Author Archives: Thorin Klosowski


DanLabGames' DynaStunts [$2.99] places itself in a difficult spot from the start. Motocross games, trials games and even racing games are genres that are already looking well stocked on the App Store. Just in the last few months we've seen several motocross games pop up, including a few solid ones, but while DynaStunts might initially look like another trials game, it might be best to think of it as something else altogether -- a platformer...

Vector Unit has already made a name for itself with water-based racing games -- especially when you consider the developers release last year of the stupid-entertaining Hydro Thunder Hurricane for XBLA. Now, they've ported the initially Android only Riptide GP [$4.99] to iOS and the arcade action racer is boasting some of, if not the best water physics on the platform, but the game itself might not totally live up to the impressive water effects...

When it was initially released for DSiWare last year, Shantae: Risky's Revenge [Free / $2.99 IAP], was an underappreciated gem on a service that most people didn't bother using. Now, thankfully, the game might find a little more grounding with the wider release on iOS, but as we've seen time and time again, platformers are a difficult sale on touchscreens, and Shantae, despite its pedigree, will have to keep up...

I have a weird amount of respect for the Worms franchise because not only has it lasted for almost two decades, it has consistently been a solid, albeit unchanging experience. The problem is, I've never actually been able to really get into the games, but with Team17's Worms Crazy Golf [$2.99 / HD], it's the first new experience that takes the oddness of the franchise and converts it into something a little easier to pick up and play...

There has been a rush to get casual versions of more complex game-types onto the App Store since it launched, and in the case of BlowFish Studios' and Crescent Moon Games' Siegecraft [99¢], the goal seems to have been to create a casual RTS game with Angry Birds-esque physics...

Backflip Studios' Boss Battles [Free / HD] is difficult to really talk about in a lengthy matter. After all, you know exactly what the game is based on its title alone and the fact it's free should ensure nobody will hesitate over it too much. Still, the concept alone is interesting enough to warrant a discussion...

I'm a bit of a closet Sims admirer. Not exactly a die-hard fan, but I appreciate what the series does in a lot of ways. I've still kept up with each release and although the iOS ones haven't been constantly solid, The Sims: Medieval [$4.99] still stuck out to me as playing to two of my weaknesses, wizards and sandbox play...

I want to love Madfinger's Shadowgun [$7.99]. I really do. It's a lovely looking game, one of the best on iOS, but it's so riddled with holes, crashes, bugs and repetition, it's easier to walk away frustrated than in awe of it...

If I have one single gaming kryptonite, it's the endless runner. Since Canabalt, I have put my mitts on nearly every single one on every device I can in every type and iteration on the same theme, from Robot Unicorn Attack to Jetpack Joyride. Put one of these in my hands, and I will not leave the house, eat or accomplish anything productive. Be-Rad Entertainment's Serious Sam: Kamikaze Attack! [99¢] takes the idea of the endless runner, then packages it with a series of smaller levels...

I can't help but want to think that Calibre Games' Hunger Calls [99¢ / HD] is meant as a metaphor for fast food culture. The purpose of the game is to shove as much food into people's mouths as you can, as quickly as possible, then after they overeat, you have to either hit them with some Alka-Seltzer or they die...

'Fruity Jelly' Review - Get Fruity

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September 15th, 2011 10:00 AM EDT by Thorin Klosowski in $0.99, 4 stars, Games, iPad Games, iPhone games, Platform, Puzzle, Reviews
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Sometimes I seriously question what it going through the minds of game developers when they name a game. Bulkypix's Fruity Jelly [99¢], for instance, has a name that makes it sound like a hyper-casual, made-for-kids, physics game. It doesn't really describe the game, nor does it make me want to play it. Or even look at it. Amazingly, it overcomes that problem by provided a surprisingly solid puzzle-platformer...

By the unspoken law of videogames, a sequel tends to follow at least a full year after the original, but in the case of HotGen's To-Fu: The Trials of Chi [99¢/ HD], it has been less than six months before we're seeing the follow-up, aptly titled, To-Fu 2 [99¢]. You wouldn’t think much could happen in just those few short months, but what To-Fu 2 lacks in artistic changes, it makes up for in level design chops...

'DrawRace 2' Review - The Sequel the Original Deserves

RedLynx's original DrawRace [$2.99] sucked up a large amount of my time, so when DrawRace 2 [99¢ / HD] was first announced, I had a small panic attack thinking of the amount of time it would kill in my day. Turns out, the attack was well warranted, because the sequel steps it up in every way imaginable...

There is no shortage of fantastic retro-RPGs in the App Store at the moment, but Muteki Corporation's Dragon Fantasy [$2.99] hopes to set itself apart from the rest with tongue-in-cheek dialogue and an authentic 8-bit look and feel...

Sometimes with a multiplayer game, simplicity is the best way to go. It makes it so friends and family can pick up a game and play with little explanation and in turn, you can all jump into having fun with little setup. Sandstorm Interactive's iPad-only title, S.U.B. Steampunk Underwater Battles [$1.99] does just that...

Cedar Hills Games' Emissary of War [Free] has a lot to live up to. As we've already covered in our preview and our interview with CEO and former BioWare employee Tobyn Manthorpe, the game has a pedigree that's going to be hard to live up...

In a lot of ways, if you've played one Korean RPG, you've played them all, and if you've played one 16-bit inspired action-RPG, you know exactly what to expect from another -- but Minoraxis' Exitium: Saviors of Vardonia [$1.99] hopes its ideas about multiple narratives and play styles is enough to separate it from the abundance of action-RPGs in the App Store...

'The Last Rocket' Review - A Retro Look, A Modern Style

Retro visuals have become such a staple they're beginning to feel like they're modern again, but Shaun Inman's The Last Rocket [$1.99] proves it's not just about the look, it's about the entire aesthetic of the game, from the simple and easy to pick up gameplay to the sounds coming out it -- retro is a design principle, not just a pair of pixilated pants...

'Touch Detective' Review - A Charming Adventure

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August 10th, 2011 3:00 PM EDT by Thorin Klosowski in $3.99, 3 stars, Adventure, Free, Games, iPhone games, Reviews
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With adventure games seeing a serious revival on iOS, it should come as no surprise the ports keep on coming. Case in point, Beeworks Games took to bringing over Success' Touch Detective [Free] from the Nintendo DS, a five-year-old game that never saw massive sales on its initial release, but is given new life on iOS. The game got lukewarm reviews when initially released, but an innovative release methodology on iOS helps break it apart from the rest of the pack...

I distinctly remember the feeling of unwrapping and loading up Square Enix's Final Fantasy Tactics on my Playstation as a kid, unsure of exactly what it was, but I knew it had something to do with the Final Fantasy series and it was enough for me. I was, to say the least, confused and disappointed for the first couple hours of the game. But I got used to it and ended up purchasing it again on PSP and yet again on iOS as Final Fantasy Tactics: The War of the Lions [$15.99]. I had the same feeling loading up the iOS version as I did the first time on PS1 -- puzzled and unsure of exactly what to think about it...