Author Archives: Colette Bennett


'Gunman Clive' Review - A Playful Sketch of the Wild West

It's not easy to make a unique platformer. You either have to be trusty with your design skills and make a game look out of this world and startlingly unique, or you have to have some sort of wizard when it comes to your level design skills. Luckily, the people behind Gunman Clive [$1.99] have a little of both, and it makes for one of the best platformers I've played for years, on iOS or any other platformer...

Let's face it, kids: If you are going to become a giant, fire-breathing monster and take over a city by way of stomping on it, you want to do it right. In style. So if I play a videogame that puts me in the role of said monster, I have one rule -- I want to have fun. Glorious, building stomping, people eating fun...

'Epic Astro Story' Review - A New Spin on the Classic Kairosoft Recipe

Kairosoft really got gamers fired up when they released Game Dev Story in Fall of 2010, a sim where you took the reins over building your own game company from the ground up. Then, they realized we liked the formula, and a flurry of other "stories" followed. Pocket League Story. Venture Towns. Grand Prix Story. Mega Mall Story. It was fair to say that most of these games had a lot in common: build a business or town from the ground up. And while I admit I was a major fan, I don't know that I would have sprung for another title in this series if there wasn't a little spice thrown in to change things up a bit...

'Kitten Sanctuary' Review - This Puzzler is the Cat's Meow

I am undoubtedly a cat person. Although I only own one, I have some close friends that own six, and going over to their house is always like a peek into some magical wonderland I wish I lived in. Suffice to say that any game featuring cats is bound to catch my eye, so when a colleague poked me and said, "There's a new puzzler called Kitten Sanctuary [$1.99/Lite], and you need it!", I figured I could be in for something good...

A new Chillingo puzzle game? You don't say. Well, if there's one thing we can expect from Chillingo, it's a certain level of quality that all of their games exhibit. They may not blow us out of the water, but what they give us is normally a pretty solid product. Light the Flower [$0.99] falls squarely into this category, presenting an interesting puzzler that keeps you thinking, but doesn't present too much frustration -- usually a winning formula for iOS titles...

I must be biologically programmed to react instantly to anything that reminds me of The Legend of Zelda for NES. Take Carota! [$1.99], for instance, which is a puzzle game starring a rabbit named Thaddeus who's been knocked down a hole and must proceed through 50 levels of puzzling to make it back to the Earth's surface. Must have been a deep hole, yeah?..

If you're anything like me, the idea of a remake of a game you dearly loved when it was originally released comes as very good news. As much as I adore new games, there's just something about playing something tried and true. Add HD graphics into that mix, and you're really tempting me... which really should have been the case with Prince of Persia Classic [$1.99/HD]. I was hoping to be having so much fun with this game that it'd be hard to put the phone down to write this review, but unfortunately, that was not quite the case...

I personally never felt like I was good at shooters. However, being good at them and loving them are two entirely different things. While I marveled at friends that could blast through Ikaruga from start to finish without ever coming face to face with the game over screen, I plugged away at old classics like Konami's Life Force and Sexy Parodius, hoping each time I'd improve by some miniscule increment. Practice makes perfect, they always say...

When it comes to game genres that have been done to death, the word game is king. You can't blame developers for trying to come up with a unique twist for them, because if it does well, it does SO well -- look at that Words With Friends phenomenon. How do we make the next Words With Friends? And then there's a flood of games that all make you use your spelling skills. Great. Maybe if I get really fancy I can spell "ubiquitous". Or something...

I have no shame whatsoever in telling you that I was literally obsessed with Myst when it came out in 1993. The mystical adventure that dared me to tumble into an unknown world and explore beautiful oversized tomes to unlock its secrets had everything that I wanted from a game at the time. It gave me a solo adventure, puzzles that were hard as hell to solve, and atmosphere for miles. I just might have played Myst (and all the clones of it) a rather embarrassing number of times...

There's a lot of value, to me, in something I can confidently call "a happy little game." Niko [Free] fits the bill, with a cute little dude at its center named Niko who is bound and determined to save the lives of his friends who just so happen to have been doomed to exile in some unknown world that lies beneath the forest...

'Hero Academy' Review - Bite Size Strategy You Can't Put Down

I've played a lot of iOS games in my time, and have gone through varying levels of addiction with certain titles. Even so, that usually doesn't last for too long. I've never found my own personal Angry Birds or Tiny Tower. That is, until I picked up Hero Academy [Free] for the first time. Shortly after, I noticed that I was playing a match while cooking, waiting for people to come over, or pretty much any other time I had three free minutes or more at a time. At that point, I identified that I might have found that game that I feel the need to play endlessly. Good news is, all my other friends seem to have the same problem, so that works out for me...

While looking at the preview pics for Sleepy Jack [$0.99 / HD], I couldn’t help but recall one of my past favorite titles with a motif that revolved around dreams. That game is NiGHTS Into Dreams, of course, and any other gamer who spent long evenings discovering that magical world will surely feel a bit like Sleepy Jack’s developers might have been fans of it...

If the golden days of Lucasarts adventure titles such as Maniac Mansion, Day of the Tentacle and Zak McKracken and the Alien Mindbenders recall fond memories, there's a good chance you're destined to love any and everything about Kaptain Brawe: A Brawe New World [Free / HD]. After all, who didn't get a perverse joy out of wandering aimlessly and trying to figure out puzzles that were so odd that using basic logic on them meant you would never advance?..

Normally, I would say "another day, another Chillingo physics puzzle game" as the developer pumps out these high quality iOS titles like it's nothing, but then I had to take a moment to stop. After all, Home Sheep Home 2 [$0.99] is not just any puzzler, it's a puzzler starring Shaun the Sheep from the Wallace & Gromit series, and if you have no idea what that is get off this website right now and go find out. It's that good, and I don't throw such idle threats around lightly...

Every iOS game has a story behind its development, but the one behind MinoMonsters [$0.99] may have been one you've already heard if you pay attention to iOS news. Like that the guys that founded the company that made the game are some of the youngest game designers to score an investment of this size for their project ( a cool million, to be exact), but they have some meaty people on board too, such as TJ Murphy, who co-founded the Social Gaming Network. In other words, MinoMonsters has a hell of a pedigree. And with that kind of story behind it, well, it's hard not to expect one hell of a game...

At heart, Catball Eats It All [Free] does not have a unique premise. At all. At heart, all you do is battle physics with your thumbs to keep a fat cat rolling around big shapes and eating stuff. Sounds a bit boring, doesn't it?..

'Don't Run With a Plasma Sword' Review - Sidescrolling Sci-Fi and More

As I write, I often consider whether or not my take on a game might be biased. For instance, I am clearly going to adore the idea of a game where I get to pilot a flying catmobile that spits screaming mice at grumbly enemies over a real-time war simulation. On that note, Don't Run With a Plasma Sword [$0.99] is clearly the kind of game that I gravitate towards -- its comic-inspired, it features an alien invasion, I'm basically running around with a lightsaber, and its got that modern retro feeling. In other words, I'm already smiling at the prospect. Biased? Maybe just a bit...

No one can deny that the advent of Angry Birds made a permanent change to the way people saw iOS gaming. Since its debut in December 2009, the simple bird-launching game has made approximately 27 boatloads of money, and continues to rake it in with merchandise sales such as plushies and more. Naturally, other designers were bound to try to imitate the formula and appeal to the gamers who were hopelessly addicted to hurling birds at pigs. And with that, clones were born...

I think one of the reasons people are drawn to certain formulas in gaming is because they flick some silent switch within them, and from then on, it's forever in the on position. Clearly birds and physics are one of those irresistible combos, and for me, there's something about zombies and anything that should not be a zombie that is like a drug I must get my hands on. In this case, it's zombies and the elderly, apparently. Which is why I had to find out what was going on behind the clever and attractive look of a game with a name like Corpse Granny [$.99/HD]...