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: 'Proto Raider'

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...

Those sneaky Angry Birds, they almost slipped this one by us. Early yesterday morning, Rovio unleashed Angry Birds Stella POP! [Free] onto the world at large after a soft-launch period which began in late January. Angry Birds Stella POP! is a bubble shooter not totally unlike Bust-a-Move/Puzzle Bobble, but probably more closely aligned with something like King's Bubble Witch 2 Saga [Free]. It utilizes the characters and settings of the latest Angry Birds spinoff series, Angry Birds Stella [Free]. ..

Hands-On with 'Mortal Kombat X' for Mobile

During GDC last week, we were able to sit down with representatives from Warner Bros. and NetherRealm Studios to take a quick peek at Mortal Kombat X for mobile. It was a brief demo and there are still many questions left to be answered, but we did have a chance to play for ourselves and came away pretty impressed. As pretty much everyone speculated, Mortal Kombat X on mobile is essentially the same formula as Injustice [Free] on mobile, just with Mortal Kombat characters thrown in. That's simplifying things a bit though, as once you spend a little time with Mortal Kombat X, you can tell that it feels like an in-house NetherRealm game and has a level of polish that WWE Immortals [Free], another Injustice re-skin with WWE characters, just doesn't have...

Just as we told you it would a couple of weeks ago, One Man Left's Outwitters [Free] has finally landed on Android and gained a massive overhaul in a version 2.0 update for iOS. Well, while it's technically a "massive overhaul," you won't likely notice much about the new iOS version just on the surface. One Man Left ended up rewriting the game from the ground up as part of the Android porting process, so the game runs like a dream now and features cross-platform play with Android folks. There's also native iPhone 6 and 6 Plus screen support, in-game auto-refresh to create a more "real-time" feel to the asynchronous multiplayer, and many more nips and tucks to the nearly three year old game...

Starting in June of last year, Halfbrick began an aggressive updating schedule to one of their oldest and most beloved games, Age of Zombies [$0.99]. Arriving about every month on average, these updates added new content and features that injected new life into a game that was originally released way back in 2010, and long-time fans like myself couldn't be happier to see a classic getting some loving. ..

We already had a bunch of new iOS games hit earlier today, but the party is not over. Three more highly-anticipated titles have dropped a bit later than the other guys tonight. Fashionably late if you will. Sid Meier's Starships is the latest from the legendary strategy game designer, Five Nights at Freddy's 3 is the latest in the animatronic horror game genre, and Sick Bricks is like Skylanders but with little Lego-like people that you can swap around and create different combinations to beam into your game using the iOS device camera. Yep, it's a total future toy. ..

Out Now: 'Dungeon Hunter 5', 'Paper Monsters Recut', 'Pocket Mine 2', 'Card Crawl', 'Paper Dungeons', 'Buzz Aldrin's Space Program Manager' and More

With GDC behind us it's back to business around TouchArcade Towers, and tonight is a jam-packed release night. Especially if you're a fan of dungeon crawlers or dungeon crawler-like games. There's Dungeon Hunter 5, probably the biggest name on this list, but there's also the quirky and interesting Card Crawl and Paper Dungeons offering up even more dungeon-y goodness. I'm also quite stoked for Pocket Mine 2's worldwide launch as well as Paper Monsters Recut, an enhanced re-release of one of my favorite platformers. Check out the full list below and as always let us know what you're picking up in the comment section...

Check Out the 'Terraria: Otherworld' GDC Trailer

Last month we learned there was a new Terraria [$4.99] game in the works, called Terraria: Otherworld, and while details were a bit scarce we did know a couple of facts about the game. First, this was not a direct sequel, and instead was a spinoff to the original Terraria that took place in an alternate dimension of the game's universe. The second fact was that, sadly, Terraria: Otherworld was only announced as coming to desktop, with console versions a possibility. No word on it coming to mobile. However, that tiny detail isn't going to stop me from sharing this new video of Terraria: Otherworld that the developers were showcasing at GDC last week...

'PBA Slam' Looks to Do the 'NBA Jam' Thing with the Philippine Basketball Association

I've been pretty vocal about my life-long love of the NBA Jam franchise, and of my massive annoyance at the iOS version which continues to chart well and sell many copies every day despite having some fairly serious bugs and not being optimized for any recent iOS hardware or software (Its last update was in December of 2011). Phew, sorry, my blood just kind of boils when I think about it. Anyway, I've often wondered why nobody has swooped in and filled that over-the-top 2v2 arcade basketball niche that NBA Jam is letting fester. ..

Best of GDC 2015: 'Crashlands', 'Does Not Commute', 'Sorcery! 3' and 'Spider: Rite of the Shrouded Moon'

As you all know, last week was GDC 2015 and it was a week-long whirlwind of developer meetings, game demos, walking and Denny's. Everyone is in town all at once and we try to meet with as many people and see as many iOS games as possible. It's exhausting and overwhelming and fun all at the same time, and that's without ever even setting foot on the actual show floor. With all of our GDC coverage finally out there in the open (save for a couple of demos that are held up with embargo silliness) it's time to go back through and highlight the games we found to be our favorite. Here are four games from GDC that you can look forward to playing this year that stood out to us and why...

For what seemed like forever people had been speculating about Apple making some kind of smartwatch. Last September, alongside the unveiling of the new iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus, Apple also officially introduced their entry into the world of wearable tech with a watch that was simply called Apple Watch. Or Watch if you're feeling fancy. (That little  symbol is the option+shift+k keyboard command in case you were curious.) While Apple dished out what the Apple Watch looked like and some of its major features at that September event, there were still plenty of questions left, and a ton of speculation has followed in the months since. Today Apple held yet another event, covering a wide variety of topics but mainly focusing on the Apple Watch, and now we have even more answers than we did before...

Apple has just wrapped up their "Spring Forward" media event, and at long last many of the finer details about the Apple Watch have been unveiled. Finally we know specific pricing for the various Apple Watch models, and we finally know when the general public will be able to get their hands on the watch: April 24th in Australia, Canada, China, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Japan, United Kingdom and United States. Just in case you missed any of this information, and to have it available in one handy place, here's all the pertinent information about the various models, pricing and availability for the Apple Watch...

Apple's "Spring Forward" keynote event is underway, and it's pretty much a given that they'll be unveiling all sorts of new details about the Apple Watch. But there might be some other surprises as well. A refreshed MacBook Air? An iPad Pro announcement? Something to do with Beats or their iTunes Radio streaming services? Who knows! You can watch all the keynote action right from the comfort of wherever the heck you are. ..

GDC 2015: 'Does Not Commute' Isn't Just a Clever Name, It's Also Hilariously Fun

Mediocre Games is probably the most oxymoronic developer out there. With beloved titles like Smash Hit [Free] and Sprinkle [$1.99 / Free], their games are anything but mediocre. Their next game really drives this point home though, as it's far and away the most I've laughed and had fun playing a video game this entire week at GDC. This new game is called Does Not Commute, and at its most basic level it's all about driving a vehicle from point A to point B. The catch is that once you successfully get one vehicle where it needs to go, that vehicle repeats its route in subsequent rounds. Those previous routes just keep on piling up, and eventually Does Not Commute becomes a frantic mess of vehicles all intent on crashing right into you...

GDC 2015: 'Sorcery! 3' Takes Digital Gamebook Adventuring on a Trip Through Time

Inkle has gained all sorts of critical acclaim with their most recent release 80 Days [$4.99], including multiple awards just this week and Time's Game of the Year for 2014. However, it shouldn't be forgotten that they took digital gamebooks to a whole new level with their mobile adaptations of Steve Jackson's classic Sorcery! gamebook series. As a huge fan of both Sorcery! [$4.99] and Sorcery! 2 [$4.99], I was more than a little excited to get a glimpse at the forthcoming Sorcery! 3 here at GDC. And let me tell you it did not disappoint. Some of the major new features in Sorcery! 3 include a fully non-linear progression system, massive boss fights, and the ability to peer into the world as it was in the past, which can in turn affect the present. Check it out...

GDC 2015: 'Bloxels' is a Physical Level Editor for Digital Games

The folks at Pixel Press had a dream: Drawing levels in real life that they could beam into their very own video games. They achieved that dream with Pixel Press Floors [Free], which let you create platforming game levels on graph paper and import and play them by using your iOS device's camera. They then brought that tech to a major IP with Adventure Time Game Wizard [$4.99]. Now they are going a step further with their upcoming project Bloxels. ..

GDC 2015: 'Legacy Quest' is a Dungeon Crawler with RPG Elements and an Awesome Visual Style

We are literally swimming in a sea of free to play action RPGs at GDC this year, and one of the ones that I liked the most was Legacy Quest which is being developed by Socialspiel Entertainment and published by Nexon M. Legacy Quest was just announced about a week ago, and is a hack 'n slash dungeon crawler first and foremost, but it also many RPG elements in terms of character leveling and equipment. It also has roguelike elements because of course it does. Right away you can see what a neat visual style Legacy Quest has. If you caught a static image of it, you might think it's a pixel art game, but it's actually fully in 3D and looks really awesome in motion. Check it out...

GDC 2015: 'Zero Sum' from 'One Player Pong' Developer is a Math Game for Stupid People

Squeezebox Software, aka solo developer Sean Kearney, aka the maker of One Player Pong [Free], has a new game coming out which he describes as "a math game for stupid people." I was lost within the first few levels, so I'm not sure what that says about my own intelligence level, but the game in question, Zero Sum, is actually really clever. If you're not a fan of math then don't be scared off, Zero Sum only deals with simple addition and subtraction. If anything, it actually has more in common with crosswords than anything else. Here's an extremely early look at Zero Sum, complete with celebrity-laden placeholder art, which should give you a good idea of what the game is about...

GDC 2015: 'Phenom-A-Ball', a Matching Game with Physics

The matching game genre is a tough nut to crack, and the people making those games are always trying to differentiate themselves from the pack. Vortex Games has a new matching game coming out called Phenom-A-Ball, and it hopes to set itself apart by adding physics to the objects you'll be matching. Balls fall in from the top of the screen, and unlike most matching games, you can actually combine sets of at least 3 like colors to create huge combos. Like Tetris the playfield just keeps filling up and if it reaches the top it's game over. There are also some cool power-ups and a special meter that, once filled, let's you turn off gravity which causes all the balls to float into the air. During that time you can tap to pop them like a mad man, which can really help you get out of a tight jam. ..

Out Now: 'RAD Boarding', 'Blockwick 2', 'Lastronaut', 'Pixel Heroes: Byte & Magic', 'Real Steel Champions', 'Warhammer: Snotling Fling' and More

As you probably know we are at GDC 2015 all week, which has us running around all over town and in general being really busy. Hence why there wasn't our normal "Coming Tonight" post this morning. Apologies for that. However, we did find the time to dig through the forums and compile a list of new game that are out right now, including RAD Boarding, Lastronaut and, a sequel to one of my all-time favorite games, Blockwick 2. So check out the list below and if there's anything we missed give it a shout out in the comments...