In this Cost of a Coffee special, the Prof and Brian are inspired by an ape uprising to discuss updates to games we’ve reviewed or admired from afar.
“Every day in the United Kingdom we spend £2.5 million pounds on coffee, which is fine with me as working with my lab assistant Brian here, does my head in.”
“Howay there Professor.”
“I’m Professor Kelvin Harris, the resident scientist for Codec Moments and this week we’re not on a mission to highlight interesting and unusual games that you can buy instead of your daily cappuccino. Instead, we’re here to discuss some recent updates to a few of the games that we’ve reviewed previously and a couple of really interesting updates to games that we’ve never reviewed.”
“That is crazy bonkers Professor, what’s brought this on?”
“Well Brian, with the release of ‘Dawn of the Planet of the Apes’ in the UK last week, it inspired me to go back to Ndemic Creations simple but addictive strategy game, Plague Inc. and check out the new Simian Flu pack. Based on my work for the government at Porton Down, Plague Inc. tasks you with creating an epidemic that will spread uncontrollably and unabatedly across the globe, eventually wiping out all human existence.”
“Remember that time you created SARS Professor? It was rubbish.”
“It might yet mutate Brian, you may come to rue this day. Plague Inc. is perhaps my favourite game to date, allowing me to model transmission, mutations and resistance of virological, bacteriological or biological vectors on a global scale, from the comfort of my living room; all for purely theoretical reasons of course.”
“Is that why you wear that yellow balloon suit and scuba tank when you play it Professor?”
“A good scientist always has the appropriate Personal Protective Equipment, or PPE, Brian.”
“Oh right, I thought PPE was that lesson in school when I had to jump on a little trampoline in my pants ‘cos I’d forgotten my gym kit.”
“Simian Flu is the third add-on pack for Plague Inc, following the Neurax Worm and the Necroa Virus. It challenges players to not only develop a deadly disease capable of eradicating human life, but to also orchestrate an ape uprising across the globe. It ties in with the Dawn of the Planet of the Apes movie and provides a steep difficulty curve having to manage a battle on two fronts as you prevent humankind from eradicating the disease, whilst also having to stop them from wiping out the simian insurgency. All in all it’s a great addition for just over £1 and it’s satisfying to see that the fake news headlines that appear in the game are being kept topical with comments about Suarez and Destiny appearing now.”
“But I don’t like Monkey’s Professor, that one we had in our lab kept calling me an idiot and telling me what to do.”
“For the last time Brian; that wasn’t a monkey, it was me with a beard.”
“What about something with planes Professor? I LOVE Pocket Planes.”
“Well sadly there’s been no update for Pocket Planes recently Brian, but Air Tycoon 3 has had an update to add an additional 10 cities including Shenyang, Nizhny Novgorod and Okinawa, along with some more planes; look Brian your favourite is there, the Boeing 737-900F.”
“Professor, you know I only like the Boeing 737-900C. Anyway, Air Tycoon 3 is BORING, no matter how well it SEOs.”
“Hmmm, sounds interesting Professor, but I’ll not be allowed to wear a SmartWatch after me mam said I wasn’t allowed to wear anything smarter or brighter than me?”
“To be fair to your mother Brian, when she said that she was trying to stop you wearing a bright yellow suit out in public.”
“It was the 90s Professor, everyone was wearing ‘em.”
“No, everyone was wearing neon socks and colour changing t-shirts in the 90s Brian, only you and ‘The Mask’ were wearing bright yellow suits. If you’ve not played Aces of the Luftwaffe, it’s a vertical scrolling shooter that has you dodging bullets and shooting the Hun out of the sky over Blighty. Whilst the game is smooth and responsive, having your finger on the screen to control the craft is somewhat… stupid; it obscures your view and gets you killed. Using the SmartWatch 2, you move your wrist to control the craft and touch the screen to launch your power up; it’s smooth and responsive and the phone screen is free of your sticky fingers. Sadly this doesn’t make the game any more exciting or interesting, but the innovative use of the SmartWatch 2 is something we’d like to see more of.
Speaking of Aeroplanes Brian, Hitman Go recently had an upgrade which added the Airport Chapter. The upgrade is free if you unlock it through progress, or can be purchased for 69p if you don’t have the patience or if you’re working towards a review deadline. It’s a new series of 15 boards that introduces civilian mode, where Mr 47 disguises himself as a flasher in a dirty mac who can pass by security undetected until he reveals himself by making a move against an enemy or objective. There are also new features like conveyor belts, the ability to skip a turn and more vigilant guards who use their keen eyesight to watch two directions at once, allowing them to keep one eye open for international assassins as the other spies for somebody attempting to bring more than 200 cigarettes through customs.
Speaking of Killers, Tabemasu Games Kawaii Killer has, as we predicted, been slapped happy with Apple’s ban hammer. Following the review of the update they submitted to introduce the challenge modes, Apple claimed that the game depicted “realistic images of people or animals being killed” although there had been no changes to the cartoon carnage since the original version was approved for sale on the AppStore and was even made a featured game. Tabemasu are currently working with Apple to restore Kawaii Killer and we look forward to finding out what’s what soon. Don’t forget though, that it’s still available on the Google Play store for Android devices.”
“Crikey Professor, I wouldn’t want to be controversial, but I’d choose a Galaxy S5 over an iPhone 5S just to play Kawaii Killer. It’s that good.”
“Well we can’t sit here all day doing a post-mortem for Kawaii Killer on iOS Brian, not when we could be doing an alien autopsy in the iPad version of Surgeon Simulator. The recent update allows you to perform several unpronounceable procedures including a birgirspallex or gavichal transplant. The atmospheric X-Files like music that accompany the new operations is a lovely little touch too!
In brief, Fast Rummy now has a multiplayer mode, Icycle: On Thin Ice applied some much needed oil to the squeeky wheel on Dennis’ bike, Harmonix’s Record Run has added a new character called Hip-Hop Girl, Fiasco! from Blinking Pixels has added an inspiration power-up to help you think of longer words and Threes! has added a landscape mode that’s more pleasing to the eye… Pad.
Finally RedLynx’s Trials Frontier has seen quite a few updates since we reviewed it back in May. They’ve added more paint jobs, more tracks, a whole new island called ‘Reaper’s Finger’ for tier 1 bikes, control customisation, outfits and a home shack to play dress up in, but best of all… the ability to sabotage the annoying AI characters with slippery banana skins.”
“But Professor, bananas aren’t really that slippy are they?”
“Well Brian, the coefficient of friction of a banana skin on a typical surface is around 0.07 and coefficients of 0.1 and less are generally considered to be those of well lubricated surfaces.”
“So if bananas are so slippy, why don’t all those monkeys just fall out of trees?”
“Well that’s one way of combating the Simian Flu pandemic Brian, free bananas all around.”
“Cost of a Coffee is a production of Codec Moments. For more information visit CodecMoments.com or search for Codec Moments on Facebook and Google+. If you can recommend a game that costs less than a cappuccino, or one that’s got a really mint update, tweet us @CodecMoments or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. If you thought Cost of a Coffee was mint, please consider giving us a review on iTunes, Stitcher, TuneIn Radio or… anywhere really so we can reach more lovely people like you.”
“See you next time.”