Category Archives: Adventure

I don't know about you, friends, but when I play games that give me moral choices, I tend to stick to the good side. When it's time to play the evil side, I really have to push myself into doing the bad thing, even knowing full well that it doesn't actually hurt anyone. I guess all those Saturday morning cartoons and superhero comic books worked. In games, as in cartoons and comics, it's usually pretty easy to sort out the good side from the bad side. Rescuing kittens from trees is good! Lighting a tree full of kittens on fire is bad! It's pretty rare for a game to present genuinely difficult choices that have no clearly just answers. The latest interactive fiction release from Choice Of Games, Deathless: The City's Thirst [$3.99], had me second-guessing myself all the way through. It's ultimately the best quality in a story that otherwise feels a bit episodic and unfocused...

Correction: The premise of this entire article is incorrect. Telltale's warning about previously purchased episodes not transferring to the new Universal app was actually from when the game first went Universal back in 2013, and from what I understand they actually DID have a mechanism in place to honor previous purchases of the separate app episodes. With recent removal drama I took a reader's tip at face value without properly looking into the situation. I regret the error and would like to apologzie to our readers and to Telltale Games for giving the wrong impression...




'The Room Three' Review - My, How You've Grown

'The Room Three' Review - My, How You've Grown

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November 5th, 2015 12:28 AM EDT by Shaun Musgrave in $4.99, 5 stars, Adventure, iPad Games, iPhone games, Puzzle, Reviews
$4.99 Buy Now

Perhaps it's appropriate, but The Room [Free / $0.99 (HD)], the original one, is one of those games where it's hard to take it apart piece by piece and find what exactly makes it so great. Like a real puzzle box, it's almost impossible not to sit there fiddling around with the box, pulling at its many bits and pieces. Its limited scope, with just a big box sitting on a table, means that it isn't too hard to make progress as long as you kept trying things, and if you do manage to get stuck, the game has a really well-designed hint system. You keep moving forward, and feeling pretty clever most of the time. The story sits firmly in the background for most of the game, with little details you can pay attention to or ignore as you like. Whether or not you pay attention to the narrative, the atmosphere is hard to resist. As you keep whittling down the puzzles, it's hard not to wonder what kind of person makes a device like this...

Mi Clos Studios' survival roguelike Out There [$3.99] launched on iOS back in February of last year, and we thought it was simply wonderful. It was also extremely difficult and unforgiving, which turned a lot of people off. Later that year, a major update was announced dubbed "Omega Edition" which landed on iOS this past June and added lots of new content and revamped visuals. It was a glorious treat for current fans, but many still found the game too brutal to enjoy. Welp, in early September, Mi Clos announced a series of updates they had planned for Out There which they called Multiverse Updates. The first of these updates, subtitled Cemetery Gates, adds a massive new feature that people had been requesting but the developers had been resisting since the beginning: an Easy mode. After arriving on Steam a few weeks back, Multiverse Update 1: Cemetery Gates has just landed on iOS...

I never like it when a game's ending manages to affect the opinion of the rest of the experience. Agent A [$2.99], up until its ending, is an uber-stylish, gorgeous, and fun point-and-click adventure game that does a lot to avoid the clunkiness and frustration that many games in the genre have. But when it turns out that this is an incomplete story, it takes a legitimately great game and makes it a frustrating experience that leaves you wanting more, like a tasty meal that wasn't filling...

Remember a few weeks ago when almost all the Telltale games (and other games, too) pulled a Houdini on us and disappeared from the App Store? The Walking Dead [Free], The Wolf Among Us, and Back to the Future were pulled both from the App Store and from purchase histories because of iOS 9 audio issues. Well, the first of the three, The Walking Dead, has just reappeared on the App Store with the audio bug apparently fixed. I expect that the other series will follow suit, and we should have the full Telltale collection back on the App Store. While the whole apps-disappearing debacle seems to mostly be in the past, it did emphasize for many the ephemeral nature of all digital games and, in this case, especially iOS games. So yes, the Telltale saga is steadily heading towards a happy ending, but who knows when (not if) the next similar situation will arise...

Brothers: A Tale Of Two Sons [$4.99] is a tragic story about personal loss and the things we do to deal with those situations. For example, when Sony's The Last Guardian appeared to have been canceled and designer Fumito Ueda left the company, I coped by replaying Ico and Shadow Of The Colossus. Starbreeze Studios, on the other hand, appear to have coped by creating this game, a gushing love letter to one of gaming's most unique developers. It would have been easy for this to feel cynical or uninspired, but to its credit, Brothers generally feels like its own gorgeous thing, albeit with a few tips of the hat here and there. While I didn't feel it quite hit the target it was aiming for, it's still a trip worth taking...

Wow Telltale, that was fast! Just a couple of weeks after Minecraft: Story Mode [$4.99] first episode came out to very positive reactions, Mojang has just announced that we'll be getting the second episode of the series today! Never before has Telltale spit out two episodes of the same series so close to each other, and it caught many by surprise. This surprising publishing pattern might mean a few things: perhaps the developers feel that this series will be its most popular and want to make sure they strike while the iron is hot, or when Telltale said that Minecraft: Story Mode is easier to make because animating the characters is easier, it was speaking truth. Of course, it could be a bit of both...

This is going to be a slightly unorthodox review. Since Zojoi decided to release all four of the ICOM Simulations MacVenture games for iPad on the same day, we figured it would be best to review them all in one shot. While the games aren't precisely equal to one another, they're using the same engine, and have been ported similarly, so there's a great deal of overlap in terms of what they offer. So what I'll be doing is first covering the shared elements before devoting a little section to each game. For all intents and purposes, you can read the score on this review as applicable to all four of the games, however...

Much as I've enjoyed recent releases from gamebook publisher Tin Man Games, I have to admit there's been one area I've wanted to see some improvement in that has remained largely static across the bulk of their releases: the combat system. Given that the raison d'etre for the company has been to bring Fighting Fantasy-style gamebooks to mobile as accurately as possible, it's hard to complain too much about the simple dice-based back-and-forth battles they've used in many of their releases. Still, the occasional tantalizing flash of something more, as in their brilliant conversion of Appointment With F.E.A.R. [$5.99], has had me wishing they would take greater advantage of not being shackled to the rules of physical books...

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...

Telltale has just announced that the sixth and last episode of its epic Game Of Thrones [Free] series will release Novemeber 17th, bringing the saga of the Forrester family to an end. Now, this is Westeros, so I expect the ending to be at least bittersweet and with plenty of bloodshed followed by a glimpse of victory just before you get a limb chopped off. I've been playing the series (I even did so on our Mobcrush channel), and I have to say that I've suffered some, well, strokes of bad luck that are perfectly in tune with the tone of the books, the TV show, and the game. As you can imagine, then, this Telltale series isn't the happiest of the bunch, but who ventures into Westeros looking for a laugh?..

Skeletomb [Free], by Punk Labs, is a retro-style endless dungeon crawler set in a pixelated fantasy world whose "blocky" design is a nod to Minecraft's infamous aesthetic. With precious few lives, this game will have you frantically dashing, jumping, and swinging to try to survive as long as possible and climb deeper into this fun but deadly world. There are 28 characters to unlock, including a White Knight, a Skeleton, the "Dan in a Box" (think Jack-in-a-Box with a club), a Jester, and the Viking-like Bourboness, to name a few. The game doesn't take itself too seriously, which is an appropriate match to the quirky and simple art style. ..

The Men Who Wear Many Hats, developers of zombie-filled Oregon Trail parody game Organ Trail: Director's Cut [$2.99], have just released a massive new expansion pack for their game just in time for Halloween. The new "Final Cut" expansion pack will run you $2.99 and essentially doubles the content in the game. It features brand new cities and the ability to choose your route as you go, as well as double the number of story encounters and road events. There are now 10 playable characters (6 unlockable) and 5 new unlockable cars in addition to the stock station wagon. ..

If there's one thing, above all else, that you should take away from The Doom Beneath [$2.99], it's that you shouldn't run away from bears. Stand your ground, play dead, or fight back even, but if you run away from a bear, there's a strong chance it will give chase and you'll end up falling into a subterranean cavern filled with cultists and Lovecraftian horrors. If the worst happens and you do fall into such a cavern, you should then play dead. It's good rehearsal for what's ahead, I promise...

The biggest strength of interactive fiction is in how it lets the player shape the story of the game. While other genres are improving in that regard, they're limited largely due to the costs associated with visual and audio assets. It simply doesn't make sense to spend millions of dollars on content that only a small percentage of players will experience. Text isn't quite free, but it's certainly a lot cheaper. That said, with all of that freedom, there are still an awful lot of games in the genre that have you playing a similar character in the broad sense. Violence may not be a useful answer in our modern society, but it will sure get you far in plenty of games. Ratings War [$2.99] does something different, and in doing so, feels a lot more real in spite of its far-flung futuristic setting. You play as a journalist, and although you get to decide what kind of journalist you are, there's very little room for action-heroics in this story...

'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...

Telltale has been in the news a lot recently, hasn't it? From the whole games are disappearing story to Minecraft: Story Mode coming out next week and Tales From the Borderlands [Free] Episode 1 going free for the first time, I feel that I've been writing a lot of Telltale-related sentences and stories recently. Still, I'm not complaining because I really enjoy what Telltale has been doing with narrative-driven games these last few years, and while its games occasionally have a hard time escaping narrative linearity, they are definitely fun to play. On October 20th, one of Telltale's most surprising games, Tales From the Borderlands, is coming to an end with the fifth and final episode hitting our devices, and we have a short teaser too...

'Gamebook Adventures 12: Asuria Awakens' Review - A Truly Epic Close

I can't recall if it's been formally announced, but this twelfth installment in Tin Man's long-running Gamebook Adventures series is, at least for now, the last. The series has had ups and downs, but even the weaker installments helped flesh out the fascinating fantasy world of Orlandes, so I'm a little sad to see it going on hiatus. I am, however, ecstatic that it's doing so with Asuria Awakens [$5.99], which is not only the best Gamebook Adventures yet, but also one of the finer traditional-style gamebooks I've ever played. The creative team behind this game seemingly held nothing back, giving us a quest that takes your character from a lowly gofer to a savior. There are a lot of gamebooks that do that, mind you, but you really have to earn it in this one, and it feels great...

With the Gamebook Adventures series winding to at least a temporary close, Tin Man has opted to release the last couple of volumes at the same time. I'm not going to fib, I'm a pretty big fan of this series and the fictional world of Orlandes it uses as a setting. From a story-telling standpoint, it's great to have a well-realized setting that players can take so many different perspectives in. On the gameplay side, the Gamebook Adventures gamebooks are usually fairer and more enjoyable than the paper gamebooks that inspired them. They're written knowing the player isn't having to stick a thumb in the pages and keep track of their inventory with a pencil, and they're stronger experiences for it. That we only have these last two volumes to hold us over for the time being makes each of them precious. That's why it kind of breaks my heart that I don't like Songs Of The Mystics [$5.99] more than I do...

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