Umz Bluetooth Mini Games Review

It’s no secret that today, we love mobile gaming. On the move, in the tub or even on the toilet, we’re almost always playing some sort of game on our devices. However, one thing I don’t think we have enough of in this world is people actually gaming against one another. Sure, you have XBOX Live and PlayStation Network, but that’s nothing compared to going against someone face-to-face! This is where Umz Bluetooth Mini Games comes in, and today we’re going to be taking a look.

The ability to play a single game with someone is great and all, but what happens if you want to mix it up? Play something else for once? With Umz, you’re able to mix-and-match from a selection of different games all from the same, simple home screen. So if you get bored of sorting out mail and want to try your hand at being a Samurai, this is the app for you.

Whats Good?

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The best thing I find about the whole app is the simplicity of the whole thing. It’s easy to know where you’re going right from the first load and if you want to load a game, you just click and go from there. Simplicity and a good user interface is what I crave, and that’s what I get here. Actions are simple, and something we all know how to do, nothing fancy or out-there.

The next best thing are the games that are on there, there’s not just one, not two but seven games for you and your friends to choose from. The games have that air of ‘Flappy Bird’ about them. They’re not too easy, they’re not too hard but boy are they slightly addictive. One particular game caught my attention, and that one was ‘Whacker’ where I had to quickly whack the moles. It was simple stuff, yet I found myself constantly trying to whack the heck out of these moles.

And in essence, it’s the same with all of the games in this application. They’re all simple enough to play (even for your Grandma!) yet they all leave you wanting more, making you want to beat your high score.

Despite all these little good points about the application, this is where it takes a turn for the worse in my view. We’ll take a look at that next.

Bring someone else in on the fun!

You may remember me talking about going against someone face-to-face, well this is where you learn what I meant by that!

A big thing about this application is the Bluetooth connectivity it offers so that you can play with friends on the go. Honestly? I can see that being a big draw for this application. The games encourage competitiveness to a degree (hopefully not to the point you want to smash your device!). I noticed on the Sprinting game that the developer has offered a friendly warning about how they’re not liable for smashed screens from tapping too hard, so be nice to the screens people!

As a reviewer, it’s my duty to investigate this feature and so, I did. I took my two tablets into the living room and gave one to my parents and kept the other for myself. This is where my opinion went down a little though. Despite pairing my devices beforehand, it was a tiny struggle to get the devices to actually pair with each other in-app. However, after a bit of fiddling around, I managed to get the two tablets to connect, and away we went. It was all plain sailing after that.

Once my mother figured out how to play, the competitiveness within her burst out as she furiously tapped away to beat me in the 60M sprint and it’s this which I think embodies what this app was meant to do. Connect people through their love of games (and winning!)

For me, this is the apps defining feature, the fact it brings people together over something so simple as a furious tapping session. I laughed and shared jokes with everybody I played this app with, and I’m sure everyone else is as well.

What’s not so good?

The app, for all its positives, has its fair share of negatives which, in my mind under shadow would could be a good mini-game application.

Like it or not, visuals are something we all pay great attention to in today’s world, and it’s the visuals in this app that strike me as a bit of a let-down. Straight from the app’s home screen, I can see various visual cues which just puts me off going a bit further. The logo for instance, is crude and hard-to-read whilst the font choice just looks…strange. Good style is one that flows, and this style just doesn’t flow. Right from the logo to the games graphics, you can tell that this app is a tad amateurish.

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Now, there’s nothing wrong with amateurism and simplicity (just take a look at Flappy Bird) but the visuals in this app, just cross the line into a different territory. Things like the background in “Balloon Pop” distract from the purpose of the game, the waving grass in “Samurai Duel” just looks jaggy and uninspiring. Simple visual cues can add a lot to the atmosphere and environment of a game; and with this application, it’s this that lets it down.

I played all the games a couple times to get the feel of things and how the games actually work. For the most part, the games are as I’ve said, simple and good fun but I’m certain after playing a few, certain aspects of the visuals/game physics side of things could be improved to give an overall improved result.

Things like in the “Mail Sorter” game, the arrows tell you in which direction to flick the mail but after the game starts, the arrows just stay there, right on top of the image of what you’re flicking in that direction. Whilst it’s not mind-blowingly annoying, it is annoying somewhat, and this is the kind of thing I’m talking about.

Then again in the Samurai mini-game, the Samurai’s sword does not go downwards until the opponent drops dead on the other side. In reality (or in a game sense of reality) the sword(s) would start dropping towards the opponent as they move towards each other. Its things like this that the developer has missed and if improved, the whole app would have a much more polished feel to it.

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So, what’s the verdict?

Overall, this is a pretty solid app. It has a purpose, and it executes that purpose like it should. There are enough games there to keep you and your friends occupied for a long time although the developer is set to add more into the app shortly. Alongside that, the Bluetooth feature works like a treat and is a key component of this app, because we shouldn’t game alone, where’s the fun in that?

On the flip-side though, I feel that the app’s visuals are not the best whilst some of the games seem to be a tad unpolished for my liking. I wasn’t expecting the graphics of Call Of Duty or the game-play of GTA V, but I was expecting a bit more for what it was. That said, the games themselves are all very good choices, they just need to be…spruced up.

To sum it up in a sentence? An app with a good premise, it’s just not quite there yet.

You can find Umz Games on Twitter, just look for @UmzGames or if you’re a fan of Google+, you’ll find them over there as well! If you want to download the application and play for yourself, just head here.

 

 

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