Author Archives: Peter Lettieri


For all the remarkable games we are seeing nowadays on the App Store, we are blessed with very few epic RPGs. It seems that developers are still unwilling to invest in the content heavy, quest-driven adventures that many other platforms routinely enjoy. Publisher Nate Games has thoughtfully identified this gap in the market and have given us the next best thing-- a direct port of a critically acclaimed 2009 title for the PSP-- Crimson Gem Saga [$9.99] by Atlus Games...

Fishlabs' latest addition to the App Store is a modern take on the arcade classic, Missile Command. While we've seen a few games adopt this formula, none have looked as darn pretty as Earth Defender [99¢]. Earth Defender's interpretation of Missile Command on the iOS devices dispenses with the missiles launching from Earth, and opts for a more responsive explosion-on-touch mechanic. The swarms of multi-colored aliens descending on our fair planet won't know what hits them when a well placed bomb explodes in their faces. Of course, where would Missile Command be without chaining; Earth Defender ensuring that explosions from one alien will in-turn kill others nearby, allowing for well placed screen clearing multipliers...

The App Store has its fair share of top-down shoot 'em ups, with the overwhelming majority of them feeling very same-ish and not really doing much to set themselves apart (bar a few notable exceptions such as the recent Espgaluda II). Newcomers to the iOS, Art In Games, are looking to break that mould with the release of AirAttack [App Store] [Lite]...

I have been looking for an excuse to post about Armada: Galactic War [App Store], after overlooking its first sizeable update amidst the chaos of WWDC. It was a game I really enjoyed, despite nit-picking on a few issues. It turns out developer Pixel Stream was listening, and have addressed each of my complaints and further added a suite of features in response to player feedback and an entirely new freemium version!..

GodziLAB, of iBlast Moki fame, have taken an entirely new direction with their newest App Store venture, sizing up the portable online scene for a monster slam dunk. Star Dunk [App Store] is a frantically paced, competitive basketball shoot-out, where your task is to score more points than your adversaries in a free throw competition. Graphics are reminiscent of Geometry Wars; a stellar backdrop complete with a light show of shader effects for power-ups and ball handling-- all running at a silky smooth 60 FPS on 3rd Gen iOS devices and up. ..

The original Train Conductor was a sleeper hit that we really enjoyed and remains a staple on many users' iOS devices. That version featured a distinct Australian backdrop that many of us may have found unfamiliar. Train Conductor 2: USA [iPhone/ iPad] puts Uncle Sam in the driver's seat, embarking on 5 new levels from New York to the Grand Canyon...

Very rarely, an absolute gem flies under our radar, as seems to be the case with Jagex Games Studio's Miner Disturbance [App Store]. Based on a PC game by the same name, Miner Disturbance is an alternate take on the classic Dig Dug formula...

Every now and then the App Store divulges something that actually surprises me; a previously unheard of game design that sinks its claws into me before I even know it. From its outward appearance, Doodle God [App Store] seems less of a game and more of a periodic table gone wrong, an experiment only of interest to scientists of questionable sanity. It's not until you experience it for yourself that you realise the true genius behind Doodle God's alluring gameplay...

As we are all aware, the Football World Cup (the one with the round ball) is now entering its final stages (without the US unfortunately, who made a brilliant show of themselves to get into the final 16) with only 8 teams left and a further two teams facing elimination later today. It's an event that surpasses even the Olympics in scale and world-wide traction. In fact, it is only really matched by the sheer number of football 'set-piece' games that have spewed forth unto the App Store as developers capitalize on the momentum of South Africa...

The original Predator movie back in 1987 sparked a huge cult following and a subsequent movie and various crossovers with Aliens. Acclaimed producer Robert Rodriguez is set to rekindle that flame on the big-screen with a stand-alone movie, Predators, with Chillingo and Angry Mob Games stepping up for the mandatory small-screen game tie-in. ..

After a tumultuous release, where Apple seemingly played yo-yo with its iTunes availability, Pro Zombie Soccer [App Store] is finally here to stay, and aren't we glad for it! Comfortably one of the more anticipated titles here at Touch Arcade, Pro Zombie Soccer is developed by the 6-man operation at Super Awesome Hyper Dimensional Mega Team, whose founders have notched titles such as Plants vs Zombies and Worms into their belts...

'Carcassonne' Review -- As Good As It Gets On The App Store?

Admittedly, I have shied away from board games on the iPhone; very few of them offering the accessibility and multi-player fun of dusting off an old classic and sitting around a coffee table with friends. Even still, I had never heard of the award-winning German tile-based board game named after a world heritage listed French castle prior to our preview last month. But that's all water under the bridge now, as Carcassonne [App Store] is definitely hot right now and set to rocket up the App Store charts...

'Highborn' Review -- A Marriage of Winning TBS and High Fantasy Parody!

Our hands-on time with Highborn several weeks ago left us extremely impressed with what the ex-Westwood Studios developers (think Command & Conquer) at Jet Set Games had done with the turn-based strategy game and hopeful that its submission time with Apple would be a short one. Well, our prayers have been answered, as Highborn [App Store] is now available!..

Splinter Cell: Conviction on the X360 and the PC evoked mixed reactions from reviewers and consumers alike as it departed from the traditional stealth-centric Sam Fisher formula and opted for a more aggressive, guns-blazing approach. Gameloft's portable adaptation follows in the same vein, but also seems to introduce some of its own issues...

The release of Denki Blocks! [App Store] and Denki Blocks! Free [App Store] sees the critically acclaimed Gameboy Advance puzzler by Denki finally in our hands and well on its way to turning our grey matter to mush over the last week that we've spent with it...

Where Doodle Jump spawned a host of simple tilt-controlled casual games, Dizzypad seems to have done the same for the one-finger tap rotating-platform genre (we should trademark that one!). Jump o'Clock [App Store] by Glu Games falls squarely in this category, but instils its own steam-punk themed gameplay elements to differentiate itself from similar games...

Initiated to pop-culture by the mid-90s Tamagotchi device, pet-sims have really taken off on the App Store, but there are surprisingly few that stand out. Fortunately, developers Tasty Poison Games have given us something to talk about with the release of their full 3D dragon-based pet game, Dragooo [App Store]...

When we first had a look at the recently released Pocket Creatures [App Store] back at GDC, it didn't take us long to be enchanted by the too-cute, pikachu-like pet sim with an apparent wealth of things to explore...

Less of a game and more of a demonstration of each and every working part in 5 different handguns, Gun Disassembly is a technical app with an extraordinary amount of detail in both the included weapon models and their many animated parts. ..

We were fortunate to be given hands-on time with Jet Set Games' upcoming game, Highborn; a medieval turn-based strategy game with a blend of the traditional 2D map gameplay and a great looking 3D combat engine. To give some context, Jet Set Games is led by the original creators of the immensely popular Command & Conquer RTS...