Author Archives: Jeffrey deMelo


'Wave Wave' Review – A Bumpin' Thumpin' Challenging Line

My favorite iOS games run an arcadey-swift 2-3 minutes, engage me instantly, and draw me in so hard that I lose track of the world outside these tiny iPhone screens. Thomas Janson's Wave Wave [$2.99] is exactly that, and then some - packing a bonus of bangin’ soundtrack, hypnotizing visuals, and mind-numbingly difficult gameplay...

'Republique' Review - Everything I Hoped For

It has become cliché to call Camouflaj’s Kickstarter-baby Republique [$4.99] ambitious, but that doesn’t mean it’s not true. This undeniably is the most ambitious iOS game I’ve ever played, showing off AAA production value at every turn. And more surprising, that’s not entirely the reason I LOVE Republique, instead finding the little-touches this game’s most endearing quality...

These days, any game that leaves an emotional impact on the player (in a smart way) is ridiculed as being pretentious. By definition, the label is accurate, but typically falls under a negative connotation. It's understandable that some gamers just don't care much for the approach to story-telling, but I don't mind it when done well. Turns out, Pretentious Game [Free] is one of those examples. At least this game isn't hiding from what it is; and what it is, is a short but sweet pretentious little game...

'Fist of Awesome' Review - Simply Awesome

My favorite beat 'em ups have character and personality, tight combat and hit-boxes, and responsive controls that allow for tactical decision making. If they also have referential humor, a great art direction, a kick ass soundtrack, and a bad ass bear-punching, beard-having protagonist - like in Fist of Awesome [$3.99] - that's even better...

I intentionally kept away from The Cave [$4.99], when it released earlier this year on everything else, because I wanted to play it on my iPad – I prefer the platform for adventure games. Sacrificing visual fidelity for comfort, I lay my feet out as I enjoyed the witty writing of Ron Gilbert & Chris Remo, laughing and scratching my head as I solved my way through The Cave’s nooks and crannies...

I like most of Hexage’s iOS offerings, Reaper: Tale of a Pale Swordsman [Free] included. They have worked consistently to cement a signature art direction with each of their IP - colorful, simpler art that is easy on the eyes – and have backed up each new game with engaging mechanics to solidify its gameplay...

Gaming Corps’ latest iOS stealth-action jam should have been more than just a famed-franchise tie-in, but it is not. Instead Riddick: The Merc Files [$2.99] simply uses the Riddick name to season up the stale stealth game it currently has on its hands...

'868-HACK' Review - A Cyber-Roguelike that Excels in Design

868-HACK [$5.99] is: a risky pricing-experiment, a rogue-like, a tightly-designed machine, a Michael Brough game, and an onion…..

'Terraria' Review - A 2D 'Minecraft'-like With a Sense of Adventure

I don’t particularly love the sandbox-survival genre - made famous by Minecraft - or care to dabble in every one of its corners. I often play these kinds of games in a 3-4 hour chunk, vigorously exploring, crafting, and building until the well of joy runs dry and I rarely come back to them. Turns out, though, Terraria [$0.99] has one hell of a deep well, and has had me coming back for more on more occasions than I can count...

'Blackbar' Review - Words Are A Powerful Thing

Neven Mrgan and James Moore call their latest iOS game – Blackbar [$2.99] - “serious, artsy, and texty.” For the most part, the game is exactly those things. Serious in tone, artsy in approach, and texty cause… well, the game’s just text...

'Puddle' Review - Don’t Step Over... Jump In

I’ll admit, I figured Puddle [$2.99] to be just another physics-puzzler involving liquid and Rube Goldberg-like level design; its soulless presentation just sticking you with menus, mumbling, “Yeah, we have some levels here…” In that way, Puddle is exactly that. In every other way, though, this game goes above and beyond the typical, raising the bar for what I expect out of my physics-puzzle games...

Kerosene Games knows how to make a visually-gorgeous game; Bounty Arms [$4.99] is proof of it. But graphics never make up for the rest of a game’s short-comings, and when the shine of the polygons wear-off so does the hypnosis. Sure, Bounty Arms is gorgeous and resides with a charming art-direction, but not much more than that...

Gun and Mighty Rabbit Studios’ latest iOS turn-based tactical-strategy game - Breach & Clear [$0.99] - could be so much more than what it is, and promises to be, when... it’s actually finished. With loads of content dangling in your face, locked-aside with a note that simply reads "coming soon," Breach & Clear quickly dipped into the depths of disappointment with me the more I played of it...

Analgesic Productions' latest iOS release, Anodyne Mobile [$4.99], is in many ways everything I love about recent Indie-games; often surreal, provoking thought through narrative-commentary, and reflective of the personalities that birthed it. These games should also be engaging, comfortable, and function properly - which sadly Anodyne doesn't nail-down entirely; remaining a frustratingly-enjoyable experience throughout...

'9th Dawn' Review - On A Quest to Remember Classic RPGs

I remember when role-playing games emphasized discovery, and exploration, as much as the stories it was telling. You were instantly dropped into a world with nothing but your instincts to guide your way. Games like Valorware's latest iOS RPG, 9th Dawn [$2.99], remind me of the DOS games I grew up on, why I love and hate them, and why these days it's refreshing to return to games that don't hold the player's hand so much...