Author Archives: Carter Dotson


Magenta Arcade [$1.99] is a game in the shoot 'em up genre, which isn't really crowded, but is neither lacking for titles. But what this game does to stand out is extremely clever: it's a shmup that exploits the way that fingers exist on and around mobile touchscreens, and makes it part of the game itself. It doesn't make the game any easier, and I have some issues with the structure of the game, but this core concept makes for a ridiculously clever game...

TouchTone [$2.99] is Mikengreg's first game since Gasketball [Free (HD)], the fun physics/basketball game that unfortunately was a financial flop. Between other projects, the two kept tinkering away on the concept that eventually became TouchTone, a puzzle game that integrates themes of surveillance and spying, inspired by world events. I spoke with Mike Boxleiter and Greg Wohlwend about the game, and found out how the game took 2 days to make its core gameplay, but over 2 years for the whole politically-charged package to come together...

'Tiny Dangerous Dungeons' is a Game Boy-Style Metroidvania Releasing Next Week

Adventure Islands has just announced their next game after their last couple releases of Duke Dashington [$0.99] and Battle Slimes [$1.99]. Tiny Dangerous Dungeons is a challenging Metroidvania game with Game Boy visuals, and I imagine there's a certain segment of our audience that gets very excited at that thought. This is adapted from the web game of the same name, but extended, adjusted, and optimized for mobile. You'll start off with nothing but 3 hearts and the ability to jump, soon picking up items, weapons, and health boosts, while trying to handle dangerous enemies. There are checkpoints where you can save your game, but smart and careful platforming will get you through the dungeon alive...

'Boom Dots' Promises Challenging Fast-Reaction Gameplay Next Week

Umbrella and publisher Mudloop, the latter being the creators of the rad 1-Bit Hero [Free] from last year, have announced a new game hitting the App Store next week: Boom Dots. You launch a dot from the bottom of the screen at a moving target, which goes at variable speeds. If you hit the target dead-on, you get a points bonus, and additional bonuses for consecutive perfect hits. The game eventually starts to pick up in pace as you go along, as the dot starts to more swiftly descend toward the spikes at the bottom of the screen...

Apple is currently working on iOS 8.3, with a public beta program available if you want to give it a shot. Some of the new features in this upcoming Software Update are starting to leak out, and there's one that may be super-handy for people who like to download lots of games. It appears that iOS 8.3 will give you the option to not require a password or Touch ID input when downloading free apps, as our sister site MacRumors has reported. Right now, when downloading an app from the App Store, you need to authenticate the purchase, but through a setting in the new Password Settings menu...

Nitrome's Latest Game 'Silly Sausage in Meat Land' Releases This Week

The Nitrome game release train can't be stopped. Their next game releases on Wednesday, March 25th, and it's called Silly Sausage in Meat Land. This game has you controlling a giant stretchy hot dog through a giant level, trying to make it from one checkpoint to another. Thankfully, your dog can stretch out to absurd lengths, but there's plenty of traps that will try and split your sausage in twain. I suggest being careful...

'Zenonia S' Revives the 'Zenonia' Franchise, Android Beta This Week

It's been a while since we've heard from the Zenonia franchise – Shaun covered the original on an edition of RPG Reload – but it looks like it's coming back in some form, with Zenonia S. This was formerly known as Zenonia Online, and will still be an online game, officially taking place in a parallel universe for the series where a number of heroes from the first 5 games will be part of the game to save the human race. The game will boast a campaign mode, PvP arena, and boss raids that players can participate in...

Stormblades [Free] is Diet Infinity Blade [$5.99]. I say this not to demean the game or to put it down, it's just that its motivations are patently obvious. This takes Infinity Blade's combat, complete with its directional attacks and dodging in one-on-one battles against bigger enemies, but stripping down a lot of the extra features from the combat and the meta-game. The combat is simpler but familiar, the game is level-based, and there's no 'exploration', it's just about advancing from one challenge to the next, buying better weapons and more potions along the way to keep up with the advancing difficulty. It's not as deep a game and can be a bit repetitive, but it also takes away some of the annoyances that Infinity Blade could sometimes get bogged down in, especially once Infinity Blade 3 [$6.99] rolled around. And as a free-to-play game, it's surprisingly fair. Stormblades is an interesting little package for those who want a familiar experience, but streamlined...

'Future Factory' Preview - A Dual-Stick Roguelike Shooter, for Mobile?

One of my most-played Steam games over the past year-and-a-half has been Nuclear Throne, Vlambeer's dual-stick shooter action-roguelike. It's challenging, has fantastic art, is highly replayable, and has no shot whatsoever of coming to mobile. The controls are a huge hindrance because there's aim-and-fire controls, and only a more deliberately-paced game like Space Marshals [$4.99] can pull that off. Plus, if control issues will keep Vlambeer from releasing Luftrausers on mobile, Nuclear Throne ain't happening. So, I find myself mostly wanting for a similar experience on mobile. While it's not quite on iOS yet, and it's a bit of a different game, Future Factory could just fill that void later this year...

Thoughtbot's 'Rototo' Promises Challenging Arcade Survival with a Sleek Look

Rototo is a pretty neat upcoming minimalist arcade game from Thoughtbot, developed primarily by their Stockholm team. You control a ship in the center of its screen, trying to fend off attackers coming from all sides. There's an interesting system at work, where you bounce back shots that are fired at you with your shield, which can also take care of divebombing enemies. However, if you just catch a bullet or enemy about to take you out, then you can cause a shockwave which repels nearby shots and enemies, but the timing is so precise that it's really only a last-ditch way to save your bacon. It's got flavoring of Project "Thor" [$0.99] mixed in with a bit of Ziggurat [$0.99] for good measure...

'Star Squad Space Rescue' is the Bullet Hell Take on 'Crossy Road'

Geek Brain Games is releasing Star Squad Space Rescue next week, a game which could be best described as "what if Crossy Road [Free] was a top-down bullet-hell game? You control a ship that is flying through waves of bullets, with a thankfully-small hitbox, and you're trying to rescue astronauts to get points. Rescuing untethered astronauts is a good thing to do just because, but in this case, they also give you fuel and provide a temporary shield from bullets. So, it's a good idea to pick them up...

Naquatic's 'CivCrafter' Could be the Deepest Clicker Game Yet

It feels like there's a rise in the number of idle clicker games, each one more potentially life-ruining than the next. Naquatic's next up with a particularly interesting take on the genre, with CivCrafter. This one starts off quite differently, in that you have three different resources that you can tap to collect, and use to build different things, hiring peasants to go out on tasks, and collect the many resources you need to build up your empire...

'Marvel Future Fight' is a Soft-Launched Action-RPG with a Ton of Marvel Superheroes

NetMarble has just soft-launched an interesting Marvel action-RPG in Australia, called Marvel Future Fight. This is looking a lot like the action-RPGs that are all throughout the App Store, where you control a character through levels, fighting waves of baddies, deploying special abilities with cooldown timers and whatnot, but the big difference here? You're fighting with a team of Marvel heroes, with the ability to swap heroes during battle, and use team-up attacks as well, all in the name of fighting evil versions of superheroes and turning them back to the good side, and adding them to your army of battlers...

You know that summer is on its way when the Apple TV rumors for WWDC start springing up. Really, every Apple event will bring up rumors of a fourth-generation Apple TV, but the rumors have started to spring up again as to the existence of a new one. What we're hearing is that not only will there be more storage, and Siri support, but an App Store may just finally come to the Apple TV, with an SDK opened up for developers to make their own apps...

'Pocket God vs. Desert Ashes' Crossover is a Spiritual Successor to 'Mecho Wars'

Here's a collaboration that comes straight out of 2009, but here in 2015. Luc Bernard, who helped make the 2009 turn-based strategy game Mecho Wars, is teaming up with Pocket God [$0.99] to bring Pocket God vs. Desert Ashes to life. This is a spin-off of Desert Ashes, which is basically a crazy remake/spinoff/semi-sequel to Mecho Wars that was announced for desktop and mobile way back in 2012 and is out now on Steam and Playstation Vita, that will feature the cast of Pocket God fighting it out with the fantasy creatures of Desert Ashes. ..

Blizzard announced the "Blackrock Mountain" expansion coming to Hearthstone [Free (HD)] back during PAX East, and now you have the ability to pre-purchase the expansion ahead of its release, and get an exclusive card back for pre-purchasing. If you buy it for $24.99, you'll get the Molten Core card back for free, which can't be obtained otherwise. You will, of course, be able to buy the expansion with 700 gold or in multiple wings for $6.99 each, just like "Curse of Naxxramas."..

'Major Magnet' Developers Announce New Game, 'Circle Frenzy'

PagodaWest Games has been known for the Major Magnet [$1.99] games, including Major Magnet Arcade [Free], which have a real Sonic homage quality to them. Now, they're doing something a bit more original in theme, with their upcoming game Circle Frenzy. This one will have you running around a spherical planet, dodging randomly-generated traps, and trying to make it to the exit warp that eventually pops up, because oh no, the planet's going to explode! That is a problem...

TinyCo's Family Guy: The Quest for Stuff [Free] is running a special event starting today, crossing over with Star Trek in a new in-game event. A variety of Star Trek characters are in the event, mostly from The Next Generation, including Picard, Riker, and Data, and all of them are voiced by their original actors. Captain Kirk is making an appearance in the event as well. Star Trek has had plenty of references in the Family Guy show and the Next Generation cast did all appear on one episode, so this makes a lot of sense...

'REBUS' is an Absurdly-Stylish Logic Puzzle Game Releasing Next Week

There's a lot of mind and puzzle games on the App Store, to where it's practically impossible for any one game to really stand out. However, Jutiful's upcoming REBUS - Absurd Logic Game caught our eye because of its stylish look. You'll be presented with an abstract visual puzzle called a rebus, and must figure out what it's trying to say, like rain in the shape of a T is "train." This sort of genre of brain-teasers are all over the place on the App Store, but not a lot look as good as this one does. Check out the trailer below:..

Rop [$0.99] has a bit of an odd name. Without the accent over the o, it may seem like "rahp" instead of "rope," which is the theme of this game. It's a puzzle game where a bunch of ropes are strung together, and your goal is to rearrange the different linked points into a shape matching what is given, all on a hexagonal grid. Yep folks, this is a casual minimalist puzzle game that's also a real game. 2015, we did it! I can tell you whether you will enjoy Rop or not through the answer to one simple question: do you get satisfaction when you get a massive mess of cords untangled? If so, every time you solve a puzzle here, you will feel pretty good...