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.

GDC 2015: 'Riff the Robot', a Mashup of Slingshots, Pinball and 'Peggle'

Today at GDC we sat down with developer Oh So Shiny to look at their first iOS game Riff the Robot. The premise is pretty wacky: You're a mad scientist who has "lost his marbles" over the years, so you build a time-travelling robot to go back in time and collect them for you. Your robot, Riff, will travel back through the decades of the '70s, '80s, '90s and beyond, with each having the appropriate themes and music to fit their respective time periods. Gameplay involves slingshotting a ball to knock out marbles in a pachinko/pinball fashion...

GDC 2015: Hands-On with 'Paper Monsters Recut', Launching March 12th

Back in January we told you that Crescent Moon Games would be reviving their 2012 platformer Paper Monsters on iOS with the revamped Paper Monsters Recut, which was released on Wii U last fall and proved quite popular. At GDC this week I sat down with Josh from Crescent Moon to take a brief trip through Paper Monsters Recut. Right away you can see that the visuals are much improved with fancier shadows and lighting effects, as well as a cleaner overall look. There's also a whole new set of space levels to explore as well as a new interactive overworld map and some other surprises which we won't spoil in the video below...

'Batman: Arkham Underworld' Announced, Sounds Like Batman Meets 'Clash of Clans'

Turbine, the developer making the desktop MOBA based on the Infinite Crisis comics, has today announced a new game heading to the App Store called Batman: Arkham Underworld. According to the game's official website, it sounds like Arkham Underworld will be a base-building and raiding multiplayer game in a similar vein of Clash of Clans [Free]. The description states, "Build your hideout, then recruit and train an army of henchmen to do your bidding. Command iconic super-villains from the Batman: Arkham universe, including the Riddler, Harley Quinn, Killer Croc, and others. Grow your criminal empire and then crush your enemies to earn loot and respect." I'm speculating, but that sounds pretty Clash of Clans-y, no?..

GDC 2015: 'Crashlands' is a Grand Adventure with a Hefty Dose of Humor

I know we've only been at GDC 2015 for one day so far, but I think I already have a favorite game of the show: Crashlands from Butterscotch Shenanigans. We first posted about the game in October of last year, but it's actually been in development since late 2013. It's a game about surviving, crafting, fighting wacky enemies and sometimes befriending them, exploring, fishing and general adventuring. It's a massively ambitious game for a studio made up of just three brothers, and it's the dream-game one of those brothers wanted to make as he faced an uncertain future during a battle with cancer. After more than a year of blood, sweat, tears and chemotherapy, Crashlands is finally hitting the home stretch, and it's turning out to be something pretty special...

GDC 2015: 'Last Horizon' from 'Glorkian Warrior' Developer PixelJam

We had a chance to sit down with PixelJam Games at GDC today and check out one of their upcoming games called Last Horizon. Technically, this isn't a PixelJam-developed game, though they are publishing it. However, many of the same folks from PixelJam are working on Last Horizon, some even shuffling around their typical jobs between coding, creating art and music. It's looking fantastic so far, and it's definitely a crap-load of fun. Crap-load is a technical term, you see. Check out our hands-on video...

'Dungeon Hunter 5' Coming March 12th, New Cinematic Trailer Released

Gameloft has been teasing Dungeon Hunter 5 since the beginning of this year, and today they've finally revealed when we can get our hands on the final product: March 12. Gameloft has also released a new cinematic trailer announcing the release date, and while I'm not typically a big fan of cinematic trailers that don't show any sort of gameplay, this one is pretty awesome...

'Knights of Pen & Paper 2' Coming May 14th

One of our favorite mobile RPGs is Knights of Pen & Paper [$4.99], an RPG adventure that was about a bunch of RPG fans sitting around and playing some gold old fashioned tabletop RPGs. The whole "game within a game" aspect made it feel like a massive love letter to the RPG genre, as our own Shaun Musgrave pointed out in his meaty RPG Reload of Knights of Pen & Paper. Well, if you were a fan like we were, then you should be pretty excited to hear that Paradox Interactive has announced Knights of Pen & Paper 2 is coming to mobile and PC on May 14th...

Prepare to Fight! 'Mortal Kombat X: Mobile' Teased in New Trailer

As a huge fan of Injustice: Gods Among Us [Free] on mobile, and a life-long fan of the Mortal Kombat franchise, I've often wished that NetherRealm Studios would finally mash-up the two and come out with a mobile fighter similar to Injustice but using the Mortal Kombat lore and characters. Well, it looks like that's just what they're doing! You can't see it, but I'm doing the happy dance right now. Check out the first teaser trailer for Mortal Kombat X Mobile...

TouchArcade Game of the Week: 'iNetHack2'

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...

First 'BlazBlue: Battle Cards' Gameplay Trailer Hits

Last month Metaversal Studios announced BlazBlue: Battle Cards, a competitive card battling game based on the popular BlazBlue fighting game series. In that announcement Metaversal released a teaser trailer, that was pretty darn teaser-y. It didn't really show anything from the game itself, so we've been kind of wondering what the actual game will look like in motion. Well, the cat is now out of the bag as today Metaversal has released the first gameplay trailer for BlazBlue: Battle Cards. Check it out...

A few weeks back, our crack Japan-based reporter Shaun Musgrave wrote about a new update for the iOS version of the original Final Fantasy [$8.99]. It was the first update to the game in more than two years. While the game didn't receive true widescreen support, it did get some lovely border art to fill in the dreaded "black bars" when playing the game on any of the widescreen iPhone devices. Similarly, the previous iPhone-only version of the game became Universal, though its scaling was a bit weird on iPad devices. Strangely, some of the long-standing bugs in the game didn't get fixed with that update at all, but at least it was nice to see Square Enix paying some kind of attention to one of their oldest iOS games...

The world of mobile games is extremely fast-paced, and in just a few short years ngmoco helped shape the industry as we know it today. Now the founding members of ngmoco are returning to the mobile gaming space with their new company N3twork, according to an interview with Gamesindustry.biz. ..

'Dragon Hills', the Upcoming Rebel Twins Game, Looks Like an Epic Take on the 'Super Mega Worm'/'Death Worm' Formula

Rebel Twins is one of my favorite iOS developers, and the trailer for their new game Dragon Hills has me all kinds of excited. With their last two games Rebel Twins took some familiar concepts and dressed them up with their fantastic art style. For example, Daddy Was A Thief [$1.99] was essentially a "fall down" game, but with tons of added details and mechanics that made it really stand out. Same with their follow-up title Aliens Drive Me Crazy [$1.99], which at first glance seemed to be a standard side-scrolling auto-runner but was peppered with moments of platforming and sheer destruction. With both games, it's really the attention to detail and blending of various mechanics that take them up a notch. Following in that tradition, Dragon Hills takes the "burrow-resurface-eat everything in sight" formula of the classic Death Worm [$0.99] and its mobile homage Super Mega Worm [$1.99 / Free] and gives it the Rebel Twins treatment. Check out the trailer...

We were already well aware that Pixelbite Games were experts at making racing games, with the excellent Reckless Racing series and Repulze, but in early January they released Space Marshals [$4.99] and showed the world that they've also got a lock on tactical dual-stick shooters. We loved Space Marshals in our review, noting that it really focused on forethought, skill and strategy, which is a contrast from most dual-stick shooters which are largely blast-a-thons. The one bummer about Space Marshals is that it was designed as an episodic game, and the first chapter, while a nice meaty ride, still felt like it left you hanging when it was over. Good news, then, as today Pixelbite has announced that the Chapter Two update to Space Marshals is arriving next week on March 5th. They've released a new trailer showing off some of the awesome new stuff you can expect in Chapter Two...

Out Now: 'Overkill 3', 'Age of Sparta', 'Heavenstrike Rivals', 'Prison Life RPG', 'Striker Arena', 'Flop Rocket', 'Roid Rampage', 'Echo Dawn' and More

It has turned out to be a pretty darn busy night of new game releases, as I'm literally finishing up this list as all these games are arriving in the US App Store. They just kept on coming. Besides the big-name titles like Age of Sparta from Gameloft, Heavenstrike Rivals from Square Enix, and Overkill 3 from Craneballs, there are a ton of more low-profile but promising looking games out tonight. A duo of games from Butterscotch Shenanigans with Flop Rocket and Roid Rage, an interesting prison simulator called Prison Life RPG, an extreme version of soccer called Striker Arena, a passion project RPG called Echo Dawn which actually looks quite excellent, and a trio of games with punctuation in their titles: Okay?, Ones!, and Mayhem! Oh, and be sure to catch the trailer for Symmetrica which is awesome, and the game itself looks great too. So put on your perusing hat, carefully look over the list of games below, and let us know which ones you're interested in picking up...

Apple Doesn't Want Guns in App Store Screenshots… Unless They're Pointed at Hitler

The first couple of months of 2015 have been kind of strange when it comes to Apple's App Store regulatory practices. They have a set of fairly clear developer guidelines for creating iOS apps, but they've been famously inconsistent in how and when they enforce them. So far this year we've seen several instances of Apple suddenly deciding to strictly enforce developer guideline 3.6 which states "Apps with App icons, screenshots, and previews that do not adhere to the 4+ age rating will be rejected."..

One of the best mobile games of 2014 was Goblin Sword [$1.99], an action platformer with RPG trappings from two-man studio Gelato Games. With drop-dead gorgeous pixel art, flawless controls, a lengthy campaign and just enough character upgrading and customization elements, everything just fell into place with Goblin Sword and we effortlessly awarded it 5 stars in our original review. That was all way back in September of last year though, and while it's taken a bit of time, a huge new update has just been released for Goblin Sword which adds in all sorts of goodies...

Due to Apple's Stance on Weapons, Latest 'Overkill 3' Video Features Soldiers Holding Invisible Guns

This Thursday Craneballs Studios is unleashing Overkill 3, the latest entry in their ultra-popular shooter series, onto the world. Overkill 3 switches up the normal Overkill formula by pulling the camera back to a third-person perspective and adding in cover mechanics. The game has been soft-launched since last September and has undergone several tweaks and balances in the time since, and generally it's been well-recieved by those who were already fans of the other free to play Overkill games. With the official worldwide launch just a couple of days away, Craneballs has prepared a new trailer for Overkill 3, and given Apple's recent crusade against weapons and violence in the front-facing parts of the App Store, the developers are erring on the side of caution with this latest video. See if you can spot what's missing...

TouchArcade Game of the Week: 'AG Drive'

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...

Pinball Arcade [$0.99] is like a digital museum of real-life pinball machines that's been kicking around on various platforms, including iOS, for a few years now. It's had a staggering number of pinball machines added to it over the years, some that are high-profile, big-name IPs and some more obscure stuff. The holy grail of these real-life pinball machines is The Addams Family Pinball which was created and release in the early '90s to coincide with the Addams Family movie. ..