Dec 27, 2013

    Made-in-Singapore gems in app stores

    THE arrival of mobile games and app stores has lowered the entry barriers for game developers here.

    Instead of waiting for publishers to pick up their games, developers in Singapore can publish the games directly through app stores, all at the click of a button. Here are several:


    Platform: iOS. Free-to-play.

    As in games in this genre, this has a city-building phase during which you send peasants to gather resources to build barracks, upgrade your castle, and hire heroes and soldiers to fight your battles.

    The game progresses smoothly at the start as you build your barracks and hire your first hero.

    If you are hooked by now, you might just decide to spend real moolah to purchase green diamonds, which work their magic by speeding up your construction projects and even filling up your coffers instantly with logs and coins.

    While you are inactive, note that other players will be eyeing your resources and making plans to plunder your city.

    Thankfully, your buildings stay intact in a raid, and if you have built a Treasury, you can even protect a percentage of your resources against looters.

    If you are an active player, the thrill is in the ransacking of other players' cities.

    There is much depth in this game to please fans of this genre.


    Platforms: iOS and Android. Free-to-play.

    Fight your way through snow, mountains and forests in this role-playing game (RPG) that lets you lead an army of manga-style heroes.

    You can recruit dozens of different heroes, but can take only five of them with you at any one time.

    This RPG is fabulously designed for the smaller screens on smartphones.

    Fighting is simple. Just tap on the monster you want to attack and then on the hero you want to use. Tapping several heroes at the same time can create "Spark", which increases the damage if you time the attacks to take place simultaneously. This takes practice.

    To succeed at the higher stages, you must level up your heroes by "fusing" them with another hero to make more powerful ones.

    Brave Frontier sets a new standard for smartphone gaming.


    Platforms: iOS and Android. Free-to-play.

    Monster Blade is one of the best mobile games I have ever played.

    You swipe your fingers on the screen to execute attacks, dodges and blocks. Success requires a keen eye, fast fingers and coordination between the two. Blind finger swiping will only get you killed.

    Executing the perfect dodge or block stuns the monster temporarily, then you can unleash your attacks with impunity.

    There are even combos in your strokes: If you chain your attack by making two dodges to the right first, then follow that with a downward-swipe attack, you will execute the Viper Strike, which inflicts massive damage on the enemy.

    Not all monsters are created equal. Flying serpents are fast but do not deal much damage per hit. Crocs are slower but pack a serious punch.

    There is a lot of depth in the game. Each monster belongs to one of the five elements - fire, water, wood, lightning and metal. Fire is stronger than wood, wood beats water, and water douses fire.

    So if you are up against a fire monster, take up a water-based weapon to double the damage.