Category Archives: Game Center

'Jelly Juggle' Review - Jelly Fish Pong

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March 10th, 2017 11:00 AM EDT by Shaun Musgrave in $1.99, 4 stars, Arcade, Free, Game Center, Games, iPad Games, iPhone games, Reviews
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I've been down the road a couple of times before with games from developer Ian MacLarty, and I feel like I know at least a few things to expect from his work. First, my poor pride is going to take a serious beating. Second, I'm going to keep on playing anyway. That was true for Boson X [$2.99] and Black Hole Joyrider [$0.99], and it's true again for Jelly Juggle [Free]. This one has a cuter, softer, kid-friendlier look to it than MacLarty's last couple of iOS games, but don't be fooled. That smiling, goggle-eyed fish wants only one thing in this world, and that's to make you cry. You might not feel like you need another ultra-tough, one-touch game on your device, but if you've ever enjoyed that sort of thing, I certainly encourage you to give this quirky Pong take-off a try...

The popularity of hero-centric multiplayer has taken gaming by storm over the last few years. Seeded by MOBAs like League of Legends and DotA 2 and spreading to the likes of Overwatch and Battleborn (R.I.P.). These games didn’t invent the concept of course, but it’s certainly become much more trendy. So, what would you say to a simple but deep hero centric turn based strategy game in a unique fantasy setting with day and night cycles during play that can completely change the face of a battlefield? All on mobile? I say heck yes. This is Little Lords of Twilight [Free]...




I’m a simple man. I see vikings, I click download. This has been true for years, and it was true a couple months ago, when Vikings: an Archer’s Journey [$2.99] was in the recommended new games section of the App Store home page. I didn’t opt for a review right away because this game definitely needed some more time in the forge, but a few thousand whacks with the hammer of improvement later and we have a solid bow-and-arrow-centric runner on our hands worth giving a look...

The latest game from Dong Nguyen, the creator of the viral hit sensation Flappy Bird, has just hit the App Store and Google Play. Titled Ninja Spinki Challenges!! [Free], it's sort of a tongue-in-cheek ninja training game. For this game, Nguyen worked with Japanese publisher Obokaidem, a relatively new face best known for games like PICK-XELL [Free] and Green The Planet [Free]. Spinki is Nguyen's first game since 2015's Swing Copters 2 [Free], and his first time working with an outside publisher...

Pleasant is the operative word to describe Dan Fitzgerald and Lisa Bromiel's Dog Sled Saga [$3.99], a charming game about dog sled racing that is more of a simulator than a racer. It came out last fall, but I couldn’t let us get through the winter without giving it a proper look over. Especially since the current build is so much more polished and stable than launch. It’s definitely the strongest game the developers have released thus far and it only makes me look forward to what they comes out with next. So strap your boots on and clean out the kennel. It’s time to crack the whip!..

Cannonfire Concerto [$3.99] is another gamebook release from Choice of Games that offers an unusual premise and excellent world-building. You play as a touring musical virtuoso in a setting that has something of an 18th century European feel. It's a time of momentary peace for the region, but things are starting to fire up again. It's up to you to decide whether or not you want to get involved and which side you'll pull for, but whatever you choose, the show must go on. Written by Caleb Wilson, Cannonfire Concerto is a lighter and faster-paced read than some of the last few ChoiceScript games released, but that doesn't stop it from creating an interesting setting and having a good bit of fun with it...

'Mini Metro' Review - Train Braining

'Mini Metro' Review - Train Braining

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December 30th, 2016 12:30 PM EDT by Shaun Musgrave in $4.99, 5 stars, Arcade, Game Center, iPad Games, iPhone games, Reviews, Simulation
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Continuing our year-end mop-up of games we missed out on reviewing at the time of their release for various reasons, the next requested title by our readers was Mini Metro [$4.99]. I've had an interesting relationship with trains over the course of my life. Passenger trains more or less vanished in the part of Canada I'm from when I was relatively young. Like most places in Canada, my town was far too small to merit a local metro system. I mean, we barely had buses. Thus, I didn't end up riding a train of any sort until I was in my twenties, and I picked a wild place to start. Imagine a small-town bumpkin arriving in Tokyo, Japan, and trying to make sense of the colorful spaghetti that is the Tokyo Metro system. After a while, though, I got the hang of it, and I now consider myself to be pretty good at navigating the sometimes seemingly nonsensical connections from place to place in that city...

'Le Parker: Sous Chef Extraordinaire' Review - Delicious

One of the great things about classics is that they're readily available. While you'd be hard pressed to find a copy of Master Chu and the Drunkard Hu for the NES, a game almost no one has even heard of (myself included, until my wife showed me hers), you can get Mario 3 on your refrigerator and play Doom 2 inside of a keyboard. Sega is particularly giving with their legacy titles in the mobile arena, as is Square Enix, even if the latter charges an arm and a leg for the privilege. But while those games are timeless to some, new blood needs to come in every so often and keep them in check, even if they aren't particularly unique mechanically. Le Parker: Sous Chef Extraordinaire [$1.99] is comprised of a lot of mechanics found in the aforementioned classics, but its presentation of those concepts is effortless...

Nomads going on massive treks across the land with their tribes in tow. A lot of quality entertainment has been mined from that concept, most notably in recent gaming history with The Banner Saga [$9.99]. This time, Choice of Games is taking a crack at it with Saga of the North Wind [$4.99], a relatively lengthy adventure gamebook from writer Tom Knights. It's a good idea for a game like this, and the quality of the prose here is strong, but a few elements keep it from being all that it could have been. If you've got an interest in the topic matter, though, you'll probably find something to like here...

Our culture's fiction has a fascination with werewolves. We've explored what it would be like to be an American werewolf tourist in Europe, what it would be like to have a werewolf Michael J. Fox, what it would be like to have a werewolf boyfriend, what it would be like to have a werewolf boyfriend who competes with our vampire boyfriend but then ends up being the boyfriend of our daughter instead, and so on. But I feel we could be doing a better job of digging into the fascinating subject of what it would be like to have a werewolf member of congress, a niche I was hoping Congresswolf [Free], a recent gamebook release from Choice of Games, would fill...

'Super Cat Tales' Review - Don't Paws, Play This Nya-ow

In spite of the seeming limitation of having no physical buttons by default, iOS has a lot of really great platformers. Some of them get by with virtual controls, putting some of the burden on the player to simply get used to them. That's fine, but unless the game is a port from another platform, I'm not sure if it's really the best way to go. I think some of the best platformers on iOS are the ones that avoid the temptation of using virtual buttons and find a way to build a game around a more fitting setup. Sure, you have to sacrifice some of the conventional ways of designing levels and obstacles, but in doing that, many games find something new and interesting...

'Yankai's Triangle' Review - A Game with Kaleidoscope Eyes

Yankai's Triangle [$2.99] is weird. It seems to have a never-ending number of stages. Sometimes it looks at you. The colors are subdued one level, then shockingly bright the next. The scoring system is hard to make sense of. Everything is a little grainy. The eyes are watching. You might run into an absurdly difficult level followed by an astonishingly simple one immediately after. Before each level there are some symbols that mean something, but it's hard to say what unless you really watch carefully. Sometimes there are teeth. The game also introduces each and every level with a title card saying the level number followed with "by Kenny Sun". Perhaps the weirdest thing of all is that you're not doing much more than spinning triangles around, trying to match colors to make bigger triangles, and yet it's nearly impossible to put down...

It makes perfect sense why publishers would want to milk the legacy of classic games as long as they can. Why wouldn't they? Very often for a lot of these retro releases they've withstood the test of time, being sold to generation upon generation without any sign of stopping. Bandai Namco is the king of that practice, having delivered us hundreds of Pac-Man ports, re-releases, and spinoffs in the past several decades. But what I love more than a port is an original take on a classic formula...

'Mikey Jumps' Review - A Divine Slice of Mike

That Mikey sure gets around. He uses hooks, boots, and even shorts in his previous adventures on iOS. But what if Mikey were to put down his shorts for a minute and just, you know, jump? Alright, all kidding aside, the Mikey games have always been about precise platforming, a gameplay mechanic that usually involves all kinds of jumping. So what is the deal with this new game? Well, I suspect Mikey Jumps [Free] got its name from the fact that you're really only dealing with what would be the jump button in previous games. As it did in those games, it does all sorts of things here, but the key difference between this spin-off and the mainline games it that Mikey automatically runs forward at all times. Your job is to make sure you're hitting that jump button at the right times to keep Mikey (or friends) alive, collect lots of coins, and grab the star at the end of each stage...

This is actually a bit of news I meant to get to last week and didn't have time, but seeing as how unique a game Calculords [Free] is and how log it's been since its last content update, I felt like it was still worth talking about. First off, Calculords is a card-based strategy game which launched back in February of 2014. It had you building up a deck of units and battling against a colorful cast of AI opponents in its campaign, placing your units among 3 lanes on the playfield to battle head to head against your opponents' units. It sounds a bit standard as far as card-battlers go, but what set Calculords apart was its use of math. Yes, math! It's fun! ..

One of the finest crafting/survival/world-building games on the planet is Pixbits' fantastic Junk Jack X [$4.99]. The very first Junk Jack released around this time way back in 2011, but as iOS hardware and software improved and expanded, it led Pixbits to release a greatly enhanced version in August of 2013 which we know as Junk Jack X. As with the first game, the team kept updating and improving Junk Jack X at an almost absurd rate for years, and if you were looking for the most bang for your buck in terms of hours of play then it really fit the bill. Things slowed down a bit though as Pixbits worked on bringing the game to desktop, and the last significant update for the game was in December of last year. Well, Junk Jack X is back with a massive version 3.0 update that pretty much blows anything they've done in the past right out of the water...

Genre mashups always toe a precarious line between providing players with established systems of play while simultaneously turning them upside down by placing them in new environments. If not done well enough, players are left with a completely foreign experience without any familiar gameplay elements to form a grounding experience. In other words, balance is key. The Lost Shield [$1.99], while a relatively basic example of a genre mashup, nevertheless does a decent job achieving that balance. In fact, if not for some more fundamental issues with the game, I’d have no problem heralding it as a rare unqualified success...

About a month ago we posted about how developer Kumobius, who you probably know from such hits as Bean Dreams [$2.99], Duet [$2.99], and Time Surfer [$0.99], were looking for beta testers for their new mobile game project, a platformer of sorts called High Risers. Well apparently the testing period went just fine as just this morning Kumobius pulled the rusty old release lever and High Risers [Free] is now available in the App Store. ..

This past June, a refreshed take on the arcade classic Galaga was soft-launched by Bandai Namco in select countries with surprisingly little fanfare, given how beloved the Galaga series is. In a similarly low-key fashion, that game, called Galaga Wars [Free], has exited its soft-launch period and is now available worldwide. At least I think it's worldwide, I can't go around checking every country or anything you know, but it's definitely out in the US App Store because I just downloaded it! And let me just say that this game is freaking fantastic. The original Galaga is perhaps my favorite classic arcade game, and there's nothing scarier than seeing a company trying to "improve" one of its classic franchises for a modern audience. There's just so much potential to sully the good name of such a beloved game, but that's definitely not the case in Galaga Wars...

Freebie Alert: Fun Castle Defending Game 'Warcher Defenders' Free for Halloween

At the end of May, developer Ogre Pixel released their charming castle defense game Warcher Defenders [$0.99] to the App Store, and if you missed out on it previously at its nearly-free price of 99¢, you can now grab it for all-the-way-free as the game is currently on sale for Halloween. Warcher Defenders has you defending your castle on the left of the screen as all manner of creepy enemies approach from the right. Your initial character is an archer so you'll be firing off arrows to dispatch enemies and there's a few different platforms attached to your castle which you can jump between, as enemies not only attack from the ground but from the air too. As you play you can also buy items from a shopkeep and upgrade your character's abilities, and both the look and the progression of Warcher Defenders reminds me a lot of one of my other all-time favorites, Slayin [$0.99]. That right there should be enough incentive for you to give this one a download...

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