Category Archives: Game Center

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...

RareSloth's fantastic puzzle platformer King Rabbit [Free] received a fairly minor update today, but one that's leading to much bigger and better things. Today's update adds ReplayKit support so you can broadcast your crazy King Rabbit exploits for the world to see. There's also now an in-game diamond counter so it should be easier for you to keep track of finding those tricky hidden diamonds, and in the spirit of Halloween there's now some new skins in the in-game store to decorate your rabbit for the holiday. The bigger news, though, is that the Fire Adventures level pack, which was released as paid DLC in May, is now permanently free for all players. ..

Late last night (in my timezone, anyway) a curious update appeared for Sonic CD [Free] on iOS, the fantastic remastered version that originally released back in December of 2011. The update text was vague, and simply said "Sonic took a trip to the past and decided to change the game's code. That's right, Sonic CD is now FREE!" As someone who has been burned plenty of times in the past by a previously paid game going free, as I'm sure many others have, I was justifiably suspicious of this new update. And after Carter played guinea pig and downloaded the new update it confirmed my fears: Sonic CD was now free to download and ad-supported, with a $1.99 IAP to remove said ads. Normally that wouldn't be a big deal, except that the ads showed up even for previous owners who had already paid for Sonic CD. There are a few different ways to go about switching a paid app to free, but this was not one of them, and the 1.5 Star average rating of the otherwise phenomenal Sonic CD in the App Store showed that...

There simply is no stopping Plague Inc. [$0.99]. Since its debut nearly four and a half years ago, Plague Inc. has received a constant stream of updates which have mutated the game into new forms and spread it to a constantly expanding base of players. It's like a plague! Its latest update has just hit the App Store and it's very fitting for the forthcoming Halloween holiday. The new Shadow Plague is a "sentient, mutagenic pathogen" that "triggers a powerful thirst for blood in its chosen host", basically turning you into a vampire who must feed on humanity to grow into a giant bat capable of setting up lairs and shadow portals. Here is an exclusive look at the giant, vampiric bat in action...

'Eggggg – The Platform Puker' Review – Engrossingly Gross

I’m not going to lie. When you first start this game, it might seem a little grody. You might feel a tiny bit nauseated. But that goes away quickly, and what you’re left with is one of my favorite games of this year. It is a solid platformer first and foremost, drawing on several great inspirations, but it’s also outrageously silly and funny entirely through its world, art style, and sound effects. This is a triumphant tale of allergies, cyborg chickens, your mean Aunt Doris, and eggs. This is Eggggg – The Platform Puker [$3.99]...

Back in August we learned that Vile Monarch and Gambitious Entertainment would be releasing an enhanced version of their clever insult battling gamejam game Oh…Sir! [Free] which they originally released back in December of last year. That game, titled Oh…Sir! The Insult Simulator [$1.99] has just arrived on the App Store. The original game was a same-device multiplayer game where you and a "friend" would take turns piecing together words and phrases in order to create the ultimate insult. This new version is basically the same idea but expanded greatly. There are more characters to play as, more environments to lob your insults in, and of course many more options for piecing together insults. Also, in addition to the original game's local multiplayer, you can also face off against opponents online or against the CPU...

It is borderline absurd how much developer Infinite Dreams has updated their hit shooter Sky Force Reloaded [Free] since its initial launch at the beginning of June. Absurd, I tell you! Just a couple of weeks into its life Sky Force Reloaded received a new ninth level and tournaments; a month later it got a tenth level, a new tournament level, AND a new ship; a couple weeks later it received an eleventh level (phew!); about a month after that it received a twelfth level with LASER RAPTORS; and finally a few weeks back Sky Force Reloaded received its most recent update which added a new Prestige system, technicians, and much more. All of these wonderful additions came AFTER we awarded Sky Force Reloaded 5 stars in our review. So, where do we go from here? Why, Level 13 of course! ..

There's very little that's more satisfying than an easy to grasp game. If it has shooting elements, great, it probably appeals to the little destroyer in us all. That's precisely why so many have flocked to Downwell [$2.99], as it has that "one more run" type of feel combined with a loveable art style and simple control scheme. It's something that you can just pick up and play, preferably on a convenient device like a smartphone, and just go to town with, for minutes or hours at a time. Spingun [Free] might not be as epic as some of those types of games, but it definitely has that feel...

Way back in the spring of 2014 an unassuming little roguelike called Quest of Dungeons [$1.99] released in the App Store. Amongst heavy hitters of the time like Hoplite [$2.99] and Cardinal Quest 2 [Free], Quest of Dungeon's only knock was that it perhaps played things a little to safely in terms of the roguelike genre. That wasn't necessarily a bad thing though if you wanted a solidly built little dungeon crawler, and Quest of Dungeons has won over many fans over the years. This week, developer David Amador has released the biggest update to the game yet, adding in an entire new chapter via IAP titled Revenge of the Jelly King which adds a new NecroDancer class in a nod to the fabulous rhythm roguelike Crypt of the NecroDancer [$4.99], a new dungeon called Rackan, and a new Custom game mode. Not to mention the novel's worth of much-appreciated tweaks, fixes, and new features...

'Pumped BMX 3' Review - A Successful 360 Spin

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October 13th, 2016 11:05 AM EST by Shaun Musgrave in $3.99, 4 stars, Arcade, Game Center, iPad Games, iPhone games, Reviews, Sports
$3.99 Buy Now

The original Pumped BMX [$1.99] was a fun, surprisingly deep side-scrolling stunt game that combined elements of Tiny Wings [$0.99] and Trials to great success. The sequel, Pumped BMX 2 [$2.99], completely blew the first game out of the water. The highlights included a dramatically-improved presentation, a deeper trick system, and a better set of controls that made pulling off intricate maneuvers much easier. It was such a big step up from the first game that it was hard to see where the series could go in a sequel without completely tearing up the carpet. That seems to have proven true, as Pumped BMX 3 [$3.99] isn't nearly the upgrade that the second game was over the first. There are some significant additions, but nothing that really changes the game in any major way. Whether that's a good thing or not depends on how well you've enjoyed this series until now...

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