Category Archives: Simulation

Last weekend at D23, Disney Interactive held its panel to a packed crowd of gamers excited to hear about Disney’s upcoming gaming offerings. While the majority of the panel focused on console and PC specific games like Kingdom Hearts 3, Star Wars: Battlefront, and Disney Infinity 3.0 (all pretty cool games, in my opinion), the event did debut a new mobile offering that has the potential to be pretty cool...

Recently, we've seen sim-factory Kairosoft make efforts to mix things up a bit in their releases. In some cases, they've broken away from their established templates, while in others, they've revisited a familiar framework but gone considerably deeper with the simulation elements. Fish Pond Park [$2.99] is yet another release that feels like it's outside of the norm for this little developer, though it's not quite as successful with its approach as other recent efforts. You're building and maintaining a business yet again, in this case a nature preserve of sorts, but the sim elements are lighter than they've been in quite some time. Instead of the usual case where the theme serves the simulation, in Fish Pond Park, all of your building and resource management is for the sake of some good old fishing...




In September of last year, developer Chasing Carrots released their humorous space simulation game Cosmonautica [$5.99] onto Steam Early Access. It had been in development for more than a year prior to that, and spent all that time in Early Access getting fine-tuned based on player feedback. We reported back in May that the game was shooting for release in late June and that it would be heading to mobile at the same time. Today the day has finally arrived that Cosmonautica is officially out of Early Access, and along with that the game has arrived on iOS. Check out the launch trailer to get an idea of what Cosmonautica is all about...

As a critic, you almost always inevitably face a response to your criticisms somewhere in the neighborhood of ‘Well let’s see you do better!’ As if one must first master an art rather than be a knowledgeable and experienced consumer of it to have valid criticism. You especially see these comments thrown at highly negative critics, probably along with a Molotov cocktail and a screaming honey badger. It’s pretty rare for those critics to reply simply with ‘OK, why not!?’ as Ben ‘Yahtzee’ Croshaw has done with his first ever mobile game, Hatfall [$1.99]...

Ben "Yahtzee" Croshaw, Australian national treasure and host of the weekly game review show "Zero Punctuation!" over at The Escapist, is a man of many talents. In his free time, when he isn't taking part in the running of video game themed cocktail bars or doing manly combat with the horrifying fauna of Australia, he's an amateur game developer. You can find many of his creations over the years on his site, but now, with the help of Addicting Games and Defy Media, his very first mobile game, Hatfall [$1.99], is available for download. In it, you help the man himself get his hat back. Over and over again. While also dodging refrigerators, anvils, and trying to discern which devilishly handsome plain white avatar is yours...

'Fallout Shelter' Guide – Strategies, Tips and Tricks for the Industrious Post-Apocalypse Vault Overseer

Bethesda came out of the gate swinging at their first ever E3 Conference Sunday night. Among all the hype for Doom, Dishonored 2, and Fallout 4 came a few smaller announcements. One of those announcements was a new Fallout mobile game called Fallout Shelter[Free], a partnership between Bethesda and Behaviour Interactive, and it is just adorable. I mean, in a horribly grim-dark sort of way. Basically it’s a Tiny Tower [Free]style town management game set in the alternate history world of Fallout, and it is just oozing that Fallout style. The main points I’ll be covering are the Basics, Population Control, Baby Making, Caps Acquisition, Room Rushing, and Happiness...

It's an oft-heard complaint that simulation game developer Kairosoft spins their wheels a little too much. I've made that complaint myself a few times while reviewing their games. They have a few templates they like to work with. Typically, they select one of those templates, apply a new theme to it, and maybe add one or two small refinements. The result is usually pretty fun, don't get me wrong, but does tend to feel like you're playing the same game again, except this time with a fake mustache. That said, they've been slowing down their releases on iOS a bit of late, putting out more unusual or at least less well-worn fare like Kairobotica [$4.99] and Magazine Mogul [$4.99]. I find myself actually looking forward to their releases again, something that hasn't happened for a while. Their latest release, Biz Builder Delux [$4.99], is in many ways their best one yet...

Of all the Kim Kardashian simulators out there, Kim Kardashian: Hollywood [Free] is probably the best. I know our community is always chomping at the bit for new Kardashian news, so strap in for this nugget: The world of Apple Watch apps has been completely revolutionized this afternoon with the release of the Kim Kardashian: Hollywood for the Apple Watch...

How many "city building" tap games have you played before? The answer is usually "just one and I hate them" or "five on a daily basis," with very little room in between. Yes, Century City [Free] is another one of those "wait and tap" builders, but it sets itself apart with a few extra mechanics that allow you to play a more active role in your cities' quest for unfettered expansion...

Democracy is on sale, something everyone who watches politics knows very well. Of more interest to iPad gamers though is that Democracy 3 [$4.99 (HD)], Positech Games's Democracy simulation, is $0.99 today down from $9.99. It's the first time that Democracy 3 has dropped so low, so if the special interests you are representing want to influence (ruin) the political system of a country, now is your chance to make it happen at a bargain price...

CivCrafter [Free] is quite the curious little clicker game, and it's not quite the one that you expect. It's a resource management game with raiding-strategy real-time multiplayer, all wrapped up in the veneer of a simplified clicker game. But it has countless things to track and upgrade on your way to becoming the greatest civilization known to humankind. This has to be the pinnacle of the clicker genre and its logical end, right? How do you further deconstruct gaming to its simplest form while also making something this deep?!..

EA Mobile Inks Long-Term Deal to Develop 'Despicable Me' Games, Announces 'Minions Paradise'

This morning, EA Mobile announced a deal with Illumination Entertainment to develop and publish a set of Minions-inspired mobile games, the first of which launches this summer. "Minions," of course, are the bright yellow ovoid urchins from Illumination's surprisingly popular Despicable Me movies. The first project to come out of the new deal will be Minions Paradise, a town-building game about designing and crafting a tropical Minion resort, starring a new, not-from-the-movies character named Phil...

Even today, it's rare to see a developer's name affixed to a video game title. There are a lot of reasons for that, depending on which period we look at, but one of the bigger exceptions to that is the name of Sid Meier. I'm not sure how or why his name ended up in the title of Sid Meier's Pirates! [$2.99], but it might have simply been to help make the somewhat generic title more unique. The game was a massive hit, and while publishers generally don't like to canonize developers, they'll make an exception for just about any rule if the money looks right. So it is that after just a few more games, nearly every game Sid Meier had a hand in, and a few that he didn't, carried his name. It's an odd outcome for someone who seems to be a relatively low-key guy. The problem with his name becoming a brand, however, is that you can't be too sure with any given release just how much of the game is Sid Meier the designer versus Sid Meier the marketing tag...

Kairosoft makes a lot of games. Rather, I suppose they made a lot of games and have been diligently porting them over to smartphones ever since. They're not bad games. If you happened to be trapped in an elevator for a couple of days with one, you might not even notice you didn't hit your floor. That said, they are extremely similar to one another, relying on the same few templates spread across every single job anyone ever had or will have. It wears on you after a few games, especially if you fall into a row of their building simulations. I've often said that any given Kairosoft game is going to be amazing if it's your first and mind-numbing if it's your fifth. The sad thing in all of this is that the template that brought them to the dance, so to speak, is the least-recycled of them all. Game Dev Story [$0.99] put Kairosoft on the international map years ago, and the biggest request everyone has made since is for a sequel. Kairosoft marches to their own beat, though, and that beat apparently dictates that there shall be only one Game Dev Story per Halley's Comet appearance...

Craft the World - Pocket Edition[$5.99] is a sandbox crafting game from Devokir Entertainment very much in the vein of Terraria[$4.99] and Starbound. The side view perspective works amazingly well and with multiple characters to control, it very much resembles an interactive any colony...

In the first half of 2014, the hottest trend in war strategy games was the Eastern front of World War 2. We had entries from Hunted Cow, Shenandoah Studio, and Slitherine, all within a fairly short span of time. Slitherine's title, Frontline: Road To Moscow [$2.99], was a slightly more accessible strategy game than their usual fare, and although it lacked the depth that fans of the genre tend to crave, I enjoyed it well enough. The game had a huge variety of units to play with, took terrain conditions into account, and had just enough below the surface to keep me engaged without crushing me. On top of that, the visual designs of the pieces were excellent, the base game included a generous amount of missions, and while it did release in a bit of an Eastern front boom period, the overall scenario was still quite novel for me. In theory, I should be the perfect target for a follow-up...

In True Axis' fantastic skateboard simulator True Skate [$1.99], manuals (or wheelies to the layman) were always possible to do, but they were sort of finicky. In an update in late November, True Axis greatly improved the way manuals worked, adding a whole new dimension to the game. Our resident True Skate master, forum member totallymichael, made a new video showcasing all the possibilities that the revamped manual system allows. Check out the vid, and maybe even watch it a couple of times to fully comprehend all the crazy tricks he pulls off...

This news flew under the radar a bit, but a few weeks back Coffee Stain Studios spelled out their plans for Goat Simulator [$4.99] on mobile, and fans of the wacky sandbox game should be pretty excited about it. As they explain in a post on their blog, they're currently working on bringing a new level, Goat City Bay, as well as "a ton of new goats" to the iOS and Android versions of Goat Simulator. Even though this is content that's already in the PC version of the game, they have to essentially build everything from scratch in order to make it work in the mobile version, which is then followed by ""months of optimizing, building and testing in a cycle that takes a really long time." So it's not like they're ignoring you, mobile goat enthusiasts, it's just time-consuming work...

As we mentioned in our review, EA’s freemium take on the classic SimCity franchise isn’t quite what most would expect. Still, SimCity BuildIt [Free] offers a pretty fair free-to-play experience with a lot of elements that pay homage to the series. With that said, there are always ways to be more efficient while playing a crafting title and we’ve got a few tips to help you get there...

Anh Huy Phan has brought one of my favorite genres to iOS. Star Nomad Elite[$1.99] is a trimmed down, stream lined 2d space adventure game. The game notes have a shout out to Elite, Wing Commander, Privateer, Escape Velocity and Freelancer. I was a bit surprised that my favorite 2d space sim, Star Sonata wasn't also mentioned. In any case, I had a lot of expectations going into Star Nomad. It's a fun game from a very small indie outfit that could really take you by surprise. ..

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