Category Archives: Arcade

'Combo Critters' Review - Combo Breaker

'Combo Critters' Review - Combo Breaker

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In the fleeting ecosystem that is the App Store, games live and die by the strength of their core concept, and how well the developers are able to execute such pivotal ideas. Owing to the ease of development for iOS, there are innumerable innovative ideas in games - in terms of raw numbers of releases, eclipsing virtually every other platform out there - yet it is still rare to see them implemented with the quality and distinction of Combo Critters [Free]. While it would be easy to draw parallels to Pokemon, and the creature catching action isn’t particularly unique, Lucky Kat Studios manages to shake up the formula enough to stand alone as its own game. By being able to fuse critters together, amalgamated with an incredible sense of charm and whimsy, Combo Critters is an extremely enjoyable experience that has a lot of potential to expand, grow and develop in the coming months...

Leap Day [Free] is quite literally the gift that keeps on giving. Playing new and varied levels every day has proved to be an exciting experience which has captivated our forums and doesn't seem to be getting old anytime soon. Furthermore, the developers Nitrome have tirelessly supported the game with content updates adding new characters and other cool features, despite the fact it only launched on the App Store less than two months ago. This trend has continued, as today a new update for Leap Day has released with new themes, levels and more...




Everyone knows that Jean Claude Van Damme is the true Master of the Splits, but now you can a master of splits yourself and you (probably) won't even pull a muscle trying. Split Masters [Free] is a new high-score game that is best described as a vertical Daddy Long Legs [Free]. Your job is to creep up a vertical shaft step by step all while doing the splits. Each tap of the screen alternates between each leg and much like Daddy Long Legs you'll need to find a nice rhythm and maintain a good balance in order to be successful...

From the moment the first details on Tap My Katamari [Free]were released, the overwhelming sentiment seemed to be that this game shouldn't be. The original Katamari Damacy was a small, creative, sincere game that somehow managed to become a big hit even though such qualities don't generally lead to success in the console space. Seeing the brand used for a fairly blatant attempt at getting a little cash from one of the mobile flavors of the moment just doesn't seem right to some people, and I can certainly understand that point of view. From where I'm sitting, the Katamari brand started being used against its original intentions almost immediately, with sequel after sequel only serving to diminish the power of the original. So, personally, I'm not disappointed because I think Tap My Katamari shouldn't be. I'm disappointed because Tap My Katamari shouldn't be this mediocre of a tapper...

Disney films were a big part of my childhood, and I'm sure that sentiment is shared by many people. This means that even though Disney Crossy Road [Free] and the ever growing roster of stars are mainly an aesthetic change on the original formula, playing as the cast of characters I grew up with has a nostalgic joy that makes the game pretty difficult to put down. In accordance with the release of Finding Dory over the next couple of weeks (it's already out in the US, but some of us around the world are still impatiently waiting), a new update has dropped featuring many of the aquatic animals from he film, as well as other miscellaneous Disney figurines for any fervent collectors to acquire...

Back in late January, developer Kenny Sun released Circa Infinity [$2.99] to the App Store, describing it as a "brain-melting circular platformer." Well, seeing as actually describing in detail what it is you do in Circa Infinity is nearly impossible, "brain-melting circular platformer" is pretty on the money. Just know that there are trippy visuals, pumping audio, and frantic twitch platforming all wrapped up in a slick package. We loved Circa Infinity in our review, and that's probably the best place to find out just what this one is all about. Anyway, today is a big day for Circa Infinity as a huge new update was just released which adds in an entirely new endless mode called Circa Affinity...

'Rodeo Stampede' Review - King of the Jungle

Amidst such an expansive and dynamic environment such as the App Store, it’s extremely easy to look for comparisons between different games as a means to gauge interest and also articulate your opinions on an app with a brevity that a thousand word review could never achieve. It would be extremely easy to attempt to draw parallels to the graphical style and arcade mechanics of Crossy Road [Free], the animal collecting elements of Disco Zoo [Free], slap on a score out of 5 and call it a day, and allow readers to use these facts to draw their own preconceptions, for better or for worse. However, this would be a great disservice to Rodeo Stampede [Free]. While not necessarily particularly innovative, the vibrant and eclectic merger of ideas betrays a depth that truly epitomises the ‘easy to learn, hard to master’ cliche...

In a typically unpredictable App Store manner, the highly anticipated Rodeo Stampede - Sky Zoo Safari [Free] has dropped a day early and has finally been released on iOS for free. Being the collaboration of developer Featherweight and artist Dan Graf (who were responsible for Skiing Yeti Mountain [Free] and Fruit Ninja [$1.99] respectively, amongst others), the game has an extremely strong pedigree, and an interesting amalgamation of game mechanics to boot. The unique gameplay of running and jumping between animals on a stampede shakes up what is a rather tired genre, and you are also able to look after your own sky zoo through doing missions, upgrading exhibits, catching rare animal variants and successively opening your doors to the public to reap in the admission fees. This merger of auto-runner beast taming action with a management aspect on the side is a really novel idea that we thought was awesome when we looked at Rodeo Stampede for the first time back at GDC...

Zombieville USA [$0.99 / Free] was one of those early iPhone hits that put developer Mika Mobile on the map. A side-scrolling shooter with a killer art style, Zombieville launched in early 2009 and quickly rose up the charts and maintained a position there for many months to come. Obviously its success led to a sequel a couple of years later, Zombieville 2 [$0.99] which launched in October of 2011. The sequel improved upon the original with a wider range of movement, tons of unlockable characters and weapons, a cool upgrade system, and most impressive of all co-op multiplayer both locally and over WiFi. Well, it's been a couple of years since Zombieville 2 has received any update love, and like any game on iOS it has developed a few issues over the years as new iOS hardware and software has rolled out. With the release of their latest game Lost Frontier [$2.99] now behind them, Mika Mobile took this time to fix those issues as well as bring the beloved Zombieville 2 to the Android platform for the first time...

Developer XperimentalZ Games has a vibe to its games that I can really appreciate. These games feel like they fell out of some parallel timeline where arcades stayed healthy and full of a variety of game types. A place, time, and dimension where games made about as much sense as a 1980s action movie, and took deep pride in that fact. I'm a big fan of XperimentalZ's previous release, Pixel Boat Rush [Free], a wild side-scrolling action boat racer, and when I heard the developer was tackling a pinball hybrid next, I was pretty excited. Unfortunately, as the release date of Pinball Breaker Forever [Free] approached, so too did a ton of RPGs, which meant I couldn't get to the game I had been looking forward to. Worse, everyone else at TouchArcade got busy at around the same time, leaving Pinball Breaker Forever to slide by without a review. No, we can't have that...

Sky Force Reloaded [Free] is one of those games that is impressive in a variety of ways. In our review, we were blown away by what we called our 'favorite shoot 'em up in recent memory', and not without reason. It looks beautiful in motion, absolutely nails the core mechanics of a shooter and today it seems that active and receptive developers is another positive trait to add to the list. Infinite Dreams have announced that a new content update in response to forum feedback is due to land onto the App Store next Thursday, and appears to add a nice packet of features that is sure to help mix up the variety of an already essential game...

It's barely been a week since the surprise release of Heroes of Loot 2 [$3.99] on the App Store, and despite receiving rave reviews - including featuring as our Game of the Week - developers OrangePixel haven't rested on their laurels. In the next few days, an update for the excellent arcade dungeon crawler will be released and features a whole host of new content coupled with a variety of fixes and changes that will help improve and refine what was already one of the best iOS games of the year thus far...

When we looked at Power Hover [$3.99] back in December of last year in our review, we were generally impressed by the fun arcade style hover-board action and beautiful cel-shaded visuals, even if there wasn't that much derivation from the enjoyable core gameplay at its heart. However, the developer Oddrok has been extremely busy both answering fan questions on our forums as well as updating Power Hover with lots of substantial content updates that have made it a mainstay on many a gamer's iDevice. Today that pattern continues, as a brand new summer update has released for the game adding numerous new modes and characters...

'NinjAwesome' by GameResort Sneaks onto the App Store on June 22nd

As such App Store classics as Fruit Ninja [$1.99] and 1-Bit Ninja [$2.99] have proven, having any sort of reference to ninjas in a game is almost always awesome. GameResort, the makers of App Store Best of 2014 nominee Adventure Beaks [Free] - which we loved in our review - are well aware of this trope in NinjAwesome, their upcoming side scrolling platforming release that is dropping on the App Store for free on the June 22nd...

Faily Brakes [Free]has been one of my favorite endless high-score games since its original launch in February. Part of that is that it's fun and challenging to careen out of control with no brakes and deftly avoid running into trees, traffic, trains, and more as you cruise for that high score. The other part is that when you fail at that task, there's something twisted and fun about launching your poor driver right out of that vehicle as you slam into something and watching him or her fly through the air in slow motion crashing and bashing into objects ragdoll-style. Yes, losing is almost as much fun as winning in Faily Brakes. Which makes the forthcoming update so exciting as now you'll be able to launch your helpless character and enjoy those spectacular slow-mo crashes with them wearing a panda costume! That, along with a variety of other silly costumes, two new environments, and new vehicles will be hitting Faily Brakes next Thursday...

'Pixel Cup Soccer 16' Review - There's Your Fairytale

It's rather telling that the best soccer titles on handheld devices are the simplest. The reductionist approach of games such as New Star Soccer [Free] - where only a few elements of the sport such as scoring goals are focused on - fits mobile gaming so much better, as instead of trying to port a console experience which simply doesn’t fit on the iPhone, they play to the smartphone’s strengths. Pixel Cup Soccer 16 [$2.99] is another fantastic addition to the growing roster of soccer games, and focuses - for better and for worse - on the simplest arcade elements of the beautiful game to provide an extremely fun footballing experience that is easy to pick up, hard to master and even more difficult to put down...

Even though the Verby Noun game phenomenon is wearing a bit thin at this point, I've really been enjoying Taco Illuminati's Looty Dungeon [Free], which we even chose as our Game of the Week when it released back in April. It utilized the core mechanics of any good Crossy Road-alike by having you move square by square and see how far you can go, but it blended its dungeon crawling elements in beautifully making it more than just a cool theme. The best part about Looty Dungeon was that its extensive cast of characters each had unique abilities which changed how you played through the game. Today a huge update has hit which takes all of that to the next level. Heroes can now earn experience and level up which will unlock even more new abilities and outfits. Plus if you happen to unlock a duplicate character through the gacha prize machine it will go towards leveling up that character, which is neat. On top of all this there's 5 more brand new characters added to the game...

When it initially launched in early 2015, Alto's Adventure [$3.99] proved to be the antithesis to the adrenaline-pumping auto runner games such as Canabalt [$2.99] that were so prominent in the early years of the App Store. With an atmospheric backdrop and soothing piano music you were free to descend the mountain on your skis at your pleasure, until the occasional pesky rock or gaping abyss brought your run to a sudden halt...

Earlier this month we showed you the trailer for a clever upcoming arcade/tower defending game from developer Ogre Pixel called Warcher Defenders [$0.99], and as of late last night the game is now available in the App Store. It's tough calling Warcher Defenders a "tower defense" game, as even though you're literally defending enemies from attacking your tower it's not the typical tower defense formula at all. More accurately it's a castle defense game as it's played from a sideview with enemies approaching from the right. There are platforms attached to your tower which allow you to attack from various heights. ..

One of my surprise favorites of 2016 has been Craneballs' Splash Cars [Free], which takes the simple isometric driving of another favorite of mine, Pako [$0.99 / Free], and adds in a Splatoon-like paint-the-world mechanic. The results are fantastic, and the entire concept gets taken to a whole new level with today's new update which adds in a 2v2 online multiplayer mode to Splash Cars. You'll get partnered up with another player and take on a team of two opponents on a map where only half of it is colored in. Your team's job is to color in the blank half while your opponents are wiping the color clean. It turns into a frantic battle of claiming, losing, and reclaiming territories until the timer runs out...

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