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: '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...

It feels like just yesterday that Rodeo Stampede [Free] *ahem* stampeded onto the App Store, but in fact it was back in June of last year that it first arrived. During a time of Crossy Road-alikes galore, it was easy to see screenshots of Rodeo Stampede and think it's just another one of those, but its super unique (and super fun!) jump-from-animal-to-animal mechanic made the game stand out from the rest, and our own Rob Funnell loved the game in his review. Since that original release, Rodeo Stampede has received some of the best post-launch support I've ever seen, including adding in tons of new species of animals, special holiday events, and an entire breeding system so you could raise adorable baby animals and talk in baby talk to them. Or maybe that's just me. Anyway, the point is that Rodeo Stampede is pretty awesome, and it looks to get even better next Thursday when a new Jurassic update will add a ton of awesome dinosaurs into the mix...

'Combat Squad' Tactical Mobile FPS from Former 'Counter-Strike Online' Developers Soft Launches in Singapore

A-33 Studio is a "game development company founded by the key developers from Counter-Strike Online" and they're hoping to put that experience to use in the mobile realm with a project they've been working on since 2014 called Combat Squad: Project Wednesday. First-person shooters on touchscreen have always been pretty hit or miss, but A-33 is trying to solve that by creating one with enough options that it should please most FPS fans. They do this with a simplified control scheme and the ability to turn auto-fire on and off at will. The other interesting thing that stands out to me about Combat Squad is that you play on a squad of 5 different characters, but you can switch and control any of them at any time while the ones you aren't controlling are handled by the AI. Check out a couple of videos of Combat Squad, the first a more general trailer and the second a lengthier straight gameplay video...

As was hinted at last month, our little pal Red has gone to the casino in a new update for Red's Kingdom [$2.99] which just arrived this morning. Similar to the huge update the game received in early March, this latest update includes two new areas to explore, the fishing port called Roth Ennis and an area called Rath Crom which is home of the famous The Golden Nut casino, and more than 50 new levels to explore and solve. You can also expect to run into several new types of enemies and even some new puzzle mechanics...

Early 20th Century Narrative Adventure 'The Lion's Song' Coming to Mobile in July

In July of last year, Austrian indie developer Mipumi Games released the first episode of their narrative adventure game The Lion's Song on Steam to much critical acclaim. Each episode of the game deals with one fictional Austrian artist or scientist and takes "a closer look at their intimate struggles with creativity and inspiration." The game is designed so that the choices you make in one episode will carry over to the others, not just moving forward but also affecting episodes you've already completed and return to later. It's a very cool idea with a very unique art style and soundtrack that's proven to be a hit with players. Since that original episode debuted, two additional episodes of The Lion's Song have been released, and the fourth and final episode is set to launch near the game's one year anniversary. Alongside that the complete saga will be debuting on iOS and Android...

One year ago today, Leap Day [Free] had the crazy idea of being an auto-running platformer built around having a brand new level each and every day. Combined with a vertical level design that could easily be played in portrait with one thumb, and absolutely spot-on physics and jumping mechanics, Leap Day totally pulled off what it was hoping to do. It's a challenging platformer completely tailored to mobile play. The formula seems to have proven popular too, as Leap Day has received a ton of additional content over the course of the past year feeding a hungry base of players. Well, to celebrate their one year anniversary, Nitrome have released the biggest update yet for Leap Day featuring tons of new enemies and obstacles to leap and wall jump your way through. Check out the new stuff in the trailer below...

Out Now: 'Injustice 2', 'Crash Club', 'Miles & Kilo', 'To the Moon', 'Sky Gamblers Races', 'Run-A-Whale', 'Super Blackjack Battle 2 Turbo Edition', 'Bit Heroes', 'Kill Shot Virus', 'Dungeon, Inc' and More

Welcome to another week of new iOS game releases, and oh boy, what a week we have. There is TONS of awesome stuff hitting this week, including the mobile version of upcoming blockbuster fighting game Injustice 2, Prettygreat's much-anticipated MMO car combat game Crash Club, PC indie hit To the Moon, Kid Tripp sequel Miles & Kilo, the gorgeous Run-A-Whale, crazy Street Fighter II/blackjack mashup Super Blackjack Battle 2 Turbo Edition, and… phew! Lots more, but I need to catch my breath. So check out all the new games in the huge list below and let us know which games you're interested in picking up this week...

'Swipe Casters' is the New Touchscreen Magic Casting Game from the Makers of 'Warcher Defenders'

Ogre Pixel, makers of one of my favorite under-the-radar games of last year Warcher Defenders [Free], have announced their next project, a fantasty-themed spell-casting battler called Swipe Casters. The game takes place in the same universe as both of Ogre Pixel's previous titles, Warcher Defenders and Black Tower Enigma [Free], and sees you playing the role of a magician competing in a magicians tournament. Yes, that's a thing. However, the grand prize for the tournament, the Magician's Chalice, has been stolen and it's up to you to get it back. ..

'Injustice 2' Guide - Tips on Energy Usage and Upgrading Heroes when Offline

When news about an Injustice: Gods Among Us sequel for consoles leaked last summer, it left us with a couple of questions about the mobile version. Would Warner Bros. and NetherRealm also make a sequel for mobile, or would they just continue updating the existing Injustice [Free] game which had already received massive amounts of new content over the past 4 years and was one of the most popular mobile games around? This past Valentine's Day we got our answer as Injustice 2 for mobile soft-launched in the Philippines App Store, and this week the game has finally launched worldwide. While I'm not sure of the strategy of abandoning an existing successful game with a huge player base in favor of a brand new app, it does at least afford the series a fresh start, and the engine running the existing Injustice game was arguably getting long in the tooth. While Injustice 2 retains the core stripped-down fighting mechanics of its predecessor, it also makes some major fundamental changes to the entire formula. With that, we've put together a short guide in an effort to help you get the most out of this newest entry in the mobile Injustice series...

Rick and Morty is the greatest television show in history (it's a fact, Google it) and Pocket Mortys [Free] is the greatest Pokemon-like video game based on Rick and Morty (also a fact). We loved Pocket Mortys in our original review from January of last year, and it's only gotten better in the many months since then with a steady stream of content updates released for the game. Now, it's about to get even betterer as one of the key elements that would help it feel truly Pokemon-like, online battling, is apparently heading to Pocket Mortys and Adult Swim wants to recruit some beta testers for the new feature on Android...

The existence of an Injustice 2, a sequel to Warner Bros. and NetherRealm's 2013 smash hit Injustice: Gods Among Us, was first leaked via some marketing materials back in June of last year. The success of the original game on console and PC, and it's overwhelming success and ability to print money on mobile, pretty much guaranteed that a mobile sequel would be coming, but this past February it was officially confirmed by way of Injustice 2 on mobile soft-launching in the App Store. Recently NetherRealm announced that Injustice 2 would be launching on mobile on May 11th, just prior to the console release next week. Well, the App Store typically operates a bit offbeat and this case is no different: Injustice 2 [Free] is now live worldwide in the App Store 2 days ahead of schedule. ..

'The House of Da Vinci' will Combine 'The Room'-Style Puzzling with Actual da Vinci Inventions

The Room series brought the "escape room" genre to the masses with well-designed puzzles and incredible graphics, and now developer Blue Brain Games wants to take that idea and inject some historically accurate realism into the formula. Their upcoming game is titled The House of Da Vinci and it has you playing as the infamous inventor's apprentice trying to solve the mystery of why his mentor has vanished out of nowhere. You'll accomplish this by tinkering and toying with objects and inventions found around da Vinci's house. ..

You may have noticed in the past month or so that Knights of Pen & Paper 2, developed by KYY Games and published by Paradox Interactive, had gone missing from the App Store. Several players in our forums and elsewhere on the internet sure noticed, but Paradox was remaining tight-lipped about why the game was removed saying that a big announcement would be coming. Well, here is the big announcement: Knights of Pen & Paper 2 is converting to full free to play, and all previous progress players have made in both the iOS and Android versions is being completely wiped due to the save files being incompatible with the new free to play version. PriceIsRightFailHorn.wav..

First 'DISTANT' Gameplay Trailer Revealed and It's Looking Stunning

During GDC this past March, we met up with the folks from Alto's Adventure [$0.99] developer Built By Snowman to check out an early look at Alto's Odyssey as well as the many games they're collaborating with other developers on, like Skate City, Where Cards Fall, and DISTANT. Unfortunately, they weren't ready to show any of that stuff publicly at the time, so I pretty much just had to sit on my fantastic experience with several of the most anticipated upcoming mobile games. It's very hard to get excited about a game and NOT shout it from the rooftops! Anyway, there's a method behind all this madness, and today Built By Snowman and developer Slingshot & Satchel are finally ready to take the wraps off their stylish upcoming platformer DISTANT, which was initially teased back in late November of last year. Check out the first look at DISTANT in action...

I'm just going to come out and say it: Wayward Souls [$6.99] is my favorite iOS game. Yes, we picked it as our Game of the Year back in 2014, and yes we awarded it 5 stars in our original review, and yes it's been critically acclaimed by tons and tons of gamers since its release, so maybe that statement isn't all that surprising. However, there are SO many fantastic games on mobile that it makes it hard to boil it all down to just one favorite, but I think I've finally decided that Wayward Souls deserves that honor. I mean, just writing about it or even thinking about it makes me want to instantly start playing, which I will be doing just as soon as I'm done with this post, by the way. ..

Philipp Stollenmayer, aka Kamibox, is one of my favorite developers on mobile. Not only does he create absolute masterpieces like Pancake - The Game [Free], but he's also responsible for the brilliant platformer Sometimes You Die [$1.99] and several excellent puzzle games like Squaredance [Free], Okay? [Free], and Zip–Zap [$1.99]. That last one is the subject of a Game Design Deep Dive, an awesome feature over at Gamasutra that has developers explaining some of the finer points behind the games that they've made. The whole thing is worth a read, and is not very long, but two of the most interesting aspects I got out of it were: 1) Zip–Zap was originally a platformer and 2) that Stollenmayer actually created a really cool paper prototype of the game during development that sadly turned out to be totally useless...

TouchArcade Game of the Week: 'Spaceplan'

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...

Retro-Style MMORPG Dungeon Crawler 'Bit Heroes' Arriving May 11th

During GDC this year we met up with the folks from Kongregate to check out the iOS version of their popular Flash MMORPG dungeon crawler Bit Heroes, and we really enjoyed what we saw at that time. In fact Bit Heroes had been soft-launched in the Philippines since mid-February, and based on the impressions in our forums, the people playing the soft-launched version were really enjoying it, and those who didn't have a Philippines iTunes account and weren't playing it sure seemed to like the look of it and wished that they were. Well, if you're in that latter group, good news! Bit Heroes is all set for a worldwide launch next Thursday, May 11th...