Category Archives: Adventure

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 [$1.99], 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 [$1.99] more than I do...

I like Cyberpunk stories and games for the questions they raise on machine-human interactions, questions that are becoming more and more relevant to us as machines and robots continue to evolve around us (while we don't). Murder, an upcoming cyberpunk adventure game created by Peter Moorhead and published by Curve Digital, aims to explore the "intersection of morality and sentence, in a future where both are commodities." As the game proclaims, there's no protocol for a machine on human attack, and as Lieutenant Motomeru Minori of the Tokyo Metropolitan Police, you'll have to navigate uncharted legal and social waters (my kind of waters, actually). The game claims as its inspirations the works of Masamune Shirow, Katsuhiro Otomo, Neal Stephenson, and other Cyberpunk greats, and has looked to the games of Fulbright and Blendo Games for inspiration, too...

If you've been watching entertainment news or you enjoy sci-fi books, you'll know that Andy Weir's The Martian, which has just hit the movie theaters, is set to conquer the box office the same way the book has captured the public's imagination. I mean, the movie and book couldn't have hoped for a better marketing boost than NASA announcing that there's running water on Mars. You do have to wonder whether it's all a marketing ploy, don't you? If you don't know anything about the movie or book (very slight spoilers follow), it's about an astronaut stranded on Mars in the near future and the world's attempt to bring him back to Earth. Now we have an official mobile game, The Martian: Bring Him Home [$0.99], that puts you in the shoes of NASA's ground control crew and scientists as they attempt to help bring Matt Damon (I mean Mark Watney) back to Earth in one piece and preferably still breathing...

'Minecraft - Pocket Edition Version 0.12' Review - You've Come A Long Way, Stevie

In the world of gaming, four years is a long time. In the specific corner of the hobby that is mobile gaming, four years might as well be twenty. It's long enough to turn the greatest of apps into digital dust, to add 1200 levels to Candy Crush Saga [Free], to see a new iPhone model launch and be discontinued, and certainly long enough for a diligent developer to turn around a disappointing launch release. Minecraft - Pocket Edition [$6.99] was a shell of its proper self when it debuted on the App Store back in November 2011, something we made note of in our original review. And while I don't want people to get in the habit of expecting a new review for every game that gets a significant update or two, Minecraft - Pocket Edition has come so far that almost nothing in our original review applies to the game anymore. With the release of a significant new version of the game, now is as good a time as any to revisit it...

It seems like I'm running out of clever introductions to stories like this that convey just how much support and extra content gets added to Junk Jack X [$4.99] on an ongoing basis. So I'm just going to be boring with it: Junk Jack X continues to get a staggering amount of support and new content on an ongoing basis! The latest example of this is update 2.4.4 which just dropped today and adds an extensive gardening system into the game. It makes sense, I mean gardening is basically just crafting but for plants. Add a bit of this seed, a bit of that seed, and voila, you've got yourself a fancy new plant. The gardening system allows for more than 15,000 different types of plants, so you better get started now if you want to grow them all...

One of the things I like about Japanese visual novels as opposed to their Western interactive fiction counterparts is they seemingly habitually go completely off the rails at points. No matter how mundane the premise might be, it's almost an expectation in the genre that the story take a lot of unexpected turns. At least in my experience, it's the strongest quality of a visual novel, since the choices you make tend to be few, far between, and not immediately all that important. The other interesting thing about them is that while there is a true ending, it's typically not possible to find it on your first playthrough. You have to explore multiple routes and sometimes have to piece together the right sequence to see the real ending. This can result in players having to put up with a great deal of overlap, particularly early in the game, as they make their way to each forked path...

If you enjoy adventure games, get that credit card, gift card, or whatever else you use ready because Wadjet Eye Games' Blackwell series is going for cheap, probably in anticipation of the fourth part of the series, Blackwell 4: Deception, coming to iOS September 24th. If you haven't played any of the Blackwell games, Wadjet Eye Games' lovely series consists of 5 games and the plot revolves around a spiritual medium, Rosangela Blackwell, and her spirit guide Joey Mallone. Together, they help ghosts transition to the afterlife (very The Sixth Sense-like story, in a way). The whole "I see dead people" hasn't been done in adventure games much, so the Blackwell series is definitely original when it comes to its core concept...

'Oraia Rift' Review - The Good, The Bad, And The Dull

There's a surprisingly competent action-adventure game contained within Oraia Rift [$1.99]. There are lots of abilities to collect, most of which will be used to solve puzzles here and there throughout the game. The puzzles themselves are engaging enough, though fans of games like Legend Of Zelda will find very few new ideas among them. Lots of block-pushing, torch-lighting, switch-pulling, and that sort of thing. There are plenty of enemies to fight, including some bosses, though the combat isn't terribly satisfying on the whole. The world itself is a big, semi-connected maze that will have you backtracking to use keys or new-found abilities to open the way forward. It's a reasonably attractive game, too, particularly considering it's an indie effort. There are a few hours of solid enjoyment to be found here...

There are moments in The Deer God [$9.99] that are so beautiful and feel so right, that I want to give a running, leaping series of high-fives to the developers. Its sense of style is outstanding, making for one of those games where you sometimes just want to stop and take in the view. When you're running free and clear, leaping over chasms without missing a beat, the game just works in a pure way. The steady sound of your hoofbeats, the rise and eventual fall of the sun on each day, the rolling scenery, the zen-like state of tapping to leap over whatever gets in your way, this is when The Deer God is at its utmost. But there's another side to this pretty little game, and it's most unlike a deer: clumsy, ugly, and lacking in gracefulness. This one is a real mixed bag, and while I could see people falling hard for it over its worthier merits, the many issues with the game really drag it down for me...

Back in May we got a very early glimpse and some details on an upcoming title called Oraia Rift when developer Compass Games looked to our community for beta testers. That early glimpse of the game showed a very Zelda-influenced action RPG with a colorful look and real-time combat. Well, a lot changed over the course of a few months and last month our own Tasos went hands-on with an in-progress version of Oraia Rift. Some of the changes included switching the tap-to-move system to a virtual stick and changing the combat to a more typical hack 'n slash variety with a magic spell system layered on top. It all sounded quite good, and as of today you can find out for yourself as Oraia Rift [$1.99] has officially launched in the App Store...

'Minecraft: Pocket Edition' 0.12 Update Is Out! Go Build!

Well, need I say more than what the title says? Ok, fine, I'll expand on the self-evident. Minecraft: Pocket Edition's [$6.99] biggest update ever has finally dropped, bringing the game closer to the PC version and adding many essential features. What are those you ask? Well, only the following few: controller support, the hunger system, weather, sprinting and sneaking, brewing, anvils, brewing stands, flower pots, Nether blocks, many new items such as potions, golden apples, blaze powder, and spider eyes. We are also getting many Creative inventory additions like gunpowder, sugar, slimeball, coal and charcoal, emerald, diamond, steak, bread, string, and all kinds of armors. 0.12 also adds Iron and Snow Golems and Ocelots. Oh, and another small addition, the Nether with its Nether Fortresses...

If you've enjoyed Out There [$4.99], the beautiful space exploration game by Mi-Clos Studios, I have some very good news for you. The game's developers have decided to continue expanding the game, taking advantage of all the work they did in rebuilding the game into the Ω Edition. To that end, they've decided to release a series of updates called Multiverse (cool name, too). Each update will add small improvements but, more importantly for most of us, will also bring new game modes and content. And, as is Mi-Clos Studios' habit, the update will be free if you already own the game. So, free content, hard to complain about that, isn't it?..

'Gathering Sky' - They’re Flocking This Way

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September 2nd, 2015 7:40 PM EDT by Nathan Reinauer in $2.99, 4 stars, Adventure, Games, iPad Games, Music / Rhythm, Reviews
$2.99 Buy Now

I don’t want to waste your time here, so I’m just going to come right out with it: Gathering Sky [$2.99 (HD)] by A Stranger Gravity is a game that’s probably not going to be everyone’s cup of tea. In fact, it’s barely even a “game” at all. There were long stretches during my playthrough that I didn’t even touch the screen or have any input whatsoever. It’s one of those games that’s more of an experience, maaaan. But stick with me here, ‘cause it’s actually a really good experience...

It's pretty difficult to pull off the first part of an intended series of stories. You have make sure you end it with a lot of possbilities in the air, but at the same time, you have to give people a satisying enough standalone plot that they'll want to stick around. It's especially important in games, where the player should feel some sense of accomplishment at the end of each part, particularly when the continuation might be a ways off. Versus - The Lost Ones [$3.99] is the latest release from prolific gamebook publisher Choice Of Games, and it's meant to kick off an on-going series. It's a successful opening in as much as I'm rather interested to see where the story goes from here, but taken as a standalone work, it's a little mixed...

Both 'Minecraft: Story Mode' and 0.12 Update For 'Minecraft: Pocket Edition' Drawing Closer To Release

It looks like a good Minecraft news week all around. First, we got the tweet below from Minecraft: Pocket Edition [$6.99] developer Tommaso Checchi, who pretty much called the Beta season for update 0.12 over. If you haven't been following MCPE's development, every new update usually goes through weeks-long beta testing on the Android side of things before popping up on the App Store once finished. Once the beta testing is over, it usually takes very little time for the update to appear on the App Store, so hopefully we should be getting the 0.12 update on iOS soon. If you don't know anything about the 0.12 update, MCPE is about to get a huge overhaul as it's gradually brought to parity with the PC version...

It's a well-known fact that spiders are the most vile, disgusting, and completely unnecessary creatures to ever grace our planet. Literally nobody likes spiders, and if they say they do, they're just lying to themselves. Snakes? Not a problem. Rats or mice? Totes adorbs if you ask me. Scorpions? Total bad asses. Spiders? Kill them all with fire. Now, my dislike of spiders has definitely gotten better over the years. I no longer cower at even the sight of a harmless daddy long legs, and playing as a spider in Spider: The Secret of Bryce Manor [$1.99 / $1.99 (HD)] has never been that big of a problem for me, though I do find it a bit icky. ..

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