Under the Radar

Spawn of Shooter: Time Killin' Apps


If you can't throw frags in real life, play Fragger on your phone. One of the cool things about my dad and uncles is I've made a lot of friends like this to hang out and game with. One of the bad things is now I have a bunch of them to worry about when they've in the sandbox. Be careful AJ!

ALCON: This article is a guest post from a military dependent. We figured some of you would have kids that identified with him, if you don’t yourself, and of course for those of you who ARE kids. Check it out and let us know if this is something you might be interested in seeing in the future. The moniker ‘Spawn of Shooter’ was chosen for its relevance to FPS gamers (you know as well as we do how many “military brats” play Battlefield 3, MW3 and the like) and also because the kid's dad and uncles are military…literally every branch, many of them deployed right now. You can't always have your X-Box or PC or PS3 with you, but if you've got access to a smart phone (yours, your parent's, whatever) then some of these simple but enjoyable games might keep you occupied. You know, while you're at the doctor's office waiting to get through the gate when traffic or FPCONs and RAMs or whatever has them all backed up. Check out them out. This week they're casual military-oriented apps that should help kill that time (I make the distinction from 'shooter' games, some of which have bad language in them). I got all of them free, though there are paid-for versions of Tank Hero and Fragger. Battle Nations is free; they make their money by selling special currency, kind of like Farmville but you use tanks and infantry in turn-based battles. iBomber is free while I'm writing this, but it's normally $2.99.


Battle Nations

I got hooked on Farmville with my mom because it was just something I could go check on repetitively, going back to it every now and again, because it isn't a game you can play straight through. Battle Nations is similar to Farmville  that way. In Battle Nations it can take hours to repair your tank (as opposed to planting your crop). It's a lot better when you have a friend or a colleague to play with. You can play competitively and be a jerk, capturing your friend's iron mines so he can't build guns, or battle on the interwebz with other people who build small armies randomly (like PvP). There is no cooperative mode, however you can play semi-cooperatively by letting your friends raid your resources to acquire more, faster. My favorite part of the game is the re-playability. It takes a long time to get tanks, for instance, and high level bunkers and stuff, so you don't get bored nearly as fast. Plus you can play it while you've got other games going on and it has a great sense of humor (for instance the Lieutenant is always either drunk or hungover).


Tank Hero

It's faster and it's pretty beast. My dad swears it's just a cooler looking version he played from back around the time of cavemen and Pong or something. Tank Hero is a fast paced, almost arcade style game. You play a tank with different types of projectiles. Some split into multiple rounds, some go indirect like a mortar, some are basically straight explode-on-impact anti-tank rounds. The game repeats with different combinations of tanks, maze layouts and the number of opponents. As you progress it gets a lot harder. I'm currently stuck on a level I have not been able to get past, though admittedly I'm not a very good touch-screen gamer. Replayability factor is good, it's cheap (or free) and because of the numerous levels there's always something to do.



Though Fragger is very similar to Angry Birds, it's not an exact replica and I have actually found it to be fairly difficult. There's a power meter reflecting how hard you throw it and the direction, and the frag (grenade) you're lobbing bounces a lot more than the birds in Angry Birds. One thing I do like is the option of repetitively picking on a particular terrorist and make him increasingly mad until he just blows up. While it is fun to play, it's more frustrating than a lot of other time-killer games (though for some of my friends that's precisely why they're addicted to it). All in all, it's hard to fault a frag-throwing anti-terrorist Angry Bird remake.

Don't mind the lame music on the video, it's still a good look at game play.



In iBomber, which is about three years old now, you basically are just running repeated sorties in a WWII bomber blowing up both land targets and ships. It's a constant motion game. You're always moving forward, steering your plane by tilting the phone (you can control air speed, but not altitude). This isn't a realistic flight simulator, but if you like a fairly mindless time-killer where you drop bomb after bomb on your targets (and you have good timing) then you'll probably like this game. Though there are newer games with better graphics, it's hard to free a simple time-killer like this.

Hope you enjoy at least one of these as much as I did. Although many more are really nothing more than militarized versions of other games out on the market, personally I enjoyed them more than the originals.

Spawn of Shooter

Spawn of Shooter is a military dependent and a gamer. His great-grandfathers, grandfathers, dad, uncles and the other arguably suitable role models in his life present a wide mix of military (some now LE) personnel from all four branches. These include a grunt CSM, a gunner’s mate, a retired Gunny from JSOTF-P, one green-side corpsman, a couple of MSGTs, a STA Marine, one FO, a couple MPs...you get the point. He likes first person shooters, gets his dork on in WoW and Skyrim and can competently shoot basic qual courses with a shotgun (20ga. not 12, yet) and pistol (still working on the rifle). He understands the advantages and disadvantages of living in the fishbowl that is base housing, loves Anthony's Pizza and thinks the brassards on the base Courtesy Patrols are kinda jumping the shark.

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