Category Archives: Platform

It may seem like endless runners are a crowded genre, and in fact, you’d probably be right, but once in a while there comes along one entry that stands apart from the rest of the crowd. Whether Gear Jack: Black Hole [Free] is worthy of that title remains to be seen (and telling you now would spoil the beginning of the review), but the vibrant stylish-looking graphics drew me in almost straight away, so in fact, the outlook is already fairly positive...

'Kero Blaster' Review - Toad, All Carnage

It's hard not to think about Cave Story while playing Kero Blaster [$4.99]. For those unfamiliar with Cave Story, it was one of the first big games of the modern indie era. Released all the way back in 2004 on PC, it was an extremely impressive take on the Metroid-style non-linear action game genre. Packed with challenge, secrets, and great action gameplay, it held up strongly to the best the genre had to offer. On top of that, it was faux-retro well before that became trendy, featuring adorable and expressive pixel-art characters and a wonderful chiptune soundtrack. Released on the PC for free and ported to almost everything under the sun except mobiles, it drew attention to the indie scene in a way no other game had before and few have since. It wasn't just a great game, it was an important game, and it was all the product of one single person: Daisuke "Pixel" Amaya. Cave Story was the result of five years of work for him, and it shows in every respect...

'Kiwanuka' Review - Simply Electrifying

Possibly the most exciting and intriguing game to emerge from the App Store this week, Kiwanuka [$1.99] is a beautifully designed abstract puzzler that manages to be electrifying in every way. There are countless words I could use to describe this game, but none of them would describe just how fascinating this game truly is. Whimsical, magical, and enchanting don’t even come close...

 We dug on Crowman and Wolfboy[$3.99]when it was released as a premium title late last year, but the invisible hand of the App Store has once again shown itself: developer Wither Studios just released a free version of the game...

Crescent Moon Games’ 2-Bit Cowboy [$0.99] doesn’t hide the fact that it’s a total nostalgia trip. With its Gameboy-era visuals and simplified control scheme, it wouldn’t be too much of a stretch to see if actually running on the classic handheld. Thankfully, the folks over at Cascadia Games do a great job of melding new with the old, as 2-Bit Cowboy does a great job incorporating some more modern gameplay facets with the old-school look and appeal...

The early 1990s were a crazy time in gaming. Nintendo's near-monopoly in the American market was being broken. Consoles were finally starting to make a dent in the computer-dominated European market. Both of these things were being accomplished by SEGA, and in both cases, a tremendous debt was owed to a blue hedgehog whose career has seen more ups and downs than John Travolta's. As if we weren't flooded in mascot platformers already due to Super Mario Bros., Sonic The Hedgehog [$2.99] unleashed a positive tidal wave of games featuring animals with attitudes hopping through levels. Even if they didn't have any of SEGA's hardware, people wanted something like Sonic, and a great many developers were all too happy to comply. This is the era that birthed Superfrog, an Amiga platformer from eventual Worms developer Team17. In yet another reflection of the era, Superfrog had a sponsorship deal with energy drink Lucozade, with the drink appearing all throughout the game as a power-up...

A sweet new easter egg was recently discovered for the brilliantly remastered version of Sonic The Hedgehog 2 [$2.99] which allows you to play Hidden Palace Zone in its original, unfinished form. For some quick backstory, Hidden Palace Zone was a level originally intended to be included in the 1992 release of Sonic The Hedgehog 2, but was scrapped at the last minute as it wasn't going to be finished by the release deadline. It was so close to being finished that assets for the level were distributed to media and featured in magazines, and a partially complete version of Hidden Palace Zone was included in a prototype version of the game. That prototype, as the story goes, was stolen from a New York toy fair in 1992 and subsequently released online, meaning that the parts of Hidden Palace Zone that existed could be experienced through various hacked roms...

Yesterday an interesting new iPad app was released called Pixel Press Floors [Free]. The result of a successful Kickstarter campaign last June, Pixel Press Floors aims to let you create side-scrolling platformers using an iPad and some basic school supplies. No coding required. All you need to do is print out some special graph paper from the Pixel Press website and draw various special symbols on the paper. Like different squares to make up the terrain, or little plus signs for coins. Once you've created your level you point your iPad camera at the graph paper and the level is magically imported into Pixel Press Floors in playable form. Here's a very adorable little trailer explaining the gist of things...

If you had a robot suit, what is the first thing you would do with it? If your answer is "jump around in small, contained rooms packed with things that can kill you with the slightest touch", have I got a game for you right here. Suited Up [$1.99] is one of those games that boils down to one simple mechanic, with levels built to progressively test your mastery of that mechanic. As is often the case with this kind of game, it starts to get a bit old before the levels run out, but Suited Up has an ace up its sleeve that extends the fun, provided you're on-board with the core jumping gameplay...

'Sometimes You Die' Review - Not What It Seems

Once in a blue moon, an inconspicuous game will come around and turn an entire genre or platform on its head. Sometimes You Die [$1.99] is one of those games. On the surface, Sometimes You Die is a very standard, but sleek platformer that asks you to get a cube through a series of hard-hitting arenas, with razor sharp spikes and enemies that usually employ the same said sharp tactics. You'll be able to traverse these areas by way of moving left, right, and jumping -- that's all you'll really need...

'Leo's Fortune' Review - A Treasured Platformer

A good platformer not only requires a good gameplay experience in terms of level design and controls, but also need to do a good job of conveying an experience to the player. Leo’s Fortune [$4.99], with its beautiful visuals, well-done gameplay and its rich tale of redemption, does just that. Regardless if you’re a platforming veteran or novice, Leo’s Fortune is an excellent example of how iOS platforming should look and play...

Sega is dropping the prices of a few of their iconic blue hedgehog's iOS games. Currently, both Sonic The Hedgehog [$2.99] and Sonic The Hedgehog 2 [$2.99] can be had for just 99¢ each, down from their normal price of $2.99. These aren't simply ports of the early-90s Sega Genesis games either. These are the excellent remastered versions which both arrived as free updates to the iOS originals last year. Both games have been rebuilt from the ground up for mobile touchscreen devices and include some amazing new features like extra playable characters, Game Center leaderboards and achievements, Time Attack modes, and in the case of Sonic 2 even a long-lost, never before released zone. They're both absolute masterpieces and if you somehow don't own them already I can't stress enough how hard you should jump on this 99¢ sale. Here's our exhaustive review of Sonic 2, most of which applies to the remaster of Sonic 1 as well, in case you need some more convincing...

The topic of cloning can be broadly broken into two periods: before Michael Keaton's banner work of art, Multiplicity, and after. Oh, sure, in those heady days before 1996, we had some ideas. Waves were made by a sheep named Dolly, Spider-Man discovered that he looks good in a hoodie, Thomas Riker had shown us that a Riker's power is directly proportional to the size of his beard, and George Lucas had certainly written something about clones on a coffee-stained napkin. However, it wasn't until The Keats showed us all how it was done that cloning became truly appreciated as a fictional device, and we are all better for it. Video games have never been shy about dragging clones into the works, mostly because it was a good excuse to reuse art assets while creating a memorable boss fight. One of the best examples from the early days of gaming was in Prince of Persia [$1.99], where an encounter with a mirror created a doppleganger who would go on to help you with a few puzzles before you had to face off with him...

'Wind-Up Knight 2' Review - As Tightly-Wound As A Grandfather Clock

The original Wind-Up Knight [Free] was a great game and a fine example of how platformers, a genre many thought couldn't get along with touch controls, can work just fine on mobiles provided they're designed properly around the hardware. The mechanic of constantly moving forward while asking you to manage jumps, swings, rolling, and the shield gave you plenty to worry about without having to fuss around with a virtual directional pad, and the game made sure to test your skills at all of those things to the hilt. It boasted tons of levels, an assortment of collectibles, and plenty of goals to shoot for during play. It also apparently struggled at its initial price, because it was later retooled as a free-to-play experience, albeit a fairly generous one, since you could still unlock pretty much everything without paying a cent if you were skilled enough at the game...

Spider-Man video games act as little mini time capsules of the video game industry. I'm not sure why, but perhaps it's because they release so regularly and haven't found a unique voice the way Batman recently has with the Arkham series. As such, they tend to look to trends for inspiration, and we can see that pattern in many of the games. Maximum Carnage on the Genesis and SNES showed the popularity of belt-scrolling beat-em-ups in the 16-bit era. Spider-Man on the original PlayStation nicely demonstrated both the rise of polygonal graphics and their hard limitations via the poisonous gas that prevented you from going down to the streets. Spider-Man 2, no doubt riding on the back of Grand Theft Auto, introduced an open world, something that has gone as well with Spidey as anything ever could. Spider-Man 3 was a QTE fest, Web of Shadows used an awkward Bioware-style moral dichotomy, Shattered Dimensions had Arkham-style stealth levels, and the console Amazing Spider-Man had support for motion controls...

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