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: 'Oddmar'

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...

Last fall, PikPok took their highly atmospheric and creepy first-person zombie apocalypse runner/shooter hybrid Into the Dead [Free] and expanded on it in every way imaginable with the sequel Into the Dead 2 [Free]. This included improving the visuals a ton, adding in all sorts of new weaponry, expanding the upgrade system, adding additional environments to run in, and creating hand-crafted levels with a full campaign and compelling storyline rather than the endless nature of the first game. Overall it seems to have been quite the hit with players, amassing more than 13 million downloads as of mid-February. PikPok has been good about keeping the content updates flowing following Into the Dead 2's release last October, adding in new weapons and features and hosting various special events. Today, they're teasing what they're calling the "biggest update yet" to Into the Dead 2, and you can probably guess why by checking out the teaser trailer...




It was a very merry Christmas for strategy game-loving iPad owners this past December when Aspyr Media brought 2K and Firaxis Games' critically-acclaimed title Civilization VI [Free (HD)] to the iPad. And not just some stripped-down-for-mobile port either, this was the full, real deal desktop game but on the iPad. We were overwhelmingly impressed with it in our review and picked it for our Game of the Week when it released, and in general feel it's the best strategy title available on the App Store. Since that initial release, Aspyr has been busting their butt to get all of the DLC that has been added to the desktop version of the game out for the iPad. This has included the Poland and Vikings packs in February and the Australia pack earlier this month. Now a new pack featuring Persia and Macedon content is now available for purchase in Civilization VI for the iPad...

Spit-Swapping One-Handed Platformer 'Spitkiss' Gets an Official Trailer

One of the more interesting and quirky games we got a chance to see during GDC last month was a game called Spitkiss from developer Triple Topping Games. Story-wise it's about two special beings named Y27 and B4 who are madly in love with each other, and they show this love by… well, spitting in each other's mouths. Gross… or is it? Maybe it's not gross and it's actually really sweet. Whatever the case, the two lovebirds are never in the exact same place so it's your job as the player to guide the wad of spit from one to the other across treacherous levels. Functionally, this plays out as a one-handed platformer where you sling the spit using a guide mark similar to something like Angry Birds, and bounce the spit off of walls and avoid hitting hazards on your journey towards Y27 or B4. Yeah it's a weird game ok! But I love it. Today, Triple Topping has released the first official trailer for Spitkiss which gives you a really good idea of what the game is like...

New Teaser Video Shows Off the "Stars" of the Upcoming 'Pixel Stars' from Ogre Pixel

Ogre Pixel, developer of such personal favorites as Warcher Defenders [Free] and Swipe Casters [Free], unveiled two of their new projects during GDC last month. One is called Pixel Stars, and it's a fairly straightforward endless running game where the focus is totally on unlocking and collecting a huge cast of characters. Those will include parodies of plenty of recognizable people including video game stars, real-life celebrities, characters from movies and TV, and more. We actually got a quick demo of an early version of Pixel Stars when we were at GDC, and enjoyed it a lot. Today Ogre Pixel has released a new teaser trailer for Pixel Stars which aims to show just how many characters you'll come across in the game...

For the past few years, Mad Otter Games have been offering a truly cross-platform MMO experience for mobile gamers in the form of Villagers & Heroes [Free]. For a long time it was only available on PC and Android, but it did finally come to iOS back in February and allowed players to play seamlessly across all three platforms. What it lacked in fancy graphics it certainly has made up for in terms of the sheer number of things you can do in the game, and how well it all works across a pretty wide variety of devices. It's a very old-school sort of MMO experience, but that seems to be what players love about Villagers & Heroes. Last year Mad Otter released a huge update called the Starfall Expansion which significantly reworked huge portions of the game including the combat. Now with the iOS release behind them, they're working on the game's next big update which will focus more on the social areas of the game...

Blast Enemies Coming from the Walls of Your Own House in Upcoming ARKit Defense Game 'Defend It!'

Back in January, Apple announced an update for their ARKit technology that would allow the software to recognize vertical flat surfaces like walls in addition to the floor recognition that the feature initially launched with. I'm sure there's all sorts of ways developers can use the new tech, but Wizard Games instantly thought about how cool it would be to have something literally bursting through your walls in AR. They've adapted that idea into a defense game called Defend It! which sees you blasting away waves of enemies that smash through the walls in augmented reality and try to take out your special crystal. I'm doing a bad job of explaining it, but the idea is pretty clear in the following video for Defend It!..

It was way back in December of 2015 that Implosion - Never Lose Hope [$9.99] developer Rayark unveiled their visually stunning upcoming game Sdorica, but in reality the game has been in the works for even longer than that, 4 years to be exact. Now after a somewhat lengthy soft-launch period, and with more than 2 million people already pre-registering for the game, Sdorica -sunset- [Free] is finally launched globally in the App Store today. It's been a long time coming! Right from the moment we first saw Sdorica, we've been impressed with its striking visuals, colorful cast of characters, and fluid animations. Coupled with a killer soundtrack and animated cutscenes, Sdorica is quite the looker, as you can see in the global launch trailer...

Out Now: 'Oddmar', 'Brew Town', 'Avernum 3: Ruined World HD', 'Dynanite Headdy Classic', 'The Mooseman', 'Fishing Strike', 'Beast Brawlers', 'Retro Highway', 'Soap Dodgem' and More

Each and every day new mobile games are hitting the App Store, and so each week we put together a big old list of all the best new releases of the past seven days. Back in the day the App Store would showcase the same games for a week, and then refresh those features each Thursday. Because of that developers got into the habit of releasing their games throughout Wednesday or very early Thursday in order to hopefully get one of those coveted features spots. Nowadays the App Store refreshes constantly, so the need for everyone to release all on the same day has diminished. Still, we've kept our weekly Wednesday night format as for years that's the time people knew to check TouchArcade for the list of new games. And so without further ado please check out the full list of this week's new games below, and let us know in the comments section which games you'll be picking up!..

Developer Jussi Simpanen aka Adventure Islands released Duke Dashington Remastered [Free] back in November of last year, just a handful of days after Apple's latest device the iPhone X hit the market. Given the timing of the release, it's no surprise that the game didn't support the full screen of the iPhone X at the time, but it was still disappointing to iPhone X owners like myself and has only grown more so in the months since. Well! Thankfully Adventure Islands was already on the case, and decided to roll iPhone X screen support into a juicy new content update for Duke Dashington Remastered which has just hit the App Store today. The new content comes in the form of the Crystal Caverns dungeon which offers 30 brand new levels complete with their own new Game Center achievements and Time Trial leaderboard. Here's a brief glimpse of the game running on an iPhone X...

We've been all kinds of excited for Oddmar [$4.99], a new game from the folks behind one of the App Store's best ever platformers Leo's Fortune [$4.99], ever since we learned about it last month. In fact though the story of Oddmar goes back even further than that. Originally announced in 2015 under the name Viking Mushroom, it looked like the project might never see the light of day due to going silent following its unveiling. Thankfully that wasn't the case, and after that re-debut last month and our hands-on time with the game at GDC about a week later, Oddmar was given an official release date of April 19th and was put up for pre-order in the App Store a couple of weeks ago. Generally, pre-order games don't go live until the actual day listed on the pre-order page, but to the delight of many anxious gamers like myself Oddmar has broken that tendency and is now live in the App Store a day early...

Critically Acclaimed Shoot 'em Up 'Super Hydorah' Heading to iOS May 17th, Up for Pre-Order Now

Way back in 2010, Spanish indie developer Locomalito released a longtime passion project and love letter to classic shoot 'em ups called Hydorah as freeware on desktop platforms. The game took influences from some of the major players in the genre like Gradius, R-Type, Darius, and Turrican but also some of the lesser known titles like Enforcer, Space Manbow, Hellfire, X-Multiply, Guardian, Hydefos, and Armalyte. With friend and collaborator Gryzor87 creating a kick ass chiptune soundtrack, Hydorah earned all sorts of accolades on its release and became something of a cult hit. Then last year the developers partnered up with Abylight Studios to create an enhanced and expanded version of the game called Super Hydorah which released on Xbox One, PlayStation 4, PlayStation Vita, and Steam to even more critical acclaim. And now it's on its way to iOS! Check out this absolutely killer trailer from the console/desktop release of Super Hydorah...

The Dramatic Transformation of 'Dungeons and Miners' is a Sight to Behold

Developer Angry Bugs is responsible for a couple of my favorite iPhone games. More than six years ago(!) I fell in love with The Hacker [$0.99], which made me feel like a cool computer hacker from the movies. Then there was Drylands [$2.99 / Free], a post-apocalyptic action platformer that delighted a niche audience but never felt like it reached the success it deserved. So, being a fan already, I was pretty jazzed to see Angry Bugs announce a new game in August of last year called Dungeons and Miners. The early screens looked great, and the idea was that Dungeons and Miners would be a very casual roguelite digging game that you could easily play with one hand in portrait orientation. In the months that followed, Angry Bugs continued posting new information and screens to the game's thread in our forums, but today they posted an update that turns everything about Dungeons and Miners on its ear...

'Still Here' is a Beautiful Flying Adventure that's Launching Globally April 26th

As much as the mobile scene has become entrenched in free to play, it feels like there are more and more high-quality premium games coming out lately from some of the smaller indie developers out there. We're just a couple of days away from Oddmar releasing, and in a similar "holy moly this is one beautiful game" vein another whimsical adventure is set to arrive later this month called Still Here. In Still Here you'll play in a near future alternate reality where mankind has vanished from the world, with artificial lifeforms inhabiting the Earth. You'll play as a "Pip" as you tap to fly through these gorgeous environments, making friends with the AI beings and ultimately trying to figure out what happened to humanity. Check out the gorgeous trailer...

In January of last year, The Firm [$1.99] developer Sunnyside Games launched their second mobile title called Towaga [$2.99], an uber-stylish fixed point shooter in a similar vein to the cult classic ZiGGURAT. And seeing how ZiGGURAT was pulled from the App Store 8 months after its release, and then republished under another developer account forcing existing owners to purchase it again, and then THAT version was pulled too, I was more than happy to see the arrival of Towaga to fill that gap in my gaming library. And beyond that, the gameplay was more varied in Towaga and the art style and fluid animations were a sight to behold. The only problem with Towaga is that it felt like the core of a great game that just needed more stuff, and Sunnyside had big plans last July to update the game. ..

Craft Beer Simulator 'Brew Town' Set to Arrive this Thursday, Available for Pre-Order

Back in February Fist of Awesome [$0.99] developer I Fight Bears and Neon Horizon [Free] developer Appbox Media announced a collaborative project called Brew Town. As the name implies, Brew Town is a craft beer simulation game where you'll literally build a town out of all the elements you'll need to create a craft beer empire, and of course you'll spend a lot of time creating the beers themselves. One of the coolest aspects of Brew Town is the in-depth bottle and can creator which lets you create the perfect vessel for delivering your fine craft brews. This includes being able to name your beer and then use a pretty robust label editor to make your very own visual style for that beer. See it all in action in the following trailer for Brew Town...

People who know what I do for a living are always asking me what a good mobile game to play is, or what my all-time favorite mobile game is. And as we all know, with the firehose of new releases coming out every week and literally hundreds if not thousands of high quality mobile games to choose from, that question almost always is difficult to answer. So I always keep a couple of fallback go-to recommendations in my mind for whenever I'm put on the spot, and one of those is Terry Cavanagh's Super Hexagon [$2.99]. It's easy enough for anybody to play, it looks and sounds great, and it is the poster child for "easy to learn but hard to master." It's the type of game that should just be pre-installed on every iOS device. It's a masterpiece. Since first arriving on iOS back in the summer of 2012, Cavanagh has kept Super Hexagon well-maintained during all the software and hardware advancements Apple has put out over the years, and that trend continues today with a brand new update adding in support for the full screen of the iPhone X as well as 120fps support for ProMotion-enabled iPads...

Our weekly new game roundup doesn't happen until tomorrow, but developer Dumb Luck Games launched their new title Retro Highway [Free] at such an odd time (as far as mobile game releases are concerned, anyway) that I wanted to make sure that it didn't slip through the cracks. You might recall I posted about Retro Highway earlier this month, as I'm a huge OutRun fan from the time I was little and have loved all the retro-racer homages that have launched on mobile over the years, like Horizon Chase, Highway Runners, or the Final Freeway series. I also happened to own a Sega Master System when I was a kid, and the pack-in game was the classic arcade motorcycle racer Hang-On, so I have all sorts of fond memories of retro motorcycle racing. The trailer for Retro Highway looked to call back to many of those classics, while also putting its own modern mobile gaming spin on things with missions to complete and an upgrade system to work through. Here's the launch trailer so you can see Retro Highway in action...

It's been more than three years since Triada Studio launched their stunning shadow puppet puzzler Shadowmatic [$3.99] on the App Store, but that's not stopping them from continuing to add new content to the game. This week a new chapter titled "Other Worlds" will be added via an update to Shadowmatic, and it will bring 30 brand new levels as well as a few hidden levels to unlock, adding to the game's already impressive 100+ levels. The new chapter goes into three distinct worlds: Space, Music, and Ancient Times. You can see all these new themes on display in the following trailer, but be warned that just by the nature of the game watching the trailer will spoil a few of the new puzzles that are coming out...

TouchArcade Game of the Week: 'Original 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...