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.

Philipp Stollenmayer, aka Kamibox, is the creator of Sometimes You Die [$1.99], a minimalist platformer that turned out to be much more than it appeared on the surface and through clever platforming mechanics it also delivers commentary on the genre itself, video games as a whole, and even life as we know it. It's a very powerful and thought-provoking experience. He also made Pancake - The Game [Free], a game about flipping pancakes. It should say a lot that both of those titles, while spanning a wide gap of what people expect a game to be, are among my favorites on iOS, and Kamibox has consistently put out highly playable and interesting games for years now. The latest is called Squaredance [Free], which arrived yesterday and is a minimalist puzzler that uses a swipe-the-whole-board-at-once mechanic similar to Threes! [$2.99 / Free]. This isn't a high score chaser though, as each level has a different board shape which makes your goal of combining all like-colored squares in order to remove them that much more difficult...

Zombieville USA [$0.99 / Free] was one of those early iPhone hits that put developer Mika Mobile on the map. A side-scrolling shooter with a killer art style, Zombieville launched in early 2009 and quickly rose up the charts and maintained a position there for many months to come. Obviously its success led to a sequel a couple of years later, Zombieville 2 [$0.99] which launched in October of 2011. The sequel improved upon the original with a wider range of movement, tons of unlockable characters and weapons, a cool upgrade system, and most impressive of all co-op multiplayer both locally and over WiFi. Well, it's been a couple of years since Zombieville 2 has received any update love, and like any game on iOS it has developed a few issues over the years as new iOS hardware and software has rolled out. With the release of their latest game Lost Frontier [$2.99] now behind them, Mika Mobile took this time to fix those issues as well as bring the beloved Zombieville 2 to the Android platform for the first time...




E3 2016: 'Dragon Raja' is an Impressive-Looking Hack 'n Slash RPG that's Popular in Asian and Heading West

Locojoy Games is one of the top mobile game developers in China, and they're partnering up with US-based Narvalous to bring one of their more popular games, the action RPG Dragon Raja, to the North American market. During E3 we were able to play a brief demo of Dragon Raja, and while it certainly treads familiar territory in the action RPG genre, it had some really impressive visuals and satisfying combat that controlled really well on the touchscreen. Check it out...

E3 2016: Hands-On with Frantic Space Shooter 'Galak-Z: Variant Mobile'

Galak-Z: Variant Mobile, the mobile-centric version of the popular space shooter Galak-Z: The Dimensional on PlayStation 4 and desktop, was announced nearly a year ago in August of 2015, and it finally looks like it's just about ready for release. I absolutely fell in love with the trailers for the console version when it launched, and was excited that the game would be coming to mobile in some form, even if that meant it wasn't quite up to par with its older siblings. After finally getting my hands on a demo of the mobile version here at E3 it certainly seems like it retains all the main aspects that make the bigger version so awesome. Here's a quick hands-on video of Galak-Z: Variant Mobile...

It's Apple's annual developer conference which as always kicks off with a huge keynote address which typically announces all the new features that will be added to Apple's slew of software and what developers will be experiencing during the sessions of the week. Of course, being Apple, there's bound to be some surprises as well! If you're on the web on your computer or on your iOS device, you can mash this link right here to watch the stream which just started moments ago. Also, if you have a fourth generation Apple TV, you can download the Apple Special Events app and watch there, as I'm doing right now. We'll be covering any major game-related announcements, which are typically kind of hit and miss, but even if there's no major new gaming stuff to talk about these events are always fun to follow along with so check out the stream and discuss all the cool new announcements in our comments section below!..

TouchArcade Game of the Week: 'Heroes of Loot 2'

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...

'Bomberman' is the Latest Game to Get the 'Crossy Road' Treatment in Upcoming 'Blast Blitz'

Taking a classic game concept, giving it voxel graphics, and making it randomly generated and endless is exactly what Crossy Road [Free] did with the Frogger formula. And then Down The Mountain [Free] did it with the Q-Bert formula. And then Pac-Man 256 [Free] did it to Pac-Man. And then Shooty Skies [Free] did it to Space Invaders. And then Astro Attack [Free] also did it to Space Invaders. And then Ding Dong Delivery is hoping to do it to Paperboy. And Dude Ball is hoping to do it with pinball. And then and then… Phew! I'm sure I missed some there but anyway you get the point. Crossy Road-ifying things is all the rage, and developer Poly Pandas wants to give that same treatment to Bomberman with their upcoming game Blast Blitz. ..

'Dawnbringer' Gets Cool Cinematic Trailer Ahead of June 16th Launch

A couple of weeks ago, we checked out the gameplay trailer for Dawnbringer, an upcoming open-world action RPG that uses battle mechanics that are similar to mobile classic Infinity Blade. With Dawnbringer's launch looming next Thursday, developers Kiloo and Copenhagen Creators have released a brand new cinematic trailer giving us a glimpse into this game's characters and world. I'm not usually big on CGI cinematic trailers, but when they feature two warriors battling through space, continuing to fight even as they catch fire while blasting through the atmosphere, and crash landing on earth in a huge explosion, still ready to fight, well that's my kind of cinematic trailer...

Faily Brakes [Free]has been one of my favorite endless high-score games since its original launch in February. Part of that is that it's fun and challenging to careen out of control with no brakes and deftly avoid running into trees, traffic, trains, and more as you cruise for that high score. The other part is that when you fail at that task, there's something twisted and fun about launching your poor driver right out of that vehicle as you slam into something and watching him or her fly through the air in slow motion crashing and bashing into objects ragdoll-style. Yes, losing is almost as much fun as winning in Faily Brakes. Which makes the forthcoming update so exciting as now you'll be able to launch your helpless character and enjoy those spectacular slow-mo crashes with them wearing a panda costume! That, along with a variety of other silly costumes, two new environments, and new vehicles will be hitting Faily Brakes next Thursday...

As Promised, 'Paranormal Minis' Trailer Released Ahead of June 16th Launch

Paranormal Minis, an upcoming collaborative mobile game project from Ravenous Games and Bulletproof Outlaws, has a somewhat strange history, as we've covered here before. In a nutshell, the game was announced in 2013, then put on the shelf before getting a major design overhaul and going back into active development a year later. Then it was shelved again, until March of this year when it was resurrected yet again and finally completed with a scheduled launch date of June 16th. The problem is, after all of that, we've yet to see Paranormal Minis in action. That changes today with the release of the very first trailer...

Surreal Victorian Era Adventure Game 'The Slaughter: Act One' Coming to Mobile June 29th

The Slaughter: Act One is a very strange old-school style adventure game that launched on desktop platforms back in January, and is heading to iOS towards the end of this month on June 29th. In their email to us, developer Brainchild describes The Slaughter as "Monkey Island meets Twin Peaks" as in addition to typical point-and-click adventure stuff there's all sorts of strange surrealist things going on. The game takes place in Victorian London and you play as an investigator named Sydney Emerson who is trying to pull himself out of his own self-loathing long enough to track down a killer. You'll explore all the majestic locales of Victorian London, as well as all of its not-so-majestic locales like the slums, bars, brothels, and alleyways. Things start to get weird when Sydney starts discovering clues in his own dreams which blur the lines between subconscious and reality...

Out Now: 'Heroes of Loot 2', '2-bit Cowboy Rides Again', 'AlphaPit', 'Cat Knight Story', 'Independence Day: Resurgence Battle Heroes', 'Block Havoc', 'Flipominos' and More

It's another one of those crazy release weeks where more new iOS games hit the App Store than I know what to do with. It's even worse this week as cool stuff has been trickling out since late last week and over the weekend. I'm personally most excited for Heroes of Loot 2 as it's an improved sequel to one of my all-tie favorites, as is the Game Boy-esque Metroidvania-style action platformer 2-bit Cowboy Rides Again. And that's just the beginning of stuff I'm interested in picking up. So check out the full list below and let us know what YOU, everyday average TouchArcade reader, are picking up this week...

You may not love the free to play "games as services" model, but one thing that it does allow is a more constant revenue stream which can enable the steady flow of updates over months and years that we've come to expect from our mobile games. Bad Piggies [Free / Free (HD)] originally launched as a paid title much like its sibling Angry Birds, and despite one freebie promotion way back in 2013 it's remained that way ever since. However, that one-time dollar entry fee seems to not be covering Rovio's ambitions of keeping the game constantly updated, so today they've rolled out a huge version 2.0 update to Bad Piggies along with a price switch down to free. ..

Back in December of 2014, a heavily old-school-inspired CRPG named Dungeons of Chaos was released for the iPad. A passion project from solo developer Volker Elzner, Dungeons of Chaos was meant to replicate the experience of classic computer RPGs from the '80s like Ultima and Wizardry, and for the most part he succeeded with that. However, one big negative with the original Dungeons of Chaos was that it was built in its own engine so wasn't quite as platform-flexible, and being an iPad-only game it left a lot of iPhone players out in the cold. Well, since that original release, Elzner has taken to completely rewriting the game for the much more flexible Unity Engine, and the results of that effort Dungeons and Chaos Unity Edition [$3.99], which launched over the weekend. ..

'Maniac Mansion' Creators' Upcoming Adventure 'Thimbleweed Park' Gets a Creepy New Trailer

Back in November of 2014, two of the creators behind classic point-and-click adventure Maniac Mansion Kickstarted a new adventure game project called Thimbleweed Park. It's been in development for quite a while and we got our first glimpse of the game in action when a teaser trailer was released back in early March. Today another new trailer has been released, also of the teaser variety, and the tone of it is unsettling to say the least...

After 2.5 Years in Development, Action Shooter 'Paranormal Minis' Finally Arriving on June 16th

Way back in November of 2013, Ravenous Games announced a new game in collaboration with Bulletproof Outlaws (who have done artwork for several Ravenous games) called Paranormal Minis. Originally it was designed as a dual-stick shooter, but after other projects filled up Ravenous's calendar, work on Paranormal Minis went dormant until a year later when it was reintroduced with a major design overhaul making it a more traditional side-scrolling brawler/shooter. Well, things went dormant once again until this past March when Ravenous again announced that Paranormal Minis was in active development and shooting for release within a couple of months. Apparently they've finally hit that target as today Ravenous announced in the forums that Paranormal Minis is approved and set to release on June 16th. Here are a few recent screens posted in April showing how the game looks now along with some of the character progression stuff you can look forward to...

Surprise! 'Heroes of Loot 2' for Mobile Releasing this Week with Early Bird Discounting

We've been following the progress of Orangepixel's upcoming arcade-style dungeon crawler Heroes of Loot 2 ever since its official announcement late last year, and following its Steam Early Access launch last month it was hoped that the mobile version of Heroes of Loot 2 would be wrapped up and released at some point in June. Well, as Orangepixel noted in our forums on Friday, it was going to be close as with things like WWDC and E3 happening in June, along with the annual summer releases and sales on other platforms, if Heroes of Loot 2 couldn't get approved in time for its mobile release then he was planning on pushing the launch back until sometime in August or September. Say it ain't so! Well, it ain't so. Earlier today Orangepixel popped back in to the forums to announce that Heroes of Loot 2 is finished and approved in record time, and as such will be launching this very week on June 9th. Here's a new launch trailer...

Just a few weeks ago we talked about the limited soft-launch of a new mobile fighting game in the BlazBlue series, and although the planned worldwide launch was all set for June 8th, BlazBlue Revolution Reburning [Free] snuck out early around the globe over the weekend. While the initial trailer and info we had on BlazBlue RR led us to believe it was a 3v3 swipe-based fighter similar to Injustice [Free], Marvel Contest of Champions [Free], that's not exactly the case. ..

TouchArcade Game of the Week: 'Human Resource Machine'

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...

Badland 2 [$3.99] may have released back in December and been quite an improvement over the already phenomenal Badland [$2.99], but that doesn't mean that the first game doesn't still have some gas left in the tank. We used to joke about Badland being the best value for money on the entire App Store due to it getting dozens of awesome content updates literally years after its release, and with the arrival of a built-in level editor in September of last year, it gave Badland pretty much endless replay possibilities. Now, about 9 months after the release of the level editor, developer Frogmind has announced that Badland players have created a staggering 70,000+ levels for the game, and along with a new bug fix update today they've featured what they consider the 40 best of those user-created levels in the Eternal Day chapter in the game...