Category Archives: Game Center

Five Alarm Freebie Alert: 'Space Marshals' Goes Free for the First Time

We live in a world of constant sales and freebies. It happens so darn much that sometimes it's tough to even get excited about a sale. This is NOT one of those times. Pixelbite's stunning dual-stick shooter Space Marshals [$4.99] has just dropped to free for the first time ever. It's not known why exactly it's free at this point in time, but this isn't the time for questions, this is the time for action. That action is mashing the download button on your device...

Those of you who hang around our forums don't need any introduction to Andy C83. For years he has been one of the most skilled mobile gamers we've ever seen when it comes to speedrunning or setting high scores. If you aren't familiar with Andy, well, just fire up Game Center at pretty much any popular game and chances are pretty good he'll be somewhere near the top of the leaderboard. In fact we've even featured Andy's work on the front page here before, once for putting together an awesome time-lapse of the first 1,000 holes in Desert Golfing [$0.99] and one time for speedrunning through the insanely difficult Duet [$2.99] in less than 10 minutes. Anyway, Andy's latest feat is one I'm still trying to wrap my head around. He recently speedran the entire game Chameleon Run [$0.99] and has put together a compilation of all his speedruns for all the game's levels. Seriously, check this out...




LEGO games on iOS are, by this point, nothing if not reliable. Apart from the earliest releases on the platform and the occasional experiment, the LEGO games based on licensed properties all essentially do the same things. They tell (or retell) a humorous story using a selection of stages from the console versions, offer up some mindless action gaming, and have a ton of unlockables. How much you enjoy them usually depends on how much you like the property involved, but all of the games kind of fall in that sticky zone that lay just between boring and interesting, and LEGO Jurassic World [$4.99] isn't any different. Except, you know, that this one has playable dinosaurs...

If there's one genre I almost never get to experience, it's fishing. I have plenty of nostalgia for SEGA's huge line of bass-centric games as well as their amazing arcade machines where you can actually feel the tension in the rod, but in this modern era, I generally don't go out of my way to play a console or mobile fishing game. That changed with Fishing Break [Free], and although it has a rather aggressive monetization strategy, it still hits the spot...

Generally speaking, I'm not the sort of gamebook fan that replays books terribly often after finishing them. I'm usually okay with getting whatever story and ending comes from my choices, so long as it's an ending and not a "game over". With The Daring Mermaid Expedition [Free], however, I found myself going back a few times. It's a relatively short adventure, and it's almost impossible to satisfy your curiosity about the game's mysteries in a single play. The author takes a light approach to whole affair, and there's a playful feeling running through the whole story. I can't say it's one of my favorites from Choice Of Games, but if it catches you in the right mood, you'll probably enjoy it...

There's no denying that the surfer culture is an extremely laid back one, so it's sort of apropos that Diverso Games' latest title Go Surf [$1.99] shuffled onto the App Store just a wee bit later than all of yesterday's new releases. Hey, it's cool bro! We're all a little late sometimes. If you aren't aware of Go Surf from our previous coverage, it's a super-stylish one-tap endless surfing game that does a wonderful job at capturing the beach lifestyle. Check out the trailer...

In January of this year I was pleased to see Sega release an update for Sonic 4 Episode 2 [$2.99] that addressed some iOS compatibility issues which had rendered the game unplayable. Sure the game was broken for about 2.5 years before the fix arrived, but I was still glad to see it arrive at all and, perhaps feeling a bit too optimistic, I also said "Although it's never been broken by iOS, I sure wouldn't mind Sonic The Hedgehog 4 Episode 1 [$2.99] getting a little update love with some widescreen action." Well hey, guess what? Sega has done just that with an update released just this morning. Not only is the game properly widescreen now, but the art itself has been cleaned up for modern iOS device resolutions. Here's a bunch of comparison shots from before and after today's update, click on any of them to enlarge...

Monkey Swingers [Free] is a game that has some immediate appeal, but it doesn't take long for it start pushing you away. Not only is the game quite tough, it also demands a fair bit of concentration, and a good run usually lasts longer than the excitement does. If you intend on getting your little monkey up into space and beyond, you need to demonstrate a high level of skill, but also set aside a reasonably big chunk of time to dedicate to the task. I like the idea behind the game well enough, and it's certainly got a nice system of upgrades and fun cosmetic items to unlock, but it just doesn't come together as well as I'd hope...

We've been following the progress of Power Hover's [$0.99] forthcoming update for the past few months as developer Oddrok has been posting bits and pieces of the update in our forums. Now it's all coming full circle as that update is finished and set to arrive next Thursday, April 7th. The update will include new environments to hover around in, an entire new chapter with 6 new levels and 1 new endless boss level, and new characters to unlock and play as. All of this new goodness can be seen in this brand new trailer...

Dragon Hills [$1.99] busted onto the scene just about a year ago, and took the whole "diving in and out of the ground eating people and destroying things" gameplay first popularized by Death Worm [$2.99 / Free] and gave it the lovely style and personality that developer Rebel Twins is known for. While the game was quite enjoyable upon release, it never received any new content afterwards, which is a surefire way to be forgotten about in the tough App Store environment. Well, upon its one year anniversary, Rebel Twins has prepared a hefty update for Dragon Hills which will add new playable dragons called "King of Fire" and "Worminator", a new Pirate-themed environment, new enemies, and more. Check out the trailer for the new update...

We've been following the progress of Extreme Gear ever since spotting it for the first time back in late January, but today is the day that Zero Games' Extreme Gear: Demolition Arena [Free] has finally arrived in the App Store. If you haven't been following along, Extreme Gear is pretty much an homage to old-school Destruction Derby from the PS1 days, something I've been hoping for on iOS for a long time. I've spent a good chunk of my day with Extreme Gear, and while it's certainly rough around the edges and has plenty of room for improvement, the bottom line is that smashing into other cars is fun, and Extreme Gear does a great job at letting you do just that. ..

You would definitely be forgiven for looking at the screenshots in this review and assuming this game was some kind of clone or expansion DLC for Monument Valley [$3.99]. But aside from the Escher-esque optical illusions in the levels, the design, mechanics, and even the other aspects of the aesthetics offer something completely different. And while Dream Machine: The Game [$0.99] isn’t quite the masterwork that Monument Valley is, it’s a beautiful, memorable 3D puzzle game, and a premium one with no IAP to boot...

Gamevil's third-person multiplayer shooter Afterpulse [Free] launched worldwide last October following a short soft-launch period. It offered great visuals, but more importantly it streamlined the shooter experience to create something that felt satisfying but still highly playable on mobile touchscreen devices. We enjoyed it a lot in our original review, and although I was a bit late to the party, I also got hooked on Afterpulse late last year and it's become one of my very favorite games. The shooting is fun, the matchmaking works great, and the RPG-ish character and weapon leveling keeps me coming back time and time again. ..

In September of last year, Deed - The Game [Free] officially launched in the App Store, but it wasn't until today at GDC that I'd even heard of it. There are a couple reasons for that, I think. For one, it's based on a physical board game named simply Sustainable Business that's popular in Brazil but not so much elsewhere. Second, Deed was somewhat positioned as an educational game, which is accurate as it's a simulation of global trading but that's sort of dismissive of the actual fun and strategy contained within. Well, it turns out that that initial launch of Deed was sort of a learning experience anyway, and so developer Sinergia Studios made the tweaks and fixes that the game needed based on feedback while it was live in the time since its launch, and in fact ended up even completely revamping the art style for the "real" launch of the game when a big version 2.0 update hit last month. ..

Nexon's Legacy Quest [Free] was originally announced more than a year ago, in February 2015, and just a week or so after that it ended up being one of my favorite games that I saw at GDC that year. The game had been in soft-launch since last September, and has undergone numerous changes and tweaks since leading up to its worldwide release just last night. So what is Legacy Quest? The simple description is it's Diablo with a Minecraft-y voxel art style. You'll create a team of fighters and loot dungeons by hacking and slashing away at tons of enemies in a variety of shapes and sizes. This is an old trailer and I think the release version of Legacy Quest looks a lot better, but it gives you a brief idea of what you're in for gameplay-wise...

One of the fun things about following a specific platform over a number of years is watching how things progress. Developers and series will pop up, and if they hang around, you can see what they do to build on what they did before to try to make an even better game. Sometimes it works out, and sometimes it doesn't. In the case of developer TouchMint and its Adventure To Fate series of turn-based RPGs, it's happily been the former. When the first game launched almost two years ago, it was a fun, somewhat rough game that got better with a couple of updates. Last year, a free-to-play follow-up came out, focusing almost entirely on the combat system and character development mechanics. That game, too, got some really nice updates that made the game better. I don't know what the update plans look like for Adventure To Fate: Quest To The Future [$3.99] looks like, but even in its present state, it shows the experience TouchMint has gathered in its own personal quest for glory...

For as far back as last June when Apple released the private beta of iOS 9 during WWDC, Game Center has been plagued with issues. For some reason the service just simply stops working out of the blue. I didn't personally become affected with the Game Center bug until sometime last fall, after the official release of iOS 9. Since then, various versions of rebooting, signing out of the App Store, turning on Airplane mode, or voodoo dancing have gotten Game Center to work intermittently, but even those crazy methods eventually stopped working and ever since about December Game Center has been as dead as a doornail to me. ..

Pako - Car Chase Simulator [$0.99] from Tree Men Games is marching towards its 2nd birthday this coming summer, and what a "ride" it's been thus far (pun totally intended). When it originally launched in August of 2014 Pako was a stylish but simplistic high-scoring game all about trying to drive around with no brakes for as long as possible while avoiding obstacles and police cars. It's still about that at its core, but Pako has seen a ton of updates since its release, like new environments to drive in along with new vehicles to drive. This has given Tree Men the opportunity to expand the boundaries of Pako with unique levels like the Arena which allows you to choose what vehicle you use, the Moon with its crazy gravity, the Desert which is an actual race against other cars, or the Airport which has you starting out as a human on foot and lets you hop into any vehicle you come across, including luggage carts, tiny aircraft, and stair cars (You're going to get some hop-ons). Oh! How could I forget my favorite level the Hockey arena which lets you cruise around on the ice in a Zamboni and even run into a giant puck which you can launch into the net to score a goal?..

Virtually everything can be made better by doing it in space. Except breathing oxygen, I suppose. And eating potato chips. And using the toilet. Okay, let's revise that. Some things can be made better by doing them in space, and engaging in capitalistic ventures just happens to be one of them. The core principles of buying low and selling high simply go well with traversing a lonely universe and battling space pirates. Perhaps unsurprisingly, iOS gamers already have a few games to choose from in this style, including games that focus mostly on trading mechanics at the expense of action or visual flourish, ones that put most of their eggs in the combat basket, and some that try to dazzle you with their slick presentation and sense of immersion in order to build a believable universe. Simply put, there's a fair bit of established competition for Stellar Wanderer [$4.99], albeit little of it recent...

It begins again! The original Badland [$2.99] was notorious for receiving new levels and features WELL after its original release in April of 2013. So when the sequel Badland 2 [$3.99] came along late last year it had the unenviable task of being compared to its older and more fleshed-out sibling. However, Badland 2 brought its own bag of tricks to the table, including even more impressive visuals and a more multidirectional nature that set it apart from its strictly side-scrolling predecessor. Even without fifty billion levels, we loved Badland 2 in our review, and knowing developer Frogmind we were quite confident that we'd be seeing more levels added in the future. And that's totally the case! Frogmind is tweeting out teasers of some new levels coming in the forthcoming Infinity update, check out the .gifs!..

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