Author Archives: David Craddock


'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 [$2.99] 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...

'Plight of the Zombie' Review - Eating Brains, One Puzzle at a Time

Zombie stories boil down to cat-and-mouse tales, with us human beans unwillingly playing the part of the mice running from all the undead kitties. Plight of the Zombie [$0.99 / Free] is a little different. You play as Craig, an average slob who stays home channel-surfing while a zombie apocalypse transpires right outside his window. He decides to venture out for a burger when a zombie shambles in from the side and passes along a severe case of rotting flesh and a healthy appetite for protein. Tragically, Craig can't roam the city munching on brains by himself, because as any student of popular culture knows, zombies are dumb...

SolaRola [Free], a 2D platformer from Square Enix, has a lot going for it. It's charming, accessible, and realistic physics that players manipulate to solve increasingly complex puzzles. Unfortunately, it's also rather bland...

You miss a lot of video games when you're a twelve-year-old kid with a paper route. You miss even more games when you have a mother who insists on sticking half your paycheck in the bank, leaving you roughly $30 a month to divide between Batman comics and cartridges for your Super NES that ran between $60 and $80 apiece. (In fairness, Mom's lesson stuck with me. Did I appreciate Street Fighter II after three months of chucking papers at customers finally earned me a trip to KB Toys? You better believe it.)..

Much like the eponymous film currently raking in millions in ticket sales, The Dark Knight Rises[$6.99] aims for great heights and mostly hits its marks. The game follows and expands on the events that unfold in the final entry in The Dark Knight trilogy film saga, but don't worry: we won't divulge any spoilers for the two of you who haven't seen the movie. All you need to know is a masked terrorist named Bane has bad intentions for the people of Gotham City, and you, being Batman, need to strongly discourage him against those plans...

Deep in the bowels of my local Wal-Mart, past frozen foods and sporting goods and electronics, a heated Bop It! tournament takes place. The competitors: me, and the last sticky-fingered kid who pulled one of the boxed electronic toys off the shelf and pulled, twisted, and bopped his way to a high score. ..

'Tiny Troopers' Review - Huge Fun on a Tiny Battlefield

Imagine your favorite real-time strategy game, probably one native to the PC. Now imagine it on a mobile device. What would it look like? Like someone sneezed virtual buttons all over your screen, I bet. The trick to building any RTS is playing to the strengths of its platform. In Tiny Troopers [Free], developer Kukouri and publisher Chillingo created a deep and arresting tactical RTS that keeps the interface simple and interaction even simpler, leaving players free to concentrate on the fun stuff: coming up with strategies and executing them with unwavering precision...

There's an element of reality lacking from even the most atmospheric video games. As a survival horror buff, I take masochistic pleasure in waiting until the sun slinks away for the night before turning off all the lights, drawing the blinds, slipping on headphones, and creeping through old mansions and other haunted grounds...

I admit without shame that I was a huge Poké-nerd back in Pikachu's heyday. The explosion of Pokémon's popularity coincided with my sophomore year of high school, and being nerdy enough to know my cool-kid rep was in the negatives even before I started lugging around a Pokédex with my textbooks, I wore Pokémon t-shirts and evangelized the games and cartoon without a care. I also saw new Pokémon movies on opening night and, surrounded by squirmy kiddles and their irritated parents, broke out in wild applause and cheers when the Nintendo logo appeared on the screen, which prompted all the kids to whoop and holler along with me (and the parents to stare at me with such loathing that I wanted to crawl into the nearest Poke-ball)...

I love the App Store. On a single platform, I can draw from a well of my favorite classics like Doom [$4.99], and try out thousands games like N.O.V.A. 3 [$6.99] that take their inspiration from popular console and PC games but offer an experience tailor-made for tablets and smartphones. But what I enjoy most about the App Store is the chance to drop a buck or two on quirky titles you don't see on any other platform. Take Rocket Fox [Free], for example, a new puzzle/platformer game starring a fox named Guy who loves fireworks. He loves them so much that he's not content to admire them from afar like your average Fourth-of-July party-goer. No, Guy likes to hop aboard rockets before they blast off and ride them skyward. Of course, what goes up must come down, and that's where you come in...

Like most 2D platformer stars, Mr. Pop of Frenzy Pop [Free / Free (HD)] enjoys long walks on the beach, scouring levels for hidden items, and running and jumping through a series of trap-infested environments. Fortunately, the orange soda bottle's bag of tricks distinguishes itself by extending quite a bit deeper than just running and jumping...