Author Archives: Shaun Musgrave


'Dragon Lapis' Review - Not Exactly a Gem

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On the one hand, Dragon Lapis [Free / $4.99] is a bog-standard Kemco RPG release, the sort they used to boot out the door on a near-monthly basis. The only novel thing here is that the game is played in the portrait orientation rather than landscape, a change that makes it resemble Square Enix's iOS Dragon Quest games in what I'm sure is a total coincidence. On the other hand, Kemco hasn't been booting these kinds of games out the door on mobile quite as often as they used to. No one really is, if we're being honest. If nothing else, that makes Dragon Lapis slightly more welcome than it might have been had it dropped in the middle of Kemco's more prolific past...

With the strange goth event coming to a close last week in Nintendo's Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp [Free], it appeared that the decks were all clear for a Valentine's Day event. But no, friends. Doing what you would expect is not how this game rolls. Apart from a box of chocolates that was sent to everyone's mailbox, it seems Valentine's Day will come and go without much of a peep. Instead, players have been treated to the big update that Nintendo has been teasing for the last little while. There are a couple of semi-big things, and a bunch of little things. Let's take a look, shall we not?..




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. Lots and lots of interesting updates this week, with some big free-to-play and paid games represented. We've got expansions, compatibility updates, seasonal events, and more. Like bug fixes! And other improvements! Of course, you can keep an eye out for updates yourself using AppShopper or by participating in the TouchArcade forums. This weekly summary is just here to fill you in on the things you might have missed. Let's dig in!..

'Final Fantasy 15 Pocket Edition' Review - In Other Words, Final Fantasy 15

The very existence of Final Fantasy 15 Pocket Edition [Free] is both weird and fascinating. Final Fantasy 15 is the latest in the classic series of JRPGs. It launched last year on the latest home consoles, and on its face certainly didn't appear to be a good candidate for a mobile release. Maybe Final Fantasy 8 next for mobile players? Or even Final Fantasy 10? No, Square Enix clearly wanted mobile players to experience the story of the newest game in the series, and found a way to do just that. Final Fantasy 15 Pocket Edition is Final Fantasy 15… sort of. It's as though someone had the script and a pretty decent walkthrough of the original game and was told to remake it for mobile devices. Miraculously, it works...

Those readers unfortunate enough to follow me on Twitter know that I have a terrible vice, and its name is Marvel Avengers Academy [Free]. The game's original concept, which sounded like something between a city builder and a dating sim, pulled me in at launch. While it has done an absolutely terrible job of delivering on its initial promises, the entertaining writing and deep character cuts managed to keep me coming back anyway. The game just hit its second anniversary, and to honor the occasion developer TinyCo has brought some seriously big changes to the campus. Good? Bad? I suppose we'll have to see how things play out, but it's certainly different...

Best iPhone Game Updates: 'Rules of Survival', 'Super Phantom Cat 2', 'Vainglory', 'Elder Scrolls: Legends', 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. Updates, there were a few. Perhaps a few more than a few, but not many more than that. I hunted down some interesting ones, or at least some somewhat-interesting ones. There are cats, panthers, sorcerers, and other such things to look forward to later in the article if you've got the moxie to hang around. Of course, you can keep an eye out for updates yourself using AppShopper or by participating in the TouchArcade forums. This weekly summary is just here to fill you in on the things you might have missed. Let's dig in!..

Developer Kenny Sun is best known for his unique puzzle games involving geometric shapes. Each of those games picks a shape and builds a puzzle experience around it that tends to differ entirely from the developer's previous games. There are some common points, of course. The games usually have a ton of levels, each one introduced with a card stating that it was made by Kenny Sun. They're also typically audiovisual treats, albeit abstract ones. A Hollow Doorway [Free] follows in the footsteps of games like Yankai's Triangle [$2.99] and Yankai's Peak [$2.99] in some ways, but it's different in that this is more of a game of reflexes than considered thought. It has this developer's usual flourishes, but in terms of mechanics, it's closer to something like Super Hexagon [$2.99] than the positional puzzles seen in the last couple of Sun games...

While Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp [Free] hasn't really caught on the way Nintendo probably was hoping for, it doesn't seem to be lacking in active players for the moment. The developers seem to be counting on wall-to-wall events to keep the players engaged, but you can tell that they're trying to get the hang of what those events should be and how they should play out. The winter event that just ended was easy to finish in a day or two, while even regular players had trouble completing the event prior to that, Rover's Garden Safari. Well, prepare your gardening tools, because the latest event has players heading back to the planting grind...

It's already been a year since Fire Emblem Heroes [Free], the free-to-play spin-off of Nintendo's long-running tactical RPG franchise, released on iOS and Android. The game has been received quite well by many players and has turned out to be Nintendo's biggest success so far in the challenging mobile market. Part of that must surely be credited to the hard work of the development team, who have listened to player feedback and made frequent updates based on it. Indeed, it's impressive just how much the game has changed in one year. To celebrate the occasion, Nintendo put out a new video today outlining some upcoming additions to the game...

Best iPhone Game Updates: 'Rules of Survival', 'Getting Over It', 'SimCity BuildIt', 'Flipping Legend', 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. It seems like business is finally picking up again, as we've got a pretty decent mix of titles in this week's grab bag of goodies. I've picked out what I think are the finest or most interesting to give you something to read while you process your Monday. Of course, you can keep an eye out for updates yourself using AppShopper or by participating in the TouchArcade forums. This weekly summary is just here to fill you in on the things you might have missed. Let's dig in!..

It feels like a million years ago now, but at one point the most hopping hub for indie games was through web portals containing games built in Flash. Yes, the one that doesn't work with iOS and has largely gone the way of the dodo. Anyway, back in 2006, if you were a Flash game developer, the place to be was Newgrounds. They had a whole bunch of the best Flash games in one place, along with seemingly thousands of, er, learning experiences. It was in this environment that Mr. Fancy Pants, the titular character of Fancy Pants Adventures [Free], made his amazing debut. That game did the most important thing a platformer can do to get going: polished its physics and controls to a fine, fine sheen. It proved incredibly popular, and its developer continued to build on it in his spare time, adding new worlds complete with new gimmicks and moves to play around with...

'The Room' Series Plot Guide - Here's What You Need to Know to Be Ready for 'The Room: Old Sins'

The Room: Old Sins is the latest release in a series that goes back to 2012, which I regret to inform you was more than five years ago. Wait, don't focus on the existential dread! There are games to play, after all. Now, the games in this series are puzzle games first and foremost. You're meant to enjoy the intricately-designed puzzles and the way everything connects before anything else. But there is also an intricately-designed, connected story going on in the background, and each game has revealed clues and plot pieces at a steady rate. Maybe you're excited for Old Sins, but you can't quite remember what happened in the last game, or the one before that. Well, we've got your collective backs, friends. Here's a spoiler-heavy summary of the first three games in the series for those who want a quick refresher...

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. They're not all free-to-play games this week, I promise! Just, you know, mostly. That's how it is. Still, there's some real heavy-hitters in here, including some games I'm sure many of our readers are playing. Of course, you can keep an eye out for updates yourself using AppShopper or by participating in the TouchArcade forums. This weekly summary is just here to fill you in on the things you might have missed. Let's dig in!..

It's definitely looking like Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp [Free] is going to be one of those games that is wall-to-wall events with little to no breaks in between. The Rover's Garden Safari event just ended earlier today, and we're already on to the next thing. Instead of catching butterflies in your garden, you're going to be going after something slightly more seasonal. The Winter Sports Event is on, and it's going to be even quicker than the last event, so you'll want to get on it right away...

The Best JRPGs for iPhone and iPad - A TouchArcade Ranking

Hello, gentle readers. It seems like our previous ranking lists have gone over pretty well, so I'm going to be carrying on with them on a semi-regular basis. The topic this time around is the JRPG genre, an admittedly wide umbrella that I'm restricting simply to make it a useful label. What we are looking at here is a ranking of games that follow closely in the footsteps of Dragon Quest, Final Fantasy, and their ilk. Turn-based battles, melodrama, interesting characters, a plot that has a start and a finish, and things like that. If the combat system involves real-time action, it won't be on here. If it's an endlessly-updated free-to-play game, it also won't be on here. As odd as it may seem, these games do not have to be from Japan. This is not the final word, and your list can be (and probably is) different...

Best iPhone Game Updates: 'Rules of Survival', 'Cooking Dash', 'Marvel Future Fight', 'Sniper Fury', 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. Well, it was another somewhat slow week in terms of content updates. A lot of developers are still trying to catch up with iPhone X and/or iOS 11 compatibility issues, I think, which really just leaves the evergreen service games to populate this column for the time being. Sorry, but I'll try to at least be entertaining about it all until things pick up again. Of course, you can keep an eye out for updates yourself using AppShopper or by participating in the TouchArcade forums. This weekly summary is just here to fill you in on the things you might have missed. Let's dig in!..

Gosh, Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp [Free] is on a tear with these events, isn't it? For most of December, players were collecting candy canes in exchange for special Christmas goodies. Then, as the New Year approached, it was special fortune papers that needed to be gathered, this time for some cool Japan-inspired New Year's items. With January 1st well behind us now and Valentine's at least a month away, what can Animal Crossing possibly offer up to keep players interested? Butterflies, friends. No one ever suspects the butterflies...

Every era of gaming has one or two genres that dominate. Eventually, the popularity of said genres give way to something new, and from there it's a coin toss as to how relevant they remain. In the late 1980s and early 1990s, one of those "it" genres was the beat-em-up. In many ways defined by 1986's Renegade, the genre became a worldwide sensation with the game's spiritual successor Double Dragon. The game was a huge hit in the arcades, and its many home ports were tremendously popular. There was a Double Dragon comic, a Double Dragon cartoon, a Double Dragon toyline, and eventually even a Double Dragon live-action movie. Innumerable clones from virtually every other game publisher followed, flooding arcades and eventually the 16-bit home consoles until the coming of one-on-one fighting games pulled the market in another direction...

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. Okay, so last week's selection was a little light. It's hard to believe, but this week's bunch is even smaller. With the App Store freeze not really being that frozen anymore, the usual practice of everyone holding updates only to dump them in the New Year seems to have passed. Now, we're seeing a drought that probably represents hard-working developers taking some well-earned time off. But hey, there are a couple of interesting things in here. Of course, you can keep an eye out for updates yourself using AppShopper or by participating in the TouchArcade forums. This weekly summary is just here to fill you in on the things you might have missed. Let's dig in!..

Sometimes all you really need is a bit of quick shooting action. Beyond Helios [$0.99] aims to fill that need in a game that feels like an homage to classic arcade shooters like Sinistar. Minus Sinistar itself, of course. No one can imitate that guy. You'll hop in your ship of choice and fly around freely in overhead stages set in space. There are a number of targets you'll need to take out, enemy ships that will hassle you as you attempt to do so, power-ups that will give you a temporary boost, and some hazards that will kill you if you bump into them. It's a pretty fast-paced game and there are some rough edges here and there, but overall there's a fair bit of fun to be had here for action fans...