Posts Tagged With 'Reviews'


Review: SteamWorld worth digging into your wallet

Retro-inspired platformers have taken the eshop by storm the past couple of years. Games like Mutant Mudds, Gunman Clive and the critically acclaimed Shovel Knight have all sold well and received glowing reviews. Another game inspired by the 8-bit and 16-bit era of gaming is Image & Form’s SteamWorld Dig, a highly addictive mining adventure. Regularly priced just under $9, the game is currently on sale for $4.49 (Hurry, hurry, hurry…. the sale only lasts until July 31st).

Assuming the role of Rusty, a robot cowboy, you receive the deed to his deceased Uncle’s mine. The mine is located below the town of “Tumbleton: Population 3,” and you are quickly introduced to the towns residents. Dorothy runs the trade shop, where she purchases all the ores you discover while mining. Her father , Cranky, runs the upgrades store, where you can buy various tools and upgrades for your equipment. Cranky carries everything from stronger pick axes and larger pouches, to teleportation devices and pressurized steam tanks (all of your equipment is powered by steam, and gradually drains with each use, requiring fuel ups in underground pools scattered throughout the mine). The final resident of Tumbleton is Lola. She works at the saloon and appears to be the town prostitute.

Gameplay is simple, yet addictive. Equipped only with a lantern and a pick axe in the beginning, you explore the mine, digging deeper and deeper, collecting various ores. As you run out of steam for your lantern, or fill your pouch with ores, you must return to the surface. There you can sell off your ores and purchase upgrades required to progress through the mine. As you journey deeper and deeper into the mine Rusty uncovers more and more of his Uncle’s secrets. You discover teleportation devices, new tools and secret passageways. However, there is more than just ores and tools within the mine. Creatures slumber within the depths of the mine, and the deeper you dig, the larger and meaner the creatures get.

While the game is largely platform based, with Rusty digging deeper and deeper into the mine, SteamWorld also features some puzzle aspects, along with minor RPG elements. Within the mine you will come across areas that require deep thought and strategy to proceed through properly. Certain tunnels and side passages pose significant challenges, forcing you to “Self Destruct” and attempt them again and again, until you dig just the right tunnel to progress to the other side. Leveling up and upgrading your tools brings a slight RPG feel to the game, as there are certain areas that are impossible to maneuver through without improved tools.

The game does not bog you down with lengthy tutorials and trials. Instead it sticks to its 16-bit roots, and allows you to figure out the controls largely on your own. SteamWorld Dig respects you as a gamer, assuming you can quickly discover your own techniques. It doesn’t hold your hand, as many games do nowadays. It frees you to get right into the action almost immediately. The controls are simple and well laid out. Many of the classic platforming abilities are present: speed running, wall jumps and speed jumps all aid Rusty on his mining journey.

The music throughout is very minimalist, with only a handful of tracks present. The few scores featured have a strong western feel, capturing the sense of wandering into an old, deserted cowboy town. While the argument could be made for a larger variety of music, the few selections there are capture the mood excellently.

Where Mutant Mudds and Shovel Knight wear their 8-bit inspirations on their sleeves, SteamWorld Dig comes across as a brilliant throwback to the SNES era. The game features brilliantly sharp HD visuals, with stunning, crisp colors and imaginative characters. Cut scenes are quite minimal, with only a still headshot of each character shown as they speak.

While the game would have certainly benefitted from more varied NPC conversation and a larger soundtrack, overall, SteamWorld Dig is a cleverly original, and surprisingly addicting, puzzle platformer. A simple concept, with a unique twist, SteamWorld Dig will easily transform your cries of “One More Level” into cries of “One More Dig!”

Note: A Wii U release has been announced for Fall 2014


Posted by Justin Riley 30.07.2014 in All
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Review: Poker Dice Solitaire Future (Wii U eShop download)


As one might expect from a game that’s just $1.99 on the Wii U eShop, Poker Dice Solitaire Future has a simple premise. The first in the Tabletop Gallery series from one-man development team RCMADIAX, the game has the player roll five dice to create Poker-style hands (2-pair, full house and the like) for a high score. The dice can be rolled up to three times, and the player can choose to hold any values he/she chooses with each roll. There are four chips available for each hand, though one of those chips must be discarded if a successful hand is not achieved after three rolls of the dice. Bonus points are awarded if special circumstances are reached, such as winning all four chips in a particular hand or winning at least one chip from each hand.

tv_2014-06-05_09-22-37Okay, so the game is not as simple as it seems. Or is it? Poker Dice Solitaire Future is difficult to explain, though it makes perfect sense within minutes of actually playing it. The strategy and thought involved in play, though, make it surprisingly thrilling and rewarding (I’m not a gambler myself, but I can see why people are drawn to it *insert winking emoticon*).

The “Future” part of the game’s title really only reflects its graphics, which admittedly took a little time to grow on me. With this type of game, I hoped for the graphics to create a more traditional feel, but now the outer-space setting feels pretty good. The music is suitable, though like in RCMADIAX’s previous Wii U eShop game, BLOK DROP U, the one song which loops grows a little stale.

tv_2014-06-05_09-24-10Poker Dice Solitaire Future is a solid gameplay experience in and of itself, and you won’t find anything else like it on the Wii U, but a couple of extra features would have increased the game’s replay value for me: though the game indicates when you’ve reached a new high score (and you can always share this screen to Miiverse), there is no option that shows a listing of local high scores. I would have loved to see the option of recording your initials along with your high scores, so that I could potentially compare scores with the other people in my household. Overall, I generally would have expected just a little more from Poker Dice Solitaire, but it is a great way to add some variety to your Wii U game collection and for just $1.99. I’m excited to see what’s next in the Tabletop Gallery series and what’s next from RCMADIAX beyond that. Poker Dice Solitaire Future is awarded:

3.5/5 Stars

Posted by Holly Fellmeth 02.07.2014 in All
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Review: Pokemon Battle Trozei (Nintendo 3DS eShop download)

I approached Pokemon Battle Trozei with two fundamental expectations. First, that it would be a puzzle game like most other puzzle games: simple, but with a lot of depth, and very addictive. Second, that it would follow the tradition of Pokemon games and be fairly easy: after all, the Pokemon games are made for kids. How hard could Pokemon Battle Trozei be?

Quite hard, it turns out.

Posted by Holly Fellmeth 24.03.2014 in All
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Review: BLOK DROP U (Wii U eShop download)

Review: BLOK DROP U (Wii U eShop download)

068-gamelogoDon’t let the simple shapes and colors of BLOK DROP U deceive you: the game is very worth considering for any Wii U owner with a spare $2 on their eShop account, and here’s why.

BLOK DROP U is a physics-based puzzle game developed by one-man team RCMADIAX, in which the player is tasked with using the GamePad’s touch screen to destroy all the grey bloks in a way that guides the small red blok to safety on any black platform in 30 unique levels. Any given stage begins with the red blok sitting atop an elaborate (and perhaps precarious) arrangement of grey bloks. Since the grey bloks are the only elements on the screen that the player has any control over, they have to be destroyed in the right order and sometimes at the right moments in order to achieve success. In general, this gameplay provides a lot of fun brain teasers. However, at times it does feel as though luck, more than skill, plays into victories.

Posted by Holly Fellmeth 06.03.2014 in All
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Review: 1080° Snowboarding (Wii Download – No, N64 games aren’t on the Wii U eShop yet!)

It would seem I’m not the only Infendo staff member who has recently had 1080° Snowboarding on my mind, as our very own Colin included the game and its successor (1080° Avalanche for the GameCube) in a list of “The Forgotten Franchises” (forgotten by Nintendo, it would seem, but not by us!). Now the game is currently available on Club Nintendo at a cost of 200 coins, and I feel the need to explain why those coins would be well-spent by anyone who does not already have the N64 classic downloaded on their Wii or Wii U. Just to reiterate: 1080° Snowboarding is not available through the Nintendo eShop, so don’t get your hopes up that N64 games are finally being made playable in GamePad-only mode: you can only download the game to your Wii U through Wii mode at the Wii Shop Channel.

Posted by Holly Fellmeth 16.01.2014 in All
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Review: Pikmin 3 (Wii U)

Review: Pikmin 3 (Wii U)


Nintendo kept us waiting for the third instalment of their odd, genre bending adventure-strategy game. Pikmin 3 recently landed on the Wii U around the world, however has the wait been worth it?

The main adventure mode is single player only but there are additional modes that let you play either co-operatively or competitively with a friend.

If you have played either of the first two games you will feel right at home in the adventure mode. Unlike most strategy games you actually control a main character and not a cursor, in this case one of the three captains Alph, Brittany or Charlie. As you explore the unique environment you are given the impression you are a tiny creature in a massive world. The HD graphics and extra horse power of the Wii U really go along way in helping build up the realism in the environments. It’s great to see Nintendo able to flex their graphic muscle in this more realistic manner. The characters and creatures that inhabit the game take a contrasting style to the surroundings in a more Nintendo-like fashion. Despite this difference in styles nothing looks out of place and the unique combination of both make for a memorable visual theme.

You can control Pikmin 3 using one of three different control schemes, however none is perfect. The GamePad has you moving and aiming with both analogue sticks, the advantage here is the touch screen is used to show an interactive map. The Wii Remote and Nunchuck has you aiming your Pikmin with pointer which is very accurate but you will still need to grab the GamePad to use the map. Finally you can use the Pro controller which has the same button layout of the GamePad without the touchscreen.


Shortly after you crash land on planet PNF-404 you meet the Pikmin. These are small, colorful creatures that come in different types. They will follow your captain if you whistle at them, stay put if discarded and most importantly can be thrown. Throwing Pikmin is your main action and throwing them at different things will accomplish different tasks. Throw Pikmin at enemies to take them down, at fruit so they can carry it back to base or even at an earthy bridge to bash it down to clear the path. Success in these tasks will come down to having enough Pikmin and sometimes of the right types, the more you have the faster the task will be completed.

The goal of the adventure mode is to collect as many fruits as possible. In this world fruits are many times the size of the captains so they need the assistants of the Pikmin, the more you have the easier it is to drag fruit back to your ship. Fruit is squeezed and turned into juice at the end of each day. You need a pot of juice each night to survive, so as long as you keep hold of a single pot you can adventure on for another day.  With the amount of fruit scattered around the planet you shouldn’t have to worry too much about going hungry.

Each day on the planet PNF-404 you will find a healthy balance of enemies to fight, puzzles to solve and secrets to find. The trick is to focus on one or a few specific tasks as your time you can spend on the planet each day is limited. You can even split up your party, assigning specific routes for your captains using the Wii U GamePad’s touchscreen. Enemies come in a variety of different designs and sizes, each having a specific way to be bested. Larger foes can be like puzzles themselves, with a wrong strategy could see you losing a significant portion of your Pikmin army. The bosses take this a step even further. Each is unique and never repeated. Boss battles can be stressful as it is all too easy to loss Pikmin while trying to figure out its weakness.  It can even take several in-game days. In the end though these fights always feel satisfying and never cheap.


To relieve your stress from the often dangerous world of PNF-404 you can always take to some photography. One of the new features the GamePad brings is to be able to take in-game photos by holding up the GamePad and moving it around like a camera. This is the first time we get to see the world of the Pikmin from this point of view and the creatures, pikmin and the environment itself all looks very different from this angle. You can even post your snaps straight to Miiverse, of course you may have more fun browsing the most popular snaps already online.

The challenges mode is made of set stages split up into three types. Collecting fruit, fighting enemies and finally a boss attack mode. Stages in the challenge mode are unlocked as you progress through the main game. The stage designs are exclusive to this mode and on the compact variety. To increase reply value there’s local and online scoreboards for each stage.

If you’re bored of co-operation you can go head-to-hard in a Bingo Battle. This mode is local multiplayer only and has a surprising amount of depth. As you begin you are given a bingo card each filled with different objects, fruits and emeries. The goal is to score Bingo by clearing a line horizontally, vertically or diagonally by dragging your items of choice back to your base.


There’s real strategy to be had in Bingo battle, you can choose to focus on growing your Pikmin population before heading out into battle, try and grab your items as soon as possible or even scoop out what your opponent will be after next and block their Bingo buying you more time to finish your own. Although local multiplayer is not as accessible as online multiplayer this mode is well worth the effort of meeting up the old fashion way to duke it out in this strategically addictive multiplayer mash up.

So has the wati been worth it? Your Pikmin 3 adventure will take you between 10-20+ hours, depending on how many fruits you collect, challenges you complete and Bingo-battles you wage. Each mode has allot of content but can be raced through quickly and seems to be built with replay-ability in mind. Overall Pikmin 3 is an evolution of the Pikmin template instead of a revolution, but it’s well rounded resign, charm and unique gameplay still cannot be found elsewhere.

Score: 9/10

Posted by Lewis Pugh 24.08.2013 in All
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