Category Archives: Arcade

The beauty of the App Store is that developers aren't afraid to attempt combinations of ideas and concepts that would be too ludicrous or risky on most other major platforms. Before today, I had never considered that real-time strategy and beat 'em up games could come together to form a destructive combo, but I'm extremely glad that Defend Your Turf [Free] - from the efforts of sole developer Stephen Folkes - has taken this exploratory leap. You guide a faction of nondescript red characters to battle a team of opposing blue alternatives, but have to use a variety of attacks, techniques and weapons to defeat them in entirely creative and edgy environments such as a dump and a parking lot...

'Tower Fortress' Merges 'Metroid' and 'Downwell' to Make an Awesome Action-Platformer, Coming Soon

We loved Downwell [$2.99] back at its release, and even bestowed it our Game of the Year Runner Up award for 2015. Therefore, while it has become the gold standard for which any fast-paced high score centric platformer game on the App Store is immediately compared to, it means any title that is even somewhat reminiscent of this classic is immediately on our radar. Tower Fortress is one such game, and through combining the qualities of Downwell with a hint of the vertical scaling and randomisation aspects of Leap Day [Free], Keybol's next release could set a new marker for what to expect from action platformer titles on mobile devices...




Colorful Arcade Shooter 'Hyper Blaster' Lands on the App Store on August 18th

Arcade shooters are a perfect fit for mobile gaming, as brief sessions focused on scoring the highest possible points total are perfectly suited to pick up and play gameplay. App Store developers certainly agree, and despite the multitude of solid entries in the genre, there are only a certain amount of ways that the core dual stick shooter formula can be dressed up to seem unique and fun, and not simply going back over well-trodden territory. Hyper Blaster, the result of one man development team Combopunk, has attempted to create its own identity, through eccentric and colorful graphics and some new control mechanics that distinguish itself from the fluidity of other two stick shooters, while encapsulating the nostalgic joy of '90s arcade titles when it launches on August 18th...

'Journey Below' Review - Started From The Top, Now We're Here

Inexplicably descending a dungeon full of trials, tribulations, and an eclectic cast of evil creatures that are dead-set on causing your avatar's demise - sound familiar? While it's extremely easy to draw parallels to Downwell [$2.99] - and such comparisons are certainly welcome, considering the latter was our Game of the Year Runner Up in 2015 - Journey Below [$2.99] manages to distinguish itself from similar titles through putting its own unique spin on the rock-hard, high-scoring gameplay that is so well suited to mobile gaming. It may not be the most expansive experience, but dig beneath the surface and Ravenous Games have managed to create a surprising level of depth in Journey Below that makes sure it doesn't stop being a highly compelling addition to the dungeon crawling genre...

Infinite Dreams' latest shoot 'em up Sky Force Reloaded [Free] only just arrived in early June, but already it's been fleshed out with a few big updates, and today we're getting yet another one. While the previous update was dubbed the "Green Update" this new one continues that color theme and is called the "Scarlet Update" for its heavy use of red. It adds Stage 11 to the game which features several new types of turrets as well as a wicked new boss battle at the end. Here are a couple of screens from the new Stage 11...

'Atomic Super Lander' From Crescent Moon Games Merges Pilot and Platforming Action, Coming Soon

Crescent Moon Games have such a varied and dynamic catalog of games that it's become hard to know what to expect from them anymore. While they are responsible for some behemoth big-budget titles - such as the upcoming Morphite - that normally attract a massive amount of hype and speculation, Crescent Moon Games also publishes smaller titles that, while not lacking in charm, tend to be somewhat hit and miss. Nonetheless, it's great to give a platform to some creative indie developers, and Atomic Super Lander, from developers Bit Weird Games, is the next to launch on the App Store...

Rodeo Stampede [Free] was a game I adored when I looked at it in our review last month, and for good reason. The interesting mechanic of jumping from animal to animal whilst traversing obstacle ridden environments at pace was extremely compelling, and managed to create an accessible casual experience that contained a surprising amount of depth and strategy under the surface. However, there was a core criticism that was levelled at Rodeo Stampede in our forums, even if it was a consequence of how enjoyable the game was - there simply wasn't enough content. Exploring the Savannah and the Jungle was great fun while it lasted but, beyond that, there was little reason to return to the rodeo apart from to break high scores. Thankfully, this issue has been promptly addressed, as in a new update released yesterday, developers Featherweight Games have offered a whole new ecosystem to explore, as your cowboy avatar travels to the mountains to jump upon even more unsuspecting animals...

Power Hover [$2.99] is one of those games which really epitomises the most positive aspects of the App Store. Ever since its launch, the developers have been extremely active in releasing new updates based on feedback received directly from fans and, as a result, it as become a cult classic amongst iOS gamers. Now, for the very first time, developers Oddrok have made Power Hover completely free to download, and so anyone who missed the boat first time has a great opportunity to try out the exciting and unique hover board action without spending a penny...

You know, even if I didn't love kung fu movies and think of Bruce Lee as an inspiration and a hero, I would still probably love this game. This is the kind of game touch screens were made for. Simple, unique, original, fun gaming on the go. I love games that personify this philosophy. Games like Lonewolf [Free], Redden [$2.99], and Ball King [Free]. Games that may not be perfect or are maybe a bit repetitive, but they just have that addictive magic. The latest game for me in that list is The Counter of Death [Free], and it has nothing to do with mathematics, step counting, or kitchen surfaces...

It's interesting watching the flow of game design over time. While it's sometimes painful to watch established game designs hop from a paid model to a free-to-play set-up, those very same free-to-play hits have now been around long enough to start inspiring developers to travel that road in the opposite direction. The basic structure and look of Dungeon x Balls [Free] seem heavily informed by social RPG sensations like Puzzle and Dragons [Free], but rather than send the player down an endless rabbit hole of collection, evolution, and battling, it opts for a more traditional style. You'll find new characters with their own special abilities, battle boss creatures, and work your way through the story, and while there are IAP, they're solely of the cosmetic variety. Best of all, its core gameplay mechanic feels intuitive and fresh, a difficult thing to accomplish in the wildly crowded mobile market...

'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...

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