Author Archives: Thorin Klosowski


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...

If you grew up in the '80s playing RPGs like Dragon Warrior and Ultima, you're going to immediately recognize the roots of 9th Bit Games' Guardian Saga [$1.99]. Heck, the name is even borrowed from the DOS-era Ultima games. It's about as old school as you can get without releasing a text-adventure, and while it will certainly appeal to fans of the era, it's also going to provide a steep learning curve for newcomers...

When Silver Tree Media's Cordy [Free] was released for Android a couple months ago, it got some good buzz based on its visuals alone. Now it's finally on iOS, coming in two flavors via in-app purchase: a universal HD version for $4.99 or a standard SD version for $1.99. Cordy is a 2.5D platformer with a lot of charm, and even if the gameplay doesn't offer up too many new ideas, the artistic design alone is well worth taking a look at...

When Traction Games first brought Stickman Skater [99¢/Lite] to the App Store, it was a bit of a surprise hit. With the release of its spiritual successor, Stickman BMX [99¢/Lite/HD] it's a question of how much of the core gameplay will change with the name while still retaining fans of the original...

'Squirmee and the Puzzling Tree' Review - It'll Make You Squirm

Lavafish Studios' Squirmee and the Puzzling Tree [99¢] might look like another iteration on the tried and true one-screen puzzle game action of the App Store, but even though it initially follows the formula, it quickly turns into a brutally difficult game that will tax your brain and force you to rework your inner circuits to get through it...

Just so we're all on the same page from the start, Bravo Game Studios' Xtreme Wheels [$3.99] is whole heck of a lot like RedLynx's Trials series. Actually, it's almost identical, but while many have tried to bring the painfully difficult motocross physics-puzzle-style to iOS, Xtreme Wheels is probably the closest to getting it right...

Alawar's The Jolly Gang's Spooky Adventure [$1.99 / HD], is the type of game you're either going to love or hate after a single glance. There likely isn't going to be much of an in-between here, but thankfully there's a lite version for people to test out first, as well as tons of options for a PC demo since the game was originally released a couple years ago. The Jolly Gang's Spooky Adventure, like many of Alawar's previous offerings, is something of a mash-up between puzzle, hidden object, escape the room and adventure games with an often cringe-worthy style of humor...

Divine Robot's Blobster [99¢ / HD] is a physics-platformer tasking you with stretching and flicking a blobbish creature across various levels in Blobtopia in order to thwart the evil polluting efforts of Blobzilla and the rest of the Big and Powerful Corporation. Along the way, you'll need to collect gems and dodge evil blobs bent on getting in the way of your victory. The plot isn't going to win any awards, but you get the point -- it's a platformer, not the next great American novel...

'Pocket RPG' for iPad Review - Dual Stick Looter

Crescent Moon Games' Pocket RPG [$2.99] got off to a bit of a rocky start on launch when it was released with some game killing bugs and pulled immediately from the store, but now those have been smoothed over, everyone with an iPad can freely stick an RPG in their giant pockets and take it for a spin. It's equal parts RPG, shooter and light-brawler depending on how you play and although it might seem shallow based on its name, it has a lot to offer...

Nostalgia can be a dangerous thing, in your memory, you might adore a title to death, but when it's ported and released to a modern system, you often find your favorite games broken or boring. Bitmap Brothers' Z [$4.99] was a favorite of mine when it was originally released in 1996 and for better or worse, Kavcom Limited's port hasn't changed much in the games structure...

Adding color to a black and white world isn't exactly a new concept in games, but Kaia Games' Color Bandits [99¢ / HD] attempts to add that layer to a side scrolling shooter with a resemblance to Contra in terms of gameplay, but not in challenge...