Author Archives: Carter Dotson


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...

If you were a fan of The Sailor's Dream [$3.99] and have wanted to explore a bit more from Simogo's narrative adventure, you'll want to check out The Lighthouse Painting. This is not a game, and not in the way that The Sailor's Dream was not a 'game' by a functional definition, but not an interactive form of entertainment at all. It's a story podcast whose first episode is available now, with three more episodes available on March 25th, April 1st, and April 8th...

The Blocks Cometh [$0.99] is one of my personal all-time favorite iOS games, and it's getting an update for its fourth anniversary on the App Store, which is coming as soon as Apple approves it. Halfbot shared this morning that they have submitted the update to the game, so as soon as Apple approves it, which should hopefully be by the end of this week depending on Apple approvals. Some behind-the-scenes stuff caused some delays from the original February release for the update, but things are on track now, assuming Apple has been appeased...

Rad news if you're a fan of Grand Theft Auto: Vice City [$4.99], as the game has gotten an update bringing two killer improvements to the game. First up is MFi controller support, which is always welcome to a game that was originally meant to be played with a controller! Second, the game now has support for the native resolutions of the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus, so the game's going to look as crisp as it possibly can. Awesome...

'Ryan North's To Be Or Not To Be' Review - All Aboard the Party Boat to England

You probably know the William Shakespeare play Hamlet, or at least you have some form of cultural awareness about it thanks to English classes. You at least know the famous opening line to the character Hamlet's soliloquy, which provides the title of the latest gamebook adaptation from Tin Man Games, To Be Or Not To Be [$5.99]. This is adapted from Ryan North's choose-your-own-adventure novel of the same name from 2013, now available in handy digital form! I'm a fan of Ryan North's work, being a fan of the fantastic long-running webcomic Dinosaur Comics and of his spectacular run on the Adventure Time comic series. He has this particular sense of absurd humor that comes through in everything he makes, he has this distinctive voice, so as soon as I heard that To Be Or Not To Be was a thing that existed, based on a 2013 book of the same name, I couldn't wait to get my hands on it. And it was well worth the wait, as this is an absolutely hilarious adventure...

So, you're probably going to want to sit down for this one. Modern Combat 5 [Free] is officially going free-to-play in this latest update, available now. Before you freak out, the good news is that Gameloft is going to try and take care of people who paid for the game, they added in new content and controller support is finally here in the game...

­­If you were a fan of Oceanhorn [$8.99] but have wanted to play it on PC, good news: the game just released today on Steam. You can pick up this Zelda-inspired action-RPG for $11.99, 20% off the regular price of $14.99 until March 24th. Considering the game is $8.99 regularly on mobile, this might just be an opportunity to appreciate how cheap mobile games are, that the exact same game can be sold at a smaller cost because that's just what people on mobile expect. This version is currently for Windows only, so sorry Mac users. Thankfully the iOS version supports gamepads so you can get a similar experience, though this does support keyboard-and-mouse as well. Plus, there's support for 4K resolutions...

Hex Grid Puzzler 'A Day in the Woods' Gets Enhanced Mobile Version in April

Better late than never! RetroEpic Software has announced that they're bringing their 2011 puzzler A Day in the Woods to iOS in early April. This game mixes sliding puzzles with hex grids – real game alert! – as you try to get Little Red Riding Hood to her grandmother's house without getting eaten by wolves, swapping tiles around so that you can get around without getting eaten, or otherwise harmed. The forests are dangerous these days, folks...