I normally hate F2P or Freemium games, but GolfStar proved that you can still enjoy a game without spending hundreds of dollars on it. Sure, a lot of the good items are locked away for people who pay ridiculous amounts of money, but GolfStar offers a great enough experience that you don’t really need it. The game is very enjoyable and is the best golf game on mobile platforms right now.
The game has the usual events and sales and ads for these that popup. You can buy stuff in the shop such as clothes which increase your stats, level up your character, buy new clubs and temporary boost items like any other RPG. You can invite friends to golf matches for free, but career mode costs hearts, but they regenerate over time. Once you get into a match you will notice you have a 3 step meter. Press it to get it going, set your power, then your direction. The little tee in the center of your impact area is for a perfect shot. Hit here and the ball will fly straight, go in the red area and the ball will fly 95% straight, the orange will make your ball curve a bit and this can suck if you are going into the wind. Wind direction plays a big part here as well as the level of the ground and distance just like in any golf game. GolfStar keeps it fast and simple while providing simulators like physics and conditions. Sure the wind can only knock your ball a max of three yards (think of the wind as step 1, 2, and 3 with three being the hardest).
While driving in these short courses is no big deal, it all comes down to putting in GolfStar. The physics are spot on and nothing can compare to it on mobile devices. Judging the slope and your power just right and landing an Eagle or Birdie is just so satisfying. You can play a 9 hole round in about 10 minutes which is great for pick-up-and-go gameplay. The game takes a lot of skill to master which is very surprising for a free to play game. Once you win the round or even finish it you get experience and G currency which is earned the fastest and can be saved up fairly quickly. The gold stars are what you will have to grind for and most items are nearly impossible to get without spending real money. Thankfully you get some pretty sweet winnings at the end of matches. You need to 10 hearts to spin a wheel which will multiply your G and your XP. Sometimes you can win items and even large amounts of G. Twice I won 6,000 G and various passes and coupons which proved helpful. Most F2P games don’t throw things like this at you and I loved it.
I still wish this game had a premium price. Charge me $10 for this can and give me everything. As it is right now the game is short on content, There’s not much to buy and the courses are limited, but hopefully more content will come about. The graphics are actually spectacular for a golf game. Even on high-res phones and tablets, the graphics hold up. The game holds up so well to console golf games and I hope this game continues to grow and become the greatest golf game to grace mobile devices. The only thing holding it back is the lack of content and those damn microtransactions.
Dark Meadow was a pretty decent Infinity Blade clone on the iPhone back in the day, back when the game wasn’t freemium. Honestly, that alone kills this game. Instead of charging $7 for the game we get it for free…sure thanks, but not really. The game uses gold and sun coins as currency, but the sun coins are acquired so rarely that you are forced to pay ridiculous amounts of real-world cash for them. Getting a killstreak before you die rewards you with maybe 2-3 coins. The best weapons in the game (the last 1/4 of the weapons) can only be bought with sun coins. The most powerful one costs 3,750 coins. You either need to grind for hours upon boring hours or pay about $40 for that sword. This is sad and just plain wrong.
Of course, people are stupid enough to pay for it. Finding the gold is easy enough, but you have to save and save and go through the same rooms clicking on the same cupboards and drawers over and over again until you go insane. You wake up in a run-down asylum where a man says you need to kill a witch. This is the best part of the game, the story. He talks over the intercom every time you enter a room and you end up really getting attached to this insane character, but the level grinding just makes you want to quit the game. There are only three levels in the whole game, but the witch is bumped up in skill way too much. She goes from being able to be beaten at level 8 or 9 then on the second level she does 250 damage and kills you in one hit. The only way to beat her is to grind to level 25 and rack up gold to buy better equipment. Honestly, just charge me a fee up front and give me the whole game. I’m not paying $50+ for a $7 game.
The combat is decent but the same enemies repeat and become predictable. You can shoot enemies when they pop up with your crossbow to do damage before they get to you. Sometimes they spit acid at you and you need to block or dodge. The controls are just like Infinity Blade, but there’s no shield, you just block with your weapon. The enemy designs are pretty neat, but there’s just a handful of them. The graphics themselves are incredible and really take advantage of the Tegra 3 chipset. The textures look great, the lighting is awesome, but I wanted to see more than just a hospital. As it is, this game isn’t really worth your time.
Overall, Dark Meadow is a great game, but once again, the freemium structure ruins the whole experience. You can grind until your thumbs bleed, but you will never get the best weapons without forking out a ton of cash. Even the most patient gamers will give up early on. As I see it, the game is broken with the freemium structure, this needs to seriously stop.
Infinity Blade clones are wreaking havoc on the mobile game market, and most are pretty bad. Death Dome is pretty solid with excellent visuals and great enemy designs. The combat is evolving with different things thrown in, and the art style is great. There is one underlying issue that completely breaks this game.
If you have played IB you will know how to play this game, swipe against the enemies swing to parry, block, tap the weak spots etc. so on and so forth. What makes Death Dome different are the larger than life enemies and variation. There are other elements that get thrown in like smoke that will block your view, barrels you can hit, and each enemy feels different. You can go into a special mode where everything slows down and you get to do extra damage. These are the things I am looking for in IB clones to make it feel different or like it is trying to evolve this new mobile game genre. The game is very well designed and the game almost has a Borderlands look to it. I liked it and dug the awesome character designs, weapons, armor, and shields.
There is one issue that completely breaks this game and that is the freemium model. Paying cash to get Glu coins to buy the better armor and weapons. Coins are dished out so slowly in the game that it will take 20+ matches just to buy one piece of armor or weapon. You have to dish out $60+ dollars just to finish this game and that should be a crime. I would rather pay the $8-15 for the full game thanks, and let buying coins be optional like in Infinity Blade without forcing you to do it. If players want to cheat and waste their money let them, but don’t force them. This model is really breaking and destroying a lot of good mobile games out there because you just can not advance in the game without throwing down cash. I got to a certain point where my weapon just wasn’t doing enough damage and I didn’t want to pay cash for a piece of armor. I refuse to do it.
So because of this, I say stay away from this game. It is so solid and I am sad to say that I couldn’t advance because of the company’s greed. Let me pay $8-15 dollars for a rock solid game and give me everything in the package. Don’t hand me keys to a car and then tell me to buy each part separately. Death Dome is probably the best Infinity Blade clone out there, but the freemium model completely breaks it.