Category Archives: Games

Amidst all the excitement for the beautiful upcoming epic Oceanhorn 2: Knights of the Lost Realm, it's easy to forget that the original game is still rather brilliant in itself, and despite the fact it released way back in 2013, it still holds up very well to this day. Oceanhorn [$8.99] is a fantastic substitute for the Zelda experience on the App Store, and through embracing this influence fully manages to retain what makes the Nintendo adventure classics so fun to play, while also crafting its own identity and world. Despite this, one of the key selling points for the original Oceanhorn was how it took the graphical capabilities of the iPhone to the limit, and the update released today continues with this theme with a variety of additions that bring the game firmly into 2016...

Ghost Trick: Phantom Detective [Free] has a particularly tragic past - and I’m not talking about the game’s incredible storyline. Released in the twilight years of the DS, Ghost Trick received unanimous critical acclaim across the board, winning a wide variety of awards in 2011. However, the timing of the launch meant that Ghost Trick was not as successful commercially as it was with the critics - and even then, the game tended to live in the shadow of Shu Takumi’s more popular Phoenix Wright series. I was a massive fan of the game on its original DS launch, so it was both incredibly surprising and infinitely awesome to see Capcom port it to iOS in 2012, and I can’t recommend it more for its engrossing narrative and truly unique gameplay mechanics. Today, Ghost Trick has finally been updated with iOS 10 support, which is a fantastic excuse to replay the game if you were a fan, or try it out (the first two chapters are free) if you missed it first time around...




RPG Reload File 098 - 'Blazing Souls Accelate'

Hello, gentle readers, and welcome to the RPG Reload, the weekly feature where we use all of our work points searching for where to go next. Each installment, we take a look at an RPG from the App Store's past to see how it holds up in the present day. It's a chance to revisit old favorites, reflect on their place in the overall scheme of things, or simply to take a deeper dive than our reviews typically allow for. I try to present a balanced diet of delicious RPGs as we go along, but if you think I'm missing something important, please let me know. You can do that by commenting below, posting in the Official RPG Reload Club thread in the forums, or by tweeting me at @RPGReload. Since the schedule is drawn up well in advance, you might not see your suggestion soon, but it will be added to the master list...

As we wrote about a few days ago, developers at GDC 2017 will have a very fun game jam at their disposal, the Train Jam, and its tickets have just gone on sale, so grab them while you can. If you want to join in the creative fun, go here to buy your ticket, and don't meander because these tickets go fast. What is the Train Jam, you might ask? Now in its fourth year, the Train Jam starts on an Amtrak train in Chicago on February 23rd, 2017, and travels all the way to San Francisco (a one-way trip by the way). During that over 52-hour train trip, game developers make games based on a particular theme. This jam will be the first time that the organizers, Adriel Wallick and John Lindvay, have officially teamed up with Amtrak. What that means for the developers? The train will be all yours, no one else will be on board. I'm getting flashes of Murder on the Orient Express by the way, but don't let that deter anyone from joining in...

Star Wars: Galaxy of Heroes [Free] has been very popular and has made the most money of any other Star Wars game on iOS, so the frequent updates shouldn't be surprising. Now in addition to getting to play with all the Star Wars characters, you can play with all those starships and capital ships just like many did as kids. The new update has added famous ships like the Millennium Falcon, the Tie-Fighter, and the X-Wing to the game. You can even play with Ashoka's Jedi starfighter, so this update isn't only for fans of the movies. The update lets you call in reinforcements during ship battles, build your own Capital Ship, including those humongous Star Destroyers, and battle opponents in the Fleet Arena with ship blueprints on the line...

If you've enjoyed playing the visually-impressive Warhammer 40,000: Freeblade [Free] but haven't played it in a bit, now might be a good time to jump back into the seat of your huge Imperial Knight. In celebration of its one-year anniversary, the game has just received update 2.3, Chaos Gods. The new update brings along new Chaos knights, which let you get a taste of the dark gods and the evil lurking in the Warhammer 40K universe, Chaos relics, which you need to earn in order to unlock your Chaos Knight, the new Daemon event that has you battling the Bloodthirster in the depths of Ford Drakkus, and a new Dredmire Multiplayer Arena that lets you battle both Imperial and Chaos Knights. Plenty of chaos and darkness in this update...

As we wrote about yesterday, Telltale has announced that The Walking Dead: A New Frontier (aka The Walking Dead: Season 3) will premier on Tuesday, December 20th. Now the developers are offering recaps of the story before A New Frontier as a way for those who played the first two season to refresh their memory and also to give newer players not willing to play through the first two seasons some sense of narrative grounding. The first video recaps Episodes 1-3 of Season 1, and I expect these videos to continue up until the new Season's release. There will be spoilers, of course, so watch at your own peril...

If you ever worked in an office the last 25 years or have grandparents who owned a Windows PC, then you know Microsoft's Solitaire [Free] all too well, and now you'll be able to play this classic game on your mobile device. This game came with the Windows OS and became one of the most played games ever not because of how amazing it is but because it was always available to anyone sitting in front of a Windows PC. Don't underestimate what boredom can do to you; it can even make you play Solitaire countless times in a loop up there with any other groundhog day nightmare. Jokes aside, Microsoft's Solitaire has probably been a gateway game for many, so it deserves a spot in the hall of fame if just for that...

There's always a lot of talk regarding the educational potential of video games, and ASU professor, Karen Guerrero, has decided to use the popular Pokemon GO [Free] to improve elementary school students' geography, math, and language skills. According to Guerrero, teachers always look for a hook - a way to capture the students' attention - that makes teaching the subject matter easier. Pokemon GO is a no-brainer in that sense since it already has a huge fan base and even if a student hasn't played it already, she at least knows about it. The lesson aims to teach students map-reading skills and how to use geospatial technologies and communicate geographic information...

This week's Hearthstone [Free]Tavern Brawl couldn't be further from last week's Heroic Tavern Brawl. Instead of putting together your own deck and relying mostly on skill, this week you take Valeera's deck of spells to the brawl. The spells come from all classes, so you'll see some interesting lost opportunities for synergies, but the fun part is that every time you play a spell, it summons a random minion of the same cost. As you can imagine, this Brawl is pretty heavy in terms of RNG, but the fact that the minions aren't totally random and are, instead, of the same mana as the spell does give you a better idea of what you might get. You'll still be constantly surprised, of course. Keep in mind that spells are cast after the minion is summoned, so if you play a spell that clears the board, it will remove your own newly-summoned minion, too...

One of the biggest mysteries surrounding the whole Pokemon GO [Free] phenomenon has been the presence of Ditto within the game. Whether you know Ditto as the jolly, amorphous, transformative blob that is a favorite of many trainers, or if you prefer to use the Pokemon as an egg-creating machine, it has served as a frustrating obstacle for anyone looking to complete their Pokedex within the ultra-popular critter catching simulator. While we found reports that the elusive creature was appearing in the near future, all of a sudden players all around the globe are reporting catching relatively rudimentary Pokemon such as Rattatas and Pidgeys, just to see them transform into Ditto after catching. There's no explanation to why Ditto has suddenly appeared within Pokemon GO, but it sure is exciting news for anyone looking to get one step closer to completing their Pokedex, and an extra reason to catch some more common Pokemon that you would normally ignore...

Telltale Talks Narrative-Driven Game Design

November 22nd, 2016 5:30 PM EST by Tasos Lazarides in Games, News
Free Buy Now

I grew up playing all the old Sierra and LucasArts adventure games, so I've been enjoying the Telltale games because they keep the narrative-driven gameplay while doing away with the puzzles (which can often be very irritating). If you like the Telltale games, you should definitely watch the talk below, delivered during GDC 2015 but only now made free for everyone to watch. The talk starts with the Jurassic Park game and how the developers started looking for ways to shift from point-and-click mechanics to a formula that would service the narrative they wanted to tell. They also talk about the challenge of figuring out the correct levels of interactivity in a game and their fear of players feeling like Telltale games weren't really games because of the lack of the usual mechanics. The famous "He will remember this" comes up and they talk about how that mechanic was one of the first signs their ideas would actually work...

Researchers are increasingly using video games as ways to measure people's abilities (or lack thereof), and mobile games couldn't be absent from those studies. Recently, New Scientist reported on a study that used the mobile game Sea Hero Quest [Free] to primarily test Alzheimer's disease symptoms but ended up also showing that Nordic people have the best sense of direction and the best navigational abilities in the world. Sea Hero Quest has you setting off in a boat, making several twists and turns through numerous icebergs, and then finding your way back to a starting point no longer visible. Players from 193 games navigated the icebergs of Sea Hero Quest, and the best players were from Finland, Sweden, Norway, and Denmark. These results, of course, generated all kinds of Vikings-related headlines...

If you've been wondering what kinds of Clash Royale [Free] decks you should be playing and which cards are currently the strongest, this reddit post by Wwoody123 will be of great help. He recorded the Global Top 100 battle decks on Ladder and broke down cards by popularity. Apparently, Mega Minion rules the roost with The Log and Zap second and third and the flexible Archers at four. Tombstone isn't as popular as it used to be (although still in the top five), with Lightning, Ice Spirit, Ice Golem, Fireball, and Miner rounding the top 10. As the poster notes, Miner, Giant, and Hog Rider are the top three offensive troops...

Blizzard continues to reveal more and more Hearthstone [Free] Mean Streets of Gadgetzan cards, but today the cards we got to see come with a brand new mechanic, the Jade Golem. This new mechanic is part of the Jade Lotus gang, and it will remind you of C'Thun in a way but with more than just one minion. So, a card like the 4-mana 2/3 Jade Spirit has a Battlecry: Summon a Jade Golem and the 4-mana Jade Lightning spell deals 4 damage and summons a Jade Golem. Nothing that ground-breaking so far, but the interesting part of the Jade Golem is that every time you summon one, it gets +1/+1 from the previous one. So if you summon let's say 10 Jadegolems (I've seen the card written both as Jade Golem and Jadegolem so not sure which is the right one yet), the last one you summon will have 10/10 stats. In other words, it's a C'Thun mechanic but instead of all your buffs going on one minion, you get one buffed minion per summon...

Steampunk Runner 'Malevolent Machines' Gets a New Teaser Trailer, February 2017 Release Date

Auto-runner games tend to invite particular scrutiny on the App Store, as the sheer abundance of similar titles means the average gamer will only have time to play a few of the most interesting titles within the genre. Malevolent Machines is one such game - while not necessarily attempting to reinvent the wheel, developers Goodnight Games have created a runner which takes significant steps at fleshing out its story and world, through an interesting premise and some really pretty pixel art graphics that bring its dystopian world to life. While Malevolent Machines won't hit the App Store until February 7th of next year, the developers have released a cool new teaser trailer that does a great job of showing the game's awesome assets in action...

Let me start this review with a spoiler; for me, Sports Interactive's Football Manager Touch 2017 [$19.99 (HD)] is probably the most complicated (yet still accessible), most replayable, and most entertaining game on the App Store. This is a game that lets you play any team from over 130 leagues across the world, and all those teams have their real-life players in their roster, and each of those players has his real-life stats (as well as those can be put into numbers). And you can play with that team for season after season all the while customizing it in all kinds of ways. I'm constantly amazed at all the little things I discover in this game as I go along, features and details that make playing the game faster while at the same time giving me more ways to interact with my team, my board, my training staff, and pretty much everyone in the world of Football Manager...

2016 has been a massive year for Pokemon as a franchise. This week Pokemon Sun and Moon, the latest entries in the main series, have launched to critical and commercial acclaim (unless you're in Europe, in which case you'll still have an agonising two day wait to try them out), and the brand's general prevalence has skyrocketed as a result of the 20th anniversary promotional push that Nintendo have championed over the past year. However, it's Pokemon GO [Free] which will likely be seen as the high point of this major year for Nintendo, as the high point of 45 million players during the summer was phenomenal, and brought both hardcore fans, and people who may have never played a video game before, together in an unprecedented scale. To celebrate the incredible past few months for Pokemon GO, Niantic are holding a special celebration within the game, whereby for a week from November 23rd, all experience and stardust earned will be doubled...

'Gadgetzan' Reveals, Heroic Brawl Hits, Reynad and Amaz Videos, and More 'Hearthstone' Weekly News in 'Touchstone' #73

Welcome everyone to another Touchstone issue, our weekly column about all things Hearthstone [Free]. This has been an eventful week but with only two topics dominating the conversation; the continuous stream of Gagdetzan reveals and the first Heroic Tavern Brawl. Since everyone has been talking about these two topics, there aren't that many news stories to talk about that don't simply repeat the same information. However, there are some fun and informative videos as the pros continue to talk about the new expansion and all the revealed cards. Not too long to go now before we see a (hopefully) new meta. The signs are positive, but we haven't yet seen all the cards. Fingers crossed that deckbuilding will be fun again...

'Demon's Rise 2: Lords of Chaos' Review - And Now, the Other Side of the Coin

More than ever before, a game review these days is often little more than a snapshot of a work in progress. Developers are rarely finished with games just because they've launched, and in certain cases, so much is added after the fact that whatever I thought at a game's release no longer fits terribly well. A fine example of that is Demon's Rise [$4.99], the debut SRPG from developer Wave Light Games. Wave Light worked hard on balancing the game, adding lots of content, and implementing features, taking it far beyond what was in the initial release. In fact, the developer recently updated it again, and will be doing more in the future. It's great, but it also presents something of a challenge when it comes to a follow-up...

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