Category Archives: Action

We've had our eye on Eisenhorn: XENOS from developer Pixel Hero Games, makers of the ultra-underrated action RPG Spiral Episode 1 [$3.99 / Free], ever since we got a quick demo of the game at GDC 2015. An impressive-looking trailer followed about six months later, and before we knew it we were back at GDC 2016 this past March getting another great demo of the game. People who had been following along had been very excited for Eisenhorn: XENOS to arrive, and just yesterday we learned that the game was set to launch this Wednesday, August 10th. Pixel Hero even posted a brand new developer diary video in celebration of the much-anticipated launch. Well, the weirdness of digital app stores and world time zones strikes again and as it turns out Eisenhorn: XENOS [$5.99] is now available as of just a few moments ago...

Warhammer Action Title 'Eisenhorn: Xenos' Set to Launch August 10th on the App Store

Despite the occasional thrill of spontaneous releases on the App Store, it's always great to get a solid release date for any game, especially one that has been on our radar for what seems like ages. After much anticipation, Eisenhorn: Xenos will be launching August 10th on iOS, and for fans of the eponymous book series, the Warhammer universe, or simply anyone looking for another essential high-quality action title for their iPhone, this certainly seems like one to watch. We were very impressed by developer Pixel Hero Games' fledgling iPhone creation when we looked at it back at GDC, and its focus on God of War style combat whilst not relinquishing the traditional strategic elements of other titles in the Warhammer universe, Eisenhorn: Xenos looks absolutely stunning, and about as close as a console-like experience that you can expect on mobile devices...




It's hard to believe that we're coming up on two years since XperimentalZ Games launched Pixel Boat Rush [Free] on the App Store, but here we are, and despite that lengthy chunk of time the developers have just released a meaty new update for the game. This update introduces 16 new super difficult races called Masters Races, which include new Masters Trophies to win which of course leads to unlocking a new set of Master boats. These Master boats will be equipped with new weaponry like a flamethrower, a cannon, an x-ray weapon, and more. Here's a couple of screens taken from the new Masters Race series...

'Into The Rift' Is an Upcoming Metroidvania Game That Looks Stunning in Action

The word 'Metroidvania' has become synonymous with disappointment and cynicism for me over the past few years. Every game with such a label either plays nothing like the side-scrolling action titles with an emphasis on exploration that I fell in love with as a child, or cannot live up to the quality of their peers in the genre. You can argue it's more down to my excessive reverence of Super Metroid and every 2D Castlevania game post-Symphony of the Night, and you're probably right, but any self proclaimed Metroidvania will be held up to my extremely high standards. That's why I'm beyond excited for the upcoming Into The Rift - with some of the best pixel art graphics I've seen in years, coupled with game mechanics that look like they've attempted to work on and improve the excellent formula of Metroidvania titles, there is a lot of promise that my expectations can be met...

One of the unique elements of mobile is that because people have their devices with them constantly, game design has taken on a new element of trying to fit into people's lives. Phoenix 2 [Free] feels like the idea was to provide an intense shoot 'em up experience that could be more than just an occasional distraction, but a game that could fit into someone's life. And in that regard, it succeeds: it's a unique experience that works best on mobile because it's built for the platform, while still being a fun bullet hell shmup experience...

'Severed' Review - I'd Give my Left Arm to Play This on Mobile

Consider it a testament to the power of mobile that developers still want to make and release games for it, despite the challenges of selling on it. After all, when games are customary a third of their price on other platforms, it's no wonder that games are rarely announced first for mobile. Severed [$3.99] was that exception, as mobile was a core platform for the game at its announcement. Then, it became a PlayStation Vita exclusive, before eventually being re-announced for mobile. And here it finally is. This first-person Infinity Blade [$5.99] meets Zelda type game – is a really cool experience that feels like it should have been on mobile all along...

We live in some truly weird times these days, but to chop up an old saying for my own nefarious purposes: when the going gets odd, the strange get stranger. Sorry, that seemed funnier in my head. The important thing here is that you can pick up both of the Oddworld games for $0.99 each for the next few days. Yes, two bucks will get you two very well-done ports of full-blown console games, now easy to enjoy anywhere. It's an absurd price for such content-stuffed games, so you'd best take advantage of it...

'Time Locker' Review - This Free Shmup is Super Hot

"Good artists copy, great artists steal." It's a line that essentially means that explicitly mimicking something is easy enough to do – making a clone of a game is simple enough. But it's another thing to take the ideas of one game and use them in another to create something that is original all in itself. Time Locker [Free] explicitly steals the gimmick of Superhot, the first-person shooter where time only moves when the player moves. It even uses a very similar low-poly graphics style. But instead, it turns the game into a shoot 'em up with some hints of Crossy Road [Free] to feel like a unique iteration on previous ideas, one that uses existing concepts liberally, but to form its own thing that stands on its own merits...

We don't really make a habit of posting about sales or freebies anymore, because frankly, most games nowadays are already free and most paid games go on sale so frequently that it kind of loses its impact after awhile. Both of these games fall in that latter category, both Bastion and Transistor have seen plenty of sales in the past, but gosh darn it these games are so incredibly good it just didn't feel right to not let everyone know that they're both currently on sale at the same time. ..

After the successful launch of Taichi Panda [Free] last year, Snail Games has been going hard with the new releases in 2016. Their latest is yet another free to play action RPG called Chaos Legends [Free]. Now, I have mixed feelings when it comes to the action RPG genre. I actually love hack 'n slash games, but holy jeez, they are like a dime a dozen nowadays and most of the time it's hard to tell one apart from another. With their grindy free to play systems it's nearly impossible to be actively playing more than one at a time, so while most of these games look and play pretty awesome, realistically I just don't have time for them, you know? At any rate, Chaos Legends does look really cool based on its release trailer...

Every now and then, a game comes along that has wonderful ideas, but sadly fails to live up to the promise of those ideas. Mainly because the awesome ideas are either under-funded or come from inexperienced developers. That's the case we have today, but when I saw this game, I could not pass it up. Not only did it look super hectic and crazy, but it's pretty unique in that it's both a castle defense and an endless runner. Endless Defense? Castle Runner? Anyway, in this case, your castle is a gargantuan pedal to the metal tank, and it isn't stopping for very much. I give you Mega Tank [Free]...

There weren't a lot of games that used the "draw a line" mechanic before smartphones, but the ones that did exist really stand out. One such title is Kirby: Canvas Curse, released on the Nintendo DS in 2005, among several other follow-ups and clones. Most of them follow the same formula -- simply draw on the screen to manipulate the character, which was usually cruising through a world drawn with a cutesy veneer. Don't Be Squared [Free] follows that same path, but with a decidedly less interesting aesthetic...

It's interesting watching the flow of game design over time. While it's sometimes painful to watch established game designs hop from a paid model to a free-to-play set-up, those very same free-to-play hits have now been around long enough to start inspiring developers to travel that road in the opposite direction. The basic structure and look of Dungeon x Balls [Free] seem heavily informed by social RPG sensations like Puzzle and Dragons [Free], but rather than send the player down an endless rabbit hole of collection, evolution, and battling, it opts for a more traditional style. You'll find new characters with their own special abilities, battle boss creatures, and work your way through the story, and while there are IAP, they're solely of the cosmetic variety. Best of all, its core gameplay mechanic feels intuitive and fresh, a difficult thing to accomplish in the wildly crowded mobile market...

We've seen a lot of licensed LEGO games in the 11 years since the series of action games from Traveler's Tales first kicked off. Batman, Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings, the Avengers, Indiana Jones, Jurassic World, and Pirates of the Caribbean have all had at least one game made chronicling their stories and characters. I'm not even going to touch what's going on in LEGO Dimensions, but I'm pretty sure we're only a few announcements away from a Taxi playset complete with Judd Hirsch and Andy Kaufman mini-figures. While it's undeniable that these games pay loving homage to their respective licenses (I can't doubt the purity of any developer who includes Howard the Duck in their Marvel game), it's equally undeniable that despite the wide differences between those licenses, the games are very similar in terms of gameplay. It makes sense. They found a winning formula, so why not just kludge whatever's popular into that framework? Players seem happy enough, bills are paid, it's smiles all around...

I almost let this particular game slip completely under my radar, but when I saw some screenshots of it, I knew I absolutely had to play it. I just hoped that the game would live up to the aesthetic. Mahluk: Dark Demon [$0.99] is a hack and slash platformer in the vein of Goblin Sword [$1.99] and Sword of Xolan [$0.99] with a super dark art style in which the foreground is completely silhouetted. It’s not dark in the artsy Limbo [$4.99] kind of way, but more the heavy metal crap-sack demon infested Dark Souls style world way, which I am all about. And while the aesthetic is far and away the best thing this game has going for it, it plays pretty decently as well...

If you're an Android user who's been looking for a meaty Action-RPG to spend hours on, look no further as Titan Quest has just released on Android after spending a couple of months on the iOS side of the gaming world. Titan Quest is the port of the classic PC game from back in the day, and while it has some issues - as our very own Shaun Musgrave pointed out in his review - it's still a great choice for players looking for a premium game that offers close to 30 hours of killing ancient monsters. Titan Quest will remind you a lot of Diablo, if you've ever played any of the games in that franchise, and offers a big, open world with a full day/night cycle, 30 character classes with 150 different character skills to learn, and much, much more...

'Monster Hunter Freedom Unite' Review - Good-bye Free Time, Hello Wildlife Slaughter

Editor's Note: This game was recently updated to be playable again after being broken for ages. It's an incredible port from an amazing game franchise, so we're bumping the review up to the top of TA in case anyone missed it the first time around! Anyway, here's Shaun's original review which we published almost exactly two years ago, on July 3rd 2014:


Capcom's iOS games present a truly insane roll of the dice. You've got terribly reimagined ports of classics like Mega Man X [$4.99], wonderful ports of underappreciated games like Ghost Trick [Free], ports that are maybe a bit too perfect like Street Fighter II Collection [$3.99] or the dearly departed Marvel Vs. Capcom 2, and games that take familiar names and series and go in strange directions like Ghosts 'n Goblins Gold Knights [$0.99]. This time, however, they've really gone and done it. Just when you think they can't make you doubt them any further, they go and totally redeem themselves with an absolutely fantastic iOS version of Monster Hunter Freedom Unite [$14.99].

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If you're looking for visually-impressive fast-action MMOs to play on your iOS device, you don't have to look much further than Snail Games, the developer of Age of Wushu Dynasty [Free] and Taichi Panda: Heroes [Free]. If you enjoy games such as those two, you'll probably want to give Kingdom Warriors [Free] a try. This just-released action MMO takes players to the Three Kingdoms era and has them fighting to defeat the rising chaos (I know, very original story). The game offers 40 plus heroes to collect and command, and you have AI-controlled lieutenants to help you in your fights. In typical RPG fashion, you'll collect and upgrade items and customize your equipment as you level up...

'Drifty Dash' Review - Grand Theft Cartoon

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There's a distinct lack of car combat and otherwise silly vehicular based games in the current climate. Whereas everyone was chasing that almighty Destruction Derby or Twisted Metal dollar back in the day with entertaining, if flawed releases like Vigilante 8, nowadays a true successor is a rarity. Heck, even Mario Kart 8 had a ham-stringed battle mode. But with the multitude of platforms anything is possible, and although Drifty Dash [Free] doesn't come close to honoring its pedigree, it's not a bad way to pass the time...

'Golem Rage' Lets You Bulldoze Through Beautiful Environments This September

The ease of development for iOS devices may mean the ecosystem is oversaturated with a lot of clones and games not worth your time, however it is also the perfect opportunity for any aspiring developers to throw their hat into the industry. With this comes the stories of sudden, surprise success such as Flappy Bird, but also many tales of hardship and difficult development periods. Golem Rage, by a mix of young French and Belgian graduates who have decided to take the plunge into making games, is another with a rather fraught past. Despite this, the developers are adamant the lessons learnt from the turbulent past will only make the end product even stronger, and it certainly does look impressive from the initial screenshots...

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