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 2017 - 'Castleoid' is the "Metroidvania" Auto-Runner Follow-Up to 'Return of the Zombie King'

You may recall a game called Return of the Zombie King [$2.99] being released back in October of last year and how it made quite an impression on our community and the TA staff. The idea was that it was a level-based auto-runner where you'd slowly gain new abilities which would then allow you to make it further during each run. It was a really unique idea, one I'm surprised I hadn't seen done in a runner before, and many players said it had a Metroidvania feel. Well, the game's developer Return to Adventure Mountain took that to heart and used it as the basis for his next game Castleoid which really takes the Metroidvania thing to heart and runs with it. Check out a preview of a very early version of Castleoid we were shown at GDC...

GDC 2017 - 'Squeelings' is an Adorable Strategy Puzzler that Wants to Spread Happiness

We met up with Jake Sones of Zombie Match Defense [$0.99] fame and E McNeill who created the VR hacking game Darknet to check out their latest collaboration, a puzzle game called Squeelings. If you've played Darknet then Squeelings' gameplay concept will look very similar, but its theme probably won't. Squeelings is a strategic puzzler that's all about spreading happiness, which is a positive message I can get behind in this day and age. The actual mechanics are tricky to describe though, but all should be quite clear after checking out our hands-on demo of Squeelings from GDC...




GDC 2017 - 'ExoGears 2' is a Very Slick Mech Combat Game with Up to 6-Person Multiplayer

This week we were able to sit down with Zombot Studio to check out the progress on their upcoming mech battling game ExoGears 2, and I really like what I saw. For me, mech games are usually too slow and often too complicated, but ExoGears does a great job of incorporating a boost which lets you zip around your opponent. There's also a cool variety of weapons and a lot of strategy in how you're able to use them with the recharging energy bar which prevents you from simply spamming your attacks over and over. Take a look at our hands-on demo of ExoGears 2 below...

GDC 2017 - 'Runnedrez' is a Clever Mashup of Endless Running Bound by the Rules of Chess

It feels like one of the trends of the past year or so was taking the mechanics of a well-established game like Chess and rethinking how they can be used in a video game. That's exactly what Golden Bite Games wants to do with their upcoming title Runnedrez, which is a combination of the word "runner" and the Spanish word for Chess which is "Ajedrez." In Runnedrez you play as the knight piece and are bound by its "L-shape" movement as other Chess pieces try to take you down using their own movement rules. Check it out...

GDC 2017 - 'Three Heroes' is an Incredibly Deep Text and Choice Driven RPG Adventure

We are slammed and short on time here at GDC this year, so apologies for the brevity of this post. However, we've been able to capture some great footage of some great looking upcoming games, so hopefully the video below can do most of the talking. This video is for an upcoming RPG called Three Heroes. It's a blend of many different elements, like text adventure, pen and paper RPG, tabletop RPGs, and more. Check out this lengthy look at Three Heroes...

GDC 2017 - Gorgeous Open-World Flying Game 'Fugl' is Finally Near Completion (Really!)

We've been following the development of open-world flying game Fugl for several years now, and this year at GDC we once again checked out the latest version. The twist this time is that the game is actually, finally, for realsies this time almost complete. If you're unfamiliar, Fugl has you playing as a bird with free reign to fly and explore a gigantic procedurally-generated world. It uses a voxel art style and a gorgeous color palette, making it the type of game that's just a joy to kick back and take in. We took the latest version of Fugl for a spin at GDC and here's what we saw...

GDC 2017 - 'Dragon Up: Match 2 Hatch!' is a Match-2 Game Featuring Adorable Vomiting Dragons

Some of you may be familiar with Eastside Games from their release Dragon Up [Free] several years ago, a game that gained quite a bit of popularity for its vomiting dragons. It's the little things in life, isn't it? Anyway, they're working on a follow-up that's not exactly a sequel but does feature the same adorable vomiting dragons from Dragon Up. It's called Dragon Up: Match 2 Hatch, and it combines strategic match-2 gameplay (yes, match TWO, not three) with unlocking and adopting those cute dragons. Check out a demo of Dragon Up: Match 2 Hatch we were given at GDC earlier today...

GDC 2017 - Kongregate's Pixelized Dungeon Crawler 'Bit Heroes' Heading to Mobile Soon

If you frequent Kongregate's Flash games portal, you may already be familiar with the pixelized dungeon crawling game Bit Heroes as the web version launched back in September of last year. If you DON'T frequent their website, then you should be happy to know that Bit Heroes is heading to iOS and Android soon, and we had a chance to check it out at GDC this week. Bit Heroes is one of those games where there's a TON of stuff to do, including romping through randomly-generated dungeons in single-player, battling enemies and collecting loot; or taking your skills online and battling against the teams of other players around the world. We briefly take a look at Bit Heroes in action in the first video below, followed by the official trailer for the game just under it...

GDC 2017 - Hands-On with 'Resynth', a Very Musical Puzzle Game

With a name like Polyphonic LP, you expect that you'll be playing some games based around music in some form. That is exactly the aim of the new developer and their first release Resynth, which we posted about in October of last year. We were able to meet with Polyphonic LP here at GDC and go hands-on with Resynth, and it's very cool so far...

GDC 2017 - Hands-On with Manic Combat Racer 'Road Warriors' from Lucky Kat and TurtleBlaze

A month ago, we caught the news that TurtleBlaze Games would be bringing their side-scrolling combat racer Intergalactic Road Warriors to mobile after launching it on Steam Early Access last year. Since then, we've learned that Lucky Kat Studios, of Grumpy Cat's Worst Game Ever [Free] and Combo Critters [Free] fame, would be publishing the game on mobile, retitled as simply Road Warriors. Today at GDC, we were able to sit down with Lucky Kat to get a hands-on demo of Road Warriors on iPhone, and it's looking awesome so far. ..

TouchArcade Game of the Week: 'MUL.MASH.TAB.BA.GAL.GAL'

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...

'Injustice 2' Guide - Tips on Maximizing Your Energy and Upgrading Heroes when Offline

When news about an Injustice: Gods Among Us sequel for consoles leaked last summer, it left us with a couple of questions about the mobile version. Would Warner Bros. and NetherRealm also make a sequel for mobile, or would they just continue updating the existing Injustice [Free] game which had already received massive amounts of new content over the past 4 years and was one of the most popular mobile games around? This past Valentine's Day we got our answer as Injustice 2 for mobile soft-launched in the Philippines App Store. While I'm not sure of the strategy of abandoning an existing successful game with a huge player base in favor of a brand new app, it does at least afford the series a fresh start, and the engine running the existing Injustice game was arguably getting long in the tooth. While Injustice 2 retains the core stripped-down fighting mechanics of its predecessor, it also makes some major fundamental changes to the entire formula. With that, we've put together a short guide in an effort to help you get the most out of this early soft-launched version of Injustice 2...

Out Now: 'The Warlock of Firetop Mountain', 'Dungeon Rushers', 'Chief Puzzle Officer', 'MUL.MASH.TAB.BA.GAL.GAL', 'Puff', 'RPG Djinn Caster', 'Soul Knight', 'Die By Died', 'Toaster Swipe' and More

We've got yet another slammed week of new iOS game releases. Can I just have, like, ONE week where I can play through some stuff in my backlog? I seriously have considered taking vacation time just to do something like that. Anyway, it's a good problem to have, I guess. This week, the long-awaited digital adaptation of classic gamebook The Warlock of Firetop Mountain has arrived as has the Mi-Clos-published turn-based dungeon crawler Dungeon Rushers. The strangely-titled single-player take on Pong MUL.MASH.TAB.BA.GAL.GAL has been well-received so far, and even though I'm not a huge RPG fan the action RPG Djinn Caster has really held my attention. Chief Puzzle Officer offers up some match-3 with heavy online multiplayer components, and Die By Died is probably the best Castlevania-style action platformer that I've played in quite some time. Oh, and don't forget about Soul Knight, which actually launched late last week but is so freaking good I had to make sure it made it on this week's list. There's just too much good stuff this week, so check out the full list of games below and let us know which games you'll be picking up in our Discord chat or in the comments section!..

Developer of 'Krashlander' Working on Minimalist Skiing Game 'Just Ski' Inspired by 'Desert Golfing'

Jeff Weber, aka Farseer Games, released a really cool skiing game called Krashlander [$1.99] right about this time way back in 2013. Krashlander featured a really nice physics engine and control mechanics that were tough to wrap your head around at first but extremely satisfying once your skills in the game improved. All this was wrapped up in a striking silhouetted style. As mentioned, it's been a pretty long time since Krashlander released, but Weber has skiing on the brain once again. As explained on his blog, Weber hit a point during the development of another game he's been working on called Diver where he wasn't sure what direction things should be going. He eventually figured it out, but during that lull the idea for a new minimalist skiing game called Just Ski came to the forefront. ..

Play as a Cat Named Bam in 'Towards the Pantheon', a Neat Looking Upcoming RPG

Let me just say right off the bat that if you're making an RPG where I get to play as a cat named Bam, you've immediately caught my interest. Such is the case with Towards the Pantheon, an upcoming RPG from Connor O.R.T. Linning that's currently vying for approval on Steam Greenlight but has aspirations to make its way to mobile too. There's a lot about Towards the Pantheon that's par for the course in most RPGs, but there are many things Linning is hoping to do that set it apart from the pack. Much of this is discussed in the trailer for Towards the Pantheon which you can see below...

'Art of Destruction' is the Flashy New Physics Puzzler from the Creator of 'Zenge'

Just shy of a year ago developer Mike Pawlowski, aka Hamster On Coke Games, released a tangram-style puzzler called Zenge [$0.99] to the App Store. It put a twist on the typical formula of putting various slabs together to form a whole shape by having those slabs on set tracks which forced you to think about the order and orientation you needed to place the pieces in. Once you pieced the puzzles together they created these gorgeous illustrations which painted a cohesive story, which is kind of rare for a puzzle game. We liked Zenge a lot in our review, and now Pawlowski is back at it again with a new game that takes a sort of similar approach to its design. The game is called Art Of Destruction, and it's one of those physics puzzlers where you're tasked with using various mechanics to knock down a set of blocks. Kind of a 3D Angry Birds if you will. The difference here is that, similar to Zenge, Art Of Destruction wants you to enjoy your surroundings in addition to just solving the puzzle. In this case, the puzzles explode in a spectacular display of voxels and neat lighting effects, which is as good a reward as any for solving a puzzle if you ask me. Check it out...

New 'Transformers: Forged to Fight' Trailer Unveiled at New York Toy Fair, Coming this Spring

Back in early December, Kabam and Hasbro announced a new mobile fighting game starring everyones' favorite transforming robots called Transformers: Forged to Fight. Being from Kabam, makers of the overwhelmingly successful mobile fighter Marvel Contest of Champions [Free], most people figured this would be a Transformers re-skin of that existing game. Well, that's largely true, but as pointed out in an interview with one of the game's creative directors later that month Transformers: Forged to Fight has a few new tricks up its sleeve for fans of Kabam's Marvel-branded brawler. The two most significant changes are the introduction of ranged attacks and the ability to side-step attacks by swiping up or down and moving towards the foreground or background. This means fights are technically taking place in a 3D space but are still largely fought on 2D planes like normal. Anyway, at the New York Toy Fair over the weekend, Hasbro and Kabam released a new trailer for Forged to Fight, and it's looking really great...

TouchArcade Game of the Week: 'Hidden Folks'

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...

Let this 'Dungeon Rushers' Infomercial Sell You on Dungeon Creation Ahead of Game's Launch Next Week

Last November Mi-Clos and Goblinz Studio announced their collaboration to bring the humorous dungeon crawler Dungeon Rushers from Steam over to mobile, and in December they began recruiting beta testers for said mobile version. Then at the beginning of this month they announced that Dungeon Rushers on mobile would be arriving on the App Store February 23rd, and about a week and a half later they released an official trailer for the mobile version. With pretty much all major the pre-release marketing news out of the way, what's left for Dungeon Rushers ahead of its launch next week? How about a cheesy informercial!..

Route Trains in Space in 'Cosmic Express', Coming March 16th

Draknek, makers of the positively delightful little puzzler A Good Snowman Is Hard To Build [$2.99], have finally announced a release date for their train-route-planning-in-space game Cosmic Express, which we first talked about back in August of last year. The game will be coming on March 16th to iOS, Android, and Steam. In case you forgot what Cosmic Express looks like, here's a brand spanking new animated gif Draknek posted to the Twitter Machine earlier today...