Category Archives: Game Center

A previously iPad-only title is getting a shot at a much wider audience thanks to a new Universal update. Cloud Spin [$1.99] from Skytrain Studios is a visually stunning flight game that Eli and myself loved in our initial TA Plays video as well as in our 4.5 star review. In Cloud Spin, you play a rabbit named Lucky who's equipped with a jetpack and flies through on-rails levels trying to earn high scores with skilled flying. You can also unlock a free flight mode, and here you can kick back and enjoy the beauty of the game's environments while flying around wherever you please. It's highly reminiscent of using the flight cap in Mario 64 or even elements of the awesome Pilotwings series...

Here's something you might not know about me: I'm obsessed with the mobile version of Injustice: Gods Among Us [Free]. It's funny too, because, when the game first launched in April of last year, I really liked it upon first impression. However, as with many free to play games (and I'm sure I'm not the only one who does this), I did sort of a value/time assessment with the game, and although I liked the core gameplay quite a bit, I considered the time investment of grinding, timers, and other free to play-isms and ultimately decided it's just not worth it. I've got too many other games to play, you know?..

Following Real Racing 3's [Free] first anniversary last week where they were giving out a free in-game Porsche, EA and Firemonkeys have just released a pretty huge new update to the game adding a bunch of customization options, photo sharing, controller support and new luxury vehicles from Aston Martin. The new customization options allow you to tweak the more than 80 cars in the game, then once you have your personalized ride ready you can use the new Photo mode to pause the in-game action and snap a shot. You can even add filters to your photo and share them on social media. It's like Instagram for your Real Racing 3...

When Hutch Games released Smash Bandits [Free] in August of last year, I instantly fell in love. They took the same vehicular smashing gameplay of their previous Smash Cops and put you in the role of the bad guy, outrunning an increasingly aggressive pursuit of police as you aimed to wreak as much havoc and monetary damage as possible. They also rotated the action into a more friendly one-thumbed, portrait orientation that made Smash Bandits an easy go-to option for killing time throughout the day with my iPhone. It was just an astoundingly fun game to play...

With the new Robocop movie in theaters, I'm sure many people are spending some time with the tie-in game of the same name, Robocop [Free], from Glu Games. I reviewed it a while back and found it to be a bit of a bear thanks to its monetization aspects, but if you're feeling like being Robocop, this is pretty much your best option apart from threatening a druglord and putting your faith in the city of Detroit to put you back together again. So, I felt that, in the spirit of my previous guide for Batman: Arkham Origins [Free], if you're going to play this, you might as well have a guide to help you get through as efficiently as possible without reaching into your cybernetic wallet compartment in your leg, by which I mean, your pocket...

Let me start off by being clear: Dungeon Keeper [Free] isn't necessarily the most popular game out there, and a lot of that has to do with how stingy it can be if you aren't paying money. This might make you think it's not really the best game to offer up a guide for, but in actuality, this is the kind of F2P game that a guide can be most useful for. To be honest, I don't think you can play Dungeon Keeper optimally without spending money, but if you don't want to spend money yet want to play this game, well, there are good ways and bad ways to go about that. One of the challenges of putting this guide together is that EA keeps changing things around, scrambling to find an optimal (for somebody, anyway) balance. That means it's hard for me to use specifics like the costs of things, because they might be different by the end of the week. In lieu of that kind of guide, I've decided instead to focus on some general advice and information about things that are unlikely to change too much...

'Out There' Review - The Lonely Joy of Being Lost in Space

Dying alone in space doesn’t seem so bad now that I’ve played Out There [$3.99] from Mi Clos Studio. I’ve exploded a few times, been stranded without fuel a few dozen and suffocated on at least one occasion. On the way, though… On the way I discovered the mysteries of the universe...

'Bug Heroes 2' Review - This Sequel Ant Fooling Around

A few years ago, Foursaken Media released Bug Heroes [Free], an awesome hybrid of castle defense and twin stick shooting with a healthy dose of RPG mechanics sprinkled in. What could have turned out to be an overly ambitious idea instead ended up just right, offering players tons of content with great core mechanics. Given how well it went over with iOS gamers, it was probably inevitable that we would one day be talking about the sequel, and here we are. Bug Heroes 2 [$1.99] is an excellent follow-up to the first game, maintaining the same basic elements that made the first game work so well and adding a few twists, all while piling a giant heap of new content on top and giving the whole thing a beautiful shine. The end result is just about everything a fan could want out of a sequel...

Perhaps because of how many of them are made, platformers have often turned to heavy usage of gimmicks to try to breathe some fresh air into things. Whether it's the closet full of special suits from Mario's adventures or the gravity-defying antics of VVVVVV, it's strangely more difficult sometimes to find a platformer that isn't packed full of novelties. There's nothing wrong with gimmicks, of course. When used well, they can make running and jumping from point A to point B feel like something you've never done before. Still, it's nice once in a while to play a game that gives you a straightforward run and jump through cleverly designed stages. Ava's Quest [Free] is just such a game. There are a few little gimmicks as you play through the game's 30 levels, but for the most part, the game simply focuses on using familiar elements to present you with a pleasant challenge. Oh, and to let you know up-front, you only get four stages for free. The rest are unlocked via an IAP for $1.99...

'Word Mage' Review - The Hyperactive Member Of The Word Game Family

The word game is one of those genres that's basically always active on iOS, with new entries released at a fairly regular pace. That said, recently, there seems to be a higher amount than usual of excellent new games twisting RPG mechanics into the genre. They're two great tastes that taste great together, I suppose. What's interesting to me is how games coming from the same basic angle of "word game plus RPG" can have such different results. If we consider the recent Spell Quest [Free] to be the Dragon Quest of word RPGs, with its slow, deliberate pace and focus on carefully-planned strategy, then Word Mage [$0.99] is the Ys of the genre, moving at a blazing pace and demanding quick reactions to enemies that become increasingly dedicated to finishing you off...

Sports games tend to go in one of a few different directions. Some of them opt for hard realism, trying to capture every nuance of the sport in a very clinical way. The aim here is to try to give the player the exact feeling of playing the sport. Others go the route of Tony Hawk, where it's kind of realistic in some ways, but fantastical in others. These games are cool because you're usually following the rules of the sport, but it makes you feel like you're a superhuman player. Another way to go is to pitch out any pretenses of reality and just go wild. The familiar surface gives something for the players to connect to, but the end result usually feels less like a sports game and more like another genre. Endless Surf [$0.99], the sequel to Bobble Surfer [$0.99] is from the latter school of thought. Looking at screenshots, you would think this was a Tony Hawk-style take on surfing, but it's actually pretty much a straight-forward runner with an interesting skin...

If you had asked me back in the 90s which of the popular and/or long-running adventure series would be more or less the last one standing almost 20 years later, I doubt I would have guessed Broken Sword, but here we are. With the dissolution of Lucasarts likely putting Monkey Island to rest forever, Sierra being completely eradicated in the Activision-Blizzard merger, and the huge breakout success of The Walking Dead [Free] making it increasingly unlikely we'll see any further Sam & Max games or the planned King's Quest revival from Telltale Games, Broken Sword 5: The Serpent's Curse [$6.99] appears to be the only survivor from that golden era. Amazingly, the series is still in the hands of its creator, though this new chapter needed some help from the fans to make it to fruition...

BeaverTap Games have updated their two main "Mikey" games, Mikey Hooks [$0.99] and Mikey Shorts [$0.99], with official support for MFi iOS 7 controllers. Owners of Mikey Shorts may have noticed that the game already received a controller support update early last week… and then again over this past weekend. Well, there was some wonky issues with the controller support in those first two updates, but today's update seems to be right on target. As such, the sequel Mikey Hooks has received the same controller support update...

The soccer-themed new table for Zen Studios' Zen Pinball [Free], which was announced late last month, is now available to download from within the Zen Pinball app. The way the Super League Football table works is a bit different from the other DLC tables in the game. There are actually eight different versions for the table, seven that cover popular football clubs and an eighth that is for the fictional Zen Studios Football Club. These are all actually separate IAP tables, even though they are the same table layout for each. The difference between each is just the theme. So you'll need to choose your allegiance before picking one up, and then there's sort of a big online battle between all the various football club tables within the game...

It's been a long wait, but Tengami [$4.99], the adventure game inspired by pop-up storybooks, has finally been completed. The developer, Nyamyam, is a new name, but you're almost certainly familiar with past projects they've worked on, including Diddy Kong Racing, StarFox Adventures, Way of the Samurai 3, and Kinect Sports. Tengami got a lot of attention almost immediately, thanks to its eye-catching, beautiful graphical style. The final product delivers on that visual promise and then some. It was less certain was how the gameplay would turn out. Happily, I can say that while the gameplay is considerably more pedestrian than the presentation, it's solid enough that fans of adventure and puzzle games will definitely want to give the game a go...

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