Category Archives: Game Center

It seems hard to believe, but it's already been a whole year since developer Michael Brough released his techno-roguelike masterpiece 868-HACK [$2.99] onto the App Store, and to celebrate he's dropped the price of the game for the first time ever. You can now buy the game at the discounted price of $2.99, down from its original price of $5.99. In case you're not familiar, 868-HACK is a highly strategic, incredibly challenging roguelike with a cyberspace theme. It's one of those games where every single choice you make matters, and it's imperative that you have a decent understanding of the game's mechanics and are able to plan your moves well ahead. We absolutely loved it in our review from a year ago...

Having just finished my review of the final episode of The Walking Dead Season Two [$4.99], I thought it might be nice to decompress with a little pinball, as I often do after finishing a story-heavy game. Luckily for me, the developers behind Zen Pinball [Free] just released a thematically-appropriate new table as both a standalone app and an in-app purchase within the regular app. The Walking Dead Pinball [$1.99] follows most of the well-established trappings of Zen Studios's take on silverball, so it's hard to say if people burnt out on their offerings will be all that excited with it. For fans of The Walking Dead game, however, it brings just enough of the character of Season One [Free] to make it worth checking out...

It feels like we've been waiting for this forever, but the massive version 2.0 update for the classic JRPG Lunar Silver Star Story Touch [$6.99] is now available in the App Store. Originally released as Lunar: The Silver Star on Sega CD back in 1993, an enhanced remake of the game launched in Japan for the Sega Saturn in 1996 and later in North America on the PlayStation as Lunar: Silver Star Story Complete. The iOS version is based off of that enhanced remake, and launched in September of 2012–just in time to miss out on being enhanced for Apple's then-new 4-inch widescreen of the iPhone 5...

'Appointment With F.E.A.R.' Review - My New Favorite Superhero Is Tin Man

If you ever need proof that competition is healthy for the customer, just check out the gamebook scene on mobiles. What started as simple conversions of the text of existing books has spun out into three developers each, in their own way, trying to combine the essence of classic gamebooks with the flexibility that modern technology allows. It started with Tin Man Games essentially giving you the keys to the game via a bunch of extra features, followed by inkle's brilliant adaptation of Steve Jackson's Sorcery! [$4.99] and Forge Reply's original RPG adventure based on the popular Lone Wolf [$0.99] character. Then, in April, Tin Man released their version of Starship Traveller [$5.99], where for the first time, the developer didn't simply bring the original book over with some bells and whistles, but elaborated on it. Recently, inkle again upped the ante with their stunning take on Jules Verne's classic novel, 80 Days [$4.99], and now we've got Tin Man replying in kind with what is clearly their most confident conversion yet, Appointment With F.E.A.R. [$2.99]...

I always love to see a game that doesn't take itself too seriously. If it also happens to be genuinely funny at times, that's even better. Ace Ferrara And The Dino Menace [$3.99] packs in enough self-awareness, charm, and humor, it's easy to forgive some of the failings in its gameplay. It's a space shooter that feels a lot like a Saturday morning cartoon, with a colorful cast of characters, a goofy plot to take over Earth, and plenty of action. The gameplay also feels like it's tuned for a younger crowd, with short, easy to clear missions and very simple controls. Veteran starfighters looking for their next battle probably won't be satisified, at the very least. As a fun little popcorn experience, however, Ace Ferrara has a lot going for it...

Maybe it's just everyone dumping ice water on their heads to promote charity, but Icebreaker: A Viking Voyage [Free / Free] going on sale seems awfully appropriate. And not only is it going on sale, it's completely free for a limited time as Apple's "App of the Week", likely in connection to developer Nitrome's latest game 8bit Doves [$2.99] recently releasing...

'Motorsport Manager' Review - Formula Racing for the Masses

When I sat down to try Motorsport Manager [$4.99], I thought it would be the perfect thing to poke at while listening to a podcast. After all, I wouldn’t be expected to drive the cars; I’d be running the biz and laying out the race strategy. A half-hour in, I realized I hadn’t absorbed a word, because I was so fully engaged in growing my fledgeling racing empire and watching my drivers tear up the track. It’s never overwhelming, nor is it too light to maintain interest. Motorsport Manager finds a nice spot in the complexity spectrum wherein it requires frequent decision-making, without ever inducing paralysis by presenting too many options simultaneously...

Okay, so I'm a typical SEGA fan. I complained about Sonic Jump Fever [Free] in my review, but I still ended up playing it a lot anyway. This, however, works out to your benefit, because since I've somehow unlocked pretty much everything, I'm in a great position to give you some advice about how to get the most out of this game with a minimum of pain and suffering. The core gameplay isn't very deep, and if you've played a jumping game before, you've probably developed some skills that will help you out in this game. The game does have a bunch of unlockables and power-ups, though, and there's definitely an optimal way of making use of those. Here are ten tips to help you score big in Sonic Jump Fever without losing your personal gold ring stockpile...

Twitch's mobile support has so far just been limited to Asphalt 8 [Free] from Gameloft, but finally a second game supports live streaming to Twitch: Heroes of Order & Chaos [Free], also from Gameloft. This is perhaps the most appropriate game to get Twitch streaming yet, as MOBAs are the bread and butter of Twitch popularity, with League of Legends and Dota 2 being two of the most popular games being streamed at any given time. And as a 5-on-5 MOBA with lengthy matches, there's plenty of reason to stream this game on Twitch to interested audiences – and now it's possible straight from the game, with camera and microphone support...

Gameloft's over-the-top arcade racer Asphalt 8 [Free] has just received a major update adding in a brand new track, some new vehicles, a new Season with 74 new events, and improved Twitch streaming integration. First off is the new track, set in the Middle Eastern city of Dubai. It features plenty of shiny skyscrapers, lots of interesting jumps, and no doubt some secret shortcuts to discover. Along with the new track are 5 new vehicles to race, including a Mercedes Benz Biome concept car and the Nissan GT-R NISMO. Here's a brand new trailer showing off the Dubai track and all the new cars...

I've played a lot of free-to-play RPGs, and they all tend to have the same strengths and weaknesses. That's probably due to most of them being inspired by the model used in the popular Puzzle & Dragons [Free], following its formula as closely as possible in hopes of achieving similar levels of success. Now, I like that game quite a bit, but even I'm getting a little tired of getting into a new game only to see the same old mechanics powering it. There must be other effective ways to monetize your puzzle RPG besides monster-collecting and stamina meters. Spellfall: Puzzle RPG [Free] takes a different approach, avoiding many typical elements such as multiple currencies, drawing random monsters, and nudging you to expand your inventory. Unfortunately, the game also has its own take on the stamina meter concept that seems on paper like it would be better, but in practice doesn't quite work out...

Do you like the review headline? See, what I did there was take Clash of Clans [Free] and clumsily mixed Star Wars with it in a very on-the-nose way, in hopes that it would provide some entertainment to fans of both. Sorry for the sidetrack there, you came here to read a review of Star Wars: Commander [Free], right? It's the latest in a very long line of Star Wars-themed games that give a popular genre or title a healthy coat of Star Wars paint to see if something magical will happen. To the credit of Lucasarts, this has yielded some strong results in the past. Star Wars Baldur's Gate was pretty cool, Star Wars Wing Commander was amazing, Star Wars Battlefield 1942 was really fun, and even Star Wars Doom was pretty good for its time. Of course, there was also Star Wars Fighting Game and Star Wars Twisted Metal, so clearly the pendulum swings both ways here...

For the First Time on iOS, Terry Cavanagh's 'VVVVVV' On Sale for 99¢

Terry Cavanagh's platforming masterpiece VVVVVV [$0.99] is seeing its first ever sale on iOS, down to just 99¢ from its regular price of $2.99. Originally VVVVVV was released on Mac and PC in January of 2010, and was widely acclaimed from critics and players alike. The entire game is built around a gravity flipping mechanic that saw the main character Captain Viridian going from traversing floors to traversing ceilings with just the push of a button. In fact, the only actions available in the game are left/right movement and gravity flipping; there was no jumping to speak of which is normally a major function of platforming games. That's what made VVVVVV so brilliant though, as it explored the gravity flipping in every way imaginable, and has some of the most ingenious level design that I've ever seen in any video game...

It's been about a year since Re-Logic's Terraria [$4.99] made its way to the iOS App Store courtesy of 505 Games, and today 505 has announced on the official Terraria blog that a major update for the game should be arriving this week. The update will add the oft-requested "Hard Mode" which is found in the desktop and console versions of the game. Hard Mode is activated by defeating the Wall of Flesh enemy, which will then "transform" the game adding "new biomes, new bosses, 20+ new enemies, 100+ new items, New NPCs" and will allow you to "Use the Pwnhammer to destroy Demon Altars and create new ores."..

This past December, Namco Bandai released Ridge Racer Slipstream [Free], a new mobile version of the long-running arcade racing series that culled together vehicles and tracks from previous Ridge Racer games. For the most part, the game was very good: it looked great visually, had a ton of single-player content, and most importantly it "felt" like a proper Ridge Racer game, something that was sorely missing from the series' last outing on iOS. The negative aspects of the game were mostly due to its pay model. Slipstream was a paid game, but featured the trappings of a free to play title, like two forms of in-game currency (but thankfully no timers). On the bright side, all content was obtainable without paying anything beyond the initial price, though some patience and some extreme racing skills were required. Overall though, we thought Ridge Racer Slipstream was pretty darn good...

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