12 September 2012

Gaming on vacation

What do you do when you will be spending five days either riding in a car or lounging in a deck chair? If you are me, you take this time to test out the many free games that you have downloaded obsessively to your tablet but never played. I have 24 games on my Android tablet and 13 games on my iPhone that I haven't tried yet. With several days away from the temptations of TV and the internet, it will be much easier for me to focus on playing and writing about games. So don't be surprised if there is a flurry of activity on this blog in the next few weeks.

UPDATE: Gaming on vacation was a bust. Unlike my previous vacations, this time I had a car full of people with devices that needed to be charged. Also, my daughter's tablet stopped working right before we left, so as a good mother I handed mine over. Luckily, my Zune mp3 player had a long battery life because I ended up listening to audio books on the long drive down to Florida. Oh, well -- there is always next year when it will just be my husband and me on vacation!

03 September 2012

Off The Leash: An endless runner that's gone to the dogs

I quickly figured out after getting my iPhone this past January that I'm not very good at endless runner games. I've tried Temple Run, Stylish Sprint, and a host of others. Usually I get frustrated because I have to start over every 10 seconds. Then I found Off The Leash by Big Pixel Studios. I'm still not very good at the endless runner genre but this game at least gives me a fighting chance.

Off the Leash is a free iOS game where you play a dog who is running from the law. Apparently dogs have been outlawed in your town so you are trying not to get caught. You grab other dogs along the way to create your pack and help you grab coins and food. As in other endless runners, you can use the coins you collect to buy power-ups, buy a new dog, or dress up the dog you have.

There are several aspects of this game that make it more appealing to me and my game-playing preferences. First off, the view is top-down, which is easier for me than first-person or side-scrolling views. Second, your character doesn't fall off of cliffs or anything. This is a timed game, so as long as you pick up enough dogs and food, you add to your time and can keep going. When you run into obstacles, your time bank decreases but your game doesn't end right away. Third, there are missions for you to complete. Anyone who has seen how many hours I spend on Facebook games knows that I like a game with a goal.

If you like endless runner games but have gotten bored with running through the jungle, try taking a jaunt through the park with Off The Leash.