Category Archives: Game Center

'Micromon' Review - All It Needs Is A Micromon Rap

Pokemon clones are by no means a new thing. With as much success as Nintendo's monster-catching RPG has enjoyed, clones are simply an expected part of doing business. They're not even a new thing for iOS. I've reviewed both Hunter Island [$0.99] and Band of Monsters [Free] in the last year, to say nothing of the many Puzzle & Dragons [Free]-inspired games released that borrow liberally from Pokemon. That said, with all of the clones, homages, parodies, and more that I've played over the years, none have skated quite so closely to Pokemon's game design as Micromon [$0.99]. There's little pretense about what they're doing here, with cheeky references all over the place and gameplay that is certainly the spitting image of Pokemon imagined as a $0.99 mobile game. Well, originality isn't everything...

One of the finest action platformers on the App Store is Traps n' Gemstones [$4.99] from Donut Games. In fact, it's somewhat surprising it turned out to be so great, considering Donut has largely focused on simplistic puzzle and arcade games during their time creating for iOS. ..

Forge Reply's impressive gamebook-inspired adventure Joe Dever's Lone Wolf [$0.99] will be getting its third act this Thursday August 7th, the developer has announced in our forums. The new Act is called "The Shianti Halls" and will have you exploring "a not-so-abandoned place full of dangerous enemies, included the fearsome Vordak!" About that Vordak… yeah, I'm not looking forward to running into that guy, nor any of the other enemies you'll square off against which are shown in the following Act 3 trailer...

'Deep Loot' Review - A Treasure Hauled Up from the Depths of the App Store

If you've played a Monster and Monster game before, you will probably already be familiar with their ability to turn atmospheric chiptune music and simple yet detailed pixel graphics into a great mood driven experience. Autumn Walk [Free] and Winter Walk [Free] live and breathe on this adorable mood they instill. If you think Deep Loot [Free] is going to give you a similar experience, however, you are going to be in for some surprises at what else the game has in store for you...

Super Heavy Sword [$0.99] is one of those games that really breaks me up. It's such an earnest effort, full of interesting ideas and mechanics that pay clear tribute to some all-time greats. It's also a complete mess. This is becoming the unfortunate calling card of developer Monster Robot Studios, who make games I truly want to love, but can't for a variety of reasons. Anyway, this one is the sequel to Heavy Sword [Free], which is probably this developer's best effort, largely due to the design obscuring the game's technical flaws. This sequel takes things in a bit of a different direction, dragging the gameplay into places it really shouldn't be. This is basically a 2D take on Super Mario 64, an idea that hasn't been tapped out nearly as much as it should have. You guide your choice of the hero of the first game or the princess he rescued on a quest to defeat the bad guys and restore peace to the realm...

Back in October of 2011, Rocketcat Games blew our collective minds when they released Mage Gauntlet [$2.99] on the iPhone. No but really, Mage Gauntlet was a fantastic homage to 16-bit era action RPGs and we enjoyed it tremendously in our review. In the few months following release, several updates were released for Mage Gauntlet that tweaked things, fixed things, added some new things, and most significantly updated the game with Universal iPad support. But that was really the last time Mage Gauntlet got any serious update love, and ever since the iPhone 5 debuted in September of 2012, it's felt like it's sorely missing support for 4-inch widescreens...

Here's a whopper of a freebie: ZeMind Games' Starborn Anarkist [$2.99] is currently free for the next two days. Originally launched this past December, Starborn Anarkist sunk its hooks into me thanks to a very engrossing ship-building system. There are more than a dozen different ship shapes to build by dragging and dropping a variety of weapons, plating and other equipment onto a grid. The game does a remarkable job of making each ship feel wildly different from the next, and there's a crazy amount of strategy tied to how you build out your ships...

The latest Marvel blockbuster Guardians of the Galaxy opens in theaters today, and to celebrate the official mobile game Guardians of the Galaxy: The Universal Weapon [$2.99] is on sale for just two bucks for the weekend. We're slowly turning the tide of the long-time trend of movie tie-in games being terrible, and The Universal Weapon is a good example of that. It's an action strategy game that uses the familiar line-drawing combat that Mika Mobile's Battleheart pioneered more than three years ago. It's a perfect fit for the Guardians of the Galaxy IP as you're controlling a group of guardians as you battle through the game's campaign. Besides the five main characters from the movie, The Universal Weapon also features 20 additional playable characters pulled from the Guardians of the Galaxy universe...

'80 Days' Review - This Adventure Is More Than Just Hot Air

If it's not enough that developers inkle turned gamebooks on their heads with their wonderfully creative adaptation of Steve Jackson's Sorcery! [$4.99], they're now trying to out-adventure Jules Verne in his own story. 80 Days [$4.99], based on the classic Verne novel Around The World In 80 Days, takes the nearly-perfect premise of the book and uses it as a launching point for one of the most interesting tales I've come across in the interactive fiction genre. This isn't the kind of game that is going to get people to cross lines if they don't like this genre, but if you do, 80 Days is pretty much a must-have thanks to its sharp writing and incredible replay value...

During Comic-Con this past weekend, Marvel announced that both Marvel Pinball [$0.99] and Zen Pinball [Free] would be getting a new Guardians of the Galaxy table to coincide with the movie releasing tomorrow. Earlier today, an update went live which added that new Guardians of the Galaxy table to both games, and to celebrate the Marvel Pinball app is now free for the first time ever. Here's a video of the new Guardians of the Galaxy table in action...

Vivid Games have just released the first content update for their Greek mythology-based hack 'n slash game Godfire: Rise of Prometheus [$0.99]. While a free update with new content is always a welcome sight, this particular update, dubbed the Combat Update, seems to be sort of a mixed bag. First off, as the name implies, the combat has been significantly tweaked and in turn, according to Vivid, "the combat is now more dynamic, controls more responsive, animations more fluid, and finishers more vicious than before." Neat...

Sure, Dawn of the Plow [$1.99] seemed appropriate back in the days of the cold and brutal Chicago winter of 2014, when the world was cold and snowy and suddenly I wanted to go back to Texas. But now, even in the dog days of summer, Dawn of the Plow lives, as Chicago indie developer Dan FitzGerald has updated the game with a new mode, Attack of the Snowmobiles...

This past March, Sega announced a new entry in the beloved Crazy Taxi series which was to be both free to play and exclusive to mobile devices. After a brief soft-launch period, Crazy Taxi: City Rush [Free] is now available worldwide. Now, I'm imagining the arrival of City Rush will be divisive amongst players. On the one hand, Sega has crafted a really good "mobilized" version of Crazy Taxi. It's sort of like a Temple Run game, in that it's behind the back and you auto-accelerate, but you also can choose your own routes through the cities, so it feels less restrictive and more open. It can be played in either portrait or landscape orientation, and visually City Rush just pops with color and style. It's a very bright and happy game. There are also loads of customization options, from a massive fleet of different taxis to unlock to tons of visual customizations as well as ability upgrades for each...

Compared to other popular licensed characters, the Ninja Turtles have had it pretty good in the video game industry. Their first game from Konami is well-remembered if not necessarily loved, though at the very least it taught many an elementary school kid that turtles can't breathe underwater. After that slight misfire, it didn't take long for Konami to put the TMNT into a few of the most beloved belt-scrolling beat-em-ups of all-time, along with a couple of less-successful one-on-one fighters. After their initial popularity waned and the license left Konami, the Ninja Turtles have had a handful of decent, if not spectacular, outings based on their various revivals, most recently seen on iOS in TMNT: Rooftop Run [$3.99]. Sure, their star may have faded over the years, but they headlined two games that are still considered among the best in their genre, something you can't say for those smug Power Rangers...

It isn't hard to come up with reasons to recommend 11-bit Studios excellent Anomaly series of "tower offense" games, but just in case you need a new one, all three games in the series are currently on sale for this week only. As mentioned, the Anomaly series is noteworthy for taking the well-worn tower defense genre and mixing things up by putting you in the role of the invading creeps. Call it tower offense or reverse tower defense, but either way it injected a fresh perspective to a genre that's been done to death on mobile...

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