Author Archives: David Craddock


'Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Rooftop Run' Review - Turtle-Tapping Fun

The opening to Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Rooftop Run [$3.99], an endless runner based on Nickelodeon's reboot of the popular '90s cartoon, is almost as awesome as the game itself. We open on a shot of our four heroes in a half-shell lounging around the sewer den playing video games. A very young and spunky April O'Neil comes bursting into the room, shouting at the love-struck mutant teenagers to turn on the news, which shows alien invaders descending on New York City...

At the outset of Garden of Fear [Free / Free], you wake up in a cold, dark dungeon with no idea how you wound up there. I think there's more to the story, though. I submit that your rowdy friends got you liquored up, blindfolded you, spun you around a dozen times, stuffed some supplies in your pocket, and dumped you down a hole, leaving you to feel your way to freedom while avoiding bloodthirsty monsters and a wicked hangover. That's how playing Garden of Fear feels, at any rate...

3D Attack Interactive assumes you've met the acquaintance of the Super Mario Bros. Hence the name of their game: The Other Brothers [$1.99], a throwback platformer featuring pleasantly pixelated graphics and music straight out of the MIDI era. Everything that Mario and Luigi do, brothers Joe and Jim can do too. They run, jump, and rescue damsels in distress, but the mechanics of those actions work a little differently. Speaking of, I'd wager you've probably heard more about The Other Brothers' controls than you have the game's lengthy development cycle, so let's take a moment to clear the air...

'Little Chomp' Review - Coin-Chomping, Tree-Climbing Fun

I used to play outside. Then I turned seven and discovered computers and video games. (Nope, no arrow to the knee.) But I can't give the siren's song of electronics all the credit for luring me to the air-conditioned indoors. Like karma, Mother Nature's a... Well, she's a nasty one. There are all sorts of creepy-crawlies lurking in her leaves, her trees, her grass. Better slouched in front of the computer than out under the sun, that's what I say, and nobody knows that better than Little Chomp of Little Chomp [$0.99] fame...

Those of you who weren't born with a smartphone in your hands might recall the simpler days of video games. How simple? I'm talking stick figures, backgrounds painted in one, maybe two shades of color, and jarringly loud bleeps that passed as sound effects. Some of these games were awful. Others stand as classic examples of gameplay over graphics, a no-frills approach often lost in the desperate struggle to produce photorealistic graphics, and realistic physics, and realistic bleeps...

'Worm Run' Review - The First and Only Time You'll Run From a Worm

To coin a phrase from a popular comedian, what is the deal with the characters in these running games? Why are they running? What's the rush? You know, you could've snagged that coin tucked away behind that pillar back there if you would've just eased on up to it. The terrified spaceman you play in Worm Run [$0.99] has a valid excuse. He's on the move, and needs to stay that way, because a giant worm is plunging after him, devouring everything in its path. Glance back and you'll see him, eating his way through stone and dirt and steel...

'Eyes - The Horror Game' Review - The Definitive Mobile Horror Experience

I'm a big fan of survival horror games, especially ones like Amnesia: The Dark Descent and Slender, which provide no means of defending yourself from their boogeymen. You run and hide, or you die. While scoping out upcoming App Store releases late Wednesday evening, I learned about Eyes - The Horror Game [$0.99], a port of the indie PC title of the same name that promised a similar flight-no-fight experience. On an iPhone...

Remember when the word "port" conjured up terrifying visions of developers taking your favorite arcade game and cramming them into cartridges that spat out blurry graphics and fuzzy sound? Twisted Pixel does, and they know it wouldn't be proper to make gamers revisit those dark days, so they put forth a solid effort teaching their Xbox Live platformer, Ms. Splosion Man [$2.99], how to speak mobile. Solid, indeed, except for a bothersome implementation of an IAP pay wall...

Arguably the best part of the Sonic the Hedgehog 2 of yesteryear was the Chaos Emerald bonus stages. You remember those, don't you? The camera jumped behind Sonic's shoulder and he hustled forward all on his own while you wove him from side to side to collect rings and dodge obstacles. ..

It's time to take a bite of the reality sandwich. At the end of the day, office worker bees can only put out so many fires and circle back to so many tasks before they need to table their workload and develop a more synergistic flow. What I mean to say, I think, is that you need to loosen your white collar, grab a foreign object, and smash your office to smithereens or risk becoming a lifer who goes postal or, worse, stares mindlessly while muttering about a stapler...

'Super Stickman Golf 2' Review - Better Than Real Golf

I've been golfing before. The first time I tagged along with my dad. He hit a ball just off a slope. We hopped in the buggy to retrieve it, he told me to lean out and grab it as we rumbled by, I fell out and tumbled down the slope. The second time, I actually played! Just one hole, though. Why? Because golf is boring when you have to, you know, fish your ball out of sand traps and actually walk around. Yep, that's golf: boring at best, painful at worst. Thanks, Dad...

'Spaceteam' Review - Pushing Buttons and Shouting at Your Friends... as a Spaceteam

Like many gamers, my three best friends and I have a long-standing gaming tradition. Every holiday, we gather for our perennial New Year's Eve LAN party. In an ideal world, we tear down our gaming rigs on New Year's Eve, drop them off at one friend's house with plenty of space, go to dinner at our favorite Tex-Mex place, and then ring in the New Year over a good 8 to 10 hours of gaming nirvana fueled by salty snacks and sugary drinks...

'Devil's Attorney' Review - 'One More Turn' Becomes 'One More Case'

At first glance, Devil's Attorney [$1.99] might seem like a shameless Phoenix Wright clone. You do play a defense attorney embroiled in courtroom drama, but unlike the naïve and justice-driven Phoenix, Max McMann is the eponymous devil's attorney. His clients did the crime, and they pay him the big bucks to avoid doing the time. Also unlike Phoenix Wright, Devil's Attorney doesn't take you through adventure-game-style investigations and conversations, but breaks down cases into series of turn-based battles...

Look through my game collection and you'll find at least five copies of Mortal Kombat, Doom on assorted media, and more copies of Street Fighter II than Ryu players spam fireballs in a single round. Some games are so nice I've just got to buy them twice. Or more. The iPhone release of Crazy Taxi [$4.99] marks my fourth foray through the boulevards of Sega's imitation San Francisco, and it's still a pretty good game. Granted, the fun is still somewhat hampered by old design decisions, but Crazy Taxi feels good and whole on mobile...

Capcom delights in updating each Street Fighter at least three times before hunkering down to create a new version. Diehard fans rationalize the updates, touting new special moves and under-the-hood improvements. The rest of us shake our heads and hold out for the inevitable next version, or open our wallets and migrate with the rest of the herd. Street Fighter X Tekken [$2.99] marks the third Street Fighter to land on mobile devices, but unlike the previous and most excellent second release, Street Fighter IV Volt [$4.99], this one's not so easy to recommend...