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.

This past June, a refreshed take on the arcade classic Galaga was soft-launched by Bandai Namco in select countries with surprisingly little fanfare, given how beloved the Galaga series is. In a similarly low-key fashion, that game, called Galaga Wars [Free], has exited its soft-launch period and is now available worldwide. At least I think it's worldwide, I can't go around checking every country or anything you know, but it's definitely out in the US App Store because I just downloaded it! And let me just say that this game is freaking fantastic. The original Galaga is perhaps my favorite classic arcade game, and there's nothing scarier than seeing a company trying to "improve" one of its classic franchises for a modern audience. There's just so much potential to sully the good name of such a beloved game, but that's definitely not the case in Galaga Wars...

'Gun Strider' is an Extremely Stylish Arcade Shooter Soft-Launching November 7th

I don't exactly know what's happening in this trailer for Gun Strider, an upcoming game from new developer Dreamotion, but I do know that I like the way it looks. According to the very little information posted to our forums, Gun Strider is an "amazing gun shooter" that should appeal to those who like "fast-paced, gun-blazing action with a 'noir'-like atmosphere." It definitely has a stylish look, as well as a rabbit that's dual-wielding pistols, which is always a nice feature. Check it out...




TouchArcade Game of the Week: 'The Lost Shield'

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...

Freebie Alert: Fun Castle Defending Game 'Warcher Defenders' Free for Halloween

At the end of May, developer Ogre Pixel released their charming castle defense game Warcher Defenders [$0.99] to the App Store, and if you missed out on it previously at its nearly-free price of 99¢, you can now grab it for all-the-way-free as the game is currently on sale for Halloween. Warcher Defenders has you defending your castle on the left of the screen as all manner of creepy enemies approach from the right. Your initial character is an archer so you'll be firing off arrows to dispatch enemies and there's a few different platforms attached to your castle which you can jump between, as enemies not only attack from the ground but from the air too. As you play you can also buy items from a shopkeep and upgrade your character's abilities, and both the look and the progression of Warcher Defenders reminds me a lot of one of my other all-time favorites, Slayin [$0.99]. That right there should be enough incentive for you to give this one a download...

RareSloth's fantastic puzzle platformer King Rabbit [Free] received a fairly minor update today, but one that's leading to much bigger and better things. Today's update adds ReplayKit support so you can broadcast your crazy King Rabbit exploits for the world to see. There's also now an in-game diamond counter so it should be easier for you to keep track of finding those tricky hidden diamonds, and in the spirit of Halloween there's now some new skins in the in-game store to decorate your rabbit for the holiday. The bigger news, though, is that the Fire Adventures level pack, which was released as paid DLC in May, is now permanently free for all players. ..

Late last night (in my timezone, anyway) a curious update appeared for Sonic CD [Free] on iOS, the fantastic remastered version that originally released back in December of 2011. The update text was vague, and simply said "Sonic took a trip to the past and decided to change the game's code. That's right, Sonic CD is now FREE!" As someone who has been burned plenty of times in the past by a previously paid game going free, as I'm sure many others have, I was justifiably suspicious of this new update. And after Carter played guinea pig and downloaded the new update it confirmed my fears: Sonic CD was now free to download and ad-supported, with a $1.99 IAP to remove said ads. Normally that wouldn't be a big deal, except that the ads showed up even for previous owners who had already paid for Sonic CD. There are a few different ways to go about switching a paid app to free, but this was not one of them, and the 1.5 Star average rating of the otherwise phenomenal Sonic CD in the App Store showed that...

Out Now: 'Gear.Club', 'Zombie Anarchy', 'Lifeline: Flatline', 'Barbaric: The Golden Hero', 'Oh…Sir! The Insult Simulator', 'Mmmmonster', 'Hardwood Rivals' and More

Welcome to another busy week of new iOS game releases! Now, before anyone goes and asks, NO, there is no sign of The Binding of Isaac: Rebirth this week. When news broke that it had finally been approved by Apple and would be coming VERY SOON, many were hoping that VERY SOON meant tonight. No such luck, at least so far. Turn that frown upside down though, because there's a lot of great looking games in this week's long list, so check out all the games below and let us know which ones you've got your eye on...

There simply is no stopping Plague Inc. [$0.99]. Since its debut nearly four and a half years ago, Plague Inc. has received a constant stream of updates which have mutated the game into new forms and spread it to a constantly expanding base of players. It's like a plague! Its latest update has just hit the App Store and it's very fitting for the forthcoming Halloween holiday. The new Shadow Plague is a "sentient, mutagenic pathogen" that "triggers a powerful thirst for blood in its chosen host", basically turning you into a vampire who must feed on humanity to grow into a giant bat capable of setting up lairs and shadow portals. Here is an exclusive look at the giant, vampiric bat in action...

Back in August we learned that Vile Monarch and Gambitious Entertainment would be releasing an enhanced version of their clever insult battling gamejam game Oh…Sir! [Free] which they originally released back in December of last year. That game, titled Oh…Sir! The Insult Simulator [$1.99] has just arrived on the App Store. The original game was a same-device multiplayer game where you and a "friend" would take turns piecing together words and phrases in order to create the ultimate insult. This new version is basically the same idea but expanded greatly. There are more characters to play as, more environments to lob your insults in, and of course many more options for piecing together insults. Also, in addition to the original game's local multiplayer, you can also face off against opponents online or against the CPU...

10tons Bringing their Hit Space Shooter 'Xenoraid' from Steam to iOS, Looking for Beta Testers

There's nothing better than a snazzy new shoot 'em up on my iOS device, and 10tons is fulfilling my wishes by bringing their hit shooter Xenoraid from Steam to iOS. 10tons had a very clear goal when making Xenoraid. They wanted to avoid making a hectic bullet hell-style game which required memorization and robot-like reflexes, and instead wanted to make something more akin to a classic arcade shooter. They do this by having Xenoraid's levels be procedurally generated with a dynamic enemy AI. So, no level memorization needed as the levels are different every time. That's not to mean this is just an endless game, though, as there's still a mission-based campaign alongside endless survival modes...

'The Binding of Isaac: Rebirth' Finally Approved by Apple, Coming "VERY SOON"

Way back in January of this year, Nicalis began cryptically teasing a possible iOS port of critically acclaimed roguelike The Binding of Isaac: Rebirth. All that teasing wasn't just for fun, though, as an iOS port was actually a very real thing that Nicalis was planning on releasing. Very shortly after that, though, the Apple Approval Gods squashed all hope of the port happening when they rejected The Binding of Isaac: Rebirth for being a game that depicted violence towards children. Isaac, as you might already know from the game on other platforms or from the Biblical story which it's based on, is a child and the son of Abraham. Simply making Isaac "not a child" to appease Apple wasn't really an option. So, we all sighed heavily and shed a few tears, and hoped that someday Apple would come around on the idea of Isaac being on iOS. And apparently they have! In a new post on the Nicalis blog producer Tyrone Rogriguez gives all sorts of updates about the various versions of The Binding of Isaac, and says of the iOS version:..

TouchArcade Game of the Week: 'The Bug Butcher'

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...

It is borderline absurd how much developer Infinite Dreams has updated their hit shooter Sky Force Reloaded [Free] since its initial launch at the beginning of June. Absurd, I tell you! Just a couple of weeks into its life Sky Force Reloaded received a new ninth level and tournaments; a month later it got a tenth level, a new tournament level, AND a new ship; a couple weeks later it received an eleventh level (phew!); about a month after that it received a twelfth level with LASER RAPTORS; and finally a few weeks back Sky Force Reloaded received its most recent update which added a new Prestige system, technicians, and much more. All of these wonderful additions came AFTER we awarded Sky Force Reloaded 5 stars in our review. So, where do we go from here? Why, Level 13 of course! ..

The Final Chapter of the 'Avadon' Series, 'Avadon 3: The Warborn', Targeting November 18th for iPad Release

Back in August we told you how Spiderweb Software's latest old-school style RPG Avadon 3: The Warborn would be arriving on September 14th. And it did! Just… not on iPad. Insert sad face emoji. As it turned out, the iPad version of Avadon 3 wasn't quite ready for release and it was sort of up in the air as to when iPad owners would be able to dive into the final chapter in the acclaimed Avadon trilogy. That has changed as of today as Spiderweb has announced a target release date of November 18th for the iPad version of Avadon 3. Here's the launch trailer from the desktop version to at least give you a look at the game...

Out Now: 'The Bug Butcher', 'Eggggg - The Platform Puker', 'Critical Ops', 'Puzzlepops! Trick or Treat', 'Mini Metro', 'RETSNOM', 'Silicon Valley: Billionaire' and More

It's the time of week where we get to add to our growing backlogs as a ton of new iOS games arrive in the App Store. This week sees the feels-like-forever-in-soft-launch online first-person shooter Critical Ops finally officially launch, and the disgusting-but-oh-so-adorable puke-based platformer Eggggg projectile launch into the App Store. Oh! And you guys. The Bug Butcher? It's fantastic. And of course earlier this week the highly-anticipated transportation simulator Mini Metro arrived as did the incredibly unique puzzler RETSNOM. And more Puzzlepops! Pretty strong week, so look over the full list below and let us know which games you'll be picking up...

Need More Pinball-Style Battling in Your Life? 'Barbaric: The Golden Hero' Hitting iOS Next Thursday

Pinball-style battling mechanics have proven a great fit for mobile games. Monster Strike [Free] is the most famous example of this, and we very recently got the enjoyable Treasure Buster [$0.99] which utilizes similar mechanics. Then there's the cult favorite BlitzKeep [$2.99] as well as the phenomenal Squids [$1.99] and Squids Wild West [$1.99]. And I'm sure there are dozens more I'm not even thinking of. The point being that the "pull back to slingshot your character into enemies and wreak havoc" mechanic is super satisfying and works extremely well on the touchscreen. The newest project from Upopa Games takes this mechanic and runs with it, offering what appear to be more expansive levels and meatier RPG mechanics built around the pinball battling. Check out the trailer for Barbaric: The Golden Hero...

Way back in the spring of 2014 an unassuming little roguelike called Quest of Dungeons [$1.99] released in the App Store. Amongst heavy hitters of the time like Hoplite [$2.99] and Cardinal Quest 2 [Free], Quest of Dungeon's only knock was that it perhaps played things a little to safely in terms of the roguelike genre. That wasn't necessarily a bad thing though if you wanted a solidly built little dungeon crawler, and Quest of Dungeons has won over many fans over the years. This week, developer David Amador has released the biggest update to the game yet, adding in an entire new chapter via IAP titled Revenge of the Jelly King which adds a new NecroDancer class in a nod to the fabulous rhythm roguelike Crypt of the NecroDancer [$4.99], a new dungeon called Rackan, and a new Custom game mode. Not to mention the novel's worth of much-appreciated tweaks, fixes, and new features...

'Demon's Rise 2 - Lords of Chaos' Gets New Trailer, Shooting for Release in Early November

Time is such a funny thing, as it feels like just recently that Demon's Rise 2 - Lords of Chaos was announced, but in actuality it was almost a year ago. The sequel to the Little Turn-Based Tactical Strategy Game That Could, Demon's Rise [$4.99], has been making steady progress in those months since. We last checked in on it this past April when some new screens were released, and this week developer Wave Light Games has posted a brand new app preview trailer for Demon's Rise 2 that's looking pretty good. It's brief, but it's worth checking out...

'Desert Worms' Reminds Us that Our Future will Inevitably Revolve Around Constantly Escaping Giant Worms

What is it about giant worms that makes for great video games? With games like Death Worm [$0.99 / Free] and Super Mega Worm [$1.99 / Free] on mobile, not to mention the classic Tremors movies and TV shows, it feels like the world is trying to warn us that someday we'll all be running for our lives from giant worms. Hey, it could happen! So you better be prepared. One way you can get your worm-outrunning training in will be with the latest giant worm-based mobile game that's in the works, Desert Worms from Devm Games. Use a variety of vehicles and power-ups to continuously outrun these giant wormy freaks, as you can see in the following trailer...

Get an Extra Dose of Candy for Halloween with 'Puzzlepops! Trick or Treat' this Thursday

Is there a better holiday than Halloween for candy-themed games? Developer Layton Hawkes, formerly of Halfbrick Studios and currently a designer at Prettygreat and also a solo dev on the side, released the fiendish logic puzzle game Puzzlepops! [$1.99] this past May. When I first saw Puzzlepops! at GDC prior to its release, I was worried that the cutesy candy theme might be a turnoff to some before they got a chance to see what an ingenious puzzler it was. Apparently my worries were unwarranted and Puzzlepops! has done okay for itself, as Hawkes is releasing a spooky sequel this Thursday called Puzzlepops! Trick or Treat. Along with adding some Halloween-style treats, the new Puzzlepops! also has some new tricks up its sleeve, which you can see in the following trailer...