Category Archives: Game Center

One of the best mobile games of 2014 was Goblin Sword [$1.99], an action platformer with RPG trappings from two-man studio Gelato Games. With drop-dead gorgeous pixel art, flawless controls, a lengthy campaign and just enough character upgrading and customization elements, everything just fell into place with Goblin Sword and we effortlessly awarded it 5 stars in our original review. That was all way back in September of last year though, and while it's taken a bit of time, a huge new update has just been released for Goblin Sword which adds in all sorts of goodies...

There's an inherent joy in playing around with physics. In life, some of our earliest interactions with the external world involve playing around with physics to get a feel for the rules of reality. Even as fully-grown, educated, theoretically wise adults, we still get the urge to use our coffee spoon to launch the creamer at the person sitting at the table on the other side of the restaurant, just to see if we could. For a long time, games weren't terribly good at recreating satisfying physics along with all the other bits we tend to want in a game. There just wasn't enough computing power, time, or resources in general, and it wasn't a high priority. I maintain to this day that the reason Sonic The Hedgehog hit as powerfully as it did was due more to its solid physics engine than anything else. Any old character can go fast, but Sonic not only made us work for it, but also let us see the consequences of that speed. It wouldn't be until several years later that putting realistic physics into a game became a popular thing to do, but once it did, it broke things wide open...

Pinball Arcade [$0.99] is like a digital museum of real-life pinball machines that's been kicking around on various platforms, including iOS, for a few years now. It's had a staggering number of pinball machines added to it over the years, some that are high-profile, big-name IPs and some more obscure stuff. The holy grail of these real-life pinball machines is The Addams Family Pinball which was created and release in the early '90s to coincide with the Addams Family movie. ..

One of the more highly-anticipated games around TA finally launched this week with Built By Snowman's Alto's Adventure [$1.99]. The game has been highly praised for its beautiful art, which has caused it to gain a lot of traction and even get coverage on several media outlets that don't normally cover video games. It's definitely striking enough to have a mainstream appeal, and I myself have to confess that I'm constantly being stricken by the game's beauty. However, as a long-time gamer and someone who has played more side-scrolling endless runners than I can count, I admit that I was underwhelmed gameplay-wise the first time I took Alto's Adventure for a spin. It felt like, "That's it?"..

Coincidentally on the heels of talk about how long people are entitled to updates on games comes news of another App Store classic getting a maintenance update. rRootage Online HD [$0.99], the paid and universal version of Kenta Cho's classic freeware shmup, ported to iOS, has just gotten an update to make the game work on iOS 8, and to support iPhone 6 & Plus resolutions. The game's last update was in 2012, which was a maintenance update to make it work with the latest iOS, with iPhone 5 resolution, and to replace OpenFeint with just Game Center. Previous updates added iPad support and other maintenance features - rRootage is content-locked at this point, but it's just great to see the game continue to get updates to work as iOS devices change and evolve. Here's some grainy footage of the PC version in action being played by an expert:..

Another Thursday straggler that didn't quite hit at midnight? AG Drive [$3.99] from ZORG Entertainment, a futuristic racer, is now out worldwide. If you enjoy games like F-Zero, Wipeout, and the many futuristic racers that followed in their footsteps, this might just be up your alley, as you control a way-too-fast hover-car through dangerous, twisty courses at high speeds. There are no weapons here, so it's just about out-maneuvering and out-speeding your opponents. Or, at the very least, just staying alive to the finish line, as you have a health bar and three lives to deal with...

If you hit up our weekly new game release post looking for the stylish endless snowboarding game Alto's Adventure [$1.99] and panicked when you didn't see it, fear not: The game is now officially available in the App Store. We've had our eye on Alto's Adventure from developer Snowman, Inc. since they first began teasing the game last fall. It utilizes a very attractive art style that's reminiscent of thatgamecompany's 2012 PlayStation hit Journey, which Snowman has indeed cited as an inspiration. Gameplay-wise, Alto's Adventure is very similar to the excellent Ski Safari [$0.99]. Your character moves to the right automatically, while tapping the screen makes him jump and holding down on the screen while in the air performs a backflip. ..

This morning we were excited to tell you that the "Platinum Edition" update for one of our most beloved iOS games Space Miner [$3.99] was awaiting approval from Apple and could be arriving at any time. I'd hoped that while writing that story last night I'd wake up and see the update waiting for me, like a 10-months-too-early Christmas present. Well, that almost happened, as just a few minutes ago the update popped up in the App Store. Well… sort of. Let me explain...

This Thursday marks the start of the Chinese New Year, and in case you weren't aware, it's the year of the Goat. In celebration of this momentous occasion, one of our favorite iOS platformers of 2014 Bean Dreams [$2.99] has received an update with two new sets of levels, one featuring a rideable goat named Goatee and one taking place in the fiery Temple of the Dragon...

In August of last year, Sunnyside Games released The Firm [$0.99], a twitchy high-scoring game based around stock trading. It featured simple swipe left or right controls for buying and selling stocks, making it a perfect one-handed game, and it also boasted some lovely pixel art and a main mechanic that was super easy to understand but very difficult to master, as cliché as that may be. The Firm was a pretty simple game, and Sunnyside has had plans to expand the experience pretty much since launch. It took a bit longer than expected, but this week the big version 1.1 patch for the game has arrived adding all sorts of new stuff. ..

If you think about it, WayForward Technologies is one of the original indie stars of handheld gaming. They first gained notice when some poor soul who was assigned to reviewing licensed claptrap on the Game Boy was playing some games based on Sabrina: The Animated Series and realized they were decidedly less bad than usual. A couple of years after that, they released their first game based on an original property, Shantae, which ended up being one of those games that sold far fewer copies on release than its eventual demand would call for. The game's charming presentation and ambition to actually make a decent Game Boy Color game won it plenty of fans. Combined with its relative rarity, its high quality gave it a near-legendary status and elevated its developer in the eyes of core handheld gamers...

'Dark Echo' Review - Silence Is Golden, And So Is This Game

While I love blockbuster gaming as much as the next person, there's no question that the ever-increasing budgets and thinner margins have made the whole upper-end of the video game business disappointingly conservative from the player's point of view. Iteration is great. It's how games have come as far as they have. Yet, as an exclusive diet, playing it safe can sometimes be a little bland. It's a good thing we've got smaller developers who can afford to take risks on crazy ideas, because without such occasional spices, the hobby would be a lot less interesting. Dark Echo [$1.99] is one of those games that simply couldn't exist under the traditional model, but I'm ecstatic it does...

Ever since it’s unveiling over two years ago, Midnight Star [Free] has had some lofty expectations thrust upon it. One consistent theme we’ve heard since its announcement was a promise for a control scheme reimagined for touch-based input. As the game slowly soft launched we realized that such a reimagining would also come with a free-to-play system for monetization. With its worldwide launch last week, we’ve finally had a chance to check out both its claim for improved controls as well as test out its freemium elements. After some extended time with this first-person shooter from Industrial Toys, I came away impressed with the controls and the amount of content offered, but was left lamenting its free-to-play elements...

In our hyper-connected world of social networks and online gaming, it seems like society is forgetting about our dear old friend the loner. I myself am a loner, as I enjoy single-player games the most and rarely play online with other people. I also don't really leave my apartment ever. Lately developers have been taking aim at that golden loner demographic, with games like One Player Pong last week and today the new Stratego Single Player [$2.99]. Stratego Single Player is pretty much what its title describes: The classic Stratego board game geared towards single-player play. It also features an AI developed by a Stratego World Champion...

There are a lot of issues with Heroes Of Might & Magic 3 HD [$9.99 (HD)], the spiffy remaster of the 1999 classic PC strategy game. The control layout has done little more than map things directly from keyboard and mouse to touch, with not much in the way of explanation of the intricacies, even in the tutorial. There's significant content missing in the form of the two expansions, which will not be coming to this version due to the source code being lost. The map editor found in the original game and the PC version of this HD remaster is not included in the iPad version. The updates are few in number, with just a bit of spit-polish done on the sprites and text to make them look a little less pixelated. These are all good reasons to pass on Heroes Of Might & Magic 3 HD, especially if you have a computer, where you can buy and play the complete version of the game with all expansions included for the same price...

DeNA continues their strange new pattern of releasing iOS versions of PC indie games under new names with Yet It Moves [$2.99], probably the most famous of the batch so far. Originally titled And Yet It Moves, it was first released on PC back in 2009 before making its way to WiiWare, of all places, in 2010. It received a fair bit of praise back then for its clever take on platforming and unique presentation. Here in 2015, it's not quite as unusual as it once was, but its strong level designs and good pacing make it a game still well-worth checking out...

'Lamp And Vamp' Review - This Campy Vamp Is Hoplite-Like And That's Alright

It was just over a year ago that I reviewed Douglas Cowley's excellent strategy game Hoplite [$1.99]. I found it to be a superb game, as many did, with tremendous depth and not an ounce of fat on its bones. It's one of the most efficiently-designed mobile games I've ever played. I can't say for sure if Mucho Party [$2.99] developer GlobZ was inspired by Hoplite when they made their latest game, Lamp And Vamp [$1.99], but it sure feels like they were. Not in a bad way, mind you. Lamp And Vamp certainly feels familiar, but it's different enough that it doesn't feel superfluous. Like Hoplite, you're trying to make your way across a single board, divided into hexagons, to an exit. In this case, it's a coffin. All you need to do is survive the gauntlet of enemies that lay in the path. It's harder than you might think...

Crossy Road [Free], the popular and profitable endless arcade game from Hipster Whale, has just received a new content update adding in three new characters to celebrate Chinese New Year, which is coming up on February 19th. You may recall that since its launch last November, Crossy Road received several new characters in an update in December, and a whopping 16 Australian-themed characters in an update just last month. Now here we are just starting out in February and we've already got yet another character update. Hey, I'm not complaining at all! In fact this falls right in line with Hipster Whale's aspirations of adding new characters to the game monthly. So what are the new characters? Well, let's start off with Fortune Chicken, who for a limited time is unlockable for free...

It was just about a year ago that Mi-Clos Studio launched their haunting deep-space survival game Out There [$3.99] to critical praise, including our own 5 star review and Game of the Week nod. In July of last year the studio announced that Out There would be getting a huge revamp dubbed the "Omega Edition" and along with that it would be expanding to PC, Mac and Linux. Just last month, Mi-Clos revealed the first images of Omega Edition and detailed some of the changes and new features that it would include. Today the beta version of Out There: Omega Edition has launched and Mi-Clos has released the first trailer showing off some of the new features in the game, including the slick new graphical engine...

When the absurd PC hit Goat Simulator [$4.99] launched on iOS last September, it was a joyous event. I'd seen all the crazy videos and read all the reviews, and I knew that Goat Simulator was something I needed in my life, but for whatever reason I never got around to playing it until it hit iOS. Once I had though, it was basically everything I'd ever hoped for, and we gave it high marks in our review. However, the iOS version wasn't quite up to snuff with its PC counterpart in terms of content, but developer Coffee Stain Studios let us know on their blog that big things were in the works for the mobile Goat Simulator. Today, one of those big things was released in the form of a new update for the game...

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