Category Archives: Game Center

There is no shortage of aerial dogfighting games in this world, both 2D and 3D. Tons of games try, fairly successfully, to capture that aerial combat dynamic, but very few are aces. That’s the kind of case we have on our hands today. Pilots of the Dawn [Free], from Sapeli Studio Oy, is brimming with talent and potential, and while it lacks variety in both gametypes and assets, what is there definitely shines...

The Heroes Rise trilogy of gamebooks are, as near as I can tell, among the most popular releases from Choice Of Games. There are probably a lot of reasons for that, including the popularity of both superheroes and reality show send-ups, the interesting, convoluted plot, and the overall quality of the writing. Most of those things are still just as popular now as they were before, so even though the author of Heroes Rise has already started a new series set in another universe, it's perhaps not that surprising that the Hero Project is coming back for a second season. That trilogy wrapped things up so well, however, that it's hard to say what the best way forward would be for a follow-up. The Hero Project: Redemption Season [$3.99] finds a new direction, and while it's a pretty good one, it's tackling some complex issues that it can't quite seem to get a proper handle on...




Raresloth's fantastic puzzle platformer King Rabbit [Free] is getting ready to be injected with a huge amount of new content this Thursday. As they've detailed in our forums, this update is dubbed the Fire Adventures Update and comes with 16 new campaign levels that'll be free for all existing owners, plus an additional 64 new levels in the Fire Adventures DLC pack which will launch at a sale price of 99¢ for the first 72 hours. That's like not even two cents per new level! In addition to new levels, there are now 8 characters to unlock and play as: Peach, Snobby, Albino, Demon, Jackalope, Leprechaun, Zombie, and Lovely. This update will also include 10 new unlockable customizations so you can trick out whichever character you prefer with some sweet flare. Both the new characters and the customizations are unlockable with diamonds, which by the way are now labeled on the level selection screens so you know which levels have them and which don't. Completionists rejoice! Check out this brand new trailer for the Fire Adventures Update...

In an era where kids can fire up a game like Real Racing 3 [Free] for free on a mobile device, I can't imagine slot car racing sets are as ubiquitous as they were when I was a kid. Just about everyone seemed to own one back then, whether they were interested in cars or not. They're pretty simple toys, with the only real input being how fast the car is going at any given time, but there was a certain thrill in seeing how fast you could take corners without careening wildly off the little plastic tracks. There was a bit of technique to it, though the advantage certainly went to the player who was most familiar with the track. Black Hole Joyrider [$0.99], the latest from Boson X [$2.99] creator Ian MacLarty, might look and sound like a grand space adventure, but it's basically a gorgeous game of slot car solitaire...

The '80s was the best decade to be alive, and all you Millennials with your Snapchats and your Drake memes can just get off my lawn! Ok, so maybe the actual '80s weren't all that great, but all the stuff we use to remember the '80s is the best. Big hair. Neon everything. Leg warmers!? I mean, c'mon. Back in March we talked about a new neon-infused endless driving game called Cruise Control that was looking for beta testers and totally harnessed the awesomeness of the '80s. Well, beta testers beta'd, developers developed, and as of this morning Cruise Control [Free] is now available in the App Store. Here's the launch trailer...

After a loooonnng soft-launch, Ubisoft's Assassin's Creed Identity [$4.99] finally launched world wide just over two months ago. Having not played an Assassin's Creed game since the second game in the series back in 2009, I wasn't totally sure what to expect from this mobile edition. As it turned out I was pleasantly surprised to find an experience that was heavily streamlined for mobile touchscreen play but still retained the essence of what makes Assassin's Creed so fun: whacking dudes while being a stealthy bad ass. ..

'Chameleon Run' Review - A Change of Color

I've played so many runners in the past 10 years or so I've lost count. Much like my teenage years after I realized that I had played hundreds of platformers in my lifetime, over time, I started to notice that you can't really browse the App Store without seeing a runner front and center. While many groan at the prospect, I relish a new opportunity to check out a new entry, and a brand new way to spend entire days wasting away behind the comfort of a touchscreen...

'Tiny Tower' 5 Year Anniversary Update Coming May 26th

A few weeks ago Nimblebit announced they were in the midst of creating a massive update for their mega-hit tower building game Tiny Tower [Free] in anticipation of its 5-year anniversary. At that time they were seeking beta participants to try out the new update, and apparently that testing has gone well as today Nimblebit announced that the 5th Anniversary Edition of Tiny Tower will be available on May 26th. As mentioned before, this update will include improved visuals, streamlined tower manageent, tons of new missions and floors to build, and even the ability to share Bitizens between friends...

The simulation game factory that is Kairosoft continues to crank out new games to the iOS platform in the West, with the latest being Pocket League Story 2 [Free] which has just arrived this morning. It's a sequel to their 2012 fan-favorite release that had you putting together your own soccer team and then training them and making them into the top team in the world. Being a Kairosoft game it wasn't just about the team either, as you had to build a stadium to play in, a training facility for your team to practice at, sell merchandise to fans, and all those other little responsibilities that go along with managing a major sports team...

Prettygreat's second mobile game Slide the Shakes [Free] has been a pretty surprising hit since its launch back in February. The simple and satisfying act of pulling back and launching shakes while trying to get them to stop sliding on a specific landing zone works incredibly well as a mobile game, and Prettygreat was surprised to see how quickly players were devouring the game's original 100 levels. After adding 25 new levels last month for Easter, they're back again with another batch of new Slide the Shakes levels. This time there's a whopping 50 new levels as well as new elements like the portal and wind that'll affect your shake sliding. It's all explained in this needlessly dramatic and action-packed trailer...

'Guns Of Infinity' Review - The Ravages Of War

My quest to stay more or less on top of major gamebook releases has been pretty tricky of late thanks to the speed at which new ChoiceScript-based games have released both through Choice Of Games and Hosted Games. It's hardly the worst problem to have, but readers who have stayed on top of my recent gamebook reviews know that none of them have really grabbed me recently. Coming off of the massive, disappointing Magikiras [Free], I was a little wary of Guns Of Infinity [$4.99]. It's by a completely different author, mind you, so there wasn't much of a logical basis for that fear, but the relatively large word count certainly had me cautious. An unpleasant read can result in very different levels of agony depending on its length, and if Guns Of Infinity missed the mark, it was going to be a very long haul...

It's always a downer when a game you really like at its core is dragged down by external factors. Such is the case with Trap Da Gang [Free], the latest release from Japanese publisher Obokaid'em Games. The basic gameplay is challenging, fun, and wonderfully reminiscent of vintage arcade games from the mid-1980s. But being a free game, it also has an economy that you have to deal with, and while that's not always bad in principle, the extra cruft it brings to the game hurts it. It's still a fun game, but I couldn't help but wish there were some way to play it in a purer form...

Dust: An Elysian Tail [$5.99] knocked off a lot of socks around here when it released on iOS last October. Originally an Xbox 360 release, Dust made its way to iOS in style. We liked it enough to give it our Game Of The Week and a five-star review, and I personally included the game in both my Best Overall Of 2015 and the RPG Reload 2015 Golden Pancho Awards. In short, the game has fantastic production values and it plays like a dream. That said, if you weren't using a newer device with 1 GB of RAM or more, or simply couldn't get on with virtual controls at all, you couldn't join the party. Well, friends, your invite's in the mail and you can RSVP tomorrow, because Dust has a really nice update coming this Thursday...

What is our fascination with post-apocalyptic media? Maybe it's the fear of the unknown, in that things may actually be that dire one day, and a peek into the future is relatively harmless. Maybe it's because some of the greatest filmmakers of our time, including George Miller, flock to projects like that because they provide a blank canvas of expectations -- the world is theirs to create as they see fit. Chrome Death [Free] isn't necessarily that magnificent, but just like Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon on PC and consoles, it really nails what makes that genre so special...

'Pixel Machines' Review - If 'Micro Machines' Ain't Broke, Don't Fix It

I really don't think free-to-play is as bad as its vocal haters claim it is, but I totally get that it changes games' structures. Look at something like the soft-launched Micro Machines; if you just wanted a way to play the classic Micro Machines game on your iPhone or iPad, all the games-as-a-service shenanigans might be distasteful. Still, I think you should keep an open mind, but I get it. Change sucks. Thankfully, indie developers who just want to make cool homages to the classics and only charge you once, and small amounts at that, do still exist. Pixel Machines [$0.99] will really strike a chord with Micro Machines fans by being pretty much the same game, but with mobile-friendly and modern features...

Following its big crafting update from early last month, Bethesda has launched yet another update for their apocalypse survival simulator Fallout Shelter [Free] today, this time adding the ability to break down your unwanted weapons and outfits and turn them into junk that you can actually use… for crafting stuff! So much synergy going on right now. This update also adds 3D Touch support for those of you on fancy new iPhones so you can hop right into any of your vaults straight from the homescreen icon. Convenient!..

There are a lot of different ways a piece of interactive fiction can succeed. Some of them tell a great story, some of them give the player a genuine feel of agency in the plot, and some of them have interesting puzzles. Some have tense, RPG-like battles, while others have no fighting at all and focus on building character relationships. A few just take a very interesting setting or theme and run with it. But for all of these strong points that gamebooks can take advantage of, there are a ton of pitfalls that, if not specific to the format, are at least more potentially devastating to the overall enjoyment of a work. It's not an easy thing to put a smooth, highly-interactive narrative together that manages to be strong enough to carry an entire game. It involves almost all of the headaches of writing a good book combined with the difficulties of quality game design...

'Super Tribes' Review - Global Domination, Bit by Bit

The RTS genre is one I remember fondly. Micromanaging troops and building an empire is an unparalleled joy in some cases. For some titles, it was all about just getting through the day, and taking out an enemy force. But for others, it was about managing an economy, and growing over time to support your people. They’re the kind of games that lend themselves well to short or marathon sessions, where you can just pop in, stress free, and take care of business. The mobile arena is a perfect fit for that type of game, and Super Tribes [Free] is happy to accommodate...

'Pang Adventures' Review - Pang, Nab It

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April 20th, 2016 11:01 AM EDT by Shaun Musgrave in $2.99, 4 stars, Action, Arcade, Game Center, iPad Games, iPhone games, Reviews
$3.99 Buy Now

Until now, publisher Dotemu's work on iOS has been mostly limited to bringing back beloved classics in their original forms. Their releases have run the gamut from arcade shoot-em-ups like R.Type [$1.99] to point-and-click PC titles like Sanitarium [$3.99], to say nothing of the work they've done for other companies like SNK and Square Enix. Pang Adventures [$3.99] is something of an unusual case for the prolific French publisher, as it's a new game based on an old favorite franchise. You might remember the series under the names Pang, Buster Bros., Pomping World, Magical Michael, or if you're particularly well-informed, Cannon Ball. We'll go with Pang for the purposes of this review...

Well, here it is, everyone. Magikiras [Free] is easily one of the worst gamebooks I've played in my years of reviewing, and hands-down the most painful. It's absurdly long given its meager premise, poorly-written, and just plain boring. There are tons of spelling and grammar mistakes, and many other instances of incorrect English. It's linear to a fault, with almost every choice in the book save a few very important ones coming down to the same set of approaches listed in the same order. Even those chances come entirely too sporadically, however. You'll mostly just be tapping through page after page of banal text, praying for a release that is perpetually too far away...

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