Author Archives: Shaun Musgrave


Their last sale just ended, but Kemco's already rolling out their next one. I guess with that many games to your name on the App Store, you can pretty much just keep the sales coming if you want to. To be honest, this batch is a bit less exciting than the last one. All of these have been on sale before, and for cheaper to boot. But if you're looking for a new JRPG and really don't want to wait, you might find something in here to enjoy...

Somewhere along the line, someone figured out a pretty clever pun involving a calendar date and Star Wars. They almost immediately regretted it as everyone and their Uncle Owen clamored to be the first in their class, office, or social network to mention it. Well, whether you're the sort that eagerly waits for May 4th every year to make that joke, or the type who wants to Force choke people who do that, the one thing I'm sure we can all agree on is that sales are pretty nifty...

Developer Jujubee is probably most famous in the iOS scene for the Flashout series, their entry into the high-speed futuristic racing sub-genre. They're stylish games that don't venture all that far from the template, and at least at the time of the respective releases of each, satisfied a relatively underserved niche in the mobile gaming scene. Their latest effort wades into more populated waters, the RPG genre. Spellcrafter: The Path Of Magic [$2.99] is an odd hybrid. The battles play out like a light strategy RPG, but the parts between fights allow you to wander around like a more standard top-down RPG. Even more strangely, the game has a level-based setup, with three different playable heroes each getting three stages. Everything is okay on paper, but it just doesn't come together well at all...

'Rex Rocket' For iPad Review - Mega Man Meets Metroidvania In This Excellent Action Adventure

If there's one thing I should have learned after being into video games for as long as I have, it's that nature abhors a vacuum. Even after watching countless genres swing out of and back into fashion over time, I still sometimes find myself lamenting the lack of games of a certain type during the quiet periods. After seeing Castlevania leave the hands of Koji Igarashi and Nintendo seemingly giving up on Metroid for the moment after the disappointing reception to Other M, I grumbled about the seemingly dim future of the Metroidvania sub-genre. Looking around today, I clearly needn't have worried. After all, there are more people making games than ever, and more games being released than ever, so any holes left by the big players are likely to get filled by smaller developers looking for a niche. Especially so if said hole is a genre near and dear to the hearts of many gamers-turned-developers, the way Metroidvanias seem to be...

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. Cat Physics got an update this week! Some other stuff, yes, but Cat Physics! Oh fine, I'll tell you about some other updates, too. 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!..

Can you believe it's been 25 years since SNK launched their real hot dog gaming hardware, the Neo Geo? While its success as a home platform was limited to a dedicated niche, in the arcades it ruled the roost until arcades themselves died around it. Part of that was because of its flexibility and ease of use for arcade operators, to be sure. The other part of it comes down to the fantastic line-up of quality games SNK furnished it with, including some of the best fighting games and run 'n' guns of all-time. Mobile gamers have been lucky enough to see many of those games reach our devices in fine form, and SNK is celebrating the quarter-century anniversary by putting the whole shebang on for a dollar each. Yes, even their two most recent releases...

There's no doubt in my mind that Devious Dungeon 2 [$0.99] makes some worthwhile improvements over the original game. Most of them are things that people directly asked for, even. In the end, though, it can't quite escape that feeling of repetitiveness that permeates the titles released by Ravenous Games. It's absolutely worth its price, and it's as engaging as any of the coin-grinders they've put out, but like most of their output from the last few years, it feels like all of the edges have been sanded off to make the safest, most widely-appealing product possible. Is that a bad thing? I guess it depends on what you're looking for out of it...

Hello, gentle readers, and welcome to the RPG Reload, the weekly feature where all of our jobs are classy. Each week, we take a look at an iOS RPG from the distant mists of time and yank it screaming into the future to see if it's capable of becoming a proper member of today's society. It's a little revisiting, a little reflecting, and a chance to take a deeper dive than our reviews usually allow for. I try to present a balanced plate of RPGs from week to week, but everyone can use a little help once in a while. That's why once per month I turn the selection to the readers. Hey, that's you! Here's how it works: just tell me which game you'd like to see by posting a comment below, stopping by the Official RPG Reload Club thread, or by tweeting me at @RPGReload. I'll randomly choose a winner at the appropriate time, and we can all have fun playing and talking about the game of your choice. The next reader's choice will be decided next week, so this is your last chance to get a suggestion in. Do it!..

'Sorcery! 3' Review - Live The Mongoose Life In This Amazing Adventure

It's been quite a wait for this third installment in inkle's adaptation of Steve Jackson's Sorcery! series of gamebooks. It's kind of funny now to look back at those who were impatient over the six months between the release of the first two chapters. With just about a year and a half passed since the release of Sorcery! 2 [$4.99], I imagine those people have champed right through the bit by now and have gone to work on biting their own faces off. With how consistently awesome inkle's work has been on this series so far, who can blame them, though? At the same time, I can't get too upset at the developer. We got the absolutely wonderful 80 Days [$4.99] and the pleasant Down Among The Dead Men [$0.99] in the interim, and Android players got to get up to speed on the first two installments of the Sorcery! games. Let's just hope that we don't have to wait quite so long for the final chapter...

Hello, friends! You know, April 23rd is a pretty special day. It's World Book Day, the day the first game at Wrigley Field was played, the birthday of my childhood crush Joyce DeWitt, and the day Coca-Cola launched the world-beating New Coke in 1985. In the United Kingdom, it's also National Shakespeare Day, possibly because he was born on that day, or maybe not. Nobody really knows, as he was the only one at the time doing much writing that would last for centuries afterwards, and he wasn't really narcissistic enough to write about himself...

Kemco sales aren't exactly rare, but they haven't been doing their $0.99 sales quite as often as they once did. Why, one might only have two or three chances per year to get any given Kemco RPG for a dollar these days! Anyway, whenever there's a Kemco sale I see the same question come up: Which, if any, of these are worth buying? That's one of the reasons why I make sure to review each and every one of their releases, but I realize it's not always easy to go fishing around for every single review. With that in mind, I'm going to include my recommendations in this very post, along with links to the full reviews for those interested in a heavier read. Here's the line-up this time around...

One of the main complaints I hear about traditional gamebooks is that they're too difficult. It's fair criticism. When we think of gamebooks, we generally think of things like the Fighting Fantasy series or Lone Wolf, and both of those make liberal use of some nasty tricks at times. If you're playing an Ian Livingstone book, you'd best be rolling the best possible scores, and if you're playing a Steve Jackson adventure, I hope you're searching every nook and cranny and picking up everything that isn't nailed down. The worst offenders are designed around a so-called golden path, the one correct sequence of actions that can take you to the ending, but even the best will sometimes kill you for flipping to the wrong page. It's little wonder almost everyone cheat at the things to some extent...

Update Mondays: 'Hearthstone', 'Final Fantasy: Record Keeper', 'Mortal Kombat X', 'Mr. Crab', 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. This week's batch is a bit light in terms of sheer quantity, but there are a few important updates to be found. No Spider-Mans whatsoever, though, so I'm a little grumpier than usual. 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!..

RPG Reload File 034 - 'King Of Dragon Pass'

Hello, gentle readers, and welcome to the RPG Reload, the weekly feature where we deal exclusively in cows. Each week, we take a look at an RPG from the App Store's past to revisit it and see how it's doing in the modern day. It's a chance for a bit of reflection and a deeper dive than the usual TouchArcade reviews allow for. The RPG genre is a pretty wide one that covers a lot of different kinds of games, and I try to present a good variety from week to week. That said, everyone has their blind spots, and to help cover mine, I ask for a suggestion from the readers to feature once per month. The next reader's choice article will be in RPG Reload File 037, so get your choice in soon by commenting below, posting in the Official RPG Reload Club thread in the forums, or by tweeting me at @RPGReload...

'Implosion - Never Lose Hope' Review - Hope Is The Thing With Missiles

Implosion - Never Lose Hope [$9.99] is the latest game from Rayark, the developer behind the wonderful titles Cytus [$1.99] and Deemo [$0.99]. It's an outstanding game, and if you're reading this review because you want to know whether or not you should drop ten US dollars (or your local equivalent thereof) on it, let me cut to the chase for once. Yes, you should. Head over the the App Store, hit the button to purchase it, prepare a cup of your beverage of choice while it downloads, and get ready to settle in for a slick action game with superb production values and seriously well-designed combat. I can't recommend this game enthusiastically enough...

DotEmu Is Bringing 'Ys Chronicles 1' To iOS Soon

It feels like just last week that I was lamenting the decline of premium action-RPGs in the App Store. Oh right, it was just last week. Well, someone at DotEmu must have a spiritual connection to me, because they're going to be bringing Falcom's legendary classic Ys to mobile platforms soon. Specifically, they're bringing Ys Chronicles 1, the PC remake of the original 1987 game that kicked off a series still going strong to this day. I can only hope this is just the beginning because if I get to play Oath In Felghana on my iPhone someday, I'm going to break TouchArcade's article word limit in the review...

'Crowntakers' for iPad Review - A Royally Good Roguelike Spin

Some of the earliest video game RPGs were roguelikes, but if you didn't notice them around for a couple of decades, nobody would blame you. After being fairly popular in the early stages of home computing, they soon gave way to bigger, more persistent adventures. They still had a dedicated following during those years, with games like Nethack, Angband, and Japan's Mystery Dungeon series carrying the torch for the genre. The boom of indie developers and the surging interest in more compact gaming experiences in the last ten years has seen the genre make a big comeback. The basic elements of the genre have been used in many popular games that might not be strictly considered roguelikes but owe a massive debt to the genre nonetheless. A genre once almost totally represented by so few games that you could count them off on your fingers now has a strong influence, especially in the PC and mobile gaming markets...

New 'Mobius: Final Fantasy' Trailer Shows Off Job System And Characters

Square Enix's latest addition to the Final Fantasy series is coming along in its development, and the RPG giant has been releasing more details to the Japanese market. Previously known as Mevius: Final Fantasy, the newly-christened Mobius: Final Fantasy is noteworthy for who is working on it more than anything else. Yoshinori Kitase, the director of Final Fantasy 6 [$15.99], Chrono Trigger [$9.99], and Final Fantasy 10 is producing the title, and the script is written by Kazushige Nojima of Final Fantasy 7, Kingdom Hearts, and Final Fantasy 10 fame. Putting top talent on a mobile game is no guarantee of quality, as we've seen with the most recent Sonic The Hedgehog game, but it's certainly going to catch people's attention...

In the ever-present artistic struggle between playing it safe or trying something new at the risk of failure, most of the games that Kemco releases fall in the former camp. Sure, almost every game has something unique about it, but it's often buried in minutiae that even most genre fans don't pay much attention to. Their latest game, from developer Hit-Point, is the most unusual RPG they've published in quite some time. I'm an old hand at this genre, as regular readers know, and my initial reaction to Valkyria Soul [$3.99] was a disproportionate amount of excitement. The game looks like nothing Kemco has released on iOS before. The tone of the story is different from Hit-Point's usual breezy fare, and it even has a more competent translation than we typically see from that developer's works. The game doesn't even have the standard top-down dungeon exploration, playing out instead from a pure side-scrolling viewpoint...

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. No two ways about it, I've got a bad case of the Mondays. Don't worry, friends. For me, that just means listing a bunch of cool updates! 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!..