Category Archives: Adventure

Squishy Platformer 'Goo Saga' Makes the Jump from Android to iOS

There's no shortage of amazing platforming games on the App Store, but I'm still always on the lookout for more. I guess I just have an insatiable appetite for running and jumping. A few weeks ago, a beautiful little platformer called Goo Saga launched on Android from developer Toka Loka Games. It was about a mad scientist obsessed with creating life in his lab, and after many many failed attempts he finally does it by creating a gooey little blob named Goo. When the scientist mysteriously disappears, Goo becomes lonely and decides to break out of the lab and go in search of him. Thus, the saga begins! After a bit of a snafu with Apple approval that prevented it from coming out last week, today Goo Saga [$0.99] has finally arrived in the iOS App Store...

It was just a couple of days ago that we learned about the release date for episode 3 of Telltale's The Walking Dead: Michonne [$4.99] mini-series, and today we now have a trailer to go along with that announcement. And boy what a trailer it is. This third episode, which is titled What We Deserve, brings everything that's happened in the first two episodes to a head, and it looks extremely intense. Obviously, if you haven't played the previous two episodes, there are spoilers contained in this trailer. You've been warned!..




There are a lot of different ways a piece of interactive fiction can succeed. Some of them tell a great story, some of them give the player a genuine feel of agency in the plot, and some of them have interesting puzzles. Some have tense, RPG-like battles, while others have no fighting at all and focus on building character relationships. A few just take a very interesting setting or theme and run with it. But for all of these strong points that gamebooks can take advantage of, there are a ton of pitfalls that, if not specific to the format, are at least more potentially devastating to the overall enjoyment of a work. It's not an easy thing to put a smooth, highly-interactive narrative together that manages to be strong enough to carry an entire game. It involves almost all of the headaches of writing a good book combined with the difficulties of quality game design...

Well, here it is, everyone. Magikiras [Free] is easily one of the worst gamebooks I've played in my years of reviewing, and hands-down the most painful. It's absurdly long given its meager premise, poorly-written, and just plain boring. There are tons of spelling and grammar mistakes, and many other instances of incorrect English. It's linear to a fault, with almost every choice in the book save a few very important ones coming down to the same set of approaches listed in the same order. Even those chances come entirely too sporadically, however. You'll mostly just be tapping through page after page of banal text, praying for a release that is perpetually too far away...

If you enjoy doom and gloom, you might want to take a look at Tormentum: Dark Sorrow [$4.99], an adventure game just out on iOS and Android. As you can see from the trailer below, the developers went for a nightmarish ambience that looks like it will definitely stay with you. The surreal atmosphere evokes the paintings by H. R, Giger and Beksin'ski according to the developers, which is a fancy way of saying the art is taken straight out of all those nightmares you had as a kid. In Tormentum, you play as a nameless hero who wakes up one day locked in a metal cage on your way to a castle to serve time for crimes you don't remember...

LEGO games on iOS are, by this point, nothing if not reliable. Apart from the earliest releases on the platform and the occasional experiment, the LEGO games based on licensed properties all essentially do the same things. They tell (or retell) a humorous story using a selection of stages from the console versions, offer up some mindless action gaming, and have a ton of unlockables. How much you enjoy them usually depends on how much you like the property involved, but all of the games kind of fall in that sticky zone that lay just between boring and interesting, and LEGO Jurassic World [$4.99] isn't any different. Except, you know, that this one has playable dinosaurs...

Generally speaking, I'm not the sort of gamebook fan that replays books terribly often after finishing them. I'm usually okay with getting whatever story and ending comes from my choices, so long as it's an ending and not a "game over". With The Daring Mermaid Expedition [Free], however, I found myself going back a few times. It's a relatively short adventure, and it's almost impossible to satisfy your curiosity about the game's mysteries in a single play. The author takes a light approach to whole affair, and there's a playful feeling running through the whole story. I can't say it's one of my favorites from Choice Of Games, but if it catches you in the right mood, you'll probably enjoy it...

When Minecraft: Story Mode [$4.99] launched in October of last year, we were pretty impressed with how quickly Telltale was releasing new episodes compared to their previous episodic games. In just a couple of months 4 episodes were released with the last episode arriving just prior to Christmas, and it's those 4 episodes that are covered in our ever-evolving review of Minecraft: Story Mode. Then last week we learned that a fifth episode was on its way, and shockingly that there were three more episodes planned to arrive after it. It looks like Minecraft: Story Mode might just continue to evolve with new story arcs and episode sets for a long time, rather than having any separate sequels, and to that I say "Cool!" Today Episode 5 titled "Order Up!" is now available for download, and is designed to bridge the gap between Episode 4, which concluded the Wither Storm story arc, and the forthcoming Episodes 6, 7, and 8. Here's Episode 5's trailer...

The first episode of The Walking Dead: Michonne [$4.99] was an entertaining start to Telltale's new miniseries primarily because of the complexity of the lead character (spoilers ahead). The way Telltale tried to bring Michonne's pre-apocalypse life into play made for an intriguing protagonist whose past regrets and present hauntings help the player feel more invested in her fate and actions. Telltale even mixed in some horror elements to the episode beyond the usual jump scares, and I really enjoyed that part as you can see in my review. Sticking by its promise to bring one episode a month, Telltale has announced that the second episode of the miniseries, Give No Shelter, will arrive March 29th on all platforms and the last one is coming in April...

One of the fun things about following a specific platform over a number of years is watching how things progress. Developers and series will pop up, and if they hang around, you can see what they do to build on what they did before to try to make an even better game. Sometimes it works out, and sometimes it doesn't. In the case of developer TouchMint and its Adventure To Fate series of turn-based RPGs, it's happily been the former. When the first game launched almost two years ago, it was a fun, somewhat rough game that got better with a couple of updates. Last year, a free-to-play follow-up came out, focusing almost entirely on the combat system and character development mechanics. That game, too, got some really nice updates that made the game better. I don't know what the update plans look like for Adventure To Fate: Quest To The Future [$3.99] looks like, but even in its present state, it shows the experience TouchMint has gathered in its own personal quest for glory...

The husband and wife team that makes up Swedish indie developer Killmonday Games successfully crowdfunded their vision for "a very creepy point-and-click adventure" called Fran Bow back in the summer of 2013. The game officially launched on PC in August of last year to a positive reception, and following its release on Android just a couple of weeks ago Fran Bow is now available on iOS as well. In the game you play as Fran, a ten year-old girl who witnesses the grisly murder of her own parents. She is discovered traumatized and alone in the woods, and taken to an asylum where she's separated from her only friend in the world, her cat Mr. Midnight. Due to the medications administered to her at the asylum, Fran hallucinates an alternate reality filled with gruesome monsters and death. Desperate to escape the asylum and horrible treatments, Fran utilizes the ability to jump between the two realities in order to solve puzzles, find Mr. Midnight, and hopefully discover who was behind the murder of her parents...

Virtually everything can be made better by doing it in space. Except breathing oxygen, I suppose. And eating potato chips. And using the toilet. Okay, let's revise that. Some things can be made better by doing them in space, and engaging in capitalistic ventures just happens to be one of them. The core principles of buying low and selling high simply go well with traversing a lonely universe and battling space pirates. Perhaps unsurprisingly, iOS gamers already have a few games to choose from in this style, including games that focus mostly on trading mechanics at the expense of action or visual flourish, ones that put most of their eggs in the combat basket, and some that try to dazzle you with their slick presentation and sense of immersion in order to build a believable universe. Simply put, there's a fair bit of established competition for Stellar Wanderer [$4.99], albeit little of it recent...

Redshift's The Quest is one of the oldest RPG series on the App Store, and to this day it's still among many gamers' very favorites. The easiest way to describe The Quest is that it's like a massive open-world RPG along the lines of The Elder Scrolls series, but with an old-school first-person game engine. It may not look like much in screenshots or video, but The Quest is an absolutely massive world teeming with interesting characters and stories. With its beefy original campaign and well over a dozen expansions released since 2009, The Quest is the type of game that just keeps on giving and most of us will never finish all the content on offer. At least I won't, I mean who has that kind of free time? Well, as we learned back in November, Redshift and developer Zarista Games weren't quite done adding to The Quest just yet, and announced yet another new expansion scheduled for release in early 2016. That expansion, called The Quest - Cursed Stone [$2.99], has just hit the App Store...

'Adventures Of Mana' Review - The Secret Is Simplicity

Adventures Of Mana [$9.99] is a remake of a classic Square Enix game, something that could be said for more than half of the company's iOS releases. Yet it's quite different from the usual Square Enix remake in that it's positively restrained in how much it chooses to change from the original game. It's especially interesting in light of the fact that said original game, Seiken Densetsu/Final Fantasy Adventure/Mystic Quest (henceforth Final Fantasy Adventure), was a 1991 release for the original Game Boy. On top of that, there was already one high-profile remake of the game, 2003's Sword Of Mana for the Game Boy Advance, which changed and added in a lot of things. Seeing Adventures Of Mana essentially present an early handheld action-RPG without doing much more than re-rendering everything in 3D and cleaning up the translation is certainly unexpected, but it's also most welcome...

'Dungelot: Shattered Lands' Review - Chewie, We’re Home

Most people that have seen the new Star Wars movie enjoyed it, but one complaint I’ve seen a lot is that it borrows heavily from the first film, A New Hope. I’ve read that it was intentional, and part of the reason was probably to remind people of how much they loved the original trilogy and help them forget the prequels. And as weird as it may seem, it sort of reminds me of what Red Winter has done with the latest Dungelot sequel, Dungelot: Shattered Lands [$3.99]...

Tower Of Fortune 2 [$1.99] was just about everything you could want in a sequel. It kept the core elements that people enjoyed in Tower Of Fortune [Free], but expanded out on them greatly. It felt like the first game, but more. It's a good approach for a first follow-up, but as many developers can attest to, there's only so long you can play it safe before things start to sour. Game Stew seems to be quite aware of that, having taken an extended break away from the main Tower Of Fortune series to work on various other game ideas. Now returning to the Tower Of Fortune series, the developers appear to be eager to apply some of the things they've learned to make a decidedly different sort of sequel...

As pretty much anyone who even just casually follows iOS gaming knows by now, last week brought the release of Crashlands [$4.99], an ambitious open-world action-crafting-adventure from the three brothers at Butterscotch Shenanigans. Not only was Crashlands born out of an inspirational story of facing and defeating cancer, but the game itself fully lived up to the hype and I don't think I've ever seen a mobile game (or any video game, really) that's been as universally loved as this one. Anyway, with the launch date finally coming and going, and Crashlands officially out there in the wild, the Butterscotch Bros. penned a quick blog post over the weekend with a few thoughts on where they're heading with the game's forthcoming updates...

So here’s the deal. For one reason or another, I never seem to get around to playing titles from the Daedalic Entertainment. I own several of them because of Steam sales and Humble Bundles, but I just keep putting them off. Games like Edna & Harvey [$2.99 (HD)] or Deponia [$9.99 (HD)], also available on iOS, which seem great. When I saw the 2009 classic The Whispered World [$9.99 (HD)] come out exclusively for iPads, I downloaded it with the intention of finally playing one of this studio’s fascinating looking titles. This was nearly two months ago, around Thanksgiving of last year, and sure enough, I did it again! Caught up in the holiday hubbabaloo, I completely neglected this story of a sad clown who’s set to bring about the apocalypse. So dang it if this review was going to come way past the game’s release, I wanted to analyze and discuss this experience with you all...

TouchArcade Game of the Week: 'Momoka: An Interplanetary Adventure'

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...

The App Store is such a massive place that it's pretty common for games to fly under the radar, even when they're the type of games that seem like they shouldn't have. Swedish developer Wadonk's Captain Cowboy [$1.99] is one of those games that I'd have figured our forum members would have been all over when it released back in December. It's a very old-school inspired puzzle adventure with a heavy Boulderdash influence, as you're exploring and digging your way through a huge world collecting diamonds but you'll have to be strategic about how you dig around so you don't end up in a situation where a boulder will crash down and squish you. There's also plenty of puzzle elements where you'll have to use the boulders to pass various traps and weapons. Overall it's a quirky little game with not a lot of hand-holding and plenty of little details to discover on your own, just like the old days. It even has faux scanlines. Like I said, this is the type of stuff our community is usually all over! Such is the nature of the App Store. ..

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