Author Archives: Shaun Musgrave


Hello everyone, and welcome to Musgravian Musings, a little space of my own where I can do some non-review reflections on recent game releases. In general, the featured games are ones that have caught my interest in some way or another, and will tend to be games that I didn't (and won't) review. This time, we're looking at the handful of retro releases SEGA just put out under the marketing umbrella of SEGA Forever. SEGA had been planning this initiative for a while, so it's obviously something they put some thought into. I just wish that showed better in the end results...

Prolific gamebook developer Tin Man Games has done great work with their various ports and adaptations of Fighting Fantasy. When they first got the license, they stuck mostly to adapting the books as accurately as possible. After a little bit of experimentation in games like Appointment with F.E.A.R. [$2.99], they decided to go all out for The Warlock of Firetop Mountain [$2.99], an adaptation of the Fighting Fantasy book that started it all. Going with a board game-style presentation and a new system of strategic combat, it's a great take on an old adventure. And now for the first time on iOS, you can pick up the game at a discounted price...




Classic Reload - 'Lost Treasures of Infocom'

Hello, gentle readers, and welcome to the Classic Reload, the regular feature where our minds are forever voyaging. In each installment, we take a look at a game from the App Store's past to see how it's holding up in the here and now. It's a chance to revisit old favorites, reflect on their place in the overall library, or simply to take a deeper dive than our reviews typically allow. As the one most likely to be eaten by a grue, I try to choose a balanced selection of games to feature. If you feel like something cool is missing, please let me know. You can leave suggestions in the comments below. I can't promise we'll get to any suggested games soon, but they will be added to the master list for future consideration...

Hey, it's been a while since I've done one of these, hasn't it? I have no idea why, but a bunch of cool games are on sale right at this very moment. I thought to myself, "You know who really likes cool games on sale? TouchArcade's readers!", and here we are. There doesn't seem to be much of a theme or reason behind these sales, but there are some great games here that are selling for some of their lowest prices yet. Why not take a look? As usual, I'll try to link reviews where we have them available...

Have you ever known someone for years only for them to do something that makes you question if you really ever knew them? Okay, so that feeling, but video game. Most of us at TouchArcade Towers have been playing Threes! [$2.99] for years now. It's one of my go-to games when I need to relax for a bit, so I'm always getting in a round or two on a regular basis. And yet! It seems this game was hiding a little old secret, one that seems to have taken a really long time for anyone to figure out. 3.33 years, to be precise. Brace yourself, there are spoilers ahead for something most of us probably would have never found out on our own anyway...

Best iPhone Game Updates: 'Footy Golf', 'Candy Crush Saga', 'Hidden Folks', 'The Escapists', and More

Hello everyone, and welcome to the week! It's time once again for our look back at the noteworthy updates of the last seven days. In addition to a bunch of 64-bit updates, regular updates keep on rolling in at a steady rate. I've found some of the most interesting ones for you to take a look at as you enjoy your morning tankard of ale. Of course, you can keep an eye out for updates yourself using AppShopper Social [Free], the watchlist in the TouchArcade App [Free], or by participating in the TouchArcade forums, but this weekly summary is here to fill in the things you might have missed. Let's dig in!..

'Epic Little War Game' Review - Back to the Trenches

It feels like Rubicon's War Game series has been all over the place. Great Little War Game [$1.99] was an accessible turn-based strategy game packed with content and a cheeky sense of humor. Its follow-up, Great Big War Game [$2.99], went for a bigger scale and added in online multiplayer. The next game in the series was Great Little War Game 2 [$1.99], which went for a more streamlined experience with portrait orientation, smaller levels, and no multiplayer at all. It was a fun game taken on its own merits, but it was somewhat of an underwhelming entry for the series to go out on. Well, here we are three years later, and it looks like the General isn't ready to hang up his pants yet. Epic Little War Game [$4.99] is here, and if you were one of the people who wished the last game was more fully-featured, you're going to be very happy with this one...

RPG Reload Glossary - The Unexpected Modern Awakening of TRPGs

Hello, gentle readers, and welcome to the RPG Reload, the regular feature where we're all just trying to S-rank our relationships. Last month, we continued our look at the history of turn-based tactical RPGs with a look at the years from 2000 to 2010. The genre came into the decade blazing, but by the time it wound down, things were looking pretty bleak. As it turned out, hope was right around the corner. This month, we'll be wrapping things up by taking a look at the notable games in the genre from the last several years. At least at the moment, it feels like TRPGs are more popular than ever. The various things that had to happen for that to come about were so unlikely that it makes for quite a story...

Musgravian Musings - 'Monument Valley 2' & 'The Quest - Thor's Hammer'

Hello everyone, and welcome to Musgravian Musings, a little space of my own where I can do some non-review reflections on recent game releases. In general, the featured games are ones that have caught my interest in some way or another, and will tend to be games that I didn't (and won't) review. This time around, I'm looking at two recent additions to some beloved mobile franchises and their very different ways of building on their predecessors. From ustwo, it's Monument Valley 2 [$4.99], a surprise release from last week's WWDC event. From Zarista Games and Redshift, we're looking at The Quest - Thor's Hammer [$2.99], the first completely original add-on content for the recent HD release of The Quest [$7.99]...

'Yankai's Peak' Review - Pyramid Perfection

'Yankai's Peak' Review - Pyramid Perfection

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June 14th, 2017 9:00 AM EDT by Shaun Musgrave in $1.99, 5 stars, Games, iPad Games, iPhone games, Puzzle, Reviews, Universal
$2.99 Buy Now

Developer Kenny Sun sure does like geometric shapes. His latest game is about pyramids, and just like his previous efforts, it's both bizarre and brilliant. Yankai's Peak [$2.99] might be titled like a sequel to last year's Yankai's Triangle [$2.99], but it's something totally new mechanically. While that game saw you spinning triangles around, disassembling them, and reassembling them to try to make them fit together, Yankai's Peak is more like a traditional Sokoban-style box-pusher. Instead of cooperative little squares, however, you're pushing around pyramids that aren't really good about moving in a straight line. The core mechanic is clever and rewarding, and the game sprinkles in new gimmicks regularly to keep you interested...

Best iPhone Game Updates: 'Fire Emblem Heroes', 'Galaga Wars', 'Pokemon: Magikarp Jump', 'Dan the Man', and More

Hello everyone, and welcome to the week! It's time once again for our look back at the noteworthy updates of the last seven days. I'm noticing a couple of trends lately. One, there are tons of 64-bit updates coming in. Two, that work must be keeping people busy because we're seeing very little else. I've done my best to find some goodies this week anyway. Of course, you can keep an eye out for updates yourself using AppShopper Social [Free], the watchlist in the TouchArcade App [Free], or by participating in the TouchArcade forums, but this weekly summary is here to fill in the things you might have missed. Let's dig in!..

Classic Reload - 'Desert Golfing'

Hello, gentle readers, and welcome to the Classic Reload, the monthly feature where can't seem to get ourselves out of the bunker. Each month, we take a look at a game from the App Store's past to see how it holds up in the here and now. It's a chance to revisit old favorites, reflect on their place in the iOS library, or simply to take a deeper dive than our reviews typically allow for. As the driver of this doomed golf cart, I try to choose a good selection of games from month to month. That said, if there's something you want to see, don't be shy! You can leave suggestions below in the comments. I can't promise it will appear soon, but it will be added to the master list for future consideration...

You know, I really have to hand it to Nintendo and DeNA. They've been listening carefully to the players of Fire Emblem Heroes [Free] and have worked diligently and quickly to try to address their requests. Pokemon Go [Free] players could only dream of support like this. Well, anyway, the latest version of Fire Emblem Heroes has hit, and it has some really neat stuff in it. The Tempest Trials are a new type of battle that tries to incorporate the series trademark permadeath feature in a rather novel way. A new Xenologue pushes the story forward a little more. There are lots of other nice additions to improve your playing experience, too...

'Lowlander 2: Lowerlander' Soft Launches in New Zealand and the Philippines

Hello, friends. Do you like Ultima? I'll only accept two answers to that question: (1) Heck yes, fool!, or (2) What even is that, you crusty old relic of a games writer? Well, whichever answer you selected, you'll want to keep your ears to the ground for the surely-impending release of Lowlander 2: Lowerlander, the amazingly-named sequel to the 2015 Lord British-approved Ultima tribute Lowlander [$1.99]. The game has just launched in the New Zealand and Philippines App Stores, and could arrive in the rest of the world as soon as next week...

Best iPhone Game Updates: 'Minecraft', 'Stickman Skate Battle', 'King Rabbit', 'RayForce', and More

Hello everyone, and welcome to the week! It's time once again for our look back at the most noteworthy updates of the last seven days. Lots of good stuff to pick from, but I think I've found a bag of excellent updates we can mostly agree on. Of course, you can keep an eye out for updates yourself using AppShopper Social [Free], the watchlist in the TouchArcade App [Free], or by participating in the TouchArcade forums, but this weekly summary is here to fill in the things you might have missed. Let's dig in!..

The iOS platform has been home to some pretty great space games. Some of them lean more into exploration and trading in the style of Elite or Wing Commander: Privateer. Others are pure shoot-em-ups in the grand tradition of Atari Star Wars and StarFox. Subdivision Infinity [$2.99], the latest release from prolific publisher Crescent Moon, is far closer to the latter type. You're not on rails, but you are generally operating within a set area for each mission. While there are some side missions involving mining and exploring, the meat of the game is in shooting down enemies before they do the same to you. It's not the deepest game around, but it knows what it wants to do and does it well...

The RPG Reload Play-Along: 'Final Fantasy 5'

Hello, gentle readers, and welcome to the RPG Reload Play-Along. Each month, we'll be playing an iOS RPG together, sharing laughs and tears in equal measures. The post on the front page (like this one!) is basically here to announce the game in question and give a few tips on getting started. The real action will be happening in the TouchArcade forums, where you'll find a thread dedicated to each month's featured game. Sign up if you haven't already, post your screenshots, ask for advice, or just chat about your misadventures with others. We've got a great community of RPG fans here at TouchArcade, so let's make the most of it! As a little incentive, at the end of each month, I will randomly pick one of the participants and send them something small and silly from here in Japan. All you have to do to be eligible is, well, play along with the Play-Along!..

Musgravian Musings - 'Pokemon: Magikarp Jump' is a Crash Course in the Cruel Nature of Mortality

Hello everyone, and welcome to Musgravian Musings, a little space of my own where I can do some non-review reflections on recent game releases. In general, the featured games are ones that have caught my interest in some way or another, and will tend to be games that I didn't (and won't) review. This time around, I'm looking at the latest Pokemon game, Pokemon: Magikarp Jump [Free]. It's more entertaining than you might think, and a lot of that comes down to its contrasting tones. Let's take a closer look at this bizarre game...

Five years is a pretty solid chunk of time, but it sometimes feels like the blink of an eye. Around five years ago, Taito released RayForce [$4.99] and RayStorm [$9.99] on iOS. They're the first two parts of a trilogy of shoot-em-ups that concluded with RayCrisis in 1998. When our own Jared Nelson wrote up the news of RayStorm's release, he expressed hope that Taito would see way to releasing the third game sometime down the road. Well, Past Jared, we are truly down the road now. Not only is RayCrisis on its way to mobile platforms this summer, but Taito is also gussying up the first two games to bring them up to modern spec, starting with the original game, RayForce...

There aren't many good games out there based on the Power Rangers franchise. Much of that is down to the nature of the licensing beast, similar to how hard it seems to be to get a superhero game of decent quality. There are many factors, both obvious and subtle, that work against licensed games. The Rangers certainly haven't been free of such hassles. The obvious solution is to take a swing at it without a license, but as Behold Studios found out, that's a delicate road to walk. Things worked out in the end, however, and Chroma Squad [$4.99] became an officially-endorsed spin on the Super Sentai concept that is free to do its own thing without the heavy restrictions that come with a full license. It's a good game, probably the best Ranger-themed game ever, though how much you like it will depend greatly on what you're looking to get out of it...