Category Archives: Arcade

Taito is one of the most historically significant companies in gaming history, and that is almost entirely due to Space Invaders. The 1978 pioneer of shoot-em-ups kicked off a genuine worldwide craze, and Taito watched their coffers fill with cash hand over fist. Plenty of great games followed, but none would have the impact or financial success of Space Invaders. Taito helped create the arcade scene with that game's focus on achieving high scores. Sadly, the company never quite got the swing of making home games, and their relevance diminished right alongside the arcades they helped to build in the first place. They weren't even able to hold onto their crown in the shoot-em-up genre for very long, but to their credit, they kept right on swinging anyway...

'Mind Control' Is a Hectic Gauntlet Platformer Flying Onto the App Store September 20th, and Is Looking for Beta Testers

When a game has a name such as Mind Control, it would normally indicate some post-apocalyptic action romp against brainwashed zombies, or perhaps a deep psychological thriller with a pseudo-political edge. As a result, Geekabyte Games have impressed me through taking the most literal definition for their upcoming release's title. In Geekabyte's take on Mind Control, you're tasked with using mysterious propulsion methods to navigate a sentient brain around numerous obstacles, and the result is as bizarre and hilarious as you'd expect. Mind Control is set to launch on the App Store on September 20th, however the developers are looking for beta testers to try out the game before its release on our forum thread...




During the mid and late '90s Taito released a trilogy of awesome scrolling shooters starting with 1994's RayForce, then 1997's RayStorm, and finally 1998's RayCrisis which was the third game in the series but actually a prequel to RayForce. Many moons ago, in January of 2012 to be exact, Taito released a port of RayForce [$6.99] onto the App Store. Shooters worked well on the touchscreen and RayForce was a welcome addition to the iPhone's library of shooters. Fans of the series figured that the rest of the trilogy would make a good fit for mobile too, and indeed in June of 2012 the iOS version of RayStorm [$9.99] was released. That just left RayCrisis and later in 2012… it never came. Nor did it come in 2013, or 2014, or 2105. Not even in 2016! What the heck, Taito? Well, it took 5 years, but 2017 turned out to be the year as RayCrisis [$9.99] finally hit the App Store earlier today...

The CSR Racing series pretty much has the single-tap drag racing corner of the App Store on lock, but they've definitely inspired some similar games in their wake. The lovely folks at Stainless Games wanted to get in on that action too but add some of the grit and attitude that they're known for from their beloved classic Carmageddon [Free]. That is exactly what Carmageddon: Crashers [Free] is. Soft-launched a couple of months back and officially released as of today, Carmageddon: Crashers takes the exact same approach as CSR of feathering the gas pedal to get a hot start and hitting the gear shift at the exact right moments to build up speed, except you aren't racing alongside another car but you're actually driving right at each other in a deadly game of chicken. Check it out in action in the official trailer...

Hilarious Speedrunning Platformer 'Himster' Is Looking for Beta Testers on Our Forums

I've played some terrifying games this year, but the upcoming App Store title Himster is looking to serve a serious challenge towards the likes of Outlast 2 and Resident Evil 7 for the most horrifying release of 2017. In Himster, you control the titular upgraded hamster, which is claimed to be 95% more fun and have 75% more energy than your average cat, dog or fish that are currently the post popular pets in the world. The resulting creation is a hideous yet deceptively adorable rectangular-shaped Himster, which is able to stretch and fly around the rainbow-tinted backdrop to solve the many puzzles across the game's numerous platforming challenge modes. This may sound like an incredibly bizarre concept - and you're totally right - however the brilliant gameplay trailer below gives a glimpse of what to expect from this eccentric arcade game before it launches in the near future...

'Overtake King', a New Game From the Developer of 'Tower Fortress', Drives Onto the App Store On August 3rd

One of my most anticipated upcoming iOS releases of 2017 is Tower Fortress, and I'm sure this sentiment is shared by many members of the iOS community on our forums if the fervour on the game's forum thread is anything to go by. Unsurprisingly, Tower Fortress was quickly taken under the wing of pixel art standard-bearers Nitrome, and ever since the announcement of the publisher revamping the game's visuals, we've been in the dark as to when Tower Fortress would finally make its debut on the App Store. Sadly, I have no breaking news to bring to you in that regard, however the developer Keybol has today announced a brand new game to tide us over until Tower Fortress's hopefully imminent launch. Enter Overtake King - as the name suggests, Overtake King is all about weaving your way through traffic as a death-defying motorcyclist, and is aiming to provide a novel arcade time-wasting experience when it launches on August 3rd...

When I see the word 'zen' to describe any sort of minimalistic iOS puzzler, my cynicism as a mobile games critic immediately flares up. Normally such a descriptor suggests a lazy and derivative core, in an attempt to be profound for no real reason other than to appeal to those who think videogames have to achieve some sort of higher purpose. Thankfully, Linelight [$1.99] fully embraces its simplicity, and is literally nothing more than a game of moving your fluorescent bar of light through multiple puzzles and paths. With levels that are lit up like a Christmas tree, Linelight is the epitome of accessibility through its basic controls, but really smart level design throughout the 200 unique puzzles results in a deceptively deep experience that shouldn't be missed, and is available to download now for $1.99 on the App Store...

Old School Platformer 'Sheep Frenzy 2: Arcade Rescuer' Set to Flock to the App Store on August 10th

The first Sheep Frenzy! [Free] was a nice little arcade platformer that you may have missed when it released in April 2015. Sporting a colorful retro graphical design, and some classic gameplay that was essentially a modernised take on the ancient Game & Watch game Fire, Sheep Frenzy! made up for its relative scarcity in content for its abundant charm and humor. While it felt like the game kind of went under the radar somewhat, a sequel has today been announced to let its cast of fluffy mammals, and the heroic protagonist floating bar that saves the sheep from plummeting to their death, return to the touch screen with a vengeance. Sheep Frenzy 2: Arcade Rescuer features the same gameplay from its prequel but with even more content and a fresh new lick of paint, and ewe won't want to miss it when it releases on August 10th...

I'm guessing most people would be familiar with UK developer Damp Gnat by way of their stunning surrealist platforming adventure Icycle: On Thin Ice [$2.99], but if you've been hanging around the App Store since around 2012 and have yourself an iPad then you might also be familiar with their also stunning and also surrealist mini-golf game Wonderputt [$0.99]. Ah yes, Wonderputt. Originally released as a Flash game back in 2011, Wonderputt gives you just a single 18 hole course to play through, but that single course is a shape-shifting piece of art. As you complete each hole, various events happen that create new holes for you to play through on the huge structure, and it's one of the most whimsical experiences I've ever had with a video game. Check out the (quite old) official trailer for Wonderputt just below to get an idea of what I'm talking about...

This comes straight from my "Wanted to Post Last Week but Didn't Have Time" file, but it's still worth mentioning that Sunnyside Games have a BIG update coming for their extremely stylish arcade shooter Towaga [$2.99] and last week they also updated their excellent stock-trading twitch game The Firm [$0.99] for the coming 32-bit Appocalypse. First up is Towaga which launched way back in January with fantastic visuals and animation and core gameplay that was solid but felt like it needed to be fleshed out just a bit more. This forthcoming update, called the New Moon update and detailed by Sunnyside in our forums, looks to address that by adding unlockable Masks and Outfits which each give special abilities to your character, new enemy types, new bosses, an in-game perk and spell upgrade system, and TONS more. Oh, and of course the much-requested iPad support is in this update too. Check out these animated .gifs from the new version of Towaga; the top one shows the new Bump special move and the bottom shows the UI for selecting your Masks and Outfits...

Flop to the Top in Bizarre Arcade Platformer 'Corporate Salmon', Coming Soon to the App Store

I've seen some pretty strange premise for games, but Corporate Salmon really takes the cake (or takes the cod, if you will). The title doesn't lie - the protagonist of the game is quite literally a sentient salmon, who is determined to climb the corporate ladder through any means possible. In the game, such means include flailing up an escalator, collecting money all the while fending off other rival fish who are also aiming for the stars. It's a salmon-eat-salmon world out there, kids. Beyond its eccentric concept, Corporate Salmon does actually look like quite an inspired take on the one-touch arcade game on the App Store. With a vibrant and eclectic graphical style, some bizarre physics and multiple challenges in the elevator to earn the most money possible, Corporate Salmon is as silly as it is charming, and will be one to look out for when it flops onto the App Store in the next few months...

Start an Alien Armageddon in 'Invaders...From Space!', Blasting Onto the App Store This Summer

The Frosty Pop Corps have proven with their past few App Store releases that they are more than their quirky developer title may suggest. Games such as the Flappy Bird and Downwell amalgam Puff. [Free], and the beautifully stylish rvlvr. [Free] underline the developer's emphasis on stylish mobile experiences, and Invaders...From Space! seamlessly follows in its predecessor's footsteps. As an antagonistic alien race set on the destruction of earth, you're tasked with using your geography skills to target specific areas using your powerful set of projectiles. With a heavy emphasis on a retro aesthetic from the CRT screen era, married with the trademark modern polish that The Frosty Pop Corps have championed with their previous releases, Invaders...From Space! looks like it could be out of this world when it launches exclusively on the App Store at the end of the summer...

'Leap On!', Noodlecake's Next One-Touch Arcade Game, Is Set to Bounce Onto the App Store Tomorrow

While the Italian plumbers and cocky blue hedgehogs tend to save the day with their characteristic swagger and charm, there's something about undefined, faceless blob heroes and heroines that flick a particular switch inside me. Whether it's the pink transmuting ball of magical gust that is Kirby, or the strangely anthropomorphic protagonist in classic iOS platformer Bounce On [$1.99], I'm all for spherical avatars in my video games. Leap On! follows such a formula, as the latest release from Noodlecake and Flying Pants Games features an orbiting white ball that must be flung and bounced around a hazardous environment of nefarious black shapes to achieve the highest score possible. As a neat little arcade title, Leap On! looks to be as fun as the dot is cute, and will be worth a look when it launches on the App Store on July 19th as a free download...

In reality, two years isn't a particularly long time. However, in the rapidly moving maelstrom that is the App Store, 24 months is essentially an era in itself, especially when what can seem like all-encompassing fads such as Flappy Bird or Pokemon GO [Free] can come and go in a matter of weeks. As a result, it's great to see Brickies [Free] finally be updated for the first time since June 2015, especially amidst the ominous signs of the impending 32-bit Appocalypse...

Classic Reload - 'Punch Quest'

Hello, gentle readers, and welcome to the Classic Reload, the regular feature where the ghostly apparition of Blake haunts us at every turn. In this feature, we take a look at games from the App Store's past to see how they hold up in the harsh, post-apocalyptic wastelands of 2017. It's a chance to revisit old favorites, reflect on their place in the overall library, or simply to take a deeper dive than our reviews typically allow. As the three-time winner of the prestigious Some Pig Award, I try to choose a balanced selection of games, but if you have a suggestion, I'm all ears. You can comment below with the games you'd like to see featured and I'll add them to the master list for future consideration...

In January of 2012, Taito released their classic 1994 arcade shoot 'em up RayForce [$6.99] to the App Store, and about 6 months later they released its 1997 sequel RayStorm [$9.99] as well. Shooters like these always translated well to the touchscreen and it seemed pretty likely that Taito would be bringing the third game in the trilogy RayCrisis to mobile too. I mean, why wouldn't they bring the whole trilogy over, and if the previous Ray game release schedule was to be trusted, I would have bet they'd release RayCrisis at the end of 2012. Well, that release schedule was not to be trusted. RayCrisis never came, and while both RayForce and RayStorm were excellent additions to the App Store's shooter catalogue, they sat around virtually untouched after their release and were never updated with any of the modern trappings that came with newer and better iOS hardware and software...

Colorful Cube Roller 'Desire Path' Is Set to Roll out on the App Store July 6th

Ever since the EDGE [$2.99] series in the early days of the iPhone, the isometric square-based puzzle title has been a mainstay on the App Store. With such titles only needing a couple of inputs and being easily playable in any orientation of your device, games like DROP NOT! [Free] have appealed to masses because of how accessible they were, all within a delightfully beautiful interface. Desire Path, an upcoming game from Scottish developers Dead Cool Apps, looks to be the next to follow in the path of the aforementioned iOS titles, and requires you to guide the thirty characters through endless obstacle-strewn environments to achieve the highest possible score. With a good deal of variation a heavy emphasis on atmosphere, Desire Path should be a nice distraction for any leaderboard monkeys, and is set to launch on the App Store on July 6th...

Atmospheric Arcade Game 'BotHeads' Is Flying Onto the App Store on July 6th

With so many games competing for your attention on the dense catacombs of the App Store, the ability to assess a game with only the slightest glance is vital to separate the wheat from the chaff. BotHeads is one such title that instantly caught my eye, and while its numerous influences have been plucked from radically different parts of the gaming spectrum, the way that the developers have blended them together to make a cohesive whole is rather impressive indeed. Take Sonic the Hedgehog [Free] pinball obstacles and perpetual motion, combine such elements with the psychedelic contrasting aesthetic of Badland 2 [$3.99], and throw in a pulsating chip-tune soundtrack and you get BotHeads, which looks like an essential download when it hits the App Store for free on July 6th...

Shoot and Drift Into the Undead in '#01', an Upcoming Endless Racer From the Developers of Road Rush Rally

Alongside platforms, guns and Pokemon, zombies are one of the most common tropes in recent video gaming history. However, the oversaturation of undead beings - no thanks to the ridiculous popularity of the Call of Duty: Zombies [$4.99] spin-off series - quickly became tiring, even if games such as Minigore [$0.99] made a good case for horror-themed titles on the App Store. That being said, as the popular trends have changed from birds to fidget spinners, it seems zombies may soon be back in vogue, at least according to Kloppe Media. After the success of their previous game Road Rush Racer [Free], the developer has announced a new mobile release mysterious titled #01, which aims to merge the anarchic driving action from the former title with some dystopian zombie-killing chaos when it launches sometime in the near future...

We've been excited for the release of Touchdowners [Free] ever since its first unveiling early last month. I mean, this is from the people who have made wacky physics-based sports games like Wrassling [Free], Dunkers [Free], and Golf Zero [Free]. How could I NOT be excited for their wacky physics-based interpretation of American Football? And as we learned a week ago, Touchdowners was all set for a June 22nd release. Except… it didn't show up in time for our normal weekly new games roundup, which I though was kind of weird, and we hadn't heard anything from the developers about when specifically it was releasing, which was also pretty weird as they usually send emails about everything. ..

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