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 whatever games strike my fancy. Usually, I use this feature to talk about recent game releases that I didn't review for whatever reason, but I'm doing something a little different this time. I tend to review the bulk of the many gamebooks, visual novels, interactive fiction, and other similar narrative-based games here at TouchArcade. Many readers have asked me about where they should start with the genre, or what my favorites are, so I thought that I might as well oblige. I don't want to bury you with choices, so I'm just going to keep this list to five (plus two) games...

Well, it's been a while, hasn't it? Two and a half years have passed since I was delightfully surprised by Lowlander [$1.99], the cool Ultima 2 homage from developer Flat Black Films. The game did a great job of capturing many of the things that made the early Ultima games fun while simultaneously sanding off a few rough edges in consideration of the platform and the passage of time. While players might have expected a sequel to the game to look to Ultima 3 for inspiration, the game's developer instead opted to deliver a slightly more refined, much larger adventure in a similar mold to the first game. That left me hemming and hawing a bit about doing a review, as it feels a bit like reviewing a foot-long meatball sub after I already reviewed the six-inch. Did you like the six-inch sub? Do you want a lot more of it? If so, here you go...




Best iPhone Game Updates: 'Altered Beast', '868-HACK', 'Candy Crush Soda Saga', 'Survivalcraft 2', 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's quiet this week. A little too quiet, if you ask me. I've found some interesting ones, but if you're counting on this article to get you through your morning, I'm afraid I've let you down this time. Of course, you can keep an eye out for updates yourself using AppShopper or by participating in the TouchArcade forums. This weekly summary is here to fill in the things you might have missed. Let's dig in!..

RPG Reload Glossary - The Origins of Action-RPGs

Hello, gentle readers, and welcome to the RPG Reload, the regular feature where we fight by slamming our bodies into things. To be specific, welcome to the RPG Reload Glossary, where we get all up in fussy semantics, history, and other things that polite society will shun us for. Having covered both social RPGs and tactical RPGs in previous installments, we now turn our attention to perhaps the most popular and hard-to-define sub-genre of RPGs: the action-RPG. You can expect this one to be another three- or four-parter, as trying to do it all at once would require some keen editing, and that is not a thing that I am good at. In today's installment, we'll be looking at the origins and early years of the genre, loosely covering the 1980s. Let's get ready to rumble!..

Michael Brough's 868-HACK [$4.99] is one of the very best roguelite games you can get on iOS. While the game's visuals tend to divide people, it's hard to argue against its creative, challenging, and endlessly-fun take on a genre that has no shortage of competition on the platform. Like many developers, Brough wanted to bring his games up to date with 64-bit compatibility so that they'll survive the upcoming shift to iOS 11. He did that for 868-HACK back in April, making a few balance tweaks while he was at it. Apparently he couldn't resist doing a bit more, and that's good news for all of us...

Best iPhone Game Updates: 'Marvel Future Fight', 'Fire Emblem Heroes', 'WWE Immortals', 'Onirim', 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 quality games come back from the grave this time around, along with the usual spate of regular updates. One by one, some great old classics are getting shined up and prepared for the 64-bit future, and some of them are bringing some nice improvements with them to boot. Of course, you can keep an eye out for updates yourself using AppShopper or by participating in the TouchArcade forums. This weekly summary is here to fill in the things you might have missed. Let's dig in!..

As the weeks count down until the launch of iOS 11 and the end of 32-bit app support, the status of many a mobile classic remains in question. We're going to lose a lot of great games from the era where paid games ruled the roost, many of which have never seen release on other platforms. Developers and publishers are having to make some hard choices about games that may not bring in much money in the future as a matter of customer service. In many cases, updates aren't even possible as the developer is no longer around. So which ones will survive? Well, I'm happy to say that Ravensword: Shadowlands [$6.99] is off the endangered list, at least...

When I saw the prices of pretty much every Slitherine game drop to their lowest ever, I didn't know what to think. If nothing else, this publisher has been pretty firm about charging a premium price for their games. Slash and burn isn't usually their style. But then I remembered something very, very important. Almost all of Slitherine's games are 32-bit apps, and the publisher has made it clear that they are not going to update them. So if you buy, do so with the knowledge that these games absolutely will not work on any iOS version after iOS 10. You have been warned!..

Classic Reload - 'Punch Quest'

Hello, gentle readers, and welcome to the Classic Reload, the regular feature where the ghostly apparition of Blake haunts us at every turn. In this feature, we take a look at games from the App Store's past to see how they hold up in the harsh, post-apocalyptic wastelands of 2017. 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 three-time winner of the prestigious Some Pig Award, I try to choose a balanced selection of games, but if you have a suggestion, I'm all ears. You can comment below with the games you'd like to see featured and I'll add them to the master list for future consideration...

Best iPhone Game Updates: 'Marvel Avengers Academy', 'Death Road to Canada', 'Pokemon: Magikarp Jump', 'Crash Club', 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 feels like we're starting to see more big content add-ons again recently. Some new 64-bit updates, of course, but we're focusing on updates with more stuff added here. Of course, you can keep an eye out for updates yourself using AppShopper 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!..

Fire Emblem Heroes [Free]: you probably know it, you may or may not love it, and I'm certainly running out of ideas for intro paragraphs for it. The game was highlighted as a strong earner in Nintendo's most recent shareholders' meeting, and a quick glance at the charts show that it's hanging on better than Nintendo's previous efforts. Nintendo has done a great job of supporting the game post release, with near-monthly updates that provide new things to do and various improvements based on user feedback. We've just received word of what will be included in the next update, so let's take a look...

The Best Tactical RPGs for iPhone and iPad - An RPG Reload Ranking

Hello, gentle readers, and welcome to the RPG Reload, the regular feature where our battles to the death are usually turn-based. In each of these columns, we take a look at some aspect of RPG gaming on iOS. Often, it's in the form of a replay or a retrospective, but today I want to try out something new. In the last couple of months, we went through the history of tactical RPGs, from Dungeons & Dragons to Fire Emblem Echoes. Although I felt that was finished with the end of the historical line, so to speak, I got to thinking this week that these trips through history present us with an opportunity to do something that is often requested of us here at TouchArcade: lists of the best examples of each gaming genre. Consider this, then, your starter set for tactical RPGs on iOS. Are there other excellent ones? You bet! This is just my opinion, after all. But this gives you a place to get started in the genre with some assurance of reasonable quality...

Best iPhone Game Updates: 'Pokemon Go', 'Burrito Bison: Launcha Libre', 'Vainglory', 'TypeShift', 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. Some awesome games got 64-bit compatibility in the last week! But besides that, some other games got some pretty cool content updates, too. 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 in the things you might have missed. Let's dig in!..

Historically, it's hardly been a rare occurrence for the Japanese games market to look almost completely different from those of the rest of the world. While easy internet access and converging technologies have brought previously distinct regions together, Japan is still often marching to the beat of its own drum. The mobile market is another fine example of that. To look at the Japanese App Store charts is to see almost an entirely different group of games than you might see elsewhere. Many of these games never get an English release, and when they do, they rarely catch on. The latest to try is Fate/Grand Order [Free], a social RPG/visual novel hybrid that has been tearing up the charts in Japan since its release nearly two years ago...

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 [$4.99], 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!..