Category Archives: Arcade

We've written about REKT [$1.99] a couple times over the past few months, and for good reason. The game's beautiful futuristic aesthetic design combined with an exciting sandbox freedom to just barrel-roll around playgrounds resulted in something that Jared explained as 'if Jet Car Stunts had a baby with the Tony Hawk's Pro Skater warehouse level', and I can't really describe REKT any better than that. The emphasis on ridiculous combos, high scores and meticulous exploration from the latter skating series comes across strong at first glance, from grinding rails to making a tremendous leap of faith across a perilous gap between platforms, and maybe REKT can fill the Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 2 void ever since the beloved iPhone port was killed by future iOS updates. At the very least, it looks like a lot of fun, and REKT is finally available to download on the App Store for $1.99 today...

I would be willing to bet that many of us have doodled various things on paper at one point in our lives. There is something special about what our imaginations can create when we implement our ideas through different forms of art. I still have a couple of notebooks (from my early childhood) that are chock-full of strange ideas/illustrations and I still find it entertaining to pour over their contents from time to time. I have come to appreciate games that attempt to emulate the aesthetics of doodles/drawings that are procured from the depths of people's imaginations. Grapple Gum [$1.99] emulates this type of art style and manages to mash a variety of gameplay mechanics together to create a "slingshot-action-platformer"...




TGS 2017: Hands-On with 'Rhythm Doctor', a 'Rhythm Heaven'-Inspired Music Game

To be frank, I'm surprised that there aren't more clones of Nintendo's Rhythm Heaven out there. Especially on mobile devices, where the touch-friendly controls would be right at home. But when you really think about it, as simple as those games appear to be in some ways, they're probably really tough to pull off. Every once in a while, we do see games that try to channel its spirit, even if they're not exactly the same thing. Such is Rhythm Doctor, an upcoming release from 7th Beat Games. I got to give the game a try at the Tokyo Game Show and was even able to grab a video of one of the hardest stages...

'Drag'n'Boom' Review - Being the Khaleesi on Drogon in 'Game of Thrones'

Ankama's Drag'n'Boom [Free] couldn't have come out at a better time because what better time to come out with a game where you're a dragon than right after a big Game of Thrones season where Drogon, the biggest of the dragons, got to burn quite a few people on the ground. And this game really makes you feel like a dragon, burning everything in your path and pulling off some really fun combos by, well, shooting your enemies again and again. The only thing missing from this game is a bigger enemy variety to fill the game's 50 levels, but even with the enemies it has, Drag'n'Boom is a really entertaining platformer that controls great and lets you feel like a bad-ass...

The latest SEGA Forever release is upon us, and like many of the releases so far this one was already released on iOS several years ago before being pulled due to compatibility issues. Space Harrier 2 [Free] is a game of some historical significance as it was one of just two launch titles for the SEGA Genesis's debut in Japan, but it's also a firm reminder that the SEGA Forever celebration of the company's history remains steadily focused on one particular period of it. The emulation is solid enough and it's a decent game that is well-suited to touch controls, so nostalgic SEGA fans could do a lot worse than throwing a couple of bucks at it. Any appeal beyond that group might be a tough sell, however...

'Danmaku Unlimited 3' Review - The Depths of Bullet Hell

The 32-bit Appocalypse is upon us, friends, and some genres are going to get hit worse than others. By the looks of things, shoot-em-up fans are going to have plenty to be upset about. Just about every fantastic Cave shoot-em-up is headed for the scrap heap, and if the company plans to update them, they haven't said anything about it. It's a real loss, not just because they were relatively pricey by App Store standards, but also because they represent some of the finest the bullet hell sub-genre has to offer. You know what, though? I think we're going to be okay, because as long as there are developers like Doragon Entertainment out there putting out games like Danmaku Unlimited 3 [$4.99], we're still eating well on iOS...

Sega is continuing on with their Sega Forever initiative, which they announced this past June and sees classic titles from their entire console history coming to mobile in free to play form. The initiative got off to a rocky start both due to underwhelming titles being released and the emulation performance of those titles being less than stellar. To their credit Sega has worked hard since to release new Sega Forever games with an improved emulator and they've promised to roll those improvements out to the existing line of games via updates. Today a bunch of Sega Forever titles received those promised improvements: Altered Beast [Free], Kid Chameleon [Free], Comix Zone [Free], and The Revenge of Shinobi [Free]. ..

'Pocket Mine 3', the Latest in the Cult Digging Puzzle Series, Is Launching Worldwide Tomorrow on the App Store

Back in the early days of the Nintendo DS, during the typical new console release drought that seems to plague the vast majority of major handheld launch windows, I stumbled upon the deceptively brilliant Mr Driller series from Namco. To be honest, I wasn't sure what on earth was actually going on during the majority of the game, and I didn't exactly get very deep - literally and figuratively - within it. In my defence, I was barely nine years old at the time (wow, I feel old). However, ever since then, the catharsis of games that involve drilling or descending down a seemingly endless cavern has greatly appealed to me, and that core gameplay mechanic was epitomised by the excellent Pocket Mine series from Roofdog Games. After a total of 9 million downloads from both Pocket Mine 1 [Free] and Pocket Mine 2 [Free] - as well as surprise runaway success in the Japanese App Store - the developer is set to release Pocket Mine 3, the latest game in the franchise, worldwide tomorrow...

One of the silver linings of the impending 32-Bit Appocalypse has been seeing what sort of App Store golden oldies have risen from the depths of neglect to get some sort of shiny new update to make it 64-bit compliant. I'd have to say my most unexpected update so far has been the one for Rogue Touch that launched at the beginning of the month, but my eyes certainly widened when I discovered that PikPok's touch-centric dunking game Slam Dunk King [Free] had received its first update in nearly 5 years saving it from the Appocalypse. Originally launched in 2011, Slam Dunk King felt like a riff on the ultra popular Fruit Ninja as there were basketballs that launched into the screen and your job was to snag it with your finger and dunk it into the hoop, while also flicking away any bombs that came your way. What set it apart was the trick system which had you grabbing the ball and then doing all sorts of fancy things with it before finally dunking it in an effort to rack up cool combos and a high score...

Classic Reload: 'Beat Sneak Bandit'

Hello, gentle readers, and welcome to the Classic Reload, the regular feature where we time our walk to the tick of the clock. In each installment of this series, we take a look at a game from the App Store's past to see how it's holding up in the here and now. It's a chance to revisit old favorites, reflect on their place in the overall library, and to take a deeper dive than our reviews typically allow. Your only guide on this journey is me, an observer from your own time, taking the form of a hologram that only you can see and hear. I try to pick a balanced selection of games, but if you have something you really want to see, don't be shy! You can leave a comment below with suggestions and I'll add them to the master list for future consideration. The schedule is done quite far in advance, so you might not see them soon, but it never hurts to try...

Back in June we posted about a new update to Dumpling Design's beloved high-score chaser Dashy Crashy [Free] in which they began a new system for allowing people to unlock new vehicles in the game entirely for free and without the reliance on luck through the in-game gacha prize system. That update introduced a Dinosaur vehicle and for the two weeks following the update's release if you managed to collect enough meat items while playing with the Dinosaur you'd unlock it permanently. If you didn't earn the Dino during the event, it still remained possible to unlock it by ~secret means~ which are hinted at in game. Then in mid-July, a second event called the Ramper Event started and featured a playable ramp-equipped truck that you could spin around and drive backwards at any time, thus propelling any vehicles in front of you off the ramp and into the air. If you "ramped" enough vehicles you'd unlock the Ramper for free, otherwise much like the dino it would require you to unlock it through secret means...

SEGA is a company that has made its mark in multiple arenas, but perhaps none so much as the arcades. They took a little longer to get going than some of their fellow members of the arcade royalty, but by the mid-1980s they were starting to hit a stride that wouldn't slow until arcades themselves did. They achieved that through a variety of means. Sometimes it was pure technological spectacle. At other times, it was through clever gameplay innovations. But SEGA also knew how to recognize a good thing and make their own spin on it, a skill shared by all of the very best arcade game makers. The 1989 release of Golden Axe [Free] was a fine example of that, combining a few popular trends into one slick, enjoyable gaming experience...

Ever since it launched in 2013 to universal critical acclaim, including our very own prestigious Game of the Year accolade, Ridiculous Fishing [$2.99] has remained a mainstay on my premier page of App Store games on my iPhone. As a result, while compiling our extensive 32-bit Appocalypse guide of titles that will vanish with iOS 11, it was somewhat of a surprise to see the very same game appear as one under threat of an impending 64-bit extinction. It turns out that despite feeling fresh throughout the passage of time, Ridiculous Fishing had not received an update since December 2013, and so was still stuck in a 32-bit rut. Amidst the resulting confusion from such a high profile title seemingly being neglected, developer Vlambeer quickly assured us that the game would be modernised for iOS 11. Today, Ridiculous Fishing has received its first update after almost four years, which brings the title up to 64-bit standard and also adds new speedrun leaderboards and haptic feedback for newer iPhone and iPad devices...

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 [$6.99] 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...

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