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: 'Kingdom: New Lands'

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...

This is my 4,000th post on this site, and seeing as I've typically been the Cat Game Guy for the majority of my nearly 8 years with TouchArcade (that crown has since been bestowed on Eric), it seems only fitting that number 4,000 is about a cat game. The cat game in question is called Kitty Lander [Free] from developer Perch Drunk Thugz, and what's funny about it is it's not a new game at all. In fact it's almost a year old. For some reason nobody in our community came across it in the past year, and for whatever reason the developers only just emailed us about it today. (Side note: Email us about your games, developers! We want to know about them when they're new!) With that out of the way, though, let's focus on Kitty Lander, a fantastic blending of Lunar Lander gameplay and cats...




Last week Capcom announced a handful of new mobile ports of their classic arcade franchises, and today one of those has gone live. 1942 Mobile [$1.99] is a touchscreen-centric port of the 1984 arcade shoot 'em up which many consider the godfather of vertical scrolling shooters. Following Capcom's fairly disastrous ports of the 8-bit Mega Man games, it's understandable one might be wary of the quality of 1942 Mobile. Well, I'm happy to report that it's… actually pretty good? The game runs smoothly and seems authentic to the arcade original, and the simple fact that it's a shooter that can be controlled with one thumb as opposed to Mega Man which requires plenty of precision button inputs makes 1942 a game that would be hard to screw up on the touchscreen. Hard, but not impossible. ..

Out Now: 'Planet of Heroes', 'Shardlight', 'Active Soccer 2 DX', 'Faeria', 'The Deep Paths', 'A Magical High School Girl', 'Guns of Mercy', 'Free Rider HD' and More

Welcome to another week of new iOS games! It's good to be done with GDC and back to a mostly normal schedule. You may have noticed we didn't have a nice and tidy list of new games such as this one last week due to being too busy with the conference, but we did throw together a list of last week's new games and posted it this past Monday in case you missed it. If you did miss it, well, then you have a surprise double dose of new games this week and I weep for your wallet and your device's storage space. As always you can check out the full list of this week's games below and let us know which games you'll be picking up in the comments!..

Check Out the Official Trailer for 'The Big Journey' Ahead of Its Release Next Week

One of the games we were shown during GDC that made a pretty big impression on us was The Big Journey from Catfishbox and Armor Games Studio. Yes, the game stars an adorable squishy cat, so OF COURSE I was a big fan of it right off the bat, but beyond that this just looks like one of the most polished platforming games we've seen in some time. It also uses a tilting control mechanic that gave us Rolando vibes, and the squishiness of the cat and its ability to grow larger by gobbling up delicious dumplings also gave us some Leo's Fortune [$4.99] vibes. Basically, lots of vibes from lots of amazing games means we're pretty excited for The Big Journey. Ahead of its launch next week, Armor has sent along the game's official launch trailer, which is well worth watching with the sound cranked up...

We loved Love You To Bits [$3.99], well, to bits when it released just over a year ago. This charming spiritual successor to Tiny Thief hit all the right buttons in terms of point and click puzzle solving, beautiful environments to explore, and adorable characters to invest in emotionally. In fact, if there was one problem with Love You To Bits, it was that we wanted more of it. Developer Alike Studio set out to rectify that problem by releasing an expansion which hit last July. It's been a while since then, so if you're a fan of the game you should be happy to hear that even more new content is coming as announced in our forums. Check out the first screens from this expansion...

'Tiny Bombers' is an Endless 'Bomberman'-alike Coming March 23rd

Taking the core mechanics of Bomberman and making it endless and "Crossy Road-ified" isn't a new concept, as Blast Blitz [Free] showed us when it released last summer. But it doesn't mean the idea of an endless Bomberman should stop there, and Ahoy Games hopes to leave their mark on this genre mashup when they release Tiny Bombers later this month. Use bombs to clear your path and defeat enemies (while hopefully avoiding blowing yourself up in the process) as you can see how far you can get in an endless level. Check out the trailer for Tiny Bombers to see it in action...

Out Now Late Edition: 'The Escapists', 'Mudd Masher', 'Pan-Pan', 'After the End: Forsaken Destiny', 'Breakforcist', 'Smash Club', 'Tumbling Home', 'Warriors of Genesis', 'MonstroCity: Rampage!' and More

Don't adjust your dial! No, it's not Wednesday night, the time we normally post our list of the new iOS games of the week. However, due to being absolutely swamped with GDC last week we weren't able to do our normal weekly roundup. The thing is though, there were A TON of awesome games that released last week, and we just couldn't live with ourselves if we thought any of them might have slipped by you due to not having them nicely rounded up like normal. So we're putting out an Out Now post today featuring all of last week's game releases, and this coming Wednesday we should be back to our normal schedule. So, peruse the list below to see if any of these happened to slip you by and let us know which games you'll be picking up, or in this case, have already picked up and been enjoying for the last few days...

GDC 2017 - 'Old Man's Journey' is One of the Most Beautiful and Unique Games We've Seen

It seemed like a theme this year at GDC was seeing upcoming games that we also previewed at last year's GDC, and hey, game development takes time so that's not unusual. However, in the case of Old Man's Journey, I actually saw it and was blown away by it at GDC last year but developer Broken Rules wasn't far enough along with the game to want it shown publicly just yet. It wasn't until July a few months later that they officially announced and released a teaser for Old Man's Journey, and it was just about a month ago that they released the game's first gameplay trailer. Well, we got a demo of a near-final version of Old Man's Journey at GDC this year, and it's far and away one of the most charming and unique games I've seen...

GDC 2017 - 'Suzy Cube' Continues to Look Like the Best 3D Platformer on Mobile

You may recall that we fist fell in love with Suzy Cube back at GDC last year, and we were so impressed with this adorable and ridiculously polished platformer that we declared it our "Game of GDC!" Well, it's been a year and despite being the passion project of just one individual Suzy Cube has made some great strides since we last saw it in action. Check out our video demonstration with developer Northern Bytes Software to see what Suzy's been up to lately...

GDC 2017 - Four from Noodlecake: 'Flipping Legend', 'Lichtspeer', 'Summer Catchers', and 'Invert'

Noodlecake is as busy as always and had four different games to show us here at GDC, and they're all looking quite awesome. Invert is a "Pretentious Puzzle Game" about inverting tiles that should give puzzle fans something tasty to chew on. Then there's Lichtspeer, a bow-shooting game with a completely off the wall German spin and a really cool art style. Next up is Flipping Legend, which upon first blush might look like yet another endless Crossy-like but is actually one of the coolest games I saw all week. Last but not least is Summer Catchers, another game with a gorgeous art style and a ton of mystique that's glued together with a satisfying side-scrolling physics driving mechanic. I apologize for the audio quality in a couple of these, they're still audible but kind of muffled and quiet, and I blame my stupid idiot hand accidentally covering the mic. ..

GDC 2017 - 1v1 RPG Battler 'Exiles of Embermark' is Coming Along Really Well

We've been following the development of Exiles of Embermark since its original announcement early last year, and we even got a hands-on demo of it at GDC 2016. Well, it's been about a year since then and Exiles of Embermark is really taking shape and starting to look like one of the deepest RPG battlers around. We were again given a demo of the game at this year's GDC and the video below should give you a lengthy look at many of the different aspects of Exiles of Embermark...

GDC 2017 - 'Astro Crash' is All About Smashing into Enemies as an Ever-Growing Ball of Space Junk

During GDC this past week we sat down with Affable Games out of Brisbane, Australia to take a look at their upcoming game Astro Crash. In it you pilot a spaceship by dragging around the screen and avoiding running into larger, more menacing ships. You can slam right into ships your own size or smaller though, and if you also slam into the debris that they leave behind it'll get stuck in your own ship, thus increasing your size and eventually letting you take on larger enemies as you grow to match up with them. Check out the demonstration of Astro Crash in the video below...

GDC 2017 - 'Agent Aliens' is an Action Platformer with a Neat Twist

Everyone knows I love platformers, and especially platformers where you jump around shooting stuff. This is what Agent Aliens from Indigo Gaming is all about. There's a couple of interesting twists, though. The biggest is that you'll be rescuing your trapped buddies during your travels which means they'll join up and fight alongside you, eventually getting a little line of helpers tailing you wherever you go. The second is that the shooting in Agent Aliens is done automatically, which simplifies things down for the touchscreen and also allows you to focus solely on platforming and dodging. Check out a brief demonstration in the video below...

GDC 2017 - The Latest Look at 'Stronghold Kingdoms' on iOS

It was back in August of 2015 that Firefly Studios announced they'd be bringing their MMO strategy game Stronghold Kingdoms from desktop to mobile, and March of 2016 when we took a look at the game during a hands-on demo at last year's GDC. Well, being that this mobile version was built from the ground up it's been taking a while to get finished, which means that we had another chance to check out Stronghold Kingdoms on mobile at this year's GDC...

TouchArcade Game of the Week: 'The Escapists'

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...

GDC 2017 - Three From Umbrella: 'Dash Legends', 'Crushy Bricks', 'and 'Tidy Robots'

Umbrella Games have been on fire for quite some time now, and it feels like since they got into the publishing game that they're releasing something new each and every week. During GDC they had three games to show us and all looked great. First is Dash Legends, a competitive multiplayer platforming game that looks like a lot of fun. Following that is Crushy Bricks, a surprisingly innovative matching game that takes the matching mechanics and strips them down to the absolute bare minimum. Finally, we look at Tidy Robots which is a really clever logic puzzler with interesting mechanics and a deceptively cute theme. Check out all three games in the videos below...

GDC 2017 - Two From Foxglove Studios: 'Snipers vs. Thieves' and 'The Muscle Hustle'

During GDC we sat down with Foxglove Studios to check out two of their works in progress, Snipers vs. Thieves and The Muscle Hustle. Snipers vs. Thieves it's a really interesting take on sniper games, which in my opinion is a genre that needs an injection of something fresh. We get that here as the game has two main modes: One has you playing as a sniper trying to prevent a group of bank robbers from making it from the bank and to their getaway vehicle. You of course do this by sniping them over and over. It's really fun and a pretty traditional take on sniping games. However, the second mode flips the script and has you playing as the robbers trying to escape and make it to the getaway car without getting sniped. This plays out from a 3rd-person perspective as you run from different cover points trying to make your way to the escape vehicle. Check out the video demo of Snipers vs. Thieves...

GDC 2017 - 'Seldom Falls' is a Really Unique Town Building Puzzler with Gorgeous Visuals

Back in November we got a brief glance at the latest game from independent developer Randy O'Connor called Seldom Falls. It had a really great visual style but all we really knew about what you did in the game was somehow building up a vertical town and trying to protect it from being ruined by the weather. Well, we met with Randy at GDC and now have a much better idea what Seldom Falls is all about, and it's incredibly clever and interesting. Watch and listen as Randy walks us through the game in the video below...

GDC 2017 - 'Castleoid' is the "Metroidvania" Auto-Runner Follow-Up to 'Return of the Zombie King'

You may recall a game called Return of the Zombie King [$2.99] being released back in October of last year and how it made quite an impression on our community and the TA staff. The idea was that it was a level-based auto-runner where you'd slowly gain new abilities which would then allow you to make it further during each run. It was a really unique idea, one I'm surprised I hadn't seen done in a runner before, and many players said it had a Metroidvania feel. Well, the game's developer Return to Adventure Mountain took that to heart and used it as the basis for his next game Castleoid which really takes the Metroidvania thing to heart and runs with it. Check out a preview of a very early version of Castleoid we were shown at GDC...