Category Archives: Action

'Afterpulse' Review - Mobile Infantry

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November 3rd, 2015 1:00 PM EST by Nathan Reinauer in 4 stars, Action, First Person Shooter, Free, Games, Reviews, Shooter, Universal
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When I first saw footage of Afterpulse [Free] in soft launch, I almost couldn't believe what I was looking at. Developers are always claiming to have "console quality" graphics in their iOS games, but seeing this game in action was one of the first times I started believing the hype. In fact, some people in our forums thought it must be streaming from a server somewhere, because there's no way a mobile game could look that good (and have such a relatively tiny install size to boot, at less than 400MB). Well, I'm one of the few people around here to not have dummy accounts in other countries, so I anxiously waited until it would launch worldwide and I'd finally get to see how it played in person. And folks, that day has come and gone, and I've been have a gay ol' time shooting fools in the face since last week. There's no question the graphics are in a league of their own (for the time being), but does the rest of the game match up?..

Beat 'em ups were the perfect way to pass the time back in the day. They were simple in nature, often two players, and despite their mindless core, were often some of the most fun games on any individual platform. There's hardly any nuances to the gameplay for most of them -- you basically just need to dodge slightly and attack when there's an opening -- but the linear nature is a nice break if you're looking to relax. That's sort of the same feeling that Leave Me Alone [$2.99] left me with, but it has its own signature personality as well...




With its longer-than-usual development cycle and crazy anticipation awaiting its release, it's kind of hard to believe that Oceanhorn [$8.99] has been out for nearly two years now. This Zelda-inspired action RPG still feels as fresh as a daisy, and perhaps that's because developers Cornfox & Bros. and FDG Entertainment have consistently updated the game over the past two years adding new features and optimizing for the latest hardware. That trend continues this week with the debut of the new Apple TV, as Oceanhorn will be right there alongside it as a launch title...

Kabam’s Star Wars: Uprising [Free] is not a very forgiving freemium game. With multiple in-game currencies along with a premium counterpart that’s pretty expensive to purchase that aspect of Uprising would be tough enough to navigate. Combine that with the expansive equipment system, mission structure and the extracurricular battles and there is plenty of opportunity for players to lose out on potential rewards. However, with the right timing and knowledge, there’s also opportunity to be taken advantaged of. A few of us here have been playing pretty regularly since launch and have compiled a few tips on how to potentially put the odds in your favor...

It seems like no matter how the app store changes, we will always have those comfort games that have such a sturdy under girding we will never see their type go away. NBA Escape from Urthworx is one of those games. With gameplay that heavily relies on the popular physics of Angry Birds, Escape puts a basketball flavored theme on top that adds just enough variety to make it work. ..

'Monkeyrama' Review - We’re Just Tryin’ To Be Friendly

Shortly before iOS took over my life, one of my favorite games was Boom Blox on the Wii. It was the brainchild of a little known game designer by the name of Steven Spielberg (who also dabbles in film, I’m told), and it was absurdly fun. There’s something about huge explosions and large structures toppling over that delights the eight year old boy in me, and Boom Blox (and especially it’s sequel, Bash Party) took over my free time for countless weeks. Ever since those days I’ve been yearning for something like that on mobile, and while there have been a couple physics-based games that provide a similar feeling (my favorite being Turbo Dismount [Free]), none have quite captured the floaty, block-on-block destruction I’ve craved since 2009. [Dramatic pause.] ...That is, until now...

'Downwell' Review - The Gold Standard for Attention to Detail in Retro-Styled Pixel Games

It seems like whenever we post a game with pixel art, trolls come seeping out of the woodwork to leave comments about how "lazy" the developer is for using pixel art among with many other equally ridiculous arguments which typically involve the conclusion that pixel art is "easy." When looking at the attention to detail that went into Downwell [$2.99], it's just kind of crazy to think that a developer would go to this level of retro nuance. Everything from the chip tune soundtrack to the dithered visual effect transitions to the faux-NES style slowdown that occurs is like a love letter to the roots of early gaming. Additionally, the gameplay is easily among the best arcade action platformers I've played on iOS, potentially ever...

I've always felt the best action games have a certain underlying rhythm to them. In those games, levels are designed in such a way that the skilled player rarely has to stop, a sort of drumbeat of attack, jump, dash, and whatever other moves are in the character's repertoire. Auto-runners pull back the curtain entirely, particularly the ones that have pre-designed levels. You have no choice but to move forward, and if you can't keep the beat, the beat will beat you. There's a purity to that concept that works well, so well that even mighty Mario has included the odd auto-run stage or two in his latest adventures. The more precisely the player has to match the designer's beat, the more difficult the game becomes. Many games of this sort use a gentle curve to slowly nudge the player's skill up bit by bit. Then there are games like Jump Jack [$0.99]...

'Dust: An Elysian Tail' Review - This Dust's No Bust

Dust: An Elysian Tail [$5.99] is the kind of game you can really lose yourself in. The sort of game that you want to take to a comfortable corner and just give all of your attention to until it's finished. In spite of the many releases each week on iOS, plenty of which are good games in their own right, we don't see efforts like this terribly often on the platform. At least half the time we do see titles like this, they're ports from another platform, as Dust itself is. That's a sad economic reality of the iOS ecosystem. The platform's main appeal, judging by the charts, is in games that entertain in short bites, perfect for the busy player or someone on the go. That's fine sometimes, but other times, you really want to get into a game, and players on mobile devices perhaps don't get as many opportunities to do so as we'd like. Luckily, it's easy to forget those gripes when you get stuck into something like Dust...

'Monster Hunter Explore' Import Preview - Impressions Of Capcom's Free-To-Play Hunter

Monster Hunter is a bit of a delicate subject with mobile gamers these days, and not without good cause. After less than two years on the market, the iOS version of Monster Hunter Freedom Unite has been pulled from the App Store due to compatibility problems with iOS 9. The note in the game's last App Store description was less than encouraging, notifying players that there were no current plans to update the game. It's a bitter pill to swallow, and not just because it was a recent, relatively expensive game. People I talk to are mostly upset because they won't be able to play an iPhone game that they love unless they give up on updating their device's OS. And if they already updated before the notice, they're just plain out of luck. It's difficult to talk about Capcom's latest mobile release in Japan, Monster Hunter Explore, without that spectre looming large over the conversation...

Like many popular figures, PewDiePie tends to get a mixed reaction. A whole lot of people love him. At least 39,743,403 people, at the time of writing this. A lot of people hate him. I'm sure some will stop by the comments down below. Then, there are people who have no strong feelings either way. Perhaps they've lived in Japan for a long time or something, I don't know. Group A, you already bought PewDiePie: Legend Of The Brofist [$4.99]. I'd bet you like it quite a bit, because there are a lot of jokes and references in the game that I haven't got a hot clue about. That almost certainly means the fanservice is probably off the charts...

'Starseed: Origin' Review: Old School Cool

Starseed: Origin [$0.99] is not a game you play for an original concept or to casually tap with half your attention elsewhere. Starseed is a game you play until it gets too hard and too fast and you blow up and die. ..

One of this year's sleeper hits has been Afterlight Collective's Samurai Blitz [Free]. Hey that rhymes! Arriving back in July, Samurai Blitz accomplished the difficult task of making an endless runner feel fresh with its super fun mechanics and super gorgeous visuals. We loved it in our review, but if there was any sort of negative to lob towards Samurai Blitz it's that it was maybe a bit too simplistic. Well, in August we learned of Afterlight's plans to expand on Samurai Blitz in a number of ways with a massive version 2.0 update. Today we have a glimpse of all this new stuff in action in this brand new trailer...

Mobile platforms are in a tricky position when it comes to gaming. We rock some incredibly powerful little devices in our pockets, and as gamers we naturally want "console-like" games for them. The problem is that the actual experience of gaming is drastically different between consoles/PCs and smartphones/tablets, which is why smaller arcade-style games typically do better than deeper, more complex "console-like" games. One game which comes to mind as a great example of striking the perfect balance between a big, impressive gaming experience but fitting into the mobile gaming style is Rayark's Implosion - Never Lose Hope [$9.99]...

What do you get when you cross the idea of sentient objects from Toy Story with eastern philosophies of reincarnation, but instead of toys, the objects are tools of all kinds, from phones to frying pans to bullets to weapons of mass destruction? You get one of the stranger games available on the App Store. Throw in a great minimalist silhouette art style and puzzles of death and blood shed, and you’ve got Redden [$2.99], a nifty title from earlier this summer that I nearly overlooked entirely...

Few games have the notoriety of the Grand Theft Auto franchise; if you were around when they started coming out, you'll remember the uproar, all the newspaper articles (those were still a thing back then), and the news "experts" who decried all the violence and bad language. Fast forward a few years, and no one really blinks an eye anymore about these games, a sign of the times I suppose. GTA III [$4.99], GTA: Vice City [$4.99] , GTA: San Andreas [$6.99] have made the trip from consoles to the iOS streets these last few years, and Rockstar Games even made a GTA game specifically for playing on the go, GTA: Chinatown Wars [$4.99] which originally released on the Nintendo DS but was faithfully ported to mobile...

It's been almost five years since Aralon: Sword And Shadow released [$4.99]. In that five years, there have been regrettably few 3D RPGs released on iOS that can sit comfortably beside it. Angel Sword [$4.99] is the latest to tackle the genre, and although it has a strong enough start, it quickly burns off much of its goodwill. The end result is something that looks decent enough, but plays like something from the early days of the App Store. It's nowhere near Aralon in terms of complexity and enjoyment, instead feeling very much like a prettied-up Ravensword: The Fallen King [$2.99]. I'm not saying there isn't any fun to be had here, but it comes in fits and spurts between long sessions of incredibly tedious grinding...

'Oraia Rift' Review - The Good, The Bad, And The Dull

There's a surprisingly competent action-adventure game contained within Oraia Rift [$1.99]. There are lots of abilities to collect, most of which will be used to solve puzzles here and there throughout the game. The puzzles themselves are engaging enough, though fans of games like Legend Of Zelda will find very few new ideas among them. Lots of block-pushing, torch-lighting, switch-pulling, and that sort of thing. There are plenty of enemies to fight, including some bosses, though the combat isn't terribly satisfying on the whole. The world itself is a big, semi-connected maze that will have you backtracking to use keys or new-found abilities to open the way forward. It's a reasonably attractive game, too, particularly considering it's an indie effort. There are a few hours of solid enjoyment to be found here...

There are moments in The Deer God [$9.99] that are so beautiful and feel so right, that I want to give a running, leaping series of high-fives to the developers. Its sense of style is outstanding, making for one of those games where you sometimes just want to stop and take in the view. When you're running free and clear, leaping over chasms without missing a beat, the game just works in a pure way. The steady sound of your hoofbeats, the rise and eventual fall of the sun on each day, the rolling scenery, the zen-like state of tapping to leap over whatever gets in your way, this is when The Deer God is at its utmost. But there's another side to this pretty little game, and it's most unlike a deer: clumsy, ugly, and lacking in gracefulness. This one is a real mixed bag, and while I could see people falling hard for it over its worthier merits, the many issues with the game really drag it down for me...

'Skylanders SuperChargers', 'Guitar Hero Live', and 'Geometry Wars 3: Dimensions Evolved' All Coming to the Apple TV

Activision joined the announcement party for upcoming Apple TV games today, and it's starting to look like all the publishers want to get in on the Apple TV action. Activision also gave us our first insight into how the iPad Pro might influence game design choices in the future. The first game Activision announced is Skylanders SuperChargers, the next iteration of the company's huge moneymaker that is the Skylanders franchise. The game's starter pack, which we have already talked about, will be identical for all iOS devices...

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