Category Archives: Arcade

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

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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 [$2.99]. 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...

Usually I know what games will be topping the App Store's charts at any given moment: on the paid side, we have Minecraft: Pocket Edition, on the Top Grossing side, we have either Game of War or Clash of Clans. What I didn't expect to see today, to be honest, was Jim Bonacci's Happy Wheels [Free], a port of the apparently huge PC hit with the same name, lording over the Free Games category, higher than the much-praised Pac-Man 256. If you haven't played the game, Happy Wheels is all about being unhappy on your various wheels - a Segway, a wheelchair, and so on - as you crash over and over again with bone-crunching sound effects and gory visuals accompanying your every failure...

Sling Kong [Free] is a game that I'm highly ambivalent about, for many reasons. I came in hotly anticipating it, because Protostar's Checkpoint Champion [Free] is a game that's practically flawless. Sling Kong uses a slingshot-style system that's close enough to my favorite game mechanic of grappling hooks, such that I found myself absolutely anticipating this one. I finally got my hands on it, and while it's fun, and definitely worth downloading, it's a game that does a few things wrong, though I understand why those decisions were made...

'Manowar' Review - Ship For Brains

The term “manowar” can refer to a lot of very different things. It’s a metal band from New York that at various times held the Spinal Tap-esque title of "World’s Loudest Band". It’s the name of a famous horse in the '20s that is considered by several prestigious organizations as the greatest racehorse that ever lived. And my personal favorite: the Portugeuse Man o’ War, a truly bizarre jellyfish-like sea creature made up of a whole colony of smaller animals with one hell of a painful sting. The original meaning of the phrase comes from British warships from centuries past that had tons of cannons and other murder-y things like that, and it’s this definition that the game Manowar [$1.99] by Lachlan Nuttall uses as a jumping off point for a series of maddeningly clever puzzles...

Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. But in the mobile world, developers are often subject to clones -- where games are almost copied wholesale from the original. Having said that, there are occasions where games may start entire subgenres, like in the case of Angry Birds. Yes, almost everyone knows that Crush the Castle (and the numerous tank titles before that) was "first," but at this point Rovio has refined the formula enough to call it its own. Although we're a bit early in the "Crossy Road" genre, Blocky Raider [Free] does a few unique things that allow it to make a name for itself...

I admit that I'm not a big player of League of Legends, one of if not the most popular video game in the world. I don't have anything against it, I just don't really game on PC, and don't really have much time to game outside of my iPhone. That said, I've always thought Riot was doing themselves a disservice by not being in the mobile space. League of Legends would work beautifully on an iPad, don't you think? Well at long last Riot has arrived on the iOS platform, but unfortunately not with League of Legends. Instead we have Blitzcrank's Poro Roundup [Free], a quirky mini-game featuring League of Legends champion Blitzcrank rounding up Poros, fictional creatures from the LoL universe. Here's a trailer...

'Pac-Man 256' Review - Teaching an Old Pac-Man New Tricks

There are people who ask why retro games keep getting developed and iterated upon. We still have the classics, and they're more readily available than ever, so why do we need more of them? In some cases, it might be better to let some franchises die. This feels like a common complaint against the Sonic series, but I think that's more Sega's development teams not knowing what makes a Sonic game good (and loving bottomless pits too much). But interestingly, it's Pac-Man that's showing how a series can iterate and advance decades after its arrival. Pac-Man Championship Edition DX [$4.99] was a recent fantastic example of how to advance and iterate the yellow dot-muncher's familiar maze-based gameplay. Now, Pac-Man 256 [Free] from Crossy Road [Free] developers Hipster Whale, with the help of 3 Sprockets of Cubemen [$0.99 (HD)] fame and Bandai Namco, shows that you can teach an old Pac-Man new tricks. The developers who advanced the Frogger formula into a definitive mobile experience, have done so again with Pac-Man...

My first ever interaction with golf was on the NES. I remember being fascinated by the concept of hitting a ball across a screen, and although the idea of woods and irons completely eluded me, I was content with whacking away Happy Gilmore style. Over time golf became far less foreign, and though the sport's popularity has waxed and waned over the years, I still have a certain degree of interest in it, at least at a base level. Battle Golf [Free] doesn't really do a whole lot for me though...

Noodlecake has been porting games over to Android for a while now, among them the superb Wayward Souls [$6.99] and the more recent Shooting Stars [$2.99]. As Noodlecake noted in a recent blog, finding an audience for premium games on iOS is getting trickier by the day, but it still has faith that there's an audience out there for the company's games, which is why it went with a $2.99 price for Shooting Stars. However, the situation over on the Android side of the universe is even more desperate; of all the Android installs of Wayward Souls, Rocketcat Games' roguelike hit, only 11% were paid and the rest were pirated. These numbers prove once more that when developers claim there's no money to be made on Android for premium games, they are pretty much spot on. It's hard to motivate a developer to go through the wringer of porting to the many different Android devices only to see the game pirated...

'Hanger World' Review - Not A Used Clothing Store

I was a fan of TouchArcade long before I was a writer here, and one of my favorite of the more recent regular features is Shaun’s Update Mondays posts. The weird thing is, the updates themselves aren’t even why I look forward to it every week. Rather, it’s because I think Shaun’s a funny dude and I just enjoy reading his descriptions of each update. More specifically, I need to know what game he decides to give the coveted Update Mondays Most Spider-Mans Of The Week Award to. Is it going to be Spider-Man Unlimited [Free] again? (I mean, it does get a lot of Spider-Mans.) Or will it be something completely random? Well, I think I may have found a good future candidate. I’m talking about A Small Game’s Hanger World [Free], and it’s packed full of all kinds of Spider-Mans slinging themselves this way and that. As it turns out, it’s also a really, really fun game...

Back when I reviewed the third Five Nights At Freddy's game, I foolishly predicted it might be the last. I'm not falling for it this time, Scott Cawthorn, you wily developer. I've already seen you change the wording in the description ever so slightly to call Five Nights At Freddy's 4 the last game in the original story. Freddy will be back, and regrettably, I probably will be, too. Everyone else at TouchArcade Towers seems to think it's hi-lar-i-ous to see me spew out a stream of curses at semi-regular intervals, so the Freddy reviews tend to fall to me. Well, having played the games all quite a bit, I have to admit that my appreciation for the series has grown. It's actually grown to the point that I'm pretty disappointed with some of the decisions made for the iOS port of the latest game...

It's often said that there's a fine line between inspiration and imitation. We see both in varying degrees in the hobby of gaming. The former is without question a good thing, but even the latter can be okay depending on how closely it hews to the source. There's one more category that expression doesn't cover, however, and it's something a bit closer to plagiarism. It's a practice that is unfortunately all too familiar to mobile gaming fans in particular, and it's almost universally frowned upon. In these situations, games are basically copied one-to-one, adding nothing to the medium and depriving the original creator of their rightful reward. It's legal, as far as I can tell, particularly if you're wise enough to swap out art assets, but at least as far as I'm concerned, it's not ethically okay nor is it contributing anything positive to gaming on the whole...

Oh no. Bitcoin Billionaire [Free], the clicker that once ruined my life by compelling me to just sit there and tap away at stuff for far too long, has a big update out now. Noodlecake and FizzPow are promising that this triples the amount of content in the game, to which I say: oh no. If you invested in time travel in the original game, you can now travel back to the prehistoric era, mining bitcoins in the era of dinosaurs. Want to use a woolly mammoth as a vacuum cleaner? You do that, champ!..

'Race the Sun' Review - The Hit Mobile Game Finally Comes to Mobile

Remember Cube Runner [Free]? Of course you do. It was probably one of the first games you put on your iPhone back in the day. It had some smooth 3D visuals and fun quick-reaction type gameplay that was a perfect fit for mobile. Well, flash forward five or six years and the New Hotness in town is a little game by Flippfly called Race the Sun [$4.99], which is… well, it’s pretty much the same thing. So why is everyone getting so excited about it?..

Masayuki Ito's .Decluster Zero: Bullet Nocturne [$4.99 / Free] is out now on the App Store. It had kind of an odd release, where the Lite version was out last week ahead of the full version's release today, but now the full paid version is out worldwide. There was briefly a bug that affected the game view, but that's been addressed and the game is running perfectly fine now...

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