Author Archives: Sean Carey


‘MixZle’ Review – Weird Name, But Decent PuzZle Game

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September 28th, 2011 10:00 AM EST by Sean Carey in $0.99, 3.5 stars, iPhone games, Puzzle, Reviews
99¢ Buy Now

There’s a grotesquely misshapen tiger that haunts my dreams. His butt is where his head should be. He implores me to make him whole again, but the more I try to help the more horrific he becomes. I move his parts around in a fevered panic to no avail, unwillingly transforming him from proud feline predator into a twisted terror that would give even H.P. Lovecraft pause...

Boiling down the themes of uber-profitable App Store games yields a single undeniable fact of the universe: animals are lazy. The birds can be as angry as they like, but they don’t seem to do a thing about the pigs on their own. It’s only when you launch them out of slingshots that they take action. The gormless Om Nom would starve to death if it weren’t for you rewarding his horribly sedentary lifestyle with candy by cutting the rope. Let’s face it. You’re all a bunch of enablers...

Ever have one of those games that you desperately want to hate but can’t? You know there are better games on your phone and that by all definitions you’re essentially wasting your time by playing it, yet you can’t seem to escape the grind. That’s Pygmies-Hoglet [$.99]. It’s the digital equivalent of a menthol cigarette: it’s in no way what you originally planned to smoke, but the flavor is weird enough to see you through while you get your fix...

'Radballs' Review – These Balls Are The Total Package

Maybe it’s just me, but I have a hard time getting into trailers anymore. Spend enough time following the games industry and you eventually develop an elephantine level of skin thickness to ward off promotion and hype. Even being as jaded as I am towards anything but gameplay footage, every so often, I see a video or promo and I just know in my gut that I’m going to love the game...

If this review had the same layout as Avalon Wars [Free], here’s how you would get a feel for what the game is like. First, you’d go to the reviewer’s home base screen. For now, ignore the individual game-mechanic analysis buildings titled Combat, Resource Management, Base Building, Troop/Hero Development, and MMO Elements; we’ll come back to those later in the tutorial. To start, simply click on the Review Overview Command Center. Once on the Overview Command Center screen, you’ll select the Review Introduction tab. Choose “Two Paragraphs” as your option from the Review Length sub-menu...

Word games are some of the earliest and most venerated titles on the App Store, and still developers continue to find ways to refine and revitalize the genre. The popularity of Words With Friends and the resurgence of updated standards like Wurdle demonstrate clearly that there’s life in the old girl yet. Genre mash-ups are another energizer; from PopCap’s Bookworm Adventures on PC to the upcoming Word Fighter on iOS, sprinkling in just a few new letters can make the difference between snore and adore...

Duke Nukem Forever proved earlier this summer that if you find something ancient, non-functional, and barely relevant, with a minimal amount of effort you can turn a profit by selling it purely on the basis of historical curiosity. This is also the premise of the History Channel’s Antiques Roadshow, where people bring in old items to experts hoping to strike it rich by stumbling upon rare and sought after pieces...

Despite both noble and ignoble efforts, the real time strategy genre has never managed to find much traction outside of PC/Mac gaming. The micromanagement required to succeed in these games just screams for the speed and precision of a mouse. This hasn’t stopped developers from trying to awkwardly force RTS gameplay into console controller or touch inputs, however. While they struggle bravely on, it may ironically be a game that never attempted to tackle the problem at all that actually provides a vital clue to answering the riddle...

Ever since the moment as a child where I first saw Kyle MacLachlan crush a metal-underpantsed Sting with the force of a single word in Dune, I’ve wanted a game that gave me that same feeling of power. Any time I re-watch an episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation where the holodeck is featured, I find myself wishing that spoken controls were a bigger part of gaming. I mean, TNG accurately predicted the tablet computer, why can’t we have voice commands that work, too?..

While some traditional publishers are resisting the trends towards lower-cost software in the handheld gaming space, others are actively working to figure out how to make these sorts of experiences work on their existing platforms. While not a shining beacon of success, the PSP Minis campaign does demonstrate a good faith effort on the part of Sony to cater to the direction that portable gaming seems to be heading. A few growing pains are part and parcel of adapting to a changing market, and there have been a few notable early wins scattered through the program...

'Art Penguin' Review – It’s The Gesture That Counts

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August 12th, 2011 6:00 PM EST by Sean Carey in $0.99, 3.5 stars, Drawing, iPhone games, Reviews
99¢ Buy Now

From the Wii, to the DS, to Kinect, to iOS, developers continue to leverage non-traditional input methods to create gesture based gameplay. So far, their efforts have been met with varying success. For every pile of flailing shovelware or visionary title in the genre that just didn’t pass muster, there’s an Okami or Max and the Magic Marker out there to restore balance to the Force. The concept works...

'Silverfish MAX' Review – iCade, I Saw, I Conquered

'Silverfish MAX' Review – iCade, I Saw, I Conquered

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August 10th, 2011 10:00 AM EST by Sean Carey in $2.99, 4.5 stars, Arcade, iPad Games, Reviews
$2.99 Buy Now

When Chaotic Box released Silverfish [$1.99] for the iPhone in November of last year, it got all kinds of love from both the front page and the forums here at TouchArcade. Plans for an iPad version were stalled for a time, but then the developer got his hands on an iCade. Apparently the jones to play his baby in cabinet form was the nudge he needed to get the wheels back in motion, and the iPad/iCade game libraries are now all the more richer for it...

Do you like Minecraft, but find that all of the tedious mining, building, and exploration mechanics get in the way of your enjoyment? Are you a fan of crafting objects, but feel like a 3x3 grid isn’t nearly hardcore enough? Yes? Then my friends, have I got a 6x8 upgrade for you...