Category Archives: Game Center

The Sonic The Hedgehog franchise has a tough line to walk. It's still SEGA's most reliable means of generating sales, and these days, that's more important for that company than ever before. At the same time, the reputation of the character has taken a real bruising over the years from some of the more questionable attempts at leveraging his popularity. For what it's worth, SEGA seems to be aware of the problem, and I would say a good half of the Sonic games released these days are quality efforts like Sonic Generations, the Christian Whitehead remakes of the classic Sonic games such as Sonic The Hedgehog 2 [$2.99], and Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed [Free]. I'll even go as far as to say that Sonic Dash [Free] was a pretty decent behind-the-back runner that only got better with updates. Then there's the other side of Sonic, the games that are a poor fit for the franchise, just plain mediocre, or both. Here I'm talking about things like Sonic: Lost World, Mario & Sonic at the Olympics, and yes, the original Sonic Jump [$2.99] for mobiles...

Late last year, a rough little indie platformer named Cally's Caves [Free] won over the hearts of many members of the TouchArcade forums. No sense mincing words, the game's visuals were pretty bad, both in design and execution. That said, the gameplay was fun, the music was excellent, and for reasons I can't exactly understand, the game in its entirety was free, with little more than inobtrusive ads and a single wholly unneccessary IAP to pay the bills. The game featured large, sprawling levels and a less forgiving checkpoint system than today's games typically use, giving the game a pleasantly challenging bite. Well, it hasn't been all that long, but Cally is back in Cally's Caves 2 [Free], and the months have been kind to her. It's still a bit rough around the edges, and in some aspects rougher than the first, but there's no denying the game is a huge step up from the original overall...

Running (mostly) horizontally all the time must get tiring, because our old pal Sonic now has two video games featuring himself jumping vertically and not doing much running at all. The latest is Sonic Jump Fever [Free], which Sega originally announced about a month ago but has been soft-launched since April. It's a sequel of sorts to 2012's Sonic Jump [$2.99], which I actually found surprisingly fun. Sure it was just a Doodle Jump-type game, but Sega did a great job at transitioning the traditional Sonic game into this genre. It has interesting levels, classic power-ups, and exciting boss fights. For being totally not like a traditional Sonic game, it still felt very much like a Sonic game...

Real Racing 3 [Free] just can't stop being updated, can it? There's seemingly something new being added to the game on at least a monthly basis. This month? It's Ferraris. The latest update, available today, adds in two new Ferrari cars. There's the Ferrari F40, the last car personally approved by Enzo Ferrari, the company's namesake. A classic car to be sure, but a Dodge Dart at high speeds can take it out...

This past May, SMG Studio managed to do something with the release of OTTTD [$2.99] that few have managed before: they made me enjoy a tower defense game. For a genre that has been a staple of the iOS platform for years, there's surprisingly few tower defense games that have resonated with me, but OTTTD was definitely among them. With its cheeky humor, sci-fi theme and high level of polish, OTTTD wasn't just a great mobile tower defense game, it could easily shine on any platform you put it on...

'World of Tanks Blitz' Review - A Fine Addition To Wargaming's Cannon Canon

Although it's recently become something of a household name in gaming circles, Belarus-based developer Wargaming.net has been around for a while now. For the first several years, it focused on strategy games, both turn-based and real-time, and had modest success within that niche. It finally hit the big time with its release of World of Tanks for the PC, a massively multiplayer online action shooter designed with the strategic sensibilities you would expect from a developer with Wargaming's resume. Initially launched in Russia in 2011, it soon spread across the globe, enjoying huge success in virtually every region it released in. It's a rare free-to-play game that manages to pull in casual players and hardcore alike, with its fair economy, approachable gameplay, and surprising depth...

The original Civilization Revolution [$2.99] represented acclaimed designer Sid Meier's attempt to make the Civilization series more appealing to a wider range of people than before. The main Civilization series is extremely well-known and beloved for being an incredibly deep game series, with each game offering nearly infinite replay value. The aim with Revolution was to take the core concepts of Civ and make a game that wasn't as intimidating by streamlining certain aspects and reducing the average length of each game. While hardcore fans of the original series were a bit mixed on the results, it was fairly well-received overall. Originally releasing on PC and various consoles, it made a big splash on iOS with a slightly late port in 2009. The game was a great match for mobiles, offering a reasonably deep gameplay experience that fit the stop and go nature of many mobile gamers. It was also quite well-maintained by publisher 2K Games, and was still receiving occasional updates as recently as late last year...

Big things have been happening in the world of True Skate [Free] lately, as just last week it was announced that the phenomenal skateboard simulation game from True Axis was partnering up with Street League Skateboarding as the official mobile game of the contest series. As part of that partnership, actual courses from the Street League series are destined to end up as downloadable parks in True Skate, and the first of these is the course from the 2013 Kansas City Street League stop that is available right now in the game for 99¢. Having a real-life course like that in True Skate is very cool, and kind of surreal, as I remember that course very vividly from watching Street League on TV last year...

When Square Enix Montreal announced Hitman GO [$4.99] back in February, I was skeptical to say the least. Mobile hardware is pretty beefy nowadays and I had no doubt that a full-blown, "console-like" Hitman game would work just fine on iOS. So why was Hitman GO set to be a turn-based board game of all things? Luckily for me and everyone else, I was way off base questioning Squeenix Montreal's decision, as they totally nailed it with Hitman GO. While certainly not a traditional Hitman game, Hitman GO still captures the essence of the series and provides a smart and challenging puzzle-type experience...

Last month, Hutch Games soft-launched their latest game MMX Racing [Free], and as of today the game has completed its soft-launch period and is now available worldwide. The easiest way to describe MMX Racing is "it's like CSR Racing with monster trucks," but there's more to it than that. You'll be drag racing against a progressively more difficult ladder of opponents, and timing is crucial as you'll need to step on the gas at just the right times to maximize your speed through each of the courses. Don't get me wrong, this is some super simple single-tap racing, but it's surprisingly fun...

'Monster Hunter Freedom Unite' Review - Good-bye Free Time, Hello Wildlife Slaughter

Capcom's iOS games present a truly insane roll of the dice. You've got terribly reimagined ports of classics like Mega Man X [$4.99], wonderful ports of underappreciated games like Ghost Trick [Free], ports that are maybe a bit too perfect like Street Fighter II Collection [$3.99] or the dearly departed Marvel Vs. Capcom 2, and games that take familiar names and series and go in strange directions like Ghosts 'n Goblins Gold Knights [$0.99]. This time, however, they've really gone and done it. Just when you think they can't make you doubt them any further, they go and totally redeem themselves with an absolutely fantastic iOS version of Monster Hunter Freedom Unite [$14.99]...

This morning, the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) ruled that an e-mail ad for Electronic Arts' much-maligned Dungeon Keeper [Free] was misleading to the average consumer. Specifically, the ASA took issue with the ad's claim that Dungeon Keeper was "free," ruling that the ad didn't include crucial information about the game's in-app purchases...

Ndemic's Plague Inc. [$0.99] has seen an overwhelming amount of support since its release in May of 2012. Numerous updates have added new content to the game at a steady pace, and the enormous success of the game has even resulted in a partnership with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention which saw the game's creator speak at the CDC as well as some actual CDC-related content for the game. Today Ndemic has announced another partnership, this time with 20th Century Fox that'll see the Simian Flu featured in the upcoming film Dawn of the Planet of the Apes added into Plague Inc...

Kart racing games without multiplayer just feel like they're missing something, and such was the issue with Angry Birds Go [Free] – until now. There's a new online multiplayer mode that's just been added in the 1.4.0 update for the game. The mode requires a "Piggy Island Driver's License," so don't just expect to download the game fresh and get into multiplayer races, but experienced players should be able to take on players right now...

'Desert Fox' Review - Attempt To Do What The Fox Could Not

Erwin Rommel, also known as the Desert Fox, has got to be one of the more interesting figures of World War 2. For starters, he's a well-regarded man in spite of fighting for Nazi Germany in the war, a rare enough achievement for him to gain distinction on alone. He was an incredibly skilled military commander, demonstrating an uncanny level of strategy, especially in the challenging desert climates of North Africa. His conscience was such that his ultimate downfall only came about because he was part of the plot to assassinate Adolf Hitler, and even after being discovered, he was allowed to die with some dignity, with his family's safety assured. He was beloved by the people of Germany, highly respected by his enemies, and overall quite the military genius. For those reasons, and more, the world has seen fit to give him one of our highest awards: video games based on him and his exploits...

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