Author Archives: Eric Ford


'Modern Combat 5: Blackout' Single Player Review - Blurring the Lines Between Single and Multiplayer

After months of news, teaser trailers, and hands-on previews, Gameloft’s latest entry in its first-person shooter series is finally here. As was the case with MC4, there’s a lot to look it with this latest sequel, so this first part of the review focuses primarily on the single player campaign and underlying gameplay mechanics. In that regard, Modern Combat 5: Blackout is an excellent sequel that makes some dramatic improvements to said mechanics while keeping the actual FPS action mostly unchanged...

'Hellraid: The Escape' Review - First Person Puzzling at its Finest

Folks paying attention to the PC scene may have heard of a soon-to-be-released game called Hellraid. From the makers of Techland, it’s a dark fantasy co-op action title placing players in the role of repelling a demonic invasion. However, in its iOS debut, Hellraid: The Escape [$2.99] doesn’t share the action-oriented approach as its PC and console cousin. In fact, the action is eschewed pretty much in its entirety for a first person puzzler. While this change in genre may disappoint some hoping for something with a bad more action, Hellraid: The Escape offers a pretty impressive experience on iOS...

Long time indie aficionados may remember Oscura, a somewhat obscure platformer with a beautiful art style reminiscent of Limbo. While the original is no longer on the App Store, Surprise Attack Games recently released a sequel in Oscura Second Shadow [$2.99]. Keeping to the themes of its predecessor, Second Shadow retains its visual flair and with a new set of levels, traps and baddies to avoid...

If you’re into water physics puzzlers, H2FLOW [$1.99] by Haptix Games is the latest entry into the mix. Differentiating itself from the rest of the pack is the fusion of a few elements from other genres, making it part-action, part-puzzler with water physics tying it all together. Alas, some significant issues with controls, combined with an exceptional emphasis on difficulty may take the game beyond the typical casual audience for such puzzlers. However, endure and you’re left with a satisfying, though challenging, experience...

'Tales of the Adventure Company' Review - A Fine Tale, Indeed

Seeing a remarkable resurgence on the App Store lately, developers seem to have flocked to the rogue-like to try and create the next cool simplified adventure. Tales of the Adventure Company [$1.99] tackles this trend in a different manner, by combining some of those rogue elements with a traditional, tile-based puzzler’s look and feel. It also succeeds at melding these genres to a degree far higher than most games, making it an excellent combination of puzzle and strategic depth...

Card battles and rogue-likes probably aren’t a combination you necessarily think about, but that’s exactly what you get in Dream Quest [$2.99]. It may sound weird, but it actually works very well, with some potentially deep gameplay that keeps you coming back for more. Unfortunately, outside of the battle system there’s a lot to be desired, but Dream Quest still has enough going for it to be worth exploring...

'OTTTD' Review - Gives a New Meaning to the Term "Guts and Glory"

We checked out SMG Studio’s Over The Top Tower Defense title (OTTTD) last month and were stoked about its unique take on the genre. With an impressive melding of traditional TD and action-RPG elements, all of my expectations as to what it had to offer were happily exceeded. Indeed, OTTTD [$2.99] not only takes tower defense to a gameplay depth rarely seen for the genre, but it does so with ease, making this an awesome and refreshing update to the classic genre...

With as many puzzle-platformers as there are on iOS, a title really need to do something to earn some limelight. Crescent Moon Games' Twisty Planets [$1.99] earns its attention in a couple of ways. Its world-turning element is well done and certainly adds a different perspective to the genre. Meanwhile its variety in levels and emphasis on gradual difficulty give players motivation to continue playing. It all leads to a fun platformer worth enjoying...

Ever since Vivid Games announced Godfire: Rise of Prometheus [$4.99] last year, we’ve been keeping a close eye on its development. For good reason too, as Vivid has a reputation for great games (see Real Boxing) and the thought of them creating a title in the same vein as God of War was an exciting prospect. Now that it’s finally here, it’s safe to say that the wait has been mostly worth it. Visually stunning, Godfire suffers from some gameplay monotony but is otherwise a great action-adventure title...

When it comes to tower defense, I personally think it can be a tough task for developers to balance new concepts with established elements that give a TD game that familiar, comfortable feeling. Armor Games' Demons vs. Fairyland [Free / $2.99 (HD)] does a good job with that balance. While its small unique features probably don’t do much in terms of innovation, I think it does enough overall to be included in any TD fan’s game library...

'Botanicula' Review - Nature’s Beauty

'Botanicula' Review - Nature’s Beauty

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May 15th, 2014 10:05 AM EDT by Eric Ford in $4.99, 4.5 stars, Adventure, iPad Games, Puzzle, Reviews
$4.99 Buy Now

In 2012, Amanita Design, developer of Machinarium (another game we absolutely loved) launched Botanicula on the PC, another great point-and-click puzzle that took the gameplay experience to a more natural setting. It’s taken nearly two years to hit iOS, but the wait is finally over for Botanicula [$4.99 (HD)] for iPad. Just as Machinarium benefited from a transition to touch-based controls, Botanicula is another fine example of a great game made better on the iPad...

Cipher Prime Studios has amazed us before with hits such as Fractal, Splice and Pulse, each exploring various avenues related to puzzle and music/rhythm gameplay. With Intake: Be Aggressive [$2.99 (HD)], Cypher takes aim squarely at the arcade/shooter genre and hits the mark beautifully. Frenzied visuals, fast-paced gameplay with the right amount of strategy, and an awesome soundtrack make for an excellent iPad experience that’s well worth picking up...

Crescent Moon Games’ 2-Bit Cowboy [$0.99] doesn’t hide the fact that it’s a total nostalgia trip. With its Gameboy-era visuals and simplified control scheme, it wouldn’t be too much of a stretch to see if actually running on the classic handheld. Thankfully, the folks over at Cascadia Games do a great job of melding new with the old, as 2-Bit Cowboy does a great job incorporating some more modern gameplay facets with the old-school look and appeal...

Fans of indie titles on Steam have probably heard of David Williamson’s rogue-like Hack, Slash, Loot. True to its name-sake HSL is an exceedingly streamlined take on the genre that is known for its occasional unforgiving difficulty, all due to the random nature of the game. In its debut on iOS, Hack, Slash, Loot [$4.99] for makes a decent transition to iPad complete with navigable touch controls. Whether its barebones gameplay makes a splash amongst a crowd of great rogue-likes on iOS is another question, however...

'Leo's Fortune' Review - A Treasured Platformer

A good platformer not only requires a good gameplay experience in terms of level design and controls, but also need to do a good job of conveying an experience to the player. Leo’s Fortune [$4.99], with its beautiful visuals, well-done gameplay and its rich tale of redemption, does just that. Regardless if you’re a platforming veteran or novice, Leo’s Fortune is an excellent example of how iOS platforming should look and play...