Category Archives: Arcade

Yesterday publisher DeNA and developer Kung Fu Factory released their latest game called Pirate Bash [Free], and I'm honestly blown away by how much I'm enjoying it. You play as a crew of pirates on a ship, going port to port and waging battle against enemy pirates who are on land. The basic setup should look familiar: Your crew stands on your pirate ship, the enemies are placed on destructible structures built out of things like wooden crates. You pull back and launch your pirates' weapons towards the enemies in slingshot fashion not totally dissimilar to Angry Birds. The kicker is that your enemies will fire back, and the whole battle is turn-based...

'Rules!' Review - Have Fun Finding The Limits Of Your Memory

Like your body, your brain needs exercise to stay in shape, and the older you get, the more you're fighting nature to achieve that goal. While gamers have no shortage of ways to give their grey matter a good old kicking, we rarely have to push against the limits of our short-term memory. Back in the day, we'd have to remember all kinds of stupid cheat code commands, passwords, and directions to play, but passwords and directions gave way to saves and maps, and cheat codes turned into IAP, removing quite a bit of the strain placed on that part of the brain. I mean, unless you're a hardcore fighting game player. Those guys are pros at remembering phone numbers, I tell you. The developers of the iOS adaptation of Carcassonne [$9.99] have got a new game that will give your flabby memory a workout, though, and it's actually quite a bit of fun...

Back in May of this year, developer Yakuto released their first iOS game called Table Tennis Touch [$3.99]. It was a table tennis game, obviously, that featured incredible graphics along with gameplay that straddled the line between simulation and arcade. Yakuto totally nailed it with Table Tennis Touch, as it was a blast to play, had a lot of content and was very challenging. The game initially sold for four dollars and offered completely optional "Boosts" as in-app purchase items which would allow you to hit harder and add more spin to your shots...

With the Madden series faltering in the mobile space the past few years, there aren't a whole lot of options for gamers looking for an American football fix on the go. If you're not in the market for a simulation-style game, then developer Run Games' Football Heroes [Free] is one of the best football games out there. It's an extremely over-the-top, arcadey game of football, but the most important thing is that it's a heck of a lot of fun. It launched last November and has seen several updates in the months since, but Run Games had been hard at work on something big for Football Heroes, and this week a massive update went live for the game officially rebranding it as Football Heroes 2015. Just in time for the NFL season!..

If you have a soft spot for simple to grasp, difficult to master twitch games that you can play on your iPhone with just one hand, like I do, a pretty cool one launched yesterday called The Firm [$0.99] from Sunnyside Games. The goal is pretty simple: buy green-colored stocks when they're on the rise, sell them when they're in decline. You buy and sell by simply swiping the stock certificate that slowly rise up your screen either right or left. ..

There sure are a lot of puzzle platformers around these days, aren't there? This was a huge genre back in the 8-bit days, and it's had a huge resurgence of late, spearheaded by games like Braid and its ilk. There's certainly a lot of them on iOS, which is sort of an interesting outcome when you think of the precise controls they frequently demand. Not that touch controls aren't up to the job, mind you, but it seems like when someone whiffs on implementing them correctly, they whiff hard. Great games can be reduced to mediocrity just by having, for example, a virtual directional pad that lacks responsiveness. Stop The Bots [Free] is not a great game, but it is a good one. Unfortunately, a combination of occasionally-spotty controls and a bit too much familiarity bring the game down some...

There's a pretty decent assortment of Adventure Time games available on the App Store now, and while they're not exactly blazing trails for the hobby, just about all of them are quite a bit better than a lot of licensed titles end up being. Adventure Time has already tackled the side-scrolling runner, sort of, in Ski Safari: Adventure Time [$0.99], and now it's taking a swing at the behind the back runner with Time Tangle: Adventure Time [$2.99]. This game is coming at us from the developers of Indiana Stone [$2.99], TwinSky, and like that game, it's got a very different idea of how to approach a well-mined concept...

One of the most charming, lovable and fun games in the history of the App Store is Andreas Illiger's breakout hit Tiny Wings [$0.99]. Originally launched in early 2011, Tiny Wings took the world by storm with its simple, one-touch, belly-sliding gameplay, watercolor-like visuals, and absolutely killer music. It wasn't just that it was a great mobile game, but something about Tiny Wings hit players on an emotional level, and the game quickly topped the charts and dethroned the then king of the App Store Angry Birds. ..

Boshi [$0.99] is one of those games that focuses on delivering a simple but unique core gameplay concept, with little room for frills or extras. It's the kind of game that wouldn't have been out of place in the earlier eras of gaming. It's actually kind of similar to Pac-Man [$6.99] in a lot of ways. You play as a lumberjack, and your goal in each stage is to cut down all of the large trees. Each tree will come down with five good swings of your axe. Wherever it's possible, you'll want to do this without attracting any nearby wolves, who are alerted by your proximity and the sound of your chopping, and will chase you down and kill you if they catch you. Each stage has a set layout, so the trees, rivers, bridges, and so on will be the same each time you tackle a level. The wolves wander around in set patterns, though obviously if you get in a chase with them, they'll end up in different places before wandering back to their original area...

Chillingo has been pretty quiet lately but they are back in action, publishing PlayFlame's physics simulation style game, Zombie High Dive [Free]. PlayFlame's debut game mixes the launch trajectory component of Angry Birds [$0.99] and the wind resistance air rotation physics of Bouncy! Trampoline [Free]. We can't draw too much from the history of the developer, but the publisher is one of the most prolific in the business. For better or worse, the game brings what you would expect from EA owned Chillingo: Full facebook integration, highly stylized art, music and sound work, with hopefully some intriguing gameplay...

'Astro Duel' for iPad Review - A Fabulous Single Device Local Multiplayer Arcade Game

With pixelated, triangular ships thrusting around an asteroid-studded starfield and issuing forth crunchy 8-bit sounds, the trappings of Astro Duel [$2.99 (HD)] would allow it to blend seamlessly into any eighties-era arcade. Yet, Astro Duel is timely, for it taps into the quiet renaissance currently unfolding in the mileu of razor-sharp in-person competition waged across a single screen. Whether sitting cheek-by-jowl around a Warlords machine, or in a tangle of controller cables strewn from a console running Bomberman or in front of a desktop PC running the latest indie sensation on Steam (if you're curious, try out Nidhogg, Samurai Gunn or Crawl), there is a particular intensity to testing your reflexes and tactics against those of your friends with no barriers between you...

Crazy Taxi: City Rush [Free] is a test for those who play it. How much monetization needs to get in the way of a game that's ultimately pretty fun to harm it? Hardlight Studios, Sega's go-to for making IAP-laden mobile games, are going to hit a lot of breaking points with players who can't stand free-to-play monetization, because this game is full of enticements to spend money. But in my estimation, they can't ruin what makes Crazy Taxi [$4.99]as a gameplay concept great...

Soccer Physics [$1.99] is a dumb game and I mean that in the most loving way possible. This is the latest from the creator of Wrestle Jump [$1.99] and Tank of Tanks [$1.99 (HD)], Otto-Ville Ojala. It's a 2-on-2 soccer game where players have only cursory amounts of control over their players by timing their jumps, with balls, goals, and fields that are randomized for each round. First to score five goals wins. There's a lot of wacky stuff that happens because the game is so innately chaotic – and that's what makes it so compelling...

Here's a whopper of a freebie: ZeMind Games' Starborn Anarkist [$2.99] is currently free for the next two days. Originally launched this past December, Starborn Anarkist sunk its hooks into me thanks to a very engrossing ship-building system. There are more than a dozen different ship shapes to build by dragging and dropping a variety of weapons, plating and other equipment onto a grid. The game does a remarkable job of making each ship feel wildly different from the next, and there's a crazy amount of strategy tied to how you build out your ships...

Sure, Dawn of the Plow [$1.99] seemed appropriate back in the days of the cold and brutal Chicago winter of 2014, when the world was cold and snowy and suddenly I wanted to go back to Texas. But now, even in the dog days of summer, Dawn of the Plow lives, as Chicago indie developer Dan FitzGerald has updated the game with a new mode, Attack of the Snowmobiles...

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