Category Archives: Games

'Mortal Kombat X' Review - Vengeance Feels A Lot Like Justice

Let's get the obvious out of the way before we start. Mortal Kombat X [Free], the mobile take on the latest in the long-running Mortal Kombat series, is not a port of the game that is about to hit consoles. It uses some scaled-down assets and draws its roster from that game, but you should not expect this game to play like a traditional Mortal Kombat game. Instead, Mortal Kombat X should be seen as sort of a follow-up to the popular mobile version of Injustice: Gods Among Us [Free], with simple tap-based combat and a focus on collecting and building your stable of characters. Like it or lump it, the masses have spoken on what they want to see in a mobile fighting game, and fumbling around with virtual buttons and combos never meant for touch controls didn't make the list. Likewise, the heavy story elements found in the console versions of the game are nowhere to be found here...

'Drylands' Preview - Jumping your way to your next Quest

For people who grew up playing computer games in the late 80s and 90s, few games are spoken in a more venerable tone than Wasteland and the Fallout series (Wasteland's spiritual successor). These were games that gave players a post-apocalyptic playground to explore, back when the apocalypse wasn't happening on TV every couple of days, and translated pen-and-paper RPG systems to computer games to help players develop and invest in their characters. Wasteland and the Fallout series directly or indirectly influenced the development of most RPGs in the last two decades and have even continued to spawn sequels to this day (Fallout: New Vegas was published in 2010 and, just last year, Wasteland finally got a sequel)...

EA Mobile Inks Long-Term Deal to Develop 'Despicable Me' Games, Announces 'Minions Paradise'

This morning, EA Mobile announced a deal with Illumination Entertainment to develop and publish a set of Minions-inspired mobile games, the first of which launches this summer. "Minions," of course, are the bright yellow ovoid urchins from Illumination's surprisingly popular Despicable Me movies. The first project to come out of the new deal will be Minions Paradise, a town-building game about designing and crafting a tropical Minion resort, starring a new, not-from-the-movies character named Phil...

Knights and Snails [Free] is a game that should have an identity crisis. It feels like it should be a multiplayer CCG-type title, with strategic battles. Instead it decides to structure itself more like a match-3 game with dozens of levels to play, and the trappings of something like Candy Crush Saga. [Free] I'm baffled by it, because the core gameplay concept is so interesting, but it just goes in such a weird and ill-fated direction...

It's all too easy to dismiss DomiNations [Free] as a Clash of Clans [Free] clone that arrived late to an over-saturated market. But with its theme of nation building, and a timeline spanning millennia, this is more like a free-to-play reimagining of Sid Meier's Civilization...

'Attack the Light - Steven Universe' Review - Power Levels Over 9000

There are pretty much three things that I care about in life: mobile games, baseball, and cartoons. How society decided I was an adult was a tremendous failure on the part of a lot of people, but we've got to live with the consequences. My latest obsession besides games or crying over Texas Rangers players suffering season-ending injuries? It's Steven Universe, created by Rebecca Sugar, who pretty much wrote and storyboarded all the best episodes of Adventure Time before she became the first woman to create a Cartoon Network show. And Steven Universe is amazing. It's gotten better and better as it's passed its first season, it's picking up fans, and it is now the recipient of its own licensed game, in Attack the Light [$2.99]...

'Cube Koala' Review - Super Marsupial Boy

Some people like to curl up with a good book to relax, I like to curl up with a challenging game. While that sounds like the opposite of therapy for a lot of people, I enjoy the notion of testing my brain, especially with a casual setting like a mobile device where I can pick it up and play anytime. Cube Koala [Free] pretty much encapsulates that ideology...

Baseball is finally back after a long winter. It's looking like another rough season for my Texas Rangers, with more season-ending injuries and prospects they traded playing for other teams. Thankfully, baseball simulator iOOTP is back for another season on iOS. Boasting a fresh MLB license and a new name, MLB Manager 2015 [$4.99], the time has come for me to try and change my favorite team's fate, and develop them into perennial contenders. Previous iOOTP games came with what amounted to incremental improvements from year-to-year. MLB Manager, despite the fresh new license, follows the same tack: a few new tweaks and features rule the day...

There are plenty of same-room multiplayer games, where you and a friend link your phones on Bluetooth or WiFi and do battle. Now, Chicago-based developer Sebastian Gosztyla twists the formula with Dual [Free], a simple shooting game that sees you stand face-to-face with your opponent and trade bullets across devices...

'DuckTales Remastered' Review -  Solve A Mystery, Or Rewrite History

Nostalgia is definitely big business, as the movie industry has known for decades and the game industry only just started catching on to. It's a tricky thing, nostalgia. Some people like to hand wave it away, as though the positive feelings from a familiar situation are any less valid than the positive feelings from seeing a bit of visual spectacle. I strongly disagree with that notion. I think nostalgia is a wonderful thing, and if a game can use it effectively the result is almost always a better all-around experience. That's a big qualifier, though. A game that relies solely on nostalgia is as empty as one that relies solely on graphical flair. Nostalgia only works for the audience that was there at the time. For everyone else, you'd better make sure the rest of the game can support its own weight...

'Gunpowder' for iPad Review - Explosive Rube Goldberg Play Sets

After first seeing the trailer for developer Rogue Rocket Games’ Gunpowder [$4.99 (HD)] last week, I was instantly taken by the game’s Saturday morning cartoon aesthetic, and more specifically, that of the old Wile E. Coyote episodes of "Looney Tunes". It’s a style rarely seen in today’s cartoons, much less in any video game, so it was a refreshing hook that baited me to pay attention to the game. Fortunately, Gunpowder is more than just a pretty face, and brings with it physics-based puzzle gameplay that balances on the fine line of accessible yet satisfying...

Tap 'N' Slash [Free] is another game designed around being able to work on a touchscreen, which equates to simple controls. That's no bad thing, it's just that the makers of Tap 'N' Slash, Invictus, still chose to describe their game as an RPG and talk about exploring dungeons, which could set expectations a little high. Sure it's an RPG in the sense that you play as a character, but it's no more role-playing than Sonic or Mario. As for the dungeon exploring? Not in any traditional sense of the word...

I've been kicking this review down the road for a while now. I don't typically wait for games to get patches before reviewing them, because once the game is on the store, it's fair game for any customer to buy. I had to make an exception in the case of Echo Dawn: Shattered Visions [$3.99], which worked on my device when I first grabbed it, then broke with the next update, then broke some more before finally getting fixed with its last update. That's not a promising start to a review, I know, but I think it's important to be clear about one side of Echo Dawn. It lacks polish in more ways than one, and there's really no ignoring that aspect of it. There's another side to Echo Dawn, however, and it's a far more pleasant one. It's an enthusiastic indie take on a typical JRPG, more complete than many that attempt to deliver a full package, and it has some genuinely interesting gameplay systems, even if they don't quite come together as cleanly as one might hope...

Ryleh Industry’s Chromaticon [$1.99] is a challenging experience that relies heavily on tilt mechanics and color coordination. In fact, it’s probably one of the more difficult games that I’ve played in a while and borders on being too hard for some players. However, it succeeds in making accomplishment a very cool experience and, when combined with great visuals and cool music, make it a game worth checking out...

If you're some kind of touchscreen-tapping iron man and you made it through the first 12 levels of brutally-hard platformer Mr Jump [Free], then get ready for another dozen levels arriving at the end of the month...

One of the coolest aspects of Final Fantasy: Record Keeper [Free] is the ability to eventually unlock and battle with a large variety of different characters. While the Japanese version has a myriad of heroes to choose from already, the recently released English version debuted with a limited amount of unlock able warriors. Well, with today’s new event, the folks at DeNA have started to slowly introduce new participants to the battle, starting with Tifa and a “secret” character that can be earned by completing the entirety of the event...

Friends, I don't claim to be a fortune teller, but I think I'm sensing a pattern with these sales. Awesome indie RPG developer Spiderweb Software has a new game coming out on April 15th, and to celebrate, it seems like each of their iPad titles is taking a turn going on sale for half off the regular price. Two weeks ago, it was Avadon: The Black Fortress [$9.99 (HD)]. Last week, it was Avadon 2: The Corruption [$9.99 (HD)]. This week, we finally get around to the Avernum series of games with Avernum 6 [$6.99 (HD)] on for the ridiculously low price of $2.99...

'Shadowrun: Dragonfall' Review - The Matrix, Reloaded

I'm of two minds about Shadowrun Returns [$2.99 (HD)], the 2013 Kickstarter-fueled return to the cult cyberpunk setting. On the one hand, it's a really strong RPG that pays respect to the beloved 16-bit games. The pacing is snappy, the systems are enjoyable to play around with, and while the setting isn't quite as unique as it was twenty-five years ago, it's still unusual enough to help invigorate the experience. I mean, this vision of a dystopian cyberpunk future is almost adorably retro at this point, like looking back at the 1960s idea of where the space race would lead us. The writing quality is strong enough that those feelings of quaintness are quickly shaken as you get into the plot. On the other hand, the iOS release was extremely buggy at launch, the developer was slow to fix anything, and it's still missing content from the PC version, a situation that will likely never be resolved. The game has a tendency to grab you by the wrist and drag you along, with little in the way of role-playing options or any real agency on your part. That's a valid choice and I enjoy many games that use that kind of design, but at least where I'm concerned, I tend to feel that Shadowrun RPGs are best when they're a bit more open-ended...

'Boss Monster' Review - Beautiful Retro Card Game, Shame About the Interface

I'll put my cards on the table: I wasn't a fan of the Boss Monster card game. I was heavily in to Magic: The Gathering back then and a few of the guys in our club went ga-ga for Boss Monster and threw some cash in to the Kickstarter, but it never grabbed me in quite the same way. Yes I liked the retro theme and the pretty 8-bit art, and it's a cool idea to play as the baddy, but every time I played it struck me as one of those card games that has a lot of stuff going on, but not much happening...

So, the Blackrock Depths Wing of Blackrock Mountain Adventure (BRM) for Blizzard's Hearthstone [Free] has been officially released, and many of you are getting ready to take on the many challenges in the adventure. But, as you know, it's dangerous to go alone, so take this guide to help you get through the first three Bosses in both Normal and Heroic Difficulties as well as the two Class Challenges...

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