Category Archives: Games

This week’s Final Fantasy: Record Keeper [Free] event takes us back to the world of Final Fantasy VIII and the epic battle against the Sorceress Edea. Balamb Garden: The SeeDs of Conflict not only offers the opportunity to unlock two more heroes of the game but also their memory crystals (assuming you pass the Elite Dungeon tests). Before you go forth and recall the record of one of the world’s most emo heroes (…whatever), let’s take a closer look at the event, its bosses, and the heroes themselves...

FireWhip [$0.99] is a perfect example of a game that shows that you shouldn't just judge a book by its cover, but if the book is good, having a rad cover sure helps! This is a unique high-score chaser that puts work in to feel like a standout experience. FireWhip delivers exactly what it its title promises, as it has you swinging a whip made of flames, trying to fend off enemies that want to get to you. You have to swing the whip around to make it large and fast enough to hit oncoming enemies, but some of the base enemies are cowards – literally, they're called cowards – and will shy away. The enemies that come at you directly? They have shields, come in large numbers, or attack really quickly. And if you swing your whip too fast, it flames out, and that's not going to be any good for you...

The Harmony series knows what it is and is quite comfortable in its skin. That might be one of its better qualities overall. The games use a basic, simple-to-understand mechanic to set up increasingly devious puzzles, trying to wind you up more and more. While the games work hard to frustrate you in that respect, the most relaxing, gorgeous music plays in the background, making it nearly impossible not to chill out. This odd discord makes for a compelling combination of flavors, and each installment simply drops another few scoops on your plate. Harmony 3 [$2.99] follows the pattern to a tee, which makes this an awfully short review if you've played a game in the series before. Did you like it, and want more? Buy this one, you won't be disappointed. Did you dislike it or become tired of its bag of tricks? Then you won't find anything to grab you here...

The App Store is just feeling so nostalgic these days. First we get a sequel to Fragger [$0.99]in Fragger 2 [$1.99] last month, which I also reviewed, and this month we get a sequel to another IP from 4 years ago. That IP is Drop the Chicken. The original can’t be found on the App Store anymore, but thankfully the original developers at AppinTheBox have brought us a sequel that tops it in every way imaginable, bringing Chuck the Chicken into modern times. Drop the Chicken 2 [$1.99]is the name of the game, and it is anything but lame. No, I don’t know why I felt the need to rhyme just now. Jeez, get off my case about it...

'KKRacing' Review - The Kart Racer We Deserve

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June 26th, 2015 11:30 AM EDT by Nathan Reinauer in 3 stars, Free, Games, Racing, Reviews, Universal
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I have a question: What would you get if you crossed an antelope with a human baby? I have no idea. No one does. One more question: What if you crossed one of those Puzzle & Dragons [Free] style social RPGs with Mario Kart? Hey, I actually have an answer for that! You’d get KKRacing [Free] by Beijing Kaku All-dimensional Media Co. That may sound like an awful combination, but it’s actually pretty good. And loads more fun than a babylope...

RPG Reload File 044 - 'Chaos Rings Omega'

Hello, gentle readers, and welcome to the RPG Reload, the weekly feature where we make the very most out of the assets we have. Each week, we take a look at an RPG from the App Store's past to see how it's doing in the here and now. It's a chance to revisit old favorites, reflect on their ultimate place in iOS's history, or just to take a deeper dive than our review typically allow for. I try to present a balanced plate from this admittedly wide genre from week to week, but I'm always open for suggestions. If you have a game in mind that you'd like to see featured, simply comment below, post in the Official RPG Reload Club thread in the forums, or tweet me at @RPGReload. After next week, there's only one regular reader's choice Reload left, so if there's something you're dying to see, now's the time! Next week, we'll be talking about Sorcery! [$4.99], a request that came in via our Twitter account. Good times ahead!..

Pixelbite's Space Marshals [$4.99] brought some fresh ideas to the tired dual-stick genre when it launched back in January. Rather than a run-n-gun, blast everything in sight approach, Space Marshals demanded strategy, patience and stealth in order to be the most successful. We loved the game in our initial review, but in March, Pixelbite sweetened the pot with a huge Chapter 2 expansion for the game which added new enemies, new weapons and more. Now Pixelbite has taken the wraps off of a forthcoming Chapter 3 update for Space Marshals in our forums, and it's looking really sweet. ..

There are plenty of things I appreciate about Cartoon Survivor [Free], a new isometric platformer from Australia-based Spunge Games. Most immediately, it has a strong and cohesive visual design, full of bright colors and cute animations. The level designs are clever and packed with secrets to find, some of which may require you to come back with gear you'll earn later in order to get the best time. There are unlockables both of the cosmetic and practical type, giving you something tangible to shoot for as you play through. It also gives you enough levels for free to get a feel for the game before it asks you to pay to unlock the rest, and in an unusual turn, allows you grind up in-game currency and pay that way. You're probably waiting for the other shoe to drop right about now, and it will. But don't worry, it's only a little shoe. A booty, at best...

Of all the stories I expected to experience this week, a cross between a dating simulation and 21 Jump Street was not especially high on the list, but here we are. Sword Of Asumi [$3.99] is a visual novel with mild dating sim elements that casts you as an undercover assassin trying to root out the source of a terrorist threat at a school. You'll have to pose as a schoolgirl for however long it takes to find the culprit, with your superior keeping an eye on you as one of the teaching staff. I'll be honest: I think that's an absolutely brilliant premise for a game like this. It's a good central plot to build a story around, providing reasons to mingle with as many people as possible in a variety of locations. There are potentially great conflicts if you happen to get close to someone who is involved in the nefarious plot. There's a reason this all worked so well for Fox in the late 1980s...

I reviewed the fascinating Last Voyage [$0.99] by Semidome back in April, and the developer has just decided to double the number of chapters in this abstract game. It's still something that defies any sort of genre classification, as it goes through multiple genres, and this update introduces a number of new game mechanics, like tilt-based puzzles to try and solve, or even to just sit back and experience. The whole thing still doesn't make much sense, but it's still really pretty. And hey, there's new music, checkpoints, and achievements to get...

Earthcore: Shattered Elements [Free], the innovative CCG by Tequila Games, continues to pleasantly surprise me. If you haven't had a chance to play the game yet, this is a CCG that innovates by using a Risk and Element system that makes even the weakest card actually useful. By using this Risk system, the game forces players to rethink many of the strategies often used in most CCGs. The game has just received its first major update today that adds a new feature, Events, new unique cards (with new skills), and also an upgraded matchmaking system (the old system irked some in our forums). ..

There simply aren't enough heist games out there. I would have played at least three licensed Oceans 11 games, but the deals involved in a potential project like that would be an impossible task. Alas, there are a few indies here and there that fill that gap, including Monaco: What's Yours is Mine, one of my recent favorites. Robbery Bob 2: Double Trouble [$2.99] is no Monaco, but it's a pretty fun little sneak-fest...

Since I’m sure you’re all dying to know, my favorite iOS game of all time is Jet Car Stunts [$1.99] by True Axis. The physics are spot-on, the controls are perfect, and the courses are all insanely fun and challenging. So when I heard about Hondune’s Truck Trials 2 [$1.99] in our forums, I pounced. It seemed like the same sort of thing: behind-the-back driving along three dimensional tracks with a focus on precision and speed. After downloading and playing for a while, I can safely say… it’s not the same. I mean, it’s obvious from the screenshots alone that there aren’t many Stunts or Jets (or Cars, for that matter). But it does have the same basic premise of navigating treacherous terrain as quickly as possible, and it’s pretty fun to boot...

The beauty of mobile and this era of digital distribution is that with small games, we can see how games can become wildly different affairs from the same idea. Sure, this is the same system that leads to rampant cloning, but sometimes you see developers legitimately iterate on the same idea. Take Hue Ball [Free], for instance. It credits Wouter Visser's Gimme Friction Baby as its inspiration. This is the same game that inspired Orbital [$2.99 / Free], a classic App Store puzzle game, that both start from the same idea: you launch balls from a bottom cannon into a playing field, trying to break balls in the playing field to earn points, and to keep balls from landing and expanding below the border line where your cannon sits. What Hue Ball does is to tweak the concept just enough to feel like a very different experience, going from a slow, tactical puzzle game where one mistake can doom you, to a fast-paced high-score chaser that's somewhat forgiving...

'WonderCat Adventures' Review - Catforming Purrfection

'WonderCat Adventures' Review - Catforming Purrfection

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June 24th, 2015 1:30 PM EDT by Nathan Reinauer in $1.99, 4.5 stars, Games, Platform, Reviews, Universal
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One of my favorite things about the App Store is how many hidden gems there are that pop up week and week. Sure, there’s a lot more garbage than gold, but that’s what Touch Arcade’s here for: to dip our proverbial pan into Apple Creek and shake it around until we see something shiny. And friends, I may have just struck it rich...

'Her Story' Review - Turns Out FMV Games Just Needed Good Acting and Writing

Her Story [$4.99] is one of the more unique games I have played in recent memory, by far. At its core, you're just browsing a search engine, trying to find the right queries for what you're looking for, but that's pretty much irrelevant. Her Story is a mystery, where you have a mystery involving dozens of segments of police interviews with a woman, where you're trying to piece together the mystery at hand. The game is about putting together the disparate pieces, paying attention to clues to discover the truth of what happened with the woman and her missing husband...

'Radical Rappelling' Review - Rock & Roll

'Radical Rappelling' Review - Rock & Roll

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After a few years of reviewing iOS games at Touch Arcade and elsewhere, I've begun to notice something. You can usually tell how "good" or "bad" a game is by the specificity of your gripes with it. If I'm writing generally about how the controls don't work or the graphics are ugly, the game as a whole probably isn't that great. However, if I'm spending an entire paragraph about how disappointed I am that one level is too hard or too easy, or that there aren't enough pants to buy in the shop, there's a good chance the rest of the game is pretty enjoyable. Why waste time pointing out every little flaw if there are bigger problems to discuss? And conversely, if a game seems to nail everything, what else is there to discuss but the tiny annoyances that don't really amount to much?..

Scrolling through the App Store screenshots, I can see how one might be led to believe the latest Angry Birds game is just another free-to-play match 3 battler. It appears to have all the trimmings and trappings of the popular (if a bit tired) genre: a grid of colorful tiles, characters to collect, loot to be gained, and--of course--multiple timers and currencies, all dressed up in that familiar Angry Birds style. I see how it looks. But you're wrong. Angry Birds Fight! [Free] is actually a bold exploration of the concept of free will in a deterministic universe...

The more I think about it, the more I see similarities between the Apple Watch and 4x4 Jam HD [$0.99] by Invictus Games. Hear me out: They’re both extremely beautiful, if a little clunky. They’re both undeniably fun to play around with, though a bit frustrating at times. But most importantly, in both cases the developers of these two very different products clearly have some cool ideas, and it’s easy to see them transforming them into something truly special with a little more love and a few more updates. Yes, I just compared a state-of-the-art piece of wearable consumer tech to a mobile game that costs a dollar. Deal with it bro...

Drive Adventure Time's Jake the Dog in Cart Form in the Upcoming 'Formula Cartoon All Stars'

Have you ever said to yourself, "Man, I love Adventure Time, but it sure would be awesome if I could drive Jake the Dog." (Who hasn't?) Well, your dreams are about to come true. Cartoon Network is on the verge of releasing Formula Cartoon All Stars, which is a cart racer with an isometric view point and controls that feel a lot like Super Offroad from back in the day. ...But there's one more thing that makes this game noteworthy: It's actually going to be a premium title released at $3.99 instead of loaded to the brim with free to play shenanigans...

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