Author Archives: Shaun Musgrave


'Empyrean' Review - Empyrean Rex

'Empyrean' Review - Empyrean Rex

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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...

Shaun's 10 Best Games of 2016 - 'Imbroglio', 'Steins;Gate', and More

Well, this was quite a year, wasn't it, friends? Pokemon lit the mobile world on fire, Nintendo jumped in feet-first, headphone jacks courageously became a thing of the past, and the real world gave us a whole lot of reasons to escape to our hobbies. As usual, many of the biggest games of the year kind of came out of nowhere, but we saw a lot of established franchises make the rounds as well. Given my role at TouchArcade, I've probably played more RPGs and fewer non-RPGs than the rest of the crew, so I hope you'll forgive me if there are some cool things missing from my list. This was another satisfying year of releases all around, with a wide spread of indie gems and excellent ports to keep our fingers busy. Here's hoping 2017 will be just as great for gaming. In no particular order, here are my top ten iOS games of this year...




'Tis the season for sa- hey, wait a minute! That was yesterday! Well, as we saw last year, publishers can now set their sales to go live automagically, even while the App Store is frozen. A bunch of cool games have gone on sale since I did my last round-up, I figured we really ought to do one more. There's a fair few here, so you'll have to forgive me if this lacks the detail of my usual posts or recycles parts of a previous introduction, but one can only do so much at a time. Anyway, enough about that. On to today's sales highlights!..

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 deference to the fact that it's the day after Christmas and that the App Store freeze slowed updates to a crawl, this one's going to be a short one, only highlighing a handpicked few. We should be back to our normal level next week. 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!..

'Tis the season for savings, especially for mobile gamers. As it goes every year, there are tons of sales happening right now in the App Store. So many, in fact, that it's getting to be impractical to do individual posts for games or even entire publishers. Therefore, until the tide subsides somewhat, I'm just going to do round-up posts that collect a bunch of new sales on games for each day. You'll have to forgive me if they lack the detail of my usual posts or completely recycle the introduction, but one can only do so much at a time. Anyway, enough about that. On to today's sales highlights!..

RPG Reload Special Edition - The RPG Reload 2016 Christmas Fireside

Hello, gentle readers, and welcome to the RPG Reload, the near-weekly feature where we talk shop about mobile RPGs of all kinds. Sometimes that involves a deep dive on a particular game, sometimes it's a play-along we all join in on, and other times it's just general talk about a particular aspect of the genre. Of course, as is our custom in the RPG Reload, the last two articles of the year are dedicated to celebrating the holidays. This week is our third annual Christmas Special, while next week will feature our third annual Golden Pancho Mobile RPG Awards. If you have any comments or questions, be sure to leave your input below the article, stop by the Official RPG Reload Club thread in the forums, or tweet me at @RPGReload...

'Tis the season for savings, especially for mobile gamers. As it goes every year, there are tons of sales happening right now in the App Store. So many, in fact, that it's getting to be impractical to do individual posts for games or even entire publishers. Therefore, until the tide subsides somewhat, I'm just going to do round-up posts that collect a bunch of new sales on games for each day. You'll have to forgive me if they lack the detail of my usual posts or completely recycle the introduction, but one can only do so much at a time. Anyway, enough about that. On to today's sales highlights!..

A couple of weeks ago, I featured Joe Dever's Lone Wolf [Free / $11.99] in the 99th installment of the RPG Reload. Unfortunately, when I started my usual preparations for the article, I noticed that the game was missing from the App Store. Its publisher, Bulkypix, has been having some issues of late, and I suspected that might have been the cause. Well, I'm still not sure exactly why it happened, but the game has returned to the App Store, this time published by its developers, Forge Reply...

'Tis the season for savings, especially for mobile gamers. As it goes every year, there are tons of sales happening right now in the App Store. So many, in fact, that it's getting to be impractical to do individual posts for games or even entire publishers. Therefore, until the tide subsides somewhat, I'm just going to do round-up posts that collect a bunch of new sales on games for each day. You'll have to forgive me if they lack the detail of my usual posts or completely recycle the introduction, but one can only do so much at a time. Anyway, enough about that. On to today's sales highlights!..

Considering a Nintendo representative said just the other day that their hit Super Mario Run [Free] wouldn't be getting any added features or updates, it's odd that we're seeing our second addition to the game in less than a week. But hey, updates are awesome, so no point in complaining. A couple of days ago, we got a few new cosmetic items to decorate our personal Mushroom Kingdoms with, but today, we're getting a whole new mode of play. Dubbed Friendly Run, it allows you to compete with your friends without paying any Rally Tickets...

Nomads going on massive treks across the land with their tribes in tow. A lot of quality entertainment has been mined from that concept, most notably in recent gaming history with The Banner Saga [$4.99]. This time, Choice of Games is taking a crack at it with Saga of the North Wind [$4.99], a relatively lengthy adventure gamebook from writer Tom Knights. It's a good idea for a game like this, and the quality of the prose here is strong, but a few elements keep it from being all that it could have been. If you've got an interest in the topic matter, though, you'll probably find something to like here...

'Tis the season for savings, especially for mobile gamers. As it goes every year, there are tons of sales happening right now in the App Store. So many, in fact, that it's getting to be impractical to do individual posts for games or even entire publishers. Therefore, until the tide subsides somewhat, I'm just going to do round-up posts that collect a bunch of new sales on games for each day. You'll have to forgive me if they lack the detail of my usual posts or completely recycle the introduction, but one can only do so much at a time. Anyway, enough about that. On to today's sales highlights!..

'Tis the season for savings, especially for mobile gamers. As usual, there are tons of sales happening right now in the App Store. So many, in fact, that it's getting to be impractical to do individual posts for games or even entire publishers. Therefore, until the tide subsides somewhat, I'm just going to do round-up posts that collect a bunch of new sales on games for each day. You'll have to forgive me if they lack the detail of my usual posts, but one can only do so much at a time. Anyway, enough about that. On to today's sales highlights!..

Hello everyone, and welcome to the week before Christmas! It's time once again for our look back at the noteworthy updates of the last seven days. It's to be expected, but wow, there are a lot of Christmas updates in this batch. Some great games got some terrific updates, so I think we've got a little something for every good girl and boy this week. 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!..

While Nintendo has been pretty open about the main reason for the online requirement of Super Mario Run [Free], the fact that it was put in to combat piracy doesn't mean that it can't be used for other things that are beneficial for the players. Many people are enjoying the Toad Rally, for one thing, and competing with the scores of your friends almost immediately after they've logged them is pretty cool. But these things could probably mostly be done without requiring an internet connection at all times. Today's fun surprise, on the other hand, would be trickier to pull off...

'Tis the season for savings, especially for mobile gamers. As usual, there are tons of sales happening right now in the App Store. So many, in fact, that it's getting to be impractical to do individual posts for games or even entire publishers. Therefore, until the tide subsides somewhat, I'm just going to do round-up posts that collect a bunch of new sales on games for each day. You'll have to forgive me if they lack the detail of my usual posts, but one can only do so much at a time. Anyway, enough about that. On to today's sales highlights!..

Are you bummed about Nintendo making a new Mario game for mobile when you really just wanted to play the old ones? Well, Capcom has heard your pleas. Not for Mario, though. That's Nintendo's thing. Capcom has its own 8-bit hero, and they're going to be bringing all of his NES adventures to mobile next year. The company has just announced that Mega Man 1 through Mega Man 6 will all be released on iOS and Android next year. So far, they're only announced for Japan, but they're coming really soon: January 6th, 2017. I can't imagine any reason why they wouldn't release these games worldwide, and it's not like there's a lot of translation to do, so we could be seeing these not long after the start of next year...

'Super Mario Run' Review - Mario and Luigi Are Doing What They Can

I feel pretty confident saying that Super Mario Run [Free] is the most hyped game release in the history of iOS. It has had the full marketing weight of two of the biggest giants in the industry behind it since its announcement, with Apple even going so far as to introduce a new notification system to allow players to pre-order it. That hype is there for good reason, of course. This is a historical moment for the video game industry. It's the first time a Mario game developed by Nintendo has released on non-Nintendo hardware since, I think, the original Mario Bros. back in the early 1980s. The legendary game designer Shigeru Miyamoto took a direct hand in the development of Super Mario Run, something he hasn't done for a Mario game since Super Mario Galaxy back in 2007. While the concept of Miitomo [Free] felt a bit underwhelming, Super Mario Run is Nintendo committing to mobile with unexpectedly fierce intensity...

RPG Reload File 100 - 'Icewind Dale'

Hello, gentle readers, and welcome to the last regular RPG Reload, the weekly feature where we gave it our all against insurmountable odds. Each week, we took a look at an RPG from the App Store's past to see how it held up in the here and now. It was 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 allowed for. It's been my pleasure to serve as the tank in this little party of ours, and although the RPG Reload as we know it is changing, we will probably do more Files in the future now and then. As such, if you have any suggestions for games you'd like to see, please leave them in the comments below, the Official RPG Reload Club thread, or on Twitter at @RPGReload. They'll be added to the pool that will be drawn from at such times when the Reload Files return...

'Tis the season for savings, especially for mobile gamers. As usual, there are tons of sales happening right now in the App Store. So many, in fact, that it's getting to be impractical to do individual posts for games or even entire publishers. Therefore, until the tide subsides somewhat, I'm just going to do round-up posts that collect a bunch of new sales on games for each day. You'll have to forgive me if they lack the detail of my usual posts, but one can only do so much at a time. Anyway, enough about that. On to today's sales highlights!..