Category Archives: Arcade

Sometimes, in life, the earth starts bursting at the seams with magma and fire while meteors and little chibi zombie para-troopers rain down endlessly from the sky and giant slime monsters slug their way across the earth. Sometimes, a baseball playing Robot gets caught up in all of that mess, and decides that if he’s going to go down, he’s literally going down swinging. And also hitting. And sometimes striking out. Such is the premise of Baseball Apocalypse [$0.99] from Thomas Janson...

One game that's always been a personal favorite of mine is A Small Game's Hanger [Free], a physics-based rope-swinging game that was a smash hit Flash game back in the day and made its way to iOS in mid-2012. Hanger is a grappling hook game that tasks you with swinging through a level towards a finish line while avoiding various hazards that have a tendency to dismember you. It was a lot of silly, bloody fun. Fast forward a few years to this past July and A Small Game released a Hanger follow-up titled Hanger World [Free], which was bigger and better that the original in every way. Now Hanger World is set to get its first update which will contain 27 new levels that are even more complex than the original batch. Here's a look at just one of the new levels...




Earlier this year, Jonathan Lanis released Kayos [Free], a fun entry in the genre of what I'm calling horizon runners, along with Race the Sun [$4.99] and Breakneck [Free]. But Lanis has decided to go a different direction with the 2.0 update to Kayos, shifting the perspective from behind the back of your flight craft, to something angled higher above, in the game's new Survival mode. You don't have any boost or shields, you're just tilting from side to side, trying to dodge all the obstacles in your way. Good thing that you have the ability to see farther than you could before...

'Slashy Hero' Review - This Slice Is Nice

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November 12th, 2015 11:26 AM EDT by Shaun Musgrave in 4 stars, Action, Arcade, Free, Game Center, iPad Games, iPhone games, Reviews
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The iOS gaming scene has had an awful lot of games release lately, and a disproportionate number of them have been of particular interest to me. It's not a bad problem to have, but it means some games I surely would have otherwise noticed and enjoyed have slipped right by me. Slashy Hero [Free] is a game I first encountered at the Tokyo Game Show, and though its Hallowe'en theme clearly marks this review as being a touch late, it's a pretty neat action game that is still worth playing even though the season is over for 2015. I mean, maybe I'm just early for the 2016 Hallowe'en season?..

'Evel Knievel' Review - Too Legit To Quit

'Evel Knievel' Review - Too Legit To Quit

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November 10th, 2015 3:30 PM EDT by Nathan Reinauer in $1.99, 4.5 stars, Apple TV, Arcade, Games, Platform, Reviews, Sports, Universal
$1.99 Buy Now

Evel Knievel is undoubtedly one of the more ridiculous pieces of American pop culture. I don’t mean ridiculous in a bad way; just that it seems equal parts silly and awesome that someone could make a career out of jumping a motorcycle over increasingly large numbers of crazy things like buses and sharks. That weirdly fascinating balance of absurdity and danger are on full display in Barnstorm Games’ Evel Knievel [$1.99], to the point where I’m not sure how seriously I should be taking any of it...

Earlier this year, developer Sean Kearney released One Play Pong [Free] on iOS. It was a "circular Pong" style game that allowed you to bat a tiny ball back and forth without the messiness of interacting with other people. It was a simple and fun game that had a hilarious and catchy trailer. Well, when the Apple TV was announced and Kearney decided to bring One Player Pong to it, rather than simply port the existing game he decided to take things up a notch by adding new music, new graphics, local leaderboards for couch competition, and special power-ups. The result is Super One Player Pong, now available on the Apple TV. He also took the trailer-making up a notch, check it out...

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

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September 29th, 2015 10:59 AM EDT 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 [Free] 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?

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

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