Author Archives: Shaun Musgrave


While Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp [Free] hasn't really caught on the way Nintendo probably was hoping for, it doesn't seem to be lacking in active players for the moment. The developers seem to be counting on wall-to-wall events to keep the players engaged, but you can tell that they're trying to get the hang of what those events should be and how they should play out. The winter event that just ended was easy to finish in a day or two, while even regular players had trouble completing the event prior to that, Rover's Garden Safari. Well, prepare your gardening tools, because the latest event has players heading back to the planting grind...

It's already been a year since Fire Emblem Heroes [Free], the free-to-play spin-off of Nintendo's long-running tactical RPG franchise, released on iOS and Android. The game has been received quite well by many players and has turned out to be Nintendo's biggest success so far in the challenging mobile market. Part of that must surely be credited to the hard work of the development team, who have listened to player feedback and made frequent updates based on it. Indeed, it's impressive just how much the game has changed in one year. To celebrate the occasion, Nintendo put out a new video today outlining some upcoming additions to the game...




Best iPhone Game Updates: 'Rules of Survival', 'Getting Over It', 'SimCity BuildIt', 'Flipping Legend', 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 seems like business is finally picking up again, as we've got a pretty decent mix of titles in this week's grab bag of goodies. I've picked out what I think are the finest or most interesting to give you something to read while you process your Monday. 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!..

It feels like a million years ago now, but at one point the most hopping hub for indie games was through web portals containing games built in Flash. Yes, the one that doesn't work with iOS and has largely gone the way of the dodo. Anyway, back in 2006, if you were a Flash game developer, the place to be was Newgrounds. They had a whole bunch of the best Flash games in one place, along with seemingly thousands of, er, learning experiences. It was in this environment that Mr. Fancy Pants, the titular character of Fancy Pants Adventures [Free], made his amazing debut. That game did the most important thing a platformer can do to get going: polished its physics and controls to a fine, fine sheen. It proved incredibly popular, and its developer continued to build on it in his spare time, adding new worlds complete with new gimmicks and moves to play around with...

'The Room' Series Plot Guide - Here's What You Need to Know to Be Ready for 'The Room: Old Sins'

The Room: Old Sins is the latest release in a series that goes back to 2012, which I regret to inform you was more than five years ago. Wait, don't focus on the existential dread! There are games to play, after all. Now, the games in this series are puzzle games first and foremost. You're meant to enjoy the intricately-designed puzzles and the way everything connects before anything else. But there is also an intricately-designed, connected story going on in the background, and each game has revealed clues and plot pieces at a steady rate. Maybe you're excited for Old Sins, but you can't quite remember what happened in the last game, or the one before that. Well, we've got your collective backs, friends. Here's a spoiler-heavy summary of the first three games in the series for those who want a quick refresher...

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. They're not all free-to-play games this week, I promise! Just, you know, mostly. That's how it is. Still, there's some real heavy-hitters in here, including some games I'm sure many of our readers are playing. 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!..

It's definitely looking like Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp [Free] is going to be one of those games that is wall-to-wall events with little to no breaks in between. The Rover's Garden Safari event just ended earlier today, and we're already on to the next thing. Instead of catching butterflies in your garden, you're going to be going after something slightly more seasonal. The Winter Sports Event is on, and it's going to be even quicker than the last event, so you'll want to get on it right away...

The Best JRPGs for iPhone and iPad - A TouchArcade Ranking

Hello, gentle readers. It seems like our previous ranking lists have gone over pretty well, so I'm going to be carrying on with them on a semi-regular basis. The topic this time around is the JRPG genre, an admittedly wide umbrella that I'm restricting simply to make it a useful label. What we are looking at here is a ranking of games that follow closely in the footsteps of Dragon Quest, Final Fantasy, and their ilk. Turn-based battles, melodrama, interesting characters, a plot that has a start and a finish, and things like that. If the combat system involves real-time action, it won't be on here. If it's an endlessly-updated free-to-play game, it also won't be on here. As odd as it may seem, these games do not have to be from Japan. This is not the final word, and your list can be (and probably is) different...

Best iPhone Game Updates: 'Rules of Survival', 'Cooking Dash', 'Marvel Future Fight', 'Sniper Fury', 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, it was another somewhat slow week in terms of content updates. A lot of developers are still trying to catch up with iPhone X and/or iOS 11 compatibility issues, I think, which really just leaves the evergreen service games to populate this column for the time being. Sorry, but I'll try to at least be entertaining about it all until things pick up again. 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!..

Gosh, Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp [Free] is on a tear with these events, isn't it? For most of December, players were collecting candy canes in exchange for special Christmas goodies. Then, as the New Year approached, it was special fortune papers that needed to be gathered, this time for some cool Japan-inspired New Year's items. With January 1st well behind us now and Valentine's at least a month away, what can Animal Crossing possibly offer up to keep players interested? Butterflies, friends. No one ever suspects the butterflies...

Every era of gaming has one or two genres that dominate. Eventually, the popularity of said genres give way to something new, and from there it's a coin toss as to how relevant they remain. In the late 1980s and early 1990s, one of those "it" genres was the beat-em-up. In many ways defined by 1986's Renegade, the genre became a worldwide sensation with the game's spiritual successor Double Dragon. The game was a huge hit in the arcades, and its many home ports were tremendously popular. There was a Double Dragon comic, a Double Dragon cartoon, a Double Dragon toyline, and eventually even a Double Dragon live-action movie. Innumerable clones from virtually every other game publisher followed, flooding arcades and eventually the 16-bit home consoles until the coming of one-on-one fighting games pulled the market in another direction...

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. Okay, so last week's selection was a little light. It's hard to believe, but this week's bunch is even smaller. With the App Store freeze not really being that frozen anymore, the usual practice of everyone holding updates only to dump them in the New Year seems to have passed. Now, we're seeing a drought that probably represents hard-working developers taking some well-earned time off. But hey, there are a couple of interesting things in here. 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 all you really need is a bit of quick shooting action. Beyond Helios [$0.99] aims to fill that need in a game that feels like an homage to classic arcade shooters like Sinistar. Minus Sinistar itself, of course. No one can imitate that guy. You'll hop in your ship of choice and fly around freely in overhead stages set in space. There are a number of targets you'll need to take out, enemy ships that will hassle you as you attempt to do so, power-ups that will give you a temporary boost, and some hazards that will kill you if you bump into them. It's a pretty fast-paced game and there are some rough edges here and there, but overall there's a fair bit of fun to be had here for action fans...

RPG Reload Final Edition - 'RPG Reload's Favorite RPGs of 2017'

Hello, gentle readers, and welcome to yet another special edition of the RPG Reload. As we usually do at the end of each year, we're doing something a little different this week. That's right, it's time for the fourth 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!..

'BBTAN2 by 222%' Review - Winter Break-Out

StarStarStarStarNone
January 3rd, 2018 10:30 AM EDT by Shaun Musgrave in 4 stars, Arcade, Free, Games, iPad Games, iPhone games, Puzzle, Reviews
Free Buy Now

Developer 111% has been buttering their bread the last couple of years with their TAN series of games. They're simple games, many of them variants on the classic Atari game Breakout, with the most popular of the bunch being BBTAN by 111% [Free]. That game generally followed the Breakout formula, swapping out the familiar paddle at the bottom of the screen with a character who launches balls using a slingshot mechanism. It's a concept 111% has returned to once before with BBTAN: 7 YEARS [Free], and now they're back to it again with a sequel named BBTAN2 by 222% [Free]...

Best iPhone Game Updates: 'Shadowverse', 'Exiled Kingdoms', 'Nimian Legends', 'Disco Ducks', and 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. As you might have expected, the week betweeen Christmas and New Year's Day wasn't exactly a hot-bed of updates. Still, there were a couple of really great ones, so here we are. 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!..

RPG Reload Glossary: The "Death" of the JRPG, or JRPGs in the 2010s

Hello, gentle readers, and welcome to the RPG Reload, the regular feature where all good things must come to an end. To be specific, welcome to the RPG Reload Glossary, where we sift through the piles of historical debris and messy semantics to try to make some sense of it all. This time around, we're finishing our look at the history of the JRPG sub-genre. In the last part, we looked at a decade which could charitably be referred to as a hangover from the massive success of the genre in the 1990s. Square, the biggest name in JRPGs, over-extended itself in spectacular fashion and ended up merging with their rival, Enix. The Japanese market lost its taste for home consoles, focusing instead on the convenience that handheld consoles brought to the table. Development on two of the three most popular JRPG series had slowed down considerably, and as the first decade of the new millennium came to a close, you didn't have to look far to find people proclaiming the death of the JRPG genre had come...

Shaun's 10 Best Games of 2017 - A Year Full of Truly Unique Mobile Games

Well, that's another year just about in the books. This was a strange year all around, and it wasn't until we all started to deliberate on the end-of-year stuff that I truly realized how many awesome, fun, and unique games hit iOS in 2017. Sure, there were some amazing ports, and I think those have commanded a lot of attention as the year has come to a close. But there were also a lot of cool mobile originals, many of which came from developers new to the scene. I had a hard time carving this list down to just ten games, with the last couple of cuts taking an awful lot of deliberation. As usual, I'm not going to rank these in any order beyond the alphabetical. All of them are equally worthy of consideration...

'Cinco Paus' Review - A Rosa By Any Other Name

One of the things that makes games from developer Michael Brough so great is in how much there is to discover in each one. They're densely-packed pouches full of Eureka moments, constantly dripping out new tricks, traps, and techniques for those who are patient and observant enough to notice them. His games don't just trust the player to figure them out; they challenge the player to do so. You really won't make much progress at all in his games if you're not willing to play along with this philosophy. It's a school of design I happen to enjoy, but I do so knowing that it's just as much of a turn-off for some as it is a joy for others. After all, there's a fine line between being obtuse in order to teach and being obtuse just to be obtuse. Where that line falls tends to come down to the player...

Best iPhone Game Updates: 'Knives Out', 'Vignettes', 'Mortal Kombat X', 'Nexomon', and More

Hello everyone, and welcome to the week! I hope you all had a great Christmas if that's your bag, and if it's not, I hope your Monday agreed with you. It's time once again for our look back at the noteworthy updates of the last seven days. The App Store doesn't quite freeze the way it used to these days, so there were actually a fair number of updates compared to usual. Not a large amount in the absolute sense, but hey, enough to put this article together. 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!..