Category Archives: Arcade

'SuperPro Snowboarding' Review - If You Like Tony Hawk, This Is A Snow-Brainer

Tony Hawk's Pro Skater, back on the original PlayStation, was something of a revelation for me as a gamer. See, up until that point, I generally avoided games whose themes I had little interest in. If I didn't like watching or playing football, why would I like Madden? If I didn't like 7up, surely Cool Spot would not appeal to me. So, having little interest in skateboarding, I paid little attention to THPS until a friend pretty much forced me to try it. It quickly became one of my favorite games, and I became an avid fan of the series until it tragically asphyxiated itself with a giant skateboard accessory. All that, without knowing anything about skateboarding other than that I was really lousy at it. After that, I started to be considerably more open-minded about what I played, and that's never a bad thing...

TouchArcade Game of the Week: Toast Time

The idea behind the TouchArcade Game of the Week is that every Friday afternoon we post the one game that came out this week that we think is worth giving a special nod to. Now, before anyone goes over-thinking this, it doesn't necessarily mean our Game of the Week pick is the highest scoring game in a review, the game with the best graphics, or really any other quantifiable "best" thing. Instead, it's more just us picking out the single game out of the week's releases that we think is the most noteworthy, surprising, interesting, or really any other hard to describe quality that makes it worth having if you were just going to pick up one...

Hey Flappy Bird [Free] fans, the world's current most popular bird has just received a brand new update on iOS. It includes new colors of birds, which appear to just be randomly assigned with each new game. So, if you have a particular affinity for the new red or blue versions, you'll just have to rely on luck in order to play them. The game also features a new night theme, which similarly seems to be random with any given game. The most noticeable different to me is that the green pipes have been revamped, and appear to be much smoother now and not as pixelated. Here's a side-by-side comparison of a screen from the old Flappy Bird and the updated version...

I've got a bone to pick with Rare. As far as I know, the studio's most popular NES game, Battletoads, consisted of only three levels. The first was a straight beat-em-up. You walked to the right and beat the snot out of giant bipedal pigs and walker robots. In the second level, you rappelled down a pit. The third level, Turbo Tunnel, was the end of the line. You jumped on a motorbike, and you sped to the right down this two-lane road, swerving up and down to avoid colored walls. Only you couldn't avoid them for long because one instant they were materializing and the next you had pancaked against them...

Making a traditional shoot-em-up out of the Star Wars license is such a great idea that you just know something had to go wrong. A curious spin-off of a spin-off series, LEGO Star Wars: Microfighters [$0.99] seems to naturally have its sights set on the younger Star Wars fans. It's about as basic a vertical shooter as you could imagine, with little of the imagination one would associate with the LEGO franchise. In and of itself, there's nothing wrong with that, especially considering the heavy debt the shooter genre owes to the original films, but the end result is a fairly unremarkable game that isn't even packed with much fanservice, leaving it without the usual last resort many Star Wars games have had to retreat to...

As someone who grew up in the rather harsh winters of Northwest Ontario, Canada, I know all too well about snow and what a genuine pain in the butt it is, both to remove it and to keep it off. Waking up early school mornings to march outside with a shovel while the snow was still falling, knowing full well as soon as I got home from school, I'd be doing it again, followed by another round just before bed, I have a good understanding of the seemingly futile attempt to fight off Mother Nature. I mention this for two reasons: first, I am certainly in a position to vouch for the authenticity of any game trying to capture the essence of snow removal, and second, you would think that I would never, ever want to play a game that did...

The tactic of flipping the gravity on the player, whether by giving the player the power to do so voluntarily or forcing it on them as a stage hazard, has been around for a pretty long time in video games. I'm not sure if it was the first, but as near as I can tell, Irem's Metal Storm for the NES was one of the earliest games to use this mechanic, allowing you to reverse gravity at your will. After that, it was seen here and there, but it seems to have really made a comeback thanks to VVVVVV. Fans of mobile games are no stranger to it, of course, thanks to games such as Gravity Guy [$0.99] and Gravity Duck [$0.99]. TripTrap [$0.99 / Free], an interesting little stage-based action game, uses a variation on this tried and tested technique as its primary mechanic...

It's crazy the way the App Store works sometimes, but as you're probably aware the current number 1 free game is Flappy Bird [Free], a simplistic high-score chaser that was released all the way back in May of last year but has just recently become all the rage in the past few weeks. Why is it that a game that's more than 7 months old can suddenly catch fire like that? It's a mystery to me...

It's always a bit of a gamble to take direct control of the main character of a game out of the player's hands. When it works, it can force the player to pay attention to things going on outside of the area they're currently focused on, which adds some welcome complexity. When it goes off the rails, it can leave the player feeling incredibly frustrated at losing due to circumstances quite literally out of their control. One genre where it seems to work well, even with somewhat simplistic implementation, is the puzzle genre. Games like Lemmings or the later entries in the Mario Vs. Donkey Kong series show how rewarding it can be to set up a plan and guide it through to its conclusion, even if you aren't directly playing through it. Lost Yeti [$1.99] takes a similar approach, with its titular character having a mind of his own, wraps it all up in retro stylings, with the end result being a pretty good action-puzzler...

Freebie Alert: Cult Hit 'Carmageddon' Free for a Limited Time

In October of 2012, Stainless Games released an iOS port of their 1997 cult-classic vehicular manslaughter game Carmageddon [$0.99] as part of their revival of the series with a planned reboot for consoles and PC called Carmageddon: Reincarnation...

Like most kids who grew up in the 1980s, I loved Robocop. It was kind of a strange situation, looking back. The movie was an R-rated, ultra-violent piece of multi-layered social commentary, and yet the character was heavily marketed towards kids. Of course, for kids, it wasn't social commentary, it was a movie about a cyborg police officer with a gun in his leg shooting bad guys and big robots while issuing easily-quoted one-liners. That description sounds nearly as perfect as can be for a video game concept, and yet, Robocop's forays into gaming have not only been of dubious quality, the IP itself seems to be cursed. In addition to Orion Pictures itself going down the tubes shortly after the wretched third movie, literally every company that ever worked on a Robocop game no longer exists. Perhaps that explains why such an easily-exploitable franchise has been relatively dormant for so long...

'Bardbarian' Review - Are You Ready To Rock?

As soon as I heard the title of Bardbarian [$0.99], I had a good feeling that this was going to be something worth checking out. It's a little known fact that bard appreciation is a sign of good taste, after all. So I was certainly looking forward to giving this a try, but my face had no way of knowing how much it was about to get rocked. This game is half-shooter, half-castle defense, and half-RPG, mixed in with a good sense of humor and some sweet tunes. Don't worry about that extra half, barbarians have no need for math! Just kidding, stay in school, kids. Being able to calculate the best angle to cleave a skull in twain with your broadsword is a skill that can apply to all kinds of jobs...

On a day where Nintendo is publicly talking about their failures, it's interesting to see another console giant releasing one more free mobile game that ties into their existing cache of console IP. First we saw Knack's Quest [Free], and then Ratchet & Clank: BTN [Free], and now we're looking at the brand new release of the (currently) iPad-only game Bentley's Hackpack [Free (HD)]...

It's perhaps not the obvious comparison, but the more I played Rail Racing [$0.99], the new racer from Reckless Racing 2 [$0.99] publishers Polarbit, the more I was reminded of the classic NES game Excitebike from Nintendo. This is a lane-based racing game where the key to winning is hitting speed boosts laid out on the track, avoiding patches that slow you down, and knocking around your opponents by cutting them off. Of course, it's played from behind the car instead of a side view, there aren't many jumps, and there are numerous touches in this game that seem to pay tribute to other classics, but at its core, it gave me a pretty similar feeling...

As we talked about on a recent podcast a couple of weeks ago, I've been mildly obsessed with Blinkbat Games' latest iOS release No Brakes Valet [$1.99]. And by mildly obsessed, I mean that it's the game I'm playing while ignoring all the much more important things in my life like friends and family. Sorry, guys. Anyway, No Brakes Valet is a wacky take on the "parking game" genre, of which there are hundreds or even thousands of on the App Store. What is it about trying to perfectly park a lot full of vehicles that's so engaging? I don't know exactly, but whatever it is No Brakes Valet takes it and cranks it up to eleven...

Copyright 2013, TouchArcade.com, LLC.