Category Archives: First Impressions

Third-Person Bank Robbery Shooter 'Armed Heist' Soft-Launches in Sweden

If you follow along with our Upcoming Games Forum, which you totally should if you care about being on the cutting edge of what's coming out for mobile, then you may have seen a thread that was posted late last month for a game from developer Sozap called Armed Heist. It's a third-person cover-based shooter centered around robbery, similar to something like the Payday series, and it tasks you with becoming the best gosh darned armed robber in the world. Not the noblest of endeavors, but it sure makes for some fun gaming. At the time of the forum posting, Armed Heist didn't have a trailer that was ready for public consumption, but some animated .gifs and a brief video showing some in-game footage of a beta version showed a lot of promise. Now, Sozap has prepared an official public trailer for Armed Heist which you can see below...

I like playing card games like Hearthstone and Elder Scrolls: Legends, but sometimes I get the itch for some more tactical gameplay, which is why I've been waiting to get Duelyst on my phone for quite some time now. Stormbound [Free], a game that has released globally this week after a few months in soft launch, brings to the table a fun combination of card collection and tactical gameplay that looks simple at first but has enough tactical depth and interesting ideas to scratch that itch. I've been playing it quite a bit this week, and I've been having fun playing both against the AI and against others. My only reservation is that matches take a bit too long and that the threat that is pay-to-win does rear its head here and there...




I've been dying to get my hands on Morphite [$7.99], the new action adventure title from developers Crescent Moon Games, Blowfish Studios, and We're Five Games, ever since I gazed upon its luscious low-poly environments when it was originally announced back in May of last year. It's been a long year and a half wait, but finally Morphite has landed its dropship directly onto the surface of planet App Store. Ok that was a super cheesy line but I don't care, Morphite is here! To coincide with the launch of Morphite on the App Store the developers have put together a brand new launch trailer showing the game in action, check it out!..

We got a look at Square Enix's (then upcoming) King's Knight [Free] at PAX, and our initial impressions were that it was a pretty cool game even if we didn't really understand how to initially play the demo they had on the show floor. Basically, when you're actually playing the game portion of King's Knight, it's a hybrid of a dungeon crawler and a vertical shooter- A super neat mash-up that I'm not sure I've ever seen done before. (Although, on a platform like the App Store, that's almost an impossibility.) Unfortunately, after playing quite a bit of the actual release of King's Knight, I wish I could say I was surprised that it's absolutely packed to the brim with practically every freemium shenanigan in the book: Post-install downloads, multiple gacha systems, connectivity requirements, multiple ways to level up seemingly everything, login bonuses, friend systems, daily quests, and elaborate freemium menus (each often with their own tutorial) to manage all these things. It's really sort of incredible...

I just got finished playing around an hour or so of Ironhide's Iron Marines [$4.99], and it'd be hard for my first impressions of the game to be any better. It's from the developers of the Kingdom Rush [Free] series, so it's not much of a surprise that they'd know how to make a really great mobile game. At its simplest, the easiest way to describe Iron Marines is that it's pretty dang close to a mobile version of StarCraft. At times it even feels a little too on the nose when it comes to riffing directly from the Blizzard classic, but with a unique art style and a fascinating blend between tower defense and real time strategy mechanics, Iron Marines manages to feel distinctly different even if it is giving a unbelievably massive hat tip towards the StarCraft universe...

In the summer of 2016, a surprisingly fun musical puzzle game called Tapt [Free] hit the App Store. I posted a first impressions piece on it explaining what you do in the game, which effectively amounts to remembering and tapping the basic beat of a large collection of ultra recognizable songs. It was a basic concept, sure, but it worked very well and was one of those things I couldn't believe hadn't been done before. Well, Tapt developer Stephen Coyle is back with another clever puzzler that also has an interesting twist. It's called Deja [Free] (as in, deja vu) and the inspiration behind the title becomes immediately apparent once you start playing the game...

We've covered Ankama's Drag'n'Boom [Free] quite a bit in the past based off its real cool trailer. It hit the App Store yesterday, and I just wanted to post about it again in case this gem got lost in all the hustle and bustle of the new iPhone announcements. If this is the first you've heard of Drag'n'Boom, I think the easiest way to describe it is that it's like playing as a dragon inside of a medieval version of The Matrix. Every action you make in the game comes with a slow down bullet time-like effect, and that includes everything from movement to actually firing flames from your mouth...

I got a suggestion at PAX that I should try live streaming my day to day TouchArcade work on Twitch, as the "Creative" category is growing substantially. If people will watch streamers make cupcakes, there's no reason why they won't watch someone play games and write about them- Which is exactly what I'm doing today over on the TouchArcade Twitch channel. The first game that Twitch chat suggested I check out was Verticow [Free], which is yet another absurd flipping game from the developer of Pancake - The Game [Free] and Burger - The Game [Free]. (Although his most popular title is likely Zip Zap [$1.99].) Verticow is an odd combination of the joint mechanic in Zip Zap and the flipping elements of the previous titles...

'Sonic Mania' First Impressions - The True 'Sonic 4' Has Arrived, and I'm Begging You Sega, I Need It On Mobile

In July of last year, we posted the debut trailer for Sonic Mania, a brand new game in the Sonic franchise that was a throwback to the speedy blue mascot's glory days of the 16-bit era. While the game wasn't officially announced for mobile, there were a couple of reasons I wanted to share that trailer with our audience. First, I'm a huge Sonic fan and simply wanted to make sure other huge Sonic fans saw the news. Second was that it felt like the fitting next chapter to a saga that really began on mobile in the first place. Heading up the Sonic Mania development was Christian Whitehead, a long-time Sonic fan and prominent member of the Sonic fan community who really became known outside of those circles when he unveiled a prototype for a mobile remastering of Sonic CD way back in July of 2009...

SDCC 2017 - 'The Walking Dead: March to War' Is Coming Along Nicely

This past weekend I was at San Diego Comic-Con 2017 (which was both great and so tiring), and I got to check out Disruptor Beam's upcoming The Walking Dead: March to War. Kristen Halloran, Producer at Disruptor Beam, and Mike Leoncavallo, Senior Game Designer of March to War, talked to me about their plans for the game and showed off various parts of the game. First of all, I have to say that the game has one of the most gorgeous maps I've seen on games of this genre. As you can see from the trailer below, the developers went with a map that fits perfectly with the comic book art and should make playing the game more visually rewarding...

A new game from the developers of Puzzle Forge 2 [Free] hit the App Store this morning, and it has so thoroughly knocked my socks off I had to peel myself away from playing to write something about it. Ever since I got totally sucked into Civilization VI on my PC, I've been looking for something similar to play on my iPhone. There's games like Civilization Revolution 2 [$9.99] and other similar titles, but they never really clicked with me for one reason another. A Planet of Mine [Free] is pushing all of my buttons...

After teasing something called "Sega Forever" this entire month, today Sega finally unveiled what the heck this thing is: Sega Forever is a new initiative to bring classic Sega titles to mobile devices, and the first batch of 5 games has just launched in the App Store today. On the surface, Sega Forever sounds great. The selection of games can come from any of Sega's game consoles from the past, meaning everything from the Sega Master System right up through the Sega Dreamcast. The games are released for free and supported with ads, but a one-time IAP may be purchased to disable those ads as well as provide offline saving. Finally, and perhaps best of all, is that all Sega Forever games will support MFi controllers, so those that own a physical controller can play these games the way they were originally designed, with physical buttons. ..

'Brawl Stars' First Impressions - Move Over, 'Clash Royale'

I think we're getting to the point where it's very fair to ask just what Supercell CEO Ilkka Paananen gave the devil in return for the deal which (apparently) makes it totally impossible for them to release a bad game. Clash of Clans [Free] has been killing it for years now, Boom Beach [Free] is a great spinoff, Hay Day [Free] is the best farming game on the App Store, and the success of Clash Royale [Free] has caused practically every iOS developer to riff on it in one way or another with their own games. I know free to play haters love to bag on Supercell, but you've got to hand it to them, they consistently pump out incredibly well-made games which all seem to become automatic hits. Early this morning, Brawl Stars soft launched in Canada, and I wish I could say I was surprised that the game is awesome...

Back in early March, Capcom Mobile announced that they'd be bringing four of their classic arcade games to the App Store in special mobile versions: 1942, Commando, Ghosts'n Goblins, and Ghouls'n Ghosts. The following week they followed through with that promise as 1942 Mobile [$1.99] hit the App Store. Then the following week Ghosts'n Goblins Mobile [$1.99] hit, and the week after that Wolf of the Battlefield: Commando Mobile [$1.99] hit. Which pretty much ensured that the next week Ghouls'n Ghosts would arrive, except… it didn't. Was there an error in their original announcement? Was it supposed to be just the original game releasing and not its superior sequel? The answer is no, as today Ghouls'n Ghosts Mobile [$1.99] has finally arrived in the App Store. ..

Among the many strange things about the App Store is how many games we see released on a weekly basis that have a concept that's so absurd it's like something your super-baked friend mumbles with an aimless, glassy-eyed stare. In this particular instance, what was uttered would have been something along the lines of "What if we make a three lane runner but instead of playing as a humanoid character you play as a roll of tape and instead of running along platforms you're taping up boxes." It'd likely be followed by someone else in a similar mental state saying, "Whoa, dude, and what if like, there were tons of different rolls of tape you can play as including a roll of bacon tape?"..

'MouseBot: Escape from CatLab' is Vector Unit's Cat-Filled Next Game

Vector Unit is trying something new for the studio. They've been known for their racing games, including Beach Buggy Racing [Free] and Riptide GP: Renegade [$2.99]. MouseBot: Escape from CatLab is somewhat familiar, as 'driving' still plays a role in the game, but this isn't a racer. Instead, Vector Unit is trying to tackle a sort of challenging trial platformer. You control the eponymous MouseBot, a robotic mouse that's being experimented on by cat scientists. They're cute, but they're here to run their experiments for some evil mad cat scientist. As MouseBot, you have to make it through their increasingly-hazardous tricks and traps. Get a first look at a new trailer for the game:..

Last week Capcom announced a handful of new mobile ports of their classic arcade franchises, and today one of those has gone live. 1942 Mobile [$1.99] is a touchscreen-centric port of the 1984 arcade shoot 'em up which many consider the godfather of vertical scrolling shooters. Following Capcom's fairly disastrous ports of the 8-bit Mega Man games, it's understandable one might be wary of the quality of 1942 Mobile. Well, I'm happy to report that it's… actually pretty good? The game runs smoothly and seems authentic to the arcade original, and the simple fact that it's a shooter that can be controlled with one thumb as opposed to Mega Man which requires plenty of precision button inputs makes 1942 a game that would be hard to screw up on the touchscreen. Hard, but not impossible. ..

Hands-on with NimbleBit's 'Bit City' - Building a Town One Click at Time

Recently, the developers over at NimbleBit allowed folks to check out a Release Candidate version of their newest game, Bit City. I was afforded the opportunity to download a copy of the near finished title, scheduled for release next month, and see what exactly the house behind freemium hits like Tiny Tower, Pocket Trains and Capitals (among many others) has been working on. Suffice to say, like many of its previous titles, I have no doubt that Bit City has the formula necessary to capture the attention of a wide variety of gamers with a basic, yet enjoyable freemium experience...

'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...

When it was announced that the iPhone 7 wasn't going to have a headphone jack, I honestly didn't think it was that big of a deal. Incorrect. It has turned out to be a significant pain in the butt using some of my "old" accessories. The sleep headphones I use nightly now require a dongle to be plugged in, and I use a second $40 dongle to charge while listening. It's an absurd setup, for sure, but the cool part of this new wholly wireless future Apple is trying to get us on is there have been some really neat (and really expensive) headphones released. I've got a pair of Beats Solo 3's which look and sound just like my old Beats, but have a battery in them that last so long I find myself charging them every week or two more because I feel like I should rather than because I need to. The magic of the Solo 3's is Apple's new W1 chip, which also is the star of the show in the Apple AirPods which just arrived via FedEx at my house about an hour ago...

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