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.

New 'Warhammer Quest 2: The End Times' Gameplay Trailer Released Ahead of October 19th Launch

Announced back in March, Perchang's Warhammer Quest 2: The End Times is one of the most anticipated new games for fans of 2013's excellent Warhammer Quest [$2.99] and simply fans of strategic turn-based dungeon crawlers in general. We've been following the game's development all year and learned just a couple of weeks ago that Warhammer Quest 2 will be launching next month on October 19th. In anticipation of that, Perchang has put together a brand new trailer showing off some of the basic mechanics to movement and combat in the game, as well as one very cool new feature...

Spiderweb Software Announces 'Avernum 3: Ruined World' for Windows, Mac, and iPad

Spiderweb Software's Avernum series has a really interesting history. The first three games in the Avernum series are based on the first three games in the Exile series, also by Spiderweb, that were released in the mid-90s. The first Avernum and its sequel were originally released in 2000 with Avernum 3 arriving in 2002. Then, in 2011, Spiderweb decided to reboot and remake that original trilogy of Avernum games with a new game engine and expanded features. The first fruit of that endeavor was Avernum: Escape from the Pit [$9.99 (HD)], which gets its subtitle from the 1995 game Exile: Escape from the Pit. See how all this stuff comes full circle? It's pretty neat. Following that was Avernum 2: Crystal Souls [$9.99 (HD)] in 2015, which again takes its title from the Exile sequel Exile II: Crystal Souls. Now Spiderweb has gone and announced the final game in this rebooted trilogy, Avernum 3: Ruined World and–you guessed it!–it derives its name from the third Exile game Exile III: Ruined World. Check out the awesome trailer...




Out Now: 'Iron Marines', 'Champions and Challengers - Adventure Time', 'Pocket Mine 3', 'Space Harrier II', 'Crazy Taxi Classic', 'King's Knight', 'OPUS: Rocket of Whispers', 'Tiltagon Turbo' and More

It's that time of week again when we are bombarded with a big batch of new iOS games. I think the highest profile release this week is Iron Marines from Kingdom Rush developer Ironhide, as they don't release games often but when they do they're always fantastic. So far Iron Marines is continuing that tradition. There's a couple of quote unquote "new" games this week too, Space Harrier II and Crazy Taxi, which officially become part of the Sega Forever series today but have both been on mobile already for years now. They're still fun though, so have been included in this week's list just for funsies. Lots of other interesting titles this week too, so be sure to check the full list below and let us know which games you're planning on picking up!..

Sega is continuing on with their Sega Forever initiative, which they announced this past June and sees classic titles from their entire console history coming to mobile in free to play form. The initiative got off to a rocky start both due to underwhelming titles being released and the emulation performance of those titles being less than stellar. To their credit Sega has worked hard since to release new Sega Forever games with an improved emulator and they've promised to roll those improvements out to the existing line of games via updates. Today a bunch of Sega Forever titles received those promised improvements: Altered Beast [Free], Kid Chameleon [Free], Comix Zone [Free], and The Revenge of Shinobi [Free]. ..

Ironhide Game Studios is most well-known for their excellent Kingdom Rush trilogy of tower defense games, but back in February of last year they announced a new game that would be tackling a different genre: real-time strategy. We didn't hear much news after that initial announcement until this past January when some beta footage was released, giving us a glimpse of the game in action. Then in March during GDC we went hands-on with an in-progress version of the game and thought it was shaping up quite nicely. Now, after much impatient waiting on my part, that game, Iron Marines [$4.99], has just hit the App Store a day ahead of its scheduled release date. I don't think anyone will be complaining about getting to play this one early! Check out the official trailer for Iron Marines...

Sega Soft-Launches 'Sonic Forces: Speed Battle' in the Philippines App Store

With the fantastic launch and reception of Sega's Sonic Mania now nearly a month behind us, the company is focusing its lasers on their other new Sonic game which is slated for release in November. The game is called Sonic Forces and sees the iconic blue hero leading a ragtag group of resistance fighters against the evil Dr. Eggman, and similar to 2011's Sonic Generations it'll feature both "modern" and "classic" version of Sonic where the modern version plays in a behind-the-back 3D perspective and the classic version plays more like the original side-scrolling Sonics. Anyway, apparently one of the marketing tools to coincide with the console launch of Sonic Forces is a mobile game tie-in, which Sega has soft-launched in the Philippines App Store this week. It's called Sonic Forces: Speed Battle and it's a behind-the-back runner similar to the popular Sonic Dash games but with a competitive angle, and you can see it in action below courtesy of the BlueParadox YouTube channel...

Thatgamecompany Announces New Game 'Sky' During Apple Event, Coming First to iPhone, iPad, and Apple TV

It's always kind of perplexing watching Apple's live events, as the company has notoriously had a tough time showing any real interest in video games but they always end up showcasing their new hardware with games. When a new Apple TV with beefed up hardware was rumored earlier this week, we wondered what that might mean for gaming on the device, which has thus far had a hard time taking off since the new Apple TV App Store was introduced a couple of years ago. Well, during the Apple event today, Thatgamecompany surprised everybody by making an appearance on stage and introducing their brand new game on the new Apple TV, a "social adventure" called simply Sky. Check out the trailer...

'Implosion - Never Lose Hope' Developer Rayark Soft-Launches Gorgeous Puzzle RPG 'Sdorica' on iOS and Android

Back in December of 2015, Implosion - Never Lose Hope [$9.99] developer Rayark released a teaser trailer for a new game called Sdorica, and although that teaser didn't really explain what sort of game it was what it did show was that Sdorica had an absolutely stunning art style and extremely fluid animations. And that's pretty much all it took to rocket the game towards the top of my most anticipated games list. Well, last week Rayark sneakily soft-launched Sdorica into several regions of App Store and equipped with my trusty New Zealand account I've finally been able to take the game for a brief spin. ..

One of 2017's best games came very early in the year when RAC7 Games released their terrifically unique puzzle platformer Splitter Critters [$2.99]to the App Store. The game had you trying to guide adorable roaming critters to their spaceship by slicing up the environment and then shifting the sliced pieces to create new pathways the little buggers could walk on. It was the type of game that felt like it was built for a touchscreen and not only did we award Splitter Critters our Game of the Week and give it 4.5 stars in our review, but Apple thought it was pretty great themselves and it earned a coveted Apple Design Award during WWDC this past June. So, with so much critical acclaim under its belt, where does Splitter Critters go from here? Into the world of augmented reality, that's where!..

'Tiltagon' Makes Its Return to the App Store this Thursday with the Release of 'Tiltagon Turbo'

Way back in late 2014 we first heard about Tiltagon from Kiemura Games, which was trying to be a twitchy arcade high scoring game in a similar vein to the ultra popular Super Hexagon [$2.99] but make it work with the unique tilt controls of mobile devices. The following April Tiltagon finally released with publishing duties courtesy of Noodlecake Games, and while we felt it was a bit too one note in our review we enjoyed the base concept of the game which felt a bit like the love child of Super Hexagon and Marble Madness. And, despite being somewhat shallow, Kiemura did succeed in creating a twitchy arcade game with excellent tilt controls. Since that time, the publishing deal with Noodlecake has expired and Tiltagon has been removed from the App Store. With Kiemura back in control of the IP, they've decided to release a revamped version of the game under their own label called Tiltagon Turbo...

One of the silver linings of the impending 32-Bit Appocalypse has been seeing what sort of App Store golden oldies have risen from the depths of neglect to get some sort of shiny new update to make it 64-bit compliant. I'd have to say my most unexpected update so far has been the one for Rogue Touch that launched at the beginning of the month, but my eyes certainly widened when I discovered that PikPok's touch-centric dunking game Slam Dunk King [Free] had received its first update in nearly 5 years saving it from the Appocalypse. Originally launched in 2011, Slam Dunk King felt like a riff on the ultra popular Fruit Ninja as there were basketballs that launched into the screen and your job was to snag it with your finger and dunk it into the hoop, while also flicking away any bombs that came your way. What set it apart was the trick system which had you grabbing the ball and then doing all sorts of fancy things with it before finally dunking it in an effort to rack up cool combos and a high score...

TouchArcade Game of the Week: 'The Guides Axiom'

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...

The good folks at RareSloth have once again released an update for their fantastic puzzle platformer King Rabbit [Free]. This latest update is called the Diamond Collection and features 64 of the very best community created levels released in an official package complete with new leaderboards and achievements. The Diamond Collection follows the precious gem naming convention of the previous three expansions - the Emerald Collection, the Ruby Collection, and the Sapphire Collection. Each of those expansions were released for $1.99 apiece, and as a special bonus if you've previously bought all three of them then you'll receive the new Diamond Collection for free. Whee!..

Back in June we posted about a new update to Dumpling Design's beloved high-score chaser Dashy Crashy [Free] in which they began a new system for allowing people to unlock new vehicles in the game entirely for free and without the reliance on luck through the in-game gacha prize system. That update introduced a Dinosaur vehicle and for the two weeks following the update's release if you managed to collect enough meat items while playing with the Dinosaur you'd unlock it permanently. If you didn't earn the Dino during the event, it still remained possible to unlock it by ~secret means~ which are hinted at in game. Then in mid-July, a second event called the Ramper Event started and featured a playable ramp-equipped truck that you could spin around and drive backwards at any time, thus propelling any vehicles in front of you off the ramp and into the air. If you "ramped" enough vehicles you'd unlock the Ramper for free, otherwise much like the dino it would require you to unlock it through secret means...

'Dragon Hills 2' Will Provide Even More Dragon-Riding Destruction when it Releases this Autumn

While we were busy at PAX West this past Monday those rascals at Rebel Twins, one of our favorite iOS developers who have delivered to us such gems as Daddy Was A Thief [$1.99] and Aliens Drive Me Crazy [Free], went and announced their new upcoming new game on our forums. With PAX madness finally behind us I finally got around to noticing their email about Dragon Hills 2, the sequel to their wonderful 2015 original. The base concept in Dragon Hills 2 remains the same: You can ride a massive dragon, dipping below the surface and bursting out into the air similar to Death Worm [$0.99 / Free] and Super Mega Worm [$1.99 / Free], and you of course want to cause as much destruction on the way as possible. Dragon Hills 2 takes all that and cranks it up to 11 with more of everything, check out the trailer...

Out Now: 'Forward Assault', 'The Guides Axiom', 'Minos Strategos', 'Eight-Minute Empire', 'The Knight Watch', 'The Human Age', 'Bored Ogre', 'Deliria', 'Don't Eat Us' and More

We are finally back from a VERY busy and VERY productive time at PAX West, and it's out of the frying pan and right back into the fryer of a very busy week of new iOS game releases. There's no rest in the world of mobile! Actually, while roughly 30 new games on any other platform would be a banner week, it's a bit on the light side compared to a normal release week in the App Store. There's some high quality stuff on offer though, and there's a handful of stuff that's supposed to release this week but hasn't made it out in time for this post, so be on the lookout for a heads up once those finally release and check out the full list of stuff that's actually out now in the list below and let us know which games you'll be grabbing...

Probably my favorite game from the handful we saw from Digital Melody here at PAX West is one called Diggerman. It's an arcade game that has you digging into the ground, collecting gold for points and avoiding dangers like enemies and explosives. The concept is one that's been done on mobile before, but what I felt set Diggerman apart from the others is how it has you digging diagonally which lends itself well to a two-button control scheme. Tap the left side of the screen to dig diagonally down and left, and the right side to dig diagonally down and right. This allows for some extremely fast-paced digging as you can see in the video below...

While Digital Melody was busy showing us many of their upcoming mobile games here at PAX West, they also wanted to take the time to show off a game from one of the developer's brothers and it's a clever enough concept we felt it was worth sharing. The game is called Extra Color and it's a single-tap arcade game that has you tapping the screen to alternate the color of the diamond in the center so that it matches the colors of the lines moving towards it. If the diamond doesn't match the line when they come into contact, it's game over. The neat twist here is that you can rack up extra points by alternating the colors while waiting for the lines to come into contact with the diamond, so there's a risk/reward factor in play. Do you leave the diamond the correct color and wait for the line to approach to ensure your game keeps going, or do you frantically switch colors as much as you can and hope to stop on the right color before contact is made?..

Digital Melody is probably most well-known for their ultra-popular Timberman, and along with Timber Tennis they've tried expanding the brand into new game genres. One of the new Timber games is one called Timber West which we were able to check out here at PAX West this weekend. It's a shooting gallery style game that's a bit tricky to explain. Basically, enemies pop up in various places and you can touch anywhere on the screen to generate an aiming reticule, which will slowly rise up from the position you touch. Once the reticule is over an enemy you lift off the screen to fire. Check out the video of Timber West to see what I mean...

One of the other games we checked out here at PAX West from Timberman developer Digital Melody was a neat balancing game aptly titled Find the Balance. The goal here is to stack all of the items shown at the top of the screen and have them balance long enough to clear the level, which felt like about 5 seconds or so. Easier said than done. You choose which items to stack in whatever order you choose, and one of the keys is to rotate the objects so that they will stack properly. It's probably best explained by just watching our hands-on video of Find the Balance below...