February 3, 2010

Apps Weekly: Auditorium + Assassin's Creed 2 Discovery + Multiplayer

I could always cover Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars, but while I get onto playing that game, I'll cover this indie favorite first.

Electronic Arts, Cipher Prime

I can't really categorize this game in just one genre, I mean, it's a bit of a rhythm game, it's very much a puzzle game, but it's mostly a bit of a relaxation/frustration tool as well.

So you start with a white, flowing stream, and there are circles on the center of the screen that have directions printed on them. What to do?

You must drag these arrows so you can lead the white stream to those square boxes over there. These square boxes have bars that fill up when the stream stays on top of them long enough.

When all of the square boxes on screen have been filled up, you get a look at your 'artistic creation' for a few seconds then proceed to next level.

Sounds simple? Well, it gets harder.

So okay, white stream, but when that white stream goes through specific colored circles, the white stream transforms into the color of those circles.

And in later levels, you have to manipulate the stream well enough to strike through various colored circles, because the color of the stream must definitely match the color of the bars present in a square box.

When you know what to do, it can be quite relaxing, but when you're simply stumped (which I am at chapter 2, level 5), it can get a bit frustrating to figure out what to do.

Still, the challenge of the game will likely keep you going back, because it doesn't taunt you, nor does it dare you to do crazy stuff. Perhaps you'll need to rely on YouTube for your walkthroughs then.

Overall, presentation is extremely simple, but effective. The music is non-existent until you hit those square boxes, giving you a bit of a harmonic reward, and the gameplay is basic but the challenge is largely there.

Rating: 7/10

For our preview, well, we have a game that was promised to be released alongside its console counterparts, but ultimately didn't. I'm not sure if the delay benefited this game, but I haven't played it so I can't judge that yet. I mean, it was also released earlier this year, but instantly pulled out, so it's hard not to expect a bug-free game.

I'm talking about Assassin's Creed II: Discovery, of course.

Now on sale for 10 dollars, the rather visually stunning sequel to the underwhelming port of the DS game that was Assassin's Creed: Altair's Chronicles looks to be a promising improvement, but Touch Arcade's review has me worried with the controls.

On the other hand, Ubisoft is set to release a follow-up to Discovery, and that's Assassin's Creed II: Multiplayer. The thing about this is that, as far as I know, the original console game doesn't even have multiplayer, so perhaps this is Ubisoft's apology to the large delay.

It will come with its own set of achievements, but the thing that sort of worries me is the weird new direction they took for this. Basically, they made it a top-down deathmatch style game with online leaderboards. Not that that's bad, but the 2D graphics just look... lackluster.

Ubisoft posts the game as "coming soon", so there aren't really any other details about the game as of now.

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