Author Archives: Eric Ford


While Nintendo’s Super Mario Run is intrinsically a Mario platformer, there are obviously a few things that differentiate it from other titles in the series. In fact, the auto-run nature of the game essentially means that veterans of the platform need to remaster the controls to a certain extent. This is especially important if you plan on beating other opponents in the game’s Toad Rally mode. Toad Rally mode is a challenge mode that requires rally tickets and is a highly competitive mode where you race against a person’s avatar to get the highest score, which is a combination of coins collected and flashy moves in order to impress the toads watching. Obviously, such a mode requires great mastery of the controls to win, so check out the following tips and tricks in order to be the ultimate runner...

It’s been a long time coming, but the folks at Super Evil Megacorp have finally launched Version 2.0 of their mobile MOBA, Vainglory [Free]. While each update up until this point has typically included some welcome additions and a host of new characters, this update looks to be the biggest one yet. For starters, some significant changes have been made to the game’s guild structure. Now, players can easily find and join new guilds, which is a welcome change. In addition, guild rewards will be doled out throughout a season instead of at the end. Players can also now earn guild rep in solo matches. Finally, guild admin tools are finally here so leaders can transfer ownership, officers can be named with privileges and so on...




Gameloft’s Disney Magic Kingdoms [Free] has seen a steady stream of content updates, with the most recent one being the (pretty awesome) Halloween Nightmare Before Christmas event. Now, the freemium kingdom-builder is back at it again with a new seasonal event based on one of their most popular IPs...

While the music/rhythm genre has become somewhat stagnant on consoles, it’s been alive and well on mobile with ports of classics along with new twists to enjoy. Still, it’s been awhile since I’ve enjoyed a tried and true classic take on the rhythm genre. Pianista [Free] is an excellent new title that offers that exact experience with the added benefit of a treasure trove of classical music. In fact, when you combine the well-designed rhythm system with an interesting freemium system, there’s really no reason not to at least check it out...

'Avadon 3: The Warborn' for iPad Review - A Worthy Conclusion to the Avadon Trilogy

Jeff Vogel's Avernum and Avadon games are some of the best computer RPGs (CRPG) that you can get on iOS. All of them have tons of content with an excellent balance of story-based and open-world options and their respective tales are pretty compelling as well. While Avernum has technically been complete for awhile, Avadon was still a work in process with the final game in the trilogy released on PC earlier this year. Thankfully, Avadon 3: The Warborn [$11.99 (HD)] is finally out on iOS too, completing the Avadon series on the iPad with yet another absolutely amazing CRPG...

It’s that time again, the folks over at Super Evil Megacorp have released another significant update to their mobile MOBA, Vainglory [Free]. While the new character (which offers a pretty interesting twist on debilitating gameplay) and multitudes of new skins are always nice, it’s the additions to its iOS broadcasting support that have me interested...

BlizzCon 2016: A Convention In Review

BlizzCon 2016: A Convention In Review

November 8th, 2016 10:40 AM EST by Eric Ford in Featured, Games, News

Another BlizzCon has come and gone and we’ve covered extensively the newest expansion to Hearthstone [Free], the lone iOS game at the convention (WoW companion app notwithstanding). However, there were plenty of other games and events to cover in the convention’s two days. As usual, here’s a brief summary of some of the more interesting things that we saw on the floor...

Hot off the morning announcement of the new Hearthstone [Free] expansion, Mean Streets of Gadgetzan, we attended the Hearthstone: What’s Next seminar at BlizzCon. Obviously, the event was entirely centered around the new expansion and we were able to get a lot of cool information about the design cues for the expansion, along with a lot more detail about the three mafia families of Gadgetzan...

BlizzCon 2016: Blizzard Unveils 'Mean Streets of Gadgetzan', New Expansion for 'Hearthstone'

Today during the BlizzCon Opening Ceremony, Hamilton Chu of Hearthstone fame announced the newest expansion for the card battler. Taking place in the dark corridors and alleys of the port city of Gadgetzan, Mean Streets looks to offer an interesting mix based on the three 'families' of Gadgetzan (think mobs). Each family has their own types of cards with different strategies...

Genre mashups always toe a precarious line between providing players with established systems of play while simultaneously turning them upside down by placing them in new environments. If not done well enough, players are left with a completely foreign experience without any familiar gameplay elements to form a grounding experience. In other words, balance is key. The Lost Shield [$1.99], while a relatively basic example of a genre mashup, nevertheless does a decent job achieving that balance. In fact, if not for some more fundamental issues with the game, I’d have no problem heralding it as a rare unqualified success...

Remember Rock Band for iOS, or maybe its successor Rock Band Reloaded? Honestly, I wouldn’t blame you if you didn’t, considering both games were given the EA axe over four years ago. It really was a shame as they were pretty decent rhythm games at the time...

Just in time for Halloween, Gameloft’s Disney Magic Kingdoms [Free] has been updated with some pretty awesome new content, including some pretty popular characters and attractions...

Just like clockwork, the folks over at Super Evil Megacorp have unveiled their latest update to the mobile MOBA, Vainglory  [Free]. Version 1.23 sees the debut of the ranged hero Gwen, as well as a pretty cool Autumn Map skin as well as some small, but welcomed gameplay additions...

While the console and PC versions of 2k Sports’ NBA 2k series typically enjoy some significant improvements year to year, the mobile versions are typically left to iterative improvements. Maybe it’s the lack of multiplayer or the slimmed down MyCareer mode, but each year has typically brought small, but welcome changes. Such is the case again with NBA 2k17 [$7.99], which brings to the mobile series a fresh paint job, new controls, and a streamlined MyCareer mode. For the most part, there’s no doubt the changes are for the better. The real question becomes whether it’s worth the upgrade...

Based on the web series by Alan Tudyk, Con Man: The Game [Free] is a freemium building game with the unique theme of building and running a comic convention. Players start out with a tiny con  without many fans or exhibits and slowly build up the ability to hire VIPs, build better facilities and sell bigger and better merchandise. Eventually, players also unlock themed exhibits for fans of specific genres (such as fantasy or horror). I took on the challenge of building my own con for over a month, checking in a few times a day without the assistance of purchasing any premium currency. While the theming certainly gives it a leg up on other builder games, I was not impressed with the relative progress players of the game when measured against its mechanics...

'Ember' Review - Keeping the Old-School RPG Light Burning

When 505 Games and N-Fusion released their old-school inspired RPG Ember [$9.99] last week, there were a few interesting things we noted. First, with a stated longevity of 30+ hours (coupled with no IAP), it’s certainly one of the longest premium RPGs we’ve played in awhile. Second, as a near simultaneous release with the PC version, it’s one of those increasingly rare games where the developer isn’t trying to hide the fact that a mobile version was developed concurrently with the PC version. Both are typically good indicators of a well-made game, and Ember certainly fits the bill. It does an excellent job paying homage to the old-school RPG and its controls make an acceptable transition to touch screen...

With summer season in Super Evil Megacorp’s Vainglory [Free] coming to a close, the mobile MOBA has now turned its sights onto autumn with a new season, new hero and new interface improvements. Beyond the move to an autumn Halcyon Fold map, autumn season also brings significant changes to the game’s reward system. A new seasonal chest joins the batch of consistent rewards, with seasonal chests requiring more effort to unlock but can offer much greater rewards, including whole skins. Vainglory is also introducing a new Opal currency which is rare to earn and can be used to eventually unlock old limited edition special skins that were supposedly never to return (however, skins unlocked the opal way will look different than the original LE skins to differentiate)...

Fresh off its debut of Cinderella last month, Gameloft’s Disney Magic Kingdoms [Free] updated this morning with new characters, quests, and attractions. This time, however, the characters are out of one of their live action series...

Ed. Note: We’re trying a new feature for the plethora of freemium titles that hit the iOS market. Rather than do an immediate review of a freemium game after a few days of gameplay, when the game is trying its hardest to entice new players, we’ll be chronicling our experiences across longer periods of time, starting at a week or longer. Obviously, each reviewer has their own preferences for how they play freemium games so pay attention to their play styles when taking into consideration their conclusions...

As summer comes to an end, the folks over at Super Evil Megacorp have released one last Summer season update for Vainglory [Free], this one with a new hero and a final special edition summer skin. Coming into the Halcyon Fold is Samuel, a dark mage positioned as a ranged lane hero that has the ability to put enemy heroes to sleep with his ultimate ability. In addition, Samuel’s other abilities center on being able to control large amounts of the battlefield with damage over time spells. It’s always nice to get another ranged lane hero, so I’m looking forward to taking Samuel for a spin...