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.

A couple of weeks ago a nifty minimalist skiing game called Just Ski [$0.99] hit the App Store. It's from developer Jeff Weber, who previously brought us the not-quite-as-minimalist skiing game Krashlander [$1.99], and despite looking like a simple side-scrolling skiing game Just Ski actually used more sim-like physics and mechanics. I've seen plenty of people who picked up Just Ski struggle with coming to grips with the system, but eventually things "clicked" and they went on to really enjoy the game. In the world of mobile games though, struggling through that initial learning curve can be a tall order, and I've seen just as many people pick up the game and then quit in frustration before having it click. With that in mind, Weber has released a quick tutorial video which should hopefully let people see how Just Ski works and hopefully make it easier to grasp...

Limbic Software's original Zombie Gunship ranks right up there with games like Angry Birds and Fruit Ninja as one of the most successful and sticky mobile games released in the earlier days of the App Store. In fact, the way that it has maintained popularity in the nearly 6 years since its initial launch makes it seem like there's no need for a Zombie Gunship sequel. However, 6 years is a long time and sometimes it's nice to be able to start fresh using all the knowledge you've gained from having such a successful app. That feels like the case with Zombie Gunship Survival [Free], the sequel that's a collaboration between Limbic and Flaregames that we've been following for the past couple of years and which just went live worldwide today, two days ahead of schedule. On first blush it doesn't seem too far removed from the first game in terms of core mechanics, but there are many new features added in and a brand new structure that makes it more well suited to today's free to play market than the original game ever was...




Sega's Classic Beat 'em Up 'Comix Zone' Comes to Mobile, but Just in the Philippines

For those of you who have been around the mobile gaming scene since the early days, you may remember that some of Sega's earliest mobile efforts were quick and dirty ports of some of the classics from their Genesis/Mega Drive era. While the games themselves were quite good–including hits like Gunstar Heroes, Shinobi III, Sonic 1 & 2, Shining Force, Golden Axe, and Street of Rage–the mobile ports were about as crappy as could be. They all were the basic ROM that ran inside the same emulator shell with virtual buttons just sort of slapped on there, and some enterprising gamers even discovered that you could swap out the ROMs so that you could play Genesis games that weren't even officially released on iOS. Ah, the good old days...

In early April, developer Cmune soft-launched their newest mobile first-person shooter Deadheads, and if you missed out on that chance to play the game early then I have some good news for you: Deadheads [Free] has launched worldwide as of this past weekend. If the name Cmune sounds familiar to you, it's because they've created quite a few mobile FPS games over the years. Their 2012 release UberStrike was their first game and was a smash hit, collecting more than 25 million players, but that sort of unexpected success is a blessing and a curse as the team was not prepared for that amount of players and the game was not designed to be easily updated and scaled. ..

TouchArcade Game of the Week: 'Old Man's Journey'

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...

'BitChip Bounce' is Like a Two Character 'Caveman Pong', Coming Next Thursday

A few years ago, a simple little game called Caveman Pong [Free] won me over with its fantastic physics and ease of play. Basically the game was a Pong variant that had you bouncing a ball against a wall and tapping at the right time to make your caveman jump and reflect the ball back towards the wall. The speed and randomness of the ball made it tricky but a perfect "one more try" type of game. Now, indie developer David Barley in publishing partnership with Appsolute Games is riffing on that formula with the upcoming BitChip Bounce. Basically it's the same kind of idea but instead of battling against a wall you'll be battling against another AI opponent. Check out the trailer...

First-Person Dungeon Crawler 'The Keep' Coming to iPad Soon

It seems there's no lack of old-school first-person dungeon crawlers on the mobile platform, but that doesn't mean I'm not always excited to add another one to the bunch. In this case it's The Keep from Cinimax Games which released way back in September of 2014 on the Nintendo 3DS and then made its way to Steam just a couple of months ago. The Keep features real-time combat as opposed to turn-based like many of these types of dungeon crawlers, and being that it was originally released for the touch-based 3DS it also features a neat Rune-combining crafting mechanic and gesture-based combat, both of which should translate quite well to the touchscreen on the iPad...

Back in early March, Capcom Mobile announced that they'd be bringing four of their classic arcade games to the App Store in special mobile versions: 1942, Commando, Ghosts'n Goblins, and Ghouls'n Ghosts. The following week they followed through with that promise as 1942 Mobile [$1.99] hit the App Store. Then the following week Ghosts'n Goblins Mobile [$1.99] hit, and the week after that Wolf of the Battlefield: Commando Mobile [$1.99] hit. Which pretty much ensured that the next week Ghouls'n Ghosts would arrive, except… it didn't. Was there an error in their original announcement? Was it supposed to be just the original game releasing and not its superior sequel? The answer is no, as today Ghouls'n Ghosts Mobile [$1.99] has finally arrived in the App Store. ..

Pixeljunk Series Heading to iOS and Android with Upcoming 'Eden Obscura'

PixelJunk is a series of downloadable games developed predominantly for PlayStation systems by Japanese studio Q-Games, and they've always seemed like the sort of games that would be a perfect fit on mobile. Apparently Q-Games feels the same way as they're finally branching out with the series and releasing an iOS and Android game called Eden Obscura. This is a spinoff of sorts of the excellent 2008 game PixelJunk Eden and uses a very similar style of visuals and platforming gameplay. You'll have a few new ways to control your character here though, as Q-Games says: "Using the touch screen you can flick and spin and jump around with ease, we’ve even added a double-jump for extra fun!" I'm always down for some extra fun. Check out the teaser for Eden Obscura...

Earlier this month we told you that the fine fellas at Beavertap Games were prepping a huge update for their fantastic Mikey Jumps [Free], and as of just a bit ago that update has gone live in the App Store. The update adds a whopping 200 new levels to the game, and adds in a major new mechanic with warp portals. These will allow you to enter one portal and instantly exit the other, creating some mind-melting new level designs which you can see in this new version 2.0 update trailer below...

'Crushy Bricks' from Umbrella and Natty Games Soft Launching June 8th, Releasing Worldwide July 6th

During GDC this past March, we sat down with Umbrella Games to see a few of their upcoming titles. One of those was a matching game called Crushy Bricks which they're developing in partnership with Natty Games. While I'm not typically eager to see a new matching game, Crushy Bricks took me by surprise with the really clever way it strips the genre down to the bare minimum. Rather than making matches on a board, you'll only have to contend with a single string of blocks and your goal is to swipe away blocks to allow others to drop and connect at least 3 of the same color to clear them. Sort of a mashup of regular matching game and Zuma. Check out the brand new trailer...

'Pokémon: Magikarp Jump' Soft Launches in the Italian App Store

Back in February some very vague details surrounding a new Pokemon mobile game were announced, and it appeared that the new game would be called Splash! Magikarp and would be… celebrating how utterly useless this particular Pokemon is? Well, as strange as that sounded then, that actually seems to be the case as that game, officially titled Pokemon: Magikarp Jump, has soft-launched in the Italian App Store. Yes, the Italian App Store. I think developers are getting hip to all of us soft-launch enthusiasts and keep putting games up in App Store regions where I don't have an account yet. It's easy enough to make one, but… eh. Anyway, here's some of the App Store screens of Magikarp Jump...

In early February we learned that Djinnworks would be taking on the sport of skateboarding with their popular Stickman aesthetic in a game called Stickman Skate Park. Then in late March, we got word that Stickman Skate Park had been renamed Stickman Skate Battle to put emphasis on its online multiplayer battling. Now, following a short beta test period, Stickman Skate Battle [Free] has arrived as of early yesterday. It offers a bunch of different parks to skate in, plus tons of unlockable characters and skate equipment. Check out the launch trailer to see Stickman Skate Battle in action...

A Look Behind the Scenes of the Creation of 'Old Man's Journey', Launching this Thursday

The long and winding, ahem, journey of Old Man's Journey, which we've been following for the past year, finally comes to an end when the game hits the App Store this Thursday. This story-driven adventure has you traveling across beautifully-illustrated lands interacting with the environment and recalling the memories of the old man protagonist's life. While its main purpose is telling an emotional tale about reflection and redemption, the gameplay in Old Man's Journey involves an interesting mechanic that lets you literally move mountains as you manipulate the elevations in various depths of the environment to make a clear path forward for the old man. In case you aren't familiar with Old Man's Journey at all, check out the gameplay trailer below to see it in action...

'Payday Crime War' Gets First Trailer and Supposedly Will Be "Out Soon"

Bringing the popular Payday cooperative first-person shooter from console and PC over to mobile was originally announced at E3 way back in June of 2015, and then we heard basically nothing on the project for an entire year until Payday Crime War was officially announced during E3 2016. Well, E3 2017 is just around the corner, so that means we're due our yearly update on what's happening with the game. Last week, Overkill Software unveiled the first gameplay trailer for Payday Crime War, which will pit teams of 4 against each other as one tries to pull off a heist and the other tries to prevent them. Check it out...

Quantum Revenge [$0.99] is a game that caught our attention way back in January with its manga-inspired visuals and hectic dual-stick space shooter action. It launched at the beginning of April but unfortunately all of its promise was countered with lots of bugs and some strange design decisions. You could tell there was a really good game buried somewhere in Quantum Revenge, but its problems resulted in our middling review. However, in just the short amount of time since the game's release, developer Realtech VR has gone in hard with updating Quantum Revenge and it's a much better experience because of it. While they've mostly focused on tweaks and bug fixes in updates thus far, next week will bring version 1.1 of Quantum Revenge which will bring a couple of cool new additions which you can see in the trailer below. ..

'Help! I'm Haunted' Gets Visual Upgrades, New Announcement "Just Around the Corner"

Help! I'm Haunted has been the passion project of Sky Pirate Studios for the past 3 years, but it was just over one year ago that the game appeared on our radar just after the studio debuted its amazing first trailer. Being that Help! I'm Haunted was highly inspired by Studio Pixel's Kero Blaster [$5.99], and that Kero Blaster has been scientifically proven to be one of the best games of all time, it instantly shot up to the top of my mental most wanted list and I kept my eye out for any new details like a hawk. Unfortunately, there wasn't a ton of news to be had, until last October when Sky Pirate sent out their first mailing list newsletter which showcased a few new screens and word that the game was getting very close to beta. Their original plan of releasing in time for Halloween was out the window, but they were still hoping to release the game in late 2016...

TouchArcade Game of the Week: 'Steredenn'

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...

It's hard to hear the word Faraway and not think of Eliss [$2.99] developer Steph Thirion's forever-in-development constellation creating game, but while I'm not sure if that one will ever actually see the light of day in the meantime there's a new Faraway in town that's stolen my heart. Officially titled Faraway: Puzzle Escape [Free], the game makes no bones about being a "modern tribute" to the all-time classic Myst. You'll explore 18 different temple ruins solving various types of puzzles in order to open the path ahead and continue marching onward. There's also quite a bit to discover, too, including hidden pages from your father's diary which will help flesh out the story and explain why you're doing what you're doing. Or you can just solve puzzles, it's up to you!..

'Our Ways' is a Tricky Puzzler that Also Explores Relationships, Coming this Summer

Rolling Pig Studio has an artsy puzzle game in the works called Our Ways that, besides being a tricky puzzle game, also wants to explore relationships and the work that goes into keeping them going in the face of various types of adversity. Yeah, pretty heavy stuff for such a visually minimalistic game. They originally announced the game on our forums back in February, and sent forward a brief trailer for the game last week which got lost in the deadly abyss known as the TouchArcade inbox. The game finally floated to the top though and caught our attention. For the game part of Our Ways, you'll be controlling two different characters who must make their way through a level and meet up. The trick is that both characters must move together, and in some situations one might even have to make a sacrifice for the other to be successful. Seeing the relationship to relationships yet? Check it out...