Category Archives: Games

'Jump'N'Shoot Attack' Review - Fun Shooter, Boring Jumper

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March 26th, 2015 11:00 AM EDT by Andrew Smith in $1.99, 3.5 stars, Action, Arcade, Reviews, Shooter
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Not long in to playing Jump'N'Shoot Attack I sent an enthusiastic message to some of the other Touch Arcade writers, telling them that it was "super fun". Chatting to the developer on Facebook, I said the game was "right up my street". So this is a game that makes a great first impression. Sadly, the fun that is promised and delivered by those early stages, soon gives way to some unimaginative level design that is more tedious than it is challenging...

Last week, I had the opportunity to talk to the producers behind DeNA and Square Enix's new social RPG, Final Fantasy: Record Keeper [Free]. We had a fairly lengthy discussion about the game itself and Final Fantasy in general. So lengthy, in fact, that we decided to run the interview in two parts. Yesterday, we covered introductions, the genesis of the game, region differences, and a few other gameplay aspects. Today's portion gets more into hardcore Final Fantasy discussion, which was a lot of fun. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did...

'Stickman Rush' Review: Great Style, Not So Much Substance

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March 26th, 2015 9:30 AM EDT by Andrew Smith in 3 stars, Free, Reviews, Runner
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I'm gonna go ahead and drop an F-bomb: Stickman Rush is flabbergastingly beautiful. Not since Monument Valley has a game's aesthetic so immediately dropped my jaw to the floor and had my eyes bulging with pixel lust. Alas this lane-changing infinite scroller is much stronger in presentation than it is in actual gameplay...

Square Enix and DeNA's new social RPG, Final Fantasy: Record Keeper [Free], just came out in English, but it's been available in Japan for several months. I like the game quite a bit and have been playing it almost every day, which means I'm hopefully well-equipped to give any starting players some pointers on getting the hang of the game. You can consider this guide something of a starter manual for the game, covering some of the important strategies you'll need to get yourself established in the world of Record Keeper, but it will also help you over the long term as new features are added to the international version of the game. Let's mosey!..

‘Final Fantasy: Record Keeper’ Hits the US App Store

Well folks, after an acclaimed review, a behind-the-scenes interview with its producers, and a thorough exploration on the longevity of the game, Final Fantasy: Record Keeper is finally (pun intended) available on the US App Store...

'The Trace' Review - Tracing Clues and Taking Names

'The Trace' Review - Tracing Clues and Taking Names

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March 25th, 2015 8:16 PM EDT by Tasos Lazarides in $4.99, 4.5 stars, Game Center, Puzzle, Reviews, Universal
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One of my favorite gaming experiences back in the late 1980s was playing the fantastic Police Quest series by Sierra Entertainment. I had perhaps too much fun playing the cop and roaming the streets as an incompetent instrument of justice. So, I was quite happy that The Trace [$4.99], the new game by British award-winning games developer Relentless Software, out now for iPhone and iPad, brought me back to my glorious crime-solving days. As Detective Sam Pearce of Baltimore PD, you get to follow a long trail of bodies in the hunt for a killer. Relentless Software has developed the game from the ground up for tablet and mobile devices, and it shows both in the game's influences and its controls. If you've been gaming on mobile devices the last few years, you'll easily recognize the genres that make up The Trace...

'Final Fantasy: Record Keeper' Long Play Impressions - Five Months Later

One of the difficult things with evaluating games on the App Store is how much they tend to evolve over time. It's especially tricky with free-to-play games that are often set up to be gentle in the early stages and more punishing over time. It's like waiting for the other shoe to drop a lot of the time, and I think that contributes to why some people are hesitant to get into those kinds of games to begin with. Even though I've played Square Enix and DeNA's new social RPG Final Fantasy: Record Keeper more than anyone at TouchArcade, I won't be doing the main review. We agreed it would be interesting for readers to get another point of view on the game, so my co-host on the RPG Reload Podcast Eric Ford will be handling that...

We've been waiting for a while, but the time that we can start talking about the English version of DeNA and Square Enix's new social RPG, Final Fantasy: Record Keeper. Last week, I had the opportunity to visit Square Enix's offices in Shinjuku to have a chat with the producers of the game. Of course, I'm coming from the angle of having played the Japanese version quite a bit, so I was particularly interested in any changes they might have made, but we covered a pretty wide range of topics. It was immediately clear to me that all three of the people I talked to are huge fans of Final Fantasy and had a lot of passion that they put into Record Keeper. I think in reading their responses, you'll be able to see that yourself. Since this ended up being a pretty long talk, we're going to run half of the interview today and the other half tomorrow. Today's part focuses on introductions, the genesis of the game, localization changes, and some elements of the gameplay...

'Final Fantasy: Record Keeper' Review - My Freemium Fantasy Love Letter

I have to admit, since the travesty that was Final Fantasy: All The Bravest [Free], I lost all hope of seeing a good mobile Final Fantasy game that would not only embrace some of the unique intricacies of the platform but do so in a way that didn’t make the whole experience feel sleazy. Yet, here we are with Final Fantasy: Record Keeper, a collaboration between DeNA and the folks at Square Enix and a title has single handedly restored my faith as to the potential of this franchise and genre on mobile...

Many game-makers dream the dream of overnight success, but few get to live the reality. For three-man French team 1Button, the dream came true, as their new title Mr Jump rocketed up the App Store charts, shifting more than a million copies every day...

Buzz Aldrin's Space Program Manager (SPM) Road to the Moon [$9.99 (HD)], developed by Polar Motion and published by Slitherine, was first released on PC and is now out on iOS. The iPad version had an eventful launch because of a bug that made the tutorial unplayable on iPad Air devices (in a demonstration of its efficiency, Slitherine quickly identified and fixed the issue). The game puts you in the role of the Director of NASA, the Soviet Space Agency (SSA), or the fictitious Global Space Agency (GSA) as you try to launch rockets, satellites, and humans into space — and, in the case of the US and Soviet campaigns, do so before the other side does...

It's an exciting time for Martin Magni, developer of Odd Bot Out [$1.99]. Just two months after his game's release on iOS and Android, the cutsey sci-fi puzzler has sold enough copies to cover its development costs, and has made Martin a darling of the indie scene...

Magenta Arcade [$1.99] is a game in the shoot 'em up genre, which isn't really crowded, but is neither lacking for titles. But what this game does to stand out is extremely clever: it's a shmup that exploits the way that fingers exist on and around mobile touchscreens, and makes it part of the game itself. It doesn't make the game any easier, and I have some issues with the structure of the game, but this core concept makes for a ridiculously clever game...

Last year's Flappy Bird phenomenon was certainly a sight to behold. People became obsessed with it, playing again and again, just trying to push a little bit farther than their friends. Clones and homages arrived to the App Store by the bucket load, even well after Hodappy Bird [Free] rocked us all with its take. For several months, there was a heavy influence on the entire iOS market from the players to the media to the developers and publishers themselves. Then, partly snuffed out by its own creator, the whole fire just sort of went out and things went back to normal. There were some lasting lessons for those interested in picking them up, however. For one thing, simplicity isn't a four-letter word. For another, large groups of people actually like games that figuratively smash your thumb with a hammer. You don't need a slick presentation with this kind of game, since what you're really targeting is the competitive instinct and tenacity in the face of certain failure that resides in almost everyone...

Stormblades [Free] is Diet Infinity Blade [$5.99]. I say this not to demean the game or to put it down, it's just that its motivations are patently obvious. This takes Infinity Blade's combat, complete with its directional attacks and dodging in one-on-one battles against bigger enemies, but stripping down a lot of the extra features from the combat and the meta-game. The combat is simpler but familiar, the game is level-based, and there's no 'exploration', it's just about advancing from one challenge to the next, buying better weapons and more potions along the way to keep up with the advancing difficulty. It's not as deep a game and can be a bit repetitive, but it also takes away some of the annoyances that Infinity Blade could sometimes get bogged down in, especially once Infinity Blade 3 [$6.99] rolled around. And as a free-to-play game, it's surprisingly fair. Stormblades is an interesting little package for those who want a familiar experience, but streamlined...

'SwapQuest' Review - An Excellent Genre Mashup

When done correctly, I feel like there’s no better mix of genres than the puzzle/RPG combination. Adding character progression and some exploration elements to a good puzzle mechanic has the potential to really turn a neat game into a full-on adventure. SwapQuest [$2.99] has managed to do just that by combining classic Pipe Mania gameplay with some great RPG mechanics. Add in some cool retro visuals and awesome music and SwapQuest is an experience that shouldn’t be missed...

Even today, it's rare to see a developer's name affixed to a video game title. There are a lot of reasons for that, depending on which period we look at, but one of the bigger exceptions to that is the name of Sid Meier. I'm not sure how or why his name ended up in the title of Sid Meier's Pirates! [$2.99], but it might have simply been to help make the somewhat generic title more unique. The game was a massive hit, and while publishers generally don't like to canonize developers, they'll make an exception for just about any rule if the money looks right. So it is that after just a few more games, nearly every game Sid Meier had a hand in, and a few that he didn't, carried his name. It's an odd outcome for someone who seems to be a relatively low-key guy. The problem with his name becoming a brand, however, is that you can't be too sure with any given release just how much of the game is Sid Meier the designer versus Sid Meier the marketing tag...

'Future Factory' Preview - A Dual-Stick Roguelike Shooter, for Mobile?

One of my most-played Steam games over the past year-and-a-half has been Nuclear Throne, Vlambeer's dual-stick shooter action-roguelike. It's challenging, has fantastic art, is highly replayable, and has no shot whatsoever of coming to mobile. The controls are a huge hindrance because there's aim-and-fire controls, and only a more deliberately-paced game like Space Marshals [$4.99] can pull that off. Plus, if control issues will keep Vlambeer from releasing Luftrausers on mobile, Nuclear Throne ain't happening. So, I find myself mostly wanting for a similar experience on mobile. While it's not quite on iOS yet, and it's a bit of a different game, Future Factory could just fill that void later this year...

It's late on a Friday afternoon/evening, and we're getting ready to wrap things up until Monday. But before we give you the Best Reviews of the week, the Game of the Week, and The TouchArcade Show podcast, I just had to sneak in a quick recommendation for a game I've been enjoying since yesterday called Rush Rally [Free]. As I'm sure you could guess, Rush Rally is a rally racing game. Now, there's no shortage of racing games on the App Store, but rally racing games are a bit more rare, and ones that actually nail the driving physics are even scarcer. Rush Rally is one of those that totally nails it. ..

'Odd Bot Out' Review - One Man's Unique Puzzle Platformer

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March 20th, 2015 11:56 AM EDT by Ben Jarris in 4 stars, Puzzle, Reviews
$1.99 Buy Now

One man, 1000+ design sketches and 1 years round the clock sweat and tears, has produced an intriguing puzzle platformer that's blown me away in terms of ingenuity and uniqueness. You can see why Apple chose to feature the game; the magic comes from the lego style constructions with blocks, characters and other objects. Each level is short and smart, providing just the objects you need to make it to the exit. Blocks and characters can be stuck together or pulled apart, and everything in game can be stacked on top of each other, or stuck to the side of other objects to increase their abilities and usefulness. It makes for varied solutions from fewer objects, requiring true problem solving skills...

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