On the Cheap – Crabitron

header

On the Cheap is Squinshee’s regular gander at inexpensive or free games.

Crabitron (iOS)
Developer: Two Lives Left
Price: $3

Rarely is there a stuffed animal worth grabbing in claw machines. They’re loaded with plushes that are more cheaply made than a McDonalds Happy Meal toy. But this doesn’t prevent me from taking a whack at each one I see. Positioning the suspended claw with the dinkiest joystick is a total thrill. Time is ticking as I hop from each angle, verifying that the metallic hand is above that knock-off Pooh’s grabbable belly. With a press of a button, I watch as the claw shakily descends toward the honey-loving bear. It’s not about the prize (my favorite Hundred Acre Woods buddy is Eeyore), but rather controlling that damn claw.

(more…)

Advertisements

On the Cheap – Slayin

header

On the Cheap is Squinshee’s regular gander at inexpensive or free games.

Slayin (iOS)
Developer: Pixel Licker
Price: $1

Don’t drown. Smack the golf ball into the hole. Solve for X. First lessons like these are oversimplifications that border on irony. Such advice doesn’t elude the blood-soaked, boob-filled world (not to be mistaken with bloody boobs) of A Song of Ice and Fire – or Game of Thrones to most of you. When Jon Snow endows his young stepsister Arya with a petit fencing sword, “Stick them with the pointy end,” concludes his first bit of advice.

(more…)

On the Cheap – Bobbing

header

On the Cheap is Squinshee’s regular gander at inexpensive or free games.

Bobbing (iOS, Android)
Developer: Little Bobby Games
Price: $1

There’s nothing odd, at least to me, about reading Dante’s Inferno on a Kindle. The ability for new technology to adapt old art grants us easy access to a sprawling history of entertainment. Conversely, presenting new material through dated mediums sounds counterintuitive. For instance, listening to Skrillex on vinyl. Some people do it even though it seems physically impossible. You’re telling me that this Crosley can make my apartment go WUB-WUB with a needle scraping a spinning disk? I thought records were relegated to Frank Sinatra, like dubstep to mp3s.

(more…)

On the Cheap – Triad

header

On the Cheap is Squinshee’s regular gander at inexpensive or free games.

Triad (Mac, PC)
Creators: Anna Anthropy, Leon Arnott
Price: Free

My friends have a term for the obtuse or lousy jokes I tell. They’re called “Calvin jokes.” I’ve nicknamed my reefer-toking chaps “Weedonites,” for their interest in all things Joss Whedon. It loses all contextual significance from the get go since they don’t actually care that much about Mr. Avenger. When arranging luggage in car trunks or groceries in the fridge I spout out, “It’s like real life Tetris!” Ha?

(more…)

On the Cheap – Ridiculous Fishing

header

On the Cheap is Squinshee’s regular gander at inexpensive or free games.

Ridiculous Fishing (iOS)
Developer: Vlambeer
Price: $3

“Any kind! Any shape! Any color or size!” imagines a young Marco from Dr. Seuss’s McElligot’s Pool, as his lure bobs in a puddle without a nibble. “I might catch some fish that would open your eyes!” The thought of snagging a rare breed or an abnormally plump tuna spurs enthusiasts to sit for hours in silence. Corona in one hand and a dangling rod in the other, fishing is a sport of recreation with moments of reeling drama.

(more…)

On the Cheap – Drop A Beat, Guiseppe!

header

On the Cheap is Squinshee’s regular gander at inexpensive or free games.

Drop A Beat, Guiseppe! (Browser)
Developer: Major Bueno
Price: Free

Drop A Beat, Guiseppe! is blunt: it prefaces with “you are the worst piano player,” and “people are throwing trash at you.” Recklessly clicking any keys on the left or right side of your keyboard glides the tripedal instrument with the friction of a skating rink. Melody is of no concern when it’s raining puffer fish and tomatoes. Guide the overcast musician underneath those prickly and goopy obscenities and sling them back with a flick of the piano’s lid. It’s a silly game of hot potato as you volley the same litter back and forth for extra points. When hit with enough stray trash, Guiseppe’s piano breaks, leaving a sulking musician alone with his mangled Steinway and tarnished career.

(more…)

On the Cheap – Crazy Bill

header

On the Cheap is Squinshee’s regular gander at inexpensive or free games.

Crazy Bill (iOS)
Developer: Ivanovich Games
Price: Free

I can’t say that I have fantasized about spurting shotgun-like blasts from a pistol into an undead Steve Jobs. However, Crazy Bill has a vendetta for well-known people or characters, and views murdering them as a reward. “It’s okay, they’re zombies!” the game seems to suggest as you eviscerate a defenseless Spock or Charlie Chaplan.

(more…)

On the Cheap – Cordy 2

header

On the Cheap is Squinshee’s regular gander at inexpensive or free games.

Cordy 2 (iOS, Android)
Developer: Silvertree Media
Price: $5

It’s bizarre that Cordy is named after technology’s tangling plug. His hovering chassis with wirelessly connected appendages is a feat modern science is unable to mimic, yet his moniker comes from that nuisance of a thing charging our phones? It’s like naming a brand of cigarettes Mr. Cancer. Cables are a means to an end that let us watch cute kitties on Youtube or microwave Stouffer’s French bread pizza. Knowing this, our copper-tinted, late-90’s-iMac-for-a-noggin hero makes sure that this necessary feature doesn’t define him.

(more…)

On the Cheap – Be Together

Header

On the Cheap is Squinshee’s regular gander at inexpensive or free games.

Be Together (iOS)
Developer: Chillingo
Price: $1

Attraction is a powerful emotion. Its strength makes us internalize subtle details, such as remembering likes and dislikes, in hopes to be closer with that special someone. Recalling these preferences can (and will) lead to moments of mental second-guessing. Does she like being kissed on the cheek in public? Skittles hurt her teeth…or was it Chewy Spree? What’s her favorite color? She wears purple a lot. Her favorite skirt is purple. Yeah, it’s purple. Definitely purple.

(more…)