Category Archives: Arcade

Classic Reload - 'Space Miner: Platinum Edition'

Hello, gentle readers, and welcome to another special Classic Reload, a semi-random feature where we take a look at a classic game from the App Store's past. Yes, it's been a couple of months since the last one, and I do apologize for that, but I hope to get on at least a monthly schedule from here on out. Anyway, for those who didn't read the last column or don't remember, the Classic Reload is a feature dedicated to digging out some iOS treasures that may not be getting much attention anymore. It's a chance to see how old favorites are holding up nowadays and take a deeper dive than we may have in past coverage. If you have suggestions for games to feature in the future, make sure you let me know by commenting below...

UPDATE: See below! Last week saw the arrival of Land Sliders [Free], the debut game from Prettygreat. It's one of my favorite new games to come along in some time, and we even picked it as our Game of the Week. Land Sliders is a fun high-scoring game that uses a unique land-sliding mechanic, but beyond actually playing the game it also has a ton of personality. The dozens of silly characters to unlock and the randomly generated levels which have a tendency to place strange and interesting things around the game world are big parts of the appeal of Land Sliders for me. There are even logic-style puzzles to solve spread throughout the game, and one that has been stumping me and the members in our forums as of late is the mystery behind the coordinates you'll happen upon in the game. ..

'Cavernaut' Review - The Eagle Has Landed

'Cavernaut' Review - The Eagle Has Landed

September 29th, 2015 10:59 AM EDT by Nathan Reinauer in $0.99, 4.5 stars, Arcade, Cave-Flyer, Games, Retro, Reviews, Universal
$1.99 Buy Now

I had several moments while playing EinheitB's Cavernaut [$1.99] where I thought to myself, "This is exactly why I love mobile." It's a game that's probably not going to change the world, but that's okay. It's just a great, tight little experience that could really only exist on this platform...

'Starseed: Origin' Review: Old School Cool

Starseed: Origin [$1.99] is not a game you play for an original concept or to casually tap with half your attention elsewhere. Starseed is a game you play until it gets too hard and too fast and you blow up and die. ..

'Super Bounce Back' Review - A Win for No Can Win or No?

September 22nd, 2015 12:00 PM EDT by Nathan Reinauer in 3.5 stars, Arcade, Free, Games, Platform, Reviews, Universal
Free Buy Now

I generally don’t travel much, so it was a pretty big deal for me when I finally got to visit Maui a few years ago. And you know what? It was incredible. Snorkeling, chicken katsu, sea turtles… it really doesn’t get much better than that. One of my favorite memories of those few short weeks on the island, though, was playing a dumb mobile game with my girlfriend every time we went back to the hotel. It was Cubed Rally Redline [Free], and we were fiercely competitive with it. Ever since that vacation, every time I hear that Jared Bailey has a new game coming out it stirs up happy, sunny memories deep in my brain...

'Worms 4' Review - Scorched Earthworm

September 17th, 2015 12:22 PM EDT by Nathan Reinauer in $4.99, 4 stars, Arcade, Games, Reviews, Strategy, Universal
$4.99 Buy Now

Some of my favorite gaming memories while growing up were playing Worms with my older brother on PC. He was always quite a bit better than me, as older brothers are (and he still is), but it was still incredibly fun slinging Super Sheep, Concrete Donkeys, and Holy Hand Grenades at each other until he whittled me down to nothing. Imagine my delight, then, when several years ago I learned Worms would be coming to iPhone! I bought every iteration on day one, and even though they weren't perfect, Team 17 managed to get it just a little bit more right every time. And now, finally, we have Worms 4 [$4.99], a sequel tailor made for mobile...

Desert Golfing [$1.99] is one of those games that practically transcends what we expect from video games. On its surface it's an extremely simplified game of golf, where each hole is a single screen and by using the tried and true "pull back and slingshot" method your job is simply to get the ball in the hole in as few moves as possible. There is no menu, there is no level select screen, there is no storyline or additional goals. You hit the ball in the hole, move on to the next hole, rinse and repeat for the rest of eternity. ..

Tree Men Games' Pako [$0.99] has turned out to be a fun and wacky little car chase game – which is good, because they bill it as a Car Chase Simulator – and they've delivered a massive number of post-release content updates. But this latest update, releasing on Thursday, is perhaps the most unique yet. Pako is getting an optional chase camera mode, so you can see from behind the car:..

'Power Ping Pong' Review - Tablet Tennis

September 14th, 2015 12:27 PM EDT by Nathan Reinauer in $4.99, 4 stars, Arcade, Games, Reviews, Sports, Universal
$4.99 Buy Now

Have you ever played one of those games that everyone raves about, but it doesn’t click with you? It looks really fun and should be right up your alley, but for some reason you can’t crack it. “What’s wrong with me?” you might wonder. “Am I doing something dumb?” Well, if you couldn’t guess, that was my first experience with Chillingo’s Power Ping Pong [$4.99]. After playing for about a week now, I think I’m finally figuring out what was wrong. We’ll get to all that soon enough, but first: what is it?..

A couple of months back, I reviewed a unique little game called Trappy Tomb [Free], a game that had you running and jumping through a deadly tomb, grabbing treasure and trying to stay alive. Its most interesting feature was what it referred to as 'mingleplayer', where you would see the ghosts of tons of other players running along with you. It not only made score-chasing feel more exciting, it could also clue you into any cleverly hidden secrets someone had uncovered. Of course, there were also lessons to learn about the dangers of herd mentality. The developer of that game is back with his next title, MiniGolf Endless MMO [Free], and though it's in a completely different genre, it retains a similar gimmick...

Seashine [Free] is an endless "swimmer", whereby the player is encouraged to guide a jellyfish hatchling through the darkest depths of the ocean, seeking safe passage from predators and clinging to small sources of light to part the watery blackness. ..

I've said it many times before, but it's a great era for shoot 'em ups. The ease of development for the mobile platform has allowed for so many classics to arrive overseas, as well as a number of other excellent, original works. Coming off of the high of Operation Dracula I was pretty excited to give Lightning Duru [$0.99] a shot, but came away less than impressed...

When I first launched Ace Maverick [$4.99] by Futureworks Studios I was immediately hit in the face with a sharp blast of electric guitar. It was like a Marshall stack violently sneezing into my ears. And while I’d love to take this opening further and use that riff as some kind of metaphor for the game itself, I’m not going to do that. The riff happened, and I just thought you should know about it. Case closed...

A Pinch of Combat, Skateboarding, and a Dash of Nightmares Give You Upcoming Platformer 'Leave Me Alone'

Have you played the beautiful and serene Alto's Adventure [$1.99]? You know, that almost silent, introspective journey through a mountainous world filled with nothing but Lamas? Well, Leave Me Alone is what happens when Alto stops to smell the hallucinogenic flowers along the way. This upcoming game by Onvision Studio definitely has a weird, late-80s vibe and an art that will definitely be the game's talking point. I'm not sure everyone will love the art style, by I'm all for crazy apocalyptic settings that look like Beavis and Butthead on peyote. The game has mutants, huge clowns, flying..somethings or others, and apparently you get to ride dragons and shoot down UFOs. Yeah, it's that nuts...

PikPok’s latest game Breakneck [Free] had my attention early. It looked like a cross between Race the Sun [$4.99] and Star Wars Episode I: Racer, which is basically one of my favorite Nintendo 64 games crossed with one of my favorite recent iOS games. How could I possibly say no to that? It’s not possible, and I didn’t say no. So here I am, weeks later, finally playing the thing. Was it worth the wait? Well… kinda...

'Skylanders: SuperChargers' Releases for iOS Next Month, Will Be Universal For the First Time

Activision gave more details today about its upcoming Skylanders: SuperChargers game, which will add sea, land, and air vehicles to the hugely successful franchise. If you aren't familiar with the Skylanders franchise, Activision's money-making machine blends a digital game with physical toys in a mix that offers children the best of both worlds. The franchise's previous game, Skylanders: Trap Team, came out on the iPad and did quite well, offering the full console experience on the go. Now Activision has unveiled a few firsts for Skylanders: SuperChargers on iOS that will definitely please the fans of the franchise or those thinking of trying Skylanders for the first time...

'Tiny Empire' Review - Waging War With Cannons

September 2nd, 2015 6:00 PM EDT by Eric Ford in $2.99, 3.5 stars, Action, Arcade, Games, iPad Games, iPhone games, Puzzle, Reviews, Universal
$2.99 Buy Now

At first glance, Tiny Empire [$2.99] by Mother Gaia Studios acts suspiciously like another giant game franchise that resides within the physics-based launching genre. There’s projectile aiming, enemies you want to destroy, and a few twists on the ammunition being tossed. However, beyond the gameplay similarities is decent example of a title taking a genre that has been dominated by a huge developer and creating just enough change that it can stand on its own...

'Dandy: Or A Brief Glimpse Into the Life of a Candy Alchemist' Review - Sweet Gameplay Wrapped In Tasty Visuals

To explain why I wanted to give Dandy: Or a Brief Glimpse Into the Life of a Candy Alchemist [$3.99] a try once I saw it pop up on the App Store, I first need to talk a bit about the type of shoot 'em ups I enjoy. One of the few genres of games I've never cared much for is bullet-hell shoot 'em ups, those games where you fight a constant hail of fire while trying not to get a headache from all the blinking and flashing. The shoot 'em ups I enjoy are the slower ones, the kind that forces you to study your enemies and devise strategies on the go (like the PC game The Binding of Isaac for instance), and this is precisely the kind of gameplay Dandy offers. ..

'Horizon Chase' Review - What's Old is New Again

Aquiris Game Studio was on a mission with Horizon Chase [$0.99]. They wanted to recreate classic racing games like Outrun, Top Gear, Jaguar XJ220, and others from the late-1980s and early-1990s, even getting the Top Gear composer, Barry Leitch, to create the soundtrack for the game. And oh, did they knock it out of the park. They've created a game that spectacularly recreates the feel of the racing games of 25 years ago, while abandoning the annoying aspects of those games, creating this wonderful hybrid that shows that they managed to create their dream game...

One of the most curiously popular genres to emerge in the past few years is the clicker genre. Stripping nearly all the fluff away from most progression-based systems in games, clickers have distilled the satisfaction of watching progress bars increase into bite-sized, single-tap experiences. They're silly, sure, but also strangely satisfying. Clickers aren't for everyone though, and to some the passiveness of it all just isn't enough to get their juices flowing. That's why I really took a shining to Tap Quest [Free], which released a month ago from Nanoo Company...

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