Category Archives: Game Center

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...

Wow. Talk about an iOS dynasty. It's been five long years since Miniclip.com published the port of the original Fragger [$0.99] to the App Store. All this time later, Harold Brenes, the original creator of Fragger is back with a long, long awaited sequel, Fragger 2 [$1.99]. I mean, 5 years? That's ancient history in mobile gaming. Not quite 'cradle of life,' 'dawn of man' ancient, but still pretty darn old. Ancient Greece, maybe. Anyway, was the wait worth it? Did anyone really want this sequel?..

When about a month ago I decided to preview Soulspark - Battle Cards [Free], a new F2P real-time card battling game by Copenhagen Creators and Wizkids, I did so because I always look for games by designers who are trying to innovate or, at least, spice up genre conventions. I was very interested in the way SoulSpark's developers wanted to infuse card-battlers - which are usually defined by slow deliberation - with the element of timing and rapid decision-making. I was especially excited about the prospect of a multiplayer component in the game, which the developers have said they are working on for a future update. Now that I've spent more time with the game, I'm still loving the concept behind the game as well as the visuals, but there are some questionable, yet not game-breaking, design choices that detract from the experience as well as some hard paywalls that make SoulSpark more of a free-to-try rather than a free-to-play game...

Kixeye'sVEGA Conflict [Free] has been out for some time on Android and desktop. If you aren't familiar with this Facebook integrated game, think Clash of Clans with space ships and a much more interesting combat system. The IAP is real, The in-game timers are real, but this is still a hot game. What I have been wondering though is how much gameplay is lost in translation to iOS. VEGA is not your typical Facebook game. Sure you have to sit around and wait on timers and micro manage your space town. The town, to me, isn't really where the game takes place. It's kind of more like an extended UI for the best part of the game, the combat. You get to outfit and pilot a fleet of ships with a very simple interface that has some surprising depth and a high level of skill needed to master. ..

'Wedding Escape' Review - 'Til Match-Three Do We Part

I think that when the world ends and cockroaches roam the Earth in search of Twinkies, there will still be working match-three devices out there. People just can't get enough of the match-three puzzle subgenre (myself included), and even after playing hundreds of them, Wedding Escape [Free] still feels fairly fresh...

'Trulon' Review - Right On, Trulon

Like everyone, I have my own set of personal biases and preferences that I have to work around. I love RPGs, but after years of social games and broken hearts I've come to flinch when I hear anything about a card battle system. I like card games well enough, but when they're used as an RPG concept, they tend to overtake the whole game. That's not to say I've never enjoyed an RPG with a card-based battle system. The Baten Kaitos games on the Gamecube were pretty good, and I certainly enjoyed the somewhat recent Card City Nights [$1.99] from Ludosity. But I'm not going to lie, it dampens my enthusiasm for a game just a little bit when I hear that cards are a major component. Because of that, even though Trulon [$4.99] was coming from a developer whose work I've greatly enjoyed in the past, I was still a bit hesitant as I loaded it up...

Freebie Alert: '2-bit Cowboy' Goes Free for the First Time to Celebrate its One-Year Anniversary

It's hard to believe, but it's already been an entire year since Crescent Moon and Cascadia Games released their monochrome "Westernvania" platformer 2-bit Cowboy [$0.99] on the App Store. But time flies, and in celebration of this momentous anniversary the game has been discounted from its already-paltry price of 99¢ all the way down to free. The clever term of Westernvania is a play on Metroidvania–an action platformer that takes place in one big level map that slowly opens up new areas as new abilities are attained by your character–but, you know, with a Western theme. ..

'Kayos' Review - Star Faux

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$1.99 Buy Now

Over the course of my entire iOS lifetime (which started in 2009), I've probably played a couple hundred runner games. Although I haven't given them an equal time of day, for some reason the genre just doesn't get old, and I can spend at least an afternoon with them as long as they're semi-competent experiences. Kayos [$1.99] is another cool little endless runner based on flight that won't garner your interest long, but enough to make an impact...

Minimalist platformer games have become one of my favorite unlikely genres on mobile devices. Years ago I would have scoffed the idea of running and jumping with precision on a touch-specific control scheme, but at this point, we have MFi controllers and a number of talented developers that make it work regardless. Burn it Down [Free] may not have the former convenience, but it works on multiple levels...

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