Category Archives: Action

'Legend of the Skyfish' Review - Get Hooked on This

The hookshot, a close relative to the grappling hook, is one of my favorite tools in video games. Being able to pull things towards you, or reach faraway points, is just an aspect that is so compelling to me. Now, the number of grappling hook games being so small in number should not be a surprise – Kepa of Rocketcat Games says level design for grappling hook mechanics is really difficult. And considering Super QuickHook [$2.99] is so brilliant, and few games have tried to copy it, that makes sense. But there's such potential in a Zelda-style hookshot with a game being centered around it. Legend of the Skyfish [$3.99] is that game, and it uses the core fun of grappling and pulling from a distance inherent in the tool to make for a solid action-puzzle game in the Zelda vein...

'Oceanhorn 2: Knights of the Lost Realm' Announced, Now a Free Roaming 3D Action RPG

It's been just under three years since Oceanhorn [$5.99] made waves in the App Store, and its beautiful Zelda-esque approach to the mobile adventure - even if heavily inspired by the classic sword-fighting series - managed to make more traditional console gamers take notice of iOS as a serious platform for video games. While Oceanhorn was universally loved by fans and critics alike, there was always a question of whether Cornfox & Bros. could expand and develop this experience into a truly unique offering of its own. Today, that question has been emphatically answered - Oceanhorn 2: Knights of the Lost Realm has been announced on our forums, and offers a dramatic shift from the isometric perspective of the original to a true third-person camera, which could prove to be a major evolution for the Action RPG series...




Back in early March, developer Nanoo Company released their latest game Dark Sword [Free], a side-scrolling hack 'n slash game with a very stylish silhouette art style and great animations. Dark Sword featured bite-sized levels and simplified combat mechanics that still allowed for very satisfying button mashing gameplay. The biggest drawback, depending on your point of view I guess, was that the game is very free to play, meaning there's all the typical trappings from timers to in-game currencies and various IAP packs to be bought. However, if you're into your typical free to play grinding game this one was a lot of fun, and it featured tons of different types of loot to acquire and outfit your character with. Dark Sword has seen many updates in the months since its release which added things like new equipment, new difficulty levels, a Daily Raid mode, a pet system, and more, but its biggest update is yet to come as Nanoo has revealed that PvP is heading to the game in the next update...

Dystopian Roguelite 'Leap of Fate' Out Now on the App Store

It feels like we've been waiting for Leap of Fate [$3.99] forever, as we first caught a glimpse of it on our forums in 2014, and then have had to watch as it launched on PC in March of this year, with mobile slated for a mid-August release. Thankfully, developers Clever-Plays have stuck to their word, as Leap of Fate has finally launched on the App Store today, having just sneaked past the traditional Wednesday round-up. It appears the wait has been justified, and the qualities that made it such a hit on its original Steam release are all present here, as you play as a technomage who has to fight against their own psychological demons with an abundance of glyphs, skills and a special mechanic of 'Shadow Walking'. Really, the trailer says it all, demonstrating the sort of ambition that Leap of Fate has for reinventing the dual stick roguelite genre on mobile devices...

Bioware's Epic Action RPG 'Jade Empire' Hits iOS [Update: Soon, Not Today]

[Editor's Note: Please see the update at the end of this article.] Not even Master Li could see this one coming. Aspyr Media, the team behind the iOS ports of Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic [$9.99] and Fahrenheit: Indigo Prophecy [$9.99], are adding another classic adventure to their iOS portfolio later today. Many of us had anticipated that their next release might be an iOS version of Obsidian's Knights of the old Republic 2, but it turns out they had their eyes on another RPG from the Xbox era first. Jade Empire, Bioware's epic martial arts fantasy, will be available for your favorite iOS device later today...

It's pretty crazy to think that Pako - Car Chase Simulator [$1.99 / Free] from Tree Men Games has been around for nearly two years, and even crazier to think about the amount of content that's been added via updates in the time since its launch. It's evolved from a pretty simplistic vehicular arena survival game to one that features tons of different levels to play, multiple vehicles, additional game modes, and even a slick 3rd-person camera option. Today the latest Pako update has launched and once again it transforms the game significantly. The "Pakocalypse" update adds a new level called Aftermath along with 3 brand new vehicles all of which look like they came straight out of Mad Max. Of course, it's not just an aesthetic apocalyptic theme, as while you're playing Aftermath there are zombies roaming the land, tanks threatening you from all around, and even death and destruction raining down from the sky...

While many mobile gamers pine for the days when Gamevil was putting together paid action-RPGs like the older Zenonia games, you have to admit that they've approached the free-to-play social RPG genre with some gusto. Their efforts in the genre cover a wide variety of playstyles, and the production values are often on par with even Square Enix's releases. Well, you can add another one to their line-up with the release of Masquerade: The Faceless [Free]. This one is a side-scrolling 3D beat-em-up with RPG elements, and it's surprisingly fun...

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 [$6.99] 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...

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