Category Archives: Simulation

Based on a novel by Russian author Dmitry Glukhovsky, Metro 2033 has quickly become the video gaming world's third-favorite post-nuclear-apocalypse setting, give or take a rank or two. Set in a world where a nuclear war forced Moscow's survivors to live in the underground subway stations that sprawl out under the city, it's a setting ripe with possibilities for games. Ukrainian developer 4A games apparently felt it would make a good first-person shooter, and they proved themselves right in 2010 with the release of Metro 2033 on Xbox 360 and Windows PCs. That game was followed by a sequel called Metro: Last Light, and I'm quite sure we'll be seeing more games coming in that particular series. Russian developer DaSuppa and publisher TapStar Interactive seem to have come away from the book with a different kind of game idea, perhaps figuring that the struggle for resources and sprawling map filled with nodes would make a good strategy game. They weren't wrong. Metro 2033: Wars [$5.99] is awfully rough around the edges, but it's at least worth checking out for patient strategy fans who are looking for a lighter bite...

It's the holiday season and the folks at Mojang want to keep their Minecraft: Pocket Edition [$6.99] players warm for the winter by way of the just-released Holiday Skins Pack. As usual the skin pack will set you back a couple of bucks if you want access to all of them, but there's a couple of freebies tucked in there too, which include two very festive holiday sweaters. However, if you're truly hardcore, you're going to want to buy the whole shebang, as that's the only way you'll be able to play as such holiday favorites as Tomte the gnome or the Gingerbread Man Creeper...




'Snowboard Party 2' - Downhill Jam

1080 Snowboarding, guys. I spent more time playing that on the Nintendo 64 than any other snowboarding game to date. It came out around the time Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater debuted, and I was basically obsessed with “extreme sports” in video games. Not only was it one of the best-looking and smoothest N64 games of its day, it was also ridiculous amounts of fun. Unfortunately, I missed out on the sequel (never had a Game Cube) and somehow missed the SSX craze as well. In fact, the only other snowboarding game I can recall being super into since then is the recent Alto’s Adventure [$3.99], which belongs to a completely different genre altogether. It’s something I hadn’t really considered, but when I first started playing Ratrod’s Snowboard Party 2 [$1.99], I finally realized how much I missed carving down the slopes in 3D while pulling off crazy tricks...

Minecraft: Pocket Edition [$6.99] sure has come a long way in the 4 years since its initial release. Some might say there's still a long ways to go before it's up to par with its desktop counterpart, and some might also say it's taken too long to get to where we are today with the mobile version. Those are both very good points, but I still think the teams at Mojang and Microsoft should be commended for the extra attention they've been paying to Minecraft: Pocket Edition throughout 2015. The Pocket Edition team has created a brand new trailer showcasing all those nifty new editions that have made it into the game this year...

'Amazing Loot Grind' Review - Tap to Loot

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December 3rd, 2015 2:00 PM EDT by Chris Carter in 3.5 stars, Free, Games, iPad Games, iPhone games, Reviews, Simulation, Universal
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For a period of one month, Cookie Clicker basically took over my PC. I played it at work, and at home, with two simultaneous instances running at once. The concept of watching numbers go up over time isn't anything new -- it's something PC and old console RPGs have been doing for decades -- but clickers cut out all of the downtime and just let you get to the rewards. It's a fascinating social experiment, but on occasion, it also makes for a fun video game. Amazing Loot Grind [Free] is one such instance, and it's perfect to play for hours or seconds at a time...

One of my daily go-to games, True Skate [Free] from developer True Axis, continues to add new content and features more than 3 years after its original release. First up on the new content side of things is the "Mondo Ramp" which is a massive ramp structure not totally dissimilar to the MegaRamp used by Danny Way to launch over the Great Wall of China a decade ago and has made its way into regular contests and skateparks in the years since. If you aren't familiar, it's a massive roll-in ramp that leads to two separate launch ramps–one further out than the other for two different length gaps. From those gaps you'll land in another massive roll-in ramp that leads up to an even more massive quarter-pipe. Oh and there's a rail in between the two launch ramps because why not!? Here's a bunch of screens and a quick clip of the new Mondo Ramp...

Wizards and Wagons[$4.99] is out now from Touch Dimensions and it is one of the more active and engaging item shop sim games I have played. Known for more traditional strategy games, Touch Dimensions is stretching their dev skills to reach into the sim genre. Rather than sitting in town and waiting for customers to come to you, W&W mobilizes the store and puts you in the drivers seat. As last week's Touch Arcade Game of the Week, I was not surprised to find dynamic gameplay and an addictive quality that has put some extra rings under my eyes for the last several days from lack of sleep. ..

About a week and a half ago 11 Bit Studios' somber strategy survival game about war from a civilian perspective, This War of Mine [$14.99], received an update that added Universal iPhone support. Finally, millions of iPhone owners would get to experience one of the best game's to arrive on iOS this year. Except for one thing… a show-stopping bug crept into that update. 11 Bit had not choice but to take the game down and get things fixed up, which is what they did. As of yesterday This War of Mine is back in working order and back on the App Store, and as a special bonus it's even on sale for $6.99...

One of the games I've been looking forward to is Wizards and Wagons [$4.99] from Touch Dimensions, so I was worried when it didn't show up in time for our weekly Out Now post. Turns out it was just running late! As the story goes, you're the hero who vanquishes the Demon Lord and returns peace to your land. You're a bonafide hero, and you enjoy all the spoils that go along with that. But, your fame and fortune don't last forever, and before you know it you're penniless and living on the streets. That's no way for a hero to live! So you snag yourself a wagon and try to reinvent your career as a traveling salesman...

11 bit Studios' somber look at war from the civilians' perspective This War of Mine [$14.99] launched on desktop in November of last year to critical acclaim, and in July of this year it was ported to iOS and Android tablets. The somewhat point-and-click style of the gameplay in This War of Mine felt completely at home on the touchscreen, but as is the case with most games that release as iPad-only, iPhone owners were miffed to be missing out on the experience. Well, miff no more, iPhone owners! This War of Mine was just updated with Universal iPhone support...

You might not have heard of Neko Atsume [Free], but it's a game that's gotten kind of a cult following despite not being available in English until now. Released in Japan by Hit-Point, a studio responsible for some of the many Kemco RPGs, this is a game about collecting and raising a bunch of cats. Where's the appeal? Well, just take a look at the game:..

The Men Who Wear Many Hats, developers of zombie-filled Oregon Trail parody game Organ Trail: Director's Cut [$2.99], have just released a massive new expansion pack for their game just in time for Halloween. The new "Final Cut" expansion pack will run you $2.99 and essentially doubles the content in the game. It features brand new cities and the ability to choose your route as you go, as well as double the number of story encounters and road events. There are now 10 playable characters (6 unlockable) and 5 new unlockable cars in addition to the stock station wagon. ..

'Monkeyrama' Review - We’re Just Tryin’ To Be Friendly

Shortly before iOS took over my life, one of my favorite games was Boom Blox on the Wii. It was the brainchild of a little known game designer by the name of Steven Spielberg (who also dabbles in film, I’m told), and it was absurdly fun. There’s something about huge explosions and large structures toppling over that delights the eight year old boy in me, and Boom Blox (and especially it’s sequel, Bash Party) took over my free time for countless weeks. Ever since those days I’ve been yearning for something like that on mobile, and while there have been a couple physics-based games that provide a similar feeling (my favorite being Turbo Dismount [Free]), none have quite captured the floaty, block-on-block destruction I’ve craved since 2009. [Dramatic pause.] ...That is, until now...

As we learned this past June, the developers of stunning table tennis simulator Table Tennis Touch [$2.99] have been hard at work on a multiplayer update for the game, and today that update has gone live in the App Store. And let me say that this update is quite a whopper, adding in a ton of new stuff besides the expected multiplayer mode. ..

This Sunday is the Street League Skateboarding Super Crown Championship, basically the Super Bowl of Street League, and as the official video game of SLS True Skate [Free] has added a brand new downloadable park and is going free for the weekend to celebrate. The new course is the SLS Los Angeles 2015, the course from the first stop in this year's SLS. The course was designed by Street League competitor and all-around amazing skateboarder Luan Oliveira, and is modeled after the architecture found in his home country of Brazil. Here's a couple shots of the 2015 SLS Los Angeles park...

'Minecraft - Pocket Edition Version 0.12' Review - You've Come A Long Way, Stevie

In the world of gaming, four years is a long time. In the specific corner of the hobby that is mobile gaming, four years might as well be twenty. It's long enough to turn the greatest of apps into digital dust, to add 1200 levels to Candy Crush Saga [Free], to see a new iPhone model launch and be discontinued, and certainly long enough for a diligent developer to turn around a disappointing launch release. Minecraft - Pocket Edition [$6.99] was a shell of its proper self when it debuted on the App Store back in November 2011, something we made note of in our original review. And while I don't want people to get in the habit of expecting a new review for every game that gets a significant update or two, Minecraft - Pocket Edition has come so far that almost nothing in our original review applies to the game anymore. With the release of a significant new version of the game, now is as good a time as any to revisit it...

It seems like I'm running out of clever introductions to stories like this that convey just how much support and extra content gets added to Junk Jack X [$4.99] on an ongoing basis. So I'm just going to be boring with it: Junk Jack X continues to get a staggering amount of support and new content on an ongoing basis! The latest example of this is update 2.4.4 which just dropped today and adds an extensive gardening system into the game. It makes sense, I mean gardening is basically just crafting but for plants. Add a bit of this seed, a bit of that seed, and voila, you've got yourself a fancy new plant. The gardening system allows for more than 15,000 different types of plants, so you better get started now if you want to grow them all...

'Rebuild 3: Gangs of Deadsville' Review - Can I Kill One More Zombie Mom, Please?

Although the tide has subsided a bit, it's still pretty hard not to bump into a few zombies when playing video games or watching TV shows. We are definitely past the zombie wave crest, but those lovely creatures are still dragging their destroyed bodies towards us every opportunity they get. The zombie theme's popularity makes any new game about zombies a "been there-done that" kind of affair. Still, we do occasionally see games that use the zombie theme well, and Sarah Northway's Rebuild 3: Gangs of Deadsville [$4.99], a strategy sim game about restoring (or remaking) civilization after the zombie apocalypse, is definitely one of the good ones. Rebuild 3, much like The Walking Dead, cleverly uses zombies as the backdrop to the challenges of rebuilding society after it collapses...

Wargaming.net has come up with a great tournament idea for its World of Tanks: Blitz [Free] and it involves regions of the world fighting against each other. Most multiplayer games like WOT Blitz split their players across regions because of server and lag issues. While this is a technical necessity for most games, it also splinters the community because you can't play on two servers with the same collection of tanks (or cards, or heroes, etc). The Rise of Continents Tournament lets players from the game's four regions - North America, Asia, Europe, and Russia - compete against each other without actually crossing server lines. Each region has a set of goals each week that all players on that server are playing towards. As your region reaches those goals, players in the server earn in-game and physical rewards...

One thing I like about World of Tanks: Blitz [Free] is the constant updates with which Wargaming.net constantly bombards its tank simulator. These updates do more than simply improve the game; they also add new tanks all the time, expanding the ways you can play the game as the various tanks play quite differnetly from each other. Update 2.1, which has just dropped, continues in the tradition of adding new toys to play with. Specifically, this update has added a whole branch of British tank destroyers that includes the UC-2 pdr (II), the Valentine AT (III), the Alecto (IV), the heavy-duty Tortoise (IX), and the monstrous FV215b 183 (X). These are some of the most famous tank destroyers from the PC version, so I'm glad to see them coming to the Blitz version, especially since I usually play tank destroyers...

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