Category Archives: Platform

'It’s Full of Sparks' Review - A Cracking Good Time

It’s Full of Sparks [Free] is the latest release from prolific App Store publishers Noodlecake and developer Dabadu Games, and it’d be understandable if there were lingering doubts about whether quantity would eventually come at the expense of quality, and if some titles would make less of a bang amongst the iOS community. Thankfully, It’s Full of Sparks lives up to its name - from the outset, Dabadu Games have made a game full of sparks, new ideas and an abundance of charm from start to end. While a ‘platformer’ in the loosest sense of the word, It’s Full of Sparks suits the iPhone and iPad perfectly with its simple but incredibly solid central premise, and inventive level design means it remains engaging even as the novelty begins to wear thin...

Developer Kevin Ng created a smash hit back in May of 2013 with the stylish and frantic Impossible Road [$2.99], but several months before that he was also involved with a cute and quirky side-scrolling platformer called Food Run. This was an auto-running style of platformer, and while it didn't necessarily reinvent the wheel or anything it was one of the more polished and quirky runners on the App Store. It was also novel for being both level-based and fully premium, unlike most of its contemporaries, and it just gushed with fun and personality. Unfortunately Food Run eventually went the way of the dodo, but Ng has resurrected this old favorite with a completely remade version called Food Pals [$2.99] which just hit the App Store earlier today. ..




Super Phantom Cat 2 [Free] gracefully leapt onto the App Store this past August, and while the original game was one of our most favorite mobile platformers, this sequel was an improvement in just about every way. The graphics and especially the animations are much better, there are loads more playable characters to unlock and use, and there are a bunch more special abilities to utilize as you work your way through each level. Levels that are absolutely stuffed with secrets, I should add. Super Phantom Cat 2 is simultaneously a dream come true and a nightmare for completionists such as myself. Anyway, developer Veewo has been great about adding new content to the game following its release, and today's update is perhaps its biggest yet as it stars the world's most famous cat little girl Hello Kitty...

Around two and a half years ago, Sonic Team released their first (and thus far only) mobile game. Sonic Runners finally brought the famous hedgehog to a gameplay style that should have fit like a glove. It was a side-scrolling auto-runner packed with rings to grab, characters to collect, and more nods to SEGA history than you could shake a ceramic knife at. Unfortunately, it was also packed with free-to-play shenanigans galore, using virtually every trick in the book to try to monetize. At its core, the game was fun, with interesting level designs and fairly solid gameplay. That clearly wasn't enough, however, as SEGA ended up pulling the plug on the game less than a year after its debut...

When it comes to games that are never leaving my device, the Mos Speedrun games are most definitely on that list, and today I'm very pleased to see that both games are now updated for the iPhone X screen. The original Mos Speedrun [$0.99] launched in early 2011 and as its name implied it was a platformer centered around completing levels as quickly as possible. It was one of the earlier games to totally nail virtual controls in a highly-demanding precision platformer like this, and I have fond memories of battling for first place on the levels that featured online leaderboard support. Yes, Mos Speedrun is a true classic and one that I often revisit just for fun. Being an iPhone X owner, I naturally prefer that games take advantage of that whole gorgeous screen, and Mos Speedrun looks quite beautiful running on it now...

'Oddworld: New 'n' Tasty!' Review - You Are What They Eat

Now this is how you do a remake. Oddworld: New 'n' Tasty! [$7.99] is a rebuild of the original Oddworld game, Abe's Oddysee, and it doesn't do any of it by half-measures. The graphical improvements are obvious, but there's also a ton of new content and even some expanded mechanics in the game. While it's always a risky move to change things in a classic, you can tell the developers had a good sense of what worked and what didn't in the 1997 original. New 'n' Tasty! has almost all of the strengths of Abe's Oddysee and very few of its weaknesses, and its theme is (sadly) just as relevant today as it was two decades ago...

'Inside' Review - Try, Die, and Try Again

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December 14th, 2017 9:30 AM EST by Eli Hodapp in 4 stars, Games, Platform, Puzzle, Reviews
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For whatever reason, it seems like the fourth quarter of 2017 has been an absolute golden age of ports hitting the App Store. Playdead's Inside [Free] was just released, and we were lucky enough to be able to play through the game beforehand. As far as the iOS port is concerned, Playdead absolutely knocked this one out of the park. It's totally universal across the iPhone, iPad and Apple TV, optimized for the iPhone X, supports MFi controllers, and has totally seamless iCloud save syncing. The touch controls are even well done, and it's a free download with a one-time $6.99 (as of this writing) unlock. If there's a box they're not checking with this port, I don't know what it is. Unfortunately, I'm just not sure if I really enjoyed the game that much... But, more on that later...

Along with tonight's absolute onslaught of new iOS game releases was a pleasant surprise: An iOS port of Oddworld: New 'n' Tasty [$7.99]. Originally released on the PlayStation 4 in the summer of 2014, it seemed like New 'n' Tasty flew under the radar for whatever reason. It was a total rework of the Playstation classic Oddworld: Abe's Oddysee, which when released all the way back in 1997 was in the running for numerous game of the year awards. Other entries in the Oddworld universe include the sequel, Oddworld: Abe's Exoddus which improved upon the original in a number of interesting ways, and Oddworld: Munch's Oddysee. I never played Munch's Oddysee as it was released as a launch title on the original Xbox, which was a platform I got in on kind of late, missing most of the early games...

'Fez - Pocket Edition' Review - A Great Game, and an Even Better Reason to Buy an MFi Controller

Originally launched back in April of 2012 on Xbox Live Arcade, Fez is a 2D platformer with puzzle elements that hinge around being able to rotate the game world in 3D space. Since its initial release Fez has been ported to practically every platform under the sun, and in the process has won an absurd amount of awards. Fez is one of those games that it really doesn't matter where you play it, as long as you're playing it somewhere. This morning Fez - Pocket Edition [$4.99] was released on the App Store, providing a fabulous opportunity for fans of Fez to experience this gem on to go, as well as folks who potentially never heard of the game to play it for the very first time...

One of the remarkable things about the first three games in the Cally's Caves series of action-platformers is in how far they came in a relatively short time. The first game is quite primitive compared to the third, but they released only a couple of years apart. The thing about gains like that is that they rarely scale in a linear fashion. Cally's Caves 3 [Free] was an outstanding accomplishment for an indie game, presenting something that wouldn't have been terribly out of place as a retail release on a dedicated handheld. There's really only so much more Cally's Caves 4 [Free] could realistically be expected to do to top that. True to that, this is more or less another helping of the high-quality action found in Cally's Caves 3. For whatever it lacks in novelty, however, it makes up for by burying you in quantity...

While the pace of them has slowed down a bit since iOS 11's initial release back in September, I still get unreasonably excited when I see an older game I'm still clutching onto get a 64-bit compatibility update. Today's winner: Disney's Castle of Illusion Starring Mickey Mouse [$4.99]. The game originally arrived on iOS with zero warning or fanfare back in November of 2013, only a couple of months after its debut on consoles. There had never been a single update to the game since then, however, which led me to believe that this would be one lost forever in the great 32-bit Appocalypse. I'm very happy Disney has decided to update Castle of Illusion, and on top of just basic compatibility, the game even supports the new iPhone X screen. Check it out...

Mikey has flexed a lot of different abilities ever since first arriving in the App Store (and our hearts) back in 2012. From running, to jumping, to swinging, to rocket booting, Mikey has done it all. And in his latest endeavor, he does all of those things at the same time. Mikey Jumps [Free] arrived just over a year ago and it mashes all of Mikey's talents together into an auto-running platformer. The results were really good. Then this past May, a huge version 2.0 update arrived for Mikey Jumps adding in 200 new levels and a new portal mechanic. Now Mikey is back with another huge update, this time adding in a slick endless mode and a bunch of new vanity items to unlock...

I have to give SEGA some credit. One of the many points where I felt that the initial line-up of SEGA Forever titles was lacking was in the selection; they were all games drawn from SEGA's 16-bit platform, and only two of the games were new to iOS gamers. Subsequent releases have mostly stuck to Genesis games, plus a few updated versions of prior SEGA iOS releases. But the Genesis games in particular that have been selected are certainly eclectic choices that demonstrate an affection for the deeper cuts from SEGA's 16-bit library, and that's pretty cool. It reassures me that in spite of the numerous issues that have plagued SEGA Forever, the project is a work of passion. Because honestly, who else but a SEGA super-fan would choose to release something like ESWAT: City Under Siege [Free] ahead of better-known titles like Streets of Rage 2 or Gunstar Heroes?..

With the monstrous success of Super Mario Odyssey on the Switch, it's no surprise that Nintendo would be crossing over their latest console hit with their mobile Mario offering Super Mario Run [Free]. I mean, that's pretty much their entire reason for wanting to make mobile games, right? To get you interested in their console stuff? The latest example of this cross-platform synergy is a set of new Super Mario Odyssey statues which will be available for free in Super Mario Run over a staggered bi-weekly release calendar which is already under way with this week's Wedding Mario statue. Basically, all you have to do is log into Super Mario Run before 11pm PST on November 14th and you'll receive the Mario Wedding statue in your Gift Box...

This morning was one of those days where I just didn't want to wake up - but then I remembered the excellent Cally's Caves 4 [Free] was scheduled to release on the App Store. After two and a half years of fervent anticipation from the previous entry in the series, it's fair to say my expectations for the latest title in the excellent Cally's Caves franchise have been incredibly high, and it's good to see that developer Jordan Pearson decided to do things his way (as opposed to the highway), as the end product is an incredibly enjoyable App Store action platforming romp. Despite a horde of gigantic and tenacious enemies, the thugs, bandits and football players determined to get in your way should keep their distance, cause right now Cally is dangerous, and entirely ready to break stuff with a ridiculous arsenal of awesome weapons to experiment with. If you've been keeping an eye on our pre-release coverage of the game, you know what time it is - Cally's Caves 4 is now available to download on the App Store for free, and is yet another essential title for any action fans out there...

The early 1990s were a strange time for video game characters. Side-scrolling platformers were without question the most popular games, to the point that just about every company had to come up with a mascot or three to put in their own spin on the genre. An awful lot of those characters were simple variations on Sonic the Hedgehog, throwing a pair of big googly eyes on some kind of anthropomorphic animal with an attitude in a vain effort to create some sort of familiar look. Licensed characters from other media and even real celebrities were also popular choices for similar reasons. Then there was Chuck D. Head. He's a mummy with his face on his chest, which he stretches out to attack enemies. Sometimes he finds a head with another face on it, and he throws that head like a hefty boomerang as another means of attacking. Chuck is the star of DeCap Attack [Free], a surprisingly high-effort platformer from SEGA and developer Vic Tokai...

The vast majority of Nitrome's output strikes a chord with me, as their App Store releases tend to epitomise the characteristics of mobile gaming that I absolutely adore. Their games normally have one particularly innovative and memorable core mechanic, which tends to flip expectations of a certain genre or gaming trope on its head. Alongside accessible controls and endlessly replayable high-scoring challenges, Nitrome have really struck gold with their mobile gaming formula, and hopefully this streak is not about to end any time soon. Turn Undead: Monster Hunter [Free] is Nitrome's latest App Store release, and features turn-based platforming action under a spooky Halloween aesthetic...

Epic Action-Platformer 'Cally's Caves 4' Release Date Announced, Set to Roll Onto the App Store November 7th

Since I've officially become an adult (at least in the eyes of the state, maybe less so in reality), I like to feel my wiser, calmer and immensely more cynical self keeps me grounded in the lead-up to big mobile game releases. However, the occasional announcement does force me to dig out my season ticket for the metaphorical Hype Train from time to time, and the recent reveal of Cally's Caves 4 has me in a state of excitement I haven't experienced since the legendary soft-launch debut of Supercell's Brawl Stars. I'm an absolute sucker for action-platformers with an emphasis on exploration and discovery, and considering how strong the previous entry in the series was, Cally's Caves 4 is almost certainly going to contribute further to an incredible 2017 for mobile gaming. After a vague initial announcement, developer Jordan Pearson has finally announced a firm release date for the game, confirming Cally's Caves 4 will release on November 7th for free on the App Store...

Ankama's Drag'n'Boom [Free] came out of nowhere and pleasantly surprised us with its fast, clever gameplay and fun ideas. Now it's the turn of Android players to burn medieval villages to the ground and kill unsuspecting soldiers who have really done nothing wrong and are just there serving their duty and country. I mean really, you should feel bad for raining fire from the skies. I did, briefly. As we talked about in our review of the game on iOS, Drag'n'Boom is a platformer that throws in some Matrix-like slow-mo moves that cleverly change the game's pace and make it more deliberate than you would think. Specifically, you play as a little dragon, flying over the medieval countryside and using your various kinds of bullets to take everyone out and reach the end of the level...

Cat Bird [Free], the very cute and very fun platformer that won our highly coveted Game of the Week award, will be getting more content on October 26th, which is great news for everyone who likes cats, birds, and cat birds. The update will add world 4, which will be unlocked for everyone in the beginning. This new world will have a space theme (cats in space!), so it will introduce a portal mechanic to make things fun. There are 2 levels that will require crowns to pass, but when you beat them, you get some new skins for your cute Cat Bird. So, as you can guess, we are getting unlockable skins in this update, which should be fun given how cute the original skin is for Cat Bird...

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