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.

'Punch Club' is like 'Game Dev Story' Meets Rocky with Hefty Doses of '80s and '90s Nostalgia

During E3 we sat down with TinyBuild to check out the latest iteration of Dungelot, but literally during that demonstration the publisher announced via a livestream a brand new game for desktop and mobile called Punch Club. Since the cat was out of the bag, we were in a prime position to get a quick demo of that game as well. You may have heard me talking it up on our podcast last week, but I was quite taken with Punch Club. The quick pitch is that it's Game Dev Story meets Rocky with hefty doses of '80s and '90s pop culture references. It's a delightfully cheesy light simulation game about coming up as a boxer and getting revenge on whoever murdered your father. Or, something like that. Cue the montage!..

Out Now: 'Xenowerk', 'Star Wars - Heroes Path', 'Alphabear', 'FireWhip', 'TrapTower', 'Beast Bound', 'Dragon Jump', 'Freak Circus Racing' and More

Hey guys and welcome to new iOS game time! I really wasn't expecting much this week, being E3 and all, but there's actually a ton of new games that have just hit the US App Store. Speaking of E3, Eli and myself are super busy running around the expo, trying to dig up cool mobile game stuff. So I'll keep this short and sweet and just say check out the full list below, there's definitely some neat games with "hidden gem" potential, and let us know in the comments which ones you've got your eye on...

E3 2015: Hands-On with 'Titan Quest' from DotEmu

Titan Quest was a well-recieved Diablo-like hack 'n slash RPG released back in 2006 by THQ. When THQ went under, the IP was picked up by Nordic Games, and by way of a licensing deal with DotEmu, we'll all soon have Titan Quest on our iOS devices, as was hinted at yesterday. We stopped by the DotEmu booth here at E3 and took a very early build of Titan Quest for a spin on an iPad. I never played the original, as you can tell by my fumbling about, but it should give you a good idea of what the iOS port will be like...

We posted a brief roundup of some of the crazy controllers and peripherals we've run across at E3 so far this year, but we took an extended look at the MadCatz L.Y.N.X. transforming controller just because it was so cool/absurd/expensive/crazy/etc. Check out the full video below...

There's always an odd assortment of crazy controllers and peripherals at a show like E3, and even on our first day we've run across several on the show floor. We've been taking short videos on Vine (follow us if you haven't already!) of some of them, so here's a quick roundup of the ones we've seen so far. I'm sure there's more stuff like this lurking in the shadows of the expo, so catch them on our Vine or on our Twitter and if there's enough demand we may even do another roundup like this later this week...

E3 2015: Hands-On with The Very Free to Play 'Torchlight Mobile'

One of the big announcements leading up to E3 this week was that the popular dungeon crawler Torchlight would be making its way to mobile. Torchlight has been a fan-favorite alternative to Diablo ever since it arrived on PC in the fall of 2009, followed by console ports and a sequel in the years that followed. I've always thought it would be a perfect fit for mobile devices too, so I was excited to see the announcement about Torchlight Mobile, and I was very excited to go hands-on with a very early build at E3 just a few moments ago. However, it's something of a mixed bag depending on your feelings about mobile games. ..

Bethesda has just wrapped up their pre-E3 media event, and as promised, their just-announced mobile game Fallout Shelter [Free] is now available for download. It's quite refreshing to see a game developer announce something and then release it so quickly afterwards, rather than waiting around for weeks or months for it to drop. Fallout Shelter lets your build your very own vault, create weapons and armor using the vast amount of crazy items in the Fallout universe. Remember all the weird stuff you would find while exploring Fallout 3? Now all that stuff actually has a purpose!..

OK, so it turns out Bethesda did end up having some pretty cool mobile announcements at their pre-E3 event. They've just unveiled a new mobile game called Fallout Shelter, which lets you actually build your own shelter in the Fallout universe. The best part: It's launching tonight just as soon as their event is over. They're still discussing it on the stream as I type this, so expect some updates to this post as they divulge more tidbits of info on Fallout Shelter...

You may or may not be excited about a new competitive card game based in the Elder Scrolls universe, but this latest announcement from Bethesda's pre-E3 press event should be something everyone is excited about. There's been a lot of buzz about using mobile devices as "second screen experiences" while you play console and PC games, but there hasn't been any of those experiences that have been especially novel. Well, that changes with the upcoming PIPBoy app. Bethesda has actually developed a faux plastic PIPBoy device you can wear on your wrist, and insert your mobile device in to use as a real PIPBoy while playing Fallout 4. That is so freaking awesome...

This year's Electronic Entertainment Expo doesn't officially kick off until Tuesday, but Bethesda decided to get ahead of the curve and throw a big media event today to pre-announce some of the stuff they'll be showing off during the week at the actual convention. In fact, they're streaming the entire thing live on their Twitch channel right now. With Doom, Fallout 4, Elder Scrolls Online and more in the works, there's tons of great stuff for console and PC gamers, but what is there for mobile gamers to look forward to? Well, it turns out that mobile gamers do have something to get excited about. Bethesda has just announced The Elder Scrolls Legends, a competitive card game for mobile set in the Elder Scrolls universe. ..

TouchArcade Game of the Week: 'Transistor'

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...

Out Now: 'Angry Birds Fight!', 'Green Ninja: Year of the Frog', 'Try Harder', 'Threes! Free', 'Spirit of War: The Great War', 'Triple Jump', 'Slippy Slopes' and More

We're here at WWDC in San Francisco hustling up any game developers we come across trying to get hot scoops on new iOS games. Unfortunately, there hasn't been a whole lot to see so far, and some of the stuff we have seen has been in a "not ready for public viewing" kind of state. Eh, that's how it goes sometimes, but at least we have a healthy list of finished games that you can download right now and get to playing (if the App Store cooperates, that is). Check out the list of games below and let us know which ones you've got your eye on, and look for (hopefully) some more WWDC game coverage later this week...

Towards the end of the presentation covering what's new in iOS 9, Apple's vice president of Software Engineering Craig Federighi just briefly touched on some new developer resources that will help improve the gaming experience on iOS devices. We are already familiar with Metal, SpriteKit and SceneKit, but now we have GameplayKit which can help developers in creating AI and pathfinding in games. There's also Model I/O, a resource for creating lighting on in-game models. And finally, Apple introduced ReplayKit, a built-in resource for recording and sharing gameplay videos on an iOS device...

One of the biggest benefits of working on a desktop or laptop computer is the ability to run multiple applications at once and switch between them with ease. For a long time, iOS devices lacked this type of feature, meaning you were limited to working within a single app at any given time. As the iOS software evolved, Apple somewhat addressed this problem with what they called quick app switching. Essentially, double-clicking the Home button brought up a tiny bar which showed you all the apps that you'd recently been using. It was nice, but it wasn't true multitasking, as whenever the operating system needed to free up some memory some of those previously used apps would be booted out of the memory, meaning that even if you switched back to them they'd have to launch from the beginning over again rather than bringing you right back to where you were working. What's more, even though switching between apps became much easier, you still couldn't truly use multiple apps at the same time. Well, with iOS 9 that all changes. Apple has finally introduced true multitasking support for both iPad and iPhone devices...

Apple's World Wide Developers Conference kicks off this morning as it does every year with Apple delivering a keynote address. They'll most likely be talking about the current state of Apple's business, unveiling what they have planned for iOS 9, and laying out what sort of sessions developers can partake in during WWDC this week. And hey, there just might even be a few surprises. Every year there's buzz about Apple finally refreshing the Apple TV and opening the little box up to developers, but this year those rumors seemed to get squashed early on, so we'll see. It's also possible Apple will announce a new music streaming service at the keynote. And if we're lucky, they might even talk a little bit about gaming...

TouchArcade Game of the Week: 'You Must Build A Boat'

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...

'This War of Mine' Coming to iOS and Android in July, New Interactive Trailer Released

In March of last year, Anomaly developer 11-bit Studios announced This War of Mine, a game about war from the perspective of the civilians who are caught up in the middle. It appeared to be an extremely somber but refreshing look at war, which in the world of video games is more often than not glorified as a no consequences shooting gallery for the player. Last November, This War of Mine launched on desktop to critical acclaim. The game has always been intended for mobile platforms as well, and we even went hands-on with an iPad version during GDC this year. This week 11-bit has announced that the mobile version of This War of Mine is on track for release next month, and they've released a nifty new interactive trailer that gives you a brief snippet of what sort of tough decisions you'll be needing to make in the game, along with the consequences...

Check Out 'Z-Exemplar', a Side-Scrolling Shoot 'em Up with ZX Spectrum Visuals

I love when developers take inspiration from older consoles and try to craft a new game with that console in mind. For example, Yacht Club Games' Shovel Knight for the 3DS absolutely feels like it could have been a genuine NES game back in the late '80s or early '90s. Or the sadly-no-longer-available-for-iOS Dark Void Zero, a "de-make" spinoff game of the Dark Void console shooter which the developers billed as a "lost" NES-era project that was miraculously "found" in the Capcom vault and promptly released to the world (it even has awesome NES-style "box art"). Anyway, I love that stuff, and I get that same sort of vibe from the upcoming shooter Z-Exemplar from Suminell Studios. All the usual suspects are listed as their inspirations–R-Type, Gradius, Nemesis and more–and they're shooting for a visual look similar to that of the '80s home computer from Sinclair, the ZX Spectrum. Not just the looks though, but everything about Z-Exemplar feels like an early '80s video game. Take a look...

We didn't know exactly when, but early yesterday we learned that Square Enix's perpetually soft-launched sniper-centric take on the Hitman franchise would be coming today. As promised, Hitman Sniper [$4.99] has finally, at long last, for really realsies been released to the App Store. Seriously! ..

It's finally here folks, the day you've been waiting all year for: My birthday! Oh, that was just me waiting for that? Well, hey, we all get to celebrate anyway as the sequel to 10000000, You Must Build A Boat, is finally upon us, and it is fan-freaking-tastic! We'll have our review for it going up just a few minutes after this gets posted, so if you're for some reason on the fence then Shaun Musgrave will enlighten you with his take. Honestly I couldn't think of a better birthday present, but the icing is that there's quite a few other great releases tonight, too. Every week is a celebration when you're a mobile gamer, so check out the list below and let us know which games you'll be picking up...