Category Archives: Games

The sports genre of video games is an interesting animal. It was probably the first genre to seriously concern itself with authenticity, both in terms of the recreating the play mechanics of the real game and acquiring real licenses. One of the first times I heard a licensed song in a game was in one of EA Sports's titles, and the only reason I ever learned who people like John Madden and Jack Nicklaus were was because of video games bearing their names. It took a little while for that to catch on properly with the sport of hockey, with the first licensed products hitting in 1991. Even then, publishers had trouble deciding if they wanted the NHL license, the NHLPA license, or both. After that genie was let out of the bottle, it never went back in, at least until mobiles came around. While you would see the odd unlicensed football or basketball game, hockey games virtually always carried a license of some sort...

One of the things I love about RPGs is how wide and diverse the genre is. There are so many different things an RPG can do well to make a name for itself, whether it be telling a great story, having deep character customization options to play with, bringing an interesting world to life for players to explore, using interesting combat mechanics to force you to think in new ways, or any other of the genre's fine traits. Generally speaking, no two RPGs are quite alike, and some of them are so different from each other it's a wonder we fit them into the same genre at all. I enjoy digging into any RPG and trying to find that thing that makes it special, and even if it's not to my personal tastes, it's always interesting to see how it works and who it might appeal to...

Framed [$4.99] feels like the first half of what should be a really good game. It's a title with a great premise: rearranging comic book panels both in order and rotation so that the protagonist in the scene makes it to the end without getting detected by cops or falling to their doom. The cops in the world of Framed were not the academy's best and brightest students, as they don't even turn around for the protagonist running through doors right behind them. "See no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil" is the motto of the Framed Police Department, but good for the characters in this game, all trying to get control of a mysterious briefcase...

RPG Reload File 016 - 'Ravensword: The Fallen King'

Hello, gentle readers, and welcome back to the RPG Reload, the weekly feature where killing giants rats is always on the menu, but eating them is a rare treat. Each week, we take a look at an RPG from the App Store's past. Do we do this for honor? For glory? No, we do this because there are lots of great RPGs worth revisiting, and it's nice to break out of the weekly update cycle now and then. I try to choose a wide variety of RPGs to cover in this feature, but for the sake of balance, I throw the choice over to you, the reader, once per month. The next reader's choice Reload is next week, where I'll be covering Silversword [$3.99]. We actually had a tie this time around, so it went to a coin toss. Sorry, Avernum [$9.99 (HD)], maybe next time!..

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving here in the States, and as with pretty much any major holiday developer Pixbits have updated their phenomenal crafting adventure game Junk Jack X [$4.99] with holiday-themed content. There's a new Pocket Turkey rare pet, a craftable hay bale block, new dyeable wood panels which can be coupled with the new sloped barn roof and supports so you can build your very own barn(!), and finally there's a Thanksgiving zombie that will drop a rare "weapon" should you come across it. Yes, they put "weapon" in quotes because I imagine it's something silly like a turkey leg or maybe a poisonous buckled hat...

I don't mind games that are free to try with an IAP to unlock the rest of the game, but one of the tricky things about them is that it's hard to notice when they go on sale. If you've been waiting patiently for Capcom's fantastic Ace Attorney: Phoenix Wright Trilogy HD [Free] or Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney - Dual Destinies [Free] to come down a little bit in price, your court date is set for today. The games are initially free to download, so you won't see them showing up on useful services like AppShopper Social [Free], but the full game unlock IAPs for both are currently slashed down to prices so crazy, even Dr. Hotti can't believe them...

I will forever admit to being a sucker for games with pixel art, and Sunburn [$2.99] had immediate appeal to me based on that, but also thanks to its unique premise: instead of trying to save everyone, the goal is to control the jetpack-equipped astronaut captain, trying to get a bunch of stranded astronauts together, and launch into the sun so that nobody dies alone. But there's limited oxygen, so there's some planet-hopping involved, fiery asteroids to avoid, and a chain of astronauts to string along, trying to make sure they don't suffer a solitary demise while trying to get to the collective goal. This means that death is an odd thing, because dying itself might not be the ultimate goal. It's about making sure everyone suffers a quick death, rather than dying alone in the middle of space. That's a new one! It's a clever and macabre concept for a space physics puzzler, and while the game has issues, the concept alone is well worth checking out...

Even if you've never heard of the Lone Wolf series of gamebooks written by Joe Dever (with their sporadic publishing history I wouldn't blame you), Joe Dever's Lone Wolf [Free], a new adventure made specifically for mobile platforms, has got a lot of initial punch. While everything seems to start like any other gamebook you've played on iOS, as soon as you reach the first battle of the game, it's clear that this game has got some strong ideas about where to take gamebooks in the future. The 'Wow' factor of turning the page to an illustration that comes to life in full 3D can't be underestimated, but in its quest to escape the shackles of its old format, Lone Wolf trips over some very familiar problems inherent to its new one. In the style of our reviews of The Walking Dead [Free] and The Wolf Among Us [Free], this review will be appended to as each new act releases...

Love it or hate it, Candy Crush Soda Saga [Free] has made a fairly predictable march up to the top of the charts since its release not too long ago. That means tons of people are playing it, and knowing King's games as I do, that means tons of people are getting stuck and wanting to toss their mobile device every time they hear that smarmy voice-over guy say, "Oooh". Well, as usual, I've spent a good bit of time playing the game since its soft launch in the sandy deserts of Canada, and I've got some advice to help you turn those "ooohs" into "ahhhs". Well, there isn't actually an "ahhh", but you know what I mean...

Fans of classic JRPGs have been eating well this year on iOS, with four installments from the juggernaut Dragon Quest series releasing so far and very likely one more to come before we flip the calendars. All of the Dragon Quest games that Square Enix has put out so far on mobiles in 2014 are pretty strong games, particularly taking their age into account, but in this humble RPG fan's opinion, the best of the bunch is without a doubt Dragon Quest 4: Chapters Of The Chosen [$9.99]. I gave it top marks in my review both on the strength of the original game and the excellent quality of the port. It's easily the best version of Dragon Quest 4 available to English gamers and a must-have for any RPG aficionado. If you haven't picked it up yet, fortune smiles upon thee, for thou hast found the great sale price. While the game regularly goes for $14.99, the price is currently reduced 33% to a mere $9.99...

In late October, developer Funcom soft-launched a remastered iOS version of their critically-acclaimed 2000 PC adventure game The Longest Journey, but we weren't really sure when it would be seeing a wider release. Today we have our answer: The Longest Journey Remastered [$6.99] is available worldwide right now! ..

Zen Studios is adding another Marvel-themed table to their lineup of digital pinball games across all platforms, including of course iOS. Spider-Man's arch-nemesis Venom will be getting his very own table, and it'll be coming to both Zen Pinball [Free] and Marvel Pinball [$0.99] the week of December 8th. Specifically, iOS gamers can look forward to the table becoming available on December 11th, and it'll be in line with other Marvel tables from Zen and will cost $1.99. Here's a screen of the new Venom table...

You forgot about Pocket God [$0.99], didn't you? Sure, it has been a year since the last episode, "Apocalypse, Ow!" But that's no reason to forget about the game that made the "apps with free updates" concept a reality. Well, the app refuses to die, as Bolt Creative has announced episode 48 is coming soon, entitled "Call of Booty." The big new feature in this update is the ability to dive in the sea and explore underwater, hunting for treasure, while avoiding deadly sea creatures. There's twenty total pieces of booty to get, and a golden oyster idol, because why not? Check out the trailer for the upcoming update:..

Brace yourselves, we're going to talk about some truly old-school gaming in this review. Before there was Clash Of Clans [Free], Call Of Duty, Tetris [$0.99], Super Mario Bros., or even Pong, a huge gaming craze swept the world. It was a puzzle game known to the western world as Tangrams, brought over in the early 19th century from China, where it had been around for several hundred years. Suddenly those months-long New Zealand soft launches don't look so bad, do they? If you aren't familiar with Tangrams, the puzzle involves using seven pieces to try to match a set shape. You would think this to be a pretty shallow affair, but there have been several thousand different puzzles made. I'm not sure if it's still the case, but books of Tangram puzzles were always a mainstay in gas stations and convenience stores when I was a kid...

Welcome to the week, everyone! It's time for our weekly look at notable or interesting updates from the last week that you may or may not have missed. Remember, you can keep an eye out for interesting updates yourself by using AppShopper Social [Free], the watchlist in the TouchArcade App [Free], or by paying very careful attention to the TouchArcade forums. If I've missed anything you think should be mentioned, please leave a comment so others can see it. Following on last week's feedback, I'm going to present things as more of a list this time around. Lots of big ones this week, and a couple of interesting smaller ones, too. Let's dig in!..

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