Category Archives: Arcade

'Imps in Tokyo' Review - Greater Than the Sum of Its Parts

A first glance at Imps in Tokyo [$1.99] might not really reveal much about what type of game it is. A picturesque style and a dark purple-blue motif are at the forefront of information you can see from screenshots. Developer We are Vigilantes have crafted a game that is much greater than the sum of its parts. Imps in Tokyo is, in broadest strokes, a pattern recognition game. Passing most stages will require flying around, dodging some enemies, killing other enemies and collecting as many magic pellets as possible. ..

'Blokshot Revolution' Review - Round And Round We Go

It's been interesting watching the way shooting games have progressed over the years. As one of the first genres in video gaming, the shooting genre has had a lot of interesting twists and turns. From the earliest titles like Space Invaders that offered a single screen and a big set of targets to pick off one at a time, to the advent of scrolling shooters with titles like Namco's Xevious, into a golden age with amazing shooting games being made by just about every prominent company, often with intricate stage designs and power-up systems. This was followed by the near-total death of the genre that coincided with the rise of Cave who, along with developers like Treasure and Psikyo, continued to service the shrinking audience with increasingly intricate and complex games. The once-mighty genre seemed consigned to niche status forever...

'Pinball Arcade: The Addams Family' Review - And Now, This Mamushka Is For You

The developers behind The Pinball Arcade [Free / $0.99], FarSight Studios, are nothing if not extremely passionate about pinball. They've been in the games industry a pretty long time, over 20 years now, but they didn't truly find their niche until the 2004 release of Pinball Hall Of Fame: The Gottlieb Collection on the PlayStation 2. Its initial release was perhaps a little too early to catch the renaissance of video pinball, but it at least did well enough that they followed that up a few years later with The Williams Collection. With Williams tables being a lot more well-known among Americans, that release ended up doing pretty well, earning high praise for its faithfulness to the real machines. While this was all happening, digital storefronts started to become more popular. Soon, retail retro collections were becoming retro themselves, with a la carte offerings proving more popular with fans. It was a natural fit for the type of work FarSight was doing, and so The Pinball Arcade was born...

Nitrome is a company with a very fascinating output, as they have roots as a Flash game company with a particular pixel art style, and Flash games have always felt to me like they straddle a line between being casual-friendly but also maintaining that appeal to core, dyed-in-the-wool gamers. As such, their mobile games definitely have that casual feel while still being ones that core gamers should enjoy as 'real games'. And Magic Touch - Wizard for Hire [Free] is perhaps their best effort at being casual yet gamer-friendly. It's got touch-friendly controls, but very quickly ramps up into an incredible challenge to face down...

'Planet Quest' Review - Feel The Heavenly Rhythm

Rhythm video games and weird themes go together like peanut butter and jam. It doesn't seem like a natural combination by any means, but most of the best and most successful games in the genre have sported bizarre or abstract themes. That's probably owing to the genre's big break coming with Sony's Parappa The Rapper, a weird yet impossibly charming game about a cartoon dog trying to impress the love of his life, a sunflower named Sunny, learning how to drive or make a cake by rapping along to his instructors' beats. ..

'Alto’s Adventure' Review - Winter Wonderland

'Alto’s Adventure' Review - Winter Wonderland

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February 20th, 2015 2:00 PM EDT by Eric Ford in $1.99, 4.5 stars, Action, Arcade, Games, iPad Games, iPhone games, Reviews, Universal
$1.99 Buy Now

Ever since we caught wind of the teaser back in September of last year, Alto’s Adventure [$1.99] has been an intriguing title. The biggest question I had was whether the game’s highly stylistic art style would be able to counterbalance a gameplay system that is essentially standard endless snowboarding fare. For me, I think the excellent visual style and soundtrack make for an experience that’s worth experiencing the otherwise basic endless gameplay...

This morning we were excited to tell you that the "Platinum Edition" update for one of our most beloved iOS games Space Miner [$3.99] was awaiting approval from Apple and could be arriving at any time. I'd hoped that while writing that story last night I'd wake up and see the update waiting for me, like a 10-months-too-early Christmas present. Well, that almost happened, as just a few minutes ago the update popped up in the App Store. Well… sort of. Let me explain...

Much as I love it, I have to admit that video pinball is a very, very strange thing. They're sort of like those homemade recipes for Ecto Cooler that you can find around the internet: a shadow of the real thing, an attempt to replicate an incredibly tactile but now nearly-extinct experience. For most people, there haven't been any pinball tables around their locale since Clinton was in office. I wouldn't be shocked if many of our readers have never laid eyes on one in their lifetime. But for those of us who love them, if we can't wrap our fingers around a real machine and build the callouses on the palms of our hands by slamming them into the side of a wooden box to nudge a steel ball a half-centimeter off its course, we'll take what we can get. We'll take the video pinball. Because even though there's an unquestionable component of the game intrinsically tied to physical sensations, the games themselves have strong merit on their gameplay. The lights and sounds pulled us in, but the gameplay is what kept us coming back...

I admit, when I first played Radical [Free] from BeaverTap Games, I was a little disappointed that the team that made the wonderful Mikey games were aiming a bit lower with this game. But really, the more time I spent with it, the more I found that they had made a clever game that lived up to their standards while at a smaller scale in terms of design and visuals. That they made a smaller game like this was interesting enough to me – and I think that in part from the fact that it's made by interesting developers who know how to make a game, the game is well worth checking out...

In August of last year, Sunnyside Games released The Firm [$0.99], a twitchy high-scoring game based around stock trading. It featured simple swipe left or right controls for buying and selling stocks, making it a perfect one-handed game, and it also boasted some lovely pixel art and a main mechanic that was super easy to understand but very difficult to master, as cliché as that may be. The Firm was a pretty simple game, and Sunnyside has had plans to expand the experience pretty much since launch. It took a bit longer than expected, but this week the big version 1.1 patch for the game has arrived adding all sorts of new stuff. ..

Crossy Road [Free], the popular and profitable endless arcade game from Hipster Whale, has just received a new content update adding in three new characters to celebrate Chinese New Year, which is coming up on February 19th. You may recall that since its launch last November, Crossy Road received several new characters in an update in December, and a whopping 16 Australian-themed characters in an update just last month. Now here we are just starting out in February and we've already got yet another character update. Hey, I'm not complaining at all! In fact this falls right in line with Hipster Whale's aspirations of adding new characters to the game monthly. So what are the new characters? Well, let's start off with Fortune Chicken, who for a limited time is unlockable for free...

'Particle Mace' Review - Come and Swing with Me

As a rule, I try not to buy early access games unless I absolutely feel the need to. Particle Mace [$2.99] on desktop was one of those games I stayed away from, but always had in my mind: the concept seemed intriguing, plus it was iOS bound sometime down the road. As such, when I found out that the game was leaving early access and releasing for iOS, I was extremely excited. One, I like seeing games actually leaving early access and becoming finished products, because early access trades on respecting your customer, and delivering on the promise that you're finishing what you started as a developer. Early access can be a really great thing for developers and for players, but when developers use it as an excuse to just make money off of unfinished games, it's saddening. Two, I was excited to actually play the game without compromising my principles. I'm willing to bend them when I feel like it, so I'm perhaps not the person to listen to, but I stick to it more often than not. Well, Particle Mace was well worth the wait. And the developer, Andy Makes Games, was smart in tweaking the game to fit iOS...

Satellina [$1.99] tries to apply a minimalist veneer and an arena-survival touch to the speedrun genre, and while its challenges are small in nature, there's fun to be had here. The goal is to move your X avatar around an arena full of green, yellow, and red particles. The green particles are the ones you must collect, with the yellow and red ones killing you, and forcing you to start the level over. However, those yellow particles turn green once all the green ones are collected, and the red ones turn yellow, and so on. The game is structured with 10 different sets of 5 levels, where you must try to beat the set as quickly as possible. As a completion game, it's not much, as everything can be tackled through sheer force of will, so this is primarily for speedrun fanatics. There is a clever progression structure where multiple level paths open up as you complete different level sets...

Hexxy Snake [$2.99] is pretty much the Super Hexagon [$2.99] version of Snake, the granddaddy of all mobile games, the game that convinced folks that playing games on a phone was a good idea. This is the Super Hexagon take not just because the game takes place on a hexagonal grid, no: it throws in a number of glowy visual effects to try and spruce things up, while featuring 100 fixed levels to play. It's an interesting game, but one that's just solid at best...

Happymagenta has become one of my favorite studios producing smaller flaplike games: I dug Orbitum [$1.99], and Fist of Fury [Free] is a really fun fast-action game. Their latest title is Hammy Go Round [Free], and it's an endless runner that does some interesting things with its structure. You control a hamster spinning around an world turning clockwise, and have to collect acorns to go as far as possible. The game is ruled by a clock, and you can't really die, though you can run out of time. You can extend the timer by buying upgrades, which get you more acorns and then can buy powerup upgrades, and eventually unlock the game's other character, who exists in a counter-clockwise world...

'WWE Immortals' Review - Wrestling with Déjà Vu

It's no secret that I'm a huge fan of Injustice [Free] on mobile. I'm also a huge fan of pro wrestling. So when NetherRealm Studios and Warner Bros., the makers of Injustice, announced a partnership with the WWE to create a new mobile brawler, I got all kinds of excited. The thought of taking the Injustice game and simply plugging in a bunch of WWE wrestlers was enticing. And well, that's pretty much just what they did. WWE Immortals [Free] is basically Injustice: WWE Edition, and while that's not a bad thing by any stretch seeing as Injustice is a proven winning formula, it is somewhat disappointing that there's barely anything substantial to differentiate the games from one another. That said, Immortals is a solid foundation to build upon and it should please fans of both Injustice and the WWE...

Like plenty of folks from my generation, I absolutely adore The Princess Bride. The combination of colorful characters, witty one-liners and an off-beat fairy tale ending have left a lasting effect on many that have enjoyed the film. Unfortunately, fans hoping for some kind of expansion to the universe will be a disappointed with The Princess Bride - The Official Game [$3.99]. However, there’s just enough fan service in the collection of simplistic mini-games that it’s certainly worth buying for any fan of the film...

It's that time of year again, football fans. You know what I mean. "The Big Game." Oh hell, I'll just say it: the Super Bowl is coming! (please don't sue us NFL). Here in America, the Super Bowl is like an unofficial holiday. All productivity comes to a halt as people kick back, eat and drink way too much, and watch who comes away with the NFL's biggest prize. In celebration of this big event, two NFL games from Full Fat have been updated with new Super Bowl XLIX content. ..

There are lots of different reasons that a person might enjoy an RPG, from the story to the battle system to exploration, but I think the one aspect that speaks to just about everyone is seeing numbers go up. It's such an appealing element of RPGs that it's been wholesale lifted by other genres over the last several years to massive success. Some games have even gone as far as to ditch everything else, allowing you to mindlessly tap away to see your numbers go up. Templar Infinite Crusade [$1.99] doesn't go quite that far, but it's certainly in the neighborhood. It looks like the dog's breakfast, it's so random that you'll need as much luck as strategy to survive, and yet, there's a certain basic appeal to the game that might get its hooks into you if you give it a shot...

One of my favorite little gems released in 2014 was Pako - Car Chase Simulator [$0.99] from Tree Men Games. The premise is pretty simple: The cops are after you and you're trying to escape in your vehicle. The only problem is you're confined to a small space, like a parking lot, and the gas pedal is stuck to the metal. Your only option is to try and evade the police for as long as you can while avoiding running into obstacles like parked cars and buildings. It really is a very clever survival game with a killer art style. Today Pako has received its first major expansion, adding in all sorts of new goodies. ..

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