Indie Gems

A blog for indie games lover
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It has been a long time since my last post. Well, I've been busy for last several weeks, assignment, exams, etc. Fortunately, I have finished all of them and now time for me to introduce new feature on my blog. Start from this time, I'll post some upcoming games that I know will/ might be released for each week and I'll start for the next week. So here is the list:

Primal Flame (Out Now) - Review

Wave Wave (TBA)

Cubed Snowboarding (February 27, 2014)

Disco Zoo (February 27, 2014)

Midnight Bite (February 27, 2014)

Out There (February 27, 2014)

Penombre (TBA)

Pixel Crash (February 27, 2014)

Running Quest (February 27, 2014)

The Voyage (February 27, 2014)

Shanghai Fly (February 27, 2014)

Snip & Chu (February 27, 2014)

Jungle Rumble (TBA)

Warp 5 Overdrive (March 2014)

Note: Some of them are not final, released date might changed due to some reasons, so pardon me and if you have some releases that might not included on this list, please let me know :) Thank you
What happen if there's no light anymore on this world? May be you can feel that right now, from this game. Primal Flame, a game which was made by Irrelevant Fish, will let you play as a "match" hero. You'll be in the fairy tale forest-alike and you need to beat the darkness with your power. How can you do that? You've a super flame along with your powerful spell to help beat the darkness. You need to survive, stay alight as long as possible and collect the light seeds. Don't let the darkness take over the forest.

Primal Flame Cover

The game is pretty simple. You control the match by swiping your finger to light the match, then hold down to maintain the light. There'll be some obstacles such as leaves, falling darkness, etc depends on which location do you play. They will block your way to collect the light seeds. You should avoid them, or your flame life will be decrease. Those light seeds can be used to replenish your flame life also for unlock another light/ spell on the shop. Think too easy for you? Wait, there're wild flower which will chase also want to capture you. They are so bad, because they also try to grab your life resource. Yes, they will grab the light seeds too.

Light your way to beat the darkness

Fortunately, you can defeat them by burning their stem though you should be careful because they can easily capture you when you're careless. The longer time you live here, the harder enemies will you faced. Beside they become faster, their number also increasing. In this case, you can use your powerful spell for the urgent condition. There're 3 kinds of spell such as; Deus Ex can burn all the flowers stem and collect all light seeds, Guardian will protect you for a moment and Sands of Time which will slow down the time. However, you can obtain one spell only for each playing after unlocking them from the shop. To use that, you just need to touch the screen with 3 fingers during play. This spell has 30 seconds cooling down time in default.

Primal Flame Screenshot 2

There're 3 locations that can be played so far. Each location has different condition and give different challenge too. You can unlock the next location after reach level 15 on the previous location. Primal Flame is a premium game with high replay value. Like I've said before, it might has shop, but it doesn't have any IAP inside. All the seeds that used for unlock other flame and spell can be gained, pure by playing only. Sometimes, I feel that's just too much and need too many efforts.

Use the magical spell to chase your victory

But hey, where's the point of this game if I can gain anything easily? Don't we need to struggle for a victory? Yes, luckily the developer still kind enough by giving away some light seeds for every completed objective. Ah, I almost forget, there are 7 different flame colors on shop. Each of them has different ability, for example: Magnetic Ruby can attract seeds from farther away, Helio will give you bigger light, etc. You can choose which color do you want to use after unlocking them.

Primal Flame Screenshot 3

I like the graphic style of Primal Flame. It combines the black silhouette with a single color beautifully. The background color depends on which flame did you used. The mysterious and ambient sound effect gave a better experience for this game. Primal Flame can be download on the App Store cost $2.99 and you won't find any ads nor IAP inside. If you're looking for an arcade game with premium features, definitely you shouldn't miss this one.

Graphic/ Sounds: 4 out of 5
Game Control: 3.5 out of 5
Gameplay: 4 out of 5
Replay Value: 4.5 out of 5
Overall: 4 out of 5

It's bit sad when knowing a fun potential game didn't get much attention. Pull It Catch It has picked my interest since the first time I saw it. I decided to give this one a shot and what I've found? I really enjoy this game. Two days after released the game went free, I must admit if I'm bit mad with the dev's decision but alright I wish the sale goes well after that.

Unfortunately, like what you've read on my post before. Sometimes, life doesn't go well and until now there're only 66 players on Game Center Leaderboard which was too bad for a fun game like this and the worst thing it has ads now. I don't mind with ads but seriously, please don't put that during the gameplay. It's disturbing my sight or at least the dev should give restore purchase option to respect them who has bought his game before.

Alright enough for the introduction. Despite of how the game was right now, let's see why I still recommend you to try Pull It Catch It. Pull It Catch It is a simple twitch game where you will control a circle and should feed it with the right ingredients. The rule is simple, your circle has two sides, and each side should catch and fed by the right symbol. There're 2 kinds of symbol only, triangle and star. Catch the star and let it hit the star sign side, and let the triangle hit the triangle one. Simple right?

PICI Cover

A hungry circle that need to be fed

The control is also simple, tap the right screen to rotate the circle clockwise and tap the left screen to the opposite. You have 4 chances to stay alive here. Everytime you feed the circle with the wrong symbol it'll give you red alert. When you have enough heart, you can use it to heal the circle by tapping both of the screen. There're 4 kinds of different mode that you might try, Beat, Constant Fire, Assembly and Orbit. Each of them has different challenge. Let me tell you one by one.

PICI Screenshot 1

Beat Mode can be the easiest one and consist of 4 parts, each part can be unlocked after you reach the requirement score from the previous part. Also applied for other modes. For Example: In Beat 1, the circle will stay on the center of the screen and the pipe line will move automatically to catch the ingredients, you just need to focus rotate the circle and make sure each side got the right ingredients. Meanwhile, in Beat 3 the circle will disappear every 2-3 seconds and will pop up again randomly, that's why you should stay aware and don't blink or you'll lost.

Don't Blink and Don't Lose

The second mode, Constant Fire will change the screen direction and this will made your head becomes dizzy for a moment but trust me after several tries, there won't be anything bad happen to you.. hmm may be you only need bit paracetamol after play this for an hour... LOL Just kidding. Okay, the third mode is Assembly Line. Here, thing becomes more difficult. There will be more than 1 circle that should be fed by you, not directly but if the ingredients hit the wrong side on one of another circle. It'll also affect on the main circle (on your life). The higher part you play, the more secondary circles you met.

PICI Screenshot 2

PICI Screenshot 3

The last one is Orbit, this one is feel like Constant Fire but with more brutal and crazy aspects. Imagine that your circle spin together along with a changing screen. Well, in the first part, the screen will become smaller and smaller after several moments you play. That's bad especially if you have a minus sight like me T_T. The second part is twice harder because your screen will resize from big-small-big-small continuously and remember that you need to rotate your circle and fed it too.

PICI Shop Screenshot

There's also a shop where you can buy a new circle with better absorption power. Better circle will give you a better absorption ability and better score too. Like I was said above, the game was free now with banner ads inside. Too bad there's no option to remove the ads nor restore purchase button. Actually, I don't mind to pay this again to remove ads since this game gives me so much fun and unfortunate to miss.. Well, I just bit disappointed with your decision, dev but I wish all the best for your game.

Graphic/ Sound: 3.5 out of 5
Game Control: 3.5 out of 5
Gameplay: 4 out of 5
Replay Value: 4 out of 5
Overall: 3.75 out of 5

Read the previous post here...

II. Developer Side - My Opinion for Developer

After talk about the application, let's see from the developer side. I'm quite active on a Mobile Gaming forum and right there, I've observed and learned some pattern about the developer of apps especially games. Here is the list what I expect... no... what us expect from every developer should do for their apps.

A. Introduce your app (games) either it's still early built, almost releases nor released

This might works the best among others. If your game still in early built. Introduce that to us on forum. You might choose popular forum such as TA forum, tigsource forum, etc. Tell us about the progress of the development. Share some pretty nice screenshots, complete it with a teaser trailer and brief description about the gameplay of your game.

If your game near (almost) finished, you can ask some help to test your game ( can be on beta stage). You can use testflight or iPhone Configuration Utility for doing this. Most of iOS beta testers are volunteer. They are kindly give you any help for testing your app especially if your game picked their interest.

Your game already released? Don't be shy. Promote it well on the forum. Some of forum's members is pretty brave to TOFTT. If your game good, you will get good impact but, sorry if your game suck, people will judge it and left it behind. Most senior forum member loves to support developer especially indie, and they who have opened mind to the feedback. Keep in touch with your users is really needed. When your game was reviewed by some sites, esp if it was good... Post it, and include it inside your app description also on your official site. If you're an indie developer submitting your game into a site like  can help you to afford and attract more users. If the review that you received isn't as good as you expected, don't be sad... There's might be a mistake from it, learn and improve it... You can do it better in future... Just, don't be give up too early

B. Confused to make your game freemium or paid?

Well, it might be a hard decision for you. Every decision has positive and negative impact. Let's talk about the good one if you make the game freemium; First, people won't think twice to try your game since it's free but it's depends on how bigger the size of your app. Some people also decide to wait until there's another people to try your game and leave his/ her impression about your game. However, don't ever try to paid some people to make some fake reviews about your game or make different account and pretend to be someone else to leave good review about your game (app)... Believe me, it won't work and people will think you suck as a developer.

The bad side by using freemium model is in fact, there're some people who hate IAP so much, they really against IAP. They hate energy, secondary currency, timer, etc. I know developer also human, they need money for life but please make us feel worth spending every single penny for each IAP which we bought from your game. For example: you can make your app free with ads support and an IAP to remove the ads. However, always remember don't put the disturbing ads during the gameplay. I don't mind to play Free-to-play (Freemium) game as long as that's not an Pay-To-Win model.

If your game was an paid app especially if it was higher than a buck, life doesn't go well sometimes. Moreover, if you're new on this field (an unknown indie developer). So, it'll be better for you to giving away 5 until 10 promo codes to some popular posters on the forum or submit your promo codes on popular review sites. Don't post it directly on the forum or you won't get anything that you want (Feedbacks). Give an offer about your promo code might work too, but I recommend you to pick some random posters on the forum (choose the one who has great background, in this case they love to share their opinions about the game, talkative and giving objective score also suggestion for your game)

and the last one....

C. Don't Be Panic Too Soon...!

Seriously, this one is the biggest problem and risk for you developer also for us as gamers (early adopters). Some developers are too easy to be panic especially when their sales didn't go properly. They drop the price of their game too quick, even within a week only after released and it made us (the early adopters) mad because of it. Half of them think if it might be the wise decision, well they just wish the sales goes well after this... They just want to support the developer.

However, not all of them was thinking like that.... They banned those developers and put them into their avoided list. Such a pity story, but it's the reality... Also never try to cheat us by making your game paidmium. This is a big big NO and thing becomes worst, when we're knowing a paid game turns into freemium model with ads inside :(. Come on.... I know your problem dev (piracy, low sales), but at least please respect us, your early adopters too. I don't mind with additional IAP, but made it optional only or at least give us reasons and evidence if we are worth spending another penny for your app (after you switched the app into freemium model).  I'll try to give the best solution that might be used to avoid those situation.

My best solution is to make your game free-to-try with single IAP to unlock the rest of your game or make two separate version, the full and the lite one. Though, eventually it depends how do you face it and the most important thing, you need a luck for survive on the App Store nor Google Play.

Have other opinion? Don't hesitate to left your thought on comment section. Thanks for reading... :)

to be continued - IAP Implementation

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There're so many new games that released on the App Store also Google Play. Sometimes it's easy to found the hidden gems inside App Store but sometimes not. Today I want to share my opinion as mobile gamer and talk about what kind of games that give the most appeal in my sight. Before you said anything further, this is internet where you're free to post anything in your mind (**as long as it's still respectful). So, all the contents that you read below is pure my opinion.. Just in case, you want to share your comments too, please don't hesitate to post it below this post :)

I. Application - Buying Time

A. The Icon

I think this is the main point which decided if a game will be success or not. An eye catching icon is a must. An icon must give a clear identity about the game. We can clearly know what game is it just by looking on its icon only. I bet all of you must see this first before deciding to learn more about an unknown game that you never seen before. Moreover, I know there're some people who loves to keep the game just because it has beautiful icon only... In addition, they are proud to show and see those icons appear on their home screen.

B. The In-Game Screenshots and Gameplay Video

If you think you'll make someone curious by giving one screenshot only, that's a big big no. Trust me... Well, it might be appealing for some people but not much, especially if the screenshot doesn't explain anything about the gameplay. That's why you need in-game screenshot not the concept art/ in-menu screenshots. That's different, dude... Also you'll need a trailer video and gameplay video. Both need to give teaser for the audience and give a clear sight about how the gameplay will be.

C. The Description

I'm pretty lazy to read some descriptions of the game especially if it's too long. However, it's still a must to give the user a quick glance about your game. You don't need to describe your game until 1000 words, it's unnecessary. All you need to do is make it briefly, list all the features that your game had and don't forget to add good phrase either motto or another great thing which telling about your game. Give some special attention about supported device, IAP information, and background story.

D. The Title

The best title for your game is make your own word to name your game or use max 3 words for naming your game. Don't use too many words (such as: full version, a great arcade game, a good game to test your reflex)... Man, put it on your app description not on the title. Avoid to use popular word because your game will easier to be sunk on the deep... It's not good for beginner

For example: 
Stubies, Tengami, Pivvot, Oceanhorn are great examples for one word title.
Make an eye catching title-sentence like: Continue?9876543210, They Need To Be Feed, In Fear I Trust. They are good too.
If you create a sequel, giving number behind the title is acceptable too. Such as Modern Combat 4, Temple Run 2
A big no title: 
Love Candy SagaAn addictive free match-3 game with different twist 
Run, Fly, Jump! - nah though this feels better than the first one, but it's too common and people won't interest on it.
Flappy Bee, Flappy Dog, Flappy Pants--- Gosh I've been sick with all of this 

E. Game Center integration

It's a minor thing, but for avid gamers who love to collect some points also compete in leaderboard. This one is a must too. Although, there're some cheaters outside but dude as developers I believe you can cope that problem, moreover apple has give the ability to developer for controlling the leaderboard. That's why don't miss this one on your game too.

F. App Support and Developer Website

Either it's only Facebook or twitter page, though can be better if there's official website too. All developers should provide complete information about your game. Sometimes if I just found one screenshot only, I keep visiting the developer site to sneak and search some information about your game. I don't want to speculate buying a game which don't have enough love for it. You are the developer, you're the one who know much about your game and you should love it... Always spread the sweet words about your game though there's no one realize on it... (at first). However if you maintain your game pretty well, you can do it better.

to be continued part II - Developer Side....

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