Getting sucked into Clash of Clans

Clash of Clans became popular quite awhile ago, and I’m not even sure if many of those who first started talking about it still play it. I had always known very little about Clash of Clans and had convinced myself it probably wasn’t worth my time. From what I could tell it was just another take on the Simpsons: Tapped Out model where you’re trying to construct a cool town and the more you play the more you’re tempted to spend money on the game to expedite the building process (there’s not much to do while waiting for tasks to complete).

Yesterday for some odd reason I decided to finally download Clash of Clans on my iPad. Now I’m once again stuck in the mindset that if I’m not constantly putting my builders to work upgrading my town (camp? not sure what Clash players refer to their home base as) I’m essentially throwing away time and leaving my home unprepared for a siege.

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A notification from Clash of Clans that’s 30 minutes old. That’s 30 minutes that builder could’ve been put to work doing something else!

So far the game is enjoyable, more so than I expected it to be. I’m a “noob” in every sense, I’m just getting my feet wet, but basically you build up your town and upgrade facilities that collect resources (elixir and gold) which you then use to upgrade more facilities, build new buildings or defenses and train troops.

Clash of Clans Elixir collector upgrade screen

 

It will take one hour and 1400 gold to upgrade this elixir collector to level 4, increasing its production rate by 200 per hour.

You use your troops to complete single player objectives where you can raid encampments in order to steal elixir and gold, and also earn stars based on how much damage you do before all of your troops are killed (3 stars if you completely destroy everything). You can also raid other player’s camps, however if you do so within your first three days of gameplay you also become vulnerable to invasion by other players (for the first three days you have a shield which prevents you from being attacked. You can also purchase additional shield time with gems).

I haven’t seen any of the player vs player combat yet since I’m still within my first three days of gameplay, so I can’t really comment on that, but I presume that’s where where real fun begins. I’m also not eligible to join a clan yet, so that’s another area of gameplay I can’t comment or speculate on.

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My humble little home

I’m interested to learn more about the game, but for now I’m just working on upgrading my town as much as I can to prepare for the moment I become vulnerable to invasion in two days.  I’ll admit I already spent $4.99 on the game to purchase 500 gems which were required to receive a third builder. Builders are what you use to construct and upgrade your facilities and I felt too limited with just the two builders you start out with. You can earn gems without spending any money, however it will take patience which I don’t quite have.

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A look at Clash of Clan’s in app purchases

Do you play Clash of Clans? Have any advice for a newbie? How about the Star War’s version, Star Wars: Force Commander?

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Bioshock is now available on iOS

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So I was browsing the App Store today and was surprised to find that Bioshock is now available on iOS for $14.99. I had absolutely no idea that it was even coming to iOS, and now here it is, ready to be enjoyed on the go on my iPad Air! I was quite excited when I saw it, so I just wanted to pop in and share the news in case anyone else was unaware that this was actually coming.

I’ll be sure to share my experience after I play it a bit. Most of the reviews are quite positive so I’m excited to dig in and enjoy this wonderful game yet again!

Civilization Revolution 2: I can’t stop

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Civilization Revolution on the Xbox 360 was my very first exposure to the Civilization franchise. The very first time I played it I was addicted. There was just something amazing about trying to set up the perfect defenses to keep your Nation alive before venturing out and engaging in little skirmishes to raise the experience levels of your armies as you advance your technology and eventually make a play to rule the world.

Going from Civ Revolution to Civ V on the PC was quite the shock. Not only is it a lot slower paced, there’s a lot more to manage and keep track of. I’m not saying this is a bad thing, but it’s not necessarily a quick fix type of game. At first I couldn’t get a grasp on Civ V as it was just too different (for example, being unable to stack troops makes it very difficult to navigate into tight spaces and launch an attack). Now I love Civ V just as much as I loved Civ Revolution, it’s just very time consuming.

Enter Civilization Revolution 2, the $14.99 iOS exclusive (for the moment). Having such an amazing game available at any time on my iPad is amazing, and it’s worth every penny, if not more. The game looks and plays almost exactly like the 2008 console release, with a few additions and improvements.

Playing a Civ game on a touch device is easy, and intuitive. Tap a troop and tap where you want it to go. Everything comes naturally, I don’t think I could ever go back to playing Civ Revolution with a controller. It also runs quite smoothly on the iPad Air and looks great all the time.

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I’ve already sunk something around 10 hours into Civ Revolution 2, and I’ve loved every minute of it. The only problem I have is putting it down. Most people come to expect mobile games to be quick fix games, but mobile gaming has come a long way since Angry Birds. You now have full featured games on mobile devices as opposed to stripped down iterations. A few of my Civ Revolution 2 games have lasted three hours or longer and the time flew by before I realized it. I’ll tell myself ‘just one more turn’ and before long I’m 50 turns deeper.

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Beware Civ Revolution 2’s addictive properties. Recently after finishing a 3 hour Civ Rev 2 game I immediately jumped onto my MacBook and began a Civ V game.

If you have an iOS device I highly recommend purchasing Civilization Revolution 2. You’ll get countless hours of enjoyment out of it if you enjoy strategy games or Civ games. If the PC versions of Civilization have intimidated you I also suggest you check out Civ Rev 2 as it’s much easier to get into and you’ll be having fun before you know it.

Civilization Revolution 2 is available in the App Store for $14.99

XCOM: Enemy Unknown released for iPad / iPhone today!

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Firaxis Games’ 2012 award winning (to include many GOTY awards) game XCOM: Enemy Unkown has released for iOS today. For $19.99 you can get the both the iPad and iPhone version of the game and both sync to the cloud so you can start a game on one platform and continue it on the other. From what I’ve seen so far it seems the superior experience will be had on the iPad / iPad mini, but the iPhone version is just as playable, just with a bit more zooming and scrolling.

I loved XCOM on the 360 and also on PC, but it always felt like a tablet version of the game would be more enjoyable. I haven’t fired the game up yet on my iPad but I’ll be sure to post some thoughts and screenshots when I have a chance. I’m just incredibly excited that I’ll finally be able to play this AAA title on the go!

Some are complaining about the “steep” price, but realize that XCOM was a $60 console / PC game that can occasionally be bought for less when it’s on sale. The PC version currently sells for $39.99 on Amazon, while the Xbox 360 version is selling for $32.65. The iPad version currently lacks multiplayer, however it is said to be coming in a future free update to the game.

iPad: Final Fantasy Dimensions / The Walking Dead

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I’ve used the first gen Kindle Fire and the 7″ Kindle Fire HD and enjoyed both, but I finally decided to become an iPad owner. I’d describe myself as quite the Apple fan. I love their story, I love their attitude and I love their products. I use a 13″ MacBook Pro (2012) and the iPhone 4 and love both. They’re both very solid, sleek and sexy products with great operating systems (I also run Windows 8 on my MacBook and enjoy it). I love the iTunes store and have a lot of iTunes content, and I could still access all of my Amazon content via the Kindle and Instant Video apps, so the iPad was a great investment in my eyes.

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So now I’m the owner of a white 32gb iPad 4 as you can see in the blurry as crap picture above (sorry about that). So far it’s been a great experience. The retina display is absolutely amazing, text on websites looks incredibly crisp and HD movies look absolutely stunning. The amount of apps available is a HUGE improvement over the Kindle Fire HD (sorry Amazon) and I’m glad I made the purchase.

I’ve been enjoying Final Fantasy: Dimensions a lot so far. Dimensions is a modern Final Fantasy game created in the old 16 bit style and it’s a wonderful throwback. It looks and sounds great and so far it is a blast to play. It is an episodic title and the prologue is free, chapter 1 is $2.99 and the 3 remaining chapters are $6.99, or you can buy all of the chapters for $19.99. I think I’m going to buy the chapters as I get to them because the game is about 40 hours along and I’m sure it’ll take me at least several weeks to finish and I’ll probably get distracted.

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I’ve also been playing The Walking Dead, which I’ve played on the 360 but since the first episode is free I figured I’d try it out. I’m going to play the opposite type of character on my iPad playthrough, so I’m pretty much going to be a ruthless son of a bitch throughout the game 🙂 Should be fun.

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I’ve also checked out Infinity Blade II which looks amazing. If you have any other recommendations for must play games feel free to suggest them in the comments. Anyway, I’ve included a few more screenshots below. Enjoy!

Family Feud and Friends

So a lot of people at work have been playing Family Feud & Friends on their phone and it seemed like a fun time. It’s certainly fun to battle it out with strangers and come up with “good answer”(s). However after downloading the free app myself I’ve run into nothing but problems.

First off, the game requires coins to play, and each game of Family Feud costs 2 coins. You start out with 10 coins and get 2 coins for leveling up (you level up by earning money). However after no more than 20 minutes I was zero balance on my coins. So I have the option of paying anywhere from $1.99-$99.99 for additional coins. $1.99 will net you a total of FIVE games of Family Feud, or 15 minutes or so of fun. Most definitely not worth it. And anyone who spends $99.99 on an iPhone game (or even thinks about it for that matter) needs some help.

Every day you get to spin a slot machine to earn more coins, but most often you’ll only get 2 or 3 coins. So you can play one game a day if you don’t shell out cash.

What’s worse is the fact that the app itself never works. Most of the time I open the app I get a never ending connecting to server and an error saying the app failed to retrieve information from the server, try again later. Great so I can’t even get my daily spin to earn free coins so I can actually play the game.

This in app purchase model is not a winning model. I would rather pay $2-5 for the app then have to continuously dump $2-5 a day into it. Even if you bought the $99 coin package I doubt that would last a person a year. What a shame, the game is fun, but it apparently doesn’t want to be played.