Category Archives: Game Center

I don't know about you guys, but out here on the Northern California coast, it's been raining like crazy. Which means it isn't exactly ideal conditions to hit the streets and go skateboarding, which makes virtual skateboarding on your iOS device a lovely alternative. This week, two of iOS's best skateboarding games, True Skate [$1.99] and Skater [$4.99], received updates adding in new content. Check out the details of each update below and go hit the virtual streets...

Back in November of last year, Run Games released Football Heroes [Free], an over-the-top, arcadey American football game that felt like the love child of NFL Blitz and Tecmo Bowl. We really loved it in our original review, and it's only gotten better with updates since then, including a massive one in August that added Gold player cards and tons more tweaks and fixes as well as rebranding the game Football Heroes 2015. Then in mid-November, Run Games released Football Heroes: Pro Edition [Free]. On first blush, it may look like Pro Edition is just Football Heroes with a bunch of licensed NFL players thrown in there, but that's actually not the case...

Super Glyph Quest [$2.99] is quite popular around these parts, as we were big fans of the game in our review, and the forum thread is several hundred posts strong, with the developers joining in and chatting about the game. It's a game that's still growing, too, as it's just gotten a nice content update for Christmas. There's a new location, the Frozen North, where players have to take on Ice Goblins and Arctic Trolls, and meet new characters Ice Queen Yngvill and Julenir, completing quests for them. There's new items to collect, and an overhauled Adventure system to boot...

More old games are coming back, y'all! I don't know if iOS 8 was just that destructive of an update to a bunch of games that developers felt the need to update their classics or if this is just all coincidental, but we're seeing a lot of games make comebacks after a long while. And the latest on that list is 1-bit Ninja [$2.99], which has just been updated to support iOS 8, and throws in long-overdue iPhone 5,6, and 6 Plus support, and makes the game universal for iPad...

The whole series of events leading up to Marvel Contest Of Champions [Free] is pretty weird if you think about it too much. It's a clear reply to the mobile version of Injustice: God Among Us [Free], whose console version's inception likely sprang out of Mortal Kombat Vs. DC Universe, which certainly only existed because of Marvel Vs. Capcom. That's Marvel and DC for you, friends. They bite each other's tails so often it's sometimes hard to tell where one ends and the other begins. Well, I just thought that was interesting. Truth be told, I'm glad something like Contest Of Champions came about. While Marvel Vs. Capcom 2 is ideally better than Injustice, trying to play it on a touch screen stripped away a lot of its merits, and the game was removed from the App Store even if you wanted to play it. Injustice, on the other hand, found a winning combination with its collection elements and extremely simplified take on the fighting genre. It only makes sense to have a Marvel version, and that's basically what you get in Contest Of Champions...

It's a bit late to the party, missing the huge list of new game releases from last night, but The Binary Mill's latest project Mini Motor Racing WRT [Free] is now finally available in the App Store. As we talked about when it was announced earlier this month, Mini Motor Racing WRT is a spinoff of sorts of their fantastic 2011 racer Mini Motor Racing. The big change is a focus on competing in the World Racing Tournament, or WRT, by piecing together a star racing team and fleet of vehicles that will lead you to the championship. There's also expanded multiplayer options as you can start up an online Race Club with friends and work together to beat rival Race Clubs...

The very cool one-touch platformer Badland [$3.99] has gotten yet another update bringing more levels to this great game. The new "Daydream" level update includes ten new singleplayer levels in the "Explore the Unknown" pack. These challenging new levels have you trying to survive and rescue as many clones as possible, and it will test your skills as you try to survive. There's 30 new missions and 5 new achievements to collect as well. The level pack can be played right away, and it is currently free, though it will be $0.99 down the road, so go and get it now if you have the game...

I don't think a person needed to be a fortune-teller to see this outcome, but going back to my review of Tomb Raider 1 [$0.99] from last year, I ended it by expressing little hope for a potential port of Tomb Raider 2 [$1.99] fixing the control issues with the first game. It wasn't hard to guess because the problem is neither with the unorthodox and somewhat fussy controls of the Tomb Raider series, nor was it with virtual controls, but rather the marriage of the two that the mobile version offered. There's simply no clear way to map virtual controls to these games in a satisfying way. Tomb Raider 2 only makes that problem clearer with its increased challenge and greater emphasis on pulling off non-stop sequences of moves, particularly in timed situations. It's the kind of situation where I don't feel good about giving it a score, because if you have an MFi controller, this game is an incredible experience at a ridiculously low price, but if you don't, it's just about pointless to buy. Consider the number at the end of this review to be the middle of those two scenarios and apply it to your own situation accordingly...

I've run out of fingers and toes to keep track of all the Plague Inc. [$0.99] updates, as today the tenth major update for the game has been released. The update includes two brand new scenarios, one about the upcoming Christmas holiday and one which uses portals. For the holiday one, called Santa's Little Helper, the setup is that the government has banned holidays, laughter and celebrations. Basically, fun and happiness is now against the law. This pisses off a lot of people, including Santa Clause and the Neurax Worm, who form an unlikely alliance and work to infect the world with happiness again. The worm even renamed himself the Neurax Miracle for this mission! I love the whole idea of Plague Inc.–infecting the world with killer diseases and eradicating humanity–being flipped on its head in this scenario...

I don't think I'll ever be accused of being stingy with my words, but if I were to wrap this entire review up into a short summary, here it goes. If you enjoyed Record Of Agarest War [$14.99]'s seventy-something hour campaign, spent dozens of hours more to fully complete everything, and still find yourself wanting another full-sized game offering a similar experience, you should buy Record Of Agarest War Zero [$14.99]. That's essentially the only scenario where I can see recommending this latest release from HyperDevBox, because just about everyone else with an interest in the Agarest series ought to be starting with the first game anyway. Agarest Zero tells a new story with new characters, but the underlying gameplay offers virtually little of note over its predecessor and actually streamlines a few things out that I'm not sure needed to be ditched...

EA's SimCity BuildIt [Free] has made the jump from soft launch to worldwide release today. This is EA's free-to-play take on their classic city-management simulation franchise that probably served as the genesis for all the popular simulation games that are out there today. The game's got gorgeous 3D visuals, with social elements to trade resources with friends, real-life buildings, and all the challenges that come from building a thriving metropolis. EA released another developer diary video just ahead of the game's release if you want to hear more about the game from them:..

It's been just over a year since FDG Entertainment and Cornfox & Bros. dropped the seafaring adventure Oceanhorn [$4.99] in the App Store, and today to celebrate how wonderful this past year has been FDG has dropped the price on the game for the first time ever, down to $4.99 from its normal price of $8.99. We loved Oceanhorn a year ago in our original review, and then back in August a huge content update was released adding even more great stuff to an already great package. Oceanhorn has also been consistent with updating for new iOS features and hardware, most recently getting an update last week that took advantage of the power in the latest iPhone and iPad devices...

Tower Of Fortune [Free] developer Game Stew is a hard developer for me to get a read on. I mean, I think if you look hard enough you can find a designer's fingerprints all over just about any game, but you don't even have to do that with Game Stew. Their games are instantly recognizable thanks to their consistent, unusual presentation style. If you do choose to look a bit harder, you can see that also carries over to the gameplay, even if some of their games are ostensibly in different genres from each other entirely. It's interesting because even though their games are generally quite unique from almost every angle, once you understand Game Stew's way of doing things, you can reliably count on certain elements being present. Specifically, you're probably going to have quite a few trappings of the roguelike genre. Being predictably off-beat certainly isn't a bad thing. Tim Burton doesn't seem to be suffering for it, at least. The big problem with having that kind of reputation is that you need to keep coming up with ways to keep your audience's thirst for oddity quenched...

I don't think there's enough good roguelikes and roguelike-inspired games on mobile, given how much sense the genre makes for mobile, since it's so highly-replayable. The first Bit Dungeon [$0.99] was a roguelike-inspired game I enjoyed in my Android days, and now developer Kinto has just released a sequel, Bit Dungeon 2 [$2.99], on several platforms, including iOS. This is a challenging action-RPG where there's a unique permadeath system: when you die, you lose your soul, and must go back to the spot where you lost it to get it back. If you don't, and you die again, then it's game over and you start all the way over from level 1. You start off basically naked, and must find or buy a weapon pretty much from the get-go...

One of my favorite releases this year is RebelBinary's Only One [Free], a king of the hill-style hack 'n slash game that sees you fighting off waves of enemies from atop a giant pillar. The game originally released in February, and we thought it was pretty great, but it's only gotten better through numerous updates since then. Today, its biggest update yet has arrived adding all sorts of awesome new stuff. ..

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