Author Archives: David Wolinsky


Appearances can be deceiving. In the App Store, Mosaique [$0.99] looks like it might be a generic block-pusher game, or some sort of warped Tetris clone. The truth is that developer Winning Blimp uses these familiar aesthetics to create something altogether completely different. ..

"Endless fallers" isn’t a proper genre name, but if it was, that would be the easiest way to describe Daddy Was A Thief [$1.99] In Rebel Twins' latest, you play as the titular daddy -- imagine a more nefarious Andy Richter -- who finds himself abruptly fired and turns to a life of crime to provide for his family. Instead of cooking meth a la Breaking Bad, he opts for something much more traditional: robbing banks...

There is no way to sugarcoat this: ShaqDown [Free] is not a great game. It is, at best, a merely serviceable game ideal only for anyone ravenously massaging their hands mad scientist-style with anticipation. This also probably is going to really, really bum out Shaq who is himself a hugely outspoken Apple enthusiast...

If Hollywood Monsters [$5.99] feels like a bit of a throwback to yesteryear’s adventure gaming heyday, well, that’s because it is. I mention the following not to bog you down with the game’s lineage, but to help you better understand the context with which it truly exists: Hollywood Monsters, freshly out for the iPad 2 and iPhone 4 and both platforms more recent iterations, came out in 2011 on PC as The Next Big Thing, which itself was a sequel to a somewhat obscure 1997 PC adventure game called Hollywood Monsters. The reason why this sequel bares the same name as its predecessor? My guess is it’s the same reason that it’s coming to the iPad, etc. all this time later: Nobody really played or remembered the original...

In my apparent unintentional quest to provide a splash of snooty culture to everywhere I contribute, what came to mind for me while playing Word Derby [$0.99 / Free], Chillingo’s newest addition to the word-game oeuvre (nope, that isn't the snooty part of the sentence), is the inherent unfairness of competitive word games explored in the Broadway musical 'The 25th Annual Putnam Spelling Bee' song “Pandemonium” (yup, that’s it). ..

Right out of the gate, 4NR [$0.99] provokes a couple of big, big eyebrow scrunching obstacles to understanding what exactly it is. It opens with Proverb 15:24 ("The path of life leads upward for the prudent, that he may turn away from Sheol beneath."), has a name that could imply it's a l33t-themed game about a certain British-American hard rock band, and it also looks like it's a Game Boy game prototype. Ignore all of that, tap to start, and 4NR reveals itself to be something much more straightforward, and also much more vexing, than any of that suggests at first glance...

"In 2012, USA launched a secret proejct. To wake up Japanese people from being too peaceful, their new weapon was sent into Japan. Code name "Battle Cats" Japanese people are too kind and nice to use cruelty weapons to the Battle Cats… By the way, I Saw the developer of the Battle Cats was interviewed on TV… I know, it's insane."  [a thousand times sic.]..

Take Canabalt [$0.99], flip its camera 90 degrees and replace jumping with shoving and that, ladies and germs, is Shove Pro [$1.99]. Sorta. That's it on the most basic element. Shove Pro is perhaps actually engineering a new genre, the parody-action title, and the fact that it also has an airtight plot makes it all the more ludicrious/amazing/shoving...

The two easiest ways for folks on the iOS store to make money as quickly as possible: 1) Exploit people's profound love of nudity. 2) Exploit people's profound love of retro-style games. Polyroll [$1.99 / Free] only excels at one of these, which is terrible news for people who love nudity. (Sorry. Fortunately, I hear there are plenty of places online to see it for free, unless you count the sizable toll it takes on your soul and budding sexuality.)..

Curiosity: What’s Inside the Cube? [Free] is crowd-sourced pixel-poking. The app presents you with a gigantic cube. Think of it as a birthday gift: a cube comprised of layers and layers of smaller cubes. You kerplode the cubes by simply touching them. At the center of the cube is a secret, and there’s no telling how many licks it’ll take the world to get to its chewy, mysterious center...

It's reductive to communicate what a game is like by using the shorthand of what other game(s) it most resembles, but it's true: Monotaur [Free] meshes the obscuro super-toughness of Ikaruga (the infamous 2001 Japanese arcade hit) with the pellet-munching mania of Pac-Man (the arcade game you already know about)...

'Ivy the Kiwi?' Review - Every Kiwi Has its Thorn

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October 12th, 2012 3:24 PM EDT by David Wolinsky in $2.99, 3 stars, iPad Games, iPhone games, Reviews
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Oh, what a strange an twisting trail an iOS game can blaze. Auto-runner platformer Ivy The Kiwi? [$2.99] is finally available as a mobile gaming experience after it started out as a Japan-only mobile game back in 2010. Between now and then, it’s been on the Wii, the Nintendo DS, and the DSiWare store. And this history lesson is a way of saying that the old girl has still got it, but it’s starting to show some signs of age...

Naw, Weird Al wasn’t really involved with this, although a polka-flecked rhythm game that doubles as a parody of “Paperback Writer” would be pretty rad. Pizza Driver [Free] is a much more straightforward kind of game: You hold down anywhere on the screen to accelerate your bike, let go to jump, and tap again to execute a landing...

'Cool Pizza' Review - A Skateboarding Pile of Awesome Deaths

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October 4th, 2012 5:16 PM EDT by David Wolinsky in 4 stars, Action, Free, Retro, Reviews
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The iPhone’s accelerometer tends to be one of the most clumsily implemented features in games on Apple’s game machine that occasionally is used to make phone calls. It makes you look stupid in public playing anything with it, and usually the game isn’t responsive enough to reflect your strategic twitches. Cool Pizza [Free] is different. Actually, “different” is putting it rather lightly. Cool Pizza is downright single-malt deranged, has next to no story, and has the ability to turn your next commute into a fit of enjoyable seizures so violent you might look up and find yourself in a stretcher...