Double-Up Discussion: Freaky Dragon, Shurican

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This title, by Freakout Games, is more than a bit unhinged.  First off, the dragon looks like Barney raped Spyro, and it can barely stay aloft with those tiny wings.  You tap the screen to fly, so it’s another flappy-style game.  Its art is rather nice and the music is fun, considering it is only one track, but there is still much that will anger you about the game.  The most entertaining feature of the game is the least utilized: if you play a dragon, even a pink polka-dotted purple dragon, you’ll generally want to breathe some fire.  Freaky Dragon opts out of this, making you spent the better amount of time dodging obstacles.  After a solid couple hours on this game, I didn’t use my fire balls once.  Next, in-app purchases.  I cannot emphasize how much I hate this standard of the mobile gaming industry.  Every time you die, the game suggests you might revive the dragon and continue if you have eggs, pictured above.  Not enough eggs?  Buy some with real money!  Thanks, but no thanks.  If I play this game anymore I might just end up snapping my phone in half.  This game is free on Google Play.

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Certainly the better of today’s games, Shurican is another flappy-style game starring a ninja.  Good start.  Every time you tap the jump button, he slashes.  Double jump and he throws a Shuriken.  Hold your finger a second and release for a charged slash.  There are two play modes in this game.  Challenge, which takes place on the same board, and seems implied to be finite.  You are scored by percentage completed.  To date, I have gotten 44.15% completion.  I have never made it to the end, but the other game mode is called endless.  This one is point scored and starts a new level every time.  The points are gained each second you survive and from killing enemies.  My best score is 216 points.  Both modes pit send the ninja down a constantly scrolling corridor of death, dodging buzzsaws and slashing at demons.  It is challenging and fun, refusing to take itself seriously.

The art comes from simple vector graphics and it’s bloody as hell: your ninja spews blood everywhere and explodes upon death like a robot.  The music goes with everything else in this game: heavy techno-rock that says “ninjas, demons, explosions… why not?”  There are small ads that display across the top of the screen when you die, but they don’t slap you in the face and it is difficult to accidentally hit them.  Enjoyable, well-made app that is considerate of its players.  Add to that it is free on Google Play, and I would recommend this to mobile game fans.

 

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