Category Archives: Games

We figured this week would be quite busy after the packed list of releases on Wednesday night, but there's still games sneaking out that didn't quite come out last night that are of particular note. Cosmic Crown [$1.99] is one of those games, and in fact it released totally under the radar last Friday. It's a curious game that seems to mix in any number of genres, perhaps a fusion of turn-based roguelikes with an endless runner. ..

In early October Everplay unveiled their latest game, a matching RPG hybrid called Adventure Age [Free]. It was only about a week ago that Everplay soft-launched the game in Canada to test things out, but apparently everything was going smoothly as as of late last night Adventure Age is now available worldwide. I didn't get in on the soft-launch version, but I've played around a little with the full release and so far I like Adventure Age quite a bit...

Back in September, we reported on the soft launch of Star Wars: Galactic Defense [Free]. Developed by the folks at DeNA, Galactic Defense is a freemium tower defense title complete with classic Star Wars heroes and locales to visit. While there’s a certain amount of fan service that makes Galactic Defense appealing on some level, the game’s actual execution leaves a lot to be desired...

Turn-based strategy fans will want to take note of a game that sneaked past the Wednesday night release list as it showed up on the App Store this morning, Battle Worlds: Kronos [$14.99 (HD)]. This turn-based strategy game originally released on desktop, and has now made its way to iPad, with loads of content intact. The game invokes classic turn-based strategy game like Advance Wars and Panzer General to describe its gameplay, with players commanding an army of units by land, air, and sea on hexagonal maps. There are two campaigns to play through, with developer King Art claiming 50 hours of gameplay, and a strong AI system...

There are lot of reasons developers might choose to put a game on mobiles, and plenty of them have nothing to do with the unique interface presented by the touch screen. Most of us have learned to deal with virtual buttons and such just fine, but it's always nice when a developer clearly designs their game around the hardware's natural input methods in an intuitive way. Splot [$1.99], a new platformer from the developers behind the Trine games, benefits greatly from its easy-to-understand control setup. Its controls work very well, and that should theoretically open the developer up to more challenging level designs, an element I think most platform fans can agree on. Unfortunately, Splot doesn't quite go as far as I'd like it in that regard, but it still ends up being a fun, content-rich game that will keep you busy for at least a few hours...

I applaud Simogo for continuing to challenge what mobile gaming should be, and for aiming to tell stories in a world where gameplay is such a heavy focus. The Sailor's Dream [$3.99] is Simogo's third-straight story-heavy game after the absolute masterpieces Year Walk [$3.99] and Device 6 [$3.99], which you should go play right now if you haven't yet. Where Device 6 was much more of an interactive novel with the occasional puzzle than Year Walk was, The Sailor's Dream eschews any challenge or practically any 'game' elements in order to just deliver a story-driven experience. I admit that just having a story disappointed me, as I perhaps was frantic to discover the mystery here, but I have to say – Simogo's made another must-play game, even if it wasn't the most satisfying to me...

In December of last year, developer Infinite Dreams announced they'd be remaking their classic scrolling shooter Sky Force for modern touch devices. Being a huge fan of both the original Sky Force and its sequel Sky Force Reloaded, I was really excited for the news. However, the purist in me wasn't sure how I'd feel about new graphics, and I was leery at the prospect of the game being free to play. Luckily, when Sky Force 2014 [Free] launched in June my fears were put to rest, as the game was absolutely fantastic. The new visuals were incredibly impressive while still retaining the style of the original, and the free to play system built into the game was one of the best I've ever seen, allowing you to play completely for free if you choose or buy permanent IAP to turn the game into a true "premium" experience...

Okay, so if you've been around the block a few times in the mobile or flash game scenes, you've almost certainly come across a time management game before. Going back as far as Activision's Pressure Cooker, this puzzle sub-genre typically requires you to match pieces of things just right while under a time limit. It's enjoyed a bit of a comeback in recent years thanks to games like Diner Dash [Free] and Cook, Serve, Delicious! [$4.99 (HD)], and you can find dozens if not hundreds of games in the genre on the App Store, covering a wide variety of jobs or tasks. The difficult thing, then, for a new time management game is to differentiate itself from the enormous pack. Twisty Hollow [$2.99] opts for a more abstract view of the action, and from there it finds a few tricks to call its own...

It's been just over a month since The Pokémon Company International launched an official iPad client for their popular Pokémon trading card game called Pokémon TCG Online [Free (HD)], and today that game has received its first significant update since release. The update adds support for the Pokémon TCG XY: Phantom Forces expansion, the XY Trainer Kit—Bisharp and Wigglytuff 2-player set, and some new promotional cards...

'Talisman' Review - Classic Boardgame gets Universal Update

I've been on a Games Workshop kick lately, and with the relatively recent universalization of Nomad Games' Talisman[$6.99], I couldn't help but scoop it up. This app has some sky high production quality with a full compliment of features including multiple view modes, full musical scoring and future content updates. I have to admit I caught a serious case of nostalgia seeing the old familiar 3-ringed map and some of my favorite classes again. This port is going to amaze and excite even if you haven't experienced the physical version of this classic board game...

'Proun+' Preview: The PC Tunnel Racer Finds a Home on Mobile

There are some games where the question has to be asked: why wasn't this on iOS sooner? Joost Van Dongen's Proun+ is one of those games. Releasing on November 27th for $3.99, ported by Engine Software, it's a game that really feels like it's finally home on iPhones and iPads. The PC version is remembered as a particularly notable entry in the tunnel racing genre, and it feels like it's reaching its intended destination on iOS, where games like Unpossible [$1.99] and Synesthetic [$2.99] have followed in its footsteps, wittingly or not...

I love how far mobile device hardware has progressed over the years, and the complex and impressive games that are possible because of it. But I also have a soft spot in my heart for those simplistic time wasters that aim to fill those brief moments of downtime throughout our busy lives. Specifically, I love portrait-oriented, one-handed, single-thumb games. Games like Bouncy Trampoline [Free], SlamBots [$1.99], Doug Dug [$1.99] and yes, even Flappy Bird are frequented by me when I feel like playing something but don't feel like thinking too hard about what I want to play. I even have a folder on my home screen dedicated to games like this, games that I know I can tap on any of them and reliably be entertained...

Stoic Studio Talks 'Banner Saga' Mobile Development and Direction of Upcoming Sequel

Bringing The Banner Saga [$9.99] to tablets gave John Watson nightmares. “This launch was even bigger to us personally than the original launch,” he explains. The Banner Saga was released for PC and Mac in January before making the jump to tablets early last month. “We’ve been working toward this for a long time. I was extremely excited about the launch, and getting it done was a relief.”..

Threes! [$1.99] (and 2048 [Free] for that matter) is one of the most copied game designs of the past couple of years. Thankfully, the number of straight up clones releasing has subsided, but I was always puzzled why more people didn't take the base concept and expand on it in some way. Dungelot 2 [Free] developer Red Winter Software is trying to just that with their new game Lost Viking [$2.99]. In short, it's a similar idea to the many match-3 RPGs out there like Puzzle Quest or Dungeon Raid, except that the matching-3 part is replaced with Threes!-style matching...

Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, said Charles Caleb Colton, a man whose words are far more famous than his name. I'm not sure if that's always the case, but I do believe strongly that it sometimes is. For example, when I was a young lad, I used to try to draw Spider-Man exactly the way Todd McFarlane did. His art was so exciting and cool to me that I would find my favorite panels and more or less copy them. That eventually extended to my original drawings of Spider-Man, with the big eyes and the bundly webs finding their way into those margin-doodles my poor teachers had to put up with. In my defense, McFarlane was pretty popular at the time. I was a big fan of the art, and I wanted to express that through drawing similar things. Never mind that they were poor replicas, they were sincere, innocent-minded odes to McFarlane's unusual style. I think we see a lot of that type of situation in the game industry, since so many of today's developers grew up blanketed in the hobby. Of course, we also see quite a bit of the less-innocent imitations that are less about appreciation of art and more about appreciation of money, but I think it's safe to say that 2012's Partia [$3.99], a naked homage to Nintendo's Fire Emblem, is more the former...

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