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.

Check Out the Teaser for 'Dark Sword', an Upcoming Hack 'n Slash RPG from the Makers of 'Tap Quest'

About a half a year after releasing their clever tower defense/idle clicker hybrid Tap Quest: Gate Keeper [Free], developer Nanoo is back with their next release, a side-scrolling hack 'n slash RPG called Dark Sword. Right off the bad Dark Sword reminds me of the similarly titled Dark Lands [Free] from a few years ago, but Dark Sword appears to be a free-roaming hack 'n slash game whereas Dark Lands was more of an auto-runner with light combat elements. I also get a heavy Shadow Fight 2 [Free] vibe here due to the excellent animation and seemingly complex combat system. Check out the teaser and decide for yourself...

Cooperative Board Game 'Forbidden Desert' Submitted to Apple, Here's Some New Screens

Back in mid-November, Button Mash Games announced that they would be bringing Forbidden Desert, the sort-of sequel to the popular cooperative board game Forbidden Island [$4.99 (HD)], to the iPad sometime early this year. Today we've gotten word from Button Mash that Forbidden Desert has just been submitted to the App Store, meaning its release shouldn't be too far off. The original Forbidden Island was created by Matt Leacock and released in physical form in 2010 before being ported to the iPad in late 2011. In this follow-up, players are part of an expedition team trying to recover all the parts of a legendary flying machine from the endless sea of sand that is the desert. Being a cooperative game you'll need to work together to uncover clues that lead you to the parts, while also overcoming obstacles like a limited amount of water and sandstorms that can easily destroy all your hard work. ..




Last month brought the release of Oddrok's Power Hover [$3.99], a behind-the-back hoverboarding game with an incredibly stylish look. Now, a little over a month later and Oddrok has begun teasing some of what to expect in the game's first content update. Backing up a bit, one of the things we loved most about Power Hover in our review is the number of truly interesting environments you got to hoverboard around in, and how cinematic the game could feel with its dynamic camera changing between various dramatic angles. Basically, with the cool visuals, great music, and smooth movement, Power Hover is a game that's simply fun to play and is the perfect game to kind of zone out with. So, as for the update, Oddrok says you can expect a brand new snow level and they've offered up a .gif preview which you can see below...

I was more of a console gamer growing up, so I unfortunately missed out on all the great old-school gaming computers, like the Amiga. It wasn't until the world of iOS gaming that I came to know Pinball Dreaming [$1.99] and Pinball Fantasies [$2.99], two classic pinball games from Digital Illusions that were originally released for the Amiga in the early '90s and ported to iOS by Cowboy Rodeo way back in 2009. Let me tell you, I may have been late to the party, but boy was I glad to be invited. Both Pinball Dreams and Pinball Fantasies are fantastic digital pinball games. Sadly, Cowboy Rodeo was a tiny outfit and despite doing reasonably well back in the day it didn't appear that the Dreams and Fantasies ports lit the world on fire. Like so many other great games from that first year of the App Store, updates eventually dried up, though to Cowboy Rodeo's credit they did make an effort every year or two to ensure the games at least ran on latest iOS software and hardware, but new features weren't really in the cards...

'Prison Run and Gun' is a Spinoff of PC Game 'Hot Guns' that's Coming to iOS Next Month

A lovely little trailer rolled through our inbox and popped up in our forums today and it seems very much worth sharing. It's for a game called Prison Run and Gun, which is a spinoff of the PC game Hot Guns which is currently on Steam Early Access. Both games are pixel art platformers with a heavy emphasis on weapons and crazy action in a similar vein as the popular Broforce, but that's pretty much where the similarities end. Prison Run and Gun (and Hot Guns for that matter) is more geared as a puzzle platformer and it uses an interesting weight mechanic which affects your movement speed and jumping height depending on what weapon you're carrying, so you'll have to plan things accordingly...

New 'Death Road to Canada' Live Action Trailer Features Zombies, Explosions, and a Driving Dog

It's been, like, two and a half years since Rocketcat Games and Madgarden announced their collaborative project Death Road to Canada, a "Randomized Permadeath Road Trip Simulator" in their own words. Since that announcement, Death Road to Canada has shot right to the top of many gamers' most anticipated lists, myself included. Unfortunately, progress on Death Road's development has been slow going, to put it lightly. ..

Get Your Censorship On (Or Not) When 'The Westport Independent' Launches on Desktop and Mobile this Week

Just about a year ago two-person Swedish indie developer Double Zero One Zero announced that their Ludum Dare 48 game jam entry The Westport Independent would be getting fleshed out for a full release on desktop and mobile. The following May they released an alpha preview of the game, and announced that it was set to be published by Coffee Stain Studios of Goat Simulator fame. This past Friday Double Zero One Zero at long last announced a release date for The Westport Independent, this Thursday January 21st on both desktop and mobile. Check out the brand new release trailer...

TouchArcade Game of the Week: 'Momoka: An Interplanetary Adventure'

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...

Swapperoo [$0.99] is the latest title from Fallen Tree Games, developers of the wonderful Quell series. It released a bit late and kind of missed the whole weekly release post thing, but that's no reason for it to fly under the radar, it's too stinking awesome! Somehow, Fallen Tree has managed to make a match-3 game that's actually interesting, unique, and highly strategic. I figured that train had sailed from the airport a long time ago, but I'm happy to have been proven wrong. ..

Good News(?), Everyone! – 'Futurama: Game of Drones' Soft-Launches on iOS

In July of last year, a tantilizing teaser at PlayFuturama.com promised that a new mobile game based on the cult-hit animated show would be "coming soon" but offered no further details. It wasn't until November that the site provided the first teaser art for the game, along with an official name: Futurama: Game of Drones. We also learned that the game would be published by Wooga, who have already published several popular free to play games on mobile, and that there would be some serious writing talent penning the story for Game of Drones. Then just over a week after all that, Futurama: Game of Drones actually soft-launched on Android, giving us our first real glimpse of what the game itself would actually be all about. ..

During E3 in June of last year, Natsume Inc. announced Harvest Moon: Seeds of Memories [$9.99], a new entry in the long-running farming/RPG series and the first "true" Harvest Moon game to land on iOS, as the previous mobile game bearing the Harvest Moon name was a puzzle game. Great news, right? Well, maybe. As many know, the Harvest Moon franchise is a convoluted one, and later entries in the series haven't quite captured the magic that the original SNES Harvest Moon did back in the mid-90s. So fans of the series were understandably cautiously optimistic when it came to Harvest Moon: Seeds of Memories, but as of today they can find out for themselves as the game has officially launched on the App Store. Also, even though it would make TOTAL sense for this type of game to be free to play'd out the wazoo, Seeds of Memories is actually a fully paid game with zero IAP. Check out the official trailer...

Endless Horizontal Shoot 'Em Up 'Hectic Space 2' Looking for Beta Testers Ahead of February Launch

A couple of years ago, a little endless shoot 'em up called Hectic Space [Free] was released, and with the App Store being the App Store, it pretty much flew under the radar for most, though some folks in our forums discovered it and enjoyed it quite a bit. Hectic Space doesn't look like much on the surface–yet another retro space shooter, amirite?–but it charmed with its clean aesthetic, great tunes, a killer combo system, and super interesting special weapons. It's definitely a hidden gem if there ever was one. Well developer James Swiney is preparing to release the sequel very soon and has sent over a trailer and some info regarding Hectic Space 2...

Out Now: 'Venture Kid', 'Punch Club', 'Tower of Fortune 3', 'Pocket Mortys', 'Bleach Brave Souls', 'Gnomium: Pocket Edition', 'Momoka: An Interplanetary Adventure' and More

Things are starting to really pick up in 2016 with this week's list of new iOS game releases. At long, long last FDG's Mega Man-inspired platformer Venture Kid has finally launched, and it's fantastic. Then there's Punch Club which launched on Steam earlier this week, and is a crazy mishmash of Kairosoft-style simulation, boxing, and pop culture parodies. Then there's Tower of Fortune 3, the latest entry in the popular slot machine roguelike series, and it looks like the best one yet. And of course everyone seems to be playing Pocket Mortys, which we've already reviewed and enjoyed a bunch. And that's only the beginning as there's a TON of other stuff this week too. Let us know what games you plan on picking up this week in the comments below!..

'Hammer Bomb' is an Upcoming Old-School First-Person Dungeon Crawler Mixed with 'Pac-Man'

Crescent Moon Games is as busy as ever and today have announced one of their upcoming projects, a collaboration with We're Five Games called Hammer Bomb (rad name!). In Crescent Moon's Josh Presseisen's own words, "Hammer Bomb is an odd one to describe. Its sort of like a first person dungeon crawler, but at the same time its a lot like Pac Man. Its simple and fast paced with really simple controls. It has randomly generated mazes, and an endless number of levels." Here are a couple of early screens of Hammer Bomb...

We learned last week that Zen Studios was readying two brand new pinball tables focused on the smash hit film Star Wars: The Force Awakens. The announcement was accompanied by a short teaser trailer that briefly showed one of the new tables in action, but as is usually the case with teasers, there just wasn't much detail shown. With the new tables set to launch across all platforms this week, Zen has released two brand new trailers that give a much deeper look into each of the new Star Wars tables...

It feels like in the past year or so we've seen a ton of really old iOS games get modern updates out of the blue. It's a great thing too, as the entirely digital medium of iOS gaming can feel a bit expendable when iOS updates can break games or new screen sizes and hardware features are released and the developers of classi games are no longer around to do anything about it. It's crazy to say "classic" and actually mean games that are 5 or 6 years old, espeically when I have some NES games that are 30 years old that still work like the day they were released (with a little blowing into the cartridge or wiggling it in the slot, of course). Anyway, it warms my heart when I see an old game get new life and find a new audience by way of being updated, and that's exactly what has happened with the classic dual-stick shooter Circuit_Strike.One [$0.99]...

'Daddy Long Legs' Developer Set Snail Readying Puzzle Platformer 'illi' for Release Soon

One of my favorite games of 2014 was Set Snail's Daddy Long Legs [Free], the high-scoring game that was all about awkwardly walking for as long as possible as a fuzzy cube with long, lanky, Conan O'Brien-like legs. Now Set Snail is prepping its latest game for release, a puzzle platformer called illi. In illi you'll play a fuzzy, Yeti-like caterpillar thing and bounce along a series of blocky shapes gathering items and eventually making your way to the exit. Not only are you collecting items, but the number of jumps you take is counted as well, with a par for each level. Gravity will always act towards the surface you're standing on, making for some puzzling paths through each level. Here's an example of a level from illi...

Godzilab's 'Happy Street' Follow-Up 'Pirate Power' Launching Globally January 21st

Back in June of last year, developer Godzilab soft-launched their latest game Pirate Power. Taking cues from their previous games, Pirate Power featured a city-building aspect similar to their super popular Happy Street [Free], PvP pirate ship combat similar to their basketball-shooting game StarDunk [$2.99 / Free], and physics systems reminiscent of their hit physics puzzler iBlast Moki 2 [$2.99]. It was neat to see a small developer utilizing all the skills they've learned over the course of the App Store's lifespan into one game. Now today, after nearly 6 months in soft-launch, Godzilab has announced a global release date for Pirate Power: next Thursday, January 21st...

Just last week we let you know that Hi-Rez Studios, makers of the console and PC game Smite, had released their very first mobile game titled Jetpack Fighter [Free]. Jetpack Fighter centers around a colorful cast of characters fighting against evil robots by using swipe-based aerial combat. The game takes place on a 2D plane but the 3D backgrounds change perspective as you move through each level, and your roster of fighters can level up and gain new attacks and abilities as you play. The swipe combat works great, the game looks great, and there's tons of stuff to do. There was just one problem: Jetpack Fighter required an internet connection to play, and while that in itself isn't the biggest deal in the world, whatever servers the game needed to connect to were NOT acting properly just following the game's release, meaning a lot of people were unable to play and even those that were were subjected to extremely long loading times as the game tried to connect...

The Return of Raptisoft: 'Hoggy 2' With Level Editor Coming Very Soon, Cancelled 'Solomon Dark' Being Folded Into 'Solomon's Keep' Remake

Longtime TouchArcade readers are more than a little familiar with the name Raptisoft. The prolific and well-known developer of PC and Mac games made a name for itself on mobile with the clever puzzle platformer Hoggy [Free], which could pretty much be described as the lovechild of VVVVVV [$2.99] and Doki Doki Panic aka the US/EU version of Super Mario Bros. 2. While Hoggy was quite popular with the broader mobile audience, it was really the release of Solomon's Keep [Free] in April of 2010 that won over the hearts of TouchArcade's core audience. ..