Author Archives: Thorin Klosowski


The cliché that nothing good in life is free can be especially true when it comes to to iOS games. Sure, every once in a while you stumble across a truly great free title, but there almost always is a catch. In the case of Ponos' Ballistik Wars [Free], the catch is simple: it's ad-supported. For 99¢ you can get rid of the ads, and you'll want to, because they take up an annoyingly large amount of screen real estate...

'D.A.R.K.' Review - Dead in Space

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GameLab's D.A.R.K. [99¢] is game with a conflicting sense of self. It's trying to simultaneously be a tense, science fiction horror game and a dual stick shooter with RPG elements. It's a difficult line to toe and in a lot of ways, D.A.R.K. is leading with the right foot, even if it flounders a bit here and there...

Gameloft's BackStab [$6.99] was released for Xperia Play a few months back as a timed exclusive, but now that it has finally arrived on iOS as a universal app, we get to take a look at the studios take of Assassin's Creed via Pirates of the Carribbean. Which is to say, it's an open world action adventure game with lots of jumping around and stabbing things...

The name Spiderweb Software is a bit misleading, after all, it's mostly the work of one man, Jeff Vogel, who has for almost twenty years given us some of the most intricate RPGs on PC and Mac. Until now, at least, these were often an inclusive, old-schooler affair. But Avadon: The Black Fortress HD [$9.99] is one of the first to be easily approachable -- it's also the first to hit the iPad...

The general rule of thumb for cooking chicken is that you want to cook it slowly so it retains its juices and doesn’t dry out too quickly. It's a delicate balance to ensure you don't walk away with food poisoning, but if you get it just right, you'll have a tasty treat. The same goes for most puzzle games and AQSystem's Toast the Chicken [99¢] is at first a slow burn, but as the difficulty ramps up it becomes clear it's an original concept that doesn't play like much else before it...

I've always tried to reserve my own usage of the word 'extreme' for cases that really warranted it. Perhaps that's just a side effect of growing up in the '80s, when everything that was anything was labeled 'extreme.' To that end, Full Fat's Flick Golf Extreme [$2.99] is indeed an 'extreme' update to the original Flick Golf [99¢], but only in its locales, the gameplay hasn't changed much...

There have been quite a few "go-as-far-as-you-can" games in the App Store, but the majority of them have taken Canabalt's cue and stuck to the side-scrolling platformer style. Vivid Games' Mower Ride [99¢] takes that same idea and applies it to a top-down vertical racer -- with a lawnmower...

Pavel Tsarev's iDaTank [$1.99 / Lite] was released a few weeks ago but had some troubles, namely some crashing issues and a lack of a save function when the home button was pushed -- thankfully an update thrust out last week fixes those problems, meaning all of us can sit and enjoy the unique experience without having to worry about saving issues...

'Icebreaker Hockey' Review - Skate Attack

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NaturalMotion Games' Icebreaker Hockey [99¢] is a bit difficult to describe. Not because it's a complicated game, it's not -- but it so resembles the studio's Backbreaker series of games it's a bit hard to really dig into the premise of it without noting its pedigree...

Nitako's Popstar Physics (Save Toshi 2) [Free] is a puzzle game wrapped in a weird exterior. It's also a sequel to Save Toshi [Free], a game that got a lot of love for how odd it was, how gaudy it was and ultimately, how fun it was. So Popstar Physics has a lot to live up to both from a technical and a critical standpoint...

There is no way to beat around the bush, so let's just get this out of the way from the start: Com2uS trademarking "tower defense," for Tower Defense: Lost Earth [$2.99 / HD] is a little bonkers, like if Call of Duty was granted a trademark and changed its name to First Person Shooter. Not only does it peeve off a bunch of developers caught in the legal crossfire, it also gives players incredibly lofty expectations for the final product when it's branded as the "officially trademarked" game of tower defense...

At first glance, HotGen's To-Fu: The Trials of Chi [99¢ / HD] looks like a riff on the Xbox Live Arcade game Super Meat Boy, but where SMB was a gruelingly difficult platformer, To-Fu takes a more slow-paced approach. That's not say To-Fu isn't difficult, it certainly is in the later levels, but you can generally take your time with it...

High score games are a difficult breed of game to talk about because you either get into them and love them, or you don't. If you frequently find yourself obsessing over leaderboards, Jonathan Kreuzer and Khang Le's Arno the Hunter [99¢]] is an interesting take on the scrolling-enemy-shooter that offers an appealing world and distinct visual style...

'House of Mice' Review - Pass the Cheese Please

It's pretty clear the first time you load up Delusion Studio's House of Mice [99¢] that one of the developers is a big fan of Hanna-Barbera cartoons. It's not just because you're playing as a group of mice hell-bent on destroying a cat, it's also because the game features some of the slickest animation you'll find in a puzzle game...

At first glance, Alex Blaj's Firefly Hero [99¢] doesn't look like much, but what it's lacking in graphic variety it makes up for in solid mechanics that might look similar to other iOS puzzle games, but are wholly and completely its own. It's filled with intelligent puzzle design, charm and oftentimes devious screens that take serious thinking to get past...