Promiscuous Gamer

Trials Frontier rises above, Crazy Taxi's right on time, and WWE SuperCard folds

This guy will pl*y anything as long as it's free

Trials Frontier rises above, Crazy Taxi's right on time, and WWE SuperCard folds

As game executive Bing Gordon famously put it (about) in 2010, "This is the most promiscuous app audience in the history of mankind".

This is the weekly diary of a promiscuous gamer....

1. Dungeon Keeper  (EA)
[Spending to-date: $4.99]

I've spent eight months building a topnotch defensive architecture that no-one should be able overcome. Damn you Grand Delusion. My first defeat in two weeks.

2. Boom Beach  (Supercell)

I'm still very unsure about the longterm point of Boom Beach, but I have unlocked the Warrior...

3. Family Guy: The Quest for Stuff  (TinyCo)

After months of playing Family Guy - often quite happily - it's becoming obvious that this is becoming a real cow-clicker.

As you unlock more playable characters, so there are more characters you have to tap on and give things to do. It's neverending situation, only moderated by the fact that if you like Family Guy, these are characters you like tapping, doing things you find funny.

Too many things to tap?

The updates - currently the Comic Con theme - give it momentum. Still, you can see how easy it will be to churn out.

4. Trials Frontier  (RedLynx/Ubisoft)

Easily the best game I'm currently playing.

Looking good in Trials Frontier

5. Dragons: Rise of Berk  (Ludia/Dreamworks)

I've unlocked a Scauldron. No idea what one is. I like my Gronckle better.

6. League of War  (MunkyFun/GREE)

I've got the stage in this card-collection castle defence game where I've levelled up all my units to their maximum but that's now not good enough to beat the AI opponents.

However, you can't just buy more powerful units. You have to unlock and multiple similar units and then fuse them all together.

Making things go bang in League of War

Not sure I'm bothered to play back through previous levels to earn the necessary loot. Even spending the 60 gold bars I've ground out didn't get me anything I didn't already have.

7. Outernauts  (Insomniac)

Haven't played this week.

8. Age of Wind 3  (Deemedya)

Despite my wild enthusiasm for this game during my offline holiday, back in the real world, I'm stuck on a level that I can't complete and don't have the time to grind the currency required.

9. Kim Kardashian: Hollywood  (Glu Mobile)
[Spending to-date: $4.99]

I'm starting to tire of Kim. It's all about cash I haven't gone and restrictive time periods in which you have to tap-tap-tap. Plus it takes an age to load.

10. Super Battle Tactics  (DeNA)

Similar to League of War, I enjoyed Super Battle Tactics at the start, but now I've upgraded all my tanks to their max but can't see any way to unlock more powerful units without spending money.

How do I get these powerful tanks?

11. Godus  (DeNA/22Cans)

Haven't played this week.

12. Spellfall  (Backflip)

After a couple of weeks, Spellfall  has become a more monetised experience, if only in terms of using your soft currency to buy bonuses before each battle. Still, its easy mix of match-3 gameplay and light RPG elements continues to work for me.

Installed #1: This Means War  (TapZen)

It looks like just another Clash of Clans clone, but This Means War has a nice twist in that you have a dynamic battleline moving between bases behind which you have to deploy your troops (anyone remember THQ's Frontlines?).

You also generate additional troops during the battles, which become very dynamic.

The dynamic battleline in This Means War

Still, I need to play it a lot more to see where it goes as it starts off oh so slowly. Grind, grind, grind.

Installed #2: Crazy Taxi  (Sega)

I'm late to Crazy Taxi - Sega's F2P remake of its classic arcade time-based racer. But I'm surprised how enjoyable it is in terms of a nice clean user experience and obvious mission structure.

Gameplay-wise, the driving is line-based so you're sliding your finger to change line, holding down left or right to turn and tapping the bonus button to speed through obstacles.

My only problem thus far is the ridiculously high frequency of in-game ads.

Installed #3: Star Wars Commander  (Disney)

It looks like just another Clash of Clans clone. It is.

Remind you of anything?

Installed #4: Shadow Kings  (Goodgames)

Goodgames Studios has been a quiet successful story, especially on Facebook where its Empire: Four Kingdoms has done well. Shadow Kings seems to a similar example in terms of adding much more hardcore gameplay elements into the mobile strategy genre.

I don't understand it yet, but I am very interested by it.

Installed #5: Pirate Bash  (DeNA)

An Angry Birds with pirates and a turn-based PVP mode, I'm not really sure what Pirate Bash adds to the experience.

Installed #6: World of Tanks Blitz  (Wargaming)

Again, I'm late to World of Tanks, partly because I had to clear a load of space. It might say 744 MB on the App Store, but my iPad tells me it's 1.3 GB.

World of Tanks Blitz - you know what to do if you want a Marder II

As for the game, it's a great example of streamlined UX and clean monetisation, while the gameplay it is highly skill-based. Perhaps its main issue is waiting around for matches to start and then waiting around for another one when my tank goes pop early on.

Installed #7: WWE SuperCard  (2K)

Who greenlit this game? Ouch. In every measure, this is a horrible, horrible mess.

Uninstalled #1: Hearthstone  (Blizzard)

I know. I'm a really bad, bad games journalist, but I'm just not finding time to play this, partly because I don't have time and partly because I keep forgetting how it play. It also takes ages to load.

Uninstalled #2: SlingShot Braves  (Colopl)

I did like SlingShot Braves, but it's just too Japanese - flat mission structure, bright colours, flashing UI, gacha button etc - for me to get to grips with.

Those crazee Japanese

Uninstalled #3: PAC-MAN Monsters  (GREE/Bandai Namco)

A very odd game - obviously inspired by Puzzle & Dragons) - and like SlingShot Braves is just too Japanese in terms of UI and UX to work in the western market.

Uninstalled #4: Wartune: Hall of Heroes  (Kabam/Hoolai)

The mobile version of a successful Chinese MMORPG, Wartune actually makes the transition to the west fairly well. However, the gameplay - both in terms of battles and central hubs - is rather tired, especially compared to the likes of Shadow Kings.

Uninstalled #5: WWE SuperCard (2K)

See Installed #7.

Weekly recap
Installed: 7
Uninstalled: 5

In Play: 18

Spending: 0
To-date 2014 'Life Time' Value: $38.92

Contributing Editor

A Pocket Gamer co-founder, Jon is Contributing Editor at which means he acts like a slightly confused uncle who's forgotten where he's left his glasses. As well as letters and cameras, he likes imaginary numbers and legumes.