Category Archives: Arcade

Genre mashups always toe a precarious line between providing players with established systems of play while simultaneously turning them upside down by placing them in new environments. If not done well enough, players are left with a completely foreign experience without any familiar gameplay elements to form a grounding experience. In other words, balance is key. The Lost Shield [$1.99], while a relatively basic example of a genre mashup, nevertheless does a decent job achieving that balance. In fact, if not for some more fundamental issues with the game, I’d have no problem heralding it as a rare unqualified success...

About a month ago we posted about how developer Kumobius, who you probably know from such hits as Bean Dreams [$0.99], Duet [$2.99], and Time Surfer [$0.99], were looking for beta testers for their new mobile game project, a platformer of sorts called High Risers. Well apparently the testing period went just fine as just this morning Kumobius pulled the rusty old release lever and High Risers [Free] is now available in the App Store. ..




This past June, a refreshed take on the arcade classic Galaga was soft-launched by Bandai Namco in select countries with surprisingly little fanfare, given how beloved the Galaga series is. In a similarly low-key fashion, that game, called Galaga Wars [Free], has exited its soft-launch period and is now available worldwide. At least I think it's worldwide, I can't go around checking every country or anything you know, but it's definitely out in the US App Store because I just downloaded it! And let me just say that this game is freaking fantastic. The original Galaga is perhaps my favorite classic arcade game, and there's nothing scarier than seeing a company trying to "improve" one of its classic franchises for a modern audience. There's just so much potential to sully the good name of such a beloved game, but that's definitely not the case in Galaga Wars...

It may be Halloween, but that doesn't mean it's not the time to start getting excited about the impending ski season. However, for anyone who doesn't fancy the idea of launching themselves down a hill at ridiculous speeds with only a mere helmet for protection, developers Sleepy Z Studios have a way of experiencing the same winter wackiness without the many risks associated with extreme sports, as they have made Ski Safari 2 [$0.99] free for today as part of a 'App of the Day' promotion...

Freebie Alert: Fun Castle Defending Game 'Warcher Defenders' Free for Halloween

At the end of May, developer Ogre Pixel released their charming castle defense game Warcher Defenders [Free] to the App Store, and if you missed out on it previously at its nearly-free price of 99¢, you can now grab it for all-the-way-free as the game is currently on sale for Halloween. Warcher Defenders has you defending your castle on the left of the screen as all manner of creepy enemies approach from the right. Your initial character is an archer so you'll be firing off arrows to dispatch enemies and there's a few different platforms attached to your castle which you can jump between, as enemies not only attack from the ground but from the air too. As you play you can also buy items from a shopkeep and upgrade your character's abilities, and both the look and the progression of Warcher Defenders reminds me a lot of one of my other all-time favorites, Slayin [$0.99]. That right there should be enough incentive for you to give this one a download...

Mos Speedrun 2 [$1.99] was the absolute best sort of sequel you can find, both on the App Store and in terms of gaming generally. While it wasn't as focused on the short and hyper-precise speed-running segments of the original - instead preferring longer and more adventurous levels - it kept the elements that made Physmo's first game so essential, while expanding the experience into an essential content-rich platformer. While our five star review and subsequent Game of the Week award speak for themselves, personally I don't think I played an iOS game more than Mos Speedrun 2 in 2015, so if the initial price of $1.99 was an absolute bargain, the fact it has today gone on sale for free is an Ocean's Eleven-level heist, and I'd implore anyone who hasn't already downloaded Mos Speedrun 2 to run and jump to the App Store and try it out while this spontaneous reduction lasts...

Just over a month ago, we brought you news that PinOut [Free], Mediocre Games's follow up to the aptly titled Smash Hit [Free] and Does Not Commute [Free], had released in certain App Store regions, and ever since I've been dying to try out the perplexing possibility of an endless pinball game in an atmospheric neon setting. Thankfully, the wait wasn't long, as today PinOut has launched worldwide for the unbeatable price of absolute nothing, and looks every bit as good as the initial trailer suggested, and will hopefully bring something new to the (pinball) table, for both beginners and veterans alike...

It is borderline absurd how much developer Infinite Dreams has updated their hit shooter Sky Force Reloaded [Free] since its initial launch at the beginning of June. Absurd, I tell you! Just a couple of weeks into its life Sky Force Reloaded received a new ninth level and tournaments; a month later it got a tenth level, a new tournament level, AND a new ship; a couple weeks later it received an eleventh level (phew!); about a month after that it received a twelfth level with LASER RAPTORS; and finally a few weeks back Sky Force Reloaded received its most recent update which added a new Prestige system, technicians, and much more. All of these wonderful additions came AFTER we awarded Sky Force Reloaded 5 stars in our review. So, where do we go from here? Why, Level 13 of course! ..

There's very little that's more satisfying than an easy to grasp game. If it has shooting elements, great, it probably appeals to the little destroyer in us all. That's precisely why so many have flocked to Downwell [$2.99], as it has that "one more run" type of feel combined with a loveable art style and simple control scheme. It's something that you can just pick up and play, preferably on a convenient device like a smartphone, and just go to town with, for minutes or hours at a time. Spingun [Free] might not be as epic as some of those types of games, but it definitely has that feel...

'Dan the Man' Review - A Blast While it Lasts

'Dan the Man' Review - A Blast While it Lasts

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October 20th, 2016 12:30 PM EDT by Shaun Musgrave in $2.99, 4.5 stars, Action, Arcade, Free, iPad Games, iPhone games, Platform, Reviews
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One of the more reliable means of drawing attention in marketing is to use the biggest numbers you can find for your product or service's features. It's historically been very useful in selling video games, with RPGs claiming dozens of hours of gameplay, open world games boasting about the sizes of their maps, and platformer games talking up the number of levels they have. Thing have become ludicrous in mobile gaming, with Candy Crush offering a couple thousand levels and many platformers eventually expanding out to over a hundred stages. Never mind that the levels might be short, or easily constructed. The players will find that out later, and when they do, they may well not even care...

Let's address it immediately: Treasure Buster [$0.99] is obviously inspired by Mixi's Monster Strike [Free]. Much like this developer's previous game, Slayin [$0.99], this game initially comes off uncomfortably similar to the object of its homage. Luckily, also like Slayin, Treasure Buster ultimately differentiates itself well enough to transcend the copycat label and settle in as an interesting variation on a tried and tested mechanic. In fact, I would say that this game ditches a lot of what makes Monster Strike so much fun, choosing to create its own brand of enjoyment by adding a number of gameplay elements that Monster Strike doesn't have. As usual for a game published by FDG, Treasure Buster also looks and sounds great, fusing a bang-on retro presentation to a very modern gameplay structure...

Two months ago, it would have been absurd to mutter Angry Birds and Mortal Kombat under the same breath, but then Bowmasters [Free] came along. With its extremely gory take on the projectile-firing genre that the aforementioned irate avians popularised, but has really been a mainstay on the App Store since its inception, Bowmasters defied its colorful and cartoony premise with a game that was as violent as it was fun. That being said, despite positive impressions from us, Bowmasters was the subject of a significant degree of criticism around its release, and one of the reasons was its lack of online multiplayer, as it only offered local pass-and-play multiplayer. However, Playgendary Games are looking to change this, and on October 17th will be releasing an update that features multiplayer through Game Center, as well as some other new additions...

Cats are one of my favourite things in the world. WarioWare is also one of my favorite video games, ever since WarioWare Twisted predicted the era of gyroscopic motion controls and how stupid you'd look tilting your Game Boy Advance SP in a whole host of weird and wacky challenges. Therefore combining both of these things will almost certainly get my attention, and that's what Lucky Kat Studios have done in their upcoming release. Grumpy Cat - Ready, Set, NO, based off the eponymous feline viral internet sensation, is a collection of mini games featuring everyone's least amicable pet. With some beautiful pixel art graphics coupled with a wide variety of games to try, the Grumpy Cat game should be a whole lot of fun when it launches later in the holiday season - however, the developers are also looking for beta testers on our forums if such a long wait makes you grumpy too...

'Pumped BMX 3' Review - A Successful 360 Spin

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October 13th, 2016 11:05 AM EDT by Shaun Musgrave in $3.99, 4 stars, Arcade, Game Center, iPad Games, iPhone games, Reviews, Sports
$3.99 Buy Now

The original Pumped BMX [$1.99] was a fun, surprisingly deep side-scrolling stunt game that combined elements of Tiny Wings [$0.99] and Trials to great success. The sequel, Pumped BMX 2 [$2.99], completely blew the first game out of the water. The highlights included a dramatically-improved presentation, a deeper trick system, and a better set of controls that made pulling off intricate maneuvers much easier. It was such a big step up from the first game that it was hard to see where the series could go in a sequel without completely tearing up the carpet. That seems to have proven true, as Pumped BMX 3 [$3.99] isn't nearly the upgrade that the second game was over the first. There are some significant additions, but nothing that really changes the game in any major way. Whether that's a good thing or not depends on how well you've enjoyed this series until now...

As a student in what must be the most expensive city in the galaxy, Crap! I'm Broke: Out of Pocket [$1.99] resonates with me on a deeply personal level, as it seems I'm yelling the very same expletive-laden sentence on a regular basis. Despite my precarious financial situation, Crap! I'm Broke isn't purely for those low on cash. With an eccentric graphical design and a neat mini-game focused concept, all infused with the predictably witty humor that such a title suggests, Arcane Circus' iOS debut looks worth the (thankfully) cheap $1.99 price of entry, and has today launched on the App Store...

It's always interesting to see what kind of games follow when a novel idea hits big. The first wave is usually composed of shameless clones, but after everyone gets those out of their systems, you start to see some interesting, enjoyable twists. Earlier this year, we took a look at Dungeon Tiles [Free], a game that fused some light RPG mechanics into the core mechanics of Threes! [$2.99], adding an extra layer of tension to the swipe 'n' merge gameplay. Stencilsmith [$0.99] takes a broadly similar approach to that game, but also introduces crafting aspects to give you even more to do. The game has been out for a few months already, but it just recently got a great update that made me take a closer look at it. While it's not much to look at and comes off a little rough in places, the added ideas it brings to the table makes for an entertaining twist on a favorite...

Back in August, we brought to you the news that the developer of the intriguing and bizarre Shadow of the Colossus meets Angry Birds arcade game David. [$1.99] was looking for beta testers for his newest App Store release Spingun [Free], which took the creative absurdity of their previous titles and turned it up to 11. While relatively simple in both controls and concept - you fly a ship and shoot things with an intuitive two button control method - Fermenter Games ensured that the sheer chaos of the levels and brutal difficulty curve will hopefully make it yet another engrossing arcade title that will be even harder to put down. Today, Spingun has finally launched on the App Store for free, with one in-app purchase for some new game modes and to remove ads, all of which can be unlocked by paying between $0.99 and $2.99 based on what you think the game is worth, which is a great spin (aha) on the typical premium game formula...

All the way back in 2013, Wonderful Lasers released the infuriatingly difficult yet ridiculously compulsive arcade title Impossible Road [$2.99], and even three years later it still holds up incredibly well, with its beautiful minimalistic design and inventive gameplay. In our initial review, we found the game really did live up to its name, however despite an open admission of its intentionally unfair difficulty curve, the immersive combination of all the different elements to Impossible Road made it bizarrely difficult to put down. If you missed out on Impossible Road first time around, or just feel particularly masochistic today, the game has gone on sale at a bargain price of absolutely nothing for the first time ever, so now is a great time to pick up an App Store classic, and promptly put it back down in blind fury...

Despite the fact their library of App Store games isn't particularly extensive, Kumobius Games have created a strong reputation for simple yet brilliant experiences that could only have been made for a device like the iPhone. While Time Surfer [$0.99] and the original Bean's Quest [$2.99] were arcade classics, it was Duet [$2.99] that made waves amongst the iOS community and more casual gamers alike, receiving critical acclaim in our review, and recognition from Apple as one of the best apps of 2013. Sadly, we haven't heard much from Kumobius since 2014's stunning Bean Dreams [$0.99], however that has today changed, as the developers have announced on our forums a new free to play platformer called High Risers, and are looking for beta testers to try out this interesting take on the auto runner genre...

In celebration of its Android release, Legend of the Skyfish [$3.99] has gone on sale on iOS for the first time since its release. If you don't own the game but you like games that remind you of Zelda, you should pick this one up while it's cheaper. The game is an entertaining action adventure puzzle game with lovely art and a clever weapon, a fishing pole. No, you won't be fishing the whole time; instead, you'll be using that pole both as a weapon and as a tool in an attempt to make it to the final boss, the monstrous Skyfish. As you fight through the various levels, you ill be upgrading your fishing pole and learning how to use it better...

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