Category Archives: Action

Character action games are a genre that feels underrepresented on iOS, perhaps because they inherently rely on complex button combinations for combat that just don't translate very well to the touchscreen. Well, about a month ago, Ghost Blade [$4.99] launched on the App Store seemingly out of nowhere, and set a standard for how these types of games should be built for the touchscreen. Rather than rely on a set of virtual buttons, Ghost Blade uses intuitive touchscreen gestures for its combat mechanics, and it works incredibly well, creating a very satisfying experience. ..

Coming into iOS gaming from a background in consoles, dedicated handhelds, and old computers, my first steps into the already-massive catalog were cautious ones. I stuck to familiar brands and the odd breakthrough that had made waves in the traditional media, such as Game Dev Story [$4.99]. One of the first real iOS originals that I fell absolutely in love with was League Of Evil [$1.99], from Ravenous Games. The game will always hold a special place in my heart for hammering it into me that, yes, virtual controls could work marvelously for an action game if they're handled correctly. These guys had their stuff together, I decided, and I began to follow them closely, anxiously awaiting their next big title. By all accounts, that game looked to be Random Heroes [Free], and I bought it pretty much the second it became available...

It's a frequently-visited topic throughout the history of the hobby, but the topic of the length of games (or the lack thereof) has been coming up a lot recently among mobile gaming fans. Faced with a market that that is often frighteningly resistant to handing over more than a few dollars in lump sums, many developers who want to build a traditional game with a beginning and ending, free of IAP consumables and other monetization techniques, are faced with a pretty hard economic reality. The answer to that problem is usually to scope the game's content according to some very meager budgets, leading to some great games that don't take all that long to play through. This was a very hot discussion when it came to Monument Valley [$3.99], and it may well be the same for those who pick up Space Expedition: Classic Adventure [$2.99]...

'Micro Battles' Review - Share the Wealth

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November 13th, 2014 11:00 AM EST by Chris Carter in 3.5 stars, Action, Free, Games, iPad Games, iPhone games, Prices, Reviews, Universal
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The advent of touch technology has created a vast number of innovations that weren't really evident upon release.  While many are quick to damn virtual controllers and the like, one of my favorite things about mobile platforms is the sheer lack of physical controls. For certain games that need precision it can be a pain, but for titles that are custom-created for touch controls it's a dream to just pick up and play something. One avenue that I don't think gets enough love is the multiplayer on one device market. There are a decent amount of board games and asynchronous titles out there that support multiple people, but Micro Battles [Free] does a decent job of adding some arcade action into the mix...

Forge Reply's wonderful digital realization of Joe Dever's classic gamebook series Lone Wolf is set to get its fourth and final act later this month on November 20th, the developer has announced in our forums. The new act is titled Dawn over V'Taag, and you can see it in action in the following trailer...

'Mr. Particle Man' Review - At Last, One For The Gentlemen

Up-front disclaimer: I hadn't played or even heard of Ms. Particle Man [$1.99], the game this is a sequel to, until about a week ago. It was apparently released in late 2012, so I was probably busy building my deluxe shelter to protect myself from the impending inevitable apocalypse, which appears to be rather late at this point. I wish I had discovered it sooner, but I'm glad I finally did, even more so because I've found it by way of its superb follow-up, Mr. Particle Man [$1.99]. It's an unabashedly old-school experience that manages to make use of a few modern tricks, one of which I've never seen implemented in quite the same way before in an iOS game. Fair warning: Mr. Particle Man is one of those tough as nails games where you'll die, die, and die some more, and it's very possible, likely even, that you'll hit the limits of your own skill before the game is finished. If you're the sort that gets frustrated by games like that, move along with your sanity intact. For the rest of us weirdos who meet such adversity with laughter and an insane need to keep playing, what this game does is going to be a nice, comfortable fit...

There are lot of reasons developers might choose to put a game on mobiles, and plenty of them have nothing to do with the unique interface presented by the touch screen. Most of us have learned to deal with virtual buttons and such just fine, but it's always nice when a developer clearly designs their game around the hardware's natural input methods in an intuitive way. Splot [$1.99], a new platformer from the developers behind the Trine games, benefits greatly from its easy-to-understand control setup. Its controls work very well, and that should theoretically open the developer up to more challenging level designs, an element I think most platform fans can agree on. Unfortunately, Splot doesn't quite go as far as I'd like it in that regard, but it still ends up being a fun, content-rich game that will keep you busy for at least a few hours...

Earlier this month we saw the release of Hail to the King: Deathbat [$4.99], a product of Subscience Studios and the band Avenged Sevenfold. Members of the band grew up playing video games, and when it came time to make their own, they wanted to create an homage to the games they loved playing back in the '80s and '90s. The combat and magic system in Deathbat is pretty simplistic, and the difficulty can be unforgiving. Those are the reasons I love the game so much, but those are also the reasons a lot of people didn't like the game so much. Opinions, you know? Because of the polarized feelings towards Deathbat, I imagine there were a lot of people who might have been interested in the game but were stuck on the fence. Well, if that describes you, now might be a good time to jump off the fence as Hail to the King: Deathbat is currently on sale for $1.99, down from its normal price of $4.99...

'Tilt to Live: Gauntlet's Revenge' Review: And I'm Dead Again

Sure, sometimes developers can give reasons for why they want to charge more money for something that are utter poppycock. Granted, I've known One Man Left since 2010, and I take them at their word that Tilt to Live: Gauntlet's Revenge [$2.99] was becoming too big and too separate to be just an add-on to Tilt to Live 2 [$2.99]. But in playing it, I think the position is really quite justified. This is pretty much its own game, only filtered through Tilt to Live's aesthetics and controls. And it winds up being this challenging gauntlet that's well worth checking out...

'Ghost Blade' Review - Something Wicked This Way Comes

If you asked me a couple of months ago to make a list of game types that were highly unlikely to ever be realized in a satisfying way on a touchscreen, I can guarantee that stylish action games would be on the short list. The sub-genre launched when wunderkind director Hideki Kamiya sat down to make another Resident Evil game, decided that it would be more fun if every attack felt as good as doing a headshot with a shotgun, and ended up creating Devil May Cry. One game does not a sub-genre make, but once Tomonobu Itagaki created his masterpiece re-imagining of Ninja Gaiden, we were off to the races. It's not the most prolific genre, probably because it's so hard to do right, but it's seen its share of hits including the mainstream-friendly God of War series, the campy and cool Bayonetta, and the amazing parry-focused Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance. These games are usually characterized by their highly-technical, deep combat, where players are graded according to how well they can dance to the game's beat. This usually involves a lot of different buttons, and we all know how well that usually works out on a touchscreen...

RPG Reload File 011 - 'Solomon's Keep'

Hello, gentle readers, and welcome to the RPG Reload, the weekly feature where we go digging in the boneyard looking for something to keep. Each week, we dust off an RPG from the App Store's past, offer it a nice cup of tea, and ask it how the family's doing. It's a bit of revisiting, a bit of reflecting, and sometimes just an excuse to dive into a great game deeper than our reviews usually allow. We love all kinds of RPGs here, and I'll always do my best to cover a wide variety of games, but I need your help, my friends. That's why once a month I'll be playing and writing about an RPG chosen by your majority vote. Wait, not so fast with that pen and paper! You can cast your vote through the power of modern technology simply by commenting down below or dropping in on the Official RPG Reload Club in the forums. The next reader's choice feature will take place in RPG Reload 013, which means this is your last week to get your vote in. At the moment, Baldur's Gate [$9.99] has a fairly commanding lead, but anything can happen in the world of imagination if you believe in yourself...

'Crimsonland HD' Review - Can't Beat The Real Thing

It's fun to think back to the launch of the Xbox 360 in 2005, when out of all the possible choices for a breakout early hit, the one that most gamers flocked to was the humble Geometry Wars: Retro Evolved. Starting as an in-house test demo, it's still amazing to me that this little game not only carried a console through the dry launch period all hardware suffers from, but also dragged a sub-genre back into viability, where it still sits to this day. Suddenly, twin-stick shooters were popular and prolific in a way they perhaps never were before. Mobiles have particularly enjoyed the fruits of that success, with a load of great twin-stick shooters already and more releasing all the time. But although the genre was fairly quiet in the years prior to Geometry Wars, like any dormant genre, it wasn't completely dead. One particular standout was 2003's Crimsonland [Free], an early effort from a name many iOS gamers know quite well, 10tons Entertainment...

As a developer, if you're going to wade neck-deep into a crowded genre, especially one in a very crowded marketplace in general, you have to have some kind of means of standing out from the crowd. When it comes to side-scrolling running games, it's getting harder and harder to find something that can actually accomplish that job. Jack B. Nimble [$1.99], from developer Sean Noonan, opts to take the approach of a double-barreled appeal to nostalgia, with graphics that look like they came off a torqued-up Game Boy and a theme that will be instantly recognizable to Castlevania fans. It's got an interestingly familiar cadence to it that I don't see very often in this kind of game, and it will certainly have strong appeal for those who appreciate streamlined runners like Canabalt [$2.99] or Boson X [$2.99]...

‘Skylanders Trap Team’ Review - A Portal Perfect Experience

Earlier this month we offered a hands-on preview of Actvision’s Skylanders Trap Team [Free (HD)]. Ported over by the folks at Vicarious Visions, Trap Team is being billed as the first of the series to not only have a simultaneous launch across console platforms and iOS but to also offer the complete console experience on Apple’s platform. It’s also an absolutely amazing port that feels right at home on iOS and offers an experience with its figurines that is unmatched by anything else currently available on the App Store...

Cookie Clicker was one of my favorite games of 2013. Your objective was simple -- make more cookies. At first, you needed to click the screen occasionally to get more cookies. Eventually, you start accumulating them on your own and you don't really even need to click. Slowly but surely it evolves into a giant meta-game of cookie management and borders on a full-on simulation. It's the simplicity that makes it worth playing. Why am I mentioning all of this? Because Poor Gladiator [Free] for iOS has a similar scheme, and is a great way to relax on the go...

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