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Time Waster Weekly (294)

Tuesday, 19 November 2019 11:39

Weekly Time Waster - ‘Sonic Dash’

Written by Matt Fern

With the new “Sonic The Hedgehog” movie trailer dropping last week, I figured it was time to feature Sonic as a time waster. Sonic as a character is a true classic; it was only a matter of time before he hit smartphones as a fun, family friendly game to play. There are a bunch of Sonic games that have been released recently; games like “Sonic Classic,” which embodies the original Sonic game. However, I chose to highlight a “new” game.

“Sonic Dash,” which released just a few weeks ago, is an endless runner game just like “Temple Run” or “Minion Rush.” The point is for Sonic to run on different endless maps, collecting as many coins as he can and getting the highest score possible.

“Sonic Dash” plays just like any other endless runner game. Swipe left and right to avoid obstacles and swipe up or down to jump or slide over things. As you play the game, there are special power-ups that you can pick-up and use to avoid failure when used at a specific moment. There are also pretty fun and challenging boss battles with Dr. Eggman and Zazz – a great new metric to an endless runner game!

“Sonic Dash” wouldn’t be a “Sonic” game without unlockable beloved characters! Through collecting coins, you can unlock Tails, Shadow or Knuckles with whom you can endlessly run on your journey to the highest score.

“Sonic Dash” is a fun endless runner, with enough little pieces that make it unique from other similar games to be one of the best ones I’ve found so far. “Sonic Dash” is free to download on the Android and IOS stores.

Tuesday, 12 November 2019 12:55

Weekly Time Waster - ‘Ink Inc.’

Written by Matt Fern

Ever wondered what it is like to give someone a tattoo? Want to experience that feeling without actually having to buy a machine or, you know … learn how to tattoo? Well, that’s what video games are for!

In “Ink Inc.” you are a tattoo artist who must please all your customers who come into your shop. As each customer comes into the shop, they will request a certain type of tattoo, which you must draw and color as close to the design as possible. Following dotted lines, you must try not to make any mistakes, or you will dissatisfy your customer. Each tattoo has a difficulty level, ranging from drawing a simple filled-in cloud to an extremely-detailed bird with multiple colors to fill in.

When you’re done drawing each tattoo, the game compares your drawn tattoo to an image of a perfectly-executed one and gives you a rating. After that, you get to see your customer react to the tattoo you’ve just drawn and walk out of the shop; they’re either smiling or regretting their decision to ink their arm.

The game has a nice simple art design, while the sound of the tattoo pen is about as realistic as one you would hear in an actual tattoo shop. The designers of the game also tapped into your phone’s vibration function; your phone will give you a nice haptic feedback experience while you are inking your customers.

Whether you like tattoos or you’re just a fan of art, “Ink Inc.” will let you enjoy drawing and coloring shapes to your hearts content. “Ink Inc.” is available for free on the Android and IOS stores.

Tuesday, 05 November 2019 11:55

Weekly Time Waster - ‘Real Driving Sim’

Written by Matt Fern

Sometimes on any given day, you just want to climb into your car, get behind the wheel and drive somewhere. Other days, you want to do that same thing, but you also don’t want to leave your couch. What if I told you you can drive a car and you don’t even need to get up to do it.

“Real Driving Sim” is a little game that lets you drive. With over 80 real (unbranded) vehicles such as the Dodge Challenger, Toyota Supra and more, you can drive around and explore a massive open map without having to get out of your chair. This game has lots of different cars to drive, ranging from family sedans, SUV’s, off-road vehicles and the aforementioned sports cars. The cars also feature nice realistic sounds, interiors and even realistic handling.

As you drive around the open world, you can do different challenges and mini-games such as racing, high speed driving, and even a challenge where you have to drive from point A to point B as fast as you can, without taking a single ounce of damage to your vehicle. You can play online with friends if you’d like, but I had fun just driving around by myself. Is there much here beyond the cars? No, not really. “Real Driving Sim” is a game that simply lets you drive around just for fun.

With over 20 cities to explore, highways, deserts and mountains to climb, there is a lot to enjoy in “Real Driving Sim.” You even have the option of driving all the vehicles with a manual shift option if you prefer. If you like driving, or just cars in general, this is definitely the game for you!

“Real Driving Sim” is free to download on the Android and IOS stores.

If you’re familiar with actor/comedian Seth MacFarlane, then you’ve probably seen his show “American Dad!”. With many adult animated cartoons having their own game out there in the mobile world, “American Dad!” finally gets its time in the spotlight.

In “American Dad! Apocalypse Soon,” aliens have invaded Langley Falls and taken Stan Smith’s family hostage. You must build an underground base under Stan’s house, build an army by cloning Roger the alien and fight to take back the town and save the Smith family.

“American Dad! Apocalypse Soon” is basically a shelter design and base building game similar to “Fallout Shelter.” As you build your underground base, you create different types of rooms, such as utility rooms to produce energy, armories to produce weapons such as baseball bats and plasma revolvers and even a mint to produce currency. You do all this to work at equipping your Roger clones with the best weapons and gear possible so that you can eventually send them into battle.

There’s some idle time while you’re producing resources, filled in by completing missions. The game has plenty of missions to complete with various stages. As you get to the final stage in each mission, you attempt to save a missing family member. The battles are also fun as your clones participate in turn-based combat against enemies. When your clones go into battle, you’ll acquire chests which give you random rewards to be used to upgrade your army or base.

The game also gives you tasks to complete, which is nice as you have structured goals. Of course, this wouldn’t be an “American Dad!” game without the comedy. And there are many laughs to be had; the narrative was written in collaboration with the “American Dad!” writers!

“American Dad! Apocalypse Soon” is a fantastic base-building RPG game, sure to not only waste your time, but give you some laughs along the way! This game is free to download on the Android and IOS stores.

Tuesday, 22 October 2019 13:38

Weekly Time Waster - ‘Idle Supermarket Tycoon’

Written by Matt Fern

Ever walked into Hannaford, Walmart or some other grocery/retail store and wondered what it would be like to own and run a business such as those? Well, I can’t tell you how to invest your money, but I can tell you that it’s possible in the world of video games.

“Idle Supermarket Tycoon” has you take on the role of a business owner who opens up a small mini-mart in town. Your goal is to grow from a small local grocery mart into a major supermarket. The game sees you starting off with a small amount of cash, which you use to design your supermarket and fill it with decently-priced, average-quality items. As you grow, you can offer higher quality products and sell them for more. For instance, you might start off with the basics in your vegetable section, but you can later start stocking specialty and health focused vegetables.

You have to make many decisions along the way. Do you want to build a new section like a Deli, or should you upgrade your registers to help get people through checkout faster? Should you invest in more parking for your customers so more people can shop at once, or should you upgrade the butcher shop as most of your customers are requesting higher quality meat? You also are in charge of hiring quality employees and setting their wages. A butcher might make less money than an electronics expert. Which leads me to the point of as you grow, you can start becoming more than a grocery mart and expand into having electronics, home goods and more.

A good supermarket also has a marketing plan. “Idle Supermarket Tycoon” lets you dive into the world of customer interaction as you develop marketing strategies to attract new customers and perform research to find out what your customers want – and what they don’t.

“Idle Supermarket Tycoon” is a fun little supermarket management game; it’s free to download on the Android and IOS stores.

Tuesday, 15 October 2019 21:03

Weekly Time Waster - ‘Call of Duty: Mobile’

Written by Matt Fern

Whether or not you are a fan of the “Call of Duty” series, you can’t deny that it has quickly become one of the most popular first-person shooter franchises ever. Featuring blockbuster action campaigns, fast-paced arcade multiplayer and even horrific zombie survival modes, “Call of Duty” has set itself apart from the rest of the market.

While you wait for the highly-anticipated “Call of Duty: Modern Warfare” - releasing later this month - you might consider wasting some time with “Call of Duty: Mobile.”

“COD: Mobile” offers a fully-fledged free way to play the first-person franchise, with the regular 5v5 multiplayer modes such as Team Deathmatch, Free-For-All, Search and Destroy and more. The other staple the game brings is a Battle Royale mode that sees you jumping down onto a map with 99 other players. Using vehicles and weapons that you find along the way, you battle it out to be the last man standing. There are even patches of zombies that spawn on the map, as well as special bosses that spawn to drop special loot to help you become number one.

“COD: Mobile” runs smoothly on a personal mobile device, while offering intuitive controls that can be customized to your comfort level. There is even a simple control feature that eliminates the fire button and shoots your gun automatically when your aiming reticule hovers over another player. The game also offers keyboard and mouse support if you are playing on a tablet.

“COD: Mobile” is a greatest-hits showcase of all the characters, gadgets, weapons and maps that fans have come to love. From characters like Captain Price to maps such as Nuketown and Crash, “COD: Mobile” has a little of something to appeal to everyone.

You can download “Call of Duty: Mobile” for free off the Android and IOS stores!

Tuesday, 01 October 2019 16:02

Weekly Time Waster - ‘Mario Kart Tour’

Written by Matt Fern

“Mario Kart” has been one of Nintendo’s flagship racing games since the days of the Super Nintendo Entertainment System. Since the first game launched in 1992, the franchise has been a critical and commercial success. The only copy I ever owned, and still own today, is “Mario Kart 64;” the memories of racing against my friends after school and into the night on weekends are still fresh in my mind.

The “Mario Kart” games are still alive and well – and have finally made it into the palm of your hand!

“Mario Kart Tour” is “Mario Kart,” but as an online racing game. Instead of racing computer-controlled players, you compete against other people. The game does a great job of bringing back classic courses such as Rainbow Road, but also has a few courses based on real-life cities like Paris.

The premise is simple; race through a track littered with power-ups and weapons to use on your fellow racers and finish first. The game is divided into cups, where you race across three different tracks; depending on how you finish, your placement in each race is tallied to give you a final score. You don’t need to finish first every time, but top-three finishes are how you’ll get the most points. All the iconic Mario characters are there as well, though a few of them cost real money to unlock.

The game does have quite a few micro transactions, but you certainly can play it without spending a penny. There are also lots of systems – familiar to mobile gamers – that aren’t in standard “Mario Kart” games. For instance, in each race, you can earn coins you can use to buy new karts, gear and other items. You can only earn a certain amount of coins per day, however; because of that limit, you may need to play multiple days to be able to afford certain items.

“Mario Kart” is finally here on mobile – and it’s a blast! Grab some friends and head out on to the track! May the best racer win. “Mario Kart Tour” is free to download on the Android and IOS stores.

Wednesday, 25 September 2019 09:10

Weekly Time Waster - ‘Rocket Sky!’

Written by Matt Fern

In the mid-20th century, mankind set a course to venture out into space. With the U.S. and the Soviet Union operating to become the first into space, technology advanced rapidly; we have seen those efforts end up influencing the tech we have today. Loving space like I do, it’s only fitting I found a simple little game that lets you have your own little space race in the palm of your hand.

In “Rocket Sky!” you are tasked with the objective of flying a rocket as far off the planet as you can, reaching out farther into space with each launch. Starting with a moderate amount of cash, you are tasked to build a rocket, choosing which aspects of your rocket to spend the most on and which to go cheap with. You then tap and hold your screen and launch your rocket. Based on how you built your rocket, you will rip apart, overheat or run out of fuel. Once that happens, it’s game over and you need to rebuild your rocket again. As you play and earn more cash, you can upgrade your rocket, reach greater heights and even discover new planets out in the unknown. As you reach certain heights or milestones, you also unlock new rocket bodies to build!

This game reminds me most of science class in middle school, where we were tasked at seeing who could build a rocket that could go the highest. It wasn’t just fun, but you challenged yourself to keep building a better rocket with each success or failure.

If you are into space, this game is for you. If you aren’t into space, it’s still a great time waster! “Rocket Sky!” is available to download for free on the Android and IOS stores.

Wednesday, 18 September 2019 09:22

Weekly Time Waster - ‘Dead Zed’

Written by Matt Fern

When you have an online flash game that has been played over 50 million times, you probably ought to take that flash game and make it available on mobile devices. This is what happened to “Dead Zed.”

Zombies have been prevalent in video games for ages. “Dead Zed” is a simple take on the genre. As with most zombie games or movies, the dead are coming back to life, and they are hungry. To survive, you make your way through a map, progressing from location to location. The game takes you from peaceful suburb locations to an abandoned city that looks like it’s straight out of the first episode of “The Walking Dead.” In each location, you are tasked with defending your area by taking out waves of zombies.

“Dead Zed” is just like one of those arcade games that has weapons you physically hold. Your character cannot move and simply stands in place; there is nothing but your fast and accurate aiming that keeps you alive. You start the game with a simple handgun, but as you progress by mowing down zombies, you unlock many different weapons to add to your arsenal: revolvers, automatic rifles, crossbows and more. You can also upgrade these weapons to perform exactly to your comfort level. Each round lets you bring two weapons with you, so choose wisely!

The mobile edition of this classic online game wasn’t just transferred to mobile devices, but was completely overhauled with new gameplay elements, new weapons and locations.

“Dead Zed” is a fantastic zombie game addition to mobile stores – and a great way to waste some time. “Dead Zed” is free to download on the Android and IOS stores.

Wednesday, 04 September 2019 10:59

Weekly Time Waster - ‘Madden Mobile: 2019 Edition’

Written by Matt Fern

With the first regular season NFL kickoff on the horizon, it’s the time of year I like to revisit the “Madden Mobile” game. It’s a great time-wasting companion to the NFL season, one that deserves a spot on your phone to play for the next few months.

What is “Madden Mobile”? Well, it’s a free-to-play version of the “Madden Football” franchise. A cross between digital fantasy football and a card-collecting game, “Madden Mobile” sees you hitting the field as your favorite team but built with your favorite players.

As you play, both online and offline, you will collect more and better players; whether you’re playing the offline season, challenges or full games against real players in the world, there is always something to do. Last year, “Madden Mobile” added a huge graphical and physics update, a TV-broadcast style presentation, new live events, a redesigned kicking meter and more.

This year’s update to “Madden Mobile” builds on some of the same refinements, but also adds a new game mode. With each new year, you started a fresh new team to play the current NFL season. But now, a legacy mode has been added; you can play with your old superteam in new challenges and events to earn rewards that can be used to get new and upgraded players on your current season team. And as you build your current season team, you’ll also be building towards next year’s legacy team!

There are many other features that make this year’s “Madden Mobile” more exciting, such as new TD celebrations, updated playbooks, rookie players from this year’s draft and other little quirks for you to discover. This is EA’s boldest year for the game, and hey, you can never have too much football!

“Madden Mobile” is available to download for free on the Android and IOS stores.

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