Category Archives: Arcade

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 [$0.99] 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. ..

'Drop Wizard' Review - Here Comes the Drop

I absolutely love Neutronized's pixel art stylings. They added a lot of flair to their previous games Roar Rampage [$0.99] and Lost Yeti [$1.99], though both were darn good games in their own rights. Now they've returned with another pixelly game, and one that pays homage to single-screen arcade classics like Bubble Bobble with Drop Wizard [$1.99]. It's definitely a game that's paying homage to the classics, and feels like it'd be a great fit in an arcade cabinet from 25 years ago or so. But Neutronized don't just rest on their laurels with the retro homage, they actually make a game that's remarkably clever in and of itself...

I often am asked how we come across some of the games we cover here at TouchArcade. While I can't spill all of our secrets lest Eli end me with a single, swift swipe, I can tell you one of the things we keep an eye on is what the members of the TouchArcade forums catch on to. That's how I first caught notice of a humble little developer by the name of Quantum Sheep, at the time fresh off of releasing a clever endless runner called Air Supply - Infinite [$0.99]. It didn't look like much from the screenshots or description in the App Store, but our forum was absolutely crazy about it, so I gave it an honest go and found it to be a very compelling game, with a wry sense of humor and an enthusiastic appreciation for the 8-bit computing era. Quantum Sheep's next game, Air Supply - SOS [$0.99], took the Jetpac concept and gave it a good old twist, creating a frantic action game in the classic arcade style. SOS's development was fairly lengthy and the developer wasn't shy about discussing it, so I had a good idea early on of what it was and when it was coming...

Man, I don't know what it is, but 'tis the season for updating super-old iOS games. Just this month alone we've seen Lara Croft and the Guardian of Light updated, GTA: Chinatown Wars updated, and just today 1-bit Ninja was updated. Those are three iOS games that I had long figured would be forgotten in the sands of time, and it makes me extremely happy that those new updates have made them relevant again. Well, get ready to add another to the list, as this week the original Reckless Racing [$0.99 / $0.99 (HD)] has received an update for modern devices...

Back in November of last year, Run Games released Football Heroes [Free], an over-the-top, arcadey American football game that felt like the love child of NFL Blitz and Tecmo Bowl. We really loved it in our original review, and it's only gotten better with updates since then, including a massive one in August that added Gold player cards and tons more tweaks and fixes as well as rebranding the game Football Heroes 2015. Then in mid-November, Run Games released Football Heroes: Pro Edition [Free]. On first blush, it may look like Pro Edition is just Football Heroes with a bunch of licensed NFL players thrown in there, but that's actually not the case...

The very cool one-touch platformer Badland [$3.99] has gotten yet another update bringing more levels to this great game. The new "Daydream" level update includes ten new singleplayer levels in the "Explore the Unknown" pack. These challenging new levels have you trying to survive and rescue as many clones as possible, and it will test your skills as you try to survive. There's 30 new missions and 5 new achievements to collect as well. The level pack can be played right away, and it is currently free, though it will be $0.99 down the road, so go and get it now if you have the game...

Honestly, I've just about had it with robots. They're either evil or annoying, and I'm tired of dealing with the fallout of either type. I think the last straw for me was finding out that nice Robo fellow from Chrono Trigger [$9.99] was actually rickrolling me for nearly the last twenty years. I mean, you think you know a tin can, only to find out it's been snickering behind your back. That's the trouble with robots, and if you're like me, you're always up for giving their shiny metal keisters a good kicking. Luckily, there's no shortage of games that let us do that, and the latest one is the pretty clever Trouble With Robots [Free]...

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