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Alley Gator

Author: iPhone Reviews // Category:

Alley Gator-1

Alley Gator by Glu Mobile - $0.99
Buy it now on the App Store

Alley Gator is more of a casual game, which is something Glu Mobile have steered away from in their past few releases. This is a game that is extremely simple to pick up and play for only 2 or 3 minutes if you really want to. This is a game that I have played very basic versions of before on the pc, usually as a dodgy flash game. I haven't seen any of these titles on the App Store before Alley Gator, but after playing this game it seems like a perfect match to the accelerometer.

For those who still can't tell what this game is from my cryptic clues Alley Gator is a tunnel-sliding game where you must tilt your way through sewers avoiding items that get in your way. What makes Alley Gator so much fun is that it looks absolutely beautiful with crisp, bright graphics. Glu Mobile has also priced this game very cheaply so it should appeal to the casual gamer. If there was anything I feel might be lacking in this game is a bit of variety in the game. I'll talk more about that later though.


This is actually a super amazing looking game. When taking a look at the screenshots you can just tell that this game is pretty special. There are six different environments that your cute little Alligator has to work his way through, each with a distinct theme like being covered in grafitti or all iced over from a cold winter in New York. With plenty of objects in your way, this game looks stunning in it's full 3D on any device.

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Now the game is nothing like it looks in the screenshots. As you are hurtling down the various sewers the game is extremely fast paced. Especially in later levels you have no idea where you are going, often having a split second to veer away from an object hiding on a corner. The effects while going at a high speed work well, with the blurring of the screen much like what happens in the Need for Speed games. The game manages to keep it's great appeal and still looks fantastic. If there is anything you learn from this game, it's that Glu make their games look damn good.


This is such a simple game to pick up and play with excellent use of the accelerometer to play what was previously controlled by arrows on a keyboard. When you think about it this is actually the perfect title for the iPhone and I can't believe I haven't seen a title of this genre before on the App Store (There may be one that I have missed. If so please let me know in the comments section). This is a very hand-off title as there is little to actually do in the way of on screen buttons.

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To play this game you must tilt the device left or right to move your way around the sewer pipes. A small tilt to one side will keep you spinning around until you center your device. The games camera will rotate with you so there is no need to actually move your head as Alley Gator is always on the bottom of the screen, just the pipe moves. If you feel like braking because you can't control where you are going just tap and hold on the screen to slow down Alley Gator. Running into objects will slow you right down so you will lose time.


Alley Gator is a very simple game to play, tilt your way out of the sewer before the time runs out so you can save your Alligator from being stuck in the dreaded sewer. Apart from being very cute this game will challenge your reflexes as you hurtle around this pipe in a way that could quite possibly make you sick if using an iPad.

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There are 25 levels to complete, each gradually getting harder than the last to complete. As you progress more obstacles will appear in your way, often with a smaller gap for you to pass by it, the levels will get longer and it’s more of a struggle to make it through without picking up a heap of power-ups. The thing that is lacking in this game is a bit of variety as there is only one game mode which can get dry towards the end of the game.

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If you enjoy what is available and the genre as a whole then this is definitely the best I have played on any platform. Alley Gator has multiple power-ups to help you on your quest to get away from the sewer. Collecting a clock will freeze the time clock for a short amount of time. Collecting a potion will turn you into a huge alligator that is invincible to all objects in its path for a limited amount of time. And don’t forget the peppers! These are vital if you want to have a ‘perfect run’ by collecting all 3 and finishing the level in the required time.

This isn’t a game that is too overly difficult for a relatively casual gamer to complete and it will only take about an hour to finish. This isn’t the type of game to finish in one sitting though, you will probably get one or two levels finished per play as that’s the type of game this was designed to be.


The overall gaming experience in Alley Gator is fun and great for a casual play. Everything has come together in sync for a fun experience. Excellent graphics, easy to use controls, excellent use of the camera rotation and a fun gaming experience. This is one of the more involving $0.99 games you will come across on the App Store. This is a game that can run on any device, be played by anyone who knows how to move an iPhone left or right and be loved by people who have a strong interest in cute alligators.

For $0.99 you can’t even go wrong with this game. Even if you don’t particularly enjoy this game then you have just bought two soft serves in the form of some brilliant eye candy to show off to your friends. This is really a casual game for anyone and everyone.

Gameplay- 7/10
Graphics- 9/10
Controls- 9/10
Overall- 8/10
I would recommend this game if you enjoyed- iTunnel 3D

Riddim Ribbon

Author: iPhone Reviews // Category:

Riddim Ribbon by Tapulous - $2.99
Buy it now on the App Store

Riddim Ribbon is Tapulous’ first attempt at making a game that veers down a different path from the extremely successful Tap Tap Revenge series. Not much has been known about this game for a long time, since it was previewed at an Apple event alongside other big name games like Assassin’s Creed II. Slowly but surely small trailers were released and artists name have been announced through their site and free tracks on TTR3. Finally after a long time we have received this highly anticipated title, but not without some criticism.

I was very surprised to see that this title was only $2.99, especially when games like Lady Gaga Revenge and others in the premium Tap Tap range have all been $4.99. The reason for this is that it only features 3 songs initially with 3 songs currently available to purchase through DLC. While my initial thoughts were that it was highly priced it’s pretty obvious that we are getting the good end of the bargain.

Songs in Tap Tap Revenge work out to be $0.50 each for a couple of difficulty levels and a simple theme to tap to. In Riddim Ribbon Tapulous have to set a large layout for you to tilt to, multiple remixes and different layouts for each track so $0.99 seems like a decent price for a song. Plus it’s also better when it costs more to buy the songs or remixes on iTunes. For early adopters who buy the game within the first 72 hours you get a free 2-song track bundle on TTR3 and also get a free remix version of ‘Meet Me Halfway’ by Black Eyed Peas on iTunes.


One of the highlights in this game is definitely the awesome graphics in this game. It’s basically guaranteed that any track you play will have the track’s winding in and out of each other as your ball is constantly jumping and moving all around the track. Some great visual effects are presented as the ball rolls down the course with lights and effects coming off the back of the ball. This game looked impressive from previews of the game but it’s nothing like having the might of this game in your hands.

Another feature I quite liked is how each song has a different ‘theme’ to it as such. While it’s nothing too drastic just a different color tone and items make for a nice mix up in this game. Another feature I like it the layout of the menu screens and the nice backdrops when showing what songs are available. At the moment it works well with only a few songs but it may need to be re-done as the song list gets past 10-15 songs.

The only thing presentation wise that may annoy some users is that it seems to struggle on older devices. On the 3GS this game runs like a gem and also generally does while on the 1st Gen devices. The only suggestion I have to those users is don’t play while either a new song or another app is downloading as the lag is phenomenal. Apart from that this is a top notch game on this side of things.


The coolest thing about Riddim Ribbon is how it is one of, if not the only music game on the App Store where you don’t tap to the music somehow. From Tap Tap to Beatrider and Beat It! you have to tap to the game, but this is a hands off approach only with no on screen buttons.

To play Riddim Ribbon it is all about tilting to the music. As you follow the track you must tilt your device to stay on the ribbon of music, otherwise the noise will deteriorate to just a base beat. There are ramps which launch you into the air but when you have to collect a token in the air or avoid a blockade you must tilt your device forward to manually jump into the air. I found that just panicking and making a sudden jerk of the iPhone worked quite nicely as well.

If there was any suggestion I could make to the controls it would be that the tilt range of the track is way too big. I am finding, especially in parts of the song where the ribbon is on the edge of track, that it is incredibly awkward to hold that position. You nearly have to hold the device at about a 60 degree angle which not only looks weird if someone else doesn’t know what you’re doing, but it’s hard to do repeatedly. I would like to see either a smaller range of motion to cover the track (like the racing games on the App Store) or maybe keeping the game upright like NFS: Undercover could be the way to go.


I’m sure you are now aware what this game is all about. The aim is to get the Riddim Ribbon ball down the track to get a high score. You do this by keeping on the ribbon and jumping to collect tokens in the air. What makes this game extra special though are the many ways you can chop and change the song to create a different song everytime you play. This is done in two ways; either by making a decision at an intersection or using the ramp to reach a new track which presents a brand new remix.

Each song has different remixes put towards it. For example you could be rolling down on ‘Boom Boom Pow’ and reach an intersection. You may have a particular liking to a particular artists remix, so you can choose the path you want as there are signs stating who has made the remix. For me I have a strong liking to anything by David Guetta, so any chance possible I will take his route. The short bonus remix versions that can only be reached if you launch yourself off a yellow ramp will take you to a ‘dope’ remix of the song which is quite different to the others. There are no artists names in this remix so I’m guessing it’s a Tapulous version.

The game comes with 3 tracks from the Black Eyed Peas and as I explained before this seems to be a fair price for these tracks. A free sample of one of Tiësto’s songs in the game is also available to be purchased for free. This game definitely is all about the Black Eyed Peas, with their songs Meet Me Halfway, I Gotta Feeling and Boom Boom Pow being included as well as commentary from Will.i.am. Two additional Tiësto tracks, Escape Me and Louder Than Boom are available via DLC and Satisfaction by Benny Benassi also able to be bought. It is announced that the game will end up having 15+ songs available, whether they are free or all DLC is yet to be known.

All the Black Eyed Peas tracks are available to be played in three difficulty levels. The two DLC tracks I purchased only had Medium and Hard difficulty modes. When you first play the game you can only play the easiest difficulty until you have an 80% or higher accuracy rate before you unlock the next difficulty. This is quite a good idea as it keeps you in a level that you can still improve on instead of starting with hard and being totally blown away.


While the general conception through both consumers and reviewers alike has been that this isn’t a very good title, I found that once you play this game a bit it will grow on you. Certainly there are areas where this game needs to be improved, in particular the tilt controls where most of the concern is headed. I can’t wait to see where they take this title seeing how successful DLC was for TTR3. I can’t see too many songs coming to Riddim Ribbon being free, as not many Indie artists will be able to get remixes of their songs to even be considered being included.

This game is very much Black Eyed Peas orientated and unless you love Tiësto to bits or are interested in this game style then it probably won’t be the game for you. I love the concept behind Riddim Ribbon and the fact that it is just really an exciting way to mix your own tracks. This game is not perfected yet, but with some tweaking and time to add content I feel like this game will be one of the best games on the App Store.

P.S- Those early adopters of the game will also get a free download of Meet Me Halfway (Jeepney Halfway Remix) on iTunes, 100 credits in Tap Tap Revenge 3, a themed Riddim Ribbon background for TTR3, another themed Riddim Ribbon background if they emailed RiddimRibbon@Tapulous.com before the release of the game and special Avatar items for every additional track purchased in Riddim Ribbon.

Gameplay- 9/10
Graphics- 9.5/10
Controls- 6/10
Overall- 8/10
I would recommend this game if you enjoyed- Leaf Trombone: World Stage

Song Summoner: The Unsung Heroes - Encore

Author: iPhone Reviews // Category:

Song Summoner: The Unsung Heroes by Square Enix - $9.99

While Square Enix has finally announced that Final Fantasy I & II are coming to the iPhone and iPod Touch, we have another RPG to play with! Song Summoner is a game that some people may remember as an iPod Click Wheel game. This version however includes the story from the original as well as an unreleased Song Summoner sequel in one big game.

Since Square Enix brought Crystal Defenders onto the App Store some whole year ago, they have been almost teasing us with similarities to the world famous Final Fantasy series. Song Summoner is about as we can get to the real thing at this point in time, with similar graphics and gameplay but a much different story. I was slightly worried to see what this game would be like for $9.99, but it's revolutionary features make it well worth the price.

Looking through my list of games I found what I believe to be the height of Turn Based games on the App Store. This game is the recently released Rogue Planet by Gameloft/Agartha Studios. I had an interesting time comparing the two to see which game comes out on top in graphics, sound and most importantly gameplay. I found Song Summoner to have a strong storyline that was backed up with some great sound effects and visuals, but the tipping point to make this game the better of the two would be it's revolutionary feature. Let's just say it involves songs and manages to do what Beatrider never achieved sadly.


I really like what Square Enix have done to the graphics in this game. Being a click wheel game originally I checked out the iTunes preview of the previous game to see what it is like. Between the two versions not much has changed with the iPhone version having sharper and clearer graphics as well as a larger view of the playing field obviously. The other comparison I wanted to make was between this and Rogue Planet. The cut scenes I found to be equally stunning but I found Song Summoner to have sharper all round graphics when in battles.

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Between your fights there is a story that is played out through conversations between your character and other humans and non-humans that he meets along the way. These are played out in cut scenes that look quite awesome and detailed, especially all the extra scenery in the back. It looks good and builds a strong storyline for you to want to finish this game, serving it's purpose effectively in my eyes.

The battle fields look great in my opinion and probably a bit sharper than Rogue Planet. Depending on where abouts in the game you are currently fighting the scenery will change and there will be different items on the screen. For example in the city you will find walls and buildings while in the woods it will be more likely full of trees. There are lots of nice textures used in the battle scenes and it looks really beautiful.

The fighting animation is no where near as cool as the cut scenes we see in Rogue Planet. In Song Summoner it is just seeing a swing of a sword and some damage being taken off. Nothing that special about it but is what you would expect from your average turn based game.

The game runs very smoothly on all devices and there are no glitches or crashes that I could find. There is a slight bit of lag when accessing the iPod music track list but that can't be helped as it lags in any game that uses it. Overall this is a smooth and professionally made game, especially for one that has a fair bit going on at any one time.


Thankfully Square Enix has updated the controls in this game instead of keeping the same controls as the click wheel version. All the controls whether in-game or in the menu screens are used by the touch screen. It's pretty standard the controls with nothing revolutionary involved.

While in the actual game you slide your finger to choose the action you want to perform and tapping when you get to the action. To move you get a heap of squares that appear on the screen and you have to tap where you want to move. It's really easy to pick up this game and be able to play straight away. It's good that there is no learning curve or confusing swipes needed as the actual game is hard enough.


Song Summoner: The Unsung Heroes takes you on an adventure to rescue a lost brother (Pretty standard storyline) in the world where songs rule. You are a Song Summoner and you can use songs to make characters who will fight to the end for you. This game will take you on a huge campaign with 40+ hours to complete and heaps of locations and fights mixed in with a strong storyline. This is the type of game you would expect to be $40 and on the Nintendo DS, not a $9.99 game on the iPhone.

This game stands out from other RPG's on the iDevice for one simple reason, it's unique song summoning process. This is where you get to use your very own songs to create creatures and everytime you listen to the song on your iPod the stats of your creature will increase. This is such a great idea that has been perfectly executed and seems to work well with the game. Each creature has a limited number of uses so you will be creating creatures for heaps of your songs. The only thing I think that Square Enix could enable would be hearing your song while using that character in the game.

This game is turn based much like the Final Fantasy games. The aim is to defeat all your opponents before they defeat you. You have an array of special attacks at hand depending on your characters special skills and weapons. The levels start out quite easy but you are soon forced to choose strategies of attack if you are going to beat levels, particularly if there is a large boss character in the level. Between levels are usually some cut scenes which end up giving you a piece of the story before the next battle.

Your summoned creatures can also be levelled up in the Arena, which is a practice area where your creature has to defeat so many enemies in a limited number of turns. These award you with crystals which can upgrade the stats of your characters. Those wanting to succeed in this game are safer going down this route and it will also extend the length of the game.


Song Summoner: The Unsung Heroes is another game to consider for your turn based/RPG hunger. If you are getting a bit bored with the same game style in all of these games then Song Summoner may be for you, especially if you listen to your iPod music a lot.

Once again we have been given a DS quality game for a cheap price. While Square Enix haven't seen that much success yet on the App Store, this is probably their best game out so far. While you are waiting for Final Fantasy to arrive this is an excellent game to play. If you are willing to take the plunge at the premium price point you won't be disappointed with this title.

Gameplay- 9/10
Graphics- 8/10
Controls- 6.5/10
Overall- 7.5/10
I would recommend this game if you enjoyed- Rogue Planet
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