Category Archives: Game Center

More old games are coming back, y'all! I don't know if iOS 8 was just that destructive of an update to a bunch of games that developers felt the need to update their classics or if this is just all coincidental, but we're seeing a lot of games make comebacks after a long while. And the latest on that list is 1-bit Ninja [$2.99], which has just been updated to support iOS 8, and throws in long-overdue iPhone 5,6, and 6 Plus support, and makes the game universal for iPad...

The whole series of events leading up to Marvel Contest Of Champions [Free] is pretty weird if you think about it too much. It's a clear reply to the mobile version of Injustice: God Among Us [Free], whose console version's inception likely sprang out of Mortal Kombat Vs. DC Universe, which certainly only existed because of Marvel Vs. Capcom. That's Marvel and DC for you, friends. They bite each other's tails so often it's sometimes hard to tell where one ends and the other begins. Well, I just thought that was interesting. Truth be told, I'm glad something like Contest Of Champions came about. While Marvel Vs. Capcom 2 is ideally better than Injustice, trying to play it on a touch screen stripped away a lot of its merits, and the game was removed from the App Store even if you wanted to play it. Injustice, on the other hand, found a winning combination with its collection elements and extremely simplified take on the fighting genre. It only makes sense to have a Marvel version, and that's basically what you get in Contest Of Champions...

It's a bit late to the party, missing the huge list of new game releases from last night, but The Binary Mill's latest project Mini Motor Racing WRT [Free] is now finally available in the App Store. As we talked about when it was announced earlier this month, Mini Motor Racing WRT is a spinoff of sorts of their fantastic 2011 racer Mini Motor Racing. The big change is a focus on competing in the World Racing Tournament, or WRT, by piecing together a star racing team and fleet of vehicles that will lead you to the championship. There's also expanded multiplayer options as you can start up an online Race Club with friends and work together to beat rival Race Clubs...

The very cool one-touch platformer Badland [$3.99] has gotten yet another update bringing more levels to this great game. The new "Daydream" level update includes ten new singleplayer levels in the "Explore the Unknown" pack. These challenging new levels have you trying to survive and rescue as many clones as possible, and it will test your skills as you try to survive. There's 30 new missions and 5 new achievements to collect as well. The level pack can be played right away, and it is currently free, though it will be $0.99 down the road, so go and get it now if you have the game...

I don't think a person needed to be a fortune-teller to see this outcome, but going back to my review of Tomb Raider 1 [$0.99] from last year, I ended it by expressing little hope for a potential port of Tomb Raider 2 [$1.99] fixing the control issues with the first game. It wasn't hard to guess because the problem is neither with the unorthodox and somewhat fussy controls of the Tomb Raider series, nor was it with virtual controls, but rather the marriage of the two that the mobile version offered. There's simply no clear way to map virtual controls to these games in a satisfying way. Tomb Raider 2 only makes that problem clearer with its increased challenge and greater emphasis on pulling off non-stop sequences of moves, particularly in timed situations. It's the kind of situation where I don't feel good about giving it a score, because if you have an MFi controller, this game is an incredible experience at a ridiculously low price, but if you don't, it's just about pointless to buy. Consider the number at the end of this review to be the middle of those two scenarios and apply it to your own situation accordingly...

I've run out of fingers and toes to keep track of all the Plague Inc. [$0.99] updates, as today the tenth major update for the game has been released. The update includes two brand new scenarios, one about the upcoming Christmas holiday and one which uses portals. For the holiday one, called Santa's Little Helper, the setup is that the government has banned holidays, laughter and celebrations. Basically, fun and happiness is now against the law. This pisses off a lot of people, including Santa Clause and the Neurax Worm, who form an unlikely alliance and work to infect the world with happiness again. The worm even renamed himself the Neurax Miracle for this mission! I love the whole idea of Plague Inc.–infecting the world with killer diseases and eradicating humanity–being flipped on its head in this scenario...

I don't think I'll ever be accused of being stingy with my words, but if I were to wrap this entire review up into a short summary, here it goes. If you enjoyed Record Of Agarest War [$14.99]'s seventy-something hour campaign, spent dozens of hours more to fully complete everything, and still find yourself wanting another full-sized game offering a similar experience, you should buy Record Of Agarest War Zero [$14.99]. That's essentially the only scenario where I can see recommending this latest release from HyperDevBox, because just about everyone else with an interest in the Agarest series ought to be starting with the first game anyway. Agarest Zero tells a new story with new characters, but the underlying gameplay offers virtually little of note over its predecessor and actually streamlines a few things out that I'm not sure needed to be ditched...

EA's SimCity BuildIt [Free] has made the jump from soft launch to worldwide release today. This is EA's free-to-play take on their classic city-management simulation franchise that probably served as the genesis for all the popular simulation games that are out there today. The game's got gorgeous 3D visuals, with social elements to trade resources with friends, real-life buildings, and all the challenges that come from building a thriving metropolis. EA released another developer diary video just ahead of the game's release if you want to hear more about the game from them:..

It's been just over a year since FDG Entertainment and Cornfox & Bros. dropped the seafaring adventure Oceanhorn [$8.99] in the App Store, and today to celebrate how wonderful this past year has been FDG has dropped the price on the game for the first time ever, down to $4.99 from its normal price of $8.99. We loved Oceanhorn a year ago in our original review, and then back in August a huge content update was released adding even more great stuff to an already great package. Oceanhorn has also been consistent with updating for new iOS features and hardware, most recently getting an update last week that took advantage of the power in the latest iPhone and iPad devices...

Tower Of Fortune [$0.99] developer Game Stew is a hard developer for me to get a read on. I mean, I think if you look hard enough you can find a designer's fingerprints all over just about any game, but you don't even have to do that with Game Stew. Their games are instantly recognizable thanks to their consistent, unusual presentation style. If you do choose to look a bit harder, you can see that also carries over to the gameplay, even if some of their games are ostensibly in different genres from each other entirely. It's interesting because even though their games are generally quite unique from almost every angle, once you understand Game Stew's way of doing things, you can reliably count on certain elements being present. Specifically, you're probably going to have quite a few trappings of the roguelike genre. Being predictably off-beat certainly isn't a bad thing. Tim Burton doesn't seem to be suffering for it, at least. The big problem with having that kind of reputation is that you need to keep coming up with ways to keep your audience's thirst for oddity quenched...

I don't think there's enough good roguelikes and roguelike-inspired games on mobile, given how much sense the genre makes for mobile, since it's so highly-replayable. The first Bit Dungeon [$0.99] was a roguelike-inspired game I enjoyed in my Android days, and now developer Kinto has just released a sequel, Bit Dungeon 2 [$2.99], on several platforms, including iOS. This is a challenging action-RPG where there's a unique permadeath system: when you die, you lose your soul, and must go back to the spot where you lost it to get it back. If you don't, and you die again, then it's game over and you start all the way over from level 1. You start off basically naked, and must find or buy a weapon pretty much from the get-go...

One of my favorite releases this year is RebelBinary's Only One [Free], a king of the hill-style hack 'n slash game that sees you fighting off waves of enemies from atop a giant pillar. The game originally released in February, and we thought it was pretty great, but it's only gotten better through numerous updates since then. Today, its biggest update yet has arrived adding all sorts of awesome new stuff. ..

It's always kind of sad when a game stops being updated and stops working. When you combine the chaotic and unpredictable effects that an iOS system update can have, along with the fact that updating a game might not be worth the time and resources to actually do so, sometimes games just die off. Sometimes developers and publishers pull the games, or just leave them in the store, and caveat emptor. Look at Geometry Wars: Touch [$0.99], for example: it's got issues on iOS 8.1, which is sad as it's got all the cool modes from Geometry Wars: Retro Evolved 2. Some may have thought Lara Croft and the Guardian of Light [$4.99] was consigned to a similar fate. It even disappeared off the App Store at one point, and hadn't been updated for three years. Well, out of nowhere, the game's been resurrected and updated for compatibility in 2014!..

Marvel's new free to play mobile brawler, which they originally announced at Comic-Con in July and soft-launched in October, is now officially available worldwide. Called Marvel Contest of Champions [Free], the game puts a large cast of Marvel characters, both heroes and villains, at your disposal as you use them to battle in the Contest of Champions. There is a full single-player portion of the game that sees you beating specific quests and unlocking bits of storyline. There's also online multiplayer, though it's against other players' ghost teams and not actually real-time fighting. It's still fun though, and playing versus lets you win Battle Chips which can be used to enter special Arena events where you can earn high-powered characters and other rewards. Finally there are several daily events to play through which also offer special rewards for winning and unique play parameters...

Late last month Zen Studios announced their latest project involving their work with the Marvel license, a new pinball table featuring Venom, the deadly combination of a Symbiote alien who has bonded with the body of Eddie Brock. As usual, Spider-Man and Venom will battle it out against each other, but they will also have to team up to help combat the threat of another Symbiote host, Carnage. Check out the Venom table in action in the trailer below...

'Injustice: Gods Among Us' Guide - More Tips To Win Without Spending Real Money

Roughly a billion years ago in App Store time, or about a year and a half ago in human time, I put together a guide for Injustice: Gods Among Us [Free]. It's a pretty nice guide, I think, but here's something interesting you may or may not know about Injustice: WB Games updates this game all the freaking time. While a lot of the advice I gave in that guide is still sound, some of it is outdated and there's a whole lot of new stuff to take into account if you play this game these days. With that in mind, I've decided to put together a new guide, a supplemental if you will, covering some of the changes and new aspects of the game as it currently stands. I'm going to start by revisiting some of the things I said in the old guide that don't quite work anymore. I'll then move into talking about Challenge Mode and Multiplayer Battles...

Last month we learned that Sega would be bringing their popular free to play social strategy RPG Chain Chronicle [Free] to territories outside of Japan, and as of today the game is now available in the US, UK, Canada and Australia. If you live in a region that's not one of those listed, Sega states "Additional territories to follow" so we'll just have to wait and see when that will be. Chain Chronicle has been published in the West by gumi Inc, and here's a look at the official launch trailer...

So Signal Studios and publisher Tilting Point are trying something interesting with their game The Sleeping Prince [$1.99]. They've made the previously free-to-play game completely free for a limited time, now subtitled as The Royal Edition. There are no in-app purchases, and no more energy system, not even any ads, just the game itself. The game will be shifting to premium in the future, but this is your opportunity to get it at no cost for now...

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...

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