Category Archives: Simulation

Despite being released every November on the App Store like clockwork, I'm a huge fan of the iterative improvements that Sports Interactive make in their Football Manager series. For a game that is so easy to essentially commit every waking hour to, the small changes in the series can make all the difference, and Football Manager Mobile 2018 [$8.99] seems to be no different. As a more basic mobile alternative of the management simulator on the App Store, the 'mobile' version of Football Manager has always struggled in comparison to the Football Manager Touch alternative on the iPad, but the addition of up to 21300 active players serves as a notable step forward from previous iterations. As well as the long-awaited inclusion of the MLS, it's clear SI are pushing Football Manager Mobile 2018 hard this year, and the game is finally available to download for $8.99 on the App Store today...

Sometimes I wonder if Justin Smith from Captain Games realizes his own genius when creating games, or if he just makes games that happen to be stunningly brilliant. One of my all-time favorite games is Enviro-Bear 2010 [$0.99], which is a silly game about a bear driving a car with absurdly difficult driving physics. Beyond its wacky surface, though, there is a ton of depth, and it's remained on my phone since its original release nearly a decade ago. Then there's Desert Golfing [$1.99]. This totally stripped-down 2D golfing game has you whacking a ball into a hole in as few strokes as possible, moving from hole to hole in stark, barely changing environments until… well, until the world falls into the sun, or something. I guess it technically has an end, but most people will never see it and most don't seem to care. It's a perfect mobile game to pop out and play a few holes here and there, but if you squint your eyes just right, you can also pull some deep philosophical meanings out of Desert Golfing. No joke...




Ahead of 'Animal Crossing Pocket Camp' Release, Nintendo Has Reiterated Its Smartphone Gaming Strategy

It's safe to say that the last week has been pretty incredible for everyone at Nintendo, as it seems the Japanese gaming giant has perpetually dominated industry news in some extremely encouraging ways. Whether it's the sudden announcement and subsequent soft-launch of Animal Crossing Pocket Camp on mobile devices, or the groundbreaking release of the ridiculously enjoyable Super Mario Odyssey on the Switch, it's been a good week for anyone associated with Nintendo, and today's sales announcement in the Wall Street Journal confirms that it's only set to get better for the gaming behemoth. As well as raising their forecasts for the Switch over the coming months - which includes predicting 16.7 million units to be sold by March - Nintendo has also reiterated its approach to mobile games development, with CEO Tatsumi Kimishima stating that 'the top priority for us when we release smartphone games is to lure more new users to the Switch'...

After being soft-launched for a LONG time, Atari has finally officially released their city building space shooter hybrid Lunar Battle [Free] worldwide. Developed by On5, we originally talked about Lunar Battle when it first soft-launched way back in September of last year (I told you it's been a long time). In the more than a year since then, the game has been updated and tweaked a number of times into the final product that you can play today. ..

'Game Dev Tycoon' Is Launching on the App Store on November 28th, With Brand New Content and Much More

If you had to ask me to name my favourite iPhone games of all time, I'm sure that Game Dev Story [$4.99] would undoubtedly be sitting proudly near the top of the list. Despite releasing hundreds of variably interesting simulation titles on the App Store over the years, Kairosoft's iOS debut in 2010 created the perfect concoction of immersive gameplay, a fascinating concept and an engaging sense of progression, and Game Dev Story is still arguably the game to beat when it comes to the video game development simulators. After Game Dev Story's release, numerous similar titles emerged, most notably Game Dev Tycoon on Steam. After proving to be a massive hit with streamers and YouTubers alike, Game Dev Tycoon is now launching on iOS on November 28th, along with a redesigned interface for mobile and a number of new gameplay additions...

Jeff Weber's Just Ski [$1.99] is easily one of the most interesting games I've played on iOS over the past year, which may sound surprising for anyone who has not given it a go yet. While its hyper-minimalist aesthetic design and skiing mechanics we've already seen perfected in games like Alto's Adventure [$4.99] may make Just Ski not seem particularly distinctive, the developer's emphasis on realistic physics created what others may call the Dark Souls of the skiing game genre. Joking aside, such a lazy descriptor detracts from the fact that Just Ski's nuanced mechanics were immensely satisfying to nail down, and success or failure was entirely down to the player. For the first time, Just Ski is now available for free for a limited time only, which serves as a perfect excuse to get back onto the pistes and promptly crash to your inevitable alpine death...

Could 'Animal Crossing Mobile' Be Announced at Today's Apple Keynote?

It seems we know almost everything about the big Apple Keynote that is happening in only a few hours time. Whether it's the big new iPhone 8 (or iPhone X, depending on what you read), or the potential powerhouse that is the 4K Apple TV, the upcoming hardware iterations for pivotal mobile gaming devices are certainly worth getting excited over. However, software remains a mysterious, unknown quantity - after the astonishing appearance of Miyamoto to promote Super Mario Run [Free] at last year's event, Apple have justifiably made expectations equally as stratospheric for today's keynote in terms of potential new iOS games. One particularly exciting rumour that is making the rounds on social media and enthusiast forums alike is the shock reveal of the elusive Animal Crossing mobile game. With virtually no details from Nintendo on their App Store iteration of their legendary simulation title over the past few months, many are holding out for a similarly bombastic announcement today - but is there any substance to such rumours?..

Egglia: Legend of the Redcap [$9.99] is an example of a game that betrays expectations to its own detriment. Because the development team consists of some key people who worked on Square's Mana series, the game's look and marketing might give you the impression it's a similar game. It's not. The game carries a relatively high price tag and no IAP, factors which usually point to a more traditional gaming experience, but Egglia also requires you to maintain an online connection and deal with a lot of timers and social RPG elements. On a fundamental level, you might look at the game's previews and screenshots and think you're getting something along the lines of a standard JRPG. But it's not that, either. Sadly, I think if you come into the game holding too strongly to any of these reasonable expectations, you're a lot less likely to enjoy the game for what it is. I suppose that's at least one major thing Egglia has in common with the average Mana game...

'Football Manager Touch 2018' and 'Football Manager Mobile 2018' Are Launching Alongside the PC Version on November 10th

The Football Manager franchise has had quite the history on iOS over the last few years. We've seen the games evolve and even get rebranded. Football Manager Touch used to be called Football Manager Classic and Football Manager Handheld became Football Manager Mobile. After much anticipation, SEGA and Sports Interactive have today announced some details and the release dates for both Football Manager Mobile 2018 and Football Manager Touch 2018. For the first time ever, both mobile versions will launch simultaneously with the Football Manager 2018 PC edition on November 10th...

Death Road to Canada [$10.99] by Rocketcat LLC is one of the better games of 2017, and certainly one of the more humorous games about the zombie apocalypse. In Death Road you hit the road and hope to make it through the walking dead and other trials to the relative safety of Canada all the way from the decidedly unsafe environs of Florida. It's a really deep game with a lot to do and it just keeps getting better...

'Motorsport Manager Mobile 2' Review - Racing at a Whole New Level

The original Motorsport Manager was a very entertaining racing game that I played quite a lot, initially at least. While the racing part was fun—even though I sometimes felt that my choices didn't have much of an impact—the lack of long-term driver development made each season feel insulated from the rest, which blunted my desire to play through multiple seasons. Still, the game was accessible to those who weren't that much into motorsports and good-looking enough to draw the attention of people just randomly looking at my phone screen. As one of the first motorsport management games on the App Store, Motorsport Manager definitely entertained, and I'm happy to say that Motorsport Manager Mobile 2 [$3.99] (MMM 2) has improved the original formula (pun intended) and turned it into a much more substantial game with a lot more fuel in the tank, despite some relatively small issues...

'Prison Architect' Review - Running a Prison Shouldn't be This Fun

Let's start this review with the obvious: building and managing a maximum security prison in this day and age can be a peculiar experience given all we hear about the way the real-life prison system works. And yes, I know that some people have found Prison Architect [Free (HD)] disagreeable because of precisely these reasons. Add to that how the game's tutorial starts with having you build an execution chamber and then proceed to execute a murderer, and you can see why this game's theme might not be for everyone. Those reservations aside, though, in terms of mechanics and gameplay variation, Prison Architect is a very entertaining game with tons of content and plenty of depth that will keep you busy for many, many hours.While the title of Prison Architect implies that all you'll be doing in the game is building a prison, it's actually slightly misleading; you are in charge of so much more than just designing a prison. Your duties extend to planning your inmates' daily schedules, hiring the right kind of people to help run the facility, arranging for the prison to be "pleasant" enough so you can avoid riots, manage your tight budget, and much more. Prison Architect will definitely remind you of classic PC management games rather than modern mobile games when it comes to just how much you can control and how much tinkering you can do...

There aren't many good games out there based on the Power Rangers franchise. Much of that is down to the nature of the licensing beast, similar to how hard it seems to be to get a superhero game of decent quality. There are many factors, both obvious and subtle, that work against licensed games. The Rangers certainly haven't been free of such hassles. The obvious solution is to take a swing at it without a license, but as Behold Studios found out, that's a delicate road to walk. Things worked out in the end, however, and Chroma Squad [$4.99] became an officially-endorsed spin on the Super Sentai concept that is free to do its own thing without the heavy restrictions that come with a full license. It's a good game, probably the best Ranger-themed game ever, though how much you like it will depend greatly on what you're looking to get out of it...

I admit that I'm not the biggest fan of the clickerless clicker genre that has popped up. Not to say that they can't be fun, but I get more engagement out of something where my clicking can play a role when I have the clicker app open, as opposed to it just being about idle currency generation. So, Magnate [Free] has a tall order to fill. I like clickers, and am in the mood for some empire-building recently. But as a clickerless clicker, it has a high bar to clear with me. Yet, the game has some interesting things going on to intrigue even a skeptic like me...

You may have played theme park, hospital or game development simulators, but nothing can prepare you for the comedic criminal construction chaos that is Prison Architect [Free (HD)]. Having launched in 2015 on PC to critical acclaim - and a BAFTA award in 2016 to add to its many accolades - Prison Architect puts you in prime control of a maximum security facility, with your tasks including literally constructing the concrete walls that separate your wildly unstable inmates from the outside world, as well as managing the variably violent criminals that are incarcerated in the lock-up. The mobile iteration of Prison Architect has been a long time coming, and after a limited soft launch in the Netherlands, the game has finally released worldwide on the App Store and is available to download for free, exclusively for tablet devices...

'Spaceplan' Review - Delicious Potatoes

The clicker genre can still surprise and delight, it turns out. Jake Hollands and Devolver Digital have delivered a fantastic narrative clicker in Spaceplan [$2.99] that is well worth checking out even if you're clickered out on clickers. While the core hallmarks of the clicker genre are here with lots of clicking and idle energy generators, with waiting outside the app playing a role in the game. But it also features a unique sci-fi story that reveals over time that has an incremental narrative game influence, and a finite scenario to enjoy. Plus, there's lots of potatoes...

Eagle-eyed calendar watchers and sci-fi fans alike will certainly be aware that today, May 4th, is Star Wars Day. On one hand, this means hearing May the Fourth be with you for the umpteenth time, until you're sick of Luke, Leia, and all their Jedi associates. However, this isn't merely a day for awful puns - the long-awaited SPACEPLAN [$2.99] has suitably released this morning for $2.99 on the App Store. Following the incredible 40-minute reveal trailer that was released last week, there has been much expectation on what this latest game from prolific publishers Devolver Digital actually was, and if it would live up to their previous work. Thankfully, early impressions on our forum thread have stated that SPACEPLAN is more than just a run-of-the-mill clicker, but a deep and compelling time-suck that has to be experienced...

After playing Principia [$2.99] through a few times, I find myself a little conflicted. This is an odd sort of science simulation game where you take on the role of a historical scientist and try to build your fame and fortune through research and discovery. Rival scientists will try to beat you to the punch or cattily attempt to discredit your work, and you can choose to respond in kind if you like. The game ends when your chosen character reaches the end of his working life, so you've got to try to get in as much as possible by then. It's a messy, ambitious game, and when I think on it, it doesn't really work at all. And yet, there's something compelling about it all. Perhaps it's the thrill of chasing a discovery to its end. Maybe it's the joy of rising to the top while your rivals slide downwards. The game's nerdy enthusiasm for science is also rather infectious. Whatever the case, it's certainly something to try if you're looking for a different kind of simulation game...

Early last month we posted about a newly soft-launched game called NASCAR Heat Mobile [Free] from developer 704 Games, and over the weekend that game has now gone live worldwide. You may know 704 Games under their previous name Dusenberry Martin Racing, who acquired the NASCAR license in January 2015 in order to develop NASCAR games exclusively. They teamed up with Monster Games, developers of the original NASCAR Heat series of the early 2000s, to create NASCAR Heat Evolution for consoles and PCs, which released in September of last year to poor reviews. NASCAR Heat Mobile is a collaboration between 704 and long-time handheld racing game makers Firebrand Games...

Over the past week or so, London has been spared of the typically bleak English weather - essentially dark, dismal clouds, chilly temperatures and perpetual rain, if you're lucky enough to be unfamiliar - and has instead been blessed by beautiful sunny spells. Hopefully readers from around the globe are experiencing similar improving outlooks as we slowly creep towards Summer, and what better way to celebrate such heat waves with a brand new Kairosoft skiing game! In fairness to the Japanese developer, the alpine season is still in full swing over the Easter period, and nothing is better than propelling yourself down a mountain in the glistening sun. Shiny Ski Resort [$4.99] also looks like a radical iOS simulator - with the typical Kairosoft formula of building a hotel supplemented by some neat skiing mini games, this latest title appears to hijack the developer's downhill descent of late, and is available to download for $4.99 today on the App Store...

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