Author Archives: Rob Funnell


'IOTA's Journey' Is a Clever Turn-Based Puzzle Title, Releasing October 26th on the App Store

If you go into IOTA's Journey expecting some profound, epic adventure, you may be slightly disappointed. Yes, the game tells the story of the titular character and his first few steps into an uncomfortable new world, but IOTA is not a boy, an animal, or some sort of superhero. Instead, IOTA is a number of minimalistic, circular white blobs, and his journey is actually a pretty novel set of one-handed swipe puzzles. I'm not sure whether the pretence of a story through the game's four chapters is satire or simply a way to make IOTA's Journey a little more sentimental, but either way its classy presentation and interesting enemy-dodging mechanics look perfectly suited to on-the-go gaming. IOTA's Journey should be another solid puzzle addition to the App Store, and is set to release next month on October 26th...

'Gloomy Z' Is a Striking Zombie Tower Defense/Shooter Hybrid, Releasing Winter 2017

Whenever I even contemplate writing about a new zombie video game, I can feel the indifference from gamers around the globe reverberating around me. It might not be the most overused gaming cliche of all time, but it certainly feels like the most tired one, and I think we're all in agreement in hoping that the mainstream appeal of the undead will not rise from the grave anytime soon. That said, after such a negative introduction, I'm actually quite excited for the upcoming Gloomy Z from Agaporni Games, for a variety of reasons. Details like dragons and clever varied shooting gameplay are certainly important, but it's the striking visual style of Gloomy Z that got me past the zombie game stumbling block this time around. With the enemies and barricades featuring as nefarious black silhouettes in front of beautiful crimson-red skies, Gloomy Z creates a really neat aesthetic style, and is definitely one to watch in the lead up to its Winter 2017 release...




'The Witness' Review - Lost in a Maze

'The Witness' Review - Lost in a Maze

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September 21st, 2017 5:00 PM EDT by Rob Funnell in $9.99, 4.5 stars, Games, iPad Games, iPhone games, Puzzle, Reviews, Universal
$9.99 Buy Now

From the outset, The Witness [$9.99] is a video game that defies convention. After a loading screen that suggests ‘for the best experience, use headphones’, you immediately awaken in a dimly lit underground tunnel, amidst deafening silence. No title screen, no contextual introduction, no long-winded tutorial - in The Witness, you’re simply left to your own devices, and the curiosity that such a brazen start instills in the player serves as the primary catalyst to explore its luscious, vibrant and expansive environments. This core ethos permeates into every inch of The Witness, whether it’s solving puzzles, navigating complex terrain or attempting to work out how to access a seemingly out of bounds point of interest, and its respect for the user is one reason why the game received such universal critical acclaim upon its console release in 2016. However, the hands-off approach that is fundamental to The Witness’s identity is also its biggest source of frustration and, because of Thekla, Inc.’s impressive efforts in emulating the experience on mobile devices, a flaw that is as prominent as ever in the iOS iteration of the game...

It's been a frankly ridiculous week for huge iOS games releases, and after the long awaited launch of Morphite [$7.99], as well as the surprise appearance of stunning puzzle epic The Witness [$9.99], you'd be forgiven for thinking it couldn't get any better than this. Not wanting to feel left out of all the iOS 11 excitement, Capcom have thrown their hat into the ring, and out of nowhere have released the latest game in their popular courtroom Ace Attorney series. Going by its full title Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney - Spirit of Justice [$0.99], this latest entry in the franchise debuted on the 3DS in June 2016, and the game's iOS launch means all six mainline Ace Attorney titles are now available on the App Store. With the same monetisation model as Apollo Justice [$0.99] - the base game is available for $0.99 with various episode in-app purchases optional - Spirit of Justice is essential for any fans of the series, and finally playable on iPhone and iPad...

Here's a List of the Best iPhone Games That Will Stop Working If You Update to iOS 11

The recent release of iOS 11 has been arguably the most turbulent time for mobile gaming since the introduction of the App Store back in 2008. For starters, iTunes 12.7 for Mac actually removed the iOS App Store in its entirety, making it harder to actually browse for the latest games outside of the mobile device itself. Furthermore, iOS 11 introduced a whole new interface to the App Store - while not necessarily a bad thing in itself, the larger features could lead to less visibility for smaller titles, and at the very least represents the first major overhaul for the store front in years. The most impactful change, however, is undoubtedly the demise of 32-bit applications, which will now be incompatible with iOS 11 to prioritise more modern 64-bit equivalents. We've written about what we've dubbed the 32-bit Appocalypse extensively over the past few weeks, but for those of you who may just be learning about these developments, here is a list of the best games that will now be incompatible for devices running iOS 11...

Loyal TouchArcade readers, I have a confession to make - I deleted Pokemon GO [Free] from my iPhone a few days ago to make room for the likes of Thimbleweed Park [$9.99] and Iron Marines [$4.99]. As the self-appointed resident Pokemon fanboy, I'm sorry for letting you all down. That being said, it looks like I'll have to salvage the game from the confusing new iOS 11 App Store, as an awesome new Equinox event is scheduled to take place over the next week or so. From 1pm PDT on September 22nd until the same time on October 2nd, you can earn double Stardust for catching and hatching Pokemon, and some of the rarest creatures like Mareep, Chansey, Larvitar (!!) and more will be available in special 2km eggs. Registering new Pokemon will also earn you triple experience (so six times the standard with a Lucky Egg active), and new shop bundles featuring Super Incubators will additionally be available for purchase in the in-game store...

It's no exaggeration to say that Neon Chrome [$9.99] was one of the best mobile games to hit the App Store in 2016. The beautiful cyberpunk aesthetic combined with an engrossing sense of progression elevated Neon Chrome to the very apex of the iPhone's dual stick shooter genre, and received a highly coveted five-star review from the notorious Carter Dotson himself back in November. Understandably, everyone wanted even more Neon Chrome to play, and so the promise of the Arena DLC hitting mobile back in January was extremely exciting. However, months went by with little information on when this expansion would make its way to the mobile iteration of the title, and even with a substantial amount of content in the base game, Neon Chrome fans were beginning to wonder if the Arena DLC would ever make the transition from PC at all. Thankfully, 10tons have today confirmed that a first version of Arena for the iOS port of Neon Chrome is finally playable, and they are looking for testers on our forums to help balance and optimise the expansion before its upcoming launch...

'Disjoint' Is a Clever Puzzle Adventure With a Cute Story, and Is Looking for Beta Testers on Our Forums

It goes without saying that anyone writing about mobile games will see an obscene number of puzzle titles every day. While I'm generally a sucker for anything that looks like it can kill a few minutes on the daily commute, the majority of such titles differentiate themselves with subtle spins on a core mechanic, or some flashy or understated graphical design. I wouldn't exactly call this 'stagnation', it's evident that a formula for puzzle games exists on the App Store, and as the old saying goes, if it ain't broke, don't fix it. This is why the upcoming Disjoint surprised me greatly from the very first sentence of its forum thread - being touted as a story-rich puzzle game is one hell of a claim, and the adorable tale of a man and his pig adventuring around a Super Mario World-esque overworld map is an extremely appealing concept. For an early glimpse of this intriguing puzzle romp, sign up for the Disjoint beta test on our forum thread...

'The Thief of Wishes' Is an Adorable Interactive Fairy Tale With Multiple Endings, Launching This Autumn

After spending the weekend watching classic Pixar films and reminiscing over my slowly fading youth, as well as going to see the brilliant 2017 adaptation of Stephen King's horror classic It, a cute, cartoony fairy tale story combined with creepy overtones is exactly what I need right now. Thankfully, All Blue Studio's upcoming interactive fairy tale game The Thief of Wishes manages to scratch this extremely specific itch, with protagonist Catharine travelling between reality and a nefarious nightmare realm to save her town. The sneak glimpse of the artwork that the developer has provided in the game's launch trailer conveys the duality at the heart of The Thief of Wishes excellently, and hopefully the story can stand up to this strong aesthetic design shine the title releases later in Autumn...

'Ghoulboy' Is a Spooky Side-Scrolling Arcade Action Game, Coming Soon to the App Store

Today marks the first time an official 2D Metroid game has been released in over thirteen years. While you may be wondering the significance of such a milestone for mobile gaming, the fact that half of the Metroidvania genre label has been essentially defunct for so long - and we frequently use the term to describe many exciting exploratory iOS titles - means it's certainly something worth celebrating. While the upcoming Ghoulboy may be leaning more towards the 'vania' half of the descriptor, its undeniable retro charm combined with some nifty new platforming mechanics have lit an action gaming switch inside my brain, and there is a lot of potential for the title to make its own mark on the classic genre...

With the Europa League - Europe's premier football (or soccer for US readers) competition - kicking off tonight, it's fitting that fans of The Beautiful Game will want a mobile pastime in the excruciating wait until kick-off. Thankfully, Miniclip are here with yet another sport-focused free-to-play release in the form of Football Strike [Free]. As the name heavily implies, Football Strike is all about shooting those devastating long-distance strikes into the back of the net. With an abundance of modes allowing free kicks, target practice or classic penalty shoot-outs, Football Strike's PvP multiplayer action looks particularly appealing for soccer fans, and has made its first team debut on the App Store today as a free download...

Clever Co-Op Puzzler 'Our Ways' Will Be Looking for Love on the App Store on October 11th

While the benefits of a relationship sure are plentiful, their very nature necessitates a huge deal of challenge and commitment, and it doesn't take long to stumble upon some convoluted horror stories around the internet. Thankfully, Our Ways has all the qualities of a relationship but is, well, actually fun. Through controlling two separate lovestruck circles with different sides of the screen, you must use your reactions and delicate controls to unite the protagonists in temporary bliss - at least until the next level. It's an ingenious concept that has repeatedly impressed us on previous glimpses in the past, and today the developers have announced that Our Ways will be launching as a $1.99 premium release on October 11th, as well as sharing an official trailer that gives a nice impression of the adorable concept of the title...

The First Official Trailer for 'GRID Autosport' Has Been Released, and It Looks Incredible in Motion

While yesterday's Apple Keynote had a relatively strong mobile gaming presence, with the exclusive reveal of Sky from thatgamecompany and some impressive ARKit experiments showing the full capabilities of this exciting new technology, I came out of the conference feeling a little disappointed. Those amongst our lively Discord community will have seen me repeatedly predict that GRID Autosport, Feral Interactive's stunning racing simulator, would make an appearance. After all, if there ever was a game to show off the ridiculous capabilities of the shiny new iPhone X, it'd be GRID Autosport. Thankfully, the developer has numbed the pain somewhat by releasing their first official trailer for their highly anticipated racing title, and I can't help but feel that GRID Autosport could the premium driving simulator that the App Store has desperately needed for so many years...

Could 'Animal Crossing Mobile' Be Announced at Today's Apple Keynote?

It seems we know almost everything about the big Apple Keynote that is happening in only a few hours time. Whether it's the big new iPhone 8 (or iPhone X, depending on what you read), or the potential powerhouse that is the 4K Apple TV, the upcoming hardware iterations for pivotal mobile gaming devices are certainly worth getting excited over. However, software remains a mysterious, unknown quantity - after the astonishing appearance of Miyamoto to promote Super Mario Run [Free] at last year's event, Apple have justifiably made expectations equally as stratospheric for today's keynote in terms of potential new iOS games. One particularly exciting rumour that is making the rounds on social media and enthusiast forums alike is the shock reveal of the elusive Animal Crossing mobile game. With virtually no details from Nintendo on their App Store iteration of their legendary simulation title over the past few months, many are holding out for a similarly bombastic announcement today - but is there any substance to such rumours?..

'Pocket Mine 3', the Latest in the Cult Digging Puzzle Series, Is Launching Worldwide Tomorrow on the App Store

Back in the early days of the Nintendo DS, during the typical new console release drought that seems to plague the vast majority of major handheld launch windows, I stumbled upon the deceptively brilliant Mr Driller series from Namco. To be honest, I wasn't sure what on earth was actually going on during the majority of the game, and I didn't exactly get very deep - literally and figuratively - within it. In my defence, I was barely nine years old at the time (wow, I feel old). However, ever since then, the catharsis of games that involve drilling or descending down a seemingly endless cavern has greatly appealed to me, and that core gameplay mechanic was epitomised by the excellent Pocket Mine series from Roofdog Games. After a total of 9 million downloads from both Pocket Mine 1 [Free] and Pocket Mine 2 [Free] - as well as surprise runaway success in the Japanese App Store - the developer is set to release Pocket Mine 3, the latest game in the franchise, worldwide tomorrow...

With the big Apple conference occurring later today, the impending 32-bit Appocalypse that we've wrote about at length over the past few weeks is closer than ever. While it's been extremely gratifying to see so many developers update their classic titles to support the demands of iOS 11, there will inevitably be some games that will depart the App Store in the next few weeks, and QuestLord [Free] appears to be one of them. Having last been updated in December 2013, QuestLord is sadly still only 32-bit compatible, and with the developer's focus presumably being on the upcoming sequel, the retro-themed dungeon crawler is currently sitting firm in iOS death row. To perhaps give mobile gamers one final chance to play this iconic mobile RPG, Lava Level has today made QuestLord free to download for the first time since its February 2013 release...

A lot has changed within Apple over the past ten years, but one of the most notable differences is how virtually everything about their upcoming conferences is slowly leaked out in advance. I guess this is a consequence of both their monolithic stature in the technology sector and world at large, as well as an ironic after-effect of how devices such as the iPhone have opened up how connected and informed the general public is in the present day. Anyway, you've likely read an abundance of speculative posts over the past few days, but one in particular has piqued the interest of the iOS gamer within. On the eve of Apple's big iPhone 8 reveal event tomorrow, analysis of firmware files has suggested a 4K Apple TV with the same internals as the recent iPad Pro models is set to debut soon, in a direct attempt to compete with the likes of the Nintendo Switch...

Ever since Rolando redefined the expectations of what mobile gaming could offer, I've been inexplicably attached to cute, anthropomorphic blobs in video games. Don't get me wrong - I'm all for excellent character design within the industry, but despite how hypocritical it may sound, the purity of a smiling red circle just triggers something deep in my heart. This meant that the trailer for self-described physics puzzle venture Tales of the Tiny Planet [$1.99] was particularly appealing from the outset, as bouncing the titular spheres around deviously designed levels (with comical voices and sound effects upon an especially spiky demise) looked both charming and captivating. As puzzle games go, Tales of the Tiny Planet appears to be out of this world (pun fully intended), and is available to download from the App Store for $1.99 today...

Endless arcade games are abundant in the beloved realm of the App Store, but I'll be damned if Neon Drive [$3.99] isn't up there with the most stylish and well executed releases in its calamitously crowded genre. The stunning 80's inspired environments, including luminous cityscapes and luscious aquatic settings, really brought the title to life, and its frenetic dodging action created a funky rhythm game element that resonated greatly with the retina-burning colors and cybergrid courses. Despite debuting all the way back in November 2015, developer Fraoula Apps has continued to support Neon Drive as it has slowly spread to multiple other gaming platforms, and today has received its first major update in over a year with new levels, features, modes and much more...

'Wayout' Is the Next Colorful Minimalistic Puzzle Title From Dropout Games, and Is in Need of Beta Testers

Developer Dropout Games have started to develop a reputation for simple, stylist and most of all superb puzzle titles on the App Store. I was particularly impressed with their latest release Neo Angle [$0.99], which featured pulsating and rhythmic navigation through numerous detailed levels with a beautiful 80's neon aesthetic. Not wishing to rest on their laurels, Dropout Games are straight out of the block with their latest upcoming title called Wayout, and it looks like yet another hit to stand next to their previous efforts. Featuring some colorful hand-drawn graphics, Wayout is all about clearing a board and turning all the tiles white. With the bold assertion that this is their trickiest game to date, Wayout should scratch an itch for those wanting a devious challenge, and the developers are looking for beta testers on our forums...