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 Year 2016: 'Crashlands'

It's impossible to talk about Crashlands [$4.99] without first talking about how it came to be. Last year you may have read the remarkable story of Sam Coster, one of the three brothers who founded developer Butterscotch Shenanigans, and how he fought off cancer–twice!–by the time he hit his mid-twenties. When Sam was diagnosed in 2013, Bscotch had already released a few mobile games from their fledgling studio, and two of them, Towelfight 2: The Monocle of Destiny [Free] and Quadropus Rampage [Free], were reasonably successful. They were in the midst of creating their next game, an endless runner called Extreme Slothcycling, when Sam received an official diagnosis of Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma and knew he'd have one hell of a fight on his hands if he wanted to survive. Faced with his own mortality, Sam decided that a silly endless runner (even if it DID star sloths on motorcycles) wasn't the type of game he'd want to leave as his final legacy should the cancer win. Sam turned to his brother Seth during a design meeting and said, "I don't want Slothcycling to be the last game I make before I die."..

TouchArcade Game of the Week: 'RollerCoaster Tycoon Classic'

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...




Last year Nitrome released a very silly and clever puzzler called Silly Sausage in Meat Land [Free] where your goal was to stretch a freakishly flexible dog from point to point all while strategically avoiding various types of hazards on your way to each checkpoint. It was a lot of fun, and we really enjoyed Silly Sausage in Meat Land in our review. Well, the stretchy dog shenanigans were far from over as in September Nitrome announced a sequel, and as of this morning Silly Sausage: Doggy Dessert [Free] is now available. Expect more crazy puzzling as in the first game, but with a truckload more sugary sweets. That's desserts, not deserts, for those keeping score at home...

Godzilab Soft-Launches Idle RPG 'Crush Them All' and Are Looking for Feedback

Our forum community is a fantastic place for developers to find early players for their games that can provide invaluable real-world feedback in order to get a game in shape before its official launch. I can't even count how many games were shaped for the better based on feedback from real players. It's probably in the thousands! Anyway, one of our favorite developers Godzilab, who you probably know from the incredible iBlast Moki series or the adorable city builder Happy Street, have just soft-launched their new game in Australia and they're looking for some feedback on it. The game is called Crush Them All and it's an idle RPG that has you tapping to defeat giant monsters, collecting and upgrading an army of characters, and exploring over 1000 stages...

Just last week those sneaky folks at Noodlecake decided to squeeze one final release in before 2016 closes out when they announced that they'd be publishing a clever new puzzle platformer from Mantisbite Games and releasing it this week just before the iTunes freeze. Well, it slipped past the normal weekly roundup but that game Island Delta [$2.99] is finally now available. Island Delta sees you using a gravity gun not unlike the famous version from Half-Life 2 as you pick up objects, toss them about, and generally use your unique ability to solve various puzzles and work your way through an evil villain's vast facilities...

Out Now: 'RollerCoaster Tycoon Classic', 'The Walking Dead: A New Frontier', 'Geometry Dash World', 'Snowball!!', 'Grumpy Cat's Worst Game Ever', 'Angry Birds Blast', 'Hot Wheels: Race Off' and More

Well it's the eve of the big iTunes holiday freeze and it looks like plenty of developers were able to sneak their games in for release before we all take a well-deserved break. Technically the freeze starts the 23rd so it's possible some more stuff will sneak out before the virtual doors actually close. We'll let you know if anything noteworthy comes out before then (cough cough Binding of Isaac) but as of our normal weekly time you can see everything on offer in the full list below. Let us know which games you'll be downloading to check out over the holiday weekend!..

For the past year and a half or so, Lucas Wilde has been constructing what he hoped would be the ultimate first-person shooter for mobile devices, and after soft-launching on Android quite some time ago and again on iOS just last month, Bullet Force [Free] is now officially available. The first-person shooter on touchscreens has been a tough nut to crack. Many have tried and failed, and a few have been pretty darn good, but there hasn't been one that truly captures the fun of shooters AND plays well on a touchscreen since, in my opinion, Ngmoco's Eliminate Pro way back in 2009. Lord how I miss that game. Anyway, after the iOS soft launch of Bullet Force last month I took the plunge, and for the first time since those days back in 2009 and 2010, I got that same feeling of fun from playing a first-person shooter on my phone. ..

All Six 8-Bit 'Mega Man' Games Confirmed for Release Outside of Japan, Will Be $1.99 Each and "Optimized" for Mobile

On Friday, our own Shaun Musgrave picked up on a tweet from Capcom Japan announcing that the six 8-bit Mega Man games were getting special re-releases for mobile. Details were pretty light, and the big question was whether or not these mobile ports would be releasing outside of Japan or not. Well, this morning Capcom's US operations have confirmed that these games will indeed be releasing outside of Japan in early January. Details are still pretty light but we also now know that each game will be released separately for $1.99 apiece and that they've been "optimized for the mobile devices with adjustments to game speed."..

TouchArcade Game of the Week: 'Super Mario Run'

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...

Back in 2012, Danish developer Press Play was acquired by Microsoft and used to create exclusive games for Microsoft's fledgling Windows Phone platform. One of those games was called Tentacles, and it was about controlling a little blob creature by touching the screen to grab onto objects and pull through the level using its set of 4 wiggly tentacles. It was a really unique game that worked wonderfully on a touchscreen, and when it was apparent that its exclusivity wasn't exactly bringing in the customers to the Windows Phone platform, Microsoft opted to bring the game to iOS in October of 2012 with the title Tentacles: Enter the Dolphin [$2.99]. It was an interesting and entertaining game that we enjoyed in our original review...

Nintendo's 'Super Mario Run' is Now Available!

It's been a long wait since Nintendo officially announced Mario coming to the iPhone in early September, and even longer if you consider that people have been clamoring for Nintendo to bring games to mobile even since the arrival of the iPhone a decade ago, but the time is finally here that Super Mario Run [Free] has arrived in the App Store. Well, arrived in "GET" form rather than the "NOTIFY" form it's been in since September, at least. As most everyone knows by now, Super Mario Run isn't exactly the Mario you know and love from the past three decades. This Mario runs, vaults over enemies, and does every other action besides jumping on his own, leaving you to focus all your attention on the jumping by simply tapping on the screen. It'll be interesting to see if Miyamoto and Co. have still provided a rewarding, skill-based Mario game despite the extreme distillation of its hallmark mechanics. ..

Out Now: 'Fieldrunners Attack!', 'Survivalcraft 2', 'The Hacker 2.0', 'Lifeline: Halfway to Infinity', 'LVL', 'Wyvern', 'Highway Runners', 'Cyber Gargoyle' and More

Let's just get one thing out of the way right off the bat: No, Super Mario Run is not out yet. I know! I hate waiting too. There's never really been a release like this, so it's hard to say if it'll show up at some point tonight (a lot of people speculating midnight Pacific time) or if it'll be some time in the morning. All I do know is that it'll be here soon and we'll let you know the second it's available. As for our regular weekly business? There's actually a surprising amount of cool new games that weren't afraid to go up against Mario, so take a peek at the full list below and give a shout out in the comments to the ones you think you'll be checking out!..

TouchArcade Game of the Week: 'Bully: Anniversary Edition'

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...

Crescent Moon to Bring 'Coldfire Keep' Spiritual Successor 'The Deep Paths' to Mobile

Who doesn't love an old-school first-person dungeon crawler? If you don't, well, then you can probably just stop reading right here. If you're a fan though, Crescent Moon has some very exciting news for you. They'll be bringing Steve Jarman's The Deep Paths: Labyrinth Of Andokost, which launched on Steam in late October, over to the mobile platform in the next couple of months. Steve Jarman, you may remember, has taken a couple of stabs at the old-school dungeon crawler formula on mobile, with Descend RPG [$1.99] way back in October of 2011 and Coldfire Keep [$4.99] back in February of 2014. His attempts at paying homage to one of his all-time favorite games Dungeon Master seem to just keep getting better, and The Deep Paths looks like the best effort yet based on this trailer from its Steam release...

'Super Blackjack Battle II Turbo Edition' is the Street Fighter II/Blackjack Mashup We Deserve

Nothing gets my motor humming quite like a pitch perfect parody of Street Fighter II, and being a fan of blackjack as well, the announcement of Super Blackjack Battle II Turbo Edition couldn't be any more up my alley. Coming from Headup Games and Stage Clear Studios, Super Blackjack Battle II Turbo Edition (SBJB2TE) is a game about the owner of one of Las Vegas's largest casinos and the Godfather of the local mafia throwing a huge blackjack tournament. Only the best in the tournament will be able to move on and fly to Vegas to face off against the Godfather himself, only to find that "the tournament itself is nothing more than a charade to hide a ruthless master plan to defeat the competing clan family." As mentioned, SBJB2TE parodies the classic Street Fighter II to an incredible degree, as you can see in this teaser...

As promised last month, developer Firi Games have released a huge version 2.0 update to their fantastic vertical shooter Phoenix II [Free]. The biggest change in this update is a new League system which will move players up and down in various levels of leagues based on how they perform in each day's mission. So, if you found the game pretty difficult you'll likely stick around in the lower leagues and get daily missions that are a bit easier. If you're quite proficient at the game, you'll rise up the league ranks and get daily missions that are increasingly harder. It's a smart system that should hopefully cater to a wider level of gamers than the original release...

Upcoming Beat 'em Up 'Golem Rage' Gets New Gameplay Trailer

This past June we wrote about an upcoming game called Golem Rage, which started life way back in 2012 as an asynchronous board game RPG and since morphed into a side-scrolling beat 'em up with a unique focus on rushing through levels as fast as possible. I don't know what you'd call that, a racer brawler I guess? Anyway, the art style and the action both looked great and we were really looking forward to Golem Rage's release in September. Well, that release didn't quite go as planned, and due to certain circumstances the game was delayed and went quiet until late last week when the developers promised a new full gameplay trailer for release this week. That trailer just went live this morning and you can check it out right here...

Out Now: 'Galaxy on Fire 3 - Manticore', 'Rocky', 'Dawn of Titans', 'Solar Siege', 'Nicki Minaj: The Empire', 'Pine Grove', 'Silent Depth', 'Frantic Ball' and More

Welcome to another busy week of new iOS game releases on the App Store! Ok, here's the deal. Yes there is a big-name game that's supposed to come out sometime between now and tomorrow morning, and yes you'll likely be pretty stoked about it. The mystery game hasn't quite launched in time for this weekly roundup, but you can be sure that the moment it arrives we'll let you know in a separate post. In fact, we have a full review of said mystery game ready to go, so be on the lookout for that hopefully in the next few hours. In the meantime, there's plenty of good stuff on tap this week in the list below, so check it out and let us know which games you'll be picking up! ..

TouchArcade Game of the Week: 'Le Parker: Sous Chef Extraordinaire'

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...

One game that has been very popular in our community but has flown mostly under the radar since its release in June is The Counter of Death [Free] from developer Curlking. This twitch reaction game has you facing off against an onslaught of foes by countering their attacks which leads to you automatically launching an offense of your own. It's done very simply by either touching the giant upper counter button or lower counter button, and paying close attention to your enemy's motions prior to their strike is key to being successful. For such simple mechanics, The Counter of Death is a surprisingly strategic game, and made even better by its fantastic presentation that mimicked old-school kung-fu movies to a T. ..