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.

ZeMind Game Studio's Starborn Anarkist [$1.99] is a fantastic dual-stick space shooter that puts a huge emphasis on building and customizing your own ship. We really loved Starborn Anarkist when it released in early December of last year. But that was more than 7 months ago, an eternity in the world of iOS gaming, and Starborn Anarkist was in desperate need of some tweaks and fixes that had plagued an otherwise fantastic game. A week ago today we learned that the long-awaited update that ZeMind had been talking about for ages was finally submitted to Apple, and today I'm very happy to announce that the update is live in the App Store...

Panic Art Studios' Hero Siege [$2.99] is a frantic dual-stick shooter that released late last year. That initial version was fun, but certainly rough around the edges. Panic Art worked diligently to iron out its issues with many updates over the course of the last six months or so, and what we ended up with was a dual-stick shooter that we enjoyed very much, but felt that there was "tons of potential for Hero Siege to be more than what it is." Well, according to a post from Panic Art in our forums, some of that potential will be realized with a beefy update heading to the game adding tons of new stuff, chief among them cross-platform multiplayer. Here's a recent trailer dishing out all the details of the new update...

One of my favorite scrolling shoot'em ups got a fancy modern remake this year with Infinite Dreams' Sky Force 2014 [Free]. It took the original game and gave it a massive graphical overhaul, as well as many other bells and whistles that come with modern mobile gaming like online leaderboards and tournaments. This remade version turned out really phenomenal, but Infinite Dreams still has some more planned for Sky Force 2014. They've posted some new screens in our forums for the forthcoming Stage 8, which you can see in the screenshot on the left while the screenshot on the right is from a cutscene that'll play just prior to the boss battle on that stage...

'Modern Combat 5: Blackout' Multiplayer Hands-On Preview and Video

The release of Gameloft's highly-anticipated first-person shooter Modern Combat 5: Blackout is nearly upon us (it's coming out July 24th in case you haven't heard), and so far we've seen a great deal of the single-player portion in our hands-on video from May, but we have yet to really get a sense of the multiplayer portion, which is arguably the meat and potatoes of the game. This past week, Gameloft held an event at their San Francisco office that gave game media types like myself a chance to get a taste of the multiplayer in Modern Combat 5. In short: it was a total blast...

Donut Games Reveals 'Traps n' Gemstones', an Upcoming Metroidvania

Chances are you're familiar with Donut Games and their library of nearly 40 iOS titles. As their name implies, they're masters of the "coffee break" gaming experience, typically focusing on puzzle or arcade games with simple mechanics but lots of depth. They've long been one of my favorite developers and have defined what mobile gaming experiences should be like...

The original Fieldrunners is an App Store classic, and is largely responsible for sparking off the huge influx of tower defense games on mobile. In 2012 Fieldrunners 2 took everything great about the original and expanded on it, creating quite possibly my favorite tower defense game on iOS. That was a couple of years ago though, so what's Fieldrunners developer Subatomic been up to since then? Well according to Pocketgamer.biz, they've partnered up with Flaregames to release a new Fieldrunners title sometime in 2015...

Running (mostly) horizontally all the time must get tiring, because our old pal Sonic now has two video games featuring himself jumping vertically and not doing much running at all. The latest is Sonic Jump Fever [Free], which Sega originally announced about a month ago but has been soft-launched since April. It's a sequel of sorts to 2012's Sonic Jump [$2.99], which I actually found surprisingly fun. Sure it was just a Doodle Jump-type game, but Sega did a great job at transitioning the traditional Sonic game into this genre. It has interesting levels, classic power-ups, and exciting boss fights. For being totally not like a traditional Sonic game, it still felt very much like a Sonic game...

Out Now: 'Hellraid: The Escape', 'Transworld Endless Skater', 'Beyond Gravity', the 'Blackwell' Trilogy', 'Sky Tourist Blitz Trip' and More

It's new iOS release day, and it's another busy one around TouchArcade Towers this week after the fairly hectic last couple of weeks. There's a lot of strong new titles this time around, including the early-releaser Magic 2015 which hit earlier today. Also there are some prominent updates hitting tonight, like the fifth and final episode of The Wolf Among Us which is available right now and a big update coming to Minecraft Pocket Edition which hasn't appeared for me just yet but we'll keep an eye out for it. ..

Last week we learned that the fifth and final episode of Telltale's gritty adventure series The Wolf Among Us [$4.99] was scheduled for release this Thursday July 10th. And, given the weirdness of international time zones and digital distribution, that means it's actually available right this moment, despite the fact that my calendar is still flipped to July 9th. It's like, crazy, man. This fifth episode is entitled Cry Wolf and here's the trailer...

This past May, SMG Studio managed to do something with the release of OTTTD [$2.99] that few have managed before: they made me enjoy a tower defense game. For a genre that has been a staple of the iOS platform for years, there's surprisingly few tower defense games that have resonated with me, but OTTTD was definitely among them. With its cheeky humor, sci-fi theme and high level of polish, OTTTD wasn't just a great mobile tower defense game, it could easily shine on any platform you put it on...

Back in January of this year, Bandai Namco released an iOS version of their 16-bit era RPG Tales of Phantasia [Free]. Well, apparently this mobile version of the game is going bye bye. An update to the game's description in the App Store that was noticed by a member of our forums states that Bandai Namco is terminating the distribution of Tales of Phantasia and that as of August 28th, the app and all in-app purchase content will become unusable. Here's the full notice from the App Store:..

Mysterious Upcoming Adventure 'Barmark' Gets a New Trailer

Way back in January a teaser trailer for a mysterious upcoming game called Barmark caught our attention, mostly because it was so… mysterious. Billed as an adventure game with "no goals, no points and no death," the teaser for Barmark featured a really interesting art style and atmospheric soundtrack. While it looked and sounded cool, it was still really unclear what the heck you did in Barmark, but today developer Stormhatt Studios looks to address those questions in the game's latest trailer. The core of the game focuses on "grand machines" which can be turned on by the player and will alter the game's environments in different ways, which in turn can alter the behavior of the "Archanimals" in the game...

Following the release of the surprisingly fun Bubble Witch 2 Saga about a month ago, King is already back with a new iOS offering with Pyramid Solitaire Saga [Free], which hit the App Store worldwide on the 4th of July. Like all of King's games, Pyramid Solitaire Saga takes a tried-and-true gameplay mechanic–in this case the classic pyramid solitaire–and injects it with a level-based progression system and cutesy graphics...

TouchArcade Game of the Week: 'Monster Hunter Freedom Unite'

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...

Big things have been happening in the world of True Skate [$1.99] lately, as just last week it was announced that the phenomenal skateboard simulation game from True Axis was partnering up with Street League Skateboarding as the official mobile game of the contest series. As part of that partnership, actual courses from the Street League series are destined to end up as downloadable parks in True Skate, and the first of these is the course from the 2013 Kansas City Street League stop that is available right now in the game for 99¢. Having a real-life course like that in True Skate is very cool, and kind of surreal, as I remember that course very vividly from watching Street League on TV last year...