Category Archives: Arcade

Prettygreat's second mobile game Slide the Shakes [Free] has been a pretty surprising hit since its launch back in February. The simple and satisfying act of pulling back and launching shakes while trying to get them to stop sliding on a specific landing zone works incredibly well as a mobile game, and Prettygreat was surprised to see how quickly players were devouring the game's original 100 levels. After adding 25 new levels last month for Easter, they're back again with another batch of new Slide the Shakes levels. This time there's a whopping 50 new levels as well as new elements like the portal and wind that'll affect your shake sliding. It's all explained in this needlessly dramatic and action-packed trailer...

It's always a downer when a game you really like at its core is dragged down by external factors. Such is the case with Trap Da Gang [Free], the latest release from Japanese publisher Obokaid'em Games. The basic gameplay is challenging, fun, and wonderfully reminiscent of vintage arcade games from the mid-1980s. But being a free game, it also has an economy that you have to deal with, and while that's not always bad in principle, the extra cruft it brings to the game hurts it. It's still a fun game, but I couldn't help but wish there were some way to play it in a purer form...




'Pang Adventures' Review - Pang, Nab It

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April 20th, 2016 11:01 AM EDT by Shaun Musgrave in $2.99, 4 stars, Action, Arcade, Game Center, iPad Games, iPhone games, Reviews
$3.99 Buy Now

Until now, publisher Dotemu's work on iOS has been mostly limited to bringing back beloved classics in their original forms. Their releases have run the gamut from arcade shoot-em-ups like R.Type [$1.99] to point-and-click PC titles like Sanitarium [$3.99], to say nothing of the work they've done for other companies like SNK and Square Enix. Pang Adventures [$3.99] is something of an unusual case for the prolific French publisher, as it's a new game based on an old favorite franchise. You might remember the series under the names Pang, Buster Bros., Pomping World, Magical Michael, or if you're particularly well-informed, Cannon Ball. We'll go with Pang for the purposes of this review...

In July of last year, we first learned that DotEmu was teaming up with Pastagames to revive the 1989 classic arcade series Pang, also known as Buster Bros. and Pomping World. The new game would be called Pang Adventures [$3.99], and besides some very vague promo art, nobody knew what this modern take would be like. Then the following November we finally caught a glimpse of Pang Adventures during DotEmu's Paris Games Week recap video, and it looked quite faithful to the original but with a more contemporary art style. We didn't really hear much on the game since that point, but early this morning Pang Adventures surprise launched on the App Store for iOS, along with versions for Steam, consoles, and Android...

When Faily Brakes [Free] first launched a couple of months ago, I remember thinking to myself "Great, ANOTHER Verby Noun endless arcade game, BIG WHOOP!" Then I finally got around to playing it and was completely taken by surprise with just how darn fun it was. I guess you can't always judge a game by its overdone naming convention. Anyway, Faily Brakes has become one of my go-to games since, and today it received a nice update adding a new female playable character amusingly named Anita Brakes, a coin doubler vehicle, 15 other brand new vehicles, and more...

There's no denying that the surfer culture is an extremely laid back one, so it's sort of apropos that Diverso Games' latest title Go Surf [$2.99] shuffled onto the App Store just a wee bit later than all of yesterday's new releases. Hey, it's cool bro! We're all a little late sometimes. If you aren't aware of Go Surf from our previous coverage, it's a super-stylish one-tap endless surfing game that does a wonderful job at capturing the beach lifestyle. Check out the trailer...

'King Rabbit' Review - The King Has Returned

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April 5th, 2016 10:50 AM EDT by Shaun Musgrave in $0.99, 5 stars, Action, Arcade, iPad Games, iPhone games, Puzzle, Reviews
99¢ Buy Now

Making video game sequels has always been a tricky business, but in the modern age of updates and add-ons, I can't even imagine how difficult it is to make the best choice for a follow-up. On the App Store in particular, the audience has become accustomed to getting reasonably significant additional content delivered as free updates, with games like Angry Birds [$0.99] and Candy Crush Saga [Free] getting enough free add-ons to construct a dozen sequels under the old rules. Unless you're one of the biggest dogs in the yard, however, it doesn't take long for such efforts to yield weak dividends, since relatively few players ever actually play through all of the content in the base game to begin with. Now, if you're making the kind of game where you can make your sequel look obviously different in some regard, it's less of a problem, but for puzzle games, it can be difficult to sway people over to a new installment...

Monkey Swingers [Free] is a game that has some immediate appeal, but it doesn't take long for it start pushing you away. Not only is the game quite tough, it also demands a fair bit of concentration, and a good run usually lasts longer than the excitement does. If you intend on getting your little monkey up into space and beyond, you need to demonstrate a high level of skill, but also set aside a reasonably big chunk of time to dedicate to the task. I like the idea behind the game well enough, and it's certainly got a nice system of upgrades and fun cosmetic items to unlock, but it just doesn't come together as well as I'd hope...

'Dirac' Review - Atoms @ Home

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March 31st, 2016 1:00 PM EDT by Nathan Reinauer in $1.99, 4 stars, Arcade, Drawing, Games, Puzzle, Reviews, Universal
$1.99 Buy Now

With a name like Mediocre, it’s almost like the studio is baiting reviewers. “Go ahead,” they're saying, “just try to make some lame joke about our games being mediocre.” Of course we can’t say those things, because Smash Hit [Free] and Does Not Commute [Free] (and earlier titles like Sprinkle [$1.99]) were outstanding games. The irony in their name proves the studio is supremely confident in the quality of their products, and they've certainly earned it...

I quite enjoyed Rope Racers [Free] in my review last week, and in fact I’m still playing every day. Flying through each level via ropes and trying to beat nine other people to the finish is incredibly fun, but unfortunately the game has just about every free-to-play mechanic you can think of. There’s a slot machine, two currencies, a stamina meter, and several other timers. It’s far from the worst I’ve seen, but it can hamper your progress if you’re not careful. Fortunately, I managed to unlock all 20 leagues and most of the characters since it came out, and I’ve compiled some of the tips and tricks I used below...

We've been following the progress of Extreme Gear ever since spotting it for the first time back in late January, but today is the day that Zero Games' Extreme Gear: Demolition Arena [Free] has finally arrived in the App Store. If you haven't been following along, Extreme Gear is pretty much an homage to old-school Destruction Derby from the PS1 days, something I've been hoping for on iOS for a long time. I've spent a good chunk of my day with Extreme Gear, and while it's certainly rough around the edges and has plenty of room for improvement, the bottom line is that smashing into other cars is fun, and Extreme Gear does a great job at letting you do just that. ..

If you listen to the Touch Arcade Show podcast every week (and you should), then you might recall what a frustrating experience Jared had trying to play Rocky Hong's Beat Stomper [$1.99] on a recent episode. The game seemed sorta like Doodle Jump [$0.99], but the timing was all weird and it took quite a few attempts for him to get the hang of it. Eli, on the other hand, had no problems whatsoever and demonstrated this by apparently playing with his eyes shut. Two completely different experiences with one simple high score chaser. So what about me? Or you, for that matter?..

'Rope Racers' Review - Swing Low, Sweet Undead Zombie

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March 21st, 2016 11:53 AM EDT by Nathan Reinauer in 4 stars, Arcade, Free, Games, Racing, Reviews, Universal
Free Buy Now

Swinging from ropes is fun. I don’t know why, but it is. Many of my favorite games on the App Store use some kind of swinging as a mechanic, from Hanger World [Free] and Mikey Hooks [$1.99] to the long forgotten Rock Runners and Slingshot Racing [$0.99]. In preparation for this review I did a brief Google search to figure out what is so satisfying about swinging, but all I found were adult advice columns. (Some iOS games call it "hooking"; maybe I should have searched for that instead?) Perhaps it’s so fun because our ancestors lived in trees, or because it hits some perfect combination of speed and weightlessness. Who knows! Developer Small Giant’s latest game Rope Racers [Free] is all about swinging, and it pretty much nails that sensation...

'Train Conductor World' Review - Freight Control

'Train Conductor World' Review - Freight Control

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March 8th, 2016 12:00 PM EDT by Nathan Reinauer in 4.5 stars, Arcade, Free, Games, Reviews, Universal
Free Buy Now

Blake Patterson’s review of the original Train Conductor [$2.99] on Touch Arcade remarked that it was “like Flight Control [R.I.P.] on rails”. That’s certainly the feeling I got from playing the latest game in the series as well. Train Conductor World [Free] truly feels like a blast from the past with its central mechanic of routing things around the screen with swipes, as I probably had at least five or six games on my phone back in the day that were heavily inspired by Firemint’s classic airplane game. I can’t remember the last time I played something like that, and it’s a heck of a lot of fun revisiting similar ideas in World. Of course, this is no longer 2009, and the App Store is a very different place now. Can The Voxel Agents’ cute little trains keep up?..

'Abzorb' Review - Avoid and Conquer

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March 8th, 2016 10:06 AM EDT by Nathan Reinauer in $2.99, 4 stars, Arcade, Games, Puzzle, Reviews, Universal
$2.99 Buy Now

One Man Left’s classic Tilt To Live [$2.99] series is a favorite of mine, partly because of how it subverted expectations when it came out in 2010. It looked like a shooter, with the main gimmick being that you tilted your device instead of using on-screen controls. Of course, that wasn’t the only “gimmick”, as it turned out the game wasn’t even a shooter at all. Your job was to avoid enemies, rather than hunting them down. That doesn’t mean you were totally defenseless, though, as there were many power-ups that allowed you to turn the tables on the evil red dots. Gerald Kelley’s new game Abzorb [$2.99] lands even closer to the pacifist side of the spectrum, as you don’t even get power-ups to defend yourself. All you can do to avoid death is run away. Is it anywhere near as fun and frantic as Tilt To Live, though?..

The Swords [$2.99] is an interesting little experience because it's this mixture of gorgeous art and animation combined with gameplay that's fun but sometimes frustrating. The story that sets up The Swords is that a master of swords is telling a story about his grandmaster, an expert swordsman proficient in many different types of swords, and the very idea of them. Microgames wind up comprising the gmaeplay here, as you perform sorts of different actions through swipes and taps depending on the section of the game you're in, so that you can progress. You'll be swiping to deflect enemy swords, utilizing a spinning sword to deflect enemy blows, controlling the sway of a tree in the wind, and more. You kind of get to do anything and everything sword-related here...

Peter Panic [Free] is Wario Ware mixed with a musical, and only halfway complete. Seriously, the game borrows its structure and goofiness from Wario Ware almost exactly. You play through levels all with a specific theme, trying to complete a short micro-game to get a point and advance further to a boss level. Beat that, then you complete the level and go on to the next one. The games use the touchscreen in different ways, and there are some key variations, but generally? This is Wario Ware but on iOS as a musical – and not finished yet...

Pako - Car Chase Simulator [$0.99] from Tree Men Games is marching towards its 2nd birthday this coming summer, and what a "ride" it's been thus far (pun totally intended). When it originally launched in August of 2014 Pako was a stylish but simplistic high-scoring game all about trying to drive around with no brakes for as long as possible while avoiding obstacles and police cars. It's still about that at its core, but Pako has seen a ton of updates since its release, like new environments to drive in along with new vehicles to drive. This has given Tree Men the opportunity to expand the boundaries of Pako with unique levels like the Arena which allows you to choose what vehicle you use, the Moon with its crazy gravity, the Desert which is an actual race against other cars, or the Airport which has you starting out as a human on foot and lets you hop into any vehicle you come across, including luggage carts, tiny aircraft, and stair cars (You're going to get some hop-ons). Oh! How could I forget my favorite level the Hockey arena which lets you cruise around on the ice in a Zamboni and even run into a giant puck which you can launch into the net to score a goal?..

'Thumb Drift' Review - Slip Slidin’ Away

'Thumb Drift' Review - Slip Slidin’ Away

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March 3rd, 2016 9:30 AM EDT by Nathan Reinauer in 4.5 stars, Arcade, Free, Games, Racing, Reviews, Universal
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We here at Touch Arcade don’t usually review the many, many free little arcade games that pop up on the App Store each week. There’s no rule against it, of course, but the fact is there are just too many games, and our time is usually better spent focusing on (slightly) meatier experiences. For example, just last week saw the release of Slingshot Rush [Free], which is yet another fairly shallow little Boombit game like the many others that came before. I actually found it incredibly fun and satisfying to play, but it’s ultimately too simple to fully review. I mean, you hold the screen to swing around corners and it’s really fun. I don’t even think a gimmicky question-and-answer format could stretch that out enough to count as an actual review...

Desert Golfing [$1.99] is a minimalist 2D golfing game from developer Justin Smith, who has been well-known for years now for creating quirky gaming experiences on a variety of platforms but is probably best-known on mobile for his wacky Bear Driving Simulator Enviro-Bear 2010 [$1.99]. Anyway, Desert Golfing took on a life of its own following its release in August of 2014. Something about its extreme minimalism drew people in hole after hole, but subtle things like the terrain very slowly changing color over the course of many thousands of holes prompted people to find deeper meaning in all this endless golfing. I have no doubt that it's only a matter of time before Desert Golfing is required teaching in every philosophy class across the globe...

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