Category Archives: Game Center

I've reviewed a lot of Kemco games in the last couple of years here at TouchArcade, and while the quality varies wildly, I can easily say my least favorite of that two dozen, give or take, was Shelterra The Skyworld [$3.99]. It basically encapsulated everything that I dislike about developer Magitec's games. The archaic engine with its jerky scrolling, the localization so stiff you could iron a shirt on it, the irritating dungeons that have you doubling back and forth hitting switches with damage floors everywhere, the asinine approach to character development, and more all added up to one sad little reviewer. Every time I see Magitec's name on a new Kemco release now, I take a deep breath, flinching the way one would when a static shock is expected from a touch...

'Card Crawl' Review - Just One More Time

Card games are extremely difficult to make, in my estimation: the game has to provide a rigid set of rules, while having to deal with randomness in a way that feels fair while reveling in the entropy that comes from not knowing what's next. I don't know if Card Crawl [$1.99] ever completely succeeds in that respect in terms of fairness with the randomness. But it does an excellent enough job otherwise at making a game that's super-fun with an interesting set of rules that I struggle to put this one down...

Those sneaky Angry Birds, they almost slipped this one by us. Early yesterday morning, Rovio unleashed Angry Birds Stella POP! [Free] onto the world at large after a soft-launch period which began in late January. Angry Birds Stella POP! is a bubble shooter not totally unlike Bust-a-Move/Puzzle Bobble, but probably more closely aligned with something like King's Bubble Witch 2 Saga [Free]. It utilizes the characters and settings of the latest Angry Birds spinoff series, Angry Birds Stella [Free]. ..

Just as we told you it would a couple of weeks ago, One Man Left's Outwitters [Free] has finally landed on Android and gained a massive overhaul in a version 2.0 update for iOS. Well, while it's technically a "massive overhaul," you won't likely notice much about the new iOS version just on the surface. One Man Left ended up rewriting the game from the ground up as part of the Android porting process, so the game runs like a dream now and features cross-platform play with Android folks. There's also native iPhone 6 and 6 Plus screen support, in-game auto-refresh to create a more "real-time" feel to the asynchronous multiplayer, and many more nips and tucks to the nearly three year old game...

Balancing a tower defense title properly is a pretty tough task. Make a game too easy and players may lose interest in advancing through the game’s missions and difficulty. On the other hand, an incredibly difficult TD title can potentially alienate a lot of prospective players. Epic War TD 2 [$2.99] by AMT Games leans heavily on the difficult side in terms of the TD spectrum. However, the game is balanced well enough that most TD gamers can succeed while optional modes provide a challenge for the hardcore fans...

'Miner Z' Review - Mr. Zombie Driller

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I can't get enough of mining games. Although there are a decent amount of them out in the world, I feel like we still need more. The thrill of digging down deep into the depths of the unknown is unparalleled, and incredibly addictive. Miner Z [Free] might be a more arcade-like experience akin to an endless runner, but it still gets the job done...

Starting in June of last year, Halfbrick began an aggressive updating schedule to one of their oldest and most beloved games, Age of Zombies [$0.99]. Arriving about every month on average, these updates added new content and features that injected new life into a game that was originally released way back in 2010, and long-time fans like myself couldn't be happier to see a classic getting some loving. ..

'Blokshot Revolution' Review - Round And Round We Go

It's been interesting watching the way shooting games have progressed over the years. As one of the first genres in video gaming, the shooting genre has had a lot of interesting twists and turns. From the earliest titles like Space Invaders that offered a single screen and a big set of targets to pick off one at a time, to the advent of scrolling shooters with titles like Namco's Xevious, into a golden age with amazing shooting games being made by just about every prominent company, often with intricate stage designs and power-up systems. This was followed by the near-total death of the genre that coincided with the rise of Cave who, along with developers like Treasure and Psikyo, continued to service the shrinking audience with increasingly intricate and complex games. The once-mighty genre seemed consigned to niche status forever...

There are a lot of pieces of Pixel Heroes [$6.99] that would have had a much stronger effect on me a couple of years ago. The well-designed faux-retro graphics and sound, the roguelike elements, and the referential sense of humor are all things that have appeal for me, but even the marriage of these particular aspects is getting a bit too familiar to be exciting. That means the game has to carry forward on its gameplay, and it's honestly a mixed bag. This is a challenging streamlined RPG that doesn't take itself too seriously and offers a lot of replay value, but its repetitive nature and tedious combat eat away at the fun, bite by bite...

We're busy little bees running around GDC meeting with developers and checking out cool games, but this is just a quick heads up that the latest update for Pixelbite's tactical dual-stick shooter Space Marshals [$4.99] is now available as a free update in the App Store. The update adds Chapter Two to the game, which includes new weapons, new gear, new missions to complete and new enemies to defeat. Check out the trailer...

We were already well aware that Pixelbite Games were experts at making racing games, with the excellent Reckless Racing series and Repulze, but in early January they released Space Marshals [$4.99] and showed the world that they've also got a lock on tactical dual-stick shooters. We loved Space Marshals in our review, noting that it really focused on forethought, skill and strategy, which is a contrast from most dual-stick shooters which are largely blast-a-thons. The one bummer about Space Marshals is that it was designed as an episodic game, and the first chapter, while a nice meaty ride, still felt like it left you hanging when it was over. Good news, then, as today Pixelbite has announced that the Chapter Two update to Space Marshals is arriving next week on March 5th. They've released a new trailer showing off some of the awesome new stuff you can expect in Chapter Two...

'Pinball Arcade: The Addams Family' Review - And Now, This Mamushka Is For You

The developers behind The Pinball Arcade [Free / $0.99], FarSight Studios, are nothing if not extremely passionate about pinball. They've been in the games industry a pretty long time, over 20 years now, but they didn't truly find their niche until the 2004 release of Pinball Hall Of Fame: The Gottlieb Collection on the PlayStation 2. Its initial release was perhaps a little too early to catch the renaissance of video pinball, but it at least did well enough that they followed that up a few years later with The Williams Collection. With Williams tables being a lot more well-known among Americans, that release ended up doing pretty well, earning high praise for its faithfulness to the real machines. While this was all happening, digital storefronts started to become more popular. Soon, retail retro collections were becoming retro themselves, with a la carte offerings proving more popular with fans. It was a natural fit for the type of work FarSight was doing, and so The Pinball Arcade was born...

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 [$2.99]. 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 [$2.99] 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...

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