Category Archives: Games

'Imps in Tokyo' Review - Greater Than the Sum of Its Parts

A first glance at Imps in Tokyo [$1.99] might not really reveal much about what type of game it is. A picturesque style and a dark purple-blue motif are at the forefront of information you can see from screenshots. Developer We are Vigilantes have crafted a game that is much greater than the sum of its parts. Imps in Tokyo is, in broadest strokes, a pattern recognition game. Passing most stages will require flying around, dodging some enemies, killing other enemies and collecting as many magic pellets as possible. ..

We've seen plenty of games that take after the kind of endless wave-sliding popularized by Tiny Wings [$0.99 / $2.99 (HD)], and refined by Kumobius' Time Surfer [Free] which threw its own wrinkles and a monetization-friendly metagame into the mix. RAD Boarding [Free] from Other Ocean and Noodlecake feels like it could be that next milestone game in this genre, at least at first. It has a gorgeous look and a game structure that could ideally make it a game worth checking out. But the problem is that RAD Boarding focuses way too much on its structure and metagame, and not enough on making getting high scores and actually playing the game feel important at all...

As a dungeon crawler with a bunch of freemium systems meshed into its core, Dungeon Hunter 5 [Free]can be a tough game to crack. It’s not just a matter of figuring out how to cope with the game’s plethora of timers and premium currency — it takes some advanced knowledge of the game’s freemium elements in order to work within them and potentially take advantage of them. The purpose of this guide is to impart some of that knowledge needed to succeed, as well as offer a few tips that can hopefully help you succeed...

Gameloft’s Dungeon Hunter dungeon crawler series has seen a lot of changes over the years, and that theme continues with this year’s release of Dungeon Hunter 5 [Free]. Yes, the hack n’ slash series continues its march into freemium territory, but this time it does so with a system that’s pretty fair to its players. It actually leads to a game that’s not only pretty enjoyable (within the confines of its systems) but has the potential for long term investment...

I've reviewed a lot of Kemco games in the last couple of years here at TouchArcade, and while the quality varies wildly, I can easily say my least favorite of that two dozen, give or take, was Shelterra The Skyworld [$3.99]. It basically encapsulated everything that I dislike about developer Magitec's games. The archaic engine with its jerky scrolling, the localization so stiff you could iron a shirt on it, the irritating dungeons that have you doubling back and forth hitting switches with damage floors everywhere, the asinine approach to character development, and more all added up to one sad little reviewer. Every time I see Magitec's name on a new Kemco release now, I take a deep breath, flinching the way one would when a static shock is expected from a touch...

'Flop Rocket' Review - Fly Me to the Moon

It's always a tricky task to make a game that's challenging without being frustrating. It's a fine line between making a game that puts up a stiff resistance while still being something that the player should want to come back to again and again. Thankfully, Flop Rocket [Free] manages to find this balance. This cave-flyer is very difficult, and tasks players with a very difficult objective to strive toward, but that's part of the point: there's an objective...

'Card Crawl' Review - Just One More Time

Card games are extremely difficult to make, in my estimation: the game has to provide a rigid set of rules, while having to deal with randomness in a way that feels fair while reveling in the entropy that comes from not knowing what's next. I don't know if Card Crawl [$1.99] ever completely succeeds in that respect in terms of fairness with the randomness. But it does an excellent enough job otherwise at making a game that's super-fun with an interesting set of rules that I struggle to put this one down...

Those sneaky Angry Birds, they almost slipped this one by us. Early yesterday morning, Rovio unleashed Angry Birds Stella POP! [Free] onto the world at large after a soft-launch period which began in late January. Angry Birds Stella POP! is a bubble shooter not totally unlike Bust-a-Move/Puzzle Bobble, but probably more closely aligned with something like King's Bubble Witch 2 Saga [Free]. It utilizes the characters and settings of the latest Angry Birds spinoff series, Angry Birds Stella [Free]. ..

I'm a sucker for pixel art. No matter how many years have passed since the retro era, I'm still fond of that old school style. Kind of like hand-drawn animation over CGI, I'm at least there to take a look at something even if the game isn't necessarily worth playing. That's what initially drew me to Combo Queen [$1.99]. While it's a bit too simplistic to warrant extended play, the art style is worth checking out at the very least...

RPG Reload File 029 - 'Shining Force'

Hello, gentle readers, and welcome to the RPG Reload, the weekly feature where we discover that there's a little Jogurt in all of us. Each week, we take a look at an RPG from the App Store's past for a little revisiting, a little reflecting, and a bit of a deeper dive than our regular reviews typically allow us. The RPG genre is as vast as the ocean, and I try to schedule games in such a way that we get a balanced plate as we go along, but I need your help with that. Once per month, the selection of the game falls to you, the reader. Simply let me know which game you'd like to see by commenting below, posting in the Official RPG Reload Club thread, or by tweeting me at @RPGReload. The winner will be randomly chosen and featured in April's reader's choice article. I don't know what it will be, but I'm pretty sure we're fresh out of SEGA games now!..

Just as we told you it would a couple of weeks ago, One Man Left's Outwitters [Free] has finally landed on Android and gained a massive overhaul in a version 2.0 update for iOS. Well, while it's technically a "massive overhaul," you won't likely notice much about the new iOS version just on the surface. One Man Left ended up rewriting the game from the ground up as part of the Android porting process, so the game runs like a dream now and features cross-platform play with Android folks. There's also native iPhone 6 and 6 Plus screen support, in-game auto-refresh to create a more "real-time" feel to the asynchronous multiplayer, and many more nips and tucks to the nearly three year old game...

Balancing a tower defense title properly is a pretty tough task. Make a game too easy and players may lose interest in advancing through the game’s missions and difficulty. On the other hand, an incredibly difficult TD title can potentially alienate a lot of prospective players. Epic War TD 2 [$2.99] by AMT Games leans heavily on the difficult side in terms of the TD spectrum. However, the game is balanced well enough that most TD gamers can succeed while optional modes provide a challenge for the hardcore fans...

'Miner Z' Review - Mr. Zombie Driller

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I can't get enough of mining games. Although there are a decent amount of them out in the world, I feel like we still need more. The thrill of digging down deep into the depths of the unknown is unparalleled, and incredibly addictive. Miner Z [Free] might be a more arcade-like experience akin to an endless runner, but it still gets the job done...

Starting in June of last year, Halfbrick began an aggressive updating schedule to one of their oldest and most beloved games, Age of Zombies [$0.99]. Arriving about every month on average, these updates added new content and features that injected new life into a game that was originally released way back in 2010, and long-time fans like myself couldn't be happier to see a classic getting some loving. ..

Ever since we first caught wind of it back in February, Sick Bricks  [Free] by Spin Master has been an intriguing title to play. A lot of the individual elements have been seen before in countless games before it. However, as a compilation, we’ve never quite seen a title combine all of those elements with a real-world toy buying campaign. Granted, it’s not quite the perfect melding of real and digital world assets that I’d like. However, Sick Bricks is still a pretty fun game and should do quite well with its intended audience...

'Blokshot Revolution' Review - Round And Round We Go

It's been interesting watching the way shooting games have progressed over the years. As one of the first genres in video gaming, the shooting genre has had a lot of interesting twists and turns. From the earliest titles like Space Invaders that offered a single screen and a big set of targets to pick off one at a time, to the advent of scrolling shooters with titles like Namco's Xevious, into a golden age with amazing shooting games being made by just about every prominent company, often with intricate stage designs and power-up systems. This was followed by the near-total death of the genre that coincided with the rise of Cave who, along with developers like Treasure and Psikyo, continued to service the shrinking audience with increasingly intricate and complex games. The once-mighty genre seemed consigned to niche status forever...

If you're an iPad owner, into strategy games, and are a history buff, the mere mention of Slitherine's name is probably enough to get your blood pumping. Simply put, they consistently release some of the finest strategy games on iOS. Their games tend to be on the upper end of the App Store price range, but it's a genuine case of getting what you pay for. Each game is typically packed with content, extremely well-designed, and rounded out with a full set of features. Another well-known name in iOS strategy circles is Hunted Cow Studios, who are also nothing if not reliable. For years, their niche was in regularly releasing low-priced games covering a variety of interesting settings. The mechanics of those games rarely held any surprises, but they filled the belly without emptying the wallet. These two major forces in the iOS strategy game scene have come together with the release of Hell: Fight For Gilrand [$9.99 (HD)], an iPad-only release...

There are a lot of pieces of Pixel Heroes [$6.99] that would have had a much stronger effect on me a couple of years ago. The well-designed faux-retro graphics and sound, the roguelike elements, and the referential sense of humor are all things that have appeal for me, but even the marriage of these particular aspects is getting a bit too familiar to be exciting. That means the game has to carry forward on its gameplay, and it's honestly a mixed bag. This is a challenging streamlined RPG that doesn't take itself too seriously and offers a lot of replay value, but its repetitive nature and tedious combat eat away at the fun, bite by bite...

LogoHello, everyone. I hope you enjoyed the magical and mysterious GDC week last week. Normally, the RPG Reload Pocast will go up on the first Monday of each month, but with GDC that didn't quite pan out. However, better late than never, and this time around, our main topic is Avernum: Escape From The Pit [$9.99 (HD)], which I covered in my RPG Reload column two weeks ago. It's a really interesting open-world RPG done in a classic style which is oddly coming back into vogue of late.

My co-host Eric Ford relates his history with the game to compensate for my being almost completely new to it, and it turns out he goes back pretty far as a player with developer Spiderweb Software. I think I was in the middle of a Final Fantasy 6 [$15.99]/Chrono Trigger [$9.99] sandwich when that developer got their start, which explains how I missed them. Oh well, it just means I get to enjoy the games freshly now!

We talk about a whole lot of other stuff in addition to Avernum, with no less than two complete tangents onto topics barely related to RPGs. These things happen. There's some discussion about the controversial issue of updates to older games, a little bit about review scores, some Dragon Quest talk, some Final Fantasy: Record Keeper talk, and even a little of me shaking my fist at the burdens of my Kemco-entwined fate. Lots of good stuff to keep you occupied while you're grinding out levels in whatever RPG you're playing at the moment!

I'm still getting the hang of the editing stuff, but I think this one is a little bit better. I tried to level out the sound a bit to compensate for my booming pipes versus Eric's slightly soft-spoken nature. Hopefully it helps a bit. Also, it's not in weird stereo-vision this time around, so while it has lost something in terms of immersion, it has gained considerably in being less annoying to listen to. Oh, and we're still hunting for a theme song, so if you can help us out, please let me know via one of the regular channels. The music in this episode of the podcast is once again courtesy of OCRemix, titled "/Overture Variations/", from Remixer Patrick Waters. It's a wonderful little remix of the Dragon Quest theme song. Once again, thanks for listening!

 

iTunes Link: The TouchArcade Show
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Direct Link: RPGReloadPodcast-002.mp3, 80.4MB

In this episode, we discuss:

With cameo appearances from:

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RPG Reload File 028 - 'Phantasy Star 2'

Hello, gentle readers, and welcome to the RPG Reload, the weekly feature where men get discounts on piano lessons for reasons not divulged in the localization. Each week, we jump into the time tunnel and grab an RPG from the App Store's past to give it a play in modern times. It's a bit of revisiting, a bit of reflection, and a chance to take a deeper dive than our reviews typically allow for. The RPG genre is a wide one with a lot of different kinds of games in it, and I try to present a good variety in this feature from week to week. To help me out with that, I turn to you, the reader, to choose what I'm playing once a month. Today's article is one such reader's choice, and the next one at the beginning of April could be yours! All you have to do is tell me the name of the game you'd like to see me play in the comments below, in the Official RPG Reload Club thread in the forums, or by via a tweet to @RPGReload. I'll randomly choose a winner each time, so even if your choice is unpopular, it still has a chance. Go for it!..

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