Author Archives: Shaun Musgrave


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 a weird mix this week, with a bunch of the F2P giants getting updates along with plenty of popular premium titles. 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!..

'Doom & Destiny Advanced' Review - An Immature RPG In Every Sense Of The Word

The first monster you fight in Doom & Destiny Advanced [$2.99] is a giant poop. Not long after, your characters complain that something has attacked "(GameString not set)", before they run into expies of Hulk Hogan and Macho Man Randy Savage en route to rescuing Princess MacGuffin from alternate universe versions of themselves. One of the characters remarks that he's very likely to crap his pants. And then everyone dies. Or something. I don't know. I do know that you soon run into an angry skeleton who laments the loss of his wiener, and a nobleman who disintegrates at the sound of your barbarian's mighty belch. I think you've got the idea by now, friends. Doom & Destiny [$2.99] was a ridiculously over-the-top RPG with surprisingly solid mechanics and an absurd script rendered even more wacky by its... interesting translation. Somehow, its follow-up feels even more extreme in every regard, and I'm not sure if I find it charming or completely idiotic. If the first game was the Bill & Ted of RPGs, this one is the Pauly Shore...




If you love strategy games, I hope you haven't blown your whole budget for the week. Slitherine, the publisher behind some of the best strategy games on the App Store, is having a pretty rare sale at the moment. You can pick up several of their games (and IAP campaigns) for low, low prices, and with the prices some of them usually carry, these are some serious deals. The sale runs from today until August 17th, so stock up quickly while the getting is good. The complete list follows, with reviews linked where applicable:..

Tiger Style's excellent sequel Spider: Rite Of The Shrouded Moon [$4.99] has been out for a little over a week now, and the response from most people has been pretty positive all-around. I certainly loved it, as you might have read in my review, though one point I mentioned ended up being a bit of a sticking point for some little spiders. Namely, the way puzzles work in the game. They're trickier to solve, there are more of them, and they require quite a big of deliberate and conscious action on the part of the human controlling the spider to solve. All of these things are fine if you loved the original Spider for its puzzles, but plenty of players loved the game just for the opportunity to chill out and be a spider wandering around an old house...

RPG Reload File 051 - 'Penny Arcade's On The Rain-Slick Precipice Of Darkness 3'

Hello, gentle readers, and welcome to the RPG Reload, the weekly feature where we use our MP every turn. Each week, we take a look at an RPG from the misty old days of the App Store to see how it's doing in the here and now. It's a chance to play some old favorites, take a look at their place in the overall scheme of things, or simply to take a deeper dive than our reviews typically allow. As the party leader, I try to choose a balanced plate of RPGs from week to week, but if you feel like I'm missing something awesome, I'm always happy to take suggestions. You can do that by commenting below, posting in the Official RPG Reload Club thread in the forums, or by tweeting me at @RPGReload...

Some games catch on in the TouchArcade forums in a big way, and as far as shoot-em-ups go, one of the favorites around those parts is Phoenix HD [Free]. Its original thread has over 130 pages going back almost four years, with TouchArcade readers sharing scores, stories, and laughs. Part of its longevity is owed to excellent support from its developer Firi Games, who pushes out fairly big updates a couple of times per year, with regular smaller updates to ensure things are running smoothly...

DeNA and Square Enix's Final Fantasy: Record Keeper [Free] has been a pretty big success overall, doing a nice job of washing the bad taste of Final Fantasy: All The Bravest out of many fans' mouths. The latest update just hit with a bunch of great UI and gameplay improvements, like being able to master and equip multiple Soul Break moves on one character, and to celebrate, the publishers are throwing a little contest that runs through the end of August...

You all know the old expression, friends: when it sales-rains, it sales-pours. I might be misremembering that, but that's not important. What is important is that there are a whole bunch of great sales going on right now, for reasons I can't quite hash out. It seems very random, but I wouldn't be surprised if this turned out to be another one of those organized sales Apple treats us with now and then. There are lots of great games on sale here, some of which are on for the very first time ever. Don't be shy! The complete list of what I've found, with links to reviews where applicable, is as follows:..

Back when I reviewed the third Five Nights At Freddy's game, I foolishly predicted it might be the last. I'm not falling for it this time, Scott Cawthorn, you wily developer. I've already seen you change the wording in the description ever so slightly to call Five Nights At Freddy's 4 the last game in the original story. Freddy will be back, and regrettably, I probably will be, too. Everyone else at TouchArcade Towers seems to think it's hi-lar-i-ous to see me spew out a stream of curses at semi-regular intervals, so the Freddy reviews tend to fall to me. Well, having played the games all quite a bit, I have to admit that my appreciation for the series has grown. It's actually grown to the point that I'm pretty disappointed with some of the decisions made for the iOS port of the latest game...

Update Mondays: 'Jurassic Park Builder', 'Ire: Blood Memory', 'Warhammer 40K: Deathwatch', 'Fruit Ninja', 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 big games got big updates this week, but there are a few smaller ones you may not have caught on the list, as well. 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!..

It's often said that there's a fine line between inspiration and imitation. We see both in varying degrees in the hobby of gaming. The former is without question a good thing, but even the latter can be okay depending on how closely it hews to the source. There's one more category that expression doesn't cover, however, and it's something a bit closer to plagiarism. It's a practice that is unfortunately all too familiar to mobile gaming fans in particular, and it's almost universally frowned upon. In these situations, games are basically copied one-to-one, adding nothing to the medium and depriving the original creator of their rightful reward. It's legal, as far as I can tell, particularly if you're wise enough to swap out art assets, but at least as far as I'm concerned, it's not ethically okay nor is it contributing anything positive to gaming on the whole...

RPG Reload File 050 - 'The World Ends With You: Solo Remix'

Hello, gentle readers, and welcome to the RPG Reload, the weekly feature where we celebrate our one-year anniversary not with cake, but with potions. Each week, we take a look at an RPG from the App Store's past to see how it holds up in the present day. It's a chance to revisit old favorites, reflect on their place in the overall scheme of things, and to take a deeper dive than our reviews typically allow for. I try to present a balanced plate to represent the genre from week to week, but if there's something you feel like I'm missing, please let me know. You can do so by commenting below, posting in the Official RPG Reload Club thread, or by tweeting me at @RPGReload...

'Spider: Rite Of The Shrouded Moon' Review - The Prettiest Parlor That Ever You Did Spy

Sequels seem to come in two different flavors these days. Most commonly, we get yearly installments, enough time to hopefully throw in just enough iteration to make an ever-worn concept feel fresh enough to sell again. Then there are the throwbacks, sequels to long-dormant franchises that somehow have to live up to impossible legends. On iOS, we see more of the former than the latter, and when the latter does show up, it tends to be a horrifying, free-to-play, quick-buck spin on an old gaming franchise whose core audience would prefer anything but. Generally, sequels used to be different, back when the industry could afford the luxury of not lining up all their big-name IPs on each yearly financial statement. Developers used to have time to work on them, time to let the original game settle in its groove, and perhaps most importantly, time to consider and tease out ideas in order to make each installment as strong as possible. Given how young iOS gaming is, it's not something we've gotten much of a taste of, but Tiger Style is prepared to give everyone a heaping helping with Spider: Rite Of The Shrouded Moon...

Whether you love Square Enix or hate them, you have to admit that they're behind some of the best premium RPGs on the App Store. They've got so many of them up, in fact, that while they have frequent sales, if you're waiting for any one game in particular, you might be waiting a while. Take, for example, Dragon Quest 8. It's been out for a year and a half, and it's only been on sale a couple of times. Well, if you were waiting for its number to come up again, you're in luck. That game, along with a couple of other cool Square Enix RPGs, is on sale for a limited time. Here's the full list, along with links for reviews and/or RPG Reloads where appropriate:..

'Mazes Of Karradash' Review - A Fun, Light Dungeon Crawler

Here's the thing: I love RPGs an awful lot, but there are plenty of times during my day where it would be somewhat futile to try to get anything done in bigger games. Yes, I could grind up a little, but that leads to my characters being overpowered, and that's not much fun. So I'm always on the lookout for something a little bit lighter that still provides a nice, classic RPG punch. The latest game to occupy that role on my device has been Mazes Of Karradash [$1.99], a dungeon crawler that feels both classic and modern in different ways at once. It combines vintage first-person dungeon crawling and turn-based combat with a simplified gear system and a splash of roguelike elements to create an enjoyable challenge that doesn't require a major commitment...

Recently, we've seen sim-factory Kairosoft make efforts to mix things up a bit in their releases. In some cases, they've broken away from their established templates, while in others, they've revisited a familiar framework but gone considerably deeper with the simulation elements. Fish Pond Park [$2.99] is yet another release that feels like it's outside of the norm for this little developer, though it's not quite as successful with its approach as other recent efforts. You're building and maintaining a business yet again, in this case a nature preserve of sorts, but the sim elements are lighter than they've been in quite some time. Instead of the usual case where the theme serves the simulation, in Fish Pond Park, all of your building and resource management is for the sake of some good old fishing...

Hello, everyone! We're right in the middle of the dog days of summer, and what better way to beat the heat than laying in front of a fan or air conditioner and listening to an ultra-long episode of the RPG Reload Podcast? This month, Eric Ford and I are joined by a special guest. His name is Eric "RK" Koziol, and in addition to being an iOS developer, he's also the man behind the Final Fantasy 5 Four Job Fiesta. It's an annual charity event that takes place each summer where hundreds of players run through Final Fantasy 5 under special challenge rules in order to raise money for Child's Play. Not only does he provide us with some insight behind the event, but he also drops some serious Final Fantasy 5 knowledge on us all. Also, he has a bell! It all runs a bit long, but it's a fun one, I promise...

Five Nights At Freddy's 4 [$2.99] wasn't the only surprise to pop up on the App Store today. We've known for a while that a follow-up was in the works to the goofy and fun parody RPG Doom & Destiny [$2.99]. Titled Doom & Destiny Advanced [$2.99], it released as an Early Access game on Steam just over two months ago, which seemed to indicate it wasn't terribly far off from launching on mobile. Well, the wait is over, as the game just sort of appeared today, and at a killer price to boot. A mere $0.99 will get you the sequel to one of my favorite mobile RPGs of 2013...

'Shibuya Grandmaster' Review - I Left My Heart In Shibuya

A long time ago, by App Store standards anyway, a unique puzzle game named Shibuya released on iPhone. Said to be inspired by the neon lights and the tall buildings of Tokyo's famous Shibuya district, it also seemed to be following in the footsteps of stylish puzzle games like Lumines and Meteos produced by Q Entertainment. The game got a lot of acclaim and a few updates, but it eventually fell behind the times and was pulled from the App Store. I had kind of thought we'd seen the last of it until I got word from the developer that Shibuya was returning, better than ever. Shibuya Grandmaster [Free] is a well-crafted update to the original, bringing modern features and style to the game while still offering up a strong and unusual twist on falling block puzzles...

Freddy's Here: 'Five Nights At Freddy's 4' Is Out Now On iOS

Well, I hope you all are having a lovely Tuesday. Mine could be better, and let me tell you why: the long-awaited Five Nights At Freddy's 4 [$2.99] is now available on iOS. Oh, I don't dislike the games, don't get me wrong. In fact, I felt like they've gotten a little better with each installment, and this one seems like it's the best one yet. It's just that I wasn't really planning on getting the ca-ca jump-scared out of me tonight, but it looks like that's how it's going to be...