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.

It's hard to believe that EA's The Simpsons: Tapped Out [Free] has been on the App Store for more than two years, but as of this past March 1st, that is indeed the case. During that time the game has consistently been in the top charts, especially the top grossing chart. While there isn't a whole lot of "game" to The Simpsons: Tapped Out, it's undoubtedly dripping with excellent Simpsons fan service, which is a large part as to why it's done so well. EA has also been great about updating Tapped Out, adding new features and special events to the game that coincide with pretty much every major holiday. This Sunday is Easter, and again Tapped Out has received a new update to celebrate the occasion...

Out Now: 'Hodappy Bird', 'Hitman GO', 'Unpossible', 'Yomi', 'Rogue Heroes' and More

It's Wednesday evening, which means a whole batch of new iOS games have just hit the US App Store. Normally I might mention a few of the games out of this week's selection that have caught my interest, but honestly, what's the point? Hodappy Bird is out today, and it's poised to change the face of gaming as we know it, rendering other games null and void in its wake. Oh, some game called Hearthstone came out today too. It's by some hobbyist developer named… Hurricane? Snow Storm? Something like that. Anyway, you might want to check that out too, I heard it's pretty good or whatever...

After a fairly brief soft-launch period, Blizzard's Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft [Free (HD)] has finally arrived in the US App Store. Hearthstone is a card battling game set in the Warcraft universe. It was announced at PAX East last year, and went through a rather lengthy beta testing period on desktop. That beta test was eventually opened up to include anyone, and last month the beta finally ended and Hearthstone was released on desktop. Earlier this month Hearthstone officially soft-launched for iPad in select regions, and it was assumed it would be at least a month or two before it was released worldwide...

Some of the most popular free to play games are criticized for being mindless tap-fests, devoid of strategy or meaningful gameplay. And, for many free to play games, it's a valid criticism. There's an artificial sense of progression from opening up a game, making a few taps and collecting in-game rewards, and doing it over ad infinitum as you work towards whatever "goals" the game has laid out for you. In fact, it's the sort of "gameplay" even a robot could handle, as proven by Uli Kilian who built himself a robot out of Lego that could tap away at Jurassic Park Builder [Free] and earn him in-game income as he slept. Seriously, check it out...

FDG Entertainment is doing something quite unique with their beautiful action RPG Oceanhorn [$8.99]. They're releasing a free trial version, which gives you a chance to check out the first chapter of the game, as well as test how well it performs on your device. Now, lite versions of games are nothing new, and indeed you could always just simply download a lite version of a game to see how it performed on your iOS device. What's interesting about Oceanhorn Benchmark Edition is that it actually comes with a testing mode built-in that will grade the performance of the game on your particular device...

Ossian Studios' The Shadow Sun [$7.99] was in development for years before finally landing in the App Store last December, but it turned out to be worth the wait. We really enjoyed the game in our review, and it really is one of the more enjoyable Western-style RPGs on iOS. This week, The Shadow Sun received its second update since release. The first update, released in February, was mostly bug fixes, and this latest update contains some fixes as well. But it also includes a new dog companion which you can recruit to fight by your side and generally just keep you company. Yay a dog!..

TouchArcade Game of the Week: 'Fly Catbug Fly!'

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...

Late last month, Zen Studios announced that four new tables would be heading to Star Wars Pinball [$1.99] in an update dubbed the "Heroes Within" pack. Along with the announcement came a trailer for a table fashioned after Han Solo, then just over a week ago Zen released a trailer for the table themed after Episode IV: A New Hope. Today they've released the latest trailer, this time for the "Droids" table which features R2-D2 and C-3PO. Check it out...

Gameloft Posts New 'The Amazing Spider-Man 2' Trailer, Launching April 17th

If you found yourself excited for the teaser trailer Gameloft released last month for their upcoming movie tie-in mobile game The Amazing Spider-Man 2, then check out this latest trailer which gives a better look at the game itself. Spoiler alert: Spidey slings lots of webs and beats the crap out of a whole lot of bad guys. It looks pretty cool, check it out...

'Magic 2015 - Duels of the Planeswalkers' Coming to iPad this Summer, Playable at PAX East

It's getting close to that time of year again, as the latest edition of Magic: The Gathering - Duels of the Planeswalkers is on the horizon according to a post at IGN. In June of 2012, Magic 2013 [Free (HD)] was released for the iPad and we really liked it a lot. It lacked the robustness of the physical card game, but served as a perfect gateway to get people into the whole world of Magic, and the digital version was a perfect way to get your Magic fix on the go. Last June Magic 2014 [Free (HD)] kept the experience mostly intact, but did offer some nice new features. Magic 2015 sounds like it will again be more of a good thing, but IGN notes some of its new features will include "the ability to build customized decks, a more robust deck builder, and premium booster packs." Here's a brief teaser...

IceFlame's 'Soccer Rally 2' Hits the App Store on April 24th

Developer IceFlame Ltd struck an odd but incredibly fun mashup when they combined soccer with rally cars in 2012's Soccer Rally [$0.99], and they've been working diligently on a sequel ever since. The last time we checked out Soccer Rally 2 it was back during GDC last year, and we really liked what we saw. Soccer Rally 2 takes the core formula of the first game but expands on it in just about every way. We've been waiting patiently for Soccer Rally 2, and today IceFlame has announced that the wait won't be too much longer as the game is set to launch on April 24th. Here's a brand spanking new trailer...

If you've been waiting for the official mobile version of Trials, wait no longer: Trials Frontier [Free] is now available worldwide. Announced at E3 last year, Trials Frontier is a mobile-exclusive entry in the popular stunt biking series. Trials-like stunt bike games have been popular on iOS for years, but many have long been hoping for the real deal from Redlynx. Fans finally got their wish with the announcement of Trials Frontier, but there was also a sense of worry when it was revealed to be a free to play game...

Out Now: 'Wind-up Knight 2', 'RBI Baseball 14', 'Groundskeeper2', 'Robots Love Ice Cream', 'Dungeon Quest' and More

It's new iOS game time, and it's actually a pretty fantastic week if you enjoy good video games. The long-awaited return of RBI Baseball offers throwback arcadey baseball gaming exactly as promised, Blackmoor is an action platformer with personality in spades, and Wind-up Knight 2 is the sequel to one of my all-time favorites. And that's just a sampling, there's tons of other interesting stuff in the list below. Also, Family Guy and Trials Frontier are supposed to be out today, but haven't hit the US App Store yet, so we'll keep our eye on that. Eli streamed many of these titles earlier today, so be sure to check out those vids as well as the forum links below to see what's up with today's batch of new releases...

Freebie Alert: 'Warhammer Quest' Goes Free for the First Time

Rodeo Games' excellent top-down strategy title Warhammer Quest [$4.99] has just gone free for the first time since its release almost a year ago. Warhammer Quest takes the same mechanics of Rodeo's previous Hunters games and sets it in Game Workshops' expansive Warhammer universe. We really loved the game in our review upon release, but Warhammer Quest has been updated and expanded significantly since then. There was a major update released this past October, followed by another one in December...

'Warhammer 40K: Carnage' Announced from Games Workshop and Roadhouse Interactive

Surprise! There's another Warhammer game in the works. It's officially the one millionth to be announced in the past year. Ok, not really, but it kind of feels that way. This latest is a collaboration between Games Workshop and Roadhouse Interactive, and it's called Warhammer 40K: Carnage. What's interesting here is that Carnage isn't a strategy game, but it's a side-scrolling brawler. You'll play a Space Marine laying waste to Ork enemies using tons of weapons and gear and fighting across many familiar lands from the Warhammer universe. Here's some screens...