Category Archives: Action

Late last year, a rough little indie platformer named Cally's Caves [Free] won over the hearts of many members of the TouchArcade forums. No sense mincing words, the game's visuals were pretty bad, both in design and execution. That said, the gameplay was fun, the music was excellent, and for reasons I can't exactly understand, the game in its entirety was free, with little more than inobtrusive ads and a single wholly unneccessary IAP to pay the bills. The game featured large, sprawling levels and a less forgiving checkpoint system than today's games typically use, giving the game a pleasantly challenging bite. Well, it hasn't been all that long, but Cally is back in Cally's Caves 2 [Free], and the months have been kind to her. It's still a bit rough around the edges, and in some aspects rougher than the first, but there's no denying the game is a huge step up from the original overall...

'World of Tanks Blitz' Review - A Fine Addition To Wargaming's Cannon Canon

Although it's recently become something of a household name in gaming circles, Belarus-based developer Wargaming.net has been around for a while now. For the first several years, it focused on strategy games, both turn-based and real-time, and had modest success within that niche. It finally hit the big time with its release of World of Tanks for the PC, a massively multiplayer online action shooter designed with the strategic sensibilities you would expect from a developer with Wargaming's resume. Initially launched in Russia in 2011, it soon spread across the globe, enjoying huge success in virtually every region it released in. It's a rare free-to-play game that manages to pull in casual players and hardcore alike, with its fair economy, approachable gameplay, and surprising depth...

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

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]...

'Sky Force 2014' Review - A Modern Take On The Mobile Shoot-Em-Up

It's sometimes easy to forget how far mobile gaming has come in such a short time. Not even 10 years ago, people playing phone games were using ill-suited keypads to move sluggish characters around simple environments to fill the time while they waited for the bus. Almost none of the big game companies had their eye on the ball, and that left an opportunity for a bunch of smaller guys to get a lot more attention far more easily than they can today. As an example, just look at Sky Force. Originally released in 2004, developed by a four-person team in Poland, Sky Force's enjoyable mix of 1942 enemy patterns and Raiden-like visuals made it a big winner among early mobile gamers. It later enjoyed an enhanced port to other smartphones, with a choice of tilt or touch-based controls and a lot of features that were interesting at the time, like Open Feint. Like all too many games of that vintage, iOS updates eventually left Sky Force behind, sadly...

Thanks to the relatively low barrier to entry, the App Store is filled with labors of love. Compared to most other times in gaming's fairly short history, it's less difficult to get a game together and out in front of the public's eyes, even if you have a small team and no budget, so it's no surprise we see a lot of people making homages to their childhood favorites or putting together something that approximates their dream game. Arcane Ghosts [$1.99] is one such labor of love, a letter written with care to express affection for the side-scrolling action games of old, with a particular eye towards Capcom's Ghosts 'n' Goblins series. That series is famous for a few things, but mainly for being a very frustrating game with unusual, yet tight, controls. Arcane Ghosts gets almost all of that right except the most important part...

The last three major LEGO releases on iOS certainly represent quite the platter. LEGO The Lord of the Rings [$0.99], as a shared release with the other major handheld game systems, was cut down from the console versions in many respects, offering a few decent-sized hubs but taking out the interesting RPG elements. Still, while some parts were lost, the levels at least stayed fairly faithful to the console title. Then, we got a port of LEGO Star Wars: The Complete Saga [Free], which seemed to be a fairly direct port of the console games and, perhaps significantly, did not release on the 3DS and PlayStation Vita. I've mentioned this in earlier LEGO reviews, but it's worth repeating for context's sake. The entire handheld LEGO line's design is held back by the weakest hardware in the group, and that still, to this very day, includes the original Nintendo DS...

Halfbrick Studios' Age of Zombies [$0.99] is a preeetttyyy old game by iOS standards, launching way back in October of 2010, but it's actually even older than that as it was originally a PlayStation Mini title released earlier that year in February. Mobile games don't tend to have a long lifespan, so it was kind of incredible that Halfbrick up and decided to update Age of Zombies earlier this month with actual new content in the form of a rideable zombie T-Rex and MFi controller support. Not bad for a 4+ year old game. Well, Halfbrick apparently wasn't done, because there's yet another Age of Zombies update that popped up today, which adds even more new content than the last update did...

Free to play is one of the hottest topics in gaming, and especially in mobile gaming. At its best, the free to play system can offer a way for a game to reach a wide audience and allow those who enjoy the game to pay money into it only if they enjoy it, while avoiding the risk of buying a game up front that they end up not liking. At its worst, free to play can cause developers to design the mechanics of the game itself around the pay system in a way that pushes players to make purchases in the game in order to remove obtrusive paywalls or boring grinds. While I think most everyone will agree that there's a "right" way and a "wrong" way to do free to play, something that's equally important to consider is if the type of game being developed even fits the free to play style...

Back in December, Ubisoft brought some Assassin's Creed flair to iOS with the spinoff title Assassin's Creed Pirates [$4.99]. It was a pirate-themed nautical combat game, similar to the ship combat portions of Assassin's Creed 3 and 4 on consoles. This put it in a sort of weird position, as it was a pretty decent nautical adventure but failed at delivering a full Assassin's Creed experience to gamers on mobile. We enjoyed it well enough in our review upon release, but Ubisoft has been good about updating Assassin's Creed Pirates every couple of months with new features. The latest update hit yesterday and is dubbed the Freedom Update, and adds a new area to explore called La Isla de la Juventud along with a new ship customization feature...

'Powerpuff Girls: Defenders Of Townsville' Review - Once Again, The Day Is Saved

Every once in a long while, things converge in this hobby in such a way that I almost feel the resulting game was aimed right at me. I'll confess, I was on top of this game as soon as I saw it was The Powerpuff Girls. I can't explain why watching three super-powered kindergarteners beat the crap out of a hyper-intelligent megalomaniacal talking monkey is awesome. I shouldn't need to. Next, I saw that word used to describe it: Metroidvania. That term gets tossed around a lot, and even though most of the games that invoke it rarely deliver, I'll still show up every time, because I miss Metroid and Symphony-style Castlevania games. Finally, as a ridiculously unnecessary coup-de-grace on the whole thing, I saw that it was developed by none other than radiangames, who have a very fine catalog of games on the App Store, including the recent Fluid SE [$1.99] and JoyJoy [$1.99]. They're a developer I trust enough to buy their games as soon as they appear, no questions asked...

Last week, we detailed the first big update for Rockecat's epic dungeon crawler Wayward Souls [$5.99], and late Friday the update went live in the App Store. And it's quite a doozy. It contains a brand new dungeon called The Labyrinth, which is a ridiculous 20 floors long. This dungeon also features a new boss fight and concluding story bits for all of the characters. Speaking of characters, there have been a number of tweaks to the different classes, as well as a number of changes to the game in general. The full change log can be found on Rocketcat's website...

A 16 bit action platformer come endless runner, Bill Killem [Free] focuses on a movie star hero who’s out to kick some alien butt. When they destroy his movie premiere, he decides to take vengeance in the only way he knows best, guns and hellfire. The game itself is an interesting pixel-driven storyline full of unique twists, and thankfully, despite it’s free-to-play model, doesn’t require any additional spend to really get stuck in. ..

They ventured into outer space, starred in their own cartoon series, and even wrestled with the idea of Go-Kart racing, but now our favorite feathery icons have left their physics puzzling roots behind and nose-dived into an all new medium. Sticking with the all-familiar theme, (involving birds, pigs, and the ever iconic eggs), the feathered flock have found themselves yet again in the midst of an all-out war, and in the form of a cute strategic RPG nonetheless. Angry Birds Epic [Free] is, underneath it all, a game with familiar role-playing mechanics, but a far cry from the norm; there’s no princess to rescue or the customary “chosen one”, nor are their side-quests to unlock or towns to explore. No, Angry Birds Epic is a non-stop consecutive procession of turn-based fights that are selected from a slightly linear (and rather Mario-esque) map. ..

'OTTTD' Review - Gives a New Meaning to the Term "Guts and Glory"

We checked out SMG Studio’s Over The Top Tower Defense title (OTTTD) last month and were stoked about its unique take on the genre. With an impressive melding of traditional TD and action-RPG elements, all of my expectations as to what it had to offer were happily exceeded. Indeed, OTTTD [$2.99] not only takes tower defense to a gameplay depth rarely seen for the genre, but it does so with ease, making this an awesome and refreshing update to the classic genre...

Cave Story creator Studio Pixel last month released KeroBlaster [$4.99] on to the App Store, and we absolutely loved it in our review. Now, there's a new free version worth checking out: Pink Hour. [Free]. This serves as both a demo of the full game and as additional content: the star of the game is Pink, one of the office workers at the Cat and Frog office from the full game, who must retrieve an important document. This involves playing through a level that incorporates various elements of KeroBlaster's worlds, including the giant tire of death...

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