Category Archives: Game Center

After a loooonnng soft-launch, Ubisoft's Assassin's Creed Identity [$4.99] finally launched world wide just over two months ago. Having not played an Assassin's Creed game since the second game in the series back in 2009, I wasn't totally sure what to expect from this mobile edition. As it turned out I was pleasantly surprised to find an experience that was heavily streamlined for mobile touchscreen play but still retained the essence of what makes Assassin's Creed so fun: whacking dudes while being a stealthy bad ass. ..

'Chameleon Run' Review - A Change of Color

I've played so many runners in the past 10 years or so I've lost count. Much like my teenage years after I realized that I had played hundreds of platformers in my lifetime, over time, I started to notice that you can't really browse the App Store without seeing a runner front and center. While many groan at the prospect, I relish a new opportunity to check out a new entry, and a brand new way to spend entire days wasting away behind the comfort of a touchscreen...




'Tiny Tower' 5 Year Anniversary Update Coming May 26th

A few weeks ago Nimblebit announced they were in the midst of creating a massive update for their mega-hit tower building game Tiny Tower [Free] in anticipation of its 5-year anniversary. At that time they were seeking beta participants to try out the new update, and apparently that testing has gone well as today Nimblebit announced that the 5th Anniversary Edition of Tiny Tower will be available on May 26th. As mentioned before, this update will include improved visuals, streamlined tower manageent, tons of new missions and floors to build, and even the ability to share Bitizens between friends...

The simulation game factory that is Kairosoft continues to crank out new games to the iOS platform in the West, with the latest being Pocket League Story 2 [Free] which has just arrived this morning. It's a sequel to their 2012 fan-favorite release that had you putting together your own soccer team and then training them and making them into the top team in the world. Being a Kairosoft game it wasn't just about the team either, as you had to build a stadium to play in, a training facility for your team to practice at, sell merchandise to fans, and all those other little responsibilities that go along with managing a major sports team...

Prettygreat's second mobile game Slide the Shakes [Free] has been a pretty surprising hit since its launch back in February. The simple and satisfying act of pulling back and launching shakes while trying to get them to stop sliding on a specific landing zone works incredibly well as a mobile game, and Prettygreat was surprised to see how quickly players were devouring the game's original 100 levels. After adding 25 new levels last month for Easter, they're back again with another batch of new Slide the Shakes levels. This time there's a whopping 50 new levels as well as new elements like the portal and wind that'll affect your shake sliding. It's all explained in this needlessly dramatic and action-packed trailer...

'Guns Of Infinity' Review - The Ravages Of War

My quest to stay more or less on top of major gamebook releases has been pretty tricky of late thanks to the speed at which new ChoiceScript-based games have released both through Choice Of Games and Hosted Games. It's hardly the worst problem to have, but readers who have stayed on top of my recent gamebook reviews know that none of them have really grabbed me recently. Coming off of the massive, disappointing Magikiras [Free], I was a little wary of Guns Of Infinity [$4.99]. It's by a completely different author, mind you, so there wasn't much of a logical basis for that fear, but the relatively large word count certainly had me cautious. An unpleasant read can result in very different levels of agony depending on its length, and if Guns Of Infinity missed the mark, it was going to be a very long haul...

It's always a downer when a game you really like at its core is dragged down by external factors. Such is the case with Trap Da Gang [Free], the latest release from Japanese publisher Obokaid'em Games. The basic gameplay is challenging, fun, and wonderfully reminiscent of vintage arcade games from the mid-1980s. But being a free game, it also has an economy that you have to deal with, and while that's not always bad in principle, the extra cruft it brings to the game hurts it. It's still a fun game, but I couldn't help but wish there were some way to play it in a purer form...

Dust: An Elysian Tail [$5.99] knocked off a lot of socks around here when it released on iOS last October. Originally an Xbox 360 release, Dust made its way to iOS in style. We liked it enough to give it our Game Of The Week and a five-star review, and I personally included the game in both my Best Overall Of 2015 and the RPG Reload 2015 Golden Pancho Awards. In short, the game has fantastic production values and it plays like a dream. That said, if you weren't using a newer device with 1 GB of RAM or more, or simply couldn't get on with virtual controls at all, you couldn't join the party. Well, friends, your invite's in the mail and you can RSVP tomorrow, because Dust has a really nice update coming this Thursday...

What is our fascination with post-apocalyptic media? Maybe it's the fear of the unknown, in that things may actually be that dire one day, and a peek into the future is relatively harmless. Maybe it's because some of the greatest filmmakers of our time, including George Miller, flock to projects like that because they provide a blank canvas of expectations -- the world is theirs to create as they see fit. Chrome Death [Free] isn't necessarily that magnificent, but just like Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon on PC and consoles, it really nails what makes that genre so special...

'Pixel Machines' Review - If 'Micro Machines' Ain't Broke, Don't Fix It

I really don't think free-to-play is as bad as its vocal haters claim it is, but I totally get that it changes games' structures. Look at something like the soft-launched Micro Machines; if you just wanted a way to play the classic Micro Machines game on your iPhone or iPad, all the games-as-a-service shenanigans might be distasteful. Still, I think you should keep an open mind, but I get it. Change sucks. Thankfully, indie developers who just want to make cool homages to the classics and only charge you once, and small amounts at that, do still exist. Pixel Machines [$0.99] will really strike a chord with Micro Machines fans by being pretty much the same game, but with mobile-friendly and modern features...

Following its big crafting update from early last month, Bethesda has launched yet another update for their apocalypse survival simulator Fallout Shelter [Free] today, this time adding the ability to break down your unwanted weapons and outfits and turn them into junk that you can actually use… for crafting stuff! So much synergy going on right now. This update also adds 3D Touch support for those of you on fancy new iPhones so you can hop right into any of your vaults straight from the homescreen icon. Convenient!..

There are a lot of different ways a piece of interactive fiction can succeed. Some of them tell a great story, some of them give the player a genuine feel of agency in the plot, and some of them have interesting puzzles. Some have tense, RPG-like battles, while others have no fighting at all and focus on building character relationships. A few just take a very interesting setting or theme and run with it. But for all of these strong points that gamebooks can take advantage of, there are a ton of pitfalls that, if not specific to the format, are at least more potentially devastating to the overall enjoyment of a work. It's not an easy thing to put a smooth, highly-interactive narrative together that manages to be strong enough to carry an entire game. It involves almost all of the headaches of writing a good book combined with the difficulties of quality game design...

'Super Tribes' Review - Global Domination, Bit by Bit

The RTS genre is one I remember fondly. Micromanaging troops and building an empire is an unparalleled joy in some cases. For some titles, it was all about just getting through the day, and taking out an enemy force. But for others, it was about managing an economy, and growing over time to support your people. They’re the kind of games that lend themselves well to short or marathon sessions, where you can just pop in, stress free, and take care of business. The mobile arena is a perfect fit for that type of game, and Super Tribes [Free] is happy to accommodate...

'Pang Adventures' Review - Pang, Nab It

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April 20th, 2016 11:01 AM EDT by Shaun Musgrave in $2.99, 4 stars, Action, Arcade, Game Center, iPad Games, iPhone games, Reviews
$3.99 Buy Now

Until now, publisher Dotemu's work on iOS has been mostly limited to bringing back beloved classics in their original forms. Their releases have run the gamut from arcade shoot-em-ups like R.Type [$1.99] to point-and-click PC titles like Sanitarium [$3.99], to say nothing of the work they've done for other companies like SNK and Square Enix. Pang Adventures [$3.99] is something of an unusual case for the prolific French publisher, as it's a new game based on an old favorite franchise. You might remember the series under the names Pang, Buster Bros., Pomping World, Magical Michael, or if you're particularly well-informed, Cannon Ball. We'll go with Pang for the purposes of this review...

Well, here it is, everyone. Magikiras [Free] is easily one of the worst gamebooks I've played in my years of reviewing, and hands-down the most painful. It's absurdly long given its meager premise, poorly-written, and just plain boring. There are tons of spelling and grammar mistakes, and many other instances of incorrect English. It's linear to a fault, with almost every choice in the book save a few very important ones coming down to the same set of approaches listed in the same order. Even those chances come entirely too sporadically, however. You'll mostly just be tapping through page after page of banal text, praying for a release that is perpetually too far away...

In July of last year, we first learned that DotEmu was teaming up with Pastagames to revive the 1989 classic arcade series Pang, also known as Buster Bros. and Pomping World. The new game would be called Pang Adventures [$3.99], and besides some very vague promo art, nobody knew what this modern take would be like. Then the following November we finally caught a glimpse of Pang Adventures during DotEmu's Paris Games Week recap video, and it looked quite faithful to the original but with a more contemporary art style. We didn't really hear much on the game since that point, but early this morning Pang Adventures surprise launched on the App Store for iOS, along with versions for Steam, consoles, and Android...

The odd week of new releases continues as more than a few games have trickled out later than anticipated. The latest is Umbrella's single-tap block-by-block platforming game Back To Square One [Free], which you may remember us checking out at GDC this year and really liking what we saw, and Carter felt similarly when he went hands-on with the game just a week ago. I hesitate to make the comparison, but this is almost a side-scrolling Crossy Road type of game, as your goal is to make it through a gauntlet of traps and hazards moving your square character one space at a time. ..

'Pocket Mortys' Spring Update Brings Quick Crafting, 10 New Mortys, a New Attack and More

Pocket Mortys [Free] has the distinction of being the absolute best Rick and Morty-themed Pokemon clone available. Nobody else is even close. That's because there IS nobody else, but that's not the point. Pocket Mortys is the best in class in its own very specific category, and there's simply no disputing that. It was great when it originally released in January, and it got even better with a big update in early February. Today, it gets even more better-er as another update adds 10 new Mortys to collect, a new Paralyze attack move, a new item to counter Paralyze, and best of all the new ability to craft items directly from the Recipe menu. All this is amusingly explained by Rick in the following trailer...

When Faily Brakes [Free] first launched a couple of months ago, I remember thinking to myself "Great, ANOTHER Verby Noun endless arcade game, BIG WHOOP!" Then I finally got around to playing it and was completely taken by surprise with just how darn fun it was. I guess you can't always judge a game by its overdone naming convention. Anyway, Faily Brakes has become one of my go-to games since, and today it received a nice update adding a new female playable character amusingly named Anita Brakes, a coin doubler vehicle, 15 other brand new vehicles, and more...

Zen Studios are firing up the pinball table making machine for the first time since releasing 3 Star Wars: The Force Awakens tables this past January. They've teamed up with Fox Digital Entertainment to create 3 brand new tables set in the Aliens movie universe for a table pack they've dubbed Aliens vs. Pinball. Zen describes the new tables: "In Aliens pinball, team up with the Colonial Marines as Ellen Ripley on a pinball table based on ALIENS, the 1986 blockbuster film. Face your fears and take on a deadly Alien threat on the Sevastopol Space Station as Amanda Ripley in the Alien: Isolation pinball table and feel the rush of the hunt as a young Yautja warrior in Alien vs. Predator pinball."..

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