The highly addictive produce-karate mashup, Fruit Ninja Kinect, is Xbox’s latest offering in the 2011 Summer of Arcade series. Although the game debuted on iOS, and has recently come to the Android market, the Xbox version adds the wrinkle of Kinect functionality — turning this quick finger swiping game into a full body hack and slash. But is it worth the made-up 800 MS points?
Combo Crew is the latest mobile jam from beloved indie developers, The Game Bakers. You may already be familiar with The Game Bakers previous title, Squids, which struck a fantastic balance between casual fun and RPG tactical, turn-based strategy.
The recently released Combo Crew is a love letter to the classic beat-em-up games of the late ’80s and early ’90s. The game’s opening cinematic sets the tone for this perfectly.
The game offers the choice of 2 characters, with 2 more (so far) that can be unlocked as you progress through the game. You’ve got the classic well-rounded fighter, Parker, and the fast moving but lower damage striker, Gina. A fighting game wouldn’t be complete without a heavy character, Dolph, and there’s even a bonus character in the game for fans of the prior game, Squids.
While Combo Crew stands on the shoulders of those old fighting games, the game carves out its own identity with new-school gameplay features. Perhaps the game’s greatest feature is that it eschews the onscreen game pad for touch based fighting controls — swipe up, down, left, or right to execute basic attacks, counter attacks with a simple ‘tap’, and two-finger gestures handle the special moves (keep it clean people, this is a family game).
The best part, is that it all works, resulting in a fluid combat experience. Controls are even optimized for tablet and phones, respectively. Your special move set can be customized with new moves, purchased in the upgrade shop, as you progress through the game. The combos aren’t just eye candy either; special attention has been paid to the design of combos. Some combos set up juggle attacks, while others break the guard of enemies. Through customization, you’ll find a move set that best suits your fighting style.
The game me boasts two main modes: the King of the Tower (story) and Combo Crew Mode. The goal of the latter is to build the biggest combo and score possible by battling waves of enemies. There are mini-challenges to complete along the way, which earn you more currency and unlock even better combos.
Enter social functionality. You can build your own crew of real life friends to help you along the way. For instance, if you fail at a level, you can enlist the help of a friend to come in and tackle it for you. If they are successful, you return to fight another day. You can also return the favor, in kind, to your crew. Social features, including in game leaderboards, are cross platform, meaning that friends on both iOS and Android (currently) and compete and co-op with each other. You can also send short messages when helping or asking for help.
Combo Crew is a great mobile gem. It’s one of those games that appear simple on the surface, but as you try to master each level of the game with a perfect combo, you’ll find that your timing, tactics, and combo setup will be put to task. Combo Crew is available for $1.99 on iOS and Android. Put your quarters up.