Category Archives: Action

'R-Type II' Review - Don't Bydo More Than You Can Chew

Seeing the Irem logo come up when starting a game still makes me a little sad. We've seen a lot of important game companies go softly into the night, but somehow, seeing Irem give up game development to focus on pachinko machines hurts a little bit more than the usual. At the time they made the decision, it stung all the more because it resulted in virtually all of their games being pulled from digital services, including the original R-Type, one of the true classics of its genre. As a bit of a silver lining, though, Irem seems to be agreeable about licensing their older games out, and R-Type has slowly been making a return. Last summer saw DotEmu's enhanced re-release of R-Type [$1.99] for iOS, which offered the original game with a few new options. It's a great version of a game that's been ported to just about every piece of hardware imaginable, as long as you can't imagine an NES...

'Toast Time' Review - Pure Bliss, No Toaster Needed

'Toast Time' Review - Pure Bliss, No Toaster Needed

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February 11th, 2014 12:31 PM EDT by Chris Carter in $2.99, 5 stars, Action, iPad Games, iPhone games, Reviews, Universal
$2.99 Buy Now

Some games just click the moment you boot them up. They ooze charm at every turn, forcing you to pay attention and stay glued to the screen. From the very first "tap for service!" prompt, Toast Time [$2.99] was just that type of experience -- and it's pure gaming bliss...

When all else fails, novelty can do a lot for a game. On The Line [$0.99] isn't a very deep or complex game, but it does present an interesting spin on the endless running genre that's bound to appeal to some despite its simple nature. We've seen almost every kind of hero in this genre, from a man in a suit to Garfield, but I think this is the first time we've had an endless game where your finger is the main character. It's not as fully-realized as one might hope, but its unique concept is worth checking out if you're looking for something a little bit off the beaten path...

TouchArcade Game of the Week: Toast Time

The idea behind the TouchArcade Game of the Week is that every Friday afternoon we post the one game that came out this week that we think is worth giving a special nod to. Now, before anyone goes over-thinking this, it doesn't necessarily mean our Game of the Week pick is the highest scoring game in a review, the game with the best graphics, or really any other quantifiable "best" thing. Instead, it's more just us picking out the single game out of the week's releases that we think is the most noteworthy, surprising, interesting, or really any other hard to describe quality that makes it worth having if you were just going to pick up one...

Late last month we told you about Ernest Szoka's Only One, a king-of-the-hill style hack'n slash for iOS that had at the time just been submitted to Apple. Well, the Apple approval gears cranked away and Only One [Free] is now available in the App Store. Inspired by the Jet Li action flick The One, Only One sees your player materialize on the top of a circular tower with a glowing sword in hand. Bad guys similarly materialize in increasingly greater numbers, and it's your job to hack'n slash them to death or simply hack them off the side of the arena, plunging them to a likely messy death...

Making a traditional shoot-em-up out of the Star Wars license is such a great idea that you just know something had to go wrong. A curious spin-off of a spin-off series, LEGO Star Wars: Microfighters [$0.99] seems to naturally have its sights set on the younger Star Wars fans. It's about as basic a vertical shooter as you could imagine, with little of the imagination one would associate with the LEGO franchise. In and of itself, there's nothing wrong with that, especially considering the heavy debt the shooter genre owes to the original films, but the end result is a fairly unremarkable game that isn't even packed with much fanservice, leaving it without the usual last resort many Star Wars games have had to retreat to...

This past November, Liv Games debuted the latest entry in their "Wars" series with the sci-fi strategy title Stellar Wars [$0.99]. Today the game has received a massive new update, and to celebrate the game is now temporarily free for the first time ever. This trilogy of games began with Legendary Wars [$0.99] back in early 2011. While predominantly a castle defense game, Legendary Wars actually stuffed a bunch of different kinds of genres into its lengthy campaign, along with a humorous story and killer visuals. It all blended together incredibly well, and was so full of content it easily kept us busy until the next game in the series, Monster Wars [$0.99], launched in early 2012, almost exactly a year later...

As someone who grew up in the rather harsh winters of Northwest Ontario, Canada, I know all too well about snow and what a genuine pain in the butt it is, both to remove it and to keep it off. Waking up early school mornings to march outside with a shovel while the snow was still falling, knowing full well as soon as I got home from school, I'd be doing it again, followed by another round just before bed, I have a good understanding of the seemingly futile attempt to fight off Mother Nature. I mention this for two reasons: first, I am certainly in a position to vouch for the authenticity of any game trying to capture the essence of snow removal, and second, you would think that I would never, ever want to play a game that did...

The tactic of flipping the gravity on the player, whether by giving the player the power to do so voluntarily or forcing it on them as a stage hazard, has been around for a pretty long time in video games. I'm not sure if it was the first, but as near as I can tell, Irem's Metal Storm for the NES was one of the earliest games to use this mechanic, allowing you to reverse gravity at your will. After that, it was seen here and there, but it seems to have really made a comeback thanks to VVVVVV. Fans of mobile games are no stranger to it, of course, thanks to games such as Gravity Guy [$0.99] and Gravity Duck [$0.99]. TripTrap [$0.99 / Free], an interesting little stage-based action game, uses a variation on this tried and tested technique as its primary mechanic...

Broken Arrow. Face/Off. And the bluntly titled Bullet in the Head. When you think of John Woo, you think of firefights and blood. Lots and lots of firefights and blood. You may also think of explosions coming from the most unlikely of sources, like a piece of fruit...

It's always a bit of a gamble to take direct control of the main character of a game out of the player's hands. When it works, it can force the player to pay attention to things going on outside of the area they're currently focused on, which adds some welcome complexity. When it goes off the rails, it can leave the player feeling incredibly frustrated at losing due to circumstances quite literally out of their control. One genre where it seems to work well, even with somewhat simplistic implementation, is the puzzle genre. Games like Lemmings or the later entries in the Mario Vs. Donkey Kong series show how rewarding it can be to set up a plan and guide it through to its conclusion, even if you aren't directly playing through it. Lost Yeti [$1.99] takes a similar approach, with its titular character having a mind of his own, wraps it all up in retro stylings, with the end result being a pretty good action-puzzler...

There was something I was more excited for yesterday than any of the newly released games, and that was the impending arrival of the version 2.0 update to Slayin [$0.99]. I even stayed up until midnight hoping it would come out, but sadly it didn't. However, when I got up today, it was there waiting for me in the App Store, like a tiny Christmas morning present under the tree...

It's been more than three years since the generally well-received Ys/Zelda mash-up action RPG Across Age [$3.99] was released on the App Store. It was a surprisingly well-done adventure, developed by frequent Kemco collaborators EXE Create, that used a simple time travel mechanic to make it stand out. Well, we finally have a sequel, and in spite of it being rather a long time coming, it's more refinement than revolution, delivering an experience that's a little bit too familiar in many ways. Still, there's a great time to be had here, especially if you enjoy the genre...

Like most kids who grew up in the 1980s, I loved Robocop. It was kind of a strange situation, looking back. The movie was an R-rated, ultra-violent piece of multi-layered social commentary, and yet the character was heavily marketed towards kids. Of course, for kids, it wasn't social commentary, it was a movie about a cyborg police officer with a gun in his leg shooting bad guys and big robots while issuing easily-quoted one-liners. That description sounds nearly as perfect as can be for a video game concept, and yet, Robocop's forays into gaming have not only been of dubious quality, the IP itself seems to be cursed. In addition to Orion Pictures itself going down the tubes shortly after the wretched third movie, literally every company that ever worked on a Robocop game no longer exists. Perhaps that explains why such an easily-exploitable franchise has been relatively dormant for so long...

'Bardbarian' Review - Are You Ready To Rock?

As soon as I heard the title of Bardbarian [$0.99], I had a good feeling that this was going to be something worth checking out. It's a little known fact that bard appreciation is a sign of good taste, after all. So I was certainly looking forward to giving this a try, but my face had no way of knowing how much it was about to get rocked. This game is half-shooter, half-castle defense, and half-RPG, mixed in with a good sense of humor and some sweet tunes. Don't worry about that extra half, barbarians have no need for math! Just kidding, stay in school, kids. Being able to calculate the best angle to cleave a skull in twain with your broadsword is a skill that can apply to all kinds of jobs...

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