Category Archives: Platform

King of Thieves [Free] is a game that shows the problems with review scores, because it exists at two diametrically-opposed extremes. On one hand, it's a remarkably cool concept: it takes auto-running trial platformers and puts it into a Clash of Clans [Free] style raiding system. You can design a dungeon, crafting gems to become more powerful, while trying to keep other players from getting your gems by way of making a dungeon too powerful for them to successfully raid. All the while, you're raiding others and playing through the singleplayer campaign, getting more money, upgrading your stats and traps to be better at raiding and to make raids tougher. But it's a game with a particularly annoying energy system that raises questions about its fairness. It's a game that doesn't go down smooth, particularly if you're not a free-to-play fan...

DeNA continues their strange new pattern of releasing iOS versions of PC indie games under new names with Yet It Moves [$2.99], probably the most famous of the batch so far. Originally titled And Yet It Moves, it was first released on PC back in 2009 before making its way to WiiWare, of all places, in 2010. It received a fair bit of praise back then for its clever take on platforming and unique presentation. Here in 2015, it's not quite as unusual as it once was, but its strong level designs and good pacing make it a game still well-worth checking out...




"Well, that was something that happened." That was my reaction after completing Potatoman Seeks the Troof [$1.99], an oddball little platformer from Pixeljam Games that's certainly an experience. It's a brief platformer, with five different levels, which don't take too long to beat, necessarily, but it's as much about the odd story running through it. You control the eponymous Potatoman, seeking the "troof" – about existence, life, who knows? It's a game that you probably shouldn't play for pure platforming challenge, but because it's an odd experience...

One of the cooler games in the history of the App Store era of mobile gaming was 1-bit Ninja [$2.99], it being a platformer with a couple of neat twists: you could only move in one direction, generally forward; you could also shift the perspective of the screen to see ahead and to find where obstructions were actually background objects. It was a remarkably clever game, and one that is still fantastic today thanks to its recent update making it work on modern devices. 1-bit Ninja Remix Rush [$1.99] uses many of the same principles as that game, but with a new endless structure, that manages to be a great way to check this out for the first time, or as a way for people familiar with the original to get a fresh experience...

I love platformers, and there are tons of great ones on iOS in all shapes and sizes. One of my very favorite "Mario-like" platformers is Wonderworks' Bloo Kid 2 [Free], which I picked as one of my personal favorite games of 2014. It's colorful, well-designed, and the running and jumping physics feel fantastic. Today a new update has made the game even better by adding in a new fifth world with 9 new levels, a new "Nightmare" difficulty and two new game modes. The new modes are Time Attack and Boss Rush, and they'll unlock along with the new difficulty option once you've beaten the normal Story Mode once. Here's the game's launch trailer...

The end of November saw the return of one of iOS's first platforming game mascots with the release of Bounce On Back [$2.99 / Free], the third entry in the Bounce On series. This week Bounce On Back received its first content update. The update includes Game Center leaderboard integration, so you can compete with the world on level completion times. The game also received its first batch of Challenge levels with more planned for future updates...

Platform Panic [Free] is an interesting game because it manages to straddle both sides of an interesting duality regarding retro-style and pixel art games. Pixel art games are always an interesting proposition because there's a sort of confusing duality to them. Part of the appeal of pixel art is based on the limiting nature of retro games, with their low resolutions and limited resources demanding pixel art. So it gets used in part because it's a throwback to the early days of gaming. But it's also a bona-fide art style at this point that can be used in games that really don't have much to do with retro games, but still just use that style. I mean, Superbrothers: Sword & Sworcery EP [$2.99 / $4.99] really isn't much like classic games, but it's got distinctive pixel art. ..

Mobile gaming certainly isn't hurting for clever puzzle games. Perhaps due to their natural fit with touch controls, puzzle games were one of the earliest genres to flourish on iOS. If you ask the average person to name off the mobile games they know of, chances are many of the entries will be from the puzzle genre. Candy Crush Saga [Free], Angry Birds [$0.99], Cut The Rope [$0.99], and similar fare are to many people the face of mobile gaming. Puzzle platformers, on the other hand, seem to have a rougher go of it. The puzzle part is usually fine, of course, but touchscreen platforming is a hard thing to nail down properly. Volt [$2.99 / $0.99 (HD)] tackles the problem by having you play as a little battery, who can't do much more than flop around on its own. Instead, it can generate beams of electricity to grapple onto various surfaces. It's like Cut The Rope meets Bionic Commando...

More old games are coming back, y'all! I don't know if iOS 8 was just that destructive of an update to a bunch of games that developers felt the need to update their classics or if this is just all coincidental, but we're seeing a lot of games make comebacks after a long while. And the latest on that list is 1-bit Ninja [$2.99], which has just been updated to support iOS 8, and throws in long-overdue iPhone 5,6, and 6 Plus support, and makes the game universal for iPad...

'Bean Dreams' Review - Sweet Dreams Are Made of These

Holy heck, does Bean Dreams [$0.99] knock it out of the park. The first Bean's Quest [$2.99] game from Kumobius was a solid game, with inventive ways to approach platforming on a touchscreen-based device. But after they applied their time-traveling take on Tiny Wings [$0.99 / $2.99 (HD)] with Time Surfer [$0.99], and gave the challenging arcade game genre an artsy twist with Duet [$2.99], now they return to their original game. And it's clear that the studio has picked up on a lot of lessons from the past few years, as Bean Dreams is possibly Kumobius' best game yet, streamlining the original's concept into a tight and concise experience that they can only further build on and make better...

So Signal Studios and publisher Tilting Point are trying something interesting with their game The Sleeping Prince [$1.99]. They've made the previously free-to-play game completely free for a limited time, now subtitled as The Royal Edition. There are no in-app purchases, and no more energy system, not even any ads, just the game itself. The game will be shifting to premium in the future, but this is your opportunity to get it at no cost for now...

In August of last year, 505 Games in partnership with Re-Logic released Terraria [$4.99] on iOS, a mobile version of the ultra-popular crafting/action/adventure/platformer on PC and console. Compared to its PC and console counterparts, Terraria on iOS was pretty stripped down, but still incredibly fun. 505 has worked diligently over the last year adding new content to the game, mostly special holiday-themed updates. The most significant updates to the game have been when it received local multiplayer in November of last year, and when it received the Hard Mode update this past August which essentially let you play a New Game+ with a ton of new stuff after defeating the final boss. This latest update though, version 1.2, blows everything else out of the water...

'Oddworld: Stranger's Wrath' Review - You're Looking Mighty Good, Stranger

The story of the Oddworld Inhabitants themselves is almost as interesting as that of any of their games. Founded by Hollywood veterans to take advantage of the correctly-predicted boom that 3D graphics would bring, the company had a clear, ambitious plan for a series of five games that took place in their Oddworld universe. A new team planning for that many games before they've even finished one is the game development equivalent of a rookie stepping up to the plate and pointing at the stands, but when Oddworld: Abe's Oddysee released, it seemed like the Oddworld Inhabitants weren't bluffing. The game was a massive hit, and the lead character Abe become something of a cult icon in the 32-bit era. It was followed by an initially unplanned direct sequel, Abe's Exoddus, which was meant to help fill the gap while everyone waited for the next chapter of the quintology...

If you haven't gotten a chance to try Sometimes You Die [$1.99] yet, now is as good a time as any, as the game is currently on sale for $0.99, down from its regular $1.99 price. The game recently got updated to version 1.3, which adds proper support for the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus, so if you're playing the game on those devices, it'll be all good now...

I like the cut of Not Doppler's jib. Their stable of 2D games are all solidly entertaining games with zippy gameplay. Their most recent game, Earn to Die 2[$1.99], is the first time they have revisited one of their iOS games with an update. From a bird's eye view, this one is really strong, avoiding some of the pitfalls other popular games have stumbled into. Some of the best decisions made are that the follow up game has more content and maybe most importantly, this one was packages as a separate game independent from the first Earn to Die[$0.99]. Once you get a little closer, you'll find there is even more to get excited about...

Coming into iOS gaming from a background in consoles, dedicated handhelds, and old computers, my first steps into the already-massive catalog were cautious ones. I stuck to familiar brands and the odd breakthrough that had made waves in the traditional media, such as Game Dev Story [$4.99]. One of the first real iOS originals that I fell absolutely in love with was League Of Evil [$1.99], from Ravenous Games. The game will always hold a special place in my heart for hammering it into me that, yes, virtual controls could work marvelously for an action game if they're handled correctly. These guys had their stuff together, I decided, and I began to follow them closely, anxiously awaiting their next big title. By all accounts, that game looked to be Random Heroes [Free], and I bought it pretty much the second it became available...

'1-Bit Hero' Review - Back and Forth

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November 13th, 2014 3:30 PM EDT by Carter Dotson in $0.99, 4 stars, Free, Games, iPad Games, iPod touch games, Platform, Prices, Ratings, Reviews
$1.99 Buy Now

Auto-running solves a lot of problems for mobile games where virtual d-pads are suboptimal. While generally this is used for endless runners, platformers that use auto-running are an interesting breed to me. Meet 1-Bit Hero [$1.99 / Free]. It's an auto-running platformer that's just a nice little game. It's challenging, but has levels that are short enough that they don't get too frustrating, which strikes a fantastic balance. And it uses auto-running in a good way, that makes it worth playing...

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 [$0.99], 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...

To a great degree, I applaud Electronic Super Joy: Groove City [$4.99] for managing to bring a challenging trial platformer from PC to iOS without much compromise. It's a game that will test players, but thanks to its simple control scheme, it winds up being a great fit on iOS. It's perhaps more built for replayability than completion, as the dozen-or-so levels are far more rewarding to those trying to complete them quickly and with as much collectibles as possible, but there's still a lot to like for those who like to be tested...

'Skullduggery!' Review - Collecting Taxes via Brain Flinging

Clutch Play is headed back to mobile with their sophomore title, Skullduggery [$2.99]. No bones about it, this game is a head turner. You can find platformers of all shapes and sizes on iOS but this one is the head of its class. Just looking at the graphics(and my amazingly funny jokes), you can probably already guess there are plenty of head and brain puns to be found in this app. What you find underneath, however, is a really great game...

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