Category Archives: Game Center

The App Store is pretty much overflowing with games that are trying to capitalize on your nostalgia. It seems like many developers hope that aping familiar art styles and systems will elevate their otherwise amateurish endeavors. There is nothing wrong with making a love letter to a series you enjoyed growing up, don’t get me wrong, but it’s becoming a tired gimmick. Then, a few cool cats from Russia follow the same principle of nostalgia, except like Ivan Drago from Rocky IV, it’s veins are coursing with steroids instead of blood, and you get a game so jam packed with references and tropes that you can’t help but smile. Until the grind kicks in that is. This is Punch Club [$4.99]...

One of last year's biggest games and indeed one of our own Best of 2015 and a serious contender for Game of the Year, Aquiris Game Studio's Horizon Chase [Free], has just gone free for the first time since its release. The best way I can describe Horizon Chase is that it's like what someone in 1985 would imagine an arcade racing video game would be like in 2015. It has a decidedly retro feel but somehow still feels modern at the same time. I mean, just look at this glorious trailer for Horizon Chase...




Mr Jump [Free], the brutally difficult precision platformer from 1Button that took the App Store by storm last spring, is getting ready to unleash a brand new update on its masochistic players. This update will introduce "World C" which contains 12 brand new levels and a couple of new features to look out for. First up are teleporters, which as you'll see in the trailer below are used in mind-bending ways to beam you back and forth around a level's many hazards. Then you have what 1Button is calling "reversible spikes" which are these jerkwad spikes that keep flashing on and off like jerks. Basically, World C looks like the next level of Hell...

Last month brought the release of Oddrok's Power Hover [$3.99], a behind-the-back hoverboarding game with an incredibly stylish look. Now, a little over a month later and Oddrok has begun teasing some of what to expect in the game's first content update. Backing up a bit, one of the things we loved most about Power Hover in our review is the number of truly interesting environments you got to hoverboard around in, and how cinematic the game could feel with its dynamic camera changing between various dramatic angles. Basically, with the cool visuals, great music, and smooth movement, Power Hover is a game that's simply fun to play and is the perfect game to kind of zone out with. So, as for the update, Oddrok says you can expect a brand new snow level and they've offered up a .gif preview which you can see below...

When it comes to modern games trying to pay tribute to retro classics, nailing the balance between making a fun modern game and an appropriate homage is really tough. It can be done – Shovel Knight on console and PC is a fantastic example of how to pay tribute to Mega Man, Castlevania, and the like. And we look at Horizon Chase [Free] on mobile, which did an amazing job at balancing out the feel of retro racing games while not being as clunky, frustrating, and unfair as many of those games were. There's a balance to be had. Venture Kid [$0.99] from FDG Entertainment clearly wants to pay tribute to Mega Man in everything it's about, and in doing so, it's kind of a solid platformer, but it mostly just misses the point of what made the game it's paying tribute to so great...

'Swapperoo' Review - Rage Against The Matching

I remember hearing that people were so obsessed with Tetris in the 80’s that when they’d close their eyes they’d still see the pieces falling and fitting together in their mind. It’s called the Tetris Effect, and I’ve always thought it was weird that people considered it strange enough to warrant its own name. Pretty much anything I get super into will start to invade my thoughts and dreams when I close my eyes. Isn’t that pretty normal? Why is Tetris special? Certainly there are plenty of iOS games that give me the same “effect” when I play them long enough. Like Swapperoo [$0.99], for instance...

TouchArcade Game of the Week: 'Momoka: An Interplanetary Adventure'

The idea behind the TouchArcade Game of the Week is that every Friday afternoon we post the one game that came out this week that we think is worth giving a special nod to. Now, before anyone goes over-thinking this, it doesn't necessarily mean our Game of the Week pick is the highest scoring game in a review, the game with the best graphics, or really any other quantifiable "best" thing. Instead, it's more just us picking out the single game out of the week's releases that we think is the most noteworthy, surprising, interesting, or really any other hard to describe quality that makes it worth having if you were just going to pick up one...

Swapperoo [$0.99] is the latest title from Fallen Tree Games, developers of the wonderful Quell series. It released a bit late and kind of missed the whole weekly release post thing, but that's no reason for it to fly under the radar, it's too stinking awesome! Somehow, Fallen Tree has managed to make a match-3 game that's actually interesting, unique, and highly strategic. I figured that train had sailed from the airport a long time ago, but I'm happy to have been proven wrong. ..

Jared Bailey (aka No Can Win) is one of my favorite developers on the App Store. I loved Cubed Rally Racer [$0.99], and was near-obsessed with the follow-up, Cubed Rally Redline [Free]. After that, though, he started focusing on much simpler Ketchapp-style games that weren’t really my cup o’ tea. The last game of his (which I reviewed) was called Super Bounce Back [Free], and it seemed to be a step back in the right direction, with a clever concept that was slightly more involved than the “one-button-quick-reaction” style games he’d been putting out after the Cubed Rally series. And fortunately for me (and you, I suppose), his latest effort Rocket Ski Racing [Free] climbs out of that inverted bell curve even further. Simply put, it’s a blast...

Robomodo's Globber's Escape [Free] was a solid little Pac-Man-esque game that released in 2014, and the game's just gotten an update on iOS that brings it up to par with the Android version and adds in some new features. The game's gotten a bit of a visual upgrade with new colors for the protagonist Globber, as he shifts hues depeer and deepr into the game. And 4 new rooms, though only on higher-end devices, along with various new tweaks and social features to finish out the experience...

'Traffic Rider' Review - Stop Riding Those Brakes, AI

Although plenty of racing games existed before mobile, I feel like the advent of iOS and Android devices spawned a whole new era. While it's generally difficult to craft high quality simulation experiences for PC and console platforms, tons of developers are able to create arcade-like games for mobile, often times to great success. This goes for none other than Traffic Rider [Free], which feels like a fully-fledged racer in its own right...

Let’s talk about upgrades. It’s pretty common in free-to-play games for the difficulty to ramp up and up, and the only way to progress is to spend whatever currencies and upgrade your cards, characters, weapons, clothes, eating utensils, or whatever else is supposed to make you “better”. When it’s done badly it can turn into a dreaded Pay Wall, but there are plenty of fair examples, too. This system works fine in RPGs, shooters, match-three games, and the like. In games that require pure strategy, however, the model starts to feel kind of weird...

We learned last week that Zen Studios was readying two brand new pinball tables focused on the smash hit film Star Wars: The Force Awakens. The announcement was accompanied by a short teaser trailer that briefly showed one of the new tables in action, but as is usually the case with teasers, there just wasn't much detail shown. With the new tables set to launch across all platforms this week, Zen has released two brand new trailers that give a much deeper look into each of the new Star Wars tables...

Just last week we let you know that Hi-Rez Studios, makers of the console and PC game Smite, had released their very first mobile game titled Jetpack Fighter [Free]. Jetpack Fighter centers around a colorful cast of characters fighting against evil robots by using swipe-based aerial combat. The game takes place on a 2D plane but the 3D backgrounds change perspective as you move through each level, and your roster of fighters can level up and gain new attacks and abilities as you play. The swipe combat works great, the game looks great, and there's tons of stuff to do. There was just one problem: Jetpack Fighter required an internet connection to play, and while that in itself isn't the biggest deal in the world, whatever servers the game needed to connect to were NOT acting properly just following the game's release, meaning a lot of people were unable to play and even those that were were subjected to extremely long loading times as the game tried to connect...

PSA: Go Download 'Super Hexagon' for Free While You Still Can

You've probably seen or heard that Super Hexagon [$2.99] by Terry Cavanagh is currently free as the App Store's App of the Week. Well, let this serve as a handy heads-up that if you haven't heard, or have been procrastinating on downloading it, that you have a limited amount of time to go and pick it up at this low, low price before it goes back to being paid. This might be sometime on Thursday, it might be on Wednesday, depending on when the switchover is. ..

Out of all the high-profile iOS games that have been broken by iOS updates and removed from the App Store in the past year or so, poor little Sonic 4: Episode 2 [$2.99] has flown under the radar more than any other. Perhaps it's because Sonic's fanbase is extremely impassioned and didn't take too well to Sonic 4, but as someone who both loves Sonic and who quite enjoyed the Sonic 4 games (though they'd never hold a candle to the original trilogy and Sonic CD), I was pretty darn bummed when iOS 7 broke Sonic 4: Episode 2 back in 2013. ..

One of my favorite games of 2014 was Secret Crush's planet-hopping, gravity-based action puzzler Sunburn! [$2.99], and for the first time and likely a limited time you can nab this unique puzzler for free. Those who aren't familiar with Sunburn! may be wondering what the heck it's all about, and I'd be happy to tell you! The premise is one of the best things about this game. You're a space captain, and a comet has come along and destroyed your ship, leaving you and your crew stranded in space. There's no getting out of this one, no one coming to rescue you. You're all going to die. ..

While I'm pretty sure that you're not hurting for free games to play on the App Store right now, especially considering that 2 of the 14 games featured this week on the App Store are paid games, how does a paid game gone free sound like to you? Well, Shane McCafferty's Starseed: Origin [$0.99] is free to download right now. Did the 33% off launch sale not entice you? Well, how about a whopping 100%? Are you not entertained? Do you demand that Shane McCafferty give you money to play his game? How about Rob at Fractures Audio who did the sound and music for the game, must he pay penance unto you to get you to download this? You're a madman if you demand anything more than free without IAP!..

Hi-Rez Studios, who are known for the third-person action MOBA Smite on desktop and console, are venturing into mobile with their first mobile game, Jetpack Fighter [Free], which is out now on the App Store.. While it would be easy for them to do something Smite-related, they decided to go in an entirely different direction: here, you control a warrior with a sword and the ability to endlessly dash through the air, slicing through enemies to get big combos, and engaging in rad-looking dash-slashing fights with bosses...

'Pick-Xell' Review - It's A Dirty Job

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January 7th, 2016 12:03 PM EST by Shaun Musgrave in 3.5 stars, Action, Arcade, Free, Game Center, iPad Games, iPhone games, Reviews
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You don't have to look far to find an iOS game about digging. It's an oddly specific activity to have so many games to its name, but whatever the reasons, people seem to enjoy it. Most games of this type encourage the player to take their time and be cautious, which makes sense given the inherent dangers involved. Games with more an arcade bent to them will counter this need for caution with some sort of immediate danger that keeps the player moving. The challenge then becomes moving fast enough to avoid danger while somehow trying not to make any fatal mistakes in spite of your pace. Pick-Xell [Free], the latest release from Japanese publisher Obokaidem, distills that idea down to its very essence...

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