Category Archives: Action

'Dan the Man' Review - A Blast While it Lasts

'Dan the Man' Review - A Blast While it Lasts

StarStarStarStarStar
October 20th, 2016 12:30 PM EST by Shaun Musgrave in $2.99, 4.5 stars, Action, Arcade, Free, iPad Games, iPhone games, Platform, Reviews
Free Buy Now

One of the more reliable means of drawing attention in marketing is to use the biggest numbers you can find for your product or service's features. It's historically been very useful in selling video games, with RPGs claiming dozens of hours of gameplay, open world games boasting about the sizes of their maps, and platformer games talking up the number of levels they have. Thing have become ludicrous in mobile gaming, with Candy Crush offering a couple thousand levels and many platformers eventually expanding out to over a hundred stages. Never mind that the levels might be short, or easily constructed. The players will find that out later, and when they do, they may well not even care...

'Nightgate' Review - Enter The Matrix

Semidome made a splash with their artsy debut Last Voyage [$1.99]. It was an artsy yet eclectic experience, as its ten chapters ran the gamut of gameplay styles to convey its abstract story. Semidome isn't done conveying this abstract digital atmosphere in their second title Nightgate [$3.99]. It positions itself as a more singular experience, but one that succeeds in creating a fascinating landscape for players to experience for just a little while...




Everyone has a genre they couldn't live without. For some youngsters, it's survival games, which can extend to Minecraft. For others, it's sports games, and the thrill of drafting out a new fantasy team with incoming college players thrown into the fray. For me, my choice ebbs and flows depending on the year, but the most consistent one I'm always falling back on is platformers. Whether it's those of the mascot variety with strict adherence to 3D standards and wonky cameras, or the tried and true 2D approach, you can put pretty much any one of them in front of me and I'll at least give it a go. Tons of Bullets [$1.99] caught my eye in name alone, but it ended up being about more than just blasting things...

A very interesting looking game released under the radar this week, and although it doesn't look like my type of game personally, the trailer was cool enough I thought it was worth sharing. In fact, it looks totally like a Shaun Musgrave kind of game, but since it's about 3am in Japan right now and Shaun is fast asleep (at least you better be, young man!) we'll have to wait a while to see what Mr. Weird Game Expert thinks of this one. Anyway, the game is called iRIUM [Free] and it's a rhythm game blended with RPG elements and a really fetching art style. Check out the trailer...

Last week saw the launch of many interesting App Store releases, one of which was Shadow Bug Rush [Free], the free to play endless alternative to the similarly named Shadow Bug [$3.99] that released earlier this year. Featuring a cool graphical style reminiscent of Badlands [$2.99], and some hardcore action platforming action to boot, Muro Studios crafted a game that became a cult favorite amongst the iOS community. While the endless iteration launched for a sweet price of zero dollars, the original Shadow Bug has today also been reduced to absolutely free, which is a great chance for fans of the new game to try out the fully fledged adventure alternative...

We really enjoyed Leap of Fate [$3.99] here at the TouchArcade Towers for quite a few reasons, and I personally thought the way the developers used various parts of the screen for special abilities was pretty clever and worked quite well. In a recent article, the developers talked in depth about how they went about making a fast-paced action game work well on mobile. They talk about how their number one priority was to build a control scheme that didn't require players to look at the HUD while playing so they could be focusing on the action (like how you play a console game). The article also talks about how they went about deciding on what kind of virtual sticks to have in the game and what playtesting taught them when it came to that aspect of the game...

It seems like Dan the Man [Free] has forever been in soft launch, teasing gamers from outside the lucky few regions that received the game early with its awesome platformer beat-em-up hybrid gameplay. In truth, it's only been a little under two months - but ever since having watched the fantastic eponymous cartoon series and the hands-on footage from GDC in March, I've been dying to get my hands on Halfbrick's newest game. Thankfully, the wait is now over - Dan the Man has launched worldwide on the App Store, and considering both Halfbrick's incredible track record and the game's low price of zero dollars, I'd definitely recommend booting the game up, and subsequently booting the eclectic cast of enemies where it hurts...

'Jade Empire: Special Edition' Review - Everybody Was Kung Fu Grinding

As one of the most well-known RPG developers in recent times, Bioware is primarily known for two things: Dungeons & Dragons-style fantasy, and space operas. Back in 2005, as the original Xbox was fading out and the Xbox 360 was on the horizon, Bioware was able to slide a little something different down the line. Jade Empire [$9.99] was a martial arts fantasy action RPG inspired by wuxia films like Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon and House of Flying Daggers. It was the developer's first real foray into incorporating real-time action into the RPG framework that had become known for, a blend that woulds  be revisited with greater success in the Mass Effect series. While it was well-received critically, the game failed to sell anywhere near as well as Bioware's other titles, so the developer went back to the more reliable fantasy/sci-fi salt mines. That's a shame, because Jade Empire is an excellent game with some flaws that could have been buffed out to marvelous effect in a sequel...

'Bullet Hell Monday' Review - Another Manic Monday

Last year, we were treated to a pair of excellent shooters by Japanese indie developer Masayuki Ito. Titled .Decluster [$2.99] and .Decluster Zero [$4.99], these shoot-em-ups combined a unique visual style with tense bullet-hell action. The scoring mechanisms largely surrounded the ability to cancel enemy bullets. The more bullets you canceled, the more points you would earn. This encouraged you to use risky strategies, making for some seriously thrilling close calls. The stage designs and enemy placements in the games were top-notch, too. The .Decluster games were sold as paid games with no IAPs, and that's probably one of the biggest points where Ito's latest shooter, Bullet Hell Monday [Free], diverges from his previous titles...

Side Scrolling Shooter 'The Bug Butcher' Is Finally Set to Crawl Onto the App Store on October 20th

Bugs always seem to be victims of video games, from many different perspectives. You have the literal development cycle, whereby iOS apps are (hopefully) purged of software bugs before release, which gets even more meta when you take something like Game Dev Story [$4.99] - is this bug-ception? Regardless, it's set to get even worse for bugs, but this time in the literal, creepy-crawly sense. The Bug Butcher is a side scrolling shooter which sets your suited protagonist on a path of insect genocide, as you must navigate thirty levels and five brutally difficult boss fights of pure pest extermination. The Bug Butcher looks beautiful in action and a whole lot of fun, so I cannot wait to play it when it makes the transition to iOS on October 20th...

A year and a half ago we reviewed Ire: Blood Memory [Free] and really liked it for its Dark Souls-influenced gameplay and its entertaining enemies, even though the UI and the monetization left quite a lot to be desired. Ire's developers, Tenbirds, wanted to improve quite a lot of aspects of the game, and they decided that instead of continuously patching the older one, to go ahead and remake it into a new app. So, the new version of the game that has just released retains the original idea and general design but adds much-improved graphics, a more functional UI, changes to attack speeds, cool-downs, and all of that, and adding more content through a new world map and new quests...

Zombie titles really need to innovate more-so than a lot of other types of games these days. The market is just so saturated that the mere notion of "survival" itself just isn't enough, and there at least needs to be an interesting hook involved beyond the solitary concept of continuing to exist. Skyhill [$2.99] does that, even if the magic doesn't last as long as the developers intended it to...

'Ember' Review - Keeping the Old-School RPG Light Burning

When 505 Games and N-Fusion released their old-school inspired RPG Ember [$9.99] last week, there were a few interesting things we noted. First, with a stated longevity of 30+ hours (coupled with no IAP), it’s certainly one of the longest premium RPGs we’ve played in awhile. Second, as a near simultaneous release with the PC version, it’s one of those increasingly rare games where the developer isn’t trying to hide the fact that a mobile version was developed concurrently with the PC version. Both are typically good indicators of a well-made game, and Ember certainly fits the bill. It does an excellent job paying homage to the old-school RPG and its controls make an acceptable transition to touch screen...

Footage Emerges of 'Torchlight Mobile' to Prove It Still Exists...but Nothing Much Has Changed

Torchlight Mobile drew a lot of excitement when it was first announced in June of last year, and deservedly so. Torchlight II was an absolutely essential dungeon crawling action RPG on PC that managed to stand up to the genre behemoth that is Diablo 3, and as a result, the Torchlight series has attracted many devout fans. A portable, mobile adaptation on iOS was consequently big news, however subsequent previews at E3 and TGS lessened such expectations, as despite some beautiful graphics, Torchlight Mobile was riddled with free-to-play gimmicks, and ideas that were not fully fleshed out. A year later, with virtually no new information on the iPhone iteration, Torchlight Mobile was shown at this year's Tokyo Game Show…and nothing much has changed. But hey, Torchlight Mobile still exists, and will hopefully be released in the near future on the App Store, so there's still time to see a more complete version that is worthy of the Torchlight moniker...

By now, we all know what to do if a large meteor is on a course to strike the Earth: throw Ben Affleck, Bruce Willis, and Steve Buscemi in a rocket loaded with a nuclear bomb, point them at the rock, and let the magic happen. They're our planet's ace in the hole. But what should we do if not one meteor is headed for us, but rather five? Ten? One hundred? Even if you throw in Casey, it's not enough Affleckpower to take care of that many flying chunks of absolute destruction. Such is the nightmare scenario considered by Atomic Super Lander [$2.99], the latest action game from Crescent Moon Games and bitWeird Games...

In June of last year, a phenomenal puzzle/action platformer named Furdemption [$2.99] took the App Store by storm. We loved it in our review, as did players in our community. It was easily one of the best games of 2015. Then in September, just over a year ago in fact, developer RareSloth announced that a level editor would be coming to Furdemption that would allow players to create and share levels forever and ever and ever! Well, due to various circumstances, that level editor got put on hold indefinitely in November. The silver lining was that in place of the editor, RareSloth instead would be bringing out a brand new sequel to Furdemption, called King Rabbit [Free], which launched back in March and, like the original, was simply fantastic. Well, things are coming full circle as today RareSloth has announced that the level editor is back on and heading to King Rabbit early next year...

We first looked at Stretch Dungeon [Free], the newest Nitrome title, earlier this week, and despite some confusion over the intricacies of telekinesis, the unique mechanic of manipulating the walls to propel the 'dangerous geezer' around obstacles looked like a lot of fun to play. Being developers of their word, Nitrome have today released Stretch Dungeon on the App Store for free (with a singular in-app purchase to eliminate pesky ads), and it is as bafflingly entertaining to play as it is to watch. You must navigate your character through numerous stages, hurtling over spikes and other deathtraps while picking up floating green coins, to eventually plummet out of the confines of your cell to freedom, or whatever awaits for you at the end of the jail...

'Space Marshals 2' Review - It's 'Space Marshals', Too

Pixelbite got a lot right with the first Space Marshals [$3.99]. They eschewed much of what is common in dual-stick shooters on mobile, going with a slower, more thoughtful, stealth-based game. With an array of interesting weaponry and tactics at your disposal, such as using noisemakers to distract enemies to take them out away from the prying eyes of other enemies, it was a cool concept and a fun game. The controls were great for mobile, with MFi controller support, and iCloud to boot. It was not a perfect game, but a great example of how to make an original, stylish title for mobile. Plus, they updated the game with 2 new episodes months after launch. Space Marshals 2 [$4.99] returns and basically is the same game, streamlined with a couple new features, and skipping on the whole episodic aspect to give you 20 beefy levels of tactical stealth action in a space wild-west setting. And like any sequel where iteration is the key difference, it's not bad – this is the superior game – but the lack of surprise can be a bit disappointing...

So, you thought you were getting a technical marvel of an action game in Eisenhorn: Xenos [$5.99]? Wrong! This adaptation of the 2001 novel set in the ever-expansive and convoluted Warhammer universe, starring inquisitor Gregor Eisenhorn, has disappointing combat, and the game largely tries to hide it and convince you that it's unnecessary. Instead, this is about telling the story from the novel, featuring Mark Strong as Eisenhorn, while presenting some gorgeous backdrops, with you at the controls driving the narrative. And if Warhammer lore is your bag, this is a game for you. As an action game? Eh...

'Leap of Fate' Review - Jump In

Leap of Fate [$3.99] didn't make a great first impression on me. The opening cut-scene dialogue is ponderous. The aiming feels a little off. The tutorial has a lot of clumsy navigation elements, suggesting there will be some shoveled-in platforming to break up the action. The first time I loaded the game, I played through the tutorial, wondered why Jared was raving about it so much, then switched over to something else. Of course, since I was assigned to the review, I had to come back to Leap of Fate soon. Reviewing games is generally a great job, but one of the few downsides is that you can't always walk away from games you're not enjoying. Sometimes, however, that turns out to be a good thing, and Leap of Fate is one such case...

Copyright 2014, TouchArcade.com, LLC.