Category Archives: Arcade

AT Games hates you and wants to launch you into a black hole. That's what my time with Full of Stars [Free] revealed to me. They created an amazingly clever idea, something that takes a simple kind of space chase game as you dodge asteroids and other perils that fly past you. But this is just the core of a larger experience, involving an interactive fiction story that plays into the events of the game, including when you die on a level and try to continue. And then there's a curious long-term metagame as you try to rescue human survivors, and explore more of the war-torn star system you're in. The difficulty, excessive repetition, and ever-present monetization drags the experience down, but not to the point of killing the charm of Full of Stars' genius core idea...

There's the old cliche within virtually all forms of media that goes along the lines of 'don't judge a book by its cover'. Whether this is exactly universally applicable to things such as video and games is still to be seen, but on first glance Bacon Escape [Free] ticks all the right boxes. Firstly, the mouth-watering reference to the peerless breakfast food in the title; secondly, being the latest title from Illusion Labs, Bacon Escape possesses all the charm and polish that one would expect from such prolific iOS developers. With a relatively simple one-touch puzzle mechanic, Bacon Escape follows in the vein of games such as Mr. Crab 2 [Free] in offering a casual, accessible but unequivocally enjoyable mobile experience, and has today launched for free on the App Store...




Despite releasing in the hectic summer months just after the cacophony of noise which is E3, Hyperburner [$2.99] captivated the minds and imaginations of many in our community when it launched in June of last year. Its concept wasn't particularly groundbreaking - like many flight simulator titles that came before it, you're tasked with manoeuvring a futuristic jet through numerous nefarious structures and obstacles at breakneck speeds. However, the execution of Hyperburner was outstanding, with a beautiful cel-shaded graphical style, extremely responsive controls, and an exhilarating sense of speed that was aided by a silky smooth framerate. Such qualities were reflected in our exultant four-and-a-half star review, and today Hyperburner has mysteriously gone on sale for the bargain price of absolutely free, with no in-app purchases in sight...

I'm not too sure what it is about Thumb Drift [Free], but it tends to be one of the surefire titles I will gravitate to when I have minutes to kill on the tube, or while I'm waiting for a bus. Its accessibility combined with its subtle challenge and the compulsive need to keep on improving on high scores means it's the perfect title for short bursts, and despite numerous attempts nothing new has satiated that arcade drifting itch since the game first launched early last year. However Pixel Drifters [Free] - which has today launched for free on the App Store - is looking like a strong contender for Thumb Drift's lofty throne. An interesting pseudo-open world approach combined with beautiful pixel graphics and a hilarious sense of humor means Appsolute Games could be onto a winner here, which has only been supported by some excellent initial feedback on our forum thread...

One of my fondest gaming memories has to be the WarioWare series on the old Nintendo handhelds, as the fast paced and eclectic mix of challenges the game constantly threw at you never failed to stay entertaining. There hasn't been a particularly strong representation of similar games on iOS, with only Lucky Kat's Grump Cat's Worst Game Ever [Free] being a notable recent benefactory of this formula that should be a perfect fit for the capacitive touch screen of modern mobile devices. Thankfully, developer Fuzzy Logic is looking to make its own splash on the minigame genre with their upcoming release tapgym, where you're tasked to tap and swipe to make your stickman protagonist complete numerous real-life exercises and achieve physical, mental and virtual fitness for your character. With its minimalist art style and high score emphasis, tapgym looks extremely promising, and will be one to look out for when it launches in the near future at a mobile gym near you...

'DROP NOT!', a Reaction-Based Puzzler From the Creators of 'Power Hover', Is Rolling Onto the App Store on April 6th

One of my favorite parts of writing about iOS games is seeing those titles that consistently receive support in the form of content updates, normally for many months after the base game initially launched. Even though many of the best App Store titles do launch as complete packages without the need for many further additions, it's great to see developers take an active role in our iOS community to discuss and take on ideas for future plans, and Oddrok's Power Hover [$3.99] was one such release that impressed me greatly over 2016. As a result, I'm incredibly excited by DROP NOT!, the next game from the Finnish developer which is set to offer reaction based puzzle action - for the sweet sweet price of absolutely nothing - when it launches on April 6th...

I'll give this to Capcom, they sure picked an unusual bunch for their latest mobile initiative. Given the original game's importance in Capcom's history, 1942 Mobile [$1.99] made a certain amount of sense. It was their first big hit, and shooters tend to play well with the mobile audience. Ghosts 'n Goblins [$1.99] is certainly a significant game but it wouldn't be my first choice to adapt to touch controls. Capcom disagreed enough that the next game in the series is Ghouls 'n Ghosts Mobile. The meat in that Arthur sandwich, however, might be the oddest choice of the lot. Wolf of the Battlefield: Commando Mobile [$1.99] is a technically-sound port of the game once known outside of Japan simply as Commando. It was a decent hit in its time, and it's certainly an influential game, but it manages to suffer from the negative points of both prior Capcom Mobile ports...

Capcom announced early this month that they'd be bringing mobile ports of four of their classic arcade games to the App Store, and each week since then they've followed through with that promise. Things kicked off with the release of 1942 Mobile [$1.99] two weeks ago followed by Ghosts'n Goblins Mobile [$1.99] last week. This week the trend continues with Wolf of the Battlefield: Commando Mobile [$1.99], more widely known as simply Commando, which arrived in the App Store early this morning. ..

Like anyone who has been playing games for any length of time, I've seen so many endings that they barely even register in my memory anymore. But I distinctly remember the Saturday one summer in high school when I finally finished Super Ghouls 'n Ghosts. My friend owned the game, and I had dabbled with the game here and there over the couple of years leading up to that moment thanks to the occasional loan. It was something I had originally written off as being too frustrating to care about, but I was staying at my buddy's house that weekend and he was out for the day. Lacking other options, I sat down and played through the whole thing (twice). It's an incredibly difficult game even for its era, but there's a certain rhythm to it that will carry you through once you learn it. And to be perfectly honest, it's probably the easiest game in the series that started with 1985's Ghosts 'n Goblins...

My big beef with Capcom, as a mobile fan, is that I never really know what level of effort to expect from them. I consider them responsible for some of the finest ports to iOS (Monster Hunter Freedom Unite, Ace Attorney: Dual Destinies) and some of the worst (Mega Man Mobile, Mega Man X). Since the games they choose to port are selected from their excellent library of classics, it's hard not to get excited when they announce something new is coming. But somewhere in the back of my brain, I worry that we're going to end up with another unreasonably poor effort. Such was the case when Capcom recently announced that they would be bringing four of their arcade classics to the platform. Well, the first one is here, and I'm happy to say that we got the good Capcom this time. While it's not perfect, 1942 Mobile [$1.99] is a very good re-creation of Capcom's classic vertical shoot-em-up, with all that implies...

I've been an advocate of the archery-based castle defense game Warcher Defenders [Free] from Ogre Pixel for quite some time now. Its trailer caught my attention in May of last year just a few weeks ahead of its release, and I even thought highly enough of the game to include it in our list of Hidden Gems of 2016. While it's been a while since the game came out, Ogre Pixel has been working hard on a pretty major update to Warcher Defenders and it's finally in its final stages and targeting a release next month. Probably the most major change in this update is the ability to hire mercenaries to fight alongside you as you defend against all manner of evil enemies. You can catch a glimpse of the mercenaries in this new trailer for Warcher Defenders...

This is my 4,000th post on this site, and seeing as I've typically been the Cat Game Guy for the majority of my nearly 8 years with TouchArcade (that crown has since been bestowed on Eric), it seems only fitting that number 4,000 is about a cat game. The cat game in question is called Kitty Lander [Free] from developer Perch Drunk Thugz, and what's funny about it is it's not a new game at all. In fact it's almost a year old. For some reason nobody in our community came across it in the past year, and for whatever reason the developers only just emailed us about it today. (Side note: Email us about your games, developers! We want to know about them when they're new!) With that out of the way, though, let's focus on Kitty Lander, a fantastic blending of Lunar Lander gameplay and cats...

'Jelly Juggle' Review - Jelly Fish Pong

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March 10th, 2017 11:00 AM EDT by Shaun Musgrave in $1.99, 4 stars, Arcade, Free, Game Center, Games, iPad Games, iPhone games, Reviews
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I've been down the road a couple of times before with games from developer Ian MacLarty, and I feel like I know at least a few things to expect from his work. First, my poor pride is going to take a serious beating. Second, I'm going to keep on playing anyway. That was true for Boson X [$2.99] and Black Hole Joyrider [$0.99], and it's true again for Jelly Juggle [Free]. This one has a cuter, softer, kid-friendlier look to it than MacLarty's last couple of iOS games, but don't be fooled. That smiling, goggle-eyed fish wants only one thing in this world, and that's to make you cry. You might not feel like you need another ultra-tough, one-touch game on your device, but if you've ever enjoyed that sort of thing, I certainly encourage you to give this quirky Pong take-off a try...

Last week Capcom announced a handful of new mobile ports of their classic arcade franchises, and today one of those has gone live. 1942 Mobile [$1.99] is a touchscreen-centric port of the 1984 arcade shoot 'em up which many consider the godfather of vertical scrolling shooters. Following Capcom's fairly disastrous ports of the 8-bit Mega Man games, it's understandable one might be wary of the quality of 1942 Mobile. Well, I'm happy to report that it's… actually pretty good? The game runs smoothly and seems authentic to the arcade original, and the simple fact that it's a shooter that can be controlled with one thumb as opposed to Mega Man which requires plenty of precision button inputs makes 1942 a game that would be hard to screw up on the touchscreen. Hard, but not impossible. ..

Rock Hard Auto-Runner 'Jelly Inc.' Is Looking for Beta Testers on Our Forums

Just as it appeared that the increased accessibility and technological advancements were making video games easier, there was been an equal and opposite force that has produced some of the most difficult and brutal titles gamers have seen to date. While the (for lack of a better term) Souls-like games by the geniuses at From Software may be the most well known benefactors of the recent gaming difficulty spike, smaller indie mobile games have taken on the literal challenge, with titles such as Mr Jump [Free] and Downwell [$2.99] achieving commercial and critical acclaim from such approaches. Jelly Inc. looks to follow in this pattern - with lethal saws, perilous rockets, and a number of other dangerous obstacles to avoid, Gang of One's interesting task on the endless runner promises to offer rock hard action when it launches in the next few weeks, and the developer is currently looking for beta testers on our forums...

'Temple of Spikes' Offers Sharp Arcade Platforming Action, Launching March 2nd

One of the many constants in video games is the prevalence of spiky traps, which perpetually fulfil the sole purpose of causing the protagonist considerable pain, and normally at the usual cost of a virtual life. Whether it's the original Sonic or Mario titles, or even more recent efforts such as Downwell [$2.99] or Raider Rush [Free], spikes have stood the testament of time as the preferred dangerous obstacle in the medium. Temple of Spikes from developer Tigrido looks to follow this impressive precedent, and promises 'tons of insidious traps' as well as precise platforming action when it launches on the App Store on March 2nd...

Bandai Namco and Paladin Studio's Galaga Wars [Free] is a great modern remake of Namco's classic arcade shoot 'em up Galaga. Utilizing modern 3D graphics and new features like multiple playable ships, Galaga Wars does a great job at retaining the essence of the original, which isn't always the case when older classics get the modern treatment. We really enjoyed Galaga Wars in our review, and this week a new update has arrived which features another of Namco's classic gaming icons: Pac-Man. ..

Ever since Digby Forever [Free] was announced almost a month ago, I've been dying to try out 3 Sprocket's interesting modern take on the nostalgic Mr. Driller and Dig Dug type games. However, despite these sentimental and evocative links to my youth, Digby Forever has impressed me most with the amount of character, charm and consideration that appears to have gone into every element of the game. With some truly stunning prerelease material, from the game's own animated short giving a glimpse of the explosive action ahead, to the attempts to give each enemy its own humorous backstory, it's evident that Digby Forever has been a labor of love for the developers. Today, Digby Forever has finally launched on the App Store, and if my first impressions are anything to go by, it seems 3 Sprockets have crafted yet another essential App Store hit on their hands...

'RPS Saga' Review - Rock, Paper, Snoozer

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February 14th, 2017 10:30 AM EDT by Shaun Musgrave in $0.99, 2.5 stars, Arcade, Games, iPad Games, iPhone games, Reviews, Role-Playing
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Rock, Paper, Scissors is probably as simple as a game can get while still having some sort of strategy to it. Indeed, its core mechanic works so well that we can see it incorporated into countless other games in the form of elemental strengths and weaknesses, weapon triangles, and so on. It's a simple and useful means of balancing weapons, skills, and magic. You need to use what is most effective against your current enemy while ensuring that you're well-guarded against whatever the enemy throws back at you. The strategy comes from making sure you have your bases covered, enough resources to make use of them, and figuring out how each enemy works. That's great, but it's also not really what Rock, Paper, Scissors is about as a game...

Dial the clocks back to early December of 2015 and developer Art in Games released AirAttack 2 [$0.99], a sequel to their incredibly well-recieved 2010 vertical shoot 'em up. There was little warning of AirAttack 2's arrival, and as such it took both our community and our staff by storm as it proved to be one of the most visually impressive and refreshing shooters available on mobile. We awarded it 5 stars in our review as well as Game of the Week honors. And, despite releasing so close to the end of the year, AirAttack 2 made enough of an impression on us that we included it in our Best Games of 2015 as well. In short, AirAttack 2 is really, really good!..

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