Author Archives: Jared Nelson


About the Author

An avid gamer since he was in diapers, Jared has owned just about every portable and console game system released in the last 30 years. A decade ago, video editing brought him into the world of Macs, and since making the switch he's never had one thought of turning back. The inception of the iPhone and App Store has replaced his need to buy every game and system released, and instead focus on Apple's do-everything device that meets all his portable gaming needs.

TouchArcade Game of the Week: 'Gorogoa'

The idea behind the TouchArcade Game of the Week is that every Friday afternoon we post the one game that came out this week that we think is worth giving a special nod to. Now, before anyone goes over-thinking this, it doesn't necessarily mean our Game of the Week pick is the highest scoring game in a review, the game with the best graphics, or really any other quantifiable "best" thing. Instead, it's more just us picking out the single game out of the week's releases that we think is the most noteworthy, surprising, interesting, or really any other hard to describe quality that makes it worth having if you were just going to pick up one...

Developer Dontnod's critically-acclaimed interactive narrative adventure Life is Strange [$2.99] made a semi-surprise appearance on the App Store on Wednesday. I say semi-surprise because the game's iOS version was outed by way of Apple's new pre-order system that was rolled out this past Monday, but prior to that, I don't think we had any idea this one was destined for mobile. I'm glad it made its way over though, as Life is Strange is the type of experience that should translate really well to mobile. That said, while we loved the game in our review, there are a few control niggles and some performance issues due to the demanding nature of the game, so potential players may be curious to know how well the game runs on their device before plunking down the cash. Well, good news for them as today Life is Strange Lite [Free] has launched on the App Store...




When it comes to games that are never leaving my device, the Mos Speedrun games are most definitely on that list, and today I'm very pleased to see that both games are now updated for the iPhone X screen. The original Mos Speedrun [$0.99] launched in early 2011 and as its name implied it was a platformer centered around completing levels as quickly as possible. It was one of the earlier games to totally nail virtual controls in a highly-demanding precision platformer like this, and I have fond memories of battling for first place on the levels that featured online leaderboard support. Yes, Mos Speedrun is a true classic and one that I often revisit just for fun. Being an iPhone X owner, I naturally prefer that games take advantage of that whole gorgeous screen, and Mos Speedrun looks quite beautiful running on it now...

As promised yesterday, Koality Games has released their new arcade boxing game Prizefighters [Free] on the App Store. It arrived too late to make it into our weekly roundup of new iOS games, but given the sheer amount of huge games that arrived on mobile this week, I'm sure Prizefighters didn't mind having a little bit of breathing room. In case you've missed our previous coverage, Prizefighters is a boxing game with arcade-style mechanics inspired by classics such as Punch Out! but with a more simulation-style character and career progression system. Check out the official trailer...

This has been a somewhat harrowing saga as we've followed along with Simogo as they've updated their entire mobile games library not once but TWICE in the past 6 months; first to be fully 64-bit compatible for the arrival of iOS 11 in September, and now to be fully supporting the entire screen of the iPhone X which launched in early November. Today that saga comes to an end (for now!) as their original trilogy of iOS games Beat Sneak Bandit [$2.99], Bumpy Road [$2.99], and Kosmo Spin [$2.99] have all received iPhone X updates. They join SPL-T [$2.99], Device 6 [$3.99], The Sailor's Dream [$3.99], and Year Walk [$3.99] which have all received iPhone X updates over the course of the last few weeks. ..

The WWE has been raking it in on the App Store with their stable of casual, free to play games aimed at wrestling fans. Games like WWE Champions [Free], WWE Tap Mania [Free], and WWE Supercard [Free] allow us to collect all of the over-the-top characters us wrestling fans love by way of breezy, casual gameplay that's well-suited for mobile. These games certainly aren't for everyone but it's hard to deny just how successful they've been. Today the WWE stable of mobile games increases by one with the release of WWE Mayhem [Free], which was created in partnership with Reliance Games. This is a casual fighting game in a similar vein to Kabam's Marvel Contest of Champions [Free] or NetherRealm's Injustice 2 [Free]. Here's the trailer for WWE Mayhem so you can see it in action...

Out Now: 'Oddworld: New 'n' Tasty', 'Life is Strange', 'FEZ - Pocket Edition', 'Gorogoa', 'Ace Attorney Investigation', 'Jumanji: The Mobile Game', 'Like a Boss!', 'Climby Hammer' and More

Welcome to another one of our roundups of all the new games of the past week, and what a strange week it's been. Apple introduced the ability to pre-order games in the App Store, and the first batch of games was a handful of high-profile ports and highly-anticipated mobile exclusives. We're seeing the first wave of pre-order games going live tonight with the arrival of Life is Strange and Gorogoa. Then out of nowhere FEZ, which has been supposedly coming to mobile for years now, popped up out of nowhere this morning. THEN, later on today Oddworld: New 'n' Tasty simialrly arrived out of thin air and is the 2014 remake of the original Oddworld. AND we've still got Playdead's Inside coming at some point in the next day or so. It's madness, I tell you! So check out the full list of games below and let us know which ones you'll be picking up if your wallet can handle it...

There's nothing better than getting into the spirit of the season, and by season of course I'm talking about new Star Wars movie season. Star Wars: The Last Jedi is hitting theaters this Friday (or rather Thursday night at midnight, if you're doing it right) and based on what I'm hearing from those who were fortunate enough to see it ahead of release it's the greatest thing since sliced bread. I'm incredibly excited to see it, and both Zen Studios and Aspyr Media are also excited it seems as they're getting in on the fun by offering some deep discounts on their Star Wars mobile games. First up is BioWare's absolute stone-cold classic RPG Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic [$4.99]. ..

Arcade Boxing Game 'Prizefighters' is Launching Tomorrow, Official Trailer Released

Just about a month ago, developer Koality Games revealed their upcoming boxing game Prizefighters, which looked to take the simple and arcadey mechanics of Nintendo's classic Punch Out! series and marry them with a meatier experience in terms of character and career progression. Based on the many animated .gifs and info available in the game's forum thread, it looked like Koality was on track for something quite special with Prizefighters. Well, today we have learned that the game is finished and shipped off to Apple for approval, and if all goes accordingly we'll all be able to play Prizefighters when it officially launches tomorrow, December 14th. Koality has also released a proper game trailer for Prizefighters, check it out...

Drool's Rhythm Game 'Thumper' Heading to iOS January 24th as 'Thumper: Pocket Edition'

In October of last year, developer Drool released a frantic rhythm game called Thumper onto desktop and PlayStation 4 with virtual reality support through Oculus and PlayStation VR. It was incredibly well-received, to put it mildly. Since then, the game made its way to the Xbox One and the Nintendo Switch and, thanks to Apple's new pre-order system which just went live earlier today, it has been outed as coming to the iOS platform too. Called Thumper: Pocket Edition, the video and screens from the App Store preview page show the game being played in portrait orientation, and I can't help but think that this is going to be an utterly perfect one-handed portrait game...

'Mad Skills BMX 2' Soft-Launches in Select App Store Regions

Developer Turborilla first popped onto our radars in the mobile gaming world way back in January of 2011 when they released their popular desktop racer Mad Skills Motocross on iOS. I enjoyed the game very much back then for its nuanced physics system that allowed for highly competitive speedrunning. In August of the following year, they released their bike-focused spinoff Mad Skills BMX which retained the same great physics system and competitive elements but with more mobile-conducive gesture controls. Then in early 2014 they went back to their motocross roots with a proper sequel, Mad Skills Motocross 2, which continued the trend of taking everything great about the previous game and amping it up some more. Mad Skills Motocross 2 has lived a long, happy life since its release, retaining a passionate and highly competitive fanbase. That said, Turborilla is finally ready to move the needle once again and back in June they announced that Mad Skills BMX 2 was in the works. Here's the official trailer...

One of last year's best games, and really one of the more enjoyable and unique games for mobile in general, was Kestrel Games' Rule with an Iron Fish [$2.99]. It's a game about fishing but is certainly not a fishing simulation game, of which there are several on the App Store. Instead, Rule with an Iron Fish almost feels like one of those incremental idle games, but one where you actually DO stuff. The progression system is addictive as you're constantly catching new fish, getting new equipment, and unlocking new areas. Everything has a grander feel to it though as there's also a full world to explore filled with non-player characters to interact with, all of which have quite colorful personalities. It's like many of the best parts of an RPG have been whittled down into a super-mobile friendly package with a perfect gameplay loop for short gaming sessions. Oh, and did I mention it's a totally paid, premium title with no IAP? tl;dr: I love Rule with an Iron Fish...

TouchArcade Game of the Week: 'Portal Knights'

The idea behind the TouchArcade Game of the Week is that every Friday afternoon we post the one game that came out this week that we think is worth giving a special nod to. Now, before anyone goes over-thinking this, it doesn't necessarily mean our Game of the Week pick is the highest scoring game in a review, the game with the best graphics, or really any other quantifiable "best" thing. Instead, it's more just us picking out the single game out of the week's releases that we think is the most noteworthy, surprising, interesting, or really any other hard to describe quality that makes it worth having if you were just going to pick up one...

'Tako Bubble' is a Great Looking Turn-Based Puzzle Platformer Coming in January

Taiwanese developer Noice2D, which is really just two people, have announced their new upcoming mobile game called Tako Bubble, and it's looking really neat. Tako Bubble is a turn-based puzzle platformer that has you guiding an adorable octopus around numerous hazards and enemies in order to pop 3 special glittering bubbles and move on to the next level. There are 10 different types of enemies in the game each with different movement and attack patterns, so you'll need to become familiar with them and keep that in mind while making each move otherwise you might find yourself cornered and becoming somebody's next order of calamari. Check out the trailer for Tako Bubble...

Help a 7-Year Old Boy Shape the World Through a Social Network in 'Friends of the Prince' from the Developer of 'Nano Empire'

James Senter, creator of the A Dark Room [$1.99]-inspired text-based incremental game Nano Empire [$0.99] which became hugely popular in the accessible games community for its VoiceOver support for the visually impaired, has announced his next game and I'm loving the premise to death. It's called Friends of the Prince, and it takes place in a twisted future where robots are just about to take over the world. But before the Robot Queen can enslave all of humanity, an unlikely hero "deceived her with cuteness and smashed her face" thus making him the leader of the world with absolute power. That hero is a 7-year old boy known as the Prince. Now he's ready to reshape humanity by way of his very own social network known as Friends of the Prince...

Over the past decade I've grown to love a lot of iPhone games, but there's a handful of games that I love on a whole different level, like I SUPER DUPER LOVE them. Andy Wallace's Particle Mace [$2.99] is one of those games. Released in early 2015, Particle Mace on first blush looks like your typical retro-inspired top-down space shooter. Except… you can't shoot. After finding your ship's weapons nonfunctional, you improvise by tying a bunch of garbage to an array of bungie-like cords to your ship. You defeat enemies and smash asteroids by zipping around and using your momentum to sling that makeshift weapon (let's just call it oh I don't know a PARTICLE MACE) into them, and it is honestly one of the most unique and satisfying gameplay mechanics I've ever used. Here's the trailer for Particle Mace so you can see what I'm very poorly attempting to explain in action...

Forget BEING the Hero, 'The Quest Giver' Will Have You Telling the Heroes What to Do

I love when games take a well-established genre and then focus on an area outside the norm. In the case of RPGs, you're almost always the protagonist setting out to save the world or whatever, often by completing quests given to you through other people in the game. But who comes up with those quests? Well just as its name implies, in The Quest Giver it's you! This is the latest game that's in the works from Rest.less Games, and it's a simulation experience that takes place in an RPG world where you'll run a Guild and create quests for heroes to set out and complete. The basic gist of The Quest Giver is pretty clear in this clever rhyming trailer...

Studio Rouleau's Narrative-Driven Avoidance Game 'Mind Construct' Will Release in January

Studio Rouleau's first App Store release was just a few months ago with Force Escape [Free], a stylish game with minimalist graphics and moody tunes where your job was to swat away all manner of debris as you cleared a path for a shuttle that was rocketing upwards towards escape. It was a clever game that made great use of the touchscreen for controls, and now they've announced their sophomore effort Mind Construct which looks to utilize many of the same elements that made Force Escape so cool. Minimalist graphics, catchy music, and a gameplay mechanic that's perfect for touch are all on display in Mind Construct. Here you'll drag your finger around the screen collecting memories while avoiding hazards, and then deliver those memories to the mind in the center of the screen. ..

Out Now: 'Reigns: Her Majesty', 'Portal Knights', 'Getting Over It', 'Ashworld', 'Big Shot Boxing', 'Amazing Katamari Damacy', 'Dragon's Watch', 'Street of Rage Classic', 'The Uncertain' and More

It's the middle of the week, and that means it's time for our roundup of all the best new iOS games to hit the App Store in the past 7 days. As always it's a busy week, but I can't think of another week that had so darn many big name releases that dropped pretty much out of nowhere. Of course Reigns: Her Majesty is a biggie, and we actually DID expect that one, but not until tomorrow, so its early release caught us by surprise. Then there's the iOS port of Portal Knights, which I had ZERO idea was a thing in the works. The forever in development card battler VEmpire finally dropped, as did the forever in soft launch Amazing Katamari Damacy. Quite a week, I tell you! So check out all the new games in the list below and let us know which ones you're interested in picking up...

Here I am doing my weekly deep dive into the inner depths of the App Store to scrounge up all the new games for our weekly roundup, and I just happened to notice that Reigns: Her Majesty [$2.99] is available right this minute in the App Store despite it being scheduled to go live tomorrow. Hey, I'm not complaining! For those unaware, Reigns: Her Majesty is the follow-up to the critically acclaimed original Reigns which had you ruling a kingdom and making life-changing sociopolitical decisions like you were swiping for a date on Tinder. It's freaking awesome, and this sequel not only has you playing as a Queen this time around (which you probably could have guessed from the title) but it also adds tons of new features and elements to really supercharge the original game's mechanics...