is concerning, as it means that a single wrong move could kill your leader at any point. Still, on the flipside, it’s a good bit of challenge overall and adds the need to maneuver your character to the list of unique mechanics. It keeps you actively involved, as keeping your protagonist safe is imperative.

Still, despite its shortcomings, this game is highly addictive. Like any good army building game, you want to push your army as far as it can go. The battle sequences are satisfying in their simplicity and you will relish each victory as your furry friends take down more savagely cute animals. As you may have noticed, if you’re an animal enthusiast, this may not be the game for you.

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As stories go, it’s kind of lacking, but at the same time, it doesn’t get in the way of the enjoyment of the overall game. There are times when the game can be mercilessly cruel and unfair, but it is a lot of fun, especially if you are a fan of strategy games. Be sure to give it a look!

Enomview Rating: 8/10

Dead in Space – Space Pirates and Zombies 2 Review

If there’s ever a game that delivers exactly what it says on the tin, it’s Space Pirates and Zombies 2. You’ve got your pirates, and you’ve got your zombies. Dozens of each. And they whizz around space blowing holes in each other until one wins.

It almost seems like it could be the result of a crazy drunken conversation, like the answer to who’d win in a fight – a caveman or an astronaut? Space pirates or zombies?

But once you get past the initial incongruous premise, there’s a surprising amount of depth that the apparently silly name belies. The unfortunately abbreviated SPAZ2 delivers a persistent galaxy containing 200 unique space captains, each with their own ship and equipment, who can all do exactly what you can as the protagonist.

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This ranges from simply flying around the galaxy map, picking fights and evading stronger rivals, to building starbases and harvesting resources. You can issue bounties, gather allies, and eventually defeat the zombie threat that rears its ugly head again.

I say again, because of course Space Pirates and Zombies 2, as the number at the end there signifies, is a sequel. Not being familiar with the first title, I occasionally got a bit lost with the cast of characters that kept reappearing, and past events being alluded to.

However, the plot is structured in a way that playing the first title isn’t necessary. And there’s a great lore system that lets you unlock historical facts about the background of the franchise and familiarise yourself.

But enough about idling on the galaxy map and the historical facts – the real star of the show in Space Pirates and Zombies 2 is the combat system, paired with a rich and diverse catalogue of parts to customise your perfect mothership.

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There are several types of part – cores, wings, noses, weapons, knees and toes…maybe not the last two. But each part provides different bonuses to shield strength, armour, turn speed, acceleration, and other factors. Weapons operate in a similar way, but different types causing various damage types to enemy ships.

All of these different modules make for an extremely robust and varied system to construct the perfect ship for your playing style. Personally, I opted for a speedy little number that could close in to point-blank range, quickly blast the opponents’ shields away with front-mounted shotguns, and then ram their hull into oblivion.

But equally valid would be a long-range sniper, an artillery ship, a carrier fielding dozens of smaller craft…the variations are extremely diverse. Combat is really fun, and put me in mind of Rebel Galaxy, with the added benefit of being able to skip all of the long haul journeys by switching back to the galaxy map after combat is over.

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Even better is that there’s an arena system that lets you try out pre-configured ships with different styles. And of course the other 199 captains in the galaxy can each upgrade their own ships.

The result is a constantly evolving mass of faction politics, betrayals, and sectors changing hands from one group to another as combat rages across the galaxy. And that’s even before we throw the zombies into the mix.

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The undead menace in Space Pirates and Zombies 2 are presented as a mutation of flesh and technology, but essentially, whenever the zombies beat another captain, they join their ranks as per the classic rule of the dead rising again with a hunger for flesh; or biomatter and technology, in this case.

They can be healed by spending a large amount of the game’s sparse and precious fuel source, Rez, or repeatedly battled. Fortunately for the captains of the galaxy of SPAZ2, being defeated doesn’t necessarily mean death; as a last resort, an escape pod takes you to the nearest starbase, or for their vanquished undead counterparts, a spore pod.

The main story will take about 15-20 hours to complete, and there’s a sandbox mode to extend the fun indefinitely. Space Pirates and Zombies 2 is a fun game that balances humour and peril adeptly; it’s pretty to look at, and offers a rich and diverse combat system. You could definitely do a lot worse with a name like Space Pirates and Zombies 2!

EnomView Score: 8 out of 10

Finding your other half – Jack N’ Jill Review

A simple yet challenging platformer made by Rohan Narang. With music and graphics that can be considered a nod to the retro games. With various mechanisms to reach the end of each level, this game can provide hours of entertainment.

Jack N’ Jill is a one-button retro platformer. Take control of Jack or Jill, jumping (or wall jumping) to get past obstacles and enemies. Your goal is to find your other half while wandering all 7 worlds. There are 20 levels in each world, making it a total of 140 levels.

As you start the game, you can choose between Jack or Jill by selecting one in the lower left corner. By default, it lets you play as Jack. When entering the first level, you get a small tutorial about how to play this game. Tap to start a level and delve into a fun, yet simple game. Like the popular game “Geometry Dash”, repeatedly press your screen to keep the moving Jack alive. As you progress, the difficulty rises, introducing complex combo-jumps you learn by repetition. For example, as soon as you start the second world, you gain the ability to wall jump. Each time something new appears, the character comments on it before the start of the level. Sadly, the unlocked abilities can’t be used at earlier levels.

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While the gameplay seems simple, it is not always forgiving. It starts off easy, but soon you notice that the timing has to be a lot more precise than you expect. Sometimes you need to press the jump button way before you reach the pit. Another time you need to press it at the last moment. You can’t really determine what you have to do by looking at the level. This makes many parts of the adventure very unforgiving, as when you die due to this, you have to start the stage all over again. Thankfully, the developers were more forgiving when hopping off of enemies. You have a larger window to press the screen again to jump the full distance again instead of half the distance. If you managed to wait for the last moment, you even can jump further than possible. There are no uses for that, but it makes it a bit more manageable.

The graphics remind us of the Gameboy days. The black and white style with the simple character design is a tribute to that beautiful handheld device. The backgrounds are also very simple and not in the least distracting. In fact, if you focus on the game itself, you hardly notice it. The main characters could have been a lot more unique, but the simple design of them really works well with the retro theme.

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While the game is fun, and the gameplay good, the music itself is repetitive. Each world has their own music, but all of them seem to consist of the same parts in it, with some other instruments giving variation to the world music. For short sessions, it seems fine, but if you play it for more than 30 minutes, it gets annoying. When you keep dying, you keep hearing the music go on and on, always cheerful. It does not really capture the retro feeling we suspect they were going for. The 8-bit era had games with better music, which is a shame since this is where they could have shown their love for the game.

The games of Rohan Narang are mostly inspired by old Gameboy and NES titles, and this game really shows his love for those titles. We find the characters cute and charming, and this game is no different. However, in contrast to the old Gameboy games, the music of this game is below average quality. The best way to enjoy this game is by turning the music off and listening to old Gameboy platformer OST’s while enjoying your simple adventure.

EnomView Score: 7 out of 10.