Category Archives: Game Center

'Spooklands' Review - A Smart, Strategic and Challenging "One-Touch" Arena Shooter

Spooklands [$0.99] is so interesting because of its simplicity. As a one-touch arena shooter where firing also controls movement, the game invests in this mechanic, and proves to be an extremely satisfying challenge because of it. And boy is Spooklands tough. Because each shot winds up moving the protagonist around, managing this becomes key. Certainly, it was a challenge in Toast Time [$2.99], the obvious comparison to this game, but that game at least had gravity as a constant mitigating factor. ..

Whether you love it or hate it, one thing you can say for certain about the Infinity Blade series is that it's been well supported over the years. Each entry in the series has seen numerous post-release updates that add brand new content to the game and take advantage of the latest Apple hardware. The most current game in the series, Infinity Blade III [$6.99], has seen some particularly strong updates since its release and our initial review back in September of last year. There was the Soul Hunter update that landed the following month, the Ausar Rising update in December, and the return of Ryth with the Blade Masters update this past May. And that's not even counting the more minor updates like holiday helms, Clash Mob events, and even 3D-printed figurines...

'Deep Under The Sky' Review - A Beautiful Physics-Based Puzzler

Deep Under The Sky [$3.99] is a really fascinating game that winds up being a game that's really fun to play – it has a variety of things to do that are enjoyable to play with in motion, the game is set up to not be frustrating to play, and it makes a lot of its premise by presenting tricky challenges to solve. It does so well at so many things, that while calling a physics-based puzzle-platformer is perhaps the closest approximation of a descriptor for the game, it's got appeal beyond just what those words mean – and it's just so gorgeous and well-made that it's worth checking out no matter what...

It's been almost four years since the original They Need To Be Fed [$0.99] made its way from PCs to iOS. We at TouchArcade liked it a lot when we reviewed it then, and when its follow-up appeared on the App Store last year, we liked that one a lot, too. Well, just last week, Bit Ate Bit released They Need To Be Fed 3 [$1.99], and it's no surprise that I like it a lot. I'm sure nobody was expecting them to punt on this when they've got the formula down, though, so the bigger question is whether, with a shorter span of time between sequels, Bit Ate Bit was able to up the ante the way they did with the second game...

The last major competition for the Street League 2014 season is this Sunday, the Super Crown Championship, and that means that the official game of the league True Skate [$1.99] has gotten a new downloadable course and is on a freebie promotion for the next week. The new course is the Super Crown course from last year's SLS Championship, and like the last two SLS courses that were added to the game it's a fun level filled with interesting objects to skate and there's a neat feeling about being able to skate something you've seen in real life before (or on TV, at least). Also like the previous DLC courses, the 2013 Super Crown course will run you 99¢ to download...

'Catchup - Abstract Strategy' Review - Strategy So Good, You Don't Need Condiments

I think the key to a really great strategy game lies in finding the correct balance between accessibility and depth. Not that success can't be found on either side, as the longevity of Checkers and Go prove, but at least for me, I like my strategy games to be fairly easy to pick up but with a nice, long tail of mastery. Fortunately, there are a lot of very clever strategy game designers out there, so I never feel like I go too long without something to satisfy my urges. The latest one to catch me is appropriately named Catchup [$2.99], an iOS version of a board game released a few years back. It's hard to imagine a strategy game with simpler rules than this, but the game still provides a satisfyingly complex punch...

'Rules!' Review - Have Fun Finding The Limits Of Your Memory

Like your body, your brain needs exercise to stay in shape, and the older you get, the more you're fighting nature to achieve that goal. While gamers have no shortage of ways to give their grey matter a good old kicking, we rarely have to push against the limits of our short-term memory. Back in the day, we'd have to remember all kinds of stupid cheat code commands, passwords, and directions to play, but passwords and directions gave way to saves and maps, and cheat codes turned into IAP, removing quite a bit of the strain placed on that part of the brain. I mean, unless you're a hardcore fighting game player. Those guys are pros at remembering phone numbers, I tell you. The developers of the iOS adaptation of Carcassonne [$9.99] have got a new game that will give your flabby memory a workout, though, and it's actually quite a bit of fun...

If the recent exhumation of the Sierra name (as a publishing imprint of Activision) incites a nostalgic impulse toward adventure in you, Bik - A Space Adventure [$2.99] should satiate. Even if relics like Space Quest are outside your experience, Bik offers an efficient, humorous jaunt punctuated by light puzzles that anyone can enjoy. Its ambitions are modest, but all the key elements work well enough, and they fit together to make a coherent, entertaining whole...

Square Enix Montreal's stylized, puzzle-fied take on the Hitman series, Hitman GO [$4.99], is currently on sale for just two bucks, down from its normal price of $4.99. This is the first time the game has been on sale since it launched this past April. If you somehow haven't heard of Hitman GO these past few months, it's a turn-based puzzle game built around the Hitman series of games. Each level has you trying to take out a target or targets and get to an endpoint, and it's all dressed up with really neat diorama-style visuals. Here's a trailer...

If you're a big Star Trek fan then this should interest you: YesGnome's simulation game based on the iconic series, Star Trek Trexels [Free], has added brand new content based on Star Trek: The Next Generation, and to celebrate they've dropped the price of the game to free for the first time since releasing last December. I have to admit that when Star Trek Trexels first came out, I became pretty obsessed with it. The game has a heavy Tiny Tower vibe as you slowly build out your own Starship Enterprise with various types of rooms and put together a crew to run it all. As you explore the galaxy, you'll embark on missions of diplomacy, scientific discovery, and of course combat. It's certainly not the deepest experience in the world, but it's oddly compelling and does great Star Trek fan service...

'Corpse Party' Review - This Buggy Port Is A Real Party Pooper

I find the idea of horror games to be quite fascinating. For the most part, the video game medium is about making the player feel powerful. It's about making you feel like you can do things like take on an entire army by yourself, kill a giant, fire-breathing dragon, win an F1 race, or karate a guy in the face so hard that he vomits. Even death is no object, since the ultimate power almost every game allows you is that of the second chance. That's all awesome, and game experiences like those can certainly be tense, but they're rarely legitimately scary. Horror games, on the other hand, tend to strip you of your feeling of power, putting you up against something you are very unlikely to survive, and giving you very few tools to do so. You can't just scare a player by threatening them with death, though, because dying is trivial in the video game world. Instead, you have to find a way to get under the skin of the player in a more subtle way. Or just have a zombie dog jump through a window unexpectedly, I guess...

Back in May of this year, developer Yakuto released their first iOS game called Table Tennis Touch [$3.99]. It was a table tennis game, obviously, that featured incredible graphics along with gameplay that straddled the line between simulation and arcade. Yakuto totally nailed it with Table Tennis Touch, as it was a blast to play, had a lot of content and was very challenging. The game initially sold for four dollars and offered completely optional "Boosts" as in-app purchase items which would allow you to hit harder and add more spin to your shots...

With the Madden series faltering in the mobile space the past few years, there aren't a whole lot of options for gamers looking for an American football fix on the go. If you're not in the market for a simulation-style game, then developer Run Games' Football Heroes [Free] is one of the best football games out there. It's an extremely over-the-top, arcadey game of football, but the most important thing is that it's a heck of a lot of fun. It launched last November and has seen several updates in the months since, but Run Games had been hard at work on something big for Football Heroes, and this week a massive update went live for the game officially rebranding it as Football Heroes 2015. Just in time for the NFL season!..

Way back in November of 2010, developer Jesse Venbrux released a wonderful little puzzle platformer called They Need To Be Fed [$0.99 / Free]. It had you playing an adorable, armless little silhouette character with big eyes and a curlycue of hair as you traversed many different kinds of platforms and avoided deadly hazards on your way to the end goal of each level, which was to sacrifice yourself into the gaping maw of a monster. Why? Because they need to be fed, that's why. What made They Need To Be Fed so special was its focus on gravity. Each platform was a little planetoid with its own gravitational pull, and working with that gravity was the key to moving past all the hazards and collecting all the gems on each level. It was a lot like a 2D Super Mario Galaxy...

There really aren't enough decent 3D platformers on the App Store. There are quite a few good side-scrolling platformers, but even the companies with IP and money behind them seem reluctant to fill the 3D gap. Maybe it's the cost, perhaps it's a perceived issue with controls, or it might even just be down to the waning popularity of the genre in the hobby on the whole. Whatever the reason is, it leaves an opening for a game like Angel In Danger 3D [$1.99] to make its mark. It's not a particularly great game, and I'm not sure if it actually has even one idea to call its own, but it's challenging, competently-made, and by default is one of the better games on iOS to ape Mario's 3D style...

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