Earthcore: Shattered Elements – A Breakout Card Game

Earthcore: Shattered Elements by Tequila Games is the new card game on the block. That is the iblock. Earthcore is at its most simple a fancy game of rock paper scissors times three with elements. However it isn’t quite that simple. There are two more parts of each card we will go over later in the review. Earthcore is a unique take on a classic formula.

Earthcore’s game play is unique with it’s three column rock paper scissors like set up. The cards are one of three elements; Fire, Water, and Earth. The win lose combination of the elements are absolute; Fire scorches Earth, Earth absorbs Water, and Water extinguishes Fire. There are two more parts to the cards in addition to the elements. The first part is the Skill of the card. This can be anything from direct damage to the other player to being able to change the base element of any card on the playing field to dust which will lose no matter what. This is balanced by only being able to use one of the three skills on your cards in any given round. The main part is the penalty system. This is how you win or lose the match as a whole. Each time one of your cards lose it hits you with a penalty. This adds a dynamic strategy system to the game. Balancing the risk of a penalty and the reward if you win of a strong hit from the card’s skill is the ultimate challenge.

Earthcore has two play modes. You have first player where you can hone your skills and learn the lore. Then you have online pvp where you can play your hand against the best and brightest players across the globe. You start in first player. Here you learn the basics of the game and start developing your unique style and strategy. The most interesting part of the first player mode is the bits of lore and story before and after each match. This is probably the unsung hero of the game. These are very well written and add a lot to the depth of the game. The biggest draw for players by far will be the online pvp. Here you can pit yourself against the best and brightest of the game. Try out new decks you customized with the card creation feature and level up the leader boards to become the best over all the realm. 

Earthcore screenshot

The downfalls of this game are small but significant. The first really isn’t the developers fault just a symptom of a new game. The lack a major player base. This type of card game draws people from games like magic the gathering and star craft which has huge player bases. So coming into a game early like this is a bit of a culture shock but one that will resolve itself over time. The other issue is the in app purchases they are rather steep for the limited benefit. But the developers have families too so I guess we can forgive them.

Earthcore: Shattered Elements is a dynamic and interesting take on a classic formula. This game has unique traits that makes it stand out from the magic carbon copies that have flooded the iOS platform in recent years. Tequila Game two thumbs up for giving us a good game with tons of good points and only few downfalls.

Solitaire TriPeaks – Brainteasers with Sandy Beaches

If sandy beaches and brainteasers are something of interest to you, then Solitaire TriPeaks is sure to satisfy both of those needs. The virtual game, which is available for free on Android phones, takes players on an adventure with a tiki as they pass each of 600 levels on the beaches of a tropical paradise. Several bonus features pop up at random and their effects range from acting as the players next needed card to moving the player up a level.

The purpose of solitaire is to keep the cards going in their proper order, whether forward or backward, and in as much of one color as possible. There is a catch though. If there are two cards of the same number, but different color, they cannot be played on top of one another, but if there is a consecutive number in the opposite color, that card can be played.

The bonus features that appear in Solitaire TriPeaks all relate back to the tropical theme of the game. There are volcano symbols, shark hooks, flowers blossoms, a magic eye, and a peek-a-boo card. Each one has an individual special feature that can earn you hundreds of coins for your bank.

After downloading and opening the free app, players are taken to the first round of the game. During this game, players are basically shown the ropes courtesy of a few arrows showing you which card(s) you could pick next. This is a great refresher for those who haven’t played in a while and ideal for first time solitaire players. The refresher course lasts only for a few plays of the cards. Afterwards, you are on your own.

Solitaire TriPeaks screenshot

Players earn coins each time they choose a correct card and can flip over a new card from the deck whenever necessary, but it will cost you a few coins to do so. Keep in mind that with each level comes harder plays. This game was really designed to be easy on the eyes, but not the brain. Throughout out the game, wild cards and bonus features will appear at random. There is no way to activate these cards, but take advantage of them when they appear. They are your ticket to larger prizes.

The graphics and overall concept of Solitaire TriPeaks is by far the most unique aspect of the age-old game. The peaceful beach-inspired background is calming to look at, while the bright colors keep your eyes from getting tired. The overall graphics of the wild cards and the player’s tiki friend is impressive in itself and adds to the overall feel of the app. The music, which sort of resembles that of something one would hear on vacation to Hawaii, is uplifting and has a catchy tune.

The flaw that stuck out the most in Solitaire TriPeaks was the inability to customize. Most app games gives players the option to customize music, backgrounds, colors, volume, etc., but this app does not give you that option. The only options are the ability to share on Facebook, view some FAQ’s, increase/decrease the volume of the music, and join a chat group. Although the design of the app is beautiful, customization is always a bonus and makes players feel like they are taking part in their past times.

Bob and Bobek: Ice Hockey – A Comic Take on a Classic Game

Bob and Bobek: Ice Hockey is an arcade style hockey game. It is a simple but well executed take on a classic sport. The main characters are cartoon bunnies that bring a comic side to add appeal to the game. The game barrows its characters from a famous Czech cartoon of the same name. A fresh take on a classic game brought to you by VUISS Technologies.

Bob and Bobek’s game play is arcade style. It consists of six bunnies on either side: five on the ice and one on each goal just as in a standard hockey game. On the screen you have two static controls. On the left is a green button with arrows pointing in four directions. This is the movement controls. You slide the button in the direction you want your player to move. On the right is a read button with a yellow small circle in the middle. This controls the shooting of the puck. A quick tap shoots the puck at a set rate. Holding the right button down lets you control the power of your shot.

Other aspects of game play include being able to play 16 select teams from the World Hockey League. National teams from several countries allow for wider appeal. Each team has different attributes which make them unique and reflect the strengths and weaknesses of the real life teams. You can also play online multiplayer against other people.

For those who are unfamiliar with  Bob and Bobek they are two Czech cartoon characters. The show is based on the adventures and misadventures of Bob and Bobek who live in a wizarding hat. Bob is the larger of the two and often acts in the fashion of a parent to smaller Bobek. Bobek while smaller and shy but skillful and imaginative much like a child. Bob and Bobek have creative ideas but often fall into difficult situations which is the basis of the comic humor. While the show is meant to showcase good manners the characters are not perfect and have negative traits which make them more relatable. Bob and Bobek have been featured in many different ways. They are iconic in the Czech Republic much like bugs bunny is in American culture.

Bob and Bobek screenshot

Bob and Bobek are the mascots of this year’s World Hockey League championship being played in Prague-Ostrava in the Czech Republic. This unique combination leading to the game we are reviewing today. Bob and Bobek being National Symbols in the Czech Republic it is only natural for a game to be made to help raise awareness of both the country and the game of hockey itself.

The game while all around a good play and well-crafted faces one major issue, monetization. How the game makes money is forcing you to buy the next levels before you can further in the game. While this is not uncommon in the mobile gaming world it could be more enjoyable if you could somehow unlock the other options by completing tasks or promoting the game. This is a problem wide spread in the casual game market so VUISS Technologies can’t be blamed for it.

Bob and Bobek: Ice Hockey is a comic take on a classic game. Its arcade styling provides mass appeal. Its simple intuitive design makes it approachable and easy to learn. I would recommend this game to anyone who wants a quality game to play on their phone.