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: 'Ember'

TouchArcade Game of the Week: 'Ember'

September 16th, 2016 9:00 PM EDT by Jared Nelson in Featured, Game of the Week, News
$9.99 Buy Now

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...

Ten of the Best Graphically Impressive Games to Play on Your New iPhone 7

It's new iPhone day! As my colleague Eli noted earlier, though, we're living in a bit of a weird time in terms of technological advancements of iPhone hardware. In the earlier days, there were more major advancements to each new iPhone that were noticeably impressive, like the graphical leap from the iPhone 3G to the 3GS, or the gorgeous new Retina Display on the iPhone 4. In terms of hardware advancements that you could actually see, things have been incremental since around the iPhone 5S time. The bump up in screen sizes made things pretty interesting when the iPhone 6 models arrived, but last year and now with the new iPhone 7 there's just nothing drastically different about each new iPhone...




Side-Scrolling Bike-Tricking Game 'Pumped BMX 3' Arrives September 29th

Way back in August of 2012, developer Yeah Us! released an unassuming side-scrolling physics-based BMX game called Pumped: BMX [$1.99]. I say unassuming because on the surface, with its cartoonish art and virtual button setup, it appeared like any of the thousands of similar games that had flooded the App Store. However, that simply wasn't the case. Pumped: BMX was amazing. It featured a really good physics system that demanded you learn the ins and outs of riding the terrain, coupled with a surprisingly deep trick system that took a bit to get the hang of but once you did it felt like a Tony Hawk's Pro Skater game. ..

Back in May, developer Rumblecade released a side-scrolling beat 'em up called Rockabilly Beatdown [$0.99] that featured simple button-mashing gameplay and some of the nicest pixel art and animation I'd seen. Despite being a simple game with just a single attack button, there was some hidden depth to Rockabilly Beatdown that slowly unveiled itself the more you played. With the charm and personality of the characters in the game, this was definitely an "endless high-scoring" take on the beat 'em up genre that I could get behind. The biggest problem was that it felt like a one-trick pony and, besides shooting for high scores, there wasn't a ton of meat on the bones in terms of progression and unlocks, things we had issues with in our review. That's something that Rumblecade has attempted to rectify with the first big update for Rockabilly Beatdown...

As we learned last month, retro-inspired racer Horizon Chase [Free] has just reached the one-year anniversary of arriving in the App Store, and to celebrate the team at Aquiris Game Studio has just released a special update adding some great new content to the game. This new content comes in the form of a new Australian Cup with 9 brand new tracks and two new vehicles, one a more modern high-performance sports car and the other more of a classic muscle car. Both are very welcome additions to what I believe is one of the finest racers on mobile, and you can see the new stuff in action in the following trailer...

Transportation Simulator 'Mini Metro' Finally Nearing Submission for Mobile

First unveiled just shy of two years ago in 2014, Mini Metro is a transportation simulation game from developer Dinosaur Polo Club that had, at that time, just hit Early Access on Steam and was planned for release on mobile "hopefully" before the end of that year. Obviously, that didn't quite happen, but we did get a chance to play an in-progress version of Mini Metro on the iPad during GDC last year, and really liked it. Again, the plan at that time was to release Mini Metro on the iPad before the end of the year. Yeah, that didn't happen either. ..

Out Now: 'Ember', Animation Throwdown', 'Oz: Broken Kingdom', 'The Quest HD - Islands of Ice and Fire', 'KOMRAD', 'Paul Pixel', 'Dungeon of Gravestone' and More

You might remember that last week, with the Apple event announcing the new iPhone 7, it seemed like developers were a bit hesitant to launch any new games and potentially have their thunder stolen by all the hullabaloo. Well, this week isn't much different, as the launch of iOS 10 and a deluge of sticker apps for Messages has kind of taken over the App Store. Like last week, though, there's still a strong lineup of new games, just maybe not as many as usual. That's actually fine, if my backlog is any indication. So check out the full list below and let us know which games you'll be picking up this week!..

Phenomenal Match-3 RPG 'Hero Emblems' Getting a Sequel, Check Out the First Trailer

One of the surprise hits of 2015 was HeatPot Games' Hero Emblems [$3.99], a match-3 RPG. Why was it a surprise hit? Well, at that point, we had match-3 games coming out of our ears, and even the ones that boasted RPG elements on the back of the box never felt like true RPG games where you were invested in the story and characters and made meaningful upgrade choices and progression. They were just match-3 games with XP bars to fill up. Not true with Hero Emblems, which had a colorful cast of characters that exhibited actual personalities. The other big surprising thing was that Hero Emblems was a paid game with no IAP, which is practically unheard of in the world of match-3 games. The difficulty balance was a bit off at times, but at least you knew it wasn't purposely that way in order to nudge you towards spending money. Hero Emblems truly was (and still is!) fantastic, and not only did we love it in our original review but it was one of my personal favorites of 2015 as well. With Tokyo Game Show kicking off this week, HeatPot has unveiled their long-hinted at sequel to Hero Emblems with the following trailer...

In June of last year, a phenomenal puzzle/action platformer named Furdemption [$2.99] took the App Store by storm. We loved it in our review, as did players in our community. It was easily one of the best games of 2015. Then in September, just over a year ago in fact, developer RareSloth announced that a level editor would be coming to Furdemption that would allow players to create and share levels forever and ever and ever! Well, due to various circumstances, that level editor got put on hold indefinitely in November. The silver lining was that in place of the editor, RareSloth instead would be bringing out a brand new sequel to Furdemption, called King Rabbit [Free], which launched back in March and, like the original, was simply fantastic. Well, things are coming full circle as today RareSloth has announced that the level editor is back on and heading to King Rabbit early next year...

Last week, we brought you the trailer for a charming upcoming point-and-click adventure game called Paul Pixel - The Awakening [$1.99], and as promised, the game is now available for purchase on the App Store. Paul Pixel the game follows the adventures of Paul Pixel the character as he wakes up to find that his neighborhood has been quarantined thanks to an alien zombie invasion. Yes, not just aliens, not just zombies, but alien zombies. Yikes! Your job is to escape the quarantine zone and save the entire world in the process. No pressure...

Last week we were told by the good folks at Mojang that the final installment in Telltale's Minecraft: Story Mode [$4.99] would be hitting sometime this week, and now we finally know specifically when this week they were talking about: Right now! Or, right now-ish, I guess. The eighth and final episode of Minecraft: Story Mode, titled "A Journey's End?", arrives today on console and PC, and should be arriving on mobile platforms as well. In fact, it may even be there by the time you read this! In celebration of this momentous conclusion of Telltale's thus far longest episodic release ever, they've put together a brand new trailer for Episode 8 which shows the Minecraft: Story Mode crew going all Hunger Games to get out of their current predicament...

TouchArcade Game of the Week: 'Atomic Super Lander'

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...

'Zombie Gunship, Inc.' First Look Video Released, Launching this Winter

It's been well over a year since Limbic Software announced that they'd partnered up with Flaregames to create a brand new entry in the ultra-popular Zombie Gunship [Free / Free] series, and after making a brief appearance as a demo game in the iPhone 7 hands-on area at Apple's event on Wednesday, the companies have now released a new first look video showing the game in action. Limbic's Community Manager Sheiva shows off what it's like to play through a round in the new game, tentatively titled Zombie Gunship, Inc., in the video below...

Back in July, Lucky Kat released their charming monster collecting/combining/battling game Combo Critters [Free], and we rather enjoyed it in our review. Taking a page out of Pokemon, in Combo Critters you'd explore an overworld map and engage in battles, and upon winning, hopefully snag that defeated foe to add them to your collection. Where things got really neat was in the way you could combine any of the creatures in the game to get a mishmash character as a result. It made for a ton of variety in terms of monsters, and today Lucky Kat has announced that there will be even more variety thanks to a new update next week that will add 3 new worlds and 45 new types of creatures to Combo Critters. You can check out the new stuff in this trailer...

'Paul Pixel - The Awakening' is a Charming Old-School Adventure Game Launching Next Tuesday

Sometimes average people are called upon to do extraordinary things. Things like saving the world from zombies, who are also aliens, who are invading Earth and bringing forth a zombie-alien apocalypse. That's what average fellow Paul Pixel must do in his forthcoming adventure game Paul Pixel - The Awakening. Paul wakes up one day to find that the part of the city where he lives has been quarantined, due to that pesky zombie-alien invasion thing, and he wants to get out! Of course, to do that he'll have to save the world and stuff along the way. Check out the trailer for Paul Pixel...

Halfbrick's Platformer 'Dan the Man' Launching October 6th

Halfbrick has been hard at work on Dan the Man, the official video game of the popular web series that was inspired by video games, for quite some time now. The game is an action platformer that plays out like an interactive version of the shows, which is something I've wanted for years ever since seeing the very first Dan the Man cartoon. We caught an early glimpse of Dan the Man back at GDC in March, and last month the game was soft-launched on iOS in select territories. This week Halfbrick has announced that the global release of Dan the Man is all set for early next month on October 6th. Here's the last episode of the web series which sets up the story for the Dan the Man video game...

Pokemon GO Plus, the wrist-worn device that connects to your mobile phone via Bluetooth and allows you to play Pokemon GO [Free], finally has a release date: Next Friday, September 16th. You may recall that the Plus was originally announced to launch before the end of July, but was delayed until sometime in September. Well, now we know when that sometime is! The device will set you back about $35 and will be compatible with iPhone 5 devices and above running at least iOS 8. It'll also be compatibile with Android devices equipped with 2GB of RAM and running Android version 4.4-6.0, as well as Bluetooth 4.0 which allows for low-power consumption. ..

Out Now: 'Skyhill', 'Atomic Super Lander', 'Color Bots', 'Submerged', 'Disco Dave', 'Ice Lakes', 'Head of State', 'Vertigo Racing' and More

It's Wednesday, which means it's new iOS games day, but boy this sure isn't your typical release day. It seems that with Apple announcing the iPhone 7 as well as Nintendo unveiling Mario's first iOS game, many developers opted to skip out on releasing their games this week. However, a few developers are Bad Enough Dudes to laugh in the face of these big headline-grabbing announcements and release their games anyway, and there's actually a decent handful of really interesting and highly-anticipated games out today. Plus, at least a couple more that should trickle out by the end of the week. So check out the full list below and as always let us know which games you'll be picking up!..

Apple Unveils New iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus

September 7th, 2016 2:54 PM EDT by Jared Nelson in News

As should be a surprise to absolutely no one, Apple has unveiled the newest iPhone, called the iPhone 7 (shocker!), at today's live event. The new iPhone sports repositioned antennae bands, giving a much sleeker look to the back of the device. Also sleek is the new "Jet Black" color, which uses some special process to create a shiny black surface for the casing. There's also a regular old "Black" option which has more of a matte look, as well as the typical Gold, Rose Gold, and Silver options. The iPhone 7 also features a redesigned Home button which isn't really a button at all but rather a recessed area that uses Taptic Engine feedback to simulate the clicks we're all used to. The new Home button will be force sensitive, so expect multiple functionality similar to how 3D Touch works nowadays...

As expected based on the many leaks ahead of today's event, Apple has announced a new version of their Apple Watch which they're dubbing the "Series 2." It doesn't look a whole lot different on the outside, but it's definitely got some nice upgrades on the inside. First of all, the Series 2 Apple Watch is now fully waterproof up to a depth of 50 meters, which is a nice upgrade over the original which was pretty water-resistant itself but only officially certified as "splash proof." Apple isn't joking around with their waterproofing either, as they've ran the new Apple Watch through rigorous underwater tests to simulate years of use underwater and there are new workouts specific to swimming activities. As someone who newly owns a pool, this is very exciting to me...