Author Archives: Shaun Musgrave


It's a tough road for non-universal apps these days, particularly those that are restricted to iPad users. Sometimes it's hard to avoid, especially if the game in question has a lot of small UI elements, but I've always felt that the excellent strategy RPG Crowntakers [$3.99] could work on an iPhone with some adjustments. Moreover, its gameplay is equally well-suited to playing on the go as it is to curling up in your favorite easy chair with your tablet. Well, iPhone owners, you finally have your chance. The latest version of Crowntakers brings universal support to the app, so you can play it wherever your little iOS-loving heart desires...

Do not buy these. Just don't. Not even for a laugh. Not even because they're only a couple bucks a pop and what harm could it do? I am sitting here trying to imagine how these ports of the 8-bit Mega Man games could have been worse, and I'm coming up dry. Nothing is right about them. Nothing. It's like someone was given the graphic and audio assets of the games and were told to re-create everything else on their own. The gravity is off. Enemy behavior is off. Hit detection is weird, and even the recoil from getting hit doesn't work properly. The games are crash-prone. The framerate is awful. The default speed is absurdly slow and choppy, and while the faster speed setting makes things a little better, it's too fast, still choppy, and messes with the games' fundamental workings even more...




Twin-stick shooting. Roguelite elements. Pandas with heavy ordinance. It was inevitable that someone, at some point in human history, would put these things together into one game. Continuing my mop-up of games that missed getting a review upon their initial release, it's Feral Fury's turn at bat. This game has developed a strong following in the TouchArcade forums, both because of the quality of the game itself and because of its highly-responsive, courteous developer. Feral Fury [$1.99] walks along a similar path to games like Enter the Gungeon and Binding of Isaac, and although it's not quite up to the level of those games, it's still an awful lot of fun...

Update Mondays: 'Daddy Long Legs', 'Subway Surfers', 'Shadowverse', 'Warp Shift', and (Not Many) More

Hello everyone, and welcome to the year! It's time once again for our look back at the noteworthy updates of the last seven days. Well friends, I showed up ready to write a full-length article this week, but you know who didn't? The updates! I guess things will heat up next time around, but for now, I've only got a small handful of games to highlight. 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!..

'PinOut!' Review - A Pretty, Good Spin on Pinball

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December 30th, 2016 1:30 PM EST by Shaun Musgrave in $2.99, 4 stars, Arcade, Free, iPad Games, iPhone games, Pinball, Reviews
Free Buy Now

With the end of the year upon us, I'm doing my usual job of going back and picking out some games for review that for whatever reason didn't get one upon release. This year, most of the choices are coming from suggestions from the community, and one of the first games mentioned was PinOut! [Free]. Given that pinball is usually like catnip for me, I'm not sure why I missed this one to begin with. I imagine I was knee-deep in RPGs or something like that. At any rate, it's better late than never, so let's take a look at this stylish spin on one of the oldest electronic gaming genres...

'Mini Metro' Review - Train Braining

'Mini Metro' Review - Train Braining

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December 30th, 2016 12:30 PM EST by Shaun Musgrave in $4.99, 5 stars, Arcade, Game Center, iPad Games, iPhone games, Reviews, Simulation
$2.99 Buy Now

Continuing our year-end mop-up of games we missed out on reviewing at the time of their release for various reasons, the next requested title by our readers was Mini Metro [$2.99]. I've had an interesting relationship with trains over the course of my life. Passenger trains more or less vanished in the part of Canada I'm from when I was relatively young. Like most places in Canada, my town was far too small to merit a local metro system. I mean, we barely had buses. Thus, I didn't end up riding a train of any sort until I was in my twenties, and I picked a wild place to start. Imagine a small-town bumpkin arriving in Tokyo, Japan, and trying to make sense of the colorful spaghetti that is the Tokyo Metro system. After a while, though, I got the hang of it, and I now consider myself to be pretty good at navigating the sometimes seemingly nonsensical connections from place to place in that city...

Okay, look, I think our wallets are almost in the clear. But we're not quite out of the woods yet. While many publishers like to do their big sales during the Christmas week, others are more of the New Year's type, and that means we've got some deals for you to take a look at today. Since there are a lot, I'm just going to list them out without the fancy details. I leave it up to you, dear reader, to investigate further. Without further ado, here are today's sales...

RPG Reload Special Edition - 'RPG Reload's Favorite RPGs of 2016'

Hello, gentle readers, and welcome to yet another special edition of the RPG Reload. In this weekly feature, we usually take a look at a game from the App Store's past, but due to the New Year's holiday, we're doing something a little different this week. That's right, it's time for the third annual listing of the RPG Reload's favorite RPGs of the year. Since I'm not clever enough to come up with good names, these awards are known as the Golden Pancho Awards, in honor of the frequently-seen Kemco monster. No actual trophies yet, unfortunately, but who wouldn't want a Golden Pancho next to their name? They're so cute!..

There was a time in the long ago when I wasn't churning out daily sales posts. It's hard to believe, but it's true. While we're certainly living in a post-2016 Christmas sale world, it's important that for some countries, New Year's is an even bigger event than Christmas. Japan happens to be one of those countries, so I suppose it's quite appropriate that one of the country's most beloved series is having a big sale before everyone settles in for an evening of watching the same old singers singing the same old tunes. Every last Dragon Quest game released on iOS is on sale. I'm not going to say you must buy all of them, but you ought to buy all of them...

'Empyrean' Review - Empyrean Rex

'Empyrean' Review - Empyrean Rex

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$5.99 Buy Now

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...