Category Archives: Game Center

Thomas Jansson doesn't believe in the saying "If it ain't broke, don't fix it" philosophy, clearly. His game Wave Wave [$2.99] has gotten a complete makeover in style and structure this week, with a 2.0 update that changes just about everything but the very core of the gameplay. The immediate change is the visual style, going from a contrasting black-white with triangular visuals to one that is based around specific colors, with text that's got very chunky pixels. The original version borrowed a lot with its menus from Super Hexagon [$2.99] – while an update changed things, this is definitely a step forward and a step back in regards to Wave Wave's relation with Super Hexagon...

For far too long, Surgeon Simulator [$5.99] fans who have wanted to play the game on the go have had to deal with the tyranny of playing on the iPad, and not on their phones. Well no more must you iPhone owners who want to transplant alien organs while sitting on the bus have to suffer! Bossa Studios has today made Surgeon Simulator universal, adding iPhone support to the previous iPad exclusive app. Certainly, any game going universal is a welcome sight, but given how this game is really based on precise actions, this might be better on bigger screens. ..

Let's be frank, video games based on team sports aren't known for revolutions between updates. That reputation was mostly earned by them being among the first types of games to adopt a yearly release schedule. As it turns out, games take a lot of work to make, and if you're committed to meeting a particular date every year, there's only so much you can risk upheaving. Given this long-held tradition in the genre, I almost instinctively wasn't surprised to find that NHL 2K [$7.99] is, shall we say, a modest step forward from the last hockey game 2K released on iOS. Shaking away that initial gut reaction, I then remember that this isn't a yearly update, and it has in fact been over four years since NHL 2K11, and in that context, it's almost embarrassing how little has been done here. If you're looking for a decent hockey game and you don't have NHL 2K11, it's easy enough to recommend NHL 2K. It's competent, and there's honestly little competition even across the entire handheld spectrum. If you do have 2K11, the question of whether it's worth it gets a bit trickier...

If you loved Final Fantasy Tactics [$13.99 / $15.99 (HD)] but thought it would be better if all of the characters were anime girls, then Japanese indie SRPG Rime Berta [$4.99] may have caught your eye. It's a clear tip of the hat to games like the aforementioned, and in a lot of ways does a very competent job of aping its overall presentation and many of its systems. It's a bit lean on content, which is perhaps understandable given the size of the developer, but its biggest failings are in the fundamentals. It's a serious problem when there are quite a few excellent strategy RPGs on the App Store that, even if nothing else, manage to nail those aspects. In the end, Rime Berta is all dressed up with no place to go...

'Super Glyph Quest' Review - Bigger And Better Than Before

Earlier this year, a cute little puzzle RPG named Glyph Quest [Free] was released. It was one of those games that was pretty hard to put down until it was finished, but it was unfortunately also one of those games that finished a bit too quickly. The game used the shareware-style model of being free to download and play up until a certain level, at which point you could pay to unlock the rest of the game. That's a great way to do things, but it hid one of the game's most interesting gameplay features behind that paywall, so I think a lot of people ended up sleeping on it. Well, the developer's back to take another kick at the can with Super Glyph Quest [$2.99], a sort of-sequel that keeps the same great core of the original while simultaneously attempting to address most of its faults. Depending on what your particular issues were with the first game, there's a good chance you'll find this version of the game to be good enough to kick the original off of your device for good...

Last week we told you that Herocraft's tactical turn-based strategy game set in the Warhammer universe would be launching worldwide on October 28th. And do you know what today is? The 28th! Warhammer 40,000: Space Wolf [Free] is now officially available. Space Wolf is a turn-based strategy game with a heavy card element, but this isn't some card battler. People have likened it to the Metal Gear Ac!d series on the PSP, which is basically all I need to hear to download and check it out...

'Ghost Blade' Review - Something Wicked This Way Comes

If you asked me a couple of months ago to make a list of game types that were highly unlikely to ever be realized in a satisfying way on a touchscreen, I can guarantee that stylish action games would be on the short list. The sub-genre launched when wunderkind director Hideki Kamiya sat down to make another Resident Evil game, decided that it would be more fun if every attack felt as good as doing a headshot with a shotgun, and ended up creating Devil May Cry. One game does not a sub-genre make, but once Tomonobu Itagaki created his masterpiece re-imagining of Ninja Gaiden, we were off to the races. It's not the most prolific genre, probably because it's so hard to do right, but it's seen its share of hits including the mainstream-friendly God of War series, the campy and cool Bayonetta, and the amazing parry-focused Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance. These games are usually characterized by their highly-technical, deep combat, where players are graded according to how well they can dance to the game's beat. This usually involves a lot of different buttons, and we all know how well that usually works out on a touchscreen...

If you're looking for a turn-based strategy game or three to check out this weekend, I have good news: Rubicon Development's Great War Game series is free all weekend. This includes Great Little War Game HD [$1.99] which is universal and free, its massive follow-up Great Big War Game [$2.99], and Great Little War Game 2 [$2.99] which features portrait play, perfect if you need something for on the go. ..

Long-time TA'ers may remember a segment we used to do on our podcast called Jared's Kitty Korner, where each week we highlighted the cream of the crop in the world of cat games. We've since retired the segment, but every once in a while some hot cat game news pops up and it's time to briefly revisit the Korner. Today, that hot cat game news is that Rusty Moyher's Box Cat [$1.99] has received a much-needed update adding widescreen and iOS 8 support, as well as Retina graphics on the iPad...

'Skater' Review - Two Shoes and a Board

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October 24th, 2014 4:00 PM EDT by Chris Carter in $4.99, 3.5 stars, Game Center, Games, iPhone games, Reviews, Simulation, Sports
$4.99 Buy Now

Skating games were my life for months at a time. Whether it was the next Tony Hawk iteration or EA's SKATE, every time a shiny new skating title would hit my doorstep, I'd be engrossed in that world for weeks on end. I wasn't the best skater in the real world, but digitally I was a pro, ready to ride with the best of them. That feeling has been missing for quite a while now after both franchises have been put on hold, but Skater [$4.99] for iOS recreates some of that magic on the go...

Remedy Entertainment, known for making games like Alan Wake, the original Max Payne [$2.99] and the original Death Rally [$0.99], have just released their first mobile-exclusive game, Agents of Storm [Free] to the App Store. This is a take on the free-to-play base builder formula, but with a singleplayer focus: players build out a base with defenses and units, going out on missions with their units, as their units automatically attack, with the goal being to destroy the enemy base in each level. There are social hooks to get assistance from friends and compete to have the biggest and best base, but if you're the anti-social type, this may be for you, though this is a free-to-play game and requires online connectivity...

'Pixel Boat Rush' Review - Everybody Do The Wave

I've often felt that the genre that perhaps benefited the most from the jump from 2D to 3D was racing. Really thinking about it, racing is one of the genres that begged the most for polygons, having already spent years working in pseudo-3D with scaling sprites and optical tricks. Hardware that couldn't manage said tricks tended to have racers that skewed the perspective to at least offer some sort of visual depth. Racers that opted for a strict, flat side-view to the action were historically pretty rare outside of obstacle course time-attacks like Motocross Maniacs. There are lots of reasons as to why that was likely the case, but it mostly comes down to the simple idea that it's hard to express the excitement of racing from that point of view. If there is no depth, there's no passing, no hairpin turns, no drafting, and collisions become hard to sort out. You have to find other ways to bring the beautiful tension that makes racing so compelling, and that's just what Pixel Boat Rush [$1.99] sets out to do...

Square Enix's excellent Hitman-themed puzzle strategy game Hitman GO [$4.99] has just been updated with a new classic level pack and iCloud integration, and it's on sale again for just $1.99. The new chapter of levels is called "St. Petersburg Stakeout" and is based off of the same level from the 2002 console game Hitman 2: Silent Assassin. The new pack contains 8 levels, and if you remember that St. Petersburg Stakeout level from Hitman 2, you'll definitely recognize it here too...

Ahoy hoy retro RPG enthusiasts, here's some very welcoming news: Square Enix has just updated their iOS port of Final Fantasy V [$15.99] with iCloud save syncing and MFi game controller support. As the update descriptions says, "Game data saved with iCloud can now be shared across devices! At home or away, on your iPhone or iPad, pick the play style that's best for you." Neat! The update description also mentions now supporting the Logitech PowerShell Controller specifically, but as was the case with a similar update to Final Fantasy VI, the game does indeed work with a Steel Series Stratus and I'd imagine all the other MFi controllers as well...

As fans of Pixbits' Junk Jack X [$4.99] are well aware, the developers of the 2D crafting adventure game are always on top of holiday-themed and seasonal content updates. With Halloween approaching at the end of this month, Pixbits has pushed out their latest update for Junk Jack X, and it's stuffed like a scarecrow with all sorts of spooky new goodies. There's a new Halloween biome, new mobs like a Zombie Witch and Black Cat, spiders that will drop from trees (yuck), new Halloween cooking recipes, and lots more...

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