Category Archives: First Impressions

Threes! [$2.99] hit the App Store in early 2014 and was met with universal critical acclaim. (We loved it in our review.) About a month later, Ketchapp released 2048 [Free] and the rest is history. 2048 massively surged in popularity because it was way easier than Threes! and, well, it was free. The unbelievable success of 2048 caused two things to happen: Everyone and their third cousin twice removed released their own 2048 clone which then resulted in everyone who covers video games on any level setting up email filters to automatically delete any email with "2048" in it. Anyone who was a mobile gamer in 2014 undoubtedly remembers how bad it got. Everything was either Flappy or 2048, and most, if not all of these games were just objectively bad...

Along with tonight's absolute onslaught of new iOS game releases was a pleasant surprise: An iOS port of Oddworld: New 'n' Tasty [$7.99]. Originally released on the PlayStation 4 in the summer of 2014, it seemed like New 'n' Tasty flew under the radar for whatever reason. It was a total rework of the Playstation classic Oddworld: Abe's Oddysee, which when released all the way back in 1997 was in the running for numerous game of the year awards. Other entries in the Oddworld universe include the sequel, Oddworld: Abe's Exoddus which improved upon the original in a number of interesting ways, and Oddworld: Munch's Oddysee. I never played Munch's Oddysee as it was released as a launch title on the original Xbox, which was a platform I got in on kind of late, missing most of the early games...




Getting Over It With Bennett Foddy [$4.99] is one of those games where you'll want to tie your phone to your wrist because chances are you'll be flinging it across the room multiple times. I've been playing around with the game since it came out yesterday, and it's perfect on mobile but still hugely frustrating; and yet that's part of its charm. As we wrote about yesterday, Getting Over It is the new game from QWOP [$0.99] developer, and it's made its way to mobile with the help of Zach Gage, the developer of games like Flipflop Solitaire. The gameplay is pretty simple: you have to swing your way to the top of this enormous mountain filled with all kinds of obstacles. Climbing is tricky though when all you have to work with is a huge hammer. Add to that how half of your body is for some reason stuck in a cauldron, and you're in for a huge challenge...

BlizzCon 2017 Recap: Back to Basics

November 6th, 2017 10:49 AM EST by Eric Ford in First Impressions, News

While the majority of our coverage thus far at BlizzCon has centered around the Hearthstone [FreeKobolds and Caverns Expansion, as well as the pretty awesome new single player Dungeon Run mode that will debut with the expansion, there were plenty of other interesting things that were announced during the opening ceremony and subsequent panels. Stay awhile and listen as we provide a quick summary as to what else is happening in the world of Blizzard...

'Animal Crossing Pocket Camp' First Impressions: A Faithful Pint-Sized Version of a Nintendo Classic

As we mentioned this morning, Animal Crossing Pocket Camp is now available on the Australian App Store (and Google Play). If you're willing to jump through a few hoops to get an Australian iTunes account, you can very easily download the game and start playing right now. There's one tiny caveat: The extent of Nintendo region locking this soft launch is limited to making sure your Nintendo account country is Australia. This is super-simple to change, you just log into My Nintendo, edit your profile, and you'll be ready to rock. (It seems like once you're set up you can switch it back to the USA without issue too.) After those few minor speed bumps I was on my way in Animal Crossing Pocket Camp, which has turned out to be a surprisingly competent miniature version of Animal Crossing with seemingly minor (and largely expected) freemium trimmings attached to it...

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?"..

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