Hey guys it’s Sam. To start off, I am super sorry about the delay on Monday. I got back from a weekend in Illinois and didn’t have anything scheduled for today, so I decided to postpone. I hope you’ll forgive me. Anyway, today marks the pilot of my brand new segment, Paranoid Android! What? …The heck you mean you don’t know what a paranoid android is? It’s a song by Radiohead, obviously! Haven’t you heard of OK Computer? Anyway, the meaning of the title not only is a blatant Radiohead reference, but it also ties in with the fact that these reviews come straight from an Android smart-phone. An LG Optimus Elite W powered by Virgin Mobile, to be exact. Consider this to be iNSiDE iPhone 2.0. If you don’t know what iNSiDE iPhone is, you clearly aren’t a long-time Sammwak fan. It was an old old old (like 2010 old) segment on Sammwak, one of my first, where I reviewed games I played on my brother’s fancy-schmancy iPhone. The segment was brimming with purposely awful grammar (i.e.: “rly”) and somewhat wise pro-tips, and survived a stunning eight episodes using a traditional Sammwak algorithm. Think of Paranoid Android as something short of a rebirth.
Anyway, today we’re reviewing a sequel to an old favorite of mine. An app that showed just how much the iPhone could do with its touch screen capabilities, more than Angry Birds could ever do.
When Om Nom is marveling over his candy, a time machine magically shows up and sucks in his companion of confectionery. When our little munchkin goes into the time machine, he meets several different versions of himself–his ancestors, I should say. When Om Nom and his fellow fathers get together and plot some strategic feeding techniques, Cut the Rope Time Travel is born. Now, this sequel expands greatly on the original CTR and Experiments. It does not require the reflexes of CTR, nor the intellectual mastery of Experiments–it uses a puree of the two. CTR Time Travel is such a unique entry into the series since it uses new elements that turn the tables on your side a bit. These include (but are surely not limited to) chains n’ blades, the freeze button (tap it to stop time), and rockets perfect for carrying candy and blades around. These new strategies totally change the game and make those three stars much more harder to acquire as you must feed both Om Nom and his ancestor. The game has six worlds for the six different ancestors of Om Nom:
- The Middle Ages – The new Om Nom in this world wears a viking helmet and a traditionally long ‘do. This level focuses primarily on the use of bubbles (candy encased in these automatically rise upward), the chain-blade algorithm, and timing. They are awfully easy to begin with, but get harder as they progress and really make you think about what ropes to cut. Overall, it’s still pretty easy–a nice way to kick off the game.
- The Renaissance – The Om Nom in this world wears a typical Italian mustache-goatee combo, and a good old feather hat. This level focuses primarily on the freeze button, as well as the occasional chain-blade and the brand-new physics of the stretched rope (you know it’s stretched when it turns red). This one is surprisingly tougher than the first world, as it requires almost nothing but sheer timing skills to get candy at the right point in frozen time and/or stop it from being shattered by spikes. No, but 2-15, the last level–that one’s a killer.
- Pirate Ship – This ancestor of Om Nom’s wears a fancy pirate hat and a traditional pirate ‘stache. This level deals a lot with not only the freeze button and bubbles, but also the new “mini bomb”. Whenever candy touches one of these, it automatically explodes and gives the candy some big air. Also, “bouncy platforms” were introduced to give candy a little spring in their steps. The trajectory physics of this world are absolutely astounding, wired down to the very last detail. Without the advantages of matter and energy, the levels really make you think and only pass with some trial and error. Trust me, I should know.
- Ancient Egypt – This ancestor wears nothing but a good old pharaoh hat. Anyway, this world introduces what I like to call “the flying snitch”–a candy with wings that goes wherever your regular candy goes. When a regular candy is eaten, the snitch loses its wings and its powers. If there’s one word I can use to describe this world, it has to be physics. The precise physics of this world can navigate the snitch through tricky and perilous situations–even a box outlined with spikes! This world also makes some good use of the stretched-rope physics as well, and this world also incorporates the methods of taking it slow. When flung too quickly, a snitch can easily get shattered in a line of spikes, but can make it through when navigated slowly enough.
- Ancient Greece – This ancestor wears a crown of leaves and what looks like a medal, as if he’s an Olympian. This is probably the best of the six I’ve played. Since it is a Greek world, stone platforms are incorporated to switch between the two Om Noms. And if you think it couldn’t get better, you’re wrong! This world introduces PORTALS! Drop a candy in one portal, it comes out the other. Simple physics. Oh, and these portals come in green and blue, so they correspond depending on their colors. Precise techniques and clever physics fun are abundant in world five, and this is probably the one I had the most trouble with. Yeah, to the point where I used online cheats. Hey, don’t arrest me! This just proves that the level really gets you thinking and can only be passed by true CTR prodigies as myself.
- The Stone Age – This ancestor is a plump caveman with a bone in his hair and a single buck tooth. The sixth and as of now final world in CTR Time Travel (because every CTR promises “new levels coming soon”) tests you the most, seeing if you’ve really picked up anything from the past five worlds. This one pulls out all the stops, incorporating rockets (used for transporting candy and blades out and about), the freeze button, portals, and the brand-new sun dial, used for adjusting things to their correct spots from portals to candies. This world is not only fun and creative, but very logical and advanced. Only true CTR masters hold the title of defeating this world, and it quite literally isn’t rocket science. Of course, I can’t say much, since I’m–er–still working on the level…
CTR Time Travel is an innovative doozy that shines Om Nom in a new light and changes his game forever, using stellar physics and unique gaming techniques that are ultimately worth checking out. However, the game does have some downside–it has an annoying tendency to freeze at the loading screen, which not only slows down the game pace but often prohibits you from playing any longer until you reboot the phone, which we all know is no fun. Also, I find it cantankerous how once a candy leaves the screen, one of the 2 Om Noms stares at you with that awfully cute sad-look instead of enjoying their candy. It also grinds my gears that whenever I play the first world, it shows me that little intro every time. Luckily, that’s why ZeptoLab created the ability to skip with a single tap.
I give Cut the Rope Time Travel 9 Om Noms out of 10. Well, thanks for joining me on Paranoid Android. Now if you’ll excuse me, I got another post to make.
Stay classy America,
P.S. Oh, did-ja-hear? Sammwak has its own official Google+ page! Follow it to get up-to-date breaking news about Sammwak and a special hint about the next episode! Follow us here:
Video of the Week: Alright, let’s just leave it at one this time. Two is too chaotic. This one got put up by our good friend Toby Turner back on Tuesday. In the third edition of his “Trapped in an Ad” series, Toby wakes up super-late at 1 PM and rushes against the clock while being persuaded by the voice that’s narrating his bad afternoon to eat two flavors of Limited Edition Hot Pockets: Spicy Beef Nacho and Cuban Style. If you’re a seasoned veteran, you know that Toby actually put up his own hilarious Hot Pockets “ad” which was used to advertise Hot Pockets via Facebook. How could you not, I even put it up that one time! Anyway, enjoy this video.
Hey guys it’s Sam, and it’s time to get your game face on, a term which proudly entitles our game-reviewing system, using charts, scoreboards, and my own words to make this little handy number. This one’s gonna be a bit strange, but at the same time, a bit familiar. Everyone’s probably adapted to the running genre, right? The games where you control a player that runs for an indefinite, possibly infinite period of time, usually with the plot of running from something. Some examples include Gravity Guy, a Miniclip hit now at your local App Store, as well as Temple Run, a critically acclaimed pick that redefined the term “freemium”. Well, speaking of free apps, today’s centric topic is indeed a free game. But beware, as this is not your usual running game. You’ve got a few choices: run and succeed, get caught by the enemy, or fall victim to the various types of hazards. He’s done with falling, but now he’s running…and “he” is Running Fred.
It was just recently updated this year, and this anticipated sequel seems like more than your money’s worth. The third-person platformer Running Fred, a game made by the creators of Falling Fred and its zombified sequel Falling Fred Z, is the “threequel” of the Fred series, after Falling Fred and Falling Fred Z. Last time, you avoided as many traps as possible while plummeting to your doom. Now, you’re avoiding as many traps as possible from fleeing from your doom. This time, an angel-of-death manifestation known as Grimmy (terrorificus unavoidabilis) will show you the ropes of the game. Automatically after that, in a state of irony, he reveals himself as the game’s antagonist as well as the reason for the game name (someone to be “running” from). Now, poor Fred (panicus in extremis) is fleeing from an armed Grimmy while also avoiding hazards and picking up silver or golden coins called “Skullies”. First, you should probably know that this game has intense violence for the masses, interpreting Fred’s gruesome deaths in bloody and gory manners. If you make it to the end of a level, the first thing you will see afterward is the amount of Skullies you picked up on the way. But it breaks down specially, as every five silver Skullies are worth one golden Skullie. Kinda like how in the wizarding world, 29 K’nuts make up one Sickle. For example, let’s visualize it like this: at the end of a level, you collect ninety Skullies (it’s not impossible, folks). Since every five silvers are worth one gold, 90 divided by 5 = 18, so you would have 18 golds. Now, those golden Skullies go toward your collection, which you can then spend in the in-game shop. You can purchase from 3 categories in the said shop: outfits, levels, and abilities.
Outfits are basically costumes that Fred can equip, and most of them are homages or parodies from media. That means you can buy something that would make you look like Indiana Jones, Mario, Skyrim‘s Dovahkiin/Dragonborn, the Terminator, someone from Tron‘s virtual Grid world, Forrest Gump (most specifically, from Run Forrest Run!), heck and even Freddy Krueger. But don’t come in expecting to buy out the whole shop in one stock. The most expensive outfit in the shop is Fred Spartan at 30,000 Skullies. But there are others that range around the $1,000 area, and some that even go cheaper than that, and the cheapest one you can find is Life Down Shirt at just 79 Skullies. But when the shop’s really getting you down, and if you have a chock full of spare money, you could buy freemium purchases that give you Skullies without the hassles. At 99 cents, the 2,000-Skully pack is the cheapest one in the market. But at $30, the 150k-Skully pack is the most expensive. So, yeah. Now you know that when you come in this shop expecting to be a sellout, you’re a dead man.
Skills, which I prefer calling abilities, are little perks that you can buy to benefit you while running a level. But, for instance, once you buy Wall Grip, you can’t instantly walk on walls shown in the picture above. You need to upgrade your skills to 5-star levels first, and that doesn’t come easy either. I bought my first-leveled Wall Grip & Bounce as a dirty deed done dirt cheap, but to get to level two I need 200 Skullies, no joke. Pretty soon, when you fully upgrade your abilities, you’ll probably be a ninja for all I know. Skills range from double jumping (the first skill you will get) to extra lives, Skully magnets, wall gripping and bouncing, chicken flapping, quicker recovery, panic power, and even rubber bones. Although that doesn’t compare to the amount of outfits, skills are very handy in the terms of in-game use.
Extra tracks are also available for purchase for less than 500 Skullies apiece, although that there are few of these at only four of them: the Grisly and Endless Manors, and the Danger and Endless Caves. The most expensive track in the shop is the Danger Caves track at 2,500 Skullies, so it may seem worthwhile although my current Skully stock will not enable me to see the quality of it.
Running Fred is a good game that combines violence, humor, excitement, tensity, and then some. Playing much like that of Temple Run, this game very beneficially uses its shop extensions to even the odds a little bit on the tracks. It has a memorable, if slightly shortened, soundtrack, and the atmosphere of the music was very specially represented with the inclusion of the game’s revolutionary visuals. Although the game, much like Falling Fred and FF Z, contains blood & gore for the masses (which acts baffling towards the game’s 9+ rating) from evisceration and disemboweling, and although it goes up to a disturbing level, it makes the game that more interesting. But despite that, the game does have its flaws. Wall gripping & bouncing are very frustrating at first levels of use, and due to the fact that you get damaged just by running into something in front of you and how it takes approximately five seconds to get back up again, this causes frustration and loss of time as well as a chance for Grimmy to catch up and kill you with one swipe of his scythe (which has happened to me numerous times under this circumstance). Running Fred usually repeats its tracks from game session to game session, and apart from the tracks, the game has no source of originality in this case. Outfits can sometimes go beyond unnecessary, some like Naughty Fred burning holes into and onto your brain. At the number of extra tracks there are, and at the amount of times you’re actually gonna play them, that third of the shop is basically useless.
3 out of 5 – Positive messages – Fred’s grim adventure (no pun intended) teaches players that when something approaches you bad enough, you either stand up or (in Fred’s case) run from it, although the latter choice is the lesser one. Running Fred‘s case of trial and error also notes perseverance, which means that even when you end each level with your head not attached to your body, you hit “retry” and keep trying. The usage of the shop also says a message in the term of karma: if you do good, you get good back. Fred’s average terrified image gives people the note that even the biggest wallflower or shyest kid can turn out to be a hero one day, making him a role model. Speaking of role models…
2 1/2 out of 5 – Positive role models – Fred is your average terrified little kid, but he still strives to the end through deathly hazards and Grimmy riding his cattails, and in the end he goes from the zero to the hero.
3 3/4 out of 5 – Ease of play – The controls are easy to grasp: press the space bar to jump, use left and right to move around (unless it’s a freefall occasion, where you need all directions), and that’s pretty much it on the basics. To wall jump, jump at a wall using the space bar and the arrow in the direction of that wall, and then press the space bar again and the arrow opposite to jump off. To double jump, press the space bar twice in a row. Save for some frustration, these controls combine well.
5 out of 5 – Violence – (Can you believe it folks? This is the first game in any reviewing field known to viewer to get a perfect violence-wise score. That’s not really good, but to each his or her own.) As I warned you earlier, the first thing I told you separate from the game plot, this game has violence by the masses, interpreting Fred’s deaths in bloody and gory manners. Slice-and-dice occurs regularly, such as how Fred can be dismembered from the head and torso. These gruesome deaths are usually caused by hazards that take advantage of our redheaded hero in mid-run, although long plummets are also an alternative cause. Deathly weapons range from spikes (both on a wall and in a group) to “pendulum blades” resembling swinging axes and built-in sawblades that either spin in place or move back and forth. Upon death, the stump where Fred’s torso/head used to be spills out blood. In the game, you might also see skulls and victims’ skeletal remains. If the amount of violence in both the game and this description are disturbing to you, then you can go to the game options and disable the gore. In a goreless game, whenever Fred meets his usually gory end, the game saves us the grisly visuals and takes out all means of blood and gore possible while still showing Fred dying. For example, if one trap severed Fred’s head and began showing blood, in a goreless game it would simply show Fred fall to the ground, in every bloodless and goreless manner. Also consider the following: the game’s villain is freaking Grim Reaper.
1 3/4 out of 5 – Inappropriate Content – One outfit called “Fred Undies” fulfills to its name and has Fred wearing nothing but heart-spangled boxer shorts. Another outfit called “Naughty Fred” shows Fred in a punk outfit in a “sexy” pose.
3 out of 5 – Product Placement – Running Fred‘s outfits do reference media, making our hero look like famous icons like “Indiana Jones, Mario, Skyrim‘s Dovahkiin/Dragonborn, the Terminator, someone from Tron‘s virtual Grid world, Forrest Gump (most specifically, from Run Forrest Run!), heck and even Freddy Krueger.”
Smarts: B (3 points)
Play-Again Ratio: A- (3.5 points)
Fun: A (4 points)
Entertainment: A (4 points)
Humor: A- (4 points)
Style: A+ (5 points)
FINAL SCORE: 23.5 OUT OF 30!!! (Well then… :)), 3 12 stars out of 5, 76% out of 100%
CONSENSUS: Frustration and trial-and-error are Running Fred‘s 2 most fatal flaws, but majority rules; there’s no doubt saying that Running Fred is in many aspects a truly brutal running game that gets you more than your money’s worth, although it may be the lesser of two evils.
AVAILABILITY: Not only is it available on the Chrome Web Store as an app, but it’s also on the App Store and in the games division of Google Play, and it is free on both sites.
Well, that’s our goodness for this week, thanks for watching! Make sure to slice that subscribe button up good, and also to like, rate, comment, reblog, share, fart, and stay tuned! Don’t you know what Spain is saying these days?; Nos vemos el viernes! (See you next Friday!) Now if you’ll excuse me, I’ve got a Grim Reaper to flee from…
– Sam (Gosh darnit, that’s the sixth smiley face!)
p.s. Time for our Would You Rather o’ the Week! Would you rather…eat the world’s best fast food for the rest of your life, or ambrosia for only one day?
p.p.s. Time for our Random Video o’ the Week! This week goes to yet another Tobuscus video, and it’s a song all about translations, what this song is about, your foreign grandma, and the feeling of being in a gazebo while seeing fifty billion rainbows while the sun & moon are setting at the same time and then God comes down from heaven and gives you a million dollars!…which is normal for Toby. The video’s called “DRAMATIC SONG” (very relevant), and after hitting half a million views in only two days and receiving tons upon tons of speed-ups and even a few covers, this video is nothing short of a must-see. You’re welcome. Jeez, I need to stop doing that! Please excuse me…