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. Something tells me that developers were caught slightly off-guard by the iPhone X's penchant for breaking apps. That 'something' is the positive deluge of updates for random apps that do nothing more than add iPhone X compatibility. Besides those, however, there were also some noteworthy content updates. 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!..

I'm probably not saying anything controversial by mentioning that like any other human, I have genre preferences. I obviously enjoy my superhero stories and flights of fantasy, and humor goes a very long way with me. I'm not that big on horror stories, however. Stories about ghosts and the paranormal have to work a little bit harder to get my attention. With that in mind, I wasn't sure how well I was going to take to Heart of the House [$5.99], a recent release from prolific gamebook/interactive fiction publisher Choice of Games. It's a Victorian-era story of the supernatural with a healthy dollop of mystery mixed in. While this isn't my usual cup of tea, the character development and overall high quality of the writing ended up winning me over...




'Million Onion Hotel' Review - Got a Million Onions but a Leek Ain't One of 'Em

When it comes to the noble hobby of video gaming, there are a whole bunch of tried and true concepts to build new products from. Not even one of those concepts involves mashing onions as quickly and strategically as possible in order to make fruits appear that you mash to rack up points while space cows trot across the bottom of the screen and little cartoon characters throw off their clothes and embrace passionately in the starry sky. But thanks to Million Onion Hotel [$3.99], we can finally live the dream, friends. This is a fast-paced yet strategic arcade-puzzle game, and if nothing else, I can say that you probably haven't ever seen anything quite like it before...

Best iPhone Game Updates: 'Glyph Quest Chronicles', 'Marvel Avengers Academy', 'Noblemen: 1896', 'Minion Rush', 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. If I had to sum up the bulk of the updates from last week, it would only take three words: iPhone, X, compatibility. But I've sifted through the lists, found some games that went above and beyond the call, and presented them here for your Monday morning reading pleasure. 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!..

The RPG Reload Play-Along Bonus Edition: 'Solomon's Boneyard'

Hello, gentle readers, and welcome to a special bonus edition of 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 TouchArcade 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!..

'Final Fantasy Dimensions 2' Review - Neither Fish Nor Fowl, but Fun Anyway

Nothing can ever be straightforward when it comes to sequels and Square Enix, can it? Here we have Final Fantasy Dimensions 2 [$14.99], which is not a follow-up to the story or mechanics of Final Fantasy Dimensions [Free]. Instead, it's the sequel to an unrelated Japan-only free-to-play social RPG called Final Fantasy Legends, which was also the title Final Fantasy Dimensions went by in Japan. But it's not really a sequel so much as it is a remake. In fact, it's the second such attempt at remaking that game, but when they remade it the first time they added the number 2 to show how significant said update was. But that didn't seem to go over well either, so now here we are. Final Fantasy Dimensions 2 is a rebuilt premium version of a free-to-play social RPG, and if that sounds like that might be a tough thing to pull off, you're half-right...

The early 1990s were a strange time for video game characters. Side-scrolling platformers were without question the most popular games, to the point that just about every company had to come up with a mascot or three to put in their own spin on the genre. An awful lot of those characters were simple variations on Sonic the Hedgehog, throwing a pair of big googly eyes on some kind of anthropomorphic animal with an attitude in a vain effort to create some sort of familiar look. Licensed characters from other media and even real celebrities were also popular choices for similar reasons. Then there was Chuck D. Head. He's a mummy with his face on his chest, which he stretches out to attack enemies. Sometimes he finds a head with another face on it, and he throws that head like a hefty boomerang as another means of attacking. Chuck is the star of DeCap Attack [Free], a surprisingly high-effort platformer from SEGA and developer Vic Tokai...

I think just about every iOS gamer out there has their own personal list of golden App Store oldies that they want to see updated with 64-bit compatibility. I don't know about your lists, friends, but I've just scratched another one off of mine with the arrival of the latest update to Solomon's Boneyard [Free], one of my very favorite twin-stick shooters on the platform. Just as Raptisoft did with the update to Solomon's Keep [Free], however, the developer didn't stop with just adding in 64-bit support. There are a bunch of new reasons to check out this classic's newest version...

Best iPhone Game Updates: 'Stranger Things: The Game', 'Asphalt 8', 'Marvel Future Fight', 'Doomsday Clicker', 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. With Hallowe'en not more than a handful of hours away, it's only natural that the bulk of the featured updates are Hallowe'en related. There are a couple of other interesting updates in the mix just to keep you guessing, though. 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!..

L Pop! [Free] is a relatively straightforward puzzle game that, like most puzzle games, is built around one main mechanic. In this case, it's the idea that where you can place your pieces is restricted to within a Chess Knight's move of wherever you placed your last one. It's not a bad hook to build a matching puzzle game around, and I'm not sure I've seen a game that did things in exactly the same way this one does. But while the core mechanic is an interesting one, L Pop! never quite takes off the way it feels like it should...

One thing the developers behind the hit Nintendo mobile game Fire Emblem Heroes [Free] have learned is that seasonal variations of characters go over really well with the player base. With Hallowe'en being a relatively big deal in many countries around the world these days, it's an easy slam dunk to dress up some favorite Fire Emblem characters in costumes and let the fans have at it. That's just what Fire Emblem Heroes is doing with its new Trick or Defeat event, which is scheduled to run from October 30th through the end of November. As usual, Nintendo has released a video showing off the new heroes...

RPG Reload Glossary - The Origins of JRPGs

Hello, gentle readers, and welcome to the RPG Reload, the regular feature where we sometimes hold down the confirm button because we are lazy. 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 social RPGs, tactical RPGs, and action RPGs in previous installments, we now turn our attention to another one of the big dogs of the RPG category: the JRPG. As messy as trying to define action RPGs was, JRPGs are in some way even more difficult to nail down. As with the last couple of Glossary features, you can expect this one to span multiple columns, with roughly one for each decade. In today's installment, we'll be looking at the origins and early years of the genre, loosely covering the 1980s...

Best iPhone Game Updates: 'Dashy Crashy', 'Street Fighter 4 CE', 'Deemo', 'Iron Maiden Legacy', 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 friends, I'm pretty sick today. I guess the word must have gotten out to the game developers, because this is a pretty light week. I've found a handful of goodies for your reading pleasure anyway. 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!..

The Best Action 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 sometimes involve QTEs. 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 we're doing something a little different. In the last couple of months, we went through the history of action RPGs, from Dragon Slayer to Dark Souls. 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 action 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...

When it comes to SEGA and their 16-bit library, game re-releases tend to fall into one of three categories. First, there are the games that are always included: Sonic, Golden Axe, Altered Beast, and the like. Then, you've got games that are often included, but not always. Phantasy Star 2, Ecco the Dolphin, and Shinobi 3 are examples of this group. Finally, there are games that SEGA only seems to include if they're being very thorough. Sometimes it's because they're tricky to emulate, other times because of rights issues, and still other times where the reason isn't clear at all. Beyond Oasis [Free] used to be part of this group, but it feels like it's slowly moving into the second category instead. Its presence here relatively early on in the SEGA Forever initiative is a good example of its improving fortunes...

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. We're closing in on Hallowe'en now, so plenty of games are donning their respective costumes, so to speak. But it's not all spooky and scary, friends. Some of these are just good old content updates, like mom used to make. 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 it's easy to take for granted the sheer number of great classic RPGs we can carry around on our phones these days. A big part of that line-up comes from Beamdog and Overhaul's enhanced ports of the classic Infinity Engine PC RPGs from the 1990s. Beginning with Baldur's Gate: Enhanced Edition [$9.99] back in late 2012, Beamdog and Overhaul have since released iOS versions of Icewind Dale [$9.99], Baldur's Gate 2: Enhanced Edition [$9.99], and earlier this year, Planescape: Torment [$9.99]. Having just recently finished updating all of the games with 64-bit iOS 11 support, the publisher appears to be celebrating with a sale on all of their iOS releases...

RPG Reload Glossary: The Dark Souls of This Series, or Action-RPGs in the 2010s

Hello, gentle readers, and welcome to the RPG Reload, the regular feature where we always do it by torchlight. This week, we're concluding our look at the history of the action-RPG sub-genre. Last time, we took a look at the games of the late 2000s, a period where more and more action games were incorporating RPG mechanics, but few traditional action-RPGs made many waves. With Square Enix's Kingdom Hearts series somewhat lost in the spin-off woods and Blizzard busy rolling around in stacks of World of Warcraft money, the sub-genre found itself lacking in high-profile hits. While a new Diablo would arrive soon enough, the new flag-bearer for the genre came from a somewhat unlikely source...

'Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney - Spirit of Justice' Review - A Strange World Where Lawyers are Hated

I wasn't the biggest fan of the previous Ace Attorney game, Dual Destinies [Free]. While it wasn't the worst game in the series by any stretch, it felt too much like an apologetic reaction to the backlash from Apollo Justice [Free]. It's clear from the end of that game that there were major plans for Apollo's story, plans that had to be changed or scuttled to accommodate the fans' demand for the return of Phoenix Wright as the chief protagonist of the games. Phoenix Wright himself had to have significant character development rolled back, as well. On their own, these aren't necessarily bad things, but Dual Destinies never really justifies that sacrifice. It doesn't want you to forget Apollo, of course. He's a major part of the game's plot, after all. But it does want you to forget any and all of the plot threads that they had been building around him, hoping you'll treat him like a second banana Scrappy Doo so that Phoenix can strut his stuff as the main underdog once more...

If you've managed to get your hands on the Super NES Classic Edition (and it sounds like a lot more people have compared to last year's NES debacle), you've probably been enjoying some great old classic 16-bit games with a few useful new bells and whistles. One of those new features is the ability to rewind the game. It has been a popular feature in the unofficial emulation scene for a while but has largely been left out of official emulated re-releases until now. Save states are a handy way to get through some tough games, but it's annoying having to constantly save and load. A rewind feature simply takes you back a set amount of time to quickly undo mistakes...