Category Archives: Sports

Jared Bailey (aka No Can Win) is one of my favorite developers on the App Store. I loved Cubed Rally Racer [$0.99], and was near-obsessed with the follow-up, Cubed Rally Redline [Free]. After that, though, he started focusing on much simpler Ketchapp-style games that weren’t really my cup o’ tea. The last game of his (which I reviewed) was called Super Bounce Back [Free], and it seemed to be a step back in the right direction, with a clever concept that was slightly more involved than the “one-button-quick-reaction” style games he’d been putting out after the Cubed Rally series. And fortunately for me (and you, I suppose), his latest effort Rocket Ski Racing [Free] climbs out of that inverted bell curve even further. Simply put, it’s a blast...

Having grown up with a controller in my hand, I've learned quite a few skills by way of video games, ranging from vocabulary enhancements, to motor skills, and even things like geography. One of the more practical things I picked up though is general sports knowledge. In fact, it's where I first learned golf, with my uncle breaking down the specific function of each club, and when to use them.  But the game of golf never really took for me, and to really get into the sport of it, I needed a bit of persuasion, sometimes of the fantastical variety. Enter Kirby's Dream Course on the SNES, with wonderful gimmicks like ball morphing and leaping over pitfalls and other hazards, and I was in. I never thought that 20 years later, I'd be writing about a similar experience on iOS, but here we are with Frank the Dillo [$0.99]...




'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...

'Football Manager Touch 2016' Review - Say Goodbye To Your Free Time, Your Job, and Your Life

What do you look for in a game? Is it brief moments of entertainment? Do you like games that keep you busy while you play them and fade from memory the moment you stop? Then Football Manager Touch 2016 [$19.99] is definitely not for you. Why so? Because this is a game about investment, a game that hooks you not with its frantic gameplay (since it's anything but frantic) but by getting you involved and invested in your career. The game makes you feel like an integral part of team your managing; you don't play FMT 2016 only when you're looking at your tablet, you're playing it even late at night in a bar when you're thinking which player would work where, or whether that wonderkid will finally turn up on matchday. This is a game that will literally expand to fill much of your free time, even when you aren't actually anywhere near your tablet...

In September of last year a quirky little snowboarding game called Shred It! [Free] was released by developer Extra Mile Studios. Shred It! had an incredibly charming papercraft art style that gave it a really unique look, and really solid "behind the back runner" style snowboarding gameplay that worked well on the touchscreen. Unfortunately, finicky touch detection and a lack of content caused Shred It! to largely fly under the radar when it released. Extra Mile addressed that by updating the game with greatly improved touchscreen controls, a Checkpoint Challenge mode, and several seasonal content updates for Halloween, Christmas and New Years. Its last update was way back in January, but with winter in full swing and snowboarding being a winter pastime, a new Shred It! update has just landed that rejuvenates this overlooked little gem...

'Football Manager Mobile 2016' Review - Your Phone Couldn't Ask for a Better Sports Manager Game

When I heard a few years ago that Sports Interactive was planning on bringing Football Manager over on iOS, I was filled with reserved anticipation. Anticipation because the thought of a portable Football Manager was the white whale of many gamers (including me) who had spent hours upon hours on the many PC versions of the game, and reservations because I knew they couldn't really port the whole game on mobile unless the developers seriously pared down the experience. The major issue was the PC game's huge database, which would barely fit on the then top-end devices, and the memory requirements. When the first Football Manager Handheld was released, it was met with the expected response: most players were happy the game was on iOS but were disappointed by the lack of many 'essential' features and by the very small database...

There's this one franchise that most European (primarily) gamers use as short for the game that made you break up with a girlfriend, miss your best friend's wedding, fail a few (or more) classes, or forget to eat, and that franchise is Football Manager (yes, I know it wasn't always called that, but that's not important). After releasing Football Manager Mobile 2016 [$8.99], the more streamlined mobile version of the game, Sports Interactive has just dropped Football Manager Touch 2016 [$19.99], the big daddy, on the App Store. This is an improved version of last year's Football Manager Classic [$19.99 (HD)] (which got 5 stars from me), and should play even better than last year's game. Football Manager Touch 2016 is pretty much the Football Manager Touch mode from the PC game, which is a streamlined version of the full Football Manager 2016 monster. The iOS and PC version of Football Manager Touch are fully cross-save compatible, which means you can waste all that time on the same career on both iOS and on the PC...

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...

'Evel Knievel' Review - Too Legit To Quit

'Evel Knievel' Review - Too Legit To Quit

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November 10th, 2015 3:30 PM EDT by Nathan Reinauer in $1.99, 4.5 stars, Apple TV, Arcade, Games, Platform, Reviews, Sports, Universal
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Evel Knievel is undoubtedly one of the more ridiculous pieces of American pop culture. I don’t mean ridiculous in a bad way; just that it seems equal parts silly and awesome that someone could make a career out of jumping a motorcycle over increasingly large numbers of crazy things like buses and sharks. That weirdly fascinating balance of absurdity and danger are on full display in Barnstorm Games’ Evel Knievel [Free], to the point where I’m not sure how seriously I should be taking any of it...

'Beat Sports' Review - Weee! Sports on the Apple TV!

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November 9th, 2015 12:00 PM EDT by Nathan Reinauer in $9.99, 4 stars, Apple TV, Games, Music / Rhythm, Reviews, Sports
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I wasn’t planning on buying the fourth generation Apple TV right away. But then Guitar Hero Live [Free] happened, and I just couldn’t wait. I mean, the game is great on the iPad and iPhone, but obviously it was always meant for the living room. Imagine my disappointment, then, when I finally got Apple’s new streaming box and Guitar Hero Live wasn’t even in the App Store yet. Luckily, though, developer Harmonix (who kicked off the whole plastic instrument trend back in 2005) did have a rhythm game on the store right on launch day. It’s called Beat Sports, and while it’s no Guitar Hero or Rock Band, it’s still a pretty fun little slice of music gaming...

It seems like no matter how the app store changes, we will always have those comfort games that have such a sturdy under girding we will never see their type go away. NBA Escape from Urthworx is one of those games. With gameplay that heavily relies on the popular physics of Angry Birds, Escape puts a basketball flavored theme on top that adds just enough variety to make it work. ..

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. ..

So, I love football manager games, and I've loved playing football games (or soccer for some of you) like FIFA and Pro Evolution Soccer since the days of International Superstar Soccer on the Nintendo 64. Add to this my love for CCGs, and you can understand why I had high hopes for FIFA 16 Ultimate Team [Free] since it looked like it combined all three genres in one shiny package. The last FIFA I played on mobile before FIFA 16 UT was FIFA 14, which was the last one to have various other modes (like Quick Match and Season) in addition to the Ultimate Team mode. While I had dabbled a bit in the Ultimate Team mode in FIFA 14, I didn't really bother much because I simply wanted to play football without messing with menus too much. Still, I actually loaded FIFA 16 UT hoping I would find an interesting CCG (which is what the Ultimate Team really is) on top of what has easily been the best football game on iOS...

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...

Desert Golfing [$1.99] is one of those games that practically transcends what we expect from video games. On its surface it's an extremely simplified game of golf, where each hole is a single screen and by using the tried and true "pull back and slingshot" method your job is simply to get the ball in the hole in as few moves as possible. There is no menu, there is no level select screen, there is no storyline or additional goals. You hit the ball in the hole, move on to the next hole, rinse and repeat for the rest of eternity. ..

'Power Ping Pong' Review - Tablet Tennis

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September 14th, 2015 12:27 PM EDT by Nathan Reinauer in $4.99, 4 stars, Arcade, Games, Reviews, Sports, Universal
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Have you ever played one of those games that everyone raves about, but it doesn’t click with you? It looks really fun and should be right up your alley, but for some reason you can’t crack it. “What’s wrong with me?” you might wonder. “Am I doing something dumb?” Well, if you couldn’t guess, that was my first experience with Chillingo’s Power Ping Pong [$4.99]. After playing for about a week now, I think I’m finally figuring out what was wrong. We’ll get to all that soon enough, but first: what is it?..

A couple of months back, I reviewed a unique little game called Trappy Tomb [Free], a game that had you running and jumping through a deadly tomb, grabbing treasure and trying to stay alive. Its most interesting feature was what it referred to as 'mingleplayer', where you would see the ghosts of tons of other players running along with you. It not only made score-chasing feel more exciting, it could also clue you into any cleverly hidden secrets someone had uncovered. Of course, there were also lessons to learn about the dangers of herd mentality. The developer of that game is back with his next title, MiniGolf Endless MMO [Free], and though it's in a completely different genre, it retains a similar gimmick...

Two New 'Football Manager' Games Coming to iOS Before Christmas

Sports Interactive unveiled the 2016 version of its football (soccer for our American friends) managing games yesterday, and there were some very good news for iOS gamers who enjoy coaching their favorite teams on the go. After announcing Football Manager 2016, the flagship PC game that follows in the long tradition of very complex and involved football managing games, SI went on to announce two new products, Football Manager Touch 2016 (FMT 2016) and Football Manager Mobile 2016 (FMM 2016). FMT 2016 is the renamed Football Manager Classic mode from last year's Football Manager and offers a more streamlined experience for those who want to be very involved in the running of their club but don't want to spend every waking moment agonizing over every single managerial detail. FMT 2016 will be very similar to Football Manager Classic 2015 from last year, which I reviewed and really liked...

'Ski Safari 2' Review - Also Adventure

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September 4th, 2015 11:30 AM EDT by Nathan Reinauer in $1.99, 4 stars, Games, Reviews, Runner, Sports, Universal
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I enjoyed the original Ski Safari [$0.99], but I didn’t love it. I played it for a few days, but it seemed like one of those runners that takes forever to get challenging. I grew tired of doing the same thing for ten-plus minutes only to die and find that I hadn’t beat my previous score yet. Sure, the game had a good amount of variety in the different animals you could ride and stuff, but it still didn’t keep my attention for long. Flash forward a few years, and I have to admit this sequel looked pretty sweet. Maybe the gorgeous Alto’s Adventure [$3.99] had softened me up first, but either way, I had to try Sleepy Z's Ski Safari 2 [$1.99]...

My first ever interaction with golf was on the NES. I remember being fascinated by the concept of hitting a ball across a screen, and although the idea of woods and irons completely eluded me, I was content with whacking away Happy Gilmore style. Over time golf became far less foreign, and though the sport's popularity has waxed and waned over the years, I still have a certain degree of interest in it, at least at a base level. Battle Golf [Free] doesn't really do a whole lot for me though...

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