Commuter Gamer #6: Passing the Time on Tokyo Trains (REVIEW)
Read on as you learn the ever vital skills of cutting through hordes of monstrosities, dodging traffic, evading shambling zombies and generally figuring out complex puzzles. Getting out of the train station at rush hour will be a breeze after playing this month’s mobile game picks.
And now, the 6th installment of Adam Bolton’s Commuter Gamer, a monthly column syndicated from Japan Today’s TOKYO INSIGHT digital magazine (iOS • Android) The article has been slightly reformatted to match our control freak Editor’s guidelines. Let us know what you think down below!
Here we go:
#1 - A hack-and-slash sci-fi saga with all the trimmings
Developed by Rayark, better known for their slick, rhythm-based games in the Japanese mobile market, the company has successfully stepped out of its comfort zone with Implosion, a thrilling tale of action and intrigue as the last vestiges of humanity attempt to unravel a mystery on the now inhospitable planet Earth, ravaged by the Xada, a hostile alien race.
Harkening back to the days of high speed action games such as Zone of Enders and Devil May Cry, you play as Jake Carloway, a man tasked to investigate the disturbance of beacons left on the Earth’s surface. To aid in the investigation, Jake and his partner Diana have access to two of the greatest mechanized suits of combat armor ever known, weapons that can stand up to any and all hostilities they may encounter. Played out across a multitude of stages, the game moves thick and fast, offering satisfying melee combat and fluidity of motion, while regular upgrades increase the efficacy of your character in defense of the ever increasing challenges that await.
Rayark have spent a great deal of time working on Implosion and it shows. Dialog between characters is well-written, with a strong voice cast to compliment it, while a solid and often powerful musical score adds to the grander boss fights. Visually, each chapter has its own unique theme, with the mechanized animations and special attacks being satisfying and aesthetically pleasing. Expect a console-quality gaming experience with this one. Robots, swords, aliens and rewarding combat make it a slice of game geek heaven.
#2 - Stuck in traffic? Train not moving? Maybe this will help
- Title: Does Not Commute
- Price & Dev: Free (with in-app purchases), Mediocre AB
- Platforms: iOS, Android
Brought to you by Mediocre Games - responsible for last year’s excellent Smash Hit - Does Not Commute is a game of temporal paradoxes. In this case, as you guide vehicles from point A to point B there’s a little snag: you control all of them at once.
Played from a top-down view of various streets and bustling intersections, you must steer one of many vehicles—each with its own occupant’s back stories—to its desired destination. As one reaches its goal, time is rewound and another vehicle enters the fray. From here, you must pilot the following cars, buses, trucks and scooters to their way points all while planning one step ahead to avoid the potential bumps, crashes and full-on collisions.
Each conveyance has its own handling and rate of speed. While accidents are likely to happen, they all come with their own consequences as each mishap slows down the vehicles significantly. Each stage is set to an ever decreasing timer that can be topped up by the many collectibles along the way. Does Not Commute is good, clean, silly fun with a unique game play style that everyone has time for… eventually.
...and for some quick plays between stations:
#3 - Dead Eyes
- Price & Dev: ¥120, Load Complete
- Platforms: iOS, Android
One of those rare, pleasant, out-of-nowhere surprises that are known to spring up on the App Store from time to time, Dead Eyes is a uniquely styled take on surviving the zombie apocalypse. Played out in a simple yet challenging way, much like a strategic game of chess, each of the 100 gray-scale, pixel-art levels is set out in game-board style, littered with hungry zombies as they and your character take turns moving. The living dead are in hot pursuit as you edge through the derelict neighborhoods on your way to scour for supplies. Don’t be afraid - be very afraid.
#4 - Test Chamber
Test Chamber is a sharp game of lateral thinking, something that is both forgiving of errors, but still deeply challenging. In the chamber, you are one of the few (or the many) occupants of a grand experiment, where the end is always just out of reach. Each stage has a marshmallow-looking character, pushing and maneuvering blocks into place that will lead to the exit portal. The challenge, however, lies not in pushing the blocks of your level, but those of the many mirrored stages around you—and the duplicates of yourself. It may sound confusing, but therein lines the fun.
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Thanks to Jeff from Japan Today’s TOKYO INSIGHT digital magazine - download this month’s issue (iOS • Android) and get an inside look at Japanese culture, Tokyo life, and the goings on all over Japan - including a touch of Japanese tech from AkihabaraNews!
Gaming at AkihabaraNews