Author Archives: Carter Dotson


The Best-Reviewed Game of the Year was...'VVVVVV'?

December 17th, 2014 9:17 PM EST by Carter Dotson in News
$2.99 Buy Now

All sorts of publications are starting to get their 'game of the year' awards out there, and Time had a particularly interesting list. But since the majority of review sites use review scores, and are catalogued by Metacritic, we can get an interesting view of what the consensus game of the year might have been. And the list they've cataloged is topped by an interesting choice: VVVVVV [$2.99] was the highest-rated game tracked by Metacritic this year. The game's a great one, but it might not be on the lists decided at the end of the year, because it's a port of a game that's several years old. Number two was Hearthstone [Free (HD)]. The top 'original' iOS game is Threes [$1.99], at number three. The list has some interesting games that are high up. Bug Heroes 2 [$1.99] was the 6th-highest rated game of the year, ahead of Monument Valley [$3.99] at number eight. Proun+ [$1.99] also just sneaks in at number 25...

More games are going dirt-cheap or even free in this busy holiday period. We covered Skullduggery [$4.99] going free last night, but that's not the only freebie. Gangstar Vegas [Free] from Gameloft has just dropped to nothing, as part of an update making the game free-to-play, with a new diamond currency to earn and buy. Cooperative gang battles and a number of new costumes, including holiday-themed ones, are available as well. Flick Golf HD [Free (HD)] from Full Fat has just dropped to free as well, in case you want to get some golf action in on your iPad...

Rusty Moyher released Astro Duel [$2.99 (HD)] earlier this year, a top-down space shooter built around local multiplayer on an iPad. He then made Astro Party [Free], an iPhone version that was majorly reworked with a simpler control scheme, as well as a new mode, called Pilot Execution. Well, Pilot Execution was notably missing from Astro Duel, and the universe was truly imbalanced. Until now. Astro Duel 1.2 is making its way around the world, and it brings with it the beloved Pilot Execution mode...

'Tales from the Borderlands' Review - Less Loot, More Talk

The idea of Tales from the Borderlands [$4.99] was certainly an intriguing one once it was announced. The Borderlands series definitely has a unique feel to it from its setting, dialogue, and characters that can be easily screwed up by a developer not quite in tune with the way the series operates. The good news is that Telltale Games are experts at story, so the idea that they could approach and do justice to this universe while also expanding on it in a way that isn't just a loot-filled first-person shooter is an interesting proposition...

'Skullduggery' from ClutchPlay Games is Free

December 17th, 2014 12:02 AM EST by Carter Dotson in News, Sales
$4.99 Buy Now

Heads up! Skullduggery [$4.99] has just gone free on the App Store. This is a platformer where you fling a tax-collecting skull around a number of levels and fight various bosses, trying to collect coins and bop enemies. It's kind of what Angry Birds would be like with its flinging if it was a platformer, and starred a skull, and was about collecting taxes from other skeleton-type creatures. So, not the same, but kind of in the same ballpark!..

Did you hear about the Hearthstone [Free (HD)] news yesterday about the game soft launching on Android tablets in several countries? Did you despair that you were not in one of those countries and that you couldn't download the game right away? Well, Blizzard's Android soft launch was apparently very soft, as now everyone worldwide can download Hearthstone on their 6" and above Android devices on Google Play. Quite likely, if you're in one of the countries without the game, you'll be playing it soon enough if this turnaround time is any indication. The game does feature all of the content of the desktop and iPad versions, and lets you play with your existing account to keep all your cards and decks and play against others...

'Dodo Master', 'Card City Nights', and a Ton of BulkyPix Games Now Free

It's a really busy time for games on the App Store, but definitely not a busy time for your wallet, per se, as there's still a ton of cool freebies hitting the store. Dodo Master [$0.99 / $0.99 (HD)] has gone free yet again. The game drops price every once in a while, but as compared to last time, the iPad version is free as well as the iPhone-only one. If you missed out on it the last time it went free or want the iPad version as well, here's your chance to pick up this 5-star game...

You Can Manipulate Time in 'TimeCube', but You'll Have to Wait Until Thursday to Play

SteamDragon Games is a new developer comprised of mobile veterans, including former members of Spokko (Zombie Road Trip [Free]), CD Projekt RED (The Witcher series), and 11bit Studios (Anomaly 2 [$4.99]). They have just announced their first game, and it's releasing this Thursday, December 18th, on the App Store: TimeCube. This is a simple yet challenging game, as is all the rage lately. There's a simple TimeCube floating through the void, and moving platforms that threaten to harm it. Your goal as the player is to manipulate the passage of time, forcing the platforms to go either at a fast or slow speed, to get the TimeCube to safety...

Developer LuGus Studios has launched Planet Pinball Pro [$2.99] on the App Store today. This looks like a pretty neat take on pinball, where players take on challenges on a three small tables. Scoring big numbers of points will be required to unlock later levels. There's a mission system that players have to take on to help provide some goals to aim for, along with a leveling system. It'll be possible to get powerups to help get some advantages and score more points...

EA's SimCity BuildIt [Free] has made the jump from soft launch to worldwide release today. This is EA's free-to-play take on their classic city-management simulation franchise that probably served as the genesis for all the popular simulation games that are out there today. The game's got gorgeous 3D visuals, with social elements to trade resources with friends, real-life buildings, and all the challenges that come from building a thriving metropolis. EA released another developer diary video just ahead of the game's release if you want to hear more about the game from them:..

Mi-Clos' Out There [$3.99] is an atmospheric game that blends genres including roguelike, gamebook, and resource manager, as you explore the universe, trying to manage your fuel and supplies while discovering new aliens and staying alive. It's a really fascinating experience, and it's getting expanded and enhanced soon into Out There: Omega Edition, as announced by Mi-Clos on our forums. This improved version is coming to mobile soon in a free update...

'Fugl' is a Gorgeous Upcoming Flying Game from the Developer of 'Melodive'

We were big fans of Johan Gjestland's Melodive [$1.99] last year, an experimental "endless rhythm flight simulator" that featured gorgeous visuals. Well, Gjestland has got a new game in the works called Fugl that's looking similarly gorgeous. It's got a similar theme, where the goal will be to control a bird using a dual-stick control scheme, with each virtual stick controlling each wing – and potentially MFi gamepad support. The dev's got a work-in-progress trailer of the game. He recommends watching in 60 frames per second, so watch this on the YouTube site on desktop. The app doesn't quite support 60 frames per second video yet, and the smoothness makes a noticeable difference...

Check Out Footage of the Upcoming Neon-Infused Cave Shooter 'Heavy Rockets'

Heavy Rockets is a interesting-looking cave shooter by Majasalmi that's in the works right now for iOS, that just had a new trailer released over the past weekend. The game's a top-down shooter, where players must fly around caves and take out enemies in several different modes, including not just arena battles, but race modes, that can take place over local wi-fi. The visual style is a minimalist one, using flat visuals with geometric shapes to populate its world. Check it out in action: ..

80 Days [$4.99] was a game we particularly dug, and has even gotten one Game of the Year award from an unexpected source, and was one of Apple's best games of the year. Well, the globetrotting gamebook-inspired game from Inkle has just been updated with new content, featuring a new Arctic route that has opened up. This means that on your journey around the globe, you can now visit the northern reaches of Earth. The game is particularly dialogue- and story-driven, and this update skimps on neither, adding 30,000 new words of story to experience...

We know some of you out there don't just use iOS for games, and use Android as well. And it's quite possible that you've been waiting to play Hearthstone [Free (HD)] on your Android device of choice. Well, good news, as the game has soft-launched on Android today [in Australia, Canada, and New Zealand on Google Play. If you come from the land of iOS, where getting soft-launched games is a trivial endeavor for anyone, you may be disappointed to learn that getting Android soft launches is a bit harder. Basically, your device has to be in the country that the app is soft-launched in. Changing that either requires rooting your device and using a country-changing app like this though I can't vouch for it actually working, or using this guide with VPN. It's quite likely that someone will wind up uploading the APK of the game somewhere, so I'd just hold out for that, or just wait for the global launch...