Author Archives: Shaun Musgrave


Yesterday, we noticed that a bunch of games dropped to the price of $0.99 for what is most likely a Memorial Day sale. Well, there are a whole bunch of other games that have also gone on sale, though not necessarily for $0.99. I figured I'd mop up the best of the bunch that I could find and present them to you here in a nice, easy-to-click list. Nudge nudge, wink wink, friends. All kidding aside, there are some really great games on sale for up to half off of their regular price, so make sure you check them out...

Hey there, friends! I have a question for you all. Do you like shooting lasers at things in space? I'm going to assume you do because if you don't, you are dead to me. At least, the me that is writing this article, hoping this is very salient to your interests. Phew, I'm rambling here. It's just that Subdivision Infinity [$2.99] from Crescent Moon Games has hit the App Store a touch early and I'm very excited about that. It's even having one of those launch sale things, so you can get it for 40% off what will be its eventual regular price...




Best iPhone Game Updates: 'Mikey Jumps', 'Crash Club', 'Neo Monsters', 'SimCity BuildIt', 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. Is it just me, or did last week feel really long? Well, whatever your relative association with the movement of time, I've got a bag of updates for you to check out while you have your morning cup of whatevs. 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!..

Let's face it: when it comes to strategy/tactical RPGs, iOS gamers have got it pretty good. Setting aside the occasional great port we get from PCs or consoles, there are also plenty of quality original games in the genre. The only catch is that they tend to be a little rudimentary in their presentation. Bucking that trend is the Demon's Rise series, which offers up accessible yet deep strategy gameplay with surprisingly high-quality production values. The games aren't much for story, but if you enjoy the mechanics of games like Final Fantasy Tactics or X-COM, you'll want to check out Demon's Rise [$7.99] or its sequel, Demon's Rise 2 [$2.99]. At the moment, you can grab the latter game for its lowest price yet...

Musgravian Musings - 'Ghouls 'n Ghosts Mobile' and 'Arkanoid vs Space Invaders'

Well, I suppose this went well enough the first time to give it another go. Welcome to Musgravian Musings, a little space of my own where I can do some short, 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, I'm looking at two new releases that draw on old favorites. From Capcom, we've got their mobile version of the 1988 arcade classic Ghouls 'n Ghosts [$1.99]. From Taito, by way of their parent company Square Enix, a game that is both the latest Arkanoid and the latest Space Invaders, Arkanoid vs Space Invaders [$4.99]...

RPG Reload Glossary - The New Millennium of Tactical RPGs

Hello, gentle readers, and welcome to the RPG Reload, the regular feature where we maintain a healthy fear of Etna. Last month, we took a look at the early history of the tactical RPG genre followed by its blossoming in the 1990s. It was an important time for the genre, as the vague concepts of the 1980s were finally drawn together into a functional set of genre guidelines. While the genre really started to take off in Japan, things went a different way in the West. Besides occasional hits like X-COM, Western game developers were largely focused on a considerably more popular sister genre, the real-time strategy game. This gap would only become wider as time went on. This month, we're taking a look at some of the significant tactical RPGs of the 2000s, as the Japanese variation of the genre rode a massive wave of popularity worldwide off the back of Final Fantasy Tactics...

Gamevil's been part of the mobile gaming scene for pretty much as long as there has been a mobile gaming scene, and part of the reason for that is their ability to read the market and adjust accordingly. They've gone from flip-phone sports games and hack-and-slash action-RPGs to puzzle-RPGs, Adventure Time tie-ins, and gorgeous social RPGs. Though they favor a free-to-play model these days, they always put a lot of effort into delivering a polished experience. As a result, they're one of the more prolific social RPG publishers of today. One of their other strengths is in finding good development partners to work with, and the latest team they've hooked up with is Singta...

Oh, you thought your wallet was safe for another week? Well, Bandai Namco and Behold Studios have some other plans for your precious pocket money. After what feels like 10,000 years, Chroma Squad [$4.99] has finally made its way to the App Store. From the developers of the popular Knights of Pen & Paper, Chroma Squad is a tactical RPG based on the Super Sentai/Power Rangers-style teams of heroes in color-coded spandex...

'To The Moon' Review - When the Moon Hits Your Eye

To The Moon [$4.99] is an experience that depends almost entirely on the way its story unravels, and the exceptional music backing it. Spoiling the story, any bit of it, beyond the premise would be doing any potential player a tremendous disservice. And while I can offer up all kinds of praise for the audio, it's not as though that's easy to convey through text. So what should I write here? Let's start with this: To The Moon is an amazing journey through the memories of a man who has reached the end of his life, and as long as you don't mind the fact that the gameplay doesn't involve much more than walking around and clicking on things, you really ought to play this...

We're only a handful of days away from the release of the latest game in Nintendo's long-running Fire Emblem series in North America, Europe, and Australia. Fire Emblem Echoes: Shadows of Valentia is a full Nintendo 3DS remake of the second game in the series, Fire Emblem Gaiden, which released in Japan in 1992 for Nintendo's 8-bit hardware. Fire Emblem Echoes launched last month in Japan, and to commemorate it, mobile spin-off Fire Emblem Heroes [Free] held an event featuring one of the game's two main characters, Alm, and some of his associates. At the time, there was speculation that Nintendo was holding back some of the cast for a second event nearer to the international launch, speculation which has now proven to be correct...

Best iPhone Game Updates: 'Mini Metro', 'Red's Kingdom', 'Exiled Kingdoms', 'Subway Surfers', 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. Some really great games got solid updates this week, making it harder than most weeks to choose the best of the bunch. 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!..

So far, things have been going as most expected for Nintendo and their various mobile projects. Miitomo [Free] was a cute novelty that was popular for about the same length of time as Pogs, Super Mario Run [Free] did about as well as a $10 auto-runner could be expected to, and Fire Emblem Heroes [Free] has been making money hand-over-fist. Their next game, Animal Crossing, has been taking a little longer than expected to finish development, but word is already spilling out as to what comes after...

'Miles & Kilo' Review - It's Dog-Gone Great!

The original Kid Tripp [$0.99] was an excellent ode to Westone's classic Wonder Boy and the Adventure Island series that it spawned. The game looked and sounded like a latter day Master System or Game Gear game, and the auto-running platforming was almost pitch-perfect. To this day, I consider it one of the better platformers available on iOS. Well, the kid is back, and this time, he brought his dog. More importantly, however, Miles & Kilo [$2.99] tries to advance the Wonder Boy-style gameplay with new moves, gimmicks, and obstacles that Tom-Tom never had to worry about. The result is a fantastic game with one foot planted firmly in the past and the other in the here and now. If you like platformers, you won't want to miss this one...

Classic Reload: 'Year Walk'

Hello, gentle readers, and welcome to the Classic Reload, the monthly feature where we wander out into the snow to look for horses. Each month, we take a look at a classic 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 overall iOS library, or simply to take a deeper dive than our reviews typically allow. I try to pick a varied selection from month to month, but if there's a game you'd really like to see featured, don't be shy. You can let me know by posting a comment below. Since the schedule is planned well in advance, you might not see your suggested game soon, but it will be added to the master list for future consideration...

Daisuke Amaya's Kero Blaster [$5.99] is one of those games that just seems to get better every time I go back to it. It's hard to believe the game is more than three years old now, but there it is. Equally surprising is the fact that the game has not once gone on sale before on iOS. Well, streaks are meant to end, I suppose. For the next few days, you can nab Kero Blaster at a significantly discounted price...

Best iPhone Game Updates: 'Heroes of Steel', 'World of Tanks Blitz', 'Candy Crush Soda Saga', 'Footy Golf', 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. Whew, there sure aren't many of them this week. Everyone must be hard at work preparing new games or making 64-bit compatibility updates or something, because the watering hole was pretty dry all-around. There are a few good ones, at least, so let's have a look at those. 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!..

You know who makes some really great games, friends? Foursaken Media. You know whose games rarely go on sale, friends? Also Foursaken Media. And hey, fair enough. The games are great and more than worth their regular going prices. But if you've ever found yourself kind of interested in one of their games, but not quite interested enough to pull the trigger, maybe a little discount will help you pull the trigger. Lucky for you, Foursaken is having a sale on a number of their popular games. In most cases, this is the first time the price has dropped on these games in literal years. Some have never been on sale before. What I'm saying is, if you've been waiting? Don't plan on waiting for the next sale...

The RPG Reload Play-Along: 'Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic'

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!..

'Ms. Spell' Review - Ms. Fire

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$1.99 Buy Now

There are a ton of roguelikes, roguelites, and roguelike variants on iOS. Collectively, the genre is nearly as prolific on mobile as puzzle games and Kemco RPGs are. While there's always going to be an audience of some size craving more coal for the fire, going beyond that audience takes some clever, out-of-the-box thinking. To an extent, MicRogue [$1.99] had that. Developed by Jason Pickering and published by Crescent Moon, MicRogue offered up a heavily streamlined roguelite experience blended with an interesting chess-inspired twist. Its strong focus on positioning and predicting enemy moves helped it stand out a little bit. Pickering's latest roguelike-inspired game is Ms. Spell [$1.99], and it's unfortunately not quite as interesting...

After playing Principia [$2.99] through a few times, I find myself a little conflicted. This is an odd sort of science simulation game where you take on the role of a historical scientist and try to build your fame and fortune through research and discovery. Rival scientists will try to beat you to the punch or cattily attempt to discredit your work, and you can choose to respond in kind if you like. The game ends when your chosen character reaches the end of his working life, so you've got to try to get in as much as possible by then. It's a messy, ambitious game, and when I think on it, it doesn't really work at all. And yet, there's something compelling about it all. Perhaps it's the thrill of chasing a discovery to its end. Maybe it's the joy of rising to the top while your rivals slide downwards. The game's nerdy enthusiasm for science is also rather infectious. Whatever the case, it's certainly something to try if you're looking for a different kind of simulation game...