Category Archives: Game Center

Earlier in the week I stumbled across a very cool looking trailer for a game called Tap Quest. The goal in the game was to defend a tower in the center of the screen from enemies approaching from either side, and you'd do that by simply tapping either side of the screen to perform a dash attack in that direction. It's simple premise, lovely art style and chaotic action really caught my attention. Well, in a nice surprise, Tap Quest: Gate Keeper [Free] moved swiftly through Apple's approval process and is already available on the App Store...

It's been almost a year now since Bandai Namco soft-launched a free to play version of the updated take on their classic Pac-Man franchise Pac-Man Championship Edition DX [$4.99], but at long last the game has finally gone worldwide as of earlier today. What took so long? Well, the version that soft-launched last year was built with all the typical free to play trappings, like in-game currencies and timers, and was met with plenty of criticism from fans, especially those who have enjoyed the various premium Pac-Man Championship games on consoles and even right here on iOS over the years. ..

Illusion Labs is easily one of my very favorite developers, with their trademark colorfully cute 3D visuals and long tradition of taking familiar genres and mixing them up with clever controls and unique gameplay mechanics. Sway [$4.99] was among the first games I ever bought on my iPhone, and I’d argue that Touchgrind Skate 2 [$4.99] is one of the best skateboarding games on any platform. Even their dinky little kart racer Rocket Cars [Free] stole my heart recently, and it’s one of the few free-to-play games that I actually 100%’d...

As the mobile market trends further and further away from classic, no frills, pay-up-front gaming in favor of freemium models, games like The Silver Bullet [$2.99] become an ever increasing rarity. I don't really hate freemium, and there are still plenty of places to find that classic gaming experience. But it would still be nice to see more games like this one, from Korean developer KwangSam Kim and Byulbram studio, supported by the masses. Because man this one is a surprising treat, with awesome gameplay across a fairly lengthy campaign...

SNK has had a large presence on the App Store for a number of years now, mostly thanks to the many excellent touchscreen ports of their legendary fighting games. However, they've put out some original stuff too, like Metal Slug Defense [Free] which takes the Metal Slug characters and puts them into a castle defense game. Or Beast Busters [Free / $0.99], which crosses over the on-rails gallery shooter arcade game of the same name with King of Fighters characters. Another of SNK's original mobile titles is The Rhythm of Fighters [Free], a game that tasks you with keeping the rhythm during classic SNK tunes while a massive cast of fighters duke it out based on your performance. The Rhythm of Fighters was a really novel idea for a game, and it's only barely a year old, but unfortunately SNK is yanking it off the App Store next week...

It released at kind of an oddball time in the week, but we thought board game fans would be excited to know that Days of Wonder has released the digital version of Splendor [$6.99] into the App Store. A couple of weeks back Days of Wonder announced the release date of Splendor on iOS, and our own Tasos Lazarides summarized what the game was all about quite well:..

Is a high level of difficulty a necessary part of a roguelike? It's something I've been thinking about a bit as I've played Alchemic Dungeons [$0.99], the latest from Rogue Ninja [$2.99] developer Q-Cumber Factory. Most genres don't factor challenge into their definitions, but I suppose the roguelike genre isn't like most others. For decades, roguelikes acted something like the horror B-movie of the games industry. There was always a very strong cult following, but outside of certain limited successes in Japan, those outside the circle rarely gave the games much attention. In recent years, things have changed, however, and that has forced a somewhat insular community to reassess exactly what it is that they get out of games using the roguelike descriptor. Alchemic Dungeons checks off all the boxes as a Japanese-style roguelike, but its main gameplay hook gives it a certain fairness that isn't typically present in this genre...

Freebie Alert: 'Card Wars - Adventure Time' Goes Free For The First Time

There sure are a ton of Adventure Time games on the App Store these days. I'm not sure which is the best one, but I've certainly noticed which seems to be the most popular one: Card Wars [$3.99]. Its combination of being a paid app while making use of a stamina meter with timers didn't win it a lot of friends around here, to be sure, but it certainly did well for itself in the App Store. It stuck around in the top ten paid app charts for quite a while and received a bunch of good updates, with the most recent one adding an expansion called Doing It The Card Way, featuring Fiona and Cake, for the price of $2.99. Well, if the price tag on the app was your issue, I've got some good news for you today. For the first time ever, Card Wars - Adventure Time has dropped to the affordable price of $0.00...

For those that dig on swine, bacon seems to have such a magical allure that people will put it on the craziest things just to enjoy it. Bacon’s mysterious power even translates to the video game world, where even a rooster will do everything within its power to save the world’s bacon supply from being abducted by aliens. If the thought of such a ridiculous premise appeals to you, you’ll enjoy The Abduction of Bacon at Dawn, the Chronicles of a Brave Rooster [$2.99]. It not only hits the mark in terms of theme but it’s a fun little platformer in its own right as well...

Arriving a bit later than the week's other new games, Sega and developer Picomy have finally released their gorgeous touchscreen platformer Heroki [$7.99]. I say "finally" because Heroki has been in development since 2010, which might as well be a century in App Store terms. However, after experiencing just the initial intro video and tutorial portion, I can tell this one was worth the wait. You play as Heroki, a young boy with a propeller on his head who has the ability to fly around. In fact, everyone in this world seems to have propellers on their heads. It's just normal for them I guess! ..

One of the finest publishers, curators even, of mobile games has always been [adult swim]. Every game they bring to mobile through their partnerships is either funny, creative, or at least different or interesting in some way. Try Harder[Free] from Glitchnap falls violently and repeatedly in the latter camp. It’s an endless runner, which isn’t exactly a rarity on the App Store, but it’s almost an experimental game. While it isn’t amazing and it isn’t for everyone, it’s definitely interesting, and worth playing for the unique experience. If you enjoy difficult games, this might be your jam...

Foursaken Media's genre mashup Heroes and Castles 2 [$1.99] launched about a month and a half ago, but if you've been unwilling to drop the initial two bucks on the game, or its more recent 99¢ sale price, then Foursaken has you covered with the just-released Heroes and Castles 2 Free [Free]. What's cool is that there are very few compromises between the paid and free versions of Heroes and Castles 2. In the free version, you'll earn slightly less crystals, and heroes are slightly more expensive to unlock. Also, in order to collect dropped loot after a battle you'll need to watch an opt-in video ad. But other than those small changes they're the same exact game content-wise...

There are plenty of things I appreciate about Cartoon Survivor [Free], a new isometric platformer from Australia-based Spunge Games. Most immediately, it has a strong and cohesive visual design, full of bright colors and cute animations. The level designs are clever and packed with secrets to find, some of which may require you to come back with gear you'll earn later in order to get the best time. There are unlockables both of the cosmetic and practical type, giving you something tangible to shoot for as you play through. It also gives you enough levels for free to get a feel for the game before it asks you to pay to unlock the rest, and in an unusual turn, allows you grind up in-game currency and pay that way. You're probably waiting for the other shoe to drop right about now, and it will. But don't worry, it's only a little shoe. A booty, at best...

There simply aren't enough heist games out there. I would have played at least three licensed Oceans 11 games, but the deals involved in a potential project like that would be an impossible task. Alas, there are a few indies here and there that fill that gap, including Monaco: What's Yours is Mine, one of my recent favorites. Robbery Bob 2: Double Trouble [$2.99] is no Monaco, but it's a pretty fun little sneak-fest...

Scrolling through the App Store screenshots, I can see how one might be led to believe the latest Angry Birds game is just another free-to-play match 3 battler. It appears to have all the trimmings and trappings of the popular (if a bit tired) genre: a grid of colorful tiles, characters to collect, loot to be gained, and--of course--multiple timers and currencies, all dressed up in that familiar Angry Birds style. I see how it looks. But you're wrong. Angry Birds Fight! [Free] is actually a bold exploration of the concept of free will in a deterministic universe...

The more I think about it, the more I see similarities between the Apple Watch and 4x4 Jam HD [$0.99] by Invictus Games. Hear me out: They’re both extremely beautiful, if a little clunky. They’re both undeniably fun to play around with, though a bit frustrating at times. But most importantly, in both cases the developers of these two very different products clearly have some cool ideas, and it’s easy to see them transforming them into something truly special with a little more love and a few more updates. Yes, I just compared a state-of-the-art piece of wearable consumer tech to a mobile game that costs a dollar. Deal with it bro...

'Fallout Shelter' Guide – Strategies, Tips and Tricks for the Industrious Post-Apocalypse Vault Overseer

Bethesda came out of the gate swinging at their first ever E3 Conference Sunday night. Among all the hype for Doom, Dishonored 2, and Fallout 4 came a few smaller announcements. One of those announcements was a new Fallout mobile game called Fallout Shelter[Free], a partnership between Bethesda and Behaviour Interactive, and it is just adorable. I mean, in a horribly grim-dark sort of way. Basically it’s a Tiny Tower [Free]style town management game set in the alternate history world of Fallout, and it is just oozing that Fallout style. The main points I’ll be covering are the Basics, Population Control, Baby Making, Caps Acquisition, Room Rushing, and Happiness...

Physics has always been a staple of the App Store. Slingshot Physics, Ragdoll Physics, Skateboard and BMX physics, and so on. Playing a game with finely tuned, consistent physics just feels so right. I don't know why these games are always so popular, but man, are they satisfying. That's how I'd describe Ball King[Free] from developer Qwiboo. Eminently satisfying to play...

'Earthcore: Shattered Elements' Review - A Great and Innovative CCG

When I previewed Tequila Games' Earthcore: Shattered Elements [Free] a bit over a month ago, I talked about how I enjoyed the developers' attempt at making a CCG that moved in a different design direction than the likes of Magic the Gathering and Hearthstone. I liked how they implemented some different ideas that departed from the commonly-used gameplay strategies and tactics while retaining what makes CCGs such an enjoyable genre. Now that I've finally been able to play around with the released version of the game (since it was in soft launch for some time), I'm glad to say that the game meets and exceeds my expectations by providing an intriguing battle system while also offering an abundance of features as well as some of the best, if not the best, multiplayer features I've seen in an iOS CCG. Earthcore's not the perfect game - there are some issues with the menu design and the overall color pallete - but it's pretty close...

I absolutely love how Zen Studios is able to collaborate with so many different companies in order to bring a number of different brands to life in pinball table form. There are of course a multitude of tables based on the Star Wars and Marvel properties, but there's also things like Walking Dead Pinball, which really captured the essence of Telltale's adventure games, and South Park Pinball which feels incredibly authentic to the show. When Zen announced earlier this month that it had partnered with Valve to create a Portal Pinball, I got really excited. Portal is one of my all-time favorite game series, and there's something about a Portal pinball table that just makes sense. Today, we catch our first glimpse at Portal Pinball in action in this brand new trailer...

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