Author Archives: Carter Dotson

Build a Space Station's Train Routes in 'Cosmic Express'

Draknek, developers of A Good Snowman is Hard to Bulid [$4.99], have announced they have a new game in the works called Cosmic Express. The game's described as "a puzzle game about planning the train route for the world's most awkward space colony." So, you'll be assembling train routes, trying to get the passengers from station to station while ensuring the entry and exit points are linked by your tracks. Again, this is a very awkwardly-designed space station, you're just the person in charge of making sure it all works. ..

Could 'Shadowgun Legends' be 'Destiny' for Mobile?

Madfinger, developers of some rather visually-stunning games including the Shadowgun franchise, have a new game in that series that they're starting to show off, called Shadowgun Legends. All indications seem to be that this is going to be something similar to Destiny, but for mobile, as a persistent-world shooter with online multiplayer. You'll get tons of guns to collect, customize, and upgrade, along with quests to go on, raiding planets and going on missions. While multiplayer is part of the experience, Madfinger is saying that a solo experience is also possible. Check out the first gameplay footage, which shows off that, wow, this looks good:..

Umbrella Announces Release Dates for 'Go Go Fast', 'Match and Merge', and 'Swoopy Space'

Umbrella is keeping busy with a new batch of games set to be published by the casual games studio. The team just released Buildy Blocks [Free] on August 24th, and an update for Colorpede [Free] with two new modes, including the tricky double mode where you play two games of Colorpede at the same time, just released as well. And Go Go Fast which we've written about before, releases on August 31st. Go Go Fast is kinda like if Crazy Taxi met Crossy Road [Free], and it's pretty cool:..

'Space Marshals 2' Review - It's 'Space Marshals', Too

Pixelbite got a lot right with the first Space Marshals [$4.99]. They eschewed much of what is common in dual-stick shooters on mobile, going with a slower, more thoughtful, stealth-based game. With an array of interesting weaponry and tactics at your disposal, such as using noisemakers to distract enemies to take them out away from the prying eyes of other enemies, it was a cool concept and a fun game. The controls were great for mobile, with MFi controller support, and iCloud to boot. It was not a perfect game, but a great example of how to make an original, stylish title for mobile. Plus, they updated the game with 2 new episodes months after launch. Space Marshals 2 [$5.99] returns and basically is the same game, streamlined with a couple new features, and skipping on the whole episodic aspect to give you 20 beefy levels of tactical stealth action in a space wild-west setting. And like any sequel where iteration is the key difference, it's not bad – this is the superior game – but the lack of surprise can be a bit disappointing...

Bethesda has announced that the latest update for Fallout Shelter [Free], version 1.7 is now available. With the new Nuka-World add-on coming to Fallout 4, a new Special Event Quest is in the game themed after the add-on. Complete it, and the Nuka-World mascots Bottle and Cappy can appear in the Vault, and will earn you Caps and Nuka-Cola Quantum. So get that quest done, overseers!..

So, you thought you were getting a technical marvel of an action game in Eisenhorn: Xenos [$9.99]? Wrong! This adaptation of the 2001 novel set in the ever-expansive and convoluted Warhammer universe, starring inquisitor Gregor Eisenhorn, has disappointing combat, and the game largely tries to hide it and convince you that it's unnecessary. Instead, this is about telling the story from the novel, featuring Mark Strong as Eisenhorn, while presenting some gorgeous backdrops, with you at the controls driving the narrative. And if Warhammer lore is your bag, this is a game for you. As an action game? Eh...

Foolishly, I believed in the power of Apple TV gaming. Whoops! The number of 4th generation Apple TVs that have been sold is not known – and if it was any kind of earth-shattering amount, Apple would probably let us know. As of now, they're seen as running in 4th in the streaming device market. As well, developers informally polled have given zero indication that Apple TV is a moneymaker for them at all. There's little sign that the Apple TV, nor gaming, has done well. I was perhaps the biggest cheerleader for TV gaming, and, well, I might have bet on the wrong horse. But like a gambler who thinks that the next hand is the big score, I remain somewhat optimistic of a future where Apple TV gaming is a viable force for developers, even if there would have to be some major changes in Apple's tactics...

'Lifeline: Crisis Line' is the Next 'Lifeline' Game, Soft Launched on Android [Update: And iOS Too]

The fifth game in the popular Lifeline [$1.99] series of interactive text adventures has just soft launched on Google Play. Lifeline: Crisis Line has you working with homicide detective Alex Esposito, as you help him untangle the strange happenings around a murder case. Oh, and there's magical crystals and a green-eyed woman that might have something to do with all of it. So yeah, this is no typical investigation. Check out one of the teasers:..

'Nightgate' is Another Gorgeous Minimalist Experience from Semidome, Creators of 'Last Voyage'

Semidome, the creators of the gorgeous Last Voyage [$1.99], are back with a new game this week. Nightgate has you navigating a futuristic computer network by activating various nodes, and trying to dodge the defenses protecting them. This takes the form of an arena-survival type game somewhat similar to Ellipsis, but with Semidome's own house style. ..

'The Witness' for iOS is Still Happening

If you recall, Jonathan Blow and his company Thekla Inc.'s puzzle game The Witness was announced for iOS a long time ago. The PS4 and PC versions came out, but the iOS port needed "a serious programmer" to help bring it to fruition. And then, no word on the iOS version. But now with IGN reporting that The Witness is hitting the Xbox One later this year, they interestingly also got some new details out of Blow for the iOS version. And Thekla is actively working on it! The plan for The Witness on iOS is for it to be the same game, just with lower-end graphics to work on mobile. Jonathan Blow told IGN "It’s such a lower-end platform and we have to redo a ton of stuff." There also is work to be done in adapting the controls to mobile, with a tap-based movement scheme the current method being practiced...

The First 'Guildlings' Newsletter Reveals New Details on the Next Game from 'Threes' Developer Sirvo

The developer of Threes [$2.99], Asher Vollmer, founded Sirvo Studios to work on a new game called Guildlings, which was announced earlier this year. But just what Guildlings was going to be was still a bit of a mystery to be revealed. Now, some new details are being revealed, with the release of the first newsletter from Sirvo Studios. So, what is the game about? Well:..

'KOMRAD' is a 'Lifeline'-Style Text Adventure From the Former Chief Design Officer of IBM's Watson

Thanks to the popularity of Lifeline [$1.99], games with narrative hooks and notification features have become in vogue. And KOMRAD is set to be another entry in that genre – replete with Apple Watch functionality, too. But the premise seems intriguing: the premise is that you're communicating with an abandoned Soviet-era computer AI, the eponymous KOMRAD. It's not talked to anyone in thirty years, working in isolation without knowing that the Soviet Union kinda doesn't exist any more, and you're out to stop it. Or help it in its mission, if you're feeling particularly red today, comrade...

Metroidvania 'Tons of Bullets' Hits iOS on September 22nd

Dr. Freakenstein, Fredbear Games, and PlayPlayFun's Tons of Bullets looks like a rather interesting Metroidvania-style platformer, and if you've been curious to check it out after it was announced back in March, well, good news: the game is set to release on iOS on September 22nd. This will be followed by releases on Android, Mac, PC, Xbox One, and Apple TV. A new trailer showing off how the game has advanced since its initial reveal is now available. The game's got some chunky, low-resolution pixel art, but there's some interesting visual effects in play:..

'Legend of the Skyfish' Review - Get Hooked on This

The hookshot, a close relative to the grappling hook, is one of my favorite tools in video games. Being able to pull things towards you, or reach faraway points, is just an aspect that is so compelling to me. Now, the number of grappling hook games being so small in number should not be a surprise – Kepa of Rocketcat Games says level design for grappling hook mechanics is really difficult. And considering Super QuickHook [$2.99] is so brilliant, and few games have tried to copy it, that makes sense. But there's such potential in a Zelda-style hookshot with a game being centered around it. Legend of the Skyfish [$3.99] is that game, and it uses the core fun of grappling and pulling from a distance inherent in the tool to make for a solid action-puzzle game in the Zelda vein...

While we live in a time where a new Warhammer game gets released on a literal weekly basis, that's no reason to not keep following some of the more significant ones still getting update. In fact, Warhammer 40,000 Freeblade [Free] is still kicking, and the game's just gotten a big 2.0 update that finally adds multiplayer to the game. Now, you can partake in levels where you fight your friends and enemies' Freeblades for supremacy...

'Burly Men at Sea' Sets Sail Next Month Simultaneously on Mobile and Desktop

Brain&Brain's upcoming Burly Men at Sea has been intriguing, not only because it has an accurate title with several burly bearded men, but also because it looks like a gorgeous storybook adventure game. Well, the good news is that after several months of the game being demoed, it's nearing conclusion, with Kill Screen reporting from Gamescom that Burly Men at Sea will release on not just desktop but also mobile on September 29th. Check out the latest trailer:..

The really cool Superhot-inspired shoot 'em up Time Locker [Free] has gotten an update with two cool new features. First is the inclusion of cameos from Rodeo Stampede [Free]. Which makes too much sense – why not have stampeding animals in a game that's full of animals battling it out? Characters including the bull will appear in the 100 coin character machines that pop up on the main game screen for you to play as. ..

3 Sprockets, the developer most known on their own for the Cubemen [$0.99 (HD)] tower defense games, but also as the team that developed Pac-Man 256 [Free] with Hipster Whale, have just released their latest game, Outfolded [Free]. The game gives you the task of unfolding various three-dimensional solid objects by rolling them around various levels, with their varying sides defining how they can be unfolded, with the goal being to use all the shapes to unfold at least one side on the goal...

The thing that has made the Square Enix Montreal "GO" series so appealing is that the games have been so subversive, as well as being fun puzzlers. Hitman GO [$4.99] was a particularly absurdist take on Hitman, what with all the stealth kills and assassinations taking place as figures on a game board knocking each other over. Something about distilling the game down to that feels particularly amusing. Lara Croft GO [$4.99] was a bit more in line with the brand, but still felt like a unique take on the series with a Monument Valley [$3.99] esque aesthetic and the lower-polygon-count look, along with the fantasy environments in play. It was still rather fun to play, though. The concern with Deus Ex GO [$4.99] was whether Square Enix Montreal could deliver more fun turn-based puzzling, but what I think we were missing was whether they could cleverly subvert the themes of the Deus Ex series, and that's really missing here...

'Shadow Bug Rush' is an Endless Take on Swipe-Based Action Game 'Shadow Bug'

The original Shadow Bug [$3.99] is a pretty cool action-platformer with a great control scheme. The developers are set to rework the core of the game into an endless action game called Shadow Bug Rush, set to release in October. The idea is that there will be endless levels to play through, with your score being based on how many enemies you kill in one run. Check out early gameplay footage:..