Category Archives: Arcade

Between Horizon Chase [Free] and Kalin Krastev’s Moto RKD Dash [$1.99], it seems there’s been a bit of a resurgence in retro racers lately on iOS. Which is totally fine by me, as one of my earliest gaming memories ever was playing Pole Position on my parents’ Atari. Dash apparently takes its inspiration from a series of old motorcycle games that spanned a number of mechanical, arcade, and LCD handheld systems involving a motorcycle sliding back and forth avoiding other motorcycles. I’d never actually heard of any of those old games, but watching youtube videos of Sega Moto Champ in particular was certainly illuminating. Anyway, Horizon Chase ended up being a great throwback that worked surprisingly well on iOS, so what about Moto RKD Dash?..

Thank you Terry Cavanagh! One of my all-time favorite games ever, on any platform, is Terry Cavanagh's Super Hexagon [$2.99]. It practically started the twitch gaming trend on mobile way back in 2012, and will always be a mainstay on my devices for as long as it's feasible. Anyway, Super Hexagon hasn't seen a whole lot of love since its release, besides the odd iOS compatibility update. It never supported "true" Retina resolution on iOS, but a few jaggy edges didn't really diminish the retro-style game. A bigger problem was that at some point, I believe after iOS 7's release, the game's performance suffered and occasionally the game would stutter briefly while playing. Unlike the jaggies, this was not ideal for a fast-paced twitch game like Super Hexagon. Though it was never crippling, it was a frequent annoyance. ..

I know that you've been drooling in anticipation for this Coors Light-branded mobile beat 'em up ever since Eli previewed it last week, and now the wait is finally over: Coors Light Super Refresh-Men [Free] is now available on the App Store. I know that we've had a hint of sarcasm whenever we've talked about Super Refresh-Men, but I'm going to be honest, this game is pretty dang awesome. ..

It feels like the design document of Zombie Match Defense [$1.99] involved putting a bunch of popular App Store things in a bag and shaking liberally. I can't lie, it's not a very appealing prospect, mostly because I've seen so many games go very wrong with this kind of approach. Happily, this game fares better than most that make the effort, mostly due to not trying to combine too many disparate elements. Essentially, it's got the whole zombie-themed lane-based defense gameplay as seen in Plants Vs. Zombies [$0.99], mixed in with a turn-based match-3 puzzle game as seen in roughly 23,000 other games on the App Store.  It blends together quite nicely, and the result certainly feels distinct from its inspirations, so it avoids two of the bigger pitfalls of genre mash-ups. Ultimately, what keeps Zombie Match Defense from being as good as it ought to be is also quite common: it has a good concept, but doesn't do enough with it...

It's been a while since we've heard from our old pal Injustice [Free], the pseudo-fighter that kicked off the pseudo-fighter craze on mobile more than two years ago. Today a brand new update is available for Injustice, and among many other things it adds a mode I've been hoping for for a long, long time: A survival mode! While a simple survival mode where you pitted your best team against an endless string of opponents would have been just fine, Injustice's new mode is quite a bit more complex than that...

Shooty Skies [Free] is a chaotic, endless arcade shooter by some of the same people who created Crossy Road [Free]. This follow-up to the viral hit uses the same quirky and cute style, featuring a variety of blocky animals and anthropomorphized electronics, but amps up the action one hundred fold. This arcade flyer puts the player behind the wheel of an aircraft loaded with pixel-shooting guns and drops them into a sky filled with a strange assortment of enemies that will barrage you with a variety of projectiles – joystick controllers, hamburgers, cans of soda, dollar bills, axes...

Normally I'm not big on charitable tie-ins with games. It's not because I hate charity, or am opposed to helping a good cause. It's just because so many of them feel, I don't know… kinda skeezy, I guess. Like they're just looking to use their charitable affiliation to get their game coverage, and don't actually care so much about the cause they're affiliated with. But that's not the case with Udder Panic [Free], a game released yesterday from a developer whom I trust and that affiliates itself with a charitable cause in a really clever way...

I've always felt the best action games have a certain underlying rhythm to them. In those games, levels are designed in such a way that the skilled player rarely has to stop, a sort of drumbeat of attack, jump, dash, and whatever other moves are in the character's repertoire. Auto-runners pull back the curtain entirely, particularly the ones that have pre-designed levels. You have no choice but to move forward, and if you can't keep the beat, the beat will beat you. There's a purity to that concept that works well, so well that even mighty Mario has included the odd auto-run stage or two in his latest adventures. The more precisely the player has to match the designer's beat, the more difficult the game becomes. Many games of this sort use a gentle curve to slowly nudge the player's skill up bit by bit. Then there are games like Jump Jack [$0.99]...

Like many popular figures, PewDiePie tends to get a mixed reaction. A whole lot of people love him. At least 39,743,403 people, at the time of writing this. A lot of people hate him. I'm sure some will stop by the comments down below. Then, there are people who have no strong feelings either way. Perhaps they've lived in Japan for a long time or something, I don't know. Group A, you already bought PewDiePie: Legend Of The Brofist [$4.99]. I'd bet you like it quite a bit, because there are a lot of jokes and references in the game that I haven't got a hot clue about. That almost certainly means the fanservice is probably off the charts...

Classic Reload - 'Space Miner: Platinum Edition'

Hello, gentle readers, and welcome to another special Classic Reload, a semi-random feature where we take a look at a classic game from the App Store's past. Yes, it's been a couple of months since the last one, and I do apologize for that, but I hope to get on at least a monthly schedule from here on out. Anyway, for those who didn't read the last column or don't remember, the Classic Reload is a feature dedicated to digging out some iOS treasures that may not be getting much attention anymore. It's a chance to see how old favorites are holding up nowadays and take a deeper dive than we may have in past coverage. If you have suggestions for games to feature in the future, make sure you let me know by commenting below...

UPDATE: See below! Last week saw the arrival of Land Sliders [Free], the debut game from Prettygreat. It's one of my favorite new games to come along in some time, and we even picked it as our Game of the Week. Land Sliders is a fun high-scoring game that uses a unique land-sliding mechanic, but beyond actually playing the game it also has a ton of personality. The dozens of silly characters to unlock and the randomly generated levels which have a tendency to place strange and interesting things around the game world are big parts of the appeal of Land Sliders for me. There are even logic-style puzzles to solve spread throughout the game, and one that has been stumping me and the members in our forums as of late is the mystery behind the coordinates you'll happen upon in the game. ..

'Cavernaut' Review - The Eagle Has Landed

'Cavernaut' Review - The Eagle Has Landed

September 29th, 2015 10:59 AM EST by Nathan Reinauer in $0.99, 4.5 stars, Arcade, Cave-Flyer, Games, Retro, Reviews, Universal
$1.99 Buy Now

I had several moments while playing EinheitB's Cavernaut [$1.99] where I thought to myself, "This is exactly why I love mobile." It's a game that's probably not going to change the world, but that's okay. It's just a great, tight little experience that could really only exist on this platform...

'Starseed: Origin' Review: Old School Cool

Starseed: Origin [$0.99] is not a game you play for an original concept or to casually tap with half your attention elsewhere. Starseed is a game you play until it gets too hard and too fast and you blow up and die. ..

'Super Bounce Back' Review - A Win for No Can Win or No?

September 22nd, 2015 12:00 PM EST by Nathan Reinauer in 3.5 stars, Arcade, Free, Games, Platform, Reviews, Universal
Free Buy Now

I generally don’t travel much, so it was a pretty big deal for me when I finally got to visit Maui a few years ago. And you know what? It was incredible. Snorkeling, chicken katsu, sea turtles… it really doesn’t get much better than that. One of my favorite memories of those few short weeks on the island, though, was playing a dumb mobile game with my girlfriend every time we went back to the hotel. It was Cubed Rally Redline [Free], and we were fiercely competitive with it. Ever since that vacation, every time I hear that Jared Bailey has a new game coming out it stirs up happy, sunny memories deep in my brain...

'Worms 4' Review - Scorched Earthworm

September 17th, 2015 12:22 PM EST by Nathan Reinauer in $4.99, 4 stars, Arcade, Games, Reviews, Strategy, Universal
$4.99 Buy Now

Some of my favorite gaming memories while growing up were playing Worms with my older brother on PC. He was always quite a bit better than me, as older brothers are (and he still is), but it was still incredibly fun slinging Super Sheep, Concrete Donkeys, and Holy Hand Grenades at each other until he whittled me down to nothing. Imagine my delight, then, when several years ago I learned Worms would be coming to iPhone! I bought every iteration on day one, and even though they weren't perfect, Team 17 managed to get it just a little bit more right every time. And now, finally, we have Worms 4 [$4.99], a sequel tailor made for mobile...

Desert Golfing [$1.99] is one of those games that practically transcends what we expect from video games. On its surface it's an extremely simplified game of golf, where each hole is a single screen and by using the tried and true "pull back and slingshot" method your job is simply to get the ball in the hole in as few moves as possible. There is no menu, there is no level select screen, there is no storyline or additional goals. You hit the ball in the hole, move on to the next hole, rinse and repeat for the rest of eternity. ..

Tree Men Games' Pako [$0.99] has turned out to be a fun and wacky little car chase game – which is good, because they bill it as a Car Chase Simulator – and they've delivered a massive number of post-release content updates. But this latest update, releasing on Thursday, is perhaps the most unique yet. Pako is getting an optional chase camera mode, so you can see from behind the car:..

'Power Ping Pong' Review - Tablet Tennis

September 14th, 2015 12:27 PM EST by Nathan Reinauer in $4.99, 4 stars, Arcade, Games, Reviews, Sports, Universal
$4.99 Buy Now

Have you ever played one of those games that everyone raves about, but it doesn’t click with you? It looks really fun and should be right up your alley, but for some reason you can’t crack it. “What’s wrong with me?” you might wonder. “Am I doing something dumb?” Well, if you couldn’t guess, that was my first experience with Chillingo’s Power Ping Pong [$4.99]. After playing for about a week now, I think I’m finally figuring out what was wrong. We’ll get to all that soon enough, but first: what is it?..

A couple of months back, I reviewed a unique little game called Trappy Tomb [Free], a game that had you running and jumping through a deadly tomb, grabbing treasure and trying to stay alive. Its most interesting feature was what it referred to as 'mingleplayer', where you would see the ghosts of tons of other players running along with you. It not only made score-chasing feel more exciting, it could also clue you into any cleverly hidden secrets someone had uncovered. Of course, there were also lessons to learn about the dangers of herd mentality. The developer of that game is back with his next title, MiniGolf Endless MMO [Free], and though it's in a completely different genre, it retains a similar gimmick...

Seashine [Free] is an endless "swimmer", whereby the player is encouraged to guide a jellyfish hatchling through the darkest depths of the ocean, seeking safe passage from predators and clinging to small sources of light to part the watery blackness. ..

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