Author Archives: David Craddock


What do you suppose ran through the mind of your nameless, faceless, Indiana Jones-wannabe adventurer when he desecrated an ancient Egyptian temple and awoke hundreds of bloodthirsty mummies from their eternal slumber? "I should have parked closer to the temple" would be my guess. His predicament is our gain, as Escape from Doom [$0.99] is a rollicking good time...

In an age of horse armor and pay gates, the debate for and against monetization in games rages on. Jan Tomasik is a big fan of genres unique to the platform, namely endless runners, but not as keen on the over-monetization that too often favors money-making opportunities for the publisher at the expense of design and fun. Tomasik decided to team up with his girlfriend to create a game free of freemium trappings. That game is Cloudbreakers [$0.99], and it is an absolute blast...

I've got a bone to pick with Rare. As far as I know, the studio's most popular NES game, Battletoads, consisted of only three levels. The first was a straight beat-em-up. You walked to the right and beat the snot out of giant bipedal pigs and walker robots. In the second level, you rappelled down a pit. The third level, Turbo Tunnel, was the end of the line. You jumped on a motorbike, and you sped to the right down this two-lane road, swerving up and down to avoid colored walls. Only you couldn't avoid them for long because one instant they were materializing and the next you had pancaked against them...

The worst thing about Platforms Unlimited is that it denies you vengeance. My fellow run-and-jumpers know what I'm talking about. You die at a certain point in a platformer, so you retry, and you die again, and again--until at long last, something clicks, and you bound over the pit, or enemy, or whatever-it-was that had sapped so many lives from your once-ripe supply of continues. But that's, like, all part of the Platforms Unlimited [$0.99] experience, man. ..

Never has a video-game title more aptly summed up its experience than Marvel Run Jump Smash [$0.99], and it's as fun as it you would assume. Marvel RJS puts you in the spandex-clad bodies of iconic heroes that came blasting out of the mind of Stan Lee like webbing from Petey Parker's web-shooters--but with a twist. You start out as an agent of S.H.I.E.L.D.--either Samuel L. Jackson's Nick Fury or, uh, some other person who is not Samuel L. Jackson--and run, jump, and shoot your way through bad guys and obstacles like gouts of flame and electric gates. Along the way, you'll come across hero tokens that bear the likenesses of one of the four superheroes you set to your active team before starting the game...

In Shadow Vamp [$0.99], you play as the laziest vampires ever. The game takes place over a series of floating islands. After sleeping the night away, your vampire wakes up and wants to cross the island, in broad daylight, to the next crypt, where he or she will snooze until deciding to move to the next island. It's a fun exercise, if a little rough around the edges...

You would be forgiven if you mistook BravePiglet, the eponymous star of BravePiglet [Free], for a certain mustachioed mascot. BravePiglet's resemblance to Mario and the famous plumber's dastardly doppelganger, Wario, goes beyond the superficial...

'Slender Rising' Review - Slender Man Packs on Muscle

As the temperature grows cool and the leaves begin to drop, Touch Arcade rounds up can't-miss horror experiences from earlier this year and further back that will keep you good and spooked this fall...

More than ambiance and buckets of gore, an understandable set of rules make or break any horror story. Slender, the titular boogie man in Slender, can only kill players if they stare at their pasty-faced stalker. Players learn that mechanic early on, and the game enforces it, placing a firm set of boundaries around players: avoid Slender's eyeless gaze and stay alive--for a little while longer, at least...

The App Store offers more than its fair share of traditional, sidescrolling platform games. If you're tired of traveling the road that Mario paved back in the 1980s, Freedom Fall [$2.99] offers a 90-degree twist on the genre. Rather than running and jumping from left to right, Freedom Fall challenges you to avoid spikes, spinning blades, fire-breathing gold dragons, and other hazards while picking your way down, down, down a trap-infested fortress...

'Prince of Persia: The Shadow and the Flame' review: A New Prince for a New Generation

Ubisoft ruined my well-laid plans. I intended to open this review by passing around a box of tissues and regaling you with a sob story about how Ubisoft trampled all over my childhood and by reshaping one of my favorite platformers using shoddy touch-based controls. I thought that's how this would play out, I really did. Well, take a bow, Ubisoft. You proved me wrong...

Rail shooters are one of my guilty pleasures as a gamer. They're mindless fun, like climbing into a rollercoaster car that happens to rumble and weave through a shooting gallery. I'm especially fond of The House of the Dead, the first on-rails shooter I had the pleasure of touring from inside the cool darkness of a video arcade. The House of the Dead: Overkill - The Lost Reels [Free] is arguably the best entry yet, but an aggravating pay model and IAP leaves some divots in an otherwise smooth and flowing track...

'Star Command' Review - The Space Sim Kickstarter Darling Finally Comes to Port

Two years, two Kickstarter campaigns, and lots of hookers and blow later, developer Warballoon has finally beamed up Star Command to the App Store. Do some screws still need tightening? Affirmative. Should you dive in immediately? Absolutely...

Ripstone Ltd. would like to sell you a time machine. For only a buck, you can download Gun Commando [$0.99] and travel way back to 1993, a year when Bill Clinton was president, Sega and Nintendo went 15 rounds in the 16-bit console prize fight, and first-person shooters didn't bother with radical ideas like aiming up and down...

'Cut the Rope: Time Travel' Review - Physics Puzzles and Two Om-Noms. WIN.

It's the simplest games, the ones any player of any age can pick up and play, that become App Store sensations. Temple Run, for example. You tap and swipe the screen to keep your dude from falling down pits and running into walls as he runs forward. And Angry Birds? Even adventurers in galaxies far, far away know about Angry Birds...