Author Archives: Shaun Musgrave


In virtually every respect, Empire of Angels 4 [$9.99] is a completely average SRPG. The latest in the line of a twenty-year-old series from well-known Taiwanese publisher Softstar, it doesn't stray far from what you've likely seen in a lot of other games in this genre. You'll go from point to point on a map, advance the story, fight some turn-based battles using an ever-increasing group of units, level up your team, and move on to the next challenge. Units can come in a variety of job classes, which define what moves they have at their disposal. Battles are broken up by cut-scenes that move the story along, but the meat of the game is left to the combat...

Hello, gentle listeners! Wowie, have I got some things to apologize for on this one. First of all, we recorded this a little late due to some conflicting schedules, so we opted to lump two games together into one episode. Then, after recording, I realized that my headset mic wasn't working properly and I had been speaking through my laptop mic for the entire thing. It sounds about as good as you would expect. So while I was trying to figure out what to do with all of that, the holidays hit, things got procrastinated, and here we are. This recording is from early December, so it's not as new or fresh as it could be, but the game discussion is pretty good, I feel, so I wanted to get it out there. We all enjoyed Overlive [$2.99] a lot, and none of us had a very good time with Blazing Souls [$4.99], so it's a real roller coaster...




Last year was another great year for RPGs on iOS, and it was especially good if you like ones that you can get lost in for dozens of hours. If you're still filling out your list from 2016, I've got some good news about two of them, at least. Both Siralim 2 [$1.99] from Thylacine Studios and The Quest HD [$5.99] from Redshift are on sale for the first time ever, letting you dive into some huge fun at discounted prices. It's worth mentioning that it's very rare for either of these developers to have sales, so if you've been waiting, well, don't wait too much longer...

Update Mondays: 'Disney Crossy Road', 'Marvel Future Fight', 'My Horse Prince', 'Skyline Skaters', 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. There's a chill in the air, which might explain why things are still not quite at full speed on the update front this year. We've got some good ones this week, no doubt, but not many surprises beyond the appearance of our favorite Man-Horse Dating Simulator. 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 - 'Ridiculous Fishing: A Tale of Redemption'

Hello, gentle readers, and welcome to the Classic Reload, the monthly feature where we have issues with jellyfish. Each month, we take a look at a golden oldie 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 balanced plate of games from month to month, but if there's something you really want to see, let me know in the comments below. You might not see your suggestion soon, but it will be added to the list for future consideration...

Cannonfire Concerto [$3.99] is another gamebook release from Choice of Games that offers an unusual premise and excellent world-building. You play as a touring musical virtuoso in a setting that has something of an 18th century European feel. It's a time of momentary peace for the region, but things are starting to fire up again. It's up to you to decide whether or not you want to get involved and which side you'll pull for, but whatever you choose, the show must go on. Written by Caleb Wilson, Cannonfire Concerto is a lighter and faster-paced read than some of the last few ChoiceScript games released, but that doesn't stop it from creating an interesting setting and having a good bit of fun with it...

While some people are enjoying Capcom's ports of the original 8-bit Mega Man games well enough, it's safe to say that the consensus is that they're not very good ports. A surprising thing for 20 - 30 year old games that ran on a system with less processing power than your bagel toaster, a disappointing thing given the relatively high quality of the Mega Man Legacy ports that appeared on other platforms in the last couple of years, but not necessarily an unfixable thing. After all, this is mobile gaming in 2017. Games are getting updates all the time! Heck, games are being updated as I write these very words. So when I opened up the App Store today and say that beautiful little red number along with Mega Man Mobile's [$1.99] icon, I got a little excited...

In my first year or so here at TouchArcade, it felt like Tin Man Games had something new coming out pretty regularly. In the last couple of years, however, the well-known gamebook developer has opted to spend more time with each release, with the results being quite impressive. From the experimental subscription-based gamebook app Choices to their stunning conversion of The Warlock of Firetop Mountain, it seems like a new era for the Australia-based developer. Falling somewhere in the middle of those two is Tin Man's first crack at the popular visual novel genre, Miss Fisher and the Deathly Maze. The first chapter is due out on February 8th, just a few weeks from now, and it's looking great...

Update Mondays: 'Templar Battleforce', 'Trials Frontier', 'Don't Grind', 'Cookie Jam', 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. Things are starting to pick up again on the update front, albeit pretty slowly. There are some really good ones this week, at least, even if we're not exactly swimming in them. 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 RPG Reload Play-Along: 'Final Fantasy'

Hello, gentle readers, and welcome to the latest addition to the growing RPG Reload family, 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 Touch Arcade 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!..

It's a tough road for non-universal apps these days, particularly those that are restricted to iPad users. Sometimes it's hard to avoid, especially if the game in question has a lot of small UI elements, but I've always felt that the excellent strategy RPG Crowntakers [$3.99] could work on an iPhone with some adjustments. Moreover, its gameplay is equally well-suited to playing on the go as it is to curling up in your favorite easy chair with your tablet. Well, iPhone owners, you finally have your chance. The latest version of Crowntakers brings universal support to the app, so you can play it wherever your little iOS-loving heart desires...

Do not buy these. Just don't. Not even for a laugh. Not even because they're only a couple bucks a pop and what harm could it do? I am sitting here trying to imagine how these ports of the 8-bit Mega Man games could have been worse, and I'm coming up dry. Nothing is right about them. Nothing. It's like someone was given the graphic and audio assets of the games and were told to re-create everything else on their own. The gravity is off. Enemy behavior is off. Hit detection is weird, and even the recoil from getting hit doesn't work properly. The games are crash-prone. The framerate is awful. The default speed is absurdly slow and choppy, and while the faster speed setting makes things a little better, it's too fast, still choppy, and messes with the games' fundamental workings even more...

Twin-stick shooting. Roguelite elements. Pandas with heavy ordinance. It was inevitable that someone, at some point in human history, would put these things together into one game. Continuing my mop-up of games that missed getting a review upon their initial release, it's Feral Fury's turn at bat. This game has developed a strong following in the TouchArcade forums, both because of the quality of the game itself and because of its highly-responsive, courteous developer. Feral Fury [$1.99] walks along a similar path to games like Enter the Gungeon and Binding of Isaac, and although it's not quite up to the level of those games, it's still an awful lot of fun...

Update Mondays: 'Daddy Long Legs', 'Subway Surfers', 'Shadowverse', 'Warp Shift', and (Not Many) More

Hello everyone, and welcome to the year! It's time once again for our look back at the noteworthy updates of the last seven days. Well friends, I showed up ready to write a full-length article this week, but you know who didn't? The updates! I guess things will heat up next time around, but for now, I've only got a small handful of games to highlight. 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!..

'PinOut!' Review - A Pretty, Good Spin on Pinball

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December 30th, 2016 1:30 PM EST by Shaun Musgrave in $2.99, 4 stars, Arcade, Free, iPad Games, iPhone games, Pinball, Reviews
Free Buy Now

With the end of the year upon us, I'm doing my usual job of going back and picking out some games for review that for whatever reason didn't get one upon release. This year, most of the choices are coming from suggestions from the community, and one of the first games mentioned was PinOut! [Free]. Given that pinball is usually like catnip for me, I'm not sure why I missed this one to begin with. I imagine I was knee-deep in RPGs or something like that. At any rate, it's better late than never, so let's take a look at this stylish spin on one of the oldest electronic gaming genres...

'Mini Metro' Review - Train Braining

'Mini Metro' Review - Train Braining

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December 30th, 2016 12:30 PM EST by Shaun Musgrave in $4.99, 5 stars, Arcade, Game Center, iPad Games, iPhone games, Reviews, Simulation
$4.99 Buy Now

Continuing our year-end mop-up of games we missed out on reviewing at the time of their release for various reasons, the next requested title by our readers was Mini Metro [$4.99]. I've had an interesting relationship with trains over the course of my life. Passenger trains more or less vanished in the part of Canada I'm from when I was relatively young. Like most places in Canada, my town was far too small to merit a local metro system. I mean, we barely had buses. Thus, I didn't end up riding a train of any sort until I was in my twenties, and I picked a wild place to start. Imagine a small-town bumpkin arriving in Tokyo, Japan, and trying to make sense of the colorful spaghetti that is the Tokyo Metro system. After a while, though, I got the hang of it, and I now consider myself to be pretty good at navigating the sometimes seemingly nonsensical connections from place to place in that city...

Okay, look, I think our wallets are almost in the clear. But we're not quite out of the woods yet. While many publishers like to do their big sales during the Christmas week, others are more of the New Year's type, and that means we've got some deals for you to take a look at today. Since there are a lot, I'm just going to list them out without the fancy details. I leave it up to you, dear reader, to investigate further. Without further ado, here are today's sales...

RPG Reload Special Edition - 'RPG Reload's Favorite RPGs of 2016'

Hello, gentle readers, and welcome to yet another special edition of the RPG Reload. In this weekly feature, we usually take a look at a game from the App Store's past, but due to the New Year's holiday, we're doing something a little different this week. That's right, it's time for the third annual listing of the RPG Reload's favorite RPGs of the year. Since I'm not clever enough to come up with good names, these awards are known as the Golden Pancho Awards, in honor of the frequently-seen Kemco monster. No actual trophies yet, unfortunately, but who wouldn't want a Golden Pancho next to their name? They're so cute!..

There was a time in the long ago when I wasn't churning out daily sales posts. It's hard to believe, but it's true. While we're certainly living in a post-2016 Christmas sale world, it's important that for some countries, New Year's is an even bigger event than Christmas. Japan happens to be one of those countries, so I suppose it's quite appropriate that one of the country's most beloved series is having a big sale before everyone settles in for an evening of watching the same old singers singing the same old tunes. Every last Dragon Quest game released on iOS is on sale. I'm not going to say you must buy all of them, but you ought to buy all of them...

'Empyrean' Review - Empyrean Rex

'Empyrean' Review - Empyrean Rex

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$5.99 Buy Now

Empyrean [$5.99], one of the recent releases of prolific gamebook publisher Choice of Games, doesn't start off on a good foot. Major events are happening to your character before you can even get your bearings, and it feels like the story is telling you a lot more than it's asking you. It doesn't help matters that the game's primary setting, the dieselpunk-styled city of Actorius, has a lot of lore to explain. The whole thing comes on a bit too strong initially, and I had to force myself to push through it in the early going. Give it some time to unfurl a little, however, and Empyrean proves to be great fun. It's a pulpy thing, to be sure, but it's high-quality pulp. I ended up enjoying it so much that even though this is one of the longer ChoiceScript games I've played, the time seemed to fly by...