Category Archives: First Impressions

'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 [$0.99]. 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...

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 [], 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...

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