You are using an outdated browser. Please upgrade your browser to improve your experience.
Review: Gamebox 2 - Quantity vs. Quality

Review: Gamebox 2 - Quantity vs. Quality

October 18, 2010


Triniti Interactive's All-In-1 Gamebox included 36 games within a single application and has sold over 2 million copies since its release a little over a year ago. Now, they're back with Gamebox 2, a collection of 10 new games that claim to possess more depth and polish.


Here is our game by game review of the titles included in Gamebox 2, along with a rating of 0 to 5 stars for each, taking into consideration that the app includes 10 games for $2.99. The games are sorted by the order that they currently appear on the app's launch screen. Coastal Super-Combat - The people of an island are being invaded by coastal military forces, and you must use 10 guns and 3 special weapons to fend off the 100 waves of deadly attacks. In each level, a selection of the 11 enemy types charge across the screen from the right, and you have to dispatch them before they reach the structure on the other side. In order to do this, you use one finger to aim your weapons and tap a fire button with another. At the end of a level, you can use previously earned cash to purchase assault and defense upgrades. The game is full of vigorous tapping and contains very nice cartoon-style graphics that make it feel like a combination of Fieldrunners and Coast Defense. Although the game does contain some fun elements, it is almost an exact duplicate of Coast Defense. - 3 stars Army Lines - Essentially a Trenches replica, you command 8 types of troops and utilize 4 weapons to destroy the enemy base in a series of World War II battles. During the game, you use points to construct units and draw paths for them to take. There are obstacles to hide behind, tanks, airstrikes, and other killing machines from the 1940s. After each battle, you earn upgrade points that can be used to improve the attributes of and purchase different types of troops. The game is too difficult, even from level 1, and gets stale quickly. It also lacks impressive graphics like the ones in Trenches. The controls and line-drawing techniques don't always function as they should and also contribute to making Army Lines a mediocre strategy game. - 2 stars Pixel Ninja - An important item has been stolen from Pixel Town, and as Pixel Ninja, it's both your duty and honor to ensure that it is recovered. Slice enemies and use 4 ninja items to get through each of the 20 levels. In each level, your goal is to reach a red circle with a treasure chest in it at the other side of the map and stand inside it for 3 seconds. There are many enemies walking around, and each will attack if you walk into their field of vision. Pressing the attack button will damage an enemy if you're anywhere near them, and you can kill them without your sword touching them at times. This makes it really easy to kill the guards and dogs as long as you're not spotted. Once you are spotted though, your sword seems to go straight through their bodies without inflicting damage, resulting in your death after 4 or 5 blows. While some people will enjoy the pixel art, the choppy attack interface sucks the fun out of this one. - 2.5 stars Doodle Truck - As a loyal truck driver, your goal is to transport 4 types of cargo from one delivery point to another. There are 48 levels and an endless long-haul game mode, as well as 8 different maps for your truck to drive on. In each mission, your goal is to keep the payload inside the bed of your truck and make it to the designated area within a time limit. Patience is a critical factor in the game, as driving too fast will result in losing cargo or a nice explosion when the truck tips over. 3 truck models can be unlocked as you progress through delivery mode, and each has its benefits. Doodle Truck contains effective touch and tilt controls, as well as decently polished doodle graphics. The physics engine is utilized efficiently and adds to the fun of the game. - 4 stars Spartans vs Vikings - Everyone knows that Spartans have always hated Vikings (sarcasm), and they're pitted against each other in this fight to the death. For some reason, you start out on a board as a castle and can choose to attack other castles. Several Spartans and Vikings are then shown in a room trying to kill each other. If you want, you can wait it out and let them have at it with each other. Otherwise, tapping on a Spartan lets you control them, and you can move around and try to eliminate all the Vikings without getting too hurt. There are 5 skills that you can use if you need additional assistance, The Spartan warriors move in such awkward ways that they can hardly attack, and when they can, the game turns to a poorly constructed button masher. With the skills, it's too easy to kill the Vikings, and the entirety of the game just feels like an unnecessary skirmish and filler in the Gamebox collection. - 1.5 stars Bowman War - Pretty much just another game with the same concept as the other Triniti games out there. There are 6 lanes in each level on which you can send troops of 16 different classes. The campaign includes 30 levels in which your goal is to send a soldier to the other side of the screen and damage the invisible enemy base. A skills arena is included if you're interested in earning some extra gold, which can be used to purchase more types of units. Bowman War is really boring and requires you to do little more than tap in one of six lanes. Even if you start to enjoy it, the campaign is rather short and doesn't provide the type of gameplay expected from a competent castle defense game. - 2 stars Desert Slug - While their games don't seem to be getting any better, Triniti Interactive is certainly gaining more experience at copying already-existing titles. Take Doodle Army, add some more color, replace the existing controls with worse ones, and you get Desert Slug. The game lets you use 24 weapons to kill 7 enemies in a scrolling shooter. An upgrade system is included so that you can purchase additional guns and ammo. A common theme in Triniti's works, the game gives you an abundance of weapons that all do the same thing. The 6 game environments look good, but the repetitive nature combined with controls that don't allow you to shoot freely make the game almost devoid of any fun. - 1.5 stars Death Knight - OMG Pirates with a new cover and a few guns. You control a knight as he journeys through 77 stages. The attack system is similar to that of Spartans vs Vikings, and the game itself has little differences from Desert Slug besides containing much fewer weapons. In each level, your goal is to kill a certain number of enemies without dying. An intricate upgrade system lets you upgrade shields, weapons, and classes to make your hero's quest easier. While the game is extremely difficult, only losing 100 gold with every death makes it possible to get through any level after a certain number of tries. The graphics are pretty good and the game will actually provide a decent amount of play time if you're into this genre. - 3 stars Tank Warz - Pick from 5 tanks and equip your war machine with 12 weapons to blow some things up. The 2 game modes let you destroy nuclear missiles or other tanks in 9 different battlefields. You start with a limited amount of fuel and can move your tank around the map. After that, you adjust the angle and tap and hold the fire button to launch a missile at your target. When battling other tanks, enemies will return fire and you will lose if your health gets too low. The game has confusing instructions, awkward controls that make you hold the fire button for way too long before shooting, and gameplay that isn't unique at all. - 2 stars Crazy John - Triniti's version of Chillingo's popular dual stick shooter, Minigore. The character looks like Gangstar Gore in bit graphics that contain much less polish. However, Crazy John may very well be one of the better Minigore clones available, as it contains randomly generated missions instead of simply survival mode. In each level, you have to kill zombies, rescue innocent people, and make it to certain spots in the map in a time limit. Saving a certain number of people will give you powerups and vehicles to use against the zombies. There is also an extensive weapon and skill level up system. There are an unlimited number of levels that grow more difficult as you get further into the game. - 3.5 stars

The Good

There's no doubt that Gamebox 2 is a great deal, as you don't have much to lose with each game costing less than $0.30. Whereas the first Gamebox had issues with loading times, the game has a much better user interface that also features Game Center integration. Triniti Interactive has also stated that additional titles will be added to the collection in free future updates. If you can find 3 or 4 titles that appeal to you, then the app is a great deal.

The Bad

As with most other purchases in life, you get what you pay for. There are better and more enjoyable alternatives to every game included in Gamebox 2 that contain superior graphics, controls, and features. Most of the games aren't that great and are repetitive in nature. Also, it seems that most of the games included involve weapons, an upgrade system, and some sort of violence. As a result, they lack uniqueness, depth, and consequently, fun.

The Verdict

If you loved the All-In-One Gamebox, then you should enjoy this one as well. The games are of a higher quality and depth than the ones included in the previous version. However, the titles fall noticeably short in many fields and there are many better alternatives due largely to the fact that Triniti simply copied the creations of other developers and changed the graphics. For $2.99, Gamebox 2 is worth considering, but just keep in mind that you may be better off purchasing a single, higher quality game that interests you.

Mentioned apps

Related articles