Author Archives: Shaun Musgrave


Update Mondays: 'Bullet Hell Monday', 'Exiled Kingdoms', 'Super Mario Run', 'Fallout Shelter', 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 names in this week's list of updates, with most of the regulars apparently taking a week off. 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!..

Opinion: Nintendo Might Have Finally Hit the Mobile Jackpot with 'Fire Emblem Heroes'

Just under two years ago, Nintendo announced a partnership with DeNA to bring their games to mobile devices. It was a huge deal for two reasons. First, Nintendo would be developing games for non-Nintendo hardware for the first time since the 1980s. Second, they would be entering a sector of the games industry that they had very little experience in, one that presents a very different challenge from what they might be used to. Depending on who you asked in the wake of that announcement, Nintendo was either going to completely change the mobile market, or totally sell out their cherished brands to the free-to-play mobile devil...




'Fire Emblem Heroes' First Impressions - Went Free to Play and Lived to Tell the Story

I'm a pretty big Fire Emblem fan. That used to be a small group, but it's gotten to be quite large of late based on the success of the recent Nintendo 3DS releases. I know some fans aren't happy with the changes in the series that brought about that success, but I'm thrilled because I don't have to worry that Nintendo is going to smuggle it away to whatever closet or crawlspace they've locked Advance Wars up in. Fire Emblem Awakening was basically the last chance for the series, and was designed to be an epic last hurrah if things came to that. As I sit here today several years later, Fire Emblem is bigger than ever. So big, in fact, that Nintendo selected it to be one of their first mobile ventures. You really never know...

The RPG Reload Play-Along: 'Aralon: Sword and Shadow'

Hello, gentle readers, and welcome to 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 Touch Arcade 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! As a little incentive, at the end of each month, I will randomly pick one of the participants and send them something small and silly from here in Japan. All you have to do to be eligible is, well, play along with the Play-Along!..

Okay, let's try to look at the positives here. Clearly, Capcom is not going to just leave these games behind. We've seen a couple of updates to the Mega Man Mobile games so far, and while they haven't addressed the major issues with the games, it's encouraging that they're being done at all. Perhaps with time, these might be the versions they really ought to have been. That said, if you've bought one or more of them already and you're trying to make the best of things, you might be happy to hear about the latest updates...

In September of last year, English iOS fans were finally treated to a localized version of the hit Japanese visual novel Steins;Gate [$24.99 / $24.99 (HD)]. It's an excellent game with a story that will keep you guessing right up until the end, and was easily one of the best releases of 2016 on the platform. The only real bummer about the release is that it wasn't a universal app. Combined with its relatively high price, that made it hard to justify for some players who use both their iPad and iPhone for gaming. If that's you, I've got some good news. Publisher 5pb is running a sale on many of their titles to celebrate the release of Corpse Party: Blood Drive [$31.99], and for the first time, that includes the English version of Steins;Gate...

All the way back in 2012, the cult Japanese horror game Corpse Party was released on the Japanese App Store. It took more than two years for the English iOS release of Corpse Party [$17.99] to come out, and when it did, it suffered from some early issues with bugs that were eventually resolved. The sequel, Book of Shadows, has been available in Japanese for quite some time, but as of yet, no English version has come. That makes it interesting that the follow-up to Book of Shadows, Corpse Party: Blood Drive [$31.99], released today in both Japanese and English versions simultaneously. Hopefully this is a good sign for future English releases from publisher 5pb...

Update Mondays: 'VOEZ', 'Puzzle & Dragons', 'Leap Day', 'King Rabbit', 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 hasn't been the busiest week as far as updates go, but I've managed to find several good ones for your reading pleasure. 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...

Once upon a time, there was a fairly popular Java-based online RPG named Wyvern [Free]. It began its life in 2001 and ran for 10 years before its server was shut down in April of 2011, much to the sadness of its devoted players. It took some legal wrangling, but its creator Steve Yegge was finally able to secure the rights to bring the game back, and he's opted to do it on iOS. Inspired by 1980s PC RPGs, Wyvern has something of a vintage look and feel to it, and it's anything but beginner-friendly. If you're okay with that, however, you'd be hard-pressed to find a deeper MMORPG experience on mobile...

RPG Reload Feature - The Curious Case of Premium Spin-Offs of F2P Hits

Hello, gentle readers, and welcome to the RPG Reload, your destination for all things mobile RPG. In addition to the other kinds of articles you'll find under this banner, I'll also occasionally be writing not about specific games, but about a topic connected to mobile RPGs. This week is one such installment. We're taking a look at an interesting phenomenon that has started to occur with increasing regularity in the Japanese gaming market. Mobile gaming has long since overtaken the other gaming markets in Japan, and the result is that a lot of the most popular modern gaming IPs have their origins in the mobile market. We're all used to seeing cherished old console franchises trotted out wearing free-to-play skins on mobile, but in Japan, the opposite case is beginning to happen. This article will take a look at some of the most famous examples, with a little extra analysis on the sales performance of those games and the possible motivations behind creating them...

The latest game from Dong Nguyen, the creator of the viral hit sensation Flappy Bird, has just hit the App Store and Google Play. Titled Ninja Spinki Challenges!! [Free], it's sort of a tongue-in-cheek ninja training game. For this game, Nguyen worked with Japanese publisher Obokaidem, a relatively new face best known for games like PICK-XELL [Free] and Green The Planet [Free]. Spinki is Nguyen's first game since 2015's Swing Copters 2 [Free], and his first time working with an outside publisher...

'Super Gridland' Review - A Set of Matching Swords

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January 25th, 2017 11:33 AM EDT by Shaun Musgrave in $1.99, 3.5 stars, Arcade, iPad Games, iPhone games, Puzzle, Reviews
$1.99 Buy Now

Gridland is a really nifty browser-based puzzle game from Michael Townsend, the original creator of A Dark Room [$0.99]. It merges aspects of survival games, clickers, and match-3 puzzlers into one neat package that will likely absorb at least a couple of hours of your time before it feels like its hand is fully played. It's free, saves your progress, and it even works in mobile browsers. Super Gridland [$1.99] is the same game, albeit considerably gussied up in terms of presentation. It's just as fun as it ever was, even if it doesn't really make a strong case for itself as a separate app from the browser version...

Hands-On with 'Flappy Bird' Creator's Next Game, 'Ninja Spinki Challenges!!'

Love it or hate it, you have to admit that for a little while, Flappy Bird was everywhere. There's even a secret stage in Super Mario Run that I'm pretty sure is winking at the game. Nobody seemed more surprised by the game's explosive popularity than its creator, Dong Nguyen, who ended up pulling Flappy Bird from the App Store at the height of its popularity. Since then, he's kept on doing what he was doing before: making pick-up-and-play games with cute art and aggravating difficulty. For his latest game, Nguyen teamed up with Japanese publisher Obokaidem, a mobile-focused team with a number of ex-Konami employees in its ranks. The result is Ninja Spinki Challenges!!, and it's set to release later this week...

Update Mondays: 'A Noble Circle', 'Geometry Dash', 'Phoenix 2', 'Subway Surfers', 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 the Lunar New Year upon us, plenty of games are taking advantage of the holiday to deliver some cool updates. There are plenty of non-holiday updates this week, 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!..

RPG Reload Developer Spotlight 004 - Raj Dhillon from WaveLight Games

It's time for the next installment in our monthly series of articles looking at the developers and publishers behind some of our favorite games. The aim here is for you readers to get a sense of the person, so the tone is more conversational than we usually use in interviews here at TouchArcade. it's also not necessarily about the games themselves, either. Basically, we'll kick off and see where the conversation takes us. This month, we're speaking to Raj Dhillon of WaveLight Games, the developer behind the Demon's Rise series of SRPGs, which consists of Demon's Rise [$7.99] and relatively recent release Demon's Rise 2 [$7.99]...

In virtually every respect, Empire of Angels 4 [$9.99] is a completely average SRPG. The latest in the line of a twenty-year-old series from well-known Taiwanese publisher Softstar, it doesn't stray far from what you've likely seen in a lot of other games in this genre. You'll go from point to point on a map, advance the story, fight some turn-based battles using an ever-increasing group of units, level up your team, and move on to the next challenge. Units can come in a variety of job classes, which define what moves they have at their disposal. Battles are broken up by cut-scenes that move the story along, but the meat of the game is left to the combat...

Hello, gentle listeners! Wowie, have I got some things to apologize for on this one. First of all, we recorded this a little late due to some conflicting schedules, so we opted to lump two games together into one episode. Then, after recording, I realized that my headset mic wasn't working properly and I had been speaking through my laptop mic for the entire thing. It sounds about as good as you would expect. So while I was trying to figure out what to do with all of that, the holidays hit, things got procrastinated, and here we are. This recording is from early December, so it's not as new or fresh as it could be, but the game discussion is pretty good, I feel, so I wanted to get it out there. We all enjoyed Overlive [$2.99] a lot, and none of us had a very good time with Blazing Souls [$9.99], so it's a real roller coaster...

Last year was another great year for RPGs on iOS, and it was especially good if you like ones that you can get lost in for dozens of hours. If you're still filling out your list from 2016, I've got some good news about two of them, at least. Both Siralim 2 [$4.99] from Thylacine Studios and The Quest HD [$7.99] from Redshift are on sale for the first time ever, letting you dive into some huge fun at discounted prices. It's worth mentioning that it's very rare for either of these developers to have sales, so if you've been waiting, well, don't wait too much longer...

Update Mondays: 'Disney Crossy Road', 'Marvel Future Fight', 'My Horse Prince', 'Skyline Skaters', 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. There's a chill in the air, which might explain why things are still not quite at full speed on the update front this year. We've got some good ones this week, no doubt, but not many surprises beyond the appearance of our favorite Man-Horse Dating Simulator. 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!..

Classic Reload - 'Ridiculous Fishing: A Tale of Redemption'

Hello, gentle readers, and welcome to the Classic Reload, the monthly feature where we have issues with jellyfish. Each month, we take a look at a golden oldie from the App Store's past to see how it holds up in the here and now. It's a chance to revisit old favorites, reflect on their place in the overall iOS library, or simply to take a deeper dive than our reviews typically allow. I try to pick a balanced plate of games from month to month, but if there's something you really want to see, let me know in the comments below. You might not see your suggestion soon, but it will be added to the list for future consideration...