Author Archives: Andrew Fretz

Games Workshop is no stranger to iOS. You could be forgiven if you thought that they were just cranking out one app after the other with little forethought. Much like the army, however, there is the right way, the wrong way, and the Games Workshop way to make a game. Warhammer: Arcane Magic [$9.99] definitely follows the GW script and if you like some of the other titles they have put out, especially the gold standard Warhammer Quest [$4.99], I think you'll like this one...

The Fretz Zone: Mobcrush is One Less Reason to Diss Mobile

Every once in a while I hear people putting down mobile games. Mobile games aren't real games, People that play mobile games aren't real gamers, etc etc. It's kind of a strange thing to hear given the place I hear this type of commentary is usually on a dedicated mobile gaming site. As a life long resident of the greater Philadelphia area, I cannot help but be reminded of the times I have seen out-of-towners foolishly wearing opposing team merchandise to a sporting event. There are numerous YouTube vids of our home town reactions. ..

Have you ever had the sudden urge to be a creepy person wandering around in public making people uncomfortable? If so, you are in luck. Magic Cube's Barcode Knight[$0.99] is out and offers you the perfect excuse to wander around and scan random barcodes with your iOS device. Whether you are sneaking around a Walmart or lurking in a McDonalds, you now have an almost semi-plausible excuse for it. ..

Happy 7th Birthday, App Store!

July 10th, 2015 4:00 PM EDT by Andrew Fretz in News

Seven years ago today Apple bestowed upon us the iOS App Store. We've had our ups and downs through the years but I think we can all say that some amazing things have graced our mobile devices thanks to this platform. ..

The Fretz Zone: My Big Beef with Hearthstone's Tiny Interface

I spend a lot of time playing Hearthstone[Free] on my iPhone. Between the frequent updates and competitive deck building, its a little bit of an obsession for me. It's becoming more and more prevalent that full featured desktop games are making their way into our nook of the gaming world. Its really an awesome and fantastic thing. One thing that is getting on my nerves, however, is that we are seeing a neglect for the rules. ..

The Fretz Zone: Geopanels, a PSA on Innovative Gameplay

Everyone has a topic of conversation or two that will make them light up brighter than a firework. This is one of mine. With the recent news that NIS is going mobile, I am giddy with the thought I might be able to bust out insane bonus point totals on my iPhone and iPad. For years I have been hooked on this game and specifically the mini-game area of item world...

With the latest update to Minecraft: Pocket Edition[$6.99] we now finally have the ability to show off custom skins! The only problem is that, by default, you have to get the skins onto your device before you can select them in game. There's been a considerable amount of confusion in our community as how skins work... But, never fear, I have a few simple steps you can take to get your custom skins up and running...

'Desktop Dungeons' Review - Thats Not a Desk Anymore

June 3rd, 2015 12:39 PM EDT by Andrew Fretz in $9.99, 4 stars, iPad Games, Reviews
$9.99 Buy Now

You probably noticed the recent influx of roguelikes recently. Just within the last week Sproggiwood[$9.99] and Desktop Dungeons[$9.99 (HD)] released and off the wall Shooting Stars is drawing near as well. I suppose if you have the big bux and can afford to buy a bunch of em, rats off to ya. If you have to choose though, you might want to consider Desktop Dungeons. I have played unforgiving rogue likes before, but this one is a true challenge...

What do you do when you want to find a good app or game? The answer to this question is rarely 'well I hop right onto the App Store and dig one up.' Most of the time you'll find that a site much like ours has much better content curation. There are YouTube channels, personal blogs, and even twitter users that garner traffic and attention simply because finding an app is a chore. I realize that this sort of an accusation requires a hefty explanation. I find that there are three major issues... well ok actually four problems but I'll get back to that last one. So why rock the boat? I mean, we get extra traffic because there are fewer ways to effectively find apps you want right? Eh. I don't really mind a little competition in this case. In the end, I am a consumer very much in need of a better App Store, just like many of you. Now we have seen some incremental improvements recently including a refocusing on editorial content. Moving away from easily manipulated algorithmically derived content is good, but I don't think it addresses the major issues still facing the App Store...

'Grim Fandango Remastered' Review - Dust off the Bones Before you Roll Em

It's not every day you get to say that a Tim Schafer/Double Fine creation just released, but today we can celebrate the iOS port of Grim Fandango Remastered[$9.99]. This is a game that for so many of us requires no introduction whatsoever. The stars have aligned and now we have another treasured piece of history that has been given new breath to once again delight and mezmerize...

The developers of Fingle[$1.99 (HD)], Bam Fu[Free], and Jelly Reef[$1.99] are hanging up their chef hats. In a recent announcement Game Oven has given a painstakingly precise breakdown of the ins and outs of their business and why things have not worked out to let them stay open...

The Fretz Zone: A Comment on Comments

Imagine, if you will, a periodical written by a man who loves games. A periodical devoted to sniffing out the things that could be better, could be much better than they currently are. You unlock this door with the key of imagination. Beyond it is another dimension, a dimension of sound, a dimension of sight, a dimension of the mind. You are moving into a land of both shadow and substance, of things and ideas. You have crossed over into The Fretz Zone...

'Rapture - World Conquest' Goes Free in Style

May 21st, 2015 12:32 PM EDT by Andrew Fretz in News
Free Buy Now

When I originally reviewed Rapture - World Conquest[Free], I tagged it with a 4.5/5 with the caveat that multiplayer would really kick it up to the full on 5. For basically anyone still paying attention to this game(there has to be someone out there) not only did they follow through a few months ago, but now the game has gone free to play...

'Legend of Grimrock' Review - Sounds like a Tenacious D Song, Just as Epic

Legend of Grimrock[$4.99] just landed on the app store. Almost Human decided it was time, and I couldn't agree more. For those of you who are familiar, this port doesn't disappoint. I never got the chance to play the PC version, but I am convinced I have lost nothing in the translation. If you only play one dungeon delving game this summer, I feel bad for you, but it had better be Grimrock...

The morning of my 11th Christmas I had little clue as to the windfall that was about to come my way. My dad had bartered a Sega Genesis from a coworker along with a library of about 10 games. To young Andy, this was a treasure trove of immeasurable wealth. I was beside myself opening package after package and I was shortly planted in front of the family tv for the remainder of the day. As the snow fell that fateful winter day, I began a journey that continued from the Sega to a Gameboy, to various family desktop computers, a Game Cube, an arcade I took a part time job at, a PS2, an ever-evolving PC of my own, and of course my iPhone and iPad. ..

Kixeye'sVEGA Conflict [Free] has been out for some time on Android and desktop. If you aren't familiar with this Facebook integrated game, think Clash of Clans with space ships and a much more interesting combat system. The IAP is real, The in-game timers are real, but this is still a hot game. What I have been wondering though is how much gameplay is lost in translation to iOS. VEGA is not your typical Facebook game. Sure you have to sit around and wait on timers and micro manage your space town. The town, to me, isn't really where the game takes place. It's kind of more like an extended UI for the best part of the game, the combat. You get to outfit and pilot a fleet of ships with a very simple interface that has some surprising depth and a high level of skill needed to master. ..

'Dungeon of Madness' Review - Pixel Giant Produces a Puzzle Gem

If you know Game Stew, you're probably already enamored with their high innovation to pixel ratio. There is always much fun to be had in their 8 bit styled titles and Dungeon of Madness[$0.99] is no exception. They burst onto the scene strong with 2012's Tower of Fortune[$0.99] and have been carefully extending their visual charm to various game types since then. Game Stew has successfully built a franchise in which they can now deliver various game types under a very solid unifying motif. The one in question today definitely lives up to expectations. Before we get into this game, Lets get some thing straight here. Game Stew is not a huge AAA corporate game dev. They have been an indie dev that has survived for the last 3 years continuously putting out reliably good games. I get that some people don't like the indie dev style, but there is substance under the pixellacious veneer. Like all of the best indie games, gameplay is the front and center attraction and it doesn't disappoint. If you are one to become unduly disturbed that a game may get extra recognition if it has this specific graphic style, worry not, white knight of modern graphics. This game could have been made with ascii characters or with hieroglyphics or cutting edge body movement capture technology. The fun transcends the medium...

It's the last time for a while that we will have the honor of seeing r/hearthstone member u/TommyJTheGamer at work. His budget has always been at a bare minimum and his small departures from basic cards are only when absolutely neccessary to deal with the obscene challenge these heroic enemies present. Come take a look one last time for Blackrock Mountain, but I feel like we will be seeing TommyJ again when we need him the most(i.e. the next Hearthstone expansion)...

It should come as no surprise that our favorite hearthstone genius, r/hearthstone member u/TommyJTheGamer, has cracked the code again. His videos not only detail his experience with the decks he builds but he goes in depth to give alternatives for people with more cards in their collection. If you want a win condition that even comes close to a 50% shot on the most ridiculously random fights, you'll either be poppin' packs like a fiend or hitting up Tommy for his cost cutting strategies. ..

'Carcassonne' Expansion Mega-Pack Guide

April 28th, 2015 12:45 PM EDT by Andrew Fretz in Board, Guides, News
$9.99 Buy Now

We announced early last week that Carcassonne [$9.99] has released a mega pack of it's expansions on the cheap. After playing around with the various new rules, it's safe to say that your gameplay experience can vary pretty wildly depending on which expansion you use. If you are an avid board gamer, you know that there are certain games you just cannot play with someone who takes an attack personally. If Carcassonne was not one of these games for you before, it probably is now. Some of these sets of rules are potent enough to end friendships and cause permanent rifts between spouses and significant others. So with that in mind I want to dive into each of the new rulesets to help you separate out the benign from the potentially malignant (but still fun with the right people). ..