Stranger Things App: The Game

Developer: BonusXP, Inc.

Rating: Teen

Price: Free

 

In anticipation of the long awaited season 2 debut of Stranger Things and as a fan, I feel it is imperative for me to review this app. I will try not to fill this article with any spoilers for those of you who have yet to watch Stranger Things. By the way, for those who have not viewed this series, take a sick day and knock out season 1. You can thank me later, and yes, one day will do it.

Playing the Game

Once you download the game, the display eerily mimics that of Nintendo which is in harmony with the era of the show. Nostalgia immediately set in, and my mind reminisced as if I were sitting in the early 80’s preparing to conquer the Legend of Zelda. Reality quickly set in as I tapped the flashing “start” on the beginning screen. You can then select “Normal” or “Classic” game mode. I chose the Normal mode as Classic comes with a warning, “Experienced players only. It’s like 1984 Hard.” I don’t qualify myself as experienced especially when it comes to gaming especially on a 5” screen. Per usual, I digress. You begin your adventure with Hopper, the local sheriff, and he is armed with a power punch. Much like most adventure mode games, there are enemies, doors to unlock, lasers to disarm, and you even get a taste of the “Upside Down” world. The story is organized into chapters, and there is an associated goal of each chapter you must complete whether it is defeating a villain or finding a character. Use the map to help you navigate, and most importantly, keep track of your health. Like most games, health is measured as a heart meter up to 5 (another throw back to Zelda). Try to limit damage from enemies and even animals throughout the maps. There is no limit to lives or how many times you can respawn so you can play endlessly. Destroy trash cans, bushes, other random items, and enemies to collect health, coins, and ammunition. Find and meet up with characters and even collect gnomes which will not only add to the storyline, but certain characters will become part of your posse and bring along with them certain “powers.”  I am being very coy with the context of this review as to not play spoiler which I hope only entices you to play the game, and more so, watch the series.

Final Thoughts

I know what you are thinking…this guy likes the show more than the app. You would be correct in that assumption which is the only reason why the app is so freakin’ popular. The app, itself, is a quality development and generally follows the story line of the show, but I had a hard time navigating the chapters even with a map.  Like I said, these type of games are not my forte so give this app a try, at least, and you will probably find some level of enjoyment in spite of me.

Best Fishing Game App – MASTER BASS ANGLER

Developer: Gold Helm Games, LLC

Rating: Everyone

Price: Free download with in-app purchases

 I will be the first to admit I have no patience for the sport of fishing. I am more of a purchase and consume kind of guy versus the catch and the cook type. Maybe if there is a six pack involved, my position could be swayed for an afternoon of fishing. No worries, though. Master Bass Angler does not require you to play the waiting game in order to be entertained. I will give you a brief synopsis of the app below in case you haven’t downloaded it by now.

How to Play

Per the usual registration process, you will have to create a username and so forth. After this step, you are ready to “angle.” (Get it?) Your default mode of play is a daily tournament, or you can select the versus mode (crown icon with subscript “VS” in upper right hand corner) to battle a random player or friend. The game is played with your phone in the landscape orientation with your hands in the cradle position letting your thumbs be the joystick, essentially.

The action screen illustrates your first person view from the boat. The upper left hand corner hosts a legend identifying your level, lives(amount of casts), and icons (from left to right) for settings, talents, goals, and lake location while the upper right hand corner displays the number gems and coins currently in your possession. The tutorial does an excellent job of guiding you through the process of catching a fish so PAY ATTENTION! This isn’t English Lit. In case you weren’t paying attention, and as you gaze at the screen with a beautiful lake pictured in front you, toggle left and right to search for a disturbance in the water which is like a white splash, hone in on the fish location, don’t wait too long, tap the rod button (lower left) to toggle your cast distance until the disturbance area is highlighted yellow. Immediately flick your thumb to simulate your cast. You lure will soar through the air and land, hopefully, where you intended it. If so, you will then notice a fish (bass) coming at you while chasing your lure or bait. Fish on! Set the hook by tapping the reel (lower right) on or as close as possible to the line within the green field once and then twice. Fight the fish by tapping the reel repeatedly to keep the white line in the green field. Keep playing…You will quickly become familiar with this process.  It seems easy at first, but like in the real world, the big fish will give you a big battle. Once you score a fish, the type and weight will be displayed along with experience points and coins awarded.

Elevating Your Game

Experience points will enable you to level up. As you level up, you will unlock more lake locations. More importantly, leveling up rewards you with gems and additional casts. The app also offers a one-time purchase for unlimited casts at a measly $3.99. Accruing coins and collecting and/or purchasing gems enables you to upgrade your talents and gear. Gem packages are available in denominations from 100 gems for $1.99 to 2000 gems for $9.99…very reasonable. I have been very casual and cheap in my approach and have simply earned coins and gems just by fishing and leveling up. There are also random bonus rounds by which you can earn gems and coins. If you want to elevate your status as an avid angler on this app, you are probably going to have to pay for it.

This app has been only been on the market for several months, and I would classify this as a “hot” app. The graphics are exceptional. The gameplay is simple, yet challenging and no annoying ads. You can watch a video to obtain more casts but that’s about the extent of it. Make this app a part of your collection (along with all the other apps we recommend). It’s available in iTunes and the Google Play store.

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