Category Archives: Game Center

Just over a year ago, Crescent Moon and Tasty Poison Games released Neon Shadow [$0.99], a mobile first-person shooter that was meant as a throwback to the old-school frag fests of the '90s, and they totally nailed it. Neon Shadow had awesome visuals and a really cool sci-fi single-player campaign, but it also featured an online multiplayer mode that was breezy, fast-paced and fun. I love the more complex FPS games with weapon upgrading tiers, different playable classes, and tons of bells and whistles, but on mobile some of the funnest fragging I've had is with classics like Doom and Wolfenstein. Neon Shadow feels like a modern game that somehow captured the soul of those old classics...

In August of last year, 505 Games in partnership with Re-Logic released Terraria [$4.99] on iOS, a mobile version of the ultra-popular crafting/action/adventure/platformer on PC and console. Compared to its PC and console counterparts, Terraria on iOS was pretty stripped down, but still incredibly fun. 505 has worked diligently over the last year adding new content to the game, mostly special holiday-themed updates. The most significant updates to the game have been when it received local multiplayer in November of last year, and when it received the Hard Mode update this past August which essentially let you play a New Game+ with a ton of new stuff after defeating the final boss. This latest update though, version 1.2, blows everything else out of the water...

'Oddworld: Stranger's Wrath' Review - You're Looking Mighty Good, Stranger

The story of the Oddworld Inhabitants themselves is almost as interesting as that of any of their games. Founded by Hollywood veterans to take advantage of the correctly-predicted boom that 3D graphics would bring, the company had a clear, ambitious plan for a series of five games that took place in their Oddworld universe. A new team planning for that many games before they've even finished one is the game development equivalent of a rookie stepping up to the plate and pointing at the stands, but when Oddworld: Abe's Oddysee released, it seemed like the Oddworld Inhabitants weren't bluffing. The game was a massive hit, and the lead character Abe become something of a cult icon in the 32-bit era. It was followed by an initially unplanned direct sequel, Abe's Exoddus, which was meant to help fill the gap while everyone waited for the next chapter of the quintology...

Pixel Boat Rush [$1.99] is a rad 2D boat racing game from the folks at XperimentalZ Games, who have also done a good job with their previous releases like Platforms Unlimited [$0.99] and Don't Run With a Plasma Sword [$0.99], the latter of which is also a top-notch name for a game. Well, Pixel Boat Rush has just gotten its first sale, dropping down to $0.99 from its $1.99 price. Not bad at all for a game I personally enjoy, and our own Shaun Musgrave had praise for in his review...

The sports genre of video games is an interesting animal. It was probably the first genre to seriously concern itself with authenticity, both in terms of the recreating the play mechanics of the real game and acquiring real licenses. One of the first times I heard a licensed song in a game was in one of EA Sports's titles, and the only reason I ever learned who people like John Madden and Jack Nicklaus were was because of video games bearing their names. It took a little while for that to catch on properly with the sport of hockey, with the first licensed products hitting in 1991. Even then, publishers had trouble deciding if they wanted the NHL license, the NHLPA license, or both. After that genie was let out of the bottle, it never went back in, at least until mobiles came around. While you would see the odd unlicensed football or basketball game, hockey games virtually always carried a license of some sort...

One of the things I love about RPGs is how wide and diverse the genre is. There are so many different things an RPG can do well to make a name for itself, whether it be telling a great story, having deep character customization options to play with, bringing an interesting world to life for players to explore, using interesting combat mechanics to force you to think in new ways, or any other of the genre's fine traits. Generally speaking, no two RPGs are quite alike, and some of them are so different from each other it's a wonder we fit them into the same genre at all. I enjoy digging into any RPG and trying to find that thing that makes it special, and even if it's not to my personal tastes, it's always interesting to see how it works and who it might appeal to...

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving here in the States, and as with pretty much any major holiday developer Pixbits have updated their phenomenal crafting adventure game Junk Jack X [$4.99] with holiday-themed content. There's a new Pocket Turkey rare pet, a craftable hay bale block, new dyeable wood panels which can be coupled with the new sloped barn roof and supports so you can build your very own barn(!), and finally there's a Thanksgiving zombie that will drop a rare "weapon" should you come across it. Yes, they put "weapon" in quotes because I imagine it's something silly like a turkey leg or maybe a poisonous buckled hat...

I will forever admit to being a sucker for games with pixel art, and Sunburn [$2.99] had immediate appeal to me based on that, but also thanks to its unique premise: instead of trying to save everyone, the goal is to control the jetpack-equipped astronaut captain, trying to get a bunch of stranded astronauts together, and launch into the sun so that nobody dies alone. But there's limited oxygen, so there's some planet-hopping involved, fiery asteroids to avoid, and a chain of astronauts to string along, trying to make sure they don't suffer a solitary demise while trying to get to the collective goal. This means that death is an odd thing, because dying itself might not be the ultimate goal. It's about making sure everyone suffers a quick death, rather than dying alone in the middle of space. That's a new one! It's a clever and macabre concept for a space physics puzzler, and while the game has issues, the concept alone is well worth checking out...

Even if you've never heard of the Lone Wolf series of gamebooks written by Joe Dever (with their sporadic publishing history I wouldn't blame you), Joe Dever's Lone Wolf [$0.99], a new adventure made specifically for mobile platforms, has got a lot of initial punch. While everything seems to start like any other gamebook you've played on iOS, as soon as you reach the first battle of the game, it's clear that this game has got some strong ideas about where to take gamebooks in the future. The 'Wow' factor of turning the page to an illustration that comes to life in full 3D can't be underestimated, but in its quest to escape the shackles of its old format, Lone Wolf trips over some very familiar problems inherent to its new one. In the style of our reviews of The Walking Dead [Free] and The Wolf Among Us [Free], this review will be appended to as each new act releases...

Zen Studios is adding another Marvel-themed table to their lineup of digital pinball games across all platforms, including of course iOS. Spider-Man's arch-nemesis Venom will be getting his very own table, and it'll be coming to both Zen Pinball [Free] and Marvel Pinball [$0.99] the week of December 8th. Specifically, iOS gamers can look forward to the table becoming available on December 11th, and it'll be in line with other Marvel tables from Zen and will cost $1.99. Here's a screen of the new Venom table...

You forgot about Pocket God [$0.99], didn't you? Sure, it has been a year since the last episode, "Apocalypse, Ow!" But that's no reason to forget about the game that made the "apps with free updates" concept a reality. Well, the app refuses to die, as Bolt Creative has announced episode 48 is coming soon, entitled "Call of Booty." The big new feature in this update is the ability to dive in the sea and explore underwater, hunting for treasure, while avoiding deadly sea creatures. There's twenty total pieces of booty to get, and a golden oyster idol, because why not? Check out the trailer for the upcoming update:..

'Crystal Siege HD' for iPad Review - Tower Defense Ain't Dead Yet

Certainly, tower defense is a genre where it's difficult to really rock the boat too much, especially since the genre's evolution was accelerated by the fact that it was a great fit for mobile, and everyone and their mother decided to apply their take on the genre. But hey, the games are still pretty fun, and there's still the occasional title with a clever twist on the proceedings. Crystal Siege [$4.99 (HD)] from Carrot Games and FDG Entertainment tries to apply an action-RPG take on tower defense, without drifting too much into the action-RPG side of things, like Dungeon Defenders [$2.99] does. As such, this winds up being a take on the genre that does some great things for itself while not rocking the boat too much...

One of the true App Store classics is Kairosoft's 2010 release of Game Dev Story [$3.99], which was pretty much just a simple port of a game that they originally released on PC in Japan in the late '90s. It wasn't the prettiest game, nor did it have any fancy features that took advantage of iOS's capabilities. What it did have was an unparalleled gaming experience that let you create your own fictional game company and release your own fictional games. The amount of tongue-in-cheek humor and video game cultural references was incredible, and the game itself was a very satisfying simulation. The game's popularity prompted Kairosoft to release a multitude of similar simulations for mobile devices, and while many of them are quite good there's really nothing that's topped Game Dev Story...

The fourth and final installment of Forge Reply's digital gamebook Joe Dever's Lone Wolf [$0.99] is now officially available for download, just as we learned it would be earlier this month. The new installment, titled Act 4 - Dawn Over V'taag, will run you $4.99 if purchased on its own, or if you've previously bought a Season Pass it will simply be available for download. Here is a trailer detailing the Dawn Over V'taag episode...

Character action games are a genre that feels underrepresented on iOS, perhaps because they inherently rely on complex button combinations for combat that just don't translate very well to the touchscreen. Well, about a month ago, Ghost Blade [$4.99] launched on the App Store seemingly out of nowhere, and set a standard for how these types of games should be built for the touchscreen. Rather than rely on a set of virtual buttons, Ghost Blade uses intuitive touchscreen gestures for its combat mechanics, and it works incredibly well, creating a very satisfying experience. ..

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