Category Archives: Game Center

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...

In July of last year, we first learned that DotEmu was teaming up with Pastagames to revive the 1989 classic arcade series Pang, also known as Buster Bros. and Pomping World. The new game would be called Pang Adventures [$3.99], and besides some very vague promo art, nobody knew what this modern take would be like. Then the following November we finally caught a glimpse of Pang Adventures during DotEmu's Paris Games Week recap video, and it looked quite faithful to the original but with a more contemporary art style. We didn't really hear much on the game since that point, but early this morning Pang Adventures surprise launched on the App Store for iOS, along with versions for Steam, consoles, and Android...

The odd week of new releases continues as more than a few games have trickled out later than anticipated. The latest is Umbrella's single-tap block-by-block platforming game Back To Square One [Free], which you may remember us checking out at GDC this year and really liking what we saw, and Carter felt similarly when he went hands-on with the game just a week ago. I hesitate to make the comparison, but this is almost a side-scrolling Crossy Road type of game, as your goal is to make it through a gauntlet of traps and hazards moving your square character one space at a time. ..

'Pocket Mortys' Spring Update Brings Quick Crafting, 10 New Mortys, a New Attack and More

Pocket Mortys [Free] has the distinction of being the absolute best Rick and Morty-themed Pokemon clone available. Nobody else is even close. That's because there IS nobody else, but that's not the point. Pocket Mortys is the best in class in its own very specific category, and there's simply no disputing that. It was great when it originally released in January, and it got even better with a big update in early February. Today, it gets even more better-er as another update adds 10 new Mortys to collect, a new Paralyze attack move, a new item to counter Paralyze, and best of all the new ability to craft items directly from the Recipe menu. All this is amusingly explained by Rick in the following trailer...

When Faily Brakes [Free] first launched a couple of months ago, I remember thinking to myself "Great, ANOTHER Verby Noun endless arcade game, BIG WHOOP!" Then I finally got around to playing it and was completely taken by surprise with just how darn fun it was. I guess you can't always judge a game by its overdone naming convention. Anyway, Faily Brakes has become one of my go-to games since, and today it received a nice update adding a new female playable character amusingly named Anita Brakes, a coin doubler vehicle, 15 other brand new vehicles, and more...

Zen Studios are firing up the pinball table making machine for the first time since releasing 3 Star Wars: The Force Awakens tables this past January. They've teamed up with Fox Digital Entertainment to create 3 brand new tables set in the Aliens movie universe for a table pack they've dubbed Aliens vs. Pinball. Zen describes the new tables: "In Aliens pinball, team up with the Colonial Marines as Ellen Ripley on a pinball table based on ALIENS, the 1986 blockbuster film. Face your fears and take on a deadly Alien threat on the Sevastopol Space Station as Amanda Ripley in the Alien: Isolation pinball table and feel the rush of the hunt as a young Yautja warrior in Alien vs. Predator pinball."..

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 [$1.99] 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 [$1.99] 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...

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