Author Archives: Colette Bennett


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]...

We spied Oh! Edo Towns [$3.99/Lite] on the App store in early September, and ever since, I've been wringing my hands in anticipation at the thought of a new Kairosoft game to fill up my free time. After all, Game Dev Story earned our coveted five-star score, and we've enjoyed the clever and cute take on the pleasures of city sims every since. Throw in my slight obsession with historical Japan, and then tell me I get to build my own town in Edo-period Japan, and here you have a very excited gamer. Can I be a shogun? Paint some ukiyo-e? Maybe even thwart Saigo Takamori before he reaches the borders of my humble town?..

Wizardry is a series with a pretty long history, and the older you are, the more of it you're likely to recall. Thirty years after its original release, gamers still think of the same thing when they hear the word: a long dungeon crawl in the dark, careful stat management, and a pen and graph paper by your side. In fact, Wizardry was really the first graphical incarnation of the Dungeons & Dragons model, and gamers familiar with it would feel right at home on those subterranean treks through poorly lit mazes...

I discovered tower defense late in my gaming career. I have no good justification for this. Perhaps I was too busy burying my face into all the RPGs and sidescrollers I could find. However, my intro game into the genre was PixelJunk Monsters, and if you gotta discover late, it may as well be with one of the genre's best entries. Ever since, I salivate Pavlovian-style every time someone murmurs the words "tower defense," and I had the same reaction when Gem Keeper [$2.99] was mentioned around the Touch Arcade office. I also was digging the fact that NCSoft made it, because I like them and I wanted to see how their skills would translate to iOS...

Com2uS is making some pretty solid games these days. I had nothing less than a blast with their FarmVille clone Tiny Farm, and we took a real shine to Inotia 3: Children of Carnia as well. In other words, I trust them to deliver a solid gaming experience, so I really looked forward to sitting down with the cute looking, colorful puzzler Piggy Adventure [99¢/HD]...

Everything about Helium Boy [$1.99] seems like it should make for a highly appealing, adorable platforming experience, and I admit I had high hopes for it when I pulled it off the App store. The 3D look reminded me of games from past consoles, but in that fuzzy, fond way that makes you nostalgic to go back and play 'em again. And hey, I like cute stuff. So why wouldn't a game about a boy and his balloons fill all my portable gaming needs?..