Category Archives: First Impressions

iPhone 7 First Impressions: Another Yearly iPhone Release, Another Set of Incremental Improvements

Something I've spent a lot of time thinking about since the iPhone 7 reveal keynote is how difficult is it to write about these new hardware releases year over year, or get that excited for them anymore. I was one of the idiots standing in line for the original iPhone, and at the time, this (now infamous) quote from Steve Ballmer about it being "the most expensive phone in the world" was totally true-..

At this stage in the App Store, I feel like I've played practically ever iteration of zombie games. I mean, we've done everything from shoot zombies from an AC-130 in Zombie Gunship [Free] to, well, making zombies pizza in Zombie Pizza [$0.99]. The just-released Zombie Town Story [Free] has you surviving in a zombie apocalypse in a way you might not have done before. (Or maybe you have, as mentioned, there's a zillion zombie games.) ...But, hey, it seems new to me!..




'PlayCast' First Impressions: PS4 Games on iOS, Just Keep Your Expectations Realistic

Earlier today we posted about PlayCast [$9.99], a third party utility that had been just released on the App Store. It advertises the ability to play PS4 games on iOS devices via the same Remote Play functionality that allows you to play PS4 games on the Vita. After waiting what felt like forever for my PS4 to update itself (I don't even remember the last time I turned it on), and the same simple setup process that the PS Vita goes through to link it to the PS4 I was... well, playing Rocket League on my phone. Or, more accurately, trying to play Rocket League...

'Super Stickman Golf 3' Hands-on Preview: A New Spin on Things

Noodlecake just launched the Super Stickman Golf 3 beta, and if you didn't sign up, then you might be wondering what's up with this game. I've gotten to play the game – about a month or so ahead of release – and what I'm seeing is a game that is familiar, but with some small changes that will otherwise have a big impact. That big impact on Super Stickman Golf 3 is the spin feature. ..

I get pitched a whoooolllleeee lot of iOS games on Twitter and while I make an effort to try out most of them, with it being nearly eight years into the life of the App Store, it's sort of rare to see games that make me think "Oh dang, this is super clever." This was the case this morning when developer Stephen Coyle tweeted me the link to his first iOS game, Tapt [Free]. The easiest way to describe it is if you took the idea of a rhythm game, and stripped it down to its absolute most basic. While totally blown out rhythm games like Voez [Free] will have you tapping, swiping, and doing all sorts of other stuff to effectively play along with whatever song is being played, Tapt just asks you to tap out the actual beat of the song...

Veterans of the App Store will know that while there's a zillion match threes and Clash of Clans clones out there, there's also seemingly just as many totally crazy games that leave you scratching your head and saying to yourself, "Why does this exist." Much more rare, is when you download one of these games, then find yourself asking, "Why is this so fun?" Such is the case with the recently released Extreme Forklifting 2 [Free]...

Nintendo's first iOS app, Miitomo, has finally launched in Japan, alongside Nintendo's new rewards program, My Nintendo. The two are, as expected, linked in a lot of ways. Playing Miitomo earns you points that you can exchange on My Nintendo for discounts on games, console themes, and other digital rewards. Among those rewards are special tickets and outfits you can use in Miitomo. Since a lot of the digital rewards are nice treats for their console and handheld players, there's a real incentive here to play with Miitomo whether you're interested in it specifically or not...

After a Few Hours With the Soft-Launched 'Plants Vs Zombies Heroes', I Like What I'm Seeing

I have to be honest here; a CCG-version of Plants Vs Zombies didn't initially catch my attention because with Hearthstone dominating my CCG playtime, I wasn't really sure the soft-launched Plants Vs Zombies Heroes could really offer anything beyond the fun aspect of the art. Well, after playing the game for a few hours - including one hour on our Mobcrush channel - I'm glad to say I was wrong. The game is more fun than I expected it to be, has plenty of strategic depth, and is distinct enough from Hearthstone to avoid direct competition. Add to that the fun that the theme offers - which really goes a long way towards cleansing our palate from all the fantasy art - and I think it's fair to say that PvZ Heroes should be a winner once it comes out of soft launch...

Blizzard Announces Next 'Hearthstone' Expansion: 'Whispers of the Old Gods'

Earlier today at the Americas Winter Championship Blizzard took the wraps off of their latest Hearthstone [Free] expansion, which looks to take the game in a much different direction than the last few expansions both from a gameplay and thematic standpoint. Focusing on the old C’Thun, Y’Shaarj, Yogg-Saron, N’Zoth, from a thematic standpoint Whispers of the Old Gods decidedly takes a much more darker approach than the League of Explorers Adventure or its last expansion, The Grand Tournament. The backstory for the expansion has the old gods warping and twisting the inhabitants of Azeroth (which is typically the only way they can typically influence the world, if you follow Warcraft lore)...

Friends, when it RPG rains, it RPG pours, and we're all soaking wet after the last few weeks. With the release of Adventures Of Mana [$13.99] last week and Ys Chronicles 2 [$4.99] this week, you'd think we might be able to catch a breather somewhere in between, but no, Square Enix went and dropped an 800-lb gorilla, on a Tuesday of all days, right in the middle of things. While we knew Final Fantasy 9 [$20.99] was close to release, I'm not sure anyone expected it so soon after a major release like Adventures Of Mana, but there you have it. Now, since this was as much a surprise for us here at TouchArcade as it was for all of you, it's going to take a few days to put a proper review together, so we've got some early impressions to tide you over until then...

'Space Grunts' Hands-On Preview: How to Make a Turn-Based Action Game Work

Space Grunts is basically what happens when the fast-paced action-roguelike gets shifted into a turn-based game. It's got all the hallmarks of similar games, where resource management and survival are key, with plenty of randomized elements; the hook instead is that every step you take and action you make is set to a turn-based system on a grid. While the game has largely been in development on desktop, don't fret, mobile gamers: the game is coming to mobile and I've gotten to go hands-on with an advance build of the game ahead of its early 2016 release...

I picked up an iPad Pro from my local Apple Store this morning, which was largely uneventful aside from the bafflingly inefficient system they had of retrieving web orders. But, hey, it wouldn't be an Apple product launch without some kind of weirdness, right? If you too go to an Apple Store today, even just to look, you'll see a load of iPad Pro's on display. I'm not sure how anyone can walk away with a first impression that's any different from, "Wow, this is comically large." Unboxing my iPad Pro and getting it in my hands for the first time brought all the memories of the original Xbox rushing back, as everything about that console (particularly the launch day unit) from the size of the Xbox itself to how huge the controller is just felt absurdly huge. In the case of the iPad Pro, that's the whole point though, isn't it? Hell, the iPad Pro is so big it makes my proper MacBook feel small in comparison...

New Apple TV First Impressions: A Discoverability Nightmare, Zany Controls, and Loads of Potential

I unboxed my Apple TV a little over an hour ago, and my initial impressions of the device are incredibly mixed. I'm happy that I got a lot of my predictions right when I posted about the Nvidia Shield, but at the same time, that isn't a great thing. The Apple TV is going to have a long way to go before it's a serious contender in the gaming space, as crazy controls and a baffling lack of discoverability are holding it back. Of course, there's loads of potential here, but, will Apple realize that potential?..

Earlier this week, the United States Copyright Office released its latest round of exemptions to the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. While a lot of them were renewals, such as the iPhone jailbreaking exemption were renewed, there were a few new exemptions that were added to the mix that specifically deal with how owners of certain video games can interact with and circumvent copy protection software. However, before we get to the explicit exemptions that have been added, it’s probably a good idea to provide a brief background on the act itself and why these exemptions are required...

iPhone 6S First Impressions: 3D Touch Is Going to Be a Big Deal.

It's iPhone launch day, and by now, if you're a die-hard day-zero purchasing Apple fanatic chances are you're already in the process of setting up your new iPhone 6S... Or you're stuck still waiting for the UPS driver to show up. The outlets blessed with pre-release units already have their reviews up, but for plebs like me that have to wait in line like everyone else, this is my first experience with the iPhone 6S. Obviously, by now, Apple has iterated the iPhone hardware so many times that they're not going to release a bad phone. Similarly unsurprisingly, I've got nothing but good things to say about it...

Hands-On With 'ReRunners' For Some Multiplayer Platforming Fun

A couple of months ago I wrote a story about ReRunners, an upcoming platformer for both iPad and iPhone by Klang Games, that sounded like an interesting take on platformers. The game set out to be a multiplayer platformer where you compete with the ghosts of other players, in a way similar to the multiplayer part of racing games like Real Racing 3 where you race consecutively rather than simultaneously. Recently, I got a chance to actually play ReRunners (I streamed part of my time with the game on our channel on Mobcrush), and I think the developers' idea of turning a platformer into a competitive multiplayer experience works really well...

'Final Fantasy VII' for iPhone and iPad First Impressions: It's About What You'd Expect

I'm roughly 90 minutes into Final Fantasy VII so far, and I streamed my whole play session over on our Mobcrush channel. Here's part one and part two, a small WiFi SNAFU broke the stream about half way through. Anyway, I guess the supreme tl;dr of my first impressions of FF7 is this is the port you'd expect, and I mean that in both a good and bad way. It appears to be a port of the PC version of the game, which means the graphics are ever-so-slightly better than the original PlayStation version, and on my iPad Air 2 it runs flawlessly. As far as thoroughly stoking the coals of fiery nostalgia for this epic RPG, this port will definitely do the trick, and all the more janky aspects likely won't come as much of a surprise if you've played any of the iOS Final Fantasy ports released on the App Store so far...

'Pac Man 256' Preview: An Easy Pill to Swallow

Saturday night Carter and I had a pretty awesome time hosting a stream where devs of the yet to be released Pac Man 256 came and chilled out with us for a while. Not only did we get some great footage out for this highly anticipated game, but we also got some juicy tidbits from the devs regarding what lay in store for Pac Man fans in the iOS landscape...

'Pocket God vs Desert Ashes' Preview: A Cross Up That's a Little Mixed Up

Long before the term SRPG was coined, Turn based tactical games have enchanted and entralled audiences. For those of us that gravitate to those wonderful grids and top down views, there have been many games over the years have influenced and informed what this genre is capable of. The most recent tactical game I have had a chance to play, Pocket God vs Desert Ashes , is an upcoming game I've had the good fortune to play in advance of it's release on wednesday of this week. ..

Ever since it released worldwide last week, CROOZ’s Card King: Dragon Wars [Free] has been gaining a lot of traction in our forums, so a few days ago I decided to dive in and see what all the hullabaloo was. At first glance it looks like a Hearthstone [Free] clone, with a similar fantasy theme and great production values. It’s actually quite a bit different, though, but not always for the better (depending on how you feel about free-to-play junk)...

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