Category Archives: First Impressions

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)...

I've been playing Magic Duels [Free] non-stop since it was released this morning at around 8:00 AM Eastern, and even streamed the game a bit on Mobcrush. Overall, I dig it, but that's coming from a someone who can't get enough Magic the Gathering and has played the game most of his life. I'm the guy who puts up with how remarkably jank Magic Online has been forever simply because I love playing Magic. Maybe I let my imagination run a little too wild following our E3 preview, but instead of releasing something incredibly awesome, Wizards once again didn't go all the way...

While we had heard some rumblings about something cool coming from Bethesda at E3 that would be for mobile, we had no real clue what exactly it would be. Turns out it was a brand new game, and available right away: welcome to Fallout Shelter [Free], a town-builder that lets you build your own underground vault. We're diving into this one, but if you're just waking up and am curious about this one, here's our first impressions of this game: and despite being a town-builder from a AAA publisher, it might not be what you're dreading, it's actually really neat and does monetization in a different way from other games in the genre...

'Hopiko' Hands-On Preview: Live Fast, Die a Lot

Sometimes when you play a game, you just realize that it looks really cool, and like you want to play it. Hopiko from Laser Dog Games, creators of the fun Alone [$1.99], was one of those games that appealed to me right away when they first announced it. I sadly wasn't at the event in the UK where they demoed an early build of the game. But Laser Dog has just started beta testing Hopiko, and they sent along a build. As a games journalist who's self-aware enough to realize that getting to play preview builds of games is a privilige that shouldn't just be dismissed, I dove right into Hopiko. While I have a few concerns about the final product, I must say: this game is as cool as the initial trailer made it seem. I've got some video below of the first few levels. Watch it in sixty frames per second on the YouTube site. Not just because it looks smoother, but this frame rate is central to this game...

'Hyperburner' Hands-On Preview: Gorgeous, But I Just Crashed Again

Hyperburner was the kind of game that I was immediately taken by thanks to its promise of gorgeous worlds and quick-reaction gameplay. Developer Badpotion was gracious enough to send me a pre-release build to try out of Hyperburner, and while I think there's still some work that needs to go into this one, there's definitely a lot of promise for this game as it gets closer to completion. Check out some hands-on footage, including a first glimpse at some of the game's later worlds as they're being developed, below:..

'Demon Hunters: Dungeon of the Hell Dragon' First Impressions - Dungeon Crawling in 3D

Let's see if I can get your attention with two words: Fantasy XCOM. Pretty sure that worked. I've recently been playing Demon Hunters: Dungeon of the Hell Dragon (I know, not the most original title), an upcoming dungeon crawler by Wave Light Games that's gotten people in the forums very excited and for good reason. The developers, who come from a table-top wargamming and strategy-game background,  describe the game as a cross between Warhammer Quest and XCOM, borrowing the dungeon crawling and loot-gathering from Warhammer and the cover and line-of-sight aspects from XCOM. The game is currently in Testflight Beta, and while there's still a lot of work to be done, I like where it's heading...

'Subterfuge' Strategy/Diplomacy Game Preview - Fascinating Machinations of Machines

One of my favorite aspect of strategy games is the clash of wits and the constant attempt to outmaneuver your opponent. Yet, AI opponents never really give me those glorious moments that a strategy board game can, the knowledge that you've just outmaneuvered someone who sees and understands the game in the same way you do but still couldn't figure out the trap you'd been setting the last few turns. So, when I first heard about Subterfuge, a one-week long multiplayer game of strategy and diplomacy currently in alpha developed by a team consisting of Ron Carmel (of World of Goo), Noel Llopis (of Amazing Alex), and artist Shane Nakamura (of Zombie Gunship), my strategy sense started tingling. According to the developers, the game was greatly influenced by Neptune's Pride and Diplomacy, which is music to my ears. After spending about a week with the game, I have to say that I'm really looking forward to the game coming out because Subterfuge really brings diplomacy to the fore and will be a great game to play with friends (as long as you don't mind losing a few of them after you double-cross them for the tenth time)...

'Operation Dracula' Preview - The Most Authentic Bullet Hell Shmup From Outside Japan Yet?

Samurai Games is not from Japan, but if you play their upcoming bullet hell shoot 'em up, Operation Dracula, you might think they are. Developed by a team with the lead developer in Morocco, but others in the US, this game, being published by Crescent Moon Games, could prove to be one of the most accurate representations of the Japanese bullet hell shmup outside of Japan when it eventually releases...

'Heavy Rockets' Preview - He Ain't Heavy, He's My Rocket

Heavy Rockets is a stylish-looking game that intrigued me when I saw the first gameplay footage, and now I've finally gotten my hands on a beta build. It's a game that definitely shows some promise and some variety as both a cave shooter and a racing game. In its current form, it promises to be quite punishing, and requiring a lot of practice to do well at. There may be a few things that need tweaking to make this as fun as possible, but this is pretty interesting so far...

In our last piece about Apple Watch games, we covered the trailblazer developers that debuted games that were either specially designed for Apple’s latest platform or were updates to existing games that played, well, as if they were made for the device. However, there’s a whole other category of apps for the Apple Watch that the company is classifying as Companion Apps which are designed to supplement iOS games that are just too complicated for the little machine. We’ve taken a look at a few of these upgraded apps and our impressions are below...

After an introduction last year, a slow trickle of information and a pre-order period of two weeks, Apple Watch is here at least. If you listen to the ravings on the Internet, I’m apparently one of the lucky few to score an Apple Watch delivery here. For all the other folks celebrating Christmas in April with a Apple’s latest piece of hardware, here are some first impressions of a few of the dozens of games already available for the device...

Hands-On First Impressions of 'Mortal Kombat X' for iOS

Mortal Kombat X [Free] is out right now! While the sudden release means that it's hit or miss whether you can download it or not, I was able to download the game and play through some of it, and am here to give you my first impressions of this hotly-anticipated fighter after about an hour of play...

'Earthcore: Shattered Elements' Preview - "Risking" a Change

Touchscreens and Collectible Card Games (CCGs) have been enjoying a great relationship the last few years with the App Store featuring games like Might and Magic: Duels of Champions, Solforge, Magic: Duels of the Planeswalkers, and the current King of the Mountain, Blizzard's Hearthstone. I've recently been playing a bit of Earthcore: Shattered Elements [Free], a new CCG by Polish Independent Developers Tequila Games currently in soft-launch, and I think it's going to be an intriguing addition to iOS CCGs...

Hands-on with 'Sick Bricks' - A Mobile-First Toy Adventure

iOS was a little late to the game when it came to action-adventure games that featured real-world toys. Disney’s iOS version of Infinity [Free] is restricted to its (admittedly cool) toy box mode while Skylander’s Trap Team [Free (HD)] is the first title on iOS to offer the full console package. While both have enjoyed some success on iOS, they are still ports of console juggernauts. Sick Bricks by toymaker Spin Master looks to change all that with a new universe of animated shorts and miniature toys all grounded in an action-adventure title designed for mobile...

If it ain't broke, don't fix it. That's pretty much the attitude for WWE Immortals [Free], which is out right now, which I got a hands-on demo of recently at NetherRealm Studios out here in Chicago. The Mortal Kombat developer is of course known on mobile for Injustice: Gods Among Us [Free], which has done remarkably well for them and has done a great job at being a fighting game that scaled down to mobile and free-to-play without feeling way too dumbed-down and pay-to-win. And after playing through some of WWE Immortals, it seems as if the strategy was quite simply "Let's do Injustice but with WWE stars" to the point that the game should probably just be called "WWE Injustice."..

'Sproggiwood' Preview - The Roguelike for the Rest of Us

Freehold Games' Sproggiwood is a turn-based roguelike that mobile gamers should anticipate. Where many games in the genre use its conventions to be extremely difficult, Sproggiwood tries to be a lot more forgiving for the person who isn't a die-hard and just wants to enjoy the gameplay of the genre without being punished each time, as the game features persistent equipment upgrades and a world-based structure that encourages shorter play sessions and progression without having to survive intensely-long runs...

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