Category Archives: Arcade

Yes, I went for the low-hanging fruit with the review title. Let's just try to move past that and get to the game I want to tell you about today, Kapsula [$1.99]. This is a pretty unusual game. If it wasn't so utterly out there with its theme, I'd almost think it was the product of some bizarre marketing meeting. This is basically a lane-based endless runner mixed with a match-3 puzzle game, and I'll let you try to hash out how that might work for a second before I spoil it all for you...

It's something that mobile gamers probably overlook more often than we should, but audio can add tremendously to the experience you get from a game. From the throaty growling threats of Sinistar to the playful jingle that plays when you die in Super Mario Bros. to the unsettling atmosphere of Bioshock, video games have always used sound to subtly manipulate the emotional state of the player. Unfortunately, the very nature of how and where most handheld games are played means a lot of us rarely hear the games that engage us so well. You're going to have to trust me on one thing, though, and that's that if you play Shoot The Moon [Free], you're going to want to do it with the sound on...

Crazy Taxi City Rush [Free] has gotten its first major post-release content update. The big new addition is the fourth district, Hills, which takes place in a Hollywood-esque area. This section is roped off to those who have not completed all the Uptown HQ missions, so this is aimed for people who have played through most of the game already, and want more to do. But I suppose that's the point of any update. Those who do have it can play new HQ missions for characters, and explore the new sights...

'Gemini Strike' Review - A Freemium Shooter That’s a Blast

As we mentioned in our earlier preview, Armor Games’ Gemini Strike [Free] was worth some attention simply due to its interesting combination of a vertical shoot ‘em up combined with a deep loot system reminiscent of any RPG. Thankfully, Gemini Strike is far more than just an interesting combination of genres; it’s also a pretty awesome game in its own right. With fast, frenetic gameplay, a fair freemium system, and a ton of replayability, Gemini Strike is a pretty fun game...

'Angry Birds Stella' Launches Worldwide, Hits Cackling Pigs

The latest Angry Birds game is now out worldwide. Angry Birds Stella [Free], now free from its soft-launch release, stars Stella, a pink bird who has a power of her own, to freeze in midair and launch in another direction, helping to activate chain explosions and the like. There's a whole new cast of characters to play as, each with their own abilities, but it's still the same core Angry Birds game. Much like Angry Birds Star Wars 2 [Free], it's possible to buy extra characters to use in challenging levels, or to use telepods to bring in extra characters...

'ALONE' Review - Forever Alone

With all the gimmicks endless runners tend to have bolted on them these days, it's sometimes easy to forget that it all started with just a simple score attack. No IAPs, no coins, no cosmetic upgrades, no power-ups, just an endless, increasingly difficult, randomized stage and a challenge to see how far you can go before inevitably failing. That's not to say gimmicks are bad, as they can be quite a lot of fun. Just look at Jetpack Joyride [Free], which is so loaded with stuff you could almost forget about the goal of going farther in favor of collecting things and still have tons of fun. There's something about that pure experience, however. It's something I greatly appreciated in Boson X [$2.99], and it's something I very much enjoy here in ALONE [$1.99]...

Having just finished my review of the final episode of The Walking Dead Season Two [$4.99], I thought it might be nice to decompress with a little pinball, as I often do after finishing a story-heavy game. Luckily for me, the developers behind Zen Pinball [Free] just released a thematically-appropriate new table as both a standalone app and an in-app purchase within the regular app. The Walking Dead Pinball [$1.99] follows most of the well-established trappings of Zen Studios's take on silverball, so it's hard to say if people burnt out on their offerings will be all that excited with it. For fans of The Walking Dead game, however, it brings just enough of the character of Season One [Free] to make it worth checking out...

'Dodo Master' Review - Classic Platforming isn't Extinct

I don't usually find myself speechless after playing an iOS game, but Dodo Master [$0.99 / $0.99 (HD)] has given me pause. The game is so carefully crafted, and so well planned, and so well tested that I want to be certain that each word I write about it is equally well thought out. My completely uninformed guess is that Samir Selah comes from a long line of watch makers. Every bit and piece of this game fits perfectly together in a well paced harmony. With his debut iOS release he has struck gold, now its just up to us to go pick it up...

Okay, so I'm a typical SEGA fan. I complained about Sonic Jump Fever [Free] in my review, but I still ended up playing it a lot anyway. This, however, works out to your benefit, because since I've somehow unlocked pretty much everything, I'm in a great position to give you some advice about how to get the most out of this game with a minimum of pain and suffering. The core gameplay isn't very deep, and if you've played a jumping game before, you've probably developed some skills that will help you out in this game. The game does have a bunch of unlockables and power-ups, though, and there's definitely an optimal way of making use of those. Here are ten tips to help you score big in Sonic Jump Fever without losing your personal gold ring stockpile...

Gameloft's over-the-top arcade racer Asphalt 8 [Free] has just received a major update adding in a brand new track, some new vehicles, a new Season with 74 new events, and improved Twitch streaming integration. First off is the new track, set in the Middle Eastern city of Dubai. It features plenty of shiny skyscrapers, lots of interesting jumps, and no doubt some secret shortcuts to discover. Along with the new track are 5 new vehicles to race, including a Mercedes Benz Biome concept car and the Nissan GT-R NISMO. Here's a brand new trailer showing off the Dubai track and all the new cars...

This past December, Namco Bandai released Ridge Racer Slipstream [Free], a new mobile version of the long-running arcade racing series that culled together vehicles and tracks from previous Ridge Racer games. For the most part, the game was very good: it looked great visually, had a ton of single-player content, and most importantly it "felt" like a proper Ridge Racer game, something that was sorely missing from the series' last outing on iOS. The negative aspects of the game were mostly due to its pay model. Slipstream was a paid game, but featured the trappings of a free to play title, like two forms of in-game currency (but thankfully no timers). On the bright side, all content was obtainable without paying anything beyond the initial price, though some patience and some extreme racing skills were required. Overall though, we thought Ridge Racer Slipstream was pretty darn good...

'Spooklands' Review - A Smart, Strategic and Challenging "One-Touch" Arena Shooter

Spooklands [$0.99] is so interesting because of its simplicity. As a one-touch arena shooter where firing also controls movement, the game invests in this mechanic, and proves to be an extremely satisfying challenge because of it. And boy is Spooklands tough. Because each shot winds up moving the protagonist around, managing this becomes key. Certainly, it was a challenge in Toast Time [$2.99], the obvious comparison to this game, but that game at least had gravity as a constant mitigating factor. ..

In a burst of stunning pixel art and a flourish of chip tunes, Sunny Side Games has landed on the app store with The Firm [$0.99]. This developer has strong momentum with follow up game Towaga already in the works. From a glance at their site, you can see their commitment to visual presentation, the only question is do their games live up to the fanfare that is on display...

Yesterday publisher DeNA and developer Kung Fu Factory released their latest game called Pirate Bash [Free], and I'm honestly blown away by how much I'm enjoying it. You play as a crew of pirates on a ship, going port to port and waging battle against enemy pirates who are on land. The basic setup should look familiar: Your crew stands on your pirate ship, the enemies are placed on destructible structures built out of things like wooden crates. You pull back and launch your pirates' weapons towards the enemies in slingshot fashion not totally dissimilar to Angry Birds. The kicker is that your enemies will fire back, and the whole battle is turn-based...

'Rules!' Review - Have Fun Finding The Limits Of Your Memory

Like your body, your brain needs exercise to stay in shape, and the older you get, the more you're fighting nature to achieve that goal. While gamers have no shortage of ways to give their grey matter a good old kicking, we rarely have to push against the limits of our short-term memory. Back in the day, we'd have to remember all kinds of stupid cheat code commands, passwords, and directions to play, but passwords and directions gave way to saves and maps, and cheat codes turned into IAP, removing quite a bit of the strain placed on that part of the brain. I mean, unless you're a hardcore fighting game player. Those guys are pros at remembering phone numbers, I tell you. The developers of the iOS adaptation of Carcassonne [$9.99] have got a new game that will give your flabby memory a workout, though, and it's actually quite a bit of fun...

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