Category Archives: Retro

As someone who grew up in the rather harsh winters of Northwest Ontario, Canada, I know all too well about snow and what a genuine pain in the butt it is, both to remove it and to keep it off. Waking up early school mornings to march outside with a shovel while the snow was still falling, knowing full well as soon as I got home from school, I'd be doing it again, followed by another round just before bed, I have a good understanding of the seemingly futile attempt to fight off Mother Nature. I mention this for two reasons: first, I am certainly in a position to vouch for the authenticity of any game trying to capture the essence of snow removal, and second, you would think that I would never, ever want to play a game that did...

It's always a bit of a gamble to take direct control of the main character of a game out of the player's hands. When it works, it can force the player to pay attention to things going on outside of the area they're currently focused on, which adds some welcome complexity. When it goes off the rails, it can leave the player feeling incredibly frustrated at losing due to circumstances quite literally out of their control. One genre where it seems to work well, even with somewhat simplistic implementation, is the puzzle genre. Games like Lemmings or the later entries in the Mario Vs. Donkey Kong series show how rewarding it can be to set up a plan and guide it through to its conclusion, even if you aren't directly playing through it. Lost Yeti [$1.99] takes a similar approach, with its titular character having a mind of his own, wraps it all up in retro stylings, with the end result being a pretty good action-puzzler...

Square-Enix gets a lot of flak about their various ports and remakes of their games. Whether it's graphical alterations, remixed soundtracks, translation changes, or added material, seemingly anything ends up being fodder for those who want to tell the company that they broke the game in question. I'm not going to say whether or not I feel people are justified in those complaints, but I think that anyone who plays Namco's latest port of Tales of Phantasia [Free] is going to walk away with some new perspective on what exactly breaking a game entails. What has happened here is more than a little gross, and while I have my issues with the original game, it did not deserve this little Frankenstein experiment gone wrong...

Freebie Alert: Cult Hit 'Carmageddon' Free for a Limited Time

In October of 2012, Stainless Games released an iOS port of their 1997 cult-classic vehicular manslaughter game Carmageddon [$0.99] as part of their revival of the series with a planned reboot for consoles and PC called Carmageddon: Reincarnation...

In September of last year, during the Tokyo Game Show, Namco Bandai released an iOS port of their classic 1995 RPG Tales of Phantasia to the Japanese App Store. The game was entirely in Japanese, but it seemed like an English language version was in the cards, and indeed just today Tales of Phantasia [Free] has landed in the US and Canadian App Stores with full English language support...

'Super Splatform' Review - A Super Platformer With Plenty Of Splat

As readers of this site know well, there are a lot of games that get lost in the shuffle on the App Store. With tens of thousands of new apps every year, it's like sifting through a haystack the size of a barn in search of a handful of needles trying to find all the good games. There are lots of ways to get a heads-up on many of these titles, and one resource that has always served me well is our very own forum. Super Splatform [$0.99], from P1XL, the developers of RPG Quest Minimae [$1.99] and 4NR [$0.99], is one of those games that bounced right by me initially. It has a very unassuming look to it, as I suppose is the norm for this developer. The game's central gimmick carries it far, however, and the increasingly devilish level designs bring it all the way home. You will curse this game out, you will wail in despair at every last minute fumble, and you will go back for more every time...

'Hoplite' Review - Walk Softly And Carry A Tiny Spear

If there's one thing I really love about exploring the many treasures of the App Store, it's that you can find tons of proof for the idea that great games can come from simple, clean designs. It's something video gaming used to live by, back in simpler times, and while I enjoy a big, expensive, complex blockbuster like everyone else, I'm genuinely more impressed with games that excel on the back of a clever design, and that's just what Hoplite [$1.99] does. Part rogue-like, part turn-based strategy, Hoplite may not have the frills of some other games, even within the generally spartan genres it straddles, but the way it cuts to the heart of what makes those types of games enjoyable is beautiful...

Play 'Quake III Arena' on Your iPhone or iPad with the 'Beben III' App

Id Software all but bowed out of the App Store world, and with John Carmack resigning to join Oculus Rift last year it seems pretty certain we won't be seeing the planned iOS ports of Doom II, Quake or any other Id classics which had previously been talked about. Especially seeing as Carmack appeared to be the main proponent of iOS development. (Though with the recent update of Doom Classic [$4.99], I'm still holding on to a tiny sliver of hope.)..

'Sonic The Hedgehog 2 Remastered' Review - Setting Right What Once Went Wrong

Poor ol' Sonic sometimes feels like the video game equivalent of a child actor. He blasted onto the scene in his youth, becoming a huge multimedia star and the darling of the industry, with a hugely successful comic, several animated series, and the true measure of success, his own canned pasta. Then he went through a very awkward 3D puberty, and things have never been quite the same since. From the horrifying lows of Sonic the Hedgehog 2006 and Sonic and the Black Knight to the enjoyable highs of Sonic Generations and Sonic Colors, he's become a veritable poster child for inconsistent quality. Even his many, many spin-offs vary greatly in this way, with some recent great racing games under his belt being off-set by mediocre cash-ins like his Olympic team-ups with Mario. Remember that time he was in an RPG from the makers of Mass Effect and Knights of the Old Republic? Man, what a guy...

Just a quick heads-up to let you know that the Sonic The Hedgehog 2 [$2.99] remastered update, which we gave you some first impressions of yesterday, is now available as a free update to the original game in the App Store. Additionally, if you're amongst the Android ranks, the game is now available on Google Play for the first time ever. In addition to improved visuals, widescreen and Universal iPad support, and a 60fps frame rate, this remastered Sonic 2 also includes brand new additions like a Boss Attack Mode, an online 2-player mode, Knuckles as a playable character right from the start, and the first ever official inclusion of the long-lost Hidden Palace Zone which was scrapped from the original Sega Genesis version of the game just days before release back in 1992...

In the relatively short time electronic gaming has been around, the industry has seen several games that managed to catch on in such a big way that they took over the hobby for a period of time. Many of these are remembered well today, even by people who weren't into gaming at the time. Nobody forgets Super Mario, Street Fighter 2, Doom, or Grand Theft Auto 3. Still, there are a few truly huge games that, for whatever reason, seem to have slid into slight obscurity over the years. The series falls dormant, either due to the publisher disappearing or sales falling off, and soon, games that shifted the entire course of the industry fall between the cracks. Double Dragon seems to be one of those games...

As if yesterday's onslaught of new releases wasn't enough, SNK Playmore quietly snuck in a new iOS port of their 1997 Neo Geo fighting game The King of Fighters '97 [$3.99] to the App Store. KOF '97 is the fourth entry in SNK's The King of Fighters series, which features a mashup of characters from previous SNK games battling it out in teams of three. ..

It was all the way back in April of 2011 that developer SoMoGa announced that they were working on an iOS port of Lunar Silver Star Story, a classic RPG that graced the Sega CD and PlayStation in the '90s. SoMoGa had done the excellent iOS port of another Saturn RPG, Vay [$0.99], so we were really excited to see what they could do with Lunar. Well, as with most things that people are excited for, it took a lot longer than expected but Lunar Silver Star Story Touch [$6.99] finally did arrive in the App Store in September of last year...

Revolutionary Concepts has given their lovingly-crafted iOS port of the classic fighting game Karate Champ [$2.99] a new update which adds support for Retina Display graphics, 4-inch wide screens, and iOS 7. The original Karate Champ launched in arcades back in 1984, and was one of the forefathers to the fighting game genre. It's not your typical fighting game though, with health bars and crazy special moves. Rather, it's a much more tactical affair more akin to an actual karate competition. The iOS version was recreated with an incredible attention to detail back in 2010, and we really enjoyed being able to carry around this classic in our pocket. The game has been stagnant since then though, so it's refreshing to see it still getting some love after all this time. Here's a couple comparison screens so you can see Karate Champ in its previous blurry form and its new high resolution, widescreen updated form...

'Tower of Fortune 2' Review - A Very Fortunate Sequel

If there is one genre that is having a great go of things thanks to the mobile gaming surge, it's physics-based puzzle games. But if there is a second genre, it would have to be the RPG. With major western RPGs like Baldur's Gate [$9.99 (HD)], major Japanese RPGs like Chaos Rings 2 [$15.99], and a bevy of unique hybrids and smaller-scale work from lesser-known developers all under one beautiful gaming roof, RPG gamers have it good on iOS. The coolest thing about this boom is that we've seen some really interesting ideas that probably never would have even been attempted on other platforms, like Tower of Fortune [Free], a curious little roguelike/slot machine hybrid that caught a fair bit of attention a couple years back. It had some similarities to the great King Cashing [$2.99], but brought enough of its own unique style to find success, and so like that game, we are now lucky enough to be playing a sequel...

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