Category Archives: Games

Another Lost Phone: Laura's Story [$2.99], the sequel to the very successful A Normal Lost Phone, is a tricky game to review primarily because its "value" doesn't come from great gameplay, a surprising plot, or terrific visuals. Instead, the game is primarily a vehicle whose primary purpose is to bring important social issues to the forefront and ask the player to acknowledge them in the real world. Another Lost Phone isn't subtle in how it wants players to consider it; after all, its iTunes description asks directly that if you close the app but are still thinking about the game, have you truly stopped playing? Since the game asks to be seen as a bridge between reality and fiction, it's only natural to evaluate it partly on that goal, and I have to say that the bridge is on the rickety side because the game is quite short and values puzzles over narrative too much...

Zen Studios has been slowly teasing their latest Zen Pinball [Free] DLC pack, which is based on three classic Universal film franchises, since early last month. First was a trailer for a table based on E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial, then they released the trailer for a table based on Jaws at the end of the month. Then last week they released a trailer for a table based on the Back to the Future trilogy, along with the news that this Universal Classics pack would be released on Tuesday, September 26th. Hey, that's today! And indeed all three tables are now live in the Zen Pinball app. Here's all three trailers again...




I would be willing to bet that many of us have doodled various things on paper at one point in our lives. There is something special about what our imaginations can create when we implement our ideas through different forms of art. I still have a couple of notebooks (from my early childhood) that are chock-full of strange ideas/illustrations and I still find it entertaining to pour over their contents from time to time. I have come to appreciate games that attempt to emulate the aesthetics of doodles/drawings that are procured from the depths of people's imaginations. Grapple Gum [$1.99] emulates this type of art style and manages to mash a variety of gameplay mechanics together to create a "slingshot-action-platformer"...

'Simulacra', a Phone-Based Mystery Thriller Game From the Makers of 'Sara Is Missing', Is Looking for Beta Testers

The 'lost phone' format for text adventures is currently in vogue on the App Store, and I'm not entirely sure whether I like it or not. Don't get me wrong, the genre utilises the features of a smartphone to feel truly alive, and games like A Normal Lost Phone [$0.99] and its recent sequel Laura's Story [$2.99] have made fantastic efforts to include an immersive and important degree of social awareness in their narrative. That being said, such titles normally feel a bit voyeuristic and uncomfortable for me personally, but maybe that's why they're so engrossing. Simulacra is another game in a similar mould, and will mark developer Kaigan Games' next App Store release after their well-received title Sara is Missing [Free]. Featuring some realistic acting and typically believable takes on various smartphone apps, Simulacra will be another enthralling mystery thriller when it soft launches on the App Store on October 23rd...

Death Point [$5.99] is a prime example of my favorite feature of the App Store, as it's one of those games that appears out of absolutely nowhere but ends up being deceptively awesome. With its exciting stealth-infused take on the dual stick shooter, Death Point made quite a splash on our forums when it released in August, and comparisons that equated the game to a top-down mobile Metal Gear Solid really sum up the very essence of Andiks Ltd's surprise App Store hit. However, the game was by no means perfect, and many enthusiastic gamers were sceptical of the inconsistent virtual dual-stick controls - by no means a deal-breaker, but something that would inevitably necessitate some time to get used to in the title. Thankfully, the developers have been actively listening to feedback on our forums, and have today released an update for Death Point that introduces MFi controller compatibility alongside a multitude of additional fixes and tweaks...

Pathfinder Adventures [Free] continues to expand, with the latest update bringing additional content to the game. And while mobile players will surely enjoy the new content, what they will be most interested in is the upcoming price changes announced today. Specifically, the developers said the price adjustments are a result of listening to player feedback and looking at what is bought and what is not bought. Additionally, they wanted to make sure new content and older content follows the same pricing guidelines. For instance, they felt that it didn't make sense for a bundle to cost more than purchasing the bundle contents separately...

It's no secret that we're huge fans of the Mikey games around here, and for me personally being a massive platforming game nut, they're easily amongst my very favorite games on the entire iOS platform. So you could imagine the sadness I felt as the original 3 games in the Mikey Shorts trilogy sat in my "Dead Apps Walking" 32-bit folder, waiting to die with the arrival of iOS 11. But wait! Developer BeaverTap Games has stayed their execution with some slightly delayed but totally welcome 64-bit updates for the Mikey trilogy. Mikey Shorts [$0.99], Mikey Hooks [$0.99], and Mikey Boots [$0.99] are all updated and in good working order now on iOS 11 and are just as fun as ever. ..

A few months back we wrote about Playstation working on an app called PlayLink, which allows players to use their smartphones in innovative ways when playing certain PS4 games. The latest game that uses this technology is Planet of the Apes: Last Frontier, an upcoming Telltale-like narrative game where players can vote on the choices using their smartphones. And when the vote is a tie, players can use specific tie-breaker tokens to overrule the rest. People who've been playing early builds of the game say that the PlayLink feature really makes the game stand out, so it looks like Sony is smart to lean into using smartphones to enhance gaming experiences beyond just using them for your usual gimmicks...

Best Wild and Standard Decks, Nerfs, Luckiest Combos, and More 'Hearthstone' Weekly News in 'Touchstone' #113

Hello and welcome to another Hearthstone [Free] weekly news and videos roundup. We had all kinds of different stories last week, ranging from the big nerfs going live to questions about the place of Hero Cards in Arena and more. The game seems to be in a peculiar moment right now judging by last week's stories. Even though most are happy with the Frozen Throne expansion, they also see the game as stale and the same decks sticking around for way too long. Then there's the Warrior Fatigue issue and tournament issues more generally, which have left a sour taste to those who enjoy the esports side of things. I'm curious to see what the developers are considering to do to remedy this general feeling of discontent that seems to pervade the community (not that it's a new feeling). Are you happy with the game right now, and do you play as much as you used to?..

In last year's version of this article, I talked about how the various companies at the Tokyo Game Show were clearly tightening their belts year-over-year. That seems to have continued this year, with some of the smallest booths I've seen from certain publishers. Again, the big mobile companies chose to largely sit things out, settling for business desks in an adjoining building over lavish, prop-filled money sinks. While there were many great games on display, one can't help but feel like this year's show was missing the spark of previous years. With Nintendo taking their usual pass on the show, VR being on the market for a while, and other hardware platforms hitting maturity, there was no new puppy to fawn over at Tokyo Game Show 2017...

As usual, the mobile gaming part of the Tokyo Game Show was scattered all over the massive Makuhari Messe exhibition center. The big companies of course had their own booths, where they were showing off some of their mobile offerings alongside their titles for other platforms. Smaller mobile developers were everywhere, however. Some were grouped and set up near the busier areas of the floor thanks to local publishers, while the bulk were once again found in the Indie Corner in Hall 9. In addition to the returning Merchandise Corner and Virtual Reality Corner, Hall 9 was also host to a new face at the Tokyo Game Show: eSports. This helped attract even more traffic to the Indie Corner. I've already covered some of the games found there, but I want to mention a few others that I saw that are worth a mention...

Best iPhone Game Updates: 'Minecraft', 'Solomon's Keep', 'Goat Simulator', 'Asphalt Xtreme', and More

Hello everyone, and welcome to the week! It's time once again for our look back at the noteworthy updates of the last seven days. I feel like I'm beating the same drum recently, but most of this week's big updates were bringing 64-bit compatibility to older apps like XCOM: Enemy Within and Ryan North's To Be or Not To Be. I've found a few interesting updates that fall outside of that set-up, though, and I'm confident that with iOS 11 out in the wild that we should be back to normal business around here soon. Of course, you can keep an eye out for updates yourself using AppShopper or by participating in the TouchArcade forums. This weekly summary is just here to fill you in on the things you might have missed. Let's dig in!..

'IOTA's Journey' Is a Clever Turn-Based Puzzle Title, Releasing October 26th on the App Store

If you go into IOTA's Journey expecting some profound, epic adventure, you may be slightly disappointed. Yes, the game tells the story of the titular character and his first few steps into an uncomfortable new world, but IOTA is not a boy, an animal, or some sort of superhero. Instead, IOTA is a number of minimalistic, circular white blobs, and his journey is actually a pretty novel set of one-handed swipe puzzles. I'm not sure whether the pretence of a story through the game's four chapters is satire or simply a way to make IOTA's Journey a little more sentimental, but either way its classy presentation and interesting enemy-dodging mechanics look perfectly suited to on-the-go gaming. IOTA's Journey should be another solid puzzle addition to the App Store, and is set to release next month on October 26th...

'Gloomy Z' Is a Striking Zombie Tower Defense/Shooter Hybrid, Releasing Winter 2017

Whenever I even contemplate writing about a new zombie video game, I can feel the indifference from gamers around the globe reverberating around me. It might not be the most overused gaming cliche of all time, but it certainly feels like the most tired one, and I think we're all in agreement in hoping that the mainstream appeal of the undead will not rise from the grave anytime soon. That said, after such a negative introduction, I'm actually quite excited for the upcoming Gloomy Z from Agaporni Games, for a variety of reasons. Details like dragons and clever varied shooting gameplay are certainly important, but it's the striking visual style of Gloomy Z that got me past the zombie game stumbling block this time around. With the enemies and barricades featuring as nefarious black silhouettes in front of beautiful crimson-red skies, Gloomy Z creates a really neat aesthetic style, and is definitely one to watch in the lead up to its Winter 2017 release...

Apple is using the revamped App Store in iOS 11 with its added emphasis on curation and editorial to bring us news of a substantial update for Super Mario Run [Free] that's set to hit next week. First up is a new mode called Remix 10 which takes 10 bite-sized chunks from the existing levels in the game and has you play through them in quick succession. There are also rainbow medals spread throughout for you to collect, and it sounds like it'll be a different experience each time you play the new mode. There's no failing this mode, if you don't make it through a level you'll just move onto the next one, but playing well and collecting the medals will allow you an opportunity to earn new items for your Mushroom Kingdom, culminating the the grand prize of a brand new character: Daisy. Once you've unlocked Daisy through Remix 10 mode, she'll be playable in the rest of the game, and comes with a new double jump move that should give players a whole new way to play through the game...

I like playing card games like Hearthstone and Elder Scrolls: Legends, but sometimes I get the itch for some more tactical gameplay, which is why I've been waiting to get Duelyst on my phone for quite some time now. Stormbound [Free], a game that has released globally this week after a few months in soft launch, brings to the table a fun combination of card collection and tactical gameplay that looks simple at first but has enough tactical depth and interesting ideas to scratch that itch. I've been playing it quite a bit this week, and I've been having fun playing both against the AI and against others. My only reservation is that matches take a bit too long and that the threat that is pay-to-win does rear its head here and there...

Vainglory [Free], easily the most recognizable mobile MOBA, is kicking off its North American and European Vainglory8 Autumn Season tomorrow, so it you enjoy some good MOBA action, you should tune in. Over the new few weeks, teams like Cloud9, Hollywood Hammers, Gankstars, NOVA eSports, Rogue, Fnatic, and G2 Esports will compete for a spot in the World Championship in Singapore, which will take place December 14-17. It's a pretty tough contest given that only one team per region will qualify for the World Championship, so the stakes are definitely high. European matches will begin at 9AM PST and the North American ones 2PM PST. And, of course, you can watch the matches on Twitch, YouTube, and Facebook...

Science fiction fans will know that we are getting a new Star Trek show called Star Trek: Discovery this Sunday, and it's kind of a big thing since we haven't had a new Star Trek show in more than a decade. To celebrate the new show premiere, Star Trek: Timelines [Free] has already added two of Discovery's characters: Commander Michael Burnham and Lieutenant Saru. But starting October 5th, Timelines is ushering in a month-long mega-event called "Discovery: A New Anomaly." As you would expect, this new event will add new Discovery crew, ships, and stories into the game, which should be a treat for fans of Star Trek and of the new show. The event will consist of 4 individual weekend events, so it should keep you busy for some time...

TGS 2017: Hands-On with 'Battlesky Brigade'

It feels like cute characters plus strategy game is a go-to approach for a lot of mobile developers these days, perhaps in the hopes of catching some of the run-off from Clash of Clans and its brethren. Battlesky Brigade is another such attempt, but apart from its frankly adorable character designs, it doesn't seem to have a lot of the necessary hooks to stand out. I had a chance to play a little of the game at the Tokyo Game Show, and while it's fun enough, I wonder if it can compete in a very difficult genre...

TGS 2017: Hands-On with Ganbarion's Gorgeous 'Shurado'

It seems like every year, I find one hidden gem that really jumps out from the rest. This year, that game was Shurado, a new action game from Ganbarion. If that name is ringing a bell for you, it's possible you saw it on any number licensed games based on properties like Dragon Ball or One Piece. Their most famous games in the West are probably the Nintendo DS Jump Stars fighting games that mash up a variety of manga characters. Shurado is something different for the traditionally console-based developer, but if what I played is indicative of the final game, they may have something big on their hands here...

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