Category Archives: Game Center

Just over a month ago, we told you about Zip Zap [$1.99], an upcoming puzzler from Phillip Stollenmayer and his studio Kamibox, maker of the brilliant existential crisis platformer Sometimes You Die [$1.99] as well as clever puzzlers like Okay? [Free] and Squaredance [Free]. Oh, and I can't forget about my favorite silly time wasters like Pancake - The Game [Free] and 1 Meter [Free]. Zip Zap looked to fall into that "clever puzzler" category, as it has you manipulating various Erector Set-like pieces that are joined with hinges in an effort to scoot, hop, or swing them over to an end goal. The whole thing makes a lot more sense if you watch the trailer for Zip Zap...

The sheer number of mobile devices out in the wild coupled with the ease of downloading apps and their tendency to be free means that download milestones can get pretty crazy compared to other platforms. A million or, heck, even half a million units sold on another platform would be a huge success for most studios, but on mobile it's not even a drop in the bucket anymore. Which brings me to the news that FDG's ape-themed auto-runner Banana Kong [Free] has just reached the 100 million downloads mark across all platforms, and to celebrate FDG will be bringing a huge Beach-themed update to the game on iOS this Thursday. Here's a video showcasing the new Beach content...




'Steins;Gate' Review - Desperately Seeking a Good Time

There's a certain attraction to time travel stories. Sometimes, they're about comparing the present to the past, particularly by sticking a fish out of their water. Other times, they're used as a way to think about the future and the promise it holds. Most of them really come down to a simple question: what would the present be like if things had gone differently in the past? Ultimately, time travel stories are more often than not morality tales about appreciating what we have and who we are. A warning about greed and how it can leave you with less than you had. A means of dealing with regret and the paralysis it can bring. Well, except for Back to the Future. That one's about making out with a younger version of your hot mom and getting a new truck...

'Ember' Review - Keeping the Old-School RPG Light Burning

When 505 Games and N-Fusion released their old-school inspired RPG Ember [$9.99] last week, there were a few interesting things we noted. First, with a stated longevity of 30+ hours (coupled with no IAP), it’s certainly one of the longest premium RPGs we’ve played in awhile. Second, as a near simultaneous release with the PC version, it’s one of those increasingly rare games where the developer isn’t trying to hide the fact that a mobile version was developed concurrently with the PC version. Both are typically good indicators of a well-made game, and Ember certainly fits the bill. It does an excellent job paying homage to the old-school RPG and its controls make an acceptable transition to touch screen...

The sirens are blaring, the news reports are shouting, and one thing is very apparent to you: The nuclear apocalypse is coming, and coming quick. In one minute to be exact. In 60 Seconds! Atomic Adventure [$2.99], which just launched on iOS after arriving on desktop in May of last year, you have one minute to scavenge your house for supplies and to grab members of your family (the ones who you want to survive, anyway) and then drop down into your bomb shelter to tough out this nuclear apocalypse for as long as possible. ..

When I first played Exploding Kittens on mobile, I was quite happy with the way the physical had turned digital; the subtle additions of animation and sounds here and there really helped bring the game to life, making it even more fun to play than the original. Sushi Go! [$4.99] has followed a similar path in its journey from card to digital with the developer keeping the game's original card art but adding subtle animations that help make the game quite charming and make it feel more like a digital game than a straight port of a card game. Sushi Go! isn't perfect - there's limited interaction with other players (no emotes or anything like that), which detracts from the social aspect of a card game, and the iPad UI doesn't take advantage of the screen as well as it could. Despite these issues, Sushi Go! is a fun, quick card game that might also put a smile on your face every time you play it...

Back in May, developer Rumblecade released a side-scrolling beat 'em up called Rockabilly Beatdown [$0.99] that featured simple button-mashing gameplay and some of the nicest pixel art and animation I'd seen. Despite being a simple game with just a single attack button, there was some hidden depth to Rockabilly Beatdown that slowly unveiled itself the more you played. With the charm and personality of the characters in the game, this was definitely an "endless high-scoring" take on the beat 'em up genre that I could get behind. The biggest problem was that it felt like a one-trick pony and, besides shooting for high scores, there wasn't a ton of meat on the bones in terms of progression and unlocks, things we had issues with in our review. That's something that Rumblecade has attempted to rectify with the first big update for Rockabilly Beatdown...

As we learned last month, retro-inspired racer Horizon Chase [Free] has just reached the one-year anniversary of arriving in the App Store, and to celebrate the team at Aquiris Game Studio has just released a special update adding some great new content to the game. This new content comes in the form of a new Australian Cup with 9 brand new tracks and two new vehicles, one a more modern high-performance sports car and the other more of a classic muscle car. Both are very welcome additions to what I believe is one of the finest racers on mobile, and you can see the new stuff in action in the following trailer...

By now, we all know what to do if a large meteor is on a course to strike the Earth: throw Ben Affleck, Bruce Willis, and Steve Buscemi in a rocket loaded with a nuclear bomb, point them at the rock, and let the magic happen. They're our planet's ace in the hole. But what should we do if not one meteor is headed for us, but rather five? Ten? One hundred? Even if you throw in Casey, it's not enough Affleckpower to take care of that many flying chunks of absolute destruction. Such is the nightmare scenario considered by Atomic Super Lander [$2.99], the latest action game from Crescent Moon Games and bitWeird Games...

In June of last year, a phenomenal puzzle/action platformer named Furdemption [$2.99] took the App Store by storm. We loved it in our review, as did players in our community. It was easily one of the best games of 2015. Then in September, just over a year ago in fact, developer RareSloth announced that a level editor would be coming to Furdemption that would allow players to create and share levels forever and ever and ever! Well, due to various circumstances, that level editor got put on hold indefinitely in November. The silver lining was that in place of the editor, RareSloth instead would be bringing out a brand new sequel to Furdemption, called King Rabbit [Free], which launched back in March and, like the original, was simply fantastic. Well, things are coming full circle as today RareSloth has announced that the level editor is back on and heading to King Rabbit early next year...

Last week, we brought you the trailer for a charming upcoming point-and-click adventure game called Paul Pixel - The Awakening [$1.99], and as promised, the game is now available for purchase on the App Store. Paul Pixel the game follows the adventures of Paul Pixel the character as he wakes up to find that his neighborhood has been quarantined thanks to an alien zombie invasion. Yes, not just aliens, not just zombies, but alien zombies. Yikes! Your job is to escape the quarantine zone and save the entire world in the process. No pressure...

Back in July, Lucky Kat released their charming monster collecting/combining/battling game Combo Critters [Free], and we rather enjoyed it in our review. Taking a page out of Pokemon, in Combo Critters you'd explore an overworld map and engage in battles, and upon winning, hopefully snag that defeated foe to add them to your collection. Where things got really neat was in the way you could combine any of the creatures in the game to get a mishmash character as a result. It made for a ton of variety in terms of monsters, and today Lucky Kat has announced that there will be even more variety thanks to a new update next week that will add 3 new worlds and 45 new types of creatures to Combo Critters. You can check out the new stuff in this trailer...

Gorgeous Puzzle Adventure 'Submerged' Hits the App Store Ahead of Schedule

Earlier today we posted that Uppercut Games' gorgeous adventure Submerged was set to hit the App Store tomorrow, and while it may be "tomorrow" in some parts of the world already, the appearance of the game just moments ago does seem to be earlier than was intended. Hey, I'm not complaining! Submerged: Miku and the Sunken City [$4.99] released just over a year ago on PC and console to a somewhat mixed reception. This is a game that relies heavily on story, atmosphere, and exploration, which turned off a segment of the audience who was looking for more action. Those that enjoyed the type of game that it was, though, have had some high praise for the game. Here's a brand new trailer showing the mobile version of Submerged in action...

Gamebooks based on the works of William Shakespeare are so hot right now. Well, okay, there's really just Ryan North's To Be Or Not To Be [$5.99], Ryan North's Romeo And/Or Juliet, and now this one, but that's enough for me to call it a trend. A delightful, wonderful trend. But lest you think Choice of Games is merely riding the tailcoats of those previous books with A Midsummer Night's Choice [Free], let me assure you that this is an entirely different sort of animal. While North's gamebooks take the familiar situations and characters and give the reader the chance to move the story in wildly different direction, A Midsummer Night's Choice tells an almost entirely original tale, albeit with its fair share of nods to Shakespeare's famous play...

Infinite Dreams are continuing their rapid expansion of their excellent shoot 'em up Sky Force Reloaded [Free] with yet another new update dropping today. As with previous updates, this one comes with a code name, which is "The D Update." What's that "D" stand for? Dinosaurs! But not just any dinosaurs, but raptors with lasers attached to their head. Yes, laser raptors. Ahem. Perhaps you didn't hear me, I said LASER RAPTORS. Here are a couple of screens from this new Level 12...

A couple of weeks ago we posted a trailer for an interesting upcoming game from developer Legal Radiation called Line Defense, that looked to take the classic planet-protecting gameplay of Missile Command and blend it together with elements of brick-breaker Arkanoid and even a bit of the slice-and-dice gameplay of Fruit Ninja. Originally planned for release on August 26th, a few issues prevented that from happening, but thankfully the delay wasn't very long at all as yesterday evening Line Defense [Free] wriggled its way into the App Store...

We've been riding the renewed wave of roguelikes and roguelites for several years now. By the very nature of the genre, a good roguelike can last players for a really long time. What that means is that any new entry is going to have to have some kind of way of standing out if it hopes to get attention. Hero Generations [$4.99] has a strong, easily-understood gimmick: every move costs a year of your character's life, and when they run out of years, it's game over. Before that happens, you need to find a mate and have a kid, who will hopefully be able to carry on some of the previous character's traits and legacy. As you expand your abilities and fame from generation to generation, you'll eventually piece together an urgent goal, but you won't be able to do anything about it if your family line dies off early...

'Space Marshals 2' Review - It's 'Space Marshals', Too

Pixelbite got a lot right with the first Space Marshals [$4.99]. They eschewed much of what is common in dual-stick shooters on mobile, going with a slower, more thoughtful, stealth-based game. With an array of interesting weaponry and tactics at your disposal, such as using noisemakers to distract enemies to take them out away from the prying eyes of other enemies, it was a cool concept and a fun game. The controls were great for mobile, with MFi controller support, and iCloud to boot. It was not a perfect game, but a great example of how to make an original, stylish title for mobile. Plus, they updated the game with 2 new episodes months after launch. Space Marshals 2 [$5.99] returns and basically is the same game, streamlined with a couple new features, and skipping on the whole episodic aspect to give you 20 beefy levels of tactical stealth action in a space wild-west setting. And like any sequel where iteration is the key difference, it's not bad – this is the superior game – but the lack of surprise can be a bit disappointing...

'Leap of Fate' Review - Jump In

Leap of Fate [$3.99] didn't make a great first impression on me. The opening cut-scene dialogue is ponderous. The aiming feels a little off. The tutorial has a lot of clumsy navigation elements, suggesting there will be some shoveled-in platforming to break up the action. The first time I loaded the game, I played through the tutorial, wondered why Jared was raving about it so much, then switched over to something else. Of course, since I was assigned to the review, I had to come back to Leap of Fate soon. Reviewing games is generally a great job, but one of the few downsides is that you can't always walk away from games you're not enjoying. Sometimes, however, that turns out to be a good thing, and Leap of Fate is one such case...

'Jurassic GO - Dinosaur Snap Adventures' Review - Prehistoric Pokemon Snap

There aren't enough games like Pokemon Snap in the world -- there just aren't, even though it was released nearly 20 years ago. I'd like to think that Nintendo and The Pokemon Company are sitting on the concept, ready with a tiny hammer to smash a glass container somewhere with the code for a mobile edition, but we aren't there yet. Instead, we'll have to deal with the various "tourist" and survival sandbox games we have now, which get us ever closer to that fully realized open world Snap many of us long for. Thankfully, Jurassic Go - Dinosaur Snap Adventures [$3.99] is helping us get one step closer...

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