Author Archives: Eric Ford


'Hearthstone' - A Conversation With Devs at Blizzcon

November 7th, 2014 9:53 PM EST by Eric Ford in Card, News
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Earlier this evening I had the opportunity to chat with Hearthstone’s Senior UI Designer Derek Sakamoto and Producer Yong Woo about the game’s upcoming expansion Goblins vs Gnomes, as well as some general points about the game’s release, successes, and design philosophy...

Earlier today, we reported on the announcement of Blizzard’s first expansion to its wildly popular CCG Hearthstone. Dubbed Goblins vs Gnomes, this expansion focuses less on a storyline storyline (i.e. Hearthstone’s ‘Adventures’ such as Curse of Naxxramas) and more on just adding a ton of new cards to the gameplay arena. I had the opportunity to play a few games with decks mostly comprised of a few of the new cards that will be available in Goblins vs Gnomes and, suffice to say, it’s going to add some crazy new strategies...

Back in September, we reported on the soft launch of Star Wars: Galactic Defense [Free]. Developed by the folks at DeNA, Galactic Defense is a freemium tower defense title complete with classic Star Wars heroes and locales to visit. While there’s a certain amount of fan service that makes Galactic Defense appealing on some level, the game’s actual execution leaves a lot to be desired...

Hands-on with 'Seabeard' - Sailing The Ocean Blue

At this point, there’re very few readers out there that haven’t heard of Seabeard. Published by Backflip and developed by Hand Circus, this title has been high on our radar ever since we dubbed it the Game of GDC back in March. Shortly after soft-launching in Canada earlier this month, we were given the opportunity to get an extended look at the Animal Crossing-esque title. Based on what I’ve seen so far, it’s worth the wait...

'Rival Stars Basketball' Review - Draft N’ Grind

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October 24th, 2014 2:00 PM EST by Eric Ford in 3.5 stars, Card, Free, Games, iPad Games, iPhone games, Reviews, Sports, Universal
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PikPok’s no stranger to making fun games (see the recently released Adventure Xpress [Free]) and with its latest release, the developer has decided to take on the card battler genre. Rival Stars Basketball [Free] takes a simplified card battle formula and infuses it with street basketball style. Rival Stars doesn’t have any significant missteps, but it’s just a bit too shallow in its current state to be anything more than a quick play...

'NBA 2K15' Review - Technical Foul

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October 22nd, 2014 3:03 PM EST by Eric Ford in $7.99, 2.5 stars, Games, iPad Games, iPhone games, Reviews, Sports, Universal
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2K has been experimenting with sports games on the iOS for a while, with NBA 2K15 [$7.99] being its latest attempt to bring its 2K Sports brand to the platform. In some regards, 2K15 does a great job of bringing that experience to iOS, with a full featured Career Mode, great graphics, and a look and feel that excels beyond most of the iOS competition. Unfortunately, some significant technical issues remove a good deal of the enjoyment that should be had with the game...

Back in September, we previewed Hail to the King; Deathbat, an action hack n’ slash from Subscience Studios. Based on the ‘mascot’ of Avenged Sevenfold, Deathbat would be an interesting enough game simply from that premise, as it does a great job of portraying its dark world. Thankfully, Deathbat is also a good addition to the genre, offering a solid gameplay experience that doesn’t particularly excel but hits all the right marks...

‘Skylanders Trap Team’ Review - A Portal Perfect Experience

Earlier this month we offered a hands-on preview of Actvision’s Skylanders Trap Team [Free (HD)]. Ported over by the folks at Vicarious Visions, Trap Team is being billed as the first of the series to not only have a simultaneous launch across console platforms and iOS but to also offer the complete console experience on Apple’s platform. It’s also an absolutely amazing port that feels right at home on iOS and offers an experience with its figurines that is unmatched by anything else currently available on the App Store...

Adult Swim has a done a great job with its iOS titles and now, with the help of developer PikPok, they are taking on the Match-3 genre. Adventure Xpress [Free] continues the excellent off-beat motif of most Adult Swim titles with you taking the role of a mail courier in a fantasy setting. Meanwhile the Match-3 gameplay is a bit simplified, but has everything needed to offer an enjoyable experience (even with the freemium elements)...

Armor Games has been doing a decent job of porting a few of their many online games to iOS as of late, and Cursed Treasure 2 [$1.99] is one of their better TD titles to hit the App Store. Combining a lot of the standard TD fundamentals with some nice novelties and improvements, Cursed 2 isn’t going to wow anyone with a significant reinterpretation of the genre. However, it does have some cool nuances, plenty of replaybility, and hits all the requisite marks to make it yet another great TD game for App Store users...

Hands-on with 'Hail To The King: Deathbat' - Gothic Hack N’ Slash

We’ve talked a bit about Subscience Studio’s collaboration with Avenged Sevenfold, Hail To The King: Deathbat. After taking it for a spin recently, there’s definitely more to this hack n’ slasher than just a big name, and setting and locale are worth keeping tabs on its impending release...

'Gemini Strike' Review - A Freemium Shooter That’s a Blast

As we mentioned in our earlier preview, Armor Games’ Gemini Strike [Free] was worth some attention simply due to its interesting combination of a vertical shoot ‘em up combined with a deep loot system reminiscent of any RPG. Thankfully, Gemini Strike is far more than just an interesting combination of genres; it’s also a pretty awesome game in its own right. With fast, frenetic gameplay, a fair freemium system, and a ton of replayability, Gemini Strike is a pretty fun game...

'Super Monkey Ball Bounce' Review - Super Monkey Peggle

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September 9th, 2014 8:58 AM EST by Eric Ford in 3 stars, Free, Games, Puzzle, Reviews
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We’ve been keeping tabs on Sega’s Super Monkey Ball Bounce [Free] since we first heard about its soft-launch back in May. While a pachinko (*cough* Peggle) experience with SMB characters probably isn’t what most would think about in regards to a new game in the series, the thematics and execution make Bounce a pretty fun game to play. Unfortunately, enjoyable gameplay can’t fully make up for the incredibly annoying (and occasionally heavy-handed) use of freemium elements...

As we mentioned in our review, Tiny Tower Vegas [Free] is a bit more engaging than its predecessor, with the folks at Nimblebit adding new elements such as an extra premium currency and casino mini-games that significantly shift the way you play. While Nimblebit games in general have a reputation of being fair in its IAP facets, there are some considerations that can be made to help earn premium currency even faster while ensuring that its spent in the most efficient way possible. The following guide will help you earn those chips and bux while making sure they are spent wisely...

'Bioshock' Review - Is An iOS Gamer Not Entitled To A Mobile Rapture?

It’s been seven years since Irrational Games (formerly 2K Boston) unleashed the world of Bioshock upon gamers. An amazing tale set within the underwater city of Rapture, Bioshock was the perfect combination of exploration and FPS with excellent thematics and a story that offered some pretty awesome twists. Now, after a few previews, Bioshock [$10.99] for iOS is finally upon us, brining a new generation of gamers and a new platform to the world of Rapture. The transition hasn’t been perfect, but Bioshock is still great where it counts, and that’s what’s most important...