Author Archives: Rickey Ainsworth


From the moment Leviathan: Warships [$2.99 (HD)] was announced, I was crackling with an electric anticipation. Published by the developer of some of my favorite PC games, Paradox Interactive, this strategic naval combat game challenges players to outfit and lead a fleet against AI and online opponents. Set in an alternate history, beautifully stylized ships combine traditional firepower with a few high-tech tricks like beam weapons and energy shields. Personally, I can't think of many game concepts that would get me more excited than this one. But, as Leviathan: Warships has reminded me, even amazing concepts don't always translate into amazing experiences...

The setting and characters in Murder Files (formerly Blue Toad Murder Files) [$2.99] are bursting at the seams with English flavour, so when I first heard about the game, I wondered if it would have a similar feel to the Sherlock Holmes stories I've loved since I was a kid. Nope; not at all. Once I started playing, however, I found it to be very reminiscent of another, completely different style of detective story I also enjoyed in my earlier years. I remember devouring the type of books where a couple neighborhood whiz-kids on summer vacation would decide to start an amateur detective agency. During their search for, say, old Mrs. Johnson's missing cat, they'd uncover million dollar jewel heist or some such, foil the culprit, and maybe even make the front page of the school newspaper...

'The Blockheads' Review - Two-Dimensional Minecraft That's Anything But Flat

In recent years, Minecraft has become the common ancestor of an entire sandbox subgenre. While it boasts a player base bursting with creativity, this is a subgenre that often suffers at the hands of less ambitious developers. Uninspired Minecraft imitations continue to pour into the iOS market, each trying to capture and cash in on a piece of Mojang's magic formula. Cast adrift on an ocean of Cavern Clones, Block Knock-offs, and Tryin'crafts, I sometimes catch myself wondering if it's all been done; if we've already seen the best Minecraft's successors have to offer. But then, inevitably, a new diamond emerges from the coal pile to disabuse me of that notion. The Blockheads [Free] is the latest game to set me straight...

As both a lover of retro 1950s sci-fi design and an enthusiast of gaming history, it was inevitable that Rocket Patrol [Free (HD)] would snare my attention in its tractor beam. This recent, iPad-only release by GRL Games is a descendant of the classic card games Touring (1906) and the French-designed Mille Bornes (1954). Those games took two players on a head-to-head, cross-country automobile race, avoiding fender benders and flat tires along the way. Rocket Patrol trades wheels for warp drives, taking that competition into the final frontier...