Author Archives: Nissa Campbell


'Bobbing' Review - A Vicious and Clever Precision Puzzle Platformer

I told myself I'd go get lunch after getting through one more of Bobbing's [Free / $0.99] 86 levels. They're short and sweet, once you know what you're doing. It shouldn't have been a problem. Twenty minutes later, I was finally done. Famished, but finished. I probably should have taken the break I promised myself—Bobbing is not a game to be played on an empty stomach...

'Dungeon Plunder' Review - A Roguelike that Plays the Odds

Slot machines and RPGs make good bedfellows, as the King Cashing series has taught us. Dungeon Plunder [$1.99] takes that combination and applies it to the roguelike, creating an interesting pairing. On one hand, the semi-random nature of slots works nicely in the otherwise randomized world. On the other hand, I like my combat to be quick, you know?..

Kitties are cute and should be saved: this is the premise of Jones On Fire [$2.99], and it's a good one. These kitties are indeed cute, and you, as the intrepid firefighter Jones, really ought to save them. I can say with some certainty that they'd do the same for you...

'Penumbear' Review - Bringing Light to Dark Platforms

A world of teddy bears and pretty lights doesn't sound like the perfect setting for a killer platformer, I'll grant. Penumbear's [Free] teddy bear is, however, a ball of fluff in serious trouble, and the pretty lights are all that stand between it and a gruesome stuffing evisceration. The shadows, in this case, outweigh the light...

If an awkwardly earnest take on the Fresh Prince of Bel Air theme sounds like a good time to you, you'll probably dig Sarah Northway's Word Up Dog [Free]. Get it? "Dig"? Because you'll be digging in the dirt for dog bones and letters...? Just priming you for the endearing dorkiness of Word Up Dog, friends—it's a fun, original little word game, but you have to love it for the underdog it is...

Sir Pussington is my favorite cat—hackycat? He's just so dapper with his little top hat and monocle, and his mustache gives fellow hackycat Mustachio a run for his kitty treats. Both of them bounce nicely when I kick them, and their little feet paddle the air as they fly. ..

There are moments when Rock Runners [$0.99] feels particularly cool, when you dash through a kinetic, ever-changing landscape, dash from portal to portal and generally act like a total badass. But most players probably won't reach those moments, because it can be a trudge to get to them...

PinWar [Free] isn't a game for the pinball aficionado. The tables lack the (literal or figurative) bells and whistles of other pinball games, and the physics aren't right at all. No, PinWar is pinball for the masses. It's fast, it's fun and it's fiercely competitive—assuming there's another pair of hands nearby to enjoy it with...

There's a certain kind of puzzle game that would gnaw away at my gaming hours if I let it, logic puzzles with a hint of drawing, like Picross, or the excellent PathPix series on iOS. These are games that rely on incredibly simple and clear rules. Colors and numbers sit on a grid, and they tell you exactly how to put together a picture if only you can figure out how to make them all work together...

'Finding Teddy' Review - A Dark, Beautiful Childhood Adventure

Have a love of adventure games and an hour or so to spare? You absolutely must take a look at Finding Teddy [Free / $2.99]. No, the name may not inspire confidence, but trust me, Look At My Game has published a real gem. It may not quite be the next Sword & Sworcery [$4.99], but that's not for lack of beauty or heart...

'Little Inferno' for iPad Review - Burning Up the Hours

There's nothing better than a big, crackling fire, for ambiance, for warmth, for burning all your belongings. In the world of Little Inferno [$4.99], the best thing in life is getting a new toy or gizmo in the mail, tossing it in your Little Inferno Entertainment Fireplace, and setting it on fire. In fact, there may be nothing else. Nothing else at all...

Aside from downloadable content that lets you dress a marshmallow in a medieval helmet, Rise of the Blobs [Free] doesn't have much in common with Wind-Up Knight. Both are made by Robot Invader, but Wind-Up Knight [Free] was a viciously funny precision platformer while Rise of the Blobs is a matching game with broader humor. Jiggly blobs, fruit splatters and big bright colors, all these things are hallmarks of a friendlier, simpler game. Here's the thing about Robot Invader's games, though—what you can see on the surface rarely reflects the depth of what's beneath...

'Pixel People' Review - A Brave New World of Timers and Clones

For a while now, I've been worn out on free-to-play sims. Tiny Tower [Free] and Dragonvale [Free] devoured my waking hours (and my phone's battery), but then I grew listless. What's the point, I thought, in clicking stuff to earn coins that just let you click more stuff? Pixel People [Free] has reminded me of something fundamental: it's not the point that matters, it's the fun along the way. LambdaMu Games has distilled everything I love about the freemium sim formula into one incredibly potent brew...

Might and Magic: Clash of Heroes [$4.99] is one of those games I just can't get enough of. I've picked it up on three different platforms so far, and through them all there's been one constant: it offers an excellent blend of strategy, puzzles and roleplaying. It's more than worth playing, be it on PSN or XBLA, on Nintendo DS, or on Steam. iPad, too—aside from a few big bugs. iPhone, on the other hand? Not so much. Asynchronous multiplayer is a wonderful addition, but it comes at a cost...

'Momonga Pinball Adventure' Review - A Spin Through a Lush New World

I'm what you might call a pinball dilletante. Oh sure, I've played a table here and there, downloaded a few pinball games and poked around, but I lack discipline. I dabble, I don't commit. I've never learned to play with real accuracy or attention to the goals of the game beyond keeping the ball in play...

'Wave Trip' Review - Playing in Music

Mobile games have left their roots behind, no longer relying on entertaining us with a dozen variations of Snake and Bejeweled. Our habits haven't quite kept up. For every one of us that sits and plays an iOS game for hours straight there are many more who will never load up a game for more than five minutes in a sitting. That's reasonable: these games are a diversion on the go for most people. It's just a shame because there are games that can't be digested in five short minutes. Take Lucky Frame's Wave Trip [$0.99]...

The whole roguelike thing can seem kind of intense—the permadeath, particularly. It's all struggle and strife and the near-inevitable fall. It's hard to relax when you know each and every move could be your last, after all. Dungelot [$1.99 / Free] makes the whole formula much simpler. ..

'Time Surfer' Review - Kumobius's Endless Glider is a Blast from the Past

There's no denying Kumobius's Time Surfer [$0.99] owes a lot to Tiny Wings [$0.99 / $2.99 (HD)]. It has the same swoopy hills, the same leap-and-glide movement, and the same joy of flight. After that, things go a bit off the proverbial rails...

'Hundreds' Review - Counting On Only the Best

Hundreds [$4.99] could almost get away without an explanation. Here's how the first level plays: you put your finger down on a circle. It starts growing, and a number counts up. When it hits 100, you win. You will never need a tutorial—anyone can learn to play...

ZeptoLab makes charming games. It's kind of their thing, judging by Cut The Rope's eminently marketable Om Nom. The studio's latest, Pudding Monsters [$0.99 / $1.99 (HD)], is certainly charming—it practically oozes character. It just lacks a little something else, a bit of the fun factor...