Author Archives: Eric Ford


'Seabeard' Review - A Whole New (Freemium) World

After many months of coverage, a soft-launch and a hands-on preview, Seabeard [Free] is finally upon us. When a game gets this much coverage and hype, it’s typically hard for it to satisfy all expectations. This seems to be even more true whenever a game relies on freemium mechanism as a way to monetize. After spending a great deal of time within the game, I’m happy to report that I don’t believe Seabeard is a victim of its own hype but I do think that its freemium system will probably alienate some of its potential player base...

New Hero and New Party Features Announced for ‘Vainglory’

During today’s weekly livestream, the folks at Super Evil Megacorp will be taking the wraps off the latest hero for their free-to-play iOS MOBA Vainglory [Free / Free (HD)]. Skaarfungandr, or Skaarf for short, is a fire-breathing dragon and is the latest hero to join the fray. Being a dragon, the majority of Skaarf’s abilities center around long range area of effect damage attacks like launching fireballs and damaging opponents with dragon breath. ..

'Call of Duty: Heroes' Guide - Tips to Win Without Spending Real Money

While it’s not exactly a groundbreaking free-to-play base builder, Call of Duty: Heroes [Free] is still a pretty decent freemium title. Our review mentioned that the game itself is a bit more forgiving in some aspects of it freemium elements, but like all similar titles, there are still plenty of timers and opportunities to shell out for premium currency. For folks new to the genre — and even for those veterans that know what they’re doing — we’ve compiled some tips to help you get the most out of the game without necessarily resorting to shelling out...

Unless it has some really cool source material or has something new to contribute, it’s really tough to get excited about a new Clash of Clans clone these days. Enter Activision’s Call of Duty: Heroes [Free], a Clash-inspired title that recently left its soft launch and debuted in North America. While Heroes is obviously banking on the incredible popularity of the Call of Duty series, it doesn’t offer a few interesting features to try and distinguish itself from the rest of the genre. Whether or not that’s enough to differentiate itself from the pack remains to be seen...

‘Vainglory’ Guide - Tips and Tricks for Victory and Glory

Vainglory [Free / Free (HD)] certainly isn’t the first MOBA to hit iOS. However, with its impressive visuals and incredibly balanced heroes and gameplay, it’s probably the most popular title in the genre right now.  For folks new to title or even to the genre, we thought we’d compile some tips and tricks regarding MOBAs in general as well as Vainglory in specific...

'Vainglory' Review - Portable MOBA Magic

'Vainglory' Review - Portable MOBA Magic

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November 20th, 2014 11:00 AM EDT by Eric Ford in 5 stars, Free, Games, iPad Games, iPhone games, iPod touch games, MOBA, Reviews
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While soft-launched for nearly half a year, it really wasn’t until we saw Vainglory [Free / Free (HD)] during Apple’s September event that we’ve been keeping a close eye on it. Super Evil Megacorp’s keynote presentation was more than just a cool demonstration of Metal — it was also a pretty damn cool looking MOBA in its own right. With its recent end of its lengthy soft launch period and subsequent debut in the US Apple Store, we thought we’d take it for a spin and see how it compares to other iOS MOBAs. Suffice to say, I think Vainglory is one of the best genre offerings available and sets the bar in terms of visuals, balance and controls...

BlizzCon Report - Best of the Rest

November 10th, 2014 9:44 AM EDT by Eric Ford in News

We’ve been hard at work reporting from BlizzCon on the first Hearthstone expansion, Goblins vs Gnomes. While that’s the only iOS centric news at Blizzard’s convention this weekend, there are still plenty of other announcements that’ve been made and are certainly worthy of news. If you’re an iOS purist and don’t want to read up on some of the other things I’ve checked out at BlizzCon, by all means stop reading now and move on to the next article. For everyone else, stick around as we report on the rest of BlizzCon...

'Hearthstone' - A Conversation With Devs at Blizzcon

November 7th, 2014 9:53 PM EDT 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 EDT 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 EDT 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 EDT 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...