Choosing a new MMO game (massively multiplayer online game, for those who haven't heard the term before) for mobile is tough. After all, it's an ever more crowded marketplace, and you want to make sure you pick one worthy of an investment of your time; you're likely to spend a large chunk of your life devoting precious hours to building your latest empire, collecting resources, and generally making sure you're in the ascendency.
With this in mind, it was with a hefty dose of excitement that we reviewed Plarium's Vikings: War of Clans, partly to capitalise on the recent suggestion that gaming at work can actually make you more productive after lunch, but also just for the fun of it. The game currently boasts a 4.4/5 rating on the Google Play Store, so it's clear that those who are playing it have enjoyed it so far.
Engaging Directives and City Names
After initially downloading the app, which is available for free for both iOS and Android, the first play through of the game does what all good games should do: it gives you a basic idea of what to do and how to best navigate around the first few challenges. The game uses a helpful, directive style that encourages you to get your city ready for the wider world and the battles you will soon undertake against other cities.
Directive openings to games can be frustrating if you're the type who likes diving into a new title, but the tutorial here really does help with an understanding of Vikings' core mechanics. You're even allowed to release any frustration as the directives demand that you attack another city before you have finished with the rundown (don't worry, no warriors were lost in our first battle!). After this, the game encourages you to take part in some more creative tasks like setting up the name of your city (this website should help you to find a suitably traditional and imposing name for yours).
Serious Graphics and Light-hearted Animations
As for the important parts, the game runs smoothly, with stand-out graphics that brilliantly highlight the level of detail required to enjoy the game. The fun little animations of your mercenaries and slayers practising their attacking moves also add an element of light-hearted entertainment. Perhaps more importantly, the screen doesn't feel crowded when you're playing and the buttons you need, including the all-important global map that helps you to see where you will next pillage from, are easy to keep in sight at all times.
Vikings: War of Clans allows for a sensible balance between being able to concentrate on getting your city to a pristine level so you can produce resources through your farms, forges and lumber mills, and allowing you the time needed to train up an army so that you can enjoy interacting with other players.
If you're keen on strategy games and have an interest in anything viking, or you simply just get a kick out of wiping out your enemies' cities and destroying the hard efforts of others (don't pretend that doesn't apply to you, we've all got a thrill from it!), this is definitely an MMO game worth your time in 2017.
Super Mario Run is finally here on Android and available for download from the Play Store. The registrations had been open forever, although iOS users had been enjoying the game for months since it came out last year in December. Unfair as it may seem, we are just glad that it's finally available for us Android users.
In an unexpected turn of events, Nintendo has decided to release the game a day earlier than the original intended date. Personally, I liked the game and as far as experts are concerned, no one has given it a bad rating yet. What I really liked was the fact that Nintendo has done away with the concept of micro-transactions in this one by introducing a one time pay system like the old days. You get to download it and try it out for free, but if you want to get more of Mario action, then you will need to pay for the full game. Critics have hailed the $10 price tag to be a bit too steep for a mobile game, but if you ask me, I will take a $10 price tag over an "in-app purchase" scheme any day!
Saikat Kar (tech-enthusiast)
The year started off with Nokia bringing back Snake with the revamped version of the 3310 which was great news for retro gaming enthusiasts. Although many of 2017's best mobile games are yet to come since the much awaited next gen mobile chips have not been released as of now, we have nonetheless seen quite a few awesome games already in 2017. Here's a list of the top 5 mobile games released in the year so far, according to us.
The Binding of Isaac: Rebirth (iOS)
January saw The Binding of Isaac: Rebirth make its way onto iOS, a game that iPhone users have been waiting with baited breath since 2016. The twin-stick shooter is outright ridiculous, dark, humorous, vulgar and immensely enjoyable at the same time. There's something about playing as a child whose evil mother is trying to kill him and he is trying to survive everything with the help of his tears that both shocks you and enthrals you at the same time. If you haven't played it already, do so now!
Edo Superstar (iOS)
You step in the shoes of Masaru the ninja monkey in this side-scrolling brawler that's entirely controlled via gestures, swipes and taps. Granted that things may get repetitive after a while, it still is extremely fun as long as it lasts. The many challenges of the game keeps you entertained for a good while, although the controls may not always be as reactive as you would want them to be. All in all, it's a game that's definitely worth trying out.
Super Mario Run (iOS and Android)
2017 seems to be the year of the retro games for the mobile platform because after Snake, Mario makes a comeback with Super Mario Run for the iOS and Android (soon to come). The game can be controlled with just one hand as on screen buttons and joysticks have been replaced with tapping and gesture control. The theme is the same as it had been back in Super Mario classic on the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES); collect coins, jump on enemies, eat mushrooms and save the princess.
Warhammer 40,000: Regicide (iOS and Android)
Warhammer 40,000: Regicide is an unique take on chess. Apart from adding vivid animations and brutality to each kill on the chess board during Classic gameplay, there's also an additional mode called Regicide. In Regicide mode, the game transcends the traditional rules of chess in favour of advanced special powers and abilities of the units you control on the battlefield. Playing chess online with other players has never been more interesting.
This War of Mine (iOS and Android)
This War of Mine will make you think about each one of your in-game decisions, both before and after you take them. Surviving with your group during a war in a besieged city feels as brutal as it should. You are not a killing machine in this game, but an actual person trying to survive in a war that he did not start, but is paying for in every possible way. Playing the game and surviving will take a toll at your conscience and you will love it!
Honourable mentions include Sky Dancer, Potion Explosion, Dandy Dungeon: Legend of Brave Yamada and MUL.MASH.TAB.BA.GAL.GAL. If you love gaming and wouldn't mind making a bit of money from your favourite hobby, we suggest you try out some of the excellent mobile casino games like Jungle Jim: El Dorado, Sam on the Beach and Planet of the Apes as well. As mentioned before, there's still a lot more to come towards the mobile gamers this year, but these should keep you occupied till then.
It is no secret that the casino business has gone through a number of drastic changes in the last few years and all things suggest that there are still many more to come. Of course, most of these changes in the gambling world were brought on by the impact of technology. Instead of fighting against the tide, the gaming business has adapted itself to these changes as well as any other industry. Let us now take a closer look at some of the most important changes which are happening right now or will happen in the very near future.
Bitcoin is the Ideal Currency of the Gambler
If a player uses bitcoin to make bets online, he/she doesn't have to pay currency conversion charges. Also, since bitcoin is not connected to any central bank, the ever-changing world economy doesn't affect the digital currency in the same way that it affects other generally accepted currencies like the US dollar or the Euro. Bitcoin also keeps the players anonymous, secure and safe from any attempts at identity theft. The casinos that don't accept bitcoin yet will soon begin to welcome it in a few more years' time.
Traditional Casinos vs. Online Casinos
This age old debate of which is a better option is coming to an end with each passing year. Players can now simply go on Netbet and play with other players from around the world in a live action casino with a real dealer or choose to try out their luck at the virtual slot machines if they do not feel like socializing. Traditional establishments are starting to open up their own online casinos and live action casinos are blurring the line in between the two. In other words, technology is actually making the two natural enemies work together with each other in building a unified gaming empire for the future.
The Portable Medium
Apart from being the most used type of consumer technology in the world right now, smartphones have also added a new dimension to the gambling industry. In the beginning, you had to visit a physical casino to gamble, but that all changed with the arrival of the online betting sites. However, you still had to sit in front of a computer or a laptop in order to access the online options. Right now, gambling applications and support for mobile devices on all major gaming sites has ensured that players can gamble whenever they want. It doesn't matter if you are travelling, lying on your bed or even sitting on the toilet seat; if you want to gamble, you can do it from anywhere with your smartphone. In the coming years, the number of smartphone users will continue to grow globally and so will the number of online players.
Expectedly, more countries will open up to the business in the coming years, allowing online casinos to touch markets that have so far been shielded from the world of gambling by conservative governments. It will take time but it should happen eventually.
As soon as you visit a new online casino, you are likely to be bombarded with ads for promo offers, "one time deals" and no deposit bonuses. It can get confusing for a newcomer, especially if you are not familiar with what these things mean exactly. In order to find the best casino bonus offers and promotions in the UK, you must first understand how it all works.
A wagering requirement or a playthrough requirement as it is called sometimes is the number followed by an "x" in front of the bonus that is being offered to you. What that number represents is the minimum number of times a user must gamble the given bonus cash or credit, before the money in the user's account can be withdrawn. A 10x wagering requirement on a £100 bonus means that you will have to make bets worth at least £1000 before you can cash it out.
The bonus you are given in an online casino will in most cases, apply to specific games only. Slot games are usually where the bonus money is supposed to be spent. Games such as blackjack, roulette, etc usually do not give you full value of the bonus when it comes to fulfilling the minimum wagering requirements. For example, if you have been given £200 in bonus and you use it to bet in roulette, your bet will only shave off a small percentage (5% - 20%) from the minimum staking requirement. The percentage varies depending on how much of a cut a particular casino has on the particular game in question.
Cashable and Sticky Bonuses
A cashable bonus amount can be withdrawn after the minimum wagering requirements are met. If you try to cash out your winnings before you have met the requirements, it will fail. A sticky bonus cannot usually be withdrawn from your account but is always available to be used in a bet. The non-deposit bonus offers are usually all sticky bonuses. This means that if you win £100 by using some of the £300 no-deposit bonus you were given on joining, the total amount of money that you will see in your account will be £400. However, the £300 sticky bonus will remain in your account and only the £100 which you won will qualify for a cashout, provided that you have already met the wagering requirements.
As you can see, while bonus offers are great, it is important to understand what you are getting into and what to expect before starting with your gambling ventures. Casinos are not there to lose money, so bonuses are a good way to start off with but just do not consider them the same as cash in the bank.