Category Archives: Shooter

'Halo: Spartan Strike' Review - An Evolutionary Success

Recently, Microsoft and the folks at 343 Industries launched two Halo spinoffs on the App Store. Halo: Spartan Assault [$5.99] originally debuted back in 2013 on Windows devices and is finally on iOS devices. However, Halo: Spartan Strike [$5.99] is a brand new adventure that saw a simultaneous launch on all pertinent platforms. As a sequel to Halo: Spartan Assault, it would make sense that Strike seeks to improve upon its predecessor and it succeeds in that regard. While the changes to the formula feel more evolutionary than revolutionary, those improvements are on a game that was already great  to begin with making Strike an even better dual stick shooter...

When Microsoft announced Halo: Spartan Assault way back in early 2013 as a dual-stick shooter set in the Halo universe that would be exclusive to the Windows platform, no one ever thought that the folks in Redmond would ever sign off on it eventually hitting Apple’s App Store (although we dreamed about it when we checked it out at E3 that year). Yet, here we are with Microsoft pulling a rabbit out of its hat and launching both Halo: Spartan Assault [$5.99] and Halo: Spartan Strike [$5.99] simultaneously on the App Store. As you’ll soon discover, both games play quite similarly to each other, but we’ll focus primarily on Spartan Assault and the gameplay basics in this review and will get into more specifics as well as the differences of Spartan Strike in Part II of our review...

I remember the early days of the App Store, when twin-stick shooters roamed the landscape free and clear. They're a bit more rare now, as the genre got crowded and kind of played itself out. Geometry Wars: Touch [$0.99] remains un-updated for modern devices. At least Radiangames has cornered the market with JoyJoy [$1.99], Inferno 2 [$2.99], and the dual-stick shooter Metroidvania Powerpuff Girls: Defenders of Townsville [$3.99] which unfortunately is no longer for sales. I enjoyed the era of dual-stick shooters, because I liked the variety of games developers made with the conventions! Trigonarium [$1.99] should provide some hope for the masses, needing more dual joysticks to blast enemies from all over the place. If you like frantic shooters and going for high scores, all at a silky-smooth 60 frames per second, Trigonarium is the game for you...

There are plenty of same-room multiplayer games, where you and a friend link your phones on Bluetooth or WiFi and do battle. Now, Chicago-based developer Sebastian Gosztyla twists the formula with Dual [Free], a simple shooting game that sees you stand face-to-face with your opponent and trade bullets across devices...

'Star Wars Rebels: Recon Missions' Review - Witness The Power of This Fully Operational Battle Platformer

Are you ready to stand up against the Empire and join the rebels? Become a galactic hero in Star Wars Rebels: Recon Missions [Free]; a full paced action platformer based on the new Star Wars Rebels animated series which is set 5 years before Episode IV of the movie franchise. Blasters, light sabers, mines and vehicles in a side scrolling platform action adventure... there’s finally a Star Wars game on the app store worth savoring...

'Jump'N'Shoot Attack' Review - Fun Shooter, Boring Jumper

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March 26th, 2015 11:00 AM EDT by Andrew Smith in $1.99, 3.5 stars, Action, Arcade, Reviews, Shooter
$1.99 Buy Now

Not long in to playing Jump'N'Shoot Attack I sent an enthusiastic message to some of the other Touch Arcade writers, telling them that it was "super fun". Chatting to the developer on Facebook, I said the game was "right up my street". So this is a game that makes a great first impression. Sadly, the fun that is promised and delivered by those early stages, soon gives way to some unimaginative level design that is more tedious than it is challenging...

Magenta Arcade [$1.99] is a game in the shoot 'em up genre, which isn't really crowded, but is neither lacking for titles. But what this game does to stand out is extremely clever: it's a shmup that exploits the way that fingers exist on and around mobile touchscreens, and makes it part of the game itself. It doesn't make the game any easier, and I have some issues with the structure of the game, but this core concept makes for a ridiculously clever game...

'Future Factory' Preview - A Dual-Stick Roguelike Shooter, for Mobile?

One of my most-played Steam games over the past year-and-a-half has been Nuclear Throne, Vlambeer's dual-stick shooter action-roguelike. It's challenging, has fantastic art, is highly replayable, and has no shot whatsoever of coming to mobile. The controls are a huge hindrance because there's aim-and-fire controls, and only a more deliberately-paced game like Space Marshals [$4.99] can pull that off. Plus, if control issues will keep Vlambeer from releasing Luftrausers on mobile, Nuclear Throne ain't happening. So, I find myself mostly wanting for a similar experience on mobile. While it's not quite on iOS yet, and it's a bit of a different game, Future Factory could just fill that void later this year...

'.Decluster - into the Bullet Hell' Review - Bullet Paradise

One genre that I can't get enough of is shoot 'em ups. I think I'll be taking them to my deathbed. The high-octane action, the emphasis on pinpoint precision, and the constant positive reinforcement of blowing up enemies and getting massively entertaining power-ups is just too great of a force. .Decluster [$2.99] is my latest obsession, and it ticks all the right boxes...

Starting in June of last year, Halfbrick began an aggressive updating schedule to one of their oldest and most beloved games, Age of Zombies [$0.99]. Arriving about every month on average, these updates added new content and features that injected new life into a game that was originally released way back in 2010, and long-time fans like myself couldn't be happier to see a classic getting some loving. ..

'Blokshot Revolution' Review - Round And Round We Go

It's been interesting watching the way shooting games have progressed over the years. As one of the first genres in video gaming, the shooting genre has had a lot of interesting twists and turns. From the earliest titles like Space Invaders that offered a single screen and a big set of targets to pick off one at a time, to the advent of scrolling shooters with titles like Namco's Xevious, into a golden age with amazing shooting games being made by just about every prominent company, often with intricate stage designs and power-up systems. This was followed by the near-total death of the genre that coincided with the rise of Cave who, along with developers like Treasure and Psikyo, continued to service the shrinking audience with increasingly intricate and complex games. The once-mighty genre seemed consigned to niche status forever...

We're busy little bees running around GDC meeting with developers and checking out cool games, but this is just a quick heads up that the latest update for Pixelbite's tactical dual-stick shooter Space Marshals [$4.99] is now available as a free update in the App Store. The update adds Chapter Two to the game, which includes new weapons, new gear, new missions to complete and new enemies to defeat. Check out the trailer...

We were already well aware that Pixelbite Games were experts at making racing games, with the excellent Reckless Racing series and Repulze, but in early January they released Space Marshals [$4.99] and showed the world that they've also got a lock on tactical dual-stick shooters. We loved Space Marshals in our review, noting that it really focused on forethought, skill and strategy, which is a contrast from most dual-stick shooters which are largely blast-a-thons. The one bummer about Space Marshals is that it was designed as an episodic game, and the first chapter, while a nice meaty ride, still felt like it left you hanging when it was over. Good news, then, as today Pixelbite has announced that the Chapter Two update to Space Marshals is arriving next week on March 5th. They've released a new trailer showing off some of the awesome new stuff you can expect in Chapter Two...

Coincidentally on the heels of talk about how long people are entitled to updates on games comes news of another App Store classic getting a maintenance update. rRootage Online HD [$0.99], the paid and universal version of Kenta Cho's classic freeware shmup, ported to iOS, has just gotten an update to make the game work on iOS 8, and to support iPhone 6 & Plus resolutions. The game's last update was in 2012, which was a maintenance update to make it work with the latest iOS, with iPhone 5 resolution, and to replace OpenFeint with just Game Center. Previous updates added iPad support and other maintenance features - rRootage is content-locked at this point, but it's just great to see the game continue to get updates to work as iOS devices change and evolve. Here's some grainy footage of the PC version in action being played by an expert:..

This morning we were excited to tell you that the "Platinum Edition" update for one of our most beloved iOS games Space Miner [$3.99] was awaiting approval from Apple and could be arriving at any time. I'd hoped that while writing that story last night I'd wake up and see the update waiting for me, like a 10-months-too-early Christmas present. Well, that almost happened, as just a few minutes ago the update popped up in the App Store. Well… sort of. Let me explain...

'Space Marshals' Review - Some People Call Me Maurice

Space Marshals [$4.99] is not the dual-stick shooter you probably were expecting – at least not as a mobile game. This is a slow-burning, tactical shooter, eschewing the typical fast-paced, high-score-obsessed affairs that many dual-stick shooters try to be. Instead, this is about stealth, and using sounds to distract enemies, and trying to avoid wild firefights as much as possible. And it's from a company known for racing games. Yet, Space Marshals does a lot right, including with its reward-based loot system. This is the first episode of a series, and there's plenty to look forward to from this game, though there's a solid amount of game here already...

10tons' Crimsonland HD [Free] has just gotten an update with a feature that not a lot of folks may be able to use, but should be pretty fun to play with for those who have it: local co-op with multiple MFi gamepads. The co-op mode was available in other versions of the game, but wasn't on iOS – until now. While MFi gamepads are still a bit pricey, if you and a friend have the game and an iPad or at least the ability to hook up to a TV, you can go through the entire game in co-op mode, with support for up to four players, all using their own gamepads...

'Brother in Arms 3: Sons of War' Review - A Freemium Sibling

As we mentioned earlier this month when we posted the teaser trailer, Gameloft’s Brother in Arms 3: Sons of War [Free] has been a long time coming. Announced in June of 2013, we took it for a spin back in E3 2013 and enjoyed the big changes to the series - namely the transition from a traditional shooter to one that was mostly a cover-based on-rails affair. Fast forward nearly a year and a half later and Sons of War is significantly different than when last we played it. For folks hoping for a significant shift in the series direction, Sons of War may disappoint as it goes back to its traditional roots, but that isn’t necessarily a bad thing...

App Store Classic 'Space Miner' Getting a Modern Update, Sequel Still in the Works Too

I've mentioned this before, but I have a list of games that I'd do practically anything to have them be updated for modern screen sizes and iOS versions. There have been a lot of amazing games released on iOS in its fairly short history, but not all of them are in a position to be continuously updated to keep up with new iOS software and hardware. Some of those games aren't even available anymore, probably for that very reason. One of the games that was very high up on my update wish list is Venan Entertainment's Space Miner: Space Ore Bust [$3.99 / $3.99]. Well, I'm very happy to say that Venan has posted in our forums that an update is in the works for Space Miner that will bring support for all the different iOS screen sizes as well as iOS 8...

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...

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