Category Archives: Action

Over the course of a few months I've gone from not knowing who Nitrome was to being schooled in a master class by their games. I've played through their entire catalog at this point, and whenever a new offering is available, I'm ready and willing to snatch it and give it a shot. Ultimate Briefcase [Free] is merely published by Nitrome (the developer credit goes to Quite Fresh), and as an arcadey action game, it delivers on some level...

There are a handful of genres that I will likely never tire of, and one of them is dungeon crawling. Whether it's of the CRPG or ARPG variety, the thrill of soot is something I find insatiable. Whether it's "one more run" for that slightly better chestplate or the thrill of beating a new boss for a horde of gold, the constant positive reinforcement is on point. That's how Don't Die in Dungeons [Free] feels...




Virtually everything can be made better by doing it in space. Except breathing oxygen, I suppose. And eating potato chips. And using the toilet. Okay, let's revise that. Some things can be made better by doing them in space, and engaging in capitalistic ventures just happens to be one of them. The core principles of buying low and selling high simply go well with traversing a lonely universe and battling space pirates. Perhaps unsurprisingly, iOS gamers already have a few games to choose from in this style, including games that focus mostly on trading mechanics at the expense of action or visual flourish, ones that put most of their eggs in the combat basket, and some that try to dazzle you with their slick presentation and sense of immersion in order to build a believable universe. Simply put, there's a fair bit of established competition for Stellar Wanderer [$4.99], albeit little of it recent...

It begins again! The original Badland [$2.99] was notorious for receiving new levels and features WELL after its original release in April of 2013. So when the sequel Badland 2 [$3.99] came along late last year it had the unenviable task of being compared to its older and more fleshed-out sibling. However, Badland 2 brought its own bag of tricks to the table, including even more impressive visuals and a more multidirectional nature that set it apart from its strictly side-scrolling predecessor. Even without fifty billion levels, we loved Badland 2 in our review, and knowing developer Frogmind we were quite confident that we'd be seeing more levels added in the future. And that's totally the case! Frogmind is tweeting out teasers of some new levels coming in the forthcoming Infinity update, check out the .gifs!..

A couple of weeks back we posted a brand new trailer for Lost Socks: Naughty Brothers [$4.99], a game that was initially announced way back in December of 2013. After progress on the game went silent back then, everyone just kind of assumed the project was dead until that trailer surprised everybody by popping up earlier this month. Anyway, the response to that trailer was incredible, and it was easy to see why. Lost Socks boasted some fantastic animation and character design, and promised a hardcore platforming/runner hybrid that was not for the faint of heart. As an added bonus, the game was completley devoid of any IAP, timers, energy, or any other free to play nonsense. This was a gamer's game, people!..

In November of last year, Pixeljam released a wonderful little game called Last Horizon [$2.99]. In it you played an astronaut who needed to flee your dying world in a hurry, so you set out on a solo journey through space attempting to harvest resources and not get killed on your way to a new inhabitable planet to call home. The excellent controls and fun inertia-based flying made Last Horizon a winner in our eyes, but there were a couple of drawbacks. One was that Last Horizon was a pretty difficult game, and the way it was set up you had to actually beat one world to unlock the next, harder world, and eventually unlock an endless mode. ..

Well, the long, strange trip of the latest Assassin's Creed mobile game finally comes to an end as Assassin's Creed Identity [$4.99] has just launched worldwide. The saga began when Identity soft-launched in select countries way back in September of 2014. The game was built around quick missions that felt conducive to mobile play but it was the first Assassin's Creed game on iOS to be built around the more traiditional open-world mechanics of the long-running console and PC game series. It was also a very free to play game with all the trappings that comes with, which just didn't jive well with the type of game that it was. ..

It would be an understatement to say that we really like Rayark's Implosion - Never Lose Hope [$9.99]; we gave it 5 stars in our review and haven't stopped looking for more content to play through. A couple of months ago, we wrote that the game was getting a new character somewhere in January, and the 1.2 update has finally hit the App Store just now. The game just got a 6-mission chapter, Last Man Standing (which you need to finish mission 1-8 to unlock), as well as a new Warmech called Jonathan Carloway (that you can see in the trailer below), new ferocious bosses, and a new skill system. The most impressive part of this update is of course, the new playable character. He uses a gun in each hand and should feel pretty different playing the game again with this guy (as if you really need an excuse to play through this fantastic game again). The update is out, so go check it out...

Earlier this month we caught a glimpse of an awesome-looking upcoming platformer from Emergency Studios called Chel-Z [Free]. With colorful 8-bit style pixel art, similarly 8-bit chiptunes, one big 36 room map that you could explore and slowly gain access to Metroidvania style, and a robot with a human brain who can wield a grappling hook, it had us all pretty excited. Unfortunately, Apple's approval process took longer than expected and Chel-Z didn't make it by its intended February 11th release date. The good news is that it finally did make it through approval and Chel-Z just surprised-launched mere moments ago. ..

Cartoon Network has been my go-to animated block for years. I remember when it first debuted (complete with plenty of teaser commercials) and hosted master-crafted shows like Dexter's Lab and Powerpuff Girls (which is coming back by the way!) and smiling throughout. Over time Adult Swim ushered me into my teens. In recent years it gave birth to Adventure Time and my personal favorite, Regular Show, while publishing games on the side...

Ellipsis [$3.99] feels at first like it should be a tilt game, taking place in a small arena and with all sorts of abstract shapes. Thankfully, it doesn't – it would be awkward if it and Abzorb [$2.99] came out the same week – but instead is a touch-based game. And the touch part of the experience plays a major role. You move your blue circle around, trying to hit the blue targets, while dodging anything that's red. Blue = good, red = deadly. But the game is all about dodging hazards while collecting the things you need to unlock the exit, while trying to perform as well as possible. It's a game whose quality is pretty solid, but it reveals some clever things and does small things well. Ellipsis is a tough game to evaluate, because it might not reach the dizzying heights of the absolute best games, but its design is subtly brilliant, with few demerits...

Shadow Blade: Reload [$4.99] is not a sequel to Shadow Blade [$1.99], but an enhanced re-release of the original. The best way to describe this in relation to the original Shadow Blade is that this is like returning to a piece of work completed a while ago, and doing some further work to it to improve it in some way. For example, one of my favorite bands, Fair to Midland, had a bunch of songs that appeared on earlier albums that they cleaned up and re-recorded along with new material for their major label debut, Fables from a Mayfly...

'Ys Chronicles 2' Review - Adol's Back, And He's All Fired Up

Last May, DotEmu surprised us with an iOS port of Nihon Falcom's Ys Chronicles 1 [$4.99], a PC remake of one of the best action-RPGs of the 1980s, Ys: Ancient Ys Vanished. Aside from a rough job on the English translation, the port came out surprisingly well. While the lack of an attack button has always caused some misunderstandings on other platforms, body-checking enemies into oblivion makes an awful lot of sense on a touch-screen device with no buttons to speak of. The game itself is just as great as it has ever been, with a blistering fast pace and amazing soundtrack that few other action-RPGs can match. The biggest downer of Ys Chronicles 1 is that it ends on a cliffhanger that leads directly into Ys Chronicles 2 [$4.99]. The two games are frequently packed together due to their tight continuity and are best enjoyed as one complete adventure. DotEmu quickly confirmed the second game would be coming to iOS as well, and here we are...

I am a major fan of Orangepixel's games. The solo developer should be remembered by history as a unique, standout artist, despite his games not being the kind of artsy-fartsy stuff you'd typically expect to be called artsy. But it's because his games always have this unique touch to them in the art and gameplay that makes them feel unique compared to other games, even ones from consistent studios. The games having this consistent vision behind them is part of what makes them special. An Orangepixel game looks and feels like something only he could have made...

As I've said before, there's nothing wrong with chilling out with a mindless arcade game. I grew up playing flashy shooters and beat 'em ups just as often as deep RPGs and point and click adventure games, and both philosophies scratch certain itches on any given day. The former mindset is most evident in Call of Commander [$0.99], which has some RPG elements, but mostly caters towards the part of your brain that likes to shut itself off...

If you thought you'd be able to kick back and soak in some Final Fantasy IX [$20.99] since its surprise launch earlier today, I have some bad news. Or good news, depending on how much free time you actually have and/or how massive your backlog already is. The classic Ys action RPG series continues on iOS with Ys Chronicles 2 [$4.99], which just dropped mere moments ago from the fine folks at DotEmu...

It seems crazy that the release of Jack B. Nimble [$1.99] was well over a year ago, back in September of 2014. This plucky little runner combined the simplistic running and jumping of a typical runner but added in an extra dimension with the ability to crack a whip mid-jump, making it feel like the lovechild of Canabalt [$2.99] and Castlevania. We really enjoyed it in our review, and two post-release updates sweetened the pot by adding in two extra environments, two new color palettes, Game Center integration, and an extra playable character. Since its last update in December of 2014, Jack B. Nimble hasn't seen a whole lot of love, mostly due to it being the passion project of sole developer Sean Noonan. There have been big plans in the works for the game, they just haven't had a chance to come to fruition. ..

'Adventures Of Mana' Review - The Secret Is Simplicity

Adventures Of Mana [$13.99] is a remake of a classic Square Enix game, something that could be said for more than half of the company's iOS releases. Yet it's quite different from the usual Square Enix remake in that it's positively restrained in how much it chooses to change from the original game. It's especially interesting in light of the fact that said original game, Seiken Densetsu/Final Fantasy Adventure/Mystic Quest (henceforth Final Fantasy Adventure), was a 1991 release for the original Game Boy. On top of that, there was already one high-profile remake of the game, 2003's Sword Of Mana for the Game Boy Advance, which changed and added in a lot of things. Seeing Adventures Of Mana essentially present an early handheld action-RPG without doing much more than re-rendering everything in 3D and cleaning up the translation is certainly unexpected, but it's also most welcome...

Foursaken Media is undoubtedly one of the most beloved developers on our forums. They are well known for making games that take several different genres and throw them into a blender, and the resulting smoothie is usually quite tasty. My favorites are probably Block Fortress [$1.99] and Bug Heroes 2 [$1.99], but even the games that don’t quite stick are usually pretty interesting if nothing else. It was with some surprise, then, that I learned their newest game All Is Lost [Free] was essentially just a runner. A runner with... puzzle elements? Extensive RPG-like upgrade trees? Monster collecting? Base building? Nope, literally just a runner. You go from the left side of a level to the right and basically just swipe to avoid stuff. What’s truly surprising, though, is that even though they apparently dropped their modus operandi of idea-mashing, they were still able to create a compelling and fun game rooted firmly in a single genre...

Last week we got our first taste of Ninja Boy Adventures, a game created by The Clash Soft as an answer for there not being any classic Bomberman experiences available on iOS. The very next day we got a lengthy look at Ninja Boy Adventures being played with an MFi controller, a final taste of the game ahead of its planned February 3rd release date. Well, it's not quite February 3rd yet here in California, but with the wackiness of time zones and an entirely digital App Store it turns out Ninja Boy Adventures [$1.99] is already available as of just a couple hours ago...

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