Category Archives: Arcade

'Leap On!', Noodlecake's Next One-Touch Arcade Game, Is Set to Bounce Onto the App Store Tomorrow

While the Italian plumbers and cocky blue hedgehogs tend to save the day with their characteristic swagger and charm, there's something about undefined, faceless blob heroes and heroines that flick a particular switch inside me. Whether it's the pink transmuting ball of magical gust that is Kirby, or the strangely anthropomorphic protagonist in classic iOS platformer Bounce On [$1.99], I'm all for spherical avatars in my video games. Leap On! follows such a formula, as the latest release from Noodlecake and Flying Pants Games features an orbiting white ball that must be flung and bounced around a hazardous environment of nefarious black shapes to achieve the highest score possible. As a neat little arcade title, Leap On! looks to be as fun as the dot is cute, and will be worth a look when it launches on the App Store on July 19th as a free download...

In reality, two years isn't a particularly long time. However, in the rapidly moving maelstrom that is the App Store, 24 months is essentially an era in itself, especially when what can seem like all-encompassing fads such as Flappy Bird or Pokemon GO [Free] can come and go in a matter of weeks. As a result, it's great to see Brickies [Free] finally be updated for the first time since June 2015, especially amidst the ominous signs of the impending 32-bit Appocalypse...




Classic Reload - 'Punch Quest'

Hello, gentle readers, and welcome to the Classic Reload, the regular feature where the ghostly apparition of Blake haunts us at every turn. In this feature, we take a look at games from the App Store's past to see how they hold up in the harsh, post-apocalyptic wastelands of 2017. It's a chance to revisit old favorites, reflect on their place in the overall library, or simply to take a deeper dive than our reviews typically allow. As the three-time winner of the prestigious Some Pig Award, I try to choose a balanced selection of games, but if you have a suggestion, I'm all ears. You can comment below with the games you'd like to see featured and I'll add them to the master list for future consideration...

In January of 2012, Taito released their classic 1994 arcade shoot 'em up RayForce [$6.99] to the App Store, and about 6 months later they released its 1997 sequel RayStorm [$9.99] as well. Shooters like these always translated well to the touchscreen and it seemed pretty likely that Taito would be bringing the third game in the trilogy RayCrisis to mobile too. I mean, why wouldn't they bring the whole trilogy over, and if the previous Ray game release schedule was to be trusted, I would have bet they'd release RayCrisis at the end of 2012. Well, that release schedule was not to be trusted. RayCrisis never came, and while both RayForce and RayStorm were excellent additions to the App Store's shooter catalogue, they sat around virtually untouched after their release and were never updated with any of the modern trappings that came with newer and better iOS hardware and software...

Colorful Cube Roller 'Desire Path' Is Set to Roll out on the App Store July 6th

Ever since the EDGE [$2.99] series in the early days of the iPhone, the isometric square-based puzzle title has been a mainstay on the App Store. With such titles only needing a couple of inputs and being easily playable in any orientation of your device, games like DROP NOT! [Free] have appealed to masses because of how accessible they were, all within a delightfully beautiful interface. Desire Path, an upcoming game from Scottish developers Dead Cool Apps, looks to be the next to follow in the path of the aforementioned iOS titles, and requires you to guide the thirty characters through endless obstacle-strewn environments to achieve the highest possible score. With a good deal of variation a heavy emphasis on atmosphere, Desire Path should be a nice distraction for any leaderboard monkeys, and is set to launch on the App Store on July 6th...

Atmospheric Arcade Game 'BotHeads' Is Flying Onto the App Store on July 6th

With so many games competing for your attention on the dense catacombs of the App Store, the ability to assess a game with only the slightest glance is vital to separate the wheat from the chaff. BotHeads is one such title that instantly caught my eye, and while its numerous influences have been plucked from radically different parts of the gaming spectrum, the way that the developers have blended them together to make a cohesive whole is rather impressive indeed. Take Sonic the Hedgehog [Free] pinball obstacles and perpetual motion, combine such elements with the psychedelic contrasting aesthetic of Badland 2 [$0.99], and throw in a pulsating chip-tune soundtrack and you get BotHeads, which looks like an essential download when it hits the App Store for free on July 6th...

Shoot and Drift Into the Undead in '#01', an Upcoming Endless Racer From the Developers of Road Rush Rally

Alongside platforms, guns and Pokemon, zombies are one of the most common tropes in recent video gaming history. However, the oversaturation of undead beings - no thanks to the ridiculous popularity of the Call of Duty: Zombies [$4.99] spin-off series - quickly became tiring, even if games such as Minigore [$0.99] made a good case for horror-themed titles on the App Store. That being said, as the popular trends have changed from birds to fidget spinners, it seems zombies may soon be back in vogue, at least according to Kloppe Media. After the success of their previous game Road Rush Racer [Free], the developer has announced a new mobile release mysterious titled #01, which aims to merge the anarchic driving action from the former title with some dystopian zombie-killing chaos when it launches sometime in the near future...

We've been excited for the release of Touchdowners [Free] ever since its first unveiling early last month. I mean, this is from the people who have made wacky physics-based sports games like Wrassling [Free], Dunkers [Free], and Golf Zero [Free]. How could I NOT be excited for their wacky physics-based interpretation of American Football? And as we learned a week ago, Touchdowners was all set for a June 22nd release. Except… it didn't show up in time for our normal weekly new games roundup, which I though was kind of weird, and we hadn't heard anything from the developers about when specifically it was releasing, which was also pretty weird as they usually send emails about everything. ..

The App Store is like an awful b-list zombie movie at the moment, with classic games fading left, right and center at the hands of Apple's relentless 32-bit Appocalypse. While a number of titles have since been updated to 64-bit to stay around when iOS 11 rolls into town, the very nature of this new requirement for applications means a number of true classics will soon suddenly disappear, which is disappointing for the platform as a whole. Thankfully, one such cult iOS hit has today confirmed its continued presence on the App Store. As we first reported last week, Rocketcat Games and Madgarden's Punch Quest [Free] has been updated to bring it into compliance with Apple's 64-bit regulations, and the developers have also strongly hinted at later successive updates that could add features such as Apple TV support...

There are few games that bring a smile to my face like Dumpling Design's Dashy Crashy [Free]. This lane-based avoidance game (calling it just a runner doesn't quite do it justice) captured the soul of some of the loudest, most attention-grabbing arcade games from the '90s while utilizing a really neat risk/reward system that dared you to go as fast as possible while avoiding crashing. Along with colorful, cheery graphics and tons of achievements and vehicles to unlock, there was plenty to love in Dashy Crashy in our original review. And while Dashy Crashy was a great–although simple–high score chaser, Dumpling had some major plans for the title and over the next year worked on a massive version 2.0 update which they dubbed Dashy Crashy Turbo. The update hit in early March and added special abilities to the many vehicles in the game, a sweet progression system that had you upgrading your driver's license by completing achievements, a way better system for unlocking cars, 25 brand new cars, and tons more. It was basically a sequel but delivered as a free update to the original game, which was pretty darn cool...

The big budget, melancholic triple-A blockbusters may be dominating the gaming world at E3 this week, but the App Store serves as its own detached utopia where anything can happen - including owls firing rockets out of their butts. We first caught a glimpse of Fowlst [$1.99] at the start of this month, and while CatCup Games' latest release was full of eclectic power-ups and an eccentric sense of humor, there looked to be a solid arcade game beneath the comical retro exterior. Right on time, Fowlst has released on the App Store today for $1.99, and even though it's difficult to pin down exactly what the gameplay consists of, it's definitely one of the more unique titles I've played on the iPhone in recent weeks...

Ball-rolling games have been around since the dawn of time, before electricity was even a thing, let alone OLED capacitive touch screens. They have also been an omnipresent force on the App Store from the very beginning, with titles such as Labyrinth 2 [$4.99] demonstrating the gyroscopic capabilities of the iPhone, and the genre has remained steadfast on iOS despite its inherently basic nature. However, this is by no means a slight at these sort of puzzle games - ball-rolling titles have evolved over the years to provide unique and memorable experiences. The Little Ball That Could [Free] marks the latest attempt at perfecting Marble Madness in a modern guise, and is available to download for free (with an in-app purchase to remove ads) on the App Store today...

'Cubie Adventure' Brings One-Touch Platforming Mayhem to the App Store, Releasing Worldwide on June 1st

As of late, the one-touch platformer has been particularly appealing for the cramped commute on the tube, as being able to play a game with a one-handed tap is extremely convenient irrespective of where I happen to be trying to kill time. DROP NOT! [Free] has been a particular highlight, however Cubie Adventure caught my eye when UNIT5 announced their latest title last month. As well as the typical cast of cute and colorful creatures that are obligatory in games with a similar voxel art style, Cubie Adventure impresses through its emphasis on immersion, with frenetic fast-paced action as your protagonist jumps to avoid dangerous obstacles and potentially fatal pits. After a brief soft launch and numerous delays later, Cubie Adventure finally has a fixed release date, and will hop, skip and jump onto the App Store on June 1st...

'Astro Crash' Is a Silly Smash-Em-Up in Space From Ex-Halfbrick Developers, Launching June 1st

My favorite part of the App Store is seeing some of the more ridiculous and absurd ideas from smaller developers come to fruition, and as soon as I saw the trailer from Astro Crash I was overwhelmed with an abundance of questions as to what I was actually looking at in the video. Seeing a giant kitty-shaped spaceship, dubbed the 'Lightning Cat', flying around the screen and crashing into other opposing vessels in a colorful, extraterrestrial environment may appear to be absurd, but in reality looks like a lot of fun and a strong App Store debut for ex-Halfbrick developers Affable Games. Astro Crash is set to launch for free on June 1st, however you can sign up for the beta test on our forums if you simply can't wait to cause comical chaos on your iPhone...

Throughout the history of the App Store, I feel like we've had practically every variety imaginable of dual stick shooters. Hell, we've even had dual stick looters, but a no stick shooter? That sort of thing is worthy of The People's Eyebrow. Well, it turns out this no stick shooter, which consequently is also named No Stick Shooter [$1.99] is an unbelievably frantic game that's most easily described as Missile Command with some interesting twists. It's a little too stressful of a game for me, but in a world where gamers go absolutely wild for unbelievably fast-paced games like Geometry Dash [$1.99] I can definitely see the appeal...

'Arkanoid vs Space Invaders' Review - After Seeing the Movie "Pixels," I Guess This Mash-Up Makes Sense?

Early this morning, Square Enix unveiled to the world the latest and greatest thing they've been working on in arena world of mobile gaming. If you're thinking, "Oh, neat, you mean they updated all their old Final Fantasy ports to 64 bit?" Well, that'd be nice, but today's news is in the form of the somewhat confusing release of Arkanoid vs Space Invaders [$1.99], a mash-up, which I suppose totally makes sense in a world where Adam Sandler's Pixels can rake in just shy of $245 million dollars at the box office. As the title indicates, the Arkanoid and Space Invaders universes have been duct taped together in a way that actually works quite well and, despite what I thought initially, makes a strange amount of sense...

It feels like just yesterday that Rodeo Stampede [Free] *ahem* stampeded onto the App Store, but in fact it was back in June of last year that it first arrived. During a time of Crossy Road-alikes galore, it was easy to see screenshots of Rodeo Stampede and think it's just another one of those, but its super unique (and super fun!) jump-from-animal-to-animal mechanic made the game stand out from the rest, and our own Rob Funnell loved the game in his review. Since that original release, Rodeo Stampede has received some of the best post-launch support I've ever seen, including adding in tons of new species of animals, special holiday events, and an entire breeding system so you could raise adorable baby animals and talk in baby talk to them. Or maybe that's just me. Anyway, the point is that Rodeo Stampede is pretty awesome, and it looks to get even better next Thursday when a new Jurassic update will add a ton of awesome dinosaurs into the mix...

One of the more confusing things about analyzing games in modern times is that they can change and improve thanks to the nature of updates and digital distribution. Guns of Mercy [Free] hasn't necessarily seen dramatic overhauls since its initial release, but it's become a much better game, and a free download well worth checking out. This action game has you fending off endless waves of enemies, using a gun that you can aim in a 180 degree circle. One hit kills you, but shields, powerups, and a giant mecha can help you out along the way, as you fight ever more dangerous enemies and giant bosses. You collect coins, and these all go toward upgrades to help you blow up stuff better. It's a turbo-charged shooter, and it's worth the download just to check out, though if you're playing now, you're getting a changed and improved experience than those who first gave it a shot...

Minimalistic Physics Skiing Game 'Just Ski' Plummets Onto the App Store May 10th

Skiing is an absolutely exhilarating experience, sadly marred by its seasonal restriction to only the coldest and snowiest of climates, and also its exuberant cost of entry. Thankfully the video games industry has recognised the mass appeal of plummeting down a slope at ridiculous speeds, and so recent years have been littered with attempts to capture the lightning in a bottle of such extreme sports. Whether that's Steep on consoles, or even iOS titles such as the recently released Shiny Ski Resort [$4.99] by Kairosoft, skiing has never been more accessible, and Farseer Games' upcoming release Just Ski is the next release in the avalanche of alpine activities. Featuring a minimalist aesthetic and an emphasis on fast pick-up-and-play sessions, Just Ski looks to take a focused approach to the genre, and is set to launch on the App Store on May 10th for only $0.99...

Forget the theories of technological singularity where people claim artificial intelligence will end up surpassing that of humans - the biggest and most immediate problem that the future presents is that it is really quite expensive. Whether that's something as relatively small as that beautiful new 4K HDR television, or something as huge as space travel, our collective wallets will inevitably get a bit lighter as more shiny things appear at our doorstep. Thankfully, the App Store has a solution - both Missileman [$2.99] and Quantum Revenge [$1.99], two recent futuristic arcade titles released in 2017, have both been reduced to $0.99 over the weekend, which is both game's lowest price yet...

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